02nd Apr2014

Salt City Drift Round 1

by Michael Chandler

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It was a busy, busy day at Miller Motorsports Park on March 22.  It was the opening of the NASA Utah season, the Radical Cup made a stop, and in the West Paddock some degenerates excited youth were sliding around like one is want to do when given the opportunity.  I wasn’t around to see any sort of competition, but I did pop in long enough to snap some photos and see people whip 360s through the exit gate of the course.  Someone even punted a cone while doing so!

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See?!

Anyway, the next round is all the way out on June 14 in (wait for it) Downtown Salt Lake City!  Exciting right??  See you then, and in the meantime enjoy the photos.

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
19th Mar2014

Bad Decisions: Jordan’s 1UZ S13

by Michael Chandler

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If you know someone who is passionate about anything, then you know what they go through to prepare for an event or show or whatever it may be. You see what it looks like when they have all the time in the world to prepare; however, you also see what happens when things don’t go according to plan and the window for preparation is quickly closing. Jordan Collier, the owner and driver of a 1UZ swapped 240SX, was facing the latter. He invited me over to watch/document/occasionally lend a hand while he and his room-mate Trent Dortzbach tried to sort out the idle of the little V8. What happened after that is the stuff of Facebook legend…

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When I arrived the guys were figuring out the idle. It was either high, or bounced around. I, for one, was a fan of the bouncing idle, but I was overruled. Eventually the idle was set at “high”, and Trent fired up the car so I could grab some shots of the car shooting fire out of its open headers. Then he stepped on the clutch…

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Let me back up. First, you’ve seen this car in this garage before. AND it ran! It was using a broken in clutch disc, until some other things broke and Jordan had to shelve his season. This year he has new things, including a new clutch disc which was VASTLY thicker than his old one. This led to the problem we found.

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“It’s not disengaging” Jordan uttered. Trent was on the clutch, the car was in first, and the wheels were not turning freely. Not enough throw with the new disc? That’s the idea we all settled on. This problem led to a series of decisions that became sketchier and sketchier as the night progressed.

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DECISION THE FIRST! Does Jordan let the car be, with the new clutch disc in, and hope it gets better with use? Nope, old one has to go in.

DECISION THE SECOND! Do we pull the engine AND transmission, requiring us to drain the gallon of stuff from the 350Z transmission and unhook all the electrics OR do we pull the driveshaft, unbolt the trans from the motor, and just go at it that way? If you know us, then you already know where this goes. With option B selected we went to YouTube to get some direction. And then we faced another decision…

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“Change a U Joint with a Hammer” Clarkson would be proud

DECISION THE THIRD! How do we get the car high enough to do all the crap we just said that we were gonna do? We can’t use the engine hoist, because we need that to swing the engine out of the way. The jack stands aren’t high enough. Jordan and Trent drift, so there’s an abundance of mounted tires…

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DECISION THE FOURTH! How are we going to explain this to family members, paramedics and the police? Mercifully it didn’t come to that, but Christ almighty was this a sketchy set up. The front of the car was up on three wheels (a stack of three under each front wheel of the car) and the rear was up on one wheel. Both Jordan and Trent were under the car trying to free that driveshaft, then the transmission.

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A few times Jordan got out from under that car, took a walk to the back of it and muttered “We should’ve just pulled the motor.” In hindsight, we probably should have. But if we did then there wouldn’t have been much of a story.

After fighting with snap rings, pulling the steering column, pulling the engine forward AND tilting it up, and somehow pulling the passenger side header off (which normally requires the engine to come out) the trans was ready to come off.

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At this point we had been working on it for three hours. We had crossed the point of no return, which led to some self doubt from Jordan. “We should’ve just taken the whole engine out” he muttered. “I have a sneaking suspicion that the trans will come off and never go back on.” With that enthusiastic quote we reached what would be the final decision of the night.

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DECISION THE FIFTH! How exactly are we going to support the transmission? The 4×4 and 2×4 blocks are a bit short and narrow, jack doesn’t really reach that high and there wasn’t a transmission jack available. What we did have was Jordan’s manly strength! Soon enough he was cradling the transmission and carefully getting it out from under the car.

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With that finally done it was time to switch clutch discs and revel in all the room for activities there was under the car! And then we called it a night. The transmission did go back on (eventually), and Jordan took the car for some testing… and sprung an oil leak. At least the transmission was fine.

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Come see Jordan, and maybe his car, this Saturday at Miller Motorsports Park for the first Salt City Drift event.  $6 to get in, $5 for a single ride along in one of the cars OR $20 for an all day ride along pass.

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
03rd Oct2013

JDM Legends First Thursday Meet

by Michael Chandler

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On the first Thursday of the good weather months, JDM Legends opens their doors for a little open house.  It’s a chance to chat up fellow enthusiasts, make terrible offers to Eric (that Silvia has a CA, it’s totally worth the next to nothing I could come up with!) and gawk at the tons of awesome that roll in to and out of the shop.  Last month Joey and myself hopped in the Subaru and made the trip over.

 

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Lots of Skylines were on display, from a four door GTR (#102 built and lovingly maintained Nissan in Japan) to the Kenmeri that buzzes around and even an R31 GTS with its awesome little electronic chin spoiler.  Brody brought down his R32 GTR and his DR30 GTS.  He left the R32 GTS-T at home.  Let’s all take a moment to be jealous of his stable…  Done?  Ok, moving on.

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Early S13’s are available for importation.  You can be the first kid on your block to roll in a legitimate Silvia, complete with a CA18DET!  You can take your JZx and LS swaps and punt them, and ditch all that KA-T stuff.  THIS is awesome.  Here’s proof.  This might be the best $12k you can spend on an S13.

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This lovely Celica GTV has since moved on to a new home, but she got to enjoy one last moment being fawned over at the shop.

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Some of the cars that are driven to the meet are just as good as the fare JDM Legends has up for sale.  An immaculate second generation Celica Supra, looking as clean as it did when it rolled off the showroom floor.  A KA24DE swapped S12 200SX.  The swap was so clean three of us had to check the vin plate to make sure it was in fact swapped.  A gorgeous, red S30 was at the edge of the parking lot, but still managed to draw a crowd.  And the Datsun 620 pickup has always been an awesome little truck.  They don’t need a lot to look cool.

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This little orange Bluebird was pretty awesome, sitting properly on a set of Panasports, but then I noticed the mirrors are a set of GT Napoleon pieces!  These are getting harder to find, so seeing a set on something was a real treat.

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Keep checking the JDM Legends Facebook page for updates on these little shindigs, and to see photos of the Prince Skyline GTB they took to the Japanese Classic Car Show this past weekend!

Words and Photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
20th Sep2013

Drift Utah 6

by Michael Chandler

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The sun rose over a chilly Miller Motorsports Park.  The rain had stopped, but the already slick surface of the west paddock was puddle ridden.  The drivers arrived and unloaded their cars, and prepared them for a full day of drifting.

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Nick and Brandon gathered the drivers for a meeting and a rundown of the course.  Some showers had returned, which made it feel even colder than it did earlier.  After fielding few questions and introducing the DJ (Joey Harrington, aka G-Type, aka The Hair, aka Trueno the Panda), the drivers went out for a parade lap.  And then the fun began

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The guys took the first few cuts somewhat conservatively.  I say somewhat, because the slick track was a bit of a trick to get used to with the water.

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The cones at the entry of the first big right hander took a beating from a few of the drivers, but then OP went on course…

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DERP!  By the way, the E36 M3 is apparently built like a tank.  His car showed no signs of damage, and he gave ride alongs the rest of the day.

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Turbo and N/A S chassis were taking cuts, mustaches not required.

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Your favorite Pro/Am drivers and the resident Formula D driver were out giving ride alongs, and showing off some tandem skills.

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Then this showed up.  Things were getting wild, crazy even.

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Thankfully a contest broke out, which calmed things down.  David Curtis took the win, and whatever prize came with the respect and adulation.  All was calm.

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Well, at least it wasn’t weird.

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What the hell?

The last and final event of the Drift Utah season is tomorrow, September 21, in the Midway at Miller Motorsports Park.  $6 to watch, $5 for a single ride along, $20 for an all day Ride Alone Pass, $90 to come take some solo cuts, $140 to dance with a partner.  Register here, and make sure to come spectate by 4pm.  Thats when the contest starts!

And as always:

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
29th May2013

iDrift Round 3

by Michael Chandler

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Memorial Day Weekend brought tire smoke, friends and a contest to Miller Motorsports Park.  For what?  iDrift Round 3 of course!  The focus shifted back to the West Paddock where the barriers were placed, James Dean and Darth Vader were propped up (and subsequently blown down.  Damn wind…), and rides were given.  And look!  Jordan’s 1UZ powered S13 was alive and kicking!

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Jordan approved of his vehicle’s performance.  Some of the drivers had to work the course, much like at an autocross event.  However, they got a golf cart which served many purposes.

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Jordan used it as a chariot to spear cones, while Trent sat in judgement while at the helm.  What was he judging?

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Jason Smith in O.P. Anderson’s car for one!  After some *ahem* difficulties, Jason started whipping the E36 around like an old hand.  He even took second in the competition!  Was it rigged?  Doubtful.  If it was he would have won.  Although, this would be the best cover for any sort of rigging…

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Hey Nick, your thing is dragging…  He also blew up his rear diff, which is amazing because the former diff was a weak 1.6L piece that lasted years with the power he’s putting down.  Those usually break at slightly higher or sometimes even stock power levels.  He has a 1.8L diff now, and a new bumper on the way.

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This guy took third.  I don’t know who he is, but the primered coupe was consistent all day.  Also, James blew over long before I got there and lost his head somewhere along the way.  A tragedy, I know.  But hey, he does approve of what is going on here.

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Here’s your winner ladies and gentlemen.  Smoke?  Plenty.  Smoothness?  And how!  Fancy colors?  YOU BET!  His entries were also on point, and he wasn’t afraid to approach the barriers or clipping points.  He deserved the win.

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There was also this: Brent Cheney’s old S14!  No longer Brent’s and no longer SR powered.  It belongs to Rob, and it’s packing a LSx.  How he did in the contest I don’t know, but it did sound good.

It was a good day for everyone who made it out.  Missed out?  Don’t worry!  THERE ARE MORE COMING!!!  Next one is June 22 in the Midway.  Don’t worry about not having a car, or astronomical ticket prices.  I haven’t had a car to drive for any of these, and tickets are only $6 at the door.  And those tickets let you watch whatever is going on at the track that day.  That’s a lot of entertainment for $6.

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMAutoMag.Com.
31st Jan2013

Will It Fit? Lexus V8 Into a S13!

by Michael Chandler

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Last night I went over to Jordan Collier’s frigid garage and watched him put together an engine hoist and then test fit his shiny new 1UZ V8.  Did it actually go in?

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Jordan decided to bolt up a few things before dropping it into the bay.  First was this spacer.  Gotta have it so the whole transmission and shifting thing work.  Looks odd, but it works.

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Then this beefy QuarterMaster clutch went on.  They use it in NASCAR, and that’s good enough for Jordan!

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With the clutch set up on, and the exhaust manifolds bolted up she began her journey down…

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Well whataya know?!?  She fits!!!  Not without a few minor issues, but nothing a cutting torch and a welder can’t fix.  Next time you see this thing out in the wild you’re gonna be seeing these under the hood:

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler.

 

 

*Article, photos and video are copyright of CAMautoMag.com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.com
07th May2012

D-Spare Nissan 240 drift update

by Trent

The guys at D-Spare recently updated their look for the 2012 season. They asked us to grab some pics and a video and this is what we came back with.

It’s still mostly the same car. It’s still packing a Toyota 1JZ engine, and it still has the widebody kit on it. What you don’t see until they remove the deck lid or pop the hood is all the custom fabrication they did in the off season. They gutted the trunk and did a tubular front end. This work resulted in a 3rd place finish at Vegas ProAm round 2.

We will be out at the Vegas Pro-Am event in June snapping shots of this car and others.

Thanks to Brandon and Jose.

To see the previous feature on this vehicle, see The Blueprint 240SX

Video by Trent Bray, Photos by Michael Chandler
*Article, Video, and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.Com

Off
27th Sep2011

The Blueprint: Nissan 240SX

by Michael Chandler

If you’ve seen the drifting coverage we’ve previously had, then you know of the car featured here. What you might not know are all of the gritty details of how this S13 coupe came to be the silver, purple and green beast it is today. Let us begin with the obvious question: why a 1JZ? (more…)

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