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.
17th Oct2013

Reader’s Ride: Randy Reed’s v7 WRX STi

by Michael Chandler

Randy Reed v7 WRX-4

We’ve known for years that the home markets for certain manufacturers have been getting far cooler things than we get here in the land of freedom and bald eagles and deep fried bacon.  But what if you, between pieces of said bacon, decided you wanted one of those not available rides?  For a while, you did nothing but deep fry more bacon and be content with what you had.  Randy Reed of Greensboro, NC did not do that.  He wanted a bug-eye STi, so he made one.

Randy Reed v7 WRX-1

He slapped a JDM v7 front end on, and a front lip as well.  The headlights were upgraded with a Morimoto projector HID kit, so as to see better.  ChargeSpeed air ducts replaced the fog lights and a pair of carbon fiber STi side markers were popped in.  The 4.5″ carbon fiber hood scoop brings in much more air and the occasional bird.  Out back a wingless trunk from a 2.5RS was painted matte black, fitted with a STi badge, then installed.  Keeping flying debris in check are a set of Rally Armor mudflaps.

Ahead of those mudflaps are a set of 18×10 Rota SVNs wrapped in Nexen rubber.  Well, most of the time they’re there.  With winter approaching Randy picked up a set of Enkei Evo 6s.  Yes, they have winter in North Carolina.  Yeah, I was surprised too!

The suspension and brakes on this bug-eye are pretty straightforward: ISC N1 coilovers with camber plates and STi brakes and hubs.

Randy Reed v7 WRX-3

Inside is pretty simple as well.  Full USDM STi interior, JDM floor mats, SPT boost gauge and a Blitz turbo timer.  He sticker bombed the dash insert around the stereo, and he chucked the OEM head unit for a pop out unit with a 7″ screen.  When he’s not changing radio stations, he’s changing gears via the short throw shifter toped by a Blox neochrome shift knob.

Randy Reed v7 WRX-2

And now on to the good stuff!  Here is the V7 STi motor, sitting comfortably in it’s natural habitat.  For those unfamiliar, it’s a 2 liter motor with forged internals from the factory and a bigger turbo.  In this case it’s a VF30 to go with the bigger top mount intercooler.  Getting fuel to this home market masterpiece are a set of 750cc injectors.  Getting the exhaust gasses away from the motor are a 4″ bellmouth down pipe feeding into a DC Sports exhaust.  Sitting almost out of sight is a Grimmspeed 3 port boost solenoid.  The car received an open source tune via a Tactrix setup and put down a very healthy 307whp and 300lb/ft.

Making that power useful is the drivetrain, which received its fair share of upgrades.  A USDM six speed transmission pulled from a 2005 STi was fitted with the two liter starter and works like a dream.  A Clutch Masters stage 2 competition clutch and an Exedy lightweight flywheel were thrown into the mix for added driving pleasure.  Because a transmission swap in a Subaru isn’t as straightforward as it seems, the axles have been swapped out for a set from The Driveshaft Shop and a R-180 rear end had to be installed as well.

Randy Reed’s STi sits as a testament to what a motivated man can do when he wants something you can’t just run out and buy.

Want to see your car on here?  Send us some decent photos and a list of the modifications and we’ll get something going!

Words by Michael Chandler, Photos by Randy Reed.

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


10th Nov2010

Doc Would be Proud: Twin Turbo Lotus V8 DeLorean

by Trent

It’s hard not to reference the classic ‘Back to the Future’ series when you see a DeLorean. Unfortunately for Ham, the owner of this one, it’s all too common. Getting to that elusive 88mph is quite the burden in a standard DeLorean with it’s anemic V6, but Ham used a modified Twin Turbo Lotus V8 he had lying around to help give it a push. Needless to say, going beyond that 88mph limit is a slight press of the right pedal away.

CAM Twin Turbo Lotus V8 Delorean (more…)