08th Jun2016

Drifting in Black and White

by Michael Chandler

Salt City Drift 2016 Round 1 B&W Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-14

Drifting is a very colorful thing, undertaken by very colorful people.  This is not going to be colorful, because I did some black and white edits of the photos I shot after sundown.  I call it…

ART

It’s a working title, but it’s strong.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
31st Mar2016

No Intercooler, Many Problems

by Michael Chandler

March 2016 Ronda update CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-5

Well, I finally spent some time with Ronda and made some good progress.   And then, much like the IMSA WeatherTech drivers, I ran into some issues…  But I got the old intercooler and most of the piping out!

March 2016 Ronda update CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-6

Let’s start with the good that I managed to do.  Most of the hard, crusty intercooler piping is out.  I didn’t get to the pipe immediately coming off the compressor housing, but that’s ok because of reasons I’ll soon be explaining.  And as I said, I got the old intercooler out.  Now this is where I hit a snag.  It wasn’t as easy as undoing a few nuts & bolts, wiggling off some rubber pipes and gracefully sliding it out the bottom of the car.  No, that would’ve been too easy.  It was undoing a few nuts & bolts, using many four letter words, listening to the Sebring rain delay, and learning new things about the car.  Things like it already has an oil cooler, and that it and the coolant overflow bottle need to move for that intercooler to fit.  Neat.

March 2016 Ronda update CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-1 March 2016 Ronda update CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-2

Speaking of neat things, let’s take a closer look at the new intercooler.  It’s a bit deeper and taller, and much wider due to the end tanks.  Those are all good things, and also problematic.  Like I mentioned, I have to relocate the oil cooler and overflow bottle.  The oil cooler is going to move to where a fog light was, but I have no idea where the overflow bottle is going to go.  That’ll be an issue for slightly further down the road, because I need to get some brackets fabbed up so I can mount the intercooler.  Having reached that impasse, I elected to move on to another aspect of this upgrade project.

March 2016 Ronda update CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-3

I’m going to be installing a new turbo elbow, downpipe and exhaust along with the intercooler.  I wasn’t going to try to pull the exhaust or the downpipe by myself, because being entirely under my car with no one around seemed a bit too sketchy.  So I decided to get the turbo elbow off.  I got the heat shield off, and the O2 sensor out, and then I made an unfortunate discovery.

March 2016 Ronda update CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-4

I couldn’t get the elbow off of the downpipe.  The studs connecting the downpipe to the elbow have their nuts on the downpipe side.  Deciding that discretion was the better part of valor, I put the O2 sensor back in, closed and locked the door of the storage unit, and went home.  Some people would look at this day as a failure: the new intercooler didn’t go in, and the elbow didn’t come off.  I see it as a success.  The old intercooler is out, I don’t have to buy a new oil cooler because I already have one, and the big gal didn’t crush me.  Anytime your project car doesn’t kill you is a successful outing.

And that’s how she sits.  The next step is to grab some friends and some more jack stands and try to get the old exhaust parts off, and the new ones on.  Don’t know when that is going to happen, but it’s going to happen!

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

 

29th Feb2016

New Year, New You

by Michael Chandler

Turbo Scion FRS People's Champ CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-9

Remember JJ’s Turbo FRS?  It was pretty bad ass, but things they are a changing.  He’s got some new wheels for it, and to fit them he’s cutting up the fenders. What do those new wheels look like?  Well, they’re probably round, and if he’s cutting up the fenders then they’re probably wide.  Beyond that, we don’t know; HOWEVER, we do know what JJ did before, so we know they’re going to look good.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
19th Feb2016

Good Morning Moose

by Michael Chandler

Volvo 240 Bonus  Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-1

And a good orky bork to you all

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
18th Feb2016

So Ronda Is In Storage

by Michael Chandler

Big Ronda 2 15 16 update Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-7

Unfortunately, I had to send my girl away.  It’s sad, I know; however, there’s a reason for this.  It’s a reasonable one too: someone in my house just leased a brand new car, and they wanted to keep it in the garage.  That would mean the semi-motionless Ronda had to go to a new home.  I say “semi-motionless” because the starter is going out, which makes getting the old girl started a tremendous pain.  That, combined with her lack of gas and practically dead battery, meant I’d need someone to help me drag her to the storage unit I had rented earlier that day.  I got Mat to bring his truck and trailer, and Dave to come over after he got off work, and we got her out of the garage and onto the trailer.  Then we almost ripped the lip off the front bumper as we gracefully rolled her into the unit.

And there she sat for a few weeks, mostly because it has been cold, but also because I’ve been terribly unmotivated.  Well on President’s Day I found some motivation.  I grabbed Joey, and we went down to try and do… something.  But first, let’s get caught up with Ronda a bit more.

Big Ronda 2 15 16 update Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-2 Big Ronda 2 15 16 update Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-3

When last we left Ronda, she was getting lowered and getting a big cooling upgrade.  She also had an H in her name.  That’s gone now, but she did get something to make up for the loss of a letter: a braking upgrade, in the form of Stoptech drilled rotors and brake pads.  There’s a set of 17″ wheels sitting in my garage, just waiting for tires and powdercoating.  At the end of last year I jumped on a screaming deal: for $500 I picked up a Tanabe Hyper Medallion exhaust, downpipe and turbo elbow, and a new intercooler and piping.  There’s a few reasons for that purchase:

  1. The current exhaust, while stainless steel with V-Band clamps holding it together, look awful and is rusting in places.  It’s also loud and droning.  It just needs to go.
  2. The downpipe hangs low.  Really low.  It scrapes on everything.  While it’s better than scraping the oil pan on everything, it’s incredibly annoying.  It also looks pretty cheap, so might as well replace it with something shiny, new and brand name.
  3. Stock MA70 intercoolers are cool because they’re shoved into the nose of the car.  They’re not cool because the damn things, and the OEM piping, don’t do that great a job of keeping the boost in the system.  Oh, and there was one coupler that was not meant to see positive pressure.

So with that out of the way, let’s talk about what Joey and I managed to accomplish.

Big Ronda 2 15 16 update Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-6

The OEM boost leak, I mean intercooler

The original plan was to pull the faulty starter, and the battery, and maybe get cracking on some of the fun stuff.  We managed to pull the battery out, and we got some bolts off of a bracket holding the intercooler in.

Big Ronda 2 15 16 update Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-5 Big Ronda 2 15 16 update Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-4 Big Ronda 2 15 16 update Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-1

We also pulled off some of the old intercooler piping, and got a shiny new pipe fitted.  One with the appropriate couplers!  The rest of the piping and the new intercooler are going to have to wait for a warmer day, one when we can get going earlier since my unit doesn’t have power inside of it.

There’s still a lot left, most importantly is the starter.  That’s going to be an endeavor.  And there’s also the issue of all of those nasty, gray silicone hoses.  They’ve gotta go too.  And I should probably take care of the leaky targa top…    I should probably make a list…

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
16th Feb2016

Well That Was A Long Weekend

by Michael Chandler

Supra Update Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (8 of 12)

Anybody get any work done on their project?  Cause I kinda did!  I’ll tell you about it later though, cause there’s a bit of a story behind why I’m working on the Supra, where I’m working on it.

11th Feb2016

Have A New Wallpaper

by Michael Chandler

Volvo 240wallpaper  Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-1

Come on, you know you want this on your desktop.

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
11th Feb2016

It’s Not One of Those 240s

by Michael Chandler

Volvo 240 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-7

When I say “240”, what springs to mind?  Probably one of the Nissan/Datsun S chassis.  Be it a 240Z, S13 or S14, those are logical conclusions to arrive at.  Unfortunately, those are all the wrong conclusions to arrive at.  You see, Volvo made a a car called 240 as well.  And like the Nissans, it was powered by an inline four cylinder engine, and sent power to the rear wheels; however, it never got the same fanatical following the S chassis received.  And that’s a shame.  Despite it looking EXACTLY like a child’s rendering of a car, they can be turned into some pretty awesome bricks.

Volvo 240 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-1

Tate is one of those folks who transformed a mundane brick into an awesome brick.  And he didn’t have to go crazy to do so, thanks to the worldwide followings Volvos have.  He also didn’t have to know Swedish to get his hands on some parts.  Thanks internet!  Anyway, this brick is more ground bound thanks to a set of R Sport International coilovers, and Kaplhenke adjustable strut mounts.  The suspension isn’t just limited to things that provide the lows.  There’s also a set of Kaplhenke roll center correcters, and IPD sway bars, adjustable torque rods, and panhard bar.  Remember: Volvo took their brilliant boxes on the touring car circuit, so seeing one of these handle isn’t out of the ordinary.

Volvo 240 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-9

The gold mesh wheels look period correct, like they were pull offs from an E30 BMW 3 series or a GTi.  They look period correct, but they aren’t period.  They’re a set of MSW’s, and they’re shod in Yokohama rubber.  If you look closely at the photo above, you’ll notice something ahead of the wheel.  That would be the business end of the exhaust.  One of many little touches this car has received.

Volvo 240teaser  Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-1

Volvo 240 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-8

The nose is accented by a 242 GT grille and accompanying driving lights, a set Hella 700′ driving lights, and a set of European (Oooo fancy!) corner lenses.  Out back there’s a sweet ass trailer hitch, and a spoiler.  It’s not from a Volvo though.  Guess where it came from.

No, not a Honda.

Not a VW either.

Give up?

It’s from a Saab 9000.  From one Swede to another.

Volvo 240 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-4 Volvo 240 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-6Volvo 240 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-5

The interior is a healthy mix of OEM, stuff found in other cars of the era, and creatively shoving aftermarket gauges into factory holes.  The Volvo dash has all of these sweet little places for gauges, some of those holes housed Volvo gauges.  Those holes don’t house Volvo gauges anymore.  In their places sit an AEM UEGO gauge, and some gauges that’ll measure more boost and a wider range of temperatures than the old OEM counterparts.  No fancy aftermarket wheel, just the tried and true factory wheel.  The seats are OEM, just not OEM Volvo.  Tate isn’t 100% sure where the Recaro style seats came from, but they get the job done.  Also non-Volvo OEM: the Audi 4000 shift knob, that sits atop a Pro 5.0 shifter, that juts out from a T5WC transmission sourced from a Mustang.  Wait, what?

Volvo 240 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-3

Yeah, there’s a reason for the Mustang gearbox.  The long block is the stock B21FT that came in the car, but a lot of other things are no longer stock.

Volvo 240 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-2

Tate converted the car to EFI himself using Microsquirt, which he wired and tuned himself, and an intake manifold from a newer 240.  A Swedish company called Do88 supplied the radiator, intercooler and piping.  There’s a GT2871R ball bearing turbo with a ported compressor housing hanging from a one-off tubular exhaust manifold.  A Tial MVS external wastegate that’s plummed into a custom three inch exhaust, the one that dumps right in front of the passenger rear wheel.  A Forge Splitter diverter valve relieves anything above the current preset amount of boost.  That amount is 20psi.  That number will be increasing.

Volvo 240 Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-10

Oh, there’s also a ratchet strap holding things down.  Hey man, necessity is the mother of invention.

When someone starts throwing around “240”, people’s mind will instantly jump to the Nissans.  That’s all well and good, but hopefully after reading this you’ll ask them “do you mean the Volvo?” And then you’ll enlighten them about the glory that are the turbocharged, Swedish bricks.

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

 

 

02nd Feb2016

Lady In Red

by Michael Chandler

 

SEMA2015day2CherpCAMautomag-100

Photo by Nicholas Cherpeski

Tucked away in a corner of the SEMA Show was this gorgeous JZA80 Supra.  Our guy Cherp snapped this awesome photo after the rain fell.

28th Jan2016

Only Lightly Modified

by Michael Chandler

Clint Stoneham RBZ Test N Tune Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (8 of 10)

Listen, Clint Stoneham’s Z still had an inline six made by Nissan.  It just wasn’t necessarily what came in the car originally.  But that’s no longer a concern, because he’s throwing a turbo V8 into it.  Because why not keep the orange sled ridiculous?

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