Car stuff.. what else did you expect??

Project 240SX – Sorting out Subframe issues

Well the 240’s stance has certainly had it’s fair share of issues, and after a trip to see Butchie @ Treds Alignment Specialists it didn’t take long to determine what the issue was.

It doesn’t take Butch long to determine that my rear subframe is bent, as well as my front lower control arm. Bummer. Looks like the kid tried to be King Drift and ended up kissing a curb, which pushed in my passenger side inboard about an inch.

After further inspection, the frame rail looks to be straight, which was important for this car if I wanted to keep it. After picking up a used subframe from a kid in Hayward for 100 dollars I make another series of calls to start collecting the parts I need.

After another call to Megan Racing, I receive my inner and outer tie rods, lower toe armsrear upper arms, hardened subframe bushings, short shifter and rear lower arms.

Next up : installing the bushings into my subframe.

Frozen Megan Track Coilovers

While I sort out the issue with the freight company dropkicking my 2JZ off the pallet, I decide to take care of my front end noises. The 240 pulls to the right on acceleration and makes an ugly clunking noise when turning the wheel left.

After tearing apart the front of the car, I discover that both my inner and outer tie rod ends are completely blown, my tension rods are shot and my Megan Track Coilovers are seized.

I absolutely despise anyone who installs bottom threaded coilovers without anti-seize, because it goes a long way in preventing this kind of seizing issue.

I take off the front coilovers and allow them to soak overnight in a mixture of Greddy Blue Synthetic 5w-30 motor oil and used pennzoil 10-40.

What's for dinner Ma?

As the entire bottom assembly must turn, this really is one of the only ways to unseize these kinds of coilovers without ruining the mounting perches or collars by clamping down on them.

Making a mess.. JH style

After spraying off the excess oil, I disassemble the coilovers so that I can knock the lower half of the coilovers free.

Air Tools FTW

After removing the adjustment screw and the allen head securing it to the rod assembly, I take off the pillowball upper mounts and pull up the dust boot to expose the shaft.

Remove the spring and lower locking perches and unwind the locking perch on the very bottom of the shock so that the lower assembly will freely turn.

Fly away Stanley.... be free

It takes just one swing of the hammer to knock loose the coilover mount, and now I can raise the car from it’s current “I-scrape-on-bubble-gum” setting.

After a call to my boy Nelson @ Megan Racing, he sends me a set of their new tension rods for the S14 chassis.

minty fresh!

Here’s a pic of my 15+ year old tension rod

That's not #winning

And finally a picture of the new Megan Tension Rods installed, for the record its 2 17mm nuts holding this part to the front lower control arm, one 17mm head bolt and 19mm nut on the K member

minty fresh!

With the new tension rods installed the car no longer has the horrible noises on deceleration and is much more predictable over bumps, eliminating the guesswork and diminshing the “bump steer” factor of the 240sx.

Next up : Installing new bushings and arms for the complete rear pumpkin assembly.

OH NO0OEZ!!11

The freight company calls with some bad news, it appears as though my good fortune in finding a 2JZ may have run out. My motor looks to have fallen off the pallet during shipping and according to the warehouse worker “is pissing all over the floor”

What my motor looked like before being dropped and cracked open.... sniff

Time to file a claim and see where this takes me..

Murphy’s Law strikes again….

What’s a StockSpyder

It’s been almost 10 years to the date when I said bye to the car that was once my pride and joy, that gave me a shop, a business, a lifestyle but also broke my heart more than a few times.

So when a friend recently asked me “What’s a StockSpyder”, it brought back memories of my 1999 Spyder, and the many adventures I’ve had in it.

Back in the days.....

400hp, 91 octane, 21 psi, full exhaust and cat. STOCK BOTTOM END

The name is part of the old school DSM chat rooms in California where Ty@Road Race Engineering had the name StockGST for his 1g FWD Eclipse. I always had a place to crash when I drove to LA, not sure where Ty is now, but I hope his family and (three?) kids are doing well.

It seems like a lifetime ago and we were tuning cars with crude piggybacks but it was a great time to be an enthusiast back then.

Back when kids didn’t buy chinese parts to modify their cars, and the names Greddy, Apexi, HKS actually still meant something. Back when EBAY wasn’t the first place you look when shopping for a turbo, and shops were actually shops instead of absolute jokes.

Seems like a lifetime ago, but thanks to Ty and Road Race I had the experience of a lifetime building my “StockSpyder”

 

 

 

 

I will always choose to remember the good times, and good friends in relation to the car and not dwell on the many bad times and backstabbers that went along for the ride.

Project 240SX – Devoid of Rational Thought

I had originally planned on swapping in a LS3 into the 240SX, a continuation of my ongoing quest for the perfect street car. After selling my LS1 powered S13, this only seemed like the next logical step.

My Ls1 powered 240sx

And why not? the GEN III Chevy Small block is a modern revelation in power and reliability.

With just longtubes, a full catback and a Lingerfelter cam my S13 put down 454 / 432 to the wheels, while retaiing A/C, P/S and exhibiting very calm street manners.

So logic would have it that I would just go right back to another GEN III motor…. right?

As luck would have it a friend of mine found a guy on Zilvia that was getting rid of his 2JZGTE. After talking to him for a few days I worked out a trade for parts, which works out perfectly for me as I am working from a limited budget.

No Shit, 2JZ????

Yes, a motor that will cost more to mod, more to maintain and more points of failure. I can’t retain A/C, and will require a ton more modification to shoehorn the venerable Japanese I-6 into my 240SX.

Why not a V8? Good question and I don’t know the answer other than “I like boost”

Why not a RB? I debated it at length, considering I could swap a RB25 into the 240 in my sleep, but ultimately my respect and admiration for the Supra pushed me towards the 2JZ.

Foolish? maybe.

Next – Addressing the car’s stance

Project 240SX – Why there are professionals for this

After my excursion into wiring hell, I take the Kouki front end off to see exactly what the hell is the problem with the hood not lining up.

I discover that the fenders are OE metal, but seem smashed in on the passenger side, not to mention the headlight is busted on that side as well. Seems as though it’s just a plain collision until I get to the drivers side.

I also find that there’s over 10 zipties holding the Kouki lights, front grill, and front bumper onto the car. The bumper has no bolts other than what appears to be a wood screw through the Zenki front bumper support. And?? It gets better!

oops?

What I originally thought was negative camber, actually turned out to be a tweaked front lower control arm that was sucking the drivers side wheel about 2 inches inboard and the bottom of the wheel out half an inch past the fender.

Upon further inspection the passenger side rear wheel also looks sunked in about 2-3 inches inboard.

The frame checks out and is straight, thanks to Jack @ Motorsport for lining her up and checking her out. So looks like I will be replacing the front lower arm as well as the rear subframe.

Why do I want this car again? lol

Project 240sx – What did I get myself into?

Upon bringing the car back home, it dawns on me that I just may have traded a perfectly good 4dr EG9 for the world’s crappiest 240sx. Good thing it’s just a Civic huh?

None of the dash lights work, none of the fuses seem to be good in the cabin and all of the interior is missing. yay for me?

I begin by ripping out the poorly installed turbo timer, alarm, boost gauge and indiglo cluster wiring.

Why ricers should never work on their own cars

Whoever did this “install” should have his hands chopped off, fried and force fed to him.

He wired the boost gauge directly into the ignition harness, sending a constant 12v to the gauge. The piezo sensor for the alarm somehow made it’s way into the heater box and there were a handful of live wires just hanging out waiting to ground themselves on any loose piece of metal. Fun times….

He also decided to run the passenger side door harness OUTSIDE of the door, with the wires going to the window switch and door lock just hanging out. While rewiring the entire passenger door, I also discover the door hinge isn’t secured to the chassis and the window rail is bent.

Next – Making it look like a car again part II

Project 240SX – This one’s for you Hyung

I can remember my first time in a S14, being just 12 and going to the movies with my hyung and being terrified of how fast it was or how fast he drove. My passion for driving fast and modifying cars traces back to my older brother (hyung) who played such an instrumental part in my early pre-teen years.

For a kid starving for a male role model and guidance, he was one of the main influences in my life. He always had time for me and always made sure I was a man about the situation and took ownership of the issue.

Sadly, I couldn’t do the same for him before I lost him to cancer just a shade over a year ago.

So, over 20 years later and countless project cars built and sold, I traded my Civic Ferio for this S14 in his honor.

To be brutally honest, I am not sure what possessed me to pull the trigger on this trade because this car was a complete mess.

The kid was probably 22 years old, and wasn’t very forthcoming when discussing the car. He couldn’t tell me what was wrong, what the check engine lights were for, what the noises were about or what the damage to the car was from.

The entire front end was literally ziptied to the front of the car, the hood didn’t close right, the front bumper was held onto the car by a single wood screw, the interior was missing, the radio gone, none of the dash lights worked, reverse lights didnt work, the door panels off, all four tires needed replacing and the rear end made sounds like it was ready to fall apart.

The primer and JDM hood color mixmatching reminded me of one of the funniest internet car jokes ever.

hilarious...

Next : Making it look like a car again.