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Another R33 lost – Fast and Furious “Big Bird” to be crushed

In what is yet another chapter in a long line of Skyline’s to be crushed and destroyed by Homeland Security, a man in De Pere Wisconsin recently had two of his R33 Skylines seized by ICE.

One of which should look familiar to fans of the original “Fast and Furious” movie, “Big Bird” was a nickname given to the yellow Skyline loaned to Paramount during shooting.

Find another way home Pizza Boy!

According to the article, Justin Beno, the owner of the Skylines had owned these vehicles and registered them through his respective state. However when found that these vehicles lacked the proper bond paperwork and further HAD THEIR JAPANESE VIN TAGS REMOVED, the registration was rescinded.

Mr Beno then foolishly decided he would try and sell these Skylines to a private buyer, but failed to disclose full information to the undercover agent. And that’s where he lost these cars, as he told the undercover agent it would come with a Florida title, which he would have to transfer.

While I’ve never seen a state titled R33 have it’s registration rescinded, and can certainly sympathize with Mr. Beno’s situation, it’s his own damn fault. Having sold my own R33 recently, you can bet your bottom dollar my paperwork and facts were laid out in proper fashion to the new owner.

He got stuck with his Skylines, and instead of telling the prospective buyer the truth, he lied with an obvious intent to mislead and dump the problem onto someone else.

The feds found his case to be so egregious, that they charged him with 2 felonies  relating to conspiracy to commit fraud and possessing vehicles without vehicle identification numbers.

And that kiddies, is a lesson well learned for anyone dealing in gray market vehicles, Skylines or otherwise. Whether or not you agree with Homeland Security and ICE using precious tax dollars to chase down and crush these cars is irrelevant.

Feigning ignorance of the laws relating to these vehicles and the sale of gray market cars doesn’t help you when the hammer of justice comes down on your head.

 

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.