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Keith

Japanese Buick Couture

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Few more pics... The more I see, the more I realize how ugly this thing is. Needs paint soon.

 

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Looks like it drives awesome. Doesn't look like it looks awesome.

 

Judging by the quality of your work I have faith you'll make it happen.

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In the 1st video, when you hear Keith's revcut, I am already in 3rd. Keith probly doesn't have to. You can't spend much time there. It's a very technical course.

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I can hit third on the entry and at the top of the course if I wanted, just not comfortable enough at this point. There's not much more speed from shifting and you increase the chance of a miss, especially with these damn R154s.

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From last week....

 

Some updates.

 

Took last week off to get a few things done and hang out with friends in Chicago. Quickly realized I had too much car and other things to do so I stayed home.

 

I hadn't really touched the car since the last event and had a few things to do to get it ready to go. In no particular order.....

 

Pulled the plugs and saw it was a touch lean since installing the Aeromotive regulator. Bumped up the AFPR and while I had the coilpacks out, I put on some shrink wrap as they're known to crack and cause ignition issues. Mine were fine but it's a good precautionary measure.

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Bought a cage mount rear view mirror. I backed into my friend last year, didn't want to do that again.

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Bought another Crow harness for my passenger side.

cressida_june10_003.jpg

 

Made a little aluminum block off plate for my fuel pump cover. The Cressida has nothing from the factory, you have to drop the tank to access it. I cut a huge hole so I could get in there quickly if needed but wanted to keep some of the debris out of the car.

cressida_june10_005.jpg

 

Moved my radiator sprayer tank to the trunk. I had it in the stock location which is pretty close to the turbine making the water hot. I'll use this mostly for the demos we do as it's 10 minutes of nearly continuous driving.

cressida_june10_006.jpg

 

Cut out the roof supports which I forgot about and then finished cutting out the inner door skins. Still need to work on pulling the stock door bars. Put in the stock glass windows and bolted that to the top of the door skin. Forecast last wknd was for rain so I wanted to be prepared.

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Then I went down to my friend's shop to look at paint colors...

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And eat some wings.

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Then it was time to party and go to MWASB. Got in Friday, ate a lot, drank a lot, bowled a lot. Got up Saturday and put in a few runs. Simba & I went out for a run on the full course which was pretty awesome, normally we split it in half. At the end his tire delaminated and shredded his overfender all over me. This was about a second before that happened.

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The car was hot from the run so I pulled in to take a break. Popped the hood and was shocked. Car was still running but with the timing belt only hanging on about 20%. The serpentine belt tensioner was the only thing keeping it from flying off. Another run and it would have ate through and grenaded. Initially I thought the timing belt tensioner broke as that is known to occur, but it was just fine. Ends up I'm missing a retainer ring between the crank gear & pulley that hold the belt in place. Amazing it has lasted this long...

 

Pulled apart...

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Sumo always has to be involved.

 

So yeah...pretty bummed I wasn't able to tandem party on track but it could have been way worse. Ordered a billet tensioner from Boost Logic while I had it apart, retaining ring from Toyota, new timing belt and I should be ready to go for our demo this weekend. At least I have plenty of tires.

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This week.

 

Lots of words:

 

Friday- a new NAPA timing belt, timing belt retainer from Toyota, billet timing belt tensioner from Boost Logic and lower belt plastic cover had all arrived. I dig into the car after work. Get done about midnight.

 

First problem: I don't have the CFM needed to blast my ATI pulley fully on, even after I heated it in the oven and lubed it with anti-seize.

Second problem: Sounds like I have a triple plate clutch on the front of my motor. The star shaped timing pickup (whatever the hell it's called) behind the crank gear had popped off.

 

Great. I need to be at the track by 3pm Saturday. Call my friend and luckily he was free Sat morning.

 

Saturday- Get up at 8am, 80 degrees already. Load the car and drive to my friends. Unload at 11...ahh....air conditioned garage. I love my friends. Tear it down and put it back together twice fixing misc problems and it's all peachy by 1:30. Load up, stop by my parent's place for a quick shower and slam a few glasses of water.

 

Got to the track, unload and finish putting the rest of the non-essentials together. Had some practice time right away only to find out the track was royally fucked. Normally it's an outer 15* banked oval with an inner unbanked oval and large paved infield. Pretty much everything other than the outer oval was covered in dirt for some motox bullshit. Great, thanks for booking us to play drift NASCAR.

 

Anyways, I go out and try to get a little practice in as I hadn't fully hit the bank with this car yet. I drove pretty damn bad. Went out for another quick round of practice and did a bit better. The car was feeling like I really had to pound it to get it to do what I want. Had to throw it in to the corner and stand on the gas, but it felt like it was running fine. Even had to clutch kick a few times in 3rd around the bank. Change tires, adjust some stuff and then sit until our first demo.

 

Go out for the first demo and played it safe in 2nd...which is what I ended up keeping it in. I was hitting limiter but wasn't riding it. With the gearing I was still able to maintain the same speed as some of the other guys out there so it wasn't a problem, but I need more practice in this car.

 

Second demo, I had the blue Kumho tires on for our awesome red/white/blue 'mericuh smoke show. We did some sweet burnouts and then some radical drift racing. I was coming out of turn 2 when my car went black. Managed to avoid slamming into the wall and rolled into the infield. Apparently 90* ambient + all my electrical circuits running didn't make for a happy car. So I need to upgrade my main fuse and I'll be fine.

 

:hammer:

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I had to get my ATI pulley machined as heating it to 300 degrees and trying to impact it on did nothing. Got it machined to same specs as stock crank pulley and it went on perfect.

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I had to get my ATI pulley machined as heating it to 300 degrees and trying to impact it on did nothing. Got it machined to same specs as stock crank pulley and it went on perfect.

 

 

Kinda retarded when you have to go and do that when you pay around $400 for something thats meant for the motor. That just adds to the cost.

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yeah it was like .001 off but wouldnt go on even after getting it super hot. Not a big deal for me as a buddy of mine works at machine shop and gets its done on lunch hour

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if you need paint , i need help just dropin engine in and r154 swap, im in cali and have a extra room?

just An idea.

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Today I made a sweet little undertray skid pan thinger. On the old car it seemed to keep the bay a little cleaner, possibly help air flow for cooling and it is very convenient for quickly identifying leaks. Bought a 2x3' sheet of 10ga aluminum, had some hardware laying around and got to work.

 

I was trying to figure out how to give it a slight bend without warping the whole sheet. Got creative and put the sheet between some wood blocks and the back of my trailer. Jacked up the nose of the trailer and used it as a brake. Worked perfectly. Tapered the back of it, rounded off the corners and drilled my holes. I used some short lengths of fuel hose at all four mounting points as isolators to cut vibration.

 

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Total cost involved: $18. Sweet.

 

In other news, I discovered the radiator on the Titan is cracked all to hell while I was doing an oil change. Piece of crap Visteon. Small miracle I never overheated it on the last tow. At least it's cheap. Good excuse for a tuneup so I put in new plugs, serp belt, hoses, t-stat, ATF flush, etc.

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only thing that bothers me though is no front bumper.

 

...or sides....or rear... I refuse to run aero until it's painted. Makes no sense.

 

Soon enough.

 

Looks awesome, where you located?

 

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Last Sat was DD31/Midwest Cup Rd1 at Road America. We use the kart track which is pretty fun, haven't driven there in a few years due to their insistence that they are actually operating a golf course, not a motorsports venue. Nothing seems to have changed so not sure if we'll be invited back.

 

Previous to the event, I replaced both front ball joints as I had a fair amount of play in the driver side. After replacement, both ended up having significant slop in the control arm/ball joint mount. Tried air hammering it a bit to tighten it up but it didn't work. Didn't have time to spot weld them in so I ended up with the same if not more slop up front for the event. Great. Tie rod end is starting to loosen up too.

 

So we drove out. Got in early Friday and enjoyed Lake Michigan, some cheap cigars and cheaper beer at a swanky resort with a bunch of friends.

 

Looking back at shore...

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Saturday.

Felt good right away. Burned off some old tires and then got all screwed in my head after switching to a fresh set. Couple laps and I was progressing again.

 

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Ate a tasty burger and then it was comp time. Course was switched up, got a few practice laps and then two qualifiers. Ended up qualifying 4th, pretty satisfied with that. 5th place qualifier was the only one that didn't have a cage so I got a b.ye - except I still had to make a clean solo run. I thought for sure I'd spin or doing something stupid but all went well.

 

Top 4 and I was against Dan Pina. I followed first, we both had clean runs but I let him get way too far ahead of me off the start.

 

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When I led, I was hoping to open a gap or that he'd make a mistake, but he was all over me and got the nod.

 

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That put me up against Mike Skudlarek for 3rd place who had put down a number of really good runs. We went through the first set which led to a one more time. I led again first with a solid run by both. I followed, slightly overshot the sweeper and was about ready to throw the towel in when he spun giving me the win. Got lucky, really lucky.

 

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Video from the consolation run. The runs are swapped in order and I deleted the video already. I hate video.

http://vimeo.com/13991243

 

I have a bunch of in-car but need to edit it later.

 

Car feels pretty amazing for having just coilovers and solid subframe bushings. Really hope my links & RCAs come soon though.....G? :P Still having a hard mental time understanding how much harder I have to drive this car opposed to others. It's not hard to drive, I just have to use more throttle/clutch than what I always think I should. Still used to smaller turbo cars.

 

Next up... Hillclimb event this Saturday, MWC Rd 2 on the 28th. Both local. Looking forward to the short commute.

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Congrats on making the podium Keith! Thanks for the ride after the competition and my new minty fresh fenders haha. It was nice to finally meet you and play 20 questions on basically your entire setup (sorry about that haha.) That thing is down right nasty and the sound is incredible. After seeing and riding in yours this weekend I've been working like a mad scientist trying to get mine on the road and hopefully I can make it to one or two of the last events of the season.

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Reading music:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvokOD-EnMw

(btw - love this new album, going to see them next month.)

 

Last time, on Japanese Buick Couture....

 

I had lots of front end slop. Let's fix that.

 

New ball joints were rotating in my LCAs. Took that all apart again and spot welded them in. While I had the LCAs off again, I cut some steel plates and had my bud weld them up to box in the LCAs nicely. Drilled some holes for TX style dimples and rattle canned them black.

 

Ordered up some Touge Factory tie rod ends for an S14 and they work quite nicely on the Cress. Spherical ends and a spacer to drop the tie rod angle is quite nice. Every Cressida duder should get these, only a few bucks more than OEM replacements and so much nicer. The tapered end isn't quite as snug in the steering arm but it's a solid fit with 0 play once fully installed. $71 at Touge Factory. /infomercial

 

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Finished up late Friday night, did a rough alignment and was all set. Oh yeah...still have some front end slop, thanks to a steering rack that may be going out, but it's better.

 

Up at 5am to head to a local hillclimb. The Austin-Healey vintage club throws this annually, I've checked it out a few times but never had a chance to drive it. All kinds of cars from vintage English cars to GT race cars to typical street Evos/Miatas/etc. One of my faves was a '69 Chevelle SS with LS1 and completely reworked chassis. Handled like it was on rails.

 

I've been wanting to get some more seat time outside of drifting and this was a great chance. The course starts with a small parking lot set up as an autox and then goes up the access road along a local ski hill. One side is trees on a hill, the other side is a 50' ravine with sketchy guard rails. They stress that this is a 7/10ths event.

 

My biggest fear was navigating the cones with my laggy boat, however I picked it up pretty quick. I dropped roughly one full second on each subsequent run, finishing with my best time around the middle of a ~60 car group. Not too bad all things considered. The car handled great, love these Stance coilovers. Gave a few people some rides and had lots of people asking about the car.

 

Pic from my phone and a very small sampling of some of the cars there.

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In the bottom lot:

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Start of the hill:

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Video:

http://vimeo.com/14177106

 

There are a couple more videos on my Vimeo page if you're interested. I certainly wasn't charging 100% but the video makes it look like I'm coasting half the time. Felt way different in the car and was spinning the tires a good portion up the hill. Had way more fun than I thought I would. Definitely need to get some club events under my belt like this in the future.

 

Ahhh....motivated again.

 

Sunday I finally cut these stupid OEM door bars out after going through three air compressors the last few months and two die grinders. Not having good luck there. Finished the last one tonight.

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Yeah...stupid friggin things weigh no more than about 15lbs combined. Can't find my scale but it's around there. Would of swore that they would have been more than that. Oh well, looks cleaner at least.

 

Comp in two weeks but I'm more excited for mass BBQ chaos at my place afterwards. Woooooo.

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awesome! those events have to be a blast. i've gotta get the hell out of flat florida sometime to go run one. i can't believe the dude sitting in the lawn chair at that first course checkpoint or whatever coming up the hill! WTF?

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Crossing the finish, breaking the rules. Outlaw.

 

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