Archive for the ‘My Cars’ Category

2005 BMW M3

Posted: October 6, 2016 in My Cars

Less than 24 hours after registering at the DMV and she’s got slicks and race numbers on her.

13694528_153991245034114_1096820176_n

I blacked out the grille and gills.  The boys at PAD gave it thorough cleaning.

m3

Class legal modifications include headers (with a cat 6″ downstream), shark injectors, pulleys and an intake tube.

14727671_1137511613030500_8273803034551648256_n

Oh, and some Moton Club $ports.

15181225_10101511101876595_2993503882683918847_n

One last photo before surgery.

14719730_351329095218520_5343223832037556224_n.jpg

The headers went in with some work.  You have to remove about 1/4 of the engine bay to access all 18 bolts holding on the factory header.  Then, you have to remove all of the factory studs and replace them with the aftermarket studs.  Finally, you have to jack the car up and insert both headers simultaneously from a vertical angle.  I’m telling you this because it took me about 3 weeks to figure all of this out.  BUT – the eBay fitment was perfect and HOLY COW does this car rip with the headers and tune.

15403447_198578057212881_4412952495752478720_n

Installing the shocks was not difficult.  Routing the remote reservoirs was a little more work.  For the fronts, I removed the fender liners and snaked the reservoirs up into the engine bay, mounting them to the radiator shroud with zip ties, because I’m classy like that.

16122685_1635863830049686_7149610647792123904_n

Mounting the rear reservoirs required full removal of the bumper.  There are plastic vents that I removed and made small cuts to allow the hoses to fit through.  I mounted the reservoirs to the trunk brackets – with zip ties of course.

16585039_873985806038059_6447779022729379840_n

The Ground Control bars were a bit of work as well, but they are so fancy and so adjustable.

Ground Control Bars

With the factory 19×8/19×9.5 wheels and 26″ diameter tires package, fitment was troublesome.  With my race setup 18×10 front and rear with 25″ diameter tires, fitment was a little better, especially once I learned how to do an alignment in my garage and dialed in -3.5 degrees of camber in the front.

16583594_1240592179360025_1498115323335802880_n

And now, she’s ready for battle.

16583416_1456779060999795_692167501970145280_n

Mid-engine

42484616006.409938565.IM1.09.565x421_A.562x421

V8

42484616000.409938565.IM1.03.565x421_A.562x421

Twin-turbo

IMG_23054

Supercar.

Being stupid enough to purchase an old English sports car doesn’t mean that I’m stupid enough to try and do the timing belts myself.  That work has been subcontracted out.

lotus esprit v8 918 engine timing belts
Gentlemen, behold!

And after a brief jaunt with some friends . . .

11950345_10101150710898005_2016056381388895736_o

She goes to sleep for the winter.

12307457_10153312446747333_9135411371239018437_o

In Spring 2016 I started driving the car around and experienced the hot start issue.  I immediately took the engine apart with the help of some friends and replaced the injectors (leaky injectors cause the hot start) along with plugs, wires, and air filters while I was in there.  It took about four days of work.  Not easy, but not overly complicated.

13087767_750769375065482_7988057144270272783_n13151747_750769181732168_6300121265056519262_n

I also had a few professional photos taken.

Lotus_1Lotus_2Lotus_3Lotus_4Lotus_5Lotus_6Lotus_7Lotus_8Lotus_9Lotus_10

 

1999 Porsche 911

Posted: April 27, 2015 in My Cars
Tags: , ,

In October of 2014 I made an impulse purchase of a blue 996 c2 – for those of you who don’t know, this means a watercooled, narrow body, rear wheel drive Carrera.

IMG_1604

She’s a pretty little thing.  The car came with a refreshed suspension and some outrageously expensive Champion RG5B wheels wrapped in Hankook RS3v2s (235/40/18; 265/35/18).  It also had the IMS addressed, new brakes and a new clutch.  Of course, the rear main seal is still a bit wet but nothing unusual for these cars.  There’s also a pesky vacuum leak that pops up now and then and sets off a CEL.

Winter came so I promtply put on a set of hollow spoke Sport Techno 18s with Continental all seasons and drove it all winter long, mainly on days when the roads were clear but occasionally on some light snow.

10914399_1409640179330063_1178340717_n

As soon as the weather cleared I went through the car, cleaned it up, mounted the wheels on and took out some extra weight in the form of silly stereo equipment.
11116901_439442272896723_2127884504_n
My first autocross saw disappointing results.  6/29 (beaten by my co-driver by 0.05 seconds, who took 4th in class – that’s how tight things were).  The A-Street PAX index for my car is set by the Corvette Z06, so it’s a pretty brutal place to be in, coupled with running year old tires, which are last year’s technology (about 1 second off the mighty HoosierStones on a 60 second course), in a stock car.  Well, I can’t fix the tire problem yet since they don’t make them in big boy sizes, but I can go full nuclear on the rest of the car.

According to the April Fast Track, Porsche Exclusive options are now legal in the Street class.

Options XSE, XSF and XSN allow the addition of GT3 seats front and rear and the deletion of rear seats.  Since my son likes to ride in the back, I kept the back seats.

XSE XSF XSN photo 1

11117015_835349286501749_1577613882_n

I can pick these seats up with one finger.  Suffice to say that was not the case with the stock seats.

In furtherance of weight savings, Ross Temple built me a custom exhaust.

exhaust 1

The weight savings are substantial.  As you can see, we deliberately left room so that another muffler or resonator could be added.

exhaust2

It sounds alright.

No traffic laws were violated in the filming of this video.

I’ve been autocrossing the car with limited success on the Hankooks.

Lift off oversteer is a thing. I’ve got it fairly tamed with alignment and shock settings but it can still get you if you aren’t careful.  The RE71R tires on it are fantastic.

The tires are FANTASTIC in the rain.

11357647_495698087248627_2143462453_n

I originally had the car on the market for a reasonable price to fund my next purchase, but took it off because it really didn’t owe me anything – it is solid, fun to drive, fast, reliable, etc . . . but I received an offer I couldn’t refuse and now it’s gone to a good home.

IMG_2286

 

1999 Range Rover P38

Posted: February 24, 2015 in My Cars
Tags: , ,

I’d been searching for a Land Rover / Range Rover for a few months.  Every time I went to buy one it got purchased out from under me.  I found one which I thought was nice, and had my brother in law buy it for me. IMG_1393

IMG_1373

IMG_1374

The car has a brand new Electronic Air Suspension, a very solid 4.0 liter engine (despite being badged 4.6 HSE?) and a nice transmission.

It drove beautifully on the way back from Westchester, only to refuse to start the day after I got it home.

About two weeks later my friend came over with his P38/GEMS program and an OBD-II cable to scan the car.  Everything was in sync, so we set about fiddling with electronics connections, cleaning things, etc.  One of the tests included me setting the car to max high, crawling underneath in the melting snow and putting my hand on the starter as he tried to start it.  PULSE.

bringo

I bashed on the starter with Range Rover Repair Tool #1 (rubber mallet), re-tightened the battery connections and she fired right up.

Later that evening I loaded my son into the car to get a wash.  Waiting in line we played with the monster rally lights, the raising and lowering suspension, and even the rear fog lights (so that’s what that button does).  He quickly declared “this is the coolest car of all time!” – this coming from a kid used to being chauffered around in V12 BMW Supercoupes and Porsche 911s.

I took the car in for an inspection and the shop also had a detailer on premises.  I paid for an interior detail and all I can say is wow – totally refreshed and like new – they told me because the leather was high quality to start out with it came back to life super nice.

11082192_10100922489864785_3769791738689913791_o

The car pretty much refuses to die.  I believe that as long as people make fun of it and joke about when it will die, it will continue to run.  Only when people finally respect it as the fine, durable machine that it is will it decide to finally kill itself.

Along those lines, I took the truck off-roading.
10662115_10153354296592333_3324660482188241991_o

Its performance was exemplary.  The Jeep guys couldn’t believe that it hung with them (on all-season garbage tires nonetheless).  The only place I got stuck, another heavily modified Jeep also got stuck.  I can’t imagine what she would do with real tires . . .

. . . so after getting a flat I used this as an excuse to replace all of the garbage Kumho all-season tires with some real BFGoodrich KO2s – and let me tell you – these tires are the real deal.  They are nearly unstoppable in anything I’ve thrown at them.  More importantly, I went subtle with OEM sizes instead of that garish “look at me and my big ass tires” look – mainly because I already have an above-average sized penis, and I also have 5″ of height adjustment so no need to look foolish all the time when I can lift the car with the push of a button.  These things have kevlar in them to survive brutal contact and all sorts of crazy tread and sipes – even in the sidewall.  Where I would hit the brakes, engage ABS and slide on the old tires this thing just stops.  Amazing what modern technology can do.

The downside?  Car is slower because they’re definitely heavier.  And fuel economy has dropped from 14 mpg mixed to 11 mpg mixed.  But then again, only poor people care about fuel economy.

 

1979 Porsche 924

Posted: November 17, 2014 in My Cars

265875_511725365520239_744675918_o

In early 2009, my grandfather’s second cousin died.  Part of his estate was a 2003 Toyota Camry XLE, 4-cylinder, automatic.  If you ever wanted to know what it felt like to be the walking dead, just drive this car.

CamryXLE

The XLE is the top of the line 4-cylinder trim blessed with god knows what options or features.  I don’t know.  I didn’t really care.  You wouldn’t care or be able to tell anyways.  However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

You see, driving this car had a redeeming feature – you get in, turn it on, and your brain shuts down.  Then, miraculously, you arrive at your destination.  Yes, this car warps space and time rendering it perhaps one of the greatest transportation appliances of all time.

The car is also rather good when you think about it.  It’s dead reliable, it’s fuel efficient, it’s aerodynamic, and frankly the handling isn’t that horrible – it sort of rolls and holds a set in a safe, secure, and predictable way that’s sure to get the drones of the world to their windowless offices.  Throttle response isn’t so much a thing as something which they decided to engineer out.  Acceleration can be rather scary to the average driver, you know.

So, as much as I hate on this, I find it hard to actually hate the car.  It just does everything it’s supposed to.  I think part of the reason I hate so many cars is that they advertise themselves as Sporty and wind up being tepid, or as luxurious but wind up being cheap.  There are no false pretenses with the Camry.  Every Camry buyer knows what they’re getting, which has helped make it one of the best selling cars in America for as long as I can remember.

It’s just not for me.

 

That fancy Aluminum Exhaust I had built by STM started falling apart at the welds.  Well, it didn’t start falling apart at the welds.  It fell apart at the welds.  The thing basically disintegrated.

Unfortunately, the dude I worked out my “sponsorship” with went crazy and ran off to Israel, so nobody at the store was really willing to do anything for free anymore.

So, I went to Ross Temple to get a new stainless exhaust built.

You can see how the old exhaust was held together with tape, JBWeld and wishes.  Yes, that is the exhaust pretty much warped and completely separated up by the hanger.

You can compare the old to the new.  See how the aluminum exit pipe and tip warped?

The new unit is stainless, and weighs 15 lbs (instead of 6), but that’s still quite a savings from the stock 35 lb exhaust.

Here you can see where the old unit started sagging as it split apart, and melted my bumper.

And now, some welding porn.