Monday, February 25, 2008

16 Reasons to Love a Rotary

The next generation rotary engine will soon be upon us. Known as the 16x, this engine will be larger than previous production rotary engines, 300cc's more. The current engine in the RX8 is Renesis 13b which has the displacement of ~1300cc. The 13b has been Mazda's workhorse engine for 30 years. The new 16x engine displaces a whopping 1600cc, just as big a 4AG and B16. But if you know rotaries, the power is going to be way more than any of those 1600's can produce. I may have to shoehorn one into Corolla. At least I can still say it's 1600cc engine.

For the rest of the story click here and here

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Greddy Festival

The Greddy festival held at the former Marine air field El Toro, combined import motorsports and carshow into one venue. I think it's a first for an import performance manufacturer to throw an event for the enthusiasts that have supported them through the years. Along with the show and the racing, there was also a garage sale so all the low ballers can get their fix on getting the real deal instead of the fake ebay junk. I signed up to drive the in drifting portion of the event. $80.00 wasn't a bad price to drive all day. There was even goody bag for the participants. A set of driving gloves, to add to the collection. A copy of Sport Compact Car magazine with a DVD about GTR's something. And a big calender for the garage. Not bad for $80.00?

On my way to the event, I kinda thought it was going to be like a regular Drift Day. Roll in unload, get teched and were ready to rock and roll. But once I arrived, the line to get in was long. I arrived 7:15a.m. and didn't get past the gate till about 8a.m. I'm like wow this is going to be a larger than what I previously thought.

The event was running late so driver's didn't get on track till about 10a.m. There was only one track for the drift group, which consisted of 40 drivers. They were split into two groups. Each group was to alternate each hour. The course itself was set up for third gear action. Seat time was on the low side during the course of the event. I still had same pair of tires I started with in the morning, and had some tread left over. I normally can go through 4-6 tires in a day. Gosh I hate El Toro's surface. Let's bring back Irwindale east lot.

Drift Association Jack demonstrating his back hand pimp slap to get his point across.

The entry gate for the first turn is way out there I can barely see it.

During the hour breaks between each session, I took a couple of pics of the event. Both at the show and at the drift area. No autox pics, I got tired after that.

The Bay area boys represent. Keepin' it real with the pink wheels.

Falken Tire booth, they didn't have a sale on tires.

A small portion of what Greddy had on sale under their tent. Too bad no parts for Corolla.

This AE86 Corolla looked pretty only from a distance, but I just love the wheels on this car it fits perfectly with the fenders. Word has it that the car wasn't using wheel spacers. Wish I got more pics of this one.

Early 80's Celica GTS, the last RWD body style before they went to FWD in 1986. I first thought this car was a convertible from a distance. But it was a simple two tone paint job.

Interesting interior, wood steering wheel for the classic look and a big shift knob keeping current with the latest trends.

I do appreciate Greddy for putting this event together. But with the different weather changes over the course of the day and the low amount of seat time and no parts for my Corolla, I can't say the event was a winner. Hopefully if they decide to throw another event, they'll sign up less drivers and maybe hold a small competition for both the Autox's and drifters. Maybe even add their suspension and exhaust system in the garage sale.

More pics of event click here.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

4AG Tip #86-1

I've always noticed people always struggling to install alternators into their little 4AGs. Hammering, squeezing, prying the alternator into it's slot. Well folks there's a much simpler method to all that madness and i'll show you how. Some of you may already may know this simple trick. But a bunch more may not know, at least people that I've talk to don't.

The alternator has a sleeve that slides to adjust for varying alternators widths. The picture points to this sleeve and the direction you need to move.

Here's the SST to move the sleeve; 12mm hex head bolt and nut, washer, and the 15mm 3/8 socket. The size of the socket doesn't really matter much, as long as it fits of the sleeve.

This how it goes all together.

The next step is to tighten everything down. This will force the sleeve out creating a gap so the alternator will slide right in to the slot.

That's all there is to it. No hammers, pry bars, or cursing. I'm not sure what other cars this will work on, but i'm sure quite a few. You'll just need to see what works on your application.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Fixing the Ring and Pinion

The upcoming Greddy Festival, has forced me to fix my car. The last time I drove it was at the 4AG Time Attack. Which I DNF'd, when I broke the ring and pinion. I was planning to fix if for a drift event when I returned from Tokyo Auto Salon, but as luck would have it, my truck got into an accident. It was down for a few weeks so there was no point in fixing diff anytime soon. With the event coming up in less than a week I need to get the ring and pinion replaced.

Before the build, I picked up a TRD solid sleeve w/shims from PASS Racing. Since the stock crush sleeves are on the weak side it's a good investment. Another good thing is that they are reusable, hopefully I won't have to use that option. I replaced the gear set with a spare used set(NOTE: If you own a Corolla, and you actually take if out to driving events, you'll need lots of spare parts), which bought from a Club4AG member a while back knowing I'll be replacing the ring and pinion. He claims it made no noise before he changed it for a different ratio. And me being the cheap bastard couldn't resist the price.

I tore down the diff and here's what remains:

Everything went in well so I'm not going to bore with the details of the install. The import mags have that covered.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Track Day

You think you're fast cause you gone to the "touge" and mash it around freeway on ramps, but are you really. Some people aren't really that fast cause in the back other minds their brain tells them to back off a tad cause they see a canyon wall, k rail, curb, etc. Never using the whole road, thus taking the wrong line, or braking early.
I always wonder why some people make excuses for not going to the track. It's basically an open playground for us to have fun. There's an open runoff area, so if you go off line you won't hit anything. Go full throttle without annoying the local law enforcement. And not endangering other drivers, which everyone should take notice of this. Sure it costs money, but if you get into an accident or maybe even hurt someone, will that money you save be worth it?
If you're still not convinced or just making excuses like "My car isn't ready" cause you're afraid of making a fool of yourself, I found a driving instructor Colin Lucas has made a couple of instructional videos of Southern California tracks. I actually watched his Willow Springs video to prepare for the 4AG Challenge, since I only was there once. And I wanted every advantage I can get.
Let's not make excuses and go have some safe fun. Most people at the track are really helpful and can answer any questions you may possibly have. You may even see me there, but don't ask me questions cause I probably will steer you the wrong direction.

Steets of Willow (My personal favorite)

California Speedway, the road course w/part of the oval. Never been to the oval part, only drove the road course section.

Willow Springs International Raceway "Big Track" Only been here twice. I consider it more of a horsepower/ speed freak track. But it's easy to learn and drive.

Buttonwillow Raceway. I hate the straights, but everything else is great.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Lemons v2.0

Since the next 24 Hours of LeMons is a few months away, I've been contemplating of trying a new chassis. Sure the MR2 is invincible and it just won't die, I think it's about time to try and race a different chassis. My first choice would have been rwd like an Nissan s-chassis. They are becoming more abundant since lots of rookie drifters love to smack'em into walls. But I get a tip from good friend Wesley that a shop has stripped and caged late 90's Honda Civic HB available. FF car that's different, I never really road raced an FF before, so why not check it out.

When he said stripped, it was stripped. No suspension, no interior, etc.

I think it was a drag car.

It' just a storage shed now.

And an nursery a tree is starting to take root into the chassis.

Wes really likes this car.

But next to the car was this late 90's Honda Civic 4 door, which apprently is for sale due to a collision.

Doesn't look too bad.

EWWW. But it doesn't look like it'll affect anything.

Fit and finish it just a tad off.

Wes suggested that picking up both and transferring everything from the 4 door into the hatchback, since they are similar chassis. It's going to be a lot work, but it's do able. I'm always up for a challenge, but i'm not so sure about other members of the team. But just then I just thought why not just pick up the 4 door and cage it. It's already running, probably just needs to be looked over to make sure everything is sound. Remember kids it's a Honda. So in a few days we'll probably decided what will be the next turn on the road to Lemons.