Monday, April 1, 2013

Power Brace, Fab Work, Parts, Reliability

Recently I've been on this "It's all about reliability" kick.  I'm still on it and I really think it's the best thing I can do for the car right now.  Last year it worked out amazing for me, and was incredibly dependable.  I didn't have any issues with it at events and the car got me too and from work every day.  I'm very pleased with how well it has held up for me, and to make sure it continues to hold up I've decided to do everything I can to help.  This is why I've ordered what I have up to this point.

I'm still sitting on factory engine mounts, this is something that has been making me nervous for a while now, I keep hearing stories of people busting a mount which doesn't settle well with me.  I would hate to be at an event, clutch kick and BAM bust a mount and be done for the day.  So what did I decide to do you may ask?  Well, I ordered me some nice mounts is what I did!  Placed an order for a set of Avid Racing mounts with the 90A bushings in them.  I think these should hold up just fine and dandy.

Following my order of new mounts I looked over my parts list and organized all of my "needs" from my "wants".  Shortly before putting the car into storage this winter I made a discovery that my pillow balls up front where having issues.  Everytime I would turn the wheel instead of the pillow ball pivoting like it's supposed to the coilover itself would pivot and loosen up the collars for adjusting the height.  NOT COOL!  This is one of the many things I think that has been affecting my counter steering as when I let go of the wheel it doesn't like to self steer very much and I'll have to manually throw it into a counter steer.  So I called up Stance USA and they hooked it up with some killer good pricing (half the price I saw them listed for on every site I visited) and on top of that they threw in some new hardware for free!

Next on my list I felt that new wheel bearings where much needed.  My driverside rear bearing has slowly started taking a dump on me, plus with the GKtech knuckles I feel like putting new bearings up front is a must!  So I went a head and ordered new bearings all around.  I know this isn't anything exciting, but don't worry, when I go to install them I'll make it worth your while to read about what I do with them.  A little trick I picked up from reading MotoIQ.

Now that the boring stuff is out of the way, lets get to cracking on some actual WORK!  That's right, I finally pulled the car out from its storage garage and did something with it.  I made some plans with my friend Travis to do a little bit of fab work on the car for me.  I don't have any fab work skills really, unless you count ugly looking welds as skill.  So I left it up to him.

Before heading out to his place I decided it would be a good idea if I just removed my bumper at home the day before... Little did I know I was in for a surprise, and found a few things I didn't want to see.
I discovered a cracked radiator, the lower driverside mounting bolt was missing, and for some reason there was a lot of flex going on up there which I knew shouldn't be there.  This didn't stop me from taking the car out tho, so I went on with the plan, fired her up and took her for a quick spin.
This was the first time she's seen daylight in a while.  That night I made sure to get some tires mounted on a set of my drift spares, grabbed my PBM intake from my stack of parts, load up some tools, and finally get some sleep.

Woke up the next morning to find it raining...It had been nice, sunny, and warm the past couple days and the day I go to do some work it loves to rain on me for some reason.
After an hour or so drive up there I had arrived, pulled up his driveway that felt the need to make love with my undercarriage and got cracking.  Started jacking her up and that's when another discovery happened...My lower radiator support had decided to separate itself from the frame.
Luckly nothing was bent way out of shape, and it was just spot welds that had broken.  No crazy rust or tear in any of the metal which was nice.
This wasn't anything Travis couldn't fix tho, but first thing first, needed to cut a slot in my frame so he could take care of the internal nut for the tension rod bracket.
While he was doing all that instead of standing around doing nothing I decided to install my PBM intake and take a few pics of the progress being made on his Sil80.
I know the picture of the intake I got sucks, hopefully these pics of the Sil80 will make up for that.
Now while I was doing that, Travis was moving a million miles an hour working on my tension rod brackets.  In the amount of time it took me to install my intake he had already completed fixing the nut in the frame and welded the section of the frame shut.
Everything was going great!  Ate some McDonnalds, drinking some PBR, and hadn't had any issues with the work.  Hung the newly modified brackets "power brace" up in the air and slapped some black paint on it.
While we let that sit and dry Travis showed me some of the finer details of his car and went over a bunch of ideas he had for how he was going to do some things.
Then we remembered the radiator support/frame issue.  Which he easily fixed in a hurry.
Then it was time to put the powerbrace (tension rod brackets) back on the car, throw my drift spares on the rear so we could have some fun while testing everything out, and set the gal back on all 4's.
To make sure everything worked out well a quick drift session that terrorized the local neighborhoods was a must.  Slid some corners, pissed off a few old people, had country boy's and red necks mean mugging us left and right, and even the little kids looked at the car like it was some sort of alien spaceship.  Everything went great, the car felt rock solid up front, especially under braking where I used to hear a loud "Clunk" noise almost every time.  This was gone, and I'm hoping the other noises are gone as well.

Got back to Travis's and he decided it was time for his SR to meet the engine bay of the Sil80 for the first time.
I don't think I've ever in my life had an engine go from a stand, to mounting a trans on it and putting it in the car so quickly.  According to the time marks on the pictures I have we did this in 15 minutes or less!  Not having a radiator support in the way sure does make the job a million times easier!
I must say the trip on up there was rather awesome.  Had a good time hanging out, doing some work, drinking beer, terrorizing some small town hicks, and taking pictures.  I'm really looking forward to the next time I make the trip up there, and see the progress made on the Sil80.

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