Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Trip to Shiomi Garage!

So after having problems again with my diff I decided to say "fuck it" this S15 HLSD has been more problems then it has been good.  It doesn't lock as hard as I want which will mess up drifts on occasion, that side shaft keeps popping out, and its more than likely holding me back with progressing further with my skill since it's not a proper diff for drifting.  So to solve this, I went out and bought a new complete rear subframe, diff, axles, etc from my buddy Rob.  I also picked up another stock S13 open diff from another friend Jonny.
After getting everything home, I called up my good friend Travis again.  He's the one who fabbed up my power brace for me from a previous posting.  I asked if he would be interested in doing some more work for me, and of course the answer was "Bring your shit on up here!  Let's see what Shiomi Garage can do for you!"

So last weekend I made the trip up there and had him get to work.  I brought both diffs with me, the subframe and our goal was set.  Remove the subframe bushings, add some bracing, and weld both the open diffs.

Immediately upon arrival  we set to work...then a few minutes went by and the realization of not having any beer kicked in... So of course we dropped what we started and hauled ass to the nearest beer distributing location to pick up some PBR!  Then after cracking open a few we got right back into it and started removing the subframe bushings.
What's that you say?  Why are my bushing centers missing and not on fire??? There's a reason for that, and that reason is, cutting out the bushings is not only easy, but way faster then lighting shit on fire.
After you cut the center out, you cut some slits on the sides and they tap right now with a few hits from a hammer.  Super easy to do and is wicked fast!  So fast that Travis had all 4 bushings out before I had the diffs taken apart.

Prior to coming up, I had already taken one of the center sections out of the diffs.  This one had the weirdest looking thing inside.  Unfortunately I don't have any pics of it in the diff, but I do have pics after it was taken out.  I believe it's some sort of wanabe LSD mechanism... There were two metal plates with springs forcing them into the spider gears... How about I just show you some pics.
Interesting to say the least.  Anway, while I finished up taking the diffs apart and getting them ready to be welded Travis was still working away on my subframe which he removed some weight from.  Neither one of us had any idea what these are on the subframe for, all we know is they added weight and weight is the enemy!  So he chopped them off.
Then smoothed down the area where he cut them off from.
I meanwhile had started taking apart the second diff.
Thanks to my Snap On battery impact I had the diff completely taken apart in no time at all.  I think it only took me 5 minutes if you don't count the 15-20min I spent drinking beer, looking at Travis's car, and taking pics.
Right around that time Travis had the subframe ready for bracing, but was out of grinding disks and was worried about his welding wire supply so we made another trip up to the store to pickup some supplies.  On our way back we came across a rather clean looking S30 240z.
I really liked the car, up until the owner came walking out.  I tried to greet him friendly but he was apparently too cool for me.  He then preceded to jump in the car and attempt to take off like a badass, which was rather sad, and ruined the car for me.

 After we got back I was out of stuff to do, I don't know how to do any fab work really so I left that all to Travis while I took some pics of the progress on his car, drank some more beer, ate some pizza, and listened to his dad tell me all sorts of wonderful stories.

The sil80 is really starting to look like a car that's ready to be driven.  Motor is sitting in there with both manifolds on, the turbo, IC piping, etc.  He's got his front tubing almost all finished up, still is going to add a couple support bars and needs to be welded up.  The suspension is all there and he's even got some wheels on her.
I'm really diggin how the car looks, and I like the way he's doing everything on it.  I think this is one of the few cars out there that when I look it over I really appreciate what I see, rather then pick apart all the things I hate.  I think that's a sign of a well built car, and well thought out.

The Square Wheels look way better in person then all the pictures I've seen.  So of course I made an attempt to capture some of their beauty.
I also thought I should snap a quick pic of his subframe risers installed, which I thought looked cool from the side.
I then moved on to checking out the RHD interior now that he has pretty much everything in place.
Oh and this wicked cool fire extinguisher!
Then about the same time I was done checking everything out, he had the braces for the subframe made and tacked in place.
I really like his welds, which is one of the many reasons why I take my fab needs to him.
He doesn't just do good work, he also get's shit done and for a good price!  So you know I'll be bringing a lot more things to him.  I'm really tempted to just drop my car off this winter, hand him a wad of cash and say "do as you please" which who knows, I might come back after the winter to find my car transformed into an S15.  Anyway, back to what's actually being done.  Subframe bracing.
Everything went together nicely and turned out great in the end.  I didn't take all the detailed pics I wish I would have, and sadly a bunch of these were taken with my phone so I apologize for the ones that are lacking quality.  I didn't want to get the DSLR dirty...  Don't worry tho, I'll make sure to get plenty of pics when I prepare it for powder coating.
Now once that was taken care of it was time to move on to welding up the diffs.
Nice shot of the open diff all ready to go.  Started off by welding the 4 gears together.
Once that was done we then added in a plate of steal for some extra strength.
And just like that the first diff was done!  Now time for the second one...which after welding one of the gears together the welder was out of gas... So we took this as a sign that it was break time.  Cracked open another beer and we were then greeted by a random dog that decided to pay us a visit.
Really nice dog, it hung out with us for a while, then after it realized how cool we were it decided to beg us for some of the leftover pizza.  I wish I could have taken it back home to it's owner but the collars address led me to the local vet's office which wasn't of much help.  I then figured, it was able to make it to Shiomi Garage on it's own, it can surely make its way home without any help.

So we left for the store to buy some gas for the welder...which was no gas.  Luckily his cousins place wasn't far so we ran over there and borrowed his welder.
Then the second diff was all welded up.
Got in the car and headed on back.  Once there we drank a few more cold ones and waited for the diff to cool off enough that I could put it back inside the housing.  That took a lot longer then I though, but eventually I was able to touch it with my bare hands.
Once I had that all back together everything I had planned to do was finished.

It was a great trip up there like always, and only a few days later I'm already looking forward to my next visit.  Time to figure out what I want to do next.

Until then, check out this awesome GT40 I saw at a local car show the next day.

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