Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Informational Series Part 4 Tie Rods

I've talked about knuckles, and I've talked about steering racks, so why not talk about the parts that go in between and connect the two.  I've mentioned them previously and I think it's time to talk about them.  This post will be all about tie rods, both inner and outer.

Like always I want it to be known that I'm going to try keeping this rather simple, so don't treat this as an end all be all post about tie rods.  The point of this is to give you information on them to help you further your understanding of the parts and help you make better decisions with your car.  It's also meant to clear up some confusion and false information out there.

With that all said, lets begin!

Tie rods are broken down into two parts, the inner tie rod or rack end as some call it, and an outer tie rod.  There really isn't much to say when it comes to describing them, the inner is a threaded rod with a joint that screws onto the end of a steering rack and the outer is a joint that bolts to the steering knuckle and screws onto the inner tie rod.  When put together and installed they make up the link between the steering rack and steering arm.  As simple as that.

Now that you know what they are and what they look like lets get to some more in depth details starting with the inner tie rods as these are incredibly simple and there's not a whole lot to say about them.  The jointed end has a threaded portion that acts as a bolt and threads directly into the end of a steering rack.  The base of the joint is usually flat and when turned all the way will bottom out on the end of the rack casing and doesn't go inside of it like an angle spacer does.  Then we have the joint itself, it's a spherical ball joint that's essentially the same as a lower ball joint.  Just a ball that's fixed inside a casing in which it can pivot around.  They are able to move in every direction and can also spin.  On the end of the ball is a rod which also has a threaded end to it.  Tie rods are typically consisting of two parts, the ball casing, and the ball/rod portion. (please note these are not their actual terminology just what I'm referring to them as).

Here is an example showing those two parts that make up a tie rod.  I've coloured the casing green and the rod blue as well as made 3 different views showing how the 2 portions are put together to make up an inner tie rod.  I've also included the jam nut in this drawing which I'll talk about later.

As you can see there isn't much to these, so why are there so many different brands and options available?  Well the big difference and reason why you see people upgrade their inner tie rods is due to the factory ones not being strong enough.  Factory tie rods are designed and meant for commuting, they aren't typically designed to handle extreme loads. On top of that they also are used as a "weak point" in the steering so if a large amount of stress was put on the steering system this is the part that will break first and save the rest of the steering components from suffering damage.  This is a very good thing to have as tie rods are incredibly cheap and are incredibly easy to replace.  I can tell you right now you'll be a lot happier about replacing a tie rod than replacing a steering rack.

Back to upgrading them.  With race use, steering components will see a lot more stress and abuse than they would driving to and from work.  On some cars the factory inner rods were made too weak for this.  The S13 is a good example, they use a very small diameter tie rod from the factory and are notorious for bending or breaking.  This is why stronger ones are needed and are sought after.  A stronger one won't bend or break under the heaver loads that are experience when racing, this keeps the car from breaking and lets you keep driving!  Not all aftermarket tie rods are the same when it comes to strength, they all have different designs and are hardened to different levels as well as variances in the materials themselves.  It's pretty much safe to say that any big name brand tie rod will be plenty strong, and in some cases OEM replacement brands are just as strong as upgraded aftermarket ones.  Take Moog brand tie rods for example, I run a pair of Maxima OEM replacement ones on my car and have never had an issue with them.

So now that we've got the main reason why people upgrade their inners out of the way lets talk about another reason someone might choose to get an aftermarket one.

Some companies have caught on to the benefits of an angle spacer and have began making tie rods that are more suited for their use by adding longer threads to the end or even putting built in angle spacers on the tie rods themselves.  By doing that a person can simply buy new inner tie rods, throw them on with the angle spacers and achieve more steering angle.  

I think this is where some confusion about tie rods has come up.  I've heard a lot of people say "tie rods give you more steering angle".  Saying that isn't exactly right.  The tie rods themselves aren't giving you more angle, its the angle spacers that are.  Saying aftermarket tie rods in general give you more angle is wrong as not all aftermarket ones have built in spacers so those ones wont add any angle at all.  All the angle comes from the spacer and not the tie rod.

The second biggest reason why people change out their inner tie rods is because of length.  A lot of race cars and pretty much every drift car with big angle setups have a widened track (how far away the wheels are from each other).  Drift cars with big angle almost always have to lengthen their control arms in order to move the wheels out further.  This is done to allow more clearance within the wheel well and prevent the tire from rubbing on the frame of the car at high steering angles.  Of course since the control arms have been lengthened this also means the tie rods must be lengthened as well.  This is where you'll see a lot of people swap out tie rods for longer ones as too short of a tie rod won't allow you to set your toe right and your alignment could be off so much that it'll make the car impossible to drive.

One last thing thing to talk about with tie rods is quality.  This is a big one here as not all brands put the same amount of quality into their parts.  When looking at tie rods take this into consideration, if they are super cheap and you're buying some no name replica brand ones off Ebay you might be in for a bad time.  The main area where some companies will cheap out is in their joints, a cheap and poorly designed joint will wear out faster which means you'll be looking at buying the same part twice which in the end will cost you more money than if you just bought a nicer quality part from the start.

All right, it's time for some potential downfalls to take in.  Unlike most parts different inner tie rod designs can't really have any negative effects on your car.  Brand A tie rod compared to brand B won't really make any difference in your cars handling or feel, one will just be nicer than the other or one might have an angle spacer that's built in where the other doesn't.  The only real bad effect you can have from a tie rod comes from it's joint.

Not all joints are the same and not all companies design them the same.  The misalignment angles (angles they are able to move around) that they offer are different between brands.  You almost never have to worry about this but with rare occasions this could be a problem.  There could be one that's designed with very little misalignment built into them so if your suspension travel is extreme enough you could very well have it go past the point of it's misalignment ability and in turn put the weight of the car on your tie rod which will lead to bending or breaking it.  This could be very bad for you because as I'm sure you've figured out, a broken tie rod means you no longer have control of steering your car which could very well cause you to have an accident.

This is something you shouldn't beat yourself up over when looking at tie rods. I can only think of one brand that could potentially have this be an issue and they have it clearly stated on their website as part of the description of their tie rods.  On top of that the misalignment amount theirs still offers is more than enough for your normal setup, most cars don't have enough travel in their suspension.  The only people who should be concerned about this are cars that are lowered an extreme amount and don't have any supported modifications to correct it from being an issue.  The opposite as well, cars that are raised an extreme amount also face this as being an issue.  Then there's cars with extreme suspension travel, and I mean extreme amounts of travel!

That should cover inner tie rods so lets move on to outer tie rods.

There are many different style of outer tie rods, the two above are the ones I will be referring to as they are what you'll see used almost all of the time.  The one is your basic factory style outer tie rod where the other is your common aftermarket style.

Your factory rod will usually consist of two major parts.  The rod/casing and the joint/shank as pictured above, there's also a shank nut as well.  For aftermarket ones however they are usually broken down a little bit more.  For these the rod and casing aren't one piece and neither is the joint and shank.  Instead there is a threaded hex rod, spherical rod end, rod end jam nut, shank, both a bottom and top nut for the shank, and bump steer spacers.  Keep in mind both styles also use a jam nut on the inner tie rod which will be tightened against the outer tie rod where it threads into the inner tie rod.  This is used for locking the outer tie rod in place after aligning the car.

There are a few different reasons people change out their outer tie rods.  Strength, adjustability, and sometimes you just don't have a choice and are forced into it.  Again let's take a look at an S13 for an example.  As mentioned earlier their inner tie rods are of a very small diameter and when upgrading the aftermarket ones are larger, because of this they have a larger diameter thread on the end.  This means the factory S13 outer tie rods are no longer able to thread onto the new inners and you're forced with buying different outer tie rods.  Luckily for the S13 this is as easy as buying the later generation S14 or S15 model tie rods.  Some other cars might not have this choice and be forced to go all aftermarket.

Lets talk about strength, like before, sometimes the OEM outer tie rods aren't all that strong.  I can't think of any car to use for an example on this one as every one I have experience with has had very strong factory outer tie rods that aren't a problem.

The main reason you'll see people go aftermarket is for the adjustablility they offer.  Not just for toe but for bump steer as well.  Bump steer being the main reason to get them and also the most misused steering part I've seen on a lot of cars.  I'm not going to go in depth with bump steer on this post, it'll be a topic I'll cover later on.  It's one of the most misunderstood things I've seen throughout the grassroot community and if you've got some on your car and simply just set them at the lowest setting thinking that it's how you get rid of bump steer you've probably just created a serious bump steer problem because of it.  How the adjustments work is like this.  Generally on rear steer cars adjusting your bump steer down adds toe in under compression, adjusting upwards adds toe out under compression.  On front steer cars it's the opposite so adjusting down adds toe out and adjusting up adds toe in.  Of course it doesn't always work out that way as there are a lot more factors than this that effect your bump steer, but this is the general effects that it has.  The goal of adjusting is to find that happy medium so it doesn't add toe in or toe out, or at least reduce the effect to be as minimal as possible.

Each different brand outer tie rod will all have their pros and cons.  Things to look at is adjustability, quality, size, and length, along with some other aspects.

Speaking of this, lets take a look back at the "tie rods add angle" comments people have said.  Here's another area in which they have caused some confusion.  The actual size of the tie rods themselves can play a roll here.  On some cars the outer tie rod is what makes contact with the steering bump stop, on cars where this is the case, the size of an outer tie rod can effect at what angle the steering will reach it's bump stop.  A larger tie rod will hit the bump stop before a smaller one will.  A smaller tie rod adds more clearance and thus allows for more angle to be achieved but it should be noted that the tie rod isn't actually adding any angle, just offering clearance to allow for it.

Here is a quick comparison of two different sizes.  You'll notices when talking about size in this situation we will be working from a top view.

Above I've drawn a quick example of how a tie rods size can affect the overall steering angle.  For the example the "bump stop" is the lower control arm itself like it is on an s-chassis.  The top example has a smaller outer tie rod where as the bottom one is larger.  Instead of drawing a steering arm I've simply replaced it with a line.  The point of contact for the outer tie rods has been placed in the same position as well.  After the lines were made I copied them and set the two on top of each other to show the difference in angle that was created.  It's not a super crazy amount of a difference but there is a difference.  Also, keep in mind none of these drawings are to scale and the difference on an actual car is usually much less than this.  I did a rather extreme example so the difference would be more visible.  Another thing to note about this is if your tie rods aren't even reaching the bump stop then size of course wouldn't change anything at all.  A lot of times you'll see the steering rack bottom out before the tie rod will reach the bump stop.

Time to move on to the "cons" portion of these.  Just like inner tie rods there aren't really any cons to talk about.  Doesn't matter what design you have be it an oem ball joint style outer tie rod or an aftermarket spherical rod end style outer tie rod.  If they are both set at the same bump setting neither will have an effect on how the car drives.  You could argue weight or the amount of friction the joints have as potential cons but those differences are so minimal you're not even going to know there's a difference going on.

So instead lets talk about potential problems you could run into.

Like inner tie rods outer tie rods also have the potential to have some misalignment issues with its joints.  Unlike inner tie rods this is something I've not only seen but have personally experienced with a pair I ran on my car.  Outer joints experience a lot more misalignment changes than inner tie rods, when turning they can experience a good amount of change and on top of that its also when you'll see the most amount of suspension compression occur when hitting a bump.  This means there's a very good chance you might just find yourself in a situation where you max out your outer tie rods misalignment angle.

What happens when this occurs?  You guessed it, you run into some problems.  How much damage that happens has a lot of factors but you're going to run into one of these things.  The most common one being bending or snapping an inner tie rod.  Other problems are bending or breaking the the bump steer correction shank, breaking a steering arm, or breaking or causing serious damage to the outer tie rod joint itself.  This could potentially be a serious problem to have happen, as you know what happens when a steering component like this breaks.  You lose control of your steering and you run an incredibly high risk of wrecking.

With all of that said make sure you pay attention to these things when looking at purchasing some outer tie rods.  For pretty much every car the factory outer tie rods are a good choice and are sometimes even a better choice than some aftermarket ones I've seen.  One thing I always recommend is if you don't know what you're doing when it comes to setting your bump steer you're probably better of with using the factory ones.   If you don't know what you're doing when making changes to your car there's a good chance you could wind up making changes that cause your car to drive worse than if you had just left it how it was.

For this this post I've also decided I'm going to add an extra portion which I will not normally do.  This portion I'm going to talk about installation of the parts as I've seen waaaaaaay to many tie rods installed incorrectly and doing so puts those drivers at risk and the people around them at risk as well.  I would really hate to see an accident occur because of an incompetent person installing parts wrong.  A lot of parts come with installation instructions, I don't give a crap about how smart you think you are, read the damn things before putting them on.  If yours didn't come with instructions use Google, you can find what you're looking for by just searching.  Worst case if you can't find the answer, reach out to someone who has some experience and has the knowledge to properly help you.

Installing inner tie rods is simple, don't double up angle spacers.  Run one spacer.  Always use some thread locker, ALWAYS!  You don't ever want these to find a way of coming loose!  Another thing, get the right length tie rod, if yours is too short get a longer one.  If its too long you can almost always trim it down to be the right size. In fact I recommend buying ever so slightly long ones on purpose, this way you can ensure the inner tie rod has as many threads as possible going into your outer tie rod.  Figuring out what length of tie rods you need is as easy as grabbing a tape measure and putting it to use.

Outer tie rod time.  First of all, always make sure you put the jam nut on the inner tie rod.  Without a jam nut your alignment can change while driving, so always make sure there's one on there.  On the shank that bolts to the steering arm, always use a pin on the castle nut, and if you've got one that doesn't use a pin, use a nylon locking nut or some thread locker.

Now for the big one.  This is the one I've seen installed wrong more times than I can count.  With aftermarket outer tie rods that use a spherical rod end that bolts onto a hex rod.  ALWAYS use the jam nut on it and thread the rod end into the hex rod the proper amount.  For this you'll want to check with the manufacturer for a recommended amount.  Too little of threads in the hex could result in pulling the rod end out of the threads.  If you're unsure about how much is needed it's always a safe bet to thread the rod end in as far as possible to avoid any problems.

This should cover pretty much everything you need to know for now.  Hope you enjoyed reading it, possibly learned something new, and that this might have even helped you with your decision on what tie rods are right for you.

I'll see you guys next post!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

O' Drift Collective's The Uprising Event Recap!

beep...beep...beep. beep. beep Beep Beep BEEP BEEP BEEP BEPPBEEPBEEP!!!

5am, time to wake up.

Well, 5:13... I'm not much of a morning person.  Alarm screaming I got out of bed to get ready and begin the quick hop and skip over to Mid America Motorplex in Pacific Junction, IA.  With the sun still not up Becca and I slowly found our way in the car and on the road.  Then back to not moving right away.  I needed to get fuel for the day and take an obligatory gas station picture to share on Facebook.

Then after a short little drive I had made it to the entry gates right at 8am.  I was the first to arrive aside from the workers at the track who were there to greet me as I showed up.  Signed a waiver, threw on a wrist band, and found myself a nice little spot to park and pull my car off the trailer.

I had a good nights rest, and arrived early.  It sure was looking like it was going to be a good event for me.  I quickly got to unloading the car off the trailer, talked to friends as they arrived, and helped a few dudes out with unloading their cars and going over some info with them that had been passed on to me by Zort and Ross.  Before I knew it tech time rolled around and I had a number put on my windshield.

My good friend Travis of Shiomi Garage made it out before long.  I made sure to help him get a spot in the pits by me.  With this being his first event I thought it would be good to be close to him in the pits so if he needed help with anything we wouldn't have to be scrambling back and forth from far away.  Instead our tools and everything else would be right there at the same spot making it a lot easier on both of us.

I was really excited for him, first events are always something special.  Driving on a course is incredibly nice vs running the streets.  Although he's never drifted the streets, and on top of that this was only his second time even driving the car as well as only being his second time driving on the right side!  I'm sure it was rather nerve-racking for him.  People there knew who he was, knew all about his shop, and followed along with his builds.  I'm sure a lot of them had high expectations of him.  Talk about pressure!

The drivers meeting was announced and the track layout was discussed along with a basic idea of what they were going to be looking for when it came to a line for judging.  We were going to be using the same section of the course that was used for MDU earlier in the year.  It's a long straight followed by a 3 corner setup.

Then it was time to go out on the track to do a couple parade laps for everyone to get a feel of what the layout was like.  Quickly I learned that this wasn't a 2nd gear track like every event I had ever been to.  This was going to be some 3rd gear action, something I have never done as all the street corners and lots I've slid on aren't big enough to use third and every event I've ever gone to had been a big lot or skid pad.  It was looking like I would be driving at a higher level than I had before and I was finally going to learn how the car drove in a higher gear.

After the parade lap they had us pull off so we were made aware of the entrance and exit of the course.  Then it was back on the track to line up on the grid for some practice runs.

My first few runs were terrible... The Kenda Kaisers were a lot grippier of a tire than I had expected them to be, and with it being rather chilly out my fronts weren't gripping as much as I wished they would.  This led to a lot of crap initiations, transitions, and even a horrible understeer moment...

However with some more time on the track, my fronts had warmed up, I began to get back in the groove of being behind the wheel again, and slowly but surely I had found myself starting to perform like I hadn't skipped a beat.

It really was making out to be a great event!  The understeer issue I had early on had faded away with the Falkens having gone through a few heat cycles and now up to a good temp.  I was also learning the line better and figuring out when and where I needed to initiate and at what speeds.  From that point on I focused on trying to be as consistent as possible.  I found the line, I found the speed I needed to be at, now I just needed to make sure I was hitting it every single time.

Of course, that whole idea didn't last long... Not long at all... I pulled up to the line for another run and as I looked over to my left Chance Crooks was staring back at me throwing up two fingers.  It was time for some tandem runs!

This quickly caught on and soon enough after doing a few back to back runs with Chance more people were wanting to get in on the action.  So I soon began running with some of the other drivers there.  Zort Brown being one of my favorite to drive with.

After some time, the number of people out on the track began to dwindle down.  Some drivers having a difficult time and needing a break from it, while others were finding themselves in need of a fresh set of rubber.

The grid line was beginning to look a little slim and wait time between runs were nice and short.  Of course as soon as I was thinking that, Gonzo happened to blow his motor in the middle of the course.  So I ended up sitting for a little while as they cleaned up the track.

It was a real bummer to hear about Gonzo blowing.  The last event I had gone to was Proving Grounds 2013.2 and I had a killer good time running tandem with him.  Sadly I never got to do any with him at this event and with him blowing so early in the day Becca was only able to catch a few pictures of his car in action.

After some time sitting there the course went back to hot, and I somehow forgot all about my line.  I made my only off course incident on that following run with Dustin Reeh chasing me.

I must say, for it being a mistake, I sure did somehow find a way to make it a cool one.  Plus Mike Bowes of Ratchet Snaps also found a way to add to the cool factor by catching it at just the right moment.  Just look at that dirt droppin' drift wheelie!!!

Around that time another good friend of mine Rodnie of Imports USA had arrived at the event with his family.  They were there to check out all the action and cheer me on with my driving.  As a favor to him I gave his son the ride of his life for a few runs with him sitting in the passenger seat.

You can just barely see his hand in the last shot.  I don't think he ever let go of that handle the entire time.  I also don't think I ever saw him without a big smile on his face.

After he had gone for a ride I got back to running some tandem runs with some more people.  One of them being a fellow buddy from Des Moines, Matt Hines of Angle Junkies.

Several runs later and one super close call it became time to move on to another driver to run tandem with.  This one being with the internet famous #DontMatta Austin Matta.  For as much crap I hear people talk about this dude you would expect him to be a poor driver.  Well that just wasn't the case, he was driving just as good if not better than the rest of the people there and was another person I had a great time driving with.

Lunch break came around a lot quicker than I wanted it to.  I was having a ridiculous amount of fun out there and I really didn't want to stop.  Although, this break was probably much needed, not necessarily for me, but for everyone else out there.  Becca is a good example, she had been out there snapping pictures since the event started.

The break also gave me some time to catch up with Travis to see how his day had been going for him and talk about things he needed to do with his car and discuss some changes he could make to help him drive better.

Looking over the pics Becca had captured it sure did look like he was holding his own out there.  Hell, for this being his first time drifting and only his 2nd time ever driving on the right side he sure was killing it in my book!  Seriously, just look at these photos and see what I'm talking about.

He said his self steering wasn't as strong as he wished it to be and after looking the car over in several places he had found some loose bolts as well as his alignment needing some adjustments.  So I made sure to grab a wrench and bust out the toe plates so I could help him get his car setup better.

Becca was also kind enough to run over to the concession stand to grab some food thanks to Bret lending us a few bucks since we forgot to stop at an ATM on our way to the event in the morning.

Once done eating the track was back to green and the competition was getting ready to start.  There would only be a little bit of time left to get some practice runs in before this started so I made sure to use that time wisely and get back to focusing on my line and hitting all of my marks so I could put down a good solid run.

Feeling confident I headed back into the pits so we could have a quick drivers meeting where the judges would explain what they are looking for during our qualifying runs.  They wanted us to come in with as much speed as possible on the entry.  Then to follow what would be a fast race line.  This meant going into the first corner with a late apex, hitting the second one dead center and then coming out of the last one with as much carried speed as possible while laying on the throttle and not lifting at all.  This was great news to hear as that was the line I had been running the entire day, having some racing knowledge and understanding race lines sure did pay off in this situation!

I went into qualifying feeling even more confident than I had already been feeling, then it came time for my first run....and... I choked...

Seriously, it was awful, or at least for me it felt awful.  Then my second run came around and again it wasn't what I wanted.  A portion of the run went very nicely but the initiation on both runs were bad which threw me off for the rest of it.

I don't recall where exactly I ended up qualifying but I do know it wasn't good and I found myself near the bottom.  The bracket was made and drivers were then paired up.  My first battle was against Dustin Reeh who I hadn't driven with too much and the one run I had done with him was the one where I had found myself way off line and in the dirt.

My lead run was about as bad as my qualifying runs had been, then upon start of the chase run Dustin's car sputtered and stalled out after we had started down the straight.  Being the person I am and being a big supporter and follower of D1 I did what any Japanese driver would do.  I backed off the throttle as to not get ahead of him.  I could have very well stayed on it and done a run without him which would have given me the victory, but that wouldn't be cool at all and definitely wouldn't be a way I would want to win.  His car re gained power part way down the straight and we were back at it with him leading the way into the first corner.  Unfortunately for me I needed pretty much the entire straight in order to get up to speed for being able to drift the first corner, down on speed and low on RPM I wasn't able to drift the first corner and was forced to start sliding at the second.

Coming back to the start I thought I had lost and would be going home after the first round.  The judges saw it differently.  I don't know if his follow run was bad or if they recognized what happened at the start of the chase run but they apparently saw something and decided to do a one more time.

On the lead run Dustin's car stalled out again, however since I was leading this time and didn't want to find myself unable to drift the first corner again I kept going and made a run without him.  This meant all I needed to do is not crash for the chase run.  With that in mind I let him have some distance and I just did my own thing when following him.  This played out in me getting the win and moving on to the next round.

For the next run I was paired up against Sam Bennett, who I thought would have a fairly good chance against since he was only running a non turbo KA.  Boy was I wrong!

My lead run went down absolutely amazing, it was a great run and to my surprise Sam kept right up with me.

With that in mind I knew I had to throw down a solid chase run by staying as close to him as possible.  Down the straight I had no issues keeping up with him, he was the only person who I drove against that had less power than me so I had no issues of him running away right off the line.  First corner went great but then after the transition into the second I quickly realized following this close to him from the start was a bad move.  My car had more grip than his and I was picking up more speed than him.  I was left with making a decision of either staying on throttle to keep it sideways and more than likely drive right into his door, or lift to slow down and pray when I get back on the power and my RPMs wouldn't have dropped to much for me to keep it going in third.

I went with the second option and lifted.

My car slowed and even with a very aggressive clutch kick from hell my car wasn't able to keep the wheels spinning.  I straightened up for a moment, dropped to second gear so I could get sideways again and got back on it driving right up next to him for the final corner.

I did the best I could but unfortunately my best wasn't enough and I lost.  Sam went on to battle Chance Crooks who also found himself in a similar predicament as I had been in and he too ended up losing the battle.  For the finals it was Sam vs Austin Matta and Mr. Don't Matta ended up walking away with first place's trophy.

Along with the tandem competition they also held a solo comp for everyone who made their way out there and didn't have cages.  Des Moines very own Luke Stilley of Angle Junkies managed to bring home the gold with his pretty much all stock GTO missile car!

I had a great time at the event and I learned a lot while I was at it.  I experienced driving with all sorts of different drivers who were at all sorts of different skill levels as well as go up against all sorts of different powered and setup cars.  I made sure to take in as much as I could from this event and one of the biggest things I think I will try to work on in the future is get my car setup to be able to handle dropping into lower RPM so I won't have the issues of not being able to drift due to lack of power and too much grip.  Hopefully soon I'll be able to afford upgrading my turbo and I will install my AEM EMS, I'm also planning on utilizing an electronic boost controller.  With those changes hopefully I'll be able to gain the much needed mid range power and want and a good amount of overall power on top of that.  This whole stock SR thing is really starting to reach a point where it's holding me back from performing as good as I would like to.

I'm very thankful of O Drift Collective and all the guys who helped put this event together and make it possible.  The day was done and it was time to pack up and head home.  I got my car on the trailer really quickly thanks to some friends for lending me a hand and for Bret showing me a little trick which made it so I only had to use 2 boards to load my car up.

I said goodbye to everyone and hit the road, but first, I had to take another one of those obligatory gas station pics!

A quick little drive and I was home.  Best part was that it was only Saturday which mean I was able to say screw unloading everything and go hit the sack.

The next morning it was time to unload and take in everything that had happened the day before and also look my car over to see how everything held up.

Off the trailer I got to looking over my tires which I hadn't changed at all throughout the entire day.  To my dis belief there was still tread left on them, I was amazed!  These tires held up far greater than anything I've ever ran before and for the amount of grip they put down it only made me that much more impressed.  They had a beautiful wear pattern to them and absolutely no chunking at all.  Looks like I'm going to be running Kenda Kaisers from here on out!

Backed the car in the garage and unloaded everything from the car.  Also did a little bit of tidying up around the place while I was at it....which meant pile things on the 510... Becca wasn't too excited about that idea...Oh well, it was nice to be home and I was feeling great after having a kick ass time drifting with a bunch of super cool dudes!  Can't wait to see everyone next event!!!