Wednesday, March 22, 2017

SHOCK THERAPY - DRIFT PACKAGE UPDATES


The last time I attempted to proceed with the doripake shock build, I quickly discovered that I had the incorrectly sized shock piston rods.  Sure, I could have pressed onward with the stock Yokomo rods, but why would I do that when I could have fancy Kazama Auto ones?  So I placed my order with Banzai Hobby, and sure enough it was delivered within 5 days directly from Kanagawa in typical EMS fashion.  While I was at it, I also picked up some D-LINK Adjustable Shock Cap Ends for chassis height adjustability independent of spring pre-load.  So here's a sweet shot of everything all laid out, OCD style and awaiting fitting.


The D-LINK caps are super cool, and a nice shiny silver in comparison to the almost gunmetal colored Yokomo caps.


O-Rings, diaphragms and seals!
Arigato gozaimashita, Kimura-san!


The stock Yokomo piston rods, pistons and E-Clips.  Those rods were about to get ditched, but I just love that everything comes separated in its own cute, little packaging!
Arigato gozaimashita, Suwa-san!


Here we go - The Kazama WPC-Treated piston rods up front, versus the stock Yokomo rods in the back.  This really shows the textural and aesthetic differences between the two.  Despite the fact that the Yokomo rods appear shinier, the Kazama Auto rods will actually perform better due to the WPC Treatment.


Developed in Japan, WPC treating is a metal improvement process similar to shot-peening, and is actually so extensively used in high levels of Motorsport, that WPC will not release their full process.  All I know is that if it's good enough for the clutch discs in my Tomei 2-Way in the Z, then it's certainly good enough for my 1/10th sized shock rods!  The process leaves a slight textured surface to the metal which will help in oil lubrication when the shocks are compressed and decompressed to keep the rods sliding smooth - and who wouldn't want that?!


Woohoo - the pistons fit onto the rods the way they should this time.  It probably helps when I purchase the correct sized piston rods for the shocks I'm building. . .
E-Clips in place, these baddies are ready to drop into the shock bodies!


But first, I had the frustrating task of seating the O-Rings inside of the adjustment nuts.


Coming together. . .the adjustment nuts screwed into place on the shock bodies, and the piston rods slipped through.


With the seals in place and lower shock caps screwed down, the pistons and rods were resting nice and snug in their new home.  Time to screw on the ball end caps and add the oil!


Fill 'er up!
This is such an obnoxious process.  Every time I'd get to almost a comfortable spot with having those microscopic bubbles removed, I'd cycle the piston just a few more times for 100% certainty and then new bubbles would form.  I eventually got there though!


Starting to get tingly feelings inside!  The diaphragms were dropped into place, and then sealed down with the stock Yokomo caps paired with D-LINK adjustable shock ends. 


Next up was slipping the Kazama springs into place, and making sure they would stay there with the stock Yokomo spring perches.  The blue, silver and white combo almost brings a tear to the eye.


All done!  I could not be happier with the outcome of these pieces!  Aside from the hiccup with the piston rods, my first full-on shock build went really smooth and was a great relaxing way to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon.  The shocks are now fitted up to the chassis and they seem to be functioning fantastically.  I can't wait to get the car actually rolling and running to see how these guys handle.  The chassis of the car is pretty much all set now, with just mostly wiring and electronics stuff left to knock-out, so keep posted in the next couple weeks for those posts.  The light at the end of the tunnel is promising!
武士道 - B U S H I D O!


Here's a parts list for fun as well:

-Yokomo  Gradeup Conversion for Drift Package - Ver.2 (#D-015A)
-Kazama Auto Damper Piston Rods WPC Processing (#01032502)
-Kazama Auto D-LINK 31mm Spring Set (#01031129)
(I'm using the white [Soft] setting springs)
-Kazama Auto D-LINK Adjustable Shock Cap Ends (#01032301)
-Overdose Heavy Duty Ball End Cap Set White (#OD1585)


Kazama Auto has the shit you are looking for!!!
(If you get it, you get it)

Friday, March 17, 2017

DEEP SPACE EAST TRACK - NASA AZ DRIFT


Last Sunday marked the first opportunity for PHX area drifters to drive the East track at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park since about 3 years ago.  We certainly wanted to go check out the event, led by NASA AZ, to see what all the fuss was about.  Surely enough we were not let down and after rolling onto the property just before noon, we ran directly into the normal crew and faces present.  I spotted Chasen's Z33 and being the first time I've seen it in person since the bodywork, I wanted to go take a peek and pretend it was mine for a moment.


On the way back from getting fresh tires mounted to the RPF1's, and just before that haphazardly placed wheel fell out of the hatch.  Luckily it missed the Z's fender and I was able to run over and stop the wheel before it fell to its face.  Apparently it also took like 4 or 5 cheetahs to get the bead to seat which sounded a bit excessive for a 245 on a 10.5 wheel.


Dustin on-looking in uncertainty while Chasen had a minor struggle with his wheel spacer.


Pretty much sums up that experience.



Questionable activity behind the Z's booty.


"Beer's over yonder."
"Nose-goes."


. . . Anddddd then Chasen buried himself nice and deep in the gravel trap, which yielded a yellow flag for that section of the track and rendered where I was standing for photos, useless.


Fortunately after getting pulled out, the car made it back into the paddock on its own power and everything seemed to be pretty much in place.


Before getting to the track that morning, we had spotted a few snapchats and instagram posts of a VERY interesting car that was present.  I couldn't wait to move in and get a closer look once we arrived.


This DTM-styled Mercedes is just absolutely nuts.  As strikingly aggressive as it appears from a far, there were just as many smaller details that contribute to the overall awe of this machine.


I enjoyed studying the swan-neck mounted wing and noticing the tweaks on certain attributes, such as the forward-slanted gurney flap.


And it was even more enjoyable to hear tearing up the course.




I really don't know much about these cars or about the DTM series in general, but this chassis is just plain menacing.



I also appreciated the fact the the left-hand side of the car was running the correct red lugs on the center-lock wheels, while the right-hand side rocked the appropriate blue lugs.



I dunno - I think the wing could be a little wider. . . :)


Beatin' up on a Challenger.
NASA had the schedule set-up pretty interesting, as they were running ~15 minute hot lap sessions for each run group.  So it appeared to be grip, time-attack, and drift groups alternating track time.  While one of the sessions was switching-up, I took the time to go hang out with folks in the paddock.


Not sure how I had never noticed the Runaway Fun slogan before, but I dig it a LOT.
"For the Strength of the Pack is the Wolf, & the Strength of the Wolf is the Pack."


Joe used to have the same KEY!S wheel that I have in my Z, and it looks like he recently switched up to a sweet Car Modify Wonder wheel.



There's really not too much to say about the Style King and his awesome driving style.  This dude comes in HOT, and keeps the smoke rolling all the way through the straights up until the next corner.


While it's not a snap of him sideways, I couldn't pass over this nice shot of Scoot's Sil-Truck.


Something about this little Hula girl that instills some sort of nostalgia and perfectly encompasses what drifting is meant to be.


It was a bummer though that Uncle Scoot seemed to be having some steering binding issues, but did result in this sweet front wheel lock-up shot while he had a friend trouble-shooting his car.


Dustin Modeling Shot #1


Gayle was really digging this Datsun Z that was obviously there for business.


The drift spectator.


I realize now that I didn't even have to watermark this photo of Zack's rear hatch glass.  Running not only the new logo bumper sticker, but also one of the limited chrome vinyls - I appreciate it dude!




Zack ran the shit out of his tires that day.  Enough that all the spent rubber eventually piled up between the rear bumper and was spilling out like confetti.



Dustin incoming!
I hadn't noticed the sweet meth-looking brew lab in the distance until editing this picture.


I can definitely get down with Dustin's Om talisman hanging from the rear-view.



I can only wonder what passers-by on the I-10 must have been thinking while driving by and seeing cars getting flicked sideways just about a hundred feet away.




Rad shot of Griffin.


Looks like he finally gave into all our peer pressure and converted over to 5-lug.


Chase made the trek up from Tucson to hit the event for a couple hours.  To my understanding, he had a 6PM flight that evening so he had come up just to drive for a bit and then had to leave Phoenix in time to get the car back home and then to the airport by 6PM!






Looked like it was certainly worth the trip and stress though.


First time I've seen Dustyn out in a long time, and with his new power-plant it looks like things were going pretty smooth.




Tony was out there looking REALLY good in the Mustang.  He was doing unmentionable things with the e-brake coming into this corner.




Dustin Modeling Shot #2


The ZE40's on Mr. Robles' Civic hatch fit the theme of this car perfectly.


Philip, the driver of the Civic, and his son Jesse, who you'll see in a moment, make an awesome father-son duo of time-attack / drift enthusiasts.  I've spotted Jesse at events past, and started to follow him on Instagram - it wasn't until then when I noticed photos always getting posted of his dad's project grip car.  It was cool to finally see this thing in person, as it not only ooze's JDM vibe but actually blisters around the track while doing it.



After a quick 3 or 4 lap session, Philip hopped back out of the car.  I really enjoyed trying to get more candid shots of folks at this event if you couldn't already tell - in this case, he turned just in time and caught me snapping a pic.


Aside from the fact that we were at a track event, spotting "car-talk" is typically pretty easy.


Additionally, not only do they have a pretty sweet rig set-up and tent to escape the sun for a few minutes, but the company around their space was beyond pleasant.  Jesse's mom even offered up delicious homemade cupcakes and some Four Peaks, which we gladly accepted.


Changing paces from grip, is the younger Mr. Robles' S13 coupe slated for drifting.  I'm a sucker for stickers so I always like to see how people visually express themselves in the vinyl department.




I recall spotting Jesse driving sometime last year at either IFO or BoostFest and thoroughly enjoyed the show he puts on.




This time was certainly no different than previous occasions and it's apparent that he likes to keep an increased level of speed through the course.


I think it's really cool that while father and son share two different Motorsports passions, it's still what brings them together and allows them that opportunity to work side-by-side to help the other out during down-time.  Also the fact that mom and company back their hobby and come out as support really just adds to the whole strong family vibe that was evident from their tent.


Back to the grip sessions - No missing this IS300.



Gayle and I spotted this NSX at the fuel station right at the corner before entering Wild Horse, and I mentioned "I bet that's heading there!"  Sure enough, we saw it posted up in the paddock not 15 minutes later when we were walking around.


Love it.


This dude wasn't messing around - check out that helmet.


Dustin Modeling Shot #3

I'll leave you guys off here.  All together, we had a great day watching everyone and getting to hang out.  Didn't get TOO burnt, and got to experience my first Snoh shaved ice cream afterwards which was a perfect ending to a hot and noisy afternoon.  Sounds like the next event at WHP is the GoFast Drift and Drag on the 25th, so hopefully we'll see more of everyone there!
武士道 - B U S H I D O!