A Visit to Houston, Texas

At around 4:30 AM last Friday I dragged myself out of bed and made the snowy (and very windy) trek to Detroit Metro Airport to board a flight down to Houston, Texas to visit my friend Jimmy. Jimmy and I met at the first Final Bout event in 2014 and have remained very close friends since then. It’s hard to believe that nearly five years have passed since that event. Neither of us had our cars there that time as we both came to hang out- Jimmy had a white S13 at the time and I was in the midst of trying to build my GS400. Our personalities are polar opposites in many regards, but for whatever reason we remain the best of friends.

Yes, I always fly Spirit. S13s don’t build themselves!

I was greeted by the rumble of an SR20 as I exited the airport terminal and Jimmy rolled up in his bright red BN sports R32. Despite this being my 4th visit to Houston, I had never actually ridden in Jimmy’s car while visiting. It was always torn apart, locked in a damaged garage that someone decided to back into (that’s another story,) or at the body shop being painted. Despite seeing it at Super D last September, I had not actually ridden in the car since Final Bout II in 2015. It was really fun to cruise around- despite the fact that it was a mere 36º in Houston that morning and the car does not currently have functioning heat. My visit was blamed for the unseasonably cold weather the entire weekend, though it did warm up to about 60º or so on Sunday before I left.

After stopping for some Chick-Fil-A, we went to visit our friend Harris at his chosen place of employment- Modern Aircooled. The shop was filled with lots of Porsches and even a Ferrari, all of which I knew just about nothing about. But in any case, it was fun to roam around the shop and check out the 1995 993 that Harris had just recently purchased. He bought it in a fairly rough and incomplete state, but he has been doing a great job bringing it back to life. I got a chance to ride in the car later in the weekend and it was a real treat. The car features a pretty wild roll cage, completely stripped interior, lexan side windows, a rebuilt motor with cams, KW coilovers, and my favorite part- the Porsche PCD Volk Racing TE37s. I’m far from a Porsche fanatic and really don’t know much about them at all, but I love this thing! Great job Harris.

 

Our next stop was to see some of the guys from FatCats at EMG, their BMW tuning and maintenance shop. I believe Mike and Josh started the business about a year or so ago and seem to be doing very well which is awesome to see as they are great guys. Mike’s S14 drift car was hanging around the shop waiting for a replacement SR20 after it popped at an event a couple months back. It was cool to check it out as the car is home to my former bride carbon kevlar Zeig II- I miss that thing! Super comfy seat.

I believe we spent the rest of the day hanging out with various people, eating delicious food, and watching video game streaming on Twitch. Jimmy and Harris are avid gamer nerds and love this stuff, so it was interesting for me to step into that world a bit. I used to be fairly into video games when I was younger, but I haven’t been able to keep up with much of anything going on in the last ten years or so. Typical dad move.

On Saturday morning, I headed over to the shop with Jimmy and Harris. Jimmy has been parting out S13s for the last year or so as the opportunity pops up. This is part of what inspired me to purchase and part out the donor coupe I had recently. It’s a ton of fun to take a car apart knowing you don’t need to put it back together. We have been joking about ripping a car apart on one of my visits for a while, so I had a lot of fun helping him remove the SR20 swap, chassis harness, and other items from the rusty shell before it was scrapped. I’m sure most people wouldn’t want to spend their vacation working on S13s, but man- it sure was a lot of fun.

We kept things fairly low key on Saturday night and hung out at Jimmy’s house with some good friends including Justin and Andrew of ~Essence~ Garage fame. Our friend Kev was also with us for most of the weekend. We made sure to eat dinner nice and early on Saturday afternoon to ensure that we had room for some Taco Bell and Baja Blast around 10 PM. I don’t drink alcohol, so I essentially go wild with eating terrible food instead when I am on vacation. Too much fun.

On Sunday morning, we woke up and decided to attend the Coffee and Rice event at Catalina Coffee. This is a local “Cars and Coffee” type event that happens every Sunday organized by the infamous John P of MayDay Garage fame. I was able to meet John a couple years back on my first trip to Houston which was really cool for me since I had been following their content for years and years. John has a really nice NSX on bronze TE37s that I was fortunate enough to see once again in person at the meet.

A super nice R33 GTR on TE37s at the Rice Box meet.

Speaking of Bronze TEs, the trio we rolled in included Jimmy’s R32, Harris’ 993, and Kev’s recently S14 SR20 swapped S13- all of which had Bronze TE37s. It definitely made me miss my bronze set, but I don’t think I will be able to let go of my silver ones any time soon. Perhaps I can eventually get some for the PS13.

After the meet, a bunch of us all headed over to The Rice Box for some delicious eats. Rice Box is a restaurant owned by John P of MayDay Garage. They currently have two locations in Houston with a third set to open next month I believe. The food is always amazing so I make it a priority to get there and support John every time I am in town. A great lineup of cars and people were present, including a gentleman named Alan that I have been talking to recently on Instagram. Alan is a former S13 owner that takes some really amazing photos and is a big supporter of the site- it was great to meet you sir!

Kev’s car is coming along rather nicely after all of the hard work he has been putting into it. It was great to see it again and go for a spin!

KC and Triggs were also in attendance with their beautiful cars- super cool.

After hanging out for a few more hours, it was sadly time to say my goodbyes and return to snowy Michigan. I am very thankful for Jimmy and all of the amazing friends I have made down in Houston- all thanks to tinkering with these silly cars. It’s funny how these things work out sometimes. I wouldn’t trade the experiences and friends I have made from a mutual interest in junky old Nissans for the world!

Speaking of junky old Nissans, I am hoping to return to the garage a bit this weekend to get some work done on the SR20 for the PS13. I’ll share an update on that very soon.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Damon

PS- I’ve added some new items to the store page- be sure to check it out! Thank you for the support.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

February Rolls On

I don’t have a ton to share this week, but I did manage to pull my black S13 out of the garage last Sunday to let it run and warm up for a while. After facing brutal temps well below zero last week, we were teased with a couple days at 50º. It was good to be able to fire the car up and bring it outside for a few quick photos. I rely heavily on these random warm days during the winter months for motivation. Winter becomes tough to handle during late February and early March sometimes, so any small opportunity to start the car up serves as a reminder that nice weather will once again return to Michigan eventually. Despite the craziness of changing seasons here I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!

I attempted to make some progress on the SR20 for the coupe last week only to hit an unexpected snag. When I attempted to install the outlet pipe on the compressor side of the turbo, I found that it was touching the exhaust manifold and could not be bolted up. This likely explains why it was held on with only one of the three bolts and was flopping around when I bought the car. It appears that the turbo must have been clocked incorrectly at some point along the line. I ended up having to remove the entire exhaust side again to tear it all apart and try to correct the position of the compressor side of the turbo. This has proved to be a difficult task as the bolts and C clip seem to be very tight. Fortunately a local friend is sending me his old T25 turbo as he is upgrading and does not need it. I should be able to reassemble everything rather quickly next week before moving on to the intake side of the engine.

It took a while to sort through which items went where. A spreadsheet is crucial for staying organized and keeping track of all of this stuff!

Speaking of the intake side, a number of replacement items for that portion of the engine arrived last week. The first was an order from Courtesy Nissan that contained a number of items including replacement clamps for nearly all of the water and blowby hoses on the engine, bolts for installing the clutch fan and shroud, radiator bracket bolts, heater core hose clamps and grommets, and a few other necessary bolts I was missing.

The second was an order from RHD Japan. This batch included the metal engine cover for the rear clutch/flywheel window on the back of the engine, new hoses for the PCV valve and OEM catch can setup, a few bolts for the engine I was missing that were discontinued stateside, radiator mounts, a firewall plug for the AC system (since my coupe will likely not have AC initially,) replacement accelerator pedals for both the hatch and coupe (pretty excited about these since I replaced the brake and clutch pedal rubber pads on the hatch last year but couldn’t find the accelerator pedal,) and a seal for the front of the Silvia hood.

Finally, a small order from my friends at NissanParts.cc arrived with OEM upper and lower radiator hoses, a clutch fan blade, and a new release bearing for the clutch. I elected to go with OEM hoses on the coupe instead of aftermarket ones.

I believe I now have just about everything I need to refresh the engine as I intend to. With any luck my valve cover should be back from powder coating next week as well which will be nice to have. At this point it’s just a matter of finding the time to properly clean and reassemble it all.

I’ll be traveling to Houston, Texas Friday morning for a quick weekend trip to stay with my friend Jimmy and see a number of other good friends while I am there. I’ll be sure to take some photos and share them here next week!

Thanks as always for stopping by and have a great weekend.

Damon

PS- I’ve added a shirt to the store page here on the website that includes a link to preorder through my local screen printing vendor. We will be taking orders through Friday, February 22nd. I am really excited about these- they should turn out pretty nice! Thanks a lot for the support.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Surviving the Polar Vortex

The weather conditions in Michigan over the last week have not exactly been conducive to building cars (or even leaving the house at all really.) Last week we were hit with a decent ice storm that canceled school for my daughters for two days, only to be hit with a snow storm and bitterly cold temperatures this week that resulted in school being canceled four days straight. It was -6º this morning but without any wind, so I guess they determined it was safe for the kids to go to school again. What a crazy couple of weeks. Winter took a while to get rolling this year but we are definitely in the thick of it now.

With temps dipping as low as they have lately, I haven’t had too much willpower to make it out into the garage at night. I am definitely motivated to work on the cars, but it just isn’t worth it when it’s that cold outside. I did manage to get a few things done before the really cold temps hit though.

It’s so nice to assemble the turbo and exhaust manifold when the engine is out of the car.

I’ve slowly been working my way through a number of the OEM items I ordered and helping them find their way onto the engine. A couple weeks back I finished cleaning the engine up and started installing things on the hot side. I hit the exhaust manifold with a quick coat of paint that will likely discolor once it gets up to temp like it did on my other SR, but I am planning to cover it with a brand new heat shield from Nissan anyway. I mounted up the turbo with fresh gaskets, locking tabs, and hardware before bolting the manifold to the head with the proper OEM nuts and washers that were absent when I removed the Megan turbo manifold that came on the engine. It looked to have been assembled with a mix of random hardware so that needed to be corrected.

Still waiting on some OEM hardware to replace missing or random items that came on the engine when I got the car, but the hot side is more or less coming together.

With the turbo assembly largely in place aside from the hardware and other items I was still waiting on, I removed the crank pulley to clean up the front cover behind it where the front main seal had clearly been leaking. I finally picked up a seal puller and was able to make quick work of replacing the front main seal, cleaning the crank pulley, and reinstalling it. I would love to replace the entire oil pump and front cover assembly like I did on my first SR many years ago, but I am trying to keep this a simple refresh like I did on the SR currently in my hatch. It’s easy to get sucked into going crazy, but I am trying to keep a level head about it and find a good balance.

Nissan revised the oil pickup design on the later SR20DET engines- always a good idea to replace yours if you’re working on an S13 SR.

To my surprise, I found that a Tomei oil pan was installed on this SR when I removed it from the coupe. While it was a super nice piece, I decided to part ways with it in favor of a stock oil pan. I ran an oversized GReddy unit on my car for many years but recently decided it’s probably not needed for a casual street car. The issue of oil starvation always worried me, but I don’t really do any aggressive driving to deem a large pan necessary in my opinion. I installed a new S14 oil pickup and gasket on this engine along with an OEM oil pan and fresh hardware from Nissan. It’s a shame the RTV Nissan provides is orange and not gray or black, but I decided to just roll with it this time around. I’m not really looking to win any “Best Engine Bay” awards with the PS13 build- I just want it to look relatively tidy and stay reliable.

I next turned my attention to the water pump and installed a new OEM unit along with the proper studs, washers and nuts from Nissan. Oddly enough, I had to source the nuts from Japan as they were discontinued stateside. I’m sure I could have easily found something at the hardware store that would work, but I love to use the factory stuff whenever possible. Also note the freshly installed OEM  oil filter in the background.

The engine overall could probably be cleaner, but I am content with it for now. Most of it will be hidden once installed anyway. I just wanted to get it clean enough to spot any potential leaks once it is up and running.

At this point, this is more or less how the engine sits. I’ve been waiting on some replacement hoses from Japan to arrive to get started on the intake side of things, but I should have just about everything I need (knock on wood) by next week. It’s supposed to warm up here quite a bit over the next three days so I am looking forward to being productive in the garage and making some more progress. I sent my valve cover out for powder coating, so hopefully that will be back relatively soon as well.

I haven’t done much with the transmission yet, but I should have all of the remaining refresh items that I wish to get into here by early next week. I did manage to install a fresh gasket and the OEM shifter base plate I sourced to replace the ISR short shifter that came on the car though. I also removed the output seal but have not installed the new one just yet. I’ll likely focus more on the transmission side of things once the engine is completely back together.

I fell a bit behind on documenting my progress so things have become a bit jumbled, but these are a few of the different parts orders that have arrived in the last couple weeks. I have primarily been sourcing the more common SR rebuild items from NissanParts.cc, while usually ordering all of my hardware and more niche OEM items from CourtesyParts.com. For any SR specific items that are fairly less common, I have been sourcing them from the RHD Japan OEM Store.

The first shipment from RHD Japan included new alternator and power steering belts, the idle air control valve hose that runs under the intake manifold, and an OEM throttle pulley to replace the GK Tech unit that was installed on the engine when I got it. I also picked up a couple items stateside- a set of spark plugs for the engine and a large coolant hose to replace the unit under the intake manifold. It’s not a perfect fit and will need to be trimmed slightly to fit, but I found that the OEM one was discontinued in Japan.

The next batch to arrive was from NissanParts.cc and included a few items that I missed when I ordered my gasket kit- a turbo inlet pipe gasket and S14 oil strainer gasket. While they had a sale running I also ordered a brand new coil pack cover with OEM hardware and a replacement PCV valve to install when the valve cover is back from being powder coated.

The last order to arrive from RHD Japan took nearly a month due to one of the items taking a few weeks to make it to their facility before the order could be shipped. This batch included three different water hoses that run under the intake manifold, as well as the two water hoses for the IACV. I was really excited to get my hands on the actual Nissan replacements for these as I have always had to come up with my own solution in the past or reuse the old hoses (which always concerns me a bit.) Also included was a  turbo drain hose for the hot side, heat shield for the turbo manifold, nuts for the water pump assembly, and the exhaust bracket that mounts to the transmission mount. I was glad to find this piece as it has been discontinued in the states and is essential to a proper exhaust install.

Speaking of exhaust, I found a great deal on a Parts Shop Max Cobra downpipe and I couldn’t pass it up. I’ve been planning to run one of these on the PS13 just like I do on my black car, but wasn’t going to purchase one until later when the car is close to being fired up. I was able to save so much over retail pricing on this brand new unit that I had to snag it while I could.

And finally, about two weeks ago I was able to sell the donor car as a mostly stripped rolling chassis. I was thankful someone was able to come and pick it up rather quickly and without much fuss as this allowed me to put my wife’s van back in the garage before the really nasty weather hit. I still need to sell the wheels and tires from that car, but otherwise all of the items are gone and cleared out of my garage. I’m really thankful for how well buying and parting that car worked out. I never anticipated having a complete drivetrain for the new PS13 build so quickly, but things could not have worked out better with buying and parting out the donor chassis. Sometimes things just fall into place!

So there you have it! That’s where everything stands with my garage at the moment. I’m looking to harness the mild weather this weekend in order to get organized and make some more progress on the PS13 SR20 setup. February and March are typically the most difficult months to make it through here in Michigan, but I’m feeling pretty motivated.

Thank you as always for reading the blog- I appreciate the support! Have a great weekend.

Damon

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Creating Content vs. Being Content

In my recent attempts to put more effort into the content I create both here on my blog and on Instagram, I’ve come to realize there is a fine line between creating original content for others to consume and enjoy, and being content with what you already have. This applies to many different types of accounts that create original content, but I am going to look at it purely from the angle of building and enjoying a project car.

I believe there are two main types of Instagram accounts out there today when it comes to cars- people that create their own content, and people that recycle content created by others. Both have their time and place in a way, but I’ve always been appreciative of the automotive enthusiast that are actually trying to accomplish something by providing us with their own original content- whether that be writing, photography, sharing their personal builds, or a combination of all three. I have taken a lot of pride in documenting my builds over the years- especially when people reach out to me and tell me that my content has inspired or influenced them in some way. All I ever really wanted to get out of sharing my build online was a dialogue with like-minded individuals and an archive to look back on as years passed to remind myself of the things I experienced- the challenges as well as the victories along the way. Life moves so fast and it’s always difficult to remember the details of your experience, so having a written log to look back on in the future is invaluable.

After getting enough positive feedback on my build, I decided to put a bit more into not only the writing I do here, but also into my Instagram account. I’ve been trying to post higher quality content on my IG account more frequently, but this can be challenging during the winter months here in Michigan as my car is in storage. I have always been hesitant to continually post old photos as it feels repetitive to me, but people seem to enjoy the content. A lot of time has passed since the original build as well, so there are always people that are seeing the various stages of my car for the first time. I’ve been impressed with the engagement and feedback, so I am hoping to continue to post like this until the weather breaks and I can start offering new content related to both of my S13 builds.

With this recent undertaking, I have sometimes caught myself feeling pressured to produce new content or to make progress on my cars. This can lead to rushing things, making poor decisions, or providing less than quality content. I’ve had to remind myself that if a new blog post isn’t made each and every Friday it isn’t the end of the world. Not each post I create every week needs to feature a bunch of shiny new parts or groundbreaking progress or changes to either of the cars- because let’s face it, that just isn’t reality. Building a car takes a massive amount of time and money. There are many setbacks along the way. Motivation tends to come and go, deliveries are delayed, kids get sick, work gets busy, etc.

In a world where just about everything is at our fingertips and available to us in seconds, it’s important to remind ourselves that good things take time. Your project car build is yours and yours alone. You don’t owe it to anyone but yourself to achieve your goals in a specific time frame. Don’t let the pressure to create or be relevant push you into making decisions that aren’t the right ones for you. Stick to the plan you laid out for yourself instead of making knee-jerk decisions just to stay in the spotlight.

Thank you to everyone that has stuck around here over the years and anyone new that might be stopping by. And thank you to everyone out there that is creating meaningful and original automotive content for the rest of us to enjoy- it’s a rare thing to find these days. Genuine and passionate individuals can be few and far between, so thank you for your contributions to the community!

Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by.

Damon

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Slow Progress > No Progress

Last Saturday morning I drove an hour and a half away to my friend Tim’s house to hang out with him and another S13 owner/friend of ours named Greg. I have known these guys for a really long time and we have all been tinkering with these cars for about a decade now, so we always have a good time when we get together.

The first order of business was to travel out to Tim’s parents’ house where my PS13 chassis is currently being stored to remove the stock wheels and suspension. I needed to grab these items to install them on the red donor coupe I recently parted out so that I could sell the complete chassis as a rolling unit. It would have been a lot easier to leave these items in place for when I eventually transport it to my home, but selling a shell is a lot easier if it can be rolled. I unloaded a number of black interior items I have acquired into the coupe for storage purposes while Tim and Greg made quick work of the suspension removal. We determined that these items had probably never been removed before- which is crazy since this chassis has over 300k miles on it. All of the clips in the trunk were still intact and the rubber covers were in place over the rear strut tops. Really cool to have a chassis like this that was never modified!

I grabbed some photos of the only rust on the chassis while I was there to run them past my friend Mike at Detroit Drifting Company. Mike did all of the welding on my black S13’s engine bay when I shaved it back in 2012 and also made a very similar repair to that chassis, so I am hoping to have him do the same thing to the coupe this spring before I transport it home. We’ll see what happens! It’s unfortunate that there is any rust on this chassis at all, but the fact that the rest of the car is rust free and stock makes fixing it seem more than worth it. The rear quarters haven’t even been rolled!

After retrieving the suspension and wheels, we grabbed some Taco Bell before tearing into Tim’s red S13 hatch. We managed to mate the engine and transmission before dropping it into the car- only to find that there was resistance when trying to turn the engine to install the CAS. After pulling everything back out, we found that the slave cylinder bolts were contacting the clutch when trying to rotate the engine. Since the slave was not installed, the bolts were threaded too far into the transmission. A stupid error, but at least it wasn’t something more serious!

It was good to make some progress on Tim’s car. Hopefully it will be running and on the road sometime this season. It would be nice to cruise around in the cars together. Fingers crossed this is the year!

Back home again, I was able to install the suspension and wheels on the red donor coupe before posting the rolling chassis for sale. Hopefully I will be able to unload it soon so that I can free up some space in the garage. Unfortunately this car did not turn out to be “rust free” as the previous owner described it to be, but I am sure I can still find a good home for it. I had a feeling that was not the case when I bought it, but knew it had the components I needed for my own build.

I picked up a couple of items I needed for the PS13’s SR20 refresh this past week including a stock shifter assembly (thank you to @Reneh240 for sending me this!) and a stock exhaust manifold from Tim. I’m planning to shoot the exhaust manifold with a quick coat of paint before installing it, along with a new factory manifold heat shield sourced from Japan (just like I installed on the SR in my black car) when it arrives.

I’m still waiting on a few engine maintenance items from Japan, but I did receive another order of support items from the states including bolts for the oil pan, nuts and washers for the exhaust manifold, nuts and locking tabs for the turbo, shifter assembly and clutch slave boots, water pump studs and washers, and some other gaskets and seals for the transmission. I still need a few things to complete the refresh, but this is a great head start on beginning to put everything back together.

My wife is going on vacation with some friends next week, so I have been taking a break from too much garage work to spend time with her and ensure that I have enough to do in the evenings while she is gone. I usually get pretty bored without her around after the girls go to bed so I’ve been trying to save up my projects to keep busy. If all goes well I should begin engine reassembly next week. This is the portion of the year where it begins to feel like winter will never end, even if there isn’t much snow. I’m trying to keep the motivation flowing!

Thanks as always for stopping by! Have a great weekend.

Damon

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

New Year, Same Me

Well, after managing to post here every Friday for several months in a row, I finally missed one at the end of 2018. Things were very hectic celebrating the holidays with various members of our family, and to top it off we all took turns coming down with the stomach flu sporadically throughout our time off. Seeing one of your kids getting sick on Christmas morning is heartbreaking, but thankfully it was a quick moving bug and everyone made it out on the other side. I am happy to report that we are all back into the routine of school and work and everyone is more or less healthy at this point which is really nice.

I haven’t spent a ton of time in the garage since my last update so this post will likely be pretty brief today. I did manage to spend some time thoroughly cleaning the engine a few nights ago and I am fairly happy with where it sits currently. I could probably spend a couple more hours to really fine-tune it and could probably even paint it, but I always prefer to leave the raw factory finish if I can. I’ll likely do just a little more touch up work after I remove the crank pulley (I realized my pulley removal tool is bent so I need to replace that this weekend) and then I can begin to reassemble everything with fresh gaskets and a few replacement components. I’m looking forward to getting it back together!

Prior to cleaning- pretty messy, but could probably be worse.

Progress so far. Not perfect but a whole lot better!

I can’t wait to replace that unsightly FRAM filter.

A few more maintenance items arrived this week from NissanParts.cc including an oil filter, stock oil pan, water pump, S14 oil strainer, and an S15 seven layer exhaust manifold gasket. Another order from Nissan should be here this weekend with small hardware items needed to reinstall both manifolds properly.

I also received my OEM Nissan clutch fan coupling and shroud. Say what you will about the factory clutch fan setup, but I have never had an issue with overheating while running this setup in my other S13 over the years. It’s so simple and hassle free! Can’t beat it for a street setup in my opinion.

I’ve had to delay my trip to Tim’s house several times in the past couple of weeks due to conflicts, but I should finally be heading out to see him tomorrow. I am planning to grab the stock suspension and steel wheels from my champagne coupe so that I can get the red coupe chassis in rolling condition to finally be able to sell it. I am really anxious to get that car out of my garage and put Alicia’s van back where it belongs. I’ll also be grabbing a stock exhaust manifold from Tim to use on my SR20 in place of the Megan tubular manifold that came with the engine.

I can’t wait to have this stuff out of my garage…

That’s about all I have to report for now! I hope to make good progress putting the engine back together next week. It’s not really a rush in any way, but I have been enjoying getting a chance to work on it. Thanks as always for stopping by and Happy New Year!

Damon

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Taking Care of Business

I’m happy to report that the motivation continued to flow in my garage last weekend. On Saturday Morning Hattie and I lifted the new SR20 onto the engine stand and got it secured. All of my daughters show some interest in car projects, but Hattie really seems to like using tools and learning about working on cars. She loses interest of course (she’s only 4 after all) but I always enjoy when my kids want to hang out with me in the garage. I do very little to push them into liking cars because I want them to do their own thing in life, but I try to include them if they show some interest.

I decided to take a short break from removing items from the donor chassis and work on tearing down and inspecting the SR20 drivetrain that will eventually end up in my coupe build. I spent a few hours removing everything from the engine to repair it for a refresh. It’s really nice working on an engine I am familiar with (probably the only one I am very familiar with honestly) because it makes things move a lot more smoothly. Before long I had the engine torn down as far as I’d like to take it.

My plan for this engine is very simple and more or less identical to the process I used to refresh the other SR in my hatch. I’m planning to install a full gasket kit and other maintenance items like a fresh water pump and thermostat. Everything will be thoroughly cleaned up and I’ll replace all of the rubber hoses located under the intake manifold. I’ve elected to install a stock turbo manifold and oil pan in place of the Megan and Tomei units that came on the engine as it makes the most sense for what I plan to do with the car- cruise around town. I’ll get into more detail about the engine refresh in a future post and try to include some part numbers that people might find useful for their own SR20 overhaul.

Some of the things I found when taking the engine apart were fairly comical. Nearly every portion of the exhaust side was missing 25-50% of the bolts needed to secure everything. Again, I am very thankful I made it home in this car without breaking down. The engine seems to be in relatively good shape from what I can tell though- it just seems like things either weren’t maintained all that well or were installed without a lot of attention to detail. In any case I’ll be sure to get everything fixed up before installing this engine into my coupe shell.

After the engine was torn down, I finished removing the remaining items from the donor chassis to get it ready to be sold. I’ve sold about 50% of the parts from the car that I don’t need, but things have slowed down a bit due to the holidays. I am hoping to move out the rest of my inventory in the new year. Thankfully the weather has been mild and we haven’t had much snow to speak of so that leaving my wife’s van outside for a couple weeks hasn’t been a problem.

Today is the first day of my time off for the holidays, so my plan was to travel out to Tim’s house to hang out and possibly help him with the SR20 for his own build (not that he needs much help as he is a mechanic by trade.) I also need to remove the stock wheels and suspension from my coupe chassis to install on the donor car in order to get it ready to be sold. Once I have those items, I should be able to throw them on the car and hopefully get it out of my garage ASAP. However, my oldest daughter woke up with the flu, so that plan has been put on hold for a week or so until I’ve got time to try again. I’ll likely continue to clean up my SR in the mean time when I have a minute next week during the holidays.

Well, that’s all for today- a relatively quick update, but I am sure everyone else is just as busy with the holidays as I am. I’m really happy with the progress I have made so far on this project though! I’m looking forward to continuing the momentum into 2019.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas next week! Thank you as always for stopping by. Take care!

Damon

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment