Wow, it’s been nearly an entire month since our last build update. I wish that I could say that I spent the past month slaving away on the coupe, but with the ins and outs of every day life, that simply isn’t the case. Though progress has been fairly limited, Kinsey and I have managed to add some serious performance upgrades to our MKII Project Coupe.
With the fenders hacked up and flares mocked to get an idea of clearance, it was time to bust out the die grinder and clean up all of our previously rough cut lines. This allowed us to ensure that the wheels and tires rolled freely without hitting the body of the car. We also trimmed the axles down a bit so that they are closer to the final length. Still some spacing and cutting to be done there for final axle assembly, but we wan’t to wait until the paint is complete before we assemble them for good.
After cleaning up the fender well cuts and axles, we had to ensure that the car rolled freely. Kinsey gave it a good push out of the garage for it’s first free-rolling voyage since the modifications began:
With the car rolling, it was time to begin some more serious performance mods. Naturally, the first item we chose to address was the exhaust system. Kinsey and I are partial to Japanese style canister exhausts, so we fabbed up a muffler to mount on the back of the car. We used a Red Bull Can, a Mt Dew can, aluminum foil, spray adhesive, and black spray paint to create a muffler pretty similar to the one on Daddy’s Evo.
With the car now sitting as low as it is, we had to make a cut into the rear bumper to allow for the exhaust to exit. A quick rough cut with a pair of snips followed by some cleanup with the die grinder (post photo) gave us a solid location for the muffler and the exit angle we were after.
We still need to create the hangers for the muffler, but that’s something we will also handle after final paint and assembly is complete. The tip could stand to have the titanium treatment added, but we haven’t found the best way to accomplish this look yet. For some reason I don’t think the standard heat treatment is going to work on aluminum foil…
With the exhaust out of the way, it was time to move onto what has turned out to be the most labor intensive portion of the build thus far- the wing. Kinsey and I began by picking up some thick plastic/plexiglass material to create the pieces from. We used our cardboard wing as a template and spent a few hours with the die grinder cutting and shaping the uprights, wing, and endplates.
With the pieces created, it was time to get the dry carbon look we were after. Since Kinsey doesn’t really have a job yet or the motivation to get out and look for one, we were forced to fake the funk on this one. I never thought I’d find myself making a purchase from this aisle at Autozone. The things we do for our children…
With faux carbon fiber in hand, we got to work wrapping each of the pieces prior to installation. I probably could have taken my time a bit more with the wing in general, but Kinsey is starting to get antsy with winter approaching. We’d really like to take this thing for a spin before the snow flies, so we did the best we could with the small amount of time we have.
I took another trip to the hardware store (err, I mean… Japan…) and picked out some metric hardware & small metal brackets that are usually used for furniture assembly. We couldn’t find a suitable location to mount the wing securely, so we decided to fab up a trunk lid for the back of the car. This thing will primarily see track duty, so we don’t really mind that we won’t have the ability to haul groceries anymore. We have a daily driver for that!
As you can see, some of the hardware is missing. We didn’t buy enough and ran out, so we’ll have to make another trip and get that sorted out. I’ll probably end up spraying the brackets black as well so they don’t stick out as much. The trunk will be sprayed body color and riveted to the body to keep the wing as stable as possible at high speed on the back straightaway.
Again, the wing is not fully bolted down or mounted very solidly just yet. Despite this being the actual wing, it’s still sort of in the mock up stages. This should be a pretty good indication of what it will look like though. As soon as we saw the shadow, we were all smiles…
Another shot of the exhaust mocked up:
Front flares mocked up. We still need to trim them to match the contour of the front bumper. The wheels need to be refinished as well…
You guessed it- this is the part of the update where Kinsey gets really sick of working on the car and can’t contain herself anymore. It’s not finished yet, but she just has to give it a try. But can you blame her? I’m sure all of us have spent some time in the garage just sitting in our project cars and dreaming of their completion. Perhaps even making exhaust and blow off valve sounds while we’re out there… errr, I mean… I’VE never done anything like that. But some people might…
Perhaps we should add a rear view mirror or two… this could get impractical.
“Wait, let me… yep, it’s low enough.”
With the changes we made to the car’s ride height and track width, we had to make some sacrifices… including the fact that the door no longer opens or closes. With that comes a new technique for entering and exiting the car:
Clearly my daughter hasn’t perfected the Dukes of Hazard strategy for getting in and out of her car. Hopefully with some practice we can clean this up a bit. It might be a little embarrassing hopping out of the car like this at the track…
That’s all for now! Hopefully we won’t go as long between updates this time around. Winter will be here before you know it! Thanks for checking out our little project.
Damon & Kinsey