Summer Rolls On

Wow, here we are again- six weeks have flown by so fast! My family and I are definitely doing a good job at making the most of the warmer months here in Michigan this summer. Through June and July, we spent numerous weekends up North at the lake house. There was even a stretch where we were there a total of 4 out of 5 weekends. It’s beginning to feel like we don’t even know our neighbors anymore at this point, but it sure has been a ton of fun.

A few weeks back, Jimmy and his wife Kayla flew up to go to the lake house with us. It’s really cool how lifelong friendships can develop from this hobby. Jimmy and I met at Final Bout back in 2014 and have remained close friends ever since. It was really fun to get together and hang out without doing anything car related. We’re typically stressed out or sleep deprived due to some sort of car event when we manage to link up so it was a welcome change of pace.

Being gone every weekend has of course resulted in not really having any time at home to work on my cars. Despite this fact though, I have really been enjoying both of them. In fact, yesterday was my hatch’s 25th successful commute to and from the office, meaning I have put just about 3,000 miles on it so far since I began driving it in late May. It feels amazing to finally transition from working on these cars without enjoying them for nearly two years straight to more or less leaving them as-is and driving them when time allows.

Last weekend I did an oil change on the hatch and put it in the air to give it a quick once over. I was pleasantly surprised to find that everything seems to be holding up pretty well aside from my front tires. I don’t have an alignment connection anymore since Jaylen switched jobs, so I really need to figure something out for that. I got caught in a heavy downpour the other day and the car was downright scary with the front tires nearing the end of their life cycle. I’, definitely going to need to get this thing aligned and throw a new pair of front tires at it if I want to drive it until the weather gets nasty (hopefully through October and maybe even into November – it just depends on when they salt the roads.

I got a small order from RHD Japan a few weeks back that included a NISMO oil filter for each car and another pair of NISMO rear lower control arms. I ended up using the previous pair I had purchased on my coupe, so I needed a pair for the hatch. I am still planning to install these along with the NISMO rear upright bushings and subframe bushings over the winter months. I tossed the filter on the hatch and changed the oil to some fresh Mobil 1 5W-30, which I am being told is a bad weight for the SR20. It sounds like 5w40 is a better choice, but this is what I’ve always used and have never had an issue. Maybe my engines are about to blow and I just don’t know it yet…

I also ended up purchasing a complete side mount intercooler and airbox setup from Chico down in Tennessee. I only need the airbox, but he wanted to sell it all complete. I am planning to try running a factory airbox in the hatch like I am in the coupe, but I shaved the factory brackets for it when I did the engine bay many years ago. We’ll see what I can come up with for a mounting solution when I find the time to tinker with it.

I installed a factory catch can and some new hoses that I picked up a while back while I was working on the oil change. This is something I did with the coupe when I was building it and wanted to have the same setup in place on my hatch as well.

As for the coupe, I still haven’t had the guts to drive it to the office. I do take it on quick trips around town whenever I can, but haven’t had it on the freeway yet. I haven’t looked closely to see how much lower it is than the hatch, but it seems to scrape a lot more frequently. I am considering seeing if I can raise it up just a hair more this weekend without it looking too terrible, but we’ll see what happens. I need to investigate the strange drivetrain noise at some point as well- I’m beginning to wonder if it is the carrier bearing on the driveshaft.

The coupe feels a bit slower than the hatch for whatever reason. I really need to spend some more time investigating small issues, but I just haven’t had the desire to for whatever reason. It seems this season might slip away for logging miles on the coupe, but maybe some motivation will appear and I’ll start driving it more. I also wish it was a little bit louder- the hatch isn’t loud by any means, but the coupe is very quiet by comparison. Maybe I’ll consider a different catback in the future – though I don’t know what it would be.

So that’s about it! Not much to report these days in the way of new parts or big projects. I’m essentially just enjoying driving the cars as I am able to and spending free time with family this summer. It’ll probably be a couple more months before I consider what sorts of things I may want to tackle this winter, but I am pretty darn content at the moment. I of course really want to see both cars painted, but I am not sure when that’s going to happen at this rate.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Damon

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