Back In Business

Well, as luck would have it I actually found a little bit of time to work on my personal projects this week instead of strictly focusing on parting out the additional coupe I picked up a couple weeks back. Parting out cars has taken up a large chunk of my time during the first quarter of 2019 and I have not worked on my own S13s much as a result. While this can be pretty distracting, I enjoy the process and it provides me with some additional funds to assist with my personal coupe which is necessary in order to continue to make progress.

I added insurance to the hatch this week and began driving it for the season. It feels great to have it out of the garage and to drive it again. This winter is the least I have ever touched this car before- I don’t think I made a single modification or change to it all winter long which is quite the accomplishment for me. I still need to give it a good cleaning, change the oil and spark plugs, and get an alignment before Final Bout Gallery but it seems to be in pretty good shape.

I had some free time a few nights ago and chose to fix a few things on the hatch that were bothering me. I replaced the rear wiper switch with a blank panel I pulled from a partout car, fixed my broken hazard switch, repaired an issue I was having with my seatbelt, fixed a rattle in the glove box frame, and addressed an issue with the cable for the hot/cold door on the climate control.

While I was at it, I also installed an under hood fire shield that I pulled off one of the part out cars. I removed mine and threw it away many years ago but thought it would be cool to have one on there again. I wish it was brand new, but it could be worse.

The part number for the replacement pedal is 18016-89925.

The JDM pedal also says Nissan on it which is kind of cool. Please excuse how dirty my interior is at the moment.

Finally, I installed a new accelerator pedal pad to compliment the new brake and clutch pedal pads I replaced last fall. I couldn’t find the USDM accelerator pedal, but I tried ordering the JDM version and to my surprise it fits well. It’s more straight and isn’t angled to the left like the US pedal, but there are no clearance issues. I didn’t notice a difference when driving so I am happy with it. It was really cheap so I brought two of them over for Japan- one for the coupe and one for the hatch.

Last night I drove the car about 90 miles out to my friend Tim’s house to spend some time working on my coupe. The chassis is still in storage at his parents’ house for the time being which is a huge help. I started by removing all of the black interior panels I have stored inside the car to get an idea of what I have and what items I still need to source to complete the black interior swap. Fortunately I have about 80% of the items I need to turn the once brown interior into a much nicer black variant that will match my hatch’s interior.

A couple of the black panels mocked up- looking better already! I can’t wait to assemble the complete interior. I think it’s going to turn out really nice.

After that was done, I removed a bunch of items from the interior to sell including virtually all of the brown panels and the automatic seatbelts. I sourced a pair of JDM B pillar plastics, as well as Silvia front and rear black seat belts. I still need to get a hold of a pair of Canadian A pillar plastics and a headliner to complete the conversion.

The engine bay prior to diving into it.

Mostly stripped down for paint work.

Finally, Tim and I spent some time stripping the engine bay down to prepare it for paint. We still have a couple small items to remove, but it is more or less ready to be sorted out. My hope is to have the engine bay sprayed and the rust repaired prior to bringing the chassis home. That way I can focus on installing the drivetrain and not need to remove it someday down the road when I eventually paint the entire car. This is a long ways off, but I think it make sense to try to plan ahead if possible.

I’ve sold most of the items from the most recent coupe and the shell should be removed from my garage on Sunday, so that will be nice. The weather is slowly improving so I can get all of the patio furniture out and free up some space. I’m feeling refreshed and looking forward to making progress this spring! I was really hoping to get a photo of the two cars together last night, but there just wasn’t space in the barn. Hopefully that will happen sometime soon!

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


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kouki 180SX Lighting Conversion How-To

I’ve gotten a lot of questions over the years about how to wire up the front position lights and turn signals when converting a USDM chassis to a kouki front bumper. For whatever reason the topic has come up a few times in the last week, so I thought it might be a good idea to take some quick photos of my setup and post some details.

My current lighting setup- aftermarket clear side markers and aftermarket
dual function position lamps.

As you know, the chuki front turn signal has a set of three wires running to it on the chassis harness. One wire is a common ground, one is the power wire for the turn signal, and one is the power wire for the running light. This is the harness you will use to tap into for your kouki 180SX front lights. If you need to determine which is which, hook up a volt meter to one of the power wires and the ground wire. Have someone turn on the turn signal and then the running lights to see which causes the wire to have power. Then you will know which is which.

This adapter harness makes the conversion a breeze. It’s also available for Silvia front ends and kouki 180SX tail lights. Good stuff!

Back when I first converted to kouki 180SX aero in 2009, I had to come up with a hodge-podge solution to wiring the lights up. Fortunately there is now a vendor that sells USDM to JDM wiring harness adapters that work really well. What is included with the kit is essentially four harnesses- the two shorter ones are to adapt the USDM side marker plugs into the JDM plugs- those are pretty straightforward. The aftermarket clear kouki style side markers (the lights located on your front fenders) do not include the necessary bulb sockets with them and the USDM socket design is different- so they won’t fit. If you want to track down the necessary JDM bulb sockets for your side markers, the part numbers are 26244-47F00 and 26244-47F10. Another solution would be to purchase a pair of OEM amber kouki 180SX side markers and use the bulb sockets from those with your aftermarket clear side markers, depending on which look you prefer. Buying both sets will give you everything you need to install them and also afford you with an option to change things up later on should you change your mind.

My car when I was running all OEM Nissan front lighting.

The other two adapter harnesses included with this kit are what you will use to wire up your position lamps (the clear running lights on the kouki 180SX front bumper) and your turn signals (the circular amber lights at the bottom of the kouki 180SX bumper.) If you are using all OEM lighting, these harness are a bolt-on affair- simply plug them in to the lighting plugs on your chassis harness and then into the bulb sockets that were included with your OEM kouki 180SX light.

Here’s the back side of an OEM kouki 180SX position lamp. The required bulb socket and bulb are included. The eBay conversion harness plugs directly into this socket.

This socket is also a direct fit for the running light portion of the aftermarket dual function position lamps, so it is a handy thing to have. The part number for this socket is
26240-70F00 and should actually be available stateside.

This is the back of a kouki 180SX turn signal. Again, the bulb and socket are included with the factory units and the eBay adapter plugs directly into this socket.

A larger 921 bulb is used for the turn signals. You will not utilize this socket for aftermarket dual position lamps- instead you will use the small socket and pigtail that are included with the aftermarket lamps. This one won’t fit the hole that’s provided.

Now here is where things get a little more complicated. It’s a popular option in Japan for people to swap out their factory kouki lighting for a set of clear side markers and “dual function” position lamps. This allows your position lamp to not only function as a running light, but also as a turn signal. The OEM amber lower kouki turn signals are then removed from the bumper for a cleaner look. This is the setup I currently have on my car. I’ve run it both ways over the years, but I think the all clear setup works well with the plate cutout. Eventually I plan to swap to a full OEM setup I have in storage, but this likely won’t happen until I paint the car.

Here is the back of the aftermarket dual position lamp. One housing accommodates the OEM position lamp socket for the running light (with eBay adapter harness plugged in on the left side) and a second additional bulb socket holds an aftermarket socket and pigtail for the turn signal. These two wires are spliced into the turn signal provision on the eBay adapter harness.

If you look at the back side of my dual function position lamps, there are two bulb sockets instead of one like on the OEM Nissan position lamps. One of these bulb socket holes is for the OEM Nissan position lamp bulb socket- your running light. An additional hole and bulb socket with pigtail are included with the dual function lamps- this is your turn signal. If you purchased the eBay conversion harness I mentioned above, the power and ground wires for this harness will need to be tapped into the turn signal wiring portion of the adapter harness.

The smaller 194 bulb (bottom) for the running light compared to the larger 921 bulb (top) for the turn signal.

I noticed that when using the dual position lamps with the running lights on that you couldn’t clear see my turn signal flashing. You essentially have two bulbs of the same size competing with each other, and when one is lit up it’s difficult to tell there is another one flashing. My solution to this was to run a small 194 bulb for the running light portion of the position lamp (the same bulb the factory uses) and run a larger 921 bulb for the turn signal portion (again, the same bulb Nissan uses from the factory. This means that the smaller bulb is lit up as your running light, but then the larger and brighter bulb blinks when you use your turn signal- making it much easier for other motorists to tell when you intend to turn. I use standard halogen bulbs instead of the supplied LEDs just to avoid the whole “fast blink” issue- and because I personally think it feels a bit more period correct. You may need to mess with resistors if you intend to run LEDs, but I am not positive about that.

One other thing to note is that just about all of the aftermarket dual function position lamps out there are the same. Circuit Sports, D-MAX, Gent5, etc. are all produced by Junyan, so they’re identical. No reason to spend more for the name on this one as they literally all come from the same place and are then re-branded. I don’t typically agree with this way of thinking and always spring to support the genuine manufacturers, but having owned a few sets I can say they truly are the exact same. The OEM lighting is much higher quality, but it’s a necessary sacrifice to achieve the proper look and functionality.

So there you have it! I hope you find this information helpful. I know there are bulbs and sockets out there that can function as both a running light and also blink as a turn signal. I have thought for years that there must be a wiring solution to allow one bulb to do both, but I have never seen one presented. If you know of an easy way to do this or a better solution than what I have explained here, feel free to drop me a line!

Thank you for bearing with me over the last couple weeks. Life has been very crazy with lots of things being thrown my way and I haven’t been able to devote the time I would like to to the blog, but I am hoping to get back into the swing of producing content now that the weather is beginning to improve. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Short Update

Well, my apologies for the lack of content here the past two weeks. Life has been totally crazy with work, my wife and kids all coming down with the flu, and parting out another S13 coupe that I picked up about a week and a half ago. Things have been moving along fairly smoothly though and I hope to have everything sold and the car gone within another two weeks.

I haven’t touched either of my personal cars in a few weeks now, but I hope to get back to it fairly soon. In the age of instant gratification it can be difficult to create some sort of content here every week, but rest assured that I hope to be back in the swing of things soon! Hopefully the weather will begin to improve and the salt will be washed away from the roads so that I can start driving the black S13 sometime in early April.

Thanks for stopping by. With any luck I’ll be able to get everyone up to speed next Friday! Have an excellent weekend.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sink or Swim

I’ve seen a lot of varying opinions expressed online as of late about the morality of stripping an S13 of its parts and scrapping or otherwise disposing of it. I thought it might be fun to talk a bit more about this issue and try to understand both sides of the coin where S13s are concerned in 2019.

Would you feel guilty about parting this thing out?

I’ve purchased a couple of S13s now where my sole intention from the get-go was to part them out and use the drivetrain for my own builds. The first was my two tone coupe that I bought in 2014. My friend Tim had purchased it for a really good price and was going to swap the SR20DET into a cleaner chassis, but decided to stick with finishing his LS swapped FD instead. I had just bought my old 240SX shell back to rebuild and needed an SR swap for it, so this was the perfect opportunity for me to snag one that I knew was in good, running condition for a great price (as opposed to taking a gamble with an importer.)

Only a small portion of the rust that was on this thing.

The chassis itself was in absolutely horrid condition. The blue interior (which no one seems to want) had mice living in it, the quarter panels were smashed in, and you could clearly see the ground through the rust in the trunk. The frame rails both completely fell apart when I lifted the car to remove the drivetrain and the jack stands shot through the floor, breaking the fuel and brake lines in the process. By any stretch of the imagination, this car was nothing more than scrap metal. After I removed the drivetrain, two way differential, and coilovers, I sold the rolling chassis to someone for $200 or so. I believe they wanted to try to cut off a portion of the front end to use on an S13 that had been wrecked, but I am not sure if this ever happened or not.

That will buff out, right?

Some local people were upset with me for not “saving” this chassis. They told me it all could have easily been repaired- all I needed to do was cut out the rust and add some new metal. This would be an absolute waste of time in my opinion, but to each their own. I felt that by selling the chassis whole instead of crushing it, I was giving someone an opportunity to save it should they have the time, knowledge, and motivation to do so. I think it is highly unlikely that the car ever saw the road again, but would it have benefited the community much if I had not taken it apart? Possibly, but I think that SR20 living on in my black S13 offers a lot more to the S chassis scene than trying to save that car would have.

While this coupe appeared to be much nicer than the two tone,
it definitely had its fair share of problems.

I recently repeated this process last November by purchasing another running and driving S13 coupe with an SR drivetrain to serve as the donor engine for my champagne rolling chassis. I saved the engine swap, radiator, and Silvia hood for my own build and sold the remaining items to other people to assist with completing their own builds. While I stripped the chassis fairly bare, I did sell it as a roller for $300 to someone local that plans to use it to build a drift car. Like the other coupe I parted out, I am not sure if it will ever see the road again- but if I had not done this, that person wouldn’t have found a car to build on that met their budget and specific needs. This chassis also had its share of rust and a number of areas had been repaired with new metal including the floor and frame rails (which, of course, was not disclosed to me when I bought it.) For most of us this chassis would not have been clean enough to work from to meet our standards.

The stripped rolling chassis heading to its new home.

People are often outraged to see S13s being parted out- and I can understand their frustration in many ways. There are only so many decent examples of these cars left on this planet and the numbers seem to dwindle by the day. However, I think a lot of good can come out of these cars being picked apart. Part outs allow those of us that wish to rebuild these cars to a higher standard to obtain the components we need to do so. Many of the parts have been discontinued at this point so there isn’t much hope for fixing them up without buying things from another car that has been taken apart. While it may reduce the number of S13s left in the world, it increases the number of quality examples- which I think is something we should all strive for. Don’t get me wrong though- would I want to see a super clean, bone stock S13 chassis get completely stripped apart for parts? Of course not. But so many of these cars have been beaten within an inch of their lives at this point that I think parting them out only makes sense.

The SR20 drivetrain from the two tone coupe now resides here- seems like a better solution, no? I hope to have a similar success story to share for the engine from
the red coupe in a few years time.

I’ll always be just as bummed out as the next guy to see an S13 being ripped apart or neglected, but in a lot of ways I would almost see that happen instead of seeing junky, poorly-executed cars on the road. If a 26 year old chassis (best case) is riddled with rust or major body damage, it’s unlikely that 99% of people are actually going to invest the time and money into that car to save it. Removing and selling (or giving away) all of the useful components from these cars allows others to further preserve their own examples- which helps allow more people to enjoy and appreciate the S13 chassis. It’s a win-win in my book.

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts. I’m always open to discussing anything related to these cars so feel free to drop me a line.

Thanks for stopping by- have a great weekend!



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

And Suddenly, It’s March

To be completely honest, this has been a difficult week for my family. Our Siberian Husky Tomei passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday morning and it has been really hard to deal with. He stopped eating over the weekend and was very lethargic. We took him to the vet on Monday morning and they determined that his spleen was enlarged and he had fluid around his heart in addition to his heart rate being through the roof. The vet thinks he may have had a heart issue for quite some time and there wasn’t really anything that could have been done to help him. We got Tomei just a couple months after we bought our home in 2010, so it has been a really weird adjustment to get used to. Thanks to everyone that reached out to wish us well this week- it meant a lot to us! We are really going to miss him.

Despite being a bit scatterbrained, it felt good to spend some time in the garage last night and work on the SR20 for the coupe a bit. I haven’t shard engine progress in a while since I haven’t gotten a lot done, but I’ll try to get everyone up to date. If you recall, the T25 that came on this SR had a weird clocking issue and wouldn’t bolt up to the manifold properly. A friend sent me his old T25 and I was able to get everything reinstalled again along with the new OEM manifold heat shield I sourced from Japan. I also tossed the water neck back on.

As you may have noticed, I got my valve cover back from TRG Coating and I am really pleased with how it turned out. I wanted it to be pretty similar to the factory SR20 redtop color so I ended up going with the same color my friend Greg just had done for his SR- looks pretty nice! Installed a fresh PCV valve and hose (yes, I bought the actual hose from Japan- how nerdy is that?) in addition to a new valve cover gasket, but stopped there since I don’t have the new washers and nuts for installing the valve cover yet. Once those arrive, I can bolt it down and install the new spark plugs, coil packs, coil pack cover, and catch can setup.

Last night I started by cleaning and installing the power steering pump and bracket. Next came the thermostat housing and a new thermostat from Nissan. I didn’t elect to go with a NISMO thermostat since the engine is relatively stock and only sees light street duty. The Koyo radiator and factory clutch fan setup should be more than sufficient.

These are the coolant hoses and clamps for the IACV.

I next moved on to breaking down the intake manifold a bit and installing a slew of new coolant hoses and clamps. I purchased as many coolant hoses as I could from Japan which is really satisfying. On my previous SRs I have always just left most of the hoses alone or used generic stuff from the local auto parts store. I would eventually like to go back and do the same thing for the engine in my hatch at some point if I can since I am sure most of those hoses are really brittle as well.

L shaped blowby hoses near the fuel rail.

I even managed to snag the PCV system hoses that bolt near the fuel rail. Mine broke apart when I removed them so I was glad to have these.

The main hose assembly is now bolted back up- the only thing I need to do is modify the metal tube assembly a bit to get the heater core hoses to mount properly. I did the same on my hatch and it worked out pretty well, so we’ll see what I can come up with. All of the hoses were replaced with genuine Nissan replacements aside from the two straight hoses- those have sadly been discontinued, so I had to improves on those. I did replace all of the clamps with new units from Nissan though.

The next thing I will need to do is finish breaking down the intake manifold and clean everything before replacing the gaskets, as well as the gaskets for the throttle body and idle air control valve. This feels like a good amount of progress though! The engine should be completely back together in the near future- but fortunately there’s really no rush.

Not many new parts to report this time aside from a stock intake tube
and a NISMO GT shift knob.

I’m really anxious to have the coupe shell home to work on it this spring, but it will likely still be a couple months before that happens. There’s some rust I need to address in the engine bay before the engine can be dropped in, but it will be great to see this thing sitting in the bay when it is all back together.

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


Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Let There Be Light

With my S13 coupe chassis currently being stored an hour and a half away from my home for the winter, there’s not a lot of actual progress related to the chassis itself to be shown here on the blog. I have been focusing most of my time and energy on refreshing the SR20 swap for the car since I have that here at home in my own garage. As a result, that is what most of the build updates surrounding my second S13 have focused on thus far. It’s still a lot of fun, but there’s something about putting all of this effort in and sharing progress without seeing photos of a physical car that feels a bit… well, boring.

While the bulk of the content so far is centered around the coupe’s power plant, there are other things happening behind the scenes. In fact, I collected a few miscellaneous items prior to even owning a coupe chassis just on the off chance that I would someday day be able to build one. Since the production period on the PS13 was much shorter than the 180SX, we are well into the time where items are being discontinued by the day and certain restoration parts are becoming increasingly difficult to find.

Before we dive in, here’s a bit of back story for context: One of my first experiences with the S13 chassis was through a friend of mine named Mike. He worked at AllSpeed Performance, a shop in West Michigan that used to work on and tune my Toyota Solara in college. Mike bought a champagne S13 coupe just like the one I have now with an SR20 swap and built the car from the ground up. One of the items I assisted him with late one night was installing a Silvia front end on the car. My Solara did not have any “JDM” parts available for it since it was only sold in North America, so I thought this was the coolest thing at the time. In fact, when my Solara was totaled a few months later and I began researching S13s shortly before I bought mine, I had saved tons of photos of S13s with Silvia front ends- even some of them being Sileighties. I considered doing the same to my own S13, but thankfully decided not to go through with it. To make a long story short, I’ve wanted to complete a Silvia front end swap on an S13 chassis myself for over ten years now.

Ok, back to present day. I knew that at some point down the road I would hopefully have the chance to build an S13 coupe with a Silvia front end should the cards all fall into place. Arguably one of the most difficult items to find for a decent price these days is a pair of PS13 “brick” headlights in good condition. Examples of these lights with broken mounting brackets often sell for outrageous prices which makes locating a reasonable set fairly difficult. The Double and Triple projector versions can be had used for much less, but don’t offer the same tough appearance (though they do have much better light output.) With the prices I was seeing used pairs of these lights for, I decided to see if it would be possible to find the part numbers and source a brand new pair from Japan for about the same price.

As luck would have it, I was able to do just that. Who knows how long these sat on the shelf for in Japan, but I am fortunate enough to say I’ve got a pair of brand new Silvia brick headlights sitting in their boxes patiently waiting to make their way onto a car. It was a pretty awesome feeling pulling these out of the box for the first time- super cool. I recently ran the part numbers again to see if there were more available and one side bounced back as discontinued. It’s likely these are one of the last pairs of brand new brick headlights to come out of Japan. While I missed the boat on some new PS13 parts, I am thankful I wasn’t too late joining the game to get a hold of these. The thought of actually installing and abusing these lights is a bit difficult to handle, but I guess it doesn’t make a lot of sense to let them sit in a basement either.

After securing the holy grail of PS13 lighting, I decided to try my hand at some of the other lights on the front end. I purchased a pair of brand new corner lights and had them shipped over from Japan- again, for roughly the same price as a pair of these without any broken tabs typically sells for in the states. They also include mounting hardware, bulbs, and the proper bulb sockets for them which is a huge plus.

A major debate for any PS13 builder is the front grille. While most tend to opt for the GTR style grille, I have always thought the “SILVIA” center grille is a pretty cool piece. It gives the front end a really interesting and nostalgic look. I was able to buy one of these brand new from Japan as well. I’ll likely pick up some sort of GTR grille to have on hand as well as a second option, but it bothers me that it essentially needs to be a replica piece. NISMO did sell a GTR grille for the car, but they are insanely expensive and next to impossible to find. This may just be one of the rare instances where I am forced to settle for a replica part- or just run the OEM Silvia grille.

Left: Zenki 180SX turn signals. Right: PS13 turn signals

When it comes to turn signals for a PS13 front end swap, there are two popular options. The first is the pair of amber lights that come with the car from the factory. These are still readily available new and very affordable which is nice. I was able to pick up a set that was in stock here in the states from Nissan Race Shop.

The second option that arguably looks a bit cooler is the JDM 180SX zenki front turn signals. These lights are half clear and half amber and feature a running light in addition to the turn signal. I had a tough time tracking down a pair of these as one side has been discontinued by Nissan. As luck would have it, I was able to find one side in stock at a shop here in the states and the other listed on Yahoo Auctions Japan, both brand new. I saw a brand new pair of these sell for $250 on eBay a few months back so I was delighted to have a pair for much less than that. I haven’t decided yet if I will use these or not since the car did not come equipped with them from the factory, but I do favor the look of these a bit more than the standard PS13 all amber version. Tough call! It will be fun to have both on hand to try out though.

Finally, I picked up a pair of Silvia headlight brackets to install the lights properly. These are one of the few items for this front end swap that are affordable and still readily available. Oddly enough, the 240SX coupe I just parted out did not use these at all on the Silvia front that was included- the lights were held on with a couple of zip ties.

So there you have it! The beginnings of the exterior of my S13 coupe build. I have actually had the more or less complete exterior setup for the car in my garage for a month or two now, but I have been holding off on posting anything about it until I can make some more progress. I would really like to have the car at home in my garage with the items mocked up for some proper photos before I post more details related to the exterior, but time will tell when Spring arrives and I can get all of my ducks in a row. I don’t think there is much about the exterior of this car that is really going to surprise any of you anyway.

Thank you as always for stopping by- I really appreciate you allowing me to share my cars and ramblings with you. Have a great weekend!


PS- Today is the last day to order a T-Shirt before production begins. See the link on the store page to preorder. I likely won’t have any extras made or do a run of these again in the future. Thanks for the support!

Posted in Exterior, PS13 Build, Restoration, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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!


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