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Posts: 710

Location: Indonesia
Occupation: Train Chaser, Food Orderer
V$: Broke
#155341   2019-04-21 17:16          
Away Fixture

It is time to do a grip trackday somewhere other than Tsukuba Circuit!
But that's not only it, the shopping spree has continued.....and I immediately fell victim to it.
And here comes the very first visual mod I've ever done.....that isn't a wheel!
Welp let's see all the shenanigans that has happened below! :D

[15 Apr 2019, later that day]
I kept on thinking about a new missile car....yes I have the HR34 but I don't really want to hurt it. I need something that in my mind would be either bashable or okay to bash. Not that I'm a masochist or a car-wrecker, but I'm sure you know some pro drifters has both a clean drift daily and a missile car, obviously not in a clean state. A good example of this would be Chris Forsberg, who has an Infiniti M35 as a daily and a Onevia as a missile car, both are driftable. Even sometimes Chris used the M35 in place of his Onevia for some events! But then again, he's a pro with a championship title to his name. I'm sure Japanese drifters also follows this method, one that I could remember well are Yasuyuki Kazama, Nob Taniguchi and Max Orido.....well basically everyone that has their own shop and/or uses their personal cars as demo cars. And it's even more awesome in Nob and Max's case since they also do GT and TA racing.

In the end though, I decided to throw away this thought for a while, as I concluded all the money I have for the moment is enough to do some shopping. After all, with all this car shopping and time attack shenanigans, I've slowly neglected the S15 and Tico (and HR34 but at least it's running) build progress. So, with no time attack events to do for the rest of the month, it is time to catch up with the build process and more importantly, time to get the S15 running. I've lost count on how long it has been sitting idle in the garage. Another thing that I prioritize for the moment is getting a trailer to transport it. Mind you, it's not street legal.

Still, I'd like to share my considerations over my options for the missile car it is:
Toyota Mark II GX110
"Uh, Smoke, why not the JZX model?" The GX one is much cheaper. And yes I know that people rarely uses G-series to go sideways. The idea would be to throw a JZ inside (most likely a stock or lightly modded GTE) with manual, weld the diff, some suspension, brake and wheel mods and et viola, action time! No body mods since it's going to be bashed, though a rollcage is a good idea. Not sure if I could keep it street legal after all the drift torture but eh, I've seen worse. Also, having a big sedan means it'll be easier to swing around due to bodyroll, as I've experienced inside my HR34. So entries (doesn't have to be spectacular ones) would be easier to perform.

Nissan Silvia S14
I'm sure you know S-Chassis is synonimous with sideways drifting action. Though not many has used an S14 as a missile these days, that's the half of my point. There has been too many S13s ragged to death as missile, so I don't wanna be the same-again S13 killer on drift course. Due to the tax difference I've once explained, S14s are generally cheaper as well. Another good thing is I could get a manual from the get-go so I could save a lot of money from manual-swapping effort or even engine swap in general. Lots of spare parts sold as well, so I could easily fix it after each session.

Volvo 940
Yes, a Volvo. There's virtually nobody that has used an european car as a drift missle in fact only europeans would do that I guess. But then again, Japan is always known for their mad, never-ever-thought-before project cars, from SR20-swapped VW Beetle to Rolls-Royce with 2JZ inside. I'd like to do something like that :)) for the engine, obviously there aren't many Volvo spares here, let alone for older Volvos, so I'll swap something else...probably an SR or JZ, or even a 1UZ or K-series :)) Volvos are also synonimous with strength and safety, so smashing it won't be a problem....except if I ended up destroying the concrete wall instead :))

Despite all of this hasn't finalized yet, feel free to tell me your thoughts on my plan! :D
Now let's move on to the shopping spree. First off, grabbing a car trailer. As I found out, towing your car on a trailer isn't really a Japanese auto culture (the norm would be carrying your car on a flatbed), so finding one is extremely difficult. As a result, I have to resort on yet another import, this time from the US of A, where car towing is a common thing. In the end, picked up this Econo trailer for V$2600 since it's the cheapest around and has brakes for every axles. And obviously long and wide enough to at least carry my S15 on it.

Trailer sorted, it's now time to buy parts for the S15. For this one, while shopping, I also video-called Muza(Niatross, works at Nismo) and AJ(RocketBunnyS13, fellow S15 owner) for some pointers over my build (aside from what I originally planned). First off, I bought a short shifter kit for Z33 transmission (remember, my S15 has Z33 transmission) from Collins Performance for V$315. I think it'll make huge difference on your lap time when you use it, after all manual shifting took some time and speed as well. And then I haven't got anything to aid me sitting on my S15, so I grabbed a Recaro Pole PositioN for V$792. Originally I would like to use Bride Zeta III just like what I did on my Silver Queen, but statistically the Pole Position is lighter. And since the S15 is a full-on racer compared to the Silver Queen, I could throw the comfort factor away.

I also purchased a Duracon Shift Knob from Nismo for V$53, given that the S15 has no shift knob after I did the manual swap operation. Muza recommended it as well, seeing as it's the most comfortable and cheap ones. And then there's also hydro handbrake kit from Chase Bays for V$220. Well yes, this isn't a drift car, but when things got awry, I don't think stock handbrake would do the job nicely to stop the car. It works faster as well, so perfect for standing start conditions.

Now comes the main part of the shopping. Muza and AJ both recommends me to replace the OEM ECU with Apexi ones, namely the Power FC D-Jetro Kit variant since both used them on many of their cars, including their respective signature builds. Since the RB26 inside the S15 comes from an R32, the ECU I selected has mappings for R32. The complete ECU kit costed me V$911. And to speed up the wiring process so I can do it myself without causing any harm, I picked up an RB on S-Chassis wiring kit from Wiring Specialities....a good thing I've seen a lot of their ads on the internet lately. With Muza and AJ's pointers, I picked up some extras offered by Wiring Specialities as follows: their grounding kit, Denso/SARD 900cc injectors and Haltech WB1 CAN Wideband Kit to match the Power FC requirements. All of these costed me V$1168. Now here comes a new problem: The rest of the money isn't enough to buy an aftermarket intake, which I opted for the wiring kit. Oh well, next time it would be.

But despite that, I spent the rest of the money for few things for my HR34. Yeah I know, I'm an idiot, but trust me you'd never expect how severe my idiocy was this time. Back to the topic, I bought a front anti-roll bar from Ultra Racing for it which costed me V$230. After the drift day with the HR34 I decided the front roll needs to be reduced in order to add grip in the front so swings can be more precise. And because of this, I didn't opt to buy a rear anti-roll bar as well (though it has yet to be tested). And the final thing in my shopping list is a Mines-style fiberglass small rear wing courtesy of Vacuum Infusion for V$109. They look neat and cool while not looking too obnoxious.

This shopping spree was so severe, at the end of it I was left with only V$4(!!!). I can't sleep that night. Anyways, everything bar the trailer will come in 4 days, while the trailer will arrive at Japan shores the day after. It's time for the Sprinter to shine! Also uh, don't worry, my paycheck is weekly sooooo :)) But then, it might be the time to find a steady job indeed

[19 Apr 2019]
The parts I've ordered has arrived on my's modding time! I've lost count of when the last time I've hold a spanner myself. First off, it's the S15 that receives the mod treatment. I sorted the wiring and the ECU installation for around 1,5 hour. Could be faster, but I was drinking a glass of hot coffee while calibrating the ECU sooooo..........

Moving on to the interior. For this, I fitted the Recaro seat, as well as installing the short shifter kit, the shifter knob and the hydro handbrake, as well as installing the Power FC controller and testing the clutch and short shifter. Fortunately, all goes well so far, though I had to adapt over the short shifter to avoid mis-shifting, which absolutely won't be good even outside competitive events. Also, yes the middle air vent is still removed. Should I keep it as-is to cool myself down on the run or should I replace it with gauges?

With the S15 done, time to move on to the HR34. To install the anti-roll bar hI have to crawl below the car, so it took rather a long time. Almost stabbed my head on suspension parts as well.....definitely need a car lift next time. Also test-fitted the rear wing, which was nice and easy. Problem is, they come unpainted, and it looks like there's no spray can that's available in the body colour of my HR34, so I need to resort to a professional jobbie.

A call to VS Garage reveales they might have the paint in stock, so after ramen lunch and a shower, I went to their garage to have my HR34 paint inspected. Given their reputation, they might have the paint in their palette. Also, the front ARB shows their work nicely since I felt much less severe body roll in the front. But tell me, should I get rear ARB as well?

While I and some of the crew have some chatter about my HR34 and drift setups in general after I parked my HR34 inside the shop, the crew tried to find the correct colour of the HR34. Fortunately, the found it and they could mix some paint in order to resemble it correctly. They said it's quite a rare paint and probably not even in production anymore by Nissan, so they tried to replicate it with their best efforts. And oh, the entire process took roughly a day, from mixing the paint, coating it to let it dry etc. Because of this, I had to leave the HR34 to them for the day and pick it up the next day.

I called Rantaro to pick me up, but sadly he's in a middle of yet another tech meeting in Tokyo, so in the end I went back home with public bus, crammed with high school students going home at the same time. And so, I've met some faces I haven't seen in a long time: The girls I've met with Rantaro back then, namely Asuka, Seiko and Hinako (OORP: it's been 7 pages lmao, except Hinako). They've grown up a bit since the last time I've met them. Hinako cheerfully called me and told me to sit beside the group. At first I wonder if it's actually okay, but because I was rather tired, I decided to do so anyway.
E: "Hey girls, how's it been?"
A: "Quite fun, well apart from all the studying. All these mock exams choked me!"
E: "I know that feel, I was once your age after all. I could help you as well if you-wait hang on Hinako-chan, where's your sister?"
H: "Ah, my sister's in Tokyo for a meeting. This is how we usually go home as well anyways"
E: "I see, thought your sister would pick you up everyday. You're high schoolers after all"
H: "Ah Edo-san, I thought you have a car?"
E: "Well yes, I do. It's being painted current-ah I see, you still remember my car it turns out"
H: "The silver one, am I correct?"
E: "Yup, but that's not the one being painted. You see, since the last time we met, I've bought more cars"
S: "More cars? You must be rich by now, I'm impressed"
E: "Well not really! *laughs* I found them being sold for cheap that is all. Some are imports though!"
A: "Imports? Can we have a look?"
E: "Glad you're asking to be honest, here they are" *shows pics of my cars*
A: *points at Madza Demio pic* "Hey, this one is cute! Is it yours as well?"
E: "Not anymore, sadly. I have to sell it, and by coincidence my friend need a car so we struck a deal"
A: "I see, I like it though! Ah yes Hinako, how do you know he has a car?"
H: "Um, he once helped my sister to be her personal driver for a day"
E: "Yup, I could be one for your families as well. Don't worry, I'm a safe driver"
S: "Interesting, can you teach us how to drive as well?"
E: "Why not? I can provide the car or you can have your family's car to be driven"
A: "Hey, who are these guys? Are they your and Rantaro-san's friends?" *points at the car meet photo*
E: "Oh did I scroll this far? Yes, I'm proud to say they are my friends"
S: "So who are they? And oh, this guy's kinda cute" *points at AJ*
A: "Look, this one's so handsome!" *points at Mack(MACKAY)*
H: "I like this one" *points at Marc(Macaron_moon)
E: "Yep, these are my friends, most of them are from Tokyo. We hanged out some time ago". Do you want to know who drives what?"
S: "Um, okay. Perhaps there's something interesting"
E: *introduces Ryuji, Ryoko, Genzo, Akane, Mihaya, Akechi*.....and then this is Mack, recently moved from Osaka. *shows his 458*
S: "Oh my, a supercar! He must be rich! I'd like to meet him! Can I?
E: "Of course he's rich, he's one of my role models as well. He has already married though"
S: "Aaaaaaah nooooo!"
A: "I'd like to be with a guy like him!"
E: *laughs* "But eh, I think he'd like to hang with you at one time"
S: "Yay!"
E: "This one is AJ, a lawyer in Tokyo, I'm also a fan of him, a good thing I've met him several times"
S: "Ah, a rich guy as well then! His car is cool too!"
E: "I know right? Word on the streets said he already has a GF but I'm not sure. Lots of fangirls as well, actually"
A: "No wonder then, looks like a perfect guy!"
E: "Now this one here is Marc, works for Subaru but also owns a Mitsubishi. Quite a busy guy, he's going to Europe soon"
H: "I see, he must be a successful guy!"
E: "Could be said so. And this one is Muza, AJ's and Marc's friend. Works at Nissan's racing company, also my role model"
S: "I'd be okay with him, he looks strong and genius!"
E: "I know right? I'm glad I'm their friend. One day I and Rantaro might meet them again, and when we do, I'll have you join us"
A: "Yay! Please do Edo-san!"
The talk continued until eventually my stop has arrived. I bid goodbye to the girls and walk home to my crib. I'm surprised they have an interest over my cars as well as the car meet! I wish I could talk again to them, there are a lot of things I want to tell them......I might introduce them to Muza and co. someday, as well as Mackay ;)

[20 Apr 2019]
It's time to pick up the trailer! Because I've got the tool to pick it up, I don't have to call Rantaro as I could pick it myself.....though a GX70 as a tow car would probably look cool :D After yet another instant ramen breakfast and short calls with the importing agent I fired up the Sprinter, tune the radio to the news channel and hit the highway. So far traffic is normal according to the radio, though might fill up even more at peak hours.

The Sprinter feels quite eager to run despite it's dimension and weight. I'm curious how much power and torque it produced after the roadside tuning operation I performed with Rantaro after I picked it up, and moreover I feel it could be improved further still. But so far, this is fine. But hands up if you want me to tune the Sprinter as well! :D (both in looks and performance, I don't know any wheels that could suit it though)

Despite not being sold here, the Sprinter somehow feels at home cruising around the Tokyo expressway. And that's without any load to carry with. I feel I could drive it all day long, accompanied with pack of coffe cans and multiple radio shows as the day passing on, evaporated along with every centimeter of tarmac I passed while sipping on diesel......I don't think this kind of life is bad sometimes. Though realistically speaking, I'm not sure if I want to actually live this kind of life, since life could actually be better.

After some time, I arrived at the dockyard. This has felt like a genuine routine but hey, seaside stroll is good. It's not everyday you can see cargo ships as well, particularly if you don't live at coastal area. The people here are nice as well. I mean, as soon as I parked my Sprinter, they offered me a cup of coffee and have a chatter with them, all while waiting for the trailer to arrive.

30 minutes later, the trailer has arrived and opened from it's box. I finished my coffee, rushed to the Sprinter and backe dit up to prepare installing it. Installation process took a while, thankfully some of the crew offered some helping hands. And et viola! Here it is, connected to my Sprinter. At this point the Sprinter looks like a mini version of a racing transporer, with enough room for a car, parts and tools. No need for heavy 18-wheeler ;) It's also very, very long.....might as well nicknaming it Roadtrain now :))

After all the documents has been sorted, it is now time to leave the dockyard and back to Tsukuba.....but not before a self-taught crash course on towing. You see, towing a trailer isn't really an easy job sice you can't really see where the trailer is, they move in a different manner compared to the car, and lots of people would tell you backing a trailer is a nightmare, particularly if you use a car that has no tow assist feature like you'll get in new cars nowadays. After I decided I have enough practice, I headed back to the expressway.

Some time later, I arrived at Tsukuba. I really wonder what people think of the Sprinter and the trailer as I went along. It really is a combo that would look common and normal in europe or perhaps US, but compeletely out of place in Japan. Nevertheless, it's a Swiss Army Kknife for my needs, and a unique one as well. If it works well, it's not weird ;)

Finally, I arrived at my crib, and backing up the Sprinter proven to be a huge hazard now. Not that I wrecked anything in the process, all is safe, but I have to get off the van sometimes just to check where the trailer is positioned. But after a multi-million point turns and anxiety-filled reversing, both the trailer and the Sprinter is parked safe and neatly.

Later that day I got a call from the VS Garage, informing me the HR34 spoiler has been painted. I was quite excited and went there with public bus, but midway I remembered something: I have no money to pay the services. So I hatched a plan........

When I came to the place, while we have pizza and pasta for dinner, I simply come clean that I don't have any money with me at that moment. Fortunately, the crew welcomed my negotiation, and after a pizza-induced long negotiation process, we accepted that I could bring the car home as long as they keep the slips as a guarantee. If somehow I can't pay for a month, they'll permanently seize the HR34. I confidently accepted the deal as I know that my paycheck is coming close, so all I have to do is wait for it to come and drive back to the garage to reclaim the slips. It is a good thing I brought the HR34 slips with me, otherwise they could use the car's key as a guarantee, which means I simply can't bring it home.

Debt deal done, I went back to my crib. I actually want to stop at downtown for a while, but I heard traffic in dowtown is severely crowded, so I decided to head straight back home. After all, I have another plan for the next day. As I blast on the highway, inline 6 orchestra echoing in the background, I simply cruise along and enjoyed the ride while pumping this on the stereo.

I might need a personal accountant for now it seems..........

[21 Apr 2019]
After yet another ramen and onigiri breakfast (it's a good thing I stacked some of them) and a shower, I don my hoodie, denim, racing shoes and gloves, grab my racing helmet, and go for a Nikko! "Hang on Smoke you can't drift an Evo!" well I din't said I'm going to drift my Evo, today's a grip day on Nikko. And if you wonder, as I explained in the previous update, yes, grip days at Nikko is a thing. There's even an endurance championship there, as well as chances to score a time attack record there. So yeah, even though Nikko is largely famous for drifting, you can do more than just drfiting there. As I hit the road, I pumped this on the stereo.

2 hours later, I arrived at the circuit complex. The Silver Queen has joined another server! There are some cars on the track already, ranging from kei cars from Suzuki Cappucino and Alto Works to regular time attack contenders like Civics, RX-7s and a bunch of Evos as well. I took my spot on the simply-bulit paddock. Obviously it's not built to a very high standard like Tsukuba Circuit's paddock complex, but this is fine, and gave me a nice grassroots vibe. You don't have to walk rather far to have a chatter, as everybody's literally beside you at all times.

I decided to have some banters with fellow drivers and locals. I'm surprised they quickly recognized me, and turns out they also attended the day I swing my HR34 here. So cheerfully I told them about my Silver Queen and what I have done with it. It was a sunny, lukewarm day so quite ideal to have a trackday as well. There are a lot of vehicles brought to the track today in a wide range of variety....even some are kind enough to have you joyriding with them. I had a rather long chatter as I watch cars going by to re-learn the track. Yes, I've come here once, but grip and drift days are different things and thus requires a different apporach.

After banter session done, I headed to the stewards office to rent a VBox. Thankfully, compared to Tsukuba, they rent it for free outside competitive events, though I also notified that they would start applying prices if the rent interest is high and sustainable enough. Eh, no problem for that since I usually could pay for it....not now though, so this one's a blessing. Once I went back to the paddock, I whipped out my helmet, install the VBox inside the Silver Queen, and don the helmet.

Once everything has been set, I slowly get off the paddock building and roll into the pitlane. As per usual, I waited for the signal lights to go green, which turned out can turn quickly as cars coming by near the pit exit. Nikko is short after all.

Light went off and I immediately stormed into the first corner. The first three corners felt longer than I experienced at my drift day, feels like a 3/4 roundabout. Connecting them into a turn might need some adjustment. But thanks to this, the 4th one can be taken aggressively.

The rest of the track is surprisingly fast, not as fast as Tsukuba's latter half but good enough to be run in 3rd, 4th or even 5th gear. Even if you're not drifting here it feels like riding a rollercoaster while your hair got pulled sideways. Trust me, this track is really underrated for grip runs and I enjoy it very much even just after seconds in!

And then here comes the fastest stretch of the circuit, that is the backstraight. And obviously this part is much faster while taken without drifting, and trying to put your car as near as possible with the gravel trap is actually a fun test to do as a mesuring tool to see just how fast and aggressive you are on the exit.

After the backstraight comes the corner where I had an impromptu rallycross session in my HR34. You have to brake as deep as possible here, going down from 4th or 5th to 2nd or even 1st. Do it incorrectly and chances are you're going very, very wide or even worse, breaking your transmission.

And finally, that corner automatically links with two last corners that if you can figure out how to take it, slightly cut by using the gigantic kerbs surrounding it. Quite a game changer if you're looking for that time attack record I should say.

With the warm-up lap done, it's time to try scoring some hot laps. And now rushing around the first corner is much easier with more falling rubbers around.

I'm feeling quite confident to take the corners much faster, given that I've got AWD and so far no dust on track. Man, grip days and TA races should be held more often here! I would also like to attend the endurance races here but um, I need some people to join me obviously :))

I was so confident I almost understeered near the backstraight because I was too greedy on the gas at the exit, but fortunately the grip was still enough to move the car away from the gravel trap. Then I planned to take the next corner earlier.......

.....which almost resulted in a disaster as the kerbs were actually high enough to launch my Silver Queen sideways. I was starlted for a while, but quickly recovered.

Not wanting to commit the same mistake again, I refrained from the kerbs for the final corners. That gave me a small amount of heart attack!

That's one hot lap done, and with a clearer view of how I should take the corners, I decided to fully push the Silver Queen and go for more, storming the first corner with even later braking. I could feel the tyres tyring to keep up with the lateral forces. Probably a good indicator of how far I've pushed this thing.

Wwith me seemingly going for the lap record books (though in reality I wasn't. I was simply going fast), crowds started to cheer on me and my Silver Queen. I felt even more pumped to go faster! But obviously I also tried to keep it safe and harmonious

I deeply fall in love with Nikko's 2nd and 3rd sector of the track. You can simply take it with minimum downshifting or even minimum amount of brakes. It does challenge you to be as precise as possible and as brave as possible with your entry and trajectory.

I ended the lap with a small cutting action on the very last corner. That gave me an idea: How deep I can cut it while still keeping the time valid? Drowned in thsi thought, I started the next lap in a rather furious manner.

Everything went fast and tidy just like my previous laps. As I've approached the backstraight, I hatched my plan over the last corner's trajectory.

And then the final section comes in. I tried to push the car hard........

.....but I could swear I didn't intended to take and cut the last corner THIS hard. As my car went sideways and on two wheels, I let out a gasp in shock as I tried to countersteer and keeping my foot on the accelerator to make it stable again. Even at this kind of moment I could faintly hear spectators sreaming in shock as the world seemingly fades and colours fly away quickly. Even a spectator caught a pic of me doing the save!

Thankfully, all my effort was worth it as the car flattens quickly with a bit of a bounce. As the spectator cheers loudly outside, I let out a sigh of relief as I started the next lap and shouted "WOAH! God I can't believe it!". You know those near-death moments? Yeah that was probably one of mine....

Lesson learned, I continue to turn in some more laps more carefully. Despite the huge bump experienced earlier, the Silver Queen was unfazed and continuing to score fast laps. It's born from a breed of rally cars after all :D

Finally, after several more laps, I've had enough and decided to went back to the pits. As I've returned and parked at the paddock building, some crowds started to swarm around the Silver Queen. Lots of the was excited and wondered over the save I pulled earlier, as well as congratulating me over it.

Aah yes, I had a VBox with me so of course I have to announce the lap time. And the result is.......40.364 seconds, which is only around 3 seconds off of most of the current records! I and the crowds celebrated this with lots of high-fives and fistbumps, and after I returned the VBox to the office I went back for some more chatters and banters about hotlapping as well as my Silver Queen.

After some time has passed, finally I decided to go back home to Tsukuba. Before I enter my Evo, some of us exchanged contacts and shared pics of our respective cars. I really love the atmosphere here, it's like a small but great, warm society of petrolheads :-X

Welp, I should get literally anyone to do a grip day at Nikko, not only limited to just a drift day. Trust me it's worth it! :D

Aaaaah yes finally my update done, topped with bankruptcy and nutty trackday!
Let's see just how broke I am at the moment:

That's all my updates for now, thank you for stopping by and see you soon!

This post was edited by BigSmoke (2019-04-21 17:43, 93 days ago)
Still following the damn train since 1992

Visit my RP HERE!