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Location: Indonesia
Occupation: Train Chaser, Food Orderer
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#156051   2019-05-13 23:53          
# Sleepin mOnkey : mah boy getting the mustang life

Hell yeah my man, eventually I decided to get one after all :))

I'll have two number 9s, a number 9 laaaaaarge..........

And here's the latest update in cae you didn't bother to go back one page:

The All-American Projects

It is time to catch up on the 3rd(? I've kinda lost count :)) ) week of the American Tour!
Picking up from last week, it's time to enjoy some sideways shenanigans!
And for this entire week I've hunted and acquired two new rides to the stable.......
Oone is someting you might expect, and the other one might be something you didn't expect!
So what are we waiting for? Let's jump into the update! :D

[04 May 2019]
As I've said at the last update, there was a grassroot-level public drift day and drift competition held by Full Lock Drift drift club, held on an empty lot somewhere in Stroud, OK. Everyone was looking forward to the event, including Franklin(um, Franklin) despite having spent less than 48 hours in USA. It looks like he's unfazed by the jet lag.....perhaps hanging out with friends and driving might be an effective jet lag repellent :)) Nevertheless our lineup for the day consists like this: Ziga(Lagano) will enter both the public drift sesh and the competition with his Chevelle, Ben(Phonexius) whips out his brand new C63 AMG, Franklin has picked up his lightly modded Mustang SN95, Muza(Niatross) has switched to Ziga's AE86 at the last minute, AJ(RocketBunnyS13) and Marc(Macaron_moon) picked up their recently-bought RX7 FD as our crew's spare car, Soju(well, Soju) and 11K(11000rpm) brought their respeotive rides (Supra A80 and E36) and I picked up the Silverado and some of the garage's tools for mechanic and repairs duty.

I, Soju and 11K decided to do the mechanical and repairs duty for the day and would be hanging out from trackside. I mean, despite 11K's E36 being set up properly for drifting(kind of, it's actually for gymkhana), obviously they don't want to lose their rides in any kind of mishaps. Oh well, it could be a great garage garnish and crowd magnet material after all :)) AJ and Marc will switch between driving and helping us on the spanner works. The rest of us obviously would be driving, and Ziga will be competing as well. If you want to see how the event unfolds at the track, jump here into Ziga's update. But hey, that doesn't mean the trackside scene is dry.....I'll show you later what I mean ;)

But first thing first, Franklin asked me to go with him and grab some spare tyres from the nearby junkyard. He also said he's quite curious over the Silverado's hauling capability. Given that I've rarely haul things since I've secured the keys to this thing, this could be a good test for the long haul later. So, at early, cold morning, I and Franklin set off to the junkyard.

"Hey Biggie, you know what? This truck feels so nice to ride on man"
"Aaaaah I know you'll love this thing. Thanks by the way, but I think Ben should be thanked as well"
"I mean he's the one composing the mods for this thing, after all this was his ride. Well until he gave it to me that is"
"Aaaaah I see. But dang, it really hauls ass with this kind of power"
"Once you get used to the brakes and ride quality, yeah"
"Anyway Biggie, this makes me wanting to get a truck as well I should say"

"What kind of truck would it be? You tell me"
"Um, F-150 Lightning, RAM SRT10, probably GMC Syclone as well"
"Aaaaah the speedy trucks. I see you have great taste on them"
"Yeah. The only problem would be it's hard to find one in clean condition"
"Kinda expected this, I mean they're rare unicorns after all. That's why Ben made his own using this Silverado"
"Well I could see his point"
"But eh, I'm sure you'll get to drive those unicorns some time"

Some time later, with the spares scavenger done, the crew stacks the last of the tools and spares into the truck's bed and we set off to the event. The event starts at 8am, with drivers briefing taking place half an hour later. In the meantime, I and the rest of the crew will set up our workspace for the day. Given this is a public event, we also expected people to stumble upon our place....there's Soju's A80 and 11K's E36 after all to be seen and appreciated ;)

There's an empty storage building near the lot at Stroud, so we and most of the participants used said building to park our cars and set up the workplace and some stands there. It was a hot day as well, and obviously you don't want to roast yourself under the sun. Despite the industrial vibe it has given, it's actually not so dusty and the air inside was cool aswell, giving us a decent environtment to work on our cars inside.

And here are some of our lineup for the day. Here's Ben's C63 AMG and Franklin's Mustang SN95. Ben was quite lucky to be able to purchase this thing for V$8500 thanks to Soju accidentally stumbling over the ad for it some time ago. It was crashed once, but was repaired by the last owner before Ben, and fortunately the raucuous N/A V8 engine was still safe and intact. Top Gear Magazine (not the TV show though) once said this is the engine that can 'tear paint off the walls' with it's ultra loud engine roar. Franklin meanwhile was originally going to use the V6 version instead. But some time before departing to USA he found this Mustang, with the V8 engine and Mach 1 lip. It was much cheaper and in fair condition, so Franklin decided to grab it.

And here's Soju and 11K with their respective cars. Turns out there are a lot of drivers, enthusiasts and fans gathering today, so their cars are quite the perfect material to turn many heads on us and might be able to stop the entire show ;) These cars are quite legendary around here, so probably no further explanation is required to describe these other than being a majestic piece of dynamic arts.

With the drivers briefing over and people starting to jump into track action, including Ziga and Muza, we started our work on prepping Ben and Franklin's cars. People are also started to scramble over our place, mainly interested on Soju and 11K's cars as I predicted. And The crowd was swollen further when we reveal that Franklin is our part of our crew (i.e. the Mustang is part of us) and will be going as well, and then there's the Silverado with the LS7....which surprised almost everyone. Almost nobody believed it can be done, yet here it is in front of their eyes!

This was tainted a bit when someone jeered over Ben's C63 AMG. Granted, you don't see modern Mercs going sideways everyday, particularly outside Europe and in the sea of Japanese and American cars, but what almost made me and Ben seeing red was the fact that he didn't appreciate the fresh stock condition. Ben immediately jumps into the C63 as I said to the crowds: "You lot gotta watch this and stand back in amazement!" Ben then drove the Merc into the start line.

As Ben goes away in a loud echo of V8 orchestra and a copious amount of wheelspin, I decided to make it sound like a Top Gear documentary by citing various infos and trivias about the engine while trying to sound like Jeremy Clarkson to the fans. Apparently some of them are fans of Top Gear as well!

And seconds later, Ben went sideways in complete fury, echoing the V8 orchestra to the open skies and against the spectators. Along with the others that on the track, he was in complete harmony with his C63, shaking the tail-happy Merc as he goes around the lot. Seeing someone seething in rage and venting his anger has never been so.......beautiful.

As he went on drifting and flinging the Merc sideways in resonance with other drifters, crowds are cheering massively over Ben, finally realizing Ben's amazing skills over the course and the potential of the Merc. Ben continued on swinging the Merc and sometimes drifts right in front of us for some bragging rights has he and his Merc won the hearts of the crowds and enthusiasts. People always say this but let me say it again: It's not about what you drive, it's how you drive it! ;)

As Ben went back to our workplace in a flurry of oversteer and smoke, I screamed "Ladies and gentlemen please welcome your new Euro drift hero!" in joy and people started to gather around him and his Merc. We all shared fistbumps and have a lot of banter about Ben's amazing skills and the Merc, in particularly on how did he get it. Ben really has cemented his legendary status at this point :))

After Ben finished shredding rubber in the Merc, it is time for Franklin to shine inside the Mustang. He jokingly shoo away the crowd to make way for him as he made yet another crowd control jokes associated with Mustangs these days, then proceeded to the start line.

Moments later, the V8 engine inside his Mustang screamed in joy followed by a thick cloud of burnout. Franklin then goes on to swing his Mustang sideways and beyond, followed by lots of cheering particularly by Mustang hardliners. Given that both Camaros and Mustangs are present in the event, the presence of hardline fans of both sides was inevitable. While it might not be as violent and bloody as football/soccer hooligans and can be solved in peace, they still gave a dangerous aura.

Nevertheless, Franklin provided a great entertainment to all sides watching him as he continued to swing and dance at the lot with other drifters that went on. It felt like a huge petrolhead celebration ritual, resulting in a huge cloud of smoke and a strong scent of rubber as everyone gets sideways for a very, very long time. It was so surreal and fun to see! Now if only my Silverado could hold a long slide.......

As the day passed on, it is time for the drift competition to take place. As we only have Ziga and Ben to race on, all of us are united to help him through the competitions. Muza elected to be Ziga's spotter, Soju elected to be Ben's spotter, while the rest of us are going to be their mechanics and observing other drivers. Turns out almost everyone brought heavily modded cars with lots of power for the competition, so Ziga was right to pick the Chevelle as his weapon, given it has 950 BHP and better at holding long slides. Ben meanwhile was quite confident with the stock form of his has produced 500+ BHP from the go after all :D

As for the rules, it works like pro competitions, particularly Formula Drift, where at preliminary rounds you'll run alone, and starting from Top 32 eliminations you'll run twice in tandem with another competitor. All your runs will be judged by 3 judges, and in case if you're tied in score with your rival after the 2nd run on the elimination rounds, an OMT (One More Time) session will be held. OMTs can be held multiple times until judges can determine the winner of the run.

After lots of high-pressure drifts and repairs, and some OMTs, Ziga managed to secure 9th place and Ben was right behind him in 10th....much better than we expected!! :bananajump: And Ziga's just one place off from entering the Top 8 battles! Ziga's last battle was quite intense with no less than three OMTs being called and Ziga dishing an intense battle during his runs. Ultimately though we're all happy we can go this far. We spent the rest of the day watching the rest of the sessions with lots of meals and drinks.

[05 May 2019]
I received the news from Sleepy(Sleepin mOnkey) that the Mustang I delivered to him has almost arrived at the Japan shores. As a thanking gesture, he gave me V$500. I hope he'll be able to enjoy his Mustang very soon, that thing has left a deep and sweet impression to me, even if I was only drove it for a while. And oh, this also reminds me of something........

As I've explained in the last update, my original plan for this US trip goes like this: Get something as cheap as possible that isn't for sale in Japanese market, mend it as far as possible, and use it for a trackday and daily. Then at the end of the trip I'll evaluate if it's worth it to bring back to Japan or simply sell it for profit. But you know what happened so far: I ran out of money, borrowed the Silverado, then unexpectedly handed the keys to the Silverado permanently. Now that I've gathered some money over two weeks, it is time to fullfill this plan.....sort of. And yes, I'm quite insipred by Top Gear back then on their US trip, where they bought a car for $1500 to see if it's easier to buy a car rather than renting it, then went on for a road trip from Florida to New Orleans (and almost died in Alabama).

After I spend some time on the front of my laptop with Franklin and Ziga (since they're US car experts), I found a really, really good candidate I could purchase and mod for track and daily purpose: It's a 1993 Ford Mustang Foxbody LX 2.3 hachback in red, located in Petersburg, VA. You can see the original ad below.

As you can see in the original ad link, it was sold for V$800. Quite cheap for a Mustang, innit? That's because this is the 2.3 liter inline 4 model. As the ad states, the last owner wants to swap it and put a 5.0 V8 from the same-gen Mustang GT inside, but he has two other Mustangs he had to work on. Since he has no time to work on this one, he decided to sell this Mustang. The engine is fairly healthy with normal wear, but the auto transmission is rather worryingly starts to dying. Body-wise you can see it for yourself: Everything bar the bonnet is rust-free, and the front and rear bumper paint has been ruined.

I was planning on simply improving the stock inline 4.....until Franklin pointed out that it has an unbelievably meagre amount of power.

"So here's the plan: Let's look for some performance parts for this thing, I want to keep the engi-"
"Wait Smoke ARE YOU MAD? It only has 80 horsepower!"
"I'm not kidding! Look it up"
"Well here goes........"

Well turns out he's both right and wrong, and he's not kidding either. He's wrong because by standard it has 105 BHP, but he's also right becuase not only it's still a tiny number of power, that figure stands at least a quarter of century ago, so obviously some of the horses has ran away from the stable. Franklin's prediction of it having only 80 BHP might be true after all.

Fortunately, being familiar with American muscle cars and US engines, Franklin proposed a good idea for the Mustang: Give it a Ford Modular 4.6 SOHC V8 engine, and mate it with 5-speed Tremec T5 transmission usually used in Ford Mustang of the age. Given that the Modular engine is easy to source, cheap and quite bulletproof even with minimum amount of care and maintenance (this is the engine of Ford Crown Victoria taxi and cop cars, mind you), I instantly agreed with the idea. And so, after securing the deal with the Mustang to be picked up next day, we started our shopping list for the Mustang.

First off is the Modular 4.6 engine, taken from 1994 Lincoln Town Car for an unbelievably cheap V$350. It has run around 179,000 miles and the internal is still incredibly healthy. The only problem is, there are some rust here and there, including on the engine cover and the oil pan. The engine cover can be removed anyway, but it's the oil pan that becomes the main problem. So we looked up for a fresh replacement and got one for V$60. Next up Franklin was able to locate a fresh Tremec T5 transmission from the same gen as his Mustang, which he said has the same layout as the Foxbody Mustang and much stronger for V$440. And finally, I sourced a clutch kit from Summit Racing for V$128 and a flywheel from Perfection for V$82 to complete the bucket list. We decided to pick up everything on the way back from picking up the Mustang.

And oh, at this point I was supposed to compete in round 2 of Tsukuba Circuit Trial Championship, but uhh......I'm not even in Japan right now man! :)) That's okay though, I can also have fun with my friends here in USA and moreover I don't have to attend all rounds to be classified in the championship. And that's the only competitive time attack event I can attend this month. Next up would be at June where I could at least attend three races! :D

[06 May 2019]
*loud sax blaring*
*sinister guitar and percussion kicks in*
I think it's time we blow this scene/
Get everybody and the stuff together/
Okay, three, two, one, let's jam.

*epic sax performance ensues*

Well, what's better way to start the week other than receiving my paycheck of V$940 and blasting 'Tank' on my speakers :)) Anyways, it's also the time to pick up the Mustang as well all of the shopping list I and Franklin has bought the day before. And of course that means another ride with Franklin in the Silverado, and since we're heading to VA, that means there's one song appropriate for the occassion! ;) (and yes, I do aware West Virginia isn't actually a part of Virginia). To top it off, I also sang the Japanese version along the trip, while Franklin sang 'Big Iron' to replicate the jokes spreading around the Fallout fandom.

The roads we passed along the trip was so beautiful, feels like something from a distant dream. Swerving away earlier from the Interstate roads felt worth it. It was a pleasant day as well, not too hot, not too cold, but still nice to have your window down and enjoy the view.

Some moments later we arrived at the tow where the Mustang was located. It looks like it's a peaceful town all around, remind me of my hometown where I would spend time either cycling around town or have a football match with my friends. The owner's house is also small but the runway was wide enough to store three Mustangs.

After some cups of coffee and small talks about the trip, here it is.....the Mustang LX, ready to be picked up and driven. And then a self-imposed challenge rises on my head: Can I drive this without breaking anything? Well, there's no way to find it other than trying it out. This is also why I've got Franklin on my side: If something went awry in the way, we could fix it up and if we couldn't, we only need to call a tow truck without having to be stranded in the middle of nowhere for hours.

(yes, that's yet another stock I4 with DSpeed Headcover)

After yet some more coffee, mods discussions and sorting out the slips and papers for the Mustang, the key for it is now officially mine and I can drive it back to Ardmore with Franklin in my back. Will it survive a long haul back home? Here it goes!

I think there's one (and probably only one) good thing with the 2.3 liter inline 4: You can keep your foot all the way down and yet you'll never going to break the speed limit at the interstates. Yes, it is THAT slow! :)) The engine isn't that sprightly either, though surprisingly the transmission still holds up nicely. This reminds me back to the time I picked up my Tico....every single second of the trip back home felt like forever. But at least inside this one I could chill up and enjoy the trip since this is an LHD country. Also the landscape is now only consist of deserts, deserts, hills, and deserts. Nothing's more American than driving a Mustang through an interstate in the middle of a desert.

Along the way we stopped at several places, including an abandoned fuel station and abandoned motel. The result? Probably the most American looking pictures ever. It's just blends perfectly! Sort of stuff that makes you want to wear a rodeo hat and blast country songs along the way :)) And oh, along the trip we also picked up all the stuff we bought for the Mustang and chucked up all inside the Silverado. We put the engine and the transmission in the bed, while the clutch, flywheel and oil pan was enough to be put inside the cab's bench seat.

Many, many, many hours later, we finally arrived back at Ardmore just at the time the sun sets. I don't think the city was prepared for an incoming of a dying, barely rolling Mustang......but on the other hand I don't want the Mustang to break down here. Not only it'll be a shame to have a breakdown at the final miles of the trip, I'll embarrass myself and Franklin if it had a breakdown on a crowded area. We don't want to be a Snapchat or Instagram material for it! :))

Finally though, the Mustang made it back home, and surprisingly it looks like the transmission broke down right inside the garage as I parked it and I felt a very hard jolt as it stopped into a stall. Becuase it's an auto, it looks like something has slipped otherwise stuck inside it. Well yes it's broken after all, but I didn't expect it to make the trip this far, and only breaking down after it's all over. It's okay as well becuase after all it's going to be replaced anyway......

[08 May 2019]
I was supposed to put the engine the day before this, but I ended up having a rest day and helping Franklin modding his Mustang and Jetta a bit. After all it was quite a long journey both of us has faced. The work for the day started by....not directly working on the car, but rather than that clearing and sanding most of the rust that remains on the engine. Thankfully most of them was only on the outside, and the engine cover can be removed easily. And while we're at it we also install the new transmission, oil pan, clutch and flywheel. Because we haven't install them into the car yet, working on them took rather short time and we could work on them like playing with Lego blocks.
When everything was done, we get the engine crane and prepares for the engine swap operation. Here we go! :D

Next up we lifted the 2.3 liter inline 4 engine. Other than it being an NA SOHC engine and it was made for efficiency, as well as being strained by emission rules, I still can't understand why Americans, at least at 70s-90s, can't make a well proportioned and well performing inline 4 engines. 2.3 liter engine making only 105 BHP seems so, so odd to me, at least in modern terms. Still, could be worse: Due to oil crisis in 70s and 80s, V8 engines of that time rarely touches 200 BHP(or 250?) while still being big in dimesion. How odd is that?

Shortly after, the inline 4 engine is cleared from the engine bay. We had a good look at the transmission and yap, it was ruined as hell. And after cleaning and another sanding session to remove rusts, it's time for the Modular V8 engine to get into the bay. Ah yes, this Modular engine, coming from a Lincoln Town Car as I've said before, produces around 210 BHP, at least when it was new. Since it could be pushed further (later versions of the Modular 4.6 engine comes out with at least 250 BHP by standard), I might only need to do ECU and cam tuning without worrying any needs for aftermarket parts. And the Foxbody Mustang is one of the lightest Mustang ever produced, sitting at around 1245 kg, so roughly on-par with Japanese tuner cars of that time, e.g. S13s.

And finally, it is time to repaint the bonnet, front bumper and rear bumper. I did a small test by sanding the rust on the front panel then respraying it. It wasn't the tidiest of paint jobs, but at least it'll do. And don't worry, the bonnet and bumper paints was done professionally. So, for the moment the Mustang is out from the action as it waits for the paint to dry. You'll see it soon for a test drive though, so don't worry! :D

[10 May 2019]
Went for another laptop browsing session again, this time with AJ and Ziga. While I was randomly stumbling over car ads, I saw something interesting: A Nissan 240SX SE Convertible for sale at V$850! It was in decent condition exterior-wise, and the engine was recently refreshed, but the auto transmission was dying as well, just like the Mustang. And being an American 240SX, it has a KA24DE inside. Still, it's a convertible S13, one of the rarest of it's kind, both in Japan and USA. I didn't expect to stumble upon this thing, but I felt the urge to buy it. AJ, being an owner of various S-Chassis, pushed the urge even in the end I purchased it after all.
(NOTE: The original ad was gone sinc ethe car has been sold irl, and I forgot to take a snap of it)

My plans for it? Unlike the Foxbody, I'll definitely going to bring this home to Japan and try to restore it to former glory there, obviously because parts are easier to source there. And most likely I'll mod it into a 90s lowrider (turning Japanese cars into a lowrider was a thing in Japan) or hotboi mobile. Whether if it's still going to be LHD or being converted into RHD remains to be seen, but all I know is I'll keep it on wearing soft tops and most likely either keeping the KA24 insdie with minor mods and no turbo or swap it with CA18 (instead of SR20) and some mods, also still with no turbo. It might would retain most of it's drifting ability, but it's not going to be a drifter. Yes, this one might going to be an opinion splitter.

Anyways, we've secured the deal later that day and planned to pick it up the next day, this time with AJ accompanying me on the Silverado. I picked AJ because his know-how on S-Chassis, and because he'll might appreciate this one as well since it's a rare unicorn among S13s. I can't wait to see this thing rolling on the streets of it's homeland very could be an automobile embodiment of Sally Amaki! :))

And of course, we've secured some stuff for it as well. Later that day we went back to the local junkyard and secured a manual transmission for KA24 in a fine condition, and we gladly paid V$100 for it. We also order a clutch and flywheel kit from Exedy, costing us V$189 and will arrive in two days. As I said, it's not going to be a drifter, but still, having some aftermarket parts could be a good idea.

[11 May 2019]
It's the weekend and it's also time to pick up the 240SX! But first off, we had a quick breakfast at the local Burger King. I never knew their fish fillet burger and fries tastes so, so great! Definitely something to look for next time I'm going here again. AJ meanwhile opted for the double stack burger since he's quite hungry :)) American lifestyle are almost always associated with something in huge size: Big people, big trucks, big burgers, big highways........

Later on, we proceeded our way to the car location, which is at somewhere in GA. As weeks have passed, I've mastered how to handle the Silverado quite well I should say. As long as I paid attention at least, otherwise it can't do panic braking very well. And that reminds me I still have to buy a brake kit for this truck. It was a rather hot day, and traffic was considerably crowded. Oh well, it's weekend after all

Some hours and one traffic jam later, we arrived at the car's location. It's a small neighbourhood on a cul-de-sac in the heart of a well-sized city in GA. Looks like somewhere I would live in, to be honest, but I'm rather worried about garage space.....there's literally a lack of them. And probably donuts in the center of the cul-de-sac would be frowned upon, and it could be worse if I brought a Mustang here.

We and the owner of the SX enjoyed some cups of coffee for me and some cans of light booze for AJ as we talk about our journey here, the S-Chassis ownership as well as our life at Japan, seeing as we normally live at the birthplace of S-Chassis. Turns out he was an S-Chassis enthusiast and used to be a grassroot drifter. He has an S14, which at the moment undergo some tuning and this S13 convertible. These days he rarely drifts and spend more time on the front of his PC chatting with other S-Chassis owners in various forums due to intense work schedule. And oh, speaking of the 240SX, here it is.

"Uh Smoke, is that a Onevia?" Nonono, it's not a Onevia, it came out from the factory that way.....let me explain a bit. So as we always know 240SX are sold in hatch form in North America, but did you know they were also sold in coupe form just like Japan as well? The main differences are obviously they're fitted with KA24 just like the hatch. Another one is that instead of using the PS13 front end, they still retain the RPS13 front end. So it's quite fair to say Nissan North America already has Onevia from the factory. Sometime in early 90s they decided to employ a company called American Speciality Cars (ASC) to convert some of the coupes into a limited-run convertibles. If you're wondering, the convertible job for Japan was done by Autech. If you don't believe me, read here ;)

With more cups of coffees gulped in and all the slips and papers sorted, it is time to see if I could bring another car with dying transmission back home safely. AJ was so ecstatic to see that I could secure a rare bastion of S-Chassis for a cheap price. And to celebrate all of this, despite the hot condition, I decided to get the roof down and enjoy the breeze along the way.

Sadly, our joy was short-lived this time. With 2/5 way to go from Ardmore, the transmission decided it had enough and stopped working in all of the sudden. Oil and debris was dropping everywhere from the SX, so I and AJ had to pull off the roads. It's a bit of luck this didnt happened in the interstate roads, otherwise pulling over would be very, very difficult and has the potential to cause a huge crash.

In the end, after a call for tow truck and waiting for half an hour the 240SX continues it's trip back to Ardmore on a tow truck bed, while I returned to the Silverado with AJ. Welp, I kinda did see that coming but given the Mustang survived quite well with the same condition, I didn't expect this either.

Welp, I didn't expect to be able to grab 2 cars in a week :))
Now let's see how did my wallet survives after the shopping spree:

That's all my updates for now, thank you for stopping by
and see you soon here or one of the boys's updates!
Still following the damn train since 1992

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