//WEAPON SYSTEMS READY//
After more than a year of modifying and struggling, another dream of mine comes to life!
[Slight rewind to 02 Feb 2020]
It is time to welcome a new challenger and also to see the last seconds of its birth to life.
But that's not all, I also got to help a transfer process and become a fast taxi driver as well!
All of this can be seen by delving into the update below!
[04 Feb 2020]
Well, we had to rewind juuuuust a little bit because finally the final pieces of the S15 build has arrived, namely the turbo kit and the rollcage tubing! At this point I can't express how grateful I am to see finally another of my car projects is going to be completed, and it's even better in this case, arguably much better than when Silver Queen finished its upgrades (though definitely it's because I didn't have a plan to competitively drive it back then). The S15, as I've always said these days, is my paramount project, and one that is should be finished very soon for it's prime usage at Attack Tsukuba. And speaking of which, don't worry, the S15 will also run in events where purpose-built racecars is allowed to run
Now though, it's time to complete the pieces before painting the S15 to give it the definite final touch, and give the S15 a spot welding treatment as well. Aside from the rollcage upgrade, spot welding is also important to improve the car's rigidity, especialy given my car is a used car that has been seeing some usage. Obviously the chassis twists and turns has given some effect on car's rigidity as a whole, plus there are some spots which can be improved, thus we are going to weld the body some more to give it a better rigidity.
But of course I can't do this alone, since I myslef isn't really a competent welder. And to make things worse, I don't have the tools to make a rollcage properly as well. But fear not, as I've mentioned in the previous update, Muza (@Niatross
) and co. can help with that. Not only they've welded a thousand times more than I did, they also have the tools and skills to create a nice rollcage. So I whipped out my phone and called Muza.
"Yo Muza, it's me Edo"
"Ah hey Edo, just about when I'm going back home. Sup yo?"
"Good news mate......it's time"
"Rollcage and spot welding"
"Of wha-OH, THE S15?"
"YUP! It's time to lay the final piece of the puzzle"
"Hoowee! There's one problem though"
"AJ (@RocketBunnyS13) is sick, and Marc (@topy) is still finishing his Mustang"
"Oof, finally AJ found his limit. So when you guys can make it?"
"Since we're all busy at Mondays, Tuesday might be good to start the project"
"Ah great, I need this project to be finished as soon as possible. Time is running out"
"I know you'll say that. I'll tell the others as well"
"Ah great, and thanks for the help my man"
"Don't sweat it, see ya at Tuesday"
With the call sorted, it is time to get into the final stages of the build. Here comes a new challenger...........
It's time to put the final puzzle pieces in! Alongside the parts and rollcage tubing, I also stuffed my sleeping bag, the same one as I used in Ebisu Summer Matsuri, into my Sprinter van. I figured out this would be quite a looooong job, particularly since I still had no particular rollcage design in mind, so there's a huge chance I had to stay in the garage, even if the boys actually had their own places to be. And I also bring my laptop, so I can design the rollcage and livery for the S15 while staying there.
After some time hauling the S15 across Tokyo, finally I arrived at the KS Garage at noon. Apparently Muza, AJ and Marc has finished working and also recently arrived at the workshop, so it's quite a perfect timing. After our usual fistbumps and brohugs, we wheeled down the S15 to one corner of the workshop, and carried everything off the Sprinter van, including the turbo kit, rollcage tubing, and the sleeping bag.
We decided to do the spot weding first, which requires us to strip down the car once again. Thankfully this time there isn't much to strip off since the car itself is already stripped, but then again we need to carefully lay the bodykit. And once again I proven myself to be an incompetent welder by slightly burning my pants in the welding process. I guess my knee are slightly burned as well.............don't worry, I'm fine, but obviously it's quite a painful burn. Moral story is, don't squat while welding.
As we done the welding process and assembled the car back, we continued to the second process, which is fitting the turbo kit. Disassembling the intercooler kit proven to be a complex job, but nevertheless fitting the new turbos, a pair of Greddy T88s is quite easy, and so does reassembling the intercooler kit. To drive the point home, I and Muza did it while having some onigiris!
After installing the turbo we also did some turbo, ECU and cam tuning.
And now it's time to get into the rollcage.......but not before discussing over the design. Armed with a pencil, a printout of a S15 cutout image, the rulebook of 24 Hours of LeMons
, a calculator, some cans of coffee and soda, two packs of Lays and Doritos, and some google images as reference, we sit around, scrabbling lines, drawings, writings and snacking along as we all debating and discussing over how my S15 should be caged.
Eventually all this discussion took quite a long time, we didn't realize it's already midnight and everyone had to go home. Particularly AJ, since he live in Mie instead of Tokyo and of course he still have work to attend the next day. On one side, I envied him since that means AJ lives near Suzuka Circuit, which is one of my favourite circuits around the world, but on the other side AJ had to suffer from daily commute to both his workplace and the garage.
A:"You sure you wanna stay here tonight?"
Ma:"Yeah, you can stay in my apartment tonight if you want"
E:"I need some inspiration for my livery and the cage sooo yeah"
Mu:"Hey don't sweat yourself man, AJ has a longer commute than you do"
E:"Well that's because he's a proper salaryman! He had to get clean and proper clothes!"
A:"Well, you're right actually"
E:"And if I'm staying with Marc we'd be talking about girls and Evos to no end!" *massive laughter*
Ma:"Anyways, if you need help from us, you know where are we"
Mu:"And here's the keys to the garage, sicne I know you'll still be going outside nonetheless" *throws garage keys*
E:*catches keys* "Thanks chaps, don't worry I won't make a mess of the garage. I'll sleep at the lounge"
A:"Alright, see ya tomorrow noon then"
And so, a long night has begun. After I bought several more onigiris, an okonomiyaki, and some cans of coffee, I continued my study for the perfect rollcage, as well as designing livery for the S15, since after it's caged it only needs a new wrap. Attack Tsukuba and most regional racing events around Japan has a rather relaxed rules over rollcage, where usually all you need to have is six point rollcage at minimum (so it covers the A-pillar, B-pillar, the roof and C-pillar without any crossbars), and bolt-in cages is allowed. Only when you're stepping to the national level does a proper rollcage is required, e.g. for Super Taikyu or Super GT. In contrast, European and American series normally bans bolt-in cages, which means all cages has to be welded, and at least one crossbar is required.
In the middle of designing the livery, I received a call from @Benny
. I wonder what he's up to in the middle of a night?
"Yo, you there? Sorry to disturb you, I know you're going to sleep"
"Ah yeah Benny, kinda. But I'll listen, so what's up?"
"You still remember the AE86 in our garage right?"
"Ziga (@Lagano)'s AE86?"
"No, the other one, the blue one"
"Ah, that one. How about it? Thought you're gonna work on it"
"That's the initial plan, but turns out we never had the time to work on it"
"So what you gonna do with it? Sell them?"
"Um, no. Listen, you want a free AE86? I haven't offered this to anyone else"
"Wait WHAT? AN AE86 FOR FREE? Well I still got a train of unfinished projects but HELL YEAH SIGN ME UP MATE!"
"See I know you'll love it! I know you're the right man to ask. And wow that was loud man"
"Ah, sorry for shouting right on your ears but hey, who doesn't like a free AE86?"
"Right, you can pick it up anytime in our garage. Now go get some sleep, have a nice sleep my man"
"Have a nice rest as well, see ya"
Well it's not everyday you can get a mint AE86, let alone FOR FREE! Granted, the AE86 in question got no engines yet, but that also means an open canvas to paint on. I've driven an AE86 before, which is Kitagara-sensei's AE86 set up for drifting, and I absolutely love it. Technically speaking, AE86s are widely loved and popular even before the days of Initial D. In Japan, as you know it it's a king of mountain roads, in Britain it's a touring car superstar and in Ireland, it's a rally hero, which explains why there are so many AE86s in Ireland.
Judging by Benny's words he and Ziga did absolutely nothing on the car yet. That means the car is also still riding on steelies and painted blue, just like how Benny picked it up. For the AE86, I really have no plans yet for it. I could either build it into a bread-and-butter drift machine, an AE86 N2 replica or simply a mad grip racer just like one of my personal favourite AE86, the Australian Nulon Levin
. All I know is, it's not gonna be as mad as either Beau Yates AE86
, Carbon Junkie AE86
or TS Factory AE86
. As for the power unit, I may either go for 4A-GE Blacktop, 4A-GZE, 3S-GE just like Ziga's AE86 or 3S-GTE just like the Nulon Levin.
[05 Feb 2020]
I also discovered that night that I've missed a round of the championship I intended to join with the Evo V, which is the Eastern Kanto Circuit Trial Chamiponship. They also announced some changes. Now all the races are held in five rounds, all at Tsukuba Circuit. Not only that, those who participated in the race will receive 5 points in the overall standings simply by scoring a lap! That means not only I lost my full participation bonus once again, I will also return to the championship with quite a point deficit
Thankfully their next round is at April so I can relax a bit.
It's Day 2 of the S15 assembly and after a breakfast of leftover onigiris, spending time by finishing the livery design, and everyone went back rather early later that day, we started the job by finalizing the rollcage design and finally start on bending, connecting and welding the tubes to each other and also to the floor of the car. In the end, due to shortage of materials (damn it!), we decided to do an eight point design, which includes two corssbars in the middle. The rest of the materials wasn't enough to create another crossbar, but thankfully they can be made into two sidebars behind the doors. (okay, ignore the bolts there).
After we finished the final welding process and I almost set one of their welding gloves on fire, finally the work is done and dusted. After we talked for a while to express my gratitude to the crew, some fistbumps and brohugs later, I rushed back to Tsukuba to have the S15 painted immediately at VS Garage, so I can finish the car as quick as possible. Only a bit more to go until my dreams become reality.
As I arrived to the place, they just have finished a lasagna dinner, so they can't share some as usual to me
but nevertheless the crew was quite excited to see a new time attack car being wheeled into their workshop. They quoted V$1000 for the entire livery printing and wrapping process,plus a windshield sticker, with the process taking at worst a week. Before leaving the shop, I helped them sand the remaining paint on the S15, which is quite quick to be done since only the doors and the main chassis has paints at this point.
[06 Feb 2020]
As I took my steps outside the shop and went into the Sprinter, Ziga called me. I wonder what is it? And coincidentally, I wanted to order something from him..........
"Yo Edo, it's me Ziga"
"Oh hey yo my man. What's up?"
"Ah okay so uh, let's go straight to the point"
"Okay, what is it?"
"So I and Muza and co. had a deal some time ago. Basically we had an engine exchange"
"Okay, and uh, what's my role in this?"
"Help us deliver them. As you know it there's no suitable vehicle in Muza's fleet to deliver it"
"Ah I see, I reckon your Santa Fe can't fit them either"
"Okay so I'll pick them up with my Sprinter while picking up my AE86-"
"Wait nonono! Pick them up with the Silverado, Benny would like to tell you something about it later"
"Ah okay then, I can pick the AE86 anytime anyways. Oh one thing Ziga"
"You still got these cupholders? I'd like two of them"
"Oh yeah yeah we still got some! You want one? V$50 each"
"Two, actually. I'll pay and pick them up as I got to your garage"
"Ah, cool. So back to the engine delivery, first pick the engines from Muza's place, then deliver it to ours"
"Ah okay, anything else?"
"When you're here, we'll load you up with another engine for them plus your cupholders. Deliver the engine and your job is done"
"Ah okay great, see ya tomorrow"
"See ya, and thanks"
Well it's time to fire up the Silverado once more, and I wonder what is Benny going to do with it? Well, it's Benny and Ziga's former parts truck after all. In the meantime, after I arrived back home, I ordered a set of HANS device
for my racing overalls, which costs me V$414. Normally I don't race with them, but I discovered that in Attack series rules, drivers of the cars that can go past 59 seconds in Tsukuba is required to wear HANS or other forms of neck restrainer.
Why's that? Well, in an event of a crash, you'll know that your body is subjected to intertia physics. As you're driving, your car is moving, but your body isn't. When you crash, it's the other way around: Your car stops, but your body hasn't, since there are some energy left from your car's movement. As a result, you can be thrown forward, which is why seatbelt is required in cars to restrain you from the forward movement. Problem is, in normal cars which never reaches racing speeds, your upper body will still likely to escape from the seatbelt restraints. HANS device is created to keep our neck and head steady in case of these kinds of crashes.
It's time for the engine transport! First off, as instructed, I went to the KS garage again to pick up the first engines to be delivered. After refuelling the Silverado (LS7 is quite a thirsty engine, you know) and weaving through Tokyo traffic in such a big truck, finally I managed to get to KS garage on time. Muza and Marc has been waiting for me as they were in the process of packaging the engines.
From their side, they're going to send an LS2 and a Ford Windsor 351 engine to Ziga and Benny. The LS2 previously powered Muza's pearlescent RX-7 FD from USA, which he deemed 'cursed' and must go away. Thankfully, he has sourced a 13B engine as a replacement. Meanwhile, Marc bought the 351 as a crate engine before switching to a 302 unit, since he wanted his Mustang to resemble a Trans-Am racer.
With the packaging done, we stuffed them up to the Silverado's bed and tied them up to secure them, then Muza and Marc went off first to Ziga's place. It might be a bit difficult to deliver them since the LS7 made this car felt like a battleship, but at least these engines provides a ballast for the rear end so they won't go in a flurry of wheelspin I guess. (Also sorry for the trash photoshop skills)
After some more hours of battling the traffic from Tokyo to some parts of Fukushima while babysitting two engines on my back by not driving too agressively, finally I reached Benny's garage just a little bit after midday. As usual, Ziga is working on another of his car, this time being another R33 which has lost its rear end, Muza and Marc were chilling around after arriving first, while Benny browses used cars and parts car auctions for the 14045th time. As I went into their garage, Ziga went to the back of the truck as the LS7 burbles inside the garage.
E:"Here it is, your V8 engines as you want it"
Z:"Hey thanks Smoke, I appreciate your effort. Right, let's get them off the truck. Oi Benny!"
B:"Yea? Oh you're here! Okay okay I'll be there real quick"
After all of us got the engines off the turck's bed, suddenly AJ and Marcus (@marcus915) came to the garage as well. Turns out Muza, Ziga, AJ and Marcus are going to drift at the recently reopened Ebisu Circuit, which has done their yearly maintenance beforehand. After I paid for the cupholders I ordered to them, with Ziga and co. going away, it is up to me, Marc and Benny to stuff there engines.
So according to Ziga, they will stuff the LS somewhere first, meanwhile the Windsor will go to my old Mustang Foxbody, which I've sold to him recently. Apparently before switching to a 302 unit, Marc has tuned it by hand to make it produce around 450 BHP, so that's actually quite an upgrade despite the Windsor being a much older engine than the Modular engine currently sitting in the Foxbody. As for the Modular itself, it'll power Ziga's red R33, since the Modular is quite a bulletproof engine, therefore perfect as a missile drifter engine.
After we finished the engine swap operation, we packed up the next engine involved in the deal. From Ziga and Benny's side, they got an unused RB26 in the stable, and with Muza being a Nismo mechanic, obviously he's the one who should receive it. As we pack up the engine in another crate, I talked to Benny about the Silverado.
"So uh, Ziga said you gonna do something to the Silverado"
"Ah so he told you eh? Yeah, I've got a huge plans for it"
"Go on, it was your truck after all"
"Well, let's just say we gonna modify it a little bit. You haven't do anything to it did you?"
"Nah, I haven't had any time to modify it"
"Great, but that's all I can say about it for now. Anyways we're gonna go back home for a while at 9th"
"Ah okay, do you want me to drive for you two to the airport?"
"Sure, that's quite nice of you"
With the packaging done and the engine loaded to the truck, I and Marc (because he went to the garage with Muza, and Muza is still at Ebisu) made our way back to Tokyo. On the way back we made a lunch stop somewhere at the suburbs of Tsukuba. We ordered a bowl of chicken ramen with some narutomaki and egg topping. After some time eating the ramen while discussing about our Evos and some um, tech and girls, we grabbed some cans of coffee and went back home. Oh, and it's also a perfect opportunity to install and test the cupholders!
After some time navigating through Tokyo after hours traffic, we finally arrived back to KS garage. Neither Marc or Muza has any plans over the RB26 yet so far, so we just decided to stuff it on a corner of the garage. With the job finally done, we decided to close the garage and wet back to our cribs.
[09 Feb 2020]
As requested by Benny, this time I acted as his taxi for his and Ziga's trip to Narita Airport. Their flight is scheduled at noon, but given they are rather far from Tokyo, this means I have to drive early to their place, in fear of both rush hour and lunch traffic.
After assisting them packing their stuff (thankfully the Silver Queen can carry all of them), we set off to the highways heading to Narita airport. Thankfully at this point traffic has been dispersed a bit, so there are some breathing room for the SIlver Queen to unleash those engine power on the highway. I gleefully blasted some music
as we go along the expressway.
Some time later we blasted over the Wangan line as we try to find the fastest route to Narita airport. And of course, being one of the most sought-after place to race and test your car's top speed and stability, we can't miss the opportunity to run on this legendary stretch of expressway. As you migt already know it, this highway stretch is where most of highway battles are decided alongside the C1 loop, and also the very main point of interest in the Wangan Midnight manga series.
At this point, I should admit that I'm rather worried of blowing the Silver Queen's engine to bits, but at the same time I'm confident it can survive since the stroked internals are much stronger than the stock ones. After all, it has been driven for one full competitive year and look, it still lives! So flooring it across some parts of the Tokyo Expressway shouldn't be a huge problem either.
Finally, we arrived at Narita Airport with acutally still a lot of time to spare before the flight. After I parked the car, I decided to have lunch with them with some coffee, and stayed until finally they boarded their plane. It's been quite a fun 2-3 months with them in my home turf after they invited me to visit them multiple times last year, and I can't wait for them to come back again.
[11 Feb 2020]
After I arrived at my crib, I also received my HANS device I ordered and immediately tried to fit them to my neck. It requires some time to get used to it indeed, but all of this is for my own life's sake, so I have to appreciate it.
Earlier at the day I spent my time installing the other cupholder to Kaede and also testing it using one of my coffee cans that I store at the fridge. With this one simple upgrade, Kaede's status as a cruiser has been solidified and it's basically complete and ready to rock all the time! Now I can have a drink quickly while cruising with my friends inside Kaede.
But the biggest surprise came later that day: VS Garage called me, they informed me that the S15 has finished the wrap and stickering process! Overjoyed with this news, I immediately returned Kaede to its place and hurried to my Sprinter van to pick the S15 up. My heart raced intensely as I went from my crib to VS Garage, just like how I want to race my S15.
And finally, after more than a year working on the S15, I can finally say....... HERE. IT. IS!!!
I decided to paint it in a combo of black and blue with a small white stripe to make it look simple and sleek. I just wanna make it simple for now, nothing too flashy. And of course the car is adorned by stickers of brands I used on the car, plus the KamiSama sticker as a thank-you gesture to Muza and co. for helping me building the car from scratch. And as a bonus, there's also Advan's 90s triangle logo on the fenders. And also just like some of my cars, it's also completed with one of my personally-designed slap sticker.
So far however I haven't thought a nickname for it........thoguh it might not need one after all. If I had to choose one however, I'd say I should call it Raiden, after the Japanese god of thunder, and yes, also that Mortal Kombat character. Coincidentally, Raiden in MK series always wear blue and white garbs, while his dark form in MK11 has red and black garbs instead.
Extremely excited with this final look of the S15, I immediately brought it to ProMods Garage in Tokyo to have it run on their dyno to check the power figure. Wew boi I've going back and forth from and to Tokyo these days, but it's all worth it. As I arrived to the garage, I and the ProMods crew quickly wheeled the S15 up to their dyno. I fired up the S15 into life and seconds later, a very loud RB26 baritone symphony filled the garage.
Some time after, the dyno result is revealed......here it is!
[12 Feb 2020]
I'm extremely glad our setup made it to my exact target of 750 BHP (actually it's 2 BHP more, so 752 it is)! With this setup, I'm quite sure the S15 can go for the 57 or even 56 seconds zone. The next thing I should do for the S15 is........of course taking it to the track, that's what it is for! After I arrived back to my crib I immediately registered for two events in Tsukuba.
The first one is Zummy Racing's track day event at 16th, which registration costed me V$209. While it's a normal track day, usually Zummy Racing event is filled with time attack regulars and professional, so it's a perfect event to get accustomized to the S15 while seeing how it compares to other competitors before the main event. If I'm lucky, I might just be able to meet the top runners as well! And being a normal track day, there's no class segregation and no prizes, so it's all up for grabs here.
The second event is, of course, the main event the S15 is intended for, Attack Tsukuba
! The event registration costed me V$393, and I registered for the Second class. As for the class segregation I'll expalin it on the next update, but here's a nice thing: Unlike other time attack events, you can pick how you would run your session.
There are two of them, and you can pick between one-lap Super Lap shootout and a usual free running method for each runs. If you pick the free run option, the duration is 23 minutes for the first session and 20 minutes for the second session. As a rather sensible man, I picked up free run method for my first run so I can heat up the tyres, and super lap for the second one as there would be a lot of rubbers later that day and so I can watch the pros doing it for real after my run.
With the S15 project officially completed and ready to run (though admittably there are room for improvements, will sort after Attack event), it's time to move to the next crucial project.........
And finally, let's see how my wallet survives this financial landslide:
.......and that is the Evo V! The Evo V so far only needs brakes, transmission and engine upgrades to be done, and this time we'll sort two of these three, plus exhaust system. For the brakes, I selected Alcon CR6 Race big brake kits, 6 pot 365mm on the front
and 4 pot 343mm on the rear
. They costed me V$2070 and V$1695 respectively. Problem is, they aren't sold with brake pads, so I had to buy Ferodo DS Uno pads, which costed me additional V$295 on the front
and V$260 on the rear
For the exhaust system and transmission, I ordered them while consulting to the grandmaster Human Lan Evo Marc. For the exhaust, I decided to combine HKS exhaust manifold
, Apexi GT Spec front pipe
and HKS HiPower Silent exhaust
which costed me V$1248, V$258 and V$589 each. The first two was chosen for that maximum durability and power output, while the SIlent exhaust is there to reassure the car to be streetlegal and not too noisy, so perfect for daily usage. Marc said cutting and welding might be required to fit them though.
For the transmission, since the transmission for Evo IV to IX has the same design, I have a bit of a mad idea: Fit the Evo IX 6-speed transmission to the Evo V engine, for better torque distribution and um, slightly better engine economy. The 6-speed transmission however is quite notorious for being not lubricated properly, hence easy to break due to overheating. Alongside Evo IX 6-speed transmission
(small upgrade, costed me V$3495), transfer case
(with slight upgrades, costing me V$4050) and front shaft
(also upgraded, costing me V$617) so the transmission can work properly, Marc also recommended me to grab B&M Supercooler
for V$129, which can be used for engine or tranmission oil cooler, plus Jack's Transmission Performance Upgrades
at V$3500 for stronger transmission internals.
Alongside these things I also bought Exedy twin plate clutch
for V$1500, Racefab Front subframe
for V$1200, Racefab North-South Bar for V$225, Cusco Type RS front
diffs for V$1492 and V$921 each, Cusco Side Gear
for V$90 and another of Marc's recommendation, Unlimited Works final gear set
for V$1080. Yep, once again I've blown up my savings.
That's all my updates for now, thank you for stopping by and see you soon!