Road to recovery.
by, 07-13-2012 at 06:43 PM (1656 Views)
So as many of you may know I've been MIA for a while, so let me break down the what's and whys for ya. Following Nissanfest at evergreen speedway was Formula Drift Long Beach, we showed up ready to go with minimal seat time with the new setup. With the mindset of "just go for it" I began the first practice session a bit out of the norm, I slammed sideways into the tire wall......we ripped off the dangling body panels and re adjusted the suspension arms to look semi normal again. I was rushing the team and made the mistake of leaving with the car without them finishing and checking clearances. What happened next was solely my fault, I went for my 2nd run and as I initiated it felt fine, I then added more angle and speed and the wheel locked up in the wheel well due to the suspension being pulled back which then forced me head first into a concrete wall at 55mph.
After a week of tiredness and neck pain with a splash of short term memory loss I was back to normal, the car on the other hand was nowhere near. The few days after the event were used to relax, then the tear down began. After twisting the frame rail off of the engine we were able to pull out the somehow undamaged heart of the car. We then dropped the car off at TAJ Collision where in 2 days they pulled out the frame and straitened it out. We had alot of mangled frame rail to cut off but it was surprisingly straight for what it had been through. This is when Chris Jeanneret and CNC Autosports came in and started to do their magic, a full tube front and new bracing to fit all of the replacement parts from Ait Racing and Russell at Nissanparts.cc. After alot of late nights we were finally ready to drop the motor back in. With things looking positive and just under 2 months until FD Seattle we were making great time! Or so we thought. Once we finally fired up the motor a strange noise arose, we assumed rod knock and immediately removed the motor. Turned out to be a spun lifter, damaging the cam and this led us to find a few other issues with the motor. So a complete rebuild was in order, but with a twist. We sourced a custom cam from LG motorsports and Chris and Connor at CNC Autosports started their magic. Chris took his time with each piece making sure it was perfect and the motor was reassembled in a surgical fashion. Now with CNC on board I knew things were gonna be smooth sailing. We got it running again and shortly afterwards took it down to Jason at PSI to get it tuned again. We saw huge gains everywhere, and the final number wasn't even accurate(spinning tires on the dyno) at 455hp and 393tq.
After buttoning up the new hydraulic ebrake and a few other small things we were ready to start testing the new setup, this was done at south sound speedway in tenino. Armed with Plenty of tires and race gas it was time to get back behind the wheel. I was nervous at first and a bit scared in all honesty, but the minute I did a warm up burnout it all went away. The car immediately did exactly what it was told, it had more angle than I had ever experienced with the new front suspension setup and alignment from CNC Autosports. The grip was incredible and other than a few small issues the testing went amazing!
Now it's time to finish up the cosmetic side of things and get the car presentable for FD Seattle. Hope to see you all there!
- Mike Phillips