Tuesday, December 7, 2010

AW11 MR2 Build - "Akemi" Part 13

I now have my wheel, hub, and spacer....but the guy forgot to send the part of the hub that lets the horn work!!! so that will be here later. I'm assuming I'll just get it all on after I get back from FL week after next.

Big thanks to Mike. Might need you to do two more for me coming up here if that's cool.

So now my current tire setup is:
Front - Yokohama ES100 - 195/50/15
Rear - Kumho Ecsta ASX - 205/50/15

stupid rattling heat shield removed, ebrake tightened up a bit, and replaced the valvecover seal washers i screwed up by overtorquing them last time

momo steering wheel installed. just gotta figure out the horn. i think i need to put a ground wire on the other tab of the horn button for it to work. shouldnt be too hard.

using uber amounts of solder and help from my dad, my horn works now

moar paint now a question....i painted my parts car trunk and put it on my car. my factory trunklid has "supercharged" and "toyota mr2" on it. i can get those to put on my new black lid, OR i can leave it blank and debadged. what should I do?

flushed the coolant today with Brandon's help. pretty much followed these directions

did not use Toyota coolant because the day I spend $25/gallon on PREMIXED coolant is the day i die

the paint on my hood/front bumper has started to fade a little bit so I figured I'd put some matte clear coat on it. yea BAD idea. it now looks like my car is covered in dust. its awful. worst. shit. ever. I finally said fuck it and I'm gonna take all day tomorrow and sand off the matte clear, respray the satin black, and just do the rest of the car.

sooooo yea check this out

in front of RR wheel. was hiding under the side skirt this whole time Sad
patch panel costs $90

behind LR wheel. have patch panel for this one
in front of LR wheel. sanded, treated, underbody-coated
RR wheel arch treated, will be bondo'd and painted over

it's pretty much done other than the mudflaps. only other thing is that when i was removing the tape around the tail lights it took a little spot of paint off the trunk lid. i miss the orange already


just weighed one of my silver wheels. OK so it was my understanding that if you can get 1lb for every inch diameter you are doing ok (ie: 15" wheel 15lb).
my silver PCW 15x7 +38 wheels weigh in at....20lbs. wow. heavy as SHIT. so much for using those for the track..... >.<>SC belt started slipping again today. went full throttle and after 6500rpm the boost was dropping. turned down the music and listened and tried again....all i could here was BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA SQUEEEEEEEEEKK

luckally its easy to fix, but i need light and about 2 feet of extensions lol. cant go to autocross without max boost now can we

After my findings at both VIR and Summit, I have decided the design of the airflow thru the radiator is not sufficient. I am thinking about taking my old crappy hood and doing this:
There is literally nowhere for air to go behind the rad stock, but this will help a TON with airflow at high speed. only problem is losing frunk storage space.

did the compression test.
Cylinder 1 - 140psi
Cylinder 2 - 135psi
Cylinder 3 - 140psi
Cylinder 4 - 145psi

BGB says optimal for a GZE is 156, minimum is 121, so I think my numbers are pretty good.

in other news, i was driving around all day yesterday with no problems, but after one 30 min drive on the interstate (around 70mph) it overheated once I got off the interstate. I have no idea if my fans work or not, but if my fans aren't working could it be that once I slowed down the coolant boiled in the system and that's where the steam came from?

Changed oil/filter and spark plugs today. Valvoline conventional 5w30, K&N filter, and NGK copper plugs
Odometer reads 231,088
conversion -64,214
actual mileage =166,874

next oil change = 169,000 or 170,000
odometer = 234,874

just ordered new o-rings for all the bleeder valves (t-stat, heater, radiator) because it looks kinda like there may be a leak around my t-stat. the gasket on the t-stat housing got replaced when i replaced the thermostat itself.
interesting....just went to bleed the coolant post-drive and noticed that the firewall behind the radiator had coolant sprayed on it.....and steam was very slowly seeping from the rad bleeder valve.....interesting....maybe the seal in the bleeder valve is bad. I ordered new o-rings for all 3 bleeder valves from Kbox.

just a quick update - i drove my car kinda hard on the way home from class tonight and did a quick under-car check to check for coolant. Bleeder valve is dry, BUT it looks like there is a VERY slow leak in the general area of the thermostat. I can't see where because the IC is in the way, but its not the t-stat bleeder or anywhere on top of the t-stat. It could be the bottom of a hose, or the bottom half of the t-stat gasket or something.....kinda hard to tell. I'll have to look with the IC off sometime after a hard drive.

FOUND IT (i think)
the hose that connects to the front side of the t-stat housing....the bottom of it feels wet. I think that's where it's leaking onto the top of the trans. now about finding a new hose...........

new air filter for my HKS intake came in, as well as o-rings for all 3 bleeder valves on my car: radiator, heater, and thermostat

replaced all the o-rings on the bleeder valves. the ones on the radiator were FUBAR as were the ones on the t-stat. Heater wasn't bad, but still replaced them. Also put in a new red HKS filter element.

AW11 MR2 Build - "Akemi" Part 12

Dyke couldnt do it this morning so I ended up going to my mechanic in Mechanicsville (go figure) and got my car done to TRD Stage 1.....wow. going from a bad alignment (i never realigned the car after i switched springs from ST to TRD) to the TRD alignment......the change is unbelievable.
also on another note I highly recommend Jim & Glenn's Auto in Mechanicsville. Great people and great work
got the passenger side fender painted and installed today. I also painted the driver's side fender, but haven't replaced it yet. List remaining:
1. install driver's side fender
2. remove, sand, paint, reinstall front lip
3. ", ", ", " front valence pieces
4. paint front bumper..... this one i may just do on the car
5. contemplate painting the rest of the car

pics of black front end

now some people want me to paint the whole thing black, some people want me to leave it the way it is.....what do you think???

Seafoamed my car again today. There was next to NO smoke at all, just a tiny little bit. Goes to show how clean the inside of my motor is (seeeeee changing your oil ever 2500-3000 miles is a good thing.) Then I changed the oil. Put in Valvoline instead of Mobil1 because they were having a special deal on it at Advance (something like buy 5 qts and a K&N filter for like $27). While the car was up in the air I took a look at the rust hole in my bottom left corner and took off my mud flap to get a better look. NEVER "take a better look" cuz you will just be dissapointed. I need some real body work done.....

hooray! my massively expensive scoop doesnt fit right! gonna have to sand the ass off it just to let the engine lid close......sooooo pissed off

just bought this off a guy on the forums. Its for automatic transmissions only, but i will use it to replace the dummy button on my dash and will eventually wire it up to something or other.
Pics of scoop

ok so Billy did some work on my rear right fender dent today. it has gone from "seriously bad" to "meh ok"found a guy on the forums getting rid of his Momo steering setup, and bought his hub for $50 (they go for $75 or more new) and I'm buying a steering wheel (Momo Monte Carlo 320mm) from a guy on VADriven for $135 ($165 new). I'll probably need a $20 spacer for it to fit right but i'm pretty excited for a QUALITY steering wheel setup.

Still waiting on the hub...and will probably need a spacer but still anyway YAY

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cool Links

-covers the auto scene all over the world, all kinds of cars but mostly Japanese or Euro.

-talks about the automotive industry as a whole

Japanese Nostalgic Car
-a blog specifically devoted to vintage JDM

-car enthusiast blog

RVA Mitchell
-my Okinawa-based friend's blog

Monday, May 24, 2010


It's no secret that I love old cars, while I couldn't care less about most new cars. One of the things that makes old cars special is that each individual car, not even each make and model, but individual cars have personalities....little foibles that turn a soulless machine into something more. I just thought I would share things that I feel give my car personality.
-intermediate wipers are broken
-rear visor has rubber plumbing washers shoved in it to keep it from buzzing
-steering wheel squeaks
-really, really slow electric windows
-oddly spaced pedals
-front left running light sometimes needs to be hit to turn on
-right headlight squeaks when opening/closing
-hood, bumper, slam panel, headlight covers, both front fenders, front lip, and spoiler are from other cars
-fuel door doesn't like to open easily
-antenna doesn't go up, so you don't get many radio stations
-shift boot squeaks
-steering shakes at 70mph
-windows like to fog up
-t-tops leak a little bit sometimes, not at all some other times
-oil pressure gauge is broken and reads naught
-speedo needle shakes at anything under 25mph
-odometer reads 64,213.9 miles more than the car actually has gone

No other car has those exact same little niggles and that helps make my car unique and gives it personality. I love my car.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Free Candy Photoshoot #1

A few weeks ago Pierce, Mike, and I did a little mini-photoshoot. Click for full res.
*all photos by Pierce Ford*

Here are some pics I edited

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New Source of Inspiration

So in my internet travels today I stumbled upon a link someone posted on Facebook to a blog I had never read. Hyperbole and a Half is the best thing I have read in years, possibly ever. On the surface it appears to be humorous ranting just to get a laugh out of people (which it does because it's freaking hilarious) but if you read a lot of it (and I have read A LOT) you start to see the person down under the comedy. A person who's mindset I can strongly identify with. I know it sounds stupid but this dumb "comedy" blog has reached me very deeply and somehow made me feel.....normal? Like my frustrations and problems that no one else (or very few people) seems to share are not just me. It has been really uplifting to me in an unexpectedly significant way. Go check it out.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Free Candy

Got together with some friends and made a new Richmond car-people forum (it's invite-only) and it seems to be working really well. I hope to see it grow.

AW11 MR2 Build - "Akemi" Part 11

Today I changed the thermostat (old one was too weak so car wouldn't warm up properly) and bled the coolant. Most annoying thing ever. 3 bleeder valves, some clear tubing and lots of spilled coolant later, i think corey and I got it. we'll know for sure if i overheat tomorrow lol.

in the next week:
change tranny oil (trying for tomorrow if i can get the filler bolt out)
install stainless clutch line/bleed

my car is now ready for Circuitcross. Everything I wanted to get done this week is done. Stainless clutch line, Redline MT-90 trans fluid change, thermostat change, and coolant bleed are all done.


tonight i was about to leave my house to go to class when...hmm....car wont start. jump the car and start driving. volt meter is weird....turn on the headlights and car dies.....then starts back up again cuz im moving....so i make a bee-line for sears and get a new battery... FOR FREE cuz mine was still under warranty bahaha!
also i must have reinstalled my intercooler/battery tray wrong cuz its squeaking like crazy while im driving lol.

transmission mount died and is now squeaking to hell.
alignment is out (since i changed springs and never realigned it) so my rear tires are wearing on the outside bad
still need a windshield....aiming for Friday morning.

ordered one. though now im not 100% sure its the tranny mount....there are so many things it could be but given that i have 2 mounts with urethane inserts, one new side mount....the other should probably be replaced too.
as for working in an alignment shop.....i wouldnt want to get my car aligned at sears.....noooooo way.

it wasnt my motor mount. it was thisfixed with a bolt from my parts car. that thing has come in handy from time to time.

also getting a new windshield tomorrow morning courtesy of Chey because he rocks my socks.

also put my other wheels on the back (205 all seasons)

New windshield is in. W00t

so tired. long day. circuitcross was amazing. driving on a road course is just so....... its just awesome. much better than autocross thats for sure.

long story short my car is stranded at a truck stop out in Burkeville or some crap cuz its dead.
basically one or more of the following is wrong:
alternator, positive cable, negative cable, (i know the fusible link wire is broken), or grounds.

ill make a post about how my day went later. im too tired/angry right now.

car is home safe and sound.

My best time I got on VIR Patriot Course was a 61.3

heres a list of cars I beat:
Impreza 2.5 RS (early 2000's)
Ford Focus
240SX (S13)
Volvo S60R
Miata (NB)
Mazdaspeed Miata
Jetta 1.8T
BMW 325is
Mini Cooper S
RX-7 (FC nonturbo)
Impreza WRX

Cars I lost to:
Ariel Atom3
Mustang Cobra (mid 90's)
Cayman S
Mini Cooper S (wayyyy not stock)
S14 Kouki (wayyyy not stock, turbo'd)
Civics (track-ready, stripped, caged, at least one was turbo'd)
Supra Turbo (MK3 wayyyy not stock)
Crossfire SRT-6
link to raw results:

I've decided on what I'm gonna do for tires this season. On my gray wheels, I'm gonna use the cheap Kumho Ecsta AST's in 195/50/15 for daily driving, and nice Kumho Ecsta XS on my ugly (but wider) silver wheels in 205/50/15 for autocross/track.

once i get my car running these are next on the list:
TRU redesigned rear tie rods

better rear end links

also these are my tire options for track: Kumho Ecsta XS or Bridgestone Potenza RE-11...which should i chose?

charging problems remain random. i noticed my alternator belt looks quite shiny, which i thought was weird. is it possible its slipping without making noise?

ordered an alternator. gonna look into a belt as well.

alternator is in....that was AWFUL. electical seems great but now my oil pressure gauge says....nothing. though i know it has pressure because my dipstick reads full, engine sounds fine, and there is oil on the inside of the filler cap. soooo.....yea.... dont really know whats goin on there.....

its the
oil sending unit sensor thingy (not mine just a pic from the OC)
apparently it was this wire that i broke.

Pierce found a GORGEOUS 89 hardtop na base model at CAP. The body is near perfect, as is the interior. I got the hood, both front fenders, the LED spoiler, and a few other little things. These will eventually be painted black and replace whats on my car now. YAY now I have no money lol

New hood is painted and installed. I did the headlight covers too, but i didnt wetsand them so they didnt come out as good so I might resand and repaint them. next on the paint list: fenders, bumper, front lip, front valances . Also I ordered TwosRUs redesigned rear tie rods . when those come in I'll get an alignment to TRD Stage 1 specs.
After all that... I'll be poor. THEN I'll work on getting tires. At this rate my car will be aligned with race tires by................September?

so pretty

Saturday, March 13, 2010

AW11 MR2 Build - "Akemi" Part 10

Took off cam covers and stripped the paint off. tomorrow I'll spray some brake cleaner down into the threaded places to clean them. then its a wipedown with some alcohol for one last cleaning, then ill start spraying. spray outside, then bring it inside to dry where its nice and warm overnight then coat the next night, etc till finished then ill reinstall them and run the car for a while. Also I need to order some washers and I would like to get a brushed stainless plug valley cover.

yea i got my paint and it says "apply all coats within 1 hour, allowing 10 minutes between each coat. For additional coats after 1 hour, wait 7 days for paint to cure. Dries to the touch in 1 hour. Can be handled in 3 hours."

so im guessing that means after im done with one color I have to wait 7 days to do the next color???

Also: this is why I'm poor :P
Also got the paint stripped off my cam covers. gonna get some alcohol to do one last clean before paint goes on.

installed today. just waiting for the washer gasket things to come in. (these things: http://www.twosrus.com/catalog/product_ ... ucts_id=89)

Still waiting for those gaskets to come in, but I ghetto rigged a temporary solution: washers with hi temp RTV on both sides.

Put mah new front end links on. so much beefyer than stock AND a spherical metal bearing instead of a rubber-booted ball joint.

transmission oil might have to wait cuz I dont feel like dealing with an almost rounded fill plug. Also its way too cold to do my thermostat right now. I'll do that later as well.

holy balls my gaskets are now in VA according to USPS tracking....only took them 1.5 weeks to get from PA to Sandston :roll:

Also returned my rear camber plates (cant use em cuz i dont have coilovers) and got some moneys which is good. will probably pay for Circuitschool in March. Might also get a stainless clutch hose while im at it.......we'll see. being online late at night makes me want to spend money really bad. its weird.

OH also got a sick nasty new oil cap that i haven't gotten pics of yet. really looks awesome. Black adonised aluminum with the AW11 Eagle (aka screaming chicken) etched into it.

FINALLY got my valvecover sealing washers in today

got pics of my bay with the new oil filler cap :D

ALSO i found a place that is a US dealer for the Quaife quick steering rack (so i dont have to pay $400 + shipping from the UK). Apparently forum people have gotten them for less than $300 shipped so this has now re-entered my scopes

Ordered a braided steel clutch line and a hydraulic engine lid prop kit a few days ago. should be here tomorrow :D

got the clutch line and the gas prop today. in the process of installing the prop i had to move my boost gauge line (copper tubing) which kinked and broke it. so now my boost gauge isnt connected to anything >.<

fixed it today. my problem was how i routed the line the first time. this time i routed it in such a way that its not obstructing anything or routed through stuff. and yea I'm sticking with copper.