Oct 20, 2014

Project 180SX:

Front Wide Fenders, pt. 2

by Dustin Mankin

Alright, here we go...right on to part 2 and I'm listening to some Sweet Willie Brown on Youtube while I type this. Check out "Swag" it's a pretty nice track.

Anyway, when we left off, I had just sanded down the FRP Epoxy/Cocaine-Magic-Powder mix that I was using to fill some deep cracks and chips. If you are looking at the photo above, no I'm not throwing these fenders away, it's just that the garage is a little cluttered and there was nowhere to put this stuff. Pretty sure that water pump was for a 660CC Kei Truck, BTW.

After sanding all of that down, we added some aluminum putty to the arches to fix some areas and also to add strength. Not quite as hard as JB Weld, but this stuff gets ridiculously hard, almost like metal. Generally we have been using it when shaving holes, such as the rear window squirter and the radio antenna hole. It also works well in reinforcing busted FRP Fenders, obviously.

We put it on both fenders and gave it about 30-40 minutes to come to a good cure. As you can tell this fender was a little worse off than the other one, so it got a little bit more putty.

After letting them bake in the hot Japanese sun, it was time to start sanding them down.

Of course, these pictures make it look easy. Even with 60 grit on the DA, this stuff felt like it was NEVER gonna knock down. If you are using a DA, you better call off work for about a week, and get some Red Bull, it's going to be a while.

Once again, don't be scared by the low numbered grit on these papers, these are getting more work, and will also be getting sanded more later, before applying gel coat. Also don't forget that a DA's action causes the cut to be much more fine with the same grit than hand sanding would allow. I would imagine that a 60 grit paper on a DA will yielded results similar to 100-120 grit by hand. That's just a guess, but there are body work shops that talk about this in detail if you Google it.

And as you can tell, there is still plenty of sanding to do to these fenders. Part three by the end of the week, probably on Friday. I got a few more articles to get out this week, including the Matsuri 2014 event from Australia. I got a reader a press pass, and he delivered some solid pictures. I can't wait to share them with you.

Until then, hit me up with comments and criticisms on the build below.

Oct 19, 2014

White Knight:

A Nice R34 VSPEC II in Fukuoka

by Dustin Mankin

I looked out the window of my girlfriend's house, and my eyes fell upon this. At first, I didn't know if it was real, or if my eyes were playing tricks on me. I always look in the parking lot accross from her house, and at times I have found a few things that are pretty cool... but like most import car enthusiasts.... I am so in love with Skylines. They make my heart melt. Like Indian Jones and the Last Crusade drinking-out-of-the-wrong-holy-grail melt.

It is rocking the NISMO Z-Tune Aero Kit, with damn near every bit, except, sadly, the fenders. I love those fenders.

Front a side winkers are matching smoked clear units, and then we see a set of aero mirros, making the package a little big more sleek for whipping down the Fukuoka Urban Expressway on those night time runs.

It still has the stock steering wheel but, check out the nice bracing inside. It's obviously not a roll cage, but a tension cage will shore up the sides of this beast, keeping it stiff looping around the never ending expressway. $6.00 race all you want! Just avoid the undercovers and the speed cameras that are EVERYWHERE!

A little Z-Tune Wingage.

And of course it's no surprise to you, but when I saw this VSPEC II Badge on the back, I about shit. It was like that car kept getting better and better!

And the last two pics proudly show off the sexy Work Meister S1 Wheels. Nice color Combo, as well as a really nice lip. It's definitely a performance car, and not a park it at a hipster meet and greet type of car, so it doesn't need 7 inches of lip.

This car is fine the way it is!

If any car is deserving of your comments that I've posted so far, this is the one! Hit that shit up,below!

Oct 18, 2014

Quick Snap:

A Cherry S14 in Fukudomae

by Dustin Mankin

I found this Kouki S14 in Fukudomae in Fukuoka. I can't tell if it was a K's or Q's from the engine, but the alloy rims are optional, and I have seen them as an option for Q's models. At any rate, it is definitely nice to know that there are still unmolested Silvias in the wild. That's rare in Japan, America, Australia, everywhere. Maybe one day I can molest this thing, like an uncle in the third bedroom at a family get together.

Oct 17, 2014

Project 180SX:

Front Wide Fenders, pt. 1

by Dustin Mankin

About a month or so ago, I posted up that I was given some wide fenders as a gift. While also looking like they were pulled right out of papa Smurf's ass, color-wise, they were as broken as a battered housewife after a cold dinner.

The first thing to do was to knock that horrible Smurf paint down. It's not so hard to do with a DA, and if I remember correctly, I used 180 Grit on an air powered DA. With the amount of work needed, it's fine if it's a little bit rough. The extra scratches will help the body filler, fiberglass, and gel coat adhere.
In the back is the rear lip that I was gifted. I began sanding that down, too, but as of now, it's still not finished, and I don't know when it will be.Being completely honest... I'm just not thrilled about this lip. It won't perfectly flow with the Type-X sides and front lip, so I'd almost rather go with no lip at all. I'm still thinking about this one. Back to the fenders!

If you look in the picture above you can see the big section of paint missing from the fender above. That is this crack in the fender, making it wobblier than an 80-year-old-man's..... walk... yes... walk. Get it out of the gutter!

The spots like this, I used a belt sander to knock down the paint, gel, coat, and some of the fiberglass. This will make a really good dip in which to add some FRP or Epoxy Resin.

In this corner it was more of the same situation.

And here is the belt sander in action, working on the underside of the fender.

We planned on reinforcing several rear areas of the fender with more layers of fiberglass mat. To prepare for this we belt sanded the areas down, as mentioned above. This also gives more texture to the area, so that the mat and resin can better adhere.

The epoxy we used is a combination of Fiberglass Resin and a white powder, with a consistency of baking soda. You mix it until it looks and feels about like Elmer's school glue, and then it's ready to go on. I'm told that it's almost the strength of fiberglass mat, but more sculptable and moldable, much like bondo. Slap 'er on thick, boys.

Here it is, drying in the sun.

After curing ( I don't remember how long, maybe 2 hours or so), to full strength, we began to sand it down. Not a lot is left on, but it does a good job of filling in cracks and holes. So those nasty cracks we had are almost fixed, from the front at least.

And here it is, waiting for the next day I can work on it. I decided that instead of doing mega-posts of 30 pictures once a week, you might like to see smaller posts with less pictures, but more frequently. What do you think? This would make it easier to get more content to you! Hit me with a comment below, and tell me if it's cool.

Oct 16, 2014

Throwback Thursday:

EK Civic at Import Alliance Nashville 2011

by Dustin Mankin

This is a very nice, simple EK Civic that was at Import Alliance that year. Diamond Racing Steelies were really in, and this car had a nice set. Not a fan of the front vent, but to each their own, it doesn't hurt the overall good looks of this car.

This car is not all show, either. If you look close, you can see a B-Series, which I'm assuming is a B16, with a turbo manifold bolted to it. All in all a nice, clean, fun package. Props.

Throw Back Thursday:

No Glove, No Love

by Dustin Mankin

Safe Sex Approved.....

Oct 5, 2014

Project 180:

Front Bumper Fix Part II

by Dustin Mankin

The order of these first two photos is actually a little bit reversed. Body filler was applied while the bumper was still on the car to make sure that the bumper maintained it's shape. After the filler had cured, we moved it to the body work stands so that we could sand it down and feather it in.

That work was piggy backed onto a day of test fitting the fiberglass fenders, so after applying and sanding, the factory metal fenders were thrown back on with the bumper so that I could drive home and wait till the next free day to continue my work.

My glorious, beautiful waits at home...longing for the day it will be complete. I'm sure my neighbors also long for the day that it doesn't look like a complete pile of shit. Seeing as how it's going to be a drift car, I'm sure that lovely day will be short lived.

The factory hardware for the top of the bumpers were raised round headed bolts, but they would hit with the FRP wide fenders installed. I opted for flush sitting stainless steel machine screws. Stainless will help the rust, and hopefully I'll never have an issue were the screws break off. Stainless looks cool, but you will never be able to see these, so it's just a performance thing in this case... as in I need these screws to perform.

And here is a wider shot with the stainless steel screws installed, in case you were wondering about where they might be.

And, I got an idea from seeing several cars in Drift Tengoku...

Drilling holes at the outside corner will make the corners look rounded. I think that will help it look a little bit more professional, and less like a 31-year-old English teacher is doing DIY. I hope at least.

Here all four corners are rounded and we are ready to cut.

Cut... and looking ratchet as those skanks that keep trying to exchange sex for a ride in your nice car. The thirst is real!

The corners up by where the license plate screw holder goes (the black box clip looking piece) need to be rounded off a bit, still.

The top two photos show all of the jagged parts still hanging around on the hole...

And here they are removed. The lines I drew were straight, so I'm going to use a belt sander to try to remove any waviness in the lines. I just want it to look as good as possible.

Here, it's being primered. I just sanded everything with a 400 grit pad on the DA. The plastic will get hairy frizzes in it, but the filler primer smooths all of this back down, and then you will have a smooth paintable surface. Actually, I'm fairly pleased with all of this. It looks pretty good.

At the bottom there were some extreme scratches, but since I'm going to put a lip on over it, I didn't feel the need to repair all of this, because it was a waste of time. So it's not 100% perfect, but I'm sure it will see the infield at some point anyway.

The hardware for holding the bumper on to the car was rusty as hell, so I'm going to sandblast all of that and then hit it with some flat black before putting it all back together with some stainless bolts. I'll probably show that process here in a few weeks, but next week I'm going to turn my attention to the front fiberglass fenders. Come back next week for more progress!
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