May 30, 2014

This is the first work being done to Project 180. As stated in the video, these things looked really bad, and needed to be tackled. Also, I didn't have a place to work, so I needed something relatively simple to get back into the swing of things. And, to be completely honest... I mean come on... I just bought a car, and I was kinda broke, lol. 

Watch the video below, and then read on to find out more about this project.

In case the YouTube video doesn't have sound, just watch the Vimeo version, below.  

In the video, we got a really shortened version of the work I put in on getting the b-pillars ready. These things looked like absolute shit. The previous owner had literally just sprayed them with some bottom barrel budget bin spray paint, probably lacquer. No prep, no nothing. They didn't even tape off around it on the car. Yeah, you read that right... they painted it on the car, with NO MASKING. I've still got crusty paint that I can't get off of my rear glass surround.

The runs in the paint and the sun damage really tag teamed on these panels. I was originally going to start with a 320 grit paper and work up to a 400 wet sand. Yeah...not if I wanted to finish these this century. I ended up going down to a 60 grit....SIXTY grit, and wet sanded my way up to a 150, then a 240, 320, and finally 400 before this primer shot was taken. Don't worry, I mainly used the lower stuff to knock down the runs. I don't recommend going that low, but I used it sparingly.

Getting them in primer let me see some of the pits that I couldn't sand out. I picked up a 40 gram package of Thin Putty from Holts. This stuff is similar to Bondo's glazing putty, for those of you in the States. After having used both products.... I think I like the Holts better. But, I've never seen it in the US. At least not in my area. I believe it's an English product.

After filling in the pits, I wet sanded the thing smooth, starting with 400 grit before a reprimer. After that I prepped it for paint with a 600 grit wet sand. Smooth like silk.

After that, I washed it with a little bit of acetone on a rag, and then sprayed it with Holts color match spray from a can. I used Color Code _____. I couldn't see that it had THAT much flake in it when I bought it. The store was kinda dark. It's hard to see the flake in this picture, but the color is much more like a Charcoal Gunmetal with flake than a black. It's a pretty color, but I don't know if it's right for this application. The clear seemed to make it look even lighter, as it gave it more of a luster. We will see what happens. Anything is better than what was on there. That was embarrassing.

Not being one to waste, I used the back of the Holts Thin Putty packaging to hold my screws, so that I could paint them to match the b-pillars. Details. Before spraying them, I scuffed them up with some 400 paper. I didn't bother to primer them. They have held up this far. You can also see the color of the paint a little bit better in this pic.

The b-pillars still had the rubber backing and seals attached, and I decided I wanted to put them back on. I used a tube of Holts Black Sealer for this. To get the sealer on the seals and spacers while making as small of a mess as possible, I used a bamboo yakitori skewer and dipped it into the sealer. It turns out the skewer was just the right thickness for the small tube shaped spacers that you see in the back.

For the seal at the top, I used a little bit bigger skewer as a putty knife. I just squeezed a little sealer out of the tube and onto the skewer and spread away.

Came out ok, and not too messy at all. That's a plus for me.

Here are all the spacers and seals on the back of the b-pillar. When this set up hard, it actually retained the OEM appearance. I was pleased.

Time to reinstall them. To see the removal and installation process, click the video, if you haven't already. It's only 1:40 seconds. Shit moves fast.

May 29, 2014

It may have never been envisioned as a sports car, but if Honda had only known what it had created... What their little grocery getter would do to the industry. Everyone knows I am a die-hard Nissan fan. Just look at the site... but respect is given where it is due. And for that, Honda Civic, eXite salutes you. Happy TBT everybody.


May 27, 2014

And... Damn. I don't know about you guys.... but I think someone is on the ole' couch tonight.

May 22, 2014

May 20, 2014

A little advice to the fellas...never admit to, allude to, or do ANYTHING, that might make your significant other feel that giving your car away is an option. The will zero in on that shit, just like a homeless man can find an eighth of a previously eaten Big Mac floating in the water at a raw sewage plant. Believe that.

Unless you magically became a car junkie after you were married, or dating, or whatever it is you're doing...they new you were a car junkie before you met. Muto has been taking care of the fam, and the manga doesn't mention that she has a dice.

What do you guys think? If you're handlin' your business, should you be allowed to spend your extra cash on your car?

Hit me up below. And to see my car project.... click on the Project 180 Header at the top of the page.

May 16, 2014

Just a random LanEvo I found in Higashi-ku, Fukuoka. I know the picture looks like shit, but it was digital zoom on an iPhone 4. Cut me some slack, sheesh.

This one looks like a VI (6) to me, but I'm not sure. Do I have any Mitsu fans reading? Probably not....this is the first time I've ever posted about a Mitsubishi, and the photo looks horrid.... I probably just ruined any chance I had of getting a Mitsu guy to follow me.... sorry guys, there just aren't that many Mitsus and Hondas around here.

May 10, 2014

This is what I walk out to every morning from my apartment door. I don't live in the city. Sometimes that's a good thing, because I don't have to worry about getting stuck in traffic or anything. Sometimes, though, it really sucks, because this whole town seems to shut down at like 7-8. There's not a whole lot to do without driving about an hour or 2. Plenty of mountains, though.... once I get this car running nicely ;) .

May 4, 2014

I found this beautiful machine parked near an apartment in Fukuoka's Hakata Ward. This thing is pretty stunning for what appears to be a regularly used vehicle. It's not a widebody or anything like that, but in a pure way, this is what the Nissan S-chassis scene was all about a few years before the Hellaflush movement infected the scene like a zombie bite.

I took this series of pictures before I started taking detail photos of wheels and tires for spec information, but these look like 17s, and I'm guessing about 8" wide with a medium offset. The tires look pretty meaty on there, maybe a 235/45?

The rear keeps it simple as well with a rear add-on lip, instead of the usual full bumper. He's got a dual tip muffler (once again I didn't look, and about 90% of exhaust manufacturers make this style of exhaust). Looks like a D-Max rear spoiler and roof spoiler completes the rear view.

Nothing revolutionary or new on the inside. Just the JDM staple: a Nardi Wheel, a drift knob, and a shift knob; in this case the latter is a Trust unit. But what was interesting on the interior...

...was the hockey mask, that instantly reminds me of high speed racing on the Osaka Kanjo. For those not familiar with what that is, the Osaka Kanjo is Osaka's version of the Wangan Expressway. I really want a hockey mask for my car, too...

More visible from the front glass were the four gauges, which I think are Defi units. Damn, I love Defi gauges. I wish I had taken a video of the snowmen up front. They are solar powered and they bob back and forth, just like... eh you get the picture.

I've always been in love with the S14 Kouki. Almost as much as the 180SX. Maybe that's why I put the Kouki face on my 240 hatch... At any rate, this is a really nice example of a mid-level tune on an S14 Kouki.

May 2, 2014

OK, first off let me say that the car's aero is a work in progress, and I don't want to keep the Type-X look.... are you still with me? Mainly, no matter how good it looks, it's just played out beyond belief. Even in America, where the parts are rare, replicas abound and everyone has done it.  Now imagine in Japan, where the parts are easily accessible.

I have decided to progress in stages, so that the car can look decent and evolve at the same time. My car came with the Kouki bumper, but no lip. The easiest thing to do in this case, is get the FRP replica lip for 100$ and slap it on. It's coming soon. As for the rest of the bumper, it's kinda haggard looking, so I'm going to clean it up, and make it more presentable. Also I really like the way this bumper is cutout for air. We have to keep a front number plate on our cars here, so no need to shave the plate mount, just to move it somewhere else. Too much work. I'm going to cut around the mounting holes like this guy did. It's a smart design. Put the plate on on the street, take it off at the track and you're ready to rock.

He also has the TYVAL style hood that I want from Kazama Auto. More on that in a second.

Different 180 (240SX, whatever), but still following the theme. Type-X side skirt FRP replicas will be fitted, following the theme. I know it's hard to believe, but the genuine parts are still really expensive here, too. The front lip (if you can find one) goes for between 150$ (in bad shape, so FRP is still a better deal) and $300. The sides range in the $250-$300 range, while the FRP version runs about $100-$150. Is the OEM (JDM) cooler? Yeah, from a collective stand point. Is it worth putting that on a drift car? No. If it's destroyed that's one less set in the world.

In the rear it's more of the same. FRP Type-X replica. I mean, hell, I have the front bumpers and taillights from the factory, so why not finish off the look cheaply, and move on to the good stuff, like suspension. That way I can get this bitch sideways. My car also came with the Kouki wing already, so I'll be using that, too.

The last thing is this TYVAL hood from Kazama Auto. It's an FRP hood for the low-low of $400 bones. From a well-known maker like Kazama that's a steal. I can find used stuff cheaper sometimes, but I know that Kazama parts fit. I've seen a few in person, and they look really good. I also really like the Koguchi Power hood, the Garage MAK hood, and the Masa Hood, but they are all in the neighborhood of $650-$800. This thing looks good, works just as well, and I have a few custom ideas in the pipe. More on that when the time comes.

These are plans.... nothing is ever set in stone. The future is not set. There is no fate but that which we make for ourselves.

In the next post, my work begins in the humblest of places, my uncovered apartment parking lot. If
I wait till I own a garage, I'll never get anywhere. 

May 1, 2014

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