Jul 31, 2014

TBT: Is This Tokyo or Eastern Kentucky?

A Not-So-Glorious Nissan Gloria.

Ummm... yeah. So this is where we are at. For anyone that's into the VIP scene, the name Nissan Gloria should be no stranger. Even in the Japan drift scene, these can sometimes be seen tearing up the track. This is a Y32 Gloria, produced from 1991-1995.

This one, however, isn't tearing up anything, because it in itself is in fact...tore up. I shot this back in 2007 on my visit to Tokyo. I do recall that the conversation upon seeing this thing was, "What the fuck...?" Followed by my travel companion's one liner, "Raped."

We are lead to believe that Japan is a tidy place. To see this out in the country where I live wouldn't be so strange. Sometimes you do in fact see old cars rotting out in the fields, just like in rural America. But in Tokyo, this parking spot runs at least 300.00 a month. And that is a very cheap estimate. It's not unheard of for a parking spot to be closer to $500 - $600, which is more than I pay for my apartment in Ooita-ken. I heard somewhere that it costs about $500 to have someone haul your old car off. Pay for it and cut the parking rental out and, in two months max, you're on top financially.

This made me think of that scene in Akira when the Bosozoku blow that dudes car up on the highway. Jump to 1:08 to see what I'm talking about.

Jul 29, 2014

Now we all know what kinda person Rumi is..... she hates the Hakosuka! How can you hate the Hakosuka!!!! Seems like her mom was pretty cool with her dad's hobby though. Do you think a good "mother-daughter" can straighten this mess out for Muto?

I hope so. I don't wanna see this guy go down in defeat. It's almost always us versus our women in the battle for car customization. They just don't understand that a new part every month for us is the same as a new purse for them every month. And in many cases, the part is cheaper!!

Fight the good fight! Car Life for LIFE!

Hit me up below with questions or comments about the manga up to this point!

Jul 25, 2014

I found this nice Subaru GC8 in Minami-ku Fukuoka while roaming the streets looking for Uras a while back. It is fairly clean, but it's sporting a little battle damage up front. We like to see that these cars are being used, that's for sure!

Sporting a mild drop on some TE37s. Its one of those wheels that just never gets old. And honest-to-God, it goes on everything. There is no car that cannot wear these wheels. They even make a version for K-Cars... Did I mention that I think the blue on this car is simply stunning? And as you can tell from the pic below, I found this in a McDonald's parking lot. Well, I certainly am Lovin' It.

The exterior may look pretty tame, but I do believe there is some work done under the hood. Maybe not a lot, but he does have some gauges inside, which is generally a sign that they are at least enjoying some spirited driving. From here I can also see a Momo Steering wheel, possibly a Tuner model or a Race model. It's been a while, so it's hard to tell!

Sorry I've been gone.... the project car is taking a lot out of me mentally and physically. It's hard being a one man show... I'd really like some contributors!

Jul 24, 2014

Not many words can express what these pictures can... it's a Wiener Mobile made out of a damn Mini Cooper. Whoever said my wiener was mini never saw this thing... I mean... behold the girth! We found this thing in our hotel parking lot in Ohio (Xenia, maybe?) when we went to a Nopi Drift event around 2007. The folder was simply labeled June 6... Did the D in D-Day stand for Di...nevermind.
Miley Cyrus loves to come riding out on stage on giant wieners.... she needs to strike a deal with Oscar Myer and ride this fucker out on stage...
Dat Ass doe....

Anyways, this is a fun little ride... I'd like to convert it to rear wheel drive and drift it....

Jul 19, 2014

Back again with some more project goodness! This isn't a DIY, nor a step by step, but I did want to show you some progress and some cool new parts I picked up.

Shaken is coming soon for me. Shaken is the bi-yearly vehicle inspection in Japan. I have a few issues to deal with, such as a cracked windshield (less that the eraser of a pencil, but a big deal to the over cautious Japanese), and torn steering rack bushings. That last seems to make sense to fix, because I notice at times that my car seems to veer when no other thing is wrong, and the car is aligned. Whatever, I live here now. I want to own a car here. I will play ball.

Every car persons favorite part of "fixing" a car, is that it's an excuse to upgrade a car, under the excuse of "the ordinary parts are almost as expensive. At any rate, it was a good excuse to hit up KTS and get some parts I had been looking at. Thank God it wasn't the whole steering rack as I had originally feared. Take a look at the video below for the unboxing and mini review of the parts that I ordered, those being a set of Steering Rack Bushings and Steering Collar.

Under the car, at the front Crossmember, you will find four bolts. You need to remove all of these. You can see one bolt in the oval cut out to the bottom left of the picture.

And here is a closer look where you can clearly see the bolt.

I'm thinking that these bolts have not been removed in about 18 years... or... since they were tightened at the factory. Going to use some Wakos penetrating oil on this, before I even get started. I really like all of their products that I have used so far. If you can get ahold of some in Japan, I highly recommend it.

And of course the handy dandy impact. This one is made by Tone Tools of Japan.

Here is the back hole of the same bracket we saw a few pictures earlier. There are two screws in each bracket for a total of four. You need to remove all four. After that, just slightly lift the  rack, and pull the bushings out. They are one piece that has a slice in it, so it's not at all difficult to do. Just give it a good yank.... shhhhh get it out of the gutter.

The bushing on the right looks perfectly fine....

The one on the left, though... well...it's seen better days. Definitely needed to be changed, government inspection or not.

And here are their beautiful replacements. These run 8,000 yen, or 80$ American, so they are a little pricey compared to units like Energy Suspension, which are made of polyurethane. However, the quality is high, and the units fit like a charm. They are aluminum so they never need a replacement, but the Energy Suspension units are only 15$. I couldn't notice any performance difference between the two, but I'll left you know more once I get on my coilovers and give 'er some hell.

Just showing you the fit. Lift the rack, slide the bottom in and then put the top back on and bolt her down. No need to freeze these things, or anything like that. They just  go right in.

This is the KTS Steering Collar. Everyone makes this part, and this is not better or worse than any other I have ever seen. However the price was right, and I could get em both shipped for the same price. The unit I had in my old American 240SX was a Touge Factory, and this one is just the same. If it ain't broke...
I didn't take a lot of pics, because putting this in with the engine in was a fuckin' bitch... I'm not gonna be PC, and I'm not gonna lie. I put my other one in when I swapped engines on a recommendation.... now I know why it was recommended.

Here's a tip I was taught. Mark everything in a line with a marker pen. This makes it easy to keep everything in line. Also, once you get this apart. Do NOT turn the steering wheel or rotate the shaft. I don't know from experience, but I heard it sucks, especially if you have an airbag equipped car, like my Kouki. I heard the consequences can be... explosive.

Here's why it sucks to replace while everything is in the car... can you even spot the steering collar or rod? Exactly.

Here's a view from the bottom. Two bolts are actually pretty easy from the bottom. The other two are only accessable from the top, and they aren't so fun. But, (tip #2) a ratchet wrench would have made this shit a lot easier. So would a pet monkey that can turn a wrench.... but those are harder to get.

Anyway, stay tuned for next week, and don't forget to like my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/exitevideomagazine

Jul 17, 2014

Today's throwback Thursday is the build of an old friend of mine. This car was built circa 2002 or 2003. It began life as a bone stock Honda Civic 4-Door Sedan (LX, I think), and became the car before you... save the hate. As I've said in previous TBT articles, the early 2000s were a different time in tuning culture. At the time, this was a really respectable ride. And compared to most aero on the market at the time, the Black Widow was pretty tame.
If I remember correctly the suspension consisted of some cheap brand strut tower bars, and some coilover sleeves, possibly a brand called Matrix. It had some "angel eyes" and eBay clear corners. The car's body work was done by Brian in his driveway, and the color was painted by Maaco for right around 250$. It looked decent for as long as he owned the car.... about the same quality as a factory job. It was great for the money!

I also don't want to forget that Brian was the first person in my town to swap a B16 into this car, and at the time, the stock B16 just felt like a beast. Little did we know that years later,it would not be enough. At the time though, we felt like kings... how times have changed!

And lastly, the 17s... The size every serious "Tuner" needed. Haha, or the only size most places sold at the time 17x7 +42 or some shit like that, with an emphasis on shit, by today's scene. This stance was the norm, and pretty good for a car that wasn't on bags. I'm guessing these are Nitto 450s, because that's what everyone ran as a basic street tire in my area at the time. The lug nuts were from Hayame Racing, and made of magnesium... it "made you faster because it was lighter, lol."

And you can't say that the car above looked like rice, when cars like this were the cover cars of the era. Cars like the yellow Prelude are what we aspired to, much like today's guys want to build a overweight sedan and buy only Coils and Wheels.... JDM hadn't hit big (maybe in CA), so we didn't know there was another way to build a car. And you know... that's ok, because we had a lot of fun!

Jul 16, 2014

がはははははは means GA HAHAHAHAHAHA. Just in case anyone is wondering.

No car action this week, but the story progresses. I've got to get back on the ball of pumping these things out every week. I'm sorry guys, I've just been busy with the car. Speaking of that, I'll have a new post on the Project 180 page this Friday.

I don't know how a girl's dad could make her hate cars so much, but I guess we will find out. In my experience, girls that had dads that were car nuts, are at least accepting of the car life of their significant other, because that's a life that they are comfortable with. They may not LOVE cars, but they at least understand a man that does.

I wonder what's different about that in Japan?

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Jul 6, 2014

I was walking around the neighborhood when I saw this car. While this may not seem like anything crazy to you, I was blown away. What you are looking at is a (roughly) 1985 S120 Toyota Crown Royal Saloon. Wikipedia:

"Launched in 1983, this model used all three versions of the 5M 2.8-liter engine, the 5M carburetted version, 5M-E single overhead cam (SOHC) fuel-injected version, 5M-GE double overhead cam (DOHC), 1G-GE 2000 cc DOHC, M-TE 2000 cc single overhead cam (SOHC) Turbo, M-E 2000 cc SOHC, 2L-TE 2400 cc SOHC Turbo Diesel or 2L 2400 cc SOHC Diesel engines. Base versions use the new 2-liter 1G-E engine which replaced the old 2-liter version of the M series. The "van" version of the station wagon (the GS126V as well as the GS136V in the following series) used its own unique variant of this motor (the 1G-EJ). The lower grade models were available with Toyota's F292 live axle rear suspension while the rest introduced 4-wheel independent suspension on the Crown for the first time.

The S120 was available in Hardtop sedan (frameless door glass), sedan and wagon versions. The Super Saloon and Royal Saloon versions were packed with features such as dual zone climate control, front and rear stereo and A/C control buttons, parcel shelf mounted refrigerator, automatic headlights, reading lamps for all outboard seating positions, tilt & telescoping steering column, glovebox mounted courtesy mirror among many things. One distinctive styling feature of this generation was the use of a clear panel with patterned backing for the C-pillar trim on the sedans. This is also the last model to be assembled in Port Melbourne, Australia from Australian Motor Industries. For the Japanese market only, Toyota made the 190 hp (142 kW) Twincam 12-valve 3.0-liter 6M-GE available on the Royal Saloon for the mid cycle update. This engine is a popular swap for 5M-GE powered Supras and Cressidas of the same period."

Upon coming around the corner, I saw this thing lurking in-between two panel gaps in the covered parking lot. It looked like it was in bad shape so I know it hadn't been driven in a while. Now, in Japan, old cars like this usually get thrown away, because they have no value to the average Japanese. Sometimes people even pay a car shop or recycler money to haul it away.

The 3.0 alone was worth salvaging... It's not super rare, but rare enough and in demand enough that the old car guys would want to buy it for a swap or spare. 3.0 baby!

I was telling the vice president of a Kindergarten that I teach at, and he told me a story that REALLY peaked my interest in this car.

This all happened about 12 years ago... Apparently, this man loved his car, and despite it being old (really old by Japanese standards), he routinely serviced it, as well as washed it and detailed it weekly. Nobody knows who was involved, but one evening he was murdered. The police never caught the murderer. His wife has not moved the car since, and pays the 40 dollars a month fee to keep the car as a memorial to her husband.

For me this is too good of a jump off point for a manga, anime, or live action movie....

It really has inspired me to write some kind of film about this car.... but I have to finish Drift Girl first... more on that later. I've got too much on my plate as it is right now.

This story is just a little crazy, yeah?

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Jul 4, 2014

Sorry that this isn't going to be a set of step by step photos, but we were moving kind of fast at the garage, and there wasn't a lot of time to stop and do video. But really, at the same time.... do you really want to watch video of someone sanding something down for forever?
I did both fenders and also did the popup headlight covers. Total working time was around 4-6 hours foreverything...

...And these fenders were in shitty shape if you recall.... A DA sander makes everything so much faster and easier. Way better than hand sanding. If I had any advice for some one that wanted to do their own body work... invest in a DA and some 240 grit paper, and then buy the GOOD buildable primer, along with some 400 grit to prep it for paint.... it makes life so much easier.

That's where we are at, for the time being. My shaken (sha - ken) is coming up, so we are having to do some checks, which may lead to some upgrade parts. I know I need to get a new windshield, because of the world's smallest chip (lame), but there might be some other things I need as well, underneath. I'll let you know more about that next week, when we go over everything!
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