Mar 15, 2019

UpGarage in Fukuoka

Hakata Branch Store Video Tour

by Dustin Mankin

I needed to get some parts for the 180SX, and what better place to go than UpGarage! I can't really say anything here that wasn't in the video, so enjoy the fact that I'm not long winded today! See you guys soon in the next video!

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Mar 7, 2019

Factory Nissan Navan S14 Silvia

Car Spotting Vlog from Fukuoka

by Dustin Mankin

Had a great time a few weekends ago, walking the streets of Fukuoka. My actual goal was to get to UpGarage to look for some parts, but I mean.... COME ON! It's Japan. It's super easy to get sidetracked looking at all the awesome cars. There is all kinds of stuff in this one. I'll make a short list below.

Nissan Navan Silvia S14
JA11 Suzuki Jimny
Land Cruiser

I didn't take any screenshots this time, I just wanna show you guys the video, which you can check out below!

Mar 2, 2019

How to Make a Garage Seat From a 180SX Seat

by Dustin Mankin

***NOTE: These measurements might not be perfect. I built this base with scrap wood, and too be honest it has a VERY SLIGHT leftward lean. But it's perfectly fine to use. If you use these plans as a jumping off point and find the PERFECT solution, please send me a link to your build thread, or send me the measurements and design. I'll show it off here if you would like. Everything I do, I do solely out of my love for the automotive community and I try very hard to be a positive example. So if it isn't perfect for you I apologize! Let's get started!!


Circular saw
18mm bit
1/4" bit
1/8" bit
3/16" bit
17mm Wrench

9mmx50mm lag bolts (2)
M10 Bolt
M10 washers (3)
90mm deck screws
25mm deck screws
42mm deck screws
Wood scraps for shims


Build Process

Now that you have all of your measurements, you can probably go ahead and cut everything down. Since I was using scrap, I had to cut it all a certain way and I was figuring it out as I went. You don't have to do that. You can also take those measurements and cut everything the way you want to. This is just how I did it.

Since I measured as I went in the video, the order is a little bit off. I'll try to post everything a little bit more orderly. Let's start from the front:

For starters, I drew a line where I would want my screws to go, using a square. You DON'T HAVE to do this, but I like things to be somewhat straight. I drilled a small pilot hole that would allow my deck screw to go in easily without splitting the wood, but tight enough to let the screw bite.

After that I used a bigger bit that's about the size of the screw head to make a relief hole the size of the head. This will also prevent splitting or tearing. You can see the hole below. The first one was a little deeper than I wanted, but I went shallower on the second one.

After that I got the thin plate of wood square with my 4x4 (ish) piece and used the pilot holes on my plate as a template to make pilot holes in the 4x4 (ish) beam. After Attaching the plate with screws, you'll notice the plate is a bit wider (deeper?) than the beam. It's ok, because I'll rip this smooth with a circular saw in a bit. If you are looking at the cut list above, just cut it to those dimensions.

Later on, I had to add another shim, because the seat had a bit of a gangsta lean. If you add this now, your 130 degree slant cut will be more accurate. (You'll understand that later.)

Below is a picture from a few steps ahead, when I added the extra shim:

Now that the scraps are bolted down, you'll have to make a 130 degree cut on the beam's edge to make room for the slants in the seat rails. I'd make these about 6cm wide each, to give you wiggle room for the seat.

Now that the front is done, I'll show you the back.

Since I was using scraps, I had to double up on two ripped down 2x4s, but if you have a 4x4 or that might work better. You rip that down to the height. Then instead of buying the threaded plate (see below) you could just buy a 3rd carriage bolt, and save a little bit of money. I leave it up to you. In the long run, I saved money this way, due to the price of wood in Japan, and me wanting to use up scraps.... but you do what you want.

Now you'll want to attach your full 2x4 block to the back beam. Since I was going through three pieces, 120mm deck screws would have been ideal, but I only had 90mm at the house. So I made my pilot holes and I made my counter sunk holes a bit deep to get some penetration. If you were using a solid 4x4 beam in the back, 90mm would be more than fine... 70mm might even do. I dunno.

Given that my situation was what it was, I decided to do one from the front and one from the back. (Stop, perverts.) This would give me some good bite.

Below is about what you will see, but you may have done the front notches by now, if you are going step by step.

Mock everything up with the seat. I used the rear seat hole as a tracing template and traced the circle. Since It was so close to the edge, and I knew a carriage bolt would never grab, I decided on a plate with threads for a 10mm bolt. You can see that plate 2 pictures below.

With my hole traced, I used an 18mm wood bit to drill a hole to allow clearance for the nut on the plate. This worked perfect. Those are the next two pictures below.

The above and below pictures show the attachment of the plate. It's simple. Place the plate in, and then used four deck screws to anchor it down. I think I used like 25mm screws. They worked for this purpose, and insured I didn't hit any of the other screws below.

Now it's time for the sides. I just used 1x4s here, but if you wanna put a few together, take my advice and use 2x4s or 4x4s for the inside rails. Then adjust the deck screw length accordingly and you can attach the sides with lag bolts to make a car seat couch!

Use screws wherever you feel appropriate. You can use my pattern here as an example. The one part that I would say is non-negotiable is the front diagonal pattern. This pattern just makes sure the carriage bolt won't hit anything on the way down. Do this on both sides and you should have something that looks similar below.


Explanation of Wood Scrap

It's time to put the seat down to this bad boy. This pinnacle of modern carpentry skills, this.... monstrosity of cobbled together scraps...

I started in the rear, since I had put that threaded plate there. If you are using carriage bolts for everything, you might wanna save that for last. Different strokes, folks.

Anyway you go about it, this is roughly how the seat should look, sitting on the wood frame, although at this point, you will probably have your sideboards on, as you can see a few pictures below.

Immediately below is the "driver" side. Notice that this was during test fitting, and I had not made my 130 degree cuts for the front rails, yet.

This is the rear trans tunnel side of the car. The chair just sits there. In the final version, there will probably be one more shim, raising the rear up a bit to cancel any gangster lean.

The next two pictures are of the front, after the 130 degree cuts were made, but before the side pieces went on. This view really lets you see how everything works. Notice the second picture below was before I added the second shim. 

And here it is with the side pieces on, before I bolted anything down. Let's bolt this thing down so we can play some Gran Turismo (Forza if I lived in the States!).

The next three pictures are just of me snugging everything down.  Make it snug, but be careful of over tightening, so you don't pull the threads out of the wood!

Now it's time to chill in the next great addition of your garage/man cave.... whatever you've got!

I also had a great time with my wife, the day before I made the chair, and our muckbank is at the beginning of this video. If you don't like seeing random Japanese food, just skip to the portion where I make the chair... but I always try to show when we have fun, because I really do have a blast with my wife!

Feb 6, 2019

Fuck This Button:

How a Single Button Ruined Half a Day's Drift Footage

by Dustin Mankin

Like the title picture says, fuck that Mic||Line switch. Somehow, it got bumped to line and cut out all my audio for a half day of my shoot. Some clips from that event are in the exclusive video below... you all that traveled here will be seeing these before anyone else.

And don't take this to mean I don't like this camera. My Panasonic HMC40 has been a workhorse! I'll definitely buy another Panasonic when I upgrade. I've been using Panasonics since my DVX 100B's in 2004 (ish). I'm a loyalist.

Also, below the video are some really nice stills, since the images flashed by rather fast.

Feb 4, 2019

Nissan S13 Silvia Drifting at Tenzan:

Trying a New GoPro Mounting Location

by Dustin Mankin

When I go to an event, I'm always looking to get extra footage and trying to think about how I can get 3-4 videos from a single event. Mind you, the next few things are not complaining or whining, they are just the cold hard facts. I'm not monetized, I don't make any money from my videos, and I actually (from a business standpoint) lose money on every single event I go to. Therefore I have to squeeze THE MAX out of every opportunity.

One way I can do that is by getting my action cameras on as many cars as they will permit me to. Car mounted footage was super rare outside of professional productions about 14-15 years ago. The GoPro revolutionized that. But soon the novelty wore off, and the ever important question of "How can I get a cooler angle than other guys?" became more and more important.

As I said before, I don't make a lot of money (read: none) doing this, so I can't buy as much stuff as I'd like. What I can do, however, is use my brain to try to get the max out of my equipment, or at the minimum figure out how a $5.00 adapter can get me an angle instead of having to buy a whole other mount.

Enter this current video.

This S13 is super cool to me... I dig damaged drift cars. It shows character. I met the owner of this car a while back, when I first came to Japan. In fact, I met him at the first event I was ever invited to at a place lovingly referred to as Inoshishi Circuit.

Inoshishi means wild pig, or boar... and the owner does in fact have a wild pig farm on his property.

This meeting is also the reason that to this day, when it comes to suction mounts, I only run name brand GoPro suction mounts. Watch the video below to find out why:

Yeah. Almost cost me my only action camera at the time.

The owner of this bronze bomber is the owner of the white S13 in this week's video as well. And the camera that fell off? It's in this video, too. Still going strong after I ordered a housing lens cover repair kit. And yes it's a 1st gen HD Hero. Have I mentioned not making money, yet?

This S13 is your "average" JDM drift Silvia, although it does not mean it is a slouch in any way, shape, or form. In Japan, while the build is important... the seat time is more important. A good Japanese driver could out do your FD Pro 2 level YouTube build in your mom's 1998 gray Camry.

Seat time guys... you'll hear it from me a lot!

Speaking of seats, here is an interior shot for you. Nothing crazy, just the JDM Special. A deep dish wheel and a Recaro. Your mom's favorite shift knob is in there, too... but I don't think that really matters. Long and strong, son.

The one thing we had an issue with, is we had run out of tires. Not to worry, one of the other drivers GAVE us a pair to run, so we could make our video. Japanese drifters really are the NICEST people on the planet.

We got those thrown on, and we headed out on to the track, and I was really eager to see if my planned camera angles would work. Ah, yes... the GoPro stuff:

I found a nice mount that I think is supposed to hold a small LED light and an Action Camera. I guess it could also hold two GoPro Sessions, or, if you are like me and have an idea, two full sized action cameras.

The idea is that the camera on the interior (black in this photo) can get either  a back-facing or front-facing shot like a traditional mounted action camera. Something like this:

The outer facing one (at least when drifting) can get an oncoming car. This camera only serves that one purpose, so it's not for everyone or every time. In fact, I could only get one shot worth having out of 7 minutes on track. Now, if people knew it was for proximity and knew it was for banging doors footage... this thing has the potential to be EPIC. Here is the shot I got in my test:

Imagine if he knew the camera was there and both drivers agreed to bang doors. Can you imagine that 180 creeping closer and closer to the lead car? That would be INSANE. No denying.

The camera was a bit far from the base, so it had a little bit of shake, but I fixed it in post. I wouldn't not want to do that on multiple shots or on long takes... this short clip took long enough in After Effects. I think I have a remedy for that.... and that is a discussion for another blog article!

I also brought my iPhone X with me to take some shots in the car. All in all, it turned out pretty good!

Here is the whole video. I hope you enjoy it!!

And lastly.... some bonus shots:

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