Archive | 6:13 PM

A Blast from the Past

19 Aug

Back in September of ’98 I bought myself my first new car – a ’99 Impreza 2.5 RS (man, feels like a million years ago!)   I was going through a rally phase at the time.  In the stable already was an ’88 All Trac Turbo Celica that was modded, and a ’92 Galant VR4 that was modded.  But Subaru was all the rage in rallying then, and after watching many late night feeds of WRC on the old Speedvision network (before fox turned it into nascar tv), I decided I had to have one!

So I went to the dealership and purchased a World Rally Blue RS.  I had visions of transforming it into my very own US spec STi Version V Type R.

STi V5 Type R Coupe courtesy of Pistonheads

STi V5 Type R Coupe courtesy of Pistonheads

So of course the modding began even before I had the car (typical me).  By the time the car was delivered, I already had Speedline wheels, and a Prodrive/Bilstein suspension kit in hand ready to go!  This was before there were really alot internet resources out there.  The main source of info was the Checkpoint25 site and mailing list where Subaru heads from across the US chatted about news, parts and rumors online.  Within a few months, a Canadian company called Minnam came out with their own turbo kit using a T3/T4, Spearco top mount, and some associated parts.  A local guy on the Checkpoint list was the first to purchase the kit, and did the install himself at his house (whatup Shane…maybe you’re reading this!).  We began exchaning emails, and on a rainy Sunday morning, my brother and I were trecking up to Rockland county to check the car out.  After one drive, I was hooked!  I called Minnam the next day and ordered my very own kit.  We’ll go into detail on that build in a future installment. 

What brings my to the title of the post is an old school video that has been floating around the web for years.  I’m sure many of you might be familiar with it.  For those who aren’t, this shows what OG Subaru tuning was all about!  It was fall of ’99, and some friends from the Subaru community heard that the PBS Show Motorweek was going to be testing a 22B.  For those not familiar with the car, it is the be all, end all Subaru IMHO.  Flared fenders, 2.2 liter flat 4 turbocharged, with every known trick and toy Subaru had at their disposal at the time.  Check out some 22B pics:

This car is owned by a longtime customer Karl, who know lives in Lebanon.  This is a genuine 22B, one of only 399 ever offered to the public (one of the 400 was retained by Subaru to the best of my understanding).  How’s that for limited edition!

Anyway, word got around that Motorweek was going to do this test.  Some friends of mine were somehow connected with the show, and before I know it, we’re organizing a 100 person meet at the Ownings Mills, MD studios.  I think it’s safe to say this was the first Subaru Mega Meet in the US!  Check the video out.  I know the quality sucks.  One of these days I’ll dig through my old tapes and see if I have the master I was given.   The car shown had the Minnam turbo kit, Prodrive brakes, and a ton of other stuff I can’t even remember right now.  Eventually, I went one step further after the original motor finally gave up (led a boosted life for many miles before finally giving up!), and swapped in a built STi V4 RA closed deck motor with JUN cams, a LINK ecu, STi 5 speed trans, and bunch of other goodies.  Anyway, onto the video – alot of memories working on that car, and it’s fun being remember as one of the pioneers in the Subaru tuning community in the US


The Real Dark Knight

19 Aug

Why… so… serious?

Seriously, because this EVO X goes hardddddd. Black on Black (if someone even dares uses the phrase “murdered out” I will kick them in the balls) the total opposite of something Rick Ross would drive but who cares?

Another vehicle courtesy of one of our customers and really good friends, Paul. This is Paul’s second black on black Evo build. This car is barely a month old and its already got a set of Eibach springs, AME FS01s,  an AMS Intake, Black AMS Intercooler Pipe. an HKS EVC VI Limited Boost Controller, an HKS Exhaust and  to quote Adam “a bunch of Kansai and Ralliart goodies on the way!”  Dammmmmnnn Homie! Not bad… Feed the addiction Paul, feed it!

Just like Batman always shows up again on the big screen you can bet money that you will see this car up here on our blog with updates in no time. (Oh and BTW Paul we are shipping out your new HKS midpipe out to you today.) 🙂

NA is Dead?

19 Aug

All too often on the web, you see guys talking about making big hp on cars through forced induction. Whether it’s a supercharger, turbo, twin charged, etc., there is always someone pushing the envelope here.  But what about good old fashioned NA power?  No boost, no having to inject various concoctions of combustible chemicals to be able to crank the timing – just plain ordinary air? I think it often gets left by the wayside.

I wanted to start a multipiece series on NA tuning, with particular emphasis on what to many people is the pinnacle of an NA setup – the Individual Throttle Body, or in web language, ITB. Let’s just get a basic understanding of what an ITB is and how it works.

As the name implies an Indivdual Throttle Body (ITB) means each cylinder has it’s own dedicated path for the air to reach the combustion chamber.  The bodies are linked together so that they open and close together, thus allowing the engine to ingest the air required for the combustion process.  There are several benefits that an ITB setup can have over a single throttle body.  First and foremost is cylinder balance.  With a single throttle body, you have little to no control over how much air is ingested into the the combustion chamber for each cylinder.  As a result, you end up with air reaching the combustion chambers in varying amounts, at various speeds, which can leave you with cylinders producing different power levels.  The amount this differs of course varies by the application.  With ITB’s there is no sharing of air.  Each cylinder is afforded unlimited air, and through tuning, the user can ensure that each cylinder is ingesting the exact same volume per air, at the exact same velocity. The second benefit is throttle response. With each cylinder now able to ingest it’s own dedicated stream of air, the combustion process starts quicker, and the engine responds faster to throttle inputs.  Furthermore, because you now have individual paths of air vs a large single path, the volume of air and the velocity that can be ingested into the engine as the throttle plate opens is often more than a single throttle body setup allows.  We’ll go into more detail on this last point in a future installment, as well as determining the right manifold design for a particular application, all with real world testing, graphs, videos and dynos!

As best I can tell, the first production car to use both ITB’s and fuel injection was the very rare BMW M1. This car was manufactured from 1978 to 1981, and used a combination of ITB’s and a mechanical fuel injection system developed by Kugelfischer and Bosch.  BMW still uses ITB’s today on their M series engines.


In the next installment, we’ll look more in depth into various ITB setups as well as design differences, etc. In the meantime, take a look and listen at this clip from Option Video from Japan of a tuned Acura with ITB’s.  If this doesn’t make you fall in love with an automobile, it’s pretty safe to assume you have no soul!

Widebody Twin Turbo FX….

19 Aug

Just giving props where props are due… This beauty belongs to a good customer and friend of ours named Viet. He’s representing Cali to the fullest, I guess the term “Swang and Bang,” is not only reserved for those who reside in Texas!

Props to the photographer as well, GP-Photography.

Drop it like its hot…

19 Aug

Not sure who the owner of this car is or who the original source of this photo is but I peeped these pics over on courtesy of GQ GTR.

R35 + Lowered Stance +BBS LMs + Amuse Exhaust = Movement in my pants. If or when we get a GTR in the shop I’d imagine it would resemble this, simple yet expressive.

My Holy Grail…

19 Aug

New blog, first post. It’s late, I’m having a mental block and I couldn’t figure out what to post. So I said to myself what is the coolest and/or rarest piece for your 350z/Z33 build that you have pictures of??

I think this takes the cake, ARC Z33 Super Titan Silencer Y-Pipe Back Exhaust. Some of you might have seen me post pictures before on my350z, but I took the pictures down. In any case here it is again, “an oldie but a goodie”. This bad boy set me back a lot of ducketts for sure.

Oh and if you want one for your ride you know who to hit up 😉