Archive | October, 2009

Forza 3 is impressive!

30 Oct

This game is so massive, it ships with two discs to successfully install all features.  Turn 10 studios has also added a drag race function for online competition and some killer new tracks (like the Ken Block inspired abandoned airfield for practice and some sweet Touge courses).

The list of improvements from Forza 2 is astounding – among them, the ability to swap motors or drivetrains independently.  Want a K20 swapped Honda Fit?  No problem.  An RB26 powered 240Z?  Sure!  How about a VQ powered Silvia?

370z 1

A bolt-on 370Z on the Touge

370z 2

Massive visual prowess...

370z 3

The new Z1 370Z? We wish!

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Dressed for Success

29 Oct

Gus from Limitless Performance is one of the OG members on my350z, and has had his Z since new. Over the years he’s done lots of stuff, from a Greddy twin turbo/built motor (554whp), to suspension, etc etc. He recently switched up his wheels and they are sweet!!!

Weds SA67R in Blue Light Chrome 18×9, 18×10

First time I’ve seen them on a Z – great choice. Looks awesome

Pics were done by fellow Z owner Sal Sued

Sakura!!

28 Oct

Great shot of a Shadow Sports Aero Kit beneath a Cherry Blossom Tree. This dreary weather we’ve had here in NY lately makes me long for a nice spring day already!

What is E-Tuning?

28 Oct
dyno01c-1

Dyno-Tune Versus E-tune

You know how it works – you’ve spent some money on a few bolt on mods and a programmable ECU.  Now, you’re looking to get the entire packaged tuned for optimal power and efficiency.

Unfortunately, now you’re at the mercy of your tuner and you’re reliant on them to produce streetable, reliable power.  We’ve all heard the horror stories of poor tuning for even the most seemingly simply combination of parts.

Back in the day, finding a dyno tuner in your area was tough enough!  These days, it seems that dynos are everywhere and for good reason…dyno-tuning generates quick cash and the machines can be financed.  But who is to say your local tuner is reliable, safe and educated?  Do they know how to tune your specific motor?

Modern motors such as the K20 series from Honda brings even more challenges.  Hondata’s Kpro (RSX) and FlashPro (Civic SI) are easily the most popular applications and while they are easy to use, the nature of the K20 brings it’s own challenges in selecting the proper VTEC point and cam angle according to the mod list.

This brings us to the topic of internet based tuning.  K20 loyalists don’t have to travel the country to get a safe tune from a knowledgeable source.

There are a handful of these E-tuners in the K20 community – some are even using some pretty sophisticated torque graphing software designed around Hondata’s ECU’s.  As long as you log on the same road each time (to account for road slope) you can get a fair estimation of the power curve before/after mods/tuning.

The attached graph reads a bit optimistically according the mods, but the road is at a slight downward slope.  Results are repeatable, and graphs from logs in the opposite direction of the same road result in a graph that reads 20 peak hp lower.

A mix of street tuning and dyno sessions with a GOOD tuner is best, but E-tuning may be the answer for those in areas lacking in knowledgeable people.

A/F still being optimized in the 4500-5500 area, but you get the idea.  Our 2006 Civic SI has the following power-mods:

-Vibrant Race Header w/ High Flow Cat

-Vibrant Gen 2 Catback exhaust (true 2.5″).

-K&N SRI

-Unorthodox Racing Pulley Kit

z1

Tuned K20's with I/H/E commonly put down 210-220hp on dynojets.

New Product: Urethane Transmission Mount 370Z/G37

24 Oct

We recently began work on designing a new, urethane transmission mount for the 370Z/G37.

The stock mount uses a soft rubber that is liquid filled. While it’s up and down durometer rating (stiffness) is sufficient, there is alot of play side to side. This promotes that rubbery, almost vague feeling things have gear to gear. The solution for us will be a direct replacement, bolt in, urethane transmission mount that has consistent stiffness for both lateral and medial movement. You will not need to press anything or modify anything in any way. The upper portion of the mount will be cnc’d aluminum, just like the OEM unit, and the urethane section will come preinstalled so it’s ready to put into the car. It will include all the required hardware as well as detailed instructions. This will benefit both the casual street driver and the more aggressive track driver equally with noticeably quicker shifts without all the slop.

We will be able to offer this in 2 stiffness level, comfort, and race. These are fully developed, designed and produced in the USA. MSRP is expected to be approximately $150.00 for the comfort version and $185.00 for the race version. This is the anticipated retail price, but final street price will be determined by dealers who wish to carry the product.

The above is preliminary and final design may change a bit. I expect to have the samples back here in about a week, so we can do some testing and then ramp up to production.

Thanks for looking!

I need paddle shifters badddddddd….

20 Oct

This made my afternoon…

More GT Spec BBQ Pics

19 Oct

Mark uploaded the ones he shot – thanks again for hosting it, had fun!

click here for the gallery

Primadonna

18 Oct

I remember when I first learned about these cars, back in the early 90’s. I had acquired my first Z car, a ’79 ZX (which I still have!) and like most cars I have owned, I instantly became passionate about it. Learning the lineage of a car is part of the joy for me. I immersed myself in all things Z, and would spend countless hours at the library at college going through microfiche scans of old Road and Track, Car and Driver, etc

Anyway, I remember Mike, my Z mentor, telling me about the Primadonna Z cars, and sharing some info he knew. Now that I am older, and can really appreciate what goes into building the car of your dreams, I have even more respect for what these cars brought to the table. They were the vision of Jack Atkinson, a car nut who did all the work himself, outside his apartment, in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

This has been blogged about before, and you can read more about it here

What it makes me think of, is what cars will we remember 15 or 20 years from now? With the explosion of the online communities, we now learn about cars from all corners of the globe. I wonder what cars we’ll talk about over beers in 2020.

No Title Needed

18 Oct

Just 2 sweet cars in the paddock. Both cars are sponsored by Benelop, a large real estate management and development firm in Japan. I’ve got more pics of the NSX, which I believe is prepped by Taitec, but haven’t located any other details on the Z yet, except it’s wearing an NKB/Seiken widebody kit. This was taken back in ’07.

Clean Si(r)

18 Oct

Phuong contacted us last month with a big parts list of goodies he wanted for his newly acquired Si sedan – here are the results. A nicely done street car. Makes me want an Si sedan to play with!

GT Spec Fall BBQ 10-17-2009

18 Oct

Pics courtesy of k20z1 – nice pics! The weather was more mid December than mid October…cold, and cloudy. But it was a fun time, and a nice turnout. Tony, those burgers were sweet – luck was with him too as he won a bunch of the raffle stuff. One guy went home with a Carbonetics LSD. Not bad for a $10 ticket! I even managed to win a raffle (yes, I paid for a ticket!) – Work lugs 😉 Which they are now packaging with a sweet Work Plate too – great for shows, etc. I of course forgot my camera! There were a bunch of RX7’s too that hopefully I can find some pics of. Not too often you see FD’s that actually run here on the east coast, and some of the ones here were making BIG power! There was also a nice older 911 that hopefully I can find a pic of…it sounded good too when it pulled away.

Costa Rican Cool!

17 Oct

I’ve said before that I love the fact that we get to deal with people from all over the world. This awesome Z comes from a good customer and friend down in Costa Rica. Not exactly the first place you would think you would find an amazingly done Z, but sometimes you find cool things in unlikely places!

Carlos has been a customer for several years now. It all began with a simple set of tires, and since that time has evolved into all sorts of stuff from Ings, NISMO, Cusco, Haltech and more! He’s even got my old ported intake manifold setup from my 350Z. Stay tuned here as Carlos’ car is about to undergo some boosted improvement soon!

Op Ed: Please “Mechanic”, Fix your Perspective

15 Oct

This is a rebuttal to the blog post I read here

I’m not a “Vette guy”. But in my humble opinion, the author is off his rocker. I once thought of the Corvette as the stuff dreams were made of – for guys going through their mid life crisis with their hamburger meat poking out from their bad hawaiian shirt, or meatheads who once had an IROC. Those days are gone in my eyes now. The modern Vette represents something that an actual enthusiast WOULD get.

The Everyman car? Give me a break. What sports car nowadays is the everyman car? The days of a kid getting a solid paying job, let alone affording a sports car, haven’t been with us for a long while now. When so many graduating college do so with $100k + in student loans, I don’t think buying a ‘Vette is top on their list of “must haves”. Their happy to have a Friday night out with their friends and paying the rent on time. So where should we start? Social reform or price reform on a sports car? I’d love to see a real deal affordable sports car that a recent college grad with a decent job could afford. Our business would thrive on such a car. But in todays world, that same college grad is lucky if he can afford an apartment on his own. Your salary is eaten up by alot more things than it used to be.

The Vette doesn’t have a victory lane type image? Victories in ALMS, Le Mans, and several GT class events throughout the world isn’t enough? Does it have a Vegas image? Sure, to some.

For many, perception is reality. Porsche’s convey snobbery to many people. Ferrari’s even moreso. Yet they often get a pass. Image plays a role, sure, but for many of us, the car is a reflection of how we see ourselves, not how we think others see us. Miata’s happen to be neat little cars. Some might say they are feminine. I’d invite those to a Spec Miata race and watch the door to door action, and tell me if that doesn’t look like a helluva lot of fun?

Let’s not forget that GM is in the position now of trying to capitalize on whatever they can. That can sometimes lead to things like the current Grand Sport. Interestingly enough, the previous Grand Sport was very much the same. More show than go. Some might argue the NISMO 370Z is cut from the same cloth.

Is the Vette the greatest thing since sliced bread under $60k? Who knows – that’s subjective. However, from a performance standpoint, it runs with cars that are way out of its price category and that is something it has done nearly since the 60’s. That’s its point. I firmly believe that the guy looking for a performance car is not considering both the Vette and the GT3. They are 2 distinctly different cars for 2 different customers. These are legacy cars. They are cars that cater to the existing ownership base. When the new one comes out, the owners trade up. Higher line models come out, and it’s what many of these owners aspire to get. A C6 customer probably wishes he had a Z06. A Z06 customer wishes he had a ZR1. A Carrera owner perhaps wishes he had a Turbo. And so it goes.

Edmunds – I appreciate your contributor trying to stir the pot, but in this case, I think he’s got it a bit backwards.

CSL, 350Z Style

11 Oct

First time many might see some of these genuine parts in the flesh. The Amuse kit shown here is known as the “CSL” kit. One look at the fender vents and you know why. While they aren’t my personal favorite fenders, the kit works as a whole. It’s disappointing that this has been replicated so many times, and almost everyone rocks theirs as if it’s genuine. Big time props to the owner for using the genuine parts. It’s even sporting the very rare, and expensive, dry carbon Amuse hood! Awesome photographs too, which you can check out at http://shutterlit.blogspot.com

“People Still Do That?”

6 Oct
75 Degrees and snowing?  C'mon now

75 Degrees and snowing? C'mon now

So Jon and I went to the Streetwheelz show this weekend at the Beach. By the way they spell the show name, you know it’s going to pale in comparison to JCCS, Sevenstock, or any of the cool west coast shows that have been going on lately.

Someone help this dude out…..plllleeeeaaaasssse! You’ve got a respectable car (‘Speed 6 I think), and I’m sure you love your car, but c’mon….this ain’t ’95 anymore. And even in ’95, this was as lame as lame gets. Jon and I turned to each other in unison, and said “people still DO that”? Then when Kwame and I were talking about the show, I mentioned the fake snow in October, and he said the same thing! Makes a good blog title I think

I’ll post up some more of the respectable cars later on (there were a few, even though the show was really small)