Misadventures of a Drift Newbie, Part 11: Practice Day Prep.

Nose painted, new fender on. quarter panel and rocker needs some attention still.

We’ve been quite busy working on the car since our novice clinic last month! I started out with some body work, I got the passenger’s side almost good enough to wrap, then I’ll move on to the driver’s side. The problem has been getting scheduling and weather to cooperate. At least it’s not critical! We have done some more important work as well. Nate rebuilt the leaky power steering pump, so now Andy the Spirit.jp tech inspector won’t yell at us. The steering works better too!

Frank welding up our new exhaust system.

We also built a new exhaust system to help Chizuru breath a little easier as well as sound cooler. I didn’t realize how quiet the stock exhaust was outside the car until the rest of the team said they heard Nate and I laughing when we spun out on the back side of the track! The new blast pipes should remedy that problem.

Grippy new front tires on freshly polished OEM wheels!

Another issue we noticed at the novice clinic was our front tires and their lack of grip. The car kept wanting to understeer under certain conditions, so we figured it was time for some nice grippy rubber up front. I polished up a pair of the original Z31 wheels and Frank mounted the new tires. These should be a big help!

You can’t tell from this picture but it shifts smoother after the trans oil change.

The biggest item on our to-do list was getting our extra differential welded up and installed. We had a couple setbacks with ordering the wrong seals, and having to knock some welding slag out of the splines, but overall it was pretty straightforward! We took it for a little drive around the neighborhood after we got the car back together, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected it to be! It felt a little weird making tight turns and in reverse, but I think that’s a small price to pay for the benefit we’re going to see on the track. Getting rid of that open diff is going to be a game-changer.

Because of course I painted it Miku blue.
The money shot… Chizuru is no longer a one-legger!

Our next event is going to be the Spirit.jp practice day on 11/17, I can’t wait to see how we do with a proper drift car setup! This will also be our first regular track day as opposed to a novice clinic, so that should keep it interesting. I can’t wait!

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