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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Nissan GTR R32 1991 Tooheys Top 10 Bathurst

The Nissan Skyline GT-R, R32 gained legendary status in Australia with qualifying runs like this at Bathurst, in 1991.  Mark Skaifee, in the Gibson Motorsport Group A based R32 GT-R puts on a clinic with a fast flying lap. Flames, big negative camber, and top spots on the grid. Check out the video.

Monday, March 26, 2012

25 Hours of Thunderhill : Scion Video : DG Spec

One fine day, or a couple of days really, I participated in a little race they call the "25 Hours of Thunderhill".

Follow along as the DG-Spec Scion Racing team takes on the longest road race in North America, the grueling 25 Hours of Thunderhill!

Belmont Shore Car Show

View this entire album: Belmont Shore Car Show

Fuddy Duddy B-17 Flying Fortress at Lyon Air Museum

Fuddy Duddy B-17 Flying Fortress at Lyon Air Museum

B-17 Flying Fortress at Lyon Air Museum. Costa Mesa, CA . 

More photos -

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Big Bird - The Fast and Furious R33 Skyline GT-R

Sport Compact Car Magazine cover shoot
 This is some old parts of the story of Big Bird. Most of what is below is from around 2002-2003 time frame. The memories are all still pretty vivid. I might fill in some more blanks later.

Why Big Bird ?
We name cars... easier than saying the R33.... when you have a few sitting around...easier to say "Slim Shady" than the "white R32"  This car is Big Bird because it was painted yellow by Universal for the Fast and Furious.  Plus its big , yellow, and everyone loves it...
       Wasn't this (UPRD's ,Rhys Millens ,XS , Universal ,etc) car ?
This R33 has always been owned by MotoRex. It has been loaned out and used a lot
       What is this cars history ?
SEMA 1998. First GT-R I ever drove
It was one of the first R33's to come to the US. It was in SCC back in Jan 1999. It has since appeared in tons , and tons of places. It is , has been the most widely used R33 Skyline GT-R in the US. It was orginally white.
It has been featured in  Sport Compact Car - twice - Pikes Peak - and as the HKS car , Max Power , Road and Track , Turbo Magazine. It has been featured in ads for everyone from to Racing Hart , to XS Engineering.  It has even been featured in an ad for an Australian importation company-doing a burnout.

The car raced at Pikes Peak in 1999 in the Showroom stock class. It was driven by Rhys Millen to a record for 1999 of 12:13.47 . Considering a Skyline is not a rally car - not a bad time.

It was raced at One Lap of America 1999 . but some gremlins kept the car from finishing. That is the reason it was on the trailer in these pictures. 
We took the car to the audition for Fast and Furious. They liked the car. They wanted to use it in a bigger role ,but we could not get them enough cars in time for them . That is why the car only has a small role in the movie. Lots of people wanted to see it out racing , but without several cars - the movie doesn't want to take the chance of something happening to the only car they had.
Some of these cars might look familar from the original Fast and Furious. 

After we got the car back , we weren't quite sure what to do with it. Raced it one time at Carlsbad Dragstrip. One bar of boost , pump gas , and it turned a 12.1 @ 110 mph first pass. Trying to turn the boost up made for some messed up passes in the 12's with lots of wheelspin.
Free Tibet

We hooked up with Holley /SoCal Speed Shop /NOS - and they installed a direct port nitrous system. Very mean looking under the hood.
Corrected length lines in this picture
We loaned it to a company for CES. They told us that it stopped running..... this car had been used a lot... Get the car back . Check it out - no compression.  We figure - Adjustable boost , direct port nitrous , and people unfamilar with a car like this..and they had problems.  We sit on the car for a while . Car goes to XS Engineering. They pull the head - all the exhaust valves are bent. Nice marks in the top of each piston. No wonder it had no compression.  Started to work on a 2.8 liter , big motor for Big Bird and drag racing.  Time passes and it sits..

Sitting at XS Engineering, looking sad

November -December 2001 . IDRC finals in Palmdale are coming up.  Lets get Big Bird running again. Get another stock motor for it. Have to retap a manifold as the stock orginal is being converted to single throttle body. Drop in a stock motor - 2530's we have off the car orginally. Get it running , get it to XS - Friday night before the event. Install the Power FC Pro , #8 plugs, temporary bottle heater. First pull on the dyno 370 hp to the wheels. We are only on wastegate spring pressure as we didnt have time to hook up the boost controller.  Eric pulls some timing out of the top - pulls 360 to the wheels . Ready for the nitrous.  First pulls are way rich. Jet the fuel down to 14. Bottle pressure up to 1100psi. 24 nitrous 14 fuel. Bottle pressure up to 1200 psi by accident.... 551 hp to the wheels. 100% stock internal motor. But the car is inconsistant. We decide not to use the nitrous.

First pass at IDRC... 12.74 @ 108. We only got to make one pass that day.
Next plans are to pull some weight out of it. Change the heavy 18x10's with the  Toyo  T1S 255/40/18's to some 17's and sticky tires. Put a ported head - 256 intake cam - 274 exhaust cam. Metal headgasket , head studs . More boost , and SoCal/NOS is going to help us with setting up the nitrous system better - equalizing the lengths of the lines..
Purging nitrous

This weekend (February 23rd-24th,2002)at the IDRC race ( in Palmdale took out Big Bird.  The yellow R33 from The Fast and Furious - and also the 1999 Pikes Peak Showroom stock record holder. It has a stock motor , stock headgasket , stock cams , stock exhaust manifolds , HKS intercooler, HKS EVC EZ ,HKS 2530 turbos , Power FC ,Direct Port nitrous , BFG Drag Radials (275/50/17) , Nismo twin plate clutch , stock transmission , VP C16 , 550 cc injectors , Nismo intankfuel pump , Bosch pump for the nitrous.
First pass was a disappointing 13.0 @ 107 with about 0.85 - 1.00 bar ofboost.  Next pass it bogged and ran a 13.4 @ 109 and the boost was up to around 1.4 at the end. The car was popping , starting hard , and having issues. The altitude was horrible . Barometric pressure was really low.
3rd pass I decided to try the nitrous....Got off the line with what feltlike a lot of wheel spin...1.90 60 foot... 2nd gear.... more wheel spin?.... 3rd gear.... more wheel spin ?..... 4th gear....more wheel spin??? look down notice I am doing about 120 mph... 120 mph and wheel spin??? 11.90 @ 121...... and it wont go into gear...... clutch was slipping....... can barely get the car into gear.... damn....
Have to race again for our Team Challlenge.... can barely force the car into gear... clutch doesnt seem to be disengageing .. turn the boost controller off... but nitrous on... 12.1 @ 116..... and the clutch  doesn't slip... the car feels better.... can get it and shift it alright now.Turned the boost up.... 11.80 @ 117... 60 foot getting better - car feeling better.  1.79 60 foot.. clutch not slipping anymore.
Last team race of the day, turned the boost up a little. 1.60  60foot. 11.55@ 122. Boost was up to about 1.9 bar though the traps.... had to put the beat down on this 13 second Subaru after his teammate turned the flashers on when it beat our slowest GT-R.
Sunday morning, didn't qualify for street tires class.The 11.55 didn't count for qualifying. Have to run an 11.8 or better to make the 8 car field. New nitrous bottle, boost up, 1.67 60 foot,10.814 @ 132.616 my first 10 second pass. The car feels great.  Qualify # 3... the #2 car ran a 10.813.
Sorry for the quality. VHS to DVD after the VHS player ate my tape
First round was against a Supra... 12 second car... turn the boost down... dont need to run too much boost...  1.65 60 foot  10.96@129 mph beat him by 1.88 seconds.... and that was the fastest Supra there on street tires..

Next round I was up against Pete from XS Engineerings FD RX-7.  XS are some of our friends, I had been talking a little  smack to  him. He beats me in reaction time  my 0.911 to his 0.848. He gets a 1.564 60 foot . I get a 1.611.  I get a bit of wheelspin in 1st and 2nd gear. I am behind about a car length, 3rd gear I crank the boost. Catching up 4th gear, crank it more, all the way. 10.717 @ 137.751 - he ran a 10.815@131.961. I beat him by 0.035,  I broke  the turbo, but I won.....

I bypassed the scales on the way back so I would be disqualified... let Pete run against Ari Yallon in the finals...  Pete lost.... but I still am very happy... we had a very good weekend. I made 10 passes on the
car. 3 in the 10 second range... 
Sport Compact Car Magazine cover shoot

Sentence Handed Down Over Illegally Imported Cars

Correction: I was informed that Pride Performance is and has not been associated with LM24 for several years. Originally Pride worked out of LM24.  Another email from the person named in the incident said that he did not have to snitch on anyone, and was a little concerned by this post. And, the picture of the GT-R's in New York, the photographer told me that I was not allowed to use it, and to cease and desist using it.  Ok no problem.

I didn't even know that people actually lived in Vermont. However, it appears they do, and they will catch you illegally importing in cars from Canada.  I know the guy they are talking about, and I know some of the cars he illegally imported. Its a shame because he also owned a MotoRex imported R33 GT-R.

He got sentenced for failing to pay taxes on the imported cars. Not for the actual importation, not for not meeting EPA or DOT standards as part of his plea agreement. Like the Kaizo incident, its hardly ever on the import, its some  other requirement that someone fails to meet. I have told people for years, that even if you think you are correct, you need to be fully aware of all the laws.   This is actually the reason that the Nissan Skyline GT-R is illegal in the US. The best bet is to wait until cars are over 25 years old, and I will help you import them to the US legally with a minimum amount of hassles.

I wonder if any of the cars above were wrapped up in this?  The customers may have had no idea the cars were illegally imported. Most guys say "I have a title", but sooner or later this kind of thing catches up to them. Cars have a VIN or chassis number, they have titles, they have license plates.

If you have a state titled car, I would suggest that you keep looking over your shoulder. There are more ramifications coming from this conviction. Someone was calling me the snitch.... so anyone that had any dealings with  LM24 should be a bit concerned right about now.

As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors dropped charges that he smuggled merchandise was dropped and he escaped the maximum jail time of one year.

N.Y. man sentenced after bringing Japanese sports car over Vermont border

A New York City man caught transporting a Japanese sports car over the Canadian border into Vermont has been sentenced for failing to report income he made off of 10 such cars.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Burlington, Gar Loon Lee, 35, was sentenced to 30 months probation, a fine of $25,000 and must pay outstanding taxes and penalties following his conviction for failing to file a tax return.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said Lee brought 10 Japanese-made sports cars, which had steering wheels on the right-hand side and didn’t conform to national highway safety or environmental regulations, into the U.S. He was caught by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers bringing an 11th car over the border in Highgate Springs on Sept. 24, 2009. Authorities said Lee did not report income he earned from selling the sports cars.

As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors dropped charges that he smuggled merchandise was dropped and he escaped the maximum jail time of one year.

The prosecutor was Assistant United States Attorney Timothy C. Doherty Jr. Lee was represented by defense attorney Lisa Shelkrot of the Burlington law firm Langrock Sperry & Wool.

Source: Burlington Free Press

RB26 Throttle Position Sensor Troubleshooting

RB26dett Throttle position sensor - HK skyline club

Normally you are looking for about 0.5 volts at the ECU for a RB26 TPS sensor at the ECU.

There are two connectors on the TPS sensors.  One is a simple open/closed switch, the other has a rheostat in it, and it measures the position of the throttle actuator, and feeds that 0.5 volt to 4.5 volt signal to the ECU.  The easiest way to check it is with a Consult type tool, so you see the signal the ECU is actually seeing. The R32 GT-R uses both connectors. The later cars do not.

RB26 TPS sensor troubleshooting

Buy USA legal Nissan Skylines here!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

California Introduces Bill to Exempt pre-1981 Vehicles From Emissions Inspection Requirement

A lot of people complain about the laws, but do very little to actually do anything about trying to change the laws. Here is a chance for you to actually have a voice.  All vehicles newer than 1976 currently need to be emissions tested in California. The new bill that has been introduced asks to exempt all vehicles older than 1981.

In 2004, legislation was enacted to repeal California’s rolling emissions-test exemption for vehicles 30 years old and older and replace it with a law requiring the lifetime testing of all 1976 and newer model-year vehicles. This year, a bill has been introduced in the California Senate (S.B. 1224) by Senator Doug LaMalfa ( ) to exempt all motor vehicles prior to the 1981 model year from the emissions inspection requirement.  The bill will be considered in the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on March 27, 2012.

We Urge You to Contact All Members of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee (Contact Info Below) Immediately To Request Their Support for S.B. 1224

  • S.B. 1224 recognizes the minimal impact of pre-1981 vehicles on emissions and air quality.
  • S.B. 1224 acknowledges that pre-1981 vehicles still constitute a minuscule portion of the overall vehicle population and are a poor source from which to look for emissions reduction.
  • S.B. 1224 endorses the fact that pre-1981 vehicles are overwhelmingly well-maintained and infrequently driven (a fraction of the miles each year as a new vehicle).
  • For years, legislators, regulators and stationary source polluters have felt the heat from failed efforts to meet air quality goals and have looked to older cars as a convenient scapegoat, using false data and inflated annual mileage assumptions to further their case.  S.B. 1224 helps validate the truth.  The old car hobby should not continue to carry the burden of past mistakes!
DON’T DELAY!  Please contact members of the California Senate Transportation and Housing Committee immediately to request their support of S.B. 1224.  Please e-mail a copy of your letter to Steve McDonald at  Also, please forward this Alert to your fellow car enthusiasts.  Urge them to join the SAN and help defend the hobby!  Thank you for your assistance.

Senate Transportation and Housing Committee

To e-mail all members of the Committee, copy and paste the email address block below:
Senator Mark DeSaulnier (Chair)
Phone: (916) 651-4007
Senator Ted Gaines (Vice Chair)
Phone: (916) 651-4001
Senator Tom Harman
Phone: (916) 651-4035
Senator Christine Kehoe
Phone: (916) 651-4039
Senator Alan Lowenthal
Phone: (916) 651-4027
Senator Fran Pavley
Phone: (916) 651-4023
Senator Michael Rubio
Phone: (916) 651-4016
Senator Joe Simitian
Phone: (916) 651-4011
Senator Mark Wyland
Phone: (916) 651-4038

Source: SEMA 

STILLEN 370Z Brake Cooling Kit

The details on the STILLEN 370Z Brake cooling kit have just been released today.  If you track a car, you know that stock braking systems leave something to be desired.  The brakes convert kinetic energy to heat, by rubbing the brake pad against the rotor. This friction causes heat, and when you are doing it right, it causes a lot of heat.  Even if you have upgraded brakes and rotors, keeping the rotors cooler, will help prolong the life all all the braking system components.

The engineering team at STILLEN has developed a complete bolt-on Brake Cooling Kit for the 2009-2012 Nissan 370Z designed to do just that, reduce brake temperatures by as much as 25%. Months of testing, development, track and road testing have gone into this setup, which works both with the factory fascia, as well as the upgraded STILLEN Polyurethane Front Fascia which features aggressive styling and larger air ducting areas perfect for increasing the air available for brake cooling.


• 1/3 decrease in rotor temps versus vehicles without cooling kit
• Decrease in braking distance - Reduction in brake fade
• Prevents warping – Reduced chance of pad glazing - Extends life of brakes
• Reduces the chance of brake fluid boiling
• Decreases the chance of catastrophic damage to brake system
• Improved track time and longer track sessions
• Decreases the risk of “370Z ice mode”
• No cutting required
• Constructed out of 304 stainless steel
• Consistent rotor temperature for reduced thermal stress on rotors
STILLEN Fascia with Cooling Duct Fangs

STILLEN Quality Components

• 6 foot silicon rubber air duct hose lined with a cylindrical brass covered steel braid designed specifically for use in high temperature racing applications.
• Constructed out of laser cut 304 stainless steel and formed on a 7 axis CNC press brake

To test the performance of the STILLEN Brake Cooling Kit, our engineers pushed the kit to the limit at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Testing was performed with the brake cooling kit connected on one side, and not the other. Thermo-couplers were installed on the inboard friction surface of the rotors and connected to professional, race grade, data logging equipment. This testing environment ensured accurate readings under identical testing conditions. During testing the non-cooled rotors reached 600 degrees while the cooled side only reached 456 degrees. This is a temperature difference of over 140 degrees or 25%. The Brake Cooling Kit outperformed our expectations, and decreased rotor temperatures by 25% from side to side. The cooling kit spent a good amount of time with STILLEN’s engineers, and the results are a testament to their dedication and hard work. Testing showed not only does this kit keep the brakes cooler, but it better manages the temperature keeping the rotors at a more consistent temperature thus reducing the thermal cycling of the rotor

Monday, March 19, 2012

Targa Bambina Results - STILLEN Ford GT

STILLEN Ford GT at Targa Bambina

The STILLEN Nissan GT-R is on its way back to the US for some updates, so Steve decided to run his Ford GT in the Targa Bambina over the weekend. Overall winner was Clark Inkster in his super quick Evo, Tony Quinn's GT-R suffered a driveline failure, and was out very early in the event.

Steve reported that the car ran very well and aside from a few adjustments made to improve performance, very little service was needed and no major dramas occurred.  Jodi did a great job as she navigated Steve to a second in class, third in two wheel drive modern, and sixth place overall.  They also won the award for highest placed husband and wife team. 

Congratulations to Steve and Jodi on a great result!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

RIPS RB30 Powered FED Runs 6.990@192.74 MPH

RB30 power

Robbie Ward from RIPS Performance in New Zealand has been working on RB30's for a lot of years. His latest and greatest setup is an RB30 in a front engine dragster, or the FED.

6.990@192 mph RB30 power

This weekend he laid down his best pass ever, and possibly the first 6 second pass by an RB powered car.  Congratulations to Robbie. He said it was only at 38 psi of boost, so he has some more in it. When's it getting a 3.4 liter Robbie?

Robbie celebrates after his 6 second pass.

Lenovo SL410 Laptop For Sale : 8GB Upgrade

Selling my old laptop, upgraded to a Lenovo W510 recently. Sell stuff acquire more stuff. I really don't need three laptops, a netbook, iPad, iPhone, and a buff desktop. Sorry, no top secret Nissan GT-R, or Skyline GT-R information on it anymore.

T5870(2GHz), 8GB RAM, 320GB 5400rpm HD, 14in 1366x768 LCD, Intel 4500MHD, CDRW/DVDRW, Intel 802.11agn wireless, 1Gb Ethernet, UltraNav, Camera, 6c Li-Ion, Win7 Pro 64 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fast and Furious 2 : Nissan Skyline GT-R For Sale

Are you looking for some Fast and Furious memorabilia? How about a Nissan Skyline GT-R?   This R34 was a stunt car, used for the "jump" scene. Yes they did actually jump an R34 GT-R.
Are those real sparks? Maybe. They said it lost the wing in the jump.

I have worked on a few of these R34's.  There were 4 or 5 GT-R's made up the same way. Same paint, same stickers and body kit. The original car was Blackbird, which was sold to Craig Lieberman. Craig was a technical adviser on the first Fast and Furious movie.
Blackbird, prior to Fast and Furious 2