All done! HUGE thanks to Erin, Byron, and Matt for helping with the install! The car feels so much better. The struts were so blown… the fell apart when we took them out. Oil went everywhere!rn
The stock 15-year old suspension on the Corolla is beyond blown out, so I got some new parts to replace the bad stuffs. I didn’t want to go crazy with anything… so I snagged some goodies off eBay. I like that all this cost less than one set of springs for the e46!rn
I had the drift car officially stripped of all her vinyl for about two whole days… then she got wrapped with new graphics! It was kinda cool having her all black and shiny again. With those ol’ Racing Dynamics tucked under the wheel wells… she was indeed looking more old-skool euro – much to my liking.
I got the primary base of the new graphics on the car about an hour before I had to be at the track for Round 2 of Formula Drift @ Road Atlanta. I got most of the sponsor logos on the car at the track, and actually finished the rest of the application after race-weekend.
I designed everything in Illustrator… and it’s kinda crazy to see it go from the screen to the car. I’m an old skool veteran to vinyl application… but never anything this large in scale. I couldn’t have got-r-dun without Tracy’s help at Batlground. Everyone conked out asleep, or went home… but she stayed up to help me hinge the vinyl onto the car… proving once again that Batlground is the BEST ever. Thank you Tracy!!!
Ol’ grrrl is finally starting to look like a racecar instead of a street car with more stickers than you can count. Now… about some aero…
This is a screenshot out of Illustrator of the file I was working with:
Weeding vinyl on carpet isn’t much fun.
On three… I’m going to close my eyes, and this will be applied… 1.. 2..
THREE! Man, that was easy. ;p
Batlground and Gran Turismo East logos complete.
Headed to the track with more vinyl work to do…
At the track…
On the track…
About a month ago at Black Hills Circuit I managed to crack my subframe. I didn’t hit anything, or do anything out of the ordinary compared to how I usually drive.
They only thing that really makes sense is that this was a small fracture that has been compounding over time. Possibly a hairline fracture that has slowly grown with each aggressive-arsed clutch kick.
I talked to R&D over at Turner Motorsport, and had them assemble a fully reinforced subframe… complete with aluminum subframe and differential bushings.
I’m actually glad my subframe cracked where/when it did – because sure enough – just as Turner R&D advised… there were cracks in the driver-side rear subframe mounting point that I couldn’t see until the subframe was removed. The infamous subframe weakness in the e46 subframe mounting points WAS starting to be exploited – so fortunately I caught it in time before the entire thing tore out of the car. I am still VERY surprised that the damage was so minimal considering the on-off torsional load that has been put on that subframe (and it’s mounting points) for the past 3 years.
Fresh out the box…
Turner also reinforced the rear sway bar mount:
Almost ready to yank-r-out…
The crack near the mounting point:
Another view of the cracked subframe:
Rear end: out.
New vs. Old:
I forgot – I ordered shiny blue Turner adjustable rear camber arms!
In order to reinforce the front subframe mounting points… you have to drop the gas tank… which should have been easy – but it’s German… so it wasn’t. Once I finally got it out, the remaining mount points ground down to metal, battery, alternator, and ECU disconnected… we had to rig the rear end on a dolly and carefully move the car over where the welder was, because I was on the far lift – where the welder doesn’t reach. Nerve racking doesn’t even begin to describe the fun that was. :P
We got it over there, all prepped and ready to weld… got two of the plates welded in the bottom mounts… and ran out of argon, and had to finish the welding the next day (the day before Drift Fury).
Bye-bye stubborn gas tank.
Cuts inside the trunk above the mounting points:
Ground down METAL ready to weld:
Daniel Willie behind the stick:
Driver side rear lower reinforcement:
Driver side front lower reinforcement:
My shop glasses from high skook pwn u.
Drrrty mohawks > Clean mohawks! ;P
Driver-side front subframe mounting reinforcement – ready to be primed and painted.
Passenger-side front subframe mounting reinforcement.
Driver-side front rear mounting reinforcement.
Passenger-side front rear mounting reinforcement.
I lifted that rear-end into the car, and bolted it up by myself. (j/k)
On the alignment rack at Gran Turismo East @ midnight. *Note the “UNSPONSORED(tm)” sticker’s partial removal to reflect how I felt, lol.
I CANNOT THANK BATLGROUND ENGINEERING & GRAN TURISMO EAST ENOUGH for their help. I would not have been able to get all of that madness done without them, and definitely would not have had the car ready for Drift Fury otherwise. Seriously… there is a reason I say they are THE BEST IN ATLANTA… because they are.
I will say it again – Batlground and GTE are the BEST in Atlanta.