After a sleepless night of car-prep… with the entire rear-end of the car on the floor of the shop less than 20 hours before the drivers meeting… the first round of Drift Fury was a success!
The beginning of the day was my first chance to shake-down the car, and get used to the solid rear-end. The car felt amazing. There used to be a noticable rebound on kick-back… that was no longer there. The car just wanted to keep going. It took some getting used to… but felt really great.
With 60 drivers in the feild… and elimination from 60 to 8… competition was fierce. The Top-8 elimination would leave Aaron Losey, Jonathan Martin, myself, Dennis Mertzanis, Forest Luster, Shawn Smith, Erin Sanford, and Rob Fellows standing.
Despite falling asleep in my helmet while staged for Top-8 (literally)… Erin Sanford and I would end up having a “one-more-time” battle, with close runs the first time around. In the end, Aaron Losey walked away with 1st place, Jonathan Martin with 2nd, myself with 3rd, and Dennis Mertzanis with 4th.
Afterwards, the skateboard made it’s way out of the truck, and a bunch of us started kicking it around old-skool style. It’s crazy how many drifters skate (or used to). It was a rad time, even if I was falling asleep randomly. ;P
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.
I threw a quick video together of the mayhem that was unleashed as the five maniacal rnDGTA demo drivers took center stage unleashing a bombardment of ATL Slide Style on an otherwise unknowing circle track crowd.
Live it… love it… don’t bootleg it