Z32 300ZX PARTS CAR CRUSHED SCRAP

The white Z finally met its maker this week… in spectacular fashion. I can’t say I was sorry to see it go. After a year of trying to rebuild her, countless dollars, and 15 stitches; walking away from that car was the best decision I ever made.

Hindsight is 20/20 they say, and it’s clear to me now I should have never tried to rebuild it in the first place. I’m also ready to admit that much of the fire to save her stemmed from starting this blog, and having people follow the build so closely. In all honesty, I was afraid if I walked away, would people think I walked because the car was a hopeless basket-case, or would they think I couldn’t get it done because of my “disability.”

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Robert Downey Jr. New Year New Me Meme

I’ve struggled with what to write about on this blog lately. Is it a car blog? A film blog? A window into my own personal thoughts? Over time, it’s become a bit of all three I guess, and I’ve decided I’m fine with that (although as the reader you might disagree).

All joking aside, I want this to be a place where I can comfortably talk about the things that are happening in my life – the things that drive me – whatever they may be. To inspire others from my own personal journey. That has always been the goal of the documentary, so why not this site too.

I’d like to talk a bit about happiness. 2013 got off to a rough start, but in terms of happiness, it was a banner year for me. And I can honestly say I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I’ve learned so much about myself, and accomplished even more. The Z is built, the documentary is progressing, and I’m so much closer to the life that I truly want. But more importantly, I’m happy in the here and now – I’m more present, more alive, than I’ve ever been.

It wasn’t always that way.

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I’ve been sitting on this trailer for almost a year now. Sure, I’ve shown it to some people I trust, and the response was always great, but in my mind, it was never going to be good enough. This is not just the story of this project, but the story of my life.

I’ve written on this blog before about struggles with my hyper critical nature. And suffer from a serious lack of trusting my own judgement. But the time for that is over. I just finished a long stint of edit gigs in NYC, and fresh off the heels of my “This Doesn’t Define You” post, came back to this project with a renewed determination to finish this film. This is the most important thing I have ever done with my life to date. And I’m here to tell you that I won’t just finish it… but smash it out the fucking park.

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Goonies, Astoria, Oregon, Portland

I’ve just come off some of the most memorable months of my life. I finally tracked my Z – a car I spent the last two years (often in strife) rebuilding – at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway for ZCON (a personal triumph in and of itself).

Traveled to the west to explore Portland, Oregon. Left the US for the beautiful shores of Ireland (my first ever trip abroad). And even when back in NY – kept the party going with a rowdy group of Australians in town for a friend’s wedding. I’ve seen some amazing sights, and met even more incredible people. For the first time in a long time, I felt alive. I was living life, the way I always dreamed of living it.

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Z32 VG30DETT TWIN TURBO SWAP 5 SPEED SWAP 300ZX

MY Twin Turbo Z! Pulled another marathon 7 day stretch in the garage and went for the first test drive yesterday afternoon. I was literally giggling like a school girl.

After priming the oiling system, the motor fired right up after just a few cranks – a real testament to Harry (Ztuner) and the quality work he does. Still have a bunch of bugs to sort out before ZCON (and I’m back to work & down to weekends wrenching only), but I couldn’t be happier! I have to break the motor in (so little to no boost), but keeping it under 5 psi and about 1/4 throttle, she felt fantastic. The JWT BB 550’s (with Abler manifolds & AshSpec breather mods) spool like crazy! Can’t wait till I can really put the hammer down.

You should have seen the strange looks I got driving around town with no hood / nose, but I couldn’t have cared less. This is two years in the making guys…you couldn’t have wiped the smile off my face if you tried.

(Click past the break for build spec’s and a few teaser shots from the build.)

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300ZX Z32 TWIN TURBO SWAP 5 SPEED SWAP VG30DETT

Recently my friend Libby – AKA The Hobby Hoarder – asked me if there was a song I often turn to for motivation while working on projects. She was compiling a list for her blog, and wanted input from the people who had helped her along her hobby journey last year (I taught Libby the basics of welding back in November).

It was an interesting question; something I had never really thought about before, but definitely something I did. Each new project tends to bring with it its own group of songs I find myself playing over and over again (usually tied to the music I’m into at the time of said project). I mulled the question over, and settled on “Nightcall” by Kavinsky (featuring Love Foxxx). Then came the hard part, she also asked me to explain why…

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VG30DETT Z32 TT SWAP 300ZX 5 SPEED SWAP

For a while, I almost thought this day would never come… Two years, two cars, countless man hours (and plenty of  dollars & frustration) have gotten me to this point, but it’ll all be worth it in the end. Especially when I put the hammer down for the first time and feel all 450HP under my foot!

I’m 7 straight (10+ hour) days into the swap, and boy am I exhausted. I was trying to get her finished before starting a new edit gig the end of this week, but there just weren’t enough hours in the day. I’d say I’m at about the halfway point, but most of the “hard” work is done. So for now, it’s back to the big city for me – the Z will have to wait till I get some more time off in July. I’m incredibly happy to have gotten to this point though, and figure I’ve got a good solid 7 or so more days in the garage to get it all finished up. Pushing to have it ready for ZCON in Nashua, New Hampshire this August. There’s a track day that Thursday that I’m hoping will be the Z (and my) maiden voyage on the track!

I’ve been taking plenty of pictures, and am grateful that an old friend has spent a few days in the garage filming with me as well. I plan to do full write ups on everything that’s been done to the car, but I just don’t have the time now. I’ve been updating the Facebook page daily though, so if you want a sneak peak into what’s going on, stop by and “like” us over there – facebook.com/jsworks.org

Wanted to drop a quick note here and let you all know that progress is being made. Super stoked right now! A lot more to come.

Stay tuned,

Jay