Posts Tagged ‘SPL PRO SUSPENSION’

Z32 300ZX ROAD RACING WATKINS GLEN ARMCO VG30DETT AMPUTEE

It was July of last year… I was 20 minutes into my first Saturday session at the famed Watkins Glen, and had just went off exiting turn 6 “the laces” and tagged the armco. As I limped off track and back to the pits, a million thoughts raced through my mind.

An elderly track official flagged me down to asses the damage, and after a brief walk around the Z said, “Well, you earned your stripes at the Glen today, take pride in that.” It gave us all a good chuckle, and broke the tension I was feeling after the mishap. Back at the pits, I remember staring at the car thinking, “I thought I’d be more upset than this.” But the truth was, this is what I built the Z for! And like everything else I do in life, I didn’t hold back.

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Z32 300ZX TWIN TURBO POCONO RACEWAY HPDE AUDI CLUB OF NJ SPL SUSPENSION ZTUNER ASHSPEC

Photo Credit: Ryan Grae Photography

Almost two years ago to the day I stood in the grandstands of Pocono Raceway, watching my first high performance driving event. As the cars whizzed by, I couldn’t help but wish I was out there.

Last Saturday, that dream finally became a reality.

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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

JSWORKS_Suspension_Finished

Hard to believe over a year has past since my first “Suspension – Part 1” post, but here we are. The good news is I’m back at it with the new Z (and a straight chassis this time). So this post is a little rehash of what was installed last year (on the white Z), with a bunch of new parts thrown into the mix.

If I’m honest, when I first picked up the red Z, I was a little disappointed with the car’s handling. All my previous Z32’s had been Twin Turbo versions with the factory adjustable suspension; I had never owned a 2+2 before (or an NA for that matter), so I assumed the lack luster handling had a lot to do with that. I was also concerned that the 2+2 chassis might somehow be less stiff than the 2+0, as the car really squeaked and rattled while driving around town.

Thankfully, 98% of that came from the very tired 132K mile factory suspension. With the new SPL, Ground Control, and Tokico parts installed, the car literally transformed into a tight corner carver with far less body roll and tendency to “push” through the turns. So follow along and see just how I did it.

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300ZX, Z32, JSWORKS, TRACK BUILD, ROAD RACING, SSR TYPE C

As always, it’s been tough to find the time to update the blog. I really left you with quite a cliffhanger in my last post, so I thought I’d drop this quick teaser shot of the new Z (!) and update where the project stands.

The good news is my stitches are out and I’m healed enough to be back to work professionally (and personally with the build). I’m still not 100% – but every day my arm heals a bit more and I’m almost back to business as usual. The few weeks of mandatory rest were a welcome break from the [self imposed] insanity, and really allowed me to put a lot into perspective. I’d like to say thank you to all the people who reached out to me through the blog and various forums after my Escalation of Commitment post, your words of encouragement and advice were much appreciated.

I decided fairly quickly that I would continue with the project in some form or another, but initially planned to take the winter off – pay down some debt – and wait till spring to decide where to go from there. With all the down time (and boredom that ensued), I inevitably started scanning various online publications for Z’s, and quickly became discouraged (again) with what was out there.

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SPL Radiator JPC Fabrication Z32 300ZX

Bear with me for a moment… have you ever heard of the book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” by Robert M. Pirsig? The title tends to get thrown around in automotive circles – usually by car guys (watching other car guys) struggle with a stubborn part, [miss] diagnosis, or any other issue causing a hapless mechanic distress.

It’s cited in such a way as to say, take a break/calm down, get in a focused state of mind, and the answers will come; “you know, like ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.’” Having finally read the book last year, I can honestly say; people who throw that statement around have probably never read it!

The book touches very little on the art of motorcycle maintenance (or any Zen like state to accomplish said maintenance). The author himself stating, “it should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It’s not very factual on motorcycles, either.”

Having said that, it’s a fantastic book, and I highly recommend it (for reasons other than the title implies). But I digress… at this point, you’re probably wondering what all this has to do with radiator repair? Stay with me just a little longer.

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It’s been crazy the past few weeks! Between the Z build, working on the documentary, and just working in general (to earn a living) – I’ve barely had enough time to sneak in a date night with my fiancée, let alone manage the blog.

So I thought I’d compile a sneak peek of a few things I’m working on to give you an idea of what’s been happening up to this point.

On the documentary front – I took the plunge and purchased (on credit cards) a used but capable HD camera, hard drive recorder, and associated gear. Up to this point, I’ve been calling in favors and borrowing pretty much all the gear we’ve used to shoot.

I’m funding the doc out of pocket at the moment, and all the expenses of a shoot add up quick! So I’m eternally grateful for friends like Barbara Kopple (and the Cabin Creek Films family) as well as Frank Caratozzolo for the use of their equipment.

But with the car build and documentary in full swing, I really needed equipment on hand to shoot at a moments notice (and stop bugging my friends in the process). All it took were weeks of wading through mind numbing technical specs (and pestering tech savvy friends like Frank and Jack Wrenn) to settle on a camera… For you tech geeks out there – I went with a Sony HVR-V1U HDV camera and Atomos Ninja HD recorder (allowing uncompressed HD capture out the HDMI port). Full review of this setup coming soon.

Speaking of Jack Wrenn, I’d like to take a moment to introduce him. Besides being one of my closest friends since college (where we both pursued our Media Communication & Technology degrees), he’s become an accomplished all around film & TV guy in his own right.

 

Jack’s been with Philadelphia’s Center City Film & Video for over 6 years and worked on shows for networks such as – A&E Biography, DIY Network, WE Channel, SI Network, and Comcast On Demand (as well as met a number of high profile celebrities!)

So when I decided to pursue the crazy idea of making this documentary, he was the first person I called. Jack’s been down since day one, volunteering his free time to be my principal Director of Photography (as well as Grip, Gaff, and Audio all at the same time), and I wouldn’t be at this point without all his dedication and hard work.

 

 

We had a successful shoot a few weeks back utilizing all the new gear. I spent a day ripping into the Z, removing most of the stock parts in anticipation of all the shiny new stuff!

Click past the break to see a sneak peak of the upcoming installs and sponsors.

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