Building Drag Cars – Part Two

Building Drag Cars Part 2:

Chris Anderson has been a long-term customer of STM and has slowly been building his Ford Courier Ute from streetcar with a 1UZFE to what is now a methanol breathing monster.  Chris has been busy over the off-season this year, however before that, a bit of background on the car will help.

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Chris originally wanted to attend the odd drag event and to help make the 1UZFE a bit more exciting, a nitrous kit was employed to give the ute a bit more motivation. A number of years back the call was made that to get a bit more serious a built engine would be the way to go. Before this was to happen though Chris decided we should investigate the limits of the factory internals. Turns out that with a reasonable shot of Nitrous and at about 350kw the standard pistons didn’t like life.  No big deal right? Well no, not really as this just kick started the engine build. JE Pistons, Kelford Cams etc were all ordered and the block disappeared into the STM engine building room to be reborn as something a little bit special.

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Moving forward another season and the ball was well and truly rolling.  With reliable suspension package, diff, wheels etc and a switch to E85 saw the vehicle now punching over 400kw with a shot of nitrous. The car now also looked the part with team livery. There really was no turning back now. Further revisions etc were made to the car and with the it now reliably running in the 10 second bracket you would think it would keep most happy for a while, not Chris. At this point in time the cost and availability of nitrous in the Wellington area was causing issues. There were conversations around how a couple of turbo’s would save money moving forward as they don’t need to be refilled. Even though some of this conversation was a bit of tongue in cheek it actually made sense.

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This brings us to the end of the 2013/14 season. Being that Paul from NZ Performance and Chris are somewhat stable mates due to the fact we have been involved in tuning for both cars we put Chris and Paul together and before you knew it the deal was done, NZ Performance were on board to help out. Some more quick calls were made to Mike at Sinco Customs. The conversation went something like this:

“Mike, one of our customers wants a couple of turbo’s on his V8 drag ute. Are you interested in getting involved”

Mike didn’t hesitate to respond with a “hell yeah”

A box containing a pair of GT3582R turbo’s, Tial wastegates and throttle bodies from NZ Performance were on their way to Hamilton. A transporter was organized and from there it was just a matter of waiting patiently for Mike to work his fabrication magic.

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Sometime early in November the call to STM came from Chris to say the ute was on it’s way back and it looked amazing!!! The team at STM still had to be patient though. The car required the fuel system and wiring to be completed to suit the addition of the turbo’s, Motec E888 and EGT sensors etc. As soon as the car was completed the vehicle was loaded up and dropped to STM.

Once here the small last jobs were ticked off one by one until we were at a point to get it on the Dyno – This is what we were waiting for!! Now the only real part of the car that was retained from when it first rolled through the doors was the R154 gearbox. This meant it potentially was the weakest link so numbers were needed to be kept low to ensure this was kept all in one piece. We had estimated that we wanted to aim for around the 500kw mark to ensure Chris could get some seat time and the previously mentioned gearbox was given a chance. Chris (our tuner, not the owner of the car which makes things confusing) got it on the Dyno and we were blown away with the results with initial tune getting up to around the 580kw mark. The decision was made to pull the boost down, however from what we saw this engine package has the potential to see an easy 1000+hp when the driveline is up to task.

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So from here the only thing to do is to hit a drag strip which will be happening on the 6th and 7th of December. We wish the Anderson Construction team the best of luck chasing down that 9 second pass this season. Also a special mention must be made to Paul from NZ Performance for helping out with pretty much all of the parts that went into this build, Mike from Sinco Customs for his amazing fabrication skills which produced a vehicle that not only looks amazing but also out performed our expectations. Last but not least was Richard from Advance Electrical who has always been there to lend a hand with wiring duties.

Half a decade of Awesome!

For the people out there that don’t know me, my name’s Doug and I have been answering the phones, replying to emails and sitting at the front desk at STM now for the last five and a half years. With a heavy heart I decided some time back that I would move on from STM and pursue a different direction in life. I did not make this decision lightly as without any doubt my time at STM has been some of the best years of my life – Mainly because of the people I have worked with, the customers I have dealt with and all of the friends I have made along the way. Because of this I wanted to just put it out there how much I have appreciated the support from everyone over the years.

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In the time I have been here I have answered an estimated 24,000 phone calls, sent 18,000 emails, worked 9,600 hours and drunk copious amounts of bourbon. Because of this I have come to realise I one thing with our customer base…. New Zealand is full of highly motivated, passionate car enthusiasts! I have always thought of customers being the most important part of any business, as without them you don’t have a job. At STM though this goes a bit further as we have some of the best customers in the world, and I don’t say this lightly. Never have I meet such a crazy mix of people that come from all walks of life and all gravitate to the same thing – the love of cars. I know it’s my job to answer questions etc however for you guys it has been absolutely my pleasure and I would redo it all in a heartbeat. To all of the customers, and all of the customers I would now call my friends, thanks, and I really mean that.

The work I have been involved with over the years is something that I am really proud of. Growing up in a small North Canterbury town I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be helping out with world record breaking drag cars, organising dyno competitions all around the North Island, helping organise track days, building street cars that I would’ve once only read about in magazines and then there were the nice little perks of the job. A couple of these really stick out in my head. Sitting at the start line at Masterton Motorplex with DS9 launching and spitting Q16 fumes and rubber in my face comes to mind. Being taken for a “skid with Carl Ruiterman in the drift arena at the 4 & Rotary Nationals. Pushing the Engineered To Slide ute around the workshop for a couple of weeks. Going for a ride in an NSX that looks like it came straight out of JGTC. My first “road test” with Andre in a 400kw+ EVO. And many many more. Also the opportunities: Learning to take photo’s, write blogs and manage a website, all of which I never expected to be doing a part of my job. The cream of the crop for any car enthusiasts though – Seeing your name in print in a copy of NZPC.

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All of the above is all icing on the cake though as the thing I will treasure the most is the people I have worked with in my day-to-day job. Obviously having the opportunity to work with Andre was an experience, straight up bro it has been an honour to sit next to one of the cleverest dudes I know. Ben Silcock who really showed me what’s up when it comes to taking on a role like mine and then just letting me run with it. The old school crew, Bam & Ray. Thanks for showing me the STM way of getting things done. Whether it be at work or at play these guys would give it 100% and I can still remember the hang over at 4 & Rotary Jamboree where I experienced this for the first time. Bonnie for just being awesome and generally just always making sure we were always looked after.  Chris Wall, my south island backup!! I liked when you came along, as I wasn’t the newest member anymore. However I grew to appreciate your drive and passion for all things automotive. Also it has been awesome to see you grow from unknown boy from Dunedin to tuning drag, drift and competition cars of all descriptions. Phil Small for keeping me company in the early years with Redline and helping me out later on through STM.  To all of the technicians I have had the pleasure of working with, Jason, Ash, Shaye and Jamie. Respect for listening to my rants and my somewhat unrealistic expectations of how much work can be put through a workshop in a week.

My suppliers who again were always obliging of what to be honest were some huge expectations when it came to what I wanted. A few I have to mention are Paul at NZ Performance, Darryl, Kane, Ryan and the team from Redline Performance, Kevin and the boys from Kelford Cams, Roger from Autobend, Simon and everyone at Electronz (Link), Jason and the crew from Unleashed Automotive, Corey and Paul at Firestone Wainui.

Fraser Simpson for putting up with my dumb IT questions as well as being an awesome customer that gave me the opportunity to see some epic builds.

Other companies etc I have dealt with have been awesome. Carl, Hans and Beano from E&H Motors, Dodson’s, Craig at Sparktech, Walter at NZEFI, Mark from Pixelsaurus, the team from NZ Performance Car Magazine, Azhar and the 4 & Rotor crew. Cookie at NZ Car parts the list goes on!!!

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I know I would’ve missed a whole bunch of people however this could take some time so just know this – If you have helped me over the years even in the smallest way I appreciated the sh*t out of your help as without it I couldn’t have done my job as well as I feel I have.

Last of all I wanted to say thanks to my wife who was behind me from the time I applied for the job to driving me out drunk on the last day.

So on a closing note to my time at STM I went back through the archives and dug out some of my favourite moments in my STM history. Enjoy and I’ll catch you guys at the track!!!

 

C’s Garage – Adam’s S14

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Last month we took a look at the C’s Garage S13.  This month we have a look at Adam’s S14.

Being that Adam is competing in the Pro Championship this year he was stepping it up a level mechanically to compete with the big boys.  Adam went with a built 2.2ltr SR20 engine with a VE head, Borg Warner EFR 7670 turbo and a host of other upgrades for this season. With it quenching its thirst with a steady supply of E85 Chris managed to get a final result of approximately 400kw atw on high boost.

We were on board to assist with supplying and wiring up the Link G4+ Storm as well as Dyno Tuning.

Check out the gallery below for a pictorial tour of Adam’s visit.

Wings On Wings On Wings – WTAC 2014

I’ve been to World Time Attack Challenge (WTAC) for the last two years, and each year it gets bigger and better, attracting the fastest cars from every corner of the globe. Each year the cars get faster and packed with more technology and the crowds attending continue to grow.

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An added attraction this year was the Mazda 767 Sports Prototype race car, predecessor to the world famous Mazda 787B that won the Le Mans 24 hour race back in 1991. WTAC brought the car over from Japan to lay down some demonstration laps. There are only three of these cars in the world and with a rumoured value of over $2 million, it isn’t often you get the chance to see one being driven in anger.

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This car was one of the highlights for me and the quad rotor sounded amazing at full power down the front straight of Eastern Creek.

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Check out this video that the crew at Speedmagnet put together of it – Turn the volume up LOUD!

I’ll admit that in the past, the actual time attack side of WTAC wasn’t that great to watch. Unless you were involved with a team, it was hard to know who was fastest or what was going on out on the track. Sure there is a live timing board, but it doesn’t add much excitement.

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This year WTAC raised the bar with a professional live stream of the entire event. This included several cameras around the track, as well as in car footage and commentary so you knew exactly what was happening. This transformed the fun factor and made WTAC engaging and a whole bunch more interesting.

For anyone who has followed the Japanese tuning scene, WTAC is the place to find all your heroes, from the boss man of Top Secret ‘Smokey Ngata’, to Nob Taniguchi and Tarzan Yamada. All could be found chilling out in pit lane waiting for their next session.

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While there are a number of classes racing, it’s the Pro class that everyone really comes to see and this year it was a tight battle between Garth Walden in the Tilton EVO, the Scorch Racing S15 of Under Suzuki, and Kiwi ace Shane Van Gisbergen in the MCA Hammerhead.

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It can be hard to get an idea of just how fast these cars are, so here are some numbers for a better perspective:

- Over 5 seconds a lap faster than a V8 Supercar
– The top teams are pushing around 900 hp
– The aero packages allow cornering forces of 2.2-2.5 G (For comparison a typical racecar on slicks can achieve around 1.5-1.7 G – Remember WTAC rules require a DOT tyre too!)
– Braking point for Turn 1 is 50 metres later than in a V8 Supercar
– Cornering speeds range from 20-50 km/h faster than a V8 Supercar!

This year Tilton took outright honours in a battle that came right down to the final session on Saturday afternoon. Under Suzuki put in a stellar 1:24.88, but it was a mere 4 hundredths of a second too slow to beat Tilton’s 1:24.80.

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While Tilton’s effort is impressive, Personally I think Suzuki’s S15 is easily the most impressive car in the field. With the new aero package for 2014, Suzuki showed that a 2WD can still be competitive, and remember that Suzuki isn’t a professional driver.

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Check out Suzuki doing his thing thanks to Motive DVD

With some exceptional performances in 2014 such as Mick Sigworth’s EVO (taking a win in Pro-AM with a 1:25.27 which was good enough for 3rd outright), as well as new cars like Chris Alexander’s Carbon R32 GTR, next year is set to be even bigger and faster. Don’t miss out in 2015!

C’s Garage – Joel’s S13

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We recently came on board to help the guys from C’s Garage for the upcoming D1NZ season to complete Tuning duties on Joel’s car (pictured here).  We will also be completing the wiring of a Link G4+ Storm and Tuning on the somewhat more serious S14 of Adam shortly (actually as you are reading this).

We chose to get involved frankly because we like their style.  Joel and Adam have created themselves two dedicated drift cars that would quite easily be mistaken for Japanese D1GP machines.  With their paint jobs, graphics schemes and accents right through the cars tipping their hats to the birth place of drift it all just seems right.

So check out the gallery of Joel’s recent visit and we’ll have an update shortly on the more involved work on Adam’s S14.

If you want more from the guys at C’s check out their Website, Instagram and Facebook page.  Whilst at it also check out one of Joel’s other projects Ernest if you are in the need for some sweet new gear for the workshop.