First off, I never would have made it to the event without the help of my friends. This is one of the most important aspects of why I’m able to continue drifting and having fun. A borrowed trailer, a borrowed truck and hours of work from people who just like to have fun.
Do I want a diesel truck with enclosed trailer to make it easier? Hells yeah! But the more I re-evaluate and think, it’s not necessary. All the prep I’ve been doing lately to get ready for SEMA has almost overshadowed the fact that I will continue to do this regardless of whether or not I have sponsors.
To me this is fun. It looks cool, feels good and introduces me to amazing people all over the country. Competitions may be in the future but this phase of not caring about roll center and proper geometry is what defines a style. There is no arguing with proper dynamics, although I will try haha!
The first vinyl graphic I applied from an entrepreneur in Medford, OR. It’s always inspirational to hear other people’s stories about coming from the bottom, “now we here!” These are the people that help me to stay on my mission, to keep believing that there is some reason behind why I am so fortunate to be able to do what I love.
I love seeing the hustle from other people over a thousand miles away, working crazy hours, jamming out to some good music and wrenching on cars. This is universal, the appreciation for automobiles and the ability to wheel them like some people only dream about. This is what keeps me going some nights, knowing there is someone who is trying to do it better and bring their own style to the forefront.
Then there’s the driving. Yes Lord!! It doesn’t get too much better than the first time you touch the track surface, mash that throttle to the floor and put to the test all that you have done for the past year. Everything from the driver’s meeting to the ride alongs and talking to fans, it’s a surreal experience. This is only heightened by the fact that I get to talk to people on Facebook and then finally meet them. The camaraderie amongst our scene is one of the biggest draws for me, much more than road racing or autocrossing like I’ve done.
There is always a collection of people willing to help out with knowledge, busted knuckles, loaning volt meters and even offering rides to the local parts store, all in a effort to help you destroy some tires.
Then there’s the style. I love being able to see first hand what others are doing, why they do it and how they throw down on track. We come from all over to clown on each others style, hype them up and interject our own opinions. Sometimes I just sit back and watch how people communicate, it becomes easy to see how much people care about drifting and cars in general. There is soo much outside my scope that I can’t wait to discover.
To me it’s not always about the pretty. I like to see what goes on in the trenches, the real work that goes on behind the flashy front. The banged up cars, dollars spent and effort put forth to put on a show sets so many apart from the crowd. I guess it’s my technical background that likes to look deeper. In fact, I can’t wait to get back to doing some editorial pieces on really cool cars. I have emerged from my fabrication cave and it’s time to start showing you all how I see things.
Then there’s the challenge of next year! I couldn’t imagine not going back after the warm welcome (literally, it was hot!). The cool people, relaxed atmosphere and technical track all make for a strong magnetism that I can’t deny myself. Next time I will do it better, louder, lower and flashier!
And just like everything, there is an end. I know eventually this car will wither away into nothingness. There may be nothing but a couple bytes of information that chronicle what happened. But damn, this is fun!
There’s a lot that’s been happening, so much in fact that I’ve really been slacking with the blog. In due time, for now, picture….
That was a long break huh? Winter testing for Toyota is a travel frenzy it seems. Baudette, MN and Sault Saint Marie, MI can be some very interesting places if you ever get to go. A different way of life is all. Anyway, I decided to tackle the job of making brackets for the e-brake tabs in the rear of the car.
After getting that taken care of I made a new throttle cable bracket to take up the slack that I had at the pedal the last time I drove.
I finally have the fuel cell in the car temporarily. I just want to get this thing running for a quick drive and systems check. Once everything is operating properly I’m going to get the real fuel cell and finish with sheet metal work.
Tire shredding will commence shortly.
Raising the car is never an option. It doesn’t look good and that’s about the only reason you need. When your low profile jack can’t even make it under the car, you only have a few options. You can do the wood plank dance or what I’ve done here, unless you’re ballin out of control and buy air jacks.
Two weeks later, after a work trip in Ohio, I get around to this. Made it to the track with time to spare, drove the entire time, no over heating, nothing broke, went off track multiple times and didn’t break the kit (needs lower) and made it home safely by 3am. The clutch sucks, I’m down on power (obviously), wheels rub in the fender wells and the e-brake is almost useless. At least I have a plan to fix things, when’s the next event?
Two weeks until the infamous Trial By Fire Night Event in conjunction with NASA Arizona. This is one of the biggest events of the year so naturally I registered without the car even running…
Tonight after work I got the brakes bled, the clutch bled, the e-brake and shoes adjusted properly, put the car back on the ground and prepped for some engine work.
I’m a chassis guy. It’s what I do at work and what I prefer to do if someone ask me for help with their car. So of course I decided there was a bunch of useless crap on the engine that wasn’t going to make the car any faster, it was just stuff getting in my way….
like the EGR tubes and such. I made some block off plates.
But as it turns out, the KA really doesn’t like to run well without these things. Most importantly, Idle Air Control parts (doh!). Anyway, that is what’s on the menu for next week. Get this thing running enough to do some Hooliganistic street antics and make sure all my T’s are crossed.