Sunday, December 31, 2017

Pantera Restomod Project

Part of why I like to write about cars is so far I am living my car passion/hobby through my family's and friend's cars, not my own. Writing about other people’s cars is my only real option. One of those friends is in the middle of restoring/modifying his 1971 De Tomaso Pantera!!!  So cool! The average Joe's super car.  The bonus (if you already own one) is the values have been rising steadily the past few years.  Panteras could eventually surpass highly sought after cars like the air cooled Porsche 911 because comparatively so few Panteras were ever sold.
Restomod Pantera Photoshop with Forgestar F14 wheels

So far I have been able to be a very small part (I mean like really small) of this project.  Car guys have a knack for finding each other. In this case, my friend and I met through the local Church we attend.  Cars always come up in casual conversation and that's how I found out about my buddy’s Pantera. I've helped load the body on and off a trailer and helped provide subjective feedback on ideas for the wheels and different parts he has contemplated for the project.  I was wingman during a cutting operation to clearance the firewall for the Coyote 5.0L engine swap too. I like to tell car buddies that I'm pretty skilled at holding a drop light. I also like to take pictures of cars and I like to dig into the details.  I consider this a pretty rare opportunity to be around a Pantera projects.  I'll be annoying as possible to make sure I'm involved as much as my friend will tolerate.  haha
Pantera body after being media blasted
Right now the body is getting metal repairs completed at "Finn's Auto Restoration" in Woodburn, Oregon.  While the body is away in Oregon, my buddy is collecting various components. I really like the direction he's going with the car. The Pantera was purchased as a project in pieces, the body itself being a combination of two cars put together to make one "good" car.  Good being in air quotes because there is a significant amount of metal work needed to get it straightened out and ready for paint. There was a good chunk of body filler applied by a previous owner that is being corrected.  The overall look will be "restomod". Classic exterior with some modern parts to freshen up the performance and look.

Posing next to the Pantera project with the Coyote 5.0L during a very cold test fit
 Utah winter car projects, brrrrr....
Coyote 5.0L mated to factory refreshed ZF transaxle during test fit 
 My buddy actually has an original 351 Cleveland engine that Pantera's came with from the factory. But, the price and work to get the 351C up to running condition is not cheap.  Plus, even once its running, its a heavy engine and carbureted. Going with a modern EFI 5.0L Coyote engine is the perfect choice in my opinion. It will be able to make power cheaper because of huge Mustang 5.0L aftermarket and the drivability and reliability will be so much better than the 351C.  The gas mileage will be better too. Hey, I know this is a sports car, but the ability to take this thing on long drives to see the beautiful National Parks near by will be more enjoyable in a modern engine setup like this.
Coyote 5.0L and ZF transaxle in place
This particular Ford 5.0L DOHC Coyote engine is from a 2011-2012 era F150 work truck that had issues (burnt valves I believe). I was picked up for a reasonable price too since they're so plentiful used. This engine is being upgraded to Mustang GT specs as well, which include the intake camshaft, intake manifold, Boss 302 valve springs and tensioners, oil filter relocation kit, etc.. You can see that the intake manifold is flipped 180 degrees from the factory setup to fit the Pantera's mid-engine layout. Pretty cool that this is even possible. I would have assumed it would have been asymetrical. Maybe there was some other reason to make it symtretical because putting the engine in mid engine projects like the Pantera.  The nice part is, this is not the first Coyote swapped Pantera, so the lessons should be learned already by others in the Pantera community. Ford makes an off the shelf harness that works with the Coyote in the Pantera.  Pretty cool!

Now on to some of the supporting pieces to this Pantera puzzle.  Wheels are always a key ingredient to the overall look of any car. My buddy has some original 15" factory magnesium wheels, but they're not the most aggressive size and its hard to find a good tire in the right sizes for 15". After weighing the options, he went with the Forgestar F14 as seen here.  I also posted a photoshop of a friends Pantera with these wheels at the beginning of this post to get a glimpse of how it will look. They're a good looking wheel for sure and are in the right size and fitment and are a strong, high quality piece.

I've never owned a car with an aftermarket steering wheel. I'm racking my brain, trying to remember if I've driven a car with one.  The only memorable steering wheel in a car I've driven that comes to mind was the factory alcantara wheel in a friends 2013 Camaro SS 1LE. Loved it!  Seeing so many cool steering wheels in car magazines over the years, I REALLY want a cool steering wheel on my car one day. My buddy is going to go with a Momo Retro model. I snagged this image off of website.  It will look perfect in the Pantera's 70's interior.
The other very important piece to the interior are the seats.  He's going with these black cloth Recaro seats that he bought from a Pantera dude who had already modified them to fit the Pantera.  I wish I knew what they came out (if they're a factory seat) or what model they are. Great score for the project! In my opinion, these seats have a 70's, 80's feel with the boxy/squared off design of the cushions.  I think these will work great with the overall look of the car.
Black cloth Recaro bucket seats
A more modern coilover is going in to make the handling firm and sporty.  These are Ridetech coilvers with hyperco 300lbs/in front and 450lbs/in rear spring rates. Ride height and dampening adjustability make these perfect to dial in the ride height and handling.  Two thumbs up!
Ridetech Ride height and dampening adjustable coilovers 
Stainless steel quad tip muffler set up 
Every Pantera needs that quad tip exhaust look and that's the plan for this project tool.

If you made it this far, this is just a brief highlight of the years of patient preparation my friend has put in.  Hop over to the "Project Pantera #1998" blog (link below) for more photos and details of the build so far.  I can't wait to see the body come back from Oregon and really get this project progressing toward the finish line.  I will say, I admire my friend's attitude about the build.  His mentality is to try and enjoy the journey of building the car.  Don't rush things, do them right, enjoy the process itself, its half the fun.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Blog post for 2017 Bimmer mini-update

Ok, so I am slacking big time here.  I just read my "2016 blog post" and it started out just how this one could start off.  That is, by saying, its winter in Utah, it's too cold outside, I'm feeling couped up, I feel like writing. The kids are not busy with any sports and I'm on the tail-end of a long Christmas/New Years vacation from work.

So, Hello 2017...and Good bye 2017.  Hello 2018!!! LOL!!!

I am never not a car guy. I might be in some kind of hibernation, but its because life has it's higher priorities.  I am about a week away from my 40th birthday, so I'm smack dab in the middle of my life. Any funds that might go to a 2nd car, a project car, or to my daily driver "fun" car (yes, its currently still the 2001 BMW 330ci) are going towards the family, the mortgage (only 9 years left until its paid off, hmm, seems close, yet so far away), food to feed 4 boys, competitive sports for those 4 hosers, etc. etc. I just read some inspiring car guy blogs recently (lots of down time during this Holiday vacation) that talk about how car guys are always car guys, they might just take some time off, but that you can and will always come back. I'm trying to stick to the "Rich dad, poor dad" mantra of "live like no one else now, so you can live like no one else later". Meaning, be wise with your money now, so you'll have some later in life when you can enjoy retirement, enjoy your grandkids, etc. Ok, so didn't mean for this to become a financial advise blog but the point is, my car writing is almost non-existent, but I'm still that car guy at heart. I still spend way too much time watching youtube car videos, surfing my usual car related websites, etc.

I do have some minor updates to share though, so here goes...

The bimmer daily now has 129,000 miles.  Here's the quic....err long update on where the car is at today. During the summer, I took the car in for the annual safety inspection and smog test.  I was pretty confident it was all good, which means of course, I was set up for failure.  LOL The smog passed no problem, but my rear Michelin Pilot Super Sports were showing chords on the inside due to -2 degrees of camber and the front control arm bushings were toast, err... I mean marshmallows.  The quote for parts and labor from the local tire/mechanic shop was right around $1000. Being 100% honest with you, I drove home thinking to myself, "$1000?  Ah crap!  Welp, I wonder how much I can get for the bimmer? Maybe $5000, $4500?" I was seriously mentally done with the car.  I was doing calculations like "$1000 bucks?  That's like a quarter of the value of the entire car?  For front control arms/bushings and labor?  Ahhh nahhh!"

After texting my dad, bro, cousin, and the local neighborhood car buddies, I calmed down enough to start youtub'ing the removal and replacement for e46 front control arms, as well as how to remove ball joints.  It looked doable with hand tools. Then started shopping for polyurethane front control arm bushings. My other thought was "well shoot, if I have to get new tires, I might as well get some new wheels right?"  Isn't that how car guys think?  How can I switch things up?  How can I upgrade this part or that part?

I ordered new control arms ($90 per side, not bad) and a ball joint removal fork tool off of "Amazon Speed Shop". Found the best price on some poly front control arm bushings from one of the tried-and-true aftermarket bimmer parts shops online.  For new wheel ideas, I remember watching the "Speed Academy" YouTube channel, the episodes where they built Peter Tarach's brother's daily driver Civic into a track car and used the new Konig Hypergram flow formed aluminum wheels.  They talked about how they were strong, light, and affordable. I had previously bought aftermarket wheels off eBay 3 other times.  My '95 Civic got 16x7" silver Nippon 5 spoke wheels (looks like a Rota Slipstream), my '98 Civic got 16x7 bronze Rota Grids and my '02 WRX got 17x9 white Rota Grids.  I'm all about buying quality parts (can't you tell from my previous wheel purchases? :\), especially if they're affordable. The current wheels were black VMR 18x8.5 +35mm for the front and 18x9.5 +45mm for the rears. Konig made the same front size and fitment and for the rear the same size but with +35mm offset in a nice gunmetal grey color.  I paid $840 shipped I think.  Really nice price I think! For tires, my history has shown that I have gone on the cheaper side. Shocker!  I went with Acellera PHI in 245/35/18 front, 265/35/18 rear.  Had to go wider didn't I!  I figured the Michelin's run wider than a cheaper brand.  I did some rudimentary measuring of the current set up and figured if I had to I could roll the rear fenders.  After busting out the install of the front control arms and bushings and getting a new alignment on the new wheel and tire setup, the first drive to work that morning proved that, although not horrible rubbing in the rear, I would need to roll the rear fender lips.  I ordered the best cheap fender roller and heat gun I could find ("Amazon Speed Shop" baby!!!) and took about 5 hours one weekend night.  The job would have been much easier if BMW hadn't put that rubber seal inside the fender lip in the rear.  Thanks German engineering!  I had to use a box knife to cut up the seal so the fender would move.  That was the hardest part.  I did have to watch a youtube video on fender rolling to figure out how to configure the roller.  The heat gun worked well to keep the 16 year old paint from cracking!  I've gone about 10k miles on this setup and it only rubs on the big freeway bumps!  Those dad taxi runs to baseball practice with 3 teenagers in the back with all their baseball gear in the trunk does make it rub on the big street bumps too but hey, dad car guy life wasn't gonna be easy!!! Here's a pic of the new setup!
Konig Hypergram 5x120 BMW E46 Fitment (18x8.5 +35mm front, 18x9.5 +35mm rear)
I really like the look of the car with the Konig's compared to the old VMR (CSL/M3 style). The fronts could have handled 18x9.5 with 255/35/18 I think. I think I could have gone with a square setup.  This car cleans up nicely though eh?!  Black is a love/hate.  I should have bought an actual legit all-season tire.  The ebay add said these Acellera PHI's were "all season" but I think it was a lie.  So, the week after Thanksgiving, I put the stock 17x7 wheels with Kumho all-seasons on again.  Sighhhhh...:(

I thought I'd feel more difference with the poly bushings up front, but the difference was very minimal. Could be that the difference between Michelin tires/worn out bushing vs Acellera tires/poly bushing is very small.  If I had a high quality tire with the poly bushings maybe it'd be more noticable?  Who knows. I had the car aligned at the same shop and it ended up -2 rear camber, -1 front camber with the toe put to stock specs. Drives nice and straight and very little wear on the tires after 10k miles.  The tread wear on these Acelleras is 320, so kind of a middle of the road number for a performance tire. I'm happy with the setup for a daily driver. I paid like $430 for the set. Not bad for wide 18's eh. I sold the VMR wheels for $460 to a local Utah 1 series owner.
Acellera PHI 265/35/18 compared to stock sized 205/50/17 Kumho
Let's see, the other thing I did in the summer was replace the cooling fan. I was in the local In-N-Out drive through on a 90 degree day and I just happened to see the water temp guage past normal. I ordered up a new, well reviewed, fan from "Amazon Speed Shop" for like $200. I youtube'd the install videos and it was the easiest repair I think I've ever done.  It took like 5 minutes to slide the fan in and connect up the electrical connection.

I think that's about it for the bimmus. It's knocking down 28mpg on the daily commute.  It's on the 20k/year plan.  It's also recently become a new driver training vehicle.  LOL  My oldest son just turned 15 and passed the Utah Drivers Permit exam 2 days after his birthday.  Pretty cool actually. Growing up in California in the 90's, I had to be 15 and a half to get my permit. So, the day after Christmas, on the way back from the Sporting Goods store, we dropped in at the Church parking lot and did some stick shift driving practice in the bimmer.  I think its actually a good car for a new driver to learn on.  It's not a Honda, so the clutch is not feather light.  It's actually pretty resilient to teenage new driver inputs.  haha  The torquey 3.0L engine helps it lug around at low rpms and not do the bucking bronco motions.  It's also made driving the family minivan (2007 Honda Oydssey) feel way easier. So, the next generation Hechtspeed'er is now on its way to driving. Time will tell if the car passion hits any of them.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Hechtspeed's new ride: 2001 BMW 330ci (E46)

So ya, #dontknowwhattheheckIwantosis has struck again.  I sold the Honda Fit in July 2016 for $9100 with 79k miles on it because, well, I was bored of it. I owned it for 2.5 years, which is a pretty average ownership time period for me.  The thought was to keep it until my oldest son turned 16 and pass it down to him. It would have about 120k-130k miles on it and be worth about $4k or so.  Buuuut, I couldn't make it that long with such a practical, economical, wise to own car.

Here's a pic the day I bought the bimmer.  Dig the "LOL@URVTEC" shirt, eh?!  haha

I bought a 2001 BMW 330ci, which is a 2 door coupe with the 3.0L inline 6 cylinder engine (M52) with a 5 speed transmission for $6500 from the 2nd owner in Syracuse. I really tried to put a lot of thought into what car I would replace the Fit with. Especially once I got the clearance from my wife, I started looking hard on the classifieds. Honestly, I started out looking at 90's Mustangs and Civics. Shocker! I was really considering a 1995 Mustang Cobra with like 45k miles on it for $12k. It was super super clean, yes, 2 supers.  But...the one thing that turned me away from it was it only has 2 seat belts in the back seat.  Sigh....yes, 1 seat belt changed my path.  The Honda Civic force was strong. I really want to build a 90's Civic like I've always wanted to build.  Simple JDM style, lower ride height, wide-ish wheels and tires, B or K series swapped engine, just a clean looking, great handling sport compact car.  But, these cars are now 20-25 years old and essentially need to be restored in some measure to meet my daily driver / reliability requirements. I actually test drove a red EK chassis hatchback, totally stock with 5 speed. It was a female college student's first car.  Aaaaaand it drove like it.  Very mushy suspension and a clutch that was long gone.  It was slipping and the engine revving up while cruising down a city street at like 30mph.  I don't think the girl had a clue that this was a problem or that anything was even wrong with the car.  I don't remember now, but she was asking like $2500 and it was totally worth it.  The clutch could have been done for like $250 in my garage, but #aintnobodygottimeforthat! haha It was a minor project type car and having to do work right up front scared me away.  Oh man, the temptation to spend the $6-7k difference in selling the Fit compared to buying this Civic was so strong (coilovers, engine swap dancing in my head), but in the end, the barriers were too many with the Civics. After driving this car, I decided then and there I was not going to be getting an older Civic. I was back to the drawing board, really.  Mustangs out, Civics out and without even thinking about it, Subaru's were out.  My own dad's 2003 WRX engine rebuilds (all 3 of them) kept Subaru on the "nope" list.  So now what?  BMW? My cousin Benrod previously owned an E36 M3 coupe in Dakar Yellow and had loved that car.  He suggested I look into an E36 or E46 bimmers. Because #ultimatedrivingmachine right?

Close up of the rear 18x9.5 VMR wheels with 255/35/18 Michelin Pilot Sports. Also note the drilled/slotted rotors and Hawk street pads.

The E36 cars are from 1992-1998, which found themselves in the same bucket as the 90's Civics, 20 years old = project/restoration = nope.  That left me with fine tuning the KSL ad search criteria to 1999-2005 E46 coupes and sedans, click the manual transmission button and then the "SEARCH" button.  I test drove 2 cars. The first was a blue 2003 330i ZHP 6 speed sedan in blue. I met the seller in the Point of the Mountain area and drove it down the 15 freeway a few miles to Lehi and back. The owner had done almost all the maintenance himself. I think he was the 2nd or 3rd owner.  It was pretty clean, but not sparkling.  The price was reasonable at $8500, similar value to my Fit would soon sell for ($9100).  This was on a Monday during lunch hour.  The Friday before I had texted back and forth with a black 2001 330ci coupe seller that had some nice bolt on mods, VMR wheels, short shifter, catback exhaust and a recent cooling system refresh with the replacement metal impeller'ed water pump.  He said that an interested buyer had put $500 down on it. After driving the Blue ZHP sedan I texted the black 330ci seller to see if it was still available. He said it was a long story but that yes, it was still for sale. The smartest thing I did was take my wife and 3 boys (1 was down at Lake Powell) to go test drive it. When we pulled up, the car was sparkling!  Seriously, it was super clean. Peeking in the garage was a 2012 M3 with Volk Racing wheels and Titanium exhaust!  Next to the M3 was a Moab modded Jeep Wrangler on jacks! :o So, that told me this kid was from a car guy family and probably took good car of this car. We all hopped in and went for a test drive.  It felt strong and smooth and the boys loved it!  haha  My wife ordered up a CarFax report right there in the driveway and it checked out clean. We told the seller we wanted it and that we could bring cash tomorrow (my wife had already sent the transfer of the funds because of how much I liked the blue ZHP earlier in the day). So, we headed home with the seller agreeing to sell it to me the next day.  He could tell how much I was into the car and that I was legit, I was married, with kids and an engineer. The next day, 29 June, 2016, I was the owner of a 15 year old Bimmer.  Crazy.
My friend took this photo of me driving out of the Boy Scout Camp up in Idaho this summer. This was a week or so after buying the car.  I wanted to protect the paint (took me about an hour and a whole roll of blue painters tape) and knew I had a dirt road to drive on.  It ended up being about 4 miles of dirt road.  It took me about 25 minutes to go 4 miles because I was being extra careful.  #carguylife

Now, being a car guy, I'm fully aware of BMW's, the "BMW-tax" on parts and labor but also BMW's Motorsports history and the 3 series Bimmer being the #theultimatedrivingmachine.

6 months later, what do I think?  I'm happy with my purchase.  OK, so its not my dream car.  Honestly, I don't have a dream car. Well, not an obtainable one. What do I like about it?  It's a great overall design.  The shape of the car is a classic rear wheel drive 2 door coupe.  The 3.0L inline 6 cylinder (making 225hp/200tq stock) is smooth, torquey and sounds great.  The Magnaflow stainless exhaust helps in the sound department. It's not anything like my Suby's straight pipe, but its louder than stock.  The car came with HR lowering springs and with the already low-ish stock ride height of 3 series Bimmers, it looks great with the 18x8.5 front, 18x9.5 rear VMR wheels. Tires are Michelin Pilot Sports in 225/40/18 front and 255/35/18 rear. It also came with a nice quality short shifter and weighted knob. Other things I dig about this bimmer is its the Premium Package (about $37k brand new), which comes with sunroof, tan leather, heated seats (love the heated seats! the 22 year old Honda fanatic Hechtspeed would be cringing right now) and overall really clean condition.  The first owner was a wealthy-ish guy who only drove 72k miles in the first 13 years of ownership and passed down lots of records. Oh ya and picked the car up in Germany! So far there's nothing bad.  The emergency brake needs to be adjusted as it doesn't grab on hills.  But that is a doable fix for me (already youtubed it).
Here is an Xbox Forza4 game car I made to resemble my bimmer. Looks pretty similar, execept mine has blacked out kidney bean grilles and LED "angel eyes" driving lights. Seriously, the LED lights are like my favorite thing about the car.

I've gone 10k miles so far. Actually just did the 2nd oil change today.  I'm using Royal Purple synthetic 5w-20 with the factory filter.  Totally love the oil filter placement.  Right on top in front. No oil mess to deal with.  One annoying thing is to safely jack the car up takes some work.  I won't bore you with the details but mostly related to having an old crappy Walmart jack that isn't low or long enough.  I'm on the stock 17x7 wheels with 205/50/17 Kumho Ecsta All Season tires right now due to Utah winters.  It looks lame!  I can't wait to put the VMR wheels back on.  I put the winter setup on in September, which was too early.  I should have waited until like November.  Oh well.
Stock/winter wheel/tire setup at my work parking lot.  The cool part about bimmers is they all use the same 5x120 wheel bolt pattern.  So, I can find cool looking stock wheels that people sell used.  I'd love to get a more interesting winter wheel for next year.  We'll see...

My skilled and talented wife busted out this 330Ci tshirt so I could represent at the Salzsee Annual Car Show up at the Solitude Resort here in Utah, a Euro specific car show in August. The image is a photoshopped photo I took of my car with DSLR camera.
Here's a collage of my brake caliper repaint using rattle can in Pontiac Blue.  Thoroughly clean and scrub and spend an hour masking off everything you don't want blue for 5 minutes of actual spray time.  I was thinking bright yellow like my brothers Mustang caliper paint job but decided to be less flashy.

Another collage, this time its with photos from the Salzsee (german for Salt Lake) Euro Car Show. What a beautiful drive up the mountains and a nice turn out with some very cool cars.

I guess that's it for now.  Oh ya, we named it Dieter, because we love Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf the German born Apostle and because it also happens to be the name of the German salesman who's business card is in the paperwork from when the original owner picked his car up in Germany in 2001.  Way cool history!

Brentrod's 2016 Ford Mustang V6

It's been too long!  I don't know if its the winter dreary weather and staying indoors, combined with the week off of work, but I'm feeling the need to write about cars again.  With there being over a year since the last blog post, there is a lot to cover. I'll keep this post focused on Brentrod's Gray 2016 Mustang V6 6 speed car, which he bought in late 2015.  He bought it from Galpin Ford, one of the largest (maybe THE largest?) Ford dealerships in the world, at least in Southern California.  For Brent (my younger brother) this is his (hold on, gotta use my fingers to count them all up, let's see, there was the 1987 Mustang LX Coupe that received a total Thunderbird Turbo Coupe drivetrain swap, the green SN95 5.0 GT 5 speed, the blue S197 Mustang GT 5 speed, the white SN95 V6 to V8 swap car (posted on the blog before) and now the Gray S550 Base V6 6 speed car), so that makes this his 5th Mustang in 10-ish years.  The longest he's kept a Mustang is maybe 3 years (the white SN?), but this is the "long term" 'Stang, right bro?  heh heh Here's a pic on his way home from Galpin Ford for a pitstop at In-N-Out Burger (gotta break in "Bruce" right).  Brent and I bounced different names back and forth and settled on "Bruce", you know, the Shark from "Finding Nemo".  Yes, we do the Australian accent when we talk like him.  ;) It's because the dark gray color and those shark gills up front, it totally looks like a Great White Shark.  Camaro's are friends, not Food!

Here is, like, the only picture of the car in factory stock form. No, the 'Stang did not stay stock for long. Here's the current list.

Custom carbon intake tube with open filter
BBK 73mm throttle body
Ported stock upper and lower intake manifolds
JLT oil separator

BBK Shorty headers
Stock cats
SR "X" pipe
Custom Hechtspeed quad tip axle back with muffler delete
(This is like the 5th exhaust and is finally where its got the best sound to noise ratio (very subjective obviously)

SCT X4 MPT 91PRX tune
(Multiple tunes as the mods have been added over this first year)

ACT Billet steel flywheel
ACT HD clutch

Eibach PROKIT lowering springs
BMR poly differential bushing inserts
BMR Cradle lock out brackets
SR Billet spherical links
Steeda Billet shifter bracket
Steeda transmission bushing insert
Custom carbon fiber shift knob
14" 4 piston Brembo Mustang GT swap up front, stock rear V6 brakes

XXR 521 18x10 ET25mm
Federal SS595 275/40/18
(Black chrome, then flat black, then bronze, then back to black)

Mustang GT front upper and lower grilles with mesh delete
Emblem delete with "Cyclone V6" emblems in red added
Custom Hechtspeed rear diffuser fins (design sold to AmericanMuscle who is now producing them in injected molded plastic)
Custom Hechtspeed fiberglass rear spoiler (Revision B since Revision A was sold)

Powerwise, the once stock ouput of 305hp/280tq is now estimated to be about 350hp/330tq.  Which puts it in the S197 3V 4.6L V8 with intake and exhaust territory, very respectable. MPG is a non-GT like 32 on the highway.  In town with "normal" driving, he's getting a more V8-like 20MPG, LOL.

Here's the first "Stage" that Brent arrived at.  Starting on the tail end of Brucie, you can see the quad tip exhaust with the emblem delete and the revision A of the Hechtspeed spoiler.  This was a carbon fiber version, which was later sold (to fund more mods, duh, or was it RC airplanes...). The stance is from the Eibach springs with stock dampers. The wheel color here was painted black and shows the yellow calipers nicely.  
This picture shows a comparison of Bruce Version 2.0 vs 2.5. In the lower picture, you can see the brakes have been changed to "Ford Blue" with the wheels painted in a Japanese style bronze with the trunk being wingless. This is the 2nd set of tires on this wheel setup.  Race car flavor was added with the "FEDERAL" letters being painted white.  Looks great in both looks, eh?

In the summer Brent and Pappy took there 'Stangs to Famoso (Bakersfield, CA), along with some Tehachapi area hot rodders (white Trans Am and Red WRX in the background). Pap's green SN95 has been in the family since 1997.  "Sally" is a legend in the Hechtspeed shop.  With the stock block, stock heads (ported), stock cam with a ton of supporting mods and slicks it went a best of 12.85@106mph at Famoso (that's with about 255whp (dyno proven)).  To date, this is the fastest 1/4 mile run of any Hecht.  I like this photo a lot because it shows our family doing what we love together.  It's family history!
Back to Brucie...Brent's fastest time on the worn crappy 285's was a 13.6 @ 103 with a 2.15sec 60ft time. The DA (density altitude) was 3000ft, which is crappy for the strips actual elevation.  With that mph the car has a 12 sec run in it if it had some drag race specific tweaks and tires. But, drag racing is not what Brent has built this car for.

 Here's a rear shot of the current look (as of this week), red "Cyclone" emblem (this is the name given to the naturally aspirated 305hp V6 in the Ford family, quad exhaust with custom diffuser fins on the black painted lower bumper and custom rear spoiler.  #becauseracecar
 Bruce Version 3.0 has gone back to black painted wheels, blue calipers and the revision B rear spoiler.  Which do you like better?
 Glamour shot in Tehachapi's December low light from yesterday.  You can see the rear fins better here and that purdy gray color.

Brent took me for a Golden Hills Touge Run when it was at about Version 2.5 (cheap 285/35/18 tires, not the Federals) this last summer and man, does it stick. Brent really knows these cars and is able to push them hard. Mustangs, while, known as "Muscle Cars" are really not much like there originals.  With the S550's independent rear suspension and modern brakes, suspension and powertrains they perform like legitimate sports cars. For the money, the Mustang is still the best bang for the buck, with plenty of chassis and aftermarket to make it whatever you want.  This is what Brent has made (so far) and its a rad machine. I got to drive Brucie before heading back to Utah and it was a blast. I didn't push it nearly like Brent, but was more interested in getting a feel for it.  It is very direct, has really nice steering and shifter feel and almost too touchy brake feel.  Of course, I'm comparing it to what I've been driving, which is the Honda Fit and a 15 year old BMW (more on that later, heh). Nice work bro!  Can't wait to see where you take it from here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Hechspeed Rides

So, it's been too long since we've updated the blog.  We had a family get together in Utah and I snapped a picture of Brent's 2004 WRX Wagon, Ben's 2010 Forester and Nick's e90 335i.
Just a quick update with Brent's cars, he finally sold off his 1994 Fobra Mustang and took a parting good-bye photo next to it.  It was a really cool machine.  It was a V6 base car with roll up windows originally.  A previous owner swapped in a 5.0 pushrod motor and then Brent took it over from there doing a bunch of suspension upgrades, bolt on motor stuff, removing some weight and adding some 18x10 wheels and 255/275 tires.  It was a killer touge machine for sure.  It will be missed.
Of course, Brent wasn't going to let the funds from the Stang go untouched and promptly bought a 16GXT turbo, big top mount intercooler from Mishimoto, STi pink injectors and the off the shelf tune from Cobb into his AccessPort.  He recently picked up some STi fog light covers and Grimmspeed WRB Blue paint.  Looks great.  Next up are the side skirts to get some WRB love as well.
Some early morning before work action...
The Rotas were recently revised with some World Rally Gold paint as well. he he

Overfender All The Things!!!

Noticed I hadn't posted in here in awhile.  Here's some sweet rides from my usual car websites that I frequent everyday.  StanceNation, Stanceworks, and Stickydiljoe.  Basically, #overfenderallthethings!  Over fenders and wide wheels/tires make any car better.  Whether its American muscle, Italian sports coupe or German sedan, its all good!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Kosei RT wheels for the Fit

I scored some nice used wheels off of the local classifieds this week.  Much improved over the stockies.  They're Kosei RT Sport LT in 16x7, +33mm offset and have the stock tires (185/55/16).  Next up is some lowering springs some day.