Driftworks DW86 - AE86 of many powers and grips!

Thread in 'Project Cars and Builds Threads' started by PhilMorrison, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. Threadmark: Disassembly

    PhilMorrison Driftworks Owner
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    Jul 20, 2004
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    DW86 Meets the ASCAR
    So you’ve bought an old ASCAR on a whim, and it’s sitting next to an old tired Toyota AE86 Corolla that doesn’t run right. What do you do? :D

    So what is the goal of this build? : To create a unique and competitive drift car that allows the use of big tyres and a big NA engine, but is at the same time respectful to the original AE86 styling.


    This is not the world's highest budget drift build. We have recycled as much of the ASCAR as possible, and used our knowledge of building our past competition cars to hopefully keep this as simple as possible.

    Because there were so many comments in the build thread, it's been revamped to including media from blogs and social media so we can have everything DW86 in one place.

    The start

    A quick look over some of the ASCAR components as we take it apart:
    It’s an awesome bit of kit with it’s frock removed. Kind of new Batmobile'ish' But with an LS1 engine, dry sump, Jericho dog box, Winters drop gear axle, AP brakes and some trick suspension parts.

    IMG_003. IMG_004. IMG_005. IMG_006. IMG_007. IMG_008. IMG_009. IMG_010. IMG_011. IMG_012. IMG_013. PartsStripped. AscarStrip.

    For our international followers, and those too young to remember: An ASCAR is a low spec NASCAR built for the UK. It runs a very basic LS1 engine. The cars were built in the US by Howe Racing for a series held at the UK’s brand new (at the time) Rockingham Raceway. Aside from the engines they share a great deal of components with a real NASCAR. So as a donor car for an old live axle Toyota it ‘could’ work very well!
    Before we stripped it, we had to have a little blast in it.

    I decided it to store the chassis out of the way in our second unit.
    #1 PhilMorrison, Mar 23, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
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  2. Threadmark: Chassis Prep

    PhilMorrison Driftworks Owner
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    Jul 20, 2004
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    Prepping the shell
    The Corolla was stripped, and, Dynotorque, who are doing the vast majority of the build for us threw an LS block in to see exactly how much work we were looking at to get it in the hole.



    Here’s a quick picture of the original 86 axle verses the Winters drop gear axle. There is a considerable size difference! It might be a tight fit.


    The cutting out, and strengthening was started on the 86 shell. Phil had already had a lot of the car welded before it was ever intended for this project, but none of us anticipated how much prep and welding would have to go into this shell to make it structurally sound enough to handle the power and grip we intended to throw at it.


    Here's the point where my vision for the car was either going to work out or not. We removed a lot of metal, made a high quality branded 265/35/18 rolling radius tyre, and smashed the axle as high as it would go.


    We mocked up the front suspension. The car uses Driftworks CS2 Nissan S13 coilovers / Geomaster hub knuckles / Driftworks lower arms / tension rods, all mounted simply using a modified original AE86 crossmember with an S14 steering rack fitted and some AE86 CS2 coilover top mounts. Then Craig set about clearance for the front tubs. We loved posting this picture on FB as people thought we were grinding into the actual block. In fact it is a cracked block Dynotorque use for mocking up LS conversions. I think that our AE86 is the 31st car that Dynotorque have converted to LS power!


    Some slight clearance needed for the Jerico gearbox and prop.


    New tunnel going in.

    Tunnel2. Tunnel4.

    The car went on the spit so we could stitch / seam weld the underneath.


    StichWelding1. Tunnel7.

    After many ear bleeding and lung filling days of grinding and welding it’s starting to look quite strong!

  3. Threadmark: Rollcage by Nickson

    PhilMorrison Driftworks Owner
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    Jul 20, 2004
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    Nickson Motorsport take over for a beautiful T45 cage build and some further chassis reinforcement… One of my major things with this build is to make sure that it’s safe. Basically because I'm a big guy in a tiny 30 year old Japanese tin car. So Nicks brief was light, but with no compromise to safety. Luckily Nickson’s work is second to none, and he really delivered on this point.

    Nickson1. Nickson6. Nickson7. Nickson8. Nickson9. Nickson10. Nickson11. Nickson12. Nickson13. Nickson14. Nickson15. Nickson16. Nickson17. Nickson20. Nickson21. Nickson22. Nickson23. Nickson24. Nickson25. Nickson26. Nickson27. Nickson28. Nickson29. Nickson30. Nickson31. Nickson32. Nickson33.
  4. Threadmark: Axle Engine Suspension Exhaust

    PhilMorrison Driftworks Owner
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    Jul 20, 2004
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    The Throttle Bodies
    The Jenvey Throttle Bodies arrived! We actually won’t end up using the carbon airboxes as it would need a huge bonnet extension which would suck!.




    It's time to get cutty! This was the point that it really became clear to people just how much work we were prepared to do to make the car sit right on 18" rear wheels! What we ended up cutting out was actually higher than the mark we made.

    The new top arm for the axle

    Here we’re looking at the rear tubs, so machine out the centre of some of our Rota MXR wheels normally used on the DW R32 to test it all.



    And the other side, along with a new floor and mounts for the tank.


    After getting ripped off by American Company: Thunder Racing for £3,000 of parts for the LS1, we decided to cut our losses and invest in a brand new crate LS3. Here it is with the dry sump and clutch fitted.


    The engine sitting on its mounts ready for header fabrication


    Here you get a small idea of the work that was involved in getting the engine low enough with the oil pan, whilst clearing the S14 steering rack that is custom fabricated to fit the AE86 crossmember.


    The Winters rear axle came off the Nascar with 3.5* negative camber on one side, and 3* positive on the other (as it was designed to go round in circles). We really wanted to run it with -0.5 negative to have a good compromise between drift and track setup, which meant ordering and replacing the outer tubes on the axle. First they go into the freezer for a night to shrink the metal.


    Then into the press! Or if your press isn’t big enough, use a 4 post ramp with your mate’s really sweet Camero on it!


    Here it’s reassembled

    And back in the car with it’s custom dropped brackets laser cut from stainless. These amongst other parts are made to help give as much traction as possible!

    You can also see how huge the wheel wells are in this shot.


    Some of the pipework is now going in along with the dry sump tank. You can also see one of our Driftworks hydraulic handbrake handles!


    Expensive blue and red stuff everywhere!

    More of the S14 Geomaster knuckles, CS2 coilovers & Driftworks arm setup!

    We want to use the ASCAR AP brakes, but as we’re using Nissan 5 stud front hubs we had to make some new bells and brake bracket adapters.



    Thanks to Rota Wheels for lending us some wheels to check clearances and offsets, We are one of the biggest Rota wheels dealers in Europe, and have a great working relationship with the guys.


    Huge thanks to Samco for supplying all silicone hoses for the project.


    We got the car on it’s feet and on the scales. It’s still got a load of parts and weight to go in, but it’s a promising first figure of 946kg in it’s current state. At this point we estimate a full weight of 1100-1200kg


    Craig made the shroud for the rear Driftworks SuperCool radiator using recycled interior panels from the ASCAR. This shit’s more environmentally friendly than a Prius!

    Craig then set about making the exhaust


    The whole system has perfect ground clearance, and we used a couple of decent quality low profile Magnaflow boxes to take the edge off the inevitable volume.

    Here’s Craig Taylor, the man himself from Dynotorque showing you that perfect ground clearance on the exhaust.
  5. Threadmark: First Startup & Drive

    PhilMorrison Driftworks Owner
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    Jul 20, 2004
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    First fire up
    We started the car for the first time – It’s on a generic map so won’t run properly yet..

    And here’s the first time I ever drove it. Just onto the trailer on its way to Protuner – Still without a map so almost impossible to drive. The comments on this video on Youtube are hilarious "Dude needs to learn to drive" :D

    And here’s a quick cameo from Greg at Protuner, running the new engine in on the dyno.

    Unfortunately then we got some not so great news: The second time we went to the dyno after changing the oil. The car was partially mapped, and it made 560bhp, which is very good for the spec. However it developed a small rattle. On investigation all of the shells are worn, and one of them had deformed slightly. Everything was spot on with the car with new oil and great pressure. The issue appears to be that the dry sump system is aerating the oil. So we are replacing the shells and invested in one of these.

  6. Threadmark: Making the Arches & Shell Paint

    PhilMorrison Driftworks Owner
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    Jul 20, 2004
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    The Arches

    I'm quite particular about how a drift car should look, and most of the work done to the shell was done to ensure that it could ride super low despite the 18″ / 17″ wheel setup. So Paul from Magic Aero came to stay in Birmingham for 6 days for the original stage of the design process, and we spent an age getting the lines right.

    Expanding foam is poured into makeshift cardboard boxes to give a block ready to model.


    MagicFoam1. MagicFoam2.

    When we first posted this picture, some people thought that this would in some way reflect what the arch would look like….


    Many days of pouring and sculpting later, we had settled on the arch design, and were very happy with the overall look which ticks the most important box of all: To be truly respectful to the original 86, despite the MASSIVE wheels…. “Hey everybody! Come and see how good I look!”



    At that point Magic Aero pull the whole foam plug off the car, and take it away to make the first set of moulds. There are three stages to the moulding, then re-sculpting and moulding process before we will receive a finished product. Even at this early point Magic Aero have put around 60 hours work into the car.

    So now the car has essentially been 95% built, and kind of driven. So it can finally be broken down for stripping and paint. So back to Dynotorque it goes:


    One final bit of grinding to do, and this should be the last time we see the shell in all it's multicoloured unposhness, as I've now delivered it into the hands of Sodablast for some serious pre-primer-prep.

    I delivered to Soda-Blast-Systems UK to take care of removing all the remaining paint and mess from all of the welding.

    After blasting – How much better does it make all the fabrication look!

    Because of the weather and a lack of an enclosed trailer to get the shell back to Driftworks, we had the Soda-Blast guys prime the car too. They did an awesome job.

    And the car was brought back to Driftworks, where I took on the unpleasant job of a few days of structural foam reinforcement and under sealing.



    And Paul from Magic Aero’s back with the first set of moulds and overfenders

    They still need a lot of work at this point.
  7. PhilMorrison

    PhilMorrison Driftworks Owner
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    Jul 20, 2004
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    The wheels arrived from CCW in the States! They are 17×9 ET-15 5×114.3 front, and the rears are 18×10.5 ET-15 5×5″. We received them unfinished as at this stage we were on an extremely tight deadline to get the car ready to show at Autosport international on the British Drift Championship stand.

    The wheels would be powdercoated Satin black centre and gloss black outers. Sacrilege to some to paint a polished lip! But all part of the bigger picture of making this car look right. I felt making the wheels black would balance out the fact that they are effectively way too big for a car of this size.

    We’ve obviously been contaminated by all these parts from the US that we’re using in the build, as we thought it’d be a good idea to change our rig for the 2014 season to a jacked F250 XLT SuperDuty and Pace trailer. They chucked the German thing in the back in for free.

    Time for paint
    We had dropped off the shell at a local painter, who we have used for years. Collecting it was supposed to be one of the major high points in the build, as finally all the hard work that Dynotorque and Nickson put into the shell prep would be shown with it’s shiny covering of bright orange paint.

    Unfortunately that is not what we saw when we arrived. The paintshop had possibly done the worst job possible to the most important car we have ever asked them to paint. See-through thin paint over the entire car. It looks more like brown than orange it was that thin. There were areas missing paint completely. It was an overall completely half arsed terrible rushed job.

    After 12 months of more work / stress / cost than most people could have ever imagined, I could have cried. The worst bit was that he wouldn’t even admit it was a terrible job. His words “no, that’s the best that any painter could do. I won’t re-do it”. The car was promptly removed, and we set about finding someone to sort out this complete mess, as we were now put back massively on a ridiculously tight deadline to get this car assembled and to Autosport.

    BadPaint4. BadPaint3.

    Our buddy Paul Jackson came to the rescue. He only normally does small smart repairs, and his ‘booth’ was our dusty freezing cold second unit at Driftworks. We painted until the middle of the night, and pushed the car into our new Pace race transporter with a gas heater in there to cure the paint. It came out AWESOME! We can’t thank Paul enough for stepping up under such difficult circumstances.





    After a night curing the paint, we got the car back into Dynotorque to start assembly (very gently).

    Craig worked his ass off, and things started to go back together very quickly.


  8. Threadmark: Orange Paint & Assembly Starts

    PhilMorrison Driftworks Owner
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    Jul 20, 2004
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    The Oil Aeration in the dry sump system had done more damage to the crank than we’d originally thought. So we decided to pull it apart properly and fit some new parts. It’s still a relatively simple spec of a standard balanced crank and rod setup, just with some forged pistons, a lairy cam, valve springs, pushrods and roller rockers.

    The damage to the old crank.

    And the new forged pistons going into the block. The crank, rods and pistons were all balanced in the states for us by a company called Nook and Tranny who are great to deal with.
    LS3Pistons1.JPG LS3Pistons2.JPG

    At this point I started work on the fibreglass doors and the bootlid. They were ‘rally spec’ parts, and quite honestly I've never seen fibreglass with such a bad finish before.

    The TRD spoiler was glassed to the bootlid and I set about making it look like it was meant to be there.

    I think this photo was taken about two days into the relentless sand/fill/sand/fill process. The patience was wearing thin.

    All coming together
    Meanwhile, the awesome Cobra Sebring Pro seats turned up. Huge thanks to Cobra for getting them sorted!


    And local Alloy Wheel refurb specialists Speedwell Tyres are doing an awesome job on the wheels. They also did a great job of all of the general powdercoating on the car, like the crossmember, panhard rod, hinges etc.

    And to mount the rear wheels we had our friend Martin make some custom wheel studs that convert the ASCAR Winters rear axle to an M12x1.5 stud. Keeping the NASCAR style quick start dome heads that theoretically eliminate the chance of cross threading during our ever so frequent wheel changes.


    We’d had Paul Jackson and another buddy Twin, come in to finish the prep and paint on the doors and bootlid which came out very well again, especially considering our unideal paint booth (the toilet in our second unit).

    Once again our temporary ‘drying booth’ came in handy.

    James spent an age routing the rear perspex window for the NACA ducts to throw a bit of air in front of the rear radiator

    Here it is mounted with cleco temporary rivets which are very handy!

    Speedwells finished painting and assembling the new wheels!




    The engine was back in, using some Pipercross filters on the Jenvey Throttle Bodies.

    I had a go at the bonnet, and quickly gave up… Damn massive engine!
  9. Threadmark: Dyno + more on the Arches & Paint

    PhilMorrison Driftworks Owner
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    Jul 20, 2004
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    Off to the Dyno
    So it was loaded up to go back over to Protuner. The stupid tall rear tyres fitted here are our dyno tyres. They are 275/40/18 and give us the ground clearance needed to keep the rear lower arms off the rollers.

    It had a long running in session, then an oil change for some Motul 300v

    Then a quick map. At this stage only taking it to 6900rpm. It made about 585bhp again, and 610ft/lb torque. After there’s a few more miles on the engine we’ll be revving to about 7400rpm, which will really bring the massively peaky cam into play.

    A little throttle blip after a pull

    Meanwhile, ‘oop north’, Magic Aero was busy making the second version set of plugs


    And the moulds


    Testing with smoke
    Craig wasn’t looking forward to this job. The rear firewall between driver and the hot radiator / oil tank etc. It’s made from thin aluminium shaped around the back of the seat (which sits through the main hoop of the cage)

    It was then flocked by Speedwells, and although it’s difficult to see, there’s three pieces of perspex fitted and sealed around the cage at the top. You can’t see much in the mirror as the NACA ducts in the rear screen warp everything, but it was done so we didn’t make the cabin claustrophobic.

    Here you can also see the extended steering wheel boss made that’s mounted to the Driftworks Nardi steering wheel. The clear pipe is a filtered cold air feed that goes into the top of the drivers helmet.

    We had a little smoke test to see where the leaks are that need filling.



    One of the small things that bugged us that you can see in the two pictures above is the lack of black trim around the front side windows, so they were removed, some lines masked and painted in a satin to match the trim colour of the rear side windows. A set of carbon mirrors were fitted as well.
    BlackBorder1. BlackBorder2.

    Magic Aero came back to Driftworks to check the fit on the version 2 overfenders. These are still not the final items, they are just to get us to the Autosport show, but they look incredible!

    Paul Jackson again came and painted them for us. Again he had the privilege of using our incredible spray booth: The bathroom in our second unit.



    And the bumpers were sprayed black
  10. Threadmark: Ready for Autosport

    PhilMorrison Driftworks Owner
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    Jul 20, 2004
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    Ready for Autosport
    And the day after, after months of work by lots and lots of people, the car is visually almost complete and ready for Autosport.





    Off to Autosport it goes:

    So we made it to the Autosport show, and the car went down very well with our friends. But it is being used competitively this year, and as we all know, new builds have their teething problems and bugs to be worked out. So again we push to complete the mechanicals and electrics so we can actually test the car.

    We weigh the car with half a tank of fuel, (we haven’t set the corner weights yet) and we’re very happy with the results. We always knew it was going to be quite a heavy car, so 1193kg is okay, but the balance is what matters, and a perfect 50/50 weight distribution should make this perform incredibly well.

    First burnout test
    You know what we were just saying about bugs to iron out? Well this was the first burnout test (an essential first test before heading to the track).

    The first burnout went okay, the second not so much. We smashed the original ASCAR propshaft UJ which took out the nose of the diff, and a large portion of the exhaust. But heyho, at least we got to do one burnout

    Some of the damage. This is what’s left of the bracket which mounts the UJ onto the front of the diff:

    This was ‘inconvenient’ not least because we’d just received a parcel from Winters Axles in the US, so had to order again. However they are a great company to deal with and quickly we had everything we needed to repair the front yoke, replace a slightly leaky seal, and at the same time replace the unpredictable detroit locker LSD with a spool (a completely locked diff)

    It’s easy to forget how massive this axle is when it’s hidden underneath the car.

    All apart, ready to get complicated!

    Craig and I fitted the ring gear to the spool, then set about shimming it. Doing this is quite tedious on a live axle, and even more so on a massive heavy one. We had to call upon a third man (James) to stabilise the one half while I lifted the other half on and off, and Craig did the shims…. Fun!

    It came back together nicely though, and was shortly back in the car and mated to a new much stronger propshaft made for us by Dave Mack Propshafts. The pinion angle looks wrong in this picture because the top arm is off the diff to get it in.

  11. Threadmark: New Dry Sump & More arch work

    PhilMorrison Driftworks Owner
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    Jul 20, 2004
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    Dry sump change
    After the rather quick expiry of our first engine in the car, we still had that little question in the back of our heads: “Have we completely solved the issue with our dry sump system?”.

    We fitted the Spintric air oil separator which we’re confident has solved that part of the problem, but after speaking with Gary from Armstrong Race Engine Systems for nearly three hours while he was over at the Autosport show, he showed us some potential other issues with the Moroso oil pan setup we’d used from the ASCAR, and we decided to eliminate this doubt from our minds and take the plunge by replacing the sump, pump and a few other components.

    The new ARE dry sump parts are beautifully engineered.. Unfortunately we’re going to have to modify the sump to clear our crossmember as we suspected, but this will be done while bolted to Dynotorque’s dummy block to eliminate the chance of warping while it’s TIG welded.

    Craig loves the thought of milling brand new very expensive parts.




    While Craig was in the mood for some fabrication, he got onto making a drop mount for one of our tow hooks to come through the original hole in the bumper.


    The front was a lot easier and just bolts to the chassis rail.

    We’d had some issues getting the coolant to bleed, so we made a huge filling pot for the highest point of the pipework, this obviously is removable, and has worked perfectly.

    And Paul from Magic Aero’s back (He can’t stay away!) to make the final plugs and moulds.

    We’re giving ourselves a little more clearance on the rear arches, not to have more of a gap between arch and tyre, but so we have the ability to run bigger tyres at a later date if we need to.

    Paul’s then done a lot of prep work, and is taking final mould actually on the car, which he will pull and take away to create the final arches in some posh semi flexible material.

    Here’s the car as it stands with the gel coat layer of the mould applied. This will be left to go off a little before the fibreglass is applied. Then the lot will be left overnight to cure, and will be removed tomorrow.


    The moulds finished and cured:


    It takes quite a lot of effort to release them. The plug (completed overfenders) come off with the mould, as Paul has to complete the finer parts of the mould on the bench, like the edges around the lip. This is much easier to do on the bench than upside down while on the car.

    Back in Fabricationville (Dynotorque) Craig’s making a mount for the Race Technology Dash2 – This is a great dash.

    While fitting the dash, Craig’s also wiring the Cartek wireless steering wheel buttons that are fitted behind the Driftworks Nardi Steering wheel and the custom steering wheel spacer.


    Craig wired in the front facing brake light required for the 2014 regs:
  12. Threadmark: First Test Video

    PhilMorrison Driftworks Owner
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    Jul 20, 2004
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    Does it drift?
    We then managed to get a very last minute first test session in at our local track Birmingham Wheels. The car is brutal! A rear caliper bracket span on the axle so we lost 90% of our braking on the first run, but thought we’d carry on anyway, and managed to do two new sets of 285 Federal RSRs to the cords.

    Delivery from Mr Magic Aero. The final overfenders! Made in a semi flexible and very strong Kevlar weave. With a nice touch on the back as well!

    And we found a new local painter to prep and paint them in a bodyshop instead of the toilet here. Looking at the quality of the ‘out of the gun’ finish, I think this one’s a keeper!

    Craig has had the car next door again for a few days. The new Alcon clutch is in.

    And he’s currently working on the optional rear silencers. These will not be used unless absolutely necessary for track DB limits.


    And we got our air tank back from testing. It’s now filled with 4,000psi. Lets hope that’s enough to lift our heavy car.

    Turns out it is enough pressure! Airjack test video!

    Mr Magic Aero’s back in the DW house today! This time to have a look at the bonnet! I really didn’t want a hole and was worried about a bonnet bulge being too big. There is a plan though! It involves cutting down one of the fuel rails to give much better clearance, and creating a subtle bulge. We’ll see whether it works out!

    The plan for the bonnet worked! It was a rushed job so needs refinishing at some point, but Magic Aero did an awesome job! Looking at previous pictures you wouldn’t believe that the massive V8 is underneath there!
  13. Threadmark: Banzai Magazine & More test vids

    PhilMorrison Driftworks Owner
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    Jul 20, 2004
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    Finished article
    We got the car back to Birmingham Wheels for the Banzai Magazine photoshoot, which was a lot of fun! Here’s some of Rich’s photos.





    With just five days before our first round of the season in a brand new car, we finally got to properly test the car. If it’s possible to learn to tame this thing, it may even end up being competitive.

    Warning, it isn’t a great quality video, but the soundtrack makes up for it.

    Our first round of competition in the new car pretty much went as expected :wack:

    If there's one word I used more than any other over the weekend it was 'terrifying'. The mechanical grip this car has, combined with the short wheel base, rear biased weight distribution, and semi slick tyres was more than enough to deal with. But combine all of that with the brake issues, the lack of suspension setup and my inexperience driving anything even slightly like it on a track at speed before brought it all to the next level of 'terrification' ,as I tried desperately to not put it in the gravel or the walls :D.

    Then we popped a seal on a brand new AP Master cylinder in the handbrake, which meant that under a certain combination of hand brake and footbrake I had no brakes at all. Completely terrifying! Mark Lappage kindly lent us a master cylinder, and that was swapped out, and the brakes worked the best they ever have after that..

    So we'd done no laps in practice session one, and got about five laps in practice session two. I was really not happy with my progress 'taming the beast' but love how photos can make shit drifting look good :D

    Then during qualifying the car was drastically loosing power after 4500 rpm almost like a soft cut limiter. It turned out our posh fuel tank and the pickup for the fuel pump had been filled with crud from a jerry can that was peeling paint from the inside. Lot's of disassembling, cleaning and filtering later the car was back together, but we had damaged the filter during cleaning and it leaked. Buff and the SATS team came to the rescue, and lent us their spare Aeromotive filter with some fittings to convert to our -6AN lines!

    We'd qualified 12th despite some of the weakest entries I've ever made into the first corner. Craig had fixed the car, so it was time for the top 16 and our battle against Jack Shanahan. We'd set the tyre pressure low as we were expecting rain, but when warming the tyres when exiting the pits I heard an almighty and all too familiar bang as the propshaft snapped the front UJ.

    Driveline failures suck! So we're going to have to dampen engagement with a Tilton adjustable flow delay valve. I use one of these on my JZX110, and I can't even tell its there, so hopefully it wont cause us to overheat the clutch.

    This is the valve in my JZX110

    Here's a little vid from some pre BDC testing we did last week.

    And here's a practice run from BDC Knockhill

    Also we'd bought a sweet new truck! a Chevrolet 3500HD with a 6.6litre V8 turbo diesel Duramax with a few mods making enough torque to turn the world backwards! - The jacked offroad thing on a 2wd dually doesn't work for me. So that will be fixed at a later date.
  14. Threadmark: LSX454 7.4litre Engine

    PhilMorrison Driftworks Owner
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    Jul 20, 2004
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    Jump Forward - End of the first season MegaUpdate
    It was one hell of a season! We did nine events, and I’m happy to report that after the driveline failures in the first two outings for the car, it has run flawlessly for the remainder of the season. We have made a load of changes to not only keep the the driveline together, but also to how the car handles, as it is nothing short of insane to drive!
    But perhaps the biggest change we decided to make in the early part of the season was to remove the built LS3 engine, and replace it with a GM 454LSX 7.4litre engine.

    First of all, here’s what we did to keep the axle in the car, and stop breaking the propshaft joints:
    The lower brackets are dropped so far because the axle is so high. Some shipbuilder style triangulation strengthening was in order as this was the part that snapped at Drift Allstars in London.

    The three other things we did were:
    1: We had Dave Mac make the biggest and strongest propshaft that can be made. It’s 3″ and uses the biggest UJ’s availale. It’s basically the same thing you will find on a 2500hp drag car.
    2: We fitted an adjustable clutch damper valve to take a tiny bit of the hit out of clutch engagements. It’s not noticeable on the pedal It just takes the edge off the hit.
    3: We changed one end of the lower link arms to polyurethane instead of the solid rose joints.

    So onto the new engine. Lot’s of people asked why we were doing it. The LS3 was already 570bhp, and the car seemed to go very well. Well the simple answer is because it was completely unnecessary and a completely dumb idea. The 454 LSX was a really stupid engine to fit into a 1986 Toyota Corolla so therefor it must be done…. Man logic!

    The LS3 was removed, and I stripped all ancillaries to be weighed like for like against the LSX

    In exactly the same state, the LSX weighs 48kg more than the LS3. Rumours of +50kg were correct! Having a bit more forward weight in the car was certainly not going to upset the handling, as it was rear biased weight balance with the driver in position before, and this made it an extremely snappy and challenging car to handle.

    Roughly an hour after Partsworldgroup dropped the crate engine over to us, we had the thing unpacked and had the dry sump pan and throttle bodies fitted.

    It’s actually a different set of Jenvey ITB’s fitted in the photo above. They are only slightly different to the set we had on the LS3 (60mm instead of 58mm ITBs) but there’s a slightly different inlet manifold too, so we decided to go for the correct kit to make sure it gets the best air feed, and still all fits under the very tight bonnet. Craig spent some time port matching them for the heads.
    PortingThrottleBodies-308x185. Throttle-Bodies-1-277x185.

    A quick glimpse of the forged internals before the sump was fitted.

    We had a custom camshaft specced and made for high RPM power, and fitted it with some nice new extremely heavy duty springs and retainers

    Craig is a dab hand at engine work with LS’s. He’s got to have worked on about 100 of them now.

    Heat management is going to be a high priority with this big lump of steel, so just before the engine is landed in the hole, I got busy with some expensive shiny stuff.

    And the engine fits! Well it should! Externally the LSX454 is the same dimensions as a normal LS. It just has a few more litres of space inside. The LS3 rocker covers have to go on until we find somewhere to mount the coilpacks inside the car.

    Now onto the exhaust. This is going to be TIGHT!
    The old LS3 had some modified 1 & 5/8’s headers. They were really not going to cut it for the air this things going to blow. So the decision was made by me (much to Craigs joy) that it needed custom 2″ Primaries, and twin 3″ exhausts.
    Custom head flanges were cut.
    Flange-277x185. Flange2-315x185.

    And Craig assumed position, surrounded by stainless pipe.

    HeaderFab1-308x185. Welding-2-277x185.

    New 3″ silencers were needed. Again we went for Magnaflow as they are exactly the same size box as before, just with 3″ pipe. Obviously as always absolute top priority is to not compromise ground clearance. This thing will always run low!

    Craig had dealt with the nightmare of a job making the headers, so it was my turn to have a nightmare wrapping them.

    The car was back together, and we had a two hour running in session at our local oval track. One of the more monotonous and sickly driving jobs I've had to do in his career.

    So then it was time to go and see uncle Greg at Protuner again. The new engine was running great. Unfortunately the tyres weren’t such a big fan of the new power combined with relatively low gearing. So despite chucking over 120kg of ballast, and having another 200kg of fatish people standing in the boot, we weren’t able to get a power reading, and the map was just made safe at the top end.

    Also I had fixed the altitude of the truck. Now known as Chevy Minaj. 4 days of rolling around on the floor changing ridiculously heavy parts and making stuff!
    #14 PhilMorrison, Mar 23, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
  15. Threadmark: Tyre Carnage & Daigo Saito

    PhilMorrison Driftworks Owner
    Staff Member

    Jul 20, 2004
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    We knew the new engine was a fair bit more powerful, but we’d just have to wait and see how it felt on track.
    That first event for the new engine was in Ireland, at IDC’s Global Warfare, and it’s safe to say that the new setup made an impression :D

    Not only did the car have an ability to lay down smoke like nothing before. It also seemed to propel itself forwards well too, and in the top 32 we beat D-Mac in his own mental AE86. This was the first ever battle we’d done in the car, so the result against a seasoned driver and car was unexpected.

    One of the highlights of the IDC event for us, was Daigo Saitos love for the DW86 He spent a lot of time crawling over it and taking pictures of all the fabrication we'd done. To hear the words “This is the coolest 86 we have ever seen!” from Robbie Nishida and Daigo Saito (two of Japans most respected drifters) made it feel like we'd built something pretty f*%king special.

    Here’s a quick video from qualifying of Rd4 of the British Drift Championship. I had put in a safe run, so decided to test the new driveline a little.

    And here’s a battle between me and our buddy Lluis Lopez

    Before both of these events we had changed the final drive in the diff to be much longer. This meant we’d now have a chance of holding power on the dyno. So after BDC, we popped over to see our friends at MSL with their new dyno to do a power run. Turns out the new engine makes quite a bit of power. 646hp@the wheels to be exact, and this is with mapping still not complete!
  16. Threadmark: Big Burnouts & Quaife Sequential

    PhilMorrison Driftworks Owner
    Staff Member

    Jul 20, 2004
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    One of the things I'd really battled with over the season is the car’s short wheelbase and twitchyness at high speed. It’s a 50/50% weight distribution car, and getting the car to smooth out it’s reactions and not try to kill me every 2nd run has been a challenge. There have been a lot of suspension tweaks throughout the year. But the biggest difference made to the car in terms of handling was to finally find a way to fit a rear anti roll bar. There is literally no room underneath the car for one, so a NASCAR circuit bar set up was adapted to fit. Set in a high mount position on the roll cage inside the car, with links through the boot floor to the axle.

    It’s still not finished in this picture as we have a thicker bar being made in the US at the moment, to hopefully make further improvements.

    Another of the problems with the car was the inertia of the 7.4litre engine, and a 2kg flywheel. The throttle response was off the scale ridiculous, and particularly when coming off throttle when following in the chase run, the car would snap violently trying to straighten.
    So we made a custom flywheel with the machining expertise of our buddy Martin. The new flywheel weighs 14.5kg, and as well as helping dramatically with engine inertia, it also has the added benefit of vastly improved heat dissipation from the extremely abused triple plate clutch.

    Ever since the car first hit the tarmac Speedhunters have wanted to do a shoot. Throughout the season because of the various stages of work we’ve done, our timetables always seemed to clash. But finally it happened, and we made up for the delay by doing an almighty burnout!

    Here’s a video of said burnout

    And it wasn’t just burnouts

    Now the season has ended, we’re already working on many improvements to the car. The biggest of which right now is fitting this:

    It’s a Quaife Engineering 6 speed sequential gearbox! NOW WE’RE TALKING!

    There is nothing wrong with the Jerico box that’s currently fitted. It’s really held up well. But it’s only 4 speed, and because it’s really designed for a left hand drive car, the linkage is the wrong side of the car. This can lead to difficulty shifting down into 2nd gear, and as anyone who drifts competitively knows, a missed shift generally means you pack up and go home. The Quaife sequential will hopefully eliminate missed shifts completely.

    Here’s the Quaife and the Jerico side by side. Those extra 2 gears on the Quaife really do make it a fair bit bigger, and heavier

    Because the car and gearbox tunnel were designed around the small 7 & 1/4 clutch bell housing, we were unable to use Quaifes bell housing, so we decided to modify our existing bell housing, and also set the whole thing up so we can carry the Jerico as a spare, and literally throw it in at the track if we ever needed to. We use an internal hydraulic release bearing setup. So this meant there were quite a few measurements and modifications needed to make sure both boxes fit without reshimming every time.

    First we had make a slide shaft nose plate for the hydraulic release bearing to slide onto.

    Then Craig welded a plate to the bell housing to extend it down for the 2 lower mounting holes on the Quaife. This was then milled back to the face of the bellhousing for a perfect fit.

    The bellhousing fitted

    And the Quaife Sequential now in place. We had done a lot of measurements before buying the gearbox, and new it was going to be tight, so having it fitted is somewhat of a relief.

    We’re now just waiting for the new propshaft from DaveMack, and we’ll be able to give it a little test.

    More soon!
  17. Threadmark: 2015 Update

    PhilMorrison Driftworks Owner
    Staff Member

    Jul 20, 2004
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    Well, that was a lie :D. That last post was a very long time ago! But now that we've updated the forum to include easy picture uploading, I have no excuse for not updating the thread.

    I need to do some kind of quick round-up of all of the stuff that's happened with the car over the last two years. Remembering the order that things happened in is difficult but here we go.

    An awesome picture by Josh Holdsworth from Lydden Hill BDC round 1.

    Banging Quaife gears & a big chuck at Silverstone. Hux's car is fast! The 86 is FAST!

    We went to Poland to do Drift GP at the end of the year. It was an awesome event with a custom built circuit in a stadium.
    I qualified 7th and finished in 4th place. A very happy way to end the season amongst a field of such competitive drivers and cars.
    Poland. Poland2.

    Going hard with concrete walls has its consequences.

    Rich was doing a show at the Ulitmate Stance show repping Work Wheels for us, so we decided to take the 86 in the very same condition as it left Poland. Here it is alongside my LP640 and Rich's S15 in the background.
  18. Threadmark: 2016 Update

    PhilMorrison Driftworks Owner
    Staff Member

    Jul 20, 2004
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    After the damage from running wall with gaps in it in Poland I'd decided to go space frame rear. This idea evolved into a pretty serious bare shell re-build and a serious diet for the car. It's fair to say I got carried away.
    Gas axe time!

    Loaded ready to go to Nickson Motorsport in the morning.

    I'll now just skip straight to the bit where we'd had the rolling shell back from Nickson, completely stripped it. Sent the bare shell to Gaz our painter and received it back. How fucking serious does that look!

    So Nickson has worked his magic, and we'd had it all done in T45, so we're pretty hopeful it will make a good difference to the weight of what was previously probably the heaviest 86 on the planet.

    At the rear you can see there are a couple of tiny dampers that move 30mm. Which will hopefully take some of the shock out of a wall hit. You can also see one of the new carbon kevlar rear tubs.
    Gaz was also part way through making a complete kevlar rear panel. The bumper would still be original, but everything else would be one piece.

    I think that last photo was taken on the 23rd of March 2015. But there was no rush as we'd said we wouldn't be doing the BDC this year, and we'd build it in our own time. Then we found out that David Egan who ran the Irish Drift Championship, was to take over BDC too, and we thought 'we can't miss that'. So all of a sudden there is serious impending deadline.

    So the urgent rebuild began

    We'd changed the pedal box from floor mounted to top mount and built a new steering column.
    Reassembley3. Reassembley2.

    Part of the weight saving plan was to replace the steel block 454 LSX with an Alloy block, and one again we thought 'while we're there we might as well upgrade :wack:.
    So the spec of the new engine would be:
    RHS alloy block
    Lunati crank, rods, piston kit making 7.4 litre
    RHS 307cc heads with Compcams roller rockers

    Craig put together the bottom end


    & the heads were fully assembled in the USA by specialists and shipped to us complete.

    The size of the valves and chambers is nuts



    Noise was going to be a big issue this year at certain tracks, and was to be enforced to 105db so we had to get really creative to add some silencers to the twin 3" exhaust.
    ExhaustSilencers. ExhaustSilencers3. ExhaustSilencers2.

    The last week before BDC Rd1 was shit. Late nights like the old days. I hate doing things last minute! It was so shit that I took hardly any pictures.

    But we had the car on the dyno
    And here you can see the new kevlar rear panel that Gaz made for us.

    At the 11th hour we thought we see if there had been any point to all of this hard work, and get it on the corner scales.. Turns out there had!
    It weighed in at 1163kg. We had successfully completed a 202kg weight loss program whilst adding 30kg to the exhaust. Ridiculous!
    Also you can see that I semi successfully managed to replicate the redline rear lights with printed stickers. The rear brake light is a super bright rain light just below the Dynotorque sticker in the rear perspex.

    So we made it to BDC Lydden Rd1 this year. I think I qualified 1st in the rain with a lucky catch

    Because the car was only ready a few hours before round one, I didn't have too much time for 'beautification'. The bonnet didn't clear the new engine, because the RHS heads push the intake up about 20mm. I was very sad to have to cut a hole. I hate stuff poking out of a bonnet, and I also really dislike the front headlight covers without reflectors. Barf! :euge:

    But after all of our hard work in the weeks leading up to the event, a celebratory beer was in order!

    When I got back from BDC I did a simulated bump test and found one of the bars we'd put in was restricting travel, so I fixed that. I'd love to run at that ride height, but the axle is on the chassis rails.

    And did an alignment

    I also finished the front fake headlights off with the same sticker treatment and some tint spray to make it look like it still had reflectors
    Headlights1. Headlights2.

    Round 2 of the championship was at Driftland in Scotland.
    I was still really uncomfortable in the new car, and while taking my time to get used to it in practice, this happened.. There's not been many times in the last 15 years of drifting I've been pissed at someone. But this was one of them!
    13495520_10208895297716142_3025616223371477691_o. 13495638_619064584924207_2414241782183615563_o.

    The next round of the championship was at Teeside. It didn't go exactly to plan either. In practice the car stalled in the middle of the track and didn't want to restart. We got back to the pits to investigate and found the front crank seal had popped out.

    We spent hours sourcing the bits and fitting a new crank seal. Then when starting the car, heard death rattle and saw low oil pressure........ Game Over!

    On investigation 6 of the valve spring seats in the heads had cracked. Two of them had completely shattered, sending hardened steel fragments through the oilways.
    This is what the spring seat looks like when it's in one piece.

    It seems valve float caused by an incorrect spring height measurement by the 'experts' that built the heads in the USA are to blame.
    Needless to say with the cost of what I'd just broken, and the general stress surrounding getting the car ready for the start of the season and what happened at Driftland, I was fed up.

    I decided to solve the issue at our own pace, and do some fun stuff. So the DWS15 project finally got built to do some practice days skids.
    Build thread for that one is here: https://www.driftworks.com/forum/threads/new-driftworks-dws15-keeping-it-simple-maybe.239761/

    & I RWD converted my LP640 + did obligatory safety test.

    And after doing more work than most people could probably imagine the altitude of Chevy Minaj was 'adjusted' again in a big way. I think we've lowered it about two foot now, and finally got rid of those horrible positive offset front wheels. It's got the Zombie Apocalypse look I always wanted now, despite grounding out on a twig :D
    #18 PhilMorrison, Mar 29, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
  19. Threadmark: Prep for 2017 Season

    PhilMorrison Driftworks Owner
    Staff Member

    Jul 20, 2004
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    The prep for the 2017 season was different to 2016. We knew we were doing BDC, and we knew we had three months of work to do, so work started six months in advance.

    The Engine changes for 2017
    The blown engine parts had been disassembled and taken to Knight Engine Services to get checked out.
    The block, pistons and 6 of the conrods were salvageable. The heads were also fine. So it wasn't anywhere near as bad as it could have been.
    We went with a new valve train setup from MamoMotorsports which includes an even lairier cam and solid lifters.
    We replaced the bent Lunati crank with a GM LSX item, and had it balanced with rods and pistons.


    We also decided to change to the ultimate in Dry sump kits. A Bill Dailey 3 stage dry sump kit. Everything is beautifully made.
    I forgot to get a picture before fitting so here's one of their images

    Fitted to the newly rebuilt engine.

    We had to turn our ATI crank pulley and sweat a new drive gear on for the dry sump pump.

    It meant changing all the dry sump lines to -16, oil filter housing, tank and breather though.
    A delivery of some of the Peterson parts


    Rocker covers have always been a problem for us ever since changing to the huge CompCams roller rocker kit. The problem is the rocker actually swings outside of the head. You can see in this picture

    We found a company that makes covers that solve this issue called Allpro. They were super expensive, but the company was one of the better companies I've dealt with in the USA.
    RockerCovers1. RockerCovers2.

    At the back of the rocker cover you can see a -12 fitting and what some people thing looks like a dump valve. It's not far off actually. It's another part of the dry sump system. Because of the dry sump, you don't have any breathers, and the engine runs vacuum. This is a vacuum regulator. To set it to the required 12" of vacuum we had to get creative with a vacuum gauge, some spare fittings and an engine oil extraction tank.
    During our talks with Bill Dailey, it had also been pointed out to us that solid mounting the engine in four positions as it was in the ASCAR isn't a good idea, as it can cause the engine to flex. So Craig replaced them with a more traditional two damped front mounts, and one gearbox mount setup.
    EngineMounts. EngineMounts2. EngineMounts3.

    One other big change was that we replaced the Jenvey ITB's with a MamoMotorsports modified MSD intake and Jenvey 102mm single throttle body. The power figures on this intake are known to be significant, and it makes filtering a lot easier. But in typically fashion, I was never going to make it that easy. Once again my hatred of things sticking out of the bonnet dictated that we needed to reverse the intake. Send it through the firewall and have a filter box inside the cabin to stop the intake row.
    ThrottleBodyHole. ThrottleBodyFab. ThrottleBody.

    The engine bay certainly looks a lot more boring now.

    The airbox is completely enclosed, and is fed air through lots of holes in the panel at the bottom of the windscreen. At the end of the mapping session we removed the cover from the airbox to see if there was any powergain and there was none.

    And because 'more power' we had to fit some bigger injectors.

    We went for a little test session at Drift Matsuri on the Sunday. The car ran really well, but I needed to go back to the drawing board on the suspension setup. It was more of a handful than ever, and I got my first ever sin bin in 15 years of drifting :D

    Ride height was the main issue (as it is a lot of the time) So rather than raise, we cut!

    It didn't help, and I got my 2nd sin bin of my career and rolled out :D

    The day after I spent a day on the corner weighting, alignment and bump steer correction

    And had a few laps in it as part of our final Team Driftworks test session

    Because of the new intake we no longer needed the horrible holes in the bonnet, We'd filled them in, but the bonnet was now pretty heavy, so we took it as an opportunity to create a lightweight carbon version with the headlamp covers integrated. Gaz did an excellent job making this for us.

    As always, it was important to me that it still looked like it had 'almost' real headlights.
  20. PhilMorrison

    PhilMorrison Driftworks Owner
    Staff Member

    Jul 20, 2004
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    We were nearly ready for BDC rd1 the next day, so did a vlog / walkaround video

    & a couple of pictures from BDC Rd1. What an event! Dave's started the season really strong!
    My personal season didn't start quite as strongly though. I was finding the car as much of a handful as ever, and with two chances to qualify I couldn't pull it together. Sad face!

    BDCRd120171. BDCRd120172.

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