May 21, 2015

Mille Miglia
Old School Cool

Spent the weekend taking the interior out and finishing a few items, as I’m currently waiting on quite a few parts that’ll allow me to drop the car and run it. The car needs to be running next week to ensure I can give it a good shakedown and get the tracking done.

With the empty boot you can see the relocated battery. I’m also retaining the oldschool 6 disc CD changer as I’ll be ripping my antenna out after it got stuck up. Gotta burn some sweet CDs with motivational music for on the way to the track.

I also finished fixing the turbo and it’s now ready to go back in. Managed to drill out the 2 bolts that snapped at Monza, including the bolt extractor that I snapped inside. Had to get some Carbide ball nose end mill bits to plough through the extractor. Was then able to drill and rethread the holes to the same thread.

I installed new longer studs at the rear as I’ll be running spacers now. Had to drill them to 14mm as the studs are Evo extended units which have a 14.4mm spline. Having access to a press made it a breeze.

Over the last couple of months I’ve been working on the Great Danton, trying to refurb some of the problem and worn out areas of the car. It’s been a while since the car has had any down time and after all the track days and dailying it in Switzerland for a bit it became a bit of a mess; blowing turbo, ruined discs and some miss-fires.

The original sub-frame had seen better days, so I picked up a spare for which I could sand blast, zinc coat and powder coat. I then gave it a top coat of colour as I didn’t really want to keep it black, but didn’t really mind what colour.

The new sub-frame is mounted to chassis with Driftworks Poly Sub-frame Bushes. With the drop in ride-height the alignment went to shit (3 degrees of camber) so all the upper suspension arms, traction, camber and toe, have been replaced with Driftworks adjustable units. Lower arms have been kept stock.

And keeping with the Driftworks trend, the differential bushings have been replaced with solid units from Driftworks. I hope the NVH doesn’t become too unbearable. With the diff out of the car I also took the opportunity to replace the oil with Eni 80w-90 and also clean up some of the hoses after the oil cooler was removed.

After the overheating problems I had at Monza I inspected the rad and found it to be filled with crap. Instead of cleaning it out I decided to get a Driftworks Supercool aluminium replacement and also remove the A/C rad. So much cleaner and less cluttered at the front now.

Being four hours away from Monza now I couldn’t miss their JDM specific Speed Day event, which was held the 1st of Feb. This was to be the last track event before I stowed the Great Danton away for a bit of TLC, and boy is it necessary.

I had a bit of a mishap the coming week in some snow in Bern and kissed a curb with one of my Gram Lights, rendering it not track worthy. So I was forced to run stock wheels and tyres on the back as I couldn’t find replacements in such short notice. I decided to keep the 57C on at the front as I could always do with some extra front grip but at you can imagine it had a huge effect on the balance of the car. As fun as oversteer is, the previous proper set up was so balanced and stable that it was very confidence inducing, which would have been valuable on a high speed track like Monza. Non-the-less it was very enjoyable to wrestle the car through most turns.

The conditions were perfect; fresh and sunny, with a perfectly dry track. Despite the lack of rear grip my fastest lap was a 2:28.08, which I am quite pleased with.

SR20DET @10-12psi
Bridgestone Potenza RE002 245/40/18 Front
Bridgestone Turanza T001 205/50/16 Rear

The reason why I wrote 10 to 12psi is because I was having some issues. I had slight overheating problems forcing me to run a slow lap every 3 or 4 laps, which was probably caused by the clogged rad (which I discovered while removing it) and potentially the turbo elbow gasket problems. 2 of the turbo elbow bolts sheared, which then destroyed the gasket and caused quite a large exhaust leak in the engine bay. This could have increased the engine bay temperatures significantly adding to the cooling problem (as I had zero issues at Cadwell or any track day). This overheating problem was proportional to the over-boosting problem, which I think is due to the manual boost controller being so close the exhaust leak, causing the whole valve to overheat. But this is all speculation.

The car is now in my garage where I’m doing a reasonable overhaul, and the cooling system will be addressed regardless on top of the rear sub-frame restoration, braking system upgrades and turbo repairs I plan to do.

January 2, 2015

December 30, 2014

Back in Italy for the holidays.


December 29, 2014

I have officially moved to Switzerland for work and have been here since the beginning of December. Awesome scenery and roads makes up for the lack of tracks in the country, but Monza and Nurburgring and a few other French tracks aren’t too far away! The Great Danton came down with me and is now living the daily life; hopefully for not much longer as I’ll find an Accord replacement.

Enjoy some Grindelwald and Bern area scenery.

Archie’s 325ti.


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