Browsing: The Cars

“Should have…could have…would have…” Our most recent trip to the strip with our Project GT-R proved to be full of both trials and tribulations. While many questions were answered, a number of new questions and concerns surfaced. Text & Photos by Michael Ferrara Persistence Pays The original plan was to head out to California Dragway in Fontana for their season opening Street-Legal event on Saturday, January 22nd. We arrived at 8:30am and waited for about an hour before we were informed that all 400 tech cards had already been sold. The following Monday we place a call to California Dragway…

Imagine a world without boost. High-performance street engines would make around 100 horsepower per liter. Racing engines would only be able to squeeze out 130 horsepower per liter. In this boost-free world, a five- hundred horsepower streetcar would need an engine that is over five liters in displacement. Heavy, large- displacement engines would be the only option for making big power. Fortunately, we don’t live in an all-motor world. Serious specific output can be realized from an engine when turbocharging or supercharging is utilized. Paul Nelson purchased this 2005 EVO VIII with the intent of building an 11-second streetcar. In…

In our last installment of Ported & Flowed (October 2004), we mentioned that our next step would be to put the computer model to the test. This test would occur when we installed the ported cylinder head along with the camshafts on our GT-R. Then we would optimize the fuel and ignition curves for the new setup. The question that this exercise would answer is “Will the real-world numbers match the computer prediction?”. Text & Photos by Michael Ferrara Commentary by Allan Lockheed The Computer Prediction While we still had the engine set up with the factory heads and cams,…

You’ve probably been told or heard from someone that “an internal combustion automotive engine is just a sophisticated air pump.” Here’s the truth. What you have been told isn’t entirely accurate. First, a pump is a device used to move fluids and it operates at relatively low pressures. Air is not a fluid, but instead a gaseous mixture. Second, the primary purpose of an internal combustion engine is not to pump fluids or compress air. The engine’s purpose is to perform energy conversions to produce horsepower. Internal combustion engines turn the chemical energy in the fuel into thermal-pressure energy in…

Last issue, we said “when we get back on the dyno, we won’t be surprised to see 500-plus horsepower on 91-octane with a boost and power curves that we never believed possible with turbos so big. As predicted, we accomplished our mission with 505 horsepower registering on the dyno after fixing our exhaust leak, crafting a new intake system and spending some more time on the dyno. This taste of success motivated us to make a long overdue trip to the dragstrip. Text & Photos by Michael Ferrara Dyno Time Our previous visit to the dyno proved to be more…

Driving games have gripped gamers and racing fans since the early 80’s with the release of Pole Position in video arcades. This led to the development of more realistic driving games that pinnacled to the revolutionary Gran Turismo video game for Sony’s Playstation in 1998. Touted by Sony as the “Real Driving Simulator,” Gran Turismo provided gamers young and old a way to satisfy their craving for racing and performance in a digital world. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Patrick Lauder From Player to Production Matt Tomczek just got his driver’s license when the first Gran Turismo came…

Giant peak horsepower figures made on race gas make for great headlines. Just the mention of a “1000-horsepower Supra”, “740-horsepower WRX” or “500- horsepower EVO” draws attention. While peak horsepower numbers are real and exciting to any enthusiast, these high- caliber numbers tend to distort the total performance picture. This picture becomes blurred since few enthusiasts understand the performance difference attainable between 91-octane pump gas and 117-octane racing fuel. The fact is that swings of anywhere from 50 to 500 horsepower can be seen on turbocharged vehicles when the fuel is changed from pump gas to race gas. While the…

We almost forgot why our Project RH9 Skyline GT-R was our dream car. With a broken factory transmission, our Project RH9 GT-R went from its daily- driven, head-turning glory to a very-large obstacle in our garage. While obtaining another factory transmission would have had us back on the road in the least amount of time, it would have only been a band-aid and not a fix. Our fix would be to upgrade the factory transmission to a Holinger 6-speed sequential gearbox. Thanks to the cooperative efforts of Holinger, Exedy, AEBS (TOMEI ), Blast Racing, Motorex and XS Engineering, Project RH9…

To Street or not to Street, that is the question. Do we allow our Project EK Civic to roam the streets or do we dedicate it to a life spent in garages, trailers, dynos and drag strips. With this project, we have reached a crossroad that many of our readers will encounter and now a decision will ultimately need to be made. Before you cast your vote, it’s only fair that you know the whole story behind the owner and the car. Text & Photos by Michael Ferrara The Project Coordinator Meet Jeren Walker. Jeren is DSport’s Project Coordinator and…

Guess what broke on Project RH9? Another factory transmission. Old school Turbo readers might be seeing visions of another Project Talon in the works. To be honest, I’m picturing the same thing. Text & Photos by Michael Ferrara Back in the days, Project Talon chewed up every single available transmission in the Southern California area. All totaled, close to $10,000 was invested in factory transmissions that couldn’t last a full pass. Learning from our lessons of yesteryear, we decided to research our transmission options for our GT-R. The Close-Ratio Aftermarket Gear Sets A number of companies produce aftermarket gear sets…

Call us a little crazy. No. Instead, just call us insane. As we continue to improve the performance of our Project GT-R, we also continue to raise our goals. In many ways, this project mirrors our experience with the magazine as a whole. We make progress every issue and we continue to raise our standards. Photos by Phil Lam | Text by Michael Ferrara When we began this project, our goal was simple: to build America’s first RH9 GT-R. To qualify for RH9 status, our GT-R would have to run a 9-second quarter-mile time on radial tires. Although this was…

Last month, we promised to upgrade the fuel system, do a compression check, do a leak-down test and more to figure out why our GT-R had made a step backwards in terms of power output. We were then going to strap the car back on the dyno and give it another flogging. Text & Photos by Michael Ferrara Guess what? We didn’t get it all done. However, we are seeing some major improvements and some problems solved as we progress. Sharing these with you will hopefully allow you to avoid some of these problems on your own street or racecar.…

The JZA80 twin-turbo Supra is arguably the best import-performance vehicle to be sold in the United States. For brothers Tony and Kyle Nino, the Supra was their dream car. Older-brother Tony purchased this Supra in June of 2005 with the intent of building a 700-horsepower, daily-driven street monster. During the course of the project, the performance bar was set at running 9s and generating 1000 wheel horsepower. Unfortunately, Kyle was killed in a motorcycle accident a few months ago. Showing respect for his late brother, Tony decided to continue the build in his brother’s memory. Text & Photos by Michael…

The orders have been placed, but parts delivery for the GT-R is taking longer than expected. This downtime has enabled us to get back on the same DynoJet chassis dynamometer at XS Engineering to evaluate the performance of the engine with the smaller P13 turbine housings in place. As it would turn out, the extra dyno time has proven to be a blessing (or curse) in disguise. While making the passes on the dyno, we have discovered that our GT-R has now developed some high rpm issues. Text & Photos by Michael Ferrara The P13 Turbine Housings Finally back on…

It’s the night before the biggest race of the year. The BFGoodrich Tires IDRC International Finals presented by ICEMAN Intakes is coming to Los Angeles and the DRAG Sport Project RH9 GT-R is going to be ready. The IDRC International Finals mark the biggest import drag racing event on the West Coast and this year would prove to be no different. Text & Photos by Michael Ferrara New Housings…New Tuning We have changed the turbine housing to the smaller P13 units and now the tuning is no longer matched to the engine’s boost characteristics. It’s time for a trip to…

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