Browsing: Projects

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is the ultimate example of the saying “don’t knock it ‘til you try it.” Many car snobs look at a vehicle’s list of specifications, skimming past items like suspension design and curb weight, only in search of power output, interior amenities and its ability to make them feel manly. With the MX-5, Mazda treats automotive enthusiasts with a return to the fundamentals of performance – a lightweight platform on a well-balanced chassis that delivers a ton of fun on-track. For our 2016 ND MX-5 project, we chose to exploit its strengths for track use and eventually…

WHY? IT’S A QUESTION OFTEN ASKED, BUT sometimes not asked enough. When our intern Mikiko Akaogi told us she wanted to build a project vehicle, we wanted to know more. What car? What goal? Had the answers to those two questions revolved around the performance tuning of a popular platform, we probably wouldn’t have even asked “Why?” Still, answering a VIP style build was not a big surprise. But when Mikiko told us she desired to use a first- or early-second-generation Lexus LS400 as the platform, we had to ask “Why?” When no amount of suggestion could sway her to…

There comes a point in many children’s lives where they put prized possessions into a time capsule, bury it in the yard and forget about it as time passes. When it’s time to unearth the capsule, the contents seem to gain more value and appreciation. Such is the case with Project Time Capsule, a 2000 Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34) which sat in storage for the last decade, waiting for its time to return to the spotlight. That time has finally come, as the D’Garage R34 GT-R will soon be pulled apart and rebuilt with some of the newest components on…

A lot has changed. We have two presidential candidates on deck that seem no better than each other and even Britain is following in our footsteps to secede from the motherland. While we haven’t done the best job keeping our readers updated on D’GARAGE Project CR-X,rest assured that the project is alive and well. In fact, we pulled late nights for weeks to ensure that the vehicle stays running and doesn’t fall into the trap of becoming a non-operational paperweight collecting dust in the garage (aka 99% of project cars). In short, we’ve got a lot of catching up to…

LC 500 by Gordon Ting/Beyond Marketing Display Location: Lexus, 21601, Central Hall Description: When the Lexus LC 500 made its global debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, its alluring styling, exciting performance capability, and exquisite craftsmanship clearly marked the start of a new era for the luxury brand. The LC 500 by Gordon Ting/Beyond Marketing offers a different approach to the brand’s flagship coupe, featuring an aggressive look and tuned engine for a racing-inspired build. Highlights: Body work by Signature Autobody Artisan Spirit Custom Lexus LC  Aero Kit featuring fender flares, front diffuser, side skirts,…

Ford’s impressive ECOBOOST engine collection features several technologies that increase both efficiency and performance. These technologies include computer-controlled variable valve timing, a direct injection fuel system and even the latest turbocharger design from BorgWarner. Variants of these engines power the entire Ford lineup, from the economic Focus to the hefty F150 pickup. When packaged into the potent ST model however, the Fiesta has surprised the staff of DSPORT as one of our favorite cars in the D’GARAGE stable. Text by Sami Sharaf // Photos by Sami Sharaf Even though the 1.6-liter ECOBOOST engine packs efficiency and performance into the Fiesta…

Imagine carrying an 80MPH drift on low-grip gravel, with a thick forest on one side of the road and a mountainside drop on the other. A simple miscalculation of a bump in the road or the amount of grip available can send the car tumbling down the mountain or wrapped around a tree in the blink of an eye. This recipe for disaster, known as rally racing, calls for some of the toughest-built racecars in all of motorsports, from the tires and suspension to the roll cage and safety equipment that surrounds the vehicle occupants. In order to get a…

As much as many of us trash talk the onslaught of reality TV that showcases stories of rags to riches, weight loss and becoming a bonafide culinary master, the success of these shows further proves that people love transformation stories. However, the essential pieces of every “before and after” lie between the “before” and the “after.” This is where the dirty work takes place, where the finer details make all the difference in the final product. As the D’Garage Ford Fiesta ST reaches its fourth and final stage of its build, we found no shortage of details to work on…

In our last SR installment of the KA vs. SR battle series (Issue #90, June 2010) we sent a brand new SR cylinder head core to TOMEI POWERED (TP) in Japan. There, TOMEI POWERED’s cylinder head specialist Mr. Tahara put the head through the TOMEI POWERED Genesis Phase One and Two cylinder head program. Phase One involved replacement of the valve seats, upgrading to Phosphorus Bronze valve guides, +1mm oversized Supertech valves, Type A valve springs and titanium retainers. Phase Two added solid lifters (to replace the hydraulic units), shims, 270-degree PROCAMS and rocker arm stoppers. Solid lifters are not…

The design of the cylinder head (intake & exhaust port size length and shape; valve angle, valve size, number of valves per cylinder) plays an important role. The design determines the velocity and volume (CFM) of air-and-fuel entering and exhaust gasses exiting the combustion chamber. While the proper selection of camshafts can optimize the performance for a given cylinder head and short-block combination, there are a number of processes that can be performed to the cylinder head to improve performance and reliability. The valvetrain can be upgraded to endure higher engine speeds while larger valves and porting can improve air…

“It’s all in your head.” When it comes to establishing the efficiency and character of an engine, the cylinder head plays the lead role. A cylinder head’s port design, valve sizes, valve angles, valvetrain design and combustion chamber shape will dictate key performance factors. Flow velocities into and out of the cylinder head, burn rates during combustion and the rpm potential of the engine will all be influenced by the cylinder head. By Richard Fong // Photos by Richard Fong and TOMEI POWERED Heading in the Right Direction To give our SR20 its best chance against the KA24, we decided…

Ugly! There’s no other word to describe the performance of the KA24DE engine in stock form. Nissan tunes the KA24’s 2.4-liters of displacement to deliver just 155 horsepower at 5,600 RPM. Take the KA24DE under the knife and add a turbocharger system and you’ll see the “ugly” transforms into a knockout. With the KA24DE, Nissan accidently built a awesome foundation for a turbocharged four- cylinder engine. The engine’s large displacment drives turbos into boost quickly. The KA24DE’s connecting rods and crankshaft are also quite strong. With proper tuning and a well-engineered turbo system, 300 horsepower can be realized on the…

Is factory turbocharged performance superior? Can an aluminum block deliver the goods? Making the most of the SR20DET engine has been the focus of the D’Garage Silvia S15 project car from day one. With the introduction of our KA vs. SR Challenge, taking the head start that the SR20-powered S15 has and ramping up to further distance it from the KA- powered 240SX is now top priority. After four Test & Tunes and water/methanol injection, the SR20DET last generated 403 horsepower to the wheels. In addition, a JIC Magic suspension setup by Jon at Ziel Motorsports helped to improve the…

Since 1991, the great debate among Nissan’s S-chassis fanatics has been between the SR20DET and the KA24DE. On the one hand, the JDM chassis’s were equipped with the turbocharged SR engines, offering out-of-the-box forced-induction power from the factory. On the other, the USDM variant received the torquey-yet uninspiring KA24DE engine. Many felt short changed by Nissan’s decision to equip the 240SX US drivers with a truck engine. But as more tuners researched and developed the KA24DE, some began to appreciate the potential that this powerplant has to offer. To really get a feel for the contenders, a detailed comparison was…

Adding power isn’t always the best method to go faster. Take a look at the various divisions of motorsport, for example. How do 200-to-300 hp club racer formula cars outperform 725hp NASCAR cars around the same track? Or how do 90hp, 250cc go karts turn quicker lap times around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca than the 727hp McLaren P1? What the formula cars and go karts lack in power, they make up for in low weight and handling. Stage three of the D’Garage Ford Fiesta ST project called for the same approach. The Fiesta ST underwent power upgrades in both of…

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