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Cars & Coffee

Last Sunday morning and with the help of the guys at SneakyClub.com, we were able to celebrate our first Cars & Coffee meeting.  People started arriving at the Krispy Kreme  parking lot around 7am.  The meeting lasted about 3 hours and easily, more than 50 cars got to be part of the fun.  Great people, great cars, a great way to start a beautiful Sunday morning…  Oh, great donuts and coffee too…

Here are some shots:


FFF: Form Follows Function / Functional Fender Flares

A few years ago, when I first saw a picture of a RWB Porsche, I fell in love.  The first one that I saw was the flat black Stella Artoise 930, but then I laid eyes on the silver 993 dubbed Royal Montego Bay, now known as Tunerhaus.  Ever since I saw that silver coupe I’ve been dreaming about fender flares.

I’ve developed this theory that might explain why I now have this flare fetish and it has to do with what I call the “damned Subaru hubs”.  See, with Subarus it is nearly impossible to fit aggressive yet functional wheel and tire combos.  You might get to fit 9-10 inch wheels under the wheel wells but in most cases you need to use a tire so narrow that it completely defeats the purpose of the wide wheels.   On top of the stretched tires you need to dial up a ridiculous amount of camber and ultimately end up with a setup that is nowhere near functional.  A waste of money if you ask me.(Yeah, I’m a HellaFlush hater…)

Nakai San of RWB was one of the few guys that managed to blend looks and functionality when it came to fender flares and completely ridiculous yet amazingly functional wide wheel and tire combos.  In the Subaru world, specifically in the GD chassis, I think the people at L’aunsport where the gurus when it came to wider fenders, but these are too wild for my taste.  Well apparently I’m not the only one that thinks like that, the Levy brothers from LIC came up with one of the nicest set of fender flares ever on a Subaru, but these are a one-of.  Bummer…

Well the other day, on one of my late night net surfing sessions, I came across one of the nicest street STi’s I’ve seen as of yet and it happens to have one of the best looking set of fender flares.  I’m talking about Lew Karlton’s 06 STi.

“Originally, the car was supposed to be my daily driver and remain stock, but after it’s first autox, the mod bug bit me hard and I ended up building my car for the STU class.”  Karlton explains, and man do I feel identified with those words.  After a few years in the STU class, he felt that he needed to be more competitive so he moved to SM, that’s where the fun began.

One thing led to another and now this commuter boasts a bit more than 400 hp and 380 ft/lb of torque, and since SM allows for wider wheels and tires, it was time to invest in some serious, functional stance.

Among a variety of different wheels, Karlton went with what happens to be my favorite wheel: the SSR Type C-RS in a mind blowing 18×10.5 +25 size!

In order to accommodate that wide of a wheel he developed the Karlton Fender Flares that you see here:

Dont be fooled by how well kept this car is, this is no show car, this thing sees some abuse around the cones every now and then.

Here is a somewhat up to date list of mods he made in order to be competitive in SM:

Engine Mods
– Built shortblock – Darton sleeves, copper o-rings, JE 100mm coated pistons, BC pro rods, ACL race bearings, Nitrided crank, Cosworth modified oilpump, ARP headstuds
– Built heads – GSC S1 268/266 cams, Cosworth +1mm SS intake/ Inconel exhaust valves, BC valvesprings/Ti retainers, PnP, Bowl blend
– Full-Race twinscroll kit
– Garrett gt3076r 1.06 twinscroll Ceramic coated
– Tial 38mm mv-s wastegates
– TIGWERKS ewg mufflers
– Tial Q BOV
– PTP turbo blanket
– Custom 4” intake
– Hallman Pro RX MBC
– Perrin FMIC with stock bumper beam and counter clockwise flow piping
– Perrin lightweight crank pulley
– Deatschwerks 300lph fuel pump
– Bosch 044 fuel pump
– Custom surgetank
– SX adjustable fpr
– 07 STI top feed fuel rails (Aeromotive rails waiting to go on)
– 07 STI tgv deletes
– Hondata intake manifold gaskets
– RC engineering 1600cc injectors
– Full 80mm Magnaflow Ti catback exhaust with Burns Stainless mufflers
– Crawford Performance air/oil separator
– Hydra Nemesis full standalone
– Tune by Mike Warfield(GST Motorsports) on E85 fuel
– Odyssey pc680 battery
– KillerB ultimate oil pickup, baffle plate/windage tray, oilpan

– Custom valved JRZ RS Pro coilovers with Hypercoil springs/ Eibach tenders
– Ground Control camber plates front and rear
– Whiteline 27-29mm swaybar front and rear
– Kartboy rear endlinks
– Group N lateral link bushings
– TIC front and rear trailing arm bushings
– MSI Trailing Arms
– Whiteline roll center adjusters
– Whiteline caster bushings
– Cusco cf rear strut tower bar

– ACT sprung 6 puck clutch
– ACT streetlight flywheel
– Torque Solution motor/pitch stop mounts
– Group N transmission mount
– TIC race rear differential bushings
– TIC outrigger bushings
– TIC bodacious bushing bundle
– Kaaz Super Q 1.5 way rear LSD
– ACPT cf driveshaft

– Genuine V-limited front lip
– Karlton fender flares
– Passenger side foglight housing

– Sparco Evo2 driver side seat
– Sparco Pro2000 passenger seat
– Buddyclub super low down seat rail(driver)
– Wedge engineering/Sparco rails/sliders with aluminum sidemounts(passenger)
– Innovate Motorsports LC-1 wideband with XD-16 gauge
– Defi BF boost and oil pressure gauges with controller
– ATI gauge pod
– Rear seat removed

– Wedsport TC105N 18×10.5 +12 with Yokohama Neova AD08 285/30/18
– SSR competition type c-rs 18×10.5 +25 with Hoosier A6 285/30/18…

…and a few others

– Girodisc 2 piece rotors front and rear
– Hawk HP+ pads front and rear

A few other mods were just caried over from STU, like coilovers and such…

Man I miss the good old AutoX days…

For the build thread on Karlton’s STi, visit IWSTI

Size Matters

Sorry Ken Block, but all of a sudden you suck buddy…  This is how Gymkhana should be done…  Go big or go home!

The Perfect Exposure

The Underdogs 2011 Special

The Levy brothers from LIC Motorsports are back at it with their STi.  New livery, new pilot (Russ “Doc” Warr), new wing, new dry carbon parts, etc.

The Underdogs

These guys rock!

Look Ma’… No feet!!!

I have to be honest, I’ve never been a Travis Pastrana fan.  I mean, he is a talented athlete but I just never got what all the fuzz was about.  This weekend he made me realize how dumb he can be, how crazy he is, but at the same time what a great athlete he really is.

Thursday night this dude was competing on the MotoX Best Trick event where he tried to pull what they call a Corked 720.  Well, he didn’t succeeded on the first try so he immediately went for a second attempt.  This time he not only landed on his side, but his bike landed on his right leg, breaking it and his right ankle.  Ouch!

He tried to stand up only to realize a couple of very bad things just happened.  See, this weekend, something called the Pastranathon was supposed to take place.  He was supposed to compete on a couple of events at the 17th X-Games and also make his debut as a NASCAR driver…  Yeah that never happened…

Frustrating, I know, but there’s where my oppinion about this guy took a turn for the best.  All right, the NASCAR thing went kaput,  but what about the other X-games events?  Well, what happened next was just incredible.

Overnight Pastrana’s Rally Team’s mechanics went to work on making it possible for Travis to be able to pilot his STi without using his right foot to push the throttle pedal and they came up with this:

Now those are not some paddle shifters like we see in modern super cars, Travis’ STi is a “stick shift”.  These are steering wheel mounted throttle controllers.

In went the newly relocated throttle control system, and off he went to test it.

Then he went and competed on the Rallycross event, where he drove a total of 18 laps with his broken leg taped to the transmission tunnel of the Subaru, controlling both the brake and the clutch pedals with his left foot and the steering wheel, throttle and e-brake with his hands.

Incredibly, he not only made it to the final but he nearly took a podium position and a bronze medal.  Unfortunately, he crashed the Subaru against a concrete barrier and couldn’t finish the race.  Despite of all that, he delivered and he pleased his fans and that  is amazing in my book.

I’ve never seen such an effort being made by any other athlete so I now have tons of respect for this guy.  My hat’s off to TP.

Christmas in July

I just got some toys on the mail…

It turned out to be impossible to get these Star Specs locally.  I called almost everywhere they sell tires and for some reason nobody had them or charged Advan track tire prices for them.  I was offered some Nitto Invo BS more than a few times for almost the same price as these including shipping.

Anyways, thanks to Mason and his people at Tire Rack, as always great service and lightning fast shipping.  You guys are my favorite company to buy from.  Hopefully I’ll be installing all these and some other stuff on the WRX over the weekend and will post some feedback later on!  Can’t wait!

Tire Rack

Subaru STi R4

Seems like Subaru’s officially back on the Rally world.  Good interview and overview of the car.  Love the door cards!

But will it be competitive?  We’ll see…


SpeedHunter’s Dino Dale Carbonare has been punishing me with his Rauh Welt Begriff posts this week.   I’m a Japanese car guy, but I’ve always liked Porsches and what could be better than a Porsche modified a la Japanese?  Nakai-san, RWB’s mastermind, is a genious at converting these great cars into the things car dreams are made of.

Nakai-san is one of the few tuners that manages to fuse functionality and looks and make them work as one, something that has become somewhat rare these days with all the Hellaflush/Stance craze…  not to mention the stupid things that we need to cope with on the streets of Puerto Rico.  Luckily, there is something called Internet, something called Speedhunters and something called Rauh-Welt Begriff.

There are lots of details on these cars that serve me as inspiration for future mods on my WRX.  Here are some of my favorite pics of Nakai-san’s creations:

Nakai-san’s own Stella Artois 930

My favorite, the Tunerhaus, formerly known as the Royal Montego Bay…  I know, what’s with the names?

Another 993, Rough Rythm…

Porsche air cooled engines…  I want!

I love those brake cooling duct intakes on this blue 964…   Hmm…

What’s not to like about the simplicity on this 964?  The roll bar…  ah the roll bar…

That’s enough Friday stuff for now, be sure to check Speedhunters’ articles on this shop, the cars and the man behind it all.

Thanks to Dino Dale Carbonare, Nori Yaro and sknoo01 for the pics.

Rough Rythm

RWB part 1

RWB part 2

Oh! and be sure to visit the RWB site!

Coming Soon…

Time for new shoes…

The State of Tuning

Great article by the guys at Speedhunters.  An overview of how the tuning scene has evolved and where its going from the perspective of a few respectable experts in the subject.

Make sure you read it:  speedhunters.com

pics: SpeedHunters, Deviant Art, Mayday Garage, Driven Authority