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TheDailyDownshift New Reader
12/3/21 12:10 p.m.

I forgot to put this in the last update post but this was my fix for the caliper bolt situation:


The upper bolts on the rear calipers are contained inside the caliper itself with a little press-fit cap covering it. This cap had fallen off and allowed the bolt to back out at some point. A quick junkyard trip to find a 4th gen Celica caliper cap and some JB Weld , along with some Loctite on the bolt assured that this wouldn't be happening again. This fix was applied to both sides.

obsolete Reader
12/3/21 12:19 p.m.

Awesome thread! I've been catching up bit by bit over the last couple days and it's been a super fun read. Looking forward to seeing where you go with the car next.

stylngle2003 Reader
12/3/21 1:16 p.m.

Halfway through the first page, I was thinking to myself "I wonder if this guy knows Brian?".  Three quarters of the way through, it's clear you're "his FX16 buddy".  Such a small world.  I caught up with him early last year at Dominion while attending a track cross.  

He (brian) started doing his 4AGE swap at my former shop years and years ago.  Great guy, super passionate and detailed.  

Awesome build, too.  Hope to see you around sometime.  My daily is an avalon on BBS RKs, but the track toy is an orange 350z with black wheels.  We're in Midlothian right near the Wegman's.

TheDailyDownshift New Reader
12/3/21 1:54 p.m.

In reply to stylngle2003 :

Super small world. I first met Brian when he was coming in to the Toyota dealership to buy parts when I worked there. He's a great guy and his car is insanely clean. He really saved my ass at Hyperfest too.

bgkast PowerDork
12/3/21 2:31 p.m.

Fun read and nice car!

12/6/21 10:14 p.m.

Great read, took me a full day to get caught up- reminds me to get my MR2 running also...

And I feel your pain on the caliper. I still have one with the same problem sitting in a box because I refuse to scrap rare-ifying AW11 parts if they can be saved.

TheDailyDownshift New Reader
12/8/21 12:45 p.m.

In reply to GIRTHQUAKE :

That's how we all end up with entire sheds full of random old parts that we can't bear to toss. This is The Way.

TheDailyDownshift New Reader
2/10/22 12:54 p.m.

One thing that has bothered me about this car since I got it is the design of the wheel arch trim. These rubberized pieces are bolted to the arches in such a way that makes it functionally impossible to roll your fenders. The FX is massively limited on tire space, especially in the rear where even 205's are a really tight squeeze. Clearly these trim pieces had to go, but I didn't want to put on big tacky rivet-style flares (at least, not yet). Luckily these MK2 Golf trim pieces are pretty cheap and about the right size, so let's give this the old College Try. 

The factory trim is notorious for trapping water and causing rust.

This was the worst one on the car. Seriously, what a stupid design.

This was a very "by feel" approach to modifying these to fit. Lots of mocking up, trimming, and sanding. 

The overall radius is essentially perfect, and with some careful work these VW moldings can fit really well. 

I'm less thrilled with how the rear turned out. If I could do it again I'd go in a slightly different direction, but while these moldings where cheap, the shipping to get them here from the UK was not really something I want to pay again. This will have to do for now. 

To paint them I used the same color-matched spray paint I'd used in the past, but the car has faded a bit since then and it doesn't match quite as well as it once did. In the sun it looks much better, this LED lighting highlights every imperfection. These are all held on with a combination of 3M heavy-duty trim tape and zip-ties, and are in no danger of coming off without a fight. The rear fender edges were rolled aggressively, and the front fenders were actually cut back about an inch and a half to increase tire clearance and eliminate the rust. 

While the car was in the air I went ahead and replaced the rear pads which were starting to literally chunk away. The rear was still running Porterfield's HP R4S street/autocross compound, so this time I upgraded to the R4 track compound. With how little work the rear brakes do on this car, these should last quite a while. 

Another issue I've had is fuel slosh out of the filler neck. It's never been enough to worry about safety or wetting down a track, but it's enough that after a session there is some residue visible on the side of the car. To fix this I picked up a one-way check valve from Filler Neck Supply.

I had to get some hose adapters to step up to the correct size for the section of hose containing the valve, but in the end it fit in place of the factory hose pretty well. I have not tried filling up the tank to see how well it flows yet, but one obstacle at a time.

Overall I'm happy with how it turned out. I also added some tow straps (proper Sabelt parts, no ebay knockoff junk) front and rear, as well as a set of base model manual mirrors I found in a junk yard and painted to match. Other than fluid changes and an alignment, this car is ready for the 2022 season. I already have my Grid Life New Jersey ticket, but there will likely be something before that July event if my bank account allows.

TheDailyDownshift New Reader
4/28/22 8:13 a.m.


There is nothing quite like the excitement leading up to the first track event of a season. Last years' issues have been ironed out over the winter, the car has been freshly aligned for the first time in ages, and everything is as ready as I could hope. This would be my first time back to Summit Point since October 2020 - an event that left me less than comfortable at this track - so the opportunity for self-improvement was quite welcome.



My friend Steve brought out his awesome ND Miata to run in HPDE1 and was a great camping buddy. Track days are always better with friends.



Did I mention this was my first event in HPDE3? Passing is now allowed at any point on the track, on either side. This would come in extremely handy seeing as how almost everyone in the run group is significantly faster than me. With only 100 horsepower, I've never had aspirations of being the fastest, but the speed disparity seems to be much wider now. The first session was a bit of a shock, especially since they had Time Trials guys join us as a warm up. Over the first day I began to become more comfortable with the group and the track. That evening I got under the car to examine the still-locking rear tires, and noticed that my sway bar bushings were essentially gone.



This was all that remained. This might explain the less-than-stellar response in the tighter areas of the track.



Of course nobody carries these bushings, but after picking up some Camry bushings and a 3/4 spade bit, as well as some time with a razor blade, they could be made to fit. 



The next day the car's handling predictability was notably improved. Though I did still struggle with right rear tire lockup, even with the bias valve turned all the way down. I suspect the flat spot on the tire was contributing to this, but larger front brakes, weaker rear pads, or some weight relocation in the chassis might be in order to solve this for good. 



In all it was a great weekend and an encouraging start to the season. The fuel filler mods I did seem to have completely eliminated the issue as well which is nice. I have a fresh pair of tires to go on before July's GridLife event at NJMP, as well as some trailer mods I'd like to finish before that trip. It feels like it's going to be a good year. 

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