The last updated ended with my taking the car on its first big voyage outside the neighborhood so I could bring it to work and align it before it’s inaugural autocross.

Here’s the final specs I ended up with. Just a hair toe out all around, for better turn-in and easier rotation from the back end.

After getting home, it was time to add numbers and class. Eventually I’d like to get a vinyl or magnetic number set, which will look much nicer.

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While I was aligning the car, a co-worker decided to reverse vandalize the car by polishing half of one fender.

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The paint went from a faded flat pinkish orange to a shiny almost new factory red! You can even see the reflection of my 4A-GZE phone case! Looks like I have work to do now.

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That Sunday I drove over to RIR where the Virginia Motor Sport Club was hosting an autocross event. I met up with my friend Billy, who’s S13 has been my benchmark for a few year now.

It’s a little ironic, I went from autocrossing a rear wheel drive sports car (MR2) to a front drive platform, and Billy went from a front drive sedan (Maxima) to a rear drive sports coupe.

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This thing loves to three-wheel. This being my first event in an unfamiliar chassis, on untested suspension, I wasn’t very fast. But there is definitely room for improvement and some tweaks to be made.

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I came home a little disappointed in my performance, but with some clear goals for the future.

After a long day, back into the garage it went until the next time I was able to work on it.

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One major issue that was immediately apparent was around 15* of play in the steering. No new u-joints are available, but when I cross-referenced the OE part number, I found that Previa vans with tilt steering columns use the same part. One trip to the junkyard later, and I had myself a new joint with no play.

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One evening I grabbed some dry ice from the local Kroger and went to work chipping out the sound insulation in the hatch. I got around 7-8lbs of it out before it got too late to be hammering in the garage making all kinds of noise.

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One Saturday I had to go into work in case there were any issues closing tickets for month end, which mean usually I don’t have much actual work to do. So I pulled the car in and decided to finish what my reverse-vandal co-worker had started.

It’s amazing how well the paint responded to some compound. From flat pink-orange to shiny red!

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There are still spots that can only be fixed with a respray on the front bumper, roof, and rear hatch, but the rest of the car looks almost brand new!

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I’m so happy with how it turned out!

That’s it for this post. Hopefully soon I’ll have the IACV block off parts, more of the sound insulation removed, and some kind of limit strap solution to keep the rear suspension from unloading too much under hard cornering, as it clunks when that inside rear wheel decides to come back down to the ground. 

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