Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sketch O'the Week!

I'm really running out of clever titles for these.

The Other B13

Our feature for this weekend is this 1992 Nissan NX2000 owned by Larry from Florida. I should mention that I happened to spot my first NX2000 right at the same time I got interested in cars, and I was fascinated. Maybe I'm a little biased, but these cars will always hold a special place in my heart for that reason. The Nissan NX1600 and NX2000 were both small egg-shaped hatchbacks built on the same chassis as the Nissan Sentra, and were only sold in North America from 1991-1993. The NX2000, with its SR20DE powerplant, is definitely the one to look out for.

"Rotten Egg" as Larry has affectionately dubbed his little B13, has a range of simple, effective modifications across the board. The result is something I'd definitely like to test-drive one day. Let's have a look, shall we?

To improve speed, things start off with a liberal dose of power-in-a-bottle is always on tap courtesy of a ZEX nitrous kit. In order stay healthy, the JDM-swapped SR20DE breathes in deeply through a Jim Wolf Technologies "Pop Charger" intake and out through an SSAutochrome header and VRS-built exhaust system. Meanwhile, a B&M short shifter rows the gears spinning in the LSD-equipped transmission lifted from B15 chassis Sentra. To round things off, Prothane mounts, and Energy Suspension shift bushings hold everything in place to ensure that all the torque stays where it belongs.

As an occasional autocrosser, Larry can't just boost the straightline speed and then call it a day. The stock NX2000 may have been given high praise for its handling capabilities, but that fact won't be cause for comfort when your car hits more cones than it misses. R1 Concept Rotors and Axis brake pads bring the Kumho ASX tires down to a manageable speed as Larry negotiates corners. Flexibility is another issue to be addressed. It may be a good thing in most cases, but in cars, rigidity is a coveted attribute. Larry's installed a complete Energy Suspension Hyperflex bushing kit along with a pair of strut bars (The front from Cusco, the rear custom made) to ensure that he gets as much of this coveted attribute as possible. On the transition side of things, KYB AGX dampers and Hyperco springs keep roll to a minimum.

As a final note, after posting Hector's lovely B13 Sentra last week, Larry sent me an email. Turns out, Larry did the excellent tint on Hector's car. I approached both owners individually, by the way. Neither one referred me to the other. So there it is, two SR20-powered B13 chassis Nissans in a row, and they happen to know each other. How's that for a coincidence? Of course, Larry's done the tint on his own car as well. If you like what you see, and live anywhere in the southeast, hit up Larry travels long-distance to tint his customer's cars right in their driveways, and he's got a reputation for quality work. Expect to hear more about Larry and his "Have Tint, Will Travel" business in the future, as we'll be cross-promoting ourselves very soon.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

One lovely sketch.

I'm pleased with this one.

B13 Sentra-l

Our feature this week comes from sunny Florida, and coincidentally, the car itself is called the Nissan Sunny in foreign markets. Here in the US we call it the Sentra, and this example happens to be a very nice example of the top-level SE-R, which means it came from the dealer with the peppy SR20DE engine, a very nice suspension, and a limited-slip differential.

Hector, the owner, purchased this 1993 SE-R in 1997, and has kept it looking good ever since. The already well-prepared car has also received a few key upgrades: a Hot Shot header and HKS exhaust keep the SR20 breathing freely, while an Eibach spring/KYB damper combo help keep the SE-R's tires pointed in the right direction. Finally, a Jim Wolf Technologies transmission has assumed the responsibility of transferring the added power to the ground.

It's rare to see a performance variant like this in such good shape, especially considering he's only the second owner. I'm pleased to have had the opportunity to learn more about it. Keep it running and keep it clean, Hector!

Made a mistake in thinking Hector was the first owner of the car. It's been fixed.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Another Late Night For Me!

Here it is: The much-awaited sketch. Remember, if you want to see a sketch of your car, just send it to me for a feature.

Go For Gold

The Mazda MX-3 is one of those interesting cars loved by those who've tried one and completely ignored by everyone else. Plagued by either poor marketing or simply bad timing, it barely registers in the awareness of most enthusiasts, and is almost completely unknown to the layman.

While enjoyable when equipped with the base 1.6 liter 4-cylinder engine, the MX-3 was also available with a distinctive V6. At 1.8 liters, it remains the smallest production V6 engine on record, which leads us to this example.

Goldmember, which is the name Andy gave to this pristine MX-3, easily stands out with its distinctive gold paint job, (extremely) rare Mazdaspeed body kit, and, of course the aforementioned V6, but there's definitely more to this story. When planted in his Recaro seat, Andy's hands control his 'member (couldn't resist) via a Momo steering wheel, while his feet move the matching Momo pedals and his eyes keep track of the Autometer gauges. The best bit, however, is under the hood. Nestled in the engine bay, controlled by Autometer hardware, is a full turbo system. That's right, Andy's baby is boosted. This combo has proven quite effective. Andy and Goldmember have an 11-second time slip to prove it.

This is not the first time Goldmember has been featured online, and hopefully it won't be the last. This is a car that deserves the recognition the MX-3 deserved all along.

Andy has written to let me know that I had some info on his car wrong. Let's set it right.

While the car did originally come with the 1.8 V6, he has since swapped it with the 2.5 from a Mazda 626.

Also, I thought it was weird that he had Autometer engine management, as I didn't know that Autometer did that. Turns out I was right. Goldmember actually runs MegaSquirt, something Andy has a bit of experience in, as he has built MegaSquirt setups for some other people's rides.

That will be all.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sketchy sketch sketch.

Here it is!

One More Reason To Move To Canada

Most of you are probably familiar with the Hyundai Accent; it's a small utilitarian compact car. Every time I see one, I can't help but think of the potential such a lightweight car would have if properly modified. Well, apparently I'm not the only one who's thought along these lines, because a couple years ago, Hyundai of Canada announced a very limited release of a car they called the Accent SR. Nothing crazy here, just simple effective touches such as a tightened suspension, 4-wheel ABS, and a tweaked engine. Too bad it won't ever be sold in the US.

I'd never heard of the SR until I came across this example. It's owned by Michael, a Law student and amateur photographer living in Toronto. This 2007 Accent SR is his pride and joy. "Ever since I saw the car at CIAS, I had to have one" he says. Michael also operates as a hobby, so it's definitely no secret which badge he pledges loyalty to.

Michael's SR is tastefully modified. An AEM intake, Megan 4-1 header, and Vibrant exhaust handling the airflow, monitored by an upgraded ECU. Eibach springs and DC sports strut bars help the Falken tires work to their maximum potential. A subtle body kit rounds out the mods for an all-around great-looking great-handling daily driver. Did I mention that the performance mods came from Hyundai of Canada and don't void the warranty? :]

Here's to you, Michael. I hope your car is on the road for years to come, and with Hyundai's warranty coverage, it most likely will be.