Employee/Author: Alex Docken
Editor: Art Petrakov
When I last left off, I was discussing some of the changes that are taking place on my G35 for the upcoming drift season. As we speak, Nathan Chin at Metal in Motion in finalizing the exterior bodywork and the car is just about ready to get picked up. I absolutely can’t wait to have it all put back together and see this phase of my vision for the car completed! These particular changes are something I had originally hoped to have done last year, but with the crazy amount of fabrication taking place and with how ever-changing car deadlines can be, the big debut was put off until 2017. There is still a laundry-list of things I hope to get done to the car, but that will just have to wait for later on this season, or next.
While the car has been over at Nathan’s, I haven’t had much opportunity to get my own hands dirty on it. Instead, I had a chance to start putting together Youtube content to chronicle the build and the upcoming drift season. I’ve also been busy with drift-event planning and working on design aspects for team apparel, stickers, etc. Recently, I was also lucky enough to be able to spend some time in California for Formula D Long Beach. The event was an unreal experience and gave me a chance to hang with some old friends and meet some new. While out there, I was able to make it to the Hardcore Japan X Super Street Meet, as well as the Hoonigan Donut Garage After-Party, which were both an absolute blast.
Alright, back to the car!
I’ve always LOVED this style of sideskirt extension, but it was proving very hard to source the ones I wanted, let alone find them in a length that was appropriate for my chassis. I tried several options, including ChargeSpeed Subaru Impreza Extensions, but in the end, I had to settle with the more appropriately-fitting Outcast Garage Skirt Extension. After some research and sourcing of parts, I was able to find some authentic URAS Side Skirt add-on’s (basically just the flare piece). I brought these over to Nathan and he modified them to be the exact fit and finish I was looking for!
In addition to the skirts, I also dreamed of equipping the car with a set of front bumper canards. These are readily available for cars like the S13/S14 240SX, which have a longer front bumper and less curve than the G35, but the choices for me were few and far between. What I ended up doing was sourcing some ORIGIN Front Canards and had Nathan modify them to fit perfectly with the curvature of the bumper. We also created some custom metal upper canards based off different styles I liked on other cars, with a bit of our own flare…
Two other big aesthetic changes had to do with the hood and mirrors. I’ve had aftermarket Ganador-style mirrors for years but hadn’t gotten around to modifying them to fit the chassis until last fall. I had Nathan smooth and mold a set of custom mounting plates that I created for a truly OEM look, as opposed to the roughly-fabricated way I dropped them off in. I’m very excited to have aggressive aero mirrors on the car, since I think mirrors can make a major difference to the look of a build. Aside from that, the look of the hood has always been something that’s bothered me. Last season was a mad dash to catch as many events as possible and with the build taking much longer than first anticipated, the hood was a last minute temporary solution. This year, I am looking to have the hood match more of the look I had originally intended, while functioning to properly flow air through the engine bay in conjunction with the v-mount setup. Expect to see the finalized design in my next post!
Another change I had mentioned to make in my last post was the brakes. At the time I was torn on what route I wanted to go, but after having some friends deal with bracket adapter issues on different brake conversions, I decided to keep things simple with the OEM-offered Brembo brakes. In addition, I picked up the Stoptech Sport Upgrade Kit which included stainless steel lines, slotted rotors with black painted centers, and sport pads to compliment the rebuilt Brembo calipers. My factory brakes have always functioned just fine for the car’s intended purpose, so in my mind anything crazier than upgrading to the OEM Brembos seemed a bit overkill.
So that’s where I am at! If all goes to plan I’ll be picking up the car today or tomorrow to start finishing up the final touches. I have some small updates/changes to make in the engine bay, as well as installing the aforementioned brakes, swapping all fluids, tires, and getting the car ready for Wekfest Chicago. I hope to see and meet some of you there! Otherwise, the week after, I will have the car at GrimmSpeed’s first-ever meet at our shop on May 5th and will be attending Cars and Coffee and potentially the MNCEC meet on May 6th/7th, respectively.
Come find me at any of these events and feel free to say hello and ask questions. I’m always wanting to get to meet people and help anyone out with their own build. I can’t wait to see what 2017 brings as well as to share it all with you!