Sorry! I haven’t updated in a while. I’m leaving for a trip to Vegas tomorrow; I’ll see if I can scrounge up some KOF-worthy content when I’m there.
News for August 2009
I just got back from a front-end alignment at Island Tire, on Colorado at San Gabriel in Pasadena. Great guys — the alignment tech took almost an hour just to get the caster right. Everytime I come by, though, he shakes his head and asks me what’s the point. Hilarious. They also have a lifetime alignment special, which has saved my broke ass a couple of times. Apparently, if you drive an Evo and are a member of SoCalEvo, you get a discount. Nice. Too bad I never got that 9RS I really wanted back in the day.
The current specs are something like -4* camber front, -7* rear, 18×10 ET5 front, 18×11.5 ET2 rear, 235/40/18 front, 245/40.18 rear, and factory toe front and rear. I’m only able to get this alignment because of allllll the Peak Performance pieces underneath the car (front tension, rear upper control arm, traction rod, toe rod, all for an S14 240SX). There’s a bit more noise now from the front because of the pillowball in the tension rod, but steering feel’s improved a bit and there’s just a tiny bit more feedback, which is always a good thing.
Next for this car… Platinum VIP Phantom Cup suspension? Bold World x Roberuta? Wheel refinish? Less camber? Nankang NSII tires? Who knows? :)
norcal trip pace notes
I took the Q45 with my friend Richard and his girlfriend Annie to San Jose this weekend. Here are some pace notes:
1. For lowered cars, the 5 freeway isn’t really bad. Be aware on the 210 and the beginning stretch of the 5, as there are huge craters.
2. Relax on the 152. It’s really beautiful in the early evening.
3. Once the 152 turns into a two lane highway that meanders through Gilroy, be aware of more potholes and uneven pavement. The plaza with the Red Brick Pizza and Panda Express right before you hit the 101 has fairly good driveways, so don’t be too afraid of scraping.
4. The 101 isn’t terrible, but stay in the left lanes to avoid a lot of uneven and cratery pavement.
5. If you’re going to the city (‘Frisco) from San Jose, try taking the 280 — it’s really much more beautiful than the 101. That is, unless you’re really interested in seeing all of the technology companies that dot the landscape (Yahoo!, Paypal, Salesforce.com, etc.). The pavement on the 280 is amazing; even the lowest and most stiffly sprung car will have a smooth ride here. Did I mention the scenery, too? Wow.
6. The city isn’t as bad as most make it out to be, but a car that’s any lower or stiffer than mine will have issues. You’ll have A LOT of people staring; it doesn’t seem like any modified cars make it all the way to San Francisco. People will gawk at you. We counted at least 25-30 people breaking their necks to gawk at the Q when we were there.
7. If you end up at Union Square, the O’Farrell/Ellis parking garage is an okay choice. The entrance driveway has a lip though, so you’ll end up dragging your bumper. The ramps up the garage are a bit steep too, so you may have exhaust/framerail clearance issues on the way up. The valet parking is free, though, and the location isn’t bad (right behind Macy’s and right next to Barneys NY).
8. Pay attention to traffic lights at intersections — in the Mission, a lot of them were hidden.
9. Girls (and their boyfriends) WILL stare at your car if it’s flashy enough when you’re rolling through Santana Row on Saturday evening. One of the valets there (at the end of Santana Row, not in front of the hotel) runs a cool site called Stance Works; those cats appreciate good fitment and stretched tires. They also might bring you a fully optioned BMW 750Li when you come pick up your car, but I blamed that on the heat. Or maybe they deemed my car unsafe to drive, haha!
I had an awesome time in the Bay Area. Don’t let anybody tell you that you shouldn’t drive your car up there — I had one of those motoring epiphanies when I was driving down the 280 from San Francisco to San Jose (the weather was perfect, the sun was setting, the road was smooth, and the car was purring — brilliant). Next time I’ll post some photos of the cool stuff I saw up there. I didn’t take any this time since I still don’t have the Oly E-P1 I’ve been lusting over, but hopefully I’ll have a camera to use next time.