Hulk Smash: Best Week Ever!

Much has changed since May 2010: Hulk Smash was parted out, Minty Fresh became KA-T, and I am now living in Japan driving a Chaser. However, I want to back track a minute and post something that is LONG overdue – the days leading up to and the payoff of the Hulk Smash build. The deadline for completion was the May 8th Kansas Yeah! drift event and I had just one week remaining. In order to make it, I had a long list of “to do’s” and needed to get a lot done – tuning, alignment, test drive, check clearances, etc. To add more pressure, I would be operating as a one man team since my nephew, Grant, was due that week and Greg would be busy with dad duties. The final week was crazy to say the least; it went something like this:

Sunday, May 2nd – Test drive day. Tuning scheduled from Monday; need to drop the car off in the morning. I loaded up a base tune into NIStune that I received from Andy at Autovaughn Performance. Drivable and felt good enough to drive across town in the morning. Develop a last minute out of the blue exhaust leak and need to figure out where. Shit. Major depression sets in. Look around, take the turbo off multiple times, try different things. No change. Still leaking. Fuck.

Monday, May 3rd – Call The Shop (that’s its name) to tell them it won’t be in. Leave work for an early extended lunch break to take it apart again. Saw what I was missing the night before; one of the T4 bolt holes had blown out (RevHard manifold is drilled for T3 and T4. The T4 pattern is outside the T3 gasket and one of the T4 bolt holes had opened up since it is tapped so deep.). So I was leaking exhaust prior to the turbo at the manifold outlet. How to seal…how to seal? I bought a bolt that fit the T4 bolt hole, put some high temp RTV on it, and bolted it into the leaking hole. One problem, the turbo sits directly on top of the T4 bolt pattern so the bolt head needed to go. Grinder time. I ground off the head of the bolt flush to the turbo mounting surface, bolted the turbo back on the manifold, and started the car. No leaks! Back to work in 2.5 hours with the problem solved. “Hey, The Shop, I’ll be bringing my car in tomorrow morning.”

Tuesday, May 4th – Hulk Smash and Minty Fresh both get a real bath for the first time in over a year. Can’t drop it off for its first public appearance looking like shit! They look good. Drive the car across town with Greg following in Minty Fresh. First and last time driving them together. Big sadface. Run through the car, the engine setup, and NIStune with Chad at The Shop. Full tune and alignment. “Come back in three days.” Word.

Wednesday, May 5th – Spent the day obsessively checking my phone. Nothing. No noose is good noose?!?!

Thursday, May 6th – “Car is done. Come watch a dyno pull.” Sweet! Car rips on the dyno. Loud as hell when the wastegate opens. Sounds so boss. Tuned at 15psi for reliability (maybe a bit conservatively) on 91 octane pump gas: 266 horsepower and 280 torque. “Still need to do the alignment so pick it up this afternoon.” Okidoki. Rang rang…”We can’t get it to read on our alignment rack. It sits too low. We have a friend at another shop who can get it on their new rack. They have time in the morning.”

More importantly, baby Grant is born late in the evening! Yay! I’m an uncle!

Friday, May 7th – Drifting tomorrow; NEED CAR TODAY! First make a quick stop by the hospital to check out my first and only nephew. Looks like a champ. Farts on me. He’s a keeper.

Drop the car off at the other shop for the alignment. Get a call that it’s all done so I go to pick it up at 4:30. Alignment is jacked. “Our new machine isn’t calibrated correctly. We need to redo it. It isn’t even close.” Shit. “What time do you close?” “5:30.” “Can it be done today? I am driving tomorrow.” “Yep, we’ll give you a call.” Back at 5:30, car is done. Driving GREAT. First time really getting to drive it. Rip on it on the way home – solid.

Still have a laundry list of things to do: roll fenders; load the car; test drive it to check brakes, diff, everything. Greg and I go for a late drive to check how it feels and to make sure the e-brake is functioning. Breaks traction and does a mean doughnut. Great. Up all night clearancing wheel wells and rolling fenders.

Saturday, May 8th – Pack the car and make some pbj’s for the road. Drive to the car wash and notice some major rubbing from the passenger rear with the car loaded. Shit. Fender roller is at home. Found some newspaper and tried newspaper rolling. No real improvement. Pull over again and get the jack handle out. Leave it in neutral and roll it back and forth while prying out on the fender with the jack handle. That’s better. I still haven’t left Lincoln, and it’s about 12:30. Registration ends at 2:30, track goes live at 3:00, and I have a 2.5 hour drive ahead of me. Damn. Get rolling.

But first a quick wash.

I make it in time. Get the car teched, talk to some dudes, and have a BLAST! I drove like absolute shit but had a great time. The car performed flawlessly; I was super stoked on our work. Since words don’t convey action, here some pics and video from the day. TOO AWESOME!!!!

Words of wisdom before my run.

Derek drove my car and gave me a few pointers.

I got out there…

…and had some fun.

In the pits working on something…

…I am fairly certain I was getting ready to beat the wheel well with a big hammer.

After a few runs on my own, it was time for “forced tandem”. Haha. I just told Derek to avoid me when I spun. He obliged and it was awesome.

Video of the event and the tandem action.

I am probably saying something really long winded and awesome about the engine. One of the things I really enjoyed was talking to people about the car. After putting so much time and effort into it, it was rewarding to have people ask questions and take an interest!

Getting gas on the way home the next day after a much needed nights sleep at my Grandma’s. This picture is one of my favorites. The car looks so good – low, clean, used. Maybe I like it because it had just swooned me by performing like a champion on the long drive and during the track beating!

Until the rebuild, Hulk Smash!

A big thank you to everyone who took pictures at the event and shared them!!!!!