Silvia: Can’t stop messing with stuff (and track time).

I keep picking away at little things working toward (hopefully) a better running/performing car. Here’s what I had on my to-do list before my next day at Yukari Bokujo.

The last day at the track I kept blowing a rubber coupler on the OEM hotpipe setup. I was over that in about a minute so I hit up Yahoo Auctions when I got home.

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I found a guy selling eight generically labeled 60mm pipes that sure looked to be S13 hotpipes. This box showed up a few days later.

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Side by side it looked close so I fitted one up.

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Fitment was pretty good. I moved the coupler that was in the fender well to the turbo outlet, then put a straight 2.25″ coupler in the fender well. With the clamps tightened down it looked good to go.

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Next up was a cheap and easy mod for more angle – 7mm Parts Shop MAX steering spacers. Off came the tie rods.

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And a picture of the newly found angle with it still on jackstands and not aligned…so basically a worthless pic.

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I traded out my downpipe for one bunged for a wideband and picked up a turbo outlet pipe from Stock Garage while out an about. I rep them pretty hard, but they’ve always been good to me and the prices are fair. This coming from a guy with a YAJ account. Stop by and check them out.

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It’s pretty well documented that the outlet pipe makes a pretty big difference in performance so I was excited to get rid of the stock one.

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You can see how much larger diameter and unobstructed the flow is. I was expecting big things.

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Last up on the list was swapping out the stock slave cylinder and rubber line for a Nismo slave cylinder and braided line. The Nismo Coppermix clutch has a pretty heavy pressure plate. The stock slave was basically an on/off switch as it didn’t move enough fluid to properly modulate it. I rigged up the contraption in the picture above in order to bleed the clutch by myself. And a helpful note, I had to adjust the clutch master cylinder stroke length via the adjuster behind the clutch pedal. Lengthening the rod (stroke length) allowed the master cylinder to move enough fluid to fully engage/disengage the clutch via the Nismo slave cylinder. The larger bore diameter of the slave requires more fluid to operate.

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All that was left to do was to try everything out at the track. And that I did as you can see, but I’ll get to that in a minute. This round of changes worked out well. The new hotpipe worked flawlessly and eliminated any coupler blowing issues, but it seems as though the spool time increased slightly as the intercooler piping volume increased. My string alignment got the car steering straighter after the spacers than it was before and the difference in usable angle and steering quickness on the track was awesome as well. Such a small thing that really changes the feel. It’s not ridiculous cut knuckle angle but compared to stock it’s night and day. The Nismo slave cylinder made the trip to and from the track and around town feel like stock and well mannered. I was happy to regain some driveability. Living up to my expectations, the outlet pipe made a huge difference as it seemed to drive like a different car. Spooled quicker and revved lighter. Turbo noise was also increased quite a bit from one or both of the new pipes. It just seemed like everything was flowing better. The exhaust rumble did get a bit louder as well.

Getting back to the picture, the day was more or less a success. I was satisfied with my ability to link the course in 2nd when starting from the “beginner” area near the first corner. As I started to push myself to start from further back, I hit a weird point where 2nd was no good but I was going to slow for third. I realized the solution was going faster! Haha. Starting in third out of the “chute” was a new feeling as things happen faster in third. I made multiple passes that kind of fizzled out as I was either offline or slow to downshift to second. I couldn’t link the course. On the run that resulted in the picture above, I entered in third but was offline and I believe the car snapped straight, as before I realized it, I was in the mudhole! The only two other guys there helped pull me out and all was well. Big thanks to them! There would be video if I had remembered to charge the GoPro. Whoops.