VK56 S14 Build: Blog Update #2

Thought I would do it a bit old school today and a get the build updated on the blog!  For those that follow the build on our YouTube channel, it overlaps somewhat but also gets things current while we catch up editing video.  So let’s time warp back a few months and bring things current…

We started with a crusty, flaking engine bay that was really starting to wear on us and I think annoyed us into doing the car up proper as it became apparent that not only was it ugly but every system on the car needed going through after sitting in storage for six years.

Sanded down and getting prepped for paint and chassis mods.

With the build destined more for a track car, stitch welding was in order.

Which carried over into the interior as well. Let me take a minute and say – stitch welding the full chassis is a long tedious job…but it looks pretty cool when done. 🙂

We did what we dubbed a “motorsports shave” on the engine bay. We talked about going full crazy shaved bay, but decided it wouldn’t be time well spent as the car is destined for drifting use and a little front end damage would write it all off. It was also important for us to keep the engine layout “stock” so no tubs or tube front as we want to design the VK56 swap kit for street cars as well…and really if the front end isn’t damaged, tubs and tube front just isn’t a necessity to go rip with your friends. Save the added work for when it’s really needed. And for those looking to do the same, the engine bay delete kit is available in the Brickhouse webstore.

Deleting the cat hump to get the seating position lower.

We made up some side mount brackets for the Corbeau FX1 Pro bucket seat to mount it as low as possible. They turned out pretty rad and we added a simplified Brickhouse Products logo which turned out pretty cool.

We then got busy on the cage which, in all honesty, took longer than we hoped as it was my (Steve’s) first and Greg’s second, but really stoked on the way it came out in terms of fit to the chassis, overall look, and quality. We added roof; A, B, and C pillar; and door bar dimple gussets to tie the chassis together and add a bit of flair as well as…

an integrated steering column mount that we made up on the CNC plasma. It’s a small detail that will get covered with the dash but just fun to try new things designing things in a 2D plane that will fold into a functional 3D piece.

A big hats on to Greg for killing it on welding up the cage. It was all TIG welded since our MIG is just a bit undersized for the roll cage tubing so that meant a ton of off angle, odd position TIG welding for Greg. But the finished product looks pretty darn awesome if you ask me!

With the chassis work finished up it was time to add some color!

Greg getting busy laying down a nice shade of motorsports grey in our umpteenth and most improved to date make-shift paint booth. Any paint on any of our cars has been done by us in one our our shops/garages through the years. And quality turns out pretty on point each time. We had about $15 or so in materials for the booth this time around (maybe $50 or so total if you have to buy a couple box fans).

As you can see, we painted the car in two stages using two different methods; the engine bay, interior sides, and cage with the paint gun and conventional base coat, clear coat system.

For the interior floor, wheel wells, and underside of the car; we used Napa’s Rust Proof and brushed it on since those areas were more heavily pitted with surface type rust. They’re also wear areas so touch up will be a breeze if needed. And we just lucked out that the colors are a near identical match so it’s not an obvious difference.

Really really pleased with the overall look and how clean it makes the car, but now finally back to assembly and building the car!

Hit up Summit for a Wilwood master cylinder, brake line fittings, and proportioning valve.

And got the brake booster delete installed and made some bulkheads for the heater hoses. Again, keeping things OEM in layout to be able to develop the VK56 kit for street or motorsport applications.

On the interior side, we switched to a Maradyne heater core which has the heater core and blower fan into one small package. With events ranging from April to October and Nebraska weather being what it is, having a defroster and some heat is a nice option. It’s only $150ish for the unit and there’s even some ducting/vent kit options as well; again a Summit purchase. We added some tabs to the firewall to mount it securely and will plumb it to the stock location bulkheads shown in the previous picture.

And we simplified the stock steering column, ditching the key tumbler and turn signal and wiper stalks. The key is just one more thing to fail and ruin an event so no need for that nonsense. The turn signals and wiper stalks will be integrated into the switch panel so the bulky stock units went bye-bye.

The rear of the car got attention as well ditching the stock subframe bushings for solid DIF mounts. KTS rear upper arms and some mystery but beefy toe and traction rods. KAAZ 2way diff added and the subframe itself got a coating of the same Napa Rust Proof paint to seal it up.

Greg did up a couple more pairs of Brickhouse knuckles and got them shipped off. The S14 will be running the same knuckles, 30mm extended lower control arms, and relocated steering rack.

And to finish off the suspension side of things, FEAL Suspension 441 Drift Specific coilovers were added. I’ve been wanting to run these for years and really pleased to have the opportunity now with them being proven world wide. We’re dealers now so look for them in the webstore and hit us up for your suspension needs. 😉

This has gotten exceptionally long already so with that pretty much wrapping up chassis work, it seems like a fitting point to stop and switch gears to the VK56 swap in the next build update.