Archive for the ‘Joel’ Category

Panasport G7 C5C2   Leave a comment

The first parts from the 180sx to be stripped and sold were the wheels.

I had always loved G7’s, and had picked up quite a few over my ownership of the yellow 180sx.


At a final count I had 4x 17×9″, 2x 17×9.5″ and 2x 17×10.5″. 8 all up.


These were packaged up and shipped over to George Marstanovic in the U.S. for him to run on his RX7. I regret not sending them back home to NZ, but more money allowed for more track time which was the ultimate goal with my 1 year working visa expiry date getting closer and closer.

Posted January 6, 2013 by Joel Hedges in Japan, Joel

Hello R32   Leave a comment

A few photos and some background on the new (now old) R32.


My flatmate picked up this car the same time I brought the yellow 180sx. It came stock apart from a tidy SR swap, and the  GTR aero. We had spent the past few months slowly getting it driftable, adding suspension, arms, factory R33 GTR wheels etc.


I brought the car off him with the aim of swapping all the good stuff from my 180sx into it, and getting back to drifting as soon as possible. All of the work had to be done in the car park seen below, and with winter coming – and it not an uncommon occurance to start snowing mid way through a diff change – work was tough.


Also, a quick snap of our Honda Life. This car was a life saver, as it kept me mobile while I was in the process of swapping gear between the two cars.


Posted December 18, 2012 by Joel Hedges in Japan, Joel

Goodbye 180sx   4 comments

I was pretty happy with the car after all the work getting it back to a driveable state again after the crash at Meihan. It was starting to look ok and still drove decently, despite the twisted chassis.

After testing the car one night in the mountains with some friends, I was stoked with how the car was driving (4/5 car touge runs were beyond fun). The next trip out wasn’t so successful however. After a few runs the engine developed a knock. The oil was full and wasn’t hot, but I always knew this motor was tired as hell, and was just happy it got me this far. The car was nearly out of registration and I was now left with two options; fork out the extremely expensive shakken fee (registration) and chuck in a replacement SR – which I didn’t really want to do on a bent shell, or part the car out and start again on another car. It just so happened that my flat mate was selling his r32 couple that we had been slowly building for the past few months, so I took the logical option and started stripping the 180sx to gain some money to put towards the skyline.

These are the last photos I took of the 180sx looking complete before I pulled it apart. I was definitely going to miss this car.


The two cars parked up next to each other in our parking area.


Parting out a car in a car park was never going to be a fun job, and it was made even less enjoyable by the fact that I had to keep the shell rolling so that we could roll it to a position that the tow truck could get to it.


I had a lot of fun learning to drive in this car. I spent more late nights and hot track days driving it than I can remember.

Posted December 7, 2012 by Joel Hedges in Japan, Joel

180sx Resurrection – Part 2.   1 comment

I had been collecting body parts for a while and was trying to hold off fitting them until they were all collected and ready for paint.

But after going through the effort of getting the car mildly straight again, I decided to fit up what I had to get a look at how it was coming together. So far I had the 326 power rear bumper, side steps and an early URAS front bumper.

Even though the drivers side strut tower had shift quite a bit, it still drove ok with a bit of castor tweaking. We also managed to get the majority of the panels lined up good enough to be seen from the side of the track, so I was happy.

The initial plan was to collect a few more parts, then spray the whole thing white. I had always wanted a 180sx and it finally was getting close to what I’d wanted.

But alas, my future plans were not meant to be. A few problems meant that this shell was soon parted out in favor of a new car. This ended up being the best the car ever looked, so I’m glad I took the time out to wash it for once and take these photos. I’ll go into more depth on the rest of the cars life soon.

Posted November 14, 2012 by Joel Hedges in Japan, Joel

180sx Resurrection   Leave a comment


One sunny afternoon after the crash, I took the car down to Shane’s workshop so he could work his magic on the rear panels. First of all we stopped by the local hardware store and picked up a sledge hammer and some wood.

I stripped the rear down and it wasn’t looking very flash at all. With it now about half a meter narrower, the rear hatch, taillights and obviously the rear bumper weren’t finding it very easy to fit at all.

After a solid afternoon/evenings hammering, we managed to get everything lining up pretty good again.

I was amazed how the rear fenders came out, some bog, or a pair of overs and it would have been back to normal.

The front took quite a lot of pulling to get it anywhere near back to normal, but after a few snapped strops and some borrowed front guards from Shane it was good to go. The drivers strut tower was still pushed back pretty far, but with some corrections to the castor to make up for it, it seemed to drive ok.

What better way to test the repairs than a late night run to the mountains.

I don’t think I’ve ever put up a photo of Shane’s rear engine Honda Vamos.

Apparently this thing was off the road for quite a while before I arrived, with Shane doing loads of suspension/wheel/body work, and swapping in an 660cc Honda Beat engine. The Beat engine comes with individual throttles, which made some pretty hilarious  sounds as the van flew by you on the expressway. With the rear seats stripped out and Shane installing a flat wood floor setup, it was the perfect support vehicle.

Easily my favorite van of the whole stay.

I can’t thank Shane enough for his help. The 180sx seemed to drive well enough that night, and I was pretty excited to have it all in one piece again.

Posted October 30, 2012 by Joel Hedges in Japan, Joel

180sx Aftermath   Leave a comment


A few photos of the car looking a little worse for wear after the drive home from Meihan.

The passenger side from the initial hit to the wall, which straightened the car up…

..into the far wall. The front took the brunt of the impact and managed to flicked the car around..

.. hitting the drivers rear as well.

All in all, a solid effort for a single crash I thought.

Posted October 21, 2012 by Joel Hedges in Japan, Joel

Summer (and Crashes) at Meihan   1 comment



On a sunny Wednesday last September, Jesse and I set off for a mid-week day at Meihan. I’d spent that Monday down at Bihoku, with Shane, Erin and Tom. Erin and Tom were over on a driving holiday from Australia, and we were all trying to get as much driving in as we could before they had to leave for the airport that afternoon.

Jesse brought along both his S13 and his Carry van lugging the tools/wheels. Erin was driving his black S14 that Shane had built up while he was gone, while Shane was testing his freshly built R33.

I didn’t get to drive much with Jesse in his S13 towards the end of my trip due a lack of  registration, so looking back on these summer photos brings back some good memories.

All of our cars went flawlessly on the trip to Bihoku and we managed to get loads of track time in, being the only ones at the track on a Monday.

Anyway, getting onto the point of this post. I got in a few drama free sessions in the morning, but first run after lunch, well…. this happened:

By tapping the rear on the wall far to hard it straightened me up into the far end wall. Somehow I managed to damaged pretty much every corner of the car. The front drivers corner received the most damage, as it took the brunt of the impact. The radiator support section was pushed up, and the impact managed to shift the strut tower back a few cm’s. If it wasn’t for Shane, I would have been spending the night there. But Shane grabbed his Skyline, a tow rope and a big hammer, and with his help we managed to pull the front of the car out to the state you can see above. It’s hard to believe, but I made the 1 hour journey home without drama, taped up intercooler pipes and all. The car still drove surprisingly straight after a quick adjustment of the castor arm to offset the shifted strut tower.

Both rear corners were looking a bit worse for wear, but Shane still convinced me that we could get it looking straight-ish once again.

More on that later.



Posted October 16, 2012 by Joel Hedges in Japan, Joel

555 KNUCKLE   3 comments


Our new 555 KNUCKLE setup is finally for sale.

Available for S13, S14/15, A31, C33, C34, & C35.

We decided to create the super short knuckle design after being at Meihan Sportsland, Bihoku and other tracks around Japan. After watching the top guys driving over there and taking aspects of there setups, we started designing and testing the 555 knuckle. After over a year of testing in Japan and back here in NZ, we are more than happy with our final design. The new shortness and design of the knuckle lets you make the car change direction faster which is vital when doing fast snappy driving and entries, while also having a drastically increased amount of steering lock compared with all other designs we’ve ever tested or produced.

The 555 lower arms are lengthened 25mm longer than a stock S14 lower arms length. This gives more inner wheel clearance (for big steering lock), while also widening the track and giving the ability to run more camber. Plus it doesn’t negatively effect your scrub radius like 25mm of wheel spacers would. We also scallop the lower arm to allow the knuckle to travel into the arm for even more lock and then add an adjustable lock stop so you can fine tune the steering lock to suit your wheel setup. The arms are then gusseted and both knuckles and arms painted silver to finish.

We highly recommend our engine cross-member steering rack relocation to get the most out of the setup. This allows you to get far more lock than the standard rack location allows due to avoiding the tie rod over centering. This relocation eliminates the dead steering feel at full lock that is experienced with a lot of other setups.

The price for the 555 Knuckle setup is (knuckles and lower arms) is $400

Modification is done to your factory parts.

Email: for orders and inquiries.

Posted October 8, 2012 by Joel Hedges in Adam, Joel

Garage Slipway/C’s Garage Drift Day & Entry Competition   4 comments

Back in July we held a drift day at the Meremere drag strip with friends Mike and Waz. The plan was to run a fun day with an entry competition type thing in the afternoon, as we thought Meremere had added concrete wall to the outside of the run off. Disappointingly it turned out they hadn’t, so we gathered up some cones/cardboard box’s to whip up a make do wall on the day. The weather wasn’t on our side, and it poured down with rain the whole day which is never good for exciting driving, so everyone just went out and had fun. Despite the weather it turned out really good, and we will be doing more after the yellow car is back up and running.

There were a few photo guys there, so here’s some photos.

This is Josh’s e30. While I was away in Japan, Josh and Adam were busy swapping in the SR20DET setup out of the black S14 that we imported a while back. Josh is still busy setting up the car, but the new engine setup goes great.

The new owner of my old 19″ LXZ’s. His driving just got better and better throughout the day and he took home improved in the competition.

Chris finally had his ute back up and running after about 14 odd years off. Both the new SR20DE and his driving were great.

Nick’s MX-5 was looking a bit more beat up than last time I saw it a year ago. We spent some time fixing little things on it a few days before the day, and it went flawless like usual. The plan is to swap to the 1.8L engine we have sitting at our place, but the stock 1600 just won’t die.

Teggy’s new S14 that I had never seen before, testing out a fresh GT-RS setup.

Another car I had seen lot’s of photos of while I was away, but had never seen was Andrew’s new JZX110.

This sr20 powered escort was an interesting entry. Looked like a handful.

Mikes JZX90, looks a whole lot more awesome than last time I saw it aswell.

Adam spent some time at the start of the year re-shelling our red wagon into this road legal 4-door shell. The fresh dent in the door was thanks to my attempt at corolla drifting. This will be forsale soon, if any NZ guys are interested.

I made up these stickers to go along with the prizes Mike got for the entry competition winners in the afternoon. The categories were 1st, 2nd & 3rd Best Entries, Most Improved, and best NA. It continued to rain throughout the whole day, which made the competition quite difficult. Mike, Waz and I were judging, while Adam drove my S13 in the competition.

3rd place went to Neal in his RB30e Cefiro.

Keisuke got 2nd place in his AE86. Keisuke and Neal spent most of the 1 hour session driving nice and close, which was cool to watch since the conditions were so bad.

and we gave Adam 1st. This might seem a tad biased, but he was definitely putting down the best entries during the competition.

Best NA (naturally aspirated) of the day went to Kris in his 4age’d KP Starlet. Easily the most consistent driver of the the day.

First, second and third were hard to judge, with Neal, Adam & Keisuke all driving great in the pouring rain.

I had a few weeks off before university started once I got back, so I decided to make up some tail lights for my car. More on these later. We have been busy swapping the engine, along with alot of other things on this car, so expect a few updates on that.

All the photos above are thanks to Chris and Roo, check their sites for more.

We plan to run another day (hopefully in the dry this time) once the engine swap in the S13 is finished. Shouldn’t be too far away.

Posted September 18, 2012 by Joel Hedges in Adam, Joel

Skyline, Meihan   Leave a comment

I pretty much have zero action shots from my time in Osaka. So I was more than stoked when Casey from Shirtstuckedin came to visit a small uncrowded Meihan day that both Jesse and I were attending. Especially when he took photos like this.

Thanks man, love it.


Posted September 11, 2012 by Joel Hedges in Japan, Joel