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

180SX’s @ Suzuka Twin Drift Muscle   1 comment

A few quick photos of two 180’s that stood out for me at Drift Muscle.

First was this one.  I’ve always liked Origin streamline, and TE’s for that matter. I was fortunate enough to run across this car again at a MSC round, and managed to take some better photos. So more on this car later.

The second was this 180. That colour!

Again, this guy turned up to a few open days at Meihan, so more photos of this one later too.

Posted September 27, 2012 by Joel Hedges in Japan

LOOKING @ Suzuka Twin Drift Muscle   Leave a comment

Looking is a small paint/body shop based in Osaka, run by Asayan & Hitomi. I never though I’d see Asayan’s AE86 in the flesh, but since they seem love drifting more than anyone, nearly every local event I’d go to would have Asayan and Hitomi sitting in the pits.

Looking’s does some amazing body work & paint, and their attention to detail is crazy. Their 3 demo RX7’s really show this, which I will post photo’s of later on.

Their engine building & fab skill is pretty amazing too.

Hitomi runs monthly drift days called HitomiGO at both Meihan & Suzuka Twin, and she can usually be seen drifting her blue 326 kitted 180sx which wasn’t at this day. HitomiGO days were by far the best days as the best local drivers would attend religiously. During my time in Osaka, HitomiGO at Meihan were the days Jesse and I tried never to miss.

Even though I didn’t like all aspects of their S13, this paint work was just too awesome.

You can follow Hitomi’s blog here. I have plenty more photo’s & video of all the Looking cars, which I will post up when I get to them.

Posted September 26, 2012 by Joel Hedges in Japan

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

Team D-MAX @ Suzuka Twin Drift Muscle   Leave a comment


Here’s a few photos of the D-MAX guys during the Suzuka Twin round of Drift Muscle.


Nakamura and Yokoi parked up in the pits. Turning up to see Burst and Mind Control parked up was pretty exciting to say the least.

D-Max had a stand showcasing some of their parts, which also had Nakamura’s ex-D1GP S15 parked up. Yokoi now runs this car in D1GP.

Another now D1GP driver is Seimi Tanaka who drives this white S13. Yokoi, Nakaura and Tanaka are my 3 of my favorite drivers, so again it was a pretty amazing day.

Spares and tools.

Tsuji Akira’s S15. I met Tsuji a bunch of times, so I’ll post up more of his cars later.

And although not a D-Max car, here’s one last shot of the Mind Control S15.

I thought I’d re-post this video from my phone as well. Best driving ever.




Posted September 12, 2012 by Joel Hedges in Japan

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

180SX – Conveni stops   Leave a comment

30/08/11 1.32am – Lawson

9/09/11 1.41am – Family Mart

I miss the late night sugar coffee.


Posted September 10, 2012 by Joel Hedges in Joel

Bihoku Highland MSC – Final look   Leave a comment

Sorry for such a large number of posts about one event, but I seemed to take a lot more photos at this even than anywhere else. Must have been due to my fresh-off-the-boat-ness.

The video I’ve been meaning to finish editing and upload (soon), shows the orange Dride 180sx that I posted earlier on, barrel rolling down the straight after clipping the tyres during the triple competition. Here’s two shots of Nomuken and Utsumi helping the Bihoku owner fix the potholes the impact created.

The owner of Bihoku (towel on his head) is awesome, and really loves his track. He had this little kei truck pre-loaded for tarmac repairing, complete with his own compactor (roll overs at Bihoku happen regularly as you can tell by the many doriten videos).

A few more cars from the pits; Team “Burnout”.

Nice Origin’d out Skyline.

The R.Y.O. guys heading down the front straight during the triple competition,

and finally, this s13 parked up at parking area that we came across on the way home. Gare naru is actually a porsche garage, but apparently have a side hobbie in drifting. This guy was at Meihan nearly every-time I went down, and it definitely reflected on his driving.

That’s all for Bihoku MSC, I’ll get that video up quick smart.


Posted September 6, 2012 by Joel Hedges in Japan

Bihoku Highland MSC – AE86’s   1 comment


Sunday, July 10th, 2011.


Nearly finished up with the photos from the Bihoku round of MSC.

Here’s a bunch of Corolla photos.

One of the Dride guys from Hiroshima. Loved this car.

This red 86 was at Meihan a lot. It runs a TD06’d SR setup, and the driver drives really good.

I’ve just finished editing up a bunch of video from this day. I’ll upload and post up soon.

Posted August 27, 2012 by Joel Hedges in Japan