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

Bihoku MSC Video   Leave a comment

Here’s that video of the Bihoku round of MSC I promised to go along with the previous posts.

I just chucked a bunch of the best clips from my phone together, then got sick of editing so it’s 7 minutes long. Remember to click HD too.

Posted October 18, 2012 by Joel Hedges in Japan

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: joel@csgarage.com 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