2/19/2024 – And we are off, onto turn one, progress in the making

Hayden V -

I am back with a lot to share and lots of progress on my car

First, my internships have been a blast to be at. Every person, owners and workers alike, have been super helpful in explaining the basics for what I need to get done, whether its just cleaning and putting tools away or putting a bushing in a lower control arm. My first day at UMS was something I just did not expect, they let me work on cars. It was grueling work that Ethan did not want to do, but hey, I got to work on it. I was replacing a bushing on the rear driver side lower control arm on a E36 they were adding a big turbo and Link ECU to. I was told I needed to pull one bushing, but realized it was not the right one, so I had to put everything back together THEN get to the correct bushing. It took about 3 hours to press the bushing in, and as I was putting everything back, I saw the spring was out of place and had to take EVERYTHING BACK APART to just put the spring back. It was horrible, but it made time fly and it was time to leave before I even realized.

The second day at UMS was just as eventful, I helped Ethan button up the E36 for first start, adding coolant hoses from the engine to the radiator, adding the charge pipes for the intercooler, and some other miscellaneous parts. We were test firing the car and flames were coming out the intake side of the engine and I told Ethan and he started to explain to me that positive timing will cause the ignition to go out the intake since the intake valve is open during the ignition and negative will make it go out the exhaust. We tested a couple different degrees of timing to see if the car would run, and it would just not idle. While Eric worked on that, I moved to helping Brandon move cars around and one even taught me how to put a car on the dyno, which he explained to me that I will never drop the hub since it costs about $2400 to replace if one of the ears gets bent. After that we were all just talking while working and Ulrik, the owners son was telling me that I was his second favorite intern, behind a girl that was so good at working on cars that she would’ve taken his job if it was between him and her. He also started to tell me about the funny stories about the interns over the years and he said “Its all funny things you want to happen again, just not to you” which I found amusing. After all that, I mopped the shop and we pushed the cars in to shut the shop down since about half of the team was leaving to go to a race in California this weekend.

My days at TurnStyle have been a blast to say the least. Ethan, the guy Ive been helping the most, has been very kind and welcoming. When I got there, he thought I was coming to drop my car off but we laughed it off after I said I was the intern and he realized. He said he really liked my car even when he does not really like Subarus that much. It was just Ethan and 2 other workers at the shop at that time since the owner, founder, and one of the shop foremen were gone tuning a R33 Skyline. After putting some tools away and cleaning, Ethan let me help him take a 4AGE engine apart from a AE86 (The Initial D car). The engine was said to have a really bad rod knock so we were taking it apart to find the problem. It took about 5 hours to tear the engine apart to get to the bottom end and we pulled the rod bearing for piston 3 and found our culprit. The motor spun a rod bearing and desintigrated half of the bearing. Both are suppose to look the same and the left one is about 30% gone. We had lunch in office in the midst of the time and I was enjoying my time eating some Jimmy Johns while they were eating other stuff. We were just hanging out talking about our cars and other life stuff.

Day 2 at TurnStyle was pretty mundane, mostly just cleaning and making the shop more presentable. I did get to work on a Nissan Pao which was super cool. The Nissan Pao is like a micro car from Japan created during the 90s when Nissan wanted to make cars that looked older. It was having an idling issue and I found a vacuum leak that was causing it to not idle longer than about 10s. We cut the end off and pushed the vacuum line back on which felt rewarding that I found something that caused the issue.

Now onto my personal car. THE CAR IS PAINTED… mostly. All the white is painted, there is back pieces that need to get painted, the side skirts, rear valence panel, wing, and mirrors, but that is basically nothing after painting about 90% of the car. It was a 3 day process, Friday through Sunday. Painting is a game of patience and paying attention. Whether its painting 1 tiny panel or the body of the car, it takes the same amount of time. I have to spray the basecoat then wait 5 minutes, then spray another layer of basecoat and wait 5 minutes, then a 3rd coat then wait 20 minutes. I have to clean the paint gun completely so there is no white paint in the clear when I spray it, which I have to use paint thinker and acetone to make the gun basically brand new. Then I move onto clear, which I spray the first layer, wait 10 minutes, do that 3 times in total again then wait until the next day to touch anything. I have to do that process every single time, and in the end, it takes about 3 hours to paint. I painted half of the panels off the car on Friday, then the other half on Saturday, then the body and engine bay on Sunday. While there are imperfections here and there, overall, the paint came out amazing. Me and my dad were putting the car partially together, because ya know, got to have that instant gratification. The car is hard to stare at for longer than a couple minutes because the white paint is just so bright. I can only compare the color to a paper towel. This is one of the most important steps that cannot be rushed and now I have to wait about a month until I can wet sand and polish the car for the mirror finish everyone wants. Next is finishing up the black paint which is going to look awesome, cannot wait to share the pictures and start on the suspension assuming my air ride gets here this week, if not, I will be moving to interior.

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