As far as platforms go, the S550 Mustang has been one of the best we have had the chance to work closely with, by far. It has potential in many facets of motorsport, and isn’t bad looking either! We have been pushing it more with time attack and road racing, but have managed to throw a drift day or two in the mix as well. Our latest addition to the TF Mustang is a set of custom valved XR3 3-way adjustable coilovers from STANCE Suspension USA. We originally tested STANCE’s single way adjustable coilover system for the Mustang last year, and we are eager to see the difference that more adjustability and control will give us over the chassis’ dynamics!
When the second generation 240SX rolled off of the assembly line, it wasn’t exactly engineered those of us who are big and tall in mind. Even if the seat was positioned back in the furthest position, drivers who were 6’4 and up would either hit their helmets on the roof or be sitting uncomfortably which brought forth the solution; bolt the seat directly to the floor! In the S14 chassis it isn’t exactly that simple because of the exhaust hump that is formed into the underbody of the chassis, so it has to be removed in order for the lowest seating position to be obtained. Easier said than done, check out the process below!
This past weekend was the fourth AUTOMASS event, this time help at Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois! The track is amazing for grip driving and drifting, this event featured both of those on the South course on Sunday, as well as North & Full course time attack with drifting on the skidpad on Saturday. Sunday also featured a car show portion which will be featured in a separate blog post. Here are a handful of photos from the event below:
As most of you know, in the past year we acquired the most recent generation of the Mustang legacy to add to our TF stable (Pun very much intended)! The goal was to track the car in its different forms and really get a feel for this new chassis. So far, we have results from track days where the car was completely stock, from events where only suspension and bolt ons were added. Most recently, the car has received a centrifugal supercharger from Procharger, ducting to the front brakes, Whiteline sway bars, and a bunch of STEEDA suspension/bushing upgrades. We will be very curious to see how the latest upgrade will do; a Kaaz 2-Way LSD, the first of its kind sent right to our door!
Koyorad is pleased to introduce a Universal all-aluminum performance radiator to fit various sport compact applications. The Koyorad Pocket Radiator was developed as a small yet highly efficient radiator to fit in the tightest of show car engine bays and in applications where hiding away various engine components, hoses, and wiring has become popular. This radiator features: a 53mm two row, high density “Hyper” core for the ultimate in cooling efficiency from a relatively small radiator.
Last weekend we ventured out to South Haven, Michigan for the GRIDLIFE Midwest festival, featuring time attack, HPDE, drifting as well as live music! We brought out our LS S13 with its new look and also the K24 powered AE86 we built in house for its on track debut. We snapped a TON of photos during the weekend, and managed to trim down 3300+ photos to 101 for our Flickr highlights album. Apologies if your car was missed on track, there were over 150 cars on track and it was very hot.
Simba’s SR22 powered Silvia
The latest goodies to arrive for our Mustang came in from our friends at UPR products to help us eliminate unwanted blow-by and unwanted crankcase pressure that our now 660HP Mustang generates while under boost and during normal operation. We’ve had problems with oil spewing out of the Procharger race valve and getting everywhere in the engine bay, so we are eager to see how these products stack up on our Mustang before GRIDLIFE Midwest next weekend!
TF is happy to announce that we will be offering rebuilding, servicing and custom valving options for our customers with AST and MOTON suspension! Recently, we were approached by a local customer who wanted us to do a complete overhaul on his S2000 AST suspension and also to see if we could bring out any more performance out of the valving.
Our friend Liam (@kirb_ztomp) stopped by (When I say stopped by, I mean drove 10 hours from his home base in Ontario) to visit TF and Chicago, and also to get his Stance Suspension re-valved for an 18K/16K SWIFT Spring upgrade! The car just received fresh paint and new aero, so we wanted to show you all of the good good bits while the car was here. Check it out below!
Yes, this car is stock. But how often do you see a JZX100 in the US, much less one that is this clean? We fanboy’d over it for a bit here at TF and figured you guys might also like to see this prime example of a Toyota Chaser. Give it a few more years and these things will be EVERYWHERE, check out some photos to prepare yourself:
Newly announced from our friends at Koyorad, a high quality all-aluminum performance radiator for V8 swapped S13s (minor modifications needed to fir S14). For the ultimate in cooling performance, this radiator was developed with a crossflow design along with a dual pass “N-FLO” partition which conveniently locates both inlet and outlet on the passenger side of the engine bay. In typical fashion, Koyorad has engineered this radiator with precision, designed to directly replace the stock OEM plastic/aluminum radiator for ease of install along with superior quality, precision hand welds, reliability and uniformity are what have earned Koyorad their excellent reputation in performance radiators worldwide.
For the first time since 2010, Wekfest returns to downtown Chicago for their showcase event! Wekfest travels around the world hosting car meets in which each car has to go through a prior approval process to ensure the show remains of the highest quality. We were invited to be one of the vendor booths for the event, so we brought out one of our shop cars and had several customer cars to represent TF!
Let’s talk a little about brake fluids:
First, keep in mind that all brake systems will only work as well as their mechanical and hydraulic design will allow. Poorly designed brakes system, or an inadequate brake setup will cause the brake fluid to boil much faster. Brake fluid can boil inside the caliper causing bubbles to form, which leads to a “soft / mushy” pedal feel. In certain cases the pedal will fully depress to the floor and the only way to get the pedal to return is to pump the brakes.
Ed dropped off his late model Porsche 928 to receive a full stainless custom exhaust to replace his previous setup! The old exhaust system had been on the car for over a decade, and Ed wasn’t too keen on the sound of it, how low the exhaust was to the ground, and how it looked. Not a problem, we were more than happy to build him a new exhaust system from scratch. Check out the progress:
We just received a massive shipment of products from Origin Lab! Most of it is pre-sold, but be sure to call or email us for availability on in stock Origin parts, and also to order pieces that will be coming in to our next shipment! Here we are going to show you the three different variants of hood vents vents:
This post will be our last project update for this car! It has come along way in its time here at TF, from a whole chassis swap to a built KA-T set up, to a full upgrade on the suspension and chassis.If you haven’t been following the build up to now, be sure to check out PART 1 and PART 2. At the end of the last update, we had just dropped the engine in and starting to hook up all of the plumbing:
Picking back up where we left off with Part 2 of the K24 powered AE86 (If you haven’t been following along with the build, be sure to check out PART 1 and PART 2), in which we prepped the engine to be dropped in the chassis and also installed: full Crystal Body Yokohama aero, Work Meister CR01s, the Techno Toy Tuning brake kit and a few other small bits.
We receive a TON of inquires regarding sizing on different seat brands and models every week to our email and on forums, so we’ve decided to launch a new part of the TF Blog called the Seat Test Review dedicated strictly to us testing out how different seats fit and feel! The tests we perform here could vary from actual installs on each seat (for example, if one of the employees has the same model in their personal vehicle or has had personal experience with it in the past) or simply just a test in the showroom/studio. Two of our employees, Steven and Devin, who have different body types and builds from each other will be sitting in each seat and commenting on the way the seats fit. Part 2 of our seat review kicks off with the Bride Zeta III Type XL and Stradia II.
Steven is 5’5 and 130lbs, with a waist of 29-30. He has a small frame build, and is slim.
Devin is 5’10 and 215lbs, with a waist size 36-37. He has a larger frame build with more to love and has larger thighs.
Each person will be commenting on each seat for its support and comfort for the thigh area, waist, and shoulder area.
First up is the Bride ZETA III Type XL (Check that out HERE)
So, it’s been a while since our last update on the TF Mustang where we installed the Whiteline Performance Swaybars (Check that out HERE), so prepare for a MASSIVE project update blog post! This blog will document the first big change the Mustang has seen since its storage for winter (or its whole life actually), and is the product of working in conjunction with several companies. After shaking down the Mustang last year, we had experienced the limits of the car and felt like we had a solid starting point to build up on and really stretch out the car’s legs. In this post, we will be covering the install of an upgraded oil pump gear, installing the supercharger kit from Procharger, installing larger injectors from Injector Dynamics, as well as a few goodies from our friends over at Mishimoto! Check it out:
One of our customers was in need of an upgrade to his differential before the 2017 season started. Eric has a built LS1 in his 350Z and tracks it often as a part of the GridLife series as well as other racing series. We ordered him the diff and all of the supporting parts and went to work! The 350Z does come with an LSD and is great for daily driving because of how unnoticeable it is, however for track use it lacks performance due to the viscous fluid which can deteriorate over time. Also, that viscous fluid only has a certain limit to it’s lockup capacity that won’t be a problem with an aftermarket differential option. The LSD of choice for Eric’s LS powered 350Z is the 2 Way Super Q from Kaaz. A 2 way LSD is beneficial for high speed circuit tracks, and has shown to be the preference of more aggressive drivers over a 1.5 way due to better stability during high speed cornering. Once you start increasing the torque output of the 350Z by adding more power or by using more aggressive tire compounds, the factory VLSD cannot provide consistent full lock-up. The Super Q diff also has WPC treated clutch discs as well to reduce the infamous differential clunk for a more quiet operation (Read more on the cool science behind WPC treatment by clicking the link HERE).
We receive a TON of inquires regarding sizing on different seat brands and models every week to our email and on forums, so we’ve decided to launch a new part of the TF Blog called the Seat Test Review dedicated strictly to us testing out how different seats fit and feel! The tests we perform here could vary from actual installs on each seat (for example, if one of the employees has the same model in their personal vehicle or has had personal experience with it in the past) or simply just a test in the showroom/studio. Here are the first testaments from two of our employees, Steven and Devin, who have different body types and builds from each other so we can have some varying opinions on the way the seats fit. Our first 2 up for review are the Sparco Circuit II and Bride VIOS III.
Steven is 5’5 and 130lbs, with a waist of 29-30. He has a small frame build, and is slim.
Devin is 5’10 and 215lbs, with a waist size 36-37. He has a larger frame build with more to love (Sorry Devin <3) and has larger thighs.
Each person will be commenting on each seat for its support and comfort for the thigh area, waist, and shoulder area.
First up is the Sparco Circuit II (Check it out HERE on tf-works.com)
Back on track with the KA-T S13 drift build, the engine was mostly tied up and assembled in the first part of our build documentation (Check that out HERE). What was left on the engine was waiting for the turbo to arrive, tap the oil pan for the oil lines to the turbo, and modify the S13 intake manifold. Chassis wise, we’re going to be installing the hydraulic e-brake, coilovers and installing the engine!
We are excited to be bringing you this all new wheel from our friends over at Volk Racing: a 4×100 TE37 in 16″ by 8″, with an effective offset of +25 AND for the first time ever it is being offered in a Type III concave! Normally this wheel in this sizing would have a flat face, but the added concave really gives the wheel a way more aggressive look! There is no etching on these wheels like the latest TE37s have had, instead the branding and stickers are a tribute to the OG TE37.
A few weeks ago we had one of our long time customers, and TF sponsored drivers, Devin Giles drop off his boosted S2000 time attack car to have his current roll bar modified into a full fledged roll cage fabricated for his car. The previous roll bar had been in the car for a couple of years and needed to be slightly modified for more reinforcement and structural integrity. When the car first got here, I myself was out of town so I didn’t get a chance to document the process of the old roll bar having its two rear supports cut out, the minimal interior being pulled out and a few initial measurements. But! The majority of the process was photographed so let’s jump right into it:
A few weeks ago we were brought a KA-T S13 with a laundry list of parts we were going to be installing, as well as plans for a bit of love and normal maintenance here and there. However, the more we dug into the car on the initial tear down, the more we found that needed to be fixed and replaced. No big deal, this was a 25 year old car that was seemingly put together on a tight budget by the previous owner. On the hand, the current owner bought it knowing what needed to be done and how he wanted the car to look and perform, so he brought it to us to fulfill his vision! The first order of business was pulling out the previously boosted KA and checking on its overall condition.
We’ve made tons of progress on the K24 AE86 build since we last left off (Check out Part 1 HERE), so let’s just jump right into it! The owner originally wanted a full TRD N2 aero kit, but was having difficulty sourcing one from Japan. The ultra rare Crystal Body Yokohama full aero kit was selected as suitable alternative thanks to it’s aggressive, stylish design and its functionality with a built-in splitter and ducting in the front bumper!
We have been waiting to release the final batch of photos from our R32 build and figured since it has been over a month since the car left the shop that now was as good of a time as any to release the final project update. If you haven’t check out the earlier blog posts covering the GTR build, you can check out the extensive Part 3, the Part 2 mini blog , and the Part 1 introduction.
Over the past few months we have been accumulating parts and knowledge to tackle our next full fledged build: a K24 out of an Acura TSX going into an AE86 Corolla. It had been done before, however it wasn’t documented extensively and many questions were still had on the whole swap. Through these blog posts, we will be documenting the whole process and learning as we go along how to successfully complete this swap!
As most of you know, we picked up an S550 Mustang as a shop car to learn more about the chassis and give an American “Classic” our own take. The mustang is by no means a light and nimble car, it has some mass to it. Weighing in at nearly 3800 lbs, we’re going to try and do everything in our power to make the car handle as if it were lighter while retaining the comforts of a street car that sees the occasional track.
As the drifting season comes to a close here in the Midwest and the temperature starts to fall, we ventured out to sunny California for Super D Matsuri at Grange Motor Circuit! We worked with our friends over at Drift Team Animal Style with this crazy idea to bring Naoki Nakamura, one of the most stylish and exciting drifters in the world, to the US for an event. With hard work from the stateside team planning and help from Stacked Inc., Wolfreign Motors, and all of the event sponsors, the event took shape and one of Naoki’s freshly painted shells was en route to to the USA.
Vertex is known for many things, one of them being their super stylish steering wheels. Normally the wheels feature ornate stitching and bright colors, and the latest from Vertex is no different. We received three of the latest styles this past week and have several more on the way in these designs as well as other ones. Check out the wheels and be sure to email us for any questions on them or any other product from Vertex!
We ventured back up north to Shawano, Wisconsin for Club FR Jam at USAIR! This is the track where Final Bout and Final Bout II were held, as well as where Club FR hosts its D-Day events. Unlike any previous event however, drifting was allowed during the night time hours thanks to a lenient track owner and the addition of lights to illuminate the intermediate course section! We originally went out to the event to help staff (and drive some) but we managed to snap a few photos of the event as well. Enjoy!
Koyorad Racing is constantly staying on top of the market as new cars are released and designing products to accommodate them. One of the latest is the ND Miata from Mazda which is already becoming a popular platform for modifying for track use and for show. Koyo stayed on the ball and designed a radiator that trumps the OEM one in every single way and generously sent us one of the first to put in the ND Miata we have around here to do a side by side comparison like we did with the E46.
We saw the return of the Final Bout crowd at USAIR this past weekend for the Special Stage Central event! Some of the cars from the previous event at PARC came out to the track from the West Coast, but the point of these events being split into three is to make the traveling aspect a bit less harsh for teams that travel from the complete opposite side of the country, and to sort of qualify to be invited to the Final Bout main event next summer.
Pre Final Bout festivities have been a thing at TF since the first Final Bout. Drivers from around the country were heading to the event, and TF acted as a pit stop of sorts. This year, rather than have one single Final Bout event during the summer, the guys behind the operation decided to hold three different events across the country in three parts (West, Central, East), dubbed “Special Stage”. Special Stage West was out in Portland Oregon at Pat’s Acre Racing Complex, and Central was to be held at the familiar USAIR track up in Shawano Wisconsin. The event is this Saturday, so rather than just having the participants show up randomly throughout the week or throwing a small meet, we decided to give back to those that give so much to drifting and the scene itself with a pizza party.
Presenting, PIZZA BOUT.
We’ve been hoarding all of the photos from the R32 GTR build and figured now would be as good a time as ever to share them with you in this project update! This has been an extensive build process and we have documented a lot of it in these photographs throughout the past several months. When we left off last blog post, the car had its RB26 heart removed for disassembly and to be rebuilt for the power goals the customer had in mind.As the car sits now, it just needs a few more things buttoned up in the engine bay and the drivetrain for it to be ready to finally fire up for the first time. Check out the extensive coverage below!
For the second year in a row, GridLife Track Battle returns to Autobahn Country Club! The track is beautiful, with three different layouts available to run; North, South, and Full. Saturday was dedicated to Time Attack and other track activities, while Sunday added a drifting demo in as well as a change of course running.
Offset Kings returns to the Chicago area! Our friends over at JDM Chicago and Fatlace worked with GridLife to bring this exclusive car showcase to our area. Featuring a few familiar cars and other new ones, there was a broad range of cars present on the grass. Check out our photo coverage of a few of the cars from this past weekend!
We’ve been keeping it under wraps here at TF, but we have been in the process of collecting parts for a new project that we have yet to do here in shop! More details will be released later, but for now enjoy a small teaser of some photos from Crystal Body Yokohama! CBY has been working with us getting all of the aero for our project car ready and it’s going to be on its way to us soon. Check out their website HERE!
CBY has been tuning with AE86 aero for many years now and has established their place in the market. You can find out more photos of their shop car at NoriYaro (beautiful car, simple and fast!)
This past weekend we ventured out to Gingerman Raceway for the GridLife Midwest event! It was an event unlike any other, featuring drifting, time attack, music festival, vendors and more! The weekend was a massive success and we cannot wait until the next GridLife in Road Atlanta at the end of the summer! We brought out the TF 5.0 Mustang as well as the Time Attack S14 to participate in the road racing aspect of the event to test out new aero on the S14 and shake down the cars.