Friday, April 8, 2016

The Track Car Project: Part 3... moving forward!

Well, the inspection went well. The car passed on the first try. At the inspection center, I had a nice long chat with the owner of the Mitsubishi Evo MR pictured below. He was sent to inspection by the police due to his tinted windows. There was also a Porsche Speedster replica waiting for his own inspection. It seemed to be really well-executed.

So the whole inspection aspect worked out really well, as I was able to register the car in my name on the same day as the seller's temporary registration was expiring. I could finally drive the car without worrying! I headed to the city offices to get my resident parking sticker, but it closes at 1:00 pm on Fridays, so I would have to do without, which resulted in some strategic parking over the next few days (I finally got the sticker before yesterday).

I decided to try to install the coilovers on my own, but as soon as I got to the first major suspension bolt, I was forced to give up. The job would need a lift and/or some real tools. I decided to make an appointment for Thursday with my friend and mechanic Marc.

Front coilover, fully assembled
Rear coilover, some assembly required
Despite the snow and slush, I decided to go to the appointment yesterday. As I had hoped, Marc made quick work of the job (I was able to help him when two people were needed). When he was done and we lowered the car off the lift, it looked like there was about an inch of toe-in. A drive around the block confirmed that the car was unsafe to drive home in that state. Marc adjusted the toe almost to the limit of toe out, and the car, to the naked eye, looked OK. I drove it around the block and all seemed fine, so I drove it home. 

On the lift, ready for some new suspension
Front installed
Marc assembles a rear coilover
It snowed again overnight, so I decided to postpone the visit to the alignment shop until next week. One thing that surprised me on the way home: the ride is actually less harsh with the coilovers than with the stock suspension. Maybe my old shocks were almost dead? Anyway, this is how the car looked as of this morning. So next steps: alignment, buy and install some tires, replace the brake fluid and I should be ready for my first track outing!

The car now sits 1.5 inches lower in front, 1 inch lower in the rear.

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