Supras in Vegas 2016 - An adventure!

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  1. #1
    An out of line 2J
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    Supras in Vegas 2016 - An adventure!

    Iíd been contemplating about posting something after SIV for a while but kept getting sidetracked. After getting settled from my move, I decided to sit down and type this up. Iím going to share stuff through the span of 2016 (and leading up to SIV), so Iíll apologize in advance for the length of this.

    So 2016 started out much like many others. There were some lofty goals and a desire to get my car to make more power and be faster on the strip. For a little background, Iíd been through 3 motor builds over the years of ownership. There were a lot of ups and downs during those years (latter being the majority). Unexpected failures, long delays, and a myriad of other things; at one point I think the car had been down for about 2 years straight.

    In early 2014 we finally got a motor to operate in a reliable configuration. There was still some strange things happening, but at just under 700 HP it was enough for me to decide to leave it alone. Not ideal for a fully built stroker motor, but I ran the car like this for all of 2014 and 2015. I was able to achieve some goals, getting in the low 10s on the strip and have the car to perform consistently. With SIV drag racing being rained out in 2014, we had some great runs at SIV 2015 while running multiple classes:





    Fast forward back to 2016 I knew I needed to figure out my motor issue to get any faster. Now to make things a little more complicated, my wife and were also expecting our first in March :



    With knowing my free time was going to be minimal this year, it was time to get help from a shop. Coming highly recommended from Stu Hagen, I decided to have the Ishii Motor Industries team in Bellevue, WA take a look at it. The car eventually made it up to Bellevue in late JAN:



    Over the next few months, Ishiiís team poured through the car finding several things that overall contributed to my motor issue. The shortlist essentially included finding an excessive boost leak (compressor and v-band fitting missing/damaged o-rings), compression ratio off from wrong headgasket size (head had been decked multiple times and previous shop had not accounted for this), and re-circulated water hoses on the water pipe (allowing coolant to hot spot in areas and never making it back to radiator). A myriad of other things were found as well but majority of above was causing massive backpressure (heat), coolant not getting through head properly; combined with CR the engine was highly susceptible to knock.

    As with everything car related, some additional ideas crept in to the project but luckily it had little impact on the schedule. I canít remember everything else we did but included:
    New coilovers, R2 bushing kit in just about everything suspension, engine coating, OEM repairs inside and out, intercooler piping repair, and turbo/QSV inspection. As things wrapped up, we got the car cleaned and detailed just in time to dirty it at the track!



    2 days later, I had the car down in Portland getting tuned with John Reed. Feeling confident about how the engine was performing, John got the car to just over 900HP. Fuel pressure started to become an issue at this level so bumped it back down a little and wrapped it up and prepped the car for drag racing.



    The following weekend was a big event in Spokane, which included a private track rental so I could get away with a little more. I made one pass the first day but had to shut down to repair the oil drain line (it was several years old). The next day proved to be exceptional; within a couple passes I had the car in the 9ís including several back-to-back mid 9 second runs. We also had a great day with Stuís car, making multiple mid 10 second passes; a first for his car and a highly sought after goal.



    continued...

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    An out of line 2J
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    After this event, I decided to see if we could tackle the fuel pressure issue by adding a third pump to my surge tank. Back off to Ishii Motors we went! At this point, I really just wanted to see how far I could take the GTX 4294. Knowing I was getting pretty close to what Garrett rates it for, I was doubtful that we would make 4 digits. We set a goal of having it done in time for a re-tune with John prior to the PacNW Supra meet in July.
    While tackling the fuel pressure, we also had to address the wastegate springs as we were nearing the limit of what we could support boost wise. Upon removing one of the gates, we found some additional issues. We also had to repair a leaking diff cover which led down the path of putting billet cover on with additional bushing mounts. Eventually everything came together as planned even with the additional delays in getting replacement parts for the wastegate.




    We put the car back on the dyno just before the PacNW supra meet and put down another ~40hp, getting it to just under 950RWHP. With backpressure being near the limit on the 1.01 housing, we decided to leave it there. We were a little unsure on the torque as the rollers on the dyno were somewhat worn, but a few days later at Speedfactory we finally got a clean number on torque!



    Unfortunately, the weather turned out to be rather poor for the dragstrip at the PacNW Supra event so we didn’t end up making any passes. Being a Friday (unprepped) and a Test N tune event, we weren’t expecting to make anything faster than the earlier Spokane runs. A high likelihood that we would have been kicked out on the first pass as well. Stu’s car and mine at final day of PacNW Supra meet.



    So what does one do? Go ahead and try to make that one pass anyway I took the car up to Pacific Raceways and did some adjustments on my launch control for 2 runs (aborting each after hitting second gear). With everything set, I went ahead and did a full pass. Unfortunately I had forgotten to gap the plugs that were just put in which caused the car to break up a little. And, we forgot to remove the RPM ceiling from the dyno which caused me some delays in shifting. Regardless, it was still enough to run a 9 and warrant some attention from track officials.



    At this point I was happy with everything on the car and ready for SIV 2016. Earlier in the summer, Stu and I had made plans to attend Shift S3ctor in Oregon. We were a little concerned with time frame being two weeks before SIV, but figured it would be ok based on the previous year’s results (both Stu and I had run both days without a single issue).
    Shift S3ctor finally arrives and everything is working great but I had become very complacent and comfortable with running my car without an intake filter. On the second pass the turbo ingested some foreign material in the engine bay and proceeded to destroy itself.



    Stu ended up having issues with his transmission the following day which left us both scrambling for repairs 2 weeks before SIV. By a stroke of good fortune (and some help from my Supra family), I found a repair shop that was able to replace the compressor and rebalance the entire assembly. Things were looking good until the shop realized that the compressor wheel they thought they had was mismarked in the box. The only other option at that point was to buy a new turbo or change my turbo to a 4202 wheel and machine the housing to that size. I had been intrigued with the idea of making 4 digits for a while so I decided to go for it. I also moved from a 1.01 to a 1.15 to accommodate more boost.



    Stu was able to source a transmission replacement but with delays and shipping complications from vendor, the arrival date became rather complicated. My car finished the day before I had to leave for SIV but with the change in compressor and housing, I had to get the car tuned (again). Thankfully John was able to fit me in last minute and the location was along my route to SIV. Stu’s transmission arrived the following day and they worked throughout the afternoon to get it installed and meet the PacNW Supra caravan in Oregon.


    We strapped my car down and within a few hours John had it making 1000+ before we started to run out of room on injector. Content with everything (and extremely relieved that I was able to get repaired before SIV), I began the trek to meet the rest of the PacNW group and start our SIV journey.





    continued...
    Last edited by JustusS; 02-20-2017 at 05:09 PM.

  4. #3
    An out of line 2J
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    Through many laughs and ridiculous conversations, the PacNW group finally arrived in Vegas. Now Vegas adventures could be an entire separate post in itself, so I’ll leave that part out! Let’s just say that sleep is typically not in the equation…



    I was hoping all my car issues were behind me for this final event, but that proved not to be the case. I had decided to leave my DR’s on the car as they had performed extremely well with the additional power. They had also worked well on the dyno with John (making 1k without anyone sitting in back), however we ended up causing some additional stress on the tires. The dual rollers, added weight in back, and lowered tire pressure all contributed to additional heat. And 4 back-to-back runs in 5th gear eventually did one in. Needless to say, given the speed of the tire and people around, we were fortunate that the no one was injured and the car damage was minimal.



    With some very generous help from Dana and his family at VWR, we were able to put two tires on the car and get it back to the hotel for repairs. Getting the damage repaired to best extent possible, I got the car on the trailer and prepped for the track. Early the following morning, I had the failed tire removed and shifted my rims back over to the drag setup.
    The drag event went extremely well and I was able to run the car in two classes again; some of which prevented the car from cooling down in between runs. I had been careful on the back end making sure to shut down in 4th, but on last qualifying I decided to push my luck a bit with LVMS staff. I went ahead and stayed in 4th a little longer; dipping in to the 9’s. This proved to be a bad idea as the track official disqualified me and made me re-inspect through tech control. While they had been cutting us some slack (letting us and GTRs run as ‘OEM’ cars in the 10s without additional safety requirements), they were not going to budge on anything faster. I was allowed to complete tech inspection again but warned that any additional 9 second runs would be grounds for immediate disqualification. So I was little annoyed but understand their reasons and the safety considerations for doing so.



    In order to keep the car as close to 10’s as possible, I trimmed some power out in the launch and left a fair amount on top end in case I needed to power past someone. I was able to pedal the car in low tens for all my remaining runs and was able to take the final in ‘6spd class’, but eventually lost in the VS the World class final to a well-tuned GTR (10.0 to my 10.1). Considering how close this was to having us both disqualified, it was a great finish and a fun race overall even with the loss! And I couldn’t have asked for anything better than a great weekend with Supra friends and the support from PacNW family



    So with the SIV 2016 adventure over and making the long journey back, it was finally time to relax right?! Wait – I forgot mention to mention I’d been planning a move to Hawaii 2 weeks after SIV!! With the car stored away and being cared for by a good friend, I spent the next two weeks packing and getting ready to move.



    The month of October is essentially a blur; I’m not even sure how we made it through that chaos. But we arrived in Hawaii and began our next adventure; my family on the beach 3 weeks after SIV!



    While my life was chaotic in 2016 and there were probably a lot of excuses to skip SIV, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I’ve met some extraordinary people in this community and we are fortunate to continue to have a venue that allows us to get together every year. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to attend this event in the past and regardless of where my journey takes me in the future; I certainly hope SIV is a part of it.

    -Justus
    Last edited by JustusS; 02-20-2017 at 08:54 PM. Reason: spelling

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    I was there for most of this, been a crazy ride for sure, way to not give up. Justus hopefully you can figure out a way to make it to SIV and maybe another event this year.

    Can't wait to come visit you in Hawaii.

    John
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    GREAT story, Justus and incredible perseverance. Nothing better than the Supra community.

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    Thanks for posting bud, was a good read. Glad to see I wasn't the only one scrambling to make things work out last year. You were a wee bit (ok, a lot bit) more successful than I was out on track, I must admit.

    I remember that race versus that Integra, he was coming for you fast on the top end, I never realized how close it was until seeing that time slip. Great job on that (and the others) run.

    So, I know Hawaii is a long ways out there, but planning on attending SIV this year?
    -Brad
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    Excellent read Justus, thanks for putting the time in to write this thread. You have always put on a great show at SIV and with each year you out do yourself. The back stories on how you make SIV possible are always entertaining to read.

    Cheers to you and your family on your new adventures in Hawaii!
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    Thanks for sharing. I recall Jake & Stu telling me the story and the little setbacks here and there but you made it. I think most will forever recall the famous Dyno tire pop as I did LOL.
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    Cool story man. Def surprised folks let you run those tires on the twin roller dynos. They are known to chew them up! Glad no one was hurt.

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    Hell of a story! It reads like a case study on not giving up until you get to your goals!
    Everyone was on their feet cheering after you passed that crazy fast Integra on the big end!
    The dyno tire destruction was exciting too, even if for the wrong reasons. Kudos again to Devin the dyno operator for getting things stopped fast and preventing the damage from being any worse!

    I hope the Hawaii life treats you and your family well, and I hope to see you and your car at SIV sometime in the future!
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    Nice read Justus. Wish you and your family all the best for this new adventure in life. And I hope to see you again somewhen in Future in the surrounding of Vegas!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaky View Post
    I was there for most of this, been a crazy ride for sure, way to not give up. Justus hopefully you can figure out a way to make it to SIV and maybe another event this year.

    Can't wait to come visit you in Hawaii.

    John
    John, I certainly can't imagine having made it through this year without the help from my PacNW friends. Always having a place to crash down there for late night dyno sessions and constant company, so grateful to you and your family! I can honestly say that between you and Stu H, you guys are the only reason I that my passion for this car remained alive. The numerous times you would toss me keys to one of your cars while mine was down, can't thank you enough my friend

    Hope to see you and the family out in HI soon!

    Quote Originally Posted by KenHenderson View Post
    GREAT story, Justus and incredible perseverance. Nothing better than the Supra community.

    Ken.
    Ken, thank you so much. You've always been so supportive, including my crazy last minute engine failure before SIV13. This community is blessed to have OG of your character.

    Quote Originally Posted by te72 View Post
    Thanks for posting bud, was a good read. Glad to see I wasn't the only one scrambling to make things work out last year. You were a wee bit (ok, a lot bit) more successful than I was out on track, I must admit.

    I remember that race versus that Integra, he was coming for you fast on the top end, I never realized how close it was until seeing that time slip. Great job on that (and the others) run.

    So, I know Hawaii is a long ways out there, but planning on attending SIV this year?
    Brad - thanks man. I don't know yet. Been talking to Miguel already, I think regardless I'll be there. Just a matter on if my car will make it down.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveT View Post
    Excellent read Justus, thanks for putting the time in to write this thread. You have always put on a great show at SIV and with each year you out do yourself. The back stories on how you make SIV possible are always entertaining to read.

    Cheers to you and your family on your new adventures in Hawaii!
    Thank you Dave. Super grateful to you, Miguel, and Andrew for continuing to put on this event. I know if usually comes at the expense of your own participation so others can enjoy, thanks for everything you guys do!

    Quote Originally Posted by RikTT View Post
    Thanks for sharing. I recall Jake & Stu telling me the story and the little setbacks here and there but you made it. I think most will forever recall the famous Dyno tire pop as I did LOL.
    Thanks - yeah crazy ride for sure. I certainly won't forget the feeling I had sitting in the car when it blew...a lot of things were going through my mind at the time!

    Quote Originally Posted by 1A1 View Post
    Cool story man. Def surprised folks let you run those tires on the twin roller dynos. They are known to chew them up! Glad no one was hurt.

    Steve K.
    Thank you Steve. Yeah I don't know about those tires or just dual rollers in general. There aren't too many DR styles that are good for 1/2mile | 1mile events and/or are DOT approved (including Mojave) but originally had them on for half event. Definitely not much info about those specific tires failing on a dyno, but another member I spoke to said he had some significant damage on his after a dyno session as well (on dual rollers). I was watching a car earlier in the day (which I think was on R888) and you could see the rubber coming off those as well. Unfortunate that it went unnoticed, but I was probably overconfident from the 20+ runs we had done on the single roller 2 days prior.


    I'm feel like if I had been outside and seen the deflection on the tire during the run I would have stopped it. We probably had the answer in front of us but we all got wrapped up in the moment of making a good number. It was already over 900 trq and spinning but we added more power to it; just not clear thinking. We probably could have just backed it down a bit and made 900hp without issue.

    Live and learn - and yes fortunate no one was injured.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wreckless View Post
    Hell of a story! It reads like a case study on not giving up until you get to your goals!
    Everyone was on their feet cheering after you passed that crazy fast Integra on the big end!
    The dyno tire destruction was exciting too, even if for the wrong reasons. Kudos again to Devin the dyno operator for getting things stopped fast and preventing the damage from being any worse!

    I hope the Hawaii life treats you and your family well, and I hope to see you and your car at SIV sometime in the future!
    Thanks Jeff. Conversations with you and Steve T, Steve I, and some of the other OG are always a good time :0
    I think we had known each other for maybe a day when you offered to help with my car at VWR (SIV15), crawling under the car with some phone lights! So many great OG guys who are supportive in this community!

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous01 View Post
    Nice read Justus. Wish you and your family all the best for this new adventure in life. And I hope to see you again somewhen in Future in the surrounding of Vegas!
    Thank you Paul! Was great to meet both you and Andy and stoked that you guys made the journey. I guess I have no excuse in making a short flight back for SIV17 compared to yours!!

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    The owner of the dyno should know better. Those dual roller dynos destroy tires and are not a good design at all. The single roller dynos are much better as far as tires go because there is much less heat and the tire is sitting on top vs the dual roller where the tire sits in between.

    Steve K.

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    Another thanks for putting this thread together - Great pics, write-up and tales!

    Gets me looking forward toSIV '17 : )
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1A1 View Post
    The owner of the dyno should know better. Those dual roller dynos destroy tires and are not a good design at all. The single roller dynos are much better as far as tires go because there is much less heat and the tire is sitting on top vs the dual roller where the tire sits in between.

    Steve K.
    Steve,

    In Devin's defense, he did advise against airing down. IIRC they aired down twice trying to get it to quit spinning on the dyno. It was VERY close to setting the high HP number for the day, so I can sympathize heavily with Justus's decision there. It's also obvious from his narrative here that he knew full well the risks and owned the decision.

    Like you, I don't care for dual roller dynos (especially after working at a shop with two dynos, both single-roller designs) but the decision was made anyway. Honestly, pinning any kind of blame on Devin for this incident would be a bit unfair and undeserved. Devin gave sound advice against airing down, and Devin's immediate shutdown after the tire failure likely saved a considerable amount of further damage to the car. Given the situation and the failure, you couldn't have asked for a better dyno operator to be sitting in the driver's seat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wreckless View Post
    Steve,

    In Devin's defense, he did advise against airing down. IIRC they aired down twice trying to get it to quit spinning on the dyno. It was VERY close to setting the high HP number for the day, so I can sympathize heavily with Justus's decision there. It's also obvious from his narrative here that he knew full well the risks and owned the decision.

    Like you, I don't care for dual roller dynos (especially after working at a shop with two dynos, both single-roller designs) but the decision was made anyway. Honestly, pinning any kind of blame on Devin for this incident would be a bit unfair and undeserved. Devin gave sound advice against airing down, and Devin's immediate shutdown after the tire failure likely saved a considerable amount of further damage to the car. Given the situation and the failure, you couldn't have asked for a better dyno operator to be sitting in the driver's seat.
    Fully agree, Devin is a great guy. One note of clarification though, because I quite vividly remember how the conversation went. I had already done the 3rd pull and he offered to try a 4th to see if we could get it a little higher. I had been watching the runs on the laptop (tuner was remoted in as well) and was a little apprehensive about going again with runs being in 5th gear. Devin asked me where I had the tires at and I stated in the high 20's based on the type of tire (referencing that I didn't want to be too low), he then offered to try lowering them slightly by a couple PSI; I agreed that we could give it a shot.

    I don't hold any fault with Devin, it was my choice to do the 4th run and I agreed to lower the tires. It was maybe 3-4psi total removed, but with all the other stress from rollers, weight in back, and 5th gear it was enough.
    The risks are inherent with these activities and sometimes unfortunate things happen. As stated, Devin's reaction clearly saved my car from damage being a lot worse.

    So let's leave the dyno discussion at that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JustusS View Post
    Brad - thanks man. I don't know yet. Been talking to Miguel already, I think regardless I'll be there. Just a matter on if my car will make it down.
    If you can't make it with the car and could enjoy something a great deal slower, I'd be happy to let you take mine down the track for a few runs. I figure best case it's a mid-12 car once I get things sorted out, at least at the current power level.

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    Justus, thank you very much for writing down your story. It was a very enjoyable read. You own an impressive car, as we have seen in Vegas in Person. It was a pleasure meeting you and as Paul wrote, I truly hope, that we cross paths again some day in Vegas. I wish you and your family all the best for your next adventure in Hawaii.
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    An out of line 2J
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    Quote Originally Posted by te72 View Post
    If you can't make it with the car and could enjoy something a great deal slower, I'd be happy to let you take mine down the track for a few runs. I figure best case it's a mid-12 car once I get things sorted out, at least at the current power level.
    Thanks Brad, appreciate the offer!

    Quote Originally Posted by ANKRacing View Post
    Justus, thank you very much for writing down your story. It was a very enjoyable read. You own an impressive car, as we have seen in Vegas in Person. It was a pleasure meeting you and as Paul wrote, I truly hope, that we cross paths again some day in Vegas. I wish you and your family all the best for your next adventure in Hawaii.
    Andy, so grateful to have met both you and Paul and be a part of your stateside adventure; glad you guys made the effort to endure the travel! You guys were the first to greet Stu and I when we arrived, was a perfect start to Vegas . We're blessed to have a club that's allowed so many of us to come together and share/laugh/do ridiculous stuff. It's pretty incredible the influence this event has had on me personally for both friendships and community. Thank you for the well-wishes and hoping we'll both end up in Vegas again in the future!

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    When is the next event?

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    2016 was also a crazy year for my car, family, and us moving out of state to GA. I can certainly understand the stress and magnitude of the situation. This is such a great story, I love when we get more than just the car story and get the complete story. Thumbs up!!!!

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