Winton Winter Matsuri 2014

My matsuri last month wasn’t good enough to split into 2 days so I’ll recap all of it in one. Pretty disappointing weekend overall.


To start with, I’ll just say that matsuri for me a couple weeks ago was one of the worst weekends I’ve had in a while. Not because of the event, but because of my shit luck.

I finished prep at 3am on friday morning, 7 hours before I was meant to be on the way to the track. The car was all ready to go, tyres fitted and things checked over.

6am friday morning my alarm went off so I went to the shed and got the car out for a quick wash.


The sun makes it insanely red for some wierd reason.


Started it up and checked over everything again just make sure it was still ok. The paper gasket I used as a temporary fix worked perfectly! I was a bit nervous about using it at first because it’s basically just paper. Yes paper. I thought it would just burn or get screwed up pretty quick. Luckily it was still all together and working perfectly.

Hooked up the trailer, loaded the 180sx and put all the other bits in the Stagea.


I also made some little starter ramps a couple weeks earlier to make it a bit easier to get the car on and off the trailer. It still bottoms out but isn’t as bad as before. Pretty happy with how they turned out though!

Loaded up a friends car as well and got on the freeway just before lunch. Keen as hell to get to the track and drive again.


Stopped off at the usual spot for some food and fuel.


Finally got there just after gates opened. Unloaded the cars and tools and parked up for the night.

Saturday morning everything was set to go! I just had to get scrutineered quickly before drivers briefing and it was ready for first session.


I headed out just after the session started and did a slow run through the first half of the track. Once I got to the rear section I threw it in and tried to power out, at this point the car felt super wobbly. Never felt it like this before, I thought it had just destroyed a driveshaft or possibly had one of the tyres come off the bead. I tried to crawl back to the pits as easy as possible but it was getting much worse. By the time I came into the pitlane the car started to crab walk.

Had to stop in the middle of the pits and see what the hell was wrong.


Turns out 4 of the 5 wheel studs on my passenger rear hub had snapped off. So I was driving with a single wheel stud holding the wheel on.

I grabbed the jack and some bolts so I could at least get the car back to my pit bay. At this point it started pouring rain pretty heavily so I got a bit drenched. A few friends brought over an umbrella and helped out with some tools which made it faster and much easier.

Got the car back to my pit bay and contemplated some options for some fixes.


I called a few local shops to see if I could sort out a new rear hub but had no luck. The big problem was that 2 of the studs had snapped off inside the hub which meant even if I were to get new studs, I would only have 3.

The rest of the day was pretty average. The car sat there all day doing nothing. I guess the only positive was that it wasn’t covered in mud like 90% of the other cars.

Later in the afternoon, one of my friends said he might have a pair of rear hubs back home in Melbourne. I thought I could possibly go and pick them up but wasn’t too keen on the 7 hour return trip. Luckily we had another friend who was driving up saturday so he brought them up with him!

Simply put, I had the bits to fix it for sunday!


I grabbed the hubs late saturday night and got some sleep with a bit of confidence for sunday morning.

Got up at 6am and straight out to the track to pull stuff apart and get it working again.

Took a little longer than expected to get off because I didn’t take off all the arms. Took just over an hour to get the old hub off and the new one on!


I finished up a couple minutes before the sunday drivers briefing then just had to go over everything and make sure it was still running smooth. Also made sure my wheel nuts were the tightest thing on the damn car.

I took it for a little drive through the pits and everything felt sweet!

Winton had a brand new skid pan that we were allowed onto over the weekend so I went and lined up for a run to see how everything would go.


This was also the first time I got to give it a solid run with the new turbo and intake pipe setup.

30 seconds later and I was the happiest I’d been all weekend!! Everything was running perfectly and the new intake setup sounded pretty awesome!


I had so much fun on skid pan I lined up again with a few friends and did a few more runs. It might look boring but when you get to drive with people you know, it makes it so much better.


Got in a few tandems as well!


After a few sessions I headed back to the pits to check over everything and see if there were any problems. Luckily nothing was wrong so it was good to go out on main track for some more runs!


I got out on main track for 2 or 3 sessions and in the last session somehow the car started to run really poorly. I thought I’d split a silicone joiner so had to pull in and start taking stuff apart to find the problem. I thought I had a very small split in one of the hoses but it didn’t end up fixing the problem.

By this time it was about 3pm and there was only a couple hours left. I looked around at a whole bunch of things but couldn’t get anywhere with it so decided it was time to load everything up and get ready to head home.

Ended up getting home pretty late after we stopped for some food and a quick sleep. Had to unload everything the next morning and think about what the problem might be.


It wasn’t until the weekend after matsuri that I found the problem. I was pushing the car out of the shed and as I closed the door I noticed something hanging from behind the dash in the passenger foot well.


It was the hose for the MAP sensor that connects to the ECU. Without this, the car will run like garbage. It won’t idle properly, won’t hold a consistent rev range and also sounds like shit.

So I connected it..


And tried starting the car. Everything was back to normal! Hours of pulling shit apart and trying to find the split when all it needed was a hose to be reconnected.

Really disappointed I didn’t notice this when I was at the track. From now on I’ll be checking everything ECU related as well. I also made sure the hose was attached properly so it won’t pop off in future.

Apart from that the car was running great!

Yes the weekend was shit in regards to my track time, but I met some new people, saw some old friends and went for some really fun passenger rides with people. The car is running 100% still so if I can afford it, I will try and get to a practise day as soon as I can.



Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s