2014 Queensland Matsuri Prep

The craziest preparation of the year is finally done. Queensland Matsuri 2014 is this weekend and it’s going to be just as insane as last year.

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Last years matsuri at Queensland was so much fun that I told myself I NEED to go again this year. Nothing major has changed with the car apart from new wheels and everything being painted the same colour.

That doesn’t mean I had minimal prep to do though!

I had a full page list of things I needed done, which included paint and a new exhaust but luckily I’d finished all that a couple weeks before.

First up I wanted to reset the height and realign everything. Remember how I said I have a habit of aligning my car for every event? Still happens..

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I had a legitimate reason this time though. After the crash at Winton, the front left had taken some decent impact and thrown it out. It wasn’t far out, but it was enough to notice just looking at it.

I usually do my alignment by string rather than taking it out to an alignment place. I would get it done by machine, but that would mean loading it onto the trailer, towing it to a shop, unloading, reloading, towing. It’s too much of a pain in the ass, especially when it’s so easy to do it at home on a flat surface.

My front camber measured about -11.5º (yes this is overkill, but I like it this way) and toe out was 4-5mm as usual. Castor is as much as I can fit at about 8º, anything past this and everything starts to rub.

Rear end was pretty sweet, just ended up winding out some camber because I lowered the car about 20mm all round.

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A few other bits were fresh fluids throughout the whole car. I changed oil and filter, put in new power steering fluid and bled the system, emptied and refilled coolant and also bled the brake system so I had the fresh hydro feeling again.

Always have to use the good stuff. All that cheap garbage from some car places isn’t coming anywhere near the motor if I don’t want things to break.

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Also pulled out the dash, checked all electrics, hydro mounting point, ECU mount and all fuses. Everything looked good to go so it got cleaned up a bit and put back in. Suprisingly it doesn’t take long to pull out my dash and everything electrical. In total I spent about 3 hours to pull it all out, clean it up, fix some little things, then refit everything. So happy my car only has the necessary wiring rather than the headache of a factory loom.

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For a while my battery mount had been consistently coming loose. After each event it would move slightly and end up in a scary spot. So instead of waiting for it to fall over and possibly start an electrical fire, I decided to make up a super solid mount for it.

I cut up some aluminium sheet and shaped it to hold down the battery from all four sides. Then I got some balustrading fasteners, made some holes in the sheet I had cut and clamped the battery into it’s new home.

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I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon. If for whatever reason it does, I think the floor will go with it.

Next quick thing was bolt check. This may sound a bit ridiculous, but I would rather do a full check now and find something, than drive it and have something come loose and get damaged. Especially if it’s anything to do with the mechanical side.

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One thing I forgot to mention, I suck at bleeding brakes. Yes it’s a simple job, but I just can’t get it right. There is always that one thing that you can’t get done properly and for me it’s bleeding brakes. I HATE DOING IT.

So I had a friend come over quickly and 15 minutes later we had it all working perfectly again. Hydro was feeling so good!

Driveway looked a little sad though.

My bad.

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Another night in the shed, getting closer to being packed and ready to go.

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Each event I go to, I always take a whole bunch of things just in case something goes wrong. I usually take spare pieces of almost everything, mainly for piece of mind but there is always a chance something small will break.

This guy sat around all night and did nothing.

So typical.

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One of the last things was ‘derubberising’ the whole car. I just invented this word.

My car was covered in sticky, disgusting rubber. All over the rear end, covered my front window and all down the side of the car including the mirrors. I think my front tyres were scrubbing so hard it ripped up more rubber than what the rears did. Seems like it anyway.

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Last few days of prep were some very long ones. All night in the shed checking over things and finishing little jobs. Then wednesday was the day it needed to be loaded up on the truck.

Oh that’s one thing I didn’t mention, I’m not towing up to Queensland this year. I would have loved to drive up again but there were a number of factors that made it easy to decide. I don’t have to spend 4-5 days driving up and back, I don’t have to take extra days off work and I don’t need to worry about anything breaking on the Stagea. I’m going on a big transporter with 7 other drift cars, so I’m not with a bunch of random cars luckily! Glad I’m not doing the 2000km drive all the way there and back, instead I get to chill out on a plane and chew bubblegum.

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After a quick wash and 5 minutes of staring at the finished piece, matsuri prep was done. I just had to load it onto the trailer and take it to the transporter on the other side of the city.

As I write this, the car is almost at the track in Ipswich. I’ll see it this afternoon, then saturday morning I will be the first person out on short track.

So.

Damn.

Keen!

See all you Queensland dudes there!

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