Monthly Archives: November 2009

Debuting Project Ralliart Sportback

Mr. Tomei is now working with Mitusubishi Corporate on a 30-day build of the Ralliart Sportback.  I’ll copy and paste what Jason wrote since it’s kinda pointless for me to paraphrase what he wrote.

Watching David, I always feel like I’m a day late and several thousands of dollars short, but here goes. I’m kicking of a 30 day build up on a Ralliart Sportback.

The Lancer Ralliart was initially developed to be a tuner version of the already popular Mitsubishi Lancer. It includes the turbocharged 4B11 platform and SST transmission, while Recaro and Technology packages come as available options.

The Sportback is a version of the same vehicle, but designed for the European markets where BMW, Audi and Mercedes wagons are already popular. It’s not designed to compete with the “domestic euros” but it is geared to go head to head with Mazda, Subaru and VW ones (VW being a domestic euro, I know).

Right now, I’m going to start building it from the ground up, in partnership with Robi-Spec Race Suspensions. While everyone else is eating turkey, this Thursday, we’ll be out in the shop, installing a race suspension, big brake kit and rolling the bejesus out of the rear fenders to accommodate the current BBS wheels and future RE30s.

Power will later be added from Tomei Powered (of course) and a few other goodies I have left over from my current Evolution MR build. Aero may come from a variety of sources. I’m considering an evo retrofit for the front to allow for a charge speed kit, but I may go for the OEM(+) look. I’m not certain yet.

This shot is before I spent the day detailing it, but after I spent 3 days working the fenders, fitting the wheels, dropping the car and re-tuning the suspension.

The wheels are a temporary fix until the RAYS arrive.

If you build anything, it’s best to start from the ground up. The highest building starts with a strong foundation. And the same goes for cars and suspension. You can make Godzilla power all day, but if you can’t keep it on the pavement, what good is it?

Enter Robert Fuller of Robi-Spec:

Robert is heavily involved in my other Mitsubishi projects and was the logical choice for the Sportback as well. He’s had his for nearly a year now and has a wrap sheet of all the ins/outs, tips/tricks that you need to make these cars stick.

I called Robi up on Monday the 23 with a tight schedule. He, not being a stranger to time constraints) scheduled me for Thursday. Yeah…Thanksgiving! So while everyone else is grubbing on turkey, we were shivering in the Hysperia based shop getting the pre-lims out of the way for the new suspension.

Currently, we’re running a set of BBS 18×8.5 +28 BBS wheels off an Evolution X, MR. We’ll be swapping these out for a nice set of RAYS wheels later, but for the mean time, they are a great upgrade over stock. Unfortunately, they rub…a lot….at stock height. Thus we needed to cut, roll and pull the fenders slightly to insure we wouldn’t be feathering the sides of our tires on the track.

I do not recommend you try this at home, however, here are the steps we took:

1. The first thing you we did was cut away all the insulation at the base from the base of the fenders. We took a sharp blade and pretty much just scrapped it off. If you use a grinder, the insulation melts and makes a huge mess.

2. After this was done, we ground the rest of the fender to make a clean surface which we sealed with black primer after the fenders were rolled. This also prevents the paint from cracking unpredictably.

3. The fenders were then notched and we (he) began to slowly and carefully work the fender away from where it would have impacted the wheels/tires.

4. A quick touch of with black primer and the car is good to go!

Friday rolled around and it was time to get get a set of lowering springs onto the car. Robi commissioned Progress Technology to create a spring with a rate best suited for the Ralliart. These, plus a few other tricks can push the potential parallel to the capabilities of most coil over set ups.

Robert was not available Friday, so it was off to SS Racing in Alta Loma. With a 12-pack of blue moon in one hand, new springs in the other and pizza in the other (not sure where the third arm came from) we set to work.

Over all, it was a lot of hard work cussing and a short knife fight with a spider named chuck who tried to bumb a smoke (big spider).

Once the spings were in and the ride height settled, everything looked great. The ride is very comfortable compared to stock and after a trip back to Robi-Spec the following day, the turn in and holding power is dramatically improved. The last part of “stage 1″ will be the addition of a rear sway bar from white-line. Early next year, we’ll move to a more aggressive stage 2 (stay tuned).

Stay tuned for more!

Time Attack

Redline Time Attack was held at Fontana Auto Club Speedway on Nov. 14 -15 2009. Me and Eric went on the Nov. 15. We only stayed for a couple hours. We did see most of the cars run in the event. Unfortunately we missed the Cricket NSX. It was still in the pits getting worked on since it had some problems. Hopefully we will make it the next Redline event and see a.ll the cars run.

All You Can Eat

Found another great place to eat Korean BBQ. Wang Dae Po has an all you can eat menu or you can just order other Korean dishes off the menu. I love the meat they severed for the all you can eat. They also serve the meat with some great tasting sauces. Can’t wait to go back soon.


Wang Dae Po

3871 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90010 (213) 380-6500

Wrapping Takata Shoulder Belts on a Harness Bar

Most Takata harness owners, including myself, mount their shoulder belts to the rear seat belt bolts.  In fact, Takata Racing’s installation guide specifies to mount the shoulder belts to the rear seat belt bolts.  The following are pictures of my car and Team Tarzan’s Impreza, depicting Takata harnesses mounted to the rear seat belt bolts.



According to several American racing organizations and rules, it is unsafe to mount the shoulder belts to the rear seat belt bolts because it imposes a substantial “downward” load on your body.  This can cause spinal compression in an accident.  If you yank on your shoulder belts to simulate an accident, it is pretty apparent and it makes perfect sense.

To quote SCCA General Competition Rules:

The shoulder harness shall be mounted behind the driver and supported above a line drawn downward from the shoulder point at an angle of twenty (20) degrees with the horizontal. The seat itself, or anything added only to the seat shall not be considered a suitable guide. Guides must be a part of the roll cage or a part of the car structure.


Not to trivalize this issue, I found it interesting that it seems that “only” American racers find it unsafe to mount the shoulder belts to the rear seat belt bolts.  Japanese and some European racers don’t have an issue with it.  However, I figured you can’t go wrong wrapping the shoulder belts to the harness bar.

For the longest time, I thought it was “impossible” to wrap Takata harnesses to a harness bar because Takata utilized a snap-in bracket that is sowed in.  I was told that you had to “un-sow” your harness to remove the snap-in bracket, something that I was not looking forward to doing on a $400 harness.  This turned out to be not true.

A few days ago at the Redline Time Attack, I spoke with James Elterman, who’s piloting the Takata Time Attack Impreza.  (Off topic, I will post a few pictures of his car as well as coverage of the event.)  I asked him how he mounted his Takata shoulder belts.  He was kind enough to show and explain to me what he did.  He used Schroth 3″ 3 bar slides.  This is actually pretty easy and I should have done it a lot earlier.

Here are the Schroth’s 3″ 3 bar slides.  I picked them up locally from Werks II Motorsports in Burbank for $2.50 each.


Here is what a Takata shoulder belt looks like, “unmodified” to mount to the rear seat belt bolts.


“Disassembling” the Takata snap-in bracket.


Throwing on the Schroth 3 bar slide.


After following Schroth’s 3 bar slide wrapping instructions, here is the end result.  Oh, by the way, it’s a bitch to fit the final strap end in slot 2.  The Takata strap end is folded, sowed, and burned, making it “too fat” to fit in the slot after a few wraps.  It’s going to be a bitch to unwrap the entire thing so try to measure and fit everything out correctly before you do the final wrap and tighten everything down.



For Takata harness owners with harness bars, you should look into wrapping your shoulder belts on your harness bar.  It’s a lot safer because it prevents spinal compression as well as having less slack in an accident.  For those worried about the Takata long harness and excess strap end, it works out pretty well, as seen in the above picture.  Furthermore, it’s recommended that you have 4″ of excess strap.

M&M Honda Carbon Diffuser Canards

Double D Garage helped Matt source a set of M&M Honda Carbon Diffuser Canards.  This set should be the first set in the United States and will also fit the First Molding Rear Diffuser.  He snapped a few pictures so check it out.



If you’re interested in ordering these diffuser canards, please contact for best pricing.  We also have access to the entire M&M Honda and First Molding catalog.

Best Nachos In LA

I love to get Mexican food at Carnitas Michoacan. I normally order the nacho special and the carne asada burrito. Make sure to get the nacho cheese in a cup, if your taking it to go.  This place is also open 24 hours.



Carnitas Michoacan

1901 N Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90031  (323) 224-9044

SEMA 2009: Mopar Alley

Every year, Mopar Alley connects the performance hall and wheels hall.  It’s also something to look forward to while crossing over to the wheels hall as they host some pretty badass American muscle.

Jesse K’s 1992 BNR32 Nissan Skyline GTR

I’m going to take a little detour from the 2009 SEMA coverage and post something that I have been really lagging on.  Back in October, at JTuned Auto Gallery / Formula D, Jesse approached me and asked if I am Double D Garage.  I answered “yes” and also gave due credit to Dat.  I was pretty stoked that someone outside of our immediate retired Hybrid friends and ClubRSX members were familiar with my blog.  We started chatting a bit and apparently he got sent to Formula D for free as a winner of the “Need for Speed Sweet 16 Contest”.  Anyways, he’s got a pretty sweet 1992 Black BNR32 Nissan Skyline GTR, pushing 541.6 HP at 8081 RPMs and 400 ft/lbs of torque at 7202 RPMs.  Take a look at his specs, pictures, and video of exhaust note.

  • BCNR33 N1 Block bored to 2.7 liter
  • HKS GT 2540 Turbos
  • Feast Built Engine, Ported Head, Balanced Crank, Rods, and Pistons
  • M’s Air Filters
  • 550CC Injector
  • HKS Regulator
  • HKS Piping Kit
  • Greddy Intercooler
  • Kakimoto 4″ Downpipes back Exhaust System
  • HKS Front Pipe
  • Laminova Custom Aluminum Radiator
  • Exedy Carbon Clutch
  • Feast Original Catch Tank
  • OEM Veilside Chipped ECU + HKS F-Con V 3 ECU
  • Jun 264/IN 9.7mm 274/EX 9.7mm cams
  • 9 Point Roll Cage (Bolt in)
  • Sparco Star Seat
  • Personal Wheel
  • Omori Oil Pressure, Oil Temp, Water Temp DIN Gauge Set
  • Greddy Boost Gauge
  • Greddy EGT Guage
  • HKS EVC 4
  • Ultra Speed Meter
  • Pioneer DEH-P710
  • N1 Bumper Ducts
  • Rays TE37 Wheels 18×9.5 +22
  • Falken Azeni RT615 245/40/18
  • Alcon 355mm 4-Pot Front Brakes
  • HKS Kansai Front Tower Bar
  • Rear Tower Bar
  • Solid Aluminum Body Mounts
  • ST. Boeso Suspension Kei office front springs eibach rear
  • Stainless steel brake lines
  • HKB steering wheel hub
  • Dual inlet fuel rail with stainless lines to a high flow fuel filter

It was a pleasure to meet you Jesse.  If any other Double D Garage blog readers got some interesting content you would like me to post, send me what you got to  Otherwise, say “hi” to us at the next show!