Posts Tagged ‘Zilvia’

Recently finished up a gauge panel for my good friend Damon Young. As most of you will know, he use to own the black S13 hatch that was on the cover of Modified Magazine along with mine. However, he has moved on from that and into an EVO VIII. He needed a killer place to install his (3) 52mm Defi gauges and I hooked him up with a nice solution. I typically like to make my custom interior pieces appear to be something the OEM manufacturer would have made… but weren’t cool enough to do so. When they see it, I want people who know nothing about cars to think it came from the manufacturer that way. I want it to look so integrated that it doesn’t look like I did much… even though I spent hours and hours modifying and fabricating it. Well, Damon’s gauge panel demonstrates this philosophy.

For this write-up, I also decided to strictly use my iPhone 5 to take the progress pics. It’s WAY easier than getting out my Canon 50D, setting it up, getting it dirty etc. It worked out great and I will continue to do this for all of my progress pics on future projects… except for my S13 project of course. It receives the full treatment at all times 🙂

Damon sent me his radio/HVAC trim piece to retrofit the gauges into. The radio is getting relocated which gave me a nice spot to mount the gauges. Here is the original piece that he sent me:


The first thing I did was increase the size of the rectangular opening. The three gauges actually sit in the OEM opening fine, but they do not flush into the opening. When possible, I like to flush gauges into the panel I’m modifying. I think it gives an overall finished look and also keeps with the OEM theme. Sure it takes a lot longer to do it, but the results are always worth the hassle in my opinion. So I enlarged the opening on the top and bottom. Next I bonded in a piece of 1/4″ ABS with some Norton Speed Grip 5 minute. As usual, I roughed up all the edges to be bonded with some 80 grit or harsher sand paper prior to bonding. I made sure the ABS had a large enough footprint to squeeze the gauges in while not cutting into any of the surrounding OEM plastic. As you will notice, I had to work within the confinements of the recessed area in the OEM panel. It would have been easier to simply fill in the entire recessed area and then flush the gauges into that, but again, it will look MUCH more OEM if I keep the recessed area intact. Here is a shot of the ABS bonded into place:


Next I sanded all the joints, ABS and the surrounding OEM plastic in the recessed area to give a nice smooth/seamless transition from the original plastic to the new plastic. This is going to receive a smooth finish for the final paint, so it needs to be perfect:


Using a digital caliper, I carefully centered the gauges in the proper spots:


I then used a hole saw to get the hole sized as close as possible. Since there isn’t a hole saw that is exactly the same diameter as the outside diameter of the Defi gauge, then I had to make it small and then enlarge it with a 50 grit sanding drum on an air grinder. I then sanded the hole by hand with 80 grit:


Test fitting the gauges… I didn’t realize the following pic was blurry when I saved it, so sorry about that. It’s unacceptable to me, but it’s the only pic I have where I show them test fit straight on:


Showing off the flushness… Zilvia would be proud. Well, except for the lack of stretched gauge bezels:


I scuffed the entire trim piece down with a red 3M scuff pad. I then sprayed a heavy coat of Dupli-Color Cast Iron Engine Block enamel over the entire piece. I have found in the past that this paint color, Cast Iron, is a very close match to several OEM interior trim panels:


After that dried I wet sand it with 500 grit. I then sprayed a heavy coat again and did the process a few times to get it perfect without any defects, dust etc:


Damon is a very smart man and supplied me with brand new HVAC stickers to apply to the finished piece… and here it is with the gauges mounted in and stickers applied:


I originally was going to do a T56 transmission for my swap. It’s a good trans and it’s what my Sikky trans mount and driveshaft are designed for. However, they are going up in price lately. It’s hard to find one for less than $1500 and seem to average around $1700. Jeff Jordan from Zilvia opened my eyes to how cheap the TR6060’s are going for. They are even more bullet proof than the T56, not to mention that it will have FAR fewer miles since it’s out of a new Camaro. The only thing left was to find one.

I typically Google for TR6060’s every few nights with little luck. Either it’s a trans that was for sale 2 years ago or something that is overpriced… or just no results at all. Well, I came across a WTB thread on I figured I would check to see what luck, if any, the guy was having finding one. Very first reply a guy said he had one that he was selling along with the OEM clutch, hydraulics, OEM pedals, Hurst shifter etc. He wanted $2000 + shipping for everything. Basically he was switching over to an automatic 4L80E for the drag strip… he has a 850-ish whp 5th gen Camaro that was just built. So I promptly become a member on Camaro5 as fast as my man fingers could slap the keyboard. As I go to click on his username to send him a PM, I realize that the dude lives in the same damn town as me… Normal, IL. I thought to myself, you have to be shitting me! Bloomington/Normal is a little over 100,000 people… so it’s not that big. And it’s not like it’s a suburb of a large city… it’s really out in the middle of nowhere. So I end up talking to the guy and the trans is on the east coast where the car was built. But he said he could do everything for $2000 shipped. So I’ll have some extra parts that I can hopefully part out for a few bucks. Looks as though I need to order up that Monster clutch!

As far as pics, nothing major as I have been waiting to post them in a substantial update. But it would be very rude of me to make a new post without some pics. I finally found some black fuel rails. The Black Label ones that I planned on going with have seem to be discontinued. But lucky me Katech just released some a few months back. They are simply FAST rails made for Katech in a black color… and believe or it not the price isn’t jacked up just because it says Katech on them. I also finished all of my hoses including the power steering hoses. Note: the power steering hoses, heater hoses and oil filter hoses will get fastened to the block, frame rail etc to keep them where I want them. I just need to figure out what type of clamps I want to go with. I won’t do that until the hose ends are actually crimped on though. I also got my harness from Chase on there, but I don’t have the coil pack sub harness plugged in yet in these pics.

I also talked to Justin at Sikky today and they have a mount in the works for the TR6060. He informed me that they will be going into production hopefully in a few weeks. They can then just custom make a driveshaft that will work with the TR6060 and my S15 rear-end. Justin(Sikky) has been very pleasant to work with. They have always answered their email within 24 hours and have always been accommodating to me. Thanks again to Sikky!

Posting in this blog about my misfortune with finding a K’s aero bumper was the best thing I ever did.  I have received an onslaught of help/support from people trying to locate me a bumper and/or trying to sell me theirs.  Today I received a PM from the member kouki-gymkhana over on Zilvia.  Here is his PM in short:


I know you are in the market for an s13 aero bumper that meets your discriminating taste. I have a pretty mint bumper that I want to let go and I wanted to give you the first crack at it before I make a general for sale posting.
Why am I offering it you first? Well, I appreciate how active you are with how-to posts and your willingness to help other members out on this forum and on NICO. I would also take great satisfaction in knowing that this bumper helped to complete your awesome coupe build!


So that’s great stuff right there!  I really appreciate him helping me out.  Not to mention that it’s the cheapest aero bumper I have seen for sale regardless of condition.  This thing is pretty damn mint, along with the vent grills etc.  No warping whatsoever… which is common with these bumpers.  So obviously I bought it.  Hell, it’s not even cut out for a front mount yet…. which is bonus since I will be doing a V8 swap and not needing an intercooler.

I’m going to start out by saying that I have been trying to get a K’s aero bumper for almost 4 years now. The price seems to be going up… so it’s usually around $700 plus another $150 to ship it with UPS or Fedex. Even if I was willing to pay $850 shipped, almost every one of these bumpers that pop up for sale are located in California. And for some reason Cali guys refuse to ship. Then by chance if I do find one that the seller is willing to ship, I’m usually too late and it’s already sold.

So last week Kyle sent me two aero bumpers that went up for sale on Zilvia. BUT, they would not ship… go figure! I posted on the one thread where the guy was asking a fair price and it happened to be in perfect condition. I told him that shipping with Greyhound is the way to go. It’s only $60 for something that size and it will actually arrive quicker than with any of the standard shipping methods. He replied back that he really wanted me to have the bumper and he would drive around to some local body shops and try to find a box to ship it in. Very cool, finally someone willing to ship. The next day he PM’s me and says he drove around for 3 hours but ultimately found a box. He told me if I wanted it, to Paypal him the money, and he would get it packed up and ready to ship. Awesome, I instantly pay him and he replies back that he was excited that I was the one buying it and was really looking forward to see how it would look on my car. So now I’m totally pumped that I found an aero bumper at a really good price, really cheap shipping costs and a seller that was actually willing to ship the damn thing. FINALLY!!!!! But hold up… I get an email 6 hours later from Paypal stating that the seller has refunded my money. WTF!?!?! So I go and check my PM’s and sure enough I have a new one from the seller. The seller tells me he should of gave it more thought, but now he doesn’t want to sell the bumper. Are you kidding me? So the elusive aero bumper stays elusive for at least another day. I just don’t think I was meant to have this bumper.

Uhhh yeah, I’m not that well endowed….. but Kyle’s car is now!  Cruising the Zilvia forums months back, Kyle and I noticed the “Dream Stick” advertised by the guys over at Touge Factory.  It was so ridiculous, that I told him if I bought it, he had to run it on his car.  His birthday was also coming up, so a couple of our friends pitched in a few bucks to help me out.  I called up Touge Factory and talked to Scott.  I told him that I needed to order the Dream Stick.  He just starts laughing out loud and tells me how ridonkulous the thing is.  I told him it sounded perfect.  Of course I had to make sure to tell him that I wasn’t actually ordering this behemoth for myself.  Just in case he recognized my name, I didn’t want him to think “what the hell is Broadfield doing?” : )   So I tell him that I was getting it for my friend’s birthday…. then he starts dying laughing again.  He’s like “dude, my friends just bought that damn thing for my birthday last week too!”  So we got a kick out of it.  A couple days later this thing shows up at my shop and I whip it out of the package.  This thing looks like something The Hulk should be sporting.  I mean, it’s 330mm…… for the love of God.  So I guess I’ll let the picture speak for itself…..