Sneige Factory – JZA80 Supra Build Pt 7 – The Aftermath

Santapod was pretty eventful for all concerned. The Supra got there, did days worth of drifting and got home, practically without missing a beat. Matthew the workshop monkey took his Z4 out and went drifting for the first time ever. He was actually pretty bloody good – I was impressed. I also got to meet up with a heap of old buddies that I hadn’t seen in effin ages. Much enjoy.

I guess the big question is how did the Supra actually perform? Well, it performed pretty bloody well actually. It was beautifully balanced, had good lock (mainly due to Dale’s modifications of the knuckles) and I felt very comfortable driving it all the way to the lock stops.

It did have one fairly significant issue however and that was the power, torque and it’s delivery. Now, I know it’s an NA car and they aren’t known for having bags of puff but I think this engine is particularly asthmatic. I was having to clutch kick it in 2nd gear with 205/40/16 tyres at 50psi.

To give that some context, when drifting you can usually get around a lack of power by running narrower or smaller tyres with higher tyre pressures. The more tyre pressure, the smaller the contact patch on the tarmac = less grip. Also, the smaller the tyre, the smaller rotational radius and you have the whole ‘big cog small cog’ gearing thing come into play. You just can’t really run anything much smaller than a 16 on a Supra as it struggles to clear the brakes and the skirts start grinding out on the floor.

Needless to say, it was still more fun than an adult channel escort, but as this car is a running, driving project I thought it might be a good opportunity to look at the entire car as a blank slate and decide what the best option for a base engine might be in the future.

More of that later.

Right now we had a different problem. On the way back to the workshop, power seemed to be down even more than usual and there was some unusual resonance coming from the exhaust. When we got it up on the ramp we couldn’t see much of anything that seemed to be causing an issue, right up to the point when I disconnected the exhaust and found that one of the ‘exceptional’ welds that had been done wasn’t cutting the mustard

epic welding
Much penetration

A contributing factor to the exhaust ‘break up’ was undoubtedly the fact that:

a) The car is low as hell

b) The exhaust was grinding out on cat’s eyes (seriously) and positively twatting anything bigger causing anybody trailing the Supra to be showered in sparks. Call it a….(snigger) golden shower?

So Mathew the workshop monkey and I took to removing and re-welding all the crap joins in the exhaust while adjusting the angle of certain sections to give much better ground clearance.


With that job complete and the exhaust now secure and not aborting small plastic felines, it pretty much concluded what I had classed as ‘Phase One’ of this project. Also known as ‘get it working properly, get it legal, get it driving nicely’

Click for the next chapter: Part Eight: Choices Choices


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