Looking Legit

By July 23, 2012Automotive, Neil, Racing

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It has been a while since I did a car post, so I guess I will take a moment to explain why. In 2011 I took the year off of racing to transform my 2003 Nissan 350z from a street car into a full-time track car. If you are an automotive enthusiast you will know that this is no small feat, both monetarily and the immense time investment.

There is a good rule of thumb that says when you consider taking on such a project, begin estimating the time and money required, and when you arrive at a total, just go ahead and double it, and you will then be close to the actual time and cost by the end of the project. This has held true here.

I am been proud to say that outside of my roll cage fabrication by the epic fabricator Scott Rhea at Izzy’s Custom Cages, I have done all of the work on the car myself, and typically all by myself (Jes is willing to help if I need it). It has definitely been a labor of love, blood, sweat, tears..

Motivation is often hard to find to get down and dirty and work on the car. Especially with our lives being so busy. I have a regular 8-5 job, and then we have our freelance web development business, time at the CrossFit Gym, yard/house work, cooking, blogging, and my other hobbies such as computer gaming, hiking/backpacking, and social events with friends. It is like I am an ambitious adult or something, how the fuck did that happen?

But anyhow before this post gets too off topic I will say that progress on the car is picking up!

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Recently Jes and I painted the roll cage with some POR15 brush-on paint. POR15 is an anti-rust paint that is guaranteed to never rust. Installing it consists of 2 parts. The first coat is the POR15, a kind-of sealing paint that bonds to the bare steel of the cage and protects it from rusting. Because POR15 is UV sensitive, it then requires a “topcoat” to finish it off.

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For that purpose, we then installed several coats of POR15 hardnose paint. This topcoat earns its name as it is very tough when it dries, almost like a powder coat. You can literally take a wrench to it and bang on the metal and this paint will not chip. This is ideal for the roll cage because when you are entering and exiting the car you can often ding the cage with the metal harness buckles and other things and cause chips on a traditional paint.

Brushing on POR15 is easy, and it is a “self leveling” paint so even though it may look to have brush streaks at first, it levels itself out and turns into a smooth coat. We think it turned out great!

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This past weekend I spent some time finishing up a few little things. First I added some SFI Roll Cage Padding. This fire retardant padding is intended to soften the blow of your helmet or extremities in the event of a crash. It feels very hard at first, but when you consider the velocity that your helmet or arms may be traveling during a crash you will need something very dense to absorb that energy.

I also added the driver side window net. This keeps your body in the car in the event of a crash or roll over. The last thing you want is your arms flailing outside of the car and getting crushed or worse.

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And there you have it, the car is really starting to look legit now and that even further motivates me to get it finished.

If you got this far reading, thanks, and I hope you enjoyed the post. If you would like to see or know more about my racing or the car please let me know in the comments and I will perhaps make more posts off of the feedback. Also if you like posts like these let me know as well. I always like hearing from our readers!