Heavy Metal Affliction 04/19/12
Welcome to Heavy Metal Affliction,
ForzaMotorsport.net’s presentation of radical rides, builds in progress, dream
projects, and barn finds. Wanna share yours? Tell us about it here.
Heavy Metal Affliction can be defined as: the enduring need
and passion to seek out, purchase, and fix-up cars that speak to us, without regard
for investment value or resale.
Some people like new cars because they have that new car
smell. Some people love to find something old and restore it to its original showroom
beauty. Some people like to find a car
they like and turn it into something completely their own. Forza community
member Brian (Gamertag LS1S13) is
one of those people. What he has created may be heresy in some people’s minds,
but to him and to a big chunk of this audience, it just might be sheer genius.
Brian has taken a rusted, well-used 1990 Nissan 240 SX
Hatchback (S13) and, after repairing all the rusted portions, added a wide-body
kit, had it painted, and dropped in a 2002 Chevrolet LS1 V8 with a six-speed.
Yes, a Nissan powered by a Chevy. He did all the work himself (except the
paintwork) which took him over four years in his Dad’s garage, working mostly
At 27 years old Brian is obviously gifted in the mechanical
arts and I will also credit him with a great imagination. Brian was always a
DSM (Diamond-Star Motors was a joint venture of Mitsubishi and Chrysler which
led to cars like the Eclipse and Laser) guy, previously owning an AWD Eagle
Talon, but he longed for something with rear-wheel drive and a V8. He liked the
Mustang but saw them as too common. Then the idea came to him and then he went
about finding his car.
The candidate was found through a New England DSM site and
was offered for $500. Upon contacting the owner, he was told the car was rough
but drivable and had some rust. After deciding to buy it, he and his wife got a
truck and tow dolly and went to go get the 240SX. When they got there, they
found the car was worse off than expected and it had barely enough clutch to
get it on the dolly. The brakes were gone, and the rust, well, we’ll get to
As Brian dug in, he found out that the New England winters
had taken their toll. Both of the rocker panels were rusted through, some spots
underneath had to be cut out and patched, the lower rear quarter panels were
gone, and some spots on the frame rails were rotted through. The next three
years he spent sandblasting, cutting, grinding, and welding to get rid of the
rust. Brian is a welder, but was learning sheet metal work along the way. So,
he pieced together an Origin body kit and +20mm front, +30mm rear fenders which
enhanced the 240’s lines and covered up some of the sheet metal work. Through
this process, Brian learned he hated body work and decided to hire out the rest
of the body and paint to a friend of a friend.
After agreeing on a price of $2,500 and taking delivery of
the finished product in a month, they hauled the shell and body kit to the
painters shop. The color would be C5 Corvette Torch Red. Six months later and after
several unexpected materials cost overruns, he was told the car was ready. However,
when they went to pick it up, the painter had not finished the job and said he
wanted $4,500 more to do so. He also kept and locked up several key components
of the car as some sort of assurance of further payment. Not wanting conflict,
Brian loaded up the car and took it back to his father’s garage. A day later, after
reasoning with the painter, Brian got his remaining parts back. Needless to say
the painter was not offered any further work.
Now on to the mechanicals. Brian was excited about this and
ready to dig in. He had found a company on eBay that sold Corvette LS1 Pullouts
(complete engine and transmissions with all the parts to get them running) for
$5,100 and had one delivered. It only had 18,000 miles on it. There was no kit,
no instructions to follow, just pure innovation and his mechanical know-how. He
modified the cross member, built his own motor mounts, and did all his own
wiring. The only part that he hired out was reflashing the PCM. So after
re-installing the engine and transmission and dealing with a million details to
get it on the road, he took it for a test drive.
The first time he stepped on the throttle the rear end
kicked out and he fell in love with his creation. This was also the first time he had ever
driven a V8, but he knew he had made the right decision.
The car has been on the road for two years now (garaged for
the Maine winters) and is a daily driver. He has taken it to a couple shows,
where it has won its class. He has more plans for the car as time and money
permit, but as a new father he is busy with work, family, and Forza 4 too.
If I was to list all the parts he used this story would go
on for pages, instead I’ll point you to his cardomain.com
page where the entire process is documented; from picking up the car to
showing it with its trophy.
Thank you for sharing Brian, truly an awesome piece of work.
What did you think of this week's Heavy Metal Affliction? Talk about it in the dedicated thread.