Heavy Metal Affliction 04/19/12

John Schommer
Thursday, April 19, 2012
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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 on weekends.

 

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 that.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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