Sorry for the wait. Stepping up the blog game was one of my goals for this year, but life happens and OGsincebirth.com has been given low priority. Fear not though, things are coming together and while the road may not be smooth I do know that it’s at least leading me in the right direction. I haven’t even logged on in months and was surprised to see that we’re still getting 20-30 hits a day. I know it’s a miniscule number in comparison, but I want to say thanks to whoever keeps coming back despite the lack of content. It’s great motivation to reapply myself.
So about the title, Original Garage is going through another big change. We will be moving into our third building, as a result of the termination of OG Paint and Body. I am looking for a local shop to handle any paint/body needs we have/may have in the future, but until I find someone suitable we’ll just consider this dead in the water. OG is going back to its roots, refocusing on the undercar aspects of our style. Over time we’ve put together a pretty impressive list of offerings, including new partnerships with Battle Version and Swift Springs.
So what does this mean for Khanh’s UCF30 that has been under construction for almost a year now? It means I will continue to do the custom body work on my own and hope that I can find someone to wrap it up when the time comes. I’ll try to get some new updates on that project within the next couple weeks.
While we’re kind of on the subject, I’d like to shout out the Refined Elegance homies. I don’t think anyone will deny that we’ve kind of fell off as far as the car thing goes, but we’ve grown very close as friends and have been having some great times hanging out. Regardless, cars are in our blood and there are some things brewing behind the scene. Expect a very different RE line up in the future.
As you may recall I took over ownership of Jeebus’ candy red LS400 a while back. In light of everything else going on progress has been slow. I rounded out the suspension by adding the latest offerings from Studio, and then sent all the links to CNS Custom Works for a glossy coat of Sun Gold powder coat. The air suspension has been swapped out for JIC FLT-TAR VIP coilovers and 14/10K Swifts are on order. I know it’s not as high as a lot of cats are going as far as spring rate, but I have experience driving lower than most on these coils so I’m not too worried about it. Once everything was installed I found myself with a satisfying ride height, so it was time to get started on the clearance work. The first job I decided to tackle was the harness relocation. You may (or may not) remember we did this procedure on Peter’s car a while back. That was cool then, but I wanted to go above and beyond this time.
Rather than rerouting the wires high in the wheel well, or running them inside the engine bay, I decided to run them inside the rail. This involved drilling out about 50 spot welds and removing 2 complete sheet metal pieces. Unfortunately there was not enough length in the harness, so it will have to be extended. That’s where we’ll leave off on that one. Stay tuned for more.
Steve and his crew have been showing a lot of love lately also. A while back he brought in his 3GS for a BC coilover install. At the time the car wasn’t all that impressive, but Steve has stepped his game up. He copped some Ordens from a friend and bought some subtle body parts that made a positive impact on the overall look of the car. After some fender rolling and lowering we shot the car over to Chris’ Car Doc for an alignment.
See the improvement for yourself:
So what’s next? Well besides the new building expect to see a bagged Y33 in the near future, a custom set of 2GS LED tails, some UCF10 LED corner lights, more work on Khanh’s turbo LS430, and some progress on the UCF20 shop car when time/money permits. I’m going to do my best to update more regularly, but if you want to see what’s going on more often check out the OG Facebook page for day-to-day happenings.
The perfect way to start the new year. This year OG will be refocusing on suspension, and here’s a perfect example of us doing what we do best. Kim pulled his car out of another shop when he was unhappy with the progress and quality of work. He brought it to Original Garage not quite sure of the future for the Z34. Eventually, it was decided that the car would be shipped to Cali to be an R&D car for a suspension company, but first it had to get on a transport trailer (the car was low, with non-functional Roberuta cups, and has so much camber that the truck drivers wanted nothing to do with it). After 2 failed attempts it was decided that we would have to redo the joke of an install just to get the Z on it’s voyage. So here we go, another “basic” install:
The first issue was an extreme lack of room in the engine bay. We originally purchased some basic install components but it became obvious that they were going to be to bulky to fit in the available space. After some searching we decided to go with a Monster 400 series circuit breaker and 300 series slim terminal and connectors. These high end pieces cost a little money, but one thing about Kim; if I could explain why he needed it he bought it.
We also decided to “upgrade” the manual Roberuta setup to an electric valve from UAS. I put upgrade in quotations because I am actually a fan of the simplicity of manual setups. In this case it was simply a matter of room, there wasn’t enough to fit the supplied buttons or a traditional paddle switch. Instead we opted for the simple beauty of a small single electric switch mounted in a blank cover. No gauge, no F/B/S/S, no auto leveling; just a couple of inches of lift up front when you need it.
Not pictured is the fully loomed harness laying behind the Z’s plastic panels. Sure I could have just laid down some wire and tucked it out of sight, but the bare minimum is not what we’re about.
On to the trunk. Nothing to fancy here, just basic done in a better-than-basic manner. We decided that there was really no point in keeping the spare, since a flat on this beast will definitely require some AAA assistance, so we scrapped it. We did, however, need to keep the factory Bose sub enclosure in place so a lower level trunk board was built and components arranged in a manner to facilitate it.
All the electrical connections are at one point, so removing this board is as easy as undoing a couple quick connects and some set screws. Real world functionality and maintainability are always priorities for us.
Functional hatch space was important to Celestak, so a 2 piece false floor was made out of 3/4″ birch (we never use MDF; birch is stronger, lighter, and more durable), with a ventilating window for the compressor and a dual purpose opening for the child seat anchor/handle included. I wanted to get away from the use of visual hinges so everything is pressure fit thanks to some router work.
Here it is assembled from the opposite angle. It’s a tight fit, but nothing was left out and everything is well executed. I don’t foresee this install ever having any issues other than normal wear and tear, and when you design with that in mind it’s not really a big deal when it happens. Any component of this install could be swapped out within minutes.
Happy new year since I missed it. For 2K12 you can expect to see more suspension work of this quality (or better if anyone ever let’s me really go in) as well as some exciting changes on the media side. We started out better, so the only thing left is to be the undisputed best.
Tension has been high around the Garage since the introduction of OG Paint and Body but it seems like we’re finally getting into a rhythm. It’s not easy building a company of the caliber we are aiming for with minimal resources. Sometimes all you can do is keep your head down and push forward. I have to take a sentence out to show our appreciation for our loyal customers. You guys allow us to keep doing what we love and when you come back for seconds it lets us know that y’all love what we do. OK, enough of that… on to business. I apologize in advance for the lack of pics this installment. Read the rest of this entry