• Category Archives Uncategorized
  • Paint

    Next up is paint.  I believe I mentioned that I’ll be using a Carbonetics hatch and doors earlier in the post.  I wanted to paint them to match the car.  The engine bay was sort of my test and the paint color matched perfectly buying paint from PaintScratch.com.  I ordered a bunch more paint from them and had to get a paint sprayer to do the doors and hatch. 

    First, I had to do some other work though.  The hatch was originally purchased by my friend Paul Johnson and came in damaged.  His family gave me the hatch after he passed so I decided to repair it and then it obviously needed to be painted.  For the repair, I actually drilled a couple holes on the underside and filled the inside of the hatch with expanding foam to help stiffen it.  Then I used sanding disks to take the carbon down some about 2-3” on either side of the crack.  Once that was done, I cut pieces of fiberglass mat to fit in the reduced thickness section, mixed some resin and installed them.  I did the same thing on the underside as well.  Once I had the repair done, I also wanted to fit the lexan window so that I wouldn’t be doing that after the hatch is painted.  Fitting the lexan was a huge pain and it took my dad and I quite a few hours to get it right.  We probably could have done it quicker but I didn’t want to scrap an expensive window because we got impatient and took too much off.

    Once that was done, it was onto painting.  I did some minor cleanup on the doors to fill some imperfections then got onto painting.  Before the morning of painting, I had literally never sprayed a paint gun before.  All of my painting was confined to spray cans.  My friend Louie let me use his garage for the painting (huge thanks Louie!).  I got there early, we cleaned up, then setup the doors and hatch for spraying.  We sprayed primer, base coat then clear coat all in one day. 

    I let the parts sit for a couple weeks, then wet sanded them and polished them out.  The clear came out pretty awesome as you’ll see in the pictures below.  Unfortunately, I made one big mistake and I think I’m going to redo everything.  I wet sanded between the last base coat and clear.  I swear I’ve seen this on painting tutorials (maybe I’m dreaming?).  After the clear, you can see all of the wet sanding of the base coat, perfectly preserved under the high gloss clear.  It doesn’t show in pictures and you can’t even see it in the garage, I took the hatch out into the sunlight though and it is pretty apparent.  I have to decide if it’s worth redoing before drag week or if I should save that until after. 

    Wet Sanded
    Initial Polish
    Initial Polish
    CSL Hatch

    As always, thank you to the companies that support this, be sure to follow their social media pages like their images and buy their products:

  • Brakes

    These next couple posts, I’m going to let the pictures do a lot of the talking.  I’ve got a lot of various things in process right now but I’m working on finishing them off. 

    In this post, I’ll cover the brakes for the car.  The fronts are a Wilwood big brake kit. Earlier in the blog I misspoke and called them 6 piston calipers, they’re in fact 4 piston calipers.  I originally bought scalloped rotors for it since this was going to be a 5 speed almost exclusively drag build but now that I’ll be driving it on the street and need to be able to stage with the auto, I’ve ordered solid rotors for it.  These brakes are beautiful and way lighter than stock.  With the scalloped rotors, its 19.5lbs of weight savings.  This will go down slightly when the solid rotors come in and I’ll update accordingly.  The installation is very straight forward and it’s a bolt on affair. There’s a tiny bit of shimming required to get the caliper centered over the rotor but it comes with all the appropriate shims. I also had to use smaller spacers than what the kit comes with because it’s made for a larger rotor than I’m running so I can fit the calipers in my 15″ Motegi Tracklites. The solid rotors and brake line kit should be here soon and I’ll update when they’re installed.

    Wilwood Brake Kit
    Wilwood Bracket Installed
    Pads Installed
    Wilwood Brake Kit
    Wilwood Brake Kit
    Wilwood Brake Kit

    For the rears I bought a kit from Whalen Speed for an evo, but it fit perfectly on a 2G as expected.  It uses Aerospace calipers and non-ventilated scalloped rotors.  I think the rear rotors should be fine since the front brakes do most of the braking.  These saved a bunch of weight too at 20.1 lbs.  This will actually end up being slightly more when I add in the e-brake handle and cables since these brakes do not have an e-brake.  This kit came with everything needed for the install including new brake lines.

    Whalen Speed Rear Brake Kit
    Whalen Speed Rear Brake Kit

    I’ll also be adding a vacuum pump to the car.  I already purchased the Audi pump used, I just haven’t done anything with it yet so no pictures or anything of the installation. 

    As always, thank you to the companies that support this, be sure to follow their social media pages like their images and buy their products:

  • Front Suspension

    I started working on the front suspension now that the engine bay is painted and I can do final assembly.  I bought a tubular front subframe a few years back and I test fitted it to the car but I haven’t used it yet.  A friend of mine bought the same one at the same time and he’s put quite a few miles on his car with it.  He had a few problems here or there with it due to some quality issues so before putting mine in, I decided to address those issues primarily by adding gussets.  I’ll also be adding Volk LCA’s when he finishes up his next round of them to address another potential issue that my friend is having.  I won’t say who made these subframes so please don’t ask.  If you’re in the market for tubular subframes and/or control arms, please contact Paul Volk.   There are two main reasons I’m installing tubular subframes in my car.  The first is weight and the second is wheel control.  Weight is obvious.  I have the before and after weights with a high precision scale of everything I’m doing to the car and I’ll post them up in a later post when I get my spread sheet cleaned up some.  Wheel control is maybe less obvious to some people but I’m eliminating all of the rubber and polyurethane bushings which acts as additional springs in the system and in theory the tubular subframe should be stiffer.  I say in theory because I’m an engineer and I like proof of things, but I’m not about to model both subframes and analyze them.  I could possibly make a quick test rig and measure force input vs deflection also but I’m going to go with my gut and say it’s stiffer in theory.

    Gussets Added
    Painted Front Subframe
    SubFrame Installed

    Attached to the subframe, I had tubular lower control arms made.  The center LCA will be getting replaced with Paul Volk’s when that gets here but I installed the one I have for now.  The upper control arm I went with the Megan Racing tubular control arm with camber adjustment.  It’s a nice-looking piece.  I wish it had a more positive locking feature for the camber adjustment (like a jack screw) but I think with the quantity of bolts it has, it shouldn’t slip. 

    Front LCA’s
    Front LCA’s
    Megan Upper Control Arm

    Finally, for springs and dampers, I’m using JIC Magic FLT A2 coil overs.  I’ve had these for a long time and I’ve been very happy with them.  They can dramatically change the ride feel with adjustments so I’ll probably work on the race damping and street damping setups that work the best and plan on changing that every day. 

    JIC Magic FLT A2’s

    In addition to this work, I finally decided to de-power my steering rack.  I’ve had the lines looped on it since probably around 2006 but since it was out of the car I figured I might as well actually depower it.  I took the rack over to Martin at RX4Speed (he’s always a HUGE help with my car stuff) and we pulled it apart, cut the divider ring out and reassembled it (after cleaning and greasing of course).  We didn’t really follow any procedure or anything but there’s not a lot to it.  I think there’s a Flying Miata tutorial that you could follow if you need guidance. 

    2G Rack De-powering
    2G Rack de-powering

  • Detailed Plan

    This post will be to go into some more detail about what the actual plan is with the car.  Racing for 5 days and 1000 miles of street driving in between is going to be grueling on the car.  We will be towing a trailer with spare parts, tools and slicks.  You’re not allowed to have a support vehicle and technically only the people who ride in the car can even work on it.  So later in this build, I’ll be going into the trailer hitch, building the trailer and stocking it with supplies, but that’s for a later post.  Let’s focus on the car first.

     The pictures throughout this post are all of the last build on this car. 


    I currently have a 2.0L turbo4.com aluminum rod engine for the car.  The engine is probably about 7 or 8 years old at this point but doesn’t have a ton of mileage since I kept changing setups on the car during that time.  The engine saw at least 5 2-3-2 shifts happening at about 9500 RPM’s so it’s seen in the ballpark of 13,000 RPM’s multiple times.  Because of that, I decided to tear the motor down and go through it and it turns out, everything is perfect!   I could put the bearings right back in it but since it’s apart, I’m going to put some fresh bearings in it and a fresh head gasket.  My dad technically does all the engine work.  He really enjoys that work.  When it’s going back together, I’ll grab pictures of the build to post. 

    For the head, I have a turbo4.com CNC ported 1G head along with some fresh Kelford Camshafts.  The head also has Manley Performance valves and Kiggly beehive springs.  On the intake side I’ll be running a DVDT Fab intake manifold and on the exhaust side a Shearer Fab divided T4 top mount header. 


    I’m going to swap to an automatic for this build as I think it gives me the best chance of surviving the week.  The transmission is currently with Aaron Gregory getting a host of upgrades and a once over by the 5 time Shootout champ.  I’ll be getting a Precision converter for the car and I already have the Kiggly 6 bolt in a 2G auto kit.  From there, I’ll be utilizing stock 2G front axles for the front.  A 300M upgraded tcase, DSS 3.5” aluminum driveshaft, factory 2G auto rear differential and DSS Stage 5 rear axles.  That pretty much rounds out the driveline. 


    A Haltech Elite 2500T will be managing just about everything in the car.  I’m using the Haltech long harness as a basis for the wiring harness for the car and I’ll be using an additional fuse box for some of the remaining items.  I’ll be using the Haltech CAN wideband, CAN 4 channel EGT box and a multitude of sensors.  The Haltech will be controlling everything for the engine, the staged injection, ignition timing, boost control, etc.  It will also be controlling the various cooling fans, throttle body, idle control and some other stuff that I’ll go into later. 

    The throttle body setup I spoke about a bit above, it’s a GM drive-by-wire throttle body and gas pedal wired into the Haltech Elite.  What this should do is allow me to have the ultimate idle control and drivability with a throttle body that can handle way more power than I need to make on this project.  I could also add cruise control with the DBW throttle body but I’m not if I will or not yet. 

    Fuel System:

    The fuel system is another “unique” aspect of this build.  The stock fuel tank will be utilized with a Walbro pump and some small Fuel Injector Clinic injectors in the head.  This will be the primary fuel system that will be used 100% of the time.  I’ll be able to fill the tank with 93 octane and drive the car around on this system as much as I want.  A small fuel cell is being added for E98 with twin Bosch 044 pumps, a secondary rail on the DVDT Fab intake and Fuel Injector Clinic 2150 CC injectors.  At a pre-determined airflow or boost level, the Haltech will turn the 044 pumps on, then shortly after it will begin injecting fuel with the 2150’s. 


    The chassis is a mostly stock 95 Eclipse GSX with an 8.50 certified cage that was installed by Ken’s Kustom Chassis.  It is also getting tubular front and rear sub frames and tubular control arms.  The car will be running on JIC FLTA2 coil overs all around.  It’s also getting Wilwood 6 piston front brakes and BrakeMan single piston rear brakes. 

    Weight Reduction:

    The car has most of the usual weight reduction items done already, removed AC, heat, power steering, etc.  I’ve also removed the sound deadening and any unused misc items I could.  It’s had a carbon fiber hood on it for years and for drag week, I’m adding fiberglass doors, a carbon sunroof and a carbon hatch with a lexan rear window.  The tubular subframes and the brakes mentioned above are also a very large weight savings.  I also have Kirkey seats in the car and a majority of the interior will be gutted for this event.  Prior to this, I always prided myself on having a 100% full interior “street” car but in an effort to keep this alive, the interior is going.


    The engine cooling is via a Scirroco radiator and I’m considering adding a secondary coolant cooler in the stock intercooler location.  I also have large oil and transmission coolers on their way, both with fans.  I’ll be documenting those installations once I get to them. 

    I’m sure I’ve missed a lot of stuff in this write up and there are a few items I’ve intentionally left out for now also.  I’ll be going into much more detail on all of these components as I work on the car and progress with the build. 

    Feel free to ask questions and I’ll do my best to answer.  😊

  • Tial Sport

    Welcome Tial Sport to the Drag Week DSM and the Turbo4 4G63 Dragster! We’ve run their products on both vehicles since the beginning with 100% reliability and confidence. Their waste gates and blow off valves are the best of the best and made in the USA! Now we get to have custom engraved Tial Sport products on our cars! Please support the companies that help support the community.


  • Getting Started

    To get started, I basically 100% disassembled a good running, 148 MPH trapping dog box equipped, close to full weight 2G.  To stay alive for the week, I felt I had to put an automatic in the car so I bought a transmission and all of the required swap parts and shipped the transmission to Aaron Gregory for some upgrades.  While the engine and subframes were out, I decided to paint the engine bay, something I’ve been wanting to do for the past 10+ years but just never had the time. 

    I purchased paint from Paintscratch.com that is a perfect OEM paint color match.  I considered the engine bay a test so I bought some rattle cans from them, primer, paint and clear coat.  The paint turned out to be a PERFECT match to the OEM color so I’ve since ordered some ready to spray paint for some future work on the car. 

    The engine bay was very challenging to spray, trying to get into all the tight spots and get full coverage but in the end it turned out really well.  To get a little extra shine, I bought Meguires Pro polishing compound and spent a couple hours cleaning things up.  I’m pretty happy with how it came out, I hope I don’t destroy it on a week of thrashing at Drag Week!

    Onto the pictures!

    Bare Engine Bay – Ready for paint
    Light setup
    Base Coat laid down
    Decent shine – as sprayed

  • First Post!


    I was basically born into drag racing.  My dad has been drag racing since he was 16 and I’m pretty sure I was at Atco Raceway when I was still in the womb.  I became my dad’s “Crew Chief” as soon as I was old enough to help out and I used to pick the dial-ins for him in his 1963 Nova bracket car.  When I was 11, NHRA started the Junior Drag Racing league and my dad offered to match any money I could make towards building a car.  I mowed as many lawns as I could and made enough money to build a Junior Dragster.  I raced in that series from ages 12 to 16 when I got my drivers license.  My first car was a 1970 Chevrolet C10 pickup that I got from a farm for a few hundred dollars.  By the time I graduated high school, it was a high 13 second truck, lowered, painted, etc.  It was my pride and joy.  Unfortunately, I went to college 700 miles from home and a 13 second, 30+ year old truck wasn’t the most practical college vehicle for a 19 year old so I had to get something better. 

    In 2001 I purchased my first DSM, a 1996 Eclipse GS just to have something good on fuel to drive to school.  I played with that car for a year and I was fortunate enough to meet Paul Johnson (Boost Junkie) during that time and he showed me what a turbo AWD DSM could do.  At the time his 1997 Eclipse GSX had a Mutt 50 trim on it, top to bottom flow FMIC and all the supporting mods.  We used to take it to back roads in “Mexico” and use our G-tech g-meter to see what it would run. That’s the car that got me hooked on DSM’s and I owe all of that to Paul.  I’m very fortunate to have known Paul and I wish he was still with us to see this build. 

    Almost a year to the day from purchasing my GS, I found my 1995 Eclipse GSX.  I purchased it in August of 2002 and it’s been undergoing changes ever since.  Paul and I modified our cars together all through college at Clemson and we both had solid 11 second cars when we graduated in 2005, we had a pretty intense rivalry and we would to spend most Friday nights at Atlanta Dragway racing.

    After college, I began racing the car in the NOPI drag racing series on a whim.  I ended up placing second in my first event which gave me enough money to go to another event.  I placed second at the next event which gave me enough money to go to the NOPI finals in Norwalk where I was fortunate enough to win.  I spent the next couple years racing with NOPI and then NHRA Sport Compact when they merged with NOPI and placed as high as second in the national points.  The car went as quick as a 9.99 at 140 MPH and would run down in the 10.20 to 10.30 at 144 MPH range semi-consistently on street tires.

    In 2008, my dad and I decided to build a 4G63 dragster.  Over the next 10 years, we focused most of our attention and money on racing the dragster, chasing NHRA points, NHRA records and 4G63 records.  I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to build, design, drive and partially own one of the quickest 4 cylinders in the world.  In 2018 we went 6.47 at 210 MPH.  Later in 2018, my dad and I decided to do Drag Week (more on what Drag Week is later) in his 1963 Nova Drag car, the same one I used to pick dial-ins for as a kid.  We spent the summer getting the car ready and completed the 1000 mile drive and 5 days of racing and averaged 10.622 seconds for the week.  It was a crazy adventure that we both agreed we would have to do again. 

    turbo4.com 4G63 Dragster
    turbo4.com 4G63 Dragster
    1963 Nova – Backyard Bandit – Drag Week 2018

    During that same time, the 2G went through a couple very slow builds but for a majority of the time it was apart waiting for me to get time to put it back together. 

    Drag Week DSM

    That brings us to today and I’m about to show just how stupid I am.  My 2G is essentially a bare chassis at the moment and I’m in the beginning stages of an epic build with the goal of AVERAGING 8’s at Hot Rod Drag Week, 2019. 

    So what’s Drag week?  Hot Rod Drag Week is a 5-day racing and rally style event at 4 tracks across the North East US.  This is a grueling drag race where the car is raced every day for 5 days with approximately 250 miles of public street driving between each event.  The challenge is, you must drive your race car between each event, on a prescribed route designed by Hot Rod Magazine to be as challenging as possible.  No support vehicles are allowed, no follow vehicles, just your race car, a small trailer towed by the race car and the people within the race car for 5 days of racing.  It’s a true torture test of both man and machine and it’s extremely challenging to just complete the event.    

    Event Tracks and Dates:

    Date Track
    Monday, September 9 Virginia Motorsports Park, Dinwiddie, VA
    Tuesday, September 10 Cecil County Dragway, Rising Sun, MD
    Wednesday, September 11 Atco Dragway, Atco, NJ
    Thursday, September 12 Maryland International Raceway, Mechanicsville, MD
    Friday, September 13 Virginia Motorsports Park, Dinwiddie, VA

    This is the first entry of what’s going to be a long build blog.  I’ll be doing my best to post everything here but I’ll also be working to keep my web site up to date to match this blog, I’ll be setting up my Facebook page and sharing on my Instagram account.  Here are all of those resources:

    Website: http://dragweekdsm.com

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dragweekdsm/

    Instagram: @tony_turbo4

    I also have some AMAZING partners on this build, please support them as they support this community and help make these builds possible.  Follow their social media pages, use their products, buy from their web sites. Support the companies that still support our platform:






    Here’s a high-level overview of what the build will be with some of the more unique touches highlighted:

    • 2.0L Aluminum Rod turbo4 engine
    • DSM Automatic Transmission
    • Full DSS driveline
    • Tubular subframes
    • T4 Top Mount header with S400SX turbo
    • Haltech Elite 2500 engine management
    • Dual fuel system – small primary FIC injectors on 93 octane, Secondary 2150’s on E98 – Secondaries will phase in under boost
    • Drive by Wire throttle body – to help with cruise, startup, idle and drivability
    • Extensive coolers to handle everything from stopped in traffic to highway driving
    • Extensive weight reduction including
      • Tubular subframes
      • Lightweight brakes
      • Fiberglass doors
      • Carbon hood and hatch
      • Carbon sunroof