March 4, 2021

PROJECT LOG: #Charlotte [1-13-17] Goodbye, Wheel Gap

In my opinion, the absolute most ugliest, embarrassing, unattractive eyesore on any car, especially a DSM, is wheel gap. I for one can NOT stand wheel gap. #Charlotte, was mostly stock when I scooped her up about a month ago for $750. Including, the stock springs, which resulted in that nasty wheel gap. A day before Friday the 13th, that changed. 

Words By AJ Hunsinger // Images By AJ Hunsinger & Kurt Barnes

Up until this point, I hadn’t had much time at all to mess around with the Spyder. When I first got her, I was working Monday-Friday and preparing for Christmas. Pretty much immediately after driving the car to work for a few days, I ended up having some serious medical problems.

You may remember my car accident in which I wrecked #VirginMary, my Kona Blue 95 Eagle Talon TSi AWD. At the time, I was driving truck as an occupation and I worked night shift. On the weekends, I got my daughter so I had to flip my sleeping schedule from nights to days so I could spend time with my daughter. This has never been easy, but sleeping medication helped me get to sleep when I needed to. 

One night, I didn’t have any of my regular sleep aid left, so I took a different kind of medication that I had never taken before. Well, this medication didn’t work well for me. The last thing I remember was going to sleep. Apparently, a friend texted me and said he was in the area, so he eventually stopped in. This led to me getting in Virgin Mary and going for what ended up being her last ride.

The Police figured that I was going 130+MPH, in which I finally blacked out, lost control, and spun driver side door first into a tree. Looking at the car, it’s unbelievable to think that I am not only alive, but even able to walk. Of course, it was a long road as I snapped my clutch leg in half, broke a rib, had a concussion, and had to get my spleen removed.

Because I had to get my spleen removed, it eventually generated scar tissue from the surgery. Just recently, this scar tissue caused a blockage in my intestines. I ended up having a “bowel obstruction”. I was in the hospital for 9 days and wasn’t able to eat for 13 days. I spent Christmas AND New Years, in the damn hospital.

They stuck an NG tube up through my nose which ran down my throat. This alone was the worst part about the whole thing. This tube sucks everything out of your stomach and in most cases, decompresses the stomach and bowels and unblocks any obstructions. But, I wasn’t so fortunate and it didn’t work. So, they had to do surgery again to remove the scar tissue that led to the bowel obstruction.

They cut me open again just as they did when they removed my spleen about 14 months ago. They were able to easily fix the problem and staple me back up. Finally, they let me start eating several days after and I was able to be discharged on January 2nd.

Even as I sit here and type this now, I still have my staples in. In fact, I was supposed to get them removed Thursday but I had to reschedule my appointment because I made plans to have a couple of my friends help me install the lowering springs in Charlotte as I am not supposed to lift more than 10lbs or expose myself to any strenuous activities. So now, my car is lowered and my appointment is Monday. #Priorities.

Last week, my two best friends Kurt Barnes and Ben Kiah met me at my dad’s and they removed the struts and lowering springs from Virgin Mary. The same struts and springs that used to be on Justin Rivera’s #GreenHornet. Then, we planned for this past Thursday for me to drive down to their town and they would swap the springs into Charlotte. At the time that we made these arrangements, I had completely forgotten that that was the same day as my doctors appointment. It wasn’t until a couple days before Thursday that I remembered, so I had to reschedule either the springs or the doctors appointment.

I drove down to Kurt’s place Wednesday night. The plan was to crash there, then the next day we would all swap out the springs the following day. Well, Ben and I both ended up staying at Kurt’s. And, we didn’t “crash”. We ended up staying up all night dicking around in Kurt’s workshop/parts-room. Once 530AM rolled around, Ben was like, “Well, let’s go get started on these springs.”

Kurt and I kind of just chuckled, not thinking Ben was serious as Kurt doesn’t have a garage or anything so the car was sitting out on the side of the street, in the dark. But, Ben grabbed his coat and walked out. So, as it turned out, Ben was very serious.

While Ben worked on the struts and springs, I eventually began doing some smaller things under the hood. I capped some open ports that were huge leaks. I deleted the Fuel Pressure Solenoid and re-routed the boost gauge line. I also just cleaned up a few other things. At the end of the day, the car was looking sharp and was FINALLY lowered.






Once the car was done, we cruised around as Ben drove Kurt’s 1G, #Sapphire. We also took Kurt’s 1G up to his mom’s so we could swap out his clicking driver side front axle. We had a lot of fun hanging out and working on the DSM’s and I am so glad that I have friends like Kurt and Ben. I wasn’t physically able to lower my car and they immediately offered to help. 

Tomorrow is supposed to be around 40 degrees and sunny. So, I am going to go out and do a few things. I got a new battery yesterday, so I will be putting that in along with some new terminals. I am going to be removing the battery tray, battery mount, deleting the Charcoal Canister and associated vacuum lines for the EGR system, capping everything off and sitting my battery down onto the sub frame. Slowly but surely, this car and engine bay will be looking better and better.