Things have mellowed out a little bit since the DSM Shootout. Prior to which, I ditched the Evo III 16G and swapped to an HY35 which involved a lot of modifying and a lot of other parts to make it all work. Then of course there was the trip to Ohio which consisted of swapping the transmission on the side of the road just to get there. Not to mention snapping a right rear axle on my only pass at the 2018 DSM Shootout. Since then, there have been many changes to #PoisonIvy.

Words By: [SPOOLIGAN]  |  Images By: [SPOOLIGAN]


A few weeks after returning from Ohio, I randomly decided to switch from 93 pump gas to E85, on the way to work. Probably not the smartest thing in the world but it was relatively easy. I of course did not drain the gas out before pumping in my first tank of E85 so it took a few fill-ups to get rid of all of the 93 octane before it was pure E85. 

I immediately noticed my AFR’s got much leaner after pumping E85 into the tank for the first time. I stopped a few times before I got to work and lowered my scaling. I don’t drive the car that often so it took me several weeks to flush all of the 93 octane out. And, I had to keep adjusting my injector scaling accordingly. The more E85 in the system over the 93 pump gas, the leaner it would get.

When it was all said and done, I was running out of fuel. Of course we all know that E85 requires more fuel volume than pump gas. I figured that I added about 35% more fuel into the engine. And, it still wasn’t enough and I had to turn my boost down quite a lot just to run an AFR that I was comfortable with. 

While all of this was going on, I was having clutch engagement issues. Which I have been dealing with all year, even after swapping to a new transmission. But, it was getting worse and worse. Every time it became a bigger issue, I would adjust my master cylinder rod. It would work for awhile, then I would have to adjust it again. Once my adjustment was maxed out, I switched to an extended slave rod. That worked for a bit, then even that wasn’t enough.

So, I decided the transmission needed to come back off. Once I pulled the transmission off, I was able to see what my problem was. My clutch disc was broke. One of the arms inside the disc that hold the springs in place had snapped. Which I would have noticed on the side of the road if I pulled off the clutch. But I had no reason to remove the clutch at the time and wanted to just get the car back on the road to continue on to Ohio. While the car was down, I decided to also improve the fuel system a bit. 

A few weeks before I pulled the transmission off and the car was still driveable, I bought a Walbro 450lph fuel pump simply because I seen it posted for sale on the Facebook Groups for really cheap. Once I received it in the mail, I stuffed it in the back of the closet for a rainy day. I also wanted to rewire the fuel pump as I have yet to rewire the pump this entire time. Before I rewired it, I wanted to get some reading of my fuel pump voltage. At idle and cruise, I was getting mid 11v. At WOT, the voltage was dipping all the way down into the 10’s- not good. 

While waiting on my clutch parts to come in, I pulled the sending unit out, swapped the Walbro 255 out with the 450, and rewired the pump. The fuel pump rewire article can be found HERE

I wanted to stick with a South Bend clutch disc, but I ended up getting an ACT 6 puck unsprung disc. The only reputable place you can get a South Bend clutch for a DSM at is from TMZ. At the time, I began to start leaning towards an unsprung clutch simply because I hate continuously having spring related clutch failures. I had never used an unsprung clutch before, so I ended up going with the ACT 6 puck because South Bend doesn’t make an unsprung disc for the DSM, or at least not that I could find. Now my concern with using an unsprung disc is the spine wear. So, we will see how this bitch holds up. 

My South Bend pressure plate was pretty dickered up, I imagine from the little arm piece that snapped from the old disc and was getting wedged around inside the pressure plate. I tried finding a used pressure plate locally, but couldn’t immediately find anything so I decided to SEND IT, pairing my brand new ACT disc with my used South Bend plate. I also bought an OEM clutch fork, OEM pivot ball and retaining clip, OEM throw out bearing, and a new Fidanza flywheel friction plate. 

When I was removing the transmission , I found that the smaller transmission to engine bolt hole was stripped. When I pushed in the clutch pedal, you could visually see the transmission separating from the engine slightly. This alone would contribute to clutch engagement issues. So of course when the transmission was out, I drilled the hole out and installed a helicoil for a much bigger, 7/16″ standard thread bolt. I also had to drill out the hole in the ear of the block to accept the larger bolt. 

I removed the old friction plate from the Fidanza flywheel, installed my new pivot ball with a thicker washer, my new throw out bearing, and clutch fork. Initially I used Vaseline for lube but then seen that the ACT disc came with lube, so I used that. Kurt and I then put the transmission on and then put everything else back together. Before I could start the car, I had to finish the fuel pump rewire. 

Once it was all said and done, everything worked perfectly. This is by far the best shifting transmission I have ever had in a 1G. It even shifts better than #Charlotte, which I didn’t think was possible. I haven’t launched it yet with the new clutch because I kind of want to break it in as properly as I can. But I don’t drive the car much, especially this time of the year. So it will be awhile until I reach the 500 mile mark. 

I have done several pulls though. And after the fuel pump upgrade and rewire, I had much more fuel delivery. So much more that I was able to turn the boost back up. I am running about 25PSI and I am honestly scared to turn it up much more. The car pulls so god damn hard. I am actually spinning in second gear on occasion. I am just scared to break anything else. At least  for right now. I want to be able to enjoy the car a little bit before turning it up any more and risking breaking stuff. 

I need bigger a injector too. My IDC’s are up around 100% at my current boost level. Although, my AFR is right where I want it to be. Evoscan has been known to display 15% higher IDC than the actual IDC. I would be able to turn the boost up a little more before running into any lean issues. The combination of swapping from the 255 to the 450 and rewiring the fuel pump helped way more than I thought it would have. I still have yet to check the fuel pump voltage after the rewire but it is certainly higher. I will check the new voltage sometime soon. 

I also purchased a Fuel Lab to rail kit from Extreme PSI when I bought everything for the clutch. The filter itself will flow more than the stock filter, but the line itself will be an improvement. From the factory, the feed line uses a bolt-bolt design which is very restrictive. The Fuel Lab kit eliminates the banjo-bolt design. This will help things as well. 

I am content with the power again for now. But I am sure over time, I will be itching for more. I need to focus on the body a little bit. I drove the car to work a couple weeks ago. I checked the oil when I was at work and never put the hood pins back in. The hood came up during a 3rd gear pull immediately after leaving work. The hood is fucked, the windshield is busted pretty good, and the roof is dickered all up. So, fuck body work and paint, I am going to carbon fiber as much as I can!

They always say Save the Best For Last, so I will take the time to share a bit of news. Nahh, fuck it- let’s make it a story. So shortly after I converted #PoisonIvy to E85, I met a girl that later proved the be the girl of my dreams. The one I have been waiting for, my unicorn, my other half, THE one, and her name is Ally. 

Nearly every day on my way to work, I would call Subway, order my sub that they eventually had memorized and written down if they didn’t remember it. I would just say, “Yo, it’s AJ, I’m on my way.” They have a drive through window, so I would just pull up, wait for them to notice my lowered car that was barely visible from the inside, get my shit and head to work. The first time I drove #PoisonIvy to work and stopped in to get my sub, Ally stuck her head out the drive through window and sized up the car front to back. She made some comments saying she liked the car and it turned into a little conversation. Turns out, she is a car girl! Although, her current car is an Acura Integra. Which normally would be an automatic turn off but this girl….this girl is different. 

Now, I am a fucking pussy, so I didn’t ask her for her number or anything. But after I pulled away, I immediately called Kurt and told him the “Subway Girl” checked out my car and loved it. He told me I should have gotten her number obviously. But, I found myself going to Subway on my way into work even if I wasn’t hungry, in hopes that she was working that day, on the shift that allowed her to be there on my way in. 

Fast forward a little bit, my buddy that was staying with me at the time said he was bringing a girl over. I asked him if she was hot, and he said yes. But he always said yes, even when…they….were not. After he said yes, I asked him to show me a picture of her. He didn’t want to, which was weird because he always showed me a picture when requested in the past with other women. Come to find out, she actually was hot and he was threatened that the guy with the fast car, AKA me, would steal her. He mentioned that she was into cars. Then he mentioned she had an Integra. Then….he finally showed me a picture….and it was her. 

So he tells me she’s coming over. I was pissed, but I made sure not to let him know she was the Subway girl. I told him that was fine, but I would not allow her to drive her Honda here because I did not want any Honda’s in my driveway. So, he picked her up and brought her over. Initially, we all hung out together but I eventually grabbed some beers, went out to the garage, and worked on my fuel pump while on the phone with Kurt the entire time venting to him about me being PISSED.

I wanted to drink so I would get loosened up enough to have the balls to say something to her. I went inside and waited for an opportunity. We were all in my living room playing Forza when he gets up and leaves the room. To take a piss or something, I didn’t really care, but he left. So I wrote out a text message on my phone and showed it to her while it was just her and I sitting on the couch. The text read “WTF do you see in him??”. She responded by shrugging her shoulders and asking me why. I shook my head and didn’t respond. I wanted to tell her so bad that her and I were going to end up together, so why waste time on him. But, I didn’t have enough beer to speak up on that level. 

Fast forward a little bit, they didn’t work out. No surprise there, it only lasted a couple of days. Eventually, her and I began talking. And eventually she came over, but this time I let her park her Honda in my driveway. And now, here we are, together, in love. I cannot tell you how fucking lucky I am not only to have her, but to have found her. There are a million and one things that seemed to have happened because fate stepped in. And, I know you are wondering what I am going to do about the whole Honda situation. Well, after riding in #PoisonIvy, she now wants a 1G shell to build 🙂

Boom.

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