PROJECT LOG: #PoisonIvy [7-11-17] RWD Experience

It was a long 4 or 5 months. Too long to go without hearing #PoisonIvy run or at least drive. The last time I drove her was done without a clutch at all. Literally, the clutch pedal did nothing because a couple clutch disk springs had broken. But, the last time I drove her, I managed to still take her on a 15 mile round trip snow drifting session.

In these last 5 months, I sold my old Evo III 16G thinking I was going to install an HX35, only do buy another Evo III 16G. I completed a massive amount of weight reduction so now the car weighs in the 2600lb range. And lastly, I installed a Viscous Coupling Eliminator. By doing so, I was able to drive the 1G for a few weeks in RWD mode before deciding to put the front axles back in. So naturally, a burnout was necessary.

Words By AJ Hunsinger | Images By AJ Hunsinger


The first thing I bought over the winter was a new clutch. My friend David Marling had a South Bend clutch for sale. He gave me a good deal and I couldn’t pass it up. The clutch was an SS-Series Pressure Plate with a TZ/B-Series Full Face Kevlar/Ceramic Dual Friction clutch disk and is rated for 550TQ.

South Bend has always been well known and loved in the DSM Community. They are very good and durable clutches and most of their clutches gives your pedal between 0-25% stiffness compared to a stock clutch feel. I personally prefer a stiffer clutch like my Fidanza 4.3 clutch I just had in the car prior to this or like the ACT 2600 I used in all of my 2G’s. But, David sold it to be for very cheap and it was only used for under 1K miles.

While I had the transmission off the car to change the clutch, I decided to buy a new friction plate for my  Fidanza flywheel. These flywheels are awesome and there is no other flywheel out there like them. They have a removable and replaceable friction plate that is screwed to the flywheel with a nut on the back. They are only $55 new on Extreme PSI. Every time I remove the transmission, I buy a new friction plate and have a brand new flywheel every time for $55.

I grew very impatient, so I decided to buy my friend J.T. Sidders’ Evo III 16G. Once the clutch, flywheel, and throw out bearing were replaced with the transmission back on, I began assembling the turbo and the rest of the engine. Finally, I was able to fire her up.

Once the car was all back together, I decided to leave the front axles out while capping them with old axle cups/ends. You need the outer cups installed in the hub with the axle nut so your hub is tight. You also need the inner ends installed into the transmission in order to keep the gear oil in the transmission.

The first time I pulled out of the driveway and onto the road, my world was forever changed after a quick 2nd gear pull. The rear tires lit up, the car kicked sideways, and the 6 bolt engine bounced off the rev limiter. It sounded so amazing.

I drove the car in RWD mode for about 3 weeks, going out for random short cruises. The effortlessly spinnage of the rear tires was quite addictive. I promised myself I would find a good place to do a burnout at, and I owned up to it.

Once I finally new brand new axles to replace the old ones, I also changed my RF wheel bearing is the hub had some place. I put the front axles back in and now the car is back to AWD. The first pull I did in the car in AWD mode was also amazing. The car seems to have a good amount of more power than it did last year. It could be the VCE that is allowing all four wheels to disperse more power to the ground, or it could be the weight reduction showing its worthyness. Either way, the car pulls amazingly.

Next on the to-do list is to start welding in a roll cage so I can install my aluminum racing seats and 5 point harnesses. Once that is finished, I am taking the car back to the 1/8 mile drag strip and attempting to better my ET from last season when I ran 8.1. Last year when I went to the track, it was at the very beginning of the racing season and I only went twice before committing to racing the dirt car for points. Back then, I was running 15PSI, very conservative timing, and the car weighed around 2800lbs. Now, I am running 28PSI, aggressive timing, and the car weighs much less. My #Questforsevens is on and I feel it will be an easily obtainable goal.

I also have another goal this year. We all build our cars for our own reasons, most of us because we want to race and go fast.Usually our main focus every year is to make the DSM Shootout. This year, myself and many of my close friends are planning a little 2 day DSM vacation or get-away with our DSM’s. Literally all of my best and closest friends own DSM’s. Because Eat Sleep DSM.

On September 2nd, there is a racing event nearby that is held at a small air strip. The event is called NEPA Drag Day and is ran by Cars of Friday Night out of Scranton PA. You have to pre-register for the event and costs $40 to race. Basically what it involves is a bunch of race cars gathering at this air strip to street race, but legally as it is on private property. The racing is done off an arm drop from a dig, street racing style.

It is the perfect mix of street racing and drag racing. It is neither 1/4 mile or 1/8 mile, but around 1000ft. There are 3 tiers between 3 different classes. FWD, RWD, and AWD. Tier 1 consists of mostly stock cars with nothing more than an intake and exhaust. Tier 2 is supposed to be a “street tuned” car, full bolt ons allowed, nitrous allowed, but no modified engine internals. Tier 3 just says “Street Modified, anything street legal is a go. So, I am not sure which category most of us will fit in, but we will see what they tell us when we get there.

But anyway, this is this years goal. Not weekly drag racing, dirt racing, but instead to get all of our cars ready to go for NEPA Drag Day. I would imagine our DSM’s are going to tear.shit.up come September 2nd. Our journey, though, will begin the night before.

My friends and I are sort of realizing we aren’t kids anymore. We are finding it is growing to be more and more difficult to all get together and do car stuff as a group. We often hand out in pairs or small groups, but never do we do anything with all of us together with all of our DSM’s. Most of us have been close friends for several years and we all know each other well. Even lived together at certain points in our life.

Now, many of us have children of our own, have full time jobs, families, houses, the works. Although none of us let life get in the way of building DSM’s, life does cut into our time together. So, this year, we are going to do something big.

The night before, we will all get together and go on a nice cruise. Where is still being figured out. Maybe through the city of Scranton, maybe around country roads and going camping. Regardless, I am sure we are going to end up having to fix a DSM on the side of the road a few times. We are going to try to get 10 or so of us all together.

Even though we have all known each other for several years, a couple of us haven’t had a running DSM throughout the entire friendship. Take Joe for example. Kurt, Pat, and myself met Joe because he lived a couple blocks away when we were all living together in Dunmore. Joe had a 2Gb Eclipse GST that sat in front of his house, but never moved. All the times we drove our DSM’s past his house, one day he was outside working on his car so we stopped in.

His 2G hasn’t been driveable this entire time. Well, until now. We all chimed in over the years to help him get his car up and running. He didn’t know anything about DSM’s back then. Now, a lot of our knowledge has rubbed off and he is a present DSMer.

Joe has his Eclipse, Pat has his 2G panda Talon, Ben has his green 2Gb Eclipse, Chris has his low mileage celery green TSi AWD, Kurt has his blue 1G, Kurt’s girlfriend Sam has her blue 1G Talon, and of course I will have Poison Ivy. There are a few others that are going to be hooking up as well. And, if any of my friends don’t have their car done in time, I will let them drive Charlotte if needed.

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