Welcome To The PSI Blog

Blog Category: Fabrication

by Kyle Tomita on Tue, Aug 9th, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication, Motorsports

Formula Drift Seattle 2011 - 006.JPG

At Evergreen ProAm Round 3, incidents occurred that resulted in Andrew Coomes needing a new shell. Currently ranked first, Coomes needs to have a new car built and ready to go for the next round. With only a month to the next ProAm event, a new shell was sourced and the swap began.

AJC gut new car-9043.jpg

Another 240 hatch was sourced to allow for an easier transfer of all components.

Peter helping stripped AJC's new shell.jpg

Peter Taylor, a Evergreen Grassroots drifter, came down to help his friend with stripping down the new shell.

Out with the old.jpg

The KA24DE was removed to make way for the 6.6L LS2 V8.

While the new shell was being stripped down, the LS2 needed to be removed from the old shell. The Rocket Bunny kit was removed and the car was gutted.

AJC old shell stripped.jpg

The old shell stripped down.

AJC double time.jpg

Erick Sackhoff and Alex cutting out part of the floor.

AJC losing his top.jpg

The top of the old shell was removed to cut the roll cage out.

AJC yard sale.jpg

All the parts from the old shell were removed to be transferred to the new shell.

Work is continuing at a feverish pace to get the new car built and tested before Evergreen ProAm round 4.

by Kyle Tomita on Thu, Jul 7th, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

Between each event, we have been working to improve Andrew Coomes' Rocket Bunny drift car.

AJC at PSI practice day at Packwood 3.JPG

This time our attention was focused under the hood. The 6.6L LS2 V8 has been tuned and tested, so we focused on keeping the body rigid.

AJC Drift - PSI strut tower bar and braces.JPG

A custom strut tower brace and more supports were added. With the removal of the wheel wells, 1" square tubing was used to increase the strength of the front. The tubing is triangulated between the tower mounts and the front.

AJC Drift - PSI strut tower bar.JPG

The main addition is this custom strut tower brace. It helps to control body roll and keeps the body rigid. The brace triangulates between the towers and the firewall.

These are just some of the many custom components to help Andrew as competitive as he can as he works toward his goal of a Formula Drift License in the Evergreen ProAm Series.  Check back here for more updates on Andrew Coomes and his LS2 powered S13.

by Kyle Tomita on Wed, May 25th, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

The custom hood scoop is on the Shelby GT500 and painted.

Shelby GT500 with custom PSI hood scoop

This one off hood scoop gives this Shebly GT500 a very unique look.

PSI custom hood scoop on GT500

It will probably be the only one you see. This car should be back in July for our second annual Summer Cruise-In.  More details soon.  Hope you enjoyed the update, check back here for more on our different projects.

by Kyle Tomita on Mon, Apr 11th, 2011 | Fabrication, General

Alex Laventure expanded his capabilities with the addition of a Lazze Bead Roller.

This bead roller allows him to put a bead in a sheet of steel or aluminum faster and more efficiently.  The uses are endless with this machines shaping options.  Alex has used it to recreate factory body lines and put a bead into a custom firewall for a drift car.

Above: A custom firewall with beads using the Lazze Bead Roller.

A bead is added to sheet metal to increase strength and style.  For the firewall above, the middle beads were applied to give added strength in the wide section of the metal.  The outer ring helps the firewall to keep its shape.  This was custom fabricated for a car with a tube frame rearend.

This is just one more tool Alex is adding that will allow to expand his fabrication capabilities even further.  Check back here to see what new things he creates from metal.

by Kyle Tomita on Thu, Mar 24th, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

Like many parts of this project, the exhaust needed to be a custom fabricated unit because of the space limitations.  Under the car is TCI's rear torque arm suspension.  This suspension prevents binding under corner and allows for a lower ride.  However, this new setup poses an issue for the exhaust system. 

Above is a shot of the underside of the car. 

Alex Laventure needed to fabricate the exhaust system so that it weaves around the suspension setup and other components. 

The exhaust bolts up to the custom made headers Alex fabricated previously. 

The exhaust runs toward the rear and goes up and over the rear torque suspension setup.

The exhaust ends with a Magnaflow muffler. 

The Frankenstang project is progressing well.  The transmission was also installed.  The car should be ready to start up soon.  Check back for updates.

by Kyle Tomita on Tue, Mar 22nd, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication, Motorsports

For the upcoming season, AJC's LS2 powered 240, dubbed the LS240, will be converting over to a dry sump setup. 

Above: The oil tank for the dry sump system.

Above: Oil pump for the dry sump system.

Since the LS2 was out for the off-season being rebuilt, it was a perfect time to perform this upgrade, along with many others.

Above: LS2 being assembled. 

As this is being written, Andrew's car is being worked on in preparation for the upcoming Evergreen Drift series.  The car is quickly going back together as the first event date draws near. 

Also the exterior of his car will be changed for the upcoming season.  Check back here for more updates on the progress as AJC's drift car takes shape once again.

Photographs for this blog were provided by Ryan Davis, of YAER Productions.  Ryan is a fixture around drifting, check out his videos on vimeo.  Thanks again Ryan for the contribution.

by Kyle Tomita on Thu, Mar 17th, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

The prototype custom fuel system designed by PSI for the GT-R has been completed. 

Here is a photo of the engine bay of the GT-R.

Nissan GT-R with PSI Fuel System

For reference, here is the engine bay of another GT-R with a stock fuel system. 

Nissan GT-R with stock fuel system

Their is not a lot of noticable differences between the two engine bays at least in terms of the fuel system.  Minimum exterior changes were the goal for this custom fuel system.  We wanted to offer an upgraded fuel system without it sticking out.  Luckily, most of the components of the fuel system are hidden. 

The fuel system upgrades include larger 1000cc injectors from Injector Dynamics, a Radium Engineering fuel surge tank and fuel pressure regulator, and Russel fittings and line. 

Radium Engineering FST on Nissan GT-R

This particular Radium fuel surge tank houses a single Bosch fuel pump.  This upgraded fuel pump will provide enough fuel for the larger 1000cc injectors. 

Whenever installing new components to a car, finding a suitable location for the component can be difficult.  Sometimes the best spot available may be near other components such as the exhaust system, which is common for under car locations. 

In this case, the fuel surge tank was mounted in a location that we felt a heat shield was a necessity.  Alex Laventure fabricated a heat shield that would protect the fuel lines from residual heat from the exhaust. 

Radium Engineering FPR on Nissan GT-R

The fuel pressure regulator is one of the only components easily noticed under the hood.  The fuel pressure regulator has a gauge on it to provide the tuner with more information.   It is used to help with checking on the system to ensure that enough fuel pressure is maintained. 

After the system was installed, it was time to tune the GT-R.  With all major changes to a vehicle, a new tune is necessary. 

Jason Oefelein tuning a Nissan GT-R

Jason Oefelein is using a Cobb AccessTuner Pro to tune the GT-R for the upgraded fuel system.

by Kyle Tomita on Fri, Feb 4th, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

Work continues on the LS3 280Z project.  This Datsun 280Z will soon be powered by an E-Rod LS3.  An E-Rod LS3 is a CARB legal version of the LS3 crate motor. 

For this application, the LS3 was mated to a Tremec T56 six-speed transmission from a Dodge Viper. 

The V8 is substantially larger than the original Datsun engine so custom mounts needed to be fabricated.  Only essential components were left in the engine bay to help with deciding the placement. 

Pictured above is the engine bay with the motor mounts fabricated by Alex Laventure. 

E-Rod LS3 in a Datsun 280Z

The LS3 fits perfectly in the engine bay of this Datsun.  The engine sits back in the engine bay to keep most of the weight near the center of the car.  The shifter's position in the cabin also plays a role.  The tranmission was secured to the car with custom fabricated tranny mounts. 

The tranny tunnel needed to be cut to accomodate the shifter location.  After the shifter was positioned, a plate was fabricated to fill the hole. 

Alex created a cardboard pattern and then cut the piece out of metal. 

Alex used many metalworking tools to match the shape of the tunnel.  Some such tools were hammers, mallets, english wheel, metal shrinker, and others. 

Custom Viper T56 Trans in a Datsun 280Z - fab

Here is the finished product.  Once welded in, the panel will blend in well with the tunnel.

The shifter posed a problem because in the Viper, the shifter sits off to the left.  Alex modified the shifter to come straight back off the transmission, as evident in the above photo. 

A Hurst shifter was modified to the allow for the best angle for the shifter.   

The shifter was topped off with a Hurst six-speed shift knob.

Work will continue and we hope to start up very soon.

by Kyle Tomita on Wed, Feb 2nd, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

For the 2011 season, Gary's S13 will have a tube frame rearend that is detachable.  The setup is similar to the Falken/Discount Tire LS powered S13 driven by Daijiro Yoshihara in the Formula Drift Series.  This new tube frame section meant that the rear quarter of the car needed to be cut off.  The car is getting a set of Origin widebody quarters but they wanted an inner quarter panel.  This is where Alex came in.

Alex helped with fabricating quarter panels that were basically flat with a flanged wheel arch.  To help with wheel clearance, much of the wheel wells were removed.  The bottom of these custom quarters were flanged so that they would blend smoothly with the current wheel arch.  This will give a smooth wheel well rather than have a sharp or pinched edge that could be damage the tires.

This is the custom quarter panel.

The flanged edge on the bottom will blend with the body to form a smooth wheel arch.

A fuel cell was also added for 2011 and with this additional, a firewall was needed.  The firewall needs to separate the cabin of the vehicle from the fuel cell.  Gary drew out a pattern for the firewall and cut it out of sheetmetal.  The firewall was beadrolled in the center to provide some additional strength to the large piece of metal.  The top edge was also flanged to ease in the attachment of the firewall to the car.

Alex uses the ERCO metal shrinker to create the flange on the firewall.

Gary punched out holes with the ironworker to allow bars for the rear tube section to bolt to.

Here is the firewall before installation.   Gary will continue to work on finishing up the detachable tube frame rearend during the beginning of the season.  He will still be out at the early events so check them out at PARC and PGP.  Also continue to check back on our blog for more updates on this build.

by Kyle Tomita on Tue, Feb 1st, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

All parts can be modified.  The quality of the modification is key.  The quality of aftermarket parts available today vary greatly.  The parts we choose for our clients are of the highest quality and from manufacturers that stand behind their product.  With the vast array of vehicles on the roads today, aftermarket parts, even those of the highest quality need to be modified.  Especially with the amount of customization we do, parts are often not available, whether quality or application. 

We are fortunate to have  a very talented fabricator, Alex Laventure.  His many years of experience allow him to devise the most efficient and cost-effective solutions for our fabrication needs, while still maintaining a high level of quality.

Welding the front end supports on an S13

A recent project we were working on was a LS1 powered 350Z. As is the case with many custom projects, modifications were necessary to ensure the highest quality of the complete package.  In our client's 350Z, the LS1 was being mated to Tremec transmission. This transmission obviously has differing dimensions than the stock transmission mounted to the VQ. A Sikky Manufaturing supplied shifter was used to compensate for the distance between the shifters for both vehicles.  The Sikky shift kit uses a longer linkage between the shifter and transmission.  The installation of this kit went smoothly. However, for our application, the shift linkage needed to be modified because the positioning allowed the transmission to shift out of gear during operation.  That is the nature of this type of project, custom projects means many parts to be modified for the specific application.

Pieces of a shifter

Alex began by disassembling the shifter relocation kit to determine the best resolution.

Alex Laventure milling a part

He then took measurements and milled down certain components to his specifications.

Spiral of smoke

A shot of the smoke being generated during milling.

modifications need to be kept looking clean

Once all the compenents were modified, Alex reassembled the shifter.  Whenever modifying a component, especially when a important as the shifter, it always important to unsure you produce the highest quality part.  Alex finished the shifter make it as close to the original as possible.  His goal was to improve functionality but keep the appearance of a unmodified unit.  Feel free to view other components that were either modified or fabricated by Alex.  Also, check back  on this blog for future custom projects.

by Kyle Tomita on Mon, Jan 31st, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

The shaker scoop for the Frankenstang Project was not fully completed when the pervious post went out, even if I thought it was.  Alex Laventure went a different way with the air filter setup, which is a better way.

This is the K&N air filter sitting on top of the mild steel lip Alex made.  He first bent up the 90 degree angle for the lip and then shaped it into a circle that snuggly fits the air filer.  The air filter holder would then be welded to the metal scoop base that he made earlier. 

Air filter for shaker hood scoop

 The ring fits snuggly against the filter to keep out foreign material.   

Alex Laventure welding - blue flare

Here is a photo of Alex welding the air filter holder onto the scoop base.  With the base and filter holder firmly attached, it was time to install it on the carb.

Shaker hood scoop on 1969 Ford Mustang

Here is the finished project.  The filter sits perfectly in the shaker hood scoop.  The Frankenstang Project is progressing very well.  Check back for more updates.

by Kyle Tomita on Wed, Jan 26th, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

As the GM LS engine is used in more and more cars and available in crate engine form, the amount of projects that utilize this V8 will steadily increase.  The generation III LS engine has been used in many of GM's makes and models since 1997.  This fuel injected V8 replaces the caburated V8's that were popular before.  A Chevy 350 was one of the popular V8's that was swapped into many cars and trucks.

The gen III LS is a good fit for many projects because of its weight, size, power output, and fuel economy.  Fuel injected engines are more efficient than carbureted ones.

One of our recent projects utilizes the L92, a 6.2L variant, has been installed in a 1978 Chevy C10 Silverado Stepside that previously had a Chevy 350.  L92 is out of an 2008 Cadillac Escalade.  Before the L92 was able to power this Chevy Stepside, it was sent off to the machine to be hot tanked and honed.  The mild cam from Comp Cams was installed along with Comp Cams hardened pushrods and Comp Cams springs.  Variable Valve Timing was deleted from this application.

L92 in 1978 Chevy Stepside

A set of SMP headers were installed.  They were chosen for this application because they offered the most clearance for other components.

The L92 is mated to a 6L90E transmission.  The 6L90E is a heavy duty automatic transmission produced by GM.  Along with any swap, many different modifications around the vehicle are required.  The size and shape of the L92 differs from the 350, therefore a different set of motor and tranny mounts were necessary.

A panel was also fabricated to hold the ecu and other necessary electronics under the hood.

This panel provides a place to mount electronics under the hood and also cleans up the engine bay.  It is better be organized than just have electronic boxes screwed into the side of the engine bay.

The gauage cluster also received some attention because of the new engine.  The new fuel injected setup was not compatible with the stock 1978 mechanical gauge cluster.  Russ Weimer had the responsibility to rewire the gauge cluster and dash.  His task included installing all necessary engine monitoring sensor and other parts to make the new set of Autometer gauges to work properly.  The gauge cluster now holds a set of Autometer full sweep analog electronic gauges.

The stock bezel was used to give the car the same stock feel.

This Chevy Stepside had been lowered by the previous owner.  Our client wanted us to put the suspension back to stock form.  To do this, the front suspension components were swapped out for new OEM replacements.  The rear leaf spring setup needed a little more attention.  To get the truck to sit lower, the frame was c-notched to fit the rear axle.  Alex was given the task of repairing the frame.  He cut out the c-notched section, which was not modified very cleanly.  The welds on the c-notch were poor and many pieces of welding rod were still stuck to the seam.  After the c-notch was removed and the frame reinforced, the leaf springs were flipped.  The truck now sits at its proper height.

The shroud that holds the radiator received a special finishing touch.  A stainless steel PSI badge was welded on and the whole part was painted black.  These small touches make each project uniquely done by PSI.  This is just one of many Chevy stepsides that received a modern Chevy V8 at PSI.

by Kyle Tomita on Tue, Jan 25th, 2011 | Fabrication, PSI Projects

Work on our 64 Continental project car continues. Alex Laventure and Erick Sackhoff had some time away from working on client cars so they did some work on this project.  Thie Continental will be powered by a Ford V8 out of a 2003 Ford Mustang Cobra with a Kenne Bell supercharger.  This engine is substantially wider than the 460 that originally powered it.  The crossmember was already modified to fit the wider engine.  The unique combination of engine and body required the fabrication of custom engine and transmission mounts.  No aftermarket company offers mounts for this specific application.  Also having channelled the car, none drivetrain path of the drivetrain are from the original car.  This will be a totally custom car when they are done. 

They started designing the mounts by first putting the engine and trans in the car and using braces to hold it in place.  The transmission mount was fabricated first.  This mount would be easier because it only required one location to mount.  The transmission is bolted to the engine on one end.  The transmission was positioned in place and a piece of metal was welded between the parts of the frame that were added for channeling the car.  A rubber mount was used to prevent some vibrations transferring from the engine to the car. 

After this mount was fabricated and mounted, Alex began work on the engine mounts.  Alex fabricated a plate to bolt to the stock mounting locations on the engine.  Building off this plate, he fabricated a boxed in section that connect to the section mounted on the frame. 

PSI custom engine mount unassembled

Here are the pieces that make up one mount. 

PSI custom engine mount assembled

Here is one mount assembled. 

PSI custom engine mounts

Here is a photo of both the assembled mount and an unassembled one.

Here is a photo of one of the engine mounts.  This photo is taken from the level of the frame.  On the left is the tranmission bellhousing and on the right of the photo is the frame. 

Here is a photo of the engine mount from above.  We will have better photos of the engine mounts installed in the car without the engine when the engine is removed for painting. 

Continue to follow the blog for the progress of our custom Continental.

by Kyle Tomita on Fri, Jan 21st, 2011 | Fabrication, PSI Projects

One major advantage of having a skilled fabricator, like Alex Laventure, is that our shop projects receive the same high quality work that client's projects receive.  Alex has been in the fabrication and restoration industry for over 18 years.  This experience allows him to make efficient use of the small amount of time that we have available to work on shop projects. 

One such shop project that received this attention is Erick Sackhoff's 1964 Lincoln Continental.  We have talked about this project in a previous blog, http://tunedbypsi.com/blog-entry.php?64-Lincoln-Continental-Project-76.  This blog with focus briefly on the metalwork put into repairing the body of this '64 Continental project. 

PSI's 64 Continental Project - raw metal 2

In its current state, the car is stripped down to bare metal.  It this state, Alex repaired body panels that had been damaged and rusted.  The areas that received attention from Alex are hard to distinguish from the original metal body panels.  Many of the vistors to PSI view this Continental and have a hard time finding the sections that have been replaced.  Alex blended the two pieces of sheetmetal together so well that it hides the area of contact.  Unless the visitor is in the industry, the weld points go unnoticed. 

PSI's 64 Continental Project - raw metal

This Continental usually draws visitors' attention because of the body being in raw metal and the fact that the car practically sits on the ground, when the airbags are deflated.  Currently in the photograph above, the Lincoln is sitting off the ground because Alex is in the process of fabricating motor and tranny mounts.  Normally a V8 from a 2003 Ford Mustang Cobra with a Kenne Bell supercharger does not sit in the engine bay.  Therefore, exstensive fabrication is needed to swap this V8 in the car.  When this project reaches fruition, most of the components of this Continetal will be replaced and upgraded.  Check back as this Continental project proceeds.  The progression will be slow because our client's projects come first.

by Kyle Tomita on Thu, Jan 20th, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

After headers were modified to fit, Alex Laventure began work on the shaker scoop, which is also referred to as a shaker hood.  A shaker scoop protrudes out of the hood and is attached to the engine.  This attachment causes the scoop to move with the engine, where the name shaker is derived.  Here is the shaker scoop on the "Frankenstang" project. 

Alex fabricated the air cleaner base out of sheet of mild steel.  The base was formed by stepping the sheet metal.  It was stepped once to create a recessed area for the carb. 

Shaker scoop center

Another step was added to adjust the base for height.  The 460 is rather large engine and with the custom motor mounts, the carb sits higher than that of other cars with shaker hoods.  Limited space is something often dealt with in engine swaps. 

Here is a photo of the completed base.  The base will later be powder coated. 

Here is the base installed on the 460 with the rubber piece. 

Check back here for future updates as the "Frankenstang" project continues.

by Kyle Tomita on Fri, Jan 14th, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

A client, whose Nissan GT-R recieved an AMS Alpha 6 preformance kit installed by us, recently brought it back to make the exhaust sound more aggressive. 

GT-R's meet at PSI 009

An electronic cutout system was installed in the exhaust system to give a more aggressive sound on demand.  Having the cutout instead of removing the mufflers gives the owner an option to have a more civilized exhaust tone.  The electronic cutouts are controlled by a switch mounted on the underside of the dash. 

When the cutout is openned, the exhaust is loud and aggressive, which is only used off road. 

When closed, the exhaust gases run through the AMS exhaust system. 

The GT-R's have become more popular with our clients and now modifying them is what they want to do.  This owner daily drives his GTR and we also recently replaced his tires.  Check back here as we continue to work on this cars and many others.

GT-R's meet at PSI 006

by Kyle Tomita on Wed, Jan 12th, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

Now with the modified oil pan back in the car, work can begin on the modification of the headers.  Often times when swapping in a motor, modifications are required.  This big block 460's headers will be have to be modified to fit in the "Frankenstang" project.  At first, we attempted to source a set of headers that would work for this application, but none could be found.  Alex Laventure selected the headers that provided the best base to start fabrication from.

The space available to run the headers was limited and so was the space to work.  The passenger side header needed the most work.  All four runners needed to be modified.  Alex essentially used only a small section off the flange as the base.  Tubing was cut and welded to join all for runners into the collector. 

Alex took measurements and checked the fitment with the flange bolted to the engine and did all welding off the car. 

Once all the tubes were fabricated, Alex welded the collector on. 

The above photo shows the amount of space available for the header.  The header that Alex modified offers the clearance needed to fit between the 460 and chassis.  The passenger side header required a lot more modification than the driver's side. 

The driver's side header only required modification after the collector.  This side's header had the clearance because the manufacturer took into account the steering columns location. 

Here are the newly fabricated headers.  Now that the headers are completed, Alex can begin fabricating a custom exhaust system.  Check back for more updates on the "Frankenstang" project.

by Kyle Tomita on Mon, Jan 3rd, 2011 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

A client's 1969 Lincoln Continental received a performance restoration.  We call it a performance restoration because performance was the goal of this project.  The Continental came to us after being purchased by the current owner.  He wanted us to go over the car and do a post purchase inspection.   The client's goals for this vehicle was to enjoy it so getting it to run and drive well was the main concern. 

Under the hood was a Ford 460 that needed some attention.  The 460 was removed, stripped down, and sent to the machine shop.  At the machine shop, the 460 was hot tanked to clean it, magnfluxed to check for cracks, decked, bored 30 over for Keith Black pistons, and line bored.  The rotating assembly was balanced and the crank was machined.  Once it returned, it was ready to assemble the engine. 

blog russ working on 460

Rather than used stock heads, a set of Edelbrock Performer RPM aluminum heads were secured to the block with ARP head studs. A Comp Cams 34-225 cam is used along with Comp Cams Magnum roller rockers, 3/8th push rods, and hydraulic flat tappet lifters. 

Along with the rebuild, the 460 was mated to a C6 transmission, which is a heavy duty C4 transmission. The tranmission received a mild shift kit before going in.  The rearend was also changed to 3.0 gears. 

The brakes also received some attention.  New pads and rotors were installed in the front and the rear. 

To tune this fresh 460, the Continetal was strapped to the dyno. 

The freshly built engine still needs to be broken in.  Here is a video of it on the dyno.

1969 Lincoln Continental on dyno at PSI from Portland Speed Industries on Vimeo.

by Kyle Tomita on Fri, Dec 31st, 2010 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

The Chevrolet LS engines have now become very popular.  We have been putting them into vehicles ranging from classic cars and trucks to imports.  We are currently working on putting an LS3 e-rod into a Datsun 280Z.  The client resides in California, therefore the LS3 e-rod package was chosen as the powerplant because of its emissions compliance. 

We initial purchased motor mounts, however they did not fit.  The motor mounts did not place the engine in an acceptable location, so Alex Laventure fabricated a set. 

These motor mounts allow the engine to sit back and low to clear the hood.  The mounts were test fit with a mock block and sit nicely. 

The LS3 will be mated to a six-speed transmission out of a Dodge Viper.  The stock Viper transmission is built to handle the high power of a Viper V10 and will be able to handle the power of this factory rated 430 hp V8. 

A transmission mount also needed to be fabricated to properly hold this transmission.  Slight modifications were required to get the transmission to fit and work properly. 

A clutch from Monster Clutches will also be used. 

This LS3 280Z project is progressing nicely.  We hope to have the LS3 running in the 280Z by next week.  Enjoy the New Year and don't forget to check back soon.

by Kyle Tomita on Thu, Dec 30th, 2010 | Fabrication

Welding is the joining of two materials by melting and adding filler material.  Welding is something that takes a lot of skill to perform cleanly and efficiently.  We are fortunate to have several employees with the ability to weld but our fabricator Alex Laventure is the best.  He has been in this profession for over 18 years. 

One current project Alex is working on is welding a custom exhaust for a Subaru STi EJ25 that will be going into a 914 Porsche. 

This is the EJ25 with the exhaust and turbo mocked up.  The client has spot welded the pieces into place. 

Alex welded on the flanges.  The tight turns and confines of this exhaust system took a lot of skill.  Alex TIG welded the joints.  Photos of the completed exhaust are unavailable because I left for a trip to Hawaii before the work was completed.

by Kyle Tomita on Tue, Dec 21st, 2010 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

When working on custom projects, issues often arise throughout the build.  The "Frankenstang" project was brought to us as a work already in progress.  With those types of projects some inherited issues have a common occurance.  Our first major issue with making the Mustang a running car is with the engine mounting position.  The following photos show the clearance issues with the Ford 460's oil pan and the steering rack. 

blog oil pan clearance issues 1

blog oil pan clearance issues 2

Alex Laventure needed to modify the oil pan to provide an adequate amount of clearance so that the big block will sit in properly.  

blog cut oil pan

The oil pan was cut to provide space for the steering rack. 

blog steering rack clearance masten

This shows the cut oil pan and the clearance that is available.  A;ex then needed to fabricate a new section of the oil pan that went around the steering rack but still left enough room for the oil pump to fit inside. 

blog modified oil pan

Here is the modified oil pan that is ready to go back onto the engine.

blog masten alex installing oil pan

Alex is installing the oil pan. 

blog masten oil pan in

Here is an undercar view of the installed oil pan and the clearance with the steering rack and lines. 

Now Alex can procede to modify the headers to fit properly in the "Frankenstang".

blog Masten headers in front of car

by Kyle Tomita on Fri, Dec 17th, 2010 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

The RX-7 that had overfenders attached by Alex Laventure is ready to leave to go to the bodyshop.  For the build process of the overfender installation check out this blog, http://tunedbypsi.com/blog-entry.php?How-wide-can-you-go-160.

The client wanted to fit 18 x 10″ in the front and 18 x12.5″ in the rear.  These Meisters are wrapped with Toyo Proxes R888, with 2285/30 R18 in the front and 335/30 R18 in the rear.  We accomplished it by installing overfenders in the rear and modifying the front end.  An aftermarket bumper was used.  Under the hood, some components needed to be relocated from the inner fenders, which were removed.

Here are some shots before the car was picked up by the client and taken to the bodyshop for prep and paint.

blog rx7 leaving

RX-7 with wide wheels at PSI

by Kyle Tomita on Wed, Dec 8th, 2010 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

hood rendering for blog

With this rendering by Todd Johnston, in house artist, Alex Laventure, fabricator, began work on the custom hood scoop.   When we left off last, Alex had just completed fabrication of the scoop out of aluminum. 

blog alex working on the hood

Alex putting the finishing touches on the scoop. 

It is now time to cut the hood to make room for the scoop.  It is not as simple as it seems.  A large hole cannot be simply cut out without affecting the rigidity of the hood. 

blog hood support

To provide rigity to the hood, their are supports on the underside.  This supports will need to be removed so the hole can be cut. 

blog no hood support

After the support was carefully removed, the hole can be cut.  The supports will need to be put back after the scoop has been glued in. 

blog scoop glued in no support

After the scoop is glued in, work on the supports can continue.  The scoop was glued into the hood because of the thickness of the scoop and hood.  The aluminum hood was very thin. 

blog gluing hood supports back in

Alex fitted aluminum under the supports that he cut so that the removed support piece can be glued onto them.  This will allow the support to be firmly reattached. 

blog hood support after glue

A support piece.

The support was reattached.  Alex then needed to use all-metal to smooth the transistion from the scoop to the hood. 

blog hood with scoop hanging

Here is the hood hanging with the scoop in. 

After Alex finished preping the hood, it was sent off to the body shop for final prep and paint.  Check back for updates when we get this hood back.

by Kyle Tomita on Fri, Nov 19th, 2010 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

blog test fit gauges

Test fitting the new gauge cluster's front.  The gauges need to be repositioned to accomodate the new LCD screen that is mounted at the bottom. 

This LCD screen displays information about the transmission.  That information includes transmission gear, overdrive, line pressure, and etc.  The screen will also display the time.  The display will be nagivated with the use of the switch below the screen.  This custom LCD display is controlled by a custom programmed microprocessor. 

As you can see, major re-wiring of the Supra is still a work in progress and will continue.  Check back for updates on the progress as this Supra's interior takes shape.

by Kyle Tomita on Mon, Nov 15th, 2010 | Client Vehicles, Fabrication

Not all of our projects are large and extensive like our current GT-R and Continetal projects but are still as important.  We view each project with the same importance because to the client their project is the main one.  Recently a client came to us with his Cadillac STS and wanted something a little more aggressive under the hood.  A turbo or supercharger was not something the client was looking for but rather a custom intake system.  He did not like all the black plasitc under the hood. 

Alex Laventure began this project by removing the stock air box.  Carefully consideration was taken to ensure no check engine lights because of the modification of the intake system.  This car has a MAF sensor like a Viper we previously worked on and had issues with the MAF sensor.  After assuring no issues with the MAF sensor, Alex fabricated a simple, custom intake with a K&N air filter. 

blog Cadillac STS PSI custom intake 002

blog Cadillac STS PSI custom intake 003

The stainless steel in the intake contrasts the black plastic covering the engine bay.  This small custom intake adds a more aggressive look to the engine bay.  By removing the airbox and replacing it with this custom intake also gives the car a more aggressive sound.  Overall this simple modification provides many asethetic improvements.

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