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American Gymkhana

DATE POSTED: 04/06/07

Lug Nut Motorsports invaded "American Gymkhana" this past Saturday. Project Käfer arrived at El Toro Airfield in Irvine at 8:45AM in the morning, only after being finished at 10:00PM the night before. I here at J.D.M. had no idea how our Underdog was going to do, because there was no time to dial anything in. This was going to be a true shake down for both car and driver. Project Käfer was thrown in this event to sink or swim!


The car ended up being classified "D2 - FR" in the Modified Class. It seemed that the "D3 - RR" class was closed, do to not enough Rear/Mid Engine cars entering. As practice runs started, it was apparent that Project Käfer was having some issues with its oil. The engine was idling with 40PSI on the gauge and was pegging the gauge past 100PSI when revved. This excessive pressure may have lead to some of the leaks that were noticed in the 45 minute drive to El Toro. Also the engine was not over heating, but after two all out hot laps, the oil temperatures creeped to 230° F. This was not a comfortable range to be at. But all things considering, so far so good, and there seemed to be no real problems to keep us from racing!

On the very 1st lap I noticed despite the modification made to the suspension, Project Käfer was still a handful to drive. The power on tap did not help with keeping the car in check, but I felt it was the alignment that made things difficult. Basic alignment was set with 0.25" toe-in front and 0.05" toe-in rear, but the camber and caster settings were very inconsistent, and there was no time to change that. The car was ran with -1.5° camber on the left side and -3.3° camber on the right side. But dispite all this, after a few laps, I started to figure out this completely different setup. It was amazing to see what Project Käfer could now do. I was able to keep my foot flat on the throttle through sweepers and slaloms with no real hint of the rear swing axle jacking. When lifting the throttle, turn in was sharp and fast, but not out of control. Understeer was still an issue, but now was kept in check easier than before. Understeers was only heavily apparent when braking too late, or when the weight transfer would start to lift the front tires from their grip. The limit was now safely reach as gross, but controllable, oversteer. The limit before would come as snap oversteer and near the thresh hold of flipping, but not anymore. It was apparent that Project Käfer was on its way to becoming a well balanced car.

The response Project Käfer and I got from follow drivers and spectators was very positive. This coupled with the support of my team, Lug Nut Motorsports, made this event very much worth all the sleepless nights and heart ache it took to get there. As it turns out, things ended better than expected. Out of the 78 cars that were there at this event, Project Käfer and I were chosen for the special award "YOU GOT BALLS" trophy. I guess this Underdog succeeded in its mission. Some fellow team members also came home with trophies. Michael Palero #58 and his VW GLi walked away with 1st place in the "SA1- FF" Stock Class, and Jeremin Choenchavalit #70 walked away with 3rd place in the "P" Unlimited Class. The team also got good coverage on JTuned and the Speed Lounge Photo Gallery. I was very honored to be pictured on JTuned, as it is an all JSpec/JDM Magazine. Congrads to all!

EVENT UPDATE: American Gymkhana

DATE POSTED: 03/25/07

J.D.MOTORSPORT will be particpating with Project Käfer at Drift Association's American Gymkhana event. This event takes place March 31st 2007, which is this up and coming Saturday, at El Toro Airfield in Irvine. Project Käfer will be make its debut appearance in the Modified Class, and it will be make its first shake down since its new build.

Most of my race team, Lug Nut Motorsports, will be there too. If you are near by and have nothing else better to do, come check us out because its free! Our Underdog, Project Käfer, is classified as "D3 - RR". It will be facing the likes of other Rear/Mid Engine cars, like the Toyota MR2, Lotus Elise, Acura NSX, etc.

For more information on this event check out Gates open at 8:00am to the public. Event ends at 5:00pm. Food and drinks are available, venders like Aspec, BRIDE, etc. will be there. Spectators can event sign up drive their car on the course between 12:00pm & 1:00pm, which is lunch time for us competitors. So you do not have to just watch you can participate too!

Project Käfer

DATE POSTED: 03/24/07

This weeks segment: "Making it stick, and NOT flip". The ill handling abilities of a Beetle's rear swing axle are pretty well known. I have even had a commentator at Autocross announce: "Attention Corvette driver, if you see some thing blue and round and on the side of the road, do not worry it is just a Bug flipped over". This "flipping" or "wheel jacking" of a swing axle is an issue, but hopefully with these added editions pictured before you, Project Käfer's handling will be more like a gripping Porsche 356 rather than a flipping VW Beetle.


DATE POSTED: 03/19/07

"hotVW's DRAG DAY" returned to Irwindale Speedway this past Sunday. This is an event I would normally participate in, but with completion of Project Kafer's engine being a week late, J.D.MOTORSPORT had the chance to be a spectator and shoot some pictures instead.

I forgot how much fun these events were to watch. You do not realize how much of the event you miss sitting in the staging lanes until you sit in the grand stands. The smoky burn outs, wheel standing launches, rubber laying, sideways sliding, gear ratcheting passes are all part of the great day called hotVW's DRAG DAY.

Congratulations tofriend Lino Iniguez for his win in "Jackpot" and runner up in "Top Eliminator". Lino was unstoppable on his way to Top Eliminator, taking out veterans like friend Mike Lawless, who also had a very good comeback that day with a runner up in Jackpot. Please check out the GALLERY for more pictures.

ENGINE UPDATE: Project Käfer

DATE POSTED: 03/18/07

A week late, but done none the less. Can you say "bolt-ons"? This picture should give some viewers a new meaning of the word. The funny part is that a few items were actually forgeten for this picture, but this is basically everything that had to be "bolted up" to Project Käfer's long block.

The beautifully black, yet strong industrial paint was sprayed on the engine cooling tin last week by Jon and the crew at Sun Motors Body Shop. Later this week Jay Cee Enterprises in Huntington Beach will be providing their dyno testing services. Please check back for more pictures and more updates!

ENGINE UPDATE: Project Käfer

DATE POSTED: 03/03/07

Pictured before you is one last look at the long block; a reminder of how hard work can start to look more like art work in the final stages of building an engine. One week from today should have us seeing a complete engine here at the J.D.M. Garage.

Special thanks go out to Nato and Marcial Morales of Brothers VW Machine Shop in Ontario. "Brothers" patiently helped me mount the wedgemated flywheel, and trim the engine cooling tin to clear the header. Both are trial and error tasks, and are very difficult with out the right tools. Please check back here next week for the final build of Project Käfer's engine. Thank you.

ENGINE UPDATE: Project Käfer

DATE POSTED: 02/17/07

Project Käfer's engine has finally returned to J.D.M.'s garage. Here it will reach its final stage of completion before going to the dyno to be tested and tuned. Special thanks go out to Fred and Mike of Performance Technology for their help in building the long block.

What you see pictured before you is points of interest of the long block from various angles. You can see that Project Käfer's engine is based off an OEM VW Type 1 block. The same goes for the heads, which are also based off an OEM VW Type 1 casting. Note that it is not a swapped Porsche engine, and it is actually a VW engine that is chosen to make power, or to be fast.

Another point of interest; four of eight valves that is the OHV setup of an aircooled Volkswagen. Many consider OHV a very obsolete configuration, but this one includes advance materials and technologies, merging the old ways with the new. Beryllium copper, titanium, stainless steel, chromium-molybdenum steel, and ceramic composite are rarely found in modern DOHC setups; let alone the usage of ceramic thermal coatings, anti-friction polishings, and cryogenics.

ENGINE UPDATE: Project Käfer

DATE POSTED: 01/27/07

Construction of the long block rounds its completion at Performance Technology in Anaheim. As Project Käfer's Type 1 Engine reaches its final stages of being built, all the small details come into play.

The high-tech coatings you see pictured before you were painstakingly applied by Performance Technology's own Mike Di Giulio. The chambers and piston tops have been coated with a ceramic thermal barrier, while the piston skirts have been applied with a dry film anti-friction coating.

The thermal barrier has been applied in hopes to evenly distribute heat in the chamber and across the piston top. This should increase combustion temperatures, while greatly diminishing or eliminating the chance of detonation. The anti-friction coating has been applied in hopes to reduces the effects of piston scuffing, piston rock and other frictional induced problems. This should reduce excessive wear. Both coatings reduce wasted heat. Mouse over the smaller pictures to see more detail.

ENGINE UPDATE: Project Käfer

DATE POSTED: 01/13/07

Construction continues, not only for this site, but for Project Käfer's Type 1 engine as well. A lot of "new" comes for this New Year as a "New Type Engine" is being built for Project Käfer. Building of this project's long block is taking place at Performance Technology in Anaheim.

Currently, the short block has been completed after multiple mock up builds and test fitting of custom parts; all to make sure everything was in spec. The long block inches ever closer to completion, as attention now shifts to the most important part of an engine; the heads.

Performance Technology's own Fred Simpson has performed the beautiful artwork called head porting pictured before you. What started out as just an OEM set of Volkswagen Heads, is now a fully welded, fully ported, custom set of Performance Technology V7 Port Heads. Mouse over the smaller pics to see more detail.

GARAGE UPDATE: Under Construction

DATE POSTED: 01/01/07

Welcome to WWW.JDMOTORSPORT.ORG, a new site for the New Year! This is your future home for Underdog JDM & DTM Motorsports! Updates here will not only include the participation and competition of my two underdog project cars, but will also include the engine and suspension build ups, the testing and tuning of these setups, and the shake downs and time attacks of "Project: Hachi-Roku" and "Project: Käfer". The type of updates found here will vary from personal pictures and write ups, to full audio and video, to links to my team's web site Lug Nut Motorsports for even more content!

Now what is an underdog? An underdog is a person or group in a competition, who is popularly expected to lose. If the underdog wins, the event is known as an upset. Now what cars were chosen for this task? "Project: Hachi-Roku" is a 1986 Toyota Corolla GTS, also known around the world as the AE86 chassis. "Project: Käfer" is a 1962 Volkswagen Beetle Sedan, also know around the worlds as the "Type 1" chassis. Both of these cars when tuned, can take down cars outside of their class, and that is the premise of this site. Please check back later for more updates. Thank you.

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Copyright 2007 J.D.MOTORSPORT