NX GTi-R: DIY Aero and then Some!

So pleased with this Turbosmart BOV – was able to do a couple of runs before dismantling the car – and it sounds awesome. The Heat Shield wrap has gone back on. That nipple is for the MAP on the ECUMasters’ ecu.

The next update had nothing to do with my DIY aero project. Last season we were chasing gremlins that cost us a lot of horsepower. The first and most obvious was that the turbo wastegate actuator on my Precision 5128 turbo overheated and seized. We got that replaced but were still down so continued searching. If you’re familiar with turbos you understand that a vacuum leak will cause huge issues; so went over all of the vacuum lines and replaced clamps and ensured a tight fight. That led to finding that the original factory blow off valve no longer appeared to be doing its job. It was replaced with a Turbosmart Race BOV that was installed on the cool side piping. Some readers may gasp and shriek that it should have been on the hot side and you’re probably correct. However, my hot side piping is incredibly short and has a 180° bend plus is very crowded. It could possibly have worked, but it was so much easier to locate it near the factory location where there was lots of room. So that is what happened. This required a drive to AES Auto in Burnaby – it was almost like something nefarious was taking place.

It was the start of the pandemic in BC, so after a drive on an eerily vacant highway, I was carrying the pipe and BOV  from my car in gloved hands and with a masked face, setting it down 3 metres from the door. Paulo and I chatted briefly through a more closed than open door, and then I left. My shortest visit on record at AES Auto. Pick up a little bit later was about the same. The welding job was awesome although Paulo had to find some metal; you see the hole saw used was the exact size. Perfect for a flat project but on a pipe it meant that the opening was too big since the Turbosmart flanges had the sharp tips removed. Hence the need to find metal – which Paulo at AES Auto did with no issue.

More doodling and, while the modern flat face air dam approach was very tempting, I’m an old guy who’s carried these air dams around for years and several thousand kilometres. Nostalgia – I had to use them. And when my buddy Bron offered to help out with his fiberglass skill, it was a done deal. But when it came to splitter rods, I tossed out the idea of building my own and ordered them from Professional Awesome.
When Bron said he’d help with this fiberglass project, I’m positive he knew that meant he’d have to do it all. He made this look easy!

A decision was also made during this downtime about the front air dam. While there was very strong temptation to go with the modern trend of the flat air dam front, the desire to go with the old school air dam that’s been on a shelf for a decade won out. This was reinforced when my friend and track buddy, Bron, offered to lend his incredible fiberglass expertise to this project. With his tutelage the foam – use the green foam and don’t cheap out like I did and use white foam as the green foam is much easier to work with and  worth every penny – was formed to the car and taped into place. Then with mask in place Bron came over to the garage and did the work. Due to social distancing, that really is what happened. Burgers were on the house but no help could be offered – we were on opposite sides of the garage. Bron literally makes fiberglass look easy. Keep your eyes open for an article on his incredible Integra as that has to happen. A 9 second drag car that has been turned into a time attack car! Simply wow.

Precise, neat, and right on describe this man’s fiberglass work. My fiberglass work, on the other hand, can only be described as a disaster plus whatever clothes I was wearing would need to be thrown out!

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