The Joy’s of Owning an S-Chassis

My sincerest apologies for the extended absence. Some times life can be demanding. I needed some time to reorganize the layout, and method of approach. I’ll be implementing these changes over the next few weeks, and I promise you shall not be disappointed! Now let’s jump into this article.

I’ve had an infatuation with the s-chassis ever since I bought my first one back in 2007. Honestly the car was my second choice, but while on the way to look at my first choice the owner informed me that he had sold it. So, being two hours into the drive I wasn’t about to go home empty handed. I called the owner of the 240, and headed over to check out his car. I had my father drive me to San Jose, seeing as its difficult to drive two vehicles at once. 

When we first arrived my father said to me “Boy, we should just keep driving and not stop” at first glance of the car. Honestly, he was probably right about that. Being the hard-headed eighteen year old I was, I decided to check it out anyway. It was a primer grey 1989 hatch, and still had the good Ole single cam in it. Only modifications done to it besides the terrible paint job were; Eibach lowering springs, a welded differential, and a MagnaFlow fart can. 

(Now here’s where my father’s advise should have become clear) After inspecting the car we tightened up a few bolts under the hood, and the lug nuts… Yes the lug nuts were barely on the car, I should have ran when I had the chance. But something about owning a 240 wouldn’t let me leave. It was raining earlier that day, and I remember scaring the guy in the first few turns. This was in all honesty my first rear wheel drive car, and the bug bit me hard. There’s just something about being able to throw the rear end out with the flick of a wrist that intrigued me back then, and still does. I managed to negotiate the car down to a reasonable price, and off we went!

I worked graveyard shifts at a small grocery store at the time. The first night that I took my new pride, and joy to work I left the house early to get some spirited driving in. As soon as I pulled into the parking lot I saw only one vehicle there. I decided to start swinging around the islands in the lot, and eventually around the building. Needless to say the supervisor on duty showed her true colors that night, which kind of ruled out that parking lot. 

Somewhere along the lines some of my at the time friends scraped up some gas money, and asked me to take them out for some spirited driving. Around this time I had discovered a wickedly awesome canyon road nearby, so I had no other choice but to go there. To our surprise as we are about to enter the canyon, a group of ten plus other 240sx’s happen to roll through the intersection in front of us. I tailed them down, and hung with them quite well honestly. After doing a few runs up, and down they all stopped on the side of the road to let their cars warm down. I started chatting with them, and discovered the local car scene finally.

Every weekend there would always be a meet of decent size down in Sacramento, and I was a very avid attendee. Didn’t matter if there were 20 cars, or 200 I was there. Obviously with large groups of people there would be unwelcome guests with flashing lights, so we would all just move along to the next parking lot until it was time to go for our runs. Those late night canyon runs lit a fuse that could never be extinguished, and to this day I still think about the fun times we had out there. Until about 50 of us were rewarded with “Aiding, and embedding a speed contest” tickets.

Now on a little side note, whenever someone notices a 240 they seem to expect us to act a fool. Sad to say, but sliding through the middle of a busy intersection is just something to avoid. I know that I get a lot of disappointed people. After watching a few close calls I learned it’s better to stick to the track, or very isolated areas. Luckily where I reside there’s plenty of those. Sure these isolated areas may not be the best of choices, but it’s a whole lot better than manslaughter charges. So please remmeber that not every s-chassis owner is going to get sideways because you ask them too.

Obviously with all of the thrill seeking, and spirited driving there comes gaps of down time. Some builds will stay under the knife for upwards of ten years, others maybe only a week or so. But seeing as how in some areas it’s harder to source parts for these cars it usually ends up being more like a month. I always here people complaining about 240s not being reliable, but honestly if people would stop doing half-assed janky repair jobs the cars would be excellent. Granted all three of the 240s I have owned have had some kind of ghosts, but that was mainly due to the previous owners hack job wiring skills.

I sold that 240, and moved on for a while. Fast forward a few years to right before I got 240 #2. I was looking to sell or trade my 2003 SVT Focus Europe edition. I didn’t really expect any bites on my offer seeing as how it had 226,000 miles and a bent intake valve,  but after about a week I got a text. The guy told me he had a 240, and would be down to trade with a little cash on top. 

I wanted to make sure that I would be happy with the deal, and didn’t want another single cam. I had asked him what engine was in it, but he wasn’t sure. Something about the car being repayment of money he loaned a friend. He sent me a few dark pictures of the extremely dusty, and buried 240. To my surprise I saw an RB20 swapped into it, I was hooked. It was time to sell my DA Integra to get the cash. Another week or two went by before it finally sold. Now this isn’t something I would ever recommend doing, but I did. Neither of us had physically inspected the other cars before he trailered it to my house for the trade. Obviously the 240 didn’t run, and he had no idea why, but I was 100% okay with this because well… 240. We were both pleased with the deal, and on his way he went with the focus in tail.

For the next seven to eight months I was chasing electrical ghosts, and had no idea about the condition of the engine or transmission. To my surprise the car fired right up after countless long, frustrating evenings of digging through hundreds of swap threads and diagrams. I’ll never forget my friends reaction when the car took its first breathe. “Dude you need your steering wheel!” Ahhh good times. I was like a little kid when I too it out for its maiden voyage, maybe driving a little to spirited. But who cared? I had just gotten my dream project runnin, and I felt it was long overdue.

There was nothing wild about the car, other than being deafening loud at the time. It was a simple flat black coupe on Bullitt rep wheels, and a pull so aggressive that Abe Lincolns top hat would’ve blushed! But I loved the hell out of that car, only my dog was above it. My neighborhood hated me, but I didn’t care I finally had my project running! Sadly I only got to enjoy the car for about three months before circumstances forced me to sell the car. For a short period of time after selling it, it was in some pretty questionable hands.

A few years later I was looking to buy 240sx number three. See a trend going on here? There’s something about owning these cars that never let’s go of you. Of course having put so much time and work into my last 240, I wanted it back. To my surprise I found it relatively fast. Sadly the newest owner said he would never part with it. After a little time talking to the kid, it turns out he was taking pretty good care if the car. Although shortly after I found, and bought my current 240 he traded the car. Then within a month or trading it, it was for sale by the new owner not running. Oh the irony, one day I shall be reunited with that car. Having just bought my newest project, I had to pass on re owning my realistic dream build.

Now owning my third s-chassis I can definitely say that I have an incurable addiction. Although it is a good one to have, it will cost more than any drug addiction. There’s limitless swaps available for 240s, but I’m contemplating just doing a mild turbo build on my ka24de with a goal of around 250-300 horsepower. So pretty much a small turbo, and a simple tune. The suspension on this one is pretty much dialed in, and only needs a few minor tweaks. That alone will save me a pretty penny for the build. Even though I’m currently rocking six different colors, and two sets of wheels I’ve got a smile on my face. Why, you may ask? Well because it’s an S-Chassis, and any s-chassis owner would tell you the same thing. Once you’ve owned one, there’s really no going back without regret. I know I have more 240s in my future, but for now I’m just glad to be part of the s-chassis family again.
Thanks for the read, be sure to check us out on Facebook, and Instagram as well!

Photography special thanks to Liya.Willow

-Modified Dailies 

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Army Civic

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For my first article I wanted to start with one of the builds I have personally loved, and followed for a while. When I was brainstorming this whole blogging idea there was no question in my mind as to whom I was going to ask to be my first write up. Matt Daniel, and his Army Civic are indeed my first article and I am honored to have him supporting me. I casually tossed him, and a few good friends the idea of me starting this whole adventure, and was given great support. Matt is the type of guy that puts his family before the car scene, which is something everyone should take note of. Yet somehow he has managed to find the time to build this magnificent peice of art.

I first talked to Matt on the 9th gen civics Facebook page shortly after picking up my 2012 Si. I remember him posting up a project he had been working on unrelated to cars, and we continued talking after that. He introduced me to the car club he had started Persona Non Grata when it was still small enough to remember everyone’s names. I’ve worked alongside him trying to expand the group, and helping reach out via the instagram page. Since then we have watched the number steadily rise. My personal attraction to Persona Non Grata came when I heard that the group was for all automotive enthusiasts, no matter their rides or mods. But back to Matt and his awesome Civic!

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I’ve loved watching the progression of his civic from catching him in the beginning processes of carrying out his theme. Every little detail has been very well planned, and executed to perfection. Bumper to bumper this car is definitely surpassing most other similar themed vehicles. He has gone all out and even managed to squeeze an awesome movie prop into the trunk, that just makes his ride pop so much more! No matter how many times his car passes by my screen on social media I never get tired of seeing it.

I got to ask Matt a few questions about his ride, and they went something like this:

MD: What got you into the car scene Matt?

Matt: I got into auto work when I was 19, got my first 91 integra, pearlescent blue, white and gold. She was a beauty, but being young and dumb and not having any knowledge behind the wheel, that was a total loss when I tried doing 60 around a hairpin. Rolled 3 times, totaled the car out.

MD: What’s your earliest memory of your automotive enthusiasm? (What car got you really excited and inspired you?)

Matt: The car I started actually “trying” to work on was a 2002 BMW 325i. I’ve always been a bigger fan of imports, to date I’ve owned a 93 eclipse, 91 integra, 09 Mazda3, then an 02 325i BMW, and I’ve had 2, 2012 Honda Civic Si, the first one was in an accident and I walked away and grabbed up another.

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MD: What inspired you to go with the army theme?

Matt: What inspired the army theme….. there was a time in my life where every military appreciation national holiday, I’d remember friends that I’ve went to combat zones with, that have fallen whether it be stateside or killed in action, the thoughts of their smiles always tore me apart. My wife suggested maybe I could incorporate it into a hobby, something I enjoyed doing, that could commemorate them and at the same time take the edge off of the reality that they’re gone. This is what inspired me to start army theming my 2012 Honda Civic, and my 2005 army themed Suzuki GSX-R.
MD:What kind of suspension mods are you currently running?

Matt:Right now I’m using raceland coilovers, they were good for the time, and they do work, but the ride comfort isn’t there at all.

MD:Any future plans in that department?

Matt: In the future I plan to upgrade to either WASP, BC, or KSport coilovers, and one day in the distance I’ll eventually be willing to pay up for bags.

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MD: What are your current power mods?

Matt: Current power mods aren’t too much;

Injen cold air
Injen axle back
Resonator delete
Axion industries catless downpipe
P2R throttle body spacer
Running a tune by VitViper with Hondata Flashpro

MD: What kind of power are you making from your current setup?

Matt: I’m right at 200 whp with that, but plan on doing plenty more modification and adjustments on current mods.

MD: Any future plans for more power?

Matt: I want to take out the injen cold air and replace it with either the AF dynamics, or PRL cold air, get an RBC ported an polished, maybe some new mid compression pistons, a dyno tune instead of e-tune, fatter tires, new brakes and rotors, e85 tune, stage 2 clutch with an 8th OEM flywheel

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MD: Now to that gorgeous exterior, what have we got going on on the outside?

Matt: Currently cosmetics on the outside, are a custom carbon fiber hood by kevtec customs, olive drab green plastidip paint, custom sideskirts by me, custom rear diffuser by savageworks, HFP front lip, camouflage wrapped roof a mugen spoiler, and seasonally I have a flip flop trunk.

MD: Any future body work planned?

Matt: I plan on customizing my setup with the kevtec widebody kit hopefully sooner than later. In doing that I’ll need some wider wheels, maybe 18 x 11 to sit flush. So all current mods will be replaced. Then the paint, I want to switch from plastidip, to autodip which is more like a vinyl wrap spray, it’s just easier to flip flop colors.

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MD: How’d you fit that there wing on there? (Lol, inside joke)

Matt: Honestly, one of my boys offered me the mugen wing for $100. I figured either I can fit it, and it works, or it doesn’t, and I flip the sell. Fortunately it worked and actually turned into a trend lol.

MD: What kind of events have you participated in with your current car?

Matt: Most events that I participate in aren’t trophy awards, they’re usually in place to promote team building and the area’s enthusiast groups. I won second place at Texas Invasion for best Honda, but the owner of the show never did send me the trophy because my wife and daughter got heat exhaustion and we had to leave. So that’s one down lol, but the only other one I participated in, I took home first place at the uptown boys patriot car show for best import, which took me by a large surprise.

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MD: Do you plan on expanding the types of events you participate in, and if so what are you considering?

Matt: With where I’m moving, I’ll have to see what the car scene is like, from what I’ve seen there aren’t any daily vehicles, mostly exotics which are still fun to see, but I haven’t seen any local pages yet so we’ll have to see what shows are in the area.

MD: What spurred you to found Persona Non Grata?

Matt: Starting persona non grata…

A lot of the people I’m around in my city are the types that won’t like you if you don’t have lip on your wheels, or so many degrees of camber, or if you’re not busting your oil pan on pebbles in the road. I chose to be an outsider and because of that, most of them banned me from the local pages and started all this drama everywhere. I left it alone and got myself my own banner, persona non grata, which basically translated to outcast, or someone unwelcome. It fit me, and I liked it and wore it with pride. Eventually A current nvus member seen it and told me that I should definitely start my own thing, and well, here we are, 400+ members ons the forum and the group expands everyday into being its own self sustaining organization. There are plenty of times that I don’t have it in me to carry the torch between family and work to take lead in the group, so I’ve got a family if you will, of people in the group that know how to take charge and run with things in a good direction.

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MD: Is there anything about your car that you would do differently if given the opportunity?

Matt: Doing things differently?
I wouldn’t have gotten the injen cold air…. wouldn’t have went through 6 sets of wheels trying to please other people’s minds… and just in general would have done more research into what exactly I’m doing mechanically with the car.

MD: Who installed the modifications on your vehicle?

Matt:I’ve installed most the stuff on my car. Sometimes I’ll have the wife help me out, and if I don’t have the tools, I always have a few friends I can call to come down for a few beers and we’ll knock it out.

MD: Any people, or sponsors you would like to thank?

Matt: If I’d have anything or anyone to thank for where I’m at today, first and foremost it will always be God, family, and the crew, I wouldn’t be anywhere without those three. Along the way, I hand my thanks to Michael Hinton at Axion industries, Michael Stiren and HardmotionUSA, the family at Dragonlaminates, John Mitchell at bluefire machineworks, Kevin mannz at kevtec customs, and I’m sure there are others that have inspired and helped me along the way.

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MD: What is your favorite thing about your car?

Matt: Memories…. places we’ve been and things my family has done with it.

MD: Anything extra you would like to add?

Matt: If I had anything I could ever add to an interview, my own two cents…..
Don’t please the people, please yourself. If you’re not looking back at it, impressed at your work…. take it back to the sketch pad and figure it out. Never allow others to blindly lead your ambition with their goals.
I want to thank Matt for his continued service to our country, and to the custom car scene. He is a great example of a grassroots enthusiast. He works hard, maintains his family, himself, and his car. Not much more anyone could ever ask for.

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Until next time, thank you for reading we hope you enjoyed this article! If you feel that your car, or a friend’s car needs to be brought to people’s attention DM us on Facebook! Or DM us on Instagram for a quick shout out!

-Modified Dailies

About the Author

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I figured I’d give you all a little insight into myself. I am a 27 year old car-a-holic. I have been fascinated with cars, and going fast since I was a child. I can’t recall what exactly spurred my fuel for the car scene, but I believe it to run in my blood. My father, and both grandfather’s were big into cars. All of them are still somewhat but not like they used to be. Some might even say that my father’s 1970 Mach1 is still incomplete because of my birthing. Hey you know, those things happen.

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I was originally enthralled by mustangs (typical I know, but I was raised in a Ford family where 8 out of 10 vehicles on the property were fords). I remember always having the newest mustang magazines to take to school and flip through during recess, and lunch. Luckily in fourth grade my teacher Mr. Nykum had himself a late 90s black mustang gt that he absolutely adored, and before that a fox body he sold to one of the office ladies. Anyway we would sit, and talk about the different articles in the magazines together during reading time in class, or sometimes before class. Ahhh good times, thanks Mr. Nykum!

After the Mustang phase dissipated I became really interested in notch framed, body dragging trucks. Mini-full size it didn’t really matter, I loved them. I once wanted to build a late 90s f150 full body drop, notched frame and twin turbo it, with a slapping system… (mind you this was in 8th grade). That never happened, but I still have plans to one day slam a nissan hard body…. one day…

Shortly after that phase the movie “The Fast and The Furious” was released. Well I’m sure we can all guess what happened here. I fell in love with imports immediately as most guys my age did after seeing the movie. Of course the infatuation with Supras began… until I saw the price tags attached to them. Then 2 Fast 2 Furious, and a very similar story with Skylines.

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Fast forward a few years. I was 18, got t-boned in my ford probe. With the insurance check it bought an 89 240sx hatchback. That thing had seen better days before I had bought it. I was introduced to the drifting scene shortly after purchasing the vehicle and going for a drive in my favorite canyon.

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Later I moved onto a 2008 Yamaha R6 special edition, and had plenty of what was I thinking moments. Well 10 years of being licensed and more vehicles than most people own in a lifetime, I am looking at getting another 240sx (that will make number 3, and 4 if this current deal goes through).

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Anyway I believe that we need to bring everyone’s projects to the spotlight! So please DM us on Instagram for a shoutout, or on Facebook for consideration for a write up.

 

Thank you for reading, and be sure to follow us for future articles. First write-up is being edited, expect to see it out in the next couple of days.

-Modified Society

A Casual Introduction

So I have decided to start doing write ups on modified vehicles. The catch to it though, is that I will only be doing features on the average Joe’s ride! No endless budget, deep-pocketed overnight builds… No, no I am talking about the people who spend countless hours underneath their vehicles. The people who have embarked upon the sometimes decades long adventures of their beloved project car. Those who strive to be different, and pour their own hearts into their builds.

We all love seeing these beautiful show cars, but let’s face it most of us can’t afford to build such machines. Especially not in the timely manners that these large companies do. But don’t we still appreciate the home built rides that we occasionally (depending on where you live more frequently) see rolling by on the street? Ever wondered what the person behind the build has put into their vehicles, and what inspired them to do so? I have, and I do. That is why I have decided to spend my countless hours of depriving myself of sleep with the opportunity to bring back the popularity of individuals builds.

I have always been fascinated with cars, ever since I was a child. A lot of us car folk tend to have that in common, and I know I used to love reading the newest issues of the popular car magazines when they came out. But somewhere along the lines all of the magazines seemed to get so twisted up in these corporate builds, models, and advertisements (sometimes more advertisements, than articles). Where did the articles go about the cars you see at local car meets? Personally I believe the grassroots part of our culture needs more coverage, and I plan on bringing those daily driven home built rides to as many screens across the globe as possible. Without us folks out here on the streets, and going to local track days where would the automotive customization industry be? Hell where would the automotive industry as a whole be? You see, us average enthusiasts are the heart of the automotive world, not the corporations that stamp their name on everything they can.

With all this late night banter I will leave this post with the promise to bring those local “heroes” to a screen near you! Thank you for reading, hope you give a follow and a like for our future articles!

-Modified Dailies