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turtl631 Reader
11/7/15 2:54 p.m.

VEs are sweet, I'm putting a VE head on my RWD SR20DET S14 240SX track car. Nice to see some Nissan love here, they did done great things before falling apart in the last few decades.

Bubs Reader
3/31/16 10:50 a.m.

Right! Back to planet earth.

I spent the majority of last year misdiagnosed with Lyme Disease, then in September I was actually diagnosed with Ankyulosing Spondalyitis. It kind of sounds like I was diagnosed with a pasta dish, but it explained my physical problems immediately. It's essentially Super Arthritis; it's a chronic inflammatory disease where my spine is trying to fuse itself solid, and my ankles and knees would get inflamed to the point where I can barely articulate them.

So I kept doing stuff anyway. Even though I could barely walk.

The rheumatologist I had to see had zero interest in actually helping me. Instead of pointing out exercises, dietary supplements and changes I could make to better my situation, I was told my best bet was a $4000/month drug that isn't proven to help, but can give me cancer. I was told the condition isn't improvable, there was no non-drug way to help and that I'd never run or ski again and would likely end up in a wheelchair.

For this reason, I quietly worked on my house but didn't really further any work on the rally car. I did manage to get it Logbooked (as can be seen on the last page), but that was about it. Winter came and went, with the wild El Niño conditions there was virtually no ice racing to be had. This was bad for everyone, but it did give me time to shake off depression and start to take my life back. I started going to the gym every other day in late December. Thankfully my work is physical so that helped keep things freed up, but digestive problems caused by the disease (and 45 days of strong antibiotics for the Lyme I didn't have) had caused me to lose 35 pounds and all my muscle mass in the process. I got that under control with a strict diet and Probiotics, then hit the gym. When I started, I couldn't articulate my knees or spine to move even fifteen pounds on a press. By mid February, I was up to 80 pounds leg press and 110 pounds back extension.

I got my strength up and the inflammation down enough to run for the first time in over a year, then I went out and proved those bastards wrong.

Last week I went out back and fired up Raven (the rally car) and went on the first drive of the year. Now that I am back in control, it's time to get things done! I need to do some suspension work (think I was sent the wrong springs), replace front control arms and make sure Raven will pass tech, then I can do my first Stage Rally or RallySprint sometime this year!

As this was all unfolding, a package showed up on my doorstep. Turned out a fellow Rallyist sent me a G-Force racing suit in excellent condition, that even fit me perfectly! Gestures like these are exactly why I love the American Motorsports community, especially the Grassroots Rally community. The competition is fun, sure, but at the end of the day we're all family.

I've also been accelerating my ambitions for my house. Right now I'm just waiting for conditions to allow, then I'm laying a concrete slab, paving the driveway and then building a garage. Once that's done, my house and property will be 100% perfect in my book!

As one additional reward to myself for not giving up on life, I have something else coming in August.

Last fall, I didn't know if I'd ever have a worthwhile update to this thread again. But here it is! Stay tuned!

ssswitch HalfDork
3/31/16 11:53 a.m.

I guess Pulsar GTI-Rs are now becoming legal in the US! You'll love it, they are amazing cars.

Congratulations on not giving up and fighting off your illness. It sounds scary.

midniteson Reader
5/19/16 4:10 a.m.

Glad to see you post again. That pulsar is bad ass! Keep rippin it up out there.

tuna55 MegaDork
5/19/16 8:09 a.m.

Good work persevering!

Bubs Reader
7/13/16 7:14 p.m.

Update time! After a huge debacle of getting ripped off by a contractor (who just got served papers the other day, finally), I just got the concrete slab down today for the 22x22 garage I'm building! I only paid for a 4" slab, because I had to cut costs to get it done with my stolen money still outstanding, but due to the extra concrete on the truck I now have a 7" slab for the same price. Works for me! The Pulsar ended up being a no-go - landed on July 5th and ended up being a rust bucket so I got my money back from that, which helps!

Now I realize how much space I'm going to have to work with. This will be awesome! 22x22 and will have a 16x7 door, with a walk door in the back. Plus I'll still have the shed!

I had to sell the Speed Triple. Physically I'm 100% better than I was last year, and the threat of total disability is gone, but I just couldn't enjoy riding the damn thing anymore. Can't keep my knees bent at that angle. I will eventually fix that with a Triumph Rocket III!

In the meantime, without a full-size bike, I decided to get back to work on the "CT140". It's even more agonizing to ride, I was going to sell it but decided against it. Since it's just for occasional short trips, I can manage it. Not worth giving up. Plus with those Michelin semi-slicks, it's the mini supermoto I was going for!

Plus it has the original mirror from my Speed Triple, so at least I have something from my original dream bike.

paranoid_android74 SuperDork
7/13/16 7:55 p.m.

Wow, what an inspirational write up!

Thank you so much for sharing, and I'm happy to hear you are feeling better.

Bubs Reader
7/30/16 4:59 p.m.

Quick update:

Garage kit is almost here, so decided to put the cars on the foundation for the first time. So much room for activities!

Also, got my Rocket III! Actually kind of glad the Pulsar deal fell through because it feels so great to be able to enjoy riding again. The bike is insanely fast, handles better than I ever thought it would at its size and weight, and is more than comfortable to ride despite my physical issues. Used a one-way car rental to PA to get it last Friday, rode to Southwest CT to hang out and ride with some friends for the weekend and then home! Commuted on it Monday-Friday as well, it's perfect for everything!

Came with lots of extra goodies, but it's all coming off most of the time. I'm selling the windshield because it causes to much wind buffeting that not having one not only looks better, but is genuinely better!

No motorsport-specific updates currently, but will update again when the garage starts going up!

turtl631 Reader
9/18/16 7:44 p.m.

I had missed the GTI R debacle. Oh well, you have plenty of sweet SR20 powered goodness. The garage will be amazing - I have my first real one now and I love it after parking lot wrenching.

andxx0r New Reader
9/18/16 9:13 p.m.

Ah, right in the feels. I've owned 5 Nissans/Datsuns over the years, and there was a B13 SE-R and a B14 SE-R in the mix. Great little cars. The SR20 is one of my favorite engines ever.

Bubs Reader
11/20/16 2:23 p.m.

After much frustration, many delays and other problems, my garage is complete! Some perfecting to do next year - insulation, sheetrock and perhaps a permanent heater, but just in time for our first snow I have a garage that's solid, weatherproof and nearly ready to move in. Soon as the floor sealant is cured, I can set up shop!

Lof8 HalfDork
11/20/16 6:05 p.m.

Looks great!

84FSP Dork
11/20/16 6:22 p.m.

Oooh pimpy epoxy finish!

cmcgregor HalfDork
11/20/16 8:17 p.m.

That came out looking really nice! Do you mind sharing where you got the steel building and an approximate budget? Did you build it yourself?

Bubs Reader
11/21/16 3:11 p.m.

Thanks guys! It's a VersaTube building, and overall I'm pretty happy with the purchase. There were some delays when they forgot to manufacture the panels (the panels are supposed to arrive one week after the structure components), but otherwise it came out great and looks awesome next to my house.

The building kit was 22x22x8 (10.75' total height) and cost $5300 to order with free shipping. The garage door was $1050 installed, 16x7. All engineered to meet my local building codes and snow / wind load requirements. Has a pretty substantial warranty too!

cmcgregor HalfDork
11/21/16 4:11 p.m.

Wow, that's not bad at all! I've been trying to figure out a way to get a decent garage for not a ton of money, seems like that might be the way to go.

Bubs Reader
11/23/16 3:05 p.m.

I'd call that a good start.

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!

golfduke HalfDork
11/23/16 3:16 p.m.

New Hamster, huh?

I've always wondered about a steel garage like this, but nightmares with my steel-built office/shop during the winter have always made me gunshy. I'd be curious to see how it holds up to an above-average and cold NH winter...

Bubs Reader
11/25/16 12:56 p.m.

I'll keep updated on how this winter goes! As can be seen, I'm going without insulation or sheetrock this winter as the timing didn't work out to get it done. I'll just be happy to have an enclosed, weatherproof structure! I'm getting a hookup on an electric, industrial garage heater so next year I'm hoping to insulate (whether conventional or spray foam), sheetrock and then set up the heater.

For the time being, it's a clean and dry workspace and I couldn't be happier! Luckily we had an extremely heavy rain two days after it was 100% completed, so I was able to hang out inside and carefully check for roof leaks. We've had some snow and some rain, I keep checking and so far it couldn't be drier inside the garage. It was also engineered specifically to meet local code for snow / wind load requirements, so I'm confident in it! Regardless, I'll continue updating as it may help others decide whether or not to go for a similar DIY structure.

Bubs Reader
12/23/16 4:41 p.m.

Aside from getting the NASA Logbook, the rally car essentially sat all last year due to my health issues and the car driving and handling terribly. Now that I'm doing better and the garage is up, I have been able to finally get back to work. First step was finding some different struts to put in. What I was able to determine is that I must have been sent the completely wrong springs when I built the original set of AGXs. Base model Sentra springs, perhaps. I had nothing to compare them to at the time. Sits much better now, no more bitchin' hot rod rake or weird noises from the suspension.

It was so refreshing taking it for a quick spin on some rough roads and feeling the car handle like it used to! That was the main hurdle to overcome, now I have the rest of the winter to tackle small reliability / maintenance projects, such as a new high performance radiator, and safety gear. Great to be back on track!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year everyone!

Bubs Reader
2/27/17 3:12 p.m.

After so many setbacks (health - physical), I'm getting closer and closer to accomplishing my dream of hitting the stages. One of the biggest hurdles, getting the Logbook, was achieved a long time ago. Now it's getting into the smaller details - rollcage padding, disable steering lock, hood pins, etc. Looking forward to Team O'Neil RallySprints, and once I have a competent van to tow with, some full rallies, hillclimbs and cool stuff like the Raceway Park RallySprint!

Lof8 HalfDork
2/27/17 3:31 p.m.

I think I had forgotten that you were dealing with health issues. Great job on taking control of the situation yourself and saying berkeley those doctors. That huge garage next to the small house is awesome - a true sign of a guy who's got his priorities straight! Is the garage more square footage than the house? It sure appears that way. Good luck on the rally car goals!

Bubs Reader
2/28/17 4:58 p.m.
Lof8 wrote: I think I had forgotten that you were dealing with health issues. Great job on taking control of the situation yourself and saying berkeley those doctors. That huge garage next to the small house is awesome - a true sign of a guy who's got his priorities straight! Is the garage more square footage than the house? It sure appears that way. Good luck on the rally car goals!

Thank you! The garage is 484sq/ft, house is 539.

Bubs Reader
4/12/17 7:17 p.m.

Hot bits going on! Trying to make my personal Magnum Opus a little less half-assed.

Current plan is to be running as the Course Open ("0 Car") at an upcoming NER RallySprint, which will be a great way to test the car, receive a preliminary tech inspection and get used to hearing real pacenotes. Then I have nearly two months to have the car ready to run for real at another NER RallySprint on June 25th!

Meanwhile, my gorgeous street car is waiting just a bit longer to be sure there's no more road salt coming! Thanks to Fluid Film I managed two winters with this car without any rust developing, but it's too clean and low-mileage to subject to harsh winters anymore!

crankwalk Dork
4/12/17 7:31 p.m.

^Fluid Film is the best. I took care of some rust issues, panted and then Fluid Film twice a year and it is just magic. Absolutely necessary anyway that has a winter.

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