Small things

No, I’m not talking about Blink-182 (although, now I’m singing it). I’ve gotten into a groove over the last couple of weeks of checking off at least one or two items on my to-do lists on my cars. The main focus right now is the SportCross. The eventual goal with the Lexus is to make it the daily driver and eventually move on from the Dart.

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Living close to my parents again helps with the motivation. It’s only about 100 yards away from where I live so it’s super easy to head over, move their cars out of the garage and work. This week I had a small list of things I wanted to get done :

-Adjust the read coilovers

-Fix my rear-view and driver side mirrors (rattles like crazy)

-Install the rear Eibach sway bar

-Run new hood latch cable

Tossed the car on jack stands and removed the rear wheels and adjust the BC Racing coilovers. I sprayed the bolts for the OEM sway bar since they were rusty as hell and I know my luck with broken bolts. Sure as shit the first one I touch, snapped it off. It was at that point I decided to not venture down that road laying on my back and wait until I got to work this week and put it on a lift.

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I’ll admit openly I’m no mechanic. I know my limitations very well and will never hesitate to ask a friend for help (usually it’s one of my best friends, George who is all too familiar with my usual shenanigans lol). Tossed the wheels back on and set the car down. I measured at least 20 times to make sure both sides were even, but still unsure of myself I got creative. I took two Popsicle sticks and taped them to the top of the tires then measures from there. Damn near perfect. I laughed at myself because, really, who does that?

45511373254_254704d9bd_b.jpg From there I fixed the mirrors which was as simple as just tightening some loose screws. Oh, while were talking about screws, apparently none of my dash and gauge cluster was screwed in. When I say none, I mean NOTHING. After digging through decades of screws and washers my Father has stored I managed to get it all tightened down. I popped the hood with anticipation of changing the latch cable, but I just ended up checking the fluids and calling it a day.

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I really just didn’t want to mess with much any more and I had already felt pretty accomplished lol Straightened up the garage and grabbed some fresh cookies from my mom and sister who had been baking most of the afternoon, said my goodbyes and made my way up to the car wash to spray the car down since I hadn’t washed it since I took ownership. The list is getting shorter on what I want to get done, which I’m pretty happy about. Hoping next time I’m in the garage it’s going to be spent installing the black carpet I picked up. That’s all I have for now. I recently just turned 28 and time flies when you’re having fun; I received a GoPro as a gift which has me hoping to create some type of video content. Until next time.

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Change is in the air

In September I wrote how I acquired a dream set of wheels, the Volk TE37. Unfortunately, I had to let them go. While they’re a beautiful wheel and I was beyond ecstatic to have them; they didn’t fit how I would have liked them to. They were gone in less than a week and I ended up placing an order for a set of cast Rotiforms that fit much more to my liking. Speaking of which, I’ve been making tremendous progress on the Lexus. I’ve been fixing the minor things that needed attention and swapping over to a black interior from tan. Slowly working it’s way towards daily driver duty. The list of things to be done is growing shorter, but the list for others grows. It’s a never ending process haha.

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In a twist of fate, I happened to reacquire my old Subaru back a few weeks ago. I have no real plans for it right now but anyone who knows me knows that won’t last long. I feel like I have unfinished business with my vision for it so I’ll probably work towards my end goal with that car. It holds so much sentimental value that I feel like I owe it to myself and the car to finish my original vision.

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Thanksgiving has come and gone and we’re now on the cusp of Christmas time, the weather in the North East has been pretty erratic. This past Sunday however it ended up being close to 60 degrees and beautiful out. Which meant putting up Christmas lights for my father. It wasn’t all work though; I managed to talk him into backing out his GTO for some sunlight and a wipe down before going into winter hibernation.

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It’s a car I love and adore. I bragged about it growing up and talked about it to anyone who would listen. “My Dad has a GTO” was a phrase I will never get tired of saying. As I got older I realized just how odd and hard to find these are, not just because of the namesake but because at the time of production, muscle cars were slowly being phased out due to emissions and safety BS. I incessantly search on craigslist weekly to maybe find one that isn’t priced through the roof, hoping to acquire and put my own spin on a car I’ve loved for so long. It’ll happen one day, I just need to be patient.

High School Influence

In my previous post I said how excited I was about picking up my new wagon. A lot of my original automotive influence took place well before I was able to drive, like most enthusiasts. Wheels play an important role when it comes to the overall aesthetics and performance of a car or truck. All throughout middle and high school there was one holy grail wheel I told myself I would own one day, no matter what.

The Volk TE37. I first saw the wheel on a seniors M3 who went to my high school; carbon fiber everything, wonderful exhaust tone and these GORGEOUS TE37’s. I loved it. Another car that cemented my love for the TE37 was a fella by the name of Bill Vitale and his STi. Those two cars were the catalyst to my goal of owning a set.

It’s a classic wheel both in design and performance. Used across multitudes of racing series and throughout street/show cars it’s a wheel that never gets old. I won’t bore anyone with details but I will say this, it was one HELL of a deal and I’m glad to say these are on their way.

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17×9 +15 square set up. Yee-Fucking-Haw. I’ll be posting more frequently to update what’s going on with all the excited new projects. Until next time !

Middle School Dreams

In middle school I had a teacher who had a car that I always reveled at. It was a Lexus IS300 Sportcross. Couldn’t exactly tell you why I loved it so much, but I did. It’s probably what started my strong love for wagons as well, come to think of it. From that point on though, in the back of my head sat that car, the IS300. From my teachers car to the RiskyDevil IS when I was in high school. Something about them just always had my attention. I really enjoyed Subarus, which is why I ended up with my original wagon. While I loved that car and everything it taught I was always stuck with what I wanted to do with it.

I loved the car, but it just lacked power (and the price tag to make it fast was just not in the cards). As I said in a previous post, I sold the Subaru Wagon. Fast forward a little less than a year later, I find myself in another wagon. Not a Subaru, but the same Wagon that I looked forward to seeing everyday before and after school. Just this week, I managed to find one hell of a deal on a 2002 Lexus IS300 Sportcross. To say I’m excited is an understatement. I love the car. Absolutely love it. It’s a blast to drive in stock form and is unbelievably comfortable. I managed to grab a few pictures of it today and below is just one of them. Between here and Instagram I should be documenting the progress on it pretty often, I hope! Here’s to more exciting things on the horizon.

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Just Because

Those two words get me in trouble. Not the the kind of trouble I should be overly concerned with but enough “trouble” that I have to rethink how I approach things. Especially my purchases. A majority of my friends know I sit on Craigslist, a lot. It’s habit I’ve gotten into because I’m always looking for a deal and I tend to find some pretty good ones. I come across some wacky things that grab my attention and usually share them out of “look at this!” and a little because I want to save it for later to be able to revisit it. Lately though, I’ve had some close calls.

Since I sold the Wagon I’ve had nothing to really sink my teeth into. I have the truck, but consists of general maintenance and fixing things that at 240k+ miles, need to be taken care of. No real modifications anywhere to be seen, just a big, burly work truck that I LOVE. I’ve stumbled across some killer deals on Craigslist. I’ve made calls, sent emails and texts to kick the tires but not actually followed through. It’s worked out, though, whatever I had my eye on either turned out to be a bigger piece of junk then it showed or I just changed my mind to the next shiny things I found.

Last week, however, was a little different. I got it in my head that I build something from the ground up. I set out on the normal Craigslist adventure for what I thought was going to be easy to start with, because if you start with a blank, clear slate how could it not be, right? I found what I thought was the PERFECT chassis. My gut told me to text a friend to get some insight on my bright, fool proof idea. What’s that saying, good friends are hard to find? Not in this case. I asked a vague question which turned into me spilling my plans out simply because my friends read me like a book. A few texts later, and a dose of reality I decided against it. Not that I couldn’t do it, anyone can do anything with the right amount of time and patience but at the end of the day, what I wanted to do wasn’t me.

After that I cleared the board of everything. Project ideas, gun build plans, everything. My previous mind set of “just because” was scattering me all over with what I wanted to do.too much going on in my brain. I needed a reset. I believe I have it figured out now. With this “brand” that I created for myself, it’s more about finding what suits me best. Not anyone else, but me. Which, come to think of it, I’ll be happier in the long run. It may take a while, but i’ll get there.

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Change

I know I said it would never happen, but it did. Last month I sold the Subaru. To be quite honest there was no real struggle on whether or not I wanted to let it go. I hadn’t really done anything with it and my plans were always changing. There was no real direction. So, I pulled off the mirrors I had longed for, kept the wheels for sentimental reasons and off she went to her new owner whom would get more use out of her. It was a little bittersweet but it was something I needed to to.

With that, I’m going to try and put some more content out under the BelfastBuilt name across a few platforms and some new builds; Varying from firearms to Automotive related stuff. While I have no project per say, I do have an opportunity that I don’t think I can say no to. Time will tell.

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Run Down

I don’t think I’ve ever really given a full run down of my wagon. I figured now might be a good time to do so before I start tearing it fully apart this winter. The car sits at my parents house since my current apartment has limited parking, which is a pain in the balls. I’ve owned it going on 5 years and put about 600 miles on it. Rough. That will all change though.

I bought the car in May of 2012 for $350. Yes, $350. It didn’t run and had to be loaded into a friends trailer by a four wheeler; good times. From what I remember it needed a starter, alternator, full exhaust, gauge cluster and taillights. OH, and the timing had to be reset.

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It took me about a year to gather everything I needed to get it running and on the road. I don’t think I could thank my friends enough for helping me get this running. Before this the only real modifications I had done to any car was a 15 inch sub and 17″ wheels on a 1992 Saturn. I’m no master mechanic and I’m still learning now at 26 years old. Anyway..

I have a wonderful habit of just buying parts to buy them because I can never make up my mind. Ever. I picked up the hood you see above from a friend who was parting out his GC8 coupe, I was pretty excited to pick this up when I stuffed it into the back of my fathers Kia Sportage lol.

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By this point I had tried out multiple front bumpers because as stated, I cant ever settle on something. The top picture was one look I thought I was happy with and right after I installed the coil-overs that I had picked up from another friend (sense a theme here?). After I swapped out the bumper again and adjusted the coil-overs she was road ready. I drove it back and forth to work and to a local meet once a week for a few months.

Side note, this wasn’t my only vehicle. I had a 2006 Ford Fusion that was my daily driver; Was a decent car but nothing I was crazy about, it was purchased out of necessity, not because I wanted one. I drove the wagon quite a bit over the course of a few months and I can’t remember exactly what lead to be not driving it as often.. OH. I moved out of my parents place. Not blaming it solely on that but when I moved into my apartment I’m currently in now with my fiance, the parking absolutely sucks. On street parking and one spot behind our place just isn’t cut out for three vehicles.

The car sat and would get started and drove on my local loop as I like to call it once a week when I would visit my parents. I cycled through a few sets of wheels before I settled on something I really liked. I picked up a set of 16X8 OEM BBS BMW wheels that I had filled and then re-drilled to 5×100 to fit the wagon. Maybe it’s because it was my first real road trip with my fiance after we just started dating (the company that did the wheels was located in CT) but I grew super attached to these wheels; eventually selling them once and then immediately buying them back when they went up for sale. They’re currently on the car and you’ll see that later.

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22848562256_618a7afb99_b After I settled on keeping the BBS, I turned my attention elsewhere. I ordered a chargespeed reverse scoop for the hood, mainly because no one really has one and figured I try to be a little different. Obviously the hood got painted and I put a set of OEM side skirts on (which, have since fallen off and been run over, twice). Over the course of the last 8 months I started to address some lingering issues. Valve cover leak, hole in my exhaust and some other minor things. I ordered a header and test pipe from InfernoFab whom I couldn’t be more happy with. The quality of the pieces are amazing and sound even better. To finish it off I picked up a used cat back from a friend of a friend for a decent price and for being an Auto still, the car sounds really great.

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We’re inching closer now to the end of 2017, and while my goal was to drive this more this year circumstances didn’t really let me do that. However, I am getting closer and closer to the point where this will be on the road a lot more. Just in the last 4 months the exhaust is complete, I have a new battery for it, I picked up a set of WRC style mirrors, new tires, quick release and short hub from a friend, Front and rear strut bars and a larger OEM rear sway bar. I took it out for a drive this past week when I had some time and man, for just the simple things I have done, I love this car more and more. It’s not a time attack monster or a 5-speed beast; It does what I ask it to do.

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As she sits now, on September 1st, 2017. She’s basically ready to roll. I’ve got a 5-speed trans and another motor waiting in the wings and need to pick up a set of STi seats and she should be all set. I don’t have huge goals for the car. I stripped out the rear from the front seats back and still have the stock stereo in it. I don’t need 500 horsepower and a small animal eating turbo (that’s another post for another vehicle). My end goal for this has been to be a fun and simple car I can beat the snot out of without any worries. I’m getting there, slowly but I am. So, there it is, kind of a long winded abbreviated story of my wagon. I’ll try and update as I go but I’ve got a truck and a daily that I’m sure you’ll read about in the future. Plus whatever else may find it’s way to me.

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Changes

For those of you who actually read this, you may have noticed a slight change. If for some reason  you haven’t picked up on it yet, the name of this blog/website whatever you want to call it has changed. The name change really came out of nowhere. The “560” name was alright but I was never really sold on it. I was working on my truck last week and BelfastBuilt just hit me. I don’t know why really, but I like it. It’s 2017 and I know everyone has a blog, vlog, youtube channel and a brand. This stuff is me, but will it turn in to something larger? I doubt it. I’m a pretty reserved person and like to keep to myself. Who knows though, maybe I’ll get a wild hair up my ass and decide to try and make something of it? I’m all about options and trying to find new ways to keep myself on my toes.

Maybe on day the 4 people who read this will click and there will be a store with some shit in it? Again, who knows. I just know that my mind is always wondering and never really rests. I feel though this change was a good one and I’ve got a good feeling deep down about it. Call me silly, but I like it.

 

Oh, and here’s my new truck (#3) lol

 

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It’s a 2002 Silverado 2500HD, 6.0L V8, 4×4. Plans aren’t super crazy. Clean her up, make her loud and look good the cheapest way possible. It’s going to get used and abused so I’m not going to go all cencal truck style and dump loads of money into it. Currently have a Garth Brooks CD stuck in the head unit, but I”m no complaining (yes, I said CD..).

I’ll be back like always in a few weeks with some actual decent content. Maybe.