Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

Lola The Corolla

Lola 2007 – ∞

Surprisingly, Lola has stuck around and gone through her various stages of builds.

Stage 1: Youngkid Shenanigans
Stage 2: Youngdude tryna be cool-dude
Stage 3: broken
Stage 4: somehow even more broken
Stage 6: THE REVIVAL
Current: Broken again lol.

She’s gone through 6 motors (#7 going in right now), multiple sets of brakes, countless tires, clutches, 3 (or 4) different suspension setups, 2 rear ends (even broke a diff), 2 color changes, multiple bumpers, exhausts, fuel pumps, various components going out on my (alternators, starters, distributors, etc.).

It’s hard to believe that she’s still around and that I still continue to build her up, drive her to the ground, build her back up…  and do it all over again, and again and again.  (Why?).
I guess, why not?  …  I’m still trying to figure that out myself, I suppose because it’s fun and challenging.

 

(SHOUT OUT TO www.instagram.com/KNAOPLAYING for the shots)

 

We’re getting pretty close to getting her back on the road.

Stage 1~!
Young, Broke, Stupid

2007 – 2009ish


(15 y/o me doing my first “big job”, a water pump change)
I was pretty green then.

(Hey Mike, what got out into cars?)  I grew up on hotwheels, neighbors with their various racecars and their badass builds.  Then I went through the whole Initial D > Indoor Karting > hung around some drift crews > Went from wanting an RX7 to a Corolla because I thought the corolla would be more reliable.  lol.


Lola used to be really really clean

This was probably the funnest and most stressful stage of owning Lola.
It felt like everything that you’d expect a 20+ year old car to break/wear out, went bad that first year.  And with my limited experience…  I’ll just say I’m grateful for my high school autoshop teacher and his ability to put up with my shortcomings lol (example: I swapped out my headgasket 4 different times due to messing up on a step every single time where I had to redo it all).  Then the motor blew ~6 months later*.

Since I had limited income for being a high school kid working weekends, and had a high-maintenance gf at the same time, my mods were…  “creative”.

My DIY strut bar in the works lol.


First motor swap.

This one worked out pretty decently.  Lasted a good 8ish months.

COOL DUDE?

2010 – …2014? …   more of a tryhard lol.

I started getting decent at drifting!
This was at the Bob’s Donuts annual black friday grip/drift event at Buttonwillow.  First time drifting in 3rd gear!  Going off track ~70mph sideways was a great feeling.


I went lower!


Maybe a little too low?
I kept breaking exhaust downpipes lol.

1561561.pngThis was supposed to be temporary


Alexey started taking photography seriously around this time.  He’s come a long ways since!


CERTIFIED COOL DUDE

MURICAAAAA

During this time I was full gung-ho about drifting and making those small changes to the setup to getting my car drive the way I like it.  Lots of testing, driving, breaking more things, more driving.

I had built my own motor with a good buddy back ~2011.  New pistons, better crank, etc. Put it all together myself and was able to get it running!  Then it went bad after a little over a year of driving.  This was motor #3 now gone bad.  Lol.

No automatic alt text available.

There was a pattern that started showing, the last two motors that blew were due to the pistons developing holes near the ring-landings.  And after asking around, it began to look like I had been using the incorrect piston rings with the AE92 high-compression pistons.  There were different sizes for the two different years, and I’m guessing my motors never had the right rings, which lead to my pre-mature ring piston failure (they developed holes through them lol).
Atleast that is the excuse im going with.

Motor #4, another used motor came and went in similar fashion.  It was some used high-compression ae92 block with bluetop head.  That one lasted a good part of a year.

Motor #5 was supposed to be a 7AGE that a friend passed on to me, which never worked out.  It was knocking when I received it, but it pulled HARD.  And had been knocking for well over a year.  And I was convinced it was something simple (which I was convinced I fixed after putting it in, got it running, still knocked, fixed what I thought was the knocking noise, put it back, still knocked, did this another 2 times).  But I gave up after it kept knocking and that’s when my car really began to just sit.

Life at this time was a bit rocky, so Lola had sat for a good while.  For the better.

IMG_2468.JPG

After an extended period of sitting, I sourced ~another~ used motor.  Cheap, came from a running MR2.  I gave it a refresh, (new seals, newer components, etc.) and ran it for the All Corolla Matsuri over at Grange.   It was pretty awesome, it’s like Coachella, but for corolla dude.  Who knew you could convince corolla dudes to go out in the middle of the desert (literally 30 mins past Barstow) to drive around a go-kart track in their corollas?

zzzz.png

Motor #6 went out with a bang on Skyline Rd.

Good times.

~~~

And this is where I’m at now.

Tony805  put a motor together for me.  It’s a bit of a weird build.  Stock bluetop, but it has the 40mm crank, and had the rods expanded to fit the 42mm block.  It should be fun times soon enough.

 

The one unexpected outcome I got from all of this playing with cars this far has been sharing my passion with other folks who also share the same passion.  We all like these dinky little Toyotas (some a little too much lol).  People that like to put themselves through the same punishment over a little 80’s econobox are good on my books.

 

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, night, car and outdoor

Image may contain: 5 people, including Lance Carmichael and Marc De Asis, shoes, tree, car and outdoor

 

All in all, I love my corolla.

No automatic alt text available.

 

 

 

Barcelona part 2!

This took me a minute to update:

And here come the photo dumps of random parts of going back to Barcelona from Paris.

 

 

 

I also have a few more photos on my IG http://instagram.com/m.yee

Paris

There’s a lot to say, but at the same time not much to say…

Paris is probably the one city outside of the Bay Area I could see myself being in for a while (if given the chance).

I spent most of my time jumping on Metro trains and skating around ducking into random shops/galleries that caught my eye.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The hostel I stayed at had some pretty cool folks working the check-in/bar.  Interestingly all of their favorite spots around Paris were all parks where they could hide from tourists (I don’t blame them).

Such a romantic city for me and my bae
IMG_5192.JPG

I did the typical tourist traps:

Even though nobody had Americano on the menu, they all knew what I was ordering.
IMG_5232.JPG

img_5217.jpg

omgomgomgomgomgomg

img_5111.jpg

IMG_5238

S/O CIB, SJ SKATE NIGHT

IMG_5313

Royal with cheese. and beeeer.

IMG_5104

Pho was pleasently amazing

IMG_5299

Just when I thought I was cool. This dude shows up.

IMG_5186

 

Paris was cool.  So much to see, and so much character in every corner.  The locals felt like New Yorkers – they carried themselves in a similar manner that everyone seems like they’re busy doing something — got places to be.  But pleasant after ‘breaking’ that wall.

Two and a half days was definitely not enough to explore.  I was kicking myself not joining one of those tours around the Louvre.  From peaking into some of the tours, the stories were less about the actual pieces, but moreso the importance of why they’re there and have been preserved for all these years.  It was pretty neat.

IMG_5169

And with that I’ll leave this post with my favorite thing I saw in Paris.

I half-assed wish I knew more about this piece in particular.  But I loved the imagery this piece showed.

Back to Barcelona I go.

Barcelona

Hello Blog,

I went to Barcelona and Paris the other week.  It was pretty cash.

img_5348.jpg

Long-time corolla-buddy, Jorge, recently got into the whole Enduro-Motorcycling bug with his Africa Twin and it looked like he was having way too much fun without me.  So I decided to bug him about coming out and doing some motorcycle stuff out there with him.
(Quick thing about Jorge, he’s probably the most dedicated dude to the things he sets his mind to.  Be it coming to CA, buying a corolla out here and driving all of the tracks and backroads as he can, taking that same corolla back home to Spain and setting a solid under 9-min laptime around Nurburgring, buying a motorcycle to do some intense enduro riding.  Jorge is intense and will make things happen).  Follow his: IG @YOSHIMURA53

34cd160c-2b70-4424-a5a8-81825e4a75e2.jpg

So we found a bike that seemed relatively well priced, another Honda Africa Twin 750.  I spotted a portion of it which I thought was fair for cost of renting a bike out here and to cover the extra utilities of me staying (my long ass showers).  Everything was all set for me to come out and do some motorcycle adventures!

DSC01205.JPG(The black one is mine)

Day 0: ACE Cafe!
Immediately when I flew in, Jorge took me over to ACE CAFE!  I saw some of the local “cool” JDM cars.  The import scene is not much of a thing out in Spain, so seeing some of these cars out here was a real treat.

img_4774.jpg

img_4775.jpg

Slapped my buddy’s sticker on their sticker wall (go check them out: @bedlambeautyandbarber)

IMG_4778.JPG

Day 1: Motorsports fun!
This was probably the most memorable day of the trip.  No lie, if my whole trip ended after this first day, I would still be absolutely content with the adventures had.

We started the morning off visiting the Barcelona racetrack.  It was about ~30 min ride from Jorge’s spot.

193EA12F-D735-4A69-8E53-DDFBCB425BE2.JPG

We saw racecar tings:

I made racecar noises:

I even got to see a Hiliux in real life!  My inner Toyota-fanboy was content.
img_4788.jpg

Pits were pretty cool.  Note, this was a mostly privateer event of dudes with serious money making this race.  For the dudes that played Gran Turismo, you know how those career building races just seemed so random, and hard to imagine actually being a thing?  Well they are, here is a random ass 24 hour race.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Shorty afterwards we rode another 45 mins to a … locally lesser-known track (but internationally well-known racetrack *thankyou speedhunters*), Autodromo.  One of the world’s earliest purpose-built racecar tracks.

DSC01177.JPG

(you see the other half of the oval)DSC01199.JPGDSC01171.JPG

These banks were absolutely insane.  They were at least ~40-50 feet high at the apex.  None of the pictures do this spot justice.  Buuutttt…  we were promptly asked to leave because it turned out that we were trespassing on this dude’s land :(.

Then we went back to cruise through what seemed like Barcelona’s Highway 1 equivalent back to the house.
DSC01207.JPG

We also found a nice spot to eat off the road:

C033F44D-D622-4017-81F5-3516BF036CB8.jpg

Then I knocked out because that was already a crazy day for my first day in Barcelona.  Though the weather took some time (and plenty of showers) to get used to, I was in love with the city and the area.

Day 2:

While Jorge was at work, I spent most of my day cruising around Barcelona on my skateboard and taking random metro trains through the city, mostly getting lost and taking in the environment.

One spot I wound up at was at  FC Barcelona:

I found a homie

The food joints by Jorge’s house were mostly asian owned. And you best know they had Sriracha 😤😤😤😤.

The next day…

Not much to say but the trip we had planned to roam around the forests and hills around Barcelona got a bit out of hand. The bike ended up not working out and we had to call it a day.

With riding no longer being a thing because of my luck, I decided to go check out Paris. Apparently I snore too loud and I kept waking Jorge up. So a two night break seemed appropriate.

Reboot

The blog comes back!

This will now be a place where I can consolidate my build posts, travel posts, thoughts on things, photos, etc.

Wilson’s $1000 GTS.

Wilson's $1000 GTS.

With OG club4ag decal!

new update

okay, went sliding again last night.
need to stop understeering into curbs