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Trex

Toms Stagea Build

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I was originally in the market for a VC commodore wagon to put a 304 into. One day I came across a stagea that was down the street, so a phone call and a short drive later I had bought my first stagea.

The first thing I did was change the oil, coolant etc and was surprised the car had not been molested. Further investigations I found out the history of the car and how well looked after it has been for the 10yrs since first privately imported.

I was trolling the web and making phonecalls to try and find the original owner, after a week I found the original importer and his phone number, I didn't expect the call to go through, but it did and i left a voicemail while my heart was jumping out of my chest, 2 mins later i get a phonecall from a confused voice, it was the importer. We chatted for a few hours about the car and the plans he had, and the plans i have. This was the best thing i had done to my car to this date, talking to him about this car and how much he missed it and how well maintained it has been just made me fall in love more.

The car came with a new 32gtr fuel pump, 34 intercooler, Bosimporting split dump, Catco 740cfm cat, 3" trust exhaust from a 32gtr, turbotech boost T making 160awkw

Here are some photos of when it was imported in 07'

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I left the stagea standard for a month or so, but i needed new tyres so i sold the standard wheels to sl33k and moved onto some hiro axix's 9.5 +20

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I hated the hiro's so i got some 32gtr wheels with tyres.

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Once the tyres were worn up i got some d1r's, these had to go asap, they served their purpose of run around tyres

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I was always after some Volk's for the stagea, but then saw some BBS RS's which i had to have, i picked them up the next day. These will be staying on the car.

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The standard power was fun for a while, but attending the drags and hill runs really left me wanting more power, so the supporting mods started.

First was the intercooler, then splitfires, turbosmart boost controller, apexi neo, hard intake pipe, etc just the usual. Good enough for a slooow 15.04. Hopefully the e420d will get me to somewhere where i am happy.

My friend owns the cream VC which does a 12.8 with an n/a 304, Our first race we were lined up together, and were side by side with him only a car length ahead of me at the finish, i was ecstatic! I mean totally over the moon, then i got my slip and was talking to him about how he missed a few gears and the launch was shit... My helmet had never felt so loose.

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I then decided it was time for some handling mods, first was a leather bride pros seat but after a serious back injury i had to part ways with it. Then came some whiteline swaybars and stiffer springs, the car handled well through the twisties and was predictable but still lacks so i will be revising my setup this year.

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On the NSW stagea facebook they were organising a meet and greet, so It was the perfect time to clean the car up and head out. This is where i learnt the most about my car and the things i should be doing and how to set things up. Couldn't have asked for better weather and a great bunch of people to talk to!

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I got a new job in another state, so the big move was on. halfway to our destination the stagea started to overheat, no surprises sitting on 3000rpm for hours while going up and down hills in 30+deg.

After spending a few hours measuring everything and working out how i will wire and install everything I sucked it up and got a new radiator with thermos and a davies craig trans cooler. I got a 90deg thermo switch which turns off at 85deg, the thermo work quite well, taking roughly 20sec to drop back to operating temp. I also put in a override switch just incase anything fails, but I'm confident it wont.

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I never really liked the colour coded interior, so i got some woodgrain gear from a s2, the s2 buttons light up and wouldn't work with my original wiring loom so i took the easy way out and swapped the shell over.

The gtr gauges will be going, with days of unsuccessful attempts to get the boost gauge to work, even with the correct boost sensor etc, i just could not get it to work. So once i find one, a 34 din pocket will be put in which matches the ash tray. And all other gauges will be put into the glove box in a gauge holder that will fill it out.

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Nice looking car - all it needs is an RB30 and a GTR box!

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Nice looking car - all it needs is an RB30 and a GTR box!

This is my first auto car.

I had a 32 box and all pedals slave ecu etc etc, I had the whole thing ready to go. But then after doing some hills and cruises I started to like the auto. And thought about the prices of parts vs the return for myself as the driver and I pulled the plug. I sold everything within the week.

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Woke up this morning and it was a nice 15deg and overcast, so in my ultimate wisdom I said to myself "I'll just give a quick once over" 3 hours later I had washed, claybard, polished and waxed the stagea. Popeye and 14yr old boys everywhere would be impressed of my swole arm.

With my new job I park in a not so paint friendly area, no shelter and on a dirt and dust infested area with trucks coming and going. If I wash the car it looks dirty by smoko. So I needed a car cover. I spoke to a nice girl from fishy supercheap who was using this car cover and said it was O.K, we will see.

I needed some new suspension so I was contacting a few different companies to see what was on offer. After talking to some people who have BC's I was quick to realize that they weren't happy, not just with the performance of them, but also with the height and adjustability. Most people who I had spoken to could only lower the fronts to 360mm when fully adjusted. This wasn't good enough.

I spoke to Ben Neil, aka Mechanical Stig who told me to buy the gtr33 inserts seperatley and I could go lower, when I asked for a kit with gtr up front, he argued that an extra $300 for inserts wasn't that hard or expensive. I didn't write back.

I was looking at yahoo and found some nice teins for a reasonable price and then a friend contacted me and let me know MCA had released Stagea specific adjustables for all models. After speaking to some more people about MCA gear it was apparent that this is what I need in my life. Only the best reviews and from highly respectable people.
Josh from MCA asked what I wanted from the stagea, how it reacted currently and what type of racing I did as well as other modifications. From there he took that information and decided on how to best setup my suspension.

I received msg from Josh Coot at MCA suspension letting me know that the suspension is complete and ready to be sent. Cannot wait to get them in and try them out. The cost of new springs is well priced so no doubt I will be eventually getting a new set, a set for daily/spirited and a set for track use.

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These arrived yesterday afternoon and I couldn't wait for the weekend so I put them in and set the height. Drives unbelievably well on the street, haven't pushed it very hard yet but the steering is more responsive and it soaks up the bumps mid corner. There was one particular section heading out of northbourne road towards parlement house that has a really bad transition between the road and the bridge. These soaked it right up and kept the car planted.

Money very well spent.

Next will be checking understeer and and what's needs doing to minimize it.

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Got rego in the act the other day. Can't thank import parts canberra in Mitchell enough! Great people with excellent prices!

Lowered the stagea a bit more and it feels really tight, just need some whiteline rear top control arms to make the rear more stable

Started sorting out the glovebox gauges. I'll be using redgum as the gauge backing with digital oil press boost and water temp, and an innovate digital wb for a similar look.

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Next will be checking understeer and and what's needs doing to minimize it.

Massive rear anti-roll bar! e.g. Whiteline BNR11 XX 24mm Z

Hmm I see you already have some - what size did you get?

Quaife front LSD will help!

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22 front and 24 rear. Full hard f&r. I should probably change the front, but it feels great for the street.

Since lowering the front i gained more neg front camber which I have read can help with understeer. Got new tyres also.

I still haven't had a chance to test the car properly yet kiwi, but i did do one familiar corner which was a long round merging lane on the freeway, it felt 100x better with no real feeling of un easiness.

I was looking at gtr lsd's a while ago, but i can't justify the money when my open's are still functioning. Like everything else though, when they start to die ill upgrade to something better. Thanks I'll look into quaife!

Printed out the sau nsw membership forms for my cams license last night because the GM club in canberra hold quite a few gymkhana days, so i'll be able to test the car in the right environment and possibly head to wakefield sometime this year.

How did you find the stagea when you were racing kiwi? Anything you wish you did?

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I LOVE to get some Wood grain panels for the centre console in my Axis but simply can't find any . I'll wait till I swap to a decent Aussie Radio CD until I look again.

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How did you find the stagea when you were racing kiwi? Anything you wish you did?

More power. Biggest thing for cornering was a spare set of wheels with 17in full slicks - in combination with Cusco front camber arms set to 3 deg neg (not suitable for street though as it soon chews out the road tyres).

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Thanks bob. Ha you already had quite a lot of power if memory serves me well.

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Looks good. I just picked up a manual converted 97 model too a couple month back. Td06 - 17c, 550cc injectors, splitfire coil packs , power fc and clutch, coilovers and r34 brakes, varrstoen es3 18x9.5 +12 all round. Makes 240rwkw on 18psi. Managed 13.8 @ 106mph in rwd on an open diff. Can't wait to head back out with the lsd centre and give the launches in awd a go.

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That's so weird man. I did a 13.5 when it was standard. And I didn't double clutch. :P

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That's so weird man. I did a 13.5 when it was standard. And I didn't double clutch.

Yours must be a fast one or you are a good driver.

I've seen stockish ones run high 14s at best. Which is lame...

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Yours must be a fast one or you are a good driver.

I've seen stockish ones run high 14s at best. Which is lame...

Was sarcasm Benny

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Was sarcasm Benny

Needed more .....
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60 ft was horrendous. 2.323

Plenty left in it then. I had a 2.02 with exhaust and more boost.

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