Project Leopard - 3 Year milestone

Project Leopard has had a lot of setbacks and at times, I felt defeated. 


SR20store kept promising to get the RB25det done and kept delaying the car going to the shop. The engine was sporadically worked on, which never got completed. The main thing was I kept getting reassurance of getting things done and getting my car there, only for both engine and car to be waiting. I was done patiently waiting.

Sakura Garage took the car for 16 months (May 2020 to Oct 2021) and even though the agreement was to be completed/painted.. the car came back with clear drips and was rushed. On top of that, the aero, the window trim pieces, hood, mirrors and chrome bumper trim are still in Arizona.

When Marco/SR20store denied my car the final time, I decided to get all my stuff and move on. It sucked. I found Jason/Rival Auto works and he said he was willing to look over the engine. When we arrived, Jason said to leave the engine!

Jason did in 2 months what Marco couldn’t do in 2.5 years… complete my engine.

This past weekend, I got the engine and had my car towed to a friend’s place and we put it in. Let’s go over that!!!

I left Friday afternoon with the rb25det transmission, clutch kit and misc stuff for Project Leopard

Picking up the RB25det from Rival Auto Works and A’pexi.

I arrived at A’pexi and Jason had my motor ready! All the fittings were set up, everything that was in the wrong places (by the SR20store) was corrected and everything tightened up. Harness and coil packs are ready.

We loaded it up in Hung’s Honda Fit and took it to his house. There we installed the Clutch kit and Fly wheel using the APR bolts.

* I was suppose to get a new clutch disc from Action Clutch, but they closed early on that day.

Hung and I went back to Project Leopard and he worked on the GKTech extended inner tie rods. He cut them to proper size and did an eye alignment.

 THE MILESTONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Once the car was at Hung’s place, He started to put on the GKTech ABS delete kit.

I forgot to mentioned. Last year, Hung had the steering rack rebuilt (it was suppose to be done in Arizona).

  • Rebuilt Steering rack
  • New GKtech inner tie rods with boots
  • P2M outer tie rods
  • Riaction coil overs
  • GKtech ABS delete lines
  • Energy Suspension steering rack bushings
  • Streetrays solid aluminum steering shaft bushing

Hung said he wanted to put the motor in, so I had to stay and help. It’s Sunday, got a 6hr drive back to SF… but this really needed to happen and I need to be there.

I pulled out the engine mount brackets that I painted last week and mounted on the engine with Nubis RB mount bolts. They were long, so we had to get extra washers.

I had the old RB25 isolators on me, but Jason gave me some better conditioned SR20 mounts (pretty much the same when I compared them).

Ozzy came over and we set it up!!! YEEEEESHHHH!!!

As it was mentioned, Action Clutch closed early and I didn’t get the clutch disc. So the transmission is waiting. I did have a few things there to put on.

There are a few things that we need to do. 

  • Link ECU to wire up
  • F31 Zenki digital cluster wire up.
  • Wire up all the OG stuff I have for the car (Defi Gauges, Oka-chan/Yashio factory water temp…etc)
  • Syko elbow needs to be modified. SR down pipe and exhaust welded (exhaust is Kakimoto but in Japan)
  • Fuel lines need to be ran (going with Vibrant lines). The original Walbro pump is there, but I’d like to update to a new one. Fuel Wizard to send analog to digital reading.
  • Cooling/water lines need to be added
  • SR20store tossed out the OG intercooler, it was big and beat up, but it could have been cut down. Intercooler and piping need to be done.
  • Power steering needs to be added. I ordered Chase Bay’s full PS kit, but they were back ordered and I was waiting a couple months, so I cancelled. Might need to order again.
  • AC compressor is there, but need add one.
  • I would like to do the oil filter relocation. I have a Greddy oil cooler.
  • Mount the Koyo radiator (need to get custom brackets) and SPAL dual e fans with shroud set up.
  • Get Brakenetic set to replace what’s on Project Leopard.
  • Spacers to get the fitment right.

Those seem to be immediate.

Before I end this post. I NEED TO GIVE SOME QUICK SHOUT OUTS and in no particular order:

My boys that have been there on my journey since day 1!: Hung P, Roger V, Edrik C, Ozzy. My relative Sid and Rival Auto Works.