Monthly Archives: June 2010

Steve Millen and the STILLEN team have returned home from the Spectre 341 Challenge.  We had a great trip and we are already thinking of ways to improve the car for next year and see what kind of car I (Kyle Millen) can bring up there to compete in!  The team at Spectre did a great job for their first event and we are really looking forward to heading back next year!


Photo courtesy of Larry Chen / Spectre 341

The GT-R finished 2nd overall, missing the top time by 1 second. Next year we’ll be bringing back some Dunlops and should be able to pick up at least 5 or 6 seconds.  Unfortunately the Bridgestone run flats did not offer enough grip for the hill climb.  But, we knew that going into the event as the Dunlop tire is the NISSAN recommended performance tire.  Unfortunately they were out of stock though so we had to run the Bridgestone’s.

Virginia City is an amazing little town and if anyone is ever in search of a fun destination that will take them back to the old western movies, this place will make you feel like John Wayne…It is truly unbelievable!  The town is nearly 300 years old and I’m pretty sure the only modern updates are the paved roads.  The sidewalks are still wood, the buildings are hundreds of years old and they are awesome!  The locals are also extremely nice and friendly.

Steve ran his fast times of the day early in the morning on Saturday morning and around noon made the decision to pack up and head home.  He reported that the road had become too hot and the tires too slick so he felt like he had gone as fast as he could go.  As you know, we had two days to turn the car around and get it into a transporter headed for targa New Zealand on Tuesday so we all decided it was best to just save the car and head home a little early.

Here’s some photos of some of the cars at the event:

Around noon we were on the road home.  I made the 480 mile road trip in about 8.5 hours in our supercharged 370Z.  I was also really impressed that I did it on one tank of gas which means it averaged around 27 MPG!  Not bad!

Unfortunately one of the other competitors Alex (VRAlexander) Djordevic had gone off the road in the fastest section and did not survive. All of us at STILLEN would like send our thoughts and well wishes to Alex’s family and friends.

Photos by Boxtergirlie01 via 6speedonline.com

More Coverage:

Looks like cell phone coverage is decent out in Virginia City where STILLEN and Steve Millen are running the GT-R at the Spectre 341 Challenge. We’ll use this blog post as a place to post updates and photos we get back from the team.  We’ll have a full recap after the event ends.

Friday 6/25 – 11:20am (Kyle via text)

Phone works okay.. no real updates.. did drivers meeting this morning and the drivers got a tour of the race course with tips from Amir from Spectre

The HRE Porsche is pretty nice and looks well prepared and the LG Vette is nice.. light weight good tires.. all good

There’s a hearse here too!  I don’t know about it though.. I think they are just here

Friday 6/25 – 11:43am (Kyle via text)

The hearse now has numbers.. looks like it’s running!

Friday 6/25 – 12:33pm (Kyle via text)

Just started sprinkling and apparently they’re delaying the start (we’d really like to run!)

(Questioned Kyle on whether it was a get in line type of deal, or if everyone is running it a set number of times?)
Just get in line..

We haven’t even left the hotel.. were trying to convince them to let us run

There is 700-1100 horsepower Porsche.. there are some huge horsepower cars up here

Friday 6/25 – 12:33pm (Kyle via text)

We did find out though that they aren’t posting any times until tomorrow night.  We have a stop watch that we’ll keep track of our time, but we don’t know how everyone else is doing

Steve and Jodi Millen

That’s not a typo on Jodi’s race suit!

Friday 6/25 – 2:27pm (Kyle via text)

We were two minutes from starting but the safety crew had to leave for a local accident… no go on the restart.  The accident was not on the course.. the same crew is on call for the other highways as well.  Unfortunately this is cutting down on the number of possible runs.

Friday 6/25 – 2:52pm (Kyle via text)

Cars are away!!!  The GT-R was second in line!

Friday 6/25 – 3:20pm (Kyle via text)

First run was good.. they’re just going to increase boost.. tires are still a bit greasy but starting to come in

Friday 6/25 – 3:46pm (Kyle via text)

GT-R just took off for its second run.. looks like he’s chasing it harder this run

Friday 6/25 – 4:15pm (Kyle via text)

Here’s a quick video from a corner I’m standing on of the GT-R

 

Here’s a video of the Viper coming around the same corner

 

Friday 6/25 – 4:59pm (Kyle via text)

Done for the day.. Steve is pretty happy with the car and is still trying to scrub in the tires.  Only made three runs but I think they’re happy with what theyre seeing.

The high elevation has caused a big drop in boost but the TurboSmart boost controller is allowing them to adjust that and increase pressure.

Look for more updates tomorrow..

Saturday 6/26 – 9:08am (Kyle via text)

First run of the day they shaved 3.5 seconds off from their fast time from yesterday.

Saturday 6/26 – 9:34am (Kyle via text)

They just shaved another three seconds.

There is a really fast EVO up here with really sticky nittos and the driver has a lot of experience.

Saturday 6/26 – 9:59am (Kyle via text)

If we had some better tires like the Dunlops we’d be much faster.  Unfortunately the Dunlops are on national back order otherwise we’d have them on the car.. according to Nissan they’re good for around a second a mile faster.

Saturday 6/26 – 10:16am (Kyle via text)

Saturday 6/26 – 10:25am (Kyle via text)

We softened the STILLEN front sway bar last night, and Steve is saying its helped a lot and he can start turning the back of the car today.. I’m sure that’s where some of the time is coming from.

Saturday 6/26 – 10:40am (Kyle via text)

Quick video of the ZR1

Quick video of Steve and the STILLEN GT-R

Saturday 6/26 – 10:50am (Kyle via text)

Steve and Team STILLEN are done for the day.. the road is extremely slick, and the tires don’t have any grip any more.

With having to ship the car to New Zealand for the Targa Rally in a couple of days, and not having good tires, Steve’s just taking it kinda easy.

This is a fun event and we will be back for sure next year.

More Coverage:

20mm H&R TRAK+ DRS Rear Spacer installation on 2010 Nissan 370Z

Tools Required:

  1. 21mm deep socket for lug nut removal
  2. 2 x (12×1.25) open ended lug nut for stud removal and installation
  3. 19mm open ended wrench to remove brake calipers
  4. Needlenose pliers
  5. Wire or cable ties to support brake caliper while installing spacers
  6. Stack of washers to install studs
  7. 3lb sledge for easy stud removal
  8. Jack stands to support vehicle
  9. Anti-seize compound for back of spacers

Preparation:

Wash vehicle wheels wells and suspension to aid in installation and remove dirt. Remove your spacers from the packaging and check you have all parts.

Installation:

1)  Jack up the rear of your vehicle and position the jack stands to support the rear end. Make sure the park brake is NOT set and the vehicle is on a level surface. Block the front wheels from rolling.

2)  Remove the rear wheel. You should see this:

If you have trouble turning the rotor at this point, you may need to open the rubber dust cap on the parking brake adjustment hole and back the star wheel off a few clicks, or until the rotor turns freely. This will allow the rotor to come off easily. Most rotors should not need this adjustment though.

3)  Remove the two 19mm bolts securing the caliper to the rotor. If your rotors are not worn, you should be able to slide them off easily. Support the caliper in place with some wire or cable ties so the brake line is not strained.

4)  The rotor should now slide off the studs. If it is difficult to move, tap it with a RUBBER mallet to loosen it. It should come off easily.

5)  You should now see the rear park brake assembly and you will need to remove the tensioning spring with a pair of needlenose pliers.

6)  Remove the star wheel spacer carefully, it is a two piece unit and place it on the ground in the same orientation as it will go back in.

7)  Thread one of the open ended lug nuts onto a stud and tap lightly with the mallet. It should pop out easily. Rotate the hub to allow the stud to be removed. (Note: the following picture is from the front assembly but is the same idea!)

8)  Insert the new stud from behind the hub and at a slight angle.

Do one stud at a time to avoid them catching on the brake shoes as the hub spins around.

9)  After the stud is through, slide the washers over the new stud and place an open ended lug nut onto the new stud (again the picture is from the front install, but is the same idea)

10)  Tighten the new stud into place. Be careful to follow the manufacturers torquing specifications.

11)   Replace the star wheel assembly and the tensioning spring. The finished hub should look like this when all the studs are in and tightened.

12)  Remount the rotor and lubricate the rear of the spacer with anti-seize compound. Tighten down the spacer and rotor with a couple of washers and the open ended lug nuts.


13)  Remount the brake caliper in the reverse sequence as disassembly and remove the open ended lug nuts and washers. Remount the wheel and torque wheels to manufacturers specs. You are now done! Repeat procedure for the other side of the car. Your finished wheel should look like this:

Congratulations on installing your 20mm rear spacers!

Finished car should look like this for clearance (non-lowered suspension):

This DIY article was provided by STILLEN customer Mark Lewis of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

15mm H&R TRAK+ DRS Front Spacer installation on a 2010 Nissan 370Z

Tools required:

  1. 21mm deep socket for lug nut removal
  2. 2 x (12×1.25) open ended lug nut for stud removal and installation
  3. 21mm open ended wrench to remove brake calipers
  4. 12mm wrench to remove brake line support
  5. Wire or cable ties to support brake caliper while installing spacers
  6. Stack of washers to install studs
  7. 3lb sledge for easy stud removal
  8. Jack stands to support vehicle
  9. Anti-seize compound for back of spacers

Preparation:

Wash vehicle wheels wells and suspension to aid in installation and remove dirt. Remove your spacers from the packaging and check you have all parts.

Installation:

1)  Jack up both sides of the front of your vehicle and position the jack stands to support the front end. Make sure the park brake is set and the vehicle is on a level surface.

2)  Remove the front wheel. You should see this:

3)  Begin by undoing the 12mm brake line support in behind the rotor. It may help to turn the wheel outwards to have easier access. After you remove the brake line support, remove the two 21mm bolts securing the caliper to the rotor. If your rotors are not worn, you should be able to slide them off easily. Support them in place with some wire or cable ties so the brake line is not strained.

4)  The rotor should now slide off the studs. If it is difficult to move, tap it with a RUBBER mallet to loosen it. It should come off easily.

5)  Thread one of the open ended lug nuts onto a stud and tap lightly with the mallet. It should pop out easily. Rotate the hub to allow the stud to be removed.

6)  Insert the new stud from behind the shield and into the hub; you may need to wiggle it a little but it is quite easy.


7)  After the stud is through, slide the washers over the new stud and place an open ended lug nut onto the new stud.

8)  Tighten the new stud into place. Be careful to follow the manufacturers torquing specifications.

9)  The finished hub should look like this when all the studs are in and tightened.

10)  Remount the rotor and lubricate the rear of the spacer with anti-seize compound. Tighten down the spacer and rotor with a couple of washers and the open ended lug nuts.


11)  Remount the brake caliper in the reverse sequence as disassembly and remove the open ended lug nuts and washers. Remount the wheel and torque wheels to manufacturers specs. You are now done! Repeat procedure for the other side of the car. Your finished wheel should look like this:

Congratulations on installing your 15mm front spacers!

Finished car should look like this for clearance (non-lowered suspension):

This DIY article was provided by STILLEN customer Mark Lewis of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

The busy schedule for the STILLEN R35 Nissan GT-R has finally finished with the shows and now it’s time to get back to racing!  Team STILLEN will be bringing the orange beast to Virginia City, Nevada for the first annual running of the Spectre 341 Challenge being held June 25-26, 2010.

This event is held on a closed section of Highway 341 that would normally be opened to the public.  Originally started in the early 70’s this event was pioneered by the local Ferrari clubs.  The event ran until 2002 before being shut down.  2010 marks the re-organization of the event and the new promoter Spectre 341’s involvement.  The course is 5.2 miles long with plenty of high speed long turns and narrow switchbacks.  In barely over 5 miles the event travels 1,200+ feet in elevation!!!  The current record up the hill is three minutes and 10 seconds.  Held by the president of Spectre Performance and his highly modified F40 Ferrari.  Steve Millen and Team STILLEN hope to break that record and perhaps dip under the three minute mark!

To prepare for the event the Team headed out to Spring Mountain Raceway to do a little track testing.  Spring Mountain is a good test area for this event because Highway 341 offers pretty flat, high speed turns, and a few tight twisty areas as well, very similar to a track like Spring Mountain.  The main priorities at Spring Mountain were tire testing, suspension development, and increased boost pressure.  Further development back at the shop consisted of installing GReddy Intercoolers, GReddy Hard Pipes, and a GReddy Cold Air Intake.

Never one  to miss an opportunity to challenge themselves, Steve and the Team will tow the car up to Virginia City on Thursday, race on Friday and Saturday.  Then head home Sunday.  That seems pretty simple.  However the added twist, Steve has to have the car in the container headed for New Zealand on the following Tuesday!

That leaves the team just 2 days to take the GT-R from a hillclimb car to rally car.  We’re sending the car down a little early this year as it will be one of the main exhibits in the New Zealand Speed Show event.  The New Zealand Speed Show is the largest automotive show in the country and both STILLEN Targa rally cars will be on display!  The STILLEN Ford GT will be coming back out into the spot light and will be positioned right next to the Nissan GT-R.

There is a lot going on here at STILLEN and we would like to invite you to follow along with us!!!

More Coverage:

Here’s a quick video introduction to the Spectre 341 Challenge

We recently met up with the guys at DSPORT Magazine at a local studio to shoot the STILLEN R35 GT-R for the cover and feature of their July 2010 issue.  We’re happy to announce that this issue is currently on the newsstands, and has been delivered to subscribers!

In addition to getting some fanastic studio shots of the GT-R with the beautiful Ariel Marie, DSPORT also shot Steve Millen’s Championship IMSA 300ZX Twin Turbo inside this issue.  Richard Fong also spent some good time with Steve Millen discussing both the exploits of the R35 GT-R as it tackled Targa Newfoundland, it’s plans for the rest of 2010, and some history of the IMSA 300ZX and racing stories of Steve.

This is the largest issue yet of DSPORT, their 91st in fact, with everything from event coverage, some very cool vehicle features, product tech and testing, model photos and interviews, and industry news.

 

Be sure to hit the newsstand and check this issue out before June 30th!

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