Bamidele O. Shangobunmi

JANG Speaks!: October 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

More Forza 3 fun

All of the cars I've bought or used so far in Forza 3 are just ones that I like in real life, so I'm mostly using whatever among them will be good enough to win offline races. Once I get all of the career stuff done, then I'll finally go back and start tuning up some strong cars and focusing on a couple classes.

This evening, though, I thought I'd do something useful with my GTI and put it in the C class world championship I'm rolling through. Going through the upgrades, I saw that you can add AWD now, so I thought I'd try that out for kicks on top of all of the usual stuff. In Forza 2 the car had mild understeer and I figured AWD would only worsen that, so for my first shot-in-the-dark tune I tried to put in plenty of anti-understeer settings. Well, my first test drive was in a race, and what I ended up with is an oversteering, traction rolling, high-flying wacko of a car! Soooooo much silly fun though!

For Le Sarthe and New York I threw together this hide-the-women-and-children beast and did my first artsy photo:

Completely unedited, straight out of the game. That car has way more rubber than it should for a straight-line specialist though and has tons of grip. I'll surely take some of that away and give it to speed. I'm just so glad they put that hood in the game!
Again, full-sized photos are in my Forza 3 photo gallery.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Forza 3 is mine, all mine!

Picked up the Limited Collector's Edition or LCE with the Game Stop preorder goodies today!  Well, technically it was yesterday, but who's counting.  I played it as much as I could in the first day, driving 326 miles, reaching driver level 15, earning about 600k credits, hitting 209mph in a stock ZR1, and earning 31 of 50 achievements. It gets much harder from this point on though, at least achievement-wise (the 31 only count for 355 gamerpoints).

The only thing that bugs me so far is that my favorite camera view (just in front of the windshield) now floats a bit ... it turns slightly like your head would. Makes it tough to judge your slip angle sometimes. Otherwise though, definite kid-in-a-candy store material! I like that they split out "E" and "F" classes now, so there are some truly slow classes again.

Here's my purchased/modded car list so far:
  • Corvette ZR1, 2009, stock
  • Ferrari F40 (A), tire upgrade only
  • Camaro SS, 2010 (B), tire, wheel, suspension, aero upgrades, all for looks (I call it my Bumblebee) but has earned me a lot of money
  • Ford Focus RS (C), 2009, very mild mods just to get through various races
  • VW Rabbit GTI Mk.I (C), 1984, pretty heavily modded but only did it to get that one burnout photo
  • Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X GSR, (C) prototype URC livery car
  • Porsche 944 Turbo (C), to match the one in my driveway of course
  • Honda Civic Type-R, 2007 JDM/EDM (D), forget if I did any mods, just got it to earn dough
  • Lancia Stratos HF Stradale, because it's a Lancia Stratos
  • Toyota Yaris S, 2008 (F), stock, my first car that led to all of the rest
Don't forget the reward cars:
  • Ferrari California
  • Honda NSX-R GT, 2005
  • Leon Supercup, 2007
  • Lexus IS-F
  • Lotus Exige Cup 240
  • BMW M5 E60
  • Maserati GranTurismo
  • Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, 2007
  • Vauxhall VX220 Turbo
  • Renault Sport Clio V6
  • Volkswagen Sirocco GT, 2009
  • Alfa Romeo Brera Italia Independent, 2009
  • Fiat Abarth 500 esseesse, 2010
I'll be putting full-size originals of all of my photos in my Forza 3 photo gallery on Flickr.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Traxxas Slash 4x4

Traxxas has released the new Slash 4x4 and details are up at Ultimate RC.  This follows a week of swirling speculation after their popular "10-8-09" teaser movie went online.  The new truck is loosely based on the 1/10th scale Traxxas Slash platform but features an all-new single-motor, longitudinal shaft-based 4WD system driving Revo-spec differentials front & rear.  Learn more here:

Traxxas Slash 4x4 >

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Porsche 944 Turbo: A few new interior bits

Okay, things are slowly starting to come together for this car now, starting with the inside.  First I got a replacement center console caddy that that's in much closer-to-new condition than the chipped up original.  Next came this beautiful handmade leather-on-wood cassette box top, which is slightly taller than stock but looks a thousand times better than the old splitting beige vinyl stocker.  Then came the custom-ordered embroidered Lloyds floor mats and of course the Rennline pedals shown in my previous post.  Still to come are some custom leather seat covers and a lower-profile radio head unit that'll fit with the theme of the car much better.

There are a few more new photos in my gallery on Flickr:

Porsche 944 Turbo: Rennline racing pedals installed

One thing on the 951 that has bugged me from the start is the pedal spacing.  After four years of fast & easy rev-matching downshifts with the Lancer Ralliart and the Evo 8 before it, I was finding it almost impossible to even attempt the same on this car.  Hoping to remedy this, I went all out at Pelican Parts and got the black powdercoated pedal set with rubber grips, and even got the full heel-toe accelerator pedal extension which attaches from behind.

These 1/4" aluminum pieces are sturdy and well-finished and they come with all of the hardware you need for an easy installation.  Or so I thought.

I started with the dead pedal since it'd be the easiest -- just pre-drill 3 holes and drive in self-tapping screws.  Unfortunately the fittment isn't so good in my car because my undercarpet padding is fairly thick, and in searching discussion forums out there I've found that I'm not at all alone.  I eventually managed to get it firmly attached by pushing extremely hard against the pedal before setting the holes, using an automatic center punch (don't even think about installing this set without one) a million times on each hole, and using 1 1/4" self-tapping auto trim screws from a hardware store, which are about twice as long as the ones supplied with the kit (and still a real stretch to get them to bite).

Next up I did the accelerator pedal, which was a cinch.  I popped out all of the rubber pads temporarily so I could find the best holes to screw through, and used a strip of double-sided tape to temporarily mount the pedal while I carefully marked the holes with a silver paint pen (infinitely easier to see than a sharpie against a black pedal).  For alignment I just lined up the right side of the new pedal against the old.  The stocker is plastic, so drilling & screwing through it was easy, and you can see where I put the screws in the photo.

The brake pedal was next, so I could get it lined up nicely relative to the accelerator.  The Rennline instructions suggest doing the brake & clutch before the accelerator, but you should give it some thought of your own before starting the whole project.  Though I'm a big fan of symmetry, I ended up going for a staggered pattern of two mounting bolts, with the pedal overlay shifted a little to the left of center.

On the clutch pedal, I did two bolts right down the middle, which put the new pedal as far left as I could go with it, so my long legs don't have to twist quite so far inward to reach.

The feel with the new setup?  Outstanding!  I can heel-toe (actually more like side-of-the-heel-roll) shift now!  The start of the installation was a pain, but wow, it was worth it.