Feature: Thunder Drift IS400 – 2012 Build Progress

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For those of you who are regulars of NDF, this Lexus (…is that what this is?) will be a familiar site to you.  It belongs to Joe McGuigan and is in the process of quite the transformation.  If you’re not familiar with what Joe does, check this out.   If you aren’t familiar with what he does it with, check this out.  Last year, Joe ran Thunder Drift with the stock 2JZ; underpowered to say the least.  Well, as you can see, things have changed.  With the 2012 season approaching and new targets in his site, he’s decided to ditch the OEM power in favor of some V8 juice!  Check out more of the 1UZ swap progress past the break.

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The afternoon I got to AGP to meet up with Joe, the 1UZ was resting nicely in it’s new home.  While Joe was deciphering the wiring harness for the new engine, Jess was hard at work on repairing the oil pan.  I talked to the owner of Aggressive Performance for a little while, and then went to work snapping photos.  AGP is a really cool, down to earth shop that is all about tuning cars, and tuning them right.  No frills, just performance.  I thought this shot was rather beastly.

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You can see that the car has been in the shop for quite awhile, as it has a nice layer of dirtiness about it.  The new tubbed engine bay gives the car a Tie Fighter feel to it – Darth Vader’s choice of wheels.

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A closer look at the 1UZ and newly designed bay.  The design of the fender tubs is extremely unique and gives a futuristic look to the whole bay.   The shop responsible for the body work, TredSpeed, also fabricated a removable radiator support to make the removal of the massive V8 a little bit easier.   Quick side note – as if the V8 wasn’t enough, Joe has decided to turbocharge the engine.  Which route they will take is still up in the air.

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Pretty much the entire time I was at the shop, Joe was hard at work figuring out the wiring for the new harness.  I love to see drivers work on their own cars – it screams dedication.

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A shot from the loft of Mr. Nguyen’s shop.  The amount of spare parts at this place was nothing short of amazing.  I think there were a dozen MR2’s parked outside…

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I’m really excited to be documenting the changes that this car is going through, and I’m definitely looking forward to covering Joe’s 2012 drift season.  I can’t wait to see what he can do with a car with proper power output.  I think most of all I’m looking forward to my ride along with him!  Stay tuned for more – only on NDF.

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