Author Topic: Back in MI with my FD after 23 yrs in SoCal  (Read 1213 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Rx for the soul

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 12
  • Karma: 1
  • Gender: Male
  • Dare to be Different, driver and road as one
Back in MI with my FD after 23 yrs in SoCal
« on: April 20, 2015, 07:40:59 PM »
Hi,

Allow me to introduce myself.  After living in Dearborn from '82 - '92 and working for a couple of automotive OEMs I went west in 3/92 to work for SEMA.  After enjoying what SoCal had to offer (including Sevenstock every year) for 22 years Mazda North American Operations (!!!, I'd been trying to get in there for years) asked me if I'd like to run their emissions lab in Wixom.  I think I said "yes" before they finished asking even though I was already managing another lab (where they were a customer, incidentally).  I'd known a few people at both HQ and R&D in Irvine (CA) for quite a while due to my work with SEMA; it finally paid off.  My background includes mostly powertrain development work but I also have done a lot of competitive benchmarking both as an engineer and as a journalist (I've written for quite a few national magazines plus I wrote a couple of "How To" books on muscle cars).  I've also done some lobbying work (for SEMA) and some expert witness stuff.  The bottom line is virtually everything I've done for the last 30+ years (I'm not a young dude but I'm not "old" either) has been car-related in one way or another.  I'm a real car guy. 

While I appreciate restored/stock vehicles I'm more into performance.  I definitely feel the need for speed.  I may not be furious very often but I do like to be fast.  I've done track days/HPDEs plus more structured events like the Silver State Classic and similar open road events.  My "fleet" doesn't turn over much, I tend to keep my cars.  Fortunately, the journalism and benchmarking have allowed me to drive some pretty interesting stuff, if only for a short while.  I rarely enjoy anything as much as my '95 FD.  I bought it in 2001 without really knowing what I was getting into.  I bought it mainly because I liked how it looked plus it was both lighter than the competition and turbocharged (easier to make more power).  I bought it at a Ford dealer in Long Beach (CA) and scared the crap out of the salesman on the test drive.  I was smiling, he was about ready to cry.  I think I got a good deal because they just wanted to get rid of it, and me.  The test drive was lust, the drive home and every day since has been love.  I won't bore you with all the details but it's been heavily modified (374 rwhp with upgraded twins) for total/overall performance, not just a big HP number and/or a low ET.  The appearance is more subtle since A.) I'm too old to be a show off and B.) I'm more into function than form (unless it's functional).  I also prefer to drive my car than spend hours rubbing on it.  I keep it neat and clean but I don't obsess since driving it gets it dirty, and I drive it.  A lot.  At least I did in SoCal when it was basically my daily driver.  I'm not fully moved out here yet so it's still in other Cali with my other stuff.  I have an AWD 2016 CX-5 to drive here.  I'm probably gonna have to raise the coilovers more than I'd like when it does get here.  I do almost all of the work myself, even wheel alignments (with a race-style string system and camber gauges), as time allows.  I still have a lot to learn about rotaries (I was more of a V8/muscle car guy 'til I got the FD) but at least now I'm around people who can teach me things about rotaries and Mazdas in general.  While I really enjoy constantly improving my own car(s) I also enjoy helping others with theirs whether it be hands on or through my writing.  I'm looking forward to meeting the people of the MRC so I can do that and much more other rotorheads. 

If I can help, just ask me.

Thanks,
Frank Bohanan

Offline ~Groll69~

  • Administrator
  • Rotary God!!
  • *****
  • Posts: 1091
  • Karma: 1
  • Gender: Male
    • Elegant Lady Bridal and Tuxedo
Re: Back in MI with my FD after 23 yrs in SoCal
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2015, 08:31:03 PM »
Welcome to the club.  We look forward to meeting you.  cant wait to see your ride.  Yes you will probaly have to raise the suspension a little for these wonderful michigan roads.
"Long Live Rotary"

An RX-7 is like having a slut as a gf! She will love you, but she will also screw around with the guy at the parts store, most of the local cops, your insurance agent, your apex seals, your bank account and your credit card!!!

Offline fidelity101

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 430
  • Karma: 4
Re: Back in MI with my FD after 23 yrs in SoCal
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2015, 09:54:07 PM »
Welcome!

Offline Rx for the soul

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 12
  • Karma: 1
  • Gender: Male
  • Dare to be Different, driver and road as one
Re: Back in MI with my FD after 23 yrs in SoCal
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2015, 09:38:02 PM »
Thanks!  I hope to meet you guys soon.

Offline ~Groll69~

  • Administrator
  • Rotary God!!
  • *****
  • Posts: 1091
  • Karma: 1
  • Gender: Male
    • Elegant Lady Bridal and Tuxedo
Re: Back in MI with my FD after 23 yrs in SoCal
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2015, 09:50:13 PM »
we look forward to meeting you.  I need to learn how to do a proper alignment.  I have gotten things close but havent got it comppletly right yet which is annoying. I was using a redneck method of a straight board and following the body line of the car.
"Long Live Rotary"

An RX-7 is like having a slut as a gf! She will love you, but she will also screw around with the guy at the parts store, most of the local cops, your insurance agent, your apex seals, your bank account and your credit card!!!

Offline Rx for the soul

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 12
  • Karma: 1
  • Gender: Male
  • Dare to be Different, driver and road as one
Re: Back in MI with my FD after 23 yrs in SoCal
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2015, 08:54:41 PM »
Take a look at You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login.  I use their equipment.  After a few alignments it pays for itself.  Easy to use, very well made.  You can do 4 wheel alignments too.  Very useful for setting rear camber after I upped the tire size again.  275s are easy to fit, 285s take a little bit more care but can be done with the right offset/backspacing. 

Offline murz

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 434
  • Karma: 6
  • Gender: Male
Re: Back in MI with my FD after 23 yrs in SoCal
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2015, 06:47:12 PM »
Welcome to the club! Got any recent pictures of her? Pretty impressive car background, which books did you write? Look forward to meeting you!
1986 AS GXL Turbo swapped
1991 BB convertible
1993 VR R1

Offline Rx for the soul

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 12
  • Karma: 1
  • Gender: Male
  • Dare to be Different, driver and road as one
Re: Back in MI with my FD after 23 yrs in SoCal
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2015, 09:26:42 PM »
Thanks.  Got pictures, not that recent.  I did a few mods before I prepped the car for storage prior to when it comes out here.  The shots I've provided don't show the battery being moved or the new intercooler, front lip, vented headlight cover, rear diffuser, adjustable rear wing, side splitters, wheel/tire combo, or hood latches.  I probably forgot something since I was tight for time getting everything organized and ready to sit for a few months.  I really, really miss driving it (sorry, as good as the CX-5 is it isn't even close).  I hope these roads don't make me have to raise it up too much.  Don't want to have the handling and low look suffer.  We'll see; thank goodness for coilovers.  As for the books, they were both about first gen. ('64 1/2 to '73) Mustangs.  You can look them up by author (Bohanan) on Amazon.