Dream Build Drive

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DREAM.BUILD.DRIVE from Matthew J Cox on Vimeo.

Dream Build Drive is Matthew Cox’s quest to give you some insight into the journey that has been my life for the last 8 months, building the car presented many challenges, getting it over that mental finishing line by driving it the way I had designed it to be driven presented a whole raft of far more complex personal challenges that took both Matthew and I into the unknown.

Sit down, grab a drink and enjoy Dream Build Drive.

Dream Build Drive – Premier Night at Boom Gallery

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Well last night was amazing, with big thanks to Boom gallery we made our documentary come to life, it was really important to us that we had a night dedicated to the documentary’s release and we made the most of it with over 100 family and friends in attendance it was really something special. Thanks to all that were a part of the night. Thanks to James Cox for the images.

ETS Drift Ute – Back to the glory days


I remember a time when everything was brand new, not a single mark on anything, 2.5 years of concentration went in to each single item and it was ready to become a complete car. That was an exciting time, 6 months later I am strapped into the seat throwing the car around race tracks in another country spitting rubber and stones over everything, for a moment when the car was sitting in NZ I forgot just how much I loved it. Now that its at home, all the rubber and dust is washed away its running perfectly and all complete again I just feel really good to have it home. I will never own a car that means as much to me as this one does!

ETS Drift Ute – Returns


I got the call to say my Hilux was waiting for me in Melbourne, when I got to the receiving yard the staff explained that the car wouldnt move as they didnt know how to use the gearbox. After a quick check over, signing of the relevant papers I fired it up and rolled it out of the container. Ever since it’s little stay at Andre’s workshop STM its been running a dream, the cold start tune has definitely made my life a lot easier.


After loading it up onto the trailer we headed home, my garage has felt empty all year without it and I was excited to get it home and clean it up again.

ETS Drift Ute – Back in the country


I think everyone has seen those images of containers falling off ships, well I’m happy to say that I got a call from customs saying the container is in the docks safe and sound. I have to thank Extreme Global for being a great shipping company to deal with. If you ever need your car shipped overseas then they would be the ones to deal with! I can’t wait to get it all cleaned up and ready for its next track day.

ETS Drift Ute – In action


In the last post I outlined all the prep-work that went into this drive, being its first “in public” drive I thought its only fair that I bring you some in car footage, as the final stages of the Dream Build Drive documentary get pieced together this will act as a teaser for whats to come, don’t worry about chasing any other footage from this event because Dream Build Drive will leave you full to the brim of the best action footage that may ever surface of the Hilux doing what its built for. Till then here’s what I was busy doing last Sunday!

ETS Drift Ute – Manfield Raceway NZ from Engineered To Slide on Vimeo.

It took me most of the day to get my driving up to scratch to meet the demands of the chassis, Manfield isnt like Hampton Downs and the power delivery was nothing short of aggressive, its like it still wants more power, I never like to drive on the limiter, but I felt that I had to at some stages. As the day progressed I hit the first corner faster and faster, I still needed to go faster but its difficult knowing whats gone into the build and whats at stake, Im happy the Hilux lasted all day with no real issues, the alignment is just by eye, infact its all over the place so I am looking forward to setting it up and heading back on track to start tuning everything in.

ETS Drift Ute – Pre Jamboree Prep


As I flew out of Melbourne AUS bound for Wellington NZ I knew what work had to be done on the Hilux that was sitting in the STM workshop. There were three major jobs that needed to be done.


The diff: After breaking a driveshaft during the filming of Dream Build Drive at Hampton Downs a month ago I decided to upgrade the rear end to something that would bolt in and increase the strength. Aaron Lawson campaigns a V8 S15 in NZ and had a spare diff for sale, he agreed to supply me with an R33 GTR diff, 4.3 gears, 2 way, axles and hubs all rebuilt oiled and ready to bolt up. Id like to thank Aaron for his time taken in doing this work properly, he supplied everything and made my life easy when it came to bolting everything up.


Because my rear end uses a different mounting pattern I had to modify the solid alloy bushes, this is where the STM lathe came in very handy.


I took the thickness down to make the diff sandwich into the frame like the old one.


Nice tight fit.


With the old diff out I could swap the unique yoke over onto the GTR diff.


Once the GTR diff was in the chassis I could start to refit all my suspension.


The new axles are much much larger and my confidence with the drive line is now at an alltime high.


We used the dyno to make sure everything was working as it should.


Another issue that arose at Hampton Downs was the motor had seemed to move back on its mounts, I pulled the covers off the tunnel to find the gearbox rubber mounting bushes were flogged out and the gearbox had dropped 20mm making the engine lean back and create a lot of stress on everything that connects to the chassis. I believe this was the reason the inlet manifold cracked so I drew up a neat little fix and created some solid alloy mounts that lifted the gearbox and made the engine sit up allowing all the piping to have plenty of room to move.


Speaking of the gearbox LINK ECU upgraded my Link G4 Storm for a Link G4 Extreme, this gave Andre some headroom for extra inputs that he was able to utilize on the dyno in the way of knock detection input and gear position input. I would like to thank Link for producing the best ECU I have ever used, I highly encourage that you look into the Link product if your in the market for a new ECU.


One of the biggest issues I have had from the very start was charging, the first alternator I bought died on the very first dyno session back in Australia and cost me an entire day of wasted dyno time and about $400 for a new alternator, that new alternator lasted only marginally longer, with the Hampton Downs session only just having enough charge to get me through the two days an upgrade was in order.


The upgrade was a 75Amp Powermaster mini alternator, its true single wire hookup meant all it needs is the battery wire to complete the fit up, I am really impressed with this alternator and its so good to have a constant 14.8V from idle to redline all the time.


The time came to push the Hilux into the STM dyno bay and hook up the Dynapack dyno.


This is the first time I have used a hub dyno, once the hubs are bolted to the rear axles you slide the dyno over the splines and lock everything up.


Its very easy to do with the rear bodywork and undertray off and Andre got behind the wheel and started to weave his magic on the new Link G4 Extreme.


In a little over half an hour Andre managed to extract around 330rwkw from 18psi of boost on 98 pump fuel.


I was more than happy with that result, when the Hilux arrived at STM it was making 194rwkw on the same boost with a triggering issue, that issue is now sorted and its transformed the power productivity to levels I have never experienced, driving this will be amazing!


A few further tweaks to the cold start tune, idle quality and off boost drive ability has transformed the Hilux, I have to thank Andre for putting the time and effort into this as its performance all over the rev range is now more than incredible.


I removed the dyno from the hubs and fitted up some fresh rubber, now onto the guards.


I brought over a new set of guards that Timmy from Breakwater Panels had sprayed up for me, after drilling the holes and fitting them up I marked a cut line to radius the fender gap.


Its about 55mm up the arch.


I just use an angle grinder and cut out the section.


Then some emery paper to clean up the cut.

As we load up and head to the track the next post will have some actual driving footage :)

I would like to thank

HP Academy

Link ECU


Breakwater Panels

Aaron Lawson

ETS Bender – In action


While I am drawing up the plans for the bender (that you can have access to by signing up to the newsletter)

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I thought I would shoot some footage over the weekend of a simple few minutes in use, I got stuck into the roll cage in the PS13 NA project, the main hoop is 1 3/4 tube and the tube in the video is 1 1/2 for the front legs. Im looking forward to getting it all in and ill be sure to document that when it happens. For now watch the video and see how I bend all my tube.

ETS Bender in action from Engineered To Slide on Vimeo.

Bender Tech


When you start building steel structures at home you can achieve most outcomes with fairly simple tools, a welder, angle grinder, drill and vice. The skills to use these tools vary and once you are competent and have a knowledge in how to use them the skys the limit, but there’s will always be one tool that is expensive to obtain and without it many jobs are considered impossible no matter what your skill level.


Having the ability to bend tube at home is the key to any chassis, rollcage, bracing and visually appealing steel structures. There are two components used to bend the steel or alloy tube and thats the bender and the dies.


The bender is a fairly simple unit, a steel outer frame that positions a bottle jack (atleast 3 tonne capacity) in the base and then a series of holes up the perimeter to position the dies.


Above the bottle jack is a simple mount to position a large roller, behind the roller is a seat for the aluminium follower to sit on, the aluminium follower will run along the roller once the pressure is taken up on the die, the springs on the outer are there to return the bottle jack to its home position as fast as possible to save time.


The dies themselves are the expensive bit, you wont get much change out of $1200 by the time you choose three dies and get them delivered. I started off by buying a 1,3/4″ die and follower for the main hoop of a CAMS approved rollcage and a 1,1/2″ die and follower for the other tube. these are all I used for the Hilux project and now going on to the motorcycle build I just bought a 1″ die and follower and a 1,1/4″ die and follower to allow me to bend the smaller tube.


There are other types of benders on the market that I have tried, this is a horizontal ratchet style bender that I bought off a friend, I have since decided that this style of bender isn’t as good for my application and workshop space as it needs to be mounted to the floor or a beam and once its mounted cant be moved around, I dont have much space so this bender will be back on the market even before I have used it.


Looking back at my Hilux build I can attribute most of the chassis work to an angle grinder with both cut off disks and buffing disks and my bender. As I spend time in the garage bending up the tube for my PS13 build I am glad I have the bender in the garage and ready to go, it means I can get those ideas out of my head and get them tacked up.

When I get some time I want to make up a cutting list so that you can make a bender and roller frame by simply getting everything laser cut and then welded together. If your interested sign up to the mailing list and I will compile it and send it out.

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