Project Leopard’s adversities 2023 retrospection

Near the end of 2022, I was finally making progress. Engine came back from Apexi a few months prior and Hung was telling me a lot of bits and pieces to order. He would tell me what was missing and needed and I would make sure I ordered it.

Around that time, there were a lot of moving parts going on with the build:

I started 2023 with hopes of finally getting Project Leopard completed. Hung got most of the motor together and transmission together, Thrice Engineering did the piping and I unfortunately made the mistake of letting the car get screwed up by That garbage shop in AZ. Even after that fiasco, I was hoping to get the car together and get it started. This is when we started putting a lot of small hoses and other details that were needed into the engine bay.

Bucky was ready to put the ECU in, but there were a few things going on wiring that Hung needed to figure out. Afterwards, the LINK ECU needed the RB25 ecu’s case and then we found out the screws were soldered in. Bucky took care of that a came back the weekend after.

That following weekend, Bucky took my Fuel Pressure regulator and said he would return tomorrow (Sunday). That was the last time I saw him and my FPR.

A couple months passed and I haven’t been able to get in contact with Bucky. So I bought another FPR and was ready to get it all together. I was hoping to load a base map and take the car up to Norcal to be tuned.

That weekend was so frustrating. I rented a truck to get the car, I paid Infinite Auto Design… it was suppose to be the end of the car being there. Then we find out the Boost Doc coolant fitting was leaking and on top of that, the intercooler piping on that side also needed to have a barb and IAC bung put in. I was caught off guard with that because I thought I paid for everything with the piping earlier that year.

So I have to take the Intake manifold off and even order the TB gasket and Intake manifold gasket again. It’s just redundant because it wasn’t done proper the 1st time. Nothing I can do now but to go through it again.

Also the NTK wideband system was missing (which I later found out Bucky has it) and that made the weekend even more frustrating.


After trips to AZ (flying there and then towing the car to LA) and multiple trips from Bay area to LA to work on the car has been annoying. Especially the last time because I was planning on having the car moved up here… due to all those issues, I had to keep it there.

I now gathered all those pieces again (Wideband 02, gauges, gaskets…etc), waiting for the intake manifold and piping to be complete and also ordered up additional stuff I needed to get for the engine bay (oil catch can, coolant reservoir, reducer for intake). I hope that within January, I can get all that stuff done and I can start the car.

For a minute, I felt defeated and was just depressed about the situtaion. After taking a breather, I just realize I need to stop bitching and start moving forward again. Not just with the car, but recoup my costs thought litigations. I also brought home quite a few things up from the last trip to LA. I figure I can put together some of the interior parts until I get back down there again.

Knowing how close I am is kind of exciting when I realize it. I will eventually get rid of the horrid work that sakura garbage and have some proper work done.


Nonetheless, DEFINITE lessons learned this year!!