Here at Gearbox Magazine, we believe the things we have in common as gearheads are what empowers us to make the most from our differences. We tend to stick to our own kind – platforms, we’re all specialists, after all – but I wanted to see how our perspectives looked when taken to task. Since I cut my teeth in the DSM community, I decided to see how three DSMers in three different communities would answer the same question.
The communities I selected for this experiment were ones where I know more than a few people and have been more or less active over the years in the interest of getting the best response. I know there are other DSM communities out there – I’m easily on a dozen or so – but this was something of a test drive of an idea. In the end, I posed the question on (in alphabetical order): 2GNT, DSMtuners, and Mitsu-Media.
Assume money is no object and we have every tool we could ever need at our disposal.
Assume everyone who participates in this thread is on a team tasked with building the ultimate 2G DSM.
Assume I will be posing the same question on other forums and will be sharing the results on GBXM.
That said, let’s get started!
What will be this ultimate 2G DSM’s greatest strengths and weaknesses?
As with any good experiment, I walked away with more questions than answers. The knee-jerk reaction is to dismiss the answers as biased because of who answered, but that was something I wanted to see. How would each community’s niche be reflected in the replies? How much common ground would there be in the answers? And would there be any insights into the general state of the DSM community?
2GNT – 24 replies by 10 people, avg post count: 1,601
Right out of the gate, 2GNTers far and away said their ultimate 2G DSM would be all-motor. It was suggested to swap in a Neon head in order to make use of the long tube headers available for that platform and a ram air ITB (individual throttle body) setup.
In the money-is-no-object end of the pool, they suggested engine swaps based on use – a supercharged 6G75 (3.8L V6) for drag racing, a 4B11T for road racing, and a stout 420A for the street. Someone suggested losing the conventional powertrain for a pair of solar-charged 350Kw electric motors, and it was even suggested we figure out how to get implement direct fuel injection.
DSMtuners – 15 replies by 12 people, avg post count: 1,081
“Just one that runs and isn’t leaking anything would be the supreme DSM.” That’s where it started. The next couple responses made me a bit nervous, as they seemed to just want to ship the car off to this vendor or that with a blank check. That’s not the DSM community I grew up with!
Fortunately, things turned around pretty quick. Someone suggested a 600rwhp LS9 swap. Another suggested a similar amount of power from the venerable 4G63T through an automatic gearbox to all four wheels so as to deliver respectable performance at the drag strip, in the standing mile, and on the street. This was where I started hearing about this Andrew Brilliant character.
Mitsu-Media – 18 replies by 8 peopl, avg post count: 1,207
First response on Mitsu-Media? “I think you can just get an interview with Andrew Brilliant and be done with this conversation. He pretty much has the ultimate 2G DSM.” I’ve heard of Brilliant before, but now I HAD TO reach out for the interview. He hasn’t replied yet, but time will tell.
The overall discussion on Mitsu-Media revolved around functional aerodynamics, weight reduction, and all around performance. There was also come good discussion on compromise. Too much emphasis on one form of motorsport might mean reduced performance in others.
When I posed this question, I had visions in my head of gearheads on the various boards teaming up and debating the pros and cons of various definitions of “ultimate” or specific mods, coming together to lay out plans for complete cars. Clearly, this didn’t happen, but what did happen was we got a quick glimpse into the common ground between DSMers – regardless of which board they consider home.
There were a number of replies – across all three forums – which were little more than lists of expensive or rare parts. I like to think these guys understand the performance theory behind these components. After all, many parts represent jargon, which is the technical language of the gearhead. This is not unique to the DSM community.
The power of common ground
Even if you’re not a DSMer, I hope you see the point in this story. Here are three groups of people who pretty much drive the same vehicle and are very likely aware of each other’s existence, yet see the exact same question from different perspectives. The things we have in common enable us to realize the full potential in our differences.
- In what ways does a vehicle need to perform to be the “ultimate” in your view?
- Why do you think our perspectives vary across communities like this?