FK8 PRL Downpipe Install Ft. All The Headaches

What I thought would be a relatively simple install turned out to be one of trials and tribulations. I’ve read about the issues regarding the FK8 downpipe install and the studs either breaking or getting stuck but I thought I was going to get lucky – mainly because I asked Mike Wu (@toilethero) to help out and I wasn’t going to go and mess it up myself LOL. Nearly all the posts on the forums talk about how to handle the turbo studs getting stuck but I would just quickly skip by those because I thought – this probably wouldn’t happen to me. I often forget about my lucky during installs and this was one of those times…

I asked Mike a few months ago if he would be down to come by and install – with the lift and everything, I thought it would be super easy and we wouldn’t have to slide under the car on jacks or anything. He’s also the only guy that ever works on my car at Honda so I knew it was in good hands. Despite all the troubles and speedbumps that we’re about to go over – it was still in good hands either way. He did an awesome job from start to finish. I really just loosened and tightened easy bolts cause he felt sorry for me for standing around LOL.

The start of the day… On the lift and ready to go.

PRL catted downpipe V1. This is not the new high flow cat version – that one has been sold out ever since it’s been out and I couldn’t seem to get my hands on it. Shout out to Nam Vo from Nextmod Montreal for finding this and bringing it in for me so fast!

A recommendation from Winston @WNSNTY in Toronto over the last few months has been to replace the rear engine mount with the Hasport mount as it makes a huge difference. Honestly I hadn’t even thought about it – mainly because of my lack of knowledge about them. After looking into it a bit more, it seemed very highly recommended from the few that did change it so I ended up with the Hasport 62A (for street use). Thanks also to Nam for getting this as well!

Mike getting started on the process…

One of Mike’s many cars – his RSX Type-S – which is to be a donor car for the engine in another project…

Smooth sailing. About as smooth as it gets this whole install LOL

Mike luckily has access to all the tools needed including the O2 sensor socket LOL. I remember back in the day, whenever we used to do exhaust/header/pipe installs, we’d always have such a hard time getting the O2 sensors off and we never ever bothered to go and try and get a socket to make our lives easier.

He also brought a plethora of tools to help… My tools (if you recall from my lower control arm install) consist of a few socket wrenches LOL

O2 sensor socket coming off…

After we removed the underside panels, it revealed the Fujitsubo exhaust which I had never actually seen after we finished installing it a few years ago. Nice to see it’s colored nicely!

Ohhh Ahh…

A shot of the stock motor mount. This one was pretty straight forward and only help in with two bolts. PS I did most of it without Mike’s help LOOOL

Quite small compared to the Hasport one.

Out…

The beefy Hasport 62A mount in. It was a little more difficult to get in but with the help of a hammer and some lubricant, it went in with relative ease. That was that for the mount. Took all but 10 minutes.

Meanwhile on the top, we had to remove all of the bracing/frame to get easier access to the downpipe.

Top frame out

Here was the scary part. Removing the downpipe. The downpipe is held onto the turbo using 2 bolts and 2 studs/nuts. The bolts came out pretty easily. But the two studs obviously caused some headache. When you start spinning, it will either keep spinning and the nut will break off or it’ll come off. Based on feedback on Instagram, it sounded like 90% of people had it break off lol… So much for my luck.

We tried a torch but to no avail.

The nut ended breaking off with the stud – like most people had reported. A pain in the ass…

So we tried the bottom one to see if we could re-gather some confidence…

We basically tried everything. We torched the stud, we torched the housing, we tried penetrant fluid, we used vice grips, the next day Mike even came by with a stud extractor which just kept slipping… Lots of suggestions over Instagram (thank you to everyone that did) and none of them really worked.

It came down to two options – find a welder that could weld a nut onto the stud to break it loose or remove the turbo and drill out the studs. The former was an easier option…

One more cool shot of the exhaust.

Back on the lift for the day since we couldn’t make any progress.

Admittedly, I even tried to go at it myself the next day after letting it soak in penetrant with vice grips to see if I could get it off. I thought to myself – maybe if I just keep cranking at it, it’ll come off… After about 45 minutes, it didn’t even budge…. So much for that idea.

I ended up posting on Instagram asking if there were any welders that could come out and help. Just before my story expired Tony (@twofortytony) caught it and said he was the so-called Bolt Extraction Master and he could come by in the next few days to help.

He made the trek over after work last Wednesday and got ready to go.

Getting set up…

Here’s a shot of what that bottom stud looked like after we were cranking at it on the weekend with vice grips. It was basically almost rounded out.

Tony had to re-thread the studs to be able to spin a nut on it.

The first nut threaded on

The top stud with a nut threaded on

Tony getting his welding stuff set up

Here’s a shot of tony heating up the two before actually welding it.

Definitely wouldn’t have been able to do this myself hahaha

Here’s a shot of the top nut heated up to glowing red to get ready for welding.

Doing the same thing for the bottom nut

Glowing red…

And finally just one shot of him welding the nuts on. Metallurgy is a whole damn new world to me and Tony knew everything about it. After welding the nut, he educated me on the importance of letting it cool to touch before trying to crank at it right away otherwise it’ll snap. I would’ve just taken an impact to it right away and f’d myself over hella quick LOL. This is why I leave things to pros.

Tony working his magic. Slowly but surely. He also mentioned how important it was to just go back and forth slowly – gaining mm’s of thread little by little. Again, the difference in patience between myself and him… HUGE. LOL

We eventually got that bottom stud out pretty quick. But take a look at those threads – they were basically eaten within the turbo housing. Reinforcing the fact that there was no way I would’ve been able to get it out now matter how much or how long I cranked on it with vice grips LOL

The top stud gave us (Tony) a bit more trouble. It actually ended up breaking 3 times – resulting in Tony having to weld a new nut on each time.

The third time, he put an even bigger nut on it and that ended up doing the trick.

You can see how much thread we actually had left after taking it out. Literally the whole process was me holding my breath in hopes that Tony gets it out and he spent what seemed like eternity just going back and forth with a socket wrench gaining such minimal amounts of thread each time. I kept bugging him and asking if we should just throw an impact on it and he told me to sit down and relax cause it was gonna be a while LOL.

Again… That’s why I ask the friends that know better than me to help 😛

Shout out again to Tony for coming by in a jiffy and working that welding magic to get those out. Life saver. Bolt extraction master title still held by him.

Finally, the weekend arrived and Mike came by again to finish it off finally. A shot of the top hole where the stud was and the threads. The threads ended up getting eaten up pretty good while backing the stud out so mike had to re-tap the threads in order to get the new ones in.

Re-tapping went smoothly.

A quick mock up of the downpipe finally being able to go on after all that…

I decided to re-use the OEM heat shield again because the PRL downpipe had bolts lining up to them to do so. Why not? Keeps an OEM look – even though some might prefer to use a heat blanket and show it off.

At this point there wasn’t really much else to take pictures of after everything else went back on. I just kind of wanted to document the process and the headaches we went through all just for the downpipe. I guess that’s how it goes – it rarely goes easy – especially for me when installing something LOL.

All I did after was load up Hondata and reflash the ECU and take it for a test drive. All I gotta say is – it’s a whole new beast now. I’ve been waiting since December to finally get all of this on and it’s perfect.

I wanted the downpipe originally to open up the Fujitsubo a little more – it was fairly tame to begin with – pretty close to OEM if anything. It was nice but not enough. The downpipe gave it a little more growl and now it’s awesome. It’s not obnoxious and I can leave in the morning without being ratchet, unlike the Fit lol. The rear motor mount provides lots of good feedback and helps put the new found power down that Hondata helps put out. It really is like a different car now. I’ve got to play with some of the other settings to see if I can fine tune it but for now, it puts a smile on my face all over again.

Thanks again to Mike and Tony for helping out! Couldn’t have done it without you guys!

Yo Car Show 2022 Participants, I’m Really Happy For You, I’ma Let You Finish, But IMSS Has One of the Best Shows of All Time

Man, I really didn’t think I’d have to do this because it’s not like it’s a new thing with me going around taking pics and making comments at car shows… But here I am, doing this.

Lots of you are new around here – you probably don’t even know who this “lifewithjson” guy is and probably never even heard of a blog because you’re too busy watching clickbait youtube videos or tryna catch clout on these platforms where people don’t even know you. For many of you entering a show – not just Driven in particular – it’s your first time, or you’ve never had a picture of your car posted anywhere other than instagram cause one of your buddies spotted you and thought it was worthwhile to have you on their stories. The internet – the same place where you’re looking for clout, fame and followers – is the same exact place where you can get called out, made fun of, and hated on for all the same reasons. I need you guys to understand that. Because I certainly understand what it’s like to be called out on things that I was proud of and I didn’t have anywhere to cry about it except my own bed at night. You don’t just get to play the cry baby card because someone disagreed with you – you just gotta handle it. You stick to your guns and your choices and let them disagree or you change it to make yourself and maybe (or maybe not) others happy. However, you will never make everyone happy.

Some of you may know Errol – he’s a very straight up and no bullshit kinda guy – and some of you may have seen his story coverage on Instagram. He has not once ever not called anyone out if their shit was improper – his friends included. Me included. From a purely unbiased standpoint, what he was pointing out at the show was not “wrong” per say. It was just the cold hard truth – whether you failed to see it or not. I’ve said this before – if you go to a show, your first priority should be that your car is in a condition that will please the people paying to come see it. Period. If you’re rolling in on winter tires or steelies or you got rusted bolts and janky parts – that’s fine – but be prepared to be questioned on it. You can’t have hurt feelings because someone noticed your own negligence. You feel me? That’s like walking around with vomit on your sweater, mom’s spaghetti and someone pointing it out and getting upset with them. It’s the same damn thing.

Unlike Errol, I like to think I’m a bit more conservative. I don’t go to these shows like some egotistical maniac on the hunt to find all the janky cars, photograph them, spend my time editing and writing about them and wait for the crowds’ reaction. You might think I do, but I really don’t. My purpose – like the last 12 years of doing this – is to provide coverage that really no one else does and to recap and review the show in a unbiased and straightforward method for people that were at the show and those that weren’t. I don’t care who owns what car – I take the picture and I move on. If I spot something odd or out of place, I will call it out if I think it’s worth calling out. Let’s flashback to Driven 2018 when I called out an individual for dirty wheels – that’s all that ever was. I had no intent of hurting feelings or starting shit – it was about the same premise I bring up every year – make sure you are up to par with the standards to make it worth it for the people paying to come see the show. But Jason – what good did that do other than offend the people? Quite honestly, it did a lot of good and not with that intention in mind either. Everyone makes an effort to clean their wheels now. Isn’t that what should be done anyway? If all that did was bring some sort of awareness to people to start minding their barrels, then that was the best thing I ever did. For the first time ever, at last year’s Midnight Revup show in Edmonton – practically 99% of cars had the cleanest wheels I had ever seen and it was fabulous. So unlike Errol – no offense to him at all because I think he spotted many things I didn’t care to look for – I stand by my position that I still provide an unbiased and methodical approach to show coverage and pictures for people to enjoy. That’s it.

At the end of the day, all I want to see is cool cars and cool shit. I’m never singlehandedly calling someone out on purpose and telling the world to laugh at them, please understand this. For those of you that have been around for as long as you have – thank you for the support and knowing this. This blog never started with bad intentions and it will continue that way. For those of you that are just finding this blog now because of all the drama, welcome. Go through my past posts to see that I really haven’t changed my coverage or my attitude towards reps or janky things. It is not elitism, it is just proper. There is a certain truth to this #RespectAllBuilds hashtag – I certainly do but it’s also difficult to do so when the respect to the parts you’re using is thrown out the window with replica parts. It’s a two-way street. I appreciate the DM’s and the tags, the followers and unfollowers – it’s a way of life nowadays. I’m not mad if you don’t like it and I’m happy if you do.

This was not a rant, just a clarification for the new blood because of all the thin skin and the emotional damage – you know, the meme you all love sharing so much? We were new blood once too and we learned. We. Just. Want. To. See. Cool. Shit. #BuildBetter

Driven 2022: The Return to the Oval… And Reps…

Just right off the bat, I just want to say that I’m a little disappointed that my “Oval Problem Equation” that I had worked so tirelessly on didn’t come to fruition this year. Maybe next time…

References below:

Driven 2018 – The Honest Coverage

But I won’t dwell on the past too much…

It’s been 4 years since this last show was held at the Olympic Oval – considered to be the OG location that really started it all for a lot of us back in the day. The last time we were there personally was in 2018 and that was about enough to go into retirement for car shows. It’s an incredibly long day and while it can be a really enjoyable time, it can really be fatiguing after a number of years. While I don’t enter my car anymore, I do like to show up and show my support to some of the groups that are doing some good things for the community. It hits home particularly for me because again, @jtooned.co wouldn’t be where it is now without them, so it is only fitting that I come and visit since I don’t really get much time to do so otherwise.

If you end up reading the 2018 recap I linked above, not much has changed between 2018 and 2022 and the 4th and 5th paragraphs sum it up well. And if you didn’t read it or don’t like retrospect, that’s fine too. (PS – retrospect is important in evolution to ensure the same mistakes don’t happen again). This year was much of the same thing – a few gems hidden in a sea of coal and rubble. I can’t expect every single car to be amazingly overwhelming, but alongside the “Approved” logos are there “Not Approved” ones too? Asking for a friend.

When you read my blogs, I really don’t want you to think I’m some kind of elitist that’s too good for everyone. I, like most of you, enjoy good things and good people and good everything. I like looking at something and knowing that the person behind this really put a lot of thought and effort into it and that their passion for something really cool is greater than their passion for clout and the dreaded “scene points”. You might be like “Man, these people are out here cause they got money to spend on $4k wheels and a $10k body kit. I’m just out here tryna have a good time and do what I can with the means that I have” and all I gotta say is “Man… So am I”. It’s just so much more than trying to compete with the guys that have more money than me. In the last several years, we were so damn close to seeing a show like this with no reps and we’ve gone full circle and a half to reps with the actual brand stamped in and fake brand decals now. Yo… what?

Anyway, this is probably the first show coverage where I didn’t take pictures of every car. The show was packed as fuck and cars were squeezed together tighter than Kim Kardashian’s butt cheeks, it was impossible to get some shots so I had to be more selective. There are about 200 pictures here – so still a decent collection of what the day consisted of but if you don’t see your car here, I simply did not capture it for one reason or another. I know, I missed a lot of good ones but I just couldn’t stand and wait for crowds to pass every time lol.

Starting off at the Tuner Decals booth – these guys are @jtooned.co’s day ones. I won’t ever stop recommending them or using them. I admire the grind that I’ve seen these guys do. There’s so many decal places around but these guys are top notch. Just the way they explain what makes them different and the extra effort they put into to being a little better than the competition – I vibe with that. Synonymous with how you build a car. Kelvin was explaining how he put together the Hashira stickers and I didn’t understand a single thing but I was like “Shit, that’s cool man and I appreciate that”. I just draw without putting thought into how to make them a sticker. These guys take extra steps to make it look just as good as the original. A+ Service.

All of their decals are drawn by themselves as well – no outsourcing or anything. Kind of a 2 for 1 deal with these guys and it’s always original art. So many shops nowadays just take a picture off google, cut it in half and call it their peeker. No bueno man. That’s like taking a wheel that looks like a TE37, then slapping a TE37SL sticker on the spoke and calling it real. Oh wait….

They were even nice enough to give @jtooned.co a side of their table to sell my stickers. Lots of OG stuff that they’re still selling and it’s crazy cause they’re the only ones – other than myself – that still have stock of the OG stuff. The new Hashira’s were there too – man, they looked so sick. Still a few left – head over to www.jtooned.com

And they made me a table plaque too sniff

Kevin’s Genesis looking cleannnnn. Just slapped on the new Advan TC’s and some carbon goodies as well. I saw they even stocked up on basically the whole line up of Car Pro detailing products to bring it all up to snuff. That’s how you do it.

First time seeing a GR86 in person – this one with some Voltex goodies. Looked so clean.

Saw this at Driven last year and still looking clean.

Nice shot of some of the carbon

Voltex R35 GTR on Advan GT’s.

Voltex Hawkeye STI on Advan GT’s – this was always one of my favourite gen’s of STI’s, especially when outfitted with Voltex aero.

Annoying someone got in the way though lol

Crazy BN Sports FD RX7 painted in a matte green. I was corrected – it’s not wrap!

Oh you wide wide.

LJ’s Lamborghini Huracan with the yellow/purple colorway

And his widebody Challenger Hellcat with the new wrap.

Better shot of the wrap here. So dope. I remember tooning all his cars 2 years ago – nice to see them all in person.

Becca’s Hyundai Veloster N with the Liqui Moly livery. Really clean wrap.

Yolanda’s Ford Focus ST – looking pristine.

Mike McConnell and his business @mikescleanshop detailed this for Yolanda a few days prior and was sending me updates as proof LOL. Good job on the wheels sir – you know I would never fail you on a barrel inspection 🙂

Maggie’s Golf R on RE30’s

Mel’s Ford Fiesta ST – unfortunately the engine had blown but they managed to roll it in for the show. No one would’ve guessed otherwise.

The Redline Sorority booth. Another local group that I’ve admired over the last few years. Total honesty here – and I’ll sound like a geezer when I say it – but when I was heavy in the car scene, there was a very small representation of girls in the scene. I’m not sure if that’s because of how cliquey things were or the fact that girls just weren’t interested in cars back then but it was rare to see. When the girls at Redline came up, I wasn’t sure what would come of them – mainly because of my lack of personal experience with a group of car girls. Over the years, they’ve managed to do some really good things and embrace the car scene as it was and then pave their own way from it.

It’s enlightening and humbling. There are so many groups that it’s hard to tell whether you made a group to do stupid rowdy shit or if you’re here to do cool things for the community. They’re a bunch of really down to earth girls that just like car shit and they aren’t doing it because they got some scrub in his rust bucket trying to make them look cool.

Thanks for hooking me up with the new merch, ladies. 🙂

I’ve also had the pleasure of designing some things for them – including this new one above. I don’t know if she has a name or if they’ve named her, but I’ll just call her Redline Girl for now. This was a fun one to do and to finally see how they’ve put it together on the hoodie.

And some stickers as well. The newest one being the hentai-esque girl with green eyes asking Senpai for sponsorship. I was really close to debating whether I should give up tooning cars for hentai. Maybe one day…

Jiahao’s Evo IX wagon in yellow on Advan RG’s. Such a great color flow and combo.

Voltex kitted as well

Jason Choi’s R34 GT-R V-Spec II. I’m sorry for the shitty picture – this was literally the best I could get before Kyle and his monster hat came over and started talking about how this thing is actually called Godzilla…

Sick Odyssey – I really love these JDM Vans, man. Hard to get a shot with it so tight thoughhhhhhh

I’m not going to pretend I know about Volvo’s, so check out this sick Volvo.

R35 GTR from Alpha Rally – wrapped by Executive Wraps.

The widebody Supra MKV

Aired out.

Blob eye STI on some wide ass Cosmis Racing wheels. Actually kinda crazy how wide they make these lol.

Jon’s Bagged and wide G37

Super tight fitment on the works

Kinda rare to see fitment this tight nowadays… Looked sick.

Xavier’s S-Class W220 bagged so perfectly on those Junction Produce Scara’s. A perfect mix of Euro and JDM.

The trunk set up. Great work by Paul.

Caught Xavier doing some checks lol

Gabriel’s DC2 – hasn’t changed much over the last few years but hasn’t gotten shitty either. Still timeless!

Jay’s  bagged VW Jetta

Rachel’s Forrester STI on ZE40’s. Great combo

Kat’s Mustang GT on BBS’s

I liked the touch of pink on the Brembos

Brooke’s Infiniti Q60 – now bagged and looking sick AF. Not too many of these around – super cool to see.

Lots of nice touches that flow throughout the car too – like the flower valve stem cap

Matching the same pattern on the door sills

A door holder piece with her Instagram cut out.

And the pattern flows right into the trunk on the air tank as well. Perfect.

Alyssa’s RS5 debuted her new look with a purple wrap and rose pink wheels.

Same thing here – lots of nice transitions of color throughout to maintain the theme.

And the front end. A very different transition from the Grey and Fluorescent orange wheels she previously had.

Rear shot of Becca’s Veloster N.

Justine’s FRS in fluorescent green/yellow and super bright pink Gram Lights. Man, this was probably the hardest car to photograph because of the colors LOL

Check that sparkle.

Yo, good job on the barrels though. Worth the broken nails – could eat sushi off of em.

Jynelle’s Mazda Miata ending off the Redline lineup

Loved this color. Cleanest wheels award to this guy.

Super clean and bagged Mini

Derrick’s 4Runner in the new Speedfactor booth.

Jackie’s Tundra looking mad clean

Supppper clean

RWB Porsche on all bronze Works

Ben’s MKV Supra on Bronze TE37’s. Dis a good look

Red M3’s always get me.

Purple-wrapped S15… I think I have a front shot later on…

Stewie’s Spoon/Voltex/Mugen FK8. First time seeing the MF10’s in person and in the FK8 spec – looks real nice.

Especially with the blue center caps.

Isaac’s completed FC RX7… Or is it? I think Errol said your badges are missing LOL

Roel’s full Varis FK8. As good a shot I could get with every opening open LOL

33 Ten’s Rocket Bunny RX7 – no stranger to local shows, but also always a looker.

This was what my day consisted of mostly LOL

There you go

Another familiar face – Varis STI in hyper blue on bronze ZE40’s

Lowriders. Because Cool.

Slammed oldschool 7 series in a rootbeer brown. Looked great but failed to get a good full shot…

So here’s some interior VIP shit instead. Shit has leveled up since I had my LS460L lol

Lowkey want to get back into another VIP car though…

Gerald’s widebody WRX

Loved this M3 and the livery.

Not sure if these are the owner’s kids but if not, this is mad disrespect… If you’re gonna take your kids and your nieces and nephews and Lola’s and everyone else in your family to the show, please make sure to teach them to respect the cars…

A proper shot…

Man, I really loved the whole theme of this truck. So rad

Crazy Supra with an insanely clean engine build.

Deserved to be somewhere better tbh lol

Check those barrels. lol

Gerard’s full Spoon FK8.

John’s freshly finished Mugen RR FD – probably one of my favourites of the show. Obviously not real Mugen RR parts because it’s practically impossible to get but he did a really great job at fitting everything and ensuring it all flowed. Such nice execution and attention to detail.

Right down to the fog lights and bading.

The FD was always a car I wanted back when I had my FG. Still wouldn’t mind one…

Carbon accents on the hood…

Inside – some really nice details like the Recaro RS-G’s

Mugen Wheel set up

Full Mugen RR rear

Even the cluster was swapped out to Mugen. Great job!

Right beside was this Spoon FD – looking equally as good.

Bride x Cusco seats on the inside and a Type R cluster.

RB FRS – haven’t seen these in a minute even though they used to be all the rage just a few years ago lol

This bad ass Mugen Odyssey slammed on Work  VS-KF’s… Phewwwww

Soooo goood

And that fitment too. MAN, I need a JDM Odyssey. STAT.

Ah here’s the front of that S15 from earlier 🙂

Slammed DC5 RSX – it’s so rare to see these modded nowadays too. Such a great platform.

Birdy’s MKV Supra with the Street Hunter kit.

Lots of things going on with this… Did TE37 Saga’s come 4 lug and a sticker? I thought they were engraved? Wait a second…………………………….

370Z on Meisters

Another familiar entry for the KMR booth is the widebody IS – I think this was nicknamed Killmonger from Black Panther – not sure if he still calls it that though lol.

Pearl white IS

Midori Green Integra. Man, this was kind of like a blast from the past – you literally don’t see DC2’s anymore. Midori Green is probably one of my favourite colors ever. This was pretty clean!

Slammed Celsior on Weds

Widebody IS.

This one F’d up my white balance and I wasn’t about to try to fix it LOL – greens and yellows and blues all over the place. I think the fake Brembo caps might have been the issue though.

Pretty wild

I have to applaud the amount of work that went into this FK7 – a bunch of honeycomb weaved carbon pieces and the interior is just done to the 9’s. Not my thing but fairly good execution.

Classic. Another platform you don’t see all that often anymore…

Lots of stuff going on here …

Lowrider. Because Cool.

Seeing a lot of Miata’s pop up lately too. Smiley face roadster is all the rage.

Two-tone G35 and widebody flares on some super wide Weds Kranze Vishunu’s. Owner was cool to even ask if I wanted him to put the hood down for a pic. Thanks man – that’s the attitude. You been here before?

Of course, I politely declined because this was worth showing lol.

Teejay’s G35

A pretty crazy FD RX7.

Toyota Chaser in Orange

Supra on TE37SL…..

… Or not? I was thoroughly confused for a little bit because the stickers caught my eye real quick so I had to take a quick look. To be honest, I’d much rather see dirty wheels than this.

Bill’s S15 looking clean as always on the Advan Super Racing 3 split spokes.

It has come a long way for sure from when he first got it

I had to give him a hard time on the wheels though and he was fully expecting it lol. Not easy to restore the chrome on these wheels after some lack lustre care from the previous owner. The faces were still minty though!

Miracle bar installed just before the show – a great addition to the interior.

Sue and her extremely rare, all original and unmolested 240SX going on to win the OG award and also as the first female winner of the award. Well-deserved!

The beauty of this is not that it has been restored perfectly or anything like that. The beauty is that this is how she found it and how it will stay. The paint has stood the test of time well and she went ahead and made sure that it continues to do so – the car is fully polished and paint corrected and then wrapped completely in PPF to prevent further oxidation. The trim and the wheels show aging but, as Sue says, that’s kind of how she wants it and how it should be rather than ripping it apart trying to make it brand new again.

It may not tickle everyone’s fancy because it isn’t slammed or has a body kit but it truly is something to look at and really embrace the fact that this is how these cars were really meant to be driven and enjoyed. We’ve just changed that definition ourselves by defining “better” as “upgrading”.

Pretty clean 86 – pretty rare to see those TRD carbon fender trims nowadays too. One of my favourite pieces on my old FRS.

Slammed CLA

Clean tank set up as well

A slammed Fiesta with a wrap and embossed vinyl underneath

Upclose of the designs

Another slammed Focus hatch right behind it on Enkeis

This was really cool – love the simplicity and the wheel/colour choice. Every muscle car needs to be slammed lol

Impreza STI on Meisters and a rather controversial intercooler spray on… That’s Driven for ya lol

Another Miata with aggressive aero

S14 on Works… Carbon Nardi wheel? I dunno mangggg

Mint/Tiffany blue Genesis slammed on Weds LXZ

And right beside it was a slammed 350Z with even more camber. Maybe its just me but 350Z look hella dope when they go this wide and low. Not really functional, but still looks cool lol.

Tucked and driving on the sidewall

Another one of my favourites was this Toyota Crown in a dark/emerald green on Weds Kranze Magiss (I believe?)

Super clean and I’m loving seeing all the Crowns pop up.

Great work on the execution of this. The finishing touch would be to just slam it right down to the ground.

Nismo 350Z in a root beer/gold wrap. Love these.

Rear shot

Rear of that crazy flared out 350z

Lotus in matte purple with the Shadow Rizen group from Manitoba

Ethan and his FD RX7 in matte red and TE37SL. Looked great!

Evo X on gold Advan GTs

S14 in green and a super clean engine bay to go with it. Not wrapped either.

Clean wheels to boot 🙂

NSX on matte candy blue TE37s sporting a Funky Garage livery up front.

Liberty Walk Maserati on air

RWB Porsche in matte blue. I still like these no matter what anyone says lol

S15, Ganadors, Weds and dumped.

Loved the display going on here. So dope.

A very light matte pink-wrapped R32

Blackhouse Cinema showing their rig fitted onto the 5-series wagon. Pretty gangster stuff.

I want to say this is Pat Tan’s old IS300 but not sure. Looks like it though.

I think this might be Michaels (@Mingan.nef) Pandem MX5 from Toronto? I tooned this a while back – I just never thought I’d see it in person unless he moved or had it brought all the way over here for the show! Too cool. This was the start of the Infamous Aero booth with Jesse.

Daniel Kowall and his M3 sans the Advan livery he was sporting for a while. It’s now all matte black which is pretty clean but I do kind of miss the Advan look.

Hard to get a shot with it being so tight. The rear is even more aggressive…

Daniel told me not to look at his wheels but luckily for him this is as close as I could get LOL. Looks dece from this angle, sir!

Carbon fender vents. So good.

Daniel Nguyen’s rally EVO – I first saw this last year at the MNRU meet in Edmonton. Lots of titanium goodies on this and he actually drives this thing the way it should be too. Also tooned this for him – loved the details on this.

On the other side of the Infamous Booth was this GTI slammed down sporting some of the Infamous aero bits as well. Jesse has come a long way with his shop and clever ways of working with carbon and creating custom pieces for cars. Happy to see it going well!

Another super clean IS300

With clean wheels… lol

That area by the Infamous booth had mad traffic pretty much all day – took forever to get these shots lol. But this bugeye STI on chrome Kiwamis was great. So clean.

Yo, I couldn’t leave the show without taking pics of Yoko stuff. AD08Rs peeking through behind the A052. Perrrrrf

And of course the Racing Titanium Blue Advan GT

As I made my way to the end again, my last shot was of Jonathans S2000. Lots of rare and custom bits on here but man, I think this might have been the only S2000 at the show… Or at least the only one I recall seeing. Maybe it’s those crazy S2000 prices that have made everyone want to hoard it and keep it hidden to protect that resale value lol.

Good job on the wheels too LOL – you guys are way too hilarious about stressing and cleaning your wheels but honestly its so awesome at the same time. Believe it or not, it really makes a difference when looking at cars. A dirty barrel is such an eyesore especially when you’ve just spent hours cleaning literally every other inch of your car. Take the time, clean your barrels… You’ll thank yourself later. Even with all the bruised and cut up knuckles. LOL

On my way out I happened to see this shirt – I don’t know the guy personally and his face is out of the picture, so no copyright (I hope LOL). I’m not going to make this post about Custom Decals or what this means and I’m not going to pretend like I know what it means… I’m too far removed from the drama in the local car scene and I don’t much care about it either, but this is some next level shit lol.

All I have to say is if a group/business/clique/gangbang is doing some shady shit, I am on the side of making sure everyone knows that their gangbanging isn’t pleasurable. On the flip side, if someone is saying “Fuck JTOONED”, I’d be trying to figure out what the hell I did wrong so I could at least try to salvage my reputation before anyone else wanted to hate on me and ruin what I’ve worked so hard to build up. Did I forget to add carbon to the lip spoiler that you can barely see anyway? Man, shoot me a DM and I will make that shit bigger and carbon-ier. Did I not properly depict your custom one off root beer coloured wrap? Shitttt son, lemme at it again. I never say “Thank you come again!” Until the customer says “Fuck, that’s cool”.

Anyway, just my two cents as a guy who is hustlin just like everyone else out there trying to make a dime. Maybe my two cents is worth nothing, but that damn shirt is worth everything when its about how your paper rolls in.

Driven 2022 TLDR – reps return, steelies are the new forged, winter tires perform just as good if not better than summer tires, and groups hate other groups because of shady inner workings. You didn’t miss anything if you used my post as a review.

Yokohama Canada Brand Ambassador!

I’m a bit late to the game for an official post and I mentioned in my 2022 Aesthetic Update post as well but let’s pretend you didn’t read that and you’re reading this first 🙂

I’m super stoked to share that Yokohama Canada chose me as one of the brand ambassadors for this year. I’ve always been a fan of Yokohama and their products and being an ambassador just gives me more of an opportunity to share that love with everyone! Back in January, they had sent me a set of AD08R’s for the Type R and I’m beyond excited about it. It’s nice to lace the Type R up with a new set of tires to pair with the new set of Advan GT’s as well. Perfect combo.

Sitting in front of the Fit. That is on A052’s – another awesome Yokohama tire but I’m a bigger fan of the aesthetics and tread of the AD08R. They’re also a little grippier to me but it’s debatable… Can’t go wrong with either, to be honest.

Who doesn’t love the AD08R tread?

A match made in heaven.

I’m also super excited because Yokohama Canada also offered to lace up the daily driver as well. A totally different segment, but arguably maybe a more important one? Everyone has a daily driver and most of the time, they don’t need AD08R’s or A052’s but just some high performing, long-lasting all-season tires.

Diana’s RAV4 is still on the tires that came with it when we bought the car about 5 years ago and is on its last legs. Yoko came through and sent a set of Avid Ascend GT’s – perfect to replace the old Bridgestones.

Love me a new set of tires…

Aria and Rin were pretty stoked on them as well. Can’t wait to get these on the RAV4 and try them out. These would be my first set of Yokohama all-seasons and I’ve heard and read nothing but good things.

Thanks again to Yokohama Canada for outfitting almost all the cars in the stable with awesome tires! If you’re looking for a set, check them out!