Install Day: JC’s New Coilovers

Today was the day we got together to install JC’s new coils. It’s been probably about 4-5 years since we last installed the original BC coils in his car and it was due for a replacement. He drives his CT daily so it takes the beating of the harsh winter too so when we took them out, they weren’t a pretty sight to see.

I’d have to say that coilovers are generally a pretty easy installation. A few bolts here and there, swap out and put new ones in, tighten and you’re done. BUT, after several years of being on the car and the combination of them being beat to hell by winter – a simple thing like a seized bolt can make an easy installation a pain in the ass. I think every corner of JC’s car proved to be a bitch today and it took us 6 hours to get ‘er done. I didn’t even get a chance to get a finished product pic because we finished so late and we were in a hurry to go out for mother’s day dinner. They weren’t fully settled anyway – so the picture wouldn’t have been a fair representation of what it would look like in a few days.

Anyway – let’s get to it!

Start of the day… 10AM – fresh faces, good attitude, ready to tackle anything.

Sitting pretty outside

Punit brought the soccer mom-mobile

Team meeting I guess…

Here was our first obstacle. The two strut bolts on the driver side were seized completely. I don’t think we’ve ever had strut bolts that were on this bad. We took multiple turns at it with breaker bars on both sides with no budging. We even sprayed it with penetrating oil several times and let it sit – still nada after all of us gave it a go.

While waiting for the fronts again and to catch our breaths, Punit and Gopesh were having some troubles of their own on the rear…

One of them being Aldo from behind…

While Gopesh and Punit were frustrated with the rear – Gopesh and Aldo took a stab at the fronts. We ended up snapping one of the breaker bars right off…

Voila. Guess what – it still didn’t break loose.

Next, we decided to go ahead and torch it. I heated it up for a few minutes and then we bring in the big guns. Punit on the right pushing down – Gopesh on the left pulling up.

Right after this shot, it ended up breaking loose. This must have been at least the 10th time we went at it full force. Finally…

A shot of the nuts off…

Meanwhile, JC and Aldo brought some refreshments. It was a beautiful day today but a frustrating one in the garage lol.

A shot of new vs old…

As I mentioned – the old ones were not in the greatest shape…

Here’s a shot of the passenger side front all in. We had similar issues on this side, but not nearly to the same degree of difficulty as the drivers side.

The rears caused issues as one of the endlinks that JC wanted to replace was seized up. The bolt also ended up getting stripped as well. The only way to get it off at this point was to cut it off. Easy right?

A shot of the rear

Just some of the weapons used today…

The rear spring out. Same condition as the fronts.

New vs old rear struts

Hovercraft CT

It was somewhere around this point that we realized cutting that bolt off wasn’t so easy. All of us took a go at it and we spent nearly 3 hours trying to get it cut off.

Dat ass doe… Shameless plug.

Another shot of us trying to cut it off…

Finally after cutting it from two sides, we were able to stick the end of the hammer in and pry it off. What a bitch.

One of four blades we went through to cut it off.

My last shot is a happy one. All the new equipment in and ready to go. I’ll try and get some new shots of JC’s stance after vacation – but I’m happy to say that despite all the difficulty we had today, we still finished. Nice teamwork from everyone today!

To Have an Imagination Again…

Now that Aria is big enough to just do things on her own, I’m having a little more fun with being able to take pictures of her while she plays. I’m beginning to like taking pictures of people more than cars LOL.

One of the things that I’ve been wanting to do is just get some candid shots of Aria playing – not in a creepy way – but just to be able to illustrate how strong a child’s imagination is in a photo. With a little patience and some good timing, you can get some images that evoke a little imagination in yourself that you might have just overlooked if you were just watching. My goal yesterday was to do just that – I wanted to capture Aria in her own world and wonder. I essentially wanted to create the same fairy tale surrounding that children find themselves in – free of worry and the hustle and bustle of the things that burden adults. I think I was able to do a little bit of it, and I wanted to share it with everyone here. Lately, there’s been a little more than cars here at lifewithjson – I think everyone deserves to be a kid once in a while and what better way to do it than to watch and learn…

“Are you hiding something from me, Bun Bun?” Aria’s facial expressions can switch from sweet to menacing real quick. Here she questions Bun Bun on some mischief he might have gotten into”.

“I’m your captain now” as she commands the fighter jet.

It doesn’t matter how many times she reads this book, it’s like she’s seeing it for the first time, every time.

“Do you like the book, Bun Bun?” Aria often checks on her stuffed toys to make sure they’re OK and doing what she asks.

And occasionally, she’ll give them hugs for being there for her.

If they’re lucky, they’ll get french kisses too.

And sometimes she just likes to relax and rest in between all the running and jumping around.

They were having a conversation of some sort – not in any language that I knew, but they all understood each other well. Must be talking about what to play with tomorrow.

And one last photo with a slightly different edit to it. I typically like the cooler tones in pictures, but the setting in these photos called for a warmer, vintage look. The sun coming through at sunset was perfect and the blinds helped create a nice effect on her and everything around her.

There’s something about these photos that invokes a sense of calm in me and I’m not sure if that’s because it’s Aria or because it really does capture some sort of peace that I’ve been missing lately. Either way – pretty happy with how the photos turned out – what do you guys think?

We’ll be installing JC’s new coilovers on Sunday and I’ll likely have some pics from that but then I’ll be in Chicago all of next week, so probably no content after that until I get back!

Beyond Meet – May 2, 2018

Just a picture dump of the meet on Wednesday. Sorry – I’m a bit late to the game on this – been busy! I think I’m slowly getting to the cause of my dark pictures. Trying to change picture profiles helped a bit, but it’s not where I want it to be 100% yet. I need to start checking RAW settings and import settings in photoshop – I know it’s 110% user error – I just need to know what.

Anyway, enjoy the slightly less dark pictures.

Lan’s dumped Audi S4 on WCI wheels. Literally perfect fitment on his car while aired down. This is one car you don’t see much of. Lan also lives in Airdrie, so it was cool to finally be able to cruise half way across the city with someone to come to this meet lol.

Bill also came out for a bit in his Focus SE (ST-swapped). It sounds mean as hell – I’ll be honest, I didn’t think Bill would get this aggressive with this build but he’s gone above my expectations for the build… And that yellow! A bit more refreshing than our boring ass white/black colour choices. My next car will be a proper color – I swear!

Nothing new to see here…

Sorry, I’m not sure of your real name – but @S2000adventures on the gram. Brandon also photobombing at the back… I didn’t even notice till I started editing.

Errol and his Type-R finally on his summer wheels – bronze TE37’s

Don’t know the real name of the owner either, but a clean RHD Civic Type R.

Barb/Steve’s GTR on mag blue TE37’s

Terence came out in his 911 on Advan GT’s. I think GT’s are my second favourite wheel next to TE37’s and this combo is perfect. Been a while since I’ve seen Terence, so it was nice to see him out in his new-to-me car.

Don also out and about in his mini cooper – looking mean and small as hell. Not a bad thing lol.

Rich’s Element

Jackie’s Tundra

Brandon’s 4Runner

Front of Jackie’s Tundra at f1.4 FTW

Kaylee’s S14 on Work Kiwami’s. You can’t really see the purple here but its nice!

Dustin – Kaylee’s husband – and his S15 right next to her with that sun setting in the back.

Jason Divina’s Type R – I didn’t get a chance to say hi to him, but I said hi to his car. I dig black! I don’t know if I like this more than champ white or not…

Andy’s Ralliart looking a little bare due to some theft that happened last year. Unfortunate that this kind of stuff happens, but at least he’s still out and about.

Mario’s Fiesta ST looking good in red.

Derrick’s white on white Camaro LS

Joe’s Cayman as seen last week.

Can’t get enough of this fitment and wheel choice! So perfect on Lan’s S4.

Rear fitment. Tight.

One last shot of the black duo together. I’ll admit – they looked good side by side.

Color Test Shots

I’m posting primarily to test color/exposure on different mobile devices and to also act as filler content. I’ve been racking my brain on what it could be, and I could have done more harm than good at this point, but I’ve come this far so I’ll try anything.

I’ve been playing around with the picture profiles and trying to see if it will recreate the same results of pictures before this whole fiasco. I seemed to have gotten close, but I’m not sure if I’m exactly there yet… I’ll try again tonight at the meet to see if I can get better pictures than last week.

Either way, here are some test shots in the garage…

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A shot of the TiBurnt valve stem caps.

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This one in particular is pretty dark on the front of the car, and this is where I feel like I did not find a solution…

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But then this shot looks fine with little editing to the exposure.

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This one as well – shows fine and the histogram looks relatively normal.

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Then I get this darkness… LOL my camera is possessed!


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And maybe a new, but minor addition. After years of owning the car with the original Level One decal – I finally replaced it with a new one. The original holographic part was starting to become brown and transparent.

Anyway – more test shots tonight! Let’s pray.

The Return of Beyond Meets? 2018 Edition

Yesterday was one of first really nice evenings in a loooong time – you know, the one where you don’t really need long pants and a sweater, but if you wanted to, it wouldn’t hurt either? lol

Anyway, I saw Arif post on facebook that it was going down and I haven’t been to a car meet in AGES so I decided to join in and hang with everyone for a bit again. Most of the time, I’m left watching through instagram posts but I wanted to take the car out and also take the new camera out for a test drive on new subjects too. I learned a few things last night with the camera – 1) it’s not easy switching from using a 10-20 all the time to a prime 35mm. 2) shooting at wide open aperture sounds like it could be a good idea for full car shots, but it isn’t because you end up missing lots of detail at certain angles. 3) I still love my Sony over Canon.

Regardless, I’m still working on figuring out what the hell I did with my camera color profiles – I reset the settings and it appears that most pictures are dark everywhere but on the monitor I’m staring at right now. In fact, they look perfect – but as soon as I view it elsewhere, everything looks like it needed an exposure boost. I apologize if that’s the case for you as you’re viewing this right now… When I’m not lazy, I’ll try and figure it out.

You came here for the pics, so lets get to what I was able to get…

Yesterday was my first time meeting Arnold – and he also happened to pick up a new Type R that I was able to see in person a little more closely. Errol was going for a test drive and as you can see – all smiles – and he hadn’t even moved it yet.

Alex ended up going with him… And off they went.

Alex showed up in his beautiful M3.

The beater

Joe brought out his awesome Porsche Cayman out on Advan TCIII’s. It was my first time seeing it in person – I dig.

You can see his new addition of canards that I think he just recently put on.

Errol’s Type R – probably not the one he wants anymore.. But it’s still tight right?

Arif’s EK – been a while since I’ve seen his car as well.

Project Mu BBK x Volk CE28. I see he has yet to change his valve stem caps out to titanium…


Josh’s Golf R on Rotiforms. Wish he had brought out the Civic…

Rich’s Element with a few changes this year. Rich always coming in with unique mods to his cars… I particularly dig the retrofitted headlights. Can’t go wrong with those.

David’s IS dumped low on Weds

Apparently no one took pics of his car – maybe they were just throwing shade. Lifewithjson throws shade sometimes, but not this time, David… Not this time…

Another shot of the tuck

Oh one more cause I want air now…

Wing gang

Sunset Paradise

Errol’s Mugen wing

And just like that, they were back. Errol’s face hadn’t changed so that must mean a good thing…

These kind of shots are what the 35 f1.4 shines at… It just doesn’t showcase the car all that well.

Close up of Joe’s TCIII’s

Frontal of the Civic Type R

Honestly, I love this car but there’s something about the body lines that reminds me so much of the GR STI (my old STI) that I’m not sure I’m sold on. There are certain angles that just don’t rub me right but I still love it.

Jackie’s Tundra on bronze TE37’s

Jeev’s also brought out his Porsche sitting low. Looked nice with the sunset in the back.

Interior shots

Rear quarter. The lighting was too good to not take a shot.

The rear of Arif’s EK

Rear quarter of my FRS. I need another diffuser… I just don’t know which…

Big wings and things

Two M3’s beside each other both on TE37’s

Rear quarter of Arnold’s Type R. This angle is my favourite…

And maybe this one… But I’m an ass man so maybe I’m biased.

Mediocre shot of me and bossman Alex.

I’ll end it here with a random shot of my drive home. I’ll be honest, I missed nights like this. Just hanging out with cars and talking about random things. Hopefully I’ll have more time to get out and get more pictures this year. Adios!