First Time Wash and Last Time Stock

Had some extra time yesterday after work so I decided to give it a wash for the first time since I’ve owned it. I like to wash my cars by hand so I can inspect it and see if there’s anything wrong and it also helps me clean all the crevices that a wand wash won’t get. Took some quick shots too…

I think the next time I photograph the car, it’ll look completely different with the wheels/suspension. This will be the last time it’ll be stock for a long time… 🙂

I love the curves and sharp angles of the car more and more.

Looks goooooood

Time to get rid of the massive and sunken 20″ wheels.

Also a shot of the half debadged rear. Took off the “Civic” and left the Type R. Looks perfect now to me!

MD Interiors Alcantara Shift Boot – CTR FK8

Just another small and quick update to the CTR… I changed out the OEM leather shift boot to a custom MD Interiors alcantara shift boot recently. I say custom because at the time of ordering, he asks you what colour boot and stitch you want and what type of material and he literally just makes them upon order. I went with the basic black alcantara with red stitch to match the interior alcantara patterns and I think within a few hours – he messaged me back saying it was done and shipped out. Talk about quick service…

Anyway, just a few quick pics. As simple as a shift boot is, this was annoying to install… Or maybe I’m getting old cause I don’t like installing things that aren’t in and out in a few seconds LOL.

A shot of the console out with the OEM shift boot and the J’s Racing collar still on.

A shot of the MD Interiors alcnatara boot up next to it. He uses the stock boot as a template, so it fits perfectly.

The underside of the console. Not sure if you can tell how much of a pain it is but there are 10 tabs – you can see the boot is stapled on each tab and then taped with double sided tape. It’s then clipped in with a bunch of other adjoining pieces. Taking the staples out was the most annoying part lol.

Next, you guide all the slits into the tight hole and pull them through. You can either hot glue gun it down or if there’s enough stickiness to the double sided tape left, you can use that.

All pulled through.

With the J’s Racing collar installed and the rest of the console put back together.

Flows nicely.

A shot of it inside. Now it matches the surrounding alcantara nicely. I still have to play with the collar a bit to get it to sit nicely, but this will do for now for pics.

Not sure why Honda didn’t just make this alcantara too with the rest of it… But alas, the grass is greener on the other side…

Minor change, but it’s the small ones that make the difference!

Gyeon Q2 Rim x Advan GT Premium

You know… The one thing that sucks about modding cars is that it’s never simple. It’s never just “I’m going to get some wheels and call it a day”. It’s always “I’m going to get some wheels… Wait, I need tires too. Wait, I need lug nuts too. Wait, I need suspension too. Wait, I need to mount and balance them too. Wait, I need to install everything too. Wait, I need to protect the wheels with ceramic coat so they don’t get fucked too”. I mean, the last part isn’t necessarily everyone’s train of thought but it was mine and the point is that it sucks because it gets really expensive really fast.

I’m not going to dabble in the specifics because this post is supposed to be about ceramic coating the Advan GT’s. Oh, I forgot to mention that I got Advan GT’s for the CTR. My plan wasn’t really to do anything to the car this year (I promise), but Peter Luu (@realwheeldeal) of Invision Motorsports up in Edmonton happened to DM me one day of a shot of the new Umber Bronze Advan GT Premium asking me if I wanted it before he posted it up for grabs.

Just a quick note on Peter and Invision Motorsports – they are one of the few physical standing shops left that is around here that carry a wide range of JDM parts so that they are readily available for customers. Most shops have a few display sets here and there but most of the time, it would be special order and you would rarely walk out of a shop with a part the same day unless it was an air freshener or something along those lines. I’ve been following Peter and the shop page on Instagram for quite some time now and their parts inventory is impressive – the only time I’ve ever seen a shop remotely close to theirs are those in the States – ICB Motorsports, RavSpec, etc… And it’s exciting because we’re so used to hopping on our phones or computers to do online shopping and getting it done quickly that we’ve forgotten what it’s like to be a kid in a candy store and physically see these iconic JDM wheels on the wall or coilovers on a shelf for you to touch and pick up. A big part of building your car is being physically able to look at something to admire the colour, the fit and the finish because it helps you imagine your build. There’s only so much an image on a browser can do for you.

Peter has a YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/realwheeldeal) where he talks mainly about all your favourite JDM wheels (and other accessories/parts) and reviews them thoroughly. It gives you an extra viewpoint and angles on wheels that you don’t get through blogs or manufacturer website specs. It’s quite a rare thing to see nowadays in the world of online shopping – but after following along for sometime now – I knew I wouldn’t be making a mistake picking up the GT’s from Peter. When he DM’d me the first time, I declined because I didn’t want to be poor and it wasn’t in the stars for me but I think that’s what Peter’s plan was… To put the bug in my head to eat away at me slowly, and that’s exactly what happened. I think I talked about it everyday to Diana and she eventually told me to splurge and do it for an early Father’s Day gift. Do you know what that feels like? It’s like a brain orgasm for car dudes.

It was Saturday morning and I messaged Peter about the GT’s. I know in his mind, he knew what he did and I know he’s not guilty of it but he should be. He started up the video chat and said “let me show you more angles of the wheel and how it compares to Volk bronze”. That was it. Game over – even though Diana had already given me permission, I had a small ounce of power left to say no but as soon as he put it up to a TE37v and then put it on a scale, I let go. The foreplay was too much. I asked Peter to send me additional pics just so I could tease myself a little more for whatever reason and the straw that broke the camels back was when I asked him for a low angle picture to get the concavity of the wheel. The second he sent it, I said “Fuck you, Peter. Take my money” and that was the story of how I got the Advan GT’s.

Peter also arranged for his friend to deliver the wheels down to Calgary from Edmonton the following Monday. A++++ service from the team up there – I have nothing but good words for them and now I have my dream wheels.

But I digress, let’s talk about ceramic coating for a bit!

I’ll admit right now that I’ve never ceramic coated anything in my life. I’ve been interested in the idea but never followed through. I enjoy detailing and I enjoy the process of paint correction and finishing up with a nice touch of wax and sealant so that you can take in all your hard work when it’s all done. The idea of ceramic coating to me is the easy way out because you do it once and it’s done for a long time – but what if I like waxing my cars? I actually don’t know how I feel about it…

However, the thought of ceramic coating my wheels is a much less arduous task than ceramic coating the whole damn car. The other plus side is that there is much less prep involved in coating brand new wheels that have never seen dirt versus prepping a full car that probably needs everything under the sun before ceramic coat touches it.

The only go-to place for detailing solutions around here is Carzilla. It is THE best place because they have a huge amount of products and the best customer service hands down. I picked up a bottle of Gyeon Q2 Rim – designed specifically for wheels. I got home and prepped the wheels by polishing them lightly and then removing all the oil and grease that might have been left over after production. After that, the gloves go on and the application begins…

I don’t have any pictures of the progress because my hands had ceramic coating on them so I didn’t want to touch the camera and the speed at which you have to work makes it difficult to take breaks in-between. Instead, I’ll just write about it…

All these pictures are after the first coat was completed. I’ll be honest – it doesn’t add much more shine or gloss to it than the rim already has. I don’t think that’s the purpose – so if you’re looking for extra gloss – you can top up with wax after the fact.

The process for Gyeon Q2 Rim is actually very straight forward. You apply a generous amount in a nice vertical line on the suede cloth provided. The foam brick is helpful for spokes but not so much for the inner parts of the wheel.

Once applied on the cloth, you’d work in sections ideally depending on the wheel design. The GT is simple enough that I’m able to work on each spoke as one section, then each inner spoke as another section, the inner and out lip as another section and the center area as the final section.

For Gyeon Q2 rim specifically, there’s no actual waiting or drying time needed. You wipe on and wipe off. It adheres as soon as it’s on the surface. However, depending on the humidity you’re working in would depend on how fast you wipe it off. The higher the humidity, the quicker you’d wipe it off.

By waiting too long, the coating can get tacky and hard to remove which is not what you want. I was working inside so the humidity was pretty average at around 46% according to my Nest so I applied the coat, waited about 15 seconds and then wiped off with a clean microfiber cloth. It’s that easy.

The curing time after you’ve wiped it all off is a minimum of 4 hours before applying a second coat. If you don’t want a second coat, it needs 12-14 hours before you drive it and then 2 weeks before the wheel sees any type of detergent or soap to fully cure.

I will be applying three coats of Gyeon Q2 Rim as there is plenty in the bottle for at least that much depending on wheel design. The main reason I want to ceramic coat my wheels is because cleaning wheels is a bitch, to put it simply. Especially the inner barrels – ceramic coating the inside should hopefully make it an easier task to clean them when the time comes.

The life expectancy of Gyeon Q2 Rim with one coat is quoted at 1 year. I don’t think 3 coats means 3 years, but hopefully it brings me many years of easily washable wheels LOL.

The end! Can’t wait to get these suckers on.

The Day Two Worlds Were Created: Rin Hoang

There is something to be said about a second child that maybe no one really talks about… Or maybe they do, and I just never bothered paying any attention. When we had Aria – she was our life, our world, and everything else in-between. There was very little, if anything, that we could imagine being better than having her. Time goes on and before you know it, the decision to have another rascal running around comes up. It’s just something that we knew we wanted – so that Aria could have a sibling to play with, so she would have a friend growing up, to have a bigger and happier family – you know, the things you always read and hear about. It’s true though – it’s everything you read and hear about and more – don’t get me wrong.

When Diana was pregnant, it never really sinks in that you’re going to have another kid and maybe that’s because you’ve been through the motions already. You know what it’s like to be pregnant (or to have a pregnant wife), you know what to generally expect and you know each and every appointment you have to go to and what you’re going to be told. All you want is the kid to come out so that you can be a happy family of 4. The one thing you will never be able to imagine is: how could you love another baby more than you love your first? How do you go from having one world to two? What will it be like? And how do you share all of that love you’ve been showering one with, with another? That’s the question Diana and I asked ourselves plenty of times throughout her pregnancy and it was exciting, and we were nervous and anxious because you really don’t know how much more love you can give when you’ve been giving it 110% this whole time.

I’ll tell you.

The day Rin was born was another addition to one of the best days of my life (you can have more than one). You replay the feeling all over again because after 9 long months, you really are ready to just meet her. You want to hold her and protect her and give her everything that she needs to grow up and have all the things your strength can give her. That’s what that moment is like. You’re tired, but you don’t feel it anymore. You need sleep, but watching her sleep is rejuvenating. To relive that moment is something I would give anything for anytime.

That night, after Diana and Rin were settled – Aria came to the hospital – and we were nervous about how she would react. She knew there was a baby in Mom’s belly this whole time, and she knew she was going to be a big sister… But did she “know” this was a lifelong commitment? I don’t think so. See, the thing about deciding to have another kid is your decision as parents, but very rarely do the “existing” kids have any input. You’re thrusting them into a role they didn’t ask for or know they wanted… And that’s OK. It’s OK because while we’ve spent the last 30 years of our lives learning what love is and what it means – we still don’t always understand it fully no matter how  much we think we do. While Aria and Rin – a two-and-a-half year old and a one-day old – can’t even begin to fathom what it means; but now they’re going to be able to show each other and over time, you hope that as parents, you’re able to help foster and nurture the love, the sadness, the anger, the late nights, the fighting, the jealousy, and everything in-between into one big ball of co-existence between them. This is our job now and it’s something you learn to embrace very quickly. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.

You know those questions Diana and I asked ourselves before Rin arrived? The ones we were so nervous and anxious about? The whole time, we were expecting to be able to split our love somehow or to imagine the light of our world being split into two and that is the wrong way to think about it, in retrospect. What we had currently didn’t need to be divided because when Rin arrived, what we had doubled – and this is the best way to describe it. Two worlds is not impossible because we’re living in them now. You don’t think that you can give more than 110% because it feels like you’re in overdrive already, but you can. It feels like Diana and I have been operating at 300% lately and there have been times where it feels like things are overheating and something is about to break but kids are like your cool-down button as much as they are your “push your buttons” button. They are your reason – not for anything in particular – but for everything.

Aria is our first and she will always have a special place in our hearts as our baby, no matter how big she is. Those times when it was just the three of us were special and we’ve cherished them as much as we possibly could. Rin has opened up another chapter in our lives and it’s just as special because we can’t imagine a life without her anymore. She’s one month old now and while they’re both still learning to love and live with each other between the jealousy and the crying, I don’ think we’d have it any other way (even though maybe they would).