FK8 Carbon Shift Boot by “Detailed by Panem”

After installing the Hybrid Racing short shifter in the Type R and choosing to run it without the stock shift boot, a piece that has been missing has been a nice cover to fill the big gap left behind. Kind of ironic because you leave the shift boot off so you can see inside, but you also seeing the inside too much LOL. The outer trim of the boot on the inside is really ugly so it’s unsightly – all I was looking for was a piece to cover up a majority of it but still be able to display the awesome shifter piece.

About a month ago, I stumbled across a dude that made custom carbon fiber ones by hand tailored to the type of short shifter you had. That meant that depending on the short shifter, the hole, size and placement were all custom tuned to fit exactly to the shifter. About 6 weeks later, it finally arrived and I’m super stoked on how it fit and turned out. Check him out on Instagram @detailed_by_panem if you’re interested!

The piece in all it’s glory.

Hand-laid carbon and finished with a gel coat clear. Number 7!

Here you can kind of see what I mean about the outer portion of the inside boot. It’s got that trim that is used to hole the actual boot itself but is not removable.

And so, the solution is to cover it a little but but not all of it LOL. NOW it’s perfect!

Fit like a glove too. It finishes up that center area super nicely.

FK8 2022 Aesthetic Update

Sorry in advance for the iPhone photos and the random edits. I haven’t had time to take my camera out and take proper photos and whenever I do remember, I have no battery LOL!

Anyway, I haven’t really posted many updates on the Civic since I barely drove it last year and it just kind of sat there for most of the year. A big reason was because we were just moving into the new place, the garage was getting painted and the flooring done, etc and then I bought the Fit. As you all know, new toys means you forget about the old ones and that was that.

Over the winter, I decided to put the Umber bronze GT’s up for sale just to see if there was any interest. I know there aren’t many around here that are willing to spend the money on wheels if they didn’t already have a set of their own. If they didn’t sell, then no biggie. I’d just continue to run them. I was only looking for a black set to change the color scheme anyway.

Well, stars aligned for a bunch of us and the set is going to Casey and his white FK8, meanwhile Nam in Montreal was selling his set of limited Smoked Black GT’s that was for his FK8 which he sold for a Supra. It’s like it was all meant to be.

That, paired with the awesome cool fact that Yokohama Canada sponsored me this year was another blessing in disguise and I’m totally stoked to be working with them and their brand. To be honest, I was never big into the idea of being “sponsored” because I never thought I needed it. There was always those guys (you know who I’m talking about) going out there and asking for sponsorships and it just made them seem so desperate that it was more about getting “free parts” or discounts than it was about repping the brand. I think that’s why many brands have such a bad taste in their mouths when it comes to that sacred word – “sponsorship”. To put it simply, if I loved a brand and their products, I was going to buy it from whoever could get it for me. But to have the audacity to email or message a company asking for handouts is the worst.

Anyway, the Yokohama Canada team was kind enough to send me a set of 265/35 AD08R’s. Slightly wider than the 255’s that were on the Umber Bronze GT’s. What better pairing than to have it go on the new Smoked Black GT’s. Thanks again to Yokohama Canada for the set of tires. Too rad. I’m just posting some shots of the swap and some other random pics I had that were somewhat worthy of posting on the blog… I’ll take some proper photos soon!

It was a nice day a few weeks back so I decided to do the swap and get the wheels cleaned for Casey.

I love them both…

If only I could afford to keep both and run both LOL

Aria – helpful as always – drying the wheels carefully. It’s funny because she knows to be careful and never to let the cloth touch the ground or the tire because it could pick something up and scratch the paint/finish. LOL

Umber bronze in the sun is still amazing tbh.

Umber bronze off. Smoked black on.

Just a quick shot outside before pulling her back in again. Back to the issues of black wheels on a white car – basically underexposed or overexposed – no inbetween LOL

Excuse the dirty/muddy floors…

This was after I washed the floors as best I could for now until winter is officially gone. The Fit might be taking the back seat for most of the year while I enjoy the Type R this time…

With the change over to 265 AD08R’s means the need for more camber. AD08R’s run fairly wide so these would guarantee rubbing. Luckily again for me, Nam had a set of Eibach rear camber arms that were coming in that he obviously couldn’t use on his Supra, so I took them off his hands.

For only 2 bolts, this was a bitch to install without the right tools. The innermost bolt is really tucked away inside leaving very little room for maneuverability and wiggling…

Eventually was able to get it all done after borrowing some tools from a handy neighbour (Thanks Lanny!)

I just recently took it to Mike Wu over at Airdrie Honda to do some maintenance and then dial in the suspension piece. He’s the only dude that touches my car at the dealership – I don’t trust anyone else. When you find a good tech, keep em close LOL.

I asked him to dial the rear camber to -2.5 and the front to -1.6. The fronts are OK with no rubbing – even on that front tab (yet). And the rears rubbed the plastic lip underneath that you can see in the picture above. I ended up marking and dremelling  the lip that it was hitting and it has reduced the rub significantly. On big dips, it still rubs the inside metal which I don’t think I’ll be cutting anytime soon – but it’s bearable since it’s only a tiny scrape. If anything, I might get Mike to dial in to -2.7 and see if that does the trick, otherwise all is good now.

And the shot of it last night LOL. Right after this, I also got a massive rock chip which sucked. That makes for 3 massive rock chips that have spread about 10″ each on each corner. I’ve had them all filled because I ain’t about the $1200 windshield replacement life just yet LOL.

Once the weather warms up a bit more, I’ll take proper photos of the new combo.

Soo… It’s 2022? Jtooned? Life? All of it.

Obligatory forewarning that I will not be talking about COVID in this post. I’m sure we’re all fatigued from hearing about it, so this is the only time you’ll see it mentioned here. Let’s just focus on that good good.

It’s been nearly 5? months since I’ve last posted. I visit this forsaken place every day and have the urge to write but don’t have the energy. This last year has really just been a trying and grinding time for me. I’m busy with family and trying to use all of my energy to focus on them when I’m not drawing or working on jtooned stuff. It’s true what they say – side hustles are not easy and they’re not something you can just dedicate less than 100% of yourself to if you expect good results. I can directly attest to that statement – whenever I decide to put less than everything into jtooned, the flame dwindles, but burns bright when I commit. The sacrifice is your time and mental and physical capacity to do it all. If my heart isn’t in it, the end result shows and people are perceptive to it. It’s draining but it’s worth it if you can stay afloat.

“I’m going to work on myself this year”.

“I’m going to focus on my heart and self-appreciation”

“I’m going to cut negativity out of my life from now on”

Everyone has said that at least one point in their life and usually at the start of the new year. You’ve said it, but ask yourself if you’ve followed through with it a month from then, 6 months from then, a year from then – did you, really? This last year was one of those years for me – not by personal choice… It just kind of happened naturally. I think that point in your life will come to you eventually but never because you said it will or because you want it to. Usually it comes because your life needs it to. This last year, I’ve been so focused on me (myself and my family as a collective) so hard and so aggressively that I just didn’t have time to worry about everything else going on around me – no time to compare myself to others, no time to beat myself down because someone had more cars than me or more talent than me, no time to worry about what other people were doing so that I could do it better. And it wasn’t until I “had no time” that I realized how free “no time” actually felt. I admit that I was bound by social media and trying to keep up with everyone’s lives that I had no time to really love my own. Maybe you are too and you just don’t realize it yet. That’s fine, too. When you learn to truly focus on yourself and making yourself better through your own needs and not by comparison, it’s like a huge weight lifted off of your shoulders.

I think the girls helped me on this front too. We’re talking about a 5 year old and a 2 year old – both with such different personalities and needing love and attention in very different ways. For us, Aria and Rin were like the two constants we didn’t know we needed and it took us a long time to realize it. This last year has been challenging because they’re no longer babies that just take and do whatever you want them to do. They have personalities, they know what they want and don’t want, they eat when they want to and they influence each other in good and bad ways and it’s like a big hurricane right in the middle of a life that you’ve worked so hard to build and maintain that they just have no conception of – and why should they? It’s not their problem.

It’s hard, guys. It’s hard being a parent and it’s hard because you want to teach them to grow up to be strong and independent and smart and everything good but you want them to listen and to know boundaries and to understand everything that took us 34 years to learn in one day. It’s hard to understand why they can’t realize it in the moment or in the heat of things. And it isn’t until the end of each day that you finally get to slow down and say “they can’t understand. It takes time” and the days repeat themselves. Slowly, though – things start to click and that hurricane starts to slow down a bit and that structure you’ve worked so hard to build starts to crumble a bit less and the order feels restored a bit more.

That paragraph is our whole 2021 and we’re quickly realizing that while we control one hurricane, there’s a different one on the horizon and we have to figure out how to settle that one down – we just don’t know what it looks like yet.

jtooned. Man oh man, what a ride jtooned has been this last year. It’s evolved into something so much more than I had expected or envisioned and I think that my failure to plan is the result of that. Not that it’s a bad thing at all – it ended up being a good surprise. Maybe you know, maybe you don’t… But the start of all of this was really because I wanted to draw something original to print on a shirt – for myself. I had no concept of how to use Adobe illustrator and I didn’t know how to use Photoshop to create original artwork. I ended up buying an iPad Pro convincing myself that I wanted to draw – I just didn’t know what I wanted to draw. It was a tough sell, given I had no actual business model but I did it. Let me tell you – the amount of times I opened a canvas and stared blankly at it, only to close it a little while later with no progress was frustrating as hell.

I didn’t know what to draw, I didn’t know how to draw properly and I had no foundation to build upon. I was literally floating around in a blank creative space with no where to go. Alas, inspiration comes in many forms and after a few months of “artists’ block”, I experimented with a few things on cars and learned about transforming and going outside the lines and here we are today. At first, I was drawing for free and then shortly after, I charged a minimal fee for hours of work. But that’s OK because all of those free or cheap hours were put towards a greater cause – it always is even though you might not think it is. And it wasn’t without my awesome friends and their support that I am where I am today. These guys believed in me at my worst and they continue to believe in me today and that’s truly where my thanks go. Whether it was for the art that I drew for them or stickers they knew they wouldn’t use but purchased anyway… It all led to this.

There are days where I feel like I’ve done enough. Where I’m not sure if I want to continue or that maybe I’ve drawn all that I could draw and I’ve come to the end of my run. As I write this – The BLUEPRNT Vol 2 coloring books are still in production, we’re finalizing two hoodie designs and I’ve closed commissions for almost a month now. After that’s over – then what? And the downtime has made me complacent and uninspired. At this very moment of striking these keys, I wonder if this is it. Lack of inspiration can do that to a person. LOL

Whatever the case is – I’m thankful for everyone that has supported jtooned in one way or another – be it through purchasing a toon or merchandise, reposting my work and liking it or even just following along. It counts for something! I’ve learned so much from this and have met so many really awesome people that just enjoy cool ass art as much as I do. I’m thankful for taking the plunge almost 2 years ago to just get an iPad to play around with because I never would’ve guessed it help get me here.

Anyway, I just want to circle back to my first point about not having time for anything other than myself. The birth of jtooned is really the one thing responsible for this enlightening past year – it forced me to buckle down and spend time doing things that were important to me and provided small wins and values that sum up to become really big and meaningful interactions and experiences. It pulled me away from the grips of social media and had me focus on “doing” rather than just “being” and that’s important.

My advice – if people even take advice anymore – is to challenge yourself, to take the baby steps towards things you want to do. You don’t have to leap into dreams head first if you don’t want to. Be respectfully hard on yourself so that you can improve through internal criticism. Be forgiving when you’ve done too much and realize that sometimes you need to take 2 steps back to take 3 steps forward. I don’t know who needs to hear this but truly work on yourself this time, not for the followers or the likes, not for the clout or recognition. Make sure that every time you work on “you”, you are developing yourself for personal growth because that’s when it feels real. Throughout my jtooned endeavours, I’ve met so many people asking how to get started and where to learn to draw and the only advice I have is to put the pen to the canvas. Whether it takes you 10 lines or 10,000 – by the time you’ve gone through enough of them, each line will be better than the one before it. Don’t compare your lines to my lines or anyone else just like you shouldn’t compare your life to my life or anyone else’s life.

Find the thing that will buckle you down and help you focus on you this year. Make that your goal instead. It can be as little as learning a skill or mastering an existing skill but make it personal. Because if it isn’t personal, then it isn’t truly for you.

Happy late New Year! Here’s to another great year!

AIMGAIN x Lexus: Andrew Kwong’s IS-F – Now BAGGED

OK I finally have a few minutes to spare to do a write up on this shoot a few weeks ago I did with Andrew. He finally did it… He finally bagged his IS-F and it looks fan-fucking-tastic. It’s literally the icing on the cake for his VIP build and it’s just too good. When you look at a VIP car, it’s easy to say – well that’s just wheels and a drop and maybe a nice lip kit but underneath it all, there’s a lot of work (and money) that has to go into getting it to look like that and I think that’s why VIP builds are a little underrated at times.

Anyway, here’s the shoot we did last year around this time prior to him having his suspension all dialed in if you want to compare:

AIMGAIN x Lexus: Andrew Kwong’s IS-F

It’s a night and day difference, really and it’s too bad a lot of the cool components that really cost the most are invisible to the naked eye because it’s all tucked underneath…

So good. It’s tough finding a really nice bagged car these days…

A little hint at what’s underneath is shown in his lug nuts… Any guesses?

A little closer… The orange might be a giveaway if you recognize it.

T-Demand lug nuts and there’s some T-Demand suspension components underneath as well. Too awesome.

The sun was setting at just the right time for us that day so it made for awesome shots.

That tuck.

Even the ass shot looks so much better sitting low to the ground.

Andrew mentioned he’s going to work on dialing in the fitment down the road to look less sunken, so we’ll see what he comes up with…

Special guest appearance – the FIT! hahaha I’ll have a blog post on the Fit down the road. I did manage to capture some shots of it while we were out.

A closer look at the T-Demand lug nuts.  I don’t typically like orange, but I do love the T-Demand orange…

Good to see he’s still looking back at it. Means he’s not selling anytime soon LOL

Side profile looking good…

Reflections everywhere that night.

We ended up randomly driving around and finding this sweet spot by accident and captured the sun just at the right time.

And just over the edge is a little lake. The closest we’ll get to some water-type photos LOL

Had to capture the T-demand decal though…

Carbon fender garnish…

And to end it off, we just snuck into a little loading dock to get some last photos…

Finish! I bet next year, there will be another photoshoot update LOL! I don’t think I’ve ever done this many photoshoots with new updates with any car other than mine hahaha