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).

New Challenger: 2019 FK8 Civic Type R-26054

Over the last month, I’ve been pretty busy trying to acquire this beast. As you know, I had the FRS up for sale for quite some time and there were a few nibbles but no one that was actually serious about buying it as it was. I get it, it’s not easy to sell a car that’s done up like that – there might be some parts a buyer doesn’t want or something that doesn’t jive with them – so I just forgot about it for a little bit. The more I forgot about it, the more I came to develop a distaste for the FRS… Not in a bad way, but just in a way that made me feel like it was becoming more and more “useless” to me in the sense that I couldn’t ever drive it unless I was alone. This is no one’s fault – it’s just not a family-friendly car. Sure, I could fit both seats in the back for the kids but it would just be a pain in the ass to take it everywhere. Not a fun time.

Alas, I made the decision one day to just throw up a part-out list on Instagram (of all places) and see where it got me. Turns out that it happened to be the quickest part out anyone has ever seen – everything was called for in 8 hours – all through one Instagram story post. So, the tedious work began and I dropped it off with Balance Auto Garage for them to start the work on putting it all back to stock. I loaded up all the stock pieces and made multiple trips to the shop to bring parts, or get parts, or sell parts. I’d tell you about how much I hate putting a car back to stock (even though I didn’t have to do any of it) but that’s another story…

While the FRS was undergoing surgery, I made a visit to Calgary Honda to talk to Trung – who recently moved down here and is now the GM of Calgary Honda. He already knew what I wanted, the problem was getting it. He had a black one slated to come in but I had my heart set on Championship White. As much as I love a clean black car, I really hate cleaning a black car so I won’t put myself through that torture again. I left the dealership with Trung’s promise that he would find a CW CTR if it was the last thing he’d do. There was some tough luck trying to convince other dealers to trade a black CTR for a white one and another where a deal to trade fell through. I wasn’t in a rush, but I was still bummed that other Honda dealers were such assholes LOL. Finally, the call from Trung came one day and he said he got one and it was going to be delivered within a week. Bingo. Huge thanks to Trung for the awesome service and helping me get exactly what I wanted plus more so quick.

Friday, May 24th was the day I picked up the CTR and I haven’t looked back since. What FRS? I don’t remember owning such a car. If I were to put it simply – it is one of the best cars I’ve owned and driven and although each car I’ve owned has put a smile on my face while driving, I don’t think I’ve smiled as much as I have in this one. Do I miss the FRS? No, but I do miss the image of it. I felt really good about how I built it up and where I ended with it, but I don’t physically miss the car. I think that says a lot about the Type R and its presence.

The Type R is a fantastic, well-rounded car. It seats 4 comfortably, it has the power to get you where you want to go and it has room in the trunk to fit a remarkable amount of things you wouldn’t think you could fit into a Civic. Oh yeah… It’s a Civic. Despite the easily abused and thrown around name and reputation that the car has – it is quite far from the Civic you and I are so used to. It is a beast in disguise and it’s used the mask of a car we’ve so fondly grown to know as a fuel-efficient, reliable and cheap commuter. I think that’s why this Type R has grown to be such a game-changer and has surprised many – including myself.

“You paid over $40k for a Civic?” is quite often the question that gets asked. Hell yes I did and it often only takes one ride in it to understand why. I often compare the Type R to my previous Subaru STI Sedan and while on paper, the numbers are pretty much the same, they are two very different cars. The STI to me was fast but it was bland and boring. It didn’t have the ‘oomph’ or the ‘wow’ factor to make it a fun car. Simply put, the STI was fast but it was not fun. The Type R on the other hand has all the creature comforts and the extra ‘oomph’ that one might be looking for. The boosted K20C1 combined with VTEC is really something you need to experience once to understand why everyone praises Honda. It’s in a league of it’s own in this class and I’d be hard-pressed to find a competitor that matches it. There are some that come close, but not one that beats it.

Before I even had the car, I had a vision of what I wanted the car to look like in the end. I like to do that with all my builds – if I can’t envision what I want it to look like – then I probably don’t really want to buy it. I think it’s important to know what the endgame looks like so your journey there is easier. I’m not one to build a car willy-nilly by throwing random parts at it and hoping it works. I made that mistake with my first car and I’d never do it again.

The JDM clear sidemarkers was one of the first things on the list – although small – makes a big difference on Championship White. It removes the offsetting amber and cleans up the profile of the car. One of the things I was really excited about was that Honda basically had LED’s all around the car (except for the sidemarkers). The headlights, the foglights, even the license plate lights – all LED. Changing out the sidemarkers is just an obvious change to me.

Another thing I was torn on was the red pinstriping along the bottom perimeter of the car. It looks good, but I was 50/50 on it and I really wanted a clean look so I pulled all that off too. It can easily be replaced if I change my mind down the road, but for now – the black/white tone of the car is something that I dig. Less distracting and cleaner lines.

I mean… if your wife cuts decals, you get her to cut you a decal of your blog. Why not. I need to support myself too. 🙂

Another subtle addition to the car – Spoon blue wide-angle side mirrors. A very understated and underestimated mod but one of my favourite pieces. A few of us that have them all agree that we really love these. They look great on CW too.

While there seems to be a great divide on the looks of the rear, I love it. It’s a little boy-racerish but I’m still a ricer at heart so I can dig. The absence of the red stripe on the rear also makes it a lot cleaner.

When Trung called me that day to tell me he was able to acquire a CW CTR, he told me that there was an illumination kit on it. Admittedly, the first thing my mind thought about was underglow and I told him “I don’t want underglow LOL”. Trung replies “No no, the OEM interior illumination kit”. hahahaha

I’m not one to add extra bits and pieces like that but I’m glad it came with the car. It’s a very slick looking piece (don’t mind the plastic that’s still on it – I have a hard time letting go as you already know). The above picture is of the door sills that say “Type R” with the “R” lighting up in red when you open the door.

On the inside, the illumination kit is also under the center console and in the footwells. It’s very mild and I haven’t driven in the dark yet but it looks super slick. The interior cabin is super comfortable and has everything you need at your finger tips. There’s enough in here that makes me OK with not needing to change a thing. At first, I wanted to change the shift knob but after using it for a bit – I quite like it. It’s not gaudy or shaped oddly – it feels nice although it could be a bit heavier.

The steering wheel is thick and wrapped in leather. Controls are comfortable and easy to use. The dash is user-friendly and has a wide-array of information for you to go through as you’re driving. From pedal/brake pressure, to G-force measurements to nav/fuel economy. All this technology after coming from the FRS makes me happy.

To match the Spoon side mirrors, I also decided to do the Spoon rearview mirror as well. A nice combination of the three.

One thing that kind of sucks though is that I got the car tinted all the way around with Xpel XR Ceramic tint to keep the girls cool when we’re driving. In the rears, I got 5%, in the front I got 50% and on the windshield I got 70%. Because the rears are so dark, I can’t really tell the Spoon rearview mirror is blue but it does have a nice and wide field of view that lets me see the girls in the back as well as outside the rear window.

The Ceramic tint so far has been a blessing and worth every penny. When the sun is shining mid day, you don’t get that burning feeling on your arms and it keeps the car cool longer – sometimes I even have to turn the AC off for a bit despite the temperature outside being 20+C. No regrets.

Another small change was to the shift boot collar – Zokusha Tuning had a J’s Racing collar in stock so I just picked it up. It’s really just a useless piece but it allows the boot to be adjusted height-wise so it can accommodate other shift knobs. The good thing about this is that I was able to remove the stock locking collar and have the knob sit a few CM’s lower. Looks a bit better and the red matches the interior nicely.

Lastly, the R badge. It really means nothing to me – but the Type R has been nothing but great so far. I know I’ve been telling all of you that the CTR was really just to replace the FRS because it was more family friendly and that I was keeping this stock. I may have mislead you guys (and maybe myself and Diana too…) but I’d be kidding myself if this car was going to stay stock forever (let alone 2 weeks).

My plans aren’t to go all out with this (I hope) because I need it to remain a daily driver for the summer when we go out as a family… There’s something in me that can’t drive a stock car. I need to change something to cure the itch… LED’s are usually the first thing that helps LOL

I’ll get some more shots when it looks cooler – until then, it’s just a regular CW CTR like everyone else…. Thanks for reading!

lifewithjson – We go forward

As I sit here 43 days since my post on the hiatus of the blog, I find myself feeling grateful and oddly nostalgic about each key stroke within the publisher. Although it really hasn’t been that long, it feels like there’s been somewhat of an awakening, if you will. After I pressed “publish” on that last post, in my mind, I walked away from the blog and pretty much closed that chapter in my life. Unfortunately, as human as I am – it is tough to let go. I would come back and check on the blog like a child to make sure it was still good or to see if there were any messages left in the void that I had left behind and oddly enough… There are also people that seem to have trouble letting go as well. And while I still entertained the comments and emails, I still thought to myself that this was it for now… #lifewithjson would remain a memory until I had the time and energy to bring it back to life again.

This was from today. As I mentioned, I have this bad habit of going back to check on things and when I saw that notification bell, I was curious as to what could be happening… Stats are booming. Why? I haven’t posted anything, I haven’t done anything. It’s an odd thing – it could be because there was a surge in certain searches and as a coincidence, it all brought them to the site, it could be because of certain events that bring them around every once in a while at the same time… I’ll never know.

As usual – take it to social media! Honestly,  thank you all for the support. It really does mean a lot to me that people still enjoy coming here and reading random things that I write about. Initially, even Diana had tried discouraging me from stopping and I guess she was right in the end.

I can’t promise to have bangin’ content or continuous updates but I’ll make an effort to keep this going. I guess now that I have the CTR, I’ll have more to post about… That, and two kids running around… I’ll try and pick up my camera in between all of that. Looks like we’re here to stay for a little longer. Thanks guys 🙂