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!

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!

Arif’s Honda Civic EK 2.0 – AKA Hollie

Hump day post!!

Last weekend we finally got out to shoot Arif’s car, and it was in the plan for a while but by Arif’s request, he wanted more of a “Fall-y” shoot so we waited a little longer until the leaves got a little more yellow and the weather was less “Summer-y” I guess you could say. Also wanted to give Arif a shoot because he hooked me up with the sweet JDM mirror for my FRS – so that just goes to show you if you buy me a mirror, you’ll get a photoshoot.

I think the last time I shot Arif’s car was wayyy back in 2009 or something like that when I also still had my Civic. He had just got his TE37’s, and I was really just getting into photography. Most will probably recognize his car because it’s been in the game for a long time and he’s changing pieces here and there to change it up every year. He’s one of the few that have stuck with the same platform and has built it up to something that everyone knows today. The only other person that comes to mind right now as I write this is Ryan O’Hara and his EP3 that I posted not too long ago.

But back to the point about Arif wanting a “Fall-y” shoot – I decided to try something a little different this time with the photos. When I shoot and edit, I usually try and stick to a natural look – meaning that I don’t really do much except maybe try and make the wheels pop a little more or clone out a sign if it’s distracting. Other than that, many of my photos are untouched because I am a fan of working as best as I can with the environment and light to get a good picture. That’s not to say that I’m not a fan of highly processed photos (not HDR) because that’s cool too… I just never tried to do it. Anyway, what I’ve done for this post is I’ve edited a few of the pictures twice – the first one you’ll see is straight from the camera in terms of colour, contrast, etc. The second picture I tried to go a little more processed – I “made” it look more like Fall, I enhanced the contrast and shadows while making the whites pop a little more. Keep in mind, I don’t usually do it and I want to try to see if I can go that route to see if it’s something that I like… But I thought I’d explain first before you scroll through the pics and wonder what the hell is going on.

Bonus pictures for Arif and his choosing too…

I’ll start with a shot from the last time his car was seen through my lens.

Arif's Honda Civic EK 2.0

White on white – TE37’s with the CTR wing on Paul @ Garage Box’s wing brackets/risers.

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And let’s bring it forward to today with some slight changes…

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The day started off with JC picking my ass up again. (Thanks sir)

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The same cockpit I take a picture of every photoshoot. The only difference is that he actually opened the Junction Produce Hello Kitty air freshener this time and it doesn’t smell as good as you’d expect… Oh well.

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While waiting in the lot for Arif to arrive, we decided to try and get some shots near the birds but they kept moving away as we got closer so that was a bust.

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Random shot. I like the look of the front bumper here.

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And off we go – Arif right behind us.

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So here is where the dual pictures will start. Let me know what you think of the before and after and which ones you like better!

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Arif has always <3’d the haters.

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A shot requested by Arif to send into Red Bull… Some Bokeh action.

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Side profile shot. I’m digging the look of the Seeker wing now even though I love the riser look on the CTR wing.

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More wheel pop. More Pumpkin Spice Latte colours.

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Candid.

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Here’s a good shot of another one of his new additions – newly retrofitted headlights which look quite good.

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More #PSL.

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Head on.

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I ended up liking this picture more and the more I look at them, the more I like the second, more processed pictures… Gives it a good look, especially on white.

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We decided to have a Instagram competition… Didn’t know what we were really competing on but we had one. Here we see a wild Arif furiously adding hashtags to his Instagram post.

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And over to your right, we see a wild JC picking the best filter for his photo.

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Then over here, because we’re in the middle of butt-fuck-nowhere, I’m trying to send my shit to Instagram and it’s not sending because I’m not on Canada’s largest network. Took me a good 5 minutes to send it.

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In the meantime, Arif has already got 5 likes, JC still can’t decide on a filter and I’m pissed because my shit won’t send.

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That’s not a fake sun BTW. I don’t do fake sun flares.

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I do enhance them though. I like this one more.

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JC still can’t pick a damn filter, Arif is reading all his hashtags and I’m wondering why the hell there’s no coverage out here.

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Interior shot.

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A close up look of his CE28’s

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With #PSL filter. (Kidding – I don’t call it that).

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By now, my picture sent and we were good to go. JC still hadn’t picked his filter.

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I like this shot and in both edits, it looks like his hood is Carbon-Kevlar, and it’s not so don’t be confused.

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Shot of his engine…

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Some work that Screamin’ Paintworks did for Arif a while back was get rid of the “D” and the “C” to make it say “OH VTEC”. Not something you would generally notice if you didn’t look carefully…

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Closer shot of the Seeker wing.

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With the edit…

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I was indifferent about this edit – but that doesn’t matter right now, look at Arif’s car.

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This shot just makes it look so warm… Which it was. This was also one of the last rolling shots down that strip. I got a few more but I decided not to post them just yet (sorry Arif) and I’ll save them for a little later… 🙂

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On the way home, JC got the feels as we saw a kitted Corolla roll up but then we saw that it was clearly confused. Hard to tell in the picture but the tail lights looked like Swarovski’d out (which isn’t cool).

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Then we got in front and saw that he was trying to be like a Mazda 3 up front. Ah… I’ll never understand…

Happy hump day!