The Return of BIGNJPN: Giuseppe’s Nissan Skyline – Round 2

It’s been a few weeks now since I shot Giuseppe’s Skyline again with Diana, JC, and Punit – this would now be the second year in a row that I’ve shot Giuseppe’s car – and I’ll tell you right now that this isn’t a bad thing. I’m pretty sure I mentioned it in my last post with his photoshoot, but I would gladly shoot his car at the drop of a dime because it’s just that good.

Oh, and for those of you who haven’t happened to see the last shoot, check it here: https://lifewithjson.com/2014/06/16/bignjpn-giuseppes-nissan-skyline/

Anyway, the reason I’ve been holding out on the shoot is because the shoot is originally for Farm of Minds (which you can also check out here – http://www.farmofminds.com/giuseppes-r32-gtst/). I just wanted to give them the chance at posting it first before I posted up my own rendition of the photoshoot. The difference is more that I have a lot of the back end story, behind the scenes, etc rather than a spec list and full fledged feature. It’s not my style anymore… Plus, I enjoy doing the back story edition ๐Ÿ™‚

I know Giuseppe has been DYING to see the pictures. I would send him edited teaser pics from my monitor so he wouldn’t have full res shots. I’m the type of guy that goes for a photoshoot and probably has the pictures done the same night with the full post up the following night. Even for me, I was anxious to share the pictures with all of you. Anyway, you all probably know about Giuseppe’s Skyline… And if you didn’t, now you do. Let’s get on with it…

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Diana and I carpooled with JC just so it was easier to get everywhere.

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While waiting for Giuseppe, I just took some randoms.

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JC didn’t want anything to do with it…

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As we were waiting, the train came passing by and at that moment, I was wishing Giuseppe was around to get some snaps. He actually did end up showing up at the right time, parked quickly and let me get some shots. As I’m writing this, I’m wondering why I didn’t edit any… But I’ll save it for the “winter blues” post when all the fluffy, cold white stuff starts taking over…

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We moved on and finally got to work on the actual subject. As always, it’s not hard to make Giuseppe’s car look good. If anything, his car makes my pictures look good…

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Looks like it came right off the showroom…

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The difference in this shoot was that Giuseppe asked for it to be a night time shoot. I was down for a challenge since the last time I shot at night was years ago. We met up a little earlier – as you can see – so that I could capture some sunset shots…

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It’s almost like we were in Japan in this shot. So JDM…

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That bright red Bride bucket…

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Heading over to the next spot… I love shots like these…

As I said above, this would be the first time I’ve done a night shoot in a few years. And since it would be a few hours until sundown, this would’ve been one of the longest photoshoots we’ve had. So I took the opportunity to take some more “journalistic” looking photos and you’ll see some throughout the post. This is one of them…

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You’ll see those wide SSR’s under the flares from last post, but you’ll also spot his biggest and newest addition in this photo as well…

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Ohh la la

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But wait! A wild Punit appears…

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Just some engine bay shots…

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Cusco

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Giuseppe made a point to clean the engine this time ๐Ÿ™‚

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And an overhead shot of the power plant.

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We made our way up to one of the parkades to get some shots over-looking the smoggy YYC downtown backdrop. This shoot was around the time that Washington had the crazy fires and everyone up North had a very smoggy few days…

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That doesn’t really stop Giuseppe’s car from shining through though. The downtown office lights start to shine nicely as it gets darker…

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One challenge in particular when shooting around this time is that you get two very distinct and nice tones. Either the cool, blue tone or a warm, yellow tone. The few photos above this one is where I picked the cooler tone. The photos you’ll see on Farm of Minds for the next several photos also took that same approach. I decided to sit down and re-edit a few using the warm tone… Both look good, and I couldn’t decide which ones I liked better…

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Sorry – enough about photo blabber. Back to Giuseppe’s car… If you hadn’t guessed it, his newest addition was the Rocket Bunny rear diffuser that Giuseppe retrofitted on. Looks great!

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A side view of the diffuser. Giuseppe is a great example of bringing in quality parts and putting a ton of thought and even chance into retrofitting them onto his car… And each time, he executes beautifully. There are other parts you’ll notice that you probably don’t usually see on R32’s – that’s why Giuseppe’s car is so great.

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Loved this shot with the Calgary Tower chillin’ in the back and all the office lights…

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A similar shot zoomed out slightly with a cooler tone to it…

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As we moved down the parkade, I took a few more shots with the typical “parkade lights” and they show the lines of Giuseppe’s R32 nicely.

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In between the last shot and this one, we were confronted by the mighty security guard of the parkade and he told us to hurry up and leave. Kind of dumb because we obviously weren’t doing much… Plus, we paid to get in. Ah well… I got the shot!

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Just a few rolling shots as per usual.

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Mother nature

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Down low. Looks like Hong Kong in the back…

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The night falls upon us… The challenge begins.

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Giuseppe mentioned that one of the spots he’s always wanted to park and get a picture of was under the Core’s overpass in front of Holt Renfrew. I proceeded to tell him to get in line, because everyone and their mom wants a shot there… Specifically, they want a shot in front of Louis Vuitton.

Fortunately, I didn’t turn him down and agreed to get the shot for him. It actually requires a bunch of “right timing” and coordination with a bunch of people. First, it needs to be late so that the valet doesn’t come kick you out. Second, the amount of people needs to be minimal or else they’ll get in the way. Third, a spot needs to be available while another driver drops me off on the other side of the street. And finally, you need to take the best damn shot you can because cars are passing continuously.

Anyway, we didn’t get Louis Vuitton, but we got the main entrance, and we got Hermes. Good enough!

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Some shots that didn’t really turn out how I liked, but once I edited them a certain way, they looked real dark and gritty. Totz cool.

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Here’s Giuseppe backing up into the spot you saw above. That truck was the one that got in the way of Louis Vuitton you can see there as well…

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As we were rolling out of there, I popped my head out of the car and snapped a few quick shots of Giuseppe following behind. This was on Stephen Ave – hence the cool lights on the ground and posts all around.

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Heading out for some night rollers…

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A scene from Fast & the Furious.

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Another dark and gritty shot.

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Through downtown, I got a few shots that worked nicely.

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Check that rearview mirror reflection on Giuseppe’s eyes. Means business.

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And one last one through downtown.

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We ended up at a spot JC had been talking about all night and then we found a spot to drive up onto the side walk and take some dope shots. Long exposure, super small aperture, and you get awesome skies, twinkling lights and nothing but shine…

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Loved this shot too. Kind of like the rolling shot above during the day, it looks almost like a Hong Kong city skyline. (or Japan – whatever you please…)

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And one last one over by some cool lights on a wooden walk way…

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And one last shot – which probably ended up being one of my favourite shots – was this one along Memorial Drive. Giuseppe and I were talking and it reminded the both of us of a shot a few years ago of a yellow R32 that was featured on Stance Nation. That shot ended up being one of my backgrounds during my early photographer years. Little did I know, I’d end up recreating it with Giuseppe’s car almost 6 years later.

Anyway – hope you guys enjoyed! Sorry for the lack of content lately… Weather has sucked lately so I haven’t done anything cool. Hopefully I have some updates soon!

The Internet Sensation: Jackie Law’s Honda S2000

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Jackie’s S2000 has been in the scene since before I even started and he’s continuously pushed the bar higher for himself. If there’s one thing that I’ve gotta give kudos to Jackie for over the years, it’s that he builds his car for himself. I know that’s saying a lot, but it’s extremely rare to find someone who truly builds their car void of outsider opinions, ideas or criticism. In fact, I think Jackie is still the only person that I’ve met that has built his car because he doesn’t give a damn about what anyone else thinks.

Admittedly, Jackie has been a source of good information and inspiration for my builds. I used to hang out at Speedtech every week for hours on end talking cars with Jackie and discussing parts and the pros and cons of this versus that. I think my love for GT wings was spawned through his S2000 – 7 years ago, GT wings were ricey as hell and really looked down on at the time. Nowadays, everyone and their mom is trying to get the biggest GT wing they can find with as many support rods, cables, and reinforcements as possible. The scene evolves and tastes change, it’s crazy to think that GT wings are not a thing of race cars, but rather an aesthetic go-to now.

A big part of my attitude towards real parts versus fake parts come from those early days of mine – I don’t hate fake parts, but I try to steer clear of them. Building a quality car takes time – Jackie’s S2000 is the perfect example of that – quality is what people admire. It’s gone through it’s phases and it’s eventually reached a point where Jackie truly believes it’s complete and that no more money is going into it. Of course, that’s what we all say but something new will come along and he’ll have another reason as to why it’s not done yet…

For those of you that have seen Jackie’s car before, you’ll know it’s no stranger to the scene. This has been his biggest overhaul to date – so while we were in Vancouver, we made the trip over to Victoria to hang out for a few hours…

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First up – a roller as per usual!

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We got onto the Ferry nice and early and it was packed. It was a nice day though so a lot of people were up on the top deck.

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Diana can’t resist her selfies.

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The view was nice – much different from when I was here a few months ago. It was all gloomy and rainy…

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Blue skies all the way!

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When we got there, Jackie picked us up and we made the trip back to his place to pick up his S2…

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The cool thing about Victoria – or BC in general – is that the landscape and scenery is just so rich and vibrant. There’s a ton of places for photoshoots… It definitely beats our loading docks and dirt in Calgary…

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Of course we get to the first spot and the girls go to play on the playground.

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Now we get to the good part. Jackie’s new set up is immaculate in person. The way the colours all go together is great.IMG_1845 copy

Probably the most noticeable change is his vibrant, custom blue TE37’s paired with T1R titanium lug nuts and a new AP Racing BBK set up in place of his T1R BBK he had for a while.

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And for the biggest change – Jackie’s turbo set up. It matches perfectly with his Spoon hood…

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Craft Square mirrors.

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Double Spoon bucket seats

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And for those that have been following Jackie’s build over the years – the most obvious change is his switch from the ASM bumper to the Voltex Race bumper. Much more aggressive.

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To continue with the flow of colour, Jackie has a set of titanium wing stands for his 1700mm J’s Racing GT wing. The piece that was responsible for my love of GT wings…IMG_1858 copy

Fun fact: the Ti bolts that Jackie has holding down his wing are my old bolts from my Civic. Good to see he still has them… Now how do I convince him to give them back to me? lol

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Jackie’s gone with a more functional wheel/tire set up – probably cause he’s sick of messing up his fenders all the time. But it still looks great.

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And yet another aesthetic change you might have noticed is the full body colour change – he went from the OEM Sebring silver to the “JDM” Moonrock grey metallic. It’s a bit darker but it’s definitely a nice shade in person under differing light. It’s grown on me…

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The TE’s shining through…

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Oddly enough, one of my favourite shots – the colours just work so well together here.

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Off to the next location – if you remember way back when I shot Ben and Chris’s cars, I mentioned that there was really only one stretch of road with nice scenery and two lanes. Victoria is fairly small so we took this road a few times until I got the shots I wanted.

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Speeding away to make a U-turn for another round…

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under the hood, Jackie got Sheepey to make him some custom pieces for his turbo set up. A nice addition.

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He recently also changed his red valve cover out for ab lack one to match the engine bay a little better and added an ARC plate as well.

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One of the mods Jackie was quite proud of was his Mugen radiator. A pretty rare piece to acquire…

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You can see the Mugen Power stencil on the front of the rad here…

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One more shot…

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We had to stop to fill up so I got the typical gas station shot. Every car guy likes these, right? I sure as hell do.

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Couldn’t help but add the obnoxious wide angle pic of the wing to make it look even wider lol.

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As we moved closer to the scenic area, the sun started to get more harsh. It’s definitely tougher to shoot in these conditions, even with my polarizer, but it turned out well.

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All of these pictures show all of the different spectrums that moonrock grey metallic can go through depending on light.

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Another shot of Jackie’s wheel/tire/brake combo.

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I liked this shot as well – got a JDM angle going. I try to avoid it, but sometimes it just works lol.

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I lied. Another JDM angle shot.

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One more shot to show how bright the titanium stands are.

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Close up of the detail on the Voltex carbon lip.

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And alas, the Spoon hood everyone wants to get their hands on… This is the Spoon prototype race hood, and I believe there are only a handful of these that some people are fortunate enough to have. Jackie being one of them… I know that there are a bunch of individuals who have tried to take the mass-made Spoon hood and mold it to look like this, but haven’t seen a good copy yet. Either way, it’s something that I don’t think Jackie will be letting go of any time soon.

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And one last one to finish this off like always. Huge thanks to Jackie for taking us all around and letting us drive your Hybrid Highlander. Sorry we couldn’t stay longer like I promised – NEXT TIME, we will plan for the whole day and we won’t have to rush! I’m hoping I get the chance to shoot this again in the near future… Until then…

Sunday Funday: FR-S Coilover Install

Sunday funday is back! This officially marks the earliest we’ve ever decided to do something to our cars and where the weather was decent enough to let us do so. The suspension has just been sitting in the garage, the Cusco arms were in my living room and the car was on jacks… It’s been so long since we’ve all got together to do some wrenching so this was the perfect time!

Unfortunately, we don’t get to see it down on the ground just yet… There are still a few more pieces to add to the puzzle. If all goes well, an exhaust will go on there soon and I’ll be picking tires up from Alex in February. By the time I get all my shit together, it’ll (hopefully be March) and it’ll be time to wake her up again…

Anyway – we started at around 11:30 and while this is no difficult job, we finished faster than expected. I think a part of all of us was hoping that it would have taken longer just so we had an excuse to be in the garage a little longer… Ah well.

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There she is under my ghetto covers and on jacks for the last 3-ish months. I gotta get a car cover next year…

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The new parts begging to be put in. Cusco lower control arms and ST coilovers.

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It wasn’t long before we got all our stuff out and were ready to finally get working.

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Punit ended up bringing in his AME’s so that we could take the faces off so he could re-finish the barrels.

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Love these wheels.

It took a bit for us to get started… Mainly because it was still a little chilly…

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But we paired up and each took a corner.

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Punit taking off some strut bolts. The best part of working on a new car that hasn’t seen salt/snow is that everything is hella easy to take off

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Once we removed the stock suspension on the front, we disassembled them, took the top hats off and assembled them onto the ST’s. Easy peasy.

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These were in super quick. We pre-adjusted them to have 3 threads left on the fronts. We’ll see how that goes

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JC and Gopesh on the other side… JC putting fingerprints on my fender. Clearly he has never owned a black car…

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Next up were the rears. A little more work because we had to take the stock control arms off, but still pretty straight forward.

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JC and Punit taking the rear lining off and oh there’s JC again, putting finger prints on my quarter panel now…

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Gopesh getting down and dirty taking off all the control arm and strut bolts… My side finished.

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Comparison of the Cusco arms to the stock arm. Love that Cusco blue.

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A quick shot of the stock control arm off and all the stock junk still hanging there. I do plan on replacing all these pieces in the near future… I just don’t know when lol.

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A comparison of the stock and ST rear pieces.

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And once again, we disassembled the stock suspension and re-used the top hats for the ST’s, then mounted them on… Like so.

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Punit tightening the top strut bolts.

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Punit ended up picking up the camera and took some candids as well. I actually love when people pick the camera up and attempt to take some shots – whether it’s for fun or not. It’s a nice surprise when I go to edit them and it’s cool to see it from their perspective. That’s really the only time you see me on the other side…

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Another angle – you’ve probably seen this shot on my Instagram. This was an awesome shot, Punit!

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And there’s Gopesh wedged in the corner doing the passenger side rear…

The FRS is also plugged into a trickle charger for those that are wondering.

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JC on his phone while I’m breaking my arms down there. First shot of 2015 of his antics…

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A fun fact: Punit only gets down and dirty when none of us can get a bolt out or if we need some muscle lol. This was one of those times… It’s rare though.

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A shot of it all in and done! Love the color combo.

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Gopesh trying to find the right size key to remove the wheel hardware…

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Little did we know that some of the hardware was previously “messed” with from the previous owner – so some of them were stripped. Problem number two was that we didn’t have the right size key… So no progress was made on the wheels today, unfortunately.

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Punit trying to look for the right size so that we can tackle another day.

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Some close up shots of it all together.

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Looks great together

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We left 9 threads in the rear… Again, not sure where that’s going to put me, but we’ll see!

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Last shot of the front. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the allen key locking the collar in place versus the dual collar… But I guess we’ll see. I think I’ll be picking up a can of fluid film to spray on all of this before I take it out just in case. Back when I had my Civic, I sprayed my Buddy Club N+’s with fluid film when I first installed them and months later, they were super easy to remove and adjust.

Anyway, a few more parts incoming so stay tuned! We’re almost through the winter blues!

Thanks to JC, Punit, and Gopesh again for the helping hand!

Cusco Goodness

And back to our regular scheduled program! The holidays went by way too quick and I can’t believe I’m already back here sitting in my office for another full week of work.

The new year is always busy but it’s also exciting because it means we can start counting down the days until we can drive our cars again. 3-4 months for you to gather as many car parts as you can and get them on before the nicer weather comes. For the last few days Mother Nature has gifted us a nice -30C for the New Year…

One last car part that I got for Christmas were these Cusco rear control arms for the FRS from Diana. It sucked when I found out that these were the exact same arms that I had for my STI and the most annoying thing is that if I had known I was going to own an FRS that used the same control arms, I would’ve at least taken them off the STI LOL. It’s not a particularly cheap piece, nor is it something you really get to see or enjoy so I hit myself in the head for not being able to look into the future.

Anyway – some eye candy for you guys. Now that the season of spending money on other people is over, I can start saving pennies for more car parts. I have a few more things on my list to get before spring – it’s not over yet!

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The best thing about these is that they look bad ass from the rear.

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