FK8 PRL Downpipe Install Ft. All The Headaches

What I thought would be a relatively simple install turned out to be one of trials and tribulations. I’ve read about the issues regarding the FK8 downpipe install and the studs either breaking or getting stuck but I thought I was going to get lucky – mainly because I asked Mike Wu (@toilethero) to help out and I wasn’t going to go and mess it up myself LOL. Nearly all the posts on the forums talk about how to handle the turbo studs getting stuck but I would just quickly skip by those because I thought – this probably wouldn’t happen to me. I often forget about my lucky during installs and this was one of those times…

I asked Mike a few months ago if he would be down to come by and install – with the lift and everything, I thought it would be super easy and we wouldn’t have to slide under the car on jacks or anything. He’s also the only guy that ever works on my car at Honda so I knew it was in good hands. Despite all the troubles and speedbumps that we’re about to go over – it was still in good hands either way. He did an awesome job from start to finish. I really just loosened and tightened easy bolts cause he felt sorry for me for standing around LOL.

The start of the day… On the lift and ready to go.

PRL catted downpipe V1. This is not the new high flow cat version – that one has been sold out ever since it’s been out and I couldn’t seem to get my hands on it. Shout out to Nam Vo from Nextmod Montreal for finding this and bringing it in for me so fast!

A recommendation from Winston @WNSNTY in Toronto over the last few months has been to replace the rear engine mount with the Hasport mount as it makes a huge difference. Honestly I hadn’t even thought about it – mainly because of my lack of knowledge about them. After looking into it a bit more, it seemed very highly recommended from the few that did change it so I ended up with the Hasport 62A (for street use). Thanks also to Nam for getting this as well!

Mike getting started on the process…

One of Mike’s many cars – his RSX Type-S – which is to be a donor car for the engine in another project…

Smooth sailing. About as smooth as it gets this whole install LOL

Mike luckily has access to all the tools needed including the O2 sensor socket LOL. I remember back in the day, whenever we used to do exhaust/header/pipe installs, we’d always have such a hard time getting the O2 sensors off and we never ever bothered to go and try and get a socket to make our lives easier.

He also brought a plethora of tools to help… My tools (if you recall from my lower control arm install) consist of a few socket wrenches LOL

O2 sensor socket coming off…

After we removed the underside panels, it revealed the Fujitsubo exhaust which I had never actually seen after we finished installing it a few years ago. Nice to see it’s colored nicely!

Ohhh Ahh…

A shot of the stock motor mount. This one was pretty straight forward and only help in with two bolts. PS I did most of it without Mike’s help LOOOL

Quite small compared to the Hasport one.

Out…

The beefy Hasport 62A mount in. It was a little more difficult to get in but with the help of a hammer and some lubricant, it went in with relative ease. That was that for the mount. Took all but 10 minutes.

Meanwhile on the top, we had to remove all of the bracing/frame to get easier access to the downpipe.

Top frame out

Here was the scary part. Removing the downpipe. The downpipe is held onto the turbo using 2 bolts and 2 studs/nuts. The bolts came out pretty easily. But the two studs obviously caused some headache. When you start spinning, it will either keep spinning and the nut will break off or it’ll come off. Based on feedback on Instagram, it sounded like 90% of people had it break off lol… So much for my luck.

We tried a torch but to no avail.

The nut ended breaking off with the stud – like most people had reported. A pain in the ass…

So we tried the bottom one to see if we could re-gather some confidence…

We basically tried everything. We torched the stud, we torched the housing, we tried penetrant fluid, we used vice grips, the next day Mike even came by with a stud extractor which just kept slipping… Lots of suggestions over Instagram (thank you to everyone that did) and none of them really worked.

It came down to two options – find a welder that could weld a nut onto the stud to break it loose or remove the turbo and drill out the studs. The former was an easier option…

One more cool shot of the exhaust.

Back on the lift for the day since we couldn’t make any progress.

Admittedly, I even tried to go at it myself the next day after letting it soak in penetrant with vice grips to see if I could get it off. I thought to myself – maybe if I just keep cranking at it, it’ll come off… After about 45 minutes, it didn’t even budge…. So much for that idea.

I ended up posting on Instagram asking if there were any welders that could come out and help. Just before my story expired Tony (@twofortytony) caught it and said he was the so-called Bolt Extraction Master and he could come by in the next few days to help.

He made the trek over after work last Wednesday and got ready to go.

Getting set up…

Here’s a shot of what that bottom stud looked like after we were cranking at it on the weekend with vice grips. It was basically almost rounded out.

Tony had to re-thread the studs to be able to spin a nut on it.

The first nut threaded on

The top stud with a nut threaded on

Tony getting his welding stuff set up

Here’s a shot of tony heating up the two before actually welding it.

Definitely wouldn’t have been able to do this myself hahaha

Here’s a shot of the top nut heated up to glowing red to get ready for welding.

Doing the same thing for the bottom nut

Glowing red…

And finally just one shot of him welding the nuts on. Metallurgy is a whole damn new world to me and Tony knew everything about it. After welding the nut, he educated me on the importance of letting it cool to touch before trying to crank at it right away otherwise it’ll snap. I would’ve just taken an impact to it right away and f’d myself over hella quick LOL. This is why I leave things to pros.

Tony working his magic. Slowly but surely. He also mentioned how important it was to just go back and forth slowly – gaining mm’s of thread little by little. Again, the difference in patience between myself and him… HUGE. LOL

We eventually got that bottom stud out pretty quick. But take a look at those threads – they were basically eaten within the turbo housing. Reinforcing the fact that there was no way I would’ve been able to get it out now matter how much or how long I cranked on it with vice grips LOL

The top stud gave us (Tony) a bit more trouble. It actually ended up breaking 3 times – resulting in Tony having to weld a new nut on each time.

The third time, he put an even bigger nut on it and that ended up doing the trick.

You can see how much thread we actually had left after taking it out. Literally the whole process was me holding my breath in hopes that Tony gets it out and he spent what seemed like eternity just going back and forth with a socket wrench gaining such minimal amounts of thread each time. I kept bugging him and asking if we should just throw an impact on it and he told me to sit down and relax cause it was gonna be a while LOL.

Again… That’s why I ask the friends that know better than me to help ๐Ÿ˜›

Shout out again to Tony for coming by in a jiffy and working that welding magic to get those out. Life saver. Bolt extraction master title still held by him.

Finally, the weekend arrived and Mike came by again to finish it off finally. A shot of the top hole where the stud was and the threads. The threads ended up getting eaten up pretty good while backing the stud out so mike had to re-tap the threads in order to get the new ones in.

Re-tapping went smoothly.

A quick mock up of the downpipe finally being able to go on after all that…

I decided to re-use the OEM heat shield again because the PRL downpipe had bolts lining up to them to do so. Why not? Keeps an OEM look – even though some might prefer to use a heat blanket and show it off.

At this point there wasn’t really much else to take pictures of after everything else went back on. I just kind of wanted to document the process and the headaches we went through all just for the downpipe. I guess that’s how it goes – it rarely goes easy – especially for me when installing something LOL.

All I did after was load up Hondata and reflash the ECU and take it for a test drive. All I gotta say is – it’s a whole new beast now. I’ve been waiting since December to finally get all of this on and it’s perfect.

I wanted the downpipe originally to open up the Fujitsubo a little more – it was fairly tame to begin with – pretty close to OEM if anything. It was nice but not enough. The downpipe gave it a little more growl and now it’s awesome. It’s not obnoxious and I can leave in the morning without being ratchet, unlike the Fit lol. The rear motor mount provides lots of good feedback and helps put the new found power down that Hondata helps put out. It really is like a different car now. I’ve got to play with some of the other settings to see if I can fine tune it but for now, it puts a smile on my face all over again.

Thanks again to Mike and Tony for helping out! Couldn’t have done it without you guys!

DIY: Mugen FK8 Wing Install

Well, I’m happy to be able to post this sooner than I had originally thought. The main fact being that I was having trouble finding someone that could paint the wing ASAP so I could get it installed. In talking to Jason Divina, he got a bunch of his Mugen recently painted in Boost Blue so I was able to getย  a spot this week to get it painted! Hoo-rah!

I’m TOO stoked on the outcome of this – honestly, I never thought I’d really ever own the Mugen wing mainly because of the cost. It’s worth noting that at the time this wing was announced, only the carbon version was released and that was a hefty $11,000. Yes, eleven thousand dollars. I can spend $1k on a wing, $2k on a wing, hell I’ll spend $4k on a wing but I can’t justify $11,000 lol. The most expensive wing that I had bought was the swan neck Voltex wing for the FRS. Anyway, shortly after the release of the carbon version – Mugen released the FRP version – which btw is still no cheap option – but is definitely more affordable. I decided early on in the year (January) to bite the bullet and just do it otherwise it would just eat at me forever. So fast forward and here we are – the part has landed, it’s been painted and now we install…

Beautifully painted in Champ White.

The stock wing was off already because I was prepared to install when it landed but when I realized it wasn’t actually painted, it just sat there lol. Anyway, first step was to remove the two plugs (already out in this pic) and then Mugen supplied small foam stickers to place over the holes where the new bolts would be used.

The wing brackets mounted onto the trunk. Two bolts and two nuts right underneath the trunk. Super easy.

Upon having the brackets installed, you install the side legs on the inner portion of the brackets. 3 bolts, 3 washers, 3 nuts. Easy.

I also want to add again – Mugen fitment is basically OEM. Just perfect.

Look at how it lines up with the trunk. Made me wet my pants tbh. I love when fitment is perfect and Mugen never fails to deliver.

Once the wing stands are on, mount up the foil with two bolts. Note that it’s adjustable but I just opted for a simple and straight mount to keep things clean and simple. Lets be real, this ain’t hitting the track and needing downforce anytime soon LOL

Next up was to put on the side covers to cover up the brackets. I would like to make a special request to Mugen. Please do not put the responsibility of cutting and putting on the 3M tape in the hands of the customer. LOL I hated doing this part because I didn’t want to mess it up. It ended up perfect but still! Mugen tells you exactly where to put them btw.

Also, badge of authenticity… I’ve been seeing a lot of fake ass Mugen showing up lately and it makes me cringe. Don’t fake the funk please… There are only a HANDFUL of people that actually have the carbon version and everyone pretty much knows who they are. There are people out there rocking a “carbon” one and we all know you didn’t pay $10k for that wing when the rest of your car is made up of APR and has homemade splitter rods, bruv.

The super cool thing is that Mugen provides new trunk bumpers to use. Probably because when you remove the original ones, they pretty much just wreck themselves on the way out. They’re still useable but they become wobbly. So shout out to Mugen for including these!

Some shots now of the side piece now on.

A+ fitment.

Awesome lines in the wing. Took a while to grow on me – much like the whole Mugen kit – but now I’m absolutely in love.

How much are these worth? $2k? Cause I was scared AF to mess this up LOL

As expected – Mugen also tells you exactly how to put on the decals with measurements and such. Talk about the pressure. Got me busting out the ruler and marking and making sure it was exact Mugen-spec LOL.

I held my breath hella long to do this LOL

But success! Looks MF-ing SICK!

So damn clean.

Kind of the best side profile shot I could get. The car isn’t really ready for a photoshoot yet – I’m still waiting to get my lip back from paint so until I get that, no photos. It’ll just sit in the corner looking pretty lol.

And one last shot to leave you with. Yes, I know there are a few more Mugen pieces but I’m still unsure about them. I don’t think I’ll be doing the front Mugen covers but I think the last piece I’ll do is the carbon mirrors and I’m calling it quits on the FK8 and just enjoy it.

DIY: CARPRO SiC on the J’s Racing Fit

So I’ve been pretty anxious to finally get this all done since buying the car but I just haven’t had time to dedicate until recently. It’s been killing me driving around a car I haven’t personally cleaned inside and out – I don’t know why – just an OCD thing or something…

Anyway, over the last week I’ve been tackling bit by bit on the Fit to at least bring it up to the level that I think is “clean”. It doesn’t matter who owned it before – even if it was a dude that was OCD like me, I’d probably end up redoing it again anyway LOL. Last week I did a full interior shampoo on everything – seats, carpet, doorsill fabric – anything that was able to be shampooed was indeed shampooed. I then steamed and cleaned up all crevices inside and in the door/trunk jams to get out the gunk that’s been sitting there for who knows how long. The good thing about going through the car is you get to clean everything… The bad thing is that you start to notice certain imperfections or things that you need to change or fix. On the interior, there are a few things that I’d like to tackle over time – IE., replacing the interior carpet with a new one, replacing some seals and adding in missing bolts that for whatever reason weren’t there to begin with…

The interior is boring so I never really took pics. The most exciting part is really just prepping and finally getting the coating on. This time, I opted for CARPRO SiC over the classic UK 3.0 + Gliss combo. SiC is still fairly new and there really isn’t much out there in terms of longevity but I wanted to take the chance on this one. Apparently it’s basically UK 3.0 + Gliss in one with the protection and slickness in one. I guess we’ll see over time, but I’ll talk about the process throughout the post.

The Fit in all its glory. Unwashed, unpolished, uncoated. Looks good from afar and not too shabby up close but not the best.

The first hand wash in the new garage too. Excuse the ugly flooring – new flooring doesn’t go in until mid-September.

The resident BI can’t wash the car without making sure his own barrels/wheels aren’t clean LOL

One of my favourite steps in the process is actually using an Iron filling cleaner like IronX. It could totally just be a psychological thing with the color changing effect but it does feel like it gets a lot of things that you can’t with a simple wash mitt or claybar.

The affected area was behind the door handles which I soaked a lot longer. You could even start to see the contaminants along the edge of the handle.

Upon soaking, you could see so much of that red leaking out and immediately start clearing up.

Other parts of the car that are often neglected are the pieces right up against black like near your grill and those little crevices. You can see a bit here which required some claybarring to remove.

Even after just IronX and a claybar, the car seems to shine even more…

One of the other things I’ll end up doing maybe over the winter is repainting certain pieces to all match. It’s not terrible but you can see that the bumper is slightly off compared to the rest of the front. It’s definitely not in your face noticeable but it bugs me…

I ended up claybarring the door sills and jams as there was a bunch of build up there…

All clean…

The side mirrors also had a bunch of build up which IronX and claybarring helped remove easily…

Always funny to see Champ White next to any other white cause then it just looks yellow hahaha

Done for the day. I let it just sit and dry over night because I hate polishing the car when there’s water drips just coming out from little crevices…

The next day, I started the polish. The paint was in fairly good condition already so I didn’t need much. I did a simple stage 1 polish with CARPRO Fixer and an orange pad.

Cleaned up the headlights nice

Slickkkkk

Side results…

Looking good on this side too…

The rear end was nice to polish as well. Got the tail lights all shined up as well as the rear hatch. Often times the hatch or rear of a car is super contaminated from all the kick up on the road. Gotta take care of the ass…

Got some of the swirls out of the wing too. Smooth carbon is the best carbon.

And the much anticipated SiC. I initially wanted to try a graphite coating but I’m just too invested and sold on the CARPRO ecosystem and lineup so I just decided to try SiC instead. Most of the thoughts on this have been fairly positive – the most notable feature of this being the slickness that it brings…

I will say that SiC is definitely slicker than UK 3.0 + Gliss right off the bat. It’s extremely nice and satisfying. It is also significantly easier to apply than UK 3.0. When I was doing it, the ambient temperature in the garage was about +20C and the cure time was anywhere between 1-10 minutes. I found that even after about 8-9 minutes, that was my sweet spot. It wasn’t hard to take off at all and it didn’t grab like UK 3.0 did when it flashed.

You might notice that the results produced a much deeper and strong gloss and shine. Even just on the headlight, I was thoroughly impressed with the deepness it created in a clear lens.

The hood produced a very nice shine and gloss as well.

I would say on dark colours, SiC seemed to really create a dark and deep gloss that is actually super noticeable. The wing and carbon weave here is a good example.

I thought it looked great after the polish but upon wiping off SiC, I didn’t think would’ve looked this good.

Gloss on the rear quarter… Beautiful

Tail lights just shining like a diamond

More gloss on the carbon canards…

Roofline…

And that’s that! Unfortunately, sometimes gloss can be a little understated on white but it does look great in person. The most important thing is now it’s protected – which is all I really wanted.

Bada bing bada boom! Stoked on finally being done. I opted not to coat the wheels yet – I’m going to probably take off all the wheels over winter and clean them up properly and then work on replacing other things like bolts and getting the fenders and sideskirts repainted and reinstalled a little better as well. Little things but in the end, it’s the small things that matter!

DIY: Mugen FK8 Lip Kit Install

I’ve been waiting a pretty long time for this day to come and it’s pretty freaking glorious. I spend a lot of my time – maybe even an unhealthy amount of time – thinking about how I should put the Type R together and I often go through so many parts in my head imagining and picturing what it would look like over and over again. Does anyone else do the same? lol

My dilemma is really trying to build it in the best way possible while retaining functionality and the “daily driver” aspect of it – particularly because of the need to haul the family and groceries or whatever else I need. It’s hard sometimes because there are some days that I want to slam it and put more aggressive wheels on it but then I wouldn’t be able to drive it as much as I want to lol. I’m sure a lot of other FK8 owners can agree that there aren’t many options out there either – so trying to build one that has your own flair and style is also equally challenging.

At the end of the day, the important thing to me is that high quality parts go on the car and go on with enough thought to make it worth it. There are so many Type R’s on the road and so many that unfortunately have been just “ruined”. It’s just disappointing to see a good car become so easily bastardized – it’s not a “Type R” problem either – but when you own a specific chassis and see other examples of it being just fucked up, it hurts the soul a little bit. It’s not the time or place for me to rant about it so I’ll just stop before I get ahead of myself…

Anyway, after seeing what Varis and Spoon had to finally offer – I decided to stay on track with Mugen. When the kit came out, I loved it but really wanted to wait it out a bit to see what other big names were going to offer and I was personally disappointed. Varis looked good at the sculpting stage but after completion, it was not much different than stock. Spoon also didn’t deviate much from the stock look and I guess I can’t blame them, the FK8 “out-of-the-box” is already aggressive as it is, so to change it and have it look good would be challenging – I don’t even know what I’d do to it LOL.

The almighty Mugen logo and box…

Of course Princess Elsa/Aria had to come check out what it was – asking if it was hers. You wish, kid.

Side skirts painted CW by Mugen

Front lip painted CW by Mugen

JDM instructions

JDM 3M primer for the adhesive…

As soon as I received it, I drove it right over to Tommy at Tint tech to 3M it.

He did a fantastic job – can’t even tell there’s wrap on it.

The front lip was super easy to install. Remove the bottom screw on each side of the front lip in the wheel well.

Remove the two OEM clips underneath.

I popped the lip on just to see if everything fit nicely… I had no doubt that it wouldn’t…

Secured with some tape just to hold everything in place

The install requires you to drill an extra hole into the stock sideskirt to bolt the top piece in. Mark it…

Drill the hole and insert the fastener into place – good to go.

Once all ready, pull up a piece of the 3M adhesive backing and put all the screws and clips in. Once you’re happy, pull the backing off and press ๐Ÿ™‚

Voila!

That Mugen emblem on the front is icing on the cake…

Love it.

I know there are some of you that were unsure of the OEM red grill garnish when I first put it on but my end vision was to have the Mugen lip tie it all together, and that it did!

I will say that although I didn’t doubt Mugen, I am blown away by the fit and finish of the front lip. It fits like OEM and there are absolutely no gaps and holes line upย perfectly. This would be my first time dealing with Mugen body parts and I am a believer.

Front lip complete! But we’re not done yet…

The front lip actually came first and the sideskirts came a few days later… I was beginning to think they lost the sideskirts in transit, but thank God they didn’t. Waiting for parts to be delivered has got to be one of the most stressful things LOL

Stamp of authenticity on the sideskirts…

Again, laid out and ready for a mockup

Easy peasy.

Fitment again is perfect. Literally perfect lol – I don’t think I can emphasize this enough.

I ended up finishing the passenger side and forgot to take pictures because it was a little more involved than the front lip. More pics on the driver side below…

So the sideskirts were slightly more complicated because the instructions say to remove the whole sideskirt off the car. The reason is because you have to drill 4 additional holes on the underside of the skirt to attach clips to it.

Removing the sideskirts are a whole other process and while it “may” have been easier, I decided to just lift the car up and drill while it was in the air.

First time the wheels have been off lol…

You have to take the wheel off to drill an additional hole for the backside of the sideskirt.

Here’a s hot of the hole you have to drill to attached the Mugen sideskirt

I know it doesn’t line up here but it’s because the sideskirt was not fully bolted on yet and is just hanging loose. Don’t worry ๐Ÿ™‚

Once you drill the four holes underneath, you need to drill one more top hole on the back of the sideskirt like I mentioned to put an additional screw in. You can see the newer black screw on top. Look at how perfect this thing fits… Again – emphasizing “perfect” lol

Tight fitment.

And voila!

Looks awesome!

Here’s a shot of it all together in the garage… Full pics coming soon. The Mugen kit definitely helps break up all the black from the white and visually lowers the car a little more. Super satisfied with the look.

And of course, as soon as it was all done – I prepped the lip kit and then coated with CQuartz. Literally one of the best things I’ve done to the car.