A Little Brembo Never Hurt Anyone…

Finally the last piece of the puzzle arrived! (this was actually last week but never got around to posting until now). It’s been a grueling and kind of frustrating process to get these suckers but I’m glad they’re finally in my hands.

When I originally ordered them on January 31st, I was told that it would take a week or two to assemble at the Brembo factory and then it would be shipped out. Great – not a big deal – I wasn’t in a huge rush and it was still pretty much the dead of winter with tons of snow on the ground so it’s not like they were going on the car anytime soon. A few weeks go by and I hadn’t heard anything so I followed up. I was told that they are still preparing the parts and they will be in touch soon. Another few weeks go by and still nothing. By this point, it was already March and I had no Brembos in my hands. I followed up yet again and was told they are reaching out to find out what the status is. Finally, by mid-March they said the product was going to be shipped ASAP and well… It was shipped the week after. Whatever – I still couldn’t put them on anyway but I hate being told one to two weeks and actually waiting months for something. I get that there are things that happen, but typically I find that as a customer, we’re given the best customer service with the shortest estimated wait time until we hand over the money then it goes downhill from there. Not ALL the time – but maybe it’s just me. Again, not a big deal – I got the product, they delivered on what I ordered so I’m not going to stay bitter about it but I would rather have a “it’ll be about 2 months” and have it show up in 4 weeks rather than a “it’ll be about 2 weeks” and have it show up in 2 months, you know?

Anyway – not only do I get to play ring around the rosie with this (unnamed) company for a few months, now I get to do it all over again with FedEx. The delivery was scheduled to be on a Friday. I called them on Monday before it even crossed the border and asked for them to hold it at the facility before having it go out on the truck for delivery when it got to Calgary. “No problem”, they said – and the tracking was updated. On Wednesday, I get a call saying the package is ready for pick up. I think to myself “whoa, an early arrival date. Good for me”. So I ask where can I pick it up and they said “Great Falls, Montana”. Turns out they decided to hold it at the border rather than where it’s originally supposed to go. Smart. No big deal – I tell them that this is a mistake – it’s gotta come to Calgary and I’ll pick it up when it gets here. Come Friday, it makes it’s way to Calgary with the exception that it will be held. What happens? It goes on the truck and out for delivery – I don’t get my brakes on Friday. Ugh. To save yourself the extra reading – the same thing happens on Monday too. I finally call again and ask that it does not go on the truck again and they assure me it will not. I end up picking them up on Tuesday – they did actually hold it the third time – but still a frustrating process nonetheless.

That’s my rant. At the end of the day, I got my brakes and I’m happy. I just wanted to do a quick post showcasing them before they got on the car – which likely won’t be for another few weeks until this weather decides to get its shit together. It’s April and it’s still snowing…

The beautiful boxes. lol

The GT calipers in all their glory. I can’t wait to put them on the car and get the car down on the ground.

Stainless steel brake lines

The slotted rotors. The coating should go away after the break in.

Another shot of the calipers. The packaging is amazing. The brakes come with a manual check list of everything to ensure all is in working order and all parts are accounted for. It’s then signed off by someone at Brembo and dated. I like those details.

Here we have Endless RF-650 brake fluid courtesy of Eric over at Zokusha Tuning. Shortly after receiving the brakes, I went on Instagram and asked for recommendations on new brake fluid. I’ve tried a few and am no expert in brake fluid so I thought I’d try something new. In the past, I’ve always used Motul as that seemed to be one that lots of people gravitated towards. One of the first times I had used Motul was about 10 years ago in my Civic. I had tracked with regular stock fluid and that was terrible – the pedal was mushy and it wasn’t long after the braking was just fading away. After switching to Motul, the braking was MUCH better on the following track days and that would’ve been the first time I became a believer.

This time around, a lot of the recommendations that came in were for Endless RF650. Not just for the JDM scene points, but this ended up being one of the top notch brake fluids out there. I mean, everyone knows I’ve built a track car and go to shows. I’m not going to front that fact but I hope I get some seat time on the track some time this year – I’ve been itching it but other things get in the way. It doesn’t help that it’s like 2.5 hours and a hotel stay away for a night just to get to our nearest track.

Upon receiving all the recommendations, Eric reached out and let me try out a liter of this apparently epic Endless brake fluid. I’m super stoked to be trying this out in combination with the Brembos.

If any of you local guys need parts, I highly suggest checking him out here:


Over the last year, he’s been super helpful with getting me quotes and information on products with no hesitation. He can get a lot of stuff that you don’t see on the website obviously – reach out to him via Instagram DM’s or email. You won’t be disappointed with his prices.

Once I get the Brembos on the car, I’ll be doing a review on it all and a write up on how everything looks and feels. Stay tuned! Now we just wait for the snow to go away so we can all have some fun.

LRD VDR: Trung Nguyen’s Track-Prepped Honda S2000

One of the craziest cars that attended the illmotion Sunday School Show & Shine was Trung Nguyen’s Voltex-equipped, HKS-powered Honda S2000. Around this city, it’s quite rare to see an S2000 anymore – unless of course you’re hanging out with the YYC S2000 crew, but if they aren’t around, an S2000 is not so common. On top of that, just seeing a fully track-prepped S2000 with really good quality parts (and money) paired with it is almost like looking for a Unicorn. There used to be a couple around town – Jackie Law’s S2000, which is now in BC and Nick Chow’s S2000, which has been sold and in another city to name a few… But to be fair, the S2000 is an impractical car – they were made to be at the track… That’s how they were bred and how they were meant to be used. If I do ever see one, it’s always an older guy that looks like he’s going through a mid-life crisis, but you just know that deep down he doesn’t really understand what the S2000 is capable of or what it was meant for. But I digress… That is a whole other story in and of itself for another time.

Now… I’ll just put it out there that I have not personally met Trung since he lives in Edmonton but I have spoke with him on numerous occasions about his car, my car, parts, and whatever might come up. He had been working hard to get the car ready for the show & shine, drove it down and then flew back out, leaving the car in Nick’s hands. We ran out of time with the shoot so regretfully, I didn’t get a chance to take as many shots as I had originally wanted. However, I do know that Trung has some significant plans for the S2000 and I’ve already called dibs on shooting it as soon as he’s done for next year – and I promise I’ll have a whole boatload of shots that we can all ogle over.

Whenever I shoot cars like Trung’s, it sounds odd but I get inspired to get great shots. A well-built car with every aspect in mind and no corners cut deserves every bit of my being to showcase it. Trung, with the help of Nick, built the car so meticulously and so carefully that I’m sure any of us can appreciate every inch of this S2000. I will let the pictures speak for themselves, but you’ll see pretty quickly why this car demands the attention that I speak of.

IMG_4293 copy

Early morning and we met up at Nick’s house. Could you imagine waking up to a garage like this? I would probably wake up 30 minutes earlier just so that I could give myself an extra 30 minutes to stand in the garage and battle myself on which car to take that day.

IMG_4297 copy

Nick’s GTR

IMG_4296 copy

And Trung’s S2000 right beside it. I’m sure for the few days that it was sitting there, Nick had to have been reminded of his J’s Racing S2000 and perhaps wanted it back for a bit…

IMG_4300 copy

We quickly left and went en route to a location as per Nick’s suggestion…

IMG_4311 copy

And boom – let’s get it started. Trung’s build is literally black on black on black. Black Advan GT’s, Black body, full carbon sticker-less Voltex Type 7 GT wing Voltex diffuser… All of that with greenery behind it made it work perfectly.

IMG_4316 copy

Close up shot of the Voltex front bumper carbon lip with amazing quality weave.

IMG_4320 copy

One of the photos I had posted on Instagram – LRD VDR LURKING.

IMG_4326 copy

These next shots were Nick’s idea as this couple was walking by with their dogs. Nice candid…

IMG_4327 copy

Worked out well for National Dog Day last Monday too! haha

IMG_4335 copy

Close up of the rear of Trung’s set up with the Advan GT’s in matte black which I am beginning to grow quite fond of lately. I was having a first world problem moment after the photoshoot with Nick and JC about what wheels I want for the FRS. The GT’s look amazing on cars with aggressive aero and if the wheels themselves are in an aggressive size, but not so sure how they would look on a lowered, stock-bodied FRS… The debate continues…

IMG_4344 copy

Close up shot of Lord Vader. Beastly.

IMG_4348 copy

Trung very quickly made his way into the level ONE fam. One thing I never got a shot of, and perhaps you can make it out if you stare long enough is the set of rare Mugen MS-R buckets in the cockpit…

IMG_4350 copy

IMG_4361 copy

A front quarter shot of his car shows a closer look at a lot of very expensive aero – perfect for his track days.

IMG_4368 copy

IMG_4342 copy

Another perspective on the wheels and fitment

IMG_4383 copy

Shot of the rear again. Side note: The span and base of the Type 7 wing is MASSIVE compared to my old Type 5 double decker if you’ve ever had the chance to compare or see it in person, it’s crazy.

IMG_4388 copy

A shot of the beautiful rear that made JC and I hate our cars exponentially more as we drove behind it that day.

IMG_4394 copy

A closer shot of his rear J’s Racing fenders

IMG_4405 copy

Another of the front – which is now my iPhone wallpaper…

IMG_4408 copy

A closer shot of the front fenders and some custom work. They are Challenge fenders that have been widened and re-radiused to +30mm by Circuit Garage. The extension piece on the front bumper was custom and fit on there to finish it off.

IMG_4410 copy

More black on black action (no racist) – a charcoal colored Endless BBK behind the GT’s and AST 4150 Coilovers to bring it all together.

IMG_4418 copy

Did a closed hood/engine shot that I thought worked well since Trung’s engine was not overlooked either… I don’t think I’ve ever used this technique cause I thought it was always cheesy, but it worked in this case lol.

IMG_4423 copy

Inside sits the powerplant backed by the HKS GT Supercharger – which at this point in time has made the most power known globally at 372WHP.

IMG_4428 copy

A closer shot and you can just barely see the T1R header which flows out of a Berk exhaust out back.

IMG_4332 copy

Placing this as the last shot you’ll see until I get the chance to shoot it again – most likely some time next year, but it’s in the books now. I wish we had time to do the rollers but I’ll make sure it’s an epic shoot the next time we go out with Trung’s S2000!

Hope you enjoyed!

Poorform: Jimmy’s 2JZ Lexus GS

OK time to start the week off right! And what better way to do it than to end off the PoorForm triple threat photoshoot with Jimmy’s 2JZ GS!

I was originally supposed to get this up on the weekend but I ended up getting caught up in a bunch of things – my broken phone being one of them. However, this was one of the shoots I really wanted to share the most. Of the three cars I shot that weekend, I got the most shots of Jimmy’s GS. I would also like to add that I didn’t intentionally try to take less shots of the others at all – it just happened that a lot of the spots we went to were more suited for his GS.

There’s just so much to this car that it’s impossible for me to list it all out without it sounding like a magazine feature or article. Ultimately that’s not what my goal is on the blog – it’s just to showcase the cars that are happy to come out and let me point my camera at them and for you guys to see. A lot of the guys that I ask to come shoot with me have put a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and most importantly – money, into their cars and I appreciate them giving me that opportunity. I know it’s nothing close to a magazine feature but it’s enough for me to keep doing what I love doing. The best part of it all is that I get the even greater pleasure of shooting cars that don’t come out all that often – some only come out to shows. Some are garage queens that only see the owner to come wipe them every few days. Others get driven hard and are recognized by the community. Whatever the case is, it’s always a great time – Jimmy’s GS is one to go down as one of the crazier builds I’ve been able to shoot.

Let’s see why…

At first glance you’ll see a huge Greddy intercooler sitting up front and rarely seen Rotiform super concave NUE’s for shoes.

Out back is the meatiest tire ever and I absolutely love it. The wheels out back are 13″ wide and even the 325’s look stretched on them. Wait till you see it from the rear…

Shot of his fronts. Jimmy’s got an Endless Race 6 big brake kit with E slit rotors. It’s hard to see in person but the fit and finish of the Rotiforms are amazing. The colour of the centers reflecting onto the lip give it a slightly darker tone and it’s awesome.

Shot of the rear. Here you can kind of see that “slate/grey” tone in the lips.

325’s… Monstrous.

Up close and personal with the Greddy intercooler. Behind it sits a Koyo race radiator that you’ll see in the engine bay pics later.

That shot from the rear. Very minimal camber so that Jimmy can put as much of the 325 tire down as possible under the custom rolled and pulled fenders. Another awesome part of the rear is actually the Junction Produce 3 piece spoiler that’s been molded in. It’s seamless up close. To compliment the JP spoiler, he’s also got the L-Sportline roof spoiler as well.

The view from the front… or your view when you see it coming up in your rear view mirror. Jimmy’s plans for the headlights are to retrofit LS460 projectors in to finish off the front and compliment the TRD grille.

Profile shot of his wheel/brake set up.

Rolling from the rear quarter.

While we’re at another full body shot – a few other plans Jimmy talked about was getting his Vertex aero kit installed paired with an HKS Kansai hood and have it all brought together and repainted using the Lexus LFA 1F2 metallic silver. That should be the creme de la creme for it all once it’s done.

A shot of his engine bay and the monster 2JZ-GTE VVTi. There’s really just way too much to list, but if you’re really interested then you can post in the comments and I’d be happy to share them since Jimmy shared it with me. But in between the plethora of HKS goodies, Jimmy has quality parts left, right and center. I’m sure you can see a bunch just by looking at the picture… HKS T51R Turbo, HKS SQV, Cusco strut bar, a few custom PoorForm parts like his motor mounts and 30-40LS transmission.

Another shot of the wheels. Can’t get enough.

A shot for the ricer in me.

That big ol’ turbo.

Cusco strut bar…

His suspension – a set of Zeal Function PF custom short stroke coilovers have been custom valved to his liking.

On the inside, the HKS goodies don’t stop. He’s got the HKS AFK wideband/knock amp.

Over on the right side, he’s got the HKS EVC 5 boost controller.

Jimmy’s cockpit doesn’t get overlooked either. This GS is more of a sport-VIP look and I can totally dig it. He’s got a Bride Vorga CF seat with a Takata 4 pt harness. Up front is a Nardi steering wheel (Ridox Orido Edition – which is #1/200) mated to a Worksbell hub. His cluster is a TRD Aristo 320K cluster that was wired in by Jimmy.

Up close of the weave. It’s all in the weave, don’t you know?

A closer shot of his customer rolled and pulled rear fenders. Nicely done.

Again, it doesn’t stop at the engine or the wheels or even his interior, Jimmy also made sure to include some audio too. Ranging from Focal, Steg and Pioneer pieces.

The final shot of the shoot was the three PoorForm cars together. The final post to all of this!

Thanks again to Jimmy and Steph for coming out and spending the afternoon with JC, Rich and myself and letting us shoot the cars. It’s not everyday you get to shoot three Lexus’s that are all on point!

Again – there are way too many mods to list, and I missed a bunch so if anyone is interested, post in the comments and I’ll reply back with it.