Install Day: JC’s New Coilovers

Today was the day we got together to install JC’s new coils. It’s been probably about 4-5 years since we last installed the original BC coils in his car and it was due for a replacement. He drives his CT daily so it takes the beating of the harsh winter too so when we took them out, they weren’t a pretty sight to see.

I’d have to say that coilovers are generally a pretty easy installation. A few bolts here and there, swap out and put new ones in, tighten and you’re done. BUT, after several years of being on the car and the combination of them being beat to hell by winter – a simple thing like a seized bolt can make an easy installation a pain in the ass. I think every corner of JC’s car proved to be a bitch today and it took us 6 hours to get ‘er done. I didn’t even get a chance to get a finished product pic because we finished so late and we were in a hurry to go out for mother’s day dinner. They weren’t fully settled anyway – so the picture wouldn’t have been a fair representation of what it would look like in a few days.

Anyway – let’s get to it!

Start of the day… 10AM – fresh faces, good attitude, ready to tackle anything.

Sitting pretty outside

Punit brought the soccer mom-mobile

Team meeting I guess…

Here was our first obstacle. The two strut bolts on the driver side were seized completely. I don’t think we’ve ever had strut bolts that were on this bad. We took multiple turns at it with breaker bars on both sides with no budging. We even sprayed it with penetrating oil several times and let it sit – still nada after all of us gave it a go.

While waiting for the fronts again and to catch our breaths, Punit and Gopesh were having some troubles of their own on the rear…

One of them being Aldo from behind…

While Gopesh and Punit were frustrated with the rear – Gopesh and Aldo took a stab at the fronts. We ended up snapping one of the breaker bars right off…

Voila. Guess what – it still didn’t break loose.

Next, we decided to go ahead and torch it. I heated it up for a few minutes and then we bring in the big guns. Punit on the right pushing down – Gopesh on the left pulling up.

Right after this shot, it ended up breaking loose. This must have been at least the 10th time we went at it full force. Finally…

A shot of the nuts off…

Meanwhile, JC and Aldo brought some refreshments. It was a beautiful day today but a frustrating one in the garage lol.

A shot of new vs old…

As I mentioned – the old ones were not in the greatest shape…

Here’s a shot of the passenger side front all in. We had similar issues on this side, but not nearly to the same degree of difficulty as the drivers side.

The rears caused issues as one of the endlinks that JC wanted to replace was seized up. The bolt also ended up getting stripped as well. The only way to get it off at this point was to cut it off. Easy right?

A shot of the rear

Just some of the weapons used today…

The rear spring out. Same condition as the fronts.

New vs old rear struts

Hovercraft CT

It was somewhere around this point that we realized cutting that bolt off wasn’t so easy. All of us took a go at it and we spent nearly 3 hours trying to get it cut off.

Dat ass doe… Shameless plug.

Another shot of us trying to cut it off…

Finally after cutting it from two sides, we were able to stick the end of the hammer in and pry it off. What a bitch.

One of four blades we went through to cut it off.

My last shot is a happy one. All the new equipment in and ready to go. I’ll try and get some new shots of JC’s stance after vacation – but I’m happy to say that despite all the difficulty we had today, we still finished. Nice teamwork from everyone today!

T1R Over Pipe & Front Pipe Install

*Mumbles under breath* Finally some car-related stuff…

I finally had like a free hour to go stop by Jackie’s shop and get the front pipe and over pipe installed that the guys and Diana got me for my birthday. The pipes have been sitting in my office for a long ass time and this was well overdue.

I really did only have an hour, or rather Jackie/Isaac only had an hour to install the pipes before we had to go and meet up with friends for lunch. So for Jackie and Isaac to get the car onto the lift and finish the install and then get it off again with no issues in an hour, that’s an A+ in my books. The reason I mention the lift is because it hasn’t been so magical getting on and off this thing since the kit has been on the FRS. Getting on is tricky because the front bumper typically clears, but as soon as the wheels are on, the sideskirts can fall on the angle – which they did the first time. The second time around, we watched the skirts but neglected the bumper getting off and so that got some contact. Needless to say, Isaac was petrified at the thought of doing it again… This time they found a way to get it on slowly but surely without any contact and I was on my way.

In all it’s non-existent glory.

For the most part, the car is neglected. I haven’t even washed it and it only gets driven to and from work. It doesn’t see weekends that much…

You can see a good look at the diffuser that I installed about a month or so ago. Adds a little bit of a finishing touch to the rear to compliment the wing. The underside of the car was lacking a bit before…

A shot of the stock front piping.

And a shot of the T1R power headers – still only a bronze finish since the car, nor the headers have been put through it’s paces…

Outside sat Isaac’s Amuse S2000 with a new Voltex wing to outfit the aggressive body.

And bronze TE37’s… How I still long for a set…

Jackie’s 4Runner – no stranger to most of you these days…

Punit made a guest appearance in his Japanese Ferrari – I haven’t seen this thing in well over a year I think… Of all the days he drives it, he drives it when it’s shitty out.

Still one of the best and cleanest looking USDM front Integras…

A shot of the rear of Isaac’s S2000. I love that bumper and exhaust set up. The wing suits it nicely… But I say that about anything with a legit GT wing on it.

Isaac making quick work of getting the front and over pipe in. Nice and shiny…

A somewhat unclear shot of the over pipe – it’s not really visible but it’s there.

And voila! A full T1R exhaust system is now in place on the FRS. I unfortunately didn’t get any sound clips – I should have in retrospect – but it is definitely louder than before. To be expected I suppose, but my neighbours definitely might have more to say about it.

I’ve been debating my next purchase – I think I’m going to be going with the OFT shortly here to make use of the full exhaust system and tune to stage 2 otherwise this would all be for naught. Part of me has also debated a cage but it would remove all practicality of the car – I guess it’s not meant to be practical – but in my defense, I’d like Aria to be able to sit in the back seat one day and a cage would make that impossible. I’m playing around with other options but I think to squeeze the extra 20hp out of the full system, the OFT is my next purchase. By way of the butt dyno, the car already feels a bit more responsive in the lower and mid end but that could be placebo or the louder sound that makes me believe that… Either way, a nice addition for sure.

If I Could Call it a Drink, Call it a Smile on the Rocks

I’m pretty behind on posts… To be honest, I completely forgot that I had taken pictures on Friday of some of my time at Jackie’s shop and then of JC’s grill install (hence the title of this post – courtesy of Diana lol).

It was about time that I had my oil change, so I stopped by Jackie’s to get ‘er done and took some snaps while I was there. Haven’t really taken pics so I’m a little rusty lol.

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Jackie’s crazy track build. He acquired this bumper about a week ago – a custom, one-off bumper made from a Subaru bumper. The build quality of it is pretty legit and it looks absolutely crazy in person. It literally sticks out a good 15″ if not more. Not sure how he’s going to get up ramps LOL

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On the other side… The car going up

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Kinda liked this shot… The red and black worked way better than I had imagined. Glad I kept it red.

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Some other detail shots of Jackie’s bumper.

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The carbon is pretty good and well put together.

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The canards molded nicely around the bumper. Very sturdy construction. Kudos to whoever made this. It’s super nice.

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From the rear quarter of the bumper. Mad downforce.

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Now some artsy photos while I waited…

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Upstairs is Jackie’s previous set up for the ITR – a C-West bumper with Top1 canards.

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Diana bored as hell lol

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Next up we got back to my place and tackled JC’s new grill install. Stock shot here.

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Sunken Battleship!!

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Removing the stock grill and headlight washer lines.

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Gopesh’s car…

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Bottom grill removed. Pretty easy.

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Touching up some paint on the sideskirt. Shot courtesy of Punit lol

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These locking star washers were probably the hardest part of the whole job. There’s no real way to actually remove it without ruining the tabs on the emblem. Gopesh managed to get them off pretty quickly and still got away with being able to re-use them.

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A shot of the grill-less bumper.

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Dat hybrid emblem.

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Punit unpacking the new spindle-type grill.

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The emblem goes back…

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Comparison shot o the two. The difference is actually night and day when you see the two side by side. The old one was just really cheap looking. The new one brings a lot more character to the front and updates it with a newer look.

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Top one installed in a jiffy.

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Bottom one in. Cool shadow/light pattern of stars on the ground lol.

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Boom. An updated front end – attention to detail is what matters the most!

Sunday Funday: T1R Power Header Install!

Another successful install day is in the books today! Installs during the winter months are always a love-hate… It’s good because you get all the new parts on your car and it’s super exciting to finally be able to hear or see it on, but it sucks because you can’t truly enjoy it until summer comes. In this case, it sucks even more because it’s not something I can just look at and enjoy, it’s something I have to hear.

There were a few minor set backs and some frustrating times with the install – namely a nut that nearly got stripped and forced us to make a trip to Canadian Tire for… Next, we didn’t have a 20mm wrench to remove the O2 sensors, so that was yet another trip… Lesson of the day is to be prepared!

Anyway, took a few quick pics of the progress when I could…

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We started at 930AM and it was still a bit chilly out. I worked on getting the car on jack stands while waiting for everyone.

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Punit was early so he was supervising as per usual…

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Another shot of the headers!

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Gopesh and Punit doing work

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Got the bumper off while they were getting the stock headers off to prepare for something bigger…

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Quick shot of the work area.

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One of the nuts we were trying to get off that connected the front pipe to the over pipe was almost rounded off and before we made it worse, we made a trip to Canadian Tire and got these set of wrenches. We got back and they were off in the first wrench with these bad boys.

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Waiting for Punit and Gopesh since they had to go and get bigger wrenches to get the O2 sensors off. You can see the stock header laying there with the sensors still connected.

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Almost got the new one all in.

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Look at that shine!

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Just hooking everything back up.

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After the first start up… Sounded awesome! Smokey!

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And back in the corner it goes sans the front bumper – you can see it sitting up top.

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Hopefully I’ll have an update on the new additions if the shipment arrives on time this week!

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One last shot of the headers from up top from the engine bay. Love it!