17th Feb2016

Wheel Wednesday

by Michael Chandler
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Enkei PF01

Since it’s Wednesday, and society at large has decided that each day has a title with the same first letter as the day (Transformation Tuesday, Throwback Thursday, Flashback Friday), each Wednesday is now Wheel Wednesday.  So let’s look at a nice set of wheels.  Today we’re looking at the Enkei PF01’s that Nate had on his S2000.

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*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
10th Jun2015

The People’s Champ: Scion FRS

by Michael Chandler
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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

This matte metallic blue Scion FRS has a small pedigree.  Well, not really small: it won the Favorite Scion award at the last import Spring Showoff meet which is impressive considering how prolific the FRS has become.  If you hadn’t seen the car before then, it’s ok.  I had only seen it once before the show.  Seemingly out of nowhere, we have a new champion of the people.

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JJ, the fella who owns this, bought it new in May of 2013 with all of 11 miles on the odometer.  Like any good, sensible person, he began modifying it.  Like most people, he decided it needed more power.  The usual power adders were thrown on,  but naturally aspirated just wasn’t cutting it.  He needed more.  He needed a turbo.

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And that’s exactly what he got!  The Borg Warner 6258 EFR turbocharger came in a kit from Treadstone Performance, which also included an intercooler, hot and cold pipes, the exhaust manifold and up pipe (both of which he had ceramic coated), and a 265lph in tank fuel pump.  Because you can’t just cram additional air into the engine without adding more fuel, JJ threw in a set of 770cc Deatschwerks fuel injectors.  He also grabbed a billet diverter valve from Treadstone, to relieve excess boost pressure.  Additional cooling, specifically for the oil, is provided by a Mishimoto oil cooler.  The whole affair is run by an EcuTek reflashed ECU, which had the wick turned up by Jesse at FNP.  The kit was installed, and all the maintenance is done at Paradise Performance by JD Youngblood and Matt En.

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When you add over 100 horsepower to any car, you should probably address the clutch.  JJ wisely did so, and had JD and Matt throw in a stage 3 segmented ceramic clutch from Competition Clutch.

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Rounding out the power and usability adders, and providing a nice segue to start talking about the other aspects of the car, is a 3″ straight piped exhaust from Simple Performance.  As you can see, the exhaust sticks out a bit.  Not an insane amount, but enough to be noticeable.  And it’s also got a bit of carbon fiber wrap on it.  An odd place for carbon fiber, but it’s not the only carbon fiber on the car.

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The side skirt extensions are carbon fiber, and they’re custom.

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As is the Metallic Blue wrap.  JJ dropped the car off at Justin’s Tint, where the man himself wrapped the car.  The freshly wrapped Scion was taken to Luxe Auto Spa where it was coated with CQuartz FINEST ceramic surface protection, and also had the brake calipers color matched to the wheels and the hats and hubs blacked out.

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Before the wrap, JJ had a ChargeSpeed front lip and rear spats installed.  Not as loud as the Rocket Bunny kits, the ChargeSpeed pieces accent the car without becoming the focus of the car.

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The 18×9.5 Enkei RS05RR wheels also provide a nice, yet not overly distracting touch to the car.  Wrapped in 265/30 BF Goodrich Comp 2 tires, they fill the wheel wells nicely.  The TEIN Monoflex coilovers reduce the wheel gap, while also being great coilovers that make an already stellar handling car handle better.

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JJ has more plans for the car, the most visible is a big APR spoiler that will match the curve of the rear of the car.  Until then, we’ll have to be content with the car that the voting public loves

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
12th Jul2013

Simple S2000

by Michael Chandler

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 Keep it simple stupid

Simplify then add lightness

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

There are hundreds of quotes talking about the greatness of simplicity, and at one point we have all said we wanted something simple.  But some of us end up with something overly complicated and regret taking the path of over complication.  Nathan Luong has taken his Honda S2000 down the path of simplicity.

 

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The most noticeable modifications the the exterior are the Voltex Type 1V Wing, the OEM hard top and front lip and the APR GT3 carbon fiber mirrors.  Most people keep Honda’s roadster as a soft top, so seeing one with a hard top is a bit of a rarity.  Seeing one with the Voltex wing is a bit more of a rarity.  And you don’t really see Modulo badges everyday either.

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Nate also popped on some clear side markers from a S2000 CR and an AP1 S2000 rear bumper.  Underneath the Voltex wing is a smaller GT Motoring duckbill spoiler.

 

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The car is a bit more stiffly sprung thanks to a set of KW Variant 3 coilovers and a Cusco strut tower bar.  It sticks and stops better thanks to the 255/40 Advan Neovas wrapped around the 17×9 Enkei PF01s.  It’s not pushing a penny across a parking lot low, nor is it a super meaty track car stance.  It’s a nice look for a street car, and capable enough to turn some laps on a track if the situation arises.

 

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The simplicity continues under the hood.  An AutoTecknic carbon fiber cooling plate helps direct airflow to the K&N intake.  From there it makes it way through the engine and out of the car by way of an HKS 75mm exhaust.

 

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Cabin wise it’s painfully simple: Bride Vios 3 seat on Buddy Club Super Low Down seat rails, J’s Racing shift plate and a Team VooDoo shift knob.  He’s had that shift knob in all of his cars, and probably will continue to keep it in all of them.

Is this the most intensely built S2000 ever?  Not even close.  Is it a fun driving, handsome roadster?  And then some.  Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great.”  This car embodies those words.

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.
13th Sep2012

Semi-Retired 2005 STi

by Michael Chandler

 

This STi has a history. This car was owned by a guy who tracked it here and there. It had the prerequisite big wing and decals, but now it’s retired. But retired doesn’t mean it left it all at the track. Oh my no, it left nothing at the track…

Staring at you from within the bumper is a massive APS 525 front mount intercooler. That is 314 square inches of intercooler hanging out there! AND it’s good for 525 horsepower, but this car isn’t making 525 horsepower. No, it’s making 340 horsepower at the wheels on 91 octane. E85 in the tank brings that number to 380. Impressive considering this car was rated at 305 crank horsepower seven years ago. Behind that giant intercooler is a big Koyo radiator. Cooling is key everybody.

A Garrett 3076 ball bearing turbo sends hot, pressurized air through that massive intercooler core and into the two and a half liter mill. An AEM 3-Bar MAP sensor monitors the incoming air and dictates how much fuel the massive 1000cc Deatschwerks fuel injectors to spray into the cylinders. Those big injectors are in an Aeromotive fuel rail, and there’s an Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator between the fuel rail and the 255lph Walbro fuel pump. Not all that fuel gets used, but more on that later…

All of the air the turbo pressurizes isn’t used either, so a Tial blow off valve releases the excess air. The car is tuned at 20 lbs of boost, and a Tial wastegate helps keep boost levels stable.

17×9 Enkei NT03’s are sitting at all four corners, as are the Brembo calipers that came bolted to the car. Inside those calipers are Stoptech pads, and Stoptech lines feed Motul brake fluid to those pretty, gold calipers. The rear rotors are OEM, but the fronts are slotted Stoptech pieces.

This thing has some serious suspension pieces, being a former track car. JIC Magic coilovers hang at all four corners, and COBB sway bars are at either end. Also keeping the chassis flex to a minimum are a Cusco strut tower bar in the back and a Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru’s parent company) strut tower bar in front.

Inside the cabin the US spec seats have been replaced with JDM STi Version 7 seats. Still OEM, and comfier than the stock seats. Thats a win/win situation. Behind those seats is a Sparco harness bar, but no harnesses to speak of at the moment. The old shift knob was taken off, and replaced with that stylish white Beat Rush unit.

This car was a track car, but it left none of its track capabilities behind when it became a street car. A fact that became very apparent when we went out for some rolling shots. Throw some BFG R1’s on this bad boy and it’ll do some work out at Miller.

 

Words and photos by Michael Chandler.

*Article, Video, and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.Com
06th Jun2012

Impostor!

by Michael Chandler

 

I know some of you are going to just look at these pictures. I’m ok with that. What I’m not ok with is the odd chance that you’ll mis-label this base model RSX as a Type-S or a Type-R clone. It’s neither of those. It’s better than those.

 We’ve been following this car for a few years now. We used to see it at Supremacy Racing a lot, but we never really followed the build in detail. We would just ask “How is Ryan’s DC5 coming?” and Frank or Kel would say “It’s going good” and that was that. As you can see here, it has become very good.

 

Now, back to dispelling those Type-R/S myths: outside it’s sporting some, SOME, JDM ITR pieces such as the front bumper, red H badges and the Integra badge on the back. The fenders are just plain old JDM pieces, along with the sidemarkers. It’s sporting a full VIS Type R lip kit (front and rear lips and the side skirts), which accentuate the fine lines this RSX already has, and a TopOne splitter sits below said lip to help this thing move alone smoothly. A Buddy Club hood with Aero Catch hood pins round out the exterior modifications and keep the beating heart of this thing out of site, but not out of mind.

 

Much like the Telltale Heart, the motor lies out of sight. Tormenting those that attempt to cross it. That heart is a K24A2 with an RBC intake manifold and a SSR Race header, which dumps into a three inch K Teller exhaust. It might not seem like much, but like the red Civic from our Odd Couple article there’s not much to this car. That 2.4 liter mill resides in a wire-tucked engine bay (courtesy of Alex Prasop) and is held in place by a set of Innovative motor mounts. A RyWire millspec wiring harness connect, among other things, the Hondata ECU to the necessary bits of the engine. Necessary bits like the fuel injectors, which are attached and fed via a Golden Eagle Pro Series fuel rail. That jet black fuel rail sits in front of the trademark Wrinkle Red ITR valve cover, which sports a matching ITR spark plug cover.

Hanging off the engine is a six speed transmission from an RSX Type-S, which has been stuffed with oh so many goodies. An ITR limited slip diff has been added, along with the 5.0 final drive from a Honda CRV. The synchros have been upgraded to carbon pieces and the stock clutch has been tossed in favor of an Exedy piece.

The car rests upon a set of Enkei RPF1’s. The rears are 17×9 +22 with 235/45 Falken tires, while the fronts are almost the same, except they’re +35 and wrapped in fatter 255/45 Falkens. Behind those front split six spoke wheels is a Stoptech big brake kit and ITR control arms with PCI bushings. Behind the rear split six spoke wheels are Powerslot rotors and Hawk brake pads, Skunk2 control arms, a Beaks tie bar, an ASR subframe brace and a SPC camber kit. Tein Type Flex coilovers provide the stance, Stoptech steel braided brake lines provide the hydraulic pressure to reel this coupe in, and an Autopower 6 point roll cage keeps the occupants safe in case things go horribly wrong.

 

Speaking of the occupants, they sit in F1 Spec Type 3 seats and are held in place by Sparco harnesses. Course adjustments are made with the MOMO steering wheel, which is attached to an NRG adapter hub and quick release. Pertinent information is gathered from the Autometer Oil Presure and Water temperature gauges, the AEM UEGO wideband, and the Type-S gauge cluster. You perform your fancy footwork on a set of Mugen pedals.

 

This car started life as a ho-hum base model RSX, but after an infusion from it’s Type-R and Type-S brothers (and TSX and CRV cousins) this DC5 is better than the both of them.

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article, Video, and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMautoMag.Com