Author: Jayson

Engineer by day... Chillaxer at night...

Flashback Friday: July 4th Weekend Trail Run

I had a chance to go behind the wheel of a Trail Teams edition FJ cruiser for the first time in 2013. Around August of the following year, I was given the keys to a TRDPro 4Runner to drive around town and dirt roads. After handing back the keys of the TRDPro, I knew that it was a trap – Now I’m hooked and suckered in by these Toyota off road warriors.  It was clear to me that I will have my own truck or SUV one way or the other. It may not be a brand new one straight out of a Toyota show room floor but I had made up my mind that it would be a Land Cruiser. I always had my eye on FJ80 or 80 series cruisers or 1990 – 1997 Land Cruiser. Even with time they still look good and very capable of kicking dirt from weekend road trip. During my initial search I did not find a truck that had an acceptable mileage and within my budget. Also, gas prices were still on the high $4 range that I could not pull the trigger on one.

2015 TRD Pro 4Runner – Behind the Wheel

FJ Cruiser Trail Teams Edition – Behind the Wheel

Beginning of 2015, gas prices was gradually going down so I re-started my search and now I’m equipped with an option after doing some research on the Land Cruisers. The 80 series is a great vehicle that comes with factory front and rear lockers -they are just about unstoppable off road. As an option I had the 100 series on the back of my head. For what I have read and learned, it brings power, comfort and more room while still capable of doing off road or exploration duties. Let’s just say that I found the one after searching for months.  I ended up with a 100 series in a Lexus badge, the LX470.  The most significant change from the Toyota counter part was its front fascia.  It is also equipped with an Active Height Control (AHC) and automated folding side mirrors; other than these features the interior, engine and transmission all are 100 series components.

After owning the LX for a little over a year, the itch to make changes started – well the itch to make modification after a few months of owning it was already there but I held myself from doing so to enjoy the ride and comfort that it brings. It just rides like a huge comfortable sedan or limo. I was so hesitant to make changes specially to the suspension but if I was to take it out on rough roads I need to put a little more ground clearance to the truck.  Also, it does look like a soccer mom’s SUV with the stock trim all intact.

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Browsing through my Instagram feed, I found RPM Auto Center (@rpm626) owned by Mr. Steve Lam. I found out that it was a local shop located in Irwindale, CA that works on various cars and trucks. After being an Instagram-stalker for a while, I learned that the owner also had an LX470 that he had been working on and had been taking it out on the trails. A few DMs and email here and there, I found myself one day at the shop dropping off my LX. Looking around while at the shop, I noticed that a lot of customers were a good mix of young and older generation – taking their vehicles for a simple oil change or doing some upgrades on a rig. The customers seemed really satisfied with the service provided. In the back of my head, I felt that I took my truck to the right place. After running the Lexus AHC suspension for a little over a year, it was time to upgrade the stock suspension. Steve recommended the ARB / OME suspension kit that will provide the truck a 2.5″ lift, a Slee Offroad front Diff Drop and SCS wheels with BFGoodrich All Terrain KO2 tires. He runs the same suspension set up in his own rig and had been satisfied with how it handles on regular streets and trails.

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Steve had organized a July 4th trail run and invited a few recent and old customers to join in. I knew that this will be a good test for the LX after its few upgrades. It will be a good learning session for newbies like me since I’ve only taken a truck on dirt roads. Tagging along in the trail run was the only female driver in the group, Ms. Eliza Alonzo in her 2013 Trail Teams Edition FJ Cruiser. July 3rd came and we met up with the people joining in on the run at Yi Mei in Monrovia, CA. I was anticipating a small group but ended up with at least 15 to 18 trucks lined up in front of the restaurant early in the morning.  It was decided that with the big group that we had, it would be best to go to Silverwood Lake, CA or Cleghorn trail to easily guide and control the drivers that joined.  Part of the group and acted as one of the mentors on this trail run was Mr. Steve Chow who owns a 100 series. He has mentored and organized a number of trail runs even during his Nissan Xterra days but now owns and drives a hundy for a good I believe 10 years now. He still manages to keep it running strong after all these years.

With a few stops along the way to pick up more people joining in, it had at least 18 trucks. At the beginning of the trail, we were asked to prep our trucks and deflate our tires to about 25 psi to get more traction and control going over some rough terrain.  A driver’s meeting was also held to share pointers,  do’s and don’t on the trail.  The group was also divided into 4 groups so that one experienced driver will be with the trail newbies as an adviser / spotter or guide during the run.

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As much as I enjoyed the bump and grind of the trail, I definitely enjoyed meeting new folks as well as seeing some greenery from a higher elevation. Half way through the drive, not only did the elderly statesmen enjoyed the ride but even the young ones were enjoying the sun.

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Don’t be surprised, even a brand new LX570 was in it for the fun. It caught a few bushes and dips along the way but it was more than capable going through the trails. The bruises and scratches will buff off.

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I was surprised with Ms. E. Alonzo on the trail. Driving alone and at times just following the lines of our mentors – the two Steves, she was able to pick up right away at times  doing better than me on her FJ. I think on the back of her head she’s thinking, “I can do what these fools are doing…”

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On the side note… the pinstripes are definitely real.

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At the end of the day, it was a great learning experience for me and everyone else that joined the run. I learned new driving techniques off road and even with its age, the LX held up pretty well. It was my first organized trail run and it did not disappoint. I would like to thank Mr. S. Lam of RPM Auto Center for organizing this event as well as the elderly and  experienced drivers that help guide us newbies at the event. Hope to join in on the next trail event.

 

Until the next one… Peace!

 

-jayson (@dayuumjayce)

 

Thanks to:

Mr. Steve Lam

626-445-0519 RPM Auto Center, Irwindale, CA

626-303-2486 RPM Garage, Monrovia, CA

www.rpm-garage.com

SEMA Show 2014: Jayson’s Pick(s)

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Las Vegas becomes the mecca of automotive geniuses and visionaries every time SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturer’s Association) event is in town.  Fortunate enough to attend this year’s event to feast my eyes on creations that I know were done with extensive planning, hardwork and good partnerships.  This year I was able to witness a good variety of vehicles that impressed me due to its craftsmanship and details – creations that conformed to my liking.  So let’s start…

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#Brotherlylove.  Tjin Edition Ford Fiesta ST and Honda Fit

It’s one thing to work with friends on car builds but to make it a family affair is another.  I can just imagine how the brothers bounced ideas at one another -as crazy as these guys are; they probably used, and abused Denny (@dayuumDen) as a cushion to exert their brotherly frustrations.  But in the end, both vehicles were highly recognized by Ford and Honda for an outstanding vision.

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#NotaRocketBunny. The internet breakers Noel’s Varis FRS and Yogi’s widebody GS

These Asiatic Red Devils just killed it… Nope Kim K didn’t break the internet first… Do you remember when this FRS flooded the facebook and IG feeds? When Noel first broke out the FRS with the Airrex suspension? How about the time when he revealed his Rocket Bunny with the Work VS-KF wheels  and lastly showing off with the full Varis Kit and SSR’s newest wheel, the Professor TF1.  Simple but tasteful details can be noticed not only in the exterior but under the FRS’ hood and interior as well.  I am sure brother Bert had his share of scrapes and bruises working on this FRS.

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Well Yogi broke the internet a few days before his GS showed up in SEMA.  After months of non-stop preparation and work to complete the GS with the help from Buddha Paint, Weds, Falken and Airrex, and many more; the handcrafted widebody sedan stole the spotlight the day it was revealed.

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#TheRocketBunny.  Lexus RB RC350 Fsport, SSA x AutoFashion RB NSX, RB RX7, RB R35 and RB Genesis Coupe

One build that I really wanted to see in person was the Lexus RB RC350 Fsport.  I have not driven one yet but I read a number of good reviews about the vehicle most specially the RC-F.  For me, it was like a luxury FRS on steroids. Or maybe I am just a little Lexus biased but seeing the first renderings of the RC with the RB kit, just made me want to see one in person. The RB kit enhanced the already aggressive look of the RC.  Meaty tires, mesh wheels, perfect stance, the RC will definitely be a hit once it reaches the dealerships.

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Six Sigma AUTOdesign said it best, “We knew many aspects of the project would be controversial, but we wanted to stir the pot. In the end, modifying cars is like an art, what’s the point if we are all painting the same picture? Don’t be afraid to take risks! We love how the car turned out…” Kudos to you guys for taking that leap -out of the norm.

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#Fanboyfavs.  Falken IND M3, Artisan NX200t, Ironman4x4 LC60, Vossen LS460, Vorsteiner M4, Sarto Racing CLK and the Hotchkis Road Runner

This IND-Distribution (based from Chicago, Il)  M3 under the Falken booth was simply stunning – no widebody add-ons but simply utilizing the usual aero enhancements that screams Form and Function. But what really drew me to this vehicle was the color scheme which may be too bold for some. The BMW Yas Marina Blue, cement gray and mint green highlights worked great for this build.

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The very first Lexus NX200t that was fitted with an Artisan kit.  I didn’t imagine that the NX would look so good with just the kit, wheels and low ride height.  The NX series maybe the vehicle that puts the RX series out of the Lexus lineup – only time will tell…

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I have always been a big fan of Ironman 4×4 products.  This year they used an LC60 VX Diesel Turbo to display the quality of accessories, gear and parts they offer. I would not mind taking this LC out on a trailing trip…

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The big body sedan LS460 has always been in my “want” list and this long sled from Vossen was tastefully done.  The elegance of the LS460 Fsport was maintained with the addition of the Skipper front lip and air suspension.

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BMW Widebody M3 suited up with Vorsteiner aero.

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Who would not want to own an American Muscle if it looked this good? This Plymouth Road Runner Superbird was under the Hotchkis booth.

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In addition to the vehicles mentioned above , this year I’ve decided to deviate from my typical wheelhouse and highlight trucks for my SEMA 2014 picks.  From the plethora of new Jeep Rubicons and Wranglers around most of the halls, I found a few that really caught my eye.  I could not pick just one so here it goes…

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3.  The Legacy Classic Trucks: Scrambler and 1942-1943 Dodge WC-53 conversion

These Legacy Classic conversions gives you the old classic feel with new reliable hardware.  The Legacy Classic Trucks are assembled to a customers liking – in terms of its looks and application that it will be used. The Classic V8 Legacy Scrambler Conversion symbolizes the heritage of the Jeep CJ, with full fenders, 33” tires and classic line. This is equipped with a 430Hp LS3 engine which is capable of adventures both on and off-road. The Scrambler is also available as a Soft-top, Hard-top and 2-Door version. Also, this is made with a mandrel bent fully boxed frame as well as Atlas transfer-case, Dynatrac 1-Ton ProRock 60 axles with ARB locking differential. Long travel suspension and air-bump stops are used to fit ones adventure needs.

The Dodge Carryal WC-53 is a rare and unique multi-passenger truck also available from Legacy Classic trucks in limited number. Each truck is handcrafted since it takes at least 1,200 hours to build. This is also powered by a 430Hp LS engine coupled with a 4-speed automatic. This comes standard with locking differentials and an Atlas Transfer-case.

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2.  Vortech BOSS F100

One of Vortech Superchargers’ booth vehicles is this 1973 Ford F100 done by High Octane Hot Rods. Owner: Jason Jones, On the Ground Designs. This truck is seriously looking like a Boss sitting still and laying frame. Under the hood you will find a 5.0L Ford Coyote engine, BOSS intake and Vortech Supercharger. Hard to find pieces and details were sourced from LMC trucks. One will not miss the massive tubs of the truck which tucks the B-Forged 595 wheels 22×9 up front and 24×14 rear. These are wrapped with Pirelli P-Zero Nero tires 265/30/22 for the fronts and super wide 405/25/24 for the rear. Sew it Seams from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania completed the truck’s interior. Audi RS4 Red Volker was used to complete the exterior looks of the BOSS.

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1.  1949 Chevrolet 3100 five window pickup

Under the bright lights of the Las Vegas Convention Center, showing with the PAC racing springs booth tucks a truck that really caught my eye, this is the 1949 Chevy 3100 five window pickup. At first, its rusted out exterior will throw you off as this seem to not belong with the big boys with their shiny paint schemes. But look under the hood and you will immediately know that this beast will blow your doors off standing still. The 3100 is equipped with a fully built 442 LS engine with a 4.125 Bore and Stroke using K1 Technologies Forged Crank and Wiseco Pistons. This also has a Trick Flow Fully CNC LS3 Heads with OE LS7 rockers and titanium retainers from PAC Racing Springs. All ARP hardware was also used in putting together the powerplant of the truck. The 442 was also partnered to a Tremec 6-speed transmission with Centerforce DYAD dual disk clutch. As for its low slung ride height, PAC-JRi Racing coilovers were used. The Red Steel wheels from Coker Tire really did set off the look of the truck – wrapped in Firestone Nostalgia Drag Slicks Wide White. Although it cannot be seen behind the wheel, stopping on a dime is achieved using Wilwood Six Piston Calipers with 12 inch rotors. One of the eye catching details of the truck was the TIG Welded Butler built “Bomber Seats” with custom leather enhancements. I also liked the squared tubing interior styling as well as the bad ass grenade shift knob. The rear end of the truck just shows off the old and new pieces that really set this truck apart from the others.  Eighteen glorious months is what it took to put this beast together, this 3100 deserves a spotlight under the bright lights of Las Vegas.

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Hope you guys enjoyed a little flashback of SEMA 2014.

Until the next one… Peace!

-jayson (@dayuumjayce)

2015 TRD Pro 4Runner – Behind the Wheel

So much buzz went on when Toyota first announced in Feb. 2014 that they will be launching a trio of off-road vehicles that will cater to novice and expert trail junkies.  Typically, the SUV and truck segment of the automotive industry is heavily dominated by domestic vehicles.  With this announcement, it reawakened the off-road gods and goddesses as well as stints from Baja 500 and 1000 endurance races; Toyota  showed off the TRD Pro vehicles – the TRD Pro Tundra, TRD Pro Tacoma and TRD Pro 4Runner.

Toyota Racing Development (TRD) is an in-house hop-up / tuning shop for Toyota, Lexus and more recently Scion vehicles.  TRD accessories and upgrades are readily available to update a common Toyota vehicle with performance enhancements such as supercharger, big brake kits, and suspension components.  In recent years, it seemed that Toyota had concentrated its efforts to promote TRD components for the new sport compact baby – the Toyota GT 86 / Scion FR-S.  With the introduction of the TRD Pro vehicles, Toyota encourages an enthusiast to kick some dirt and be ready to discover uncharted places.

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With the current media demand, it took some time to get a hold of at least one vehicle from the TRD Pro fleet.   It seemed like everyone wanted to get the first crack on how these vehicles performed on and off-road.  Tagged with the phrase, “Let’s Get Dirty!” while aligning with the summer season, everyone in the industry wanted to put these pre-production babies to the test.  Luckily, the team was able to get a hold and go Behind-the-Wheel of the 2015 TRD Pro 4Runner.

The 2015 TRD Pro Series trucks only comes in 3 color pallets – Black, Super White and the all-new exclusive color Inferno.  “It  is the most-advanced yet in a long line of TRD packages for Toyota trucks that dates back to 1998 when the first off-road package was introduced for the Tacoma.”

The Super White TRD Pro 4Runner does have that intimidating front end and exterior.  It seemed to be really bold and unconventional which could be a love it or  hate it affair.  Some said it looked like a Star Wars Stormtrooper or as one DaYUUM Instagram (@instaDaYUUM) follower chimed in and said it looked like Bane from Dark Knight.  However,  it just slowly grows on you – as you get to appreciate the lines and overall outlook.  Also, the TRD Pro Series fleet are the only trucks that rock the unique front grille “TOYOTA” badge that pays tribute to iconic models such as the FJ40 and FJ Cruiser.  Additional blacked out TRD Pro emblems can be found on the side panels showing people this isn’t an ordinary family hauler. While on the rear end, you can hardly notice any distinguishable accessory aside from the blacked out lower bumper accent piece that differentiated it from an ordinary 2015 4Runner.

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To get a good feel of the TRD Pro 4Runner enhancements, the vehicle needed to be evaluated on and off-road. Surprisingly, the truck was very comfortable to drive through the city streets and highway speeds. Cracks, bumps, dips or any on-road imperfections were all trampled by the TRD Pro Series 4Runner. Weaving through traffic isn’t its forte due to its width and length, however it is more than capable with the use of its 270-horsepower / 278-lb-ft of torque 4.0-liter V6 (1GR-FE) engine coupled with a 5-speed automatic transmission.

The team decided to dust up the truck so we took it to Cleghorn Ridge Trails off the I-15 and 138. Joining in for the run, we also took a 2013 Tacoma Pre-runner (TRD Package) as well as the 2013 Trail Team Edition FJ Cruiser.

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Inside the 4Runner, premium convenience was incorporated to satisfy the driver and passenger. Entune Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite, the Black SofTex-trimmed seats with red stitching, TRD shift knob and TRD floor mats were included in the TRD Pro 4Runner package.

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Even before arriving at the trail I was already impressed with the ride of the TRD Pro 4Runner. It wasn’t too stiff but just enough for the daily travel. I was more impressed as we took the truck to the trail – with how the TRD Pro 4Runner conformed with the rough terrain that Cleghorn trail served us. The TRD-Tuned Front Springs gave the truck a 1.5 inch front lift. This unique tuning provided decreased spring rate improving ride quality over the rough or harsh terrain. The front shocks also have a 1.0 inch of additional wheel travel and improved approached angle. It used 60 mm pistons and 18 mm shafts as opposed to the 32 mm piston vs 12 mm OE shock counterpart. The rear also provided a 1.0 inch of additional wheel travel. The addition of the remote reservoirs increased the oil capacity for efficient heat management and for more controlled suspension articulation. These were also beefed up with   46 mm shock piston which was 14 mm bigger than the OE shock piston.

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As we arrived at the trail, we also found some Jeep Rubicon owners getting ready to trail as well. I am sure that these trucks are more that capable to rock crawl as well –seeing their beefed up long travel suspension and bead-locked wheels.

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With its trail stands dialed in, the 17 inch matte black TRD alloy wheels wrapped with Nitto Terra Grappler tires (P265/70/17) were great complements for the suspension upgrade. The Nitto Terra Grappler tires were to my surprise quiet and nimble both in highway and trailing speeds. Also, protecting the front end of the vehicle is a quarter of an inch thick aluminum “TRD” stamped front skid plate with venting for the front differential.

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Some may recognize the 2013 Trail Team Edition FJ Cruiser as this was also featured in one of our Behind the Wheel post – Now comes equipped with an audio upgrade from OEM Audio+ as well as a few exterior and lighting pieces from Metaltech, Rugged Ridge. Warn, DigiDiodes and Fourtreks.

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There is an outpour of eagerness for the launch of the TRD Pro vehicles in the market. It is anticipated that give or take only 7500 units total will be released for the TRD Pro trio. Rumor has it that if you aren’t on a waiting list for the Tundra or Taco you might be the unlucky one who will not get a unit. However you may have a greater chance of getting the TRD Pro 4Runner that is due to be released next month September 2014. With what I have experienced during the few days driving this vehicle, you will not be disappointed. Be ready though to cough up that gas card as it gulps quite a bit- averaging 17.5 mpg on regular gas. Who buys an SUV for its gas mileage anyways???. With its menacing looks and stance, I really liked it a lot to the point that I was having separation anxiety as I gave back the keys. Overall, the highlight of this vehicle is the great engineering put in the suspension components / assembly straight from Toyota with factory warranty. The vehicle stayed composed on turns and rough surfaces at various speeds. It was a good balance that catered both On and Off-road duties. What did I expect from a well-engineered, tested and tuned vehicle from the experts of Toyota Racing Development (TRD)? Nothing less than exceptional.  So let’s dust it up going places and “Let’s get Dirty!”

Until the next one…. Peace!

-jayson

Instagram: @DaYUUMjayce

DaYUUM.com

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Kei car: ’86 Daihatsu Hijet aka Choro QT

Ron and Celine Sino Cruz’s – Kei car: 1986 Diahatsu Hijet.

Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) during the post –war era of 1949 started the “People’s Car Program” which developed the idea of the “Kei” car or “K-car” or “kei jidōsha.” This idea  means “light automobile” which is a Japanese category of small vehicles that included passenger cars, vans and pick-up trucks.  Aimed to be used as delivery vehicles for small shops, Kei cars were equipped with 150cc engines – a low-cost transportation solution to a rapidly growing country.  Although the pint-sized machines quickly evolved in terms of performance (from 150cc to 660cc engines), Japanese were completely drawn to the Kei cars not just because of fuel-economy but the tantalizing benefits of reduced tax and insurance charges. Kei cars offer savings of at least 30% compared to their full-size counterparts due to its weight class and specification.

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Ron Sino-Cruz and his wife, Celine have been thinking of what would be the coolest car to get for a project build.  For them, the Kei car always came to mind.  In both the Philippines and Japan, they searched for street legal versions to be shipped over and also checked the local area for purchase but had no luck. Years ago, Ron found a street legal Cali registered Kei car, a 1986 Daihatsu Hijet van parked in front of a liquor store.  He asked the owner to sell the Diahatsu but he refused.  The owner was using the Hijet to advertise his liquor store.  He had painted the microvan to look like an Oreo cookie, where the Top was Black, White in the middle and Black bottom half. Oreo graphics plastered all over the microvan and had a sign “Got Milk?” on both its sides.  Ron had told the owner of the liquor store that if he ever decides to sell to call him right away.

Years go by – at least 10 good years and while searching for a new project – one of them is checking Craigslist, the same Hijet pops up.  Exactly one week before Halloween last year, Ron rushed to the location of the Hijet after work and sweet talked the guy to give him a good deal. Finding a street legal, California registered chassis is the hardest part in finding a Kei car. There are kei trucks all around his area that are used strictly for off-road purposes on private properties like the ones you’ll see on college campuses and private ranches.  Most either have the smaller engine or a speed restrictor which will keep the cars from running over 25 mph – which is not legal for on-road driving  After all the reeling and dealing the seller on Craigslist, Ron was now a proud owner of an Oreo themed kei car.

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The Daihatsu Hijet was originally equipped with a 550cc motor and 3 speed transmission.  This was then swapped for the newer 660cc motor with a 4 speed tranny that produced a whopping 52 hp and 46 ft-lbs of torque.  The Hijet was in complete shambles when Ron and Celine first got it.  It was missing the interior panels, rear seat, wiring for a radio, a window and a few exterior parts.  All had to be sourced from Japan and imported through their good friend Mak from Virage Development.

A lot of TLC went in to build the Hijet.  Husband and wife tagged team to re-wrap all the door panels, swapped out the entire carpet and installed the rear seat to get the basic amenities in.  Custom seat belts had to be added as these were required in the Kei car that are street legal.  Friends Tim and Devon helped in re-wiring the van to accommodate the new radio system.  This included a Clarion head unit, a pair of 5” Pyle door speakers and three 10” Kicker comp cvrs powered by a 1000 watt class D Kenwood amplifier.  Completing the interior, the missing window was installed and smoked clear window visors for the front and rear roll down windows were also put in.

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The Oreo theme of the exterior was not cutting it for Ron.  The Daihatsu was sent to Mike of Idesign in Walnut, Ca for a custom white over orange paint job.  The idea was to make it look retro so no clear coat was applied to it.  OEM stripes and custom logo were applied to the doors.  And on the rear of the microvan, the mooneyes van spoiler were also added.  This was a retro design even before roof spoilers were in style.  All the parts except mechanical parts are hard to come by now a days for the Hijet.  For this specific model, the s80v, there are not a lot of them on the road today since most are too old or obsolete.  The newer models look similar but body and interior parts are different in dimension.  Luck was just in Ron and Celine’s side as they found most parts in a short period of time.  It was done to the point were Rod had to modify modern version headlight cover to fit the older van.  It is not perfect but it does  the job and adds to the rawness of the Hijet.

The Kei car was lowered the only way Ron knew and had Tony from Valley muffler VMS it. Slapped some SSR MK2 13×7 and 13×8 wheels mounted on some smallest tires they could find – 195/50/R13.  They also tossed in a custom Thule Roof rack, custom pink wood steering wheel with Razo and Mooneye accents to round it all out.

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Every build isn’t complete without encountering issues specially for an older vehicle.  When Ron first got the van it went up to 25 mph.  With the swapped motor and tranny, this went up to 35 mph – just enough to get on the street.  After numerous tunes this was brought up to 48 mph.  After driving for a month, mostly always tapping 48 mph every time, the exhaust system got very hot.  The back half, right after the collector completely disintegrated and fell off during the drive.  Instantly, the microvan sounded really loud but gave the Hijet an additional 8 more mph.  Being that the exhaust was literally under the passenger and driver seat, fumes will fill in the passenger compartment.  The Hijet was then brought back to Valley muffler for re-piping.  In the end, with the inline switch, additional fuel pump and wide open throttle, the Daihatsu can top out at 63 mph at high rev but not at long distances.  Freeway ventures is not always the primary option when husband and wife travel using the Hijet. They take surface streets whenever  they go from the Valley to Irvine.  Both have shared that San Diego may be their next driving adventure.

In Japan, there is an miniature pull back toy car that is very collectible called the CHORO Q.  It really has a big cult following both here in the US and overseas.  With the pint size van and Ron’s wife Celine constantly calling it a “Cutie”, the Hijet needed to be tagged.  The two words CHORO Q + Cutie were merged and with some Japanese accent put into it – you can now say, “You’re a Cutie”  = “CHORO QT”.

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Ron daily drives the Hijet from Pasadena to DTLA 5 days a week.  It is currently livable and reliable. As for future plans, Ron might add a pop top or glass from Japan or a rag top to the van.  For now, it will be used as his daily work horse.   Ever since the day both Ron and Celine got the Daihatsu Hijet, it has been a barrel of fun for the couple.  It continues to bring smiles to everyone who sees it on the road.  Both consider that the Kei car: Diahatsu Hijet aka Project CHORO QT can be finally be checked off their bucket list.

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Until the next one…

-dayuumjayce

Instagram: @dayuumjayce

 

Ron’s shout outs-

Shout out to my wife Celine for bearing with my car addiction, my family for putting up with the garage and storage issues, the guys from our team, Supastar, especially Tim, Devon, Art and Leonelle for their time and dedication to late night work on the van to get it street ready, to Mike at Idesign in Walnut, Ca and Tony A. and lastly Mak from Virage Development.

OEM Audio Plus + DaYUUM FJ Cruiser Trail Team Edition

There has been statistical evidence that the general working population today spends hours driving from home to work and vice versa.  A recent report shared by the U.S. Census Bureau (census.gov) highlighted that “An estimated 61.1 percent of the workers with “long commutes (over 60 minutes travel time) drove to work alone, 12.9 percent carpooled and 26 percent used public transportation.” For some, daily in-car travel experiences may also mean – meeting time, chow time, well I’ve also seen ladies use this time to put their make-up on.  For me, a means of battling the rigorous hours spent in-car driving is filling your private cabin with good music from various artists such as the Nujabes, Anuhea, or even raw mixes from Awthentik Vibes Vj – Dj Skitz.  OEM Audio Plus (O+), a company based in Anaheim, CA; aims to capture and enhance these daily travel experiences.

I was introduced to O+ audio system by a good friend Paul (@van_dayuum_paul), who had all of his past and current Scion vehicles equipped with the OEM Audio Plus system.  I have always been impressed with the simplicity of how the system integrated with the OEM radio and more importantly utilized the standard speaker locations.   One would not understand the motto that the company goes by “Clean, Crisp and Clear”, if you have not experienced listening inside a vehicle equipped with one.  The company started building systems for Scion vehicles however this year, they wanted to explore on non-Scion platforms such as the FJ Cruiser.  Last year, they have introduced an FJ Cruiser equipped with its first prototype system at Toyota Fest held in Long Beach, CA.  I’ve asked Paul, who’s good friends with the man behind OEM Audio Plus , Mr. Sandy Lirag, if this was true.  Sure enough it was confirmed; and they’re just waiting for the interest to build up.  With a few phone calls and emails, the 2013 Cement Trail Team Edition FJ Cruiser was off to OEM Audio Plus Laboratory in Anaheim, CA.

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The 2013 Cement Trail Team Edition FJ Cruiser I reviewed sometime in December 2013 had the very basic sound system – (a) Non-navigation radio, (b) a pair of 6 x 9 (inch) door panel speakers, (c) a pair of 1 inch tweeter-like dash speakers and headliner baffle speakers.  Music played using the Bluetooth radio always sounded flat.  With the volumes slightly turned up, the headliner baffle speakers would reverberate and distort the sound.  At times, keeping the radio off was the best option when driving the FJC.   The sound system of the FJC was the first thing that will be addressed as the vehicle will also be used as a daily commuter.  And recuperation and relaxation starts during the drive home with a favorite music after a good days work.

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After a few weeks of fitment, testing and sound optimization, the DaYUUM Project FJC is back from O+ Laboratories.   Now equipped with the OEM Audio Plus’ FJ REFERENCE 400CF Sound Solution System, we were excited to compare the before and after sound result.  The O+ REFERENCE 400CF comes with (a) pair of 1” Soft Dome Tweeter with a one piece aluminum baffle plate, (b) carbon-fiber cone 6 x 9 inch door panel speakers (c) an 8 inch subwoofer in special Trail Team Edition sub enclosure (d) Dual Amplification featuring the 8-Channel 32-Bit DSP power amplifier and dedicated subwoofer amp and lastly (e) Plug and Play wiring harness specific for the FJC.  The O+ team also suggested that  a pair of (JBL) speakers that came from the option premium sound system from Toyota be added on the rear pillar to complete the surround sound solution for the FJC.

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Eager to get some seat time on the FJ to compare the end result, I head over to Tom’s Farms for my first experience going to an FJ Cruiser meet hosted by FJC Forums.  Even before I hopped on to the FJ, one won’t be able to tell that the system had been replaced.  Utilizing the stock radio and all components concealed in stock locations aside from the subwoofer added on the rear were aspects that I’ve also liked about the O+ system.  It has that sneakiness to it where you won’t expect the sound that comes out.  But turn on the radio and one can tell that this was no stock system.  The cabin will be filled with sound that even a person with no knowledge about radios and speakers would really appreciate the music playing.  Turning the volume up or down will not make any difference in the clarity that you hear from the REFERENCE 400 CF sound solution system – highs and lows can still be appreciated with out any distortion.  As Mr. Lirag once mentioned; “When we say -Clean, Crisp and Clear, it’s about the sound, the way it installs and its seamless integration into your vehicle.

I definitely did not mind the traffic I faced on the 91 freeway on my way to the FJC Forums meet.  The music that you hear definitely influences your mood and the way you drive.  Where at one point while sitting in traffic, there was a moment where you’re so into a song (Everything has Changed by Taylor Swift if you may ask hahaha) with full facial expression and finger thumping – and you look out the window – a lady in the car next to you was full on staring.  It’s like straight out of a VW commercial -I don’t even want to know what she was thinking.  She was possibly just mesmerized by my irresistible good looks.  And so I cruised on to the 15 freeway and headed over to Tom’s Farm.

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At the meet, a good number of FJCs showed up to mingle, chit-chat, talked shop and new upgrades.  Being that the FJ that I brought was so stock and one of the cleanest one out there, it was a full give-away that the driver that brought it was a newbie.  Took a few shots of the meet, mingled and tried to learn as much from active forum members – Greg, Jason, Dimitri and few others who welcomed me in their little pow-wow.  As I drooled on some of the aftermarket and custom upgrades – I also start to visualize ideas that will be sufficient for the DaYUUM Project FJC.

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One vehicle that really stood out from all the FJs that showed up was this fully caged – Baja FJ. It was shared that this FJ competed in Baja events -did really well and quick in various terrains.

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Here are a few that really caught my eye –

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Need a panoramic shot – No problem –

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So as I drove back to Orange County, I realized a few things:  One, the OEM Audio Plus REFERENCE 400CF sound solution system was a needed and great upgrade for the FJC.  No more quiet drives or flat music to hear but a space filled with sound that is tailored to your own liking.  Special thanks to the O+ team for their superb customer service and catering to a non-scion vehicle.  Two, the lumpy looks of the Trail Team FJ needs to be updated so hope you stay tuned for upcoming enhancements that we have in store for DaYUUM Project FJC.

NOTE:

There are only a limited number of FJ REFERENCE 400CF systems made so if you’re in a look out for a plug and play sound system upgrade, please don’t hesitate to contact –

OEM AUDIO PLUS Incorporated

Tel. 855.OEM.ODIO (855-636-6346)

Instagram: ig@oemaudioplus.com

oemaudioplus.com

 

Until the next one… Peace!

-dayuumjayce

FJ Cruiser Trail Teams Edition – Behind the Wheel

Behind The Wheel – Trail Teams Edition FJ Cruiser

It is not often that we at DaYUUM feature SUVs or trucks on the site.  But given a chance to get behind the wheel of not one but two Trail Teams Edition FJ Cruisers, we did not hesitate to take the keys and put them on some bump and grind terrains. The FJ Cruiser carries quite a bit of history behind it and is still considered one of the well-known vehicles in Toyota’s truck fleet.  So let’s revisit the times where things got started…

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One of the most iconic SUVs still considered today is the Toyota Land Cruiser – FJ40.  However, the FJ40’s family roots go back to a vehicle called the BJ which dates back to the 1950 4×4 prototype called the AK10.  This had a lot in common with the famed Willys Jeep.  The BJ was Toyota’s first 4×4 utility vehicle powered by a Pre-war B-Type 75 Hp engine.  The 3.4 liter six cylinder engine complemented the BJ’s light truck duties which also set the blueprint for the line of Land Cruisers to follow.

As proof of the B-type engine’s beginnings, it was tasked to cover challenging terrains in July 1951 by Toyota’s test driver Ichiro Taira.  The BJ trailed up Japan’s 12,388-foot-high Mt. Fuji. where it was able to reach the sixth checkpoint out of the 10 checkpoints on the trail to the top of Mt. Fuji. This was a section that no other motor vehicle had ever gone up.  Observers from Japan’s National Police Agency liked what they saw and placed orders for a fleet of the B-type trackers.  Government forestry and utility agencies took notice and filed their own orders. Eventually 1,300 units were built to fulfill the demand.

The recognition was a successful leap from what was to come Toyota’s way.  However, to give it a more appealing and fitting title after roughing up and reaching its feat at Mt. Fuji; in 1954, Toyota officials named it – the Land Cruiser.

As the B-series engine slowly evolved at some point – this slowly got phased out of production as the F-type engine was introduced.  By 1955, the FJ25 progressed – this was an F-series 3.8L 105 Hp overhead-valve six-cylinder gas engine.  The updated Land Cruisers quickly found their way to Venezuela, Malaysia, Kuwait, Jordan, Dubai and Australia, where it displayed its true capabilities in the challenging land conditions.  Around 1958 the Land Cruiser marked its debut in the United States. Sadly, in its first year only One (1) unit was sold.

The 1960s came with renewed engineering and styling bearing the iconic – FJ40.  The FJ40 had the now popular flat, white top, angular lines, wrap around rear windows and fold out rear doors.  It also featured short overhangs, an increased horsepower of 125 Hp, a three speed transmission and the introduction of a two-speed transfer case.  Clearly, Toyota was doing something special that from 1961 to 1965, the FJ40 was Toyota’s best selling vehicle.

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The retro FJ Cruisers introduced in 2005 carried quite a bit of resemblance to the FJ40.  Features like the white roof top, round lights and bold fenders were inspirations taken from the past.  Since its release, Toyota also offered a special trim each year called the Trail Teams Edition – FJ Cruiser.

Model   Year

Color

Quantities

2008

Iceberg

3200

2009

N/A

None   but TRD Package was released

2010

Sandstorm

1500

2011

Army   Green

2500

2012

Radiant   Red

2500

2013

Cement   Gray

2500

Now that you’ve been up to speed with FJ’s past, let’s go through what we got to drive around for a few days – these are the 2012 Radiant Red and 2013 Cement Grey Metallic Trail Teams Edition FJ Cruisers. Distinguished through the monochromatic exterior paint scheme combined with blacked out bumpers, handles, side mirrors and grill are sure give away features of this special trim. One cannot miss the emblem “Toyota” on it’s grill as it is the only vehicle in the Toyota fleet even in the past that carried the company name  instead of just a mere Toyota logo.

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As we excitedly debated where to take the Trail Teams edition rigs and also wanting to bring back the trucks in one piece; we decided to take them to Trabuco Canyon Road.  The trails were unpaved and rough but just enough to exercise the capabilities of the standard Trail Team edition truck trim. As we hit 5 freeway, I immediately noticed the trucks’ toy like features and bulkiness.  These rigs are no sport cars that will zig-zag in and out of the freeway lanes.  However, even with a curb weight of a little over 4200 lbs, the 4.0 liter engine prove to have an up and go in a linear direction.  The FJ is easy and comfortable to drive. Acceleration is quick for this type of vehicle; handling is balance and very predictable.  Both FJs’ are equipped with the 4.0 Litre, 24-Valve, DOHC V6 engine that produces 260 horsepower and 271 lb.-ft. of torque. This proven power plant is mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic transmission. The trucks that we got to test out had the 5-speed automatic tranny.  This tranny set-up is the preferred choice for most buyers specially if when navigating through California traffic.

The FJ’s Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), where both intake and exhaust camshaft timing continuously adjust to readily deliver a broad torque band whenever this is needed.  This is also partnered with an advanced Sequential Multi-Port Fuel Injection system to  efficiently use the vehicle’s 72 liters of fuel.  The FJ cruiser also runs very well with just 87 octane fuel however for more demanding situations such as towing, off-roading and driving at high elevation, Toyota recommends using premium 91 octane fuel.

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The ride through Trabuco Canyon Road was pretty smooth.  I anticipated it to be loud and creaky due to the tire and suspension set-up used on the trucks.  The Radiant Red FJ had the blacked out 16-inch, TRD alloys while the Cement Gray FJ was outfitted with the TRD Beadlock-style alloy wheels.  Both FJs had their wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A tires (LT265/75R16) which were surprisingly quiet at highway speeds as well as when these were bruised and  abused on gravel during our test ride.  Double wishbone front suspension and four-link rear suspension with lateral track bar, coil springs and stabilizer bar partnered with some Bilstein shock absorbers were used in front and rear.  The FJ was also complemented with good wheel travel and 9.6-inches of ground clearance to provide that smooth-bump-and-grind drive.  In addition, I also learned that the rigs were also designed to have the air intake sit high on the hood which would make it possible to drive through substantial water hazards (though we don’t have the balls to try this feature out yet).

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The interior was designed to be simple and straight forward.  Steering responses are appropriate and the steering wheel feels fitting, where won’t realize that you’re driving a bulky rig.  There were quite recognizable blind spots as you sit up high which takes some getting used to. The exterior hue flowed in the interior of the vehicle where the seats were also tastefully accented. Ready for mud and grime, rubber flooring was used from front to back for easy clean-ups.  The instrumentation pod which includes a compass, outside temperature gauge and ‘inclinometer’ that goes on the dash is offered as an option for the Trail Teams Special Edition FJ cruisers. Shift knob levers were ergonomically designed and located for optimal driver reach.  The base model Bluetooth ready sound system was enough but could be improved for the daily drive.

However, all good things must come to an end.  Not that our test drive will soon be over but during the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show week, Toyota announced that the 2014 FJ Cruiser Trail Teams Ultimate Edition will be its final hurrah.  The FJ Ultimate Edition will pay tribute to the iconic Land Cruiser FJ40.  It will show off the newly developed “Heritage Blue” paint scheme inspired by the FJ40’s most sought after color.  And the front grill surround will also be painted in white.  It will also be equipped with a Race-inspired Toyota Racing Development (TRD) suspension which will be an upgrade from the 2013 Trail Teams Edition model.  A TRD stamped skid plate made from one-quarter –inch thick aluminum plate comes standard on the Ultimate Edition – improving approach angle and providing underbody protection.  The 2014 FJ Cruiser Trail Teams Ultimate Edition is scheduled to roll into dealerships in February 2014.

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Overall, the Trail Teams Edition FJ Cruisers were really fun and comfortable to drive.  I have been so used to driving low vehicles that the exceptional ground clearance these trucks offer was really a treat to have.  There were times that I would have mental lapses and angle the truck on speed bumps or inclined entry ways – when these are more than capable of running them over without hesitation.  The Trail Teams Edition FJs were not built to be rock-crawlers by any means.  They may be considered a poor man’s Range Rover or Land Rover but its price, safety, reliability and all-terrain capabilities are enough to satisfy an ordinary off-road trail seeker.  Even as we bid our farewell to an iconic vehicle, I do anticipate that the FJ cruiser will hold its value and continue to attract serious off-roaders in pushing its limits.

On a side note – we liked the FJ so much that we’ll be keeping the 2013 Cement Gray Trail Teams Edition.  We have some upgrades in-line that will enhance the bulky beast inside and out.  First off, for our daily listening pleasures – do we hear OEM Audio+

So stay tuned for the next one…

Peace! and  Merry Christmas to all! =)

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References:

2005 Dec. 19 “History of the Toyota Land Cruiser”. theautochannel.com.

2013 Nov. 5 “Happy Trails, FJ Cruiser”.  http://pressroom.toyota.com/releases

Mike’s Earpiercing Track Killa

Mike’s  TE27 just seized  my attention as soon as I got the glimpse of this red beast.  Introduced by a fellow old school Toyota owner (KP), Neil, from Klassified; I first met Mike Muniz at AutoCon.   Standing still, you’ll know that this Corolla was meant to be unkind to whoever challenges it on the track. One will easily notice hints such as racing seats, roll cage, ear head phone and Advan tires to name a few.

After reading the details that Mike had provided me about his ride and as passionate as he is about his build, I’ve decided that with this feature I’ll let Mike take you to a good read in his own words.  No need to alter what he had put together – putting a good twist to this feature.  And here’s how it goes…

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…This is how it all got started. I moved here from the Philippines when I was 17 years old in 1987.  I quickly got a job as a parts guy at Trak Auto (now known as O’Reilly Auto Parts).  I saved up all my hard earned cash and searched for a TE27 (all the fast and cool guys owned a TE27 or KE25 in Manila), but there were none to be found in decent shape that is.  Then I get a call from a longtime friend that lives in Japan who told me that there were two TE27s for sale and that he could not afford to purchase the cars since him and his wife just bought a new house and had no more extra funds to spend on 2 project cars.  Not knowing the laws for importing cars to the United States, I did not care and could not pass up the opportunity.

The previous owner had been a collector who had planned on restoring the pair; but like most projects, having the car dismantled both time and money ran out.  The project rusted away in a make shift garage for over 10 years.  The owner eventually passed away and his son put both cars up for sale.  That’s when I came in…

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Shipping the cars from Japan was fairly easy since my friend from Japan had an Import/Export furniture business that bought goods from the United States then sold it in Japan.  Registering both cars however turned into a sea of red tape.  After a few calls and vehicle “modifications: the car you see now finally got registered (the other one took another 20 years to get registered and restored… that’s another story in itself).  Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself here… back to the condition of the car when I opened the shipping container.  I was shocked and thought what did I get myself into? The previous owner had stripped the care thinking he was going to restore the cars. As time went on, a lot of the parts got lost or got thrown away over the years; and then there was the rust! There was a good deal of rust pretty much everywhere! The car had been off the road for many years and parts supply for these cars dried up.  I tried to save as many of the body panels as I can but front fenders and rear quarter panel’s where too badly rusted to save.  So I made it a routine to visit the 4 pick-a-part junk yards in my area daily, till I was able to get decent fenders and rear quarter panels that would be later grafted onto the car.  I had the bodywork done by a local shop in my area and just had it in black primer (since I was new to the country, I did not know where to go). 

Fast forward to 1998, eventually through the guys at TNT Motorsport (JD Recto and Brooks Manabat), I met Popoy or PJ as most know him at PJ Bonifacio  AutoBody. PJ made sure every body panel was straight then it was painted in a custom red hue.  To this day 15 years later after many track events, the paint still looks great. 

The car was right hand drive back when I first got it and had the original 2TG engine, I then converted it to left hand drive and used several components from a USA spec 1974 TE-27 donor car so it could pass US safety standards and ease registration in California.  After the car was approved to be registered in California, I kept the car left hand drive for ease in road racing conditions where it was easier for me to shift gears since the “H” pattern of the transmission does not really change.  Several parts of the vehicle had been “acid dipped” for lightening; now the vehicle weighs 1920 lbs. with me in it (I weigh 280lbs). 

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The car is set up for road race and also sees track time in autocross events.  The car has had many engine installed in it including, the factory 2TG that was fully modified, 3TC full race NA, turbocharged 3TC, 4AGE 16V, 4AG 20V, 3TGTE and a 3SGTE, some did not give me the power ban I needed, and others made the car nose heavy and would under steer in high speed corners.  I have to confess, I used to rotaries.  Then one day a friend took me for a ride in his track prepped 1974 TE27 that had a blow through turbo 13B rotary engine in it. I was amazed on how quickly it turned; (light weight engine and the rotary’s low center mas) so I had a blow through turbo 13B installed in my Corolla. It was actually overpowered and made it unpredictable believe it or not as well as made the car a hand full to enjoy on the track.  I then installed a full Bridgeport 12A rotary engine that was built by Jarrett Lynch and was originally used in his RX-2 to set a record as the quickest naturally aspirated ¼ mile in California.  That motor eventually found a home in my engine compartment, after re-jetting it for road racing, the car was perfect.  Power ban started at 6000 rpm and redlined at 11000 rpm.  The engine and transmission was pushed back towards the firewall while the car was on a 4 point scale to make sure we got a 50/50 split in weight. After everything was welded, we re-weighed the car and found the front got a little lighter, so I transferred the batter back to the front to make up for the weight gain.  The car handles great.  I’ve tested it at Laguna Seca raceway, Willow Springs, Road Atlanta and Button Willow. After a few hard runs, the apex seals retired. I was originally going to rebuild the motor but as luck would have it, I have a friend who was on his way to Australia with a shipping container full of USDM front clips.  So I asked him if my little rotary could hitch a ride in the container and if he could drop the 12A at PAC, and of course he said yes. 

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After a short wait, my newly built Monster Port 12A is back is America, I did not waste any time and installed the little motor that could in my road racer.  I filled the gas tank with the recommended C16 race fuel mixed with Klotz Supertechniplate 2-stroke oil (1:1 ratio); I fired it up… and God DaYUUM!!! The f#%king thing was loud and wild- Louder and crazier sounding than the full Bridgeport engine that it once was.  I have not had a chance to track the car yet since I have been so busy with work and another restoration project (1972 Trueno Sprinter).  But I’m pretty sure this thing would be a Track Killa!

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There you have it, straight from the builder himself Mike Muniz and his track ready TE27.

Until the next one… Peace

-jayson

@dayuumjayce

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Mike Muniz’s – 1973 Toyota TE-27 Specifications

Engine & Transmission

*Mazda 12A Monster ported by  PAC and set up for Road Racing & Autocross

*Engine has all Racing Beat internals.

*Racing Beat oil pan windage tray

*Engine and Transmission moved back 6” for better weight distribution

*Weber IDA 48mm carburetor bored out to 51mm and custom made by Shawn Green

*Mallory Comp 140 fuel pump

*Mallory Comp 140 fuel filter & additional glass filter in engine compartment

*Mallory fuel pressure regulator

*Custom ½ fuel line

*Modified stock fuel tank (anti-splash foam installed)

*NGK Race spark plugs R6725-115

*Modified distributor by Rotary Shack

*MSD 8.5mm red super conductor spark plug wires

*2 Crane Cams HI-6R Ignition box

*2 Crane Cams PS92 Ignition Coils

*Glimmer Underdrive pulley system

*Tilton Double-Disc Clutch and “light” Flywheel assembly

*Mazda Turbo II 5-speed transmission with short shift kit

*Custom 2-pass radiator from Rotary Works

*Sard thermostat for the street, by-pass blocked when racing

*3 Electric radiator fan system

*Custom aluminum engine mount and transmission mount by Rotary Shack

*3” Custom exhaust system (For on road use.  Used w/ exhaust system quick disconnect)

*Race Ready electronic exhaust cutout with “Megs” megaphone

*Moroso 3” exhaust resonator

*Hushpower 3” muffler

*Racing Beat “Road Race” headers

*Quick cable power disconnect

 

Chasis

*TRD struts and springs from AE86 (front)

*Single composite rear leaf springs

*Hardened rear axle/suspension locator bolts

*Tokico Illumina 5-way adjustable rear shocks

*Cusco front adjustable camber plates

*Mazda Factory Race hardened driveshaft yoke

*Custom Aluminum driveshaft

*TRD 4:11 Limited-slip differential

*Hardened rear axles

*9×13” TRD Tosco alloy wheels

*Yokohama ADVAN tires 215/50R13 rear 185/60R13 front

*Modified front brake calipers (board and larger piston)

*Modified brake proportioning valve

*EBC “bluestuff” race brake pads

*Brembo front brake discs

*Electronic race transponder

 

Interior

*Vintage TRD race bucket seats

*TOM’s racing 4-point harness

*Custom carpeting and custom black headliner

*Aluminum & carbon fiber shift knob, E-brake handle, pedals & steering wheel.

*Grant removable steering wheel security kit.

*Autometer gauges

*Autopower cage

*Computech Exhaust Gas Temperature Plus

*All new moldings and dashboard

 

Exterior

*Acid dipped front fenders and both doors for lightening

*Custom red by P.J. Bonifacio Motorcars Autodesign & Autobody  (painted 13 yrs ago)

*Headlight wipers

*Chin spoiler and rear spoiler

*Rear bumper tail lamp guard trim

*Original complete Levin badges

*Modified Oil cooler

*Rare TE27 chrome trim around the front grill

*Extended front and rear tow straps/ring

*All new window seals

*Solex locks on both doors and trunk

LACMA: Launch that Artist in you

We get daily doses of automotive snippets, articles, anything funny, cool and seksi on various social networks.  Yet, it has been a few months now since an artsy feature graced our web blog.  There are instances where a break from the usual may seem appropriate to rejuvenate the creative juices – to be inspired as well as to strengthen the imagination.  Often than not during these spontaneous artsy visits, a person catches sight of something that “more than meets the eye.”  It forces one’s self to understand what he/she set eyes on.  A person often tends to ask questions about a particular piece -sculpture or painting; wanting to experience the underlying meaning the artist wants to share.  Time and again, even observing the characters or reactions of people around you tells a story that makes you wonder. Since I’ve written automotive features lately, to slightly change it up I’d share a visit to LACMA.

Sometime in 2011, I had a chance to visit Eric Haze’s “New Mathematics” exhibition held at Known Gallery in LA.  Not too far from Known is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art – or more commonly known as “LACMA.”  Established in 1910; located on Wilshire Boulevard – Los Angeles, California, LACMA is one of the largest art museum in western United States.  It is highly recognized internationally where approximately one million guests show up and accommodated yearly.  LACMA has an array of exhibitions, public programs, and research facilities that attract visitors around the world.  The exhibitions, collection and the campus of LACMA have considerably grown during the decade.  At least a day of touring the seven-building campus need to be put aside to completely immerse yourself from tons of artistic perspective from various artists.

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The “Urban Light” by Chris Burden is one of the most popular spot at LACMA. The simplicity of the 2008 large-scale assemblage sculpture welcomes many especially when the lights are lit. There are 17 styles of cast iron street lamps that Chris Burden collected starting from December of 2000.  The two hundred and two street lamp collection are solar powered that turn-on at dusk.  The lamps mostly came from Southern California – Hollywood, Glendale and Anaheim while others were purchased from Portland, Oregon.  The Urban Light is fast becoming a popular landmark and favorite for commercials and movies.

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One of the highlight exhibitions during the visit was “In Wonderland: The Surrealist adventures of women artists in Mexico and the United States.”  The exhibition was dedicated to female Surrealists that explored the expression of their subconscious – unusual visual images.  Influenced by Surrealism, artists regard their work as an expression of the feminist movement.  It demonstrated how women are often times boxed and portrayed in certain cultures or sometimes by men. The exhibition featured iconic figures such as Louise Bourgeois, Leonara Carrington, Frida Kahlo, Lee Miller, Kay Sage, Dorothea Tanning, Remedios Varo and newly discovered practitioners.

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In another area, a hall was filled by the voice and hands of artist, Bruce Nauman.  Two video image displays of Nauman’s hands performing the combinations of the four fingers and thumb – extended and retracted.  Bruce Nauman said it best as he described his creation, “If I was an artist and I was in the studio, then whatever I was doing in the studio must be art.  At this point art became more of an activity and less of a product.” The ghostly nature felt while hearing Nauman’s voice as it reverberated the hall created an eerie atmosphere; when providing verbal instructions of the different combinations.  Nauman used the simplest gestures that we often take for granted to connect with his observers – a play of words and actions, the physical and the mental; moreover time and space.

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The “Metropolis II” is another assemblage put together by Chris Burden. This piece showed a completely different vibe from the “Urban Light”.  While the “Urban Light” assemblage felt more serene and warm, the “Metropolis II” demonstrated chaos and complexity.  This display depicted living in the modern city where there were various roadways, interconnecting freeways as well as train tracks.  Miniature cars travel around the Metropolis at 240 scale miles per hour, every hour.  Burden explained that, “The noise, the continuous flow of the trains, and the speeding toy cars produce in the viewer the stress of living in a dynamic, active and bustling 21st century city.

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Here are other galleries that can be found at LACMA –

The Jane and Marc Nathanson Gallery

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Abstract Expressionism Gallery

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Ancient Artifacts

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LACMA has definitely put together an amazing collection of the creative minds – known and upcoming.  From sculptures to paintings to ancient artifacts – the vast collection opens the imagination to new horizons. Some people may find a gallery or museum un-enticing and continue to confine their thoughts with the usual.  On the other hand, a few will seek to exercise their wits to new levels – And a place like LACMA may just inspire and launch that “Artist” in you.

Until the next one… Peace!

-jayson

A CR-X Ensemble

Marketed as an economical Japanese sport fastback, the Honda CR-X is a front wheel-drive sports compact that was introduced between 1983 and 1991.  In its 2+2 seating classification, the “little Honda that could” was popular for its responsive handling, substantial performance and the sought after good fuel economy.  During its 8 year stint in the automotive market, the CR-X had 3 generations where the third gen was dubbed as the targa top “del Sol”. In some markets, the third gen was also known as the CR-X del Sol although the design queue was totally different from the first and the second gen models.   The CR-X was the second car to receive a VTEC engine shortly after the Integra.  The engine used Variable Valve Timing that provided increased power at its high rev range, while still allowing low fuel consumption and better idling at low RPMs.  The desirable characteristics of the CR-X lured Leon Casino, an enthusiast and a recognized Honda connoisseur, to not one but a tandem of CR-Xs.

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Leon built two CR-Xs that pays tribute to two of the most respected engine tuner and parts manufacturer in the Honda realm- Mugen and Spoon Sports.  His vision of keeping these CR-Xs with an enhance OEM look, non-knock-off parts philosophy and attention to detail makes these two vehicles stand out more from the many Honda builds that we see today.  Enthusiasts and tuners that “live and breathe” Honda lust what Leon had accomplished by locating a real right-hand drive from Japan with the desired glass roof and a USDM version with time-attack theme written all over it.

Let’s start off with the Mugen CR-X.  With a pristine exterior and intact interior – this canvas was set.  It will be a disgrace to let this right-hander be just a parts vehicle for the USDM version.  Leon felt that it needed to be saved from getting axed down to pieces. He also wanted to keep the build simple and staying true to the roots of the CR-X.  He chose to address the center piece of this Mugen version by bolting down a D16A6 under the bonnet.  Before securing the D16, the internals and compression were taken care of by Exospeed in Glendale, Ca; while top end was serviced by Industrial Performance in Carson, Ca.  The paring of the 45mm Weber carburetor and polished velocity stacks will not be missed if you peeked under the hood. Of course, with the Mugen theme in mind, all the exterior and interior enhancements were either authentic Mugen or Honda parts.

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Aside from exterior and interior Mugen parts, Leon was also able to source front and rear sway bars as well as a Mugen master bushing kit.  Dialing in the height of the vehicle were Mugen N1 race-coilovers.  Falken 205/50/15 was the tire of choice.  Fitted in them were 15 x 6.5 inch Anniversary Edition Mugen MR5 wheels which completed the overall theme for this CR-X.  Functional accent to the front end of the CR-X is an Aero Duo carbon fiber hood. Factory Honda paint code from Japan was also obtained to complete this canvas.

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Deviating from subtleties of the Mugen CR-X, the Spoon Sports themed CR-X is bold and aggressive.  The body lines of this vehicle are well defined and seemed ready for any track action.  The exterior was enhanced with Password:JDM front lip, OEM rear wing, Zenon side skirts and Golden Eagle rear bumper diffuser.  The widened stance which consisted of the 16-inch Spoon SW388s shoved into Falken Azenis tires and custom fender flares were clear give-a-ways that this sport compact meant business.  Coilovers, camber kits and rear lower control arms were provided by Function and Form.  Complete bushing kits replaced the tired factory rubber  provided by Energy Suspension. With the exterior components already in-line, Spoon Sports calipers were paired with 11.1 inch rotors up front and a complete disc conversion on the rear puts this junkie to a stop.

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Every build will not be complete without the huff and puff of the engine. Leon’s poison for the Spoon build was a B16A engine.  This was also dressed with cams, intake and exhaust manifolds from ITR.  Engine timing was dialed in by Toda cam gears and belt. The carbon kevlar spark plug cover and bright yellow engine cover highlights just solidifies that this CR-X screams Spoon all the way through.

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Both of Leon’s vehicles have its own unique character.  Looking at them side by side you’ll know these builds were well planned – as the Mugen was more for cruise and very refined while the Spoon provided an antagonistic facade.  Nothing will stop one’s creativity when a vision and execution comes together effectively.  The ensemble of CR-Xs that Leon Casino shared are examples of what to expect from a true Honda aficionado… and you shouldn’t expect anything less…

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Until the next one… Peace!

-jayson

M3 & RX7: A Purist’s Nightmare

A purist is “one who desires that an item remain true to its essence.”  Often times, a purist strives for uniqueness by staying within the known conservative realm.   In the automotive scene, acronyms such as JDM, USDM and DTM may sound very familiar.   Often times, capturing and preserving how automobiles were originally made or improved in Japan, United States, and Europe in terms of parts / aesthetics are religiously followed and admired.  However, there are individuals who seek to bend these boundaries and want to be simply creative on their own way – simply channeling their creative juices to their own standards and satisfaction.

By no means will I consider myself a purist but I always had that niche to stay with the norm and conservative. Don’t’ get me wrong, I have always admired people that have been open minded, brave and bold enough to go with their own inventive – instinctive ways.  In one of the events, I’ve met Ryan and Ulysses, individuals that pushed their personal boundaries, ingenuity, automotive knowledge and engineering.  One gentleman at an event where I met both guys said it best, “It took a little more thinking to put it together.”

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Ryan Castro owns a 1995 E36 M3 along with numerous Bavarian machineries through the years.  The avus blue E36 M3 coupe looked like one common E36 on the road.  Close your eyes – listen to the rumble it makes and it is more than likely that you will second guess yourself.  The E36 M3 packs a 5.7L LS1 aluminum block from a Camaro SS under its bonnet.  It zips through freeways or from time to time track days using its 350 whp and 311 ft-lbs of torque Americana centerpiece.   The LS1 aluminum block was also paired with a T56 – 6 speed transmission with a Z06 clutch.  This is also equipped with a rebuilt 3.91 LSD with a 40% lock up.

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Road turns and curves are handled by custom BC racing coilovers with custom spring rates.  Also added to the E36 were Turner front – rear sway bars as well as Mason Engineering front – rear strut bars to provide some extra stiffness.

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Closely look at its stoppers and one will notice the C6 Z06 Silver 6 piston calipers paired with the 355 mm DBA slotted rotors and PFC-Z brake pads.  Stainless steel brake lines were also installed at each corner.  This M3 uses Miro 111 18×9.5 +20 offset all around with Hankook V12 EVO 245/35/18 as its street kicks.  On track, Toyo R888 255/35/18 is the tire of choice.

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Subtle exterior modifications of the M3 such as the Max Velocity GTR front lip and Hard Motorsport Fender Flares add to the deceptive euro look that this midnight blue machinery goes for. EVO II Recaro seats with Corbeau 4pt. harness, Kirk 4pt roll bar, MOMO Champion steering wheel, STRI 60 mm Tach -water temp -oil pressure gauges and AEM UEGO wideband were all installed to prepare the E36 for any track battle.

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Similar to that of Ryan’s midnight Euro machine, Ulysses Aguayo chose a similar path for his knightly FD after numerous (2) rotary powerplants failed him. Ulysses owns a 1993 Mazda RX7 R1.  Sitting still this RX7 looks simply stunning.  With the one too many tasteful modification added to the RX7, one will think that this came straight from the JDM gods.  However, peek under the hood and you’ll see an LS2: 6.0 liter V8 from a 2006 Pontiac GTO.  This was also paired with the GTO’s T56 6-speed transmission. Ulysses also installed a Hurst short-shifter with Steeda Tri-ax shifter handle while an E40 ECU keeps this RX7 always in check.

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The FD’s front end was completely converted to a 99 OEM front end spec with the front lip.  The taillights were also switched to the 99 spec.  Shine Auto OEM style 20 mm wider front fenders were also used to accommodate some wider wheels and tires. The rear fenders were also widened to 25-30 mm for the same reason. Top Fuel style rear wing, Shine Auto Sanai rear diffuser and feed side skirts complete the devious but understated look of the RX7.

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Keeping this FD close to the ground are Tein Type Flex coilovers.  Optimizing cornering for its track day run ins are Powerflex polyurethane suspension bushings, AWR solid front sway bar mounts, OEM front / rear sway and strut bars. SSR SP1 black face is the wheel of choice with 18×10 +25 all around sizing.  However, an 18×11 +8 rear set is already on its way to provide a more intimidating look to an already aggressive bearing. SSRs were mounted on Hankook Ventus RS3 – 265/35/18 Fronts and 275/35/18 Rear tires.

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Keeping the all black theme – JDM RX7 RZ spec Recaro seats (Carbon Kevlar shells), complete Di-noc  carbon wrapped dash/clusters/hvac/shifter, Redline leather wrapped transmission tunnel cover and shift boot can be seen inside this FD.  FlyRX7 center quad gauge pod with the 4 Prosport gauges and the Nardi 350 mm Deep Corn racing wheel with Works Bell hub cannot also be missed.

Of course most of the work was put into the engine and drivetrain.  Aside from the Pontiac GTO transplant, this FD used components from a Ford Cobra as well.  2003 Ford Cobra IRS differential with OEM carbon traction-lock LSD and Samberg Rod and Custom rear Cobra differential cradle were also used to transmit all that torque and rotation to the massive rear wheels.  Professional products LS2 fuel rails and Supra Denso fuel pump were also installed to keep this V8 from thirsting. Greddy 3.5” exhaust and custom stainless piping fabricated by Rene Motorsports fulfills the exhaust notes that Ulysses wanted to hear out of his black beauty.

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Purists may be cringing just by the thoughts of doing american muscle V8 swaps especially to such iconic vehicles as the M3 and RX7.  However, one can’t deny that V8 swaps are now common -to get that certain torque and horsepower that one desires.  As shared by Ryan and Ulysses, the engine swap gave them a reliable and a well balanced car on the track.  Parts are also cheap and now easy to get.  For the laborious settings that these engines were put to, they are extremely satisfied with what they have accomplished.  What both these men have put together may be a purist’s nightmare but what counts is the completion of what was once an ingenious vision.

Until the next one… Peace.

-jayson (Dayuumjayce)

 

SEMA Show 2012 – Jayson’s Pick(s)

Yesterday ended the last day of the largest trade – automotive event of the 2012, SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association).  The SEMA show consists of at least 6000+ automobile companies worldwide that brings together aftermarket, original equipment, car dealers, distributors, installers, restorers and automotive specialists under the roof of the Las Vegas Covention Center.  The show brings one of the largest events in Las Vegas’.  As a group, we have decided that aside from sharing snaps of the various automotive halls at SEMA, each Dayuum member that have attended the event will be providing our DaYUUM followers and readers with personal selections that they found original, inspiring and  inventive… well,  let me rephrase that; selections that each member found Cool, Entertaining and Seksi.  That sounds about right to now… =)

Starting my selection this year, at Number (6), was believed to be one of last year’s hot rides sitting outside the convention center – StanceLab’s, Merc E.  This Merc caught the attention of the fitment fanatics.   The E’s new body style accented by the Carlsson body kit and AirRex air suspension complete the overall VIP style look of this Merc E350. Now with its revamped look and a new set of kicks, The bright red wrap and new blazing white Work wheels made this such a looker and was hard to miss just outside of the South hall of the convention center.

At Number (5), the Patina and Rat Rod looks of this – VW Bug and Dodge truck is something that I felt was creative and “thinking out of the box.”  Patina is a coating of various chemical compounds such as oxides, carbonates, sulfates formed on the surface of the metal during exposure to various environmental conditions.  Surely, this pair will likely be loved or hated by onlookers. However, I found the aged look of these vehicles aesthetically appealing.

The ’54 Chevrolet, at Number (4) completes my selection that can be viewed outside of the convention center.  As a fan of a big body styled vehicles, this classic is something that I would like to cruise in any time, any day.  Keeping the classic look while laying frame to the ground is an attribute that I’ve imagined will pair up well with these classics.  Updating the ride comfort was done by adding an air ride system coupled with some Detroit Steel wheels which sets this Chevy off my charts.

Now let’s start my top three choices that can be found indoors.  While the most people witnessed the hottest sport compact at SEMA being the FRs and BRz, I found a number of Nissans that I believe brought back the excitement of having a Japanese sports car.  Rounding up my Number (3) and Number (4) on my list respectively are the Ben Sopra R35s from Fatlace and Advan.  Fatlace has been a new front runner at adding new flavors and opening up the imaginative minds of up and coming enthusiasts.  Advan, well what can I say, they are one of the most sought after and prominent wheel manufacturer out in the market.  Fatlace’s GT-R headlined the Falken booth at the South hall while the Advan’s Godzilla lead its booth at the Central hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.  The bold widebody aero kit from Ben Sopra for the Nissan R35 GT-R simply looks stunning.  Don’t be deceived by the looks as the R35’s aerodynamics are also improved once suited with this unique aero kit.  The aero kit increases the width of the R35 by at least 4 inches.  The side splitters improve air flow which extends to the rear end of the kit.  The kit also sports a one-piece tilting front clip.  One of the most noticeable parts of the widened aero kit is the rear cantilever-mounted rear wing, located as high and far back.  This was designed to efficiently generate downforce.   The rear diffuser under the bumper was designed to control the air from underneath, planting the vehicle towards the ground, while greatly influencing the GT-R’s behavior during cornering. Ben Sopra’s widened aero kit may not be for the typical Joe as it is estimated to retail somewhere around the $40K range.  However, if you can afford such as sports car such as the R35 and willing to take your ride to the extreme – this may be a kit for you.

Finally we’ve arrived to my final and top choice from the event – D Sport 1996 Skyline R33 GTR.  Not only does this R33 look good in black but truly menacing as well.  The chute positioned at back says it all… this is a devil that doesn’t look back.  And as I love somewhat older vehicles, it was only fitting that I close my SEMA selection with this 90’s beast.

I’ll let the DSport Skyline R33 video speak for itself – Enjoy!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jL4wNZXvQU8

As I prepare to the drive back to Cali – Hope you guys enjoyed the read up through the selection and hope that you guys would also check out the rest of the crews’ SEMA picks.

Until the next one… Peace

-jayson (dayuumjayce)

Ben’s BlackTop ‘Rolla

I’ve always appreciated older vehicles that have been given a new breath of life.  This holds true for both domestic and import machineries.  Often times, I really don’t want to make this too obvious… One, it provides hints and signs of times – getting the dreaded question about age becomes common.  Two, you get the “itch” to start what may seem to be a little project but we all know this isn’t always the case.

Though I’ve had a keen eye for both older domestic and import vehicles, seeing the older Toyotas specially the 80’s on the road or events without fail always catches my attention and has been my kryptonite.  Let’s get this straight – I’ll definitely admit that I’m not a Toyota connoisseur but it just dates back to what I was brought up with.   Seeing “Yota’s” such as Neil De La Cruz’s ’81 Starlet – “Milo”, which I had the pleasure of featuring – made me feel like a kid in a candy store and having a good ol’ chocolaty drink (wink-hint ;-).  More recently, Neil introduced me to another Pinoy Olschooler just like him, Ben Fernandez.  Ben’s ’83 Corolla sedan put quite a grin on my face when I first saw it up close. You may ask why but growing up in the Philippines, my dad always bought Toyotas and one of them was a brand new midnight blue 1983 corolla as a family car – right before my younger brother was born.  I’ve asked my dad why always a Toyota and he never fails to answer it with – “it’s reliable, cheap parts.”  Sure enough, I can’t seem to remember that it gave my dad any issues.

Unlike our midnight blue family “rolla” way back when, Ben’s ’83 AE71 didn’t get to look and growled like how it is now that easy.  He’s owned the AE71 for 4 years now.  However, it took quite some time to get it to a point where he was completely satisfied with not only its looks but go fast bits.  It took Ben at least 2 years to collect the parts needed; then another 8 glorious months to complete such a looker and as he described it “with a lot of tender love.”  I can’t disagree as the TLC definitely shows.  As for most of us car guys and gals, the love just comes naturally; as certain machinery attachments reflect a piece of yester-years or sometimes family.  In Ben’s case, he’s KE70 back home, the Philippines, served as an inspiration to move forward with his project ‘83 AE71.

Ben had challenges getting a hold of parts as most of them are hard to find now.  With a 29 year old car, suppliers or yards usually hoard parts to increase profit especially overseas.   Luckily, Ben has some good contacts in the Philippines to find him parts.  His brother Benjamin III is his primary parts scavenger.  Ichiban Racing located, of course, at the ever so popular spot for hard to find parts in the Philippines; Banauwe Quezon City was frequently visited.  Rhet Del Rosario of Toycool Corolla also helped him out to piece together the parts for the “ol’skul rolla.”

The exterior of the AE71 looks completely clean.  The boxy body styling of the corolla was accentuated by the custom 918 Orange color from the Toyota pioneers of PJ Bonifacio Autobody.  The color just seizes your attention as it rolls by.  Subtle exterior touches such as the custom front lip, flared fenders, GTS coupe rear spoiler, JDM chrome bumpers and JDM fender mirrors were just enough to show a renewed edge to the corolla.  The 13 x 8 classic ATS lightweight wheels put a little of German flavor to this 80’s Japanese machinery.  Simple things such as the badges on the grill were hard to ignore which shows homage not only to classic Japanese automotive association but to dedicated Filipino restorers in the United States as well as the Philippines.

BlackTop 20 Valve AE111 4A-GELU was the chosen center piece for this oldie which was installed by Racetoys.  Toda pieces such as Toda Cam’s 272’s, Toda adjustable Cam Gear and Toda Flywheel also made it to the new power plant of the Rolla. Growling with new life, Racetoys Velocity Stacks and custom high rise headers and exhausted were installed.  AEM Engine management was needed to keep the vitals in check and orchestrate engine components.  GTS Mishimoto Aluminum radiators and Greddy Oil catch-can can’t also be missed as you look down the tidy engine bay.  T50 Transmission and ACT Stage 3 clutch assembly were used to transfer the BlackTop power to the ground.

The spotless interior is another highlight of this vehicle.  The faded original interior were all tossed to accommodate the all black seats, panels and restored dash.  Nardi steering wheel, Auto Meter Tach, and TRD knob entraps an onlooker right away. The laptop holder or movable neck was just a cool touch; giving me a good grin when I first saw this.  The set up mimicked the good ol’ discman car movable necks or holder in the past.  Surely youngins these days won’t probably know what I’m talking about.

Well some may think that this 80’s oldie was put together for looks and cruise, shutting any doubters up, Ben enjoyed running the AE71 for the first time on track during 86fest that Motormavens put together.  With the help of the jeers and cheers of some homies, surely enough the corolla ran consistent low 38 track times beating some of the more expensive and track-prepped cars at the event.

Like Neil’s Starlet, Ben’s ’83 corolla sedan was built due to the fact that he had an unfinished mission that was left in the Philippines.  The “behind the scenes” value and TLC that went in into rejuvenating an uncommon platform is what sets this 1983 AE71 apart.  It did not only complete what he longed for in the past but brought reminiscences of the Philippines to a new found home here in the United States.  Ben is very thankful to family and friends that supported him during the build – His wife Melody and son Weber the carburetor, Racetoys of Walnut, PJ Bonifacio AutoBody, TGP-IERC and his crew Team Klassifed.

Until the next one… Peace

 

SCOSCHE flipCHARGE Burst

Mobile phones have become an “essential” to our day to day lives similar to that of automobiles today.  Seemingly, mobile phones or smart phones have become a modern and integral part of life and culture for communication, emergency use, business, information and social networking.  Living home without a phone today feels like misplacing a home key, a work badge or wallet.  Of course, there’s the alarming scenario when your smartphone shuts off as the battery loses it charge while talking to business partners, friends or family.  Typical reactions would be – immediately asking your buddies for a charger, a mad dash to your car to charge it; or your eyes start to wander around looking for an electrical wall socket to plug in.  Scosche, one of the leading innovators of consumer and car audio products, saw an opportunity to capitalize to this immediate need to bring your phone back up and running with the   Scosche flipCHARGE burst – Emergency Backup Battery and Charger for iPod and iPhone users.

Designed to be compact and portable, the Scosche flipCHARGE burst, can be easily carried using the integrated carabiner clip to attach to your favorite lanyard or keychain or on a backpack, laptop bag, purse or luggage.  The Scosche flipCharge burst measures less than half the size of an iPhone but slightly bigger than a typical automobile key.

Simple and user-friendly, the Scosche flipCHARGE burst has four LED lights to indicate the stored battery power.  Press the button on the side of the emergency backup battery and charger, the indicator LEDs light up to show how much juice the Scosche flipCHARGE burst currently have.  It also has a flush folding USB cable to easily plug in to your computer, wall and car charger. The compact Scosche device also comes with a 720mAh lithium-polymer rechargeable battery.  At its drained state, it takes at least 2-2.5 hours to get the device fully recharged.

As I got intrigue by the compact device, the geek in me kicked in and did a few charts to show how long it took to charge a fully drained smartphone – in this case the control phone for the observations would be an iPhone 4S.  The observations were documented in three separate instances to show that the Scosche flipCHARGE burst will consistently charge the iPhone 4S.   Here are the results –

All documented observations showed that the Scosche flipCHARGE burst consistently charged the fully drained battery of the iPhone 4S.  However, it took ten (10) minutes for the phone to come back-up at 4% battery life after plugging in a fully charged Scosche flipCHARGE burst.   It was observed that at least another forty (40) minutes (total charge time = 50 minutes) of charge time will provide the iPhone 4S a battery life that ranges from 26% to 30%.  As the charge threshold is reached, the flipCHARGE burst automatically turns off.  The boost that the Scosche flipCHARGE burst gave the phone provided at least 3 to 3.5 hours of available (usage) time.  This included occasional access to different applications such as Instagram and Facebook, texting and quick phone calls.

For weeks the compact Scosche device had been on my desk waiting to be used.  I always thought that it would just be a hassle to carry around.  But a number of instances where phone calls and messages are missed due to a drained phone battery, the Scosche flipCHARGE burst passed its initiation and became part of my lanyard key crew.  I never leave home without it now.

So if you are in need of an emergency backup battery and charger, check out the Scosche flipCHARGE burst – which is made for the following devices:  iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation), iPod nano (5th and 6th generation), iPhone 3GS – 4S.

For additional information visit – http://www.scosche.com/consumer-tech/product/2282

As a DaYUUM reader, we can offer you 20% off on your sale of all Scosche products by using “DAYUUM” at check out.

Visit the Scosche main website for other consumer and car audio products:   www.scosche.com

Neils 81 KP61 – Toyota Starlet

One can’t deny the continuous and steady increase in gas prices.  No one can overlook the continuous decline of huge SUVs and trucks roaming on freeways.  More compact vehicles zig-zag through traffic and rule the city streets today.  It may be a cliché but likely “History is just repeating itself”; where smaller vehicles are just making a comeback run.   Honda Fits and Civics, Toyota Yaris and Corollas, Nissan Versa and Sentras, Mazda 1 and 3s are obviously the daily working-class commuters.  Even American manufactures joined the fray with such – Ford Fiesta and Chevy Sonics.  Japanese luxury manufacturers such as Lexus and Acura wanted a piece of the pie by introducing the CT200h and ILX.   You may have noticed that these vehicles mentioned have something in common.  These commuters are all front wheel drive daily commuters.

Turning history some 30 years back exist a front engine rear drive compact vehicle – the Toyota Starlet. Originally sold as the Publica 40 outside of US in 1973, it carried a 1.0 and 1.2 liter engine.  By 1978, the “60 series” or “KP60 ” (keeping the “P” code for Publica) was launched. This was a model that a few Americans knew about.  First introduced in the United States in 1981, the Starlet was described by Road & Track as the “commuter car of the ‘80s”.  The Starlet liftback was said to be “cheap to keep” because of its remarkable gas mileage of 38 / 52 (surface street / freeway) with its rear-wheel drive, 1.3 liter engine.   Although it had a brief stint in the US from 1981-84, the demise of the Starlet was due to the introduction of a front wheel drive platform line up of the Toyota Tercel.

In the midst of the uniquely styled cars gathered up at one auto show held at Anaheim Convention Center last year, I found the forgotten Toyota Starlet (KP60 series).  For some reason, I had sudden flashbacks and nostalgic vibes of the times watching Toyota Starlets rule short course slalom races in the Philippines.    However, I did not get to meet the owner at the event.  Luckily this year, I found the owner, Neil De La Cruz, through our DaYUUM’s Facebook page.  It still amazes me how social media works its wonders; after a few PMs and emails we’re set to do a shoot.

Neil’s KP is equipped with a 20-valve 4A-GE 1.6 liter inline 4 engine.  Due to its reliability and performance, the 4A-GE is a popular choice for an engine swap.  Aside from the swap, the Starlet’s engine modifications include Carbon-fiber valve covers, Walbro fuel pump, Volkswagen Scirroco radiator, wide band O2 sensor, relocated clutch master cylinder, stainless waterflow tank.  To complete the driving pleasures with engine notes – Techno Toy Tuning velocity stacks were installed as well as custom headers and exhausts fulfill the tuner’s ear sensation.  The engine management of choice to handle the KP’s load is a Megasquirt 2 ECU.  Delivering the power of the 4A-GE to the pavement is a T50 AE86 Corolla GTS transmission and custom driveshaft.

Dialing in the perfect ride height of the Starlet was not an easy task, Techno Toy Tuning KP61 coilovers and Eibach springs were used upfront while the rear suspension; TRD Springs, KYB short shocks and Cusco Camper plates were put together to achieve the ideal ride feel.  Affix in each corner are period-correct 13×8 TRD alloys that complemented the Starlet’s styling.  These were mounted on some 215/50/13 Sumitomos.

 

 The interior was furnished with authentic TRD bucket seats, Takata harnesses, Autopower 4 point rollbar, Momo deep dish steering wheel, 5” Bride Tachometer, Pinas’ third brake light kit, reupholstered dash, reconditioned weather strips and custom carpeting/headliner by Ernie’s upholstery.

 

Of course the whole KP build will not be complete without the exterior tidbits such as TRD fender flares and rear wing; JDM skinny bumpers for the front and rear.  KP61 Starlet S grille, Hella H4 headlights and the Porsche GT3 green paint by MGM Autobody in Compton, CA. will leave a lasting impression to anyone that catch sight of the Starlet.

 

After 4 years of ownership, having the first 2 years allotted to do the build -which started from a rusty red shell, Neil is now enjoying the fruits of his labor.  Having an older brother that worked on TE’s and AE86’s as a hobby, Neil’s driving experience on a Starlet 17 years ago definitely is a match made to happen… as Neil mentioned “I’ll be owning one and building one… the right way.

And I won’t disagree, Neil – you definitely did it… the right way.

Until the next one… Peace!

-dayuumjayce

Here is an awesome video by Photo M.D.

Fontana Nissan’s – “Cuatro Meeto”

Kicking off DaYUUM’s string of automotive events this spring, our friends from Fontana Nissan invited us to attend “Cuatro Meeto” – A Nissan enthusiast extravaganza.  This is the fourth Nissan exclusive car meet put together by Nissan Race Shop Motorsports Director, Mr. Scott VanderHeide and

the ever-appealing time attack driver, Ms. Kerryann De La Cruz.  We would definitely not refuse the invite and expect any less than exciting from this dynamic duo. The Nissan race vehicles that they’ve built already show the work that they can put forth.  And if you don’t already know the established friendship all started with an exclusive Q&A feature interview with Ms. De La Cruz as well as Fontana Nissan’s very own FD drift driver, Mauricio Ornelas Jr.  So be sure to be on the lookout for more exclusives to come your way in the very near future…

Scoping out the meeting grounds of “Cuatro Meeto”, a squadron of Fontana Nissan race prepped vehicles welcomed every vendor and invitee at the event.

A variety of Zs were represented at the meet to support Fontana Nissan in addition to showing various modifications and styles people do to their rides.

 

Showing their brawn, a crew of Xterras and Frontiers arrived in full force.

A number of vendors were also in attendance at the meet – to name a few MotoIQ.com, Berk, Tanabe/SSR, Savinni, Susan Komen group and of course DaYUUM to name a few.

One of my personal favorites at the event was this pristine white S13 on SSR SP1 that totally broke a few necks.

The event wasn’t short of ol ‘skul too in attendance – with a mix of some VIP as well.

A crew of R35s joining in… I would say that was a million dollar line up.

And there’s our very own Van_DaYUUM_Paul, putting his photo skills to work for Instagram – who needs a DSLR when you’ve got your iPhone…

The event will not be complete without some eye-candy to feast our eyes on…

There’s the charming and DaYUUM’s feature model – Ms. Marissa Hiroko

Spunky Ms. Brittani was in attendance to support the event.

New mesmerizing favorites, Ms. Ashley Clark and Ms. Amanda Kerr.

And of course, we wouldn’t forget the sweet Claudia Lopez.

We complete and end the day with a good tan from the blazing heat at Fontana.  I am sure that we will definitely be back to support Fontana Nissan next year and their upcoming events.   As we continue the partnership, you can expect some good racing events, builds and exclusive features with the help from Nissan Race Shop head honcho, Mr. Scott VanderHeide.  We are very thrilled and looking forward to this…

Check out the event video coverage by PVR Motorsports’ – Mikey Dang.

Peace and until the next one…  -jayson