Tag: instadayuum

Wekfest SJ 2017

Not for the Wek.

What one would imagine Wekfest to be, is what one should expect. Lines stretching the upper floor of the convention center to the sick rides from all the surrounding states, even Washington. Wekfest is the epicenter of our humble scene in California. While other events have their vibe, their ideology, their niche, Wekfest seems to bring out raw spirit, raw passion, and pure quality. The arena for the best of the best, duking it out for the top prize. Builds date back to several decades, including the 60’s, all in their rare form to restomod creations. 90’s H badges built true to their periods with modern touches while modern day Japanese muscle are dressed to battle.

So Cal’s IDL

This generation of designers and builders exceed the imagination and fulfill ones fantasy, through individuality or team spirit. I can seriously go on and on, but pictures will share a thousand thoughts.

NVUS was no Joke!

Joey’s Y33 on Meister M1 3P’s

The debut of Mistr Shop’s Widebody R8 and Lambo!

This late 50’s, early 60’s bug was well done with a safari windshield.

This Datsun 510 has a bit of history with its racing livery in its original form, but boasting amazing tunnel sheet metal work, a Wankel 13B, copper BBS’s and Airlift Performance suspension.

Yes, yes, yes, RHD EF on SSR Hasemi Motor Sport S’5 with Yokohama tires and a smooth bay.

Digging the DA on Mugen CF48

DC Type-R with Mugen goodies including the M7 wheels and gen 1 spoiler.

We always love the support from Josh at NVUS

Last, but not least… Mikey’s Old – New Porsche on 3 Piece Rotiform LSR.

Thanks for checking out our recap.

Words: Denny H.

Photos: Denny H. / Scottie I.

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

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.

Tuners and Tea – Recap – Part 1

TunersandteaYesterday morning was the first Tuners and Tea we co-hosted with the Guppy House chain in conjunction with our friends from Tjin Edition, Purist Group, JDM Zip Ties, Team Klassified, MB Junkies, and Infinite Auto Design.

Tuners and Tea was introduced for a group of gearheads to chit chat about cars, family, personal endeavors, and pure networking. Since the holidays just passed, the first weekend after the new year was a perfect time to get together. It’s a morning event which lasts only a few hours so it allows enthusiasts the opportunity to spend the rest of the day with family and friends.

Since true gearheads are true enthusiasts, we encouraged any vehicle, any bikes, any make, any model, and I believe we accomplished that.

During the event I was trying to catch up with others along with some instagram updates so I wasn’t able get to snap too many photos. We will have a parts 2 and 3 with our photog John and Justin.

At the end of this, I will supply some links from other recently published coverage of the meet.

Thank you for everyone that could came and join us, we hope to do more of these on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. Thank you to all our partners, David, Sean, Roland, Brian, Neil T. Neil O, and Danny. In the meantime…Enjoy!

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tunerandteas-8856LTMotowerks.com came out with their fresh BRZ and BMW.

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tunerandteas-8843The Misha Designs Promax Autosport Aventador

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tunerandteas-8849The Beast – Tjin Edition F150 with 24″ Rotiform Six-Shooters.

tunerandteas-8847Misha Designs Forgestar 991

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tunerandteas-8855Diablos with David of Guppy House.

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tunerandteas-8859The Super Steet gang Sam, Jonathon, and Jofel was in attendance as well.

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tunerandteas-8863Honda Acty – Activity

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tunerandteas-8871Insane Smartcar with Avant Garde wheels

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tunerandteas-8875The Infinite Auto Design crew

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tunerandteas-8879Closing with this Nissan President.

Check out more pics on @instadayuum, Hash tag #tunersandtea, JDM Zip Ties, and CNC Pics.

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