Tuesday, September 24, 2013

LS460 VIP Build.

This was a long time coming! I actually got this LS460 for Amila about 2 years ago, Alex at Carolina Quality Pre-Owned in Garner NC got us a great deal and personally made the long drive back to NC, much love homie. Smokey Granite exterior, Grey interior and black burlwood trim kit, low miles and fresh!!! Did a led and hid upgrade, tint and my much loved PIAA wiper blades from the get go. Fast forward to about July 2013 when the mod bug bit and the idea of lowering the LS460 was tossed around. Well since we've been on an air kick that's what I suggested. Weighing the pros and cons Amila opted to go with air. Didn't waste anytime ordering this and D2 didn't wast anytime getting this in! Again I coupled the D2 with Ridetech and opted for the level sensors on this as well. With all the parts necessary to go air in hand we looked around for wheel options. Almost all the wheels Amila liked were discontinued, his choices were the SuperStar Beil's and the VipModulars VX110. As soon as he mentioned Beil's I remembered seeing a set for sale. After a couple of measurements and research, figured the wheels would fit, so contacted the seller and in 3 days it was in my possession ready to go on.

Beginning of September we started on the car. Couple of things I wanted to make sure of was 1) The car can be daily driven 2) Keep the air components hidden and leave a fully usable trunk. So with these goals in mind I started on the trunk setup first. The tank, dual Viair 444C, valve body and ECU was strategically placed in the wheel well and is completely serviceable. To help in the installation of the suspensions I went ahead and removed the back seats and deck lid. The shock towers is unfortunately under the trunk lid. With the trunk setup all done and the back seats out we proceeded with the bags and level sensors. As usual Matt did a great job in doing the install. All the lines were safely routed through the frame rail and away from all moving and possible lifting points etc. Wherever the lines came in contact with metal edges they were protected and everything was fastened down and secure. The level sensors were mounted and calibrated evenly on all corners and it was good to go. Put the stock wheels back on and rolled out! Ride felt good, a little stiffer on stock ride height but the pressure seemed a little too high for my taste. Adjusting for pressure can take a couple of tries sometimes, especially when different wheels are involved. On stock wheels we had to raise the car up via coilovers and this reduced the pressure in the front and the backs. 
On to the wheel fitment. For the wheels we really didn't want to go with a stretch tire but with the offset of the wheels etc this could not be avoided in the back. Even after shaving the rear lip, fitting a non stretched tire was not possible without body work, So with a slight stretch on the tires in the rear we were able to have this car tucking. Adjusted the height again for the new wheels and evened out the pressure and dampening for a smoother ride. Very happy with how this turned out.
Like to give a big shout out to Alex for his help getting the car. If anyone is looking for a good trustworthy dealer to help you get a car or help you find one I would highly recommend him, just Google Carolina Quality Pre-Owned in Garner NC to contact him.

-AJ Abraham

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Daily Beaters on Air

 I can never understand why there's a faction of people who are against air ride.  This whole Static VS Bags argument really doesn't make sense to me.  If you think about it, isn't it just common sense that you should mod your car based on how you drive it?  I rolled low and static for about 3 years when I had my LS400, and it was always so nerve-racking wherever I went.  I would stress about road construction, potholes, speed bumps, ramps, humps, roadkill, pretty much anything that I had to drive over that wasn't flat.  I had to plan ahead anywhere I went, and I got into a habit of watching other cars in front of me and observe how their suspension respond to road conditions so that I can gauge whether I need to slam on my brakes or not for bumps.  I messed up my front end twice and had to get it repainted, and both times it got messed up within weeks of getting it repaired.  It was starting to get really irritating, and it soon became obvious that air ride was the only way to go for me.  I could care less about being hardcore or whatever, I just wanted to drive around stress free and not have to waste time and money fixing stuff that shouldn't be broken in the first place.

This is the same mindset for AJ, Matt, and Amila.  We all daily our car and we all think alike, we love the low look, but we want to have that adjust-ability for unexpected road conditions.  I have to clear a huge speedbump on the daily just to get out of my neighborhood, so my ride height is usually pretty high.  Matt and AJ likes to roll pretty low on the daily though, especially Matt, he's crazy.  Amila just got air, so I am sure he'll spend a few days finding his ideal ride height.  We're all fitted with D2 Suspension, except for Matt.......he wanted to be different, so he has Air Force Suspension.  For the air management, we're all using RideTech, and we can't be happier with how it performs.  The ride quality is pretty much on par with coilovers, there seems to be no real differences based on our daily habits.  Handling and turning feels the same, although none of us track our cars, so we won't know how it differs when you're auto-crossing or drifting.  The main thing to keep in mind is that if you like the low look and you daily your car, maybe air ride is the way to go.  When you add up the cost of repairs that accrue from damages of rolling low on the daily, it'll be just as much if not more than the amount of additional money you would spend to get air ride.

These pictures were taken at RDU Airport.

-Anh-Tuan Tran

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Jigu's 335i with a face-lift.

Jigu has been enjoying his car and been busy with growing up and taking care of a business so much so that he felt bad that he didn't get a chance to do much to his car in awhile. So he decided to change that and get a little bit of work done. He found a front lip and side skirts he liked and brought it over to get fitted and put on. 

Got everything fitted and painted and while we were at it, thought the roof would look good gloss black for that panoramic look. For the roof we disassembled everything the roof rails, the rubber moldings on it, shark fin cover, roof spoiler etc. 

Here is what the roof looked like after everything was assembled.

Pics of the lip kit on:

Although the front lip looked good wasn't really feeling the side skirts. At some angles it looked good and then the side shot with the rear bumper in view it just looked like it was missing something. It just didn't flow, so took them off just to get an idea of how it would look without it.

I felt that just the front lip would be a cleaner look until a supporting rear lip could be found to incorporate the side skirts in. So after discussing it with Jigu and sending him progress pics and my opinions he agreed that the side skirts did look a little out of place.

Anh-tuan took this really nice pic of the front

 So this is how it sits for now. Couple more things in the works so stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Whoring Wheels like it's nobody's business!

You know how back in school there was always that one kid that had the freshest fit?  Well, we feel like our boy Eldridge Cortes, aka El, is that dude.  But his freshness comes from the shoe game, and by shoe game I meant shoes for his car, aka Wheels.   This is our boy El's latest setup, but let's go through the progression of his wheel whoring up until now:

 Rotiform Nue - 18 x 9.5 et25 front, 18 x 9.5 et10 rear

Saleen Replicas - 18 x 9" et25 front, 18 x 9" et10 rear

Weds Kranze Bazreia - 18 x 9.5" et20 front, 18 x 10" et13 rear

Work Euroline DH - 18 x 9" et25 front, 18 x 10" et30 rear

AME Shallen LX - 18 x 8.5" et21 front, 18 x 10" et35 rear

Work Equip - 17 x 8.5" et22 front, 17 x 9.5" et21 rear

Roja Formula 7 - 18 x 8" et35 front & rear

XXR 962 - 18 x 8.5" et35 front, 18 x 9.5" et35 rear


-by: Anh-Tuan Tran