Sunday, August 10, 2014

Mercedes Front End Conversion

It's a trend, I like getting older cars and making them look newer than they really are.  When I got a 1992 Lexus SC300, I installed the Auto Couture bodykit on it with the 97+ grill and fog lights to give it a newer look.  Then with the 1998 Lexus LS400, I did a custom bumper merger with the 2004-06 LS430 bumper to give it a fresh new look.  Now, with this 2009 Mercedes C300, I've managed to complete a 2012-14 front end conversion on it.  Here's the results.

Friday, June 27, 2014

My C300 on K-Break Hybreed Fivestas

Got a chance to wash my car today, so I figured I take some shots of it since the weather was nice.

Current Stance:

Don't mind the random carbon fiber vinyl strip.  It's strategically placed to cover some paint damage.  This front end is being replaced anyways, so I am not going to bother fixing it.

I am a big fan of radius fenders, but the tucked look has grown on me.

Rear carbon fiber splitter and round exhaust tips

The side carbon fiber add-on pieces work really well with the rear splitter.  Also, check out the blue euro wide-angle side mirror lens.  These are dope because a red arrow flashes when you use your turn signals.  

Simple Carbon Fiber front lip and blacked out AMG grill

I love the step lip look from this angle

Aftermarket LED arrow side mirror, chrome handles and window visors

Team RPM & Flawless Fitment decals

Custom Flawless Fitment tank.

K-Break Hybreed Fivestas!  Painted brake caliper with chrome Mercedes decal and cross drilled rotors really tied everything together nicely.

That tuck doe!

I bleached the purple fusa I had from my last car and dyed it red to match the car paired with a black kurotsuna and a free Juntion Produce LED flashlight I got from my VIP magazine.  The flashlight was black, but the sun made it turned into a beautiful copper color.

I used a fabric dye marker to color the "MISSIONS" part on the JP neck pad red.  Looks pretty sweet in person.

I've  had these JP seat cushions for a veryyyyy long time now, so they are hella faded.  But they still hold up great and does the trick for not burning my butt on hot leather in the summer and not freezing my butt in cold weather in the winter.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

2006 Lexus GS Eyelids.

So I've been out of the country for a couple of months and honestly haven't done much to the car in awhile. Had a couple of pending projects that I had started but didn't finish so thought I would actually finish one of them.

Our Lexus's come with a fresnal projector lens and well I wasn't very happy with the output so decided to swap in a clear tsx projector lens cause it is actually clear. Well so off to the bake booth/oven it went.

Here is the clear lens in the housing. I did this lens mod on my 2GS retrofit as well and loved the output.

With the headlight out I also wanted to make some eyelids. I couldn't find any eyelids for sale at this time and well hey how hard could it be to make right. lol.. it's a pain!!! Well first step was to mask off the headlight to create a mold per say. I used some silicon spray lube so the resin would not adhere to the tape.

I would've done this in fiberglass too but I didn't have any, but I did have some raw carbon fiber left over from another project. I cut 4 strips, the taped border is so the material doesn't fray. 

I used 2 overlay-ed strips on each headlight. Put one strip down, resin it, roll out all the air etc and then lay another strip and do the same. 

So that created the form to build from. Next I had to shape it. Trimmed off the excess and taped it up to the headlights to decide on the shape. I used some vinyl tape to help me draw the lines from the factory body line on the fender to the hood. This is what I came up with.

Trimmed off the excess again and this is how everything looked .

Sanded it down, enhanced the lines a little more and a good coat of primer and this is what I was left with.

It's thin, strong, flexible and looks good on the car IMO. Will have some pics up after it is painted and on the car.

-AJ Abraham

Follow me on Instagram:

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Impromptu Photoshoot with AJ's GS430

AJ came over to my house to help me roll and pull my fenders so we can get these wheels on.  The weather was pretty much perfect that day, so I took the opportunity to snap some pictures of AJ's car.  Check it out:

The luxury abstracts are too dope!

AJ wanted to see if the K-Breaks would look good on his car

Oni-Camber Status, haha

Custom LS-460 rear bumper

Custom Mercedes Arrow Winker mirrors.  First time AJ made these, they won't fit over the motor in his mirror assembly.  This is the second time he had to make them, looks OEM.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Painted my Brakes today

So, I painted my brake calipers and put a chrome Mercedes Benz decal on it.  Now it looks brand new!  I also painted the center hub and the dust shield as well.  Figured I share the result with you guys.  I used VHT High Temp wheel paint in "Graphite".  Got it at AutoZone.  Looks really good in person, especially with the flakes in it.

DIY - Puddle Lights on 2009 Mercedes C300 (W204)

Part A:  Removing Side Skirts

Step 1:  Take off plastic pins from the front of the side skirts and the rear of the side skirts.  On the front, you'll see two plastic pins.  On the rear, you'll see one on top, there's another one on the underside.  These pins are a two part pin, so pry up the center part first before prying off the outer part.

Step 2:  Remove the 8 plastic tabs underneath the side skirts.  Just use a flathead screwdriver (must be a short screwdriver due to clearance between the ground and the sideskirts) or a coin to twist these counterclockwise and they should pop off.

*Note* There are two of these tabs on each of the rubber jack points (front and rear).  No need to remove those, they do not connect to the sideskirts.

Step 3:  Pop the sideskirts off the white plastic holders.  They are tricky to pop off, but the trick is to pull upwards because the sideskirts have a ridge that goes over a slot on the white plastic holders.

PART B:  Installing puddle lights into the sideskirts.

Step 1:  Mark the areas where you want the puddle lights to be.  I am doing 5 lights per side, so I'll have 5 marks.  I marked mines by marking the two end points first, then calculate the middle point from measuring the distance between the two end point and dividing it by 2.  Then I measured the distance between the middle point to the end point and divide that by two to get the position for the last two puddle lights.  Make sure to measure the distance vertically as well when you're marking to ensure the puddle lights aren't staggered.  They should all be in the same line.

*Note* I marked my holes further in to avoid being in the line of the holes for the tabs on the sideskirts.  You don't want it there because that's the part of the sideskirt that sits flush with the car when you mount it back, which means there won't be any room for puddle lights in that area.

Step 2:  Using a drill and a 1" Hole Saw Bit (you can buy these at Lowes or Home Depot), drill out the holes you marked.  This part is easy, just make sure you create a pilot hole first so that you don't mess up the position of your hole.

Step 3:  The puddle lights kit will come with plastic brackets. You won't need it, Just run the lights through the hole.  Then put the crush washer over it and then put the nut over it and tighten.  The puddle lights should sit flush on the sideskirts.

Step 4:  After you install all 5 puddle lights, connect them all together.  This is obvious, but each wire comes pre-crimped with male and female connectors.  Just match the colors when connecting them together.   In this tutorial, I will show you how to wire to the rear dome light, so I made sure to connect the puddle lights up so that the last puddle light will have the extra wires handing out at the rear of the sideskirts.

PART C:  Running the wires inside the car:

Step 1:  Pop off the last white plastic sideskirt holder from the rear.  Then pop off the door sill from the rear door and the rubber/fabric molding piece that goes around the door.  After doing this, it will expose some openings that the wires can go through.  I don't have a picture of this, but on the side of the rear seats, there is a plastic trim piece, once you pop off the rubber/fabric door molding, you'll see that this plastic trim piece clips onto the chassis of the car with a couple of metal clips.  On the metal clip closest to the door sill, run the wires through the gap that this clip is on.  If you run the wires just right, you'll eventually see it come out from the opening where the white plastic holder was.  Be patient, this took me a couple of minutes, it would be a lot easier if I had something stiff to fish the wires through, but I didn't have anything stiff and thin enough, so I just fished it by jamming wires until I eventually saw it from the hole.

Step 2:  Drill two holes on the white plastic holder piece so you can run the wires through it.  You have to drill the two holes in the center area of the holder so that when you pop it back, it doesn't pinch the wires.  You cannot utilize the holes that's already there.

 Step 3:  Run the rest of the wires along the door all the way up to the headliner.  Then on the headliner, you need to pop off the dome light.  It's easy to pop this off, the whole assembly comes off as one piece.  It's held together by 4 clips, just pry each corner and it'll come off.  Be gentle though, you don't want to damage the headliner.

Step 4:  Wire up the puddle lights wiring to the plug.  The positive will go the red/purple wire, and the negative goes to the brown wire.

Step 4.  Plug the plug back into the dome light assembly and push/clip the dome assembly back onto the headliner.  Then connect the wiring on the sideskirts to the wiring you ran to the dome light.  Re-install the sideskirts and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

*Note* It was hard as hell getting the sideskirts back on, make sure to tuck the sideskirts underneath all the black plastic pieces mounted below the car.  If you don't tuck it underneath the black plastic pieces, the tabs will never go back in.  Also, the black plastic pieces are meant to hold the sideskirts in place and prevent water from getting into it, which can damage the puddle lights, so make sure you put it back together correctly.  To get the sideskirts back on to the white plastic holders, you'll have to lift it up and then drop it down into the holder.  I would recommend getting the middle part of the sideskirts on first, then work your way to the sides.  If you don't do this (like I did), it becomes really hard to get it back onto the slip because the door pins in down in a way that there is no way to lift it up high enough to drop it down on the holder.

Anyways, hope you enjoy the DIY.  Goodluck!

-Anh-Tuan Tran