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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Machine Zealots Promo Video

This is just a sneak peak at a video I've worked on over the weekend; we aren't starting the new season just yet. YouTube has really evolved their service over the years; the changes are especially oriented to benefit the video creators and content developers. One of their newest features for their YouTube partners is their Fan Finder program. You can create your own channel advertisement, and with their own relevant audience algorithm, attempt to find an audience that would be interested in subscribing to your channel.

It's a totally free service for YouTube partners, and I just thought it was very cool of them to do this.

Below is a storyboard of the final video. Hopefully, you guys will see this ad floating around somewhere ;)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

DEI Titanium Exhaust Wrap

This season finale episode is sponsored by our friends at Apex Performance; they have been extremely hard working on behalf of helping us out with aftermarket parts. We are very thankful of their sponsorship.

The DEI Titanium Exhaust Wrap is a must have if you are trying to keep heat where it's supposed to be. It is slightly more expensive than your typical fiberglass wraps, but well worth the price. You don't need to wet this wrap, nor prepare any silicone spray. When breaking in your wrap, DEI claims that smoke may come off the wrap; this is normal, so don't panic.

The installation was pretty easy for the most part. It would be great if you have a working table with some huge clamps, that way you can clamp the pipe down so it would ensure a much tighter wrap. Puyang was supporting the downpipe as I was wrapping, so it wasn't too bad. At the end, we got a nice clean looking wrap so this downpipe is now ready for installation. The full review of the DEI Titanium Exhaust Wrap will come after the downpipe has been installed.

I'm sure you guys are waiting for the big install.

As winter is drawing near, the weather is becoming freezing cold, so like the previous years we are taking our production break; which means no more episodes for 2013!

If all goes according to plan, we have Season 4 pretty much lined up. If you have been following us for a while, you will know what exactly we've got lined up. I will be writing about our upcoming plans later on.

Again, please check out Apex Performance for your modifying needs; they carry over 150 of the most popular aftermarket brands, and they will match, or beat the competition in price!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

STI Rear Differential Fluid Change

Changing your rear differential fluid is a very essential part of your car maintenance. Have a habit of changing your rear differential fluid every 30,000 miles; change it earlier if you track your car, or if you have a frequent habit of pushing your car harder during daily commutes. I highly recommend having some essential tools as shown in the video, especially the fluid pump. You don't need to buy this exact one, but having one will speed up the process; even with my simple to use fluid pump, the Wilmar W1139 Fluid Pump, it took me around ten full minutes to pump to the fluid limit; my arms were very sore by the end of it.

There are a couple of choices when it comes to choosing your rear differential fluid, but I've heard only good things on Motul gear oils, so I gave it a shot. I have been driving with the changed fluid and have had no problems at all; my rear differential seems to be liking this fluid.

A quick note: Depending on the year of your STI, you may not be able to use this gear oil, so please do your research before purchasing.

The whole process should really only take you an hour or two, including set up and clean up times. However, this isn't a competition, so take your time and be careful.

Friday, October 18, 2013

A wrap for the season?

As the weather is getting colder, we are very blessed to have a couple more days of sunshine. However, sunset is approaching sooner, so we are getting ready to wrap up Season 3 of Machine Zealots.

Puyang and I took advantage of our last days of sunshine to film an episode, wrapping the DEI Titanium Exhaust Wrap on our aftermarket downpipe. Of course, this lovely episode is sponsored by our friends at Apex Performance.

The wrapping and filming took around an hour and a half, then another half hour to clean up. It was a fast episode and a simple install. There are some tips and tricks on doing this, but we will reveal them when the episode airs.

Here are some preview close up pictures of the final results:

At this point, the downpipe is ready for the big upcoming Stage 2 install. We are planning out a more efficient method on filming the next couple of episodes, which will be aired in Season 4, so please be patient. Of course, we will continue to post updates on the blog, and the Facebook page, so please check us for updates.

As time draws closer to the end, I'll tell you guys what we have in store; both for the end of Season 3, and the Season 4 breakdown. As for now, stay tuned!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Cobb Accessport V3

The Cobb Accessport is a great handheld tuning device. Cobb has done a great job making these devices for some of the most popular turbocharged cars to date, including: BMW, Ford, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, and of course, Subaru. When you buy an Accessport, Cobb will have already pre-installed some tunes that will make your car crank out more power; they have been thoroughly tested, so you don't need to worrying too much about your car breaking down. However, Cobb does have a disclaimer warning the user that they hold no responsibility in any damages, should you risk installing their tunes.

I have personally been using the Cobb Accessport ever since I bought the car, and it has been a great device. The Cobb Accessport even allows drivers to set things such as launch control, and flat foot shifting. I have been using the launch control feature a lot during autocross events because it gives me a consistent launch every time.

The Cobb Accessport v2 is a smaller device, but ultimately does the same things as the newer v3. The only difference is that the v3 has a larger full colored screen, so displaying real time data is much clearer and nicer to look at. There is also a nice new feature on the v3 that the v2 didn't have, an off button. That's right! I find this function very nice, especially if you plan on never removing the Cobb Accessport off its mount. In the previous version, you had to unplug the OBDII cable from the device every time you wanted to turn off the device. Even removing the key from the ignition will keep the device turned on. However, in this newer version, there is an off button on the top of the Cobb Accessport. It will prompt a message when you hit the button saying something like, "The device will turn off in 10 seconds. Hit any button to cancel."

If you leave it, it will shut down even with the cable plugged in. I found this feature as a major bonus on this new device. A small edition, but an important function in my honest opinion.

Pros and cons? Well, it is a much nicer device compared to the v2, but you'd be paying around $100 more for the v3 just for the bigger screen and the off button. The tunes are identical, so you will not be gaining more performance from this new device! If you are a person who just wants to load the Cobb tunes into your car and never plug your device in, I'd say stick with the v2. If you are someone who wants to have some nicer looking gauges, or if you just like having the latest new toy, then I'd say you'll love the Cobb Accessport v3.