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Friday, August 26, 2011

IMPULSE goes Stage 1

I don't know what it is about my hunger for torque, but the first time I sat in an STI, the torque was the most memorable feeling. Ever since then, I have been craving that torque thrust. The Cobb Accessport is just a small step towards my goal. With the Stage 1 tune loaded, I will be seeing gains around 13% more HP and 17% more torque! It feels incredible, the power band feels smoother, and the boost kicks in around 200 RPM sooner. Leaves me with a grin on my face everytime I kick in the boost. The Cobb Accessport costs around $600, and frankly there isn't a mod out there that can deliver the same power output that the Cobb Accessport can for a similar price.

Stage 1 increases the stock boost from 14.5PSI to around 16-17PSI at peak.

This little gadget has a lot of features. Even now, I am experimenting with different options. I will be shooting a video on some of the other functions later on in the season. Oh by the way, this is the first video made with the new microphone. Working pretty well for the outside shots in my opinion.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

STI saved my bacon

This afternoon I was driving to work, I had my brother in the passenger seat, and we get up to this intersection and the light turned yellow. I wasn't speeding to beat the yellow, it had turned at a point where I couldn't stop in time. This Acura MDX drives up to the intersection on the opposite side, wanting to make a left turn. He saw the yellow, and he tried to beat the red to make the left.

The accident would have been a head on collision as he emergency braked when he saw me coming, but at that time he was in my path and I knew I couldn't stop in time. I had already hit the brakes, but it was too late, so I hit the throttle and swerved the car to the left. I heard all 4 wheels squealing, but it pulled through. However, I was left on the wrong side of the road so I ended up weaving some on coming traffic before I could go back onto the right lane.

Black box is my car. Blue box is the SUV. Red boxes are witnesses and other drivers.

In those moments, time really does slow down... but I'm glad that I had sticky tires and an AWD system that saved me. I've never taken this car autocrossing or tracking yet, so I actually don't know what it can do in the corners. Even though I had avoided the accident, the car does understeer quite a bit, anymore understeer and I would have slid into that MDX. I think it's time for a suspension upgrade, lol.
The drawing may look like there were other ways to avoid the accident, but at the time, I made the best choice I thought possible. I was going at a constant 40 MPH, though it may not seem too fast, the MDX decided to turn in a split second, which left me with only a split second to react. At those speeds, I could have really hurt my brother and I, and both of our cars would have been pretty messed up. Needless to say, I shouldn't have assumed anything, nor should the MDX driver. Everyone needs to be reminded that sometimes car accidents happen because other people are careless drivers too, so always be aware of your surroundings, and hope that your instinct and reflexes are sharp enough at the moment you need it.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Finally got some Gold

For as long as I can remember, I've wanted gold wheels on a black car. My veteran readers might recall my Camaro V6 concept illustrations. I ended up making three concepts, all of which had gold wheels on them. I was about to pull the trigger on a set of TSW Nurburgrings and powdercoat them gold too, but I sold the Camaro soon after. The truth is, gold wheels on black cars just look awesome in my opinion.

Around a month ago I also made concepts for my 2006 STI. I came up with seven different color variations if I remember correctly. Everyone was nice about it and pitched in their opinions and ideas. Someone even suggested white wheels! In my honest opinion, every one of those colors I conceptualized would look really good. However, at the end of the day, I could only end up with one choice.

Before and After.

I've made a conscious decision about sticking to the OEM BBS wheels from the day I bought the car. The BBS wheels are extremely light and very strong for OEMs. The only thing I wished the car had from the get-go were these gold wheels. Well, thank goodness for online forums and private vendors, because I picked up these gold wheels used for only $400! That's right! $100 per BBS wheel! There is absolutely no wheel rash, only some minor paint chips, obviously whoever owned these wheels knew how to park properly.

I have never seen a set of these BBS wheels so cheap before, especially gold ones. The running price is around $200 per gold wheel, and the condition isn't even as good. If you plan on buying, take your time and hunt down a good deal.

These wheels are 17"x8" +53mm offset. Weighing 19.5 lbs on my scale.

When I got the STI, I made a post comparing each part to my previous Camaro. At the time, I actually wrote that the BBS wheels weigh only 15 lbs each, that was a mistake, I found out I was wrong the following day. The wheels are documented online at 19.2 lbs each, and tried it on my scale, 19.5 lbs. Not sure how accurate my scale is, but this is extremely close to the online documentation, so I'll go with that.

Now I have a spare set of silver BBS wheels and I'm debating what to do with them. I might sell them, or I might keep them for winter tires and possibly paint the silver wheels black. It would be a nice DIY since all of the tires and wheel weights are removed from the unmounting. We'll see what happens. I'll probably be making a video montage of these gold wheels, updates on that later.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rays Engineering imitators

This may not be news to some of you, but it was bad news for me. There is a brand of lug nuts out in the market right now, and they are replicas of a very well known brand: Rays Engineering. I had thought imitators who made replica car parts had the decency to at least brand them with different names, but these imitators tried to make the product look as real as possible. Sadly to say, I fell for their trap because I thought it was real.

Rays Engineering is actually aware of the replicas floating around in the market, and they have a public service announcement which, because of how fast information travels over the internet, is now shared through many blogs and automotive forums. I know I am a bit late into the game, but the more exposure the better, so spread the word. On the plus side, I have had these lug nuts in my possession for about an hour, so I also had time to document the details.

I purchased the 50mm extended lug nuts. The regular 35mm lug nuts come in a different packaging. However, both the 50mm and 35mm replicas have near identical packaging to their real counterparts. The replica lug nuts cost around $80-$100 while the official Rays Engineering lug nuts cost around $200-$250, so if it seems too cheap, it's because it is too cheap.

The 16 lug nuts on the left have a different sheen compared to the 4 lock nuts on the right. I don't have the official lug nuts in my possession at the moment, but I am pretty sure Rays Engineering's quality control would not leave that as is.

Another quality control sign: The "RAYS" logo is off center and the laser etching was not complete.

This tip is from Rays Engineering themselves: Look out for the inside of each lug nut. If the paint is not complete all the way in, then it's a fake.

This tip is also from Rays Engineering. However, all I could see is that the inside of the lock key is a different color from the real one. I won't be able to tell the difference until I get the official ones though.

That is what I got for now. When I held each lug nut, they were definately lighter than the stock STI lug nuts. They are probably made out of aluminum, or some other light weight metal. However, because they are replicas, you can be certain the makers of these cut tons of corners to save on costs. The question is, "Do you really want to save a hundred dollars just to be a poser, look cool and possibly risk your life?"

Personally, I wouldn't risk running replicas on my car, but to each their own. Hopefully this information will help you guys avoid this product.

Incase you were wondering, yes, I got a full refund.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Installing the Rally Armors

Presenting the Rally Armor Urethane Mud Flaps. These are a must have for a rally car like the STI. Rally Armor also makes skid plates, mostly things for cars that play around in off-road conditions. These look really good on our cars because it also makes the car look slightly wider, which adds an aggressive stance to the car. Rally Armors make these mud flaps for Subarus, Mitsubishis, and Mazdas.

There's not much to say on the install, everything important is in the video. It was quite a simple installation, and it took me around two hours in total. The product is well priced, looks good, and the quality is great as well.

If you own a Subaru, I would recommend that you get a set of these. I can't wait to test them out in the snow!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Turbocharged Timeline

I didn't make a post about this episode specifically because I was sort of ashamed of it. It was one of the most boring videos I have ever edited and uploaded. It was neither entertaining, nor informative, and frankly I had felt that this was a sinking ship. However, I had realized this after finishing the video, and because I had worked on it for a couple of weeks, I just had to upload it for the sake of hard work. If you'd actually enjoyed this video, you are too kind. If not, then you know I hate it too, lol.

In other news, I am working with Tracy from RevXtreme on a bracket solution for the Subaru STI RX Oil Catch Can. More information about this when there is something else to report, but I am very excited about this.

I also went ahead and purchased a Cobb AccessPORT for my 2006 Subaru WRX STI. For people who know what this does, yeah, I was smiling when I got it. For people who don't know what this does, I'll have a video about the Cobb AccessPORT in the weeks to come.

I also got to spend a lot of time with my car. I've been driving around late at night for the past couple of weekends. Going to car meets, cruising with friends, and just really enjoying the car and getting to know Subarus.

There are also some other packages coming in the mail, I can't wait! Very exciting. A new DIY Episode will be uploaded on Friday, so stay tuned ladies and gents. ;)