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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Getting started

We have started planning the episodes sponsored by Apex Performance. As you have seen from our new line of mods video montage, we have quite the variety of installations to do in the time to come. Some installations are simple one off installs, while others require much more planning. These plans all revolve around how much time we can dish out every week. Due to work, and other personal life situations, it's sometimes hard to get an exact schedule for modifying and video making.

Hopefully you guys will really enjoy the next stage our the STI's transformation chronicle. I personally love seeing the process of a project car slowly come into fruition.

Anyway, with all the explanations out of the way, take a look at some photos we took while working on the next install.

Puyang assists in removing the top mount intercooler.

The forged pitch stop mount is installed!

Yes, that's right, we installed the Beatrushed Forged Aluminum pitch stop mount. It looks like a beauty, and so far it makes the car a lot better. I'll get into the details on the product when the installation video is released.

I have to plan the rest of the installs for a later time, but man, I really love working on this STI.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

New mods revealed

I have been so excited to show you guys what our sponsor Apex Performance has sent us that I have made an entire video on just that! To be honest, I was surprised that I could even keep the excitement to myself. I was itching to reveal this video much sooner, because I wanted to share my joy. However, for the sake of the show, and a slight virtue of patience, I decided to wait.

Hopefully you guys enjoyed the video as much as I'd enjoyed making it. The entire video from shooting to editing took over 40 hours to complete. Filming took around two and a half hours to complete. Puyang was helping out with moving certain aftermarket parts to locations I had envisioned. This project took a lot of premeditated planning and vision. After shooting the footage, the editing process was broken down into several processes as well. The video itself is broken up into three major themes: What the car possessed from factory, the modifications done to it so far, and the parts that will be the next stage of the STI. Each clip had to be re-timed to give that slow motion to quick pan feel. Then each clip was camera tracked in 3-D space so that the lines and points could be set in 3-D space as well. The text that labels and describes each part was also set in 3-D space via camera tracking data. I felt that this gave the entire video much more entertainment value than without. Could you imagine the film being just me shooting car parts? Boring.

As I have always thought, "If the content itself isn't interesting, make the video interesting."

That was the entire push behind this video. After all of the technical stuff had been done, I proceeded in adding the tint of the film, including the lens leaks and certain lens flares. Marry all of that with some nice music, and you got yourself a film that stands firmly on its own, even without seeing cars going sideways.

The modifications shown in the video are as follows (In order of appearance):
Crawford Air Oil Separator
DEI Titanium Exhaust Wrap
Kartboy Exhaust Hangers
Kartboy Short Throw Shifter
Kartboy Front & Rear Shifter Bushings
DEI Reflect-a-Gold
PTP Turbo Blanket
Beatrush Forged Pitch Stop Mount
GrimmSpeed Turbo Heat Shield
Invidia V2 Bellmouth Catless Downpipe
Invidia G200 Cat Back Exhaust

We would like to thank our sponsor again for putting their faith in us. If you didn't trust us with our work when we first started off, we wouldn't have gotten to the quality we are at today. Thank you guys who watch our videos as well. Your feedback and support is always warmly welcome here. We will continue doing our best, Lord willing, and bring you guys better content as time goes on.

Please check out Apex Performance, and contact them for your modifying needs. They carry over 150 of the most popular aftermarket brands, and will match or beat the competition in price. They will take good care of you.

Hope you guys stay tuned to Machine Zealots!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The STI Chronicle continues

We received a large shipment of upcoming modifications for Machine Zealots' 2006 Subaru STI a couple of weeks ago. Of course, this lovely shipment was proudly sponsored by Apex Performance; we've been partnered for two years now.

We have revealed that we received the Invidia V2 Downpipe and the Invidia G200 Exhaust System. However, there are many other items that we are extremely excited about.

That being said, we made a new video montage of what's to come, and we wanted to take this time to thank our sponsor as well.

I've been personally playing a lot with the new DSLR camera, always pushing the quality of our videos. When I showed this video to Puyang for his input, he said that this video deserved a 10/10. He isn't usually this generous either. I personally give this video 8.5/10, but it did take a lot out of me. I spent over 30 hours on this video, and spread out the work through an entire week.

I'll get more into the video making later, but I am very excited to show you guys the finished video. I can't wait. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Final AutoX. Or is it?

The STI has truly been a great car to drive. I was glad I didn't begin autocrossing this car when it was fully built; I love to see and feel improvements over time. I attended the local Corvette autocross this time around, and the STI really held its own. It was pitted against a fierce competition, but it came out as a pretty fast car. Sadly to say, as mentioned in the video, this will be the very last autocross session for the STI at this current stage.

If you have been following our videos, or even the blog, you would know that this STI is pretty much stock with only an off-the-shelf tune to Stage 1 from the Cobb Accessport, upgraded brake pads, and stainless steel brake lines. With minimal modifications, I saw some major improvements; I can't wait to see what this car can do with a few thousand dollars worth of upgrades. Right?

Puyang accompanied me this time around, as seen in the first three runs. He has never been in a car running in an autocross session. He wanted to get a feel of the g-force generated from the acceleration, braking, and turns. He also learned about some driving techniques such as best lines and brake timing.

Puyang will be attending his first autocross session in September, at least that's the plan, where he will be pushing his 2012 VW Golf GTI to the limit. We'll see what the car can do.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Silence of the Silencer

If you have been following what we've been up to for the past couple of days, you would have learned that we received a huge shipment from our sponsor, Apex Performance. Two of the items have been revealed to you guys so far: The Invidia catless bellmouth downpipe, and the Invidia G200 catback exhaust.

When I opened the contents of the G200 exhaust, I quickly noticed that the exhaust had a silencer installed. This silencer was crammed in the titanium tip, and was extremely stubborn to budge. I quickly went onto the NASIOC forums and asked the local guys for some advice, as well as some of you guys on the Machine Zealots' Facebook page. You guys gave great advice, so thank you very much for all of your input!

I ended up listening to this one guy who told me to use a metal bar placed within the silencer and torque it out. Immediately, I thought that this was the most logical way to do it. I wrapped up the removable metal handle bar from a hydraulic jack with a wet towel, and knocked out the silencer within five minutes.

No damage was done to either the silencer or the exhaust itself. Ah physics, I love you. If you guys ever run into an issue like this make sure you try this method; it works like a charm!

With the silencer removed, I think everything is in order to start some videos. Yeah? Hope you guys stay tuned to Machine Zealots!