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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Summer wrap up

I can hardly believe that this year is already coming to an end! We have been extremely productive this summer on getting videos organized and filmed. If I remember correctly, we already have the entire eighteen episode season shot and ready for editing. However, I am not planning to release all eighteen episodes this season; I have explained in one of the previous posts this year that we are focusing on a lot of other things and don't have the time and budget to continue Machine Zealots to the same extent as Seasons 2 and 3. I am currently aiming for twelve episodes each season. After we get all the episodes edited, both Puyang and I will select which episodes to air for this season, and which episodes to air for Season 5.

Wow, if we make it to Season 5, so in other words the fifth year, that would be quite the stretch. After working on our cars this summer, both Puyang and I got the modding bug back again. We are addicted to modifying our toys!

Our garage condition for taking out the Downpipe for a bung relocation.

If you have been following us on Facebook, you would have seen that we had been uploading a lot of pictures of our modding days. I think there was about three weeks where I had some down time from work, and we spent pretty much everyday of it outside working on our cars. I really enjoyed it. Of course, making a video while modifying increased the time outside about three fold. However, it didn't really bother me, it was just more time spent outside. Soon after installing the Turbo Back Exhaust (TBE), I quickly realized that the extra O2 bung I had gotten welded last year was off angle, therefore I could not possibly install a wideband O2 sensor there.

I had to contact the shop that welded it and removed the downpipe, plus the heatwrap, for the shop to re-weld my bung. It was a pretty bad experience, but the removal and re-installation of the downpipe went much faster the second time.

Original position of the bung on the left side, the angle would cause the sensor to hit the firewall. The fixed bung angle on the right. Also tested to see if the angle of the bung cleared a standard O2 sensor. The sensor seen in the picture is my stock O2 sensor that later got placed back in the proper spot.

One of the most exciting things about this Season has been getting to Stage 2. Installing the Turbo Back Exhaust (TBE) has been one of the biggest installations on Machine Zealots to date. I know it's nothing compared to what some other people have done, but for us, it's a starting point. We are already looking ahead at the possibility to go bigger. Won't get into that now though. We've also got a lot of mini projects in mind, and have been buying little things here and there.

Bought a fog light switch from an 05 STI owner.

Nope, I'm not installing fog lights, instead this will work as a switch that controls something else I have in mind. This will give a cleaner OEM look. I also took out the light bulb so I can research what it takes to make these buttons illuminate red. If this is successful, then the Intercooler Spray button will also be modified. This is just an example at some of the "smaller" mods we've got planned.

Polyurethane lip for the 2012 Golf GTI. Aw Yeah!

If you are a GTI owner, or even any European car owner, you will know that your aftermarket parts are generally more expensive than American, or even Japanese cars. Well, the Golf GTI, as affordable as the car is, is also no exception to this rule. Puyang had been researching for a nice aggressive lip for a really long time, and to no avail; the pricing of any 2012 Golf GTI lip can easily add up to 400 dollars, on top of that you've got taxes and shipping costs too. They would most likely be made out of ABS plastic, and would be prone to cracking and breaking if not careful. Finally, after months of research and looking, Puyang came across a deal too good to be true. A high quality polyurethane lip that costed only $150 shipped to the door! We were skeptical of the quality, but for that price, he was willing to give it a shot. Turned out, it was one of the best looking and cheapest mods he has gotten so far. In the picture above, we've only mocked it on, and we have to say, it looks pretty good as it is. We will get it installed at a later date while we look for the hardware.

Introducing the Spider Pod.

The Spider Pod turned out to be one of the most useful tools I've put together. It took five minutes to make out of K'nex, and in the spirit of saving money, it turned out very well. Its purpose was to serve as a P.O.V. camera when I work under the car. The high powered LED strapped to the pod serves really well as a lighting source for those hard to see areas. The legs detach in a matter of seconds for flexible height adjustments. Pretty cool huh?

We also went to an Autocross event on July 19th, where Puyang raced his GTI for the first time. We've got photos on the Facebook page right now, but I will update the blog specifically on that event at a later date. We also went to Importfest 2014 on August 9th. Photos and videos will be posted at a later time as well.

Hope you guys had a really productive summer as well! Till next time, stay tuned!

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