2001 Acura CL Type-S – CL Smooth

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When you think of Acura’s luxurious CL model, you probably can’t imagine it embarrassing domestic muscle on the street. Even further from your vision of that V-6-powered, low-slung coupe is a rear-wheel-drive-converted, fully built turbo beast complete with 3/4 chassis and wheelie bars. Fortunately, there’s no need to spend time conjuring up that fantasy, Thomas Richardson, owner of this 2001 Type-S, has already taken care of the visuals for you.
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When we first laid eyes on the CL, it was positioned on the red carpet during Wek’Fest SF a few years ago. A closer look revealed some topnotch fab work, an amazing airbrush flame effect, and what most people would refer to as a “”money pit.”” The wet look of the freshly painted black finish drew showgoers in, and the flat-black components under the hood baffled those looking for the requisite cold-air intake and reservoir sock covers that you’d come to expect from a car show. Furthermore, most had no idea what kind of car they were drooling over. At the end of the day, the sleek, one-off Acura took home Best Engineered and Best of Show accolades. Commendable, especially for a purpose-built race car, but ever since that day, we’ve kept tabs on the owner and his project in the hopes that we could finally capture the story. Well, here it is…

Richardson’s automotive resume doesn’t consist of a long list of Honda builds, and in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Immersed in the domestic landscape for years, he’s had his share of American muscle but grew bored of that scene. He explains, “”My introduction to Sport Compact began at WPB Raceway when the NHRA Xplode series was in its heyday. I loved the Modified and ProRWD class, and upon watching the headliners stand toe-to-toe, I was hooked. I found it remarkable that small engines were putting out such high horsepower.”” So what sparked the idea of using an Acura CL chassis? Well, part of that came from Richardson’s street sleeper, a ’03 CL with a custom GT35 strapped to the factory J-series powerplant, and an affinity for pushing around domestic cars on the street. He adds, “”I would pull along beside Vettes and the Mustang egomaniacs and tempt them. I only lost a few, and the ones I lost were not by much. Many I shut down with that car and people had no idea what it was. It was debadged with no markings other than one Acura emblem. I just thought it would be different to make a Modified car with the CL. The undertaking was expensive , unknown, and intimidating.””
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Rather than using his streetcar as the guinea pig, Richardson purchased a salvaged title ’01 Type-S on eBay and went right to work stripping it down to a bare chassis. Selling the stock, unnecessary parts paid for the cars purchase price, and then some. Of course, the profit made from selling off extra parts was but a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things, especially when you consider the sheer number of man-hours dedicated to the custom fabrication.

The original J32 block was reworked, first with AEBS sleeves and then filled with CP pistons and MGP aluminum rods. The cylinder heads have been ported and flowed with a valve-size increase of 1 mm and a Euro cam upgrade backed by custom VTEC eliminator rockers and custom valvesprings and retainers that round out the top end. Heavy boost is provided by a Precision custom 4508r that shoves air through an Accufab 95mm throttle body and one-off manifold, while Tial products and an AMS 1000 oversee boost regulation.
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While Richardson was hesitant about the engines ability in the beginning, he assures us that the J-series is making the necessary power, though he admits his ultra-conservative approach may have held back progression. He states, “”I decided to build it with an automatic Powerglide. After all was put together and basically wasting a motor on the dyno, I made it down the track. The results were poor and my experience level and conservative approach just slowed me down. Chalk it up to lessons learned.”” Though Richardson sounds like his own worst critic, his personal best in the CL is an 8.03, a very respectable number for a vehicle that is based solely on trial and error, with no real history to learn from. After multiple gear changes and torque converter adjustments, the car seemed to run out of engine well before the end of the 1320. “”After a year and a half of virtually spinning my tires and seeing an 18 percent loss in the drivetrain, I went for it and embarked on the Liberty five-speed install. What a chore that was.”” After countless micro-adjustments and plenty of patience, Richardson made his way down the track successfully. The learning curve involved with the Liberty unit is daunting, but a task that Richardson has dedicated himself to, and he notes that he’s gained some serious insight on starting line procedure and clutches.

As this article is being written, the CL’s engine is being freshened up for a new season of testing and if all goes right, competition. The previous management system, when paired with the Liberty transmission, wasn’t up to the task at hand, so it was removed in order for James Lin Motorsports to install the new Motec system. When asked about the ultimate goals for the car, Richardson states, “”My plans are to spend the rest of the year on the new management system and get some valuable seat time. I have plans later this year to set the car up for NHRA CCAT Comp Eliminator. To do so involves changing the turbo to two 58s and remaking the front end.”” So much for the conservative approach…

GPS Navigation Systems – How Reliable Are They?

Everybody has heard at least one horrific (and probably funny) story about people being led into tricky or dangerous situations after blindly following their GPS navigation system… in fact most people have got a horror story of their own. Some of these stories are actually too dangerous to be funny… well, to normal people anyway. I mean what’s funny about being led up the side of a mountain on a track which gets narrower and narrower before petering out completely with nothing but a sheer drop getting closer and closer and nowhere to turn round at all? Okay, don’t answer that question, it kind of depends who’s in the car I suppose.

Chevrolet introduces GoGoLink, an embedded smartphone application that delivers full-function navigation  including live traffic updates  through the  seven-inch, high-resolution touch screen of the vehicles MyLink infotainment system Wednesday, March 28, 2012 in New York, New York. GoGoLink is expected to be available in the fall for the Chevy Spark and Sonic vehicles. (Photo by John F. Martin for Chevrolet)
Chevrolet introduces GoGoLink, an embedded smartphone application that delivers full-function navigation including live traffic updates through the seven-inch, high-resolution touch screen of the vehicles MyLink infotainment system Wednesday, March 28, 2012 in New York, New York. GoGoLink is expected to be available in the fall for the Chevy Spark and Sonic vehicles. (Photo by John F. Martin for Chevrolet)

Anyway, this poses one enormous and very important question – can GPS navigation systems be trusted? Lots of modern motors have these gadgets built in (check out the choice at Nissan West Covina) but are they really reliable enough to get you from A to B safely? I mean, is it time we all threw away our maps completely, or should we leave them in the glove compartment just in case?
Well, the government insists that civilians have access to exactly the same accuracy and information which helps the military to find its way around, and the government can always be trusted to tell the truth, right? Apparently we can blindly follow out GPS navigation systems knowing that they are at least 95% accurate, but it’s the other 5% we should probably all be worrying about.
GPS navigational systems are entirely reliable in themselves but it is external forces which really throw a spanner into the works. The quality of your receiver, atmospheric effects and sky blockage can all inhibit the accuracy and reliability of this type of system. Another potential problem is nothing to do with the GPS system itself, it’s the data it is reading which is way out of date.
Okay, so we can all forgive a GPS system which doesn’t have the correct data to recognize a new road lay-out so sends us through the town instead of on the quickest route, but surely some of those mountains have been in position since long before the data was gathered for the first systems . . . I mean, they’ve been there for millions of years haven’t they?

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A Few Basic Facts about GPS
GPS receivers might seem extremely new and exciting but they are actually quite simple in real terms – the receiver calculates the exact position of a person, car, plane or boat by timing the continual flow of signals which are sent between the GPS satellites orbiting high above the earth and the receivers. These keep an eye on the time and position of the transmission message to calculate your exact position on the surface of the earth.
By their very nature you do need a clear passage for the signal to travel from the satellite to the receiver. If you stop to think about the amount of data which is installed in these gadgets it really will start to blow your mind. If you simply punch in the zip code or address of Downtown Nissan for example, the chances are that your GPS navigation system will take you straight to the door, and it won’t matter where in the World you started your journey.

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Wow, I don’t know about you but I find that pretty mind boggling. There’s no wonder that the GPS systems get it wrong occasionally is there? Don’t throw out your maps just yet and don’t follow the instructions blindly if you kind of know that you’re going the wrong way.

1990 Suzuki Swift – Fast Times DownTime

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It’s not often you locate a Suzuki Swift nowadays, let alone a highly modified one capable of turning lap times that rival the quickest front-drive machines around. That’s as the last time Suzuki sold a Swift in North American was in 1994, when it have also been sold like a Pontiac Firefly and a Geo Metro during its five-year production run. And as you’d expect from an inexpensive car of this vintage, most have either rusted out or have simply been broken down and retired to the scrap yard.

So, when we found this amazing little ’90 Swift GT at the CSCS Time Attack event earlier this coming year, our interest was immediately piqued. And it wasn’t merely the oddness of seeing a 23-year-old Suzuki in pit lane at a Time Attack event; it absolutely was the extent to which it’s been modified and race prepped that basically caught us off guard. Whenever we spotted fellow RX and rotorhead-8 racer Andrew Stittle behind the wheel, we couldn’t resist digging a little deeper. Turns out Andrew’s brother Kevin Stittle is the owner and madman behind the transformation with this tiny hatchback into a formidable time-attacking machine. And as we soon learned, Kevin isn’t just some nutter who loves Swifts, he’s also a world-class sailor who won a Silver Medal at the ’08 World Championships, missed the podium by one spot at the ’08 Summer Olympics in Beijing (tornado class), and is now coaching an American sailor planning to qualify for the ’16 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

As Kevin explained, “Dad was into drag racing and was a bit of a motorsports guy, and then we inherited that from him. But then the entire family got into sailing so we started visiting the cottage rather than racetrack. I inherited my first car at age 16 and also have always had an automotive interest, beginning withback in 2001-which originated from the factory with a 100-bhp 1.3L naturally aspirated engine (though there was yet another turbo model), a 5-speed manual gearbox, four-wheel disc brakes, and independent Mac strut suspension all around-and it’s been a task car for him ever since. When we asked Kevin why a Swift, he responded, “I didn’t want to do a cookie-cutter Civic and saw the potential in your body shape of the Swift being a unique show/stereo car type of project. Back then I was practicing for the Sydney Olympics, as well as in Australia Swifts are as popular as Civics are here. So, hanging out at the beach in Sydney, I saw a bunch of boosted Swifts, some making up to 350 hp and running 9s in the quarter-mile, so that’s what inspired me to create one.”

In fact, Kevin brought the X Racing Aero body kit back from Australia after the training camps, plus some other parts are foreign market goodies he picked up throughout his sailing adventures around the world. The clear corners, for example, he bought during Argentina, along with the steering wheel he picked up in New Zealand.

Among the few North American sources for go-fast upgrades for these cars is Suzuki Racing Development in Miami, a store with a lot of R&D experience from the background in rally and road racing Swifts. According to Kevin, including possibly the most badass addition to the vehicle to date, new sponsor Kalmar Motorsports away fromWaterloo and Ontario, has also been a huge help: a detailed-ratio dog box transmission. Straight-cut gear whine in a Suzuki Swift? Speak aboutBut what Kevin enjoys most about his Swift is the fact there isn’t much aftermarket support for doing it, so he’s had to get his hands dirty making many of the parts himself. “I grew up working in a surf shop, where I got to look at the owner lay up fiberglass on boards, so I learned a lot of craftsmanship and methods from watching him work with composites. Coming home and working on the car has also been a nice break from training and sailing, plus automotive customization is actually a genuine passion of mine.”

Kevin put his surf shop composites skills to work building his Swift a custom carbon-fiber hood, hatch and splitter and flat bottom, as well as some carbon trim pieces such as the cam gear cover and dash overlay. He also did all the bodywork and fiberglass work on the human body kit, even though Andrew went a bit agricultural during the car’s maiden voyage around a racetrack just last year due to brake failure.

“The car had gotten to the point in which there wasn’t a great deal left to perform, so I lost a bit of motivation, as Kevin explained. Plus it was a struggle to get it to successfully pass an emissions test, too, i wasn’t enjoying driving it around the street due to the race clutch and light flywheel. So for a few years I didn’t have it on the road. But when Andrew got into Time Attack racing, I made the decision to try it out. The car showed a lot of promise out on the track, nevertheless it had a big brake problem. Andrew went off on the first lap and banged the body kit, but I didn’t care because it gave me something to work on. I’m all about building the auto, so I’m happy to let Andrew do the driving. It’s a ton of fun watching him rip it.”

1990 suzuki swift GT hatchback wedssport TC 005 wheels

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1990 suzuki swift GT hatchback rear bumper

Since then, the Swift has gone through plenty of teething pains and setup changes, including addressing the brake problem with a new master cylinder plus a front Wilwood big brake kit. Kevin also had some custom brackets machined up so he can install the stock front calipers and rotors on the rear of the car using a dual master cylinder setup. It’s the kind of engineering challenge and learning process he loves most, though kevin admits this can be overkill over a 1,500-pound car.

Having replaced literally everybolt and nut, and bushing around the Swift, the Stittle bros finally completed a Time Attack event without having a hiccup on the CSCS season opener way back in June. Andrew managed to post a best lap time period of 1 minute 23.6 seconds, which was beneficial to 5th in class, hot on the heels of several K-swapped Civics. Area of the secret to this particular Swift’s surprising pace is its low mass, of course, but the power Sasha and Kevin from OnPoint Dyno have managed to squeeze from its tiny 1.3L engine plays a big role, too.

After having a money shift at the second CSCS of the season, Kevin is now rebuilding the race motor, which originally spun OnPoint’s Dynapack dyno towards the tune of 126 whp. And with the addition of a titanium valvetrain as well as an even bigger group of camshafts, peak power should climb to somewhere in the 135- to 140-whp range. The excess jam, in addition to the new dog box transmission, and the Stittles are now targeting sub-1 minute 20 seconds at Toronto Motorsports Park, a lap time that would not just put them with the head from the Super Street FWD class but would also let them have a shot with the class reputation.

That might appear to be a lofty goal for any quarter-century-old sub-compact grocery getter that has hardly any off-the-shelf go-fast support. Then again Kevin didn’t become an Olympian by pussying outside in the face of adversity, did he? So don’t be too surprised when you see this “Hey, that’s not a Civic! ” hatchback shocking the competition and laying claim to more than a few track records before Kevin decides to visit sailing again.

1996 Honda Civic – The Legend Continues

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During our recent excursion to the Pacific Northwest, we made sure to stop by to visit some local legends of the Honda community. As you witnessed a couple months ago in your annual Honda Issue, we already had some cars lined up being shot. We just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see some of these Hondas that everyone have been raving so positively about over the years. The Northwest has always been known to be the sleeper of the American Honda community, providing a home for some of the better Honda builds that we just never saw in person. If we were finally given the chance, we certainly were not disappointed.

We are completely aware that Steve Kwan’s Civic has seen print before-we just don’t care because this build is that good, to be honest. He manages to pass through so many different setups that it winds up looking like a new build every few years anyway. Sure, bring on the “it’s just another Civic” comments. Anyone in the know should ultimately recognize Steve’s Civic as one of the all-time “greats.” Its look has inspired several other car builders to travel the same way in building their projects at the same time, however.

1996 honda civic mugen controlsso great. Well, quality is the name of the game here. Parts selection and execution-all in the name of quality-is the key. Steve includes a good comprehension of that, and credits his friends along with other enthusiasts for guiding him towards your path. His ability to seek, acquire and collect incredibly rare Japanese market parts is yet another skill which also helps to add to the legacy of his build. Just to give you an illustration of this what he’s had within his collection during the last couple of years: Mugen cluster, SS front lip and EK wing, MF10s, multiple groups of Volk Racing wheels, numerous sets of Bride seats, two different sets of Vision Technica side mirrors, both Seeker 1 and two spoilers, an incredibly rare Neo-chrome NEXT! Miracle X bar-and as a reminder, yes, that is simply a sample of the items he’s had the last few years. It’s safe to say that he’s never been one to not try something new.

This current rendition of his Civic is undoubtedly his personal favorite. We will say that it must be his “best” but it’s difficult to make that claim as a consequence of his other setups. If you ask Steve, this might be as close as it’s getting to what he would claim as his best, it genuinely depends on what theme you want more, and. When we met up with him in Seattle to shoot his car, he was really a bit hesitant because the centerpiece of his new look, a rare First Molding carbon hood, had not may be found in yet. The hood was purchased with intentions to match the very first Molding front lip or “Flugel Plate”. Another important accessory for the exterior of this hatchback can be a rare Sergeant rear diffuser that’s mounted to a JDM OEM Civic Type R rear bumper; the front side and bumper skirts are also original CTR pieces. He, at the same time had the CTR rear wing to suit but he ditched that and two other Japanese Seeker wings for your Zeal Type 1 spoiler he has now. Giving the Desert Sage Metallic hue some contrast are flat black Desmond-produced Spoon SW388 wheels. The ashy finish of the 16-inch wheels is mundane in comparison to the rest of the build but it helps toone could expect the interior to be every bit as spectacular as being the outside and it also does not disappoint. The center sections of his Bride Zeta III seats have been substituted with red Hyper Gradation padding, yielding a look similar to Mugen S1R bucket seats; the red also matches the JDM CTR carpet and door panel inserts. A baller Mugen FG360 steering wheel is mounted to a Splash hub and rare Mr Alex quick-release unit. Once stood is actually a STACK ST-8130 digital display mounted on the dashboard when a Mugen instrument cluster. The skeletal structure inside the cabin is a Cusco 8-point roll cage that Steve had re-coated within a Glacier White finish to suit his Carbing strut engine and bars valve cover.

Style is an integral aspect of his build but that doesn’t imply that Steve hasn’t spent an equal period of time under the hood. Not only has the engine bay been tucked clean and paint-matched, the K20A heart is additionally fully-built. Initially the plan would be to keep the already potent 2.0L engine relatively stock, minus the basic bolt-ons, but a mishap at a weekend track day resulted in a spun bearing, ruining the block. He was able to locate a sleeved K20A block locally and elected to build it with stronger guts. What Type R cylinder head endures in OEM form but a custom cold-air intake mated into a Honda RBC manifold really helps to drive more airflow within. The custom fuel setup on the firewall with quick disconnect fittings offers a glimpse at Steve’s madness in terms of attention to detail-but…you really need to look closer to see the little things, like his consumption of rare discontinued hose clamps, to truly understand his madness. Even the littlest of details like the bolts that hold his CTR headlights in position have been substituted with 12-point ARP beauty and hardware washers.

What Steve Kwan has produced is the archetype of how a clean, very intricate and timeless custom car must be built. Nowadays, some would say his Honda is “cookie-cutter” although the scene has shifted quite a lot over the years. Steve comes from a time when you still was required to do research to locate a part as well as the means to bring it over from Japan. He’s built himself a hell of a Honda and he’s created the mold for countless others to follow.

Smart Purchases for Every Young Person Entering the Job Market

Getting your first real job means that there are some purchases that you have to make in order to invest in your future. While some things may not be that fun, you will not regret having some items in your collection before you start working. Here are three smart purchases if you are just starting out.

1. A Reliable Car

Having a junker of a car may have worked in high school or college, but you need to have something more reliable when you are just starting out. Your job will expect you to have a car that will get your t work every day. This does not mean you have to have a brand new car, however. When you buy used cars in San Bernardino from a reputable dealer, you can be sure that you are buying a car that will be reliable and still make you look good. For a full range of used cars that can meet any need, go to Metro Nissan Redlands.

2. A Suit

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A necessity for both men and women when they are interviewing for new jobs is to have a nice suit Avoid the trends and go for something with a classic, tailored look. Employers are expecting you o show up to interviews looking professional and well put-together. The best way to do this is to invest in a few really nice suits before you start interviewing.

3. A Good Resume and Cover Letter

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In order to get an interview to begin with, you need to have a good resume and cover letter. While many colleges offer resume writing assistance, they may not actually be giving you the best advice. Do your research on a number of different blogs and publications out there to find what jobs are really looking for when it comes to resumes and cover letters. Remember that what worked for your parents years ago does not work now. Make sure you make the best first impression that you can.

Honda Accord V6 HFP

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The 2013 Accord EX-L V6 coupe isn’t the Accord only your mother could love. Its 278hp, 3.5L six-cylinder engine blesses everyone with more torque than even the NSX ever did and pulls the 3,400lb sled through the quarter-mile about as fast as an engine-swapped hatchback, making sure it’s the one that you want-even if you aren’t a mother.

But this is no K-swapped hatchback. Honda’s ninth-generation Accord is more refined than some of that and yes it does so without putting on any more beef than last generation’s model. There’s always room for improvement, though, and when it comes to Honda’s latest Accord, that comes in the form of the company’s exclusive edition HFP package. HFP-Honda Factory Performance-picks up where the assembly line workers left off, offering subtle performance upgrades to Accord V6 buyers all underneath the watchful eye of Honda’s engineers and protected beneath the car’s original warranty.

The 2013 Accord’s HFP upgrades are arguably few, but they are thorough nonetheless. At its core lies a moderately reworked suspension that lowers the unibody exactly 15 mm by means of shorter and slightly stiffer coil springs and reworked dampers. The difference is marked, even though it doesn’t appear to be much. Better are both the car’s overall handling driver and balance confidence while on the limit, and drive Honda’s all-new HFP Accord to the limit we did. Ditching the factory-supplied all-season rubber for Continental Sport Contact tires, which aren’t contained in the kit, is partially to blame. The plus-sized 235/40R19 summer tires wrap themselves around 19-inch, 10-spoke aluminum wheels which feature what Honda refers to as aPlus it isn’t by any means as bad as the anti-MacPherson finger-pointers would have you believe. The components are lighter, and according to us, MacPherson strut or not, the 2013 coupe is about the best-handling Accord that we can remember driving, based on Honda. Hydro-compliance bushings reduce the typical movement associated with conventional rubber bushings, ensuring that suspension geometry remains consistent, and are generally responsible for the Accord’s reactive and predictable handling. Stronger and better reinforced attachment points for that suspension’s components are also evident. Also a number of things that allow you to want it, like a more noticeably rigid chassis, even though the effects are all sorts of items that would make your mother want this Accord, like improved crash performance. Up front, strut bars are standard on nearly every trim level, as are anti-sway bars at each end, the V6 coupe’s being the burliest of the clan: 19 mm up front and 16 mm in the rear. Overall steering and handling feel is also better because of an all-new power steering system. Unlike last year’s hydraulic rack, the latest electric motor assist reduces steering effort dramatically, yielding an improved feel and improved stability. The steering column itself is even larger in diameter, causing a stiffer configuration and an overall better, more confident sensibility.

The Accord’s weight is kept in check partly because of an all-new, lightweight subframe up front that cradles the engine, transmission, minimizing suspension together and that’s put together in a very unorthodox sort of way. Here, Honda uses friction-stir welding to attach aluminum to steel. Friction-stir welding changes all of that, although until recently, the idea of welding aluminum and steel together was nothing more than crazy talk. Instead of heating, melting, and ultimately joining metal like with traditional MIG- or TIG-welding processes, friction-stir welding softens the information into a clay-like state through mechanical pressure, allowing it to bond to one another. Engineers also made use of unprecedented higher-grade and higher-tensile steel, resulting in less chassis flex and less weight.

Of course, the Accord’s skin was also refreshed. Its rakish look lends itself to the V6 model’s performance but does not only look pretty. The coupe’s large lower radiator opening is aggressive-looking but functional. Which do nothing more than house some fog lights, even though the same cannot be said of its faux brake scoops. Elsewhere, low aerodynamic drag wasn’t forgotten. Engineers designed large front wheel arches that transition along the doors and then towards the rear fenders, directing airflow around the rear tires for reduced drag. When it comes to the coupe, all lines lead to the rear decklid. The Accord’s teardrop shape isn’t the sole thing helping improve aero. Near-flush windshield glass, carefully shaped A-pillars, flush-mounted windshield wipers, and a number of underbody covers all help orchestrate airflow appropriately. Every Accord features a pair of underbody deflectors in-front of and behind the engine and also at the rear wheels and trunk, but only V6 models are fitted with two additional covers, located underneath the driver-side and passenger-side floorboards. Ground clearance is also at least just before the rear wheels, creating a low-pressure realm that allows air to flow around the wheels instead of across them. Once again, HFP picks up where the assembly line left off, fitting the Accord by using a rear decklid spoiler in addition toside and front, and rear underbody spoilers that add to the car’s aggressive-looking nature and also improve aerodynamics, helping redirect airflow appropriately (albeit limited toconsidering the J-series engine’s already impressive power curve that’s evident from throttle tip-in up to its 6,200-rpm peak. Choose the six-speed manual model that’s limited to coupes and say goodbye to Honda’s two-stage Variable Cylinder Management system that cuts off ignition within selected cylinders when maximum power’s not needed for increased fuel economy. Speaking of earth loving, every Accord in Honda’s lineup now includes Eco Assist, which also yields moderately better fuel consumption at the expense of all 278 hp. Were we to truly try it, we’d have been delighted to tell you how well it works, but once Honda will give you 278 hp, you take every bit of it. Unlike the Accord’s latest four-cylinder engine, V6 models are not direct injected but do include a number of impressive features that make it the most powerful Accord engine ever but without sacrificing fuel efficiency or the ability to refuel using regular unleaded, despite the engine’s 10.5: 1 compression ratio. Redesigned, belt-driven SOHC cylinder heads with revised intake and exhaust ports and a remapped i-VTEC system allows all of this to happen. Honda’s tumble-port design along with the seemingly dreaded integrated exhaust manifold are both responsible for the 7hp jump in comparison to last year’s engine-a good thing, even considering the hindrance integrated exhaust manifolds place upon tuners. Honda also addressed engine cooling friction and issues coefficients internally. Just what the company identifies as a cooling control spacer is positioned within the engine’s water jacket, surrounding the cylinders, which allows for more consistent operating temperatures and tolerances. An all-new plateau-honing process is likewise applied to the cylinders, creating an unprecedented smooth finish, reduced friction, and the potential for increased engine longevity. Both the-stage machining operation uses two different grinding processes instead of thefor usage in the 2013. And that’s okay. The lightweight aluminum transaxle using its hollow gearshafts mated to your dual-mass flywheel and self-adjusting, compact clutch is perhaps the most effective-feeling gearbox to come from Honda ever-V6-compatible or otherwise not.

According to Honda, only 500 Accord HFP kits will probably be made, with retail pricing set to be $4,620, not including installation, introduced at the 2012 SEMA show and open to consumers as of mid-July, 2013. HFP’s additions are subtle yet purposeful and are only enough to make what many are claiming to be Honda’s best Accord ever even better.

2008 BMW M3 & 2013 BMW M3 – Green Hell

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By now you’ve seen plenty of BMW M3s grace these pages, and many fit the common mold of a supercharger, nice wheels and coilovers. So you’ll understand that when we find a unique take on this insanely popular platform, we’re all ears.

The most likely source of a different approach to the E9X M3 is IND Distribution of Chicago, IL. The company specializes in “”unique”” and managed to bring together these two M3 coupes that had us green with envy.

The first car, identified by its gold BBS wheels, belonged to track-hungry Victor Gutierrez. It started life as a pristine ’08 M3 in Alpine White. “”He had it out on the track at Autobahn Country Club within the first 600 miles of owning it,”” laughed IND Project Manager Ilia Smolov. “”That’s who Victor is: he pretty much beat on it ever since!”” Ilia told us.
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And because Victor likes to use his car, he took a gradual approach to modifying it. He started with wheels and coilovers, then Brembo brakes and an ESS supercharger. However, he eventually decided that a Porsche 911 GT3 would be a better daily driver than his track-dominating M3, and this is where the story of project Green Hell really began.

You see, the Porsche dealer was disturbed by things like holes in the carpet from a previously installed roll-bar and wasn’t prepared to give him top dollar for his trade-in. So Victor unhappily drove his now-stock M3 back home and abandoned the Porsche plan. Unhappy with its blandness, he decided to return the BMW to IND.

Having sold every part previously installed on the car, everything had to be purchased again – that’s two supercharger kits, two sets of KW Clubsport coilovers… you get the idea. And while IND provided guidance for the first build, this time Victor handed over the keys and asked them to, “”Make it really cool and give it the ability to be driven daily but reliable on the track. Just do what you need to do.””

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It was music to Ilia’s ears. “”He didn’t specify the appearance, style or theme, so we had a huge amount of creative freedom,”” Ilia smiled.

With his affection for Porsche, adopting the GT3 RS green paint was a bold move, but with its aggressive motorsport styling, the M3 looked better than any E92 we’d previously laid eyes on.
2008 BMW M3 BBS FI wheels 07 Photo 6/24 | These 18″” BBS FI wheels are about as rare as they come

The exterior was complemented by aggressive – and extremely expensive – items such as an RKP GT4 front lip, Motorsport 24 trunk lid and wing, plus a Vorsteiner GTS-V diffuser. That’s what it took to give the car some serious attitude, finished off by uber rare 18″” BBS FI wheels finished in gold.

Staggered at 9.5″” wide front and 10.5″” rear, the BBS carry massive Falken rubber measuring 275 and 315, respectively. In fact, they required IND to flare the rear quarters to ensure a perfect fit without rubbing.

KW Clubsport coilovers along with a slew of Rogue Engineering suspension parts and RD Sport sway bars keep Green Hell on track, providing a balanced setup without even a sniff of understeer. And, despite what our photos might show, until you really overdrive the car, the rear-end is planted, too. But in the hands of professional Formula Drift driver Dai Yoshihara, Green Hell had no problem providing a sick sideways smoke show, as you can see here and in our video at europeacarweb.com
2008 BMW M3 motorsport 24 rear wing 12 Photo 7/24 | Motorsport 24 makes some gorgeous parts, and this spoiler is no exception

We can’t forget to acknowledge the ESS Tuning VT2-625 Supercharger Kit that appeared to make third-gear drifts a breeze, even with the ultra-wide contact patch.

Dai drives a V8-powered Nissan 240SX in the FD pro championship, but IND’s creation put a grin on his face the entire day. Most impressive was the utter reliability the car. With the thermometer hitting 126?F at Chuckwalla Raceway in Desert Center, CA, the humans were sweating and panting, yet the car was unfazed. Water and oil temps remained normal, even after hours of abuse, mainly thanks to the remarkable Motorsport 24 radiator and oil cooler.
2008 BMW M3 RKP GT4 front lip 11 Photo 8/24 | 2008 BMW M3 & 2013 BMW M3 – Green Hell

Inside, the motorsport theme continued with Sparco Pro 2000 carbon fiber buckets, richly embroidered with green and gold thread. There was also an OMP steering wheel, AutoPower roll-bar and color-matched trim.

IND certainly delivered on this project. The owner demanded a fast and reliable car, which is exactly what they gave him. So it’s a shame Victor landed a job in Australia. “”I’d never part with it again, and I won’t sell it,”” he confirmed. So he left the keys with IND, who offered to store it indefinitely if they could take it to the occasional car show and maybe drift it around a racetrack for the Falken Tire video shoot we gatecrashed for our photoshoot.

Take Two

So you’re probably wondering about the second almost-identical green M3 in the photos… It belongs to US Marine Pilot Jason Ellis, who was instantly inspired when photos of Green Hell leaked online. “”I’d been wanting an interesting color, and was set on GT3 RS green after seeing Victor’s car,”” Jason admitted.

Unfortunately, it turns out that when IND was mixing their paint, they added a few different colors for impact, giving the final choice more blue than Porsche intended, explaining the slight difference between them.
2013 BMW M3 RKP GT4 front lip 14 Photo 9/24 | 2008 BMW M3 & 2013 BMW M3 – Green Hell

We can’t quite decide which we prefer. Individually, both cars are stunning, but together it feels as if your eyes are playing tricks.

Rather than have IND paint his M3, Jason simply requested Porsche green from BMW Individual, who duly responded. Admittedly, it took nine months for the car to arrive after it was ordered, but you’ve got to admire BMW’s dedication to its customers’ wishes.
2013 BMW M3 ESS VT2 525 supercharger pulley 19 Photo 10/24 | 2008 BMW M3 & 2013 BMW M3 – Green Hell

Jason used the nine months to formulate a plan. “”I spoke to IND weekly,”” he laughed. “”I wanted a car that combined the RLL ALMS motorsport theme with previous IND builds such as Green Hell and Martin D’s grey car. So my car is a combination of those two.””

As for the green wheels, they weren’t painted but are actually 18″” TE37s in Volk’s Takata Green. IND had brought them to Jason’s attention and the colors are almost identical, with something truly menacing about the setup.

2013 BMW M3 wing mount 15
2013 BMW M3 BMW motorsports carbon mirror 16
2013 BMW M3 vorsteiner GTS V carbon front lip 17

Jason liked IND’s exclusive parts, so fitted carbon fiber BMW Motorsport mirrors on custom IND mounts to fit like factory. And if you’re wondering how much these gems might cost, unfortunately you probably can’t afford them…

Keeping the rare parts flowing, Jason asked IND to find him an OEM M3 GTS titanium exhaust, making his one of only two regular M3s fitted with this system. “”The car sounds amazing but is still tame enough for highway drives,”” he claimed, as we can attest.
2013 BMW M3 RKP GT4 front lip 23 Photo 14/24 | 2008 BMW M3 & 2013 BMW M3 – Green Hell

In fact, Jason’s car hits a happy medium between sporty and daliy driver, unlike Green Hell that sounds truly ferocious whether at idle or wide-open throttle thanks to a Challenge Engineering Race pipe, X-pipe and Eisenmann sport exhaust. (You should replicate this if you have the funds and don’t care about waking your neighbors. Hands down, it’s the best sounding M3 we’ve ever heard!)

Fitting most of the parts in his home garage, Jason knew the naturally aspirated V8 would need more, so he opted for the 535hp ESS VT2-535 Supercharger Kit. It provided him with a healthy boost in performance, with the option to upgrade it easily.
2013 BMW M3 vorsteiner GTS V carbon front lip 22 Photo 15/24 | 2008 BMW M3 & 2013 BMW M3 – Green Hell

The extra power would require more stopping ability, so our Marine opted for Brembo’s 380mm kit with six-piston calipers front and four-pistons rear, which were painted by IND. The car drives like Green Hell thanks to the same KW Clubsport coilovers.

Once the go was sorted, Jason decided the looks department would use the same RKP GT4 front lip and Varis Japan GT wing on a Challenge carbon/kevlar trunk lid, with BMW black grilles.

The cabin retained the factory seats, although Jason assured us he’s looking at Recaros. In the meantime, the BMW M Performance steering wheel is accompanied by a TWM competition shift knob and M3 GTS door sills – keeping it nice and simple.
2013 BMW M3 volk TE37 wheel 04 Photo 16/24 | 2008 BMW M3 & 2013 BMW M3 – Green Hell

Most impressive is that Jason built the car on his own on the floor of his San Diego garage. With guidance and support from IND, Jason’s own Green Hell is another unique creation you can’t forget. Together, the two Bavarian beauties look like brawlers on the track, with each driven hard to the redline thanks to the quality of the parts used and the chassis they’re fitted to.

And with these two cars we see that IND continues to set the standard for high-end BMW M3 builds, which is no easy task in such a saturated marketplace.

2013 BMW M3 volk TE37 wheels 21
BMW M3s 03
2008 BMW M3 motorsport 24 dual element rear wing 09

2008 BMW M3

Victor Gutierrez
Australia

Engine BMW 4.0-liter V8 with ESS VT2-625 Supercharger Kit, Challenge Engineering Race and X-pipe, Eisenmann Sport exhaust, Motorsport 24 radiator and oil cooler

Drivetrain six-speed manual transmission, Rogue Engineering short-shift kit
2008 BMW M3 ESS tuning supercharger kit 13 Photo 20/24 | Green Hell’s engine bay packs a 625hp ESS Tuning supercharger kit

Brakes Brembo GT six-piston calipers, 365mm rotors f, four-piston, 345mm r, custom painted calipers, Pagid RS29 pads

Suspension KW Clubsport coilovers, RD Sport sway bars, Rogue Engineering control arm bushings, adjustable toe arms and rear wishbone bushings

Wheels & Tires 18×9.5″” f, 18×10.5″” r BBS FI wheels, 275/35 R18 f, 315/30 R18 r Falken FK453 tires
2008 BMW M3 RKP GT4 front lip 10 Photo 21/24 | 2008 BMW M3 & 2013 BMW M3 – Green Hell

Exterior RKP GT4 front lip, Motorsport 24 trunk lid and dual-element rear wing, Vorsteiner GTS-V diffuser, IND-painted front grilles, side markers, and badge, car painted Porsche GT3 RS green

Interior Sparco Pro2000 carbon fiber seats with custom embroidery, Macht Schnell seat brackets, AutoPower roll-bar painted gloss black with green flake, painted interior trim, 350mm OMP Corsica steering wheel on IND custom hub, gloss black iDrive knob

Contact ind-distribution.com

2013 BMW M3

Jason Ellis
San Diego, CA

Engine BMW 4.0-liter V8 with ESS Tuning VT2-525 Supercharger Kit, Challenge Engineering X-pipe, BMW M3 GTS titanium exhaust system, Motorsport 24 radiator and oil cooler

Drivetrain six-speed manual transmission, Rogue Engineering short-shift kit
2013 BMW M3 ESS VT2 525 supercharger kit 18 Photo 22/24 | ESS VT2-525 supercharger kit boosts M3 V8 to 535hp

Brakes Brembo six-piston f, four-piston r, 380mm rotors f&r

Suspension KW Clubsport coilovers, MRF Engineering alignment

Wheels & Tires 18×9.5″” f, 18×10.5″” r Volk TE37 wheels, 265/35 R18 f, 285/35 R18 r Falken FK453 tires
2013 BMW M3 varis japan GT wing 20 Photo 23/24 | 2008 BMW M3 & 2013 BMW M3 – Green Hell

Exterior RKP GT4 front lip, Varis Japan GT Wing, BMW Motorsport carbon fiber mirrors on IND mounts, carbon/kevlar Challenge trunk, BMW black kidney grilles, Macht Schnell tow strap, IND-modified tow cover

Interior BMW M Performance steering wheel, TWM competition shift knob, M3 GTS door sills

Contact ind-distribution.com

Website Guide

OCFiat-8-1

If you’ve hung onto your car for decades, you’re bound to be in for some surprises when you start car shopping. The first, and maybe the biggest surprise, is how people usually start their car shopping process these days. Today, you can potentially find out everything you need to know about a car without ever even setting foot on a car lot. Visit a dealer’s website, like fiat riverside, and you’ll quickly see that with a little reading, you can find answers to everything you’ve been wondering, peruse their selection, and even become familiar with the staff.

OCFiat-8-2

Digging a little deeper, you’ll begin to see how much time you can save yourself by starting your shopping online. Have you been wondering whether or not you qualify for financing? Fill out a quick form and you’ll know in seconds. Not sure when the dealership is open? You don’t have to call. The hours, directions, and general information are all available on the site. You’ll be amazed that you can actually scroll through their entire selection of cars. You can see both new and used cars available at OC Fiat in California. View the details of each car and narrow your search results based on what you’re looking for. Pick the color you like, the model, the year, even the number of doors. Take a look at the wide variety and share your findings with your family without having to take everyone on a trip to the dealership. Once you’ve narrowed it down, then you can come in and take the time to look at the cars in person. Sit in them; take the ones you like on test drives. You’ll know immediately whether it’s the right car for you and you will saved yourself lots of time on your search.

2013 Kia Soul

CARPHOTO-3848

We are all aware Kia’s TV commercials-hamsters dancing and driving Souls while popular songs like Party Rock Anthem, In My Mind and Choice is Yours are playing within the background. But how many of you possess actually driven or contemplated getting a Soul? We wanted to see what all the buzz was about so that we took a ’13 model around for a week.

First, get it from your head that one could make the car any faster than it is. It’s an econobox that comes with a 138hp 1.6-liter or 164hp 2.-liter. Both engines aren’t gonna win you any pink slips therefore we suggest working with the slower model and saving the amount of money. The car is honestly created with the budget-conscious owner in mind. It’s not quiet and the ride isn’t smooth, but if you’re driving from point A-to-B, you’ll net about 25/30mpg and have ample room for your legs and groceries. If you’d be itching to modify the Soul, probably the most we’d do is lower it with a set of wheels. There are some factory options like folding mirrors and LED running lights, but this car is really all about conserving money and getting places reliably having its sub-$15k base price and a five-year warranty.

2008 Subaru Forester XT – Family First

CARPHOTO-3828

Ever heard the expression Families that play together, stay together? For families driving around in run-of-the-mill minivans or SUVs, this presumably means going on vacation together or at best enjoying the occasional group outing. But for people who can’t bear the very thought of a family road trip in some soulless, bone-stock people-hauler, this expression tends to take on a slightly different meaning.

John Prisco and his family definitely fall into the latter category, where the saying may as well be Families that modify their car together, haul ass together, given his subtly tuned yet thoroughly improved ’08 World Rally Blue Subaru Forester XT. Call it a wagon, refer to it as a crossover, or even call it an SUV. When you strip away all marketing-driven name-calling is an Impreza-based machine with similar all-wheel-drive system and turbocharged engine as the WRX but what the SG-generation Forester XT is.

As John explained, My first car had been a ’76 Buick Skyhawk, bright orange, chrome American Racing wheels, a built 305, all the goodies. I slowly moved into the sport compact scene with a first-gen Acura Integra. I spent many years afterward buying something different every year or two in order to satisfy the hunger. It was only in late 2007 that the craziness settled down. We had two kids, and my partner and I were tired of being minivan people. I started looking around again and ended up with the Subaru dealership here in Jacksonville, Florida. Out front since we pulled in was a vehicle that immediately excited me like none before. It was actually an ’08 Forester XT in World Rally Blue. I looked past the stock form and could look at it the way I wanted it to be.””, even though in the past I didn’t know much about Subaru””There was only one problem, though. Being a brand-new car, it had been outside of John’s price range. But he was so excited about the FXT’s potential as a fast and fun family hauler that he sent a picture than it to his mom, who told him to make it happen. She loaned us the money for a down payment, and off we went. My mother passed away just a couple months once we got the car, and I think she only saw it once. I decided that I was going to assemble it in her honor, John shared.

It sounds to us like she’s been onboard since day one, even though selling his wife on the thought of modifying their brand-new grocery getter was the next challenge. After driving and purchasing the XT for about per year, I was really craving some crisper shifting. I told my wife, ‘I’m just going to upgrade to your short shifter, and that’s it. I promise.’ She said OK and tried challenging to hold back her laughter. It has come a long way since then and it has really become my vision of a catalog build, with reliability and safety being at the top of a list.

From here the question for John became: How do I produce a reliable street performance car out of a Forester? It’s sort of an Impreza, but not really, as he told us. I’m lucky to have a unique Subaru dealership around town that is loaded with performance specialists. It really started with their guidance. I worked with master techs William Maham and Brent Patchen on all of the upgrades. We covered all the bases, including engine, drivetrain, suspension, and brakes. This meant using all-new parts, most of which were Subaru factory goodies for the GD Impreza STi, along with some other hard-to-find Forester-specific items like the turbo-back exhaust, JDM Defi gauge cluster, and Subtle Solutions fender braces.

John’s local Subie dealership also happened to have in-house Dynapack chassis dyno, so that’s where Doug Wilks from Top Speed worked his ECU tuning magic. As John explained, Doug’s been recalibrating Subaru ECUs for many years and had the in-depth familiarity with the EJ motor I needed. He came down from Atlanta and really took his time on the tune, setting up several maps to handle different driving conditions. In the long run, we’d effectively doubled the horsepower and torque from yournot easy building a machine that’s truly capable of pulling double duty like a family workhorse and a weekend track day toy, though, a reality John was confronted by once he started taking his Fozzie on the FIRM (Florida International Rally and Motorsports Park). It felt sluggish in the corners, brakes were fading after only a few laps, tires were losing grip, and oil temperatures were getting far too high for my comfort. That’s after i started looking more to aftermarket specialists for guidance, John said.

For starters, John tapped into TurninConcepts’ deep Subie knowledge, upgrading to its recommended brake setup and also using its Killer B deep aluminum baffled oil pan for improved oil pressure and temperature control. John also turned into Subtle Solutions, one of the few shops making Forester- specific upgrades, for an intercooler splitter, a piece he describes as the missing link for people guys running STI top-mount intercoolers and JDM big hoodscoops. He also went with Subtle Solutions front fender braces, which contains improved turn-in feel and response.

Mach V Motorsports, another popular go-fast specialist in the Evo and STI world, was John’s source for a lot of the smaller details if it came time to make his FXT more track-worthy, like all the Whiteline suspension goodies. And as John put it, Lastly is my car club, Kindred Impulse. This is a very tight-knit group that I consider family. They have got supported me all in the process and really helped put together every one of the small a few things i may have overlooked.

With his Forester now working just as flawlessly around the racetrack as it does picking up his kids from the carpool line at school, John considers Phase 1 complete and is already planning to embark on Phase 2 with a JDM Spec C front LSD, custom fender flares so he can stuff more wheel and tire under it, and a few more suspension tweaks for even more cornering power. All of which begs the question: Because we’re not really sure if she knows about our modified version of the whole Families that play together, stay together thing, does John’s wife have any idea there’s a Phase 2.

2008 subaru forester xt cobb access port

2008 subaru forester xt JDM STi defi gauge pack

2008 subaru forester xt injen stainless turbo back exhaust

Specs & Details

’08 Subaru Forester XT

Engine: 2.5L EJ255 turbocharged flat-4

Engine Modifications: STi VF43 turbo with heatshield, top-mount intercooler, AVCS heads, uppipe and radiator fuel pump, and water pump; Grimmspeed stainless cross pipe, Injen 4-inch stainless downpipe with hi-flow cat and 3.5-inch stainless turbo back exhaust; JDM STi air cleaner element/plenum, NGK Iridium one-step colder plugs, Subaru super coolant, Subaru SPT oil cooler, Killer B deep aluminum oil pan and custom race and pickupand twoand lower arm bar; Group N top hats (f/r), Whiteline 27mm sway bar (f), offset castor bushings, adjustable lateral links, and steering rack bushings; TiC forward arm bushings, Subtle Solutions fender braces (f)

Interior: Recaro Speed seats and slider kits; Planted Technology seat bracket, Schroth quick-fit racing harness, JDM STi Defi gauge pack (boost, oil temp/pressure) with custom pod, STi badged controls, STi aluminum pedal assembly and leather/aluminum shift knob

Exterior: STi Limited front lip, JDM STi hoodscoop and badges; Sports XT rear wing and taillights; Subtle Solutions IC splitter, Subaru factory cross rails, Yakima bike carrier, On-a-Mission aero pads

Numbers: 310 360 and whp wtq at 21 psi on 93-octane pump gas

Special Thanks: God, my supportive family, Silvia, Victor and Mariana (FDH crewDad, ) and Mom, Subaru of Jacksonville specialists William Maham, Bill Cook, Brent Patchen, Steve Cissel, Kevin McCarthy and Shaun Parks; Lorenzo Barcelo and my entire Kindred Impulse crew; Alan Leung, CJ Yi, Andrew Zachman, Vernon Williams and Chris Cayll for and helps to make this happen; Jon VanWey for your meticulous paintwork, Shay O’Brien (NADY) for your custom CNC work, Evan Geske at Vanity Detailing, the FIRM Motorsport Park, TurninConcepts, 425 Motorsports, Subtle Solutions, Fearless904