Life/Pick Ups: CraftSquare Mirrors with Blue Tint + Random Toda Pulleys! + More!

Woah, I haven’t updated this blog in awhile. Life is kicking into high gear again. I’ve been studying to do a possible career change. Working in infrastructure IT is kicking my ass and is starting to feel like a burden on my soul….

Luckily for my birthday, my most beautiful and caring wife bought me an item I’ve been eyeing for a long time now, something I imagined that would be part of my build years ago….Craftsquare mirrors…… Not any Craftsquare mirrors, but the spec with the anti-glare blue tint.   My birthday was in May, and these have been on order since then!  They arrived from Japan late July to my surprise. I finally got around to installing them during a tech day my first hosted a few weeks ago…..


 Areen was present and was installing some ricey parts, like this Billion coolant adapter to run a coolant temp sensor and this ASM Oil stopper bracket to make sure his oil filter doesn’t come off when he’s bombing up and down the TOUGE to deliver tofu.


Why did he need to install the coolant adapter?  because he was installing the Defi Link Meter Advance ZD to keep an eye on his car’s vitals….


My mirrors out of the packaging…. I love getting new parts from Japan.  I love even more when they are gifts from my wife…..



Areen getting his car on the lift.

After a few minutes of cursing, we finally got one side on!  It was in the 90’s this day, I was sweating my ass off…..  You can see how the Craft Square Mirrors look compared to the stock elephant mirrors.  I’ve never liked the look of the OEM mirrors, they always seemed so bulky.  I do miss my power mirrors though…..

Both Mirrors on…. My car has been repainted on the driver’s side… the shitty shop that repainted my car on that side didn’t take my mirror off…..so I have a big ass circle where the mirror used to be..

Areen got got his Trust Oil filter adapter installed with his ASM Oil Filter stopper…..


🙂  I feel like I need a single exit exhaust cap for this car….

Must be nice to be rich and cut into $200 Spoon hoses to install an adapter….


Areen modeling theDefi Link Meter Advance ZD….
Oh yeah he got Toda Pulleys too…. see the end of the post for more info….


Areen giving the thumbs up!


Carlos stopped by in his CRX with brand new Volk TE37.  They look perfect on this car.


Mark stopped by with his factory fresh Mitsubishi Evo X Final Edition!


This only has a few thousand miles on it…..still has the factory Panasonic battery.

Final shot of my craft square mirror… .you can see the ring on my door in this picture….

I took a few shots of  Areen’s Toda Pulleys a month earlier…..

Of course he got the optional ASM Idler pulleys too!

Mike giving the water pump pulley a closer inspection

Can this build get any better?





I’m loving the Project Mu Rotors!

I’m closing out this post with AE86 Ron’s S2k.  This thing is mint with some choice mods…. I’m loving how his car sits with Advan Wheels and Spoon Calipers!

Pick Ups/DIY: Spoon Radiator Stays + Opera Performance Reservoir Covers + Mugen Bolts

I noticed my OEM Radiator stays were getting a bit crusty, so in went some Spoon Radiator Stays in black.  The are a generic unit from Spoon, they fit all Hondas, and fits the S2000 with no difficulties.


The old radiator stay with a bolt that probably is not the correct one.  Remove the 10mm Bolt holding the radiator stay in place.


After the stay is off, remove the rubber bushing inside the radiator stay.  I was able to push this rubber bushing out with my hand.

The Rubber Bushing removed from the old radiator stay.


Get your brand new Spoon Radiator stay and press in the rubber bushing you just removed from your old radiator stay.  I was also able to do this with my hands again.


Since I replaced the radiator stay with a new shiny part, I couldn’t bring myself to reinstall the crusty old bolts.  The solution to that? Mugen.  The answer is always Mugen.  In this case it is more Mugen bolts.


The Cusco Cooling plate has a cutout for the JDM Vin Tag.  I need to figure out what to put here, it currently looks so empty.  Now that the Radiator stays are changed out, my radiator is looking a bit beat.  Perhaps some new hoses and new a radiator are in the works for the future.


I took a better picture of the Arvou Tow Hook on my Amuse R1 bumper.  Not having a front tow hook makes me nervous at a track day….. Previously I was running a tow strap, but the strap was not long enough to clear my bumper,  so if I require a front tow I’m sure my bumper will be destroyed.  This Arvou unit is milled out of a single block of aluminum and protrudes a 2-3″ from the bumper, ensuring a safe tow.

PickUp Areen Toda Pulley I found famed S2000 tuner, Opera Performance on Instagram.  I’ve always been a fan of their tuning philosophy of making the lightest car possible.  I envy their ability to swiss cheese cut holes on an S2k to save weight and build badass roll cages.  If I was in Japan, I would bring them my S2k for a chassis makeover.  In Gran Turismo the car was very competitive for what looked like a stock bodied car because it was “solid as a rock” due to the chassis reinforcements via roll cage, and weight reduction from Carbon Fiber parts.  Their race car weights around 2000lbs…..Almost 1000lbs less than stock…..Check out this old feature on this thread

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I was able to purchase a few T-shirts and reservoir covers.  It came with a handwritten “thank you” from the owner of Opera Performance, Yasuyoshi Yamamoto.

My Mugen Sock has seen better days, perhaps I can try to throw it into the wash?  I installed my Opera Performance Reservoir cover on my clutch master cylinder and saved my extra Opera Performance cover for another day.

Pick Ups/DIY: Spoon Radiator Stays + Opera Performance Reservoir Covers + Mugen Bolts

Maintenance Log 2: Shift Lever Regrease + Car Garage Amis Shift Collar install

Recently I noticed that the shifting in my S2k is feeling a bit notchy compared to when I first bought the car. After a bit of reading, I read numerous threads that mention regreasing the shift for better shifting feel. The reason for this is that over time the grease that lubricates the point where the shifter pivots become contaminated and dirty, this, as a result, makes shifting not smooth.

This is a maintenance log, not a DIY, so please see this s2ki thread for a proper DIY.

What you need:
Honda Urea Grease, Honda Part Number # 8798-9002
Plastic bushing aka Change Lever Ball, Honda Part Number #54110-S2A-003
Car Garage Amis Shifter Collar (Optional)
Or OEM plastic collar, Honda Part number 54111-S2A-003

Optional Optional* You can replace the foam piece, the plastic ring that clips in the rubber cover, and even the spring that disengages the reverse lockout…. I don’t have part numbers for this… feel free to look at it on the Majestic Honda Webpage


My car is getting old and the plastic ball has seen lots of use…. I replaced it with his JDM option by tuner, Car Garage Amis.  A few other JDM tuners make shifter collars such as  ARROWS, Seeker, and Stradale.  The JDM option is made from metal opposed to the oem plastic.  Although my Mechanical engineering friend assures me that this is made from the wrong type of material, I still put my trust in the JDM tuning companies……


The jar of Honda Super Hi Temp Urea Grease.  Only the best OEM parts!

This is the “Change Lever Ball” essentially a plastic bushing that the shift lever pivots on…. I noticed it was loose on my shifter and had a fair amount of play.  This should be tight on the shift lever with no play.

You might have noticed by now that the shift collar is already on my shift lever.  The reason is, I replaced this shift collar a few months ago, but I didn’t replace the plastic piece above it.  To replace the collar, pop it off clean it up real good and liberally apply the urea grease.  It’s best to do these together at the same time.

It took some force, but with lots of patience the plastic piece came off.

Once the change lever ball was off, be sure to give it a good clean to get rid of all the dirty grease and relubricate.

Once the shifter is properly cleaned and lubricated with fresh Urea grease.  Pop on the new plastic piece.  Pro tip* Be sure to orient this in the correct direction, the shifter should be bent facing the driver, you do not want this in backwards!  I laid on some more grease and reinstalled the lever back into the transmission.

After the shift lever was reassembled and all the bolts were torqued down.  It took a few shifts to get everything settled.

Final thoughts, since I drove the car with just the shift collar installed by itself and then with the new change lever ball plastic piece installed. The upgraded metal Car Garage Amis shift collar made a small difference in shifting feel, but additionally upgrading the change lever ball was a significant increase in shifting feel.

Maintenance Log 2: Shift Lever Regrease + Car Garage Amis Shift Collar install

Photoshoot: June 2016 Photoshoot!

Happy 4th of July everyone.  Last week Warren was back in town from South Korea so we decided to get together for a quick photoshoot!  It was getting late and we were not in the mood to move our cars 100000 times….. so this is a bunch of shots in different angles.  I lost a few shots because my camera was set on auto ISO on the tripod, the pictures weren’t up to my standards so they weren’t posted.


This line up of cars  is seen plenty of times if you are a frequent visitor of this site.  From the left to right, my car, Alan’s car, Areen’s car, Chris’s car, and Warren’s car

Chris Lum’s Mugen AP2 and Warren’s AP2 with the ASM V1 rear.

Warren’s Ap2 is also rocking an Authentic Amuse Dry Carbon Hood and Amuse R1 front bumper….. The Mugen hardtop Bronze CE28N and Stoptech brakes are a nice touch…. You can see the different types of S2000 hoods in this shot.  Of course, everything is authentic!





Chris’s clean Mugen Dry CF hood and Mugen intake.

Areen’s Carbon Fiber Spoon Spark plug cover signed by Mr. Spoon himself.  The battery setup is by KcMachine
Closing this photoshoot out with Areen’s Amuse’d Ap2.

Photoshoot: June 2016 Photoshoot!

Life: Top Down Meet 10 Year Anniversary

This past Saturday we checked out the Top Down Meet 10 year anniversary meet at the La Puente Hills Mall.  The Top Down Crew are an “old school” S2k crew. Living on the East coast I was always envious of the S2k scene out in California, the east coast didn’t have too much of an S2k scene.  I remember reading about the different S2k crews in California on S2ki. Years have passed and most of the original members have moved on to newer cars or have started families, but you can tell the S2k still holds a place in their hearts.

I was planning to take a ton of pictures, but the meet ended before I had a chance to take out my tripod, everything you see here is shot handheld, so I’m sure they are plenty of cars I did not shoot that attended the meet.
A man admiring the fine machines……

Gotuning Tommy’s ASM theme Ap2 CR and a car that has been featured on this site many many many many times, Areen’s Spoon themed Ap2.

Extremely quality parts here, ASM EVERYTHING, ASM dry carbon hood, Mugen DRY CF top, ASM Prodrive wheels….. and of course we know all about Areen’s car….. Shine Everything! JK all authentic here too!

The meet was starting to look good…..Aftermarket front bumpers everywhere, like this voltex kitted car…. not too sure how many of these front bumpers were authentic though…..

A look many of the younger S2k crowd is going for nowadays…. ASM front bumper and Enkei RPF1s SBCs


As I mentioned earlier, some members have moved on…..It looks like this particular member moved on to a Datsun 510 but still rocking a TD S2k license plate.  He proudly displayed a picture of what I can assume is his prior ride.


ASM and Voltex bumpers came out in numbers that night….They were more ASM and Voltex front bumpers than stock bumpers…..

One of my favorite cars of the night.  OG S2k rocking a legit IS-11 ASM kit, CE28N, Spoon Calipers, M racing Mirrors, Mugen Hardtop, and more.

Around this time is when the cops came by and broke up the meet….about 1 hour after it got started.  They told everyone to leave or they will start writing tickets.

A few of us rolled out to another spot…. Here is Mike checking out Tommy’s ASM’ed AP2 CR.  His ASM I.S. DESIGN FRONT AERO BUMPER GT-10 is tits, I want to say this is Dry Carbon……

Warren was in town from South Korean, he brought out his awesome Amuser R1 front bumper and amuse dry carbon hood.

Chris Lum’s famous Mugen Ap2!  He’s almost been on this site many times….

Tommy popped the hood of his ASM CR and it unveiled a host of ASM goodies, the ASM CF intake, a rare piece, I think this is where passwordjdm got “inspiration” to create their intake.  Of course ASM cooling plate, ASM catch can, ASM coolant reservoir, ASM strut bar, ASM Toda throttle body, and the piece I’ve been looking around everywhere the Mugen Dry Carbon Spark Plug Cover!

The rear of Tommy’s car was all ASM too, CUSTOM Spec ASM wing, ASM 07+ rear bumper, ASM tow hook, and the ASM Siren exhaust.  It sounded so clean……
This car just happened to be in the parking lot…. FRS/BRZ? with a Voltex Swan neck wing and the best mod…..a big ass Honda badge!

Life: Nemo’s Garage Grand Opening Meet

Hi all.  Last week I checked out the Nemo’s Garage grand opening meet.  Nemo’s garage is located in Ontario, CA.  It was hot as hell that day, with temperatures in the upper 90s.


I rolled with my buddy Alvin in his LBP AP2

We found some parking off to the side….

There were plenty of civics there….

Like this K swapped RHD example

Of course, I was on the lookout for S2000s….. Like this Formula Red sitting on Advan RZ.

Instagram famous S2boost…. with J’s Fenders, Mugen Hardtop, J’s Racing rear quarter panel, and of course a Vortech supercharger……

Bronze TE37V and Spoon Calipers

My favorite civic there, and they were a lot of civics to choose from.  This is a clean and simple Spoon EG build with almost every spoon part thrown at it.

I don’t know much about CRXs, but this one looked like it had plenty of Mugen goodies……

I met up with my buddy Areen at the show and his Spoon’d out S2k.  He was parked next to a nicely executed Mugen theme S2000 CR in Apex Blue.

Apex blue just pops in person.  I love this entire build…..

Mugen Hood and Mugen MF10s!

He replaced the OEM hardtop with a Mugen piece.


Underneath the MF10s sits Endless Calipers…..Not many people run endless calipers, since they cost more than most of the Big Brake Kits out for the S2k

A better shot of the Mugen MF10 with Endless Calipers….

A caliper comparison, Areen’s Spoon Caliper setup with his brand new Project MU brake rotors.

My favorite cars at the meet for sure….

Areen’s Spoon Mirrors vs Mugen Blue mirror inserts.

Sleek and aerodynamic spoon mirrors…. not many S2ks can pull this off, doesn’t hurt when you have the full spoon kit.

I love how these look, they look much more blue than the spoon mirror inserts….and of course that mugen logo!

Here is Areen telling me about his 1 of 3 in the world J’s racing shiftknob and our crotches
Areen’s New ASM rear bar……Fresh off the boat from ASM.

Meet was not limited to Hondas, this mean FB RX-7 rolled by.

Or this 71′ datsun 240z

Two of Nemo Garage’s cars. their EM1 and EG….
Instagram S2k I follow, Mykeeeman.  Full J’s Racing exterior with some meaty ce28 and J’s racing 6pot calipers

The interior unfortunately was not as good as the exterior…. I’m sure he is still working on it. Looks look he has a cage with side bars, but the takata harness through the stock seats kills it for me. From a safety aspect it is unsafe and aesthetically, it looks bad.  All he really needs is seats and possibly a new center console cover.

Rear shot of the J’s racing rear bumper and J’s racing tow hook

J’s racing exhaust!

Another build I see on instragram, DPK ChuyChuy and his ITR

I love small details like this Fuji Speedway sticker on the lip….

First time really seeing a J swapped civic.  In real life it sticks out of the hood so much…..

Owner and his girl drive all the way from Vegas like this….. no hood and all….

Amazing how clean the engine fits in the engine bay

Stock bodied MKIV Supra rolling by..


I was suprised on the number of RHD Civics in attendance.  I felt like there were more RHD civics than LHD.
I love this clean look, lowered midori on CE28s in Titanium Silver.

Life: Another 626 June night

It’s getting hot in the 626… with the SoCal summer heat comes more summer meets….. I kicked it with a few friends this past week……

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My car next to clements track machine.


This shot reminded me of fast and the furious when they line up and look down the line…..


Track bro Track bro Track bro Track bro, Oscar’s S with his new splitter and wing he let me put my drink on……. Did I mention he tracks his car?

Amuse or Amuse Style? GPW S2k that showed up on BBS LMs…..

I put my Arvou tow hook on recently…. no new additions recently, just more rock chips.

Shot of different front bumpers, Mugen (style), Amuse R1 and Voltex (Style)……
Last picture to close this out

Maintenance Log 1: Cabin Air Filter and Vtec Solenoid Gaskets

I’m starting a new segment, I’m going to use these maintenance logs to keep track of my maintenance.

It’s a reality, my S2k is over 15 years old if you can believe that…. and with that age comes great maintenance.

vtecsolenoidgasket

When I changed out my Cam gears, noticed this oil leak on my timing cover…..This is what prompted me to take a closer look at my o-rings. I know my O-rings on my Timing Chain Tensioner are good since I replaced that not too long ago

This is what prompted me to take a closer look at my o-rings. I know my O-rings on my Timing Chain Tensioner are good since I replaced that not too long ago.

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I figured the gaskets on my Vtec solenoid needed to be changed since they are on the hot side of the engine near the exhaust manifold, the heat tends to accelerate rubber wear.  Removing the VTEC solenoid is only 3 10mm bolts…..

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I ordered this OEM Honda VTEC solenoid gasket from this eBayer seller in the picture.

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As you can see my VTEC solenoid gasket was brittle and flat……

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Since I was replacing the main gasket on the VTEC solenoid, I went ahead and replaced the Upper VTEC solenoid gasket too.  However, Honda does not sell this piece separately. Before you would have to buy a whole new VTEC solenoid just to get this gasket, but now they are some sellers that sell this gasket alone. I also bought this one off of eBay….. This gasket alone was almost $30 😦 I think I only paid around $10 for the lower VTEC gasket…. There is a definitely market for this since a complete new VTEC Solenoid is around $200+

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The old brittle gasket on the left and the new gasket on the Upper VTEC Solenoid.

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Another shot of it on the Upper VTEC Solenoid

Next item of maintenance, replacing the Air Cabin Filter. I’ve been wanting to replace this unit for awhile now, but it keeps slipping my mind. I was on amazon and I figured why not, it’s only $10.45 with free amazon prime shipping. Typically I buy OEM HONDA for everything, but the ease and time savings of amazon prime, it was too hard to pass up. Worst case scenario I could always run it for a bit and then buy an OEM unit in the future…..

CabinAirFilter

TYC Air Cabin filter comes with detailed instructions with pictures.

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Cabin Filter is located under the dash cowel on the passenger side. Typically there is a weather strip on the dash cowel, but it is not there because of the body shop that worked on my car never replaced it after they worked on my car…..just another thing they fucked up on…. please see my thoughts here and here about this body shop….

Check out my new Odyssey PC680 battery I got free from my friend! Just in the nick of time too, I had to give up my Optima Yellow top to my IS300 since that car’s battery died.

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As you can see, my old battery tie down was all rusted so I bought another amazon special…..a billet battery tie down…. It was only $10 and of course free amazon prime shipping…. I promise you won’t be seeing any more amazon parts on this car!

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The Cabin Filter lies in here.  The filter element is encased in a plastic enclosure.  All that is replaced is the paper element inside the enclosure.

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This is what came out of the car…. I believe this is the original Cabin Filter. My car is an 2001 model year so about 15 years of dust is built up on this. This car has also been to more than 8 states coast to coast

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I swapped in the cabin air filter into the plastic enclosure…..

OEM or not, anything is better than what I had before. The part fit in perfectly, I have no complaints, now I can breathe in fresher air!

Life: A Random AE86 appears

I hung out with some friends last week. What I like about hanging out with like-minded car enthusiasts is that they are associated or attract other people that share the similar vision and philosophy when it comes to tuning cars….


Speaking of tuning, Tom picked up a new Intake…. TOP FUEL ZERO-1000 TYPE 3D. I like how the inlet of the intake goes over the radiator. I think there are only a handful of people in the USA with this particular setup.  Loving those Öhlins Tom, we all know the fastest S2ks in California run Öhlins….. 🙂

You can see Colin to the left installing his KCMachine Shorai Battery kit It is USA made and only a combined weight of 6.6lbs! KCMachine makes Shorai battery kits for other cars like the BRZ, FRS, and NSX.

Areen brought his buddy out with one of the cleanest Hachi Rokus I’ve seen outside of a car meet……..


Kouki frontend with a zenki lip.

Of course I asked the owner what he was running under the hood….
Under the bonnet is a 20v 4age with the stock ITBs!  I like how the engine bay is painted, reminds me of how Spoon paints the interior and engine bay of their cars.
I believe he said the bottom end was all Tomei….

Beautiful custom JSP header
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Owner is repping HK and AE86FIGHTCLUB

Bride Seats!
I love the accordion shift boot and matching Personal horn to match the seats.

Volk TE37, don’t see too many TE37 wheels on AE86.

I like this shot, the car behind turned on his headlights as he was leaving…….This reminds me of the option videos I used to watch back in the day when they ran the touge in my younger years.

Trueno mud flaps.
I’m happy that owners like this are preserving this car as they are becoming increasingly rare and modifying the car with quality parts that don’t take away from the soul and balance of the vehicle.

Pickups: Toda Racing S2000 Adjustable Campulleys

I found a killer deal on Toda Racing Adjustable cam pulleys/cam gears on an S2000 Facebook group recently. I messaged the user immediately after he posted the item for sale and paypaled him, luckily S2k owners nowadays don’t care about these parts and would rather spend their money on knock-off body kits or replica wheels……Pic for attention! I’ve always wanted Toda cam gears to go with my Toda Racing A2 Cams 🙂 This past weekend I finally got around to installing these into my S2k.


They are in great condition and came with all the little bits and pieces specific to the Toda Cam gears….  Small pieces typically get lost with used parts since they go from person to person.

Close up of the cam gears!

A buddy lent me his place to install my cam gears, I’m forever grateful since I am living in an apartment right now with no space and a strict HOA.  First thing first, I let the car cool down, working on any parts covered in hot ass oil is no fun.  This is a shot of my stock cam gears on my Toda A2 Cams.  I’ve taken my valvetrain apart too many times now, I made quick work of this install.

A comparison shot of the stock cam gears vs the toda adjustable cam pulleys.

This is one of the small pieces you should look out for if you buy these cam gears used.  The end cap on the cams is smaller with the Toda units, you can see here it has less of a lip.  The Toda unit is to the right.  Another piece, that is not pictured, is the woodruff key, the woodruff key that comes with the Toda Adjustable Cam Pulley is smaller than the stock unit.
The finished product after my installation.  I am happy now that I have adjustability with my cam pulleys for when I need to degree my cams in the future.  They look badass, too bad I can’t run these open a la Ae86 4age style!