Finds: Korean S2ks!

Another sleepless night… it is currently 4:52am….

I remember when I started this whole S2k ownership thing, Facebook was only for college students and instagram wasn’t invented yet. Now instagram is THE destination for insta automotive e-fame. One night I was digging through all the #s2000 content on Instagram and I came across a super rad S2k from Korea of all places, South Korea, not the North of course. There seems to be a small group of S2k enthusiasts in Korea that utilize real authentic parts and take them to the track, not post pictures of their car on instagram and give bullshit inspirational quotes….

I first found tota1ba1ance who has a pretty clean yellow ap2 with some choice mods, Mugen top, Mugen lip, Mugen Wing, and ZE40s.  From him, I saw his boy manminkim who’s car blew my mind running an Amuse GT1 kit with a legit Dry Carbon Mugen hardtop and tracking the hell out of it.

I sent them a DM and they replied saying they have blogs they update frequently with their pictures… here and here

I can’t read Korean, and my google translate doesn’t seem like it wants to translate their page, but they are some awesome shots of their cars on there.  Definitely recommend browsing their blogs.  I’m going to post more pictures of manminkim since his car is crazy!!!! These are not in any chronological order.

I’m sure this is Korea International Circuit, I don’t think they are many race tracks in Korea.

He’s repping Bro’s R&D, a popular tuner shop in South Korea.  Side note, I think the one of the guys that runs Bro’s used to work for the late GTMotoring….


From their instgram, I believe he’s running a Spoon create engine with Toda itbs!  Of course in the best setup running the dry carbon intake box running into a Mugen intake!


interesting cluster

Running spoon calipers! Dunno if it’s just me, but I think it’s funny how small spoon calipers look with stock sized rotors when you have a massive wheel like this…. I’m sure for the track it’s great since you’re just utilizing stock sized pads and rotors, keeps disposable parts cost down!

RHD.  I wondered if it was imported from Japan mostly in this state or if this is an ex-tuner demo car?


Under the skin, interesting not V, V mounted radiator with a custom cooling duct.

At bros, impressive lineup at their shop.



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this is when he got his Toda ITBS! with Dry Carbon trumpets too, which only come in 88mm…. #ITBnerdFact.

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Looks like a custom tow hook!

Toda Dry Carbon Surge Tank mounted.

I love how the Amuse GT1 kit looks with a Mugen hardtop and Mugen hood….. I think I like it more than the Amuse Hardtop.

ITB install going down.

Toda ITB drycarbon Surge tank! and someone was brave enough to drill a hole into it to mount the IAT sensor.

Looks like he is running stock injectors.

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I wonder if spoon ported the head, or if this is before he got his spoon engine…..

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Dry carbon Mugen Hardtop


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You can see the chassis has been gusseted for rigidity on the shock towers.



The Amuse GT1 kit goes so hard.

Interesting bracket to hold the Mugen intake since the stock cross member is gone.  Classic Ichishima-San signature on the valve cover



I would love to pay a visit to this shop next time I’m in Korea.  Looks so small goodies in this picture, like the Spoon S-Tai front bumper to the right.


Some shots off of Tota1Ba1ance’s S2k off of his blog.  Great clean build.  The Volk Ze40s look so right wight on Rio Yellow.

Not many people run Mugen front lips nowadays, probably because they are incredibly easy to get destroyed.

soo good…..

Nice off the shelf Ohlins kit!

Spoon axles! Like what my friend Areen is running.

Interesting J’s front S2k.







Hopefully I’ll have some more updates on my own car soon!




Life: Petersen Tech Day

I checked out the Japanese tech day meet at the Petersen recently. I was looking forward to this event for awhile now, I knew there was going to be some quality cars appearing and I couldn’t miss it….I’m going to try not to post so many car show posts since I feel like you can find the same content all over the net…..I rolled in with a few S2k friends this day…..

I was right behind Areen’s Spoon’ed out Ap2….. He got everything painted now, including his new spoon overfenders…..

Not pictured:Myself….. A few S2ks I rolled in with including some notable ones, like Areen’s Spoon’ed out S2k, Gotuning Tommy’s ASM’ed out S2k, and SasLari’s Spooned out S2k at the end…… The first blue car belongs to my friend Chris…he recently became famous for having his Forgestar F14 wheels blow up at ButtonWillow…. you can watch it here

Absolutely mint Mazda Cosmo…this is Concors level of excellent.
4 door hakosuka
It looks so good with the early morning sun….

Next to that 4door Hakosuka is this 2 door Red Hakosuka…. my friend was trying to buy one for the longest time, but apparently they are really hard to get registered in California….
The owner has owned this car for a long time now, I believe over 10+ years.  Datsun wheel!
Period stickers

In attendance was the fully MUGEN’ed out NSX seen all over the internet.  Seriously, there is probably only a handful of cars in the whole wide world that has the full Mugen kit like this guy….. didn’t get to take too many pictures of his car…. but he can be easily found with a quick google search.  My favorite Mugen piece of his car was this super rare Mugen Hatch that you could only get with the Mugen air cleaner….

Skyline R32 GTRs were in abundance at the show…..I feel like there were more Skyline R32 GTRs at the show than S2000.  This particular r32 GTR thought it was a ferrari….
Clean BMW E30 M3 some with some light mods….


I like the Carbon fiber plenum on this BMW S14 Engine!

Interesting how most R32 GTRs were on DLR tags or registered out of state.
Datsun 510

This 240z with a RB26 and Greddy intake Manifold.

Datsun 240Zx were well represented

I didn’t really understand show cars until I came to California and saw the level of details on their show cars.  This EM1 is a prime example.  The more I look at this car, the more I see tiny details that could be easily overlooked.  Very nice Kswap with a Supercharger….

Mugen rims with Spoon Brake Calipers and ARC splitter…. this is what defines USDM JDM-type tuning…. just a mashup of all different types of brands.  In Japan, People usually tune within one brand or two….

A closer shot here detailing the engine bay.  I am digging the jblood spark cover.

More Mugen MF10 Action!
I remember back in the day I used to see so many of these on the road. Hell, my 2nd accident I ever had in my life was with a Black EM1 rear ending my car…. Finding a stock one of these cars must be impossible to find now.

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Insanely mint Honda Z600, it’s easy to forget how small cars used to be.  This thing looked like it just rolled off the assembly line….It looks like this is a Two Cylinder engine?

IMG_9479That Spare tire location.
Mitsubishi Evo IX 4G63 swapped into a Kouki S14

Not very common swap for this 240sx.
R34 GTR….All dirty, but still Bayside Blue!
Still clean body-wise nonetheless
this BMW “M” Coupe was in attendance……which is suspiciously rocking a normal Z front bumper, not the M version.
with normal Z3 Seats….not the M version either.
I’m positive this is not an M coupe….maybe the badge is from one….
Internet famous Michael Mao’s NSX was there….
I’m liking his new Wheel setup, ZE40s are the new hotness right now…future classic like the CE28

down the line from the NSX was this Skyline R34 Vspec…..
Looks like all was done was a drop, Volk TE37 and AP Racing Brake Calipers.

Voltex kitted Evo IX from Pholife33!
I’m digging the Illest Bride seats!

Red RWB 911!

signed by the master, nakai san.

Nissan Skyline R32 and Skyline R34

Another internet favorite, the famous Hakotruck
Very clean SR20 Engine bay

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Plenty of FRS’ in attendance, pretty much all of them were supercharged……Not really into these cars…..

AW11 Toyota MR2
Supercharged 4AGZE

I wish Toyota would come back with such creative emblems.

Pretty good turn out for this event.
Whole row of 2nd Gen Celicas came out.

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This 2nd Gen Celica was sporting a 2JZGE non VVTI engine.  It was boosted as well!
Clean EF civics.
Legit Integra Type-r and Ap2 S2000
Phonix yellow ITR with desmond regamasters

Spoon Theme’d engine bay with a comptech icebox as an intake

Classic combination, NSX on Gold Volk CE28N

This R32 looked to have some nice upgrades, HKS Cam Gears, and probably an upgraded twin turbo setup

I wonder if these Nissan Skyline R32 enthusiasts will hold onto their cars. I feel like a majority of them are buying the car for the shear novelty of owning a skyline in the USA and to “Stand Out”. I think it’s a bid hard to set yourself apart from the crowd when there are more r32 Skylines at this show than S2000s or even Honda Civics….

My friend Alvin was digging this jacket haha

Porsche 918

Life: Meet Life

Another week gone by another week of grueling work and another week of meets to de-stress. Back on the east coast I barely went to meets, maybe because the S2k scene was weak, or the weather kept people inside. The quality of cars on the west coast is 2nd to none in the USA, I know people on the East coast would like to think cars from Florida, NYC Metro area, or the DC area can compete…… Currently it’s almost November and the temperatures is in the 80s, I would be freezing my ass in Boston right now, but I’m still driving around my S2k like it’s summer in Virginia, did I mention the canyon roads? 🙂

My Authentic Amuse bumper never really sit flush with my fender near the corners of my headlight. I told a shop to fix it when I got painted…ahem Sports Car Shop…. but they never really fixed it. I took a closer look this weekend and it looked like I was missing the bumper stiffener that bolts up the bumper to the chassis. I went ahead and ordered part numbers 71105-S2A-000 and 71106-S2A-000 and their respective bolts. This goes to show you how shitty of a job sports car shop did and how they over looked all the small things, they didn’t even know I was missing these parts, I thought you guys did tens of thousands of dollars of work on S2ks?



After I fixed it up

Still not 100% perfect since that fender has been hit before, but much better than before!

Here are some overdue pictures from a meet we had in San Gabriel last week. I thought I could hand hold my camera, but I got some really bad shakes….. Here are the only usable pictures…..

DSC05078This sticker is pretty cool DSC05093

This kid bought out this “prototype swan neck wing” They look cool, I gave it a small push and it swayed a lot. I have a feeling we’re gonna see more Swan Neck Wings on everything…..

DSC05079Clement brought out his tracked out “mugen” faced s2k. Check out his build on S2Ki Here It’s a cool build, just that replica bumper kills me……. I know it’s a track car, but still…. I checked out another meet in Irvine last week DSC05372

Some tracked out S2ks…..The S2ks in Irvine are definitely higher quality than the S2ks in the 626. Much more expensive parts, and higher quality builds. It could be that the Irvine S owners are older, while the 626 crowd is much younger.

Here are some pictures from the 626 Meet we had this week.

Chris came out and brought out his mostly home brewed track ap2

DSC05390Chris is an Mechanical Engineer by trade so most of his car he did himself. DSC05392

He crafted this custom swan neck wing. Everything you see here is what he created and made sure it’s structurally sound, when I pushed on this wing it did not budge at all, much better than the yellow car from earlier. Since he actually tracks his car, he requires absolute reliability, and the best part, the trunk still opens.


Brandon’s Ap2 on Gold Advan RGII, they’re for sale by the way! DSC05394


Alvin’s LBP ap2 on Apv4s I mean RPF1s

That wraps up this post, see you next time.

For those 10s of followers I have. Come out to the meet we’re hosting this upcoming Thursday!!!

rosemead target

Pick Ups: Magazine + oil pan baffle

On my way back home from Boston.  My lovely girlfriend and I stopped by Mitsuwa in New Jersey.  Besides decent and cheap Japanese food, there is a legit Japanese bookstore across the street.  This Bookstore is pretty hit or miss when it comes to magazines, but you can always count on them having Option Magazines.  I scooped up this.

As I was reading the magazine, using the term reading very loosely.  I can across a more street looking J’s racing s2000.  What caught my eye was the plenum setup utilizing Toda ITBs of course.

The setup reminds me of the C-WEST drycarbon intake.  This seems much better, since we don’t have to relocate the radiator.  It is a straight forward design.

Using my limited Japanese it seems like the cost of the “sports injection induction box” is 102,900 yen, around $1,300 at today’s exchange rate + the “air intake system”  which is 176,400 yen which should be around $2,229.  I am curious what would be the better setup, a M&M Honda induction box + M&M Elbow attached to a Mugen Intake, or this?

Oh yeah, my alloycraft baffle came in…..