Mar 31, 2014

I came across this baby while walking to the mall in Hakata. In my opinion, any Subaru after the 03 model just doesn't look so good. I know there are people that are about the tear drop headlights, but for me, it just doesn't do it. Bug eyes is the max. However... my personal favorite is the 22b. In this case we have a GC8, and that will have to do. She sure is a nice one though.

It looks mostly stock, minus some tastefully added stickers, and what could be some light coilover work. The GC8's looked ready to rock from the factory though, and apart from the Evo in the same years, a more ready to race look could not be found from another manufacturer.

Probably the only other thing I would have liked to see on this car are the headlight covers. But that's just nitpicking, now isn't it? Nice job, random Japanese guy.... I approve.

Mar 25, 2014

Maybe Muto is getting more than he bargained for. It appears that while Muto was building a family, Masaya was building up his skills. 

I was just telling my GF the other day that I had gotten so used to the size of the 240SX that I owned in America. Then I didn't drive it for 3 years, and got used to driving a Kei-car over here. Now, the 180SX feels like I'm driving a damn bus. Has anyone ever experienced anything like that? Or am I alone...

Like Muto said... Maybe I just haven't been in sports cars for a while...

Mar 23, 2014

Ahhh, those famous glass smooth streets of Japan. The big 40 means the speed limit is 40KPH, which is an agonizingly slow 25MPH. Yes, their wide open streets have a lower speed limit than my state's school zones. :(

Mar 20, 2014

Time for another Throwback Thursday. Today I'm bringing you some shots from around 2003 again. This time we are in Huntington, WV, at my friend Isaac's garage/shop. These are the only shots I have of this MR2, but maybe when he sees this post, he'll dig up some more for me.

I remember going with him on his test drive in this thing. We bought it off of a kid who had a really nice (at the time) yellow Veilside S2000. He was wanting way less than the book for this. If I remember correctly about half of book value, and he said that the transmission was shot, but it would shift ok if we drove it normally...hard, quick shifts caused it to grind.

I had just replaced the clutch in my del Sol, and the symptoms were exactly the same. I almost guaranteed him that I thought it was a clutch and salve cylinder issue, and he should buy it and spend the 300 or so bucks to get it fixed. He looked up the price of a transmission, and I believe he said it was $1200, which still made this car way less than the book value. He decided to buy.

It ended up being the clutch or slave cylinder, so he saved a lot of money and bought a really nice car on the cheap. He didn't keep it very long before he sold a profit. I don't remember why, but I do remember it wasn't around for too long.

Mar 18, 2014

Muto wants to hate on the SA22C, but he can't help but praise it, even during his critical assessment. It also turns out that Kidoh is into engine swaps. But instead of going all V8, like that guys back home, he went a generation up, trading the 12A in for a 13B. Is there anyone on this blog that's done the same swap? I doubt it, but if there is I'd like to hear your story.

Oh by the way...did you realize this is the 105th page we have translated? If you are new, go back and start from the beginning. If you are not new... go back and read it again anyway. I re-read this whole thing at least once a month. Maybe I'll compile what I have into a PDF and do a give away. If you think that sounds sweet, let me know via comment below, or email me at

ORRRRR if you haven't done so already, like my facebook page at, and let me know what you think there.

Mar 17, 2014

桜 (さくら or sakura) are known to us in the west as cherry blossoms. To me, this is THE season in Japan. Sure, there are lots of festivals in the summer, as well as the major vacation holiday known as golden week, but I don't feel that there is anything magical in that time. I don't see that the Japanese see it either.

But during the time that cherry blossoms start to sprout, there is a magic in the air. Every year there are hit songs written specifically about Sakura, the way we have songs about Christmas and snow.

The top picture was taken at Kashii Jingu in Higashi-ku, Fukuoka.
These next two pictures were taken at Ohori Koen (Ohori Park). They have a famous festival there, every year for sakura. They light them up at night, and it is just gorgeous. If you ever have a chance, I highly recommend it. In my time in Japan, I have seen sakura at both Ueno Koen in Tokyo, and Ohori Koen in Fukuoka. I prefer the latter, actually.
This is Hanami, or picnicking under the sakura trees. During this time, many people usually buy their favorite beverage (usually beer or chu hai for those over 20), favorite snack or meal (bento), and then throw out a blanket to feast. This is a lot like your basic American picnic that is had all over America during the spring and summer.

If you are wondering, the kanji for hanami is 花見. 花, or hana means flower. 見 comes from miru (見る), which means to see. So the literal translation is flower viewing. What better way to view these beautiful flowers, than with your favorite cold one in the company of you family and closest friends?

I'll be taking lots of sakura photos this year. So keep on the lookout for that. If you REALLY don't want to see them, drop a link below.... but I warn you... it's not JDM life if you don't do Japanese things.

Mar 14, 2014

Just a stock Z33 Fairlady. Nothing exiting, but I want a to do a series of "Reference" articles, so that anyone interested in doing a JDM car can have a definitive reference point.

Here you can see badge placement, taillights, reverse lights and the fold in rearview mirrors that Japan is synonymous with.

Mar 12, 2014

Let's take a DeLorean ride back to 2002. Body kits were still in, and a must if you wanted to own a "fully built car." And fully built was a really vague term, in being that it meant what ever you wanted it to mean, but generally it meant a kit, paint, wheels, springs (or worse, those god awful coilover sleeves), strut tower bars, intake, manifold, and catback. At least in my area it did. And if you had a Zex 50 shot or Greddy turbo kit, you were a god.

AND.....that's really ridiculous now.

I didn't have a swap or anything, just a good old fashioned D16Z6, and I had it rebuilt. But the guy who rebuilt it was an idiot and timed it 180 degrees out, so when it fired up it bent 4 valves. He denied any wrong doing, and said it was something we did. So after paying all that money to someone, we had to lap the valves in our selves and re-timed it, and what do you know.... it fired right up.

This car and I have a lot of memories. It was the first car I put a set of wheels on, it was the first (and only) car I lost my license in for street racing. And for all that I rewarded it by putting it into a tree at roughly 85 MPH. The tree (thank God) was a slightly small one probably about 14 inches around, and it plowed down as we hit it and helped us roll over an 8 foot embankment. I don't know how, but no one was seriously injured. I did have a gnarly black eye for a week though.

I'm going to try to think of my mods list and write down everything I can remember.


"Blitz" style front bumper
"Exteme" rear bumper
OEM Honda side skirts (color matched)
OEM Honda rear spoiler
Custom made hood with open scoop
B62P Captiva Pearl (OEM Honda color)

Sparco R323 suede steering wheel
Momo hub
Integra GSR shift knob (traded my Type-R knob, because this was taller and felt better to me.)
Apline CD player (Model number unknown)
Pioneer Coaxials (Wal-Mart quality, don't get excited.)
Auto Meter Oil Pressure and Oil Temperature Gauges (where OEM radio location was)
Sparco Blue Y-style 4-point harness

Suspension and Brakes
15 x 7 Rota Slipstreams
Nitto 450 (?) Tires
eBay Drop Springs
Bomz Racing front and rear upper strut braces
Bomz Racing front and rear lower braces
Braided stainless steel brake lines
"Brembo" cross-drilled rotors
semi-metallic "race" pads

Engine and Transmission
AEM Fuel Rail
B&M Fuel Pressure Regulator
AutoMeter Fuel Pressure gauge
Zex Stage 1 camshaft (Which actually was made by CompCams)
AutoZone short ram intake
Matrix stainless steel header
Lightweight flywheel
Exedy stage 1 clutch
3-angle valve job
Ported and polished head
B&M short shifter (Best short shifter I have ever owned in any vehicle)

Mar 11, 2014

Kinda tense.... get ready for next week, because Kidoh will be goin' hard. I promise.

Mar 4, 2014

Here she is in all of her unimpressive glory! My girlfriend told me about this car before I even came here. I've been interested ever since. A lot of you may be thinking, "He's in Japan and could get an S15, or Skyline GT-R, and he chose THAT?!" Yeah, I did. My closest friends know that my love for the 180SX platform is never ending. I just love these things.

Dents and dings (and there are a lot!) aside, this car is in GREAT cosmetic shape, especially to be parked right next to the ocean in Japan. The rust spots are SO tiny, that they are practically non-existent. I'm gonna get a can of rust wipe, rust transformer, sand paper, and primer and clean her up. She doesn't even have rust on the shock towers! Amazing!

The door is slightly misaligned, though that can be easily corrected. Also, the previous owner did spot painting with regular silver spray paint That's going pear shaped fast, but that's ok. I'm thinking satin black with a gloss black roof, but I'm not for sure yet. Also notice the best part, to me. IT DOESN'T HAVE A SUNROOF! I'm tall and the sunroof cars have slightly less interior room inside of them. Also, since this car is right hand drive, there is no floor hump to deal with, so I can get my racing bucket a little bit lower. Thank God!

Those tails! They are in pretty good shape, too! Relatively scratch free. Oh, by the way... I got the car for just a little more than what these tails would have cost me in America. やすーーーーーい!(Cheeeeeaaaaaaapp!)
Here's a shot of the worst rear quarter panel. This doesn't bother me at all, because I will end up widebodying it any way. Man... I'm excited.

Stay tuned, and in a day or two, I'll post some video up that can show all of her character a little bit better. I got a lot of close ups showing her problem areas.... you know those areas that make a project worth doing?

I have most of my plans worked out for what I want to do to her, but I'll save that for another post. You did get two clues, though. Satin black and wide body. Trust me, won't be a regular 30mm widebody project.

Never Enough.

Mankin out.
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