Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Another G on TE37 SL's...

I was just talking to my buddy, Brian of JT Motoring, about possibly changing up my wheels again. He sent me these pictures of this G sporting a square set-up of the TE37 SL's.

19x12 (+15)

My Brakedown

One regular area of compliment for my G is the brakes. If you have followed my build at all, you will know that they are the only set of their kind on a G37.

Before the unique Project Mu set-up, however, was a StopTech big brake kit. Recently I was asked my opinion in regards to brakes. I am not an expert, but I do have some experience. I have had two 4-wheel StopTech big brake kits (on my 350Z and on my G37) and I will never buy them again. I probably should have learned my lesson after the Z, but gave them a shot at redemption with the G and found myself extremely disappointed once again.

My issues do NOT stem from the performance of these brakes. I thoroughly enjoyed the driving experience. I will be the first to say that the braking power is quite impressive. My issues lie in cosmetics and customer service, or lack thereof. On BOTH sets of brakes, the paint on the calipers started peeling within the first few days of owning them. The first few days. For what it's worth, they were installed both times by separate professional shops, not a DIY weekend garage mechanic.

Each time (and bear in mind that three years passed in between owning these two kits) I reached out to StopTech for assistance or guidance, and each time I received zero help. After spending close to $9,000 on two kits with the same peeling paint problem after only a few days and receiving no support from the company, I think it is safe to say that I will not be purchasing from them again.

I understand there are probably 100 people who will vouch for StopTech for every one who complains. I know people who have had StopTech brakes on their cars for years who have never experienced anything like this. Realizing I am very likely in the minority, I'm simply relaying MY experience.

Below are a few pictures of what I experienced with StopTech. All of these pictures were taken within one week of installing brand new StopTech big brake kits. The pictures of the G's calipers are from the third day after the install. When I took them off (after roughly 3,500 miles of use) they looked far worse than they do here.

G featuring StopTech

 Z featuring StopTech

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I am no longer the only one...

A couple weeks ago I made a post here (A Forum Downfall) with pictures of a G on fake wheels with a fake body kit and made the statement that forums can be a way to spread wrong/bad ideas and misinformation. Praise for replicas and knock-offs by the misguided and uneducated was clearly the example I chose to use. In that sense, forums can be "bad."

As far as making connections with other enthusiasts, forums can be great. I receive a lot of private messages from members asking questions, commenting, looking for opinions, etc... I have established some good relationships with a lot of members on different forums. A fellow member on the G boards messaged me a few weeks back. He asked me about my wheels, offsets, opinions on tire sizes, his drop and suspension, etc...

I saw these pictures today. They really pop on white... And they're authentic! Very nice.

White G37S on TE37SL

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Rainy Run to Foxwoods Resort & Casino

Hoping to attract some of the Z and G owners of the Northeast, I organized a small cruise last weekend to Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Connecticut. The weather could not have been much worse, at times downpouring. Although the inclement weather cut the list of attendees down by more than half, we still had a decent group of 11 or so, some making trips upwards of three hours for the purpose of meeting other enthusiasts.

Dark skies, dirty cars, and a dimly lit parking garage did not facilitate picture-taking, but I figure I'll share a few shots from the day anyway...

3 sets of Volks in attendance


Friday, June 10, 2011

Clean and Classy: A Chicago NSX

My lastest kick is the NSX. I have always had a thing for this car. It is a pretty powerful statement when a car pushing twenty years old can still turn heads as if it rolled out of the showroom yesterday. Recently I have been combing the web searching for the best examples of this seemingly timeless Japanese sports car. After looking at a few, I turned to one of my old comrades from back in the days of the 350Z. Although we have never actually met, we used to correspond a bit via the Z boards. He moved on from his Nissan to a beautiful NSX. I recently got in touch with him and asked if I could feature his car on JDMphasis.

When this car first replaced the 350Z of Ginash George I knew it was going to be a notable project. His tastefully executed Z was magazine-worthy and well-respected within the community of Z enthusiasts. There was no reason to believe the NSX would be any different. The theme of this car was "clean." It is fair to say that theme has been achieved. A number of well-executed modifications have helped to position this NSX at an elevation above most others.

After rotating through two sets of Volk Racing wheels and a set of Advan RS rollers, this NSX is now rolling on a set of forged Advan RZ-DF wheels wrapped in Yokohama rubber with staggered sizes, 18" in the front and 19" in the rear. In my humble opinion, this is the best set-up to date. These beautiful wheels outline a set of StopTech brakes powdercoated to match the Imola Orange exterior of this NSX.

After pushing close to 500WHP on his 350Z, George decided to enjoy the reliability of a naturally aspirated engine with his NSX. That is not to say, however, that all performance modifications were relinquished. A rare GTone exhaust system frees up some airflow and adds a few horsepower to this beauty, as well as a certain dimension of audible pleasure.

The suspension is not an area on which George skimped. Made up of Tein Flex coilovers, an Umbrella Auto Design variable ride height kit, and CompTech sway bars, the handling characteristics of this NSX are mightily improved over stock.

One of my favorite aspects of the modification done to this car is the interior. I would like to think that I had an infinitesimal influence on the direction taken here. As some of you know, the Recaro seats of my Z were a custom set. They were the Recaro Speed 'S' seat (similar design to my current Bride XAX II seats). At the time I ordered them, they were a new design for Recaro. To flow with the LeMans Sunset exterior of my car, I had them made in black leather/alcantara and I requested a double-stitch with orange thread. Recaro would not do that for me unless I supplied the thread. Thus, I contacted a thread company, had some samples sent to me and decided on a heavy-duty bonded upholstery thread and sent a tube of it off to Recaro so they could build my seats.

Shortly after I had parted out the Z and sold the seats, George had purchased his beautiful Imola Orange NSX and had begun the modification process. He sent me a few messages inquiring of the seats. Needless to say, the seats had been sold to someone else. For some reason, I don't think that took the wind out of George's sails because he one-upped me BIG TIME when he had Recaro build a custom set of Pole Position seats for him. To say that they are gorgeous is a drastic understatement.

The rest of the interior is just as alluring...

I am not sure what is in store next for this one-of-a-kind NSX, but I'm confident that it will be far from humdrum and vanilla. I can only applaud the owner of this timeless beauty for his modding taste and execution. I know that if I ever find myself in Chicago, I will be sure to look him up to admire this car in person. Thank you, Ginash George, for allowing me to feature this exquisite car.

A complete list of all modifications and more pictures of this car can be found at the blog of the owner.