Sunday, January 29, 2017

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Amusing Photography...

My affinity for the parts of the Japanese Domestic Market is not based on a personal assessment of performance superiority. It is about design, quality, and attention to detail. Likely my biggest obsession of the industry, Power House Amuse is quite possibly the superlative of JDM parts. Hardly boring or run-of-the-mill, the products that come out of their facility in Chiba are not simply functional components to be admired momentarily pre-installation only to be forsaken shortly after brusque acknowledgment of any performance benefit or gain. Every Amuse part contains an all-too-real element of genuine automotive artistry.

"Tame" is probably not the word

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Friday, January 27, 2017

Project SRT8… The Beginning.

WIthout getting into too much detail, I have spent the last couple weeks discovering issue after issue with this truck. I am in the process of addressing these concerns with the dealer, so I do not want to delve any further into it at this point. I have also, however, begun the modifications. I picked the truck up last night and have not had a chance to snap any good pictures of it, but I figure I will post up an update anyway.

One of the first things I noticed about the truck when I looked at it was the wheel gap. The SRT8 model Jeep is lowered from the factory. When compared to a regular Jeep Grand Cherokee this is quite apparent. However, there is a bit of a wheel gap that I wanted to address. Being my daily driver and needing to maintain some practicality, I was not going to slam this truck to the ground. After some research, I decided the mild 1" front and 1.1" rear drop from the Eibach Pro-Kit springs is exactly what I needed. To my surprise, the ride quality is actually very comparable to the factory set-up.

Needs a bubble bath!

My next concern was the front windows. Tint. I do not like feeling like I am in a fish bowl when I drive. Thus, I had the front windows tinted to match the rear. I also had a windshield banner done.

Then, I had all the interior lighting upgraded to LED bulbs. This is a modification I recommend to everyone.

Being a black truck, I wanted to smoke the taillights. When the lights were removed, however, we discovered they were in TERRIBLE shape. I do not know what could have happened to them, but they were pitted and stained and would not take to the tint. So, I ordered new tails from Jeep.

They came out great. Perhaps a shade darker than I would have liked, but I am not complaining. Oh, and the rear bumper lights were done, as well.

Then I decided on a Stainless Steel Gibson Dual Exhaust system. I had owned a Gibson system for a prior American-made SUV that I owned years ago and I was very happy with it, so I did not need to do much research to conclude that I wanted a Gibson for this Jeep. Aggressive rumble. Mean. (Yeah, the truck is filthy.)

There is certainly more work to do on this truck to get it to where I would like it to be, but I think this is a good start. I have been going back and forth trying to decide what to do for wheels. Of course, I love Japanese craftsmanship and quality, so I had been looking into 3-piece wheels from Work and SSR, but I know a set of custom wheels would run me upwards of $4,000 and may not end up looking proper, given that this truck is AWD and runs a staggered wheel and tire combination from the factory.

That said, I stumbled across a set of forged Alcoa OEM SRT8 wheels today that have been professionally powdercoated and, unlike the wheels that came on this truck, have no curb rash.

 20x9" - Front
20x10" - Rear

SOLD. My thought process here is that I can run these wheels with a more aggressive/meaner tire set-up and keep the current wheels for the New England winter months. I also think this is the right decision for me because they were literally a fraction of the price of a Work or SSR wheel set-up, which means I can focus a bit more attention on the Z project.

Stay tuned for future updates.

JDMphasis… Innovation Over Imitation

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Love this beast by Varis.

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Amuse Shift Knob...

The latest addition to my parts pile for the Z, I recently found a great deal on a brand new Amuse shift knob, so I jumped on it. I am no photographer, but it was rather difficult to get a good picture…

Size reference next to a couple of my other knobs (Nismo GT Ti & Tommy Kaira Hebi Bebi)...

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 is here, so I did a thing...

I have never been one for New Year's Eve. It is an overrated holiday as far as I am concerned. I am too old to go to a bar, pay $50 to $100 just to walk in the door, not be able to hear the person to whom I am talking, constantly bump into inebriated strangers, and pay double the normal price for a drink. All. Set. With. That. 

Instead, I spent my New Year's Eve at a Ford dealership in Connecticut.

[Initial Post Edited.]

What I did not expect to do was drive off the lot yesterday in the Jeep. But I did. As I took the turn to the on-ramp and slowly increased the pressure on the accelerator, I accepted the reality that I was in for a totally different experience than driving a lifted FJ on chunky tires. Handling is not what you would expect from an SUV, the torque is addictive, and, given the totally averse nature of the two vehicles' purpose, the interior is a bit more refined than the FJ. This truck is fun!

I will not say that I am not going to modify this truck, because I know I want to do a few things to it. I have a feeling that I will have to continually remind myself, "You said you are not going to go crazy with this thing… You said you are not going to go crazy with this thing…"

Stay Tuned...

Obligatory 'Good-bye' shot with the FJ...

JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation