Archive for the Detailing Category

Carfidant Paint Depth Gauge – User Review

Posted in Detailing on August 29, 2013 by tysonhugie

Odometer (ILX):  52,634

52634

We’re taking a break from my long-distance late summer travels for a product review today.

“What’s under that shiny paint?”

That’s the tagline for a new product that promises to potential car buyers that it will help them determine if a vehicle they’re looking at has ever been involved in an accident.  I was given the opportunity a couple of weeks ago to perform a review of the Carfidant paint depth tool, so I used my 1994 Legend and my 2013 ILX as subject vehicles.

carfidant

The idea here is that an all-original car should have pretty consistent readings around the entire vehicle.  A car that’s been hit & repainted, however, can vary widely from panel to panel.  The reason for this is that extra layers of paint & Bondo cause the meter to give higher readings.  Those high readings are red flags and could be an indication that body work has been performed, even though the vehicle may look 100% mint condition to the naked eye.

See the results for yourself here:

Saturday Car Wash Party

Posted in Detailing on July 17, 2013 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  522,604

522604

Odometer (ILX):  45,120

45120

From the time I was old enough to pick up a sponge, I was helping my dad uphold our family’s reputation for having the cleanest cars on the block.  In fact, he used to pull the cars out onto the front lawn from time to time and take pictures of them.  I remember a neighbor coming over to ask one time, “When’s the car show?”

(That’s me on the right)

bentley_tyson_celebrity_1986

When I got a little older, I’d detail cars for neighbors and friends.  My pride and joy was this chrome-tastic 1989 Honda Prelude Si.

1989_prelude_2

This was one car that I loved working on:  A Geneva Green Pearl 1991 Acura Legend LS Coupe.  It had the Ivory interior and an automatic transmission.

rollins_legend_1

This car belonged to a couple named McKay and Joan who used to visit the copy shop where I worked at the time.  From the moment I sat inside this Legend and drove it to my house, I knew I’d someday own one.  These pictures were taken in 1999 when I was 17.

rollins_legend_2

It wasn’t until 4 years later that I ended up buying a Legend of my own.  McKay and Joan sold this Legend to someone else but I’ll never forget the thrill of calling it my own, even if just for an hour.

rollins_legend_3

In fact, that Legend coupe even inspired me at one point to start making a small clay model of a Legend.  I didn’t get very far with it.

legend_coupe_clay_model

Last Saturday, I hosted a car wash party of sorts at my house.  My friends showed up with a hodge-podge of vehicles, including the following:

Joe’s 1995 Acura Legend LS Coupe Automatic

washing_cars

Jack’s 2008 Volkswagen GTI 6-Speed

jack_gti

Matt’s 2013 Nissan 370Z 6-speed

washing_370z

Jacob’s 2013 Jeep Wrangler 4-door 6-speed

jacob_washing_jeep

Joe’s Legend is pretty special.  It’s production #1234 from the last model year of the Legend, 1995.  He’s had it for just a few months but already done quite a bit of maintenance to it.

tyson_joe_acura_legend_coupes

At 155,000 miles on the odometer, it’s got a ways left to go.

joe_legend_interior

Joe recently ditched the aftermarket wheels that were on the car previously and replaced them with the correct 16″ Legend “GS” wheels.

acura_legend_coupes

Another friend who came to the party was Paul in his 2013 Acura TL SH-AWD.

paul_tyson_tl_legend

Paul’s TL is the definition of “fully loaded.”  This car is equipped with the Advance package and Acura’s signature “Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive” (SH-AWD).

acura_tl_spoiler

It’s a good thing I was wearing sunglasses, because that Bellanova White Pearl is blinding in the Arizona afternoon sunlight.  The darkly tinted glass on Paul’s TL gives a nice contrast.

2013_acura_tl_shawd

Here’s the immaculate interior.  It still smells brand new – and, at only 5,000 miles on the odometer, it should!  Those seats are ventilated.  A great feature to have here in the desert!

paul_acura_tl_interior

My favorite upgrade to Paul’s TL is a Grumpy Cat sticker on the right rear window.  Grumpy Cat, also known by her official name of Tardar Sauce, lives not far from me in Morristown, Arizona.

grumpy_cat_on_acura_tl

Who would win this race?  Battle of the brands.

370z_tl_at_stoplight

2013 Nissan 370Z Sport:

  • 332 horsepower, 3.7 liter V6 engine
  • 6-speed manual transmission with Synchro-Rev match system

2013 Acura TL SH-All Wheel Drive:

  • 305 horsepower, 3.7 liter V6 engine
  • 6-speed automatic transmission with sport-shift paddles

It’d be a fun match to watch.

Current events:

My ILX went in for an oil change yesterday at 45,028 miles.  The technician recommended replacement of the cabin & engine air filters, and fresh manual transmission fluid, due to mileage. Otherwise, just a few quarts of fresh 0W20 oil and I was on my way.

Here’s the latest ILX rendering by Hondatalover.

Crumpler_ILX_Edit_7-16-2013

In his own words, here are the makings of this amazing looking custom ILX.

Things you can see:

  • Tinted windows
  • Tinted Headlights (lightly, just going for a darker housing look)
  • Clear strip for Reverse and turn signal’s on the taillights.
  • 18″ European Honda Accord Type-S wheels.
  • A slight drop. Probably 1/2 an inch,
  • ‘A-Spec’ front, side and rear bumpers with wing spoiler. (One piece, not a lip kit) –I have a non-wing spoiler version. Since not everyone likes wings, I’ll send and let you pick.

Things you cannot:

  • Dual, quad exit exhaust (can’t see, but it’s implied)
  • Dark metal trim w/ fake Carbon fiber accenting.
  • Full LED interior lighting and accenting.
  • LED puddle lights in the L and R mirrors, behind the door handles, bottom of the door (when open) to shine onto the ground, and license plate.
  • Sound deadening material through out.

Mechanics:

  • HFP/ A-Spec suspension (1/2″ drop)
  • High performance summer tires.
  • RV6 Bellmouth down pipe w/ Si mufflers.
  • Limited-slip differential.
  • Cold Air Intake.
  • Beefier stabilizer bars.
  • Beefier front and rear tower struts.
  • Hondata reflash optional.

Sounds like a dream ILX to me!  Sign me up for those enhancements.

Unique Legends & A Quick Wash

Posted in Detailing, Legend on February 6, 2012 by tysonhugie

Odometer:  506,706

I was pulling out of my neighborhood this week on my way to work one morning and stopped dead in my tracks when I spied a car ahead in a parking lot that I hadn’t seen for a couple of years:  this 1988 Acura Legend convertible.  Back in March 2010, I test-drove this converted ride out in Eloy, Arizona at a private seller’s home.  It had 87,000 miles and was for sale for $1,900.

These next two pictures were taken this past Wednesday, February 1, 2012.  Actually – the car looks even better than it did two years ago, which is a relief.  At least it’s now wearing seat covers to obscure those ratty leathers.

This definitely isn’t the first time a Legend’s been chop-topped.  It’s been done on several occasions with the second generation (1991-1995) model, too.  This particular 1992 coupe is painted in a 1995-only color, called Garnet Red Metallic.

On the topic of oddball conversions, try this one on for size.  As any die-hard Acura Legend fan knows, the 2 door and 4 door Legends share no exterior body panels in common.  There’s an ongoing Legends in Junkyards thread on the acuralegend.org forums.  One of our members spotted this interesting creation.

Coupe with sedan front end!

This has been done before, and even on a model in Desert Mist Metallic like mine.

Weird seeing the different front end on the car!

This morning I decided it was time to give the old high-miler a little TLC so I’ll walk you through my easy process.  I’m often asked how I keep an old car looking shiny.  In reality, it doesn’t take a ton of time!  Start to finish, I only spent about an hour on this.  I’ve had a slow leak on the left front tire so I topped off the PSI before doing anything else.

This old car is definitely not without its squeaks and groans.  Over the last few months, the driver’s door hinge has been getting really loud.  I finally took a minute to spray some WD in there and it’s completely silent again.

I pulled out the vacuum and did the whole interior.  The floor mat you see there is my “daily” mat, complete with a hole worn through from the heel of my shoe!  I keep a “show” set of mats separately in the house – they’re fresh in the box for special occasions only.

Thankfully while most of the country battles bitter winter weather, the worst we typically deal with here in the Phoenix area is a little bit of dust.  The car didn’t need a whole scrub-down, just a quick rinse.

I use only micro fiber towels.  I’ll usually go over the bulk of the water first with a chamois, then come back for the streaks with these towels.  Water is still beading up pretty well since the last wax several months ago.

Don’t forget to take care of all the jambs – including doors, engine, trunk, and even the fuel filler door.

This is also a good time to wipe down the dust on the motor.

Nicely cleaned up interior!  You may notice something here.  Protective dealer plastic on the carpet of the door sills – yes!  I bought a roll of this stuff on Ebay many years ago.

I did a quick polish on the chrome exhaust tips.  They get a little oxidized from time to time.  I just used a one-step Meguiar’s wax called Gold Class.

You’ll notice that I use Meguiar’s products for mostly everything.  I love the Endurance tire shine.  Smells like grape!

Take a damp towel and wipe down the wheel wells a little while you’re in there.

Meguiar’s Natural Shine is a nice product for exterior rubber, vinyl, and plastic – like my front grille and fog light surrounds.

The finished product.  Battered and scarred front end with nearly 507k, but it still looks decent from afar.

All original paint back here!

In current Acura Legend club news:  Every year since 2005, I’ve attended the National Acura Legend Meet (NALM).  Each year the location changes to a new “host” city based on bids that are submitted by local chapters that would like to bring NALM to their hometown.  Bidding was closed a few days ago for the 2012 event.

Stay tuned because in a couple of days the NALM Committee will make the announcement regarding the location of the 2012 event!

Tomorrow the high-miler goes into Acura of Tempe for a few items of maintenance to keep it mechanically in tip top shape.  Among the list of “to-do” items are an oil change (just because I might as well) EGR system cleaning (EGR system last serviced at 434,000 miles), front upper control arms (still original to the car), alignment (because the new front suspension work will require it), and manual transmission fluid (last changed at 467,000 miles).  Any other recommendations, fellow Acura owners & drivers?

Happy Superbowl Sunday!  Hope everyone’s enjoying the big game.  Here’s Acura’s contribution to the long-awaited game day commercial lineup, featuring the next generation supercar Acura NSX concept vehicle.