Archive for the Detailing Category

‘Acura Day’ Video, Integra Maintenance, TL Sale, & Infiniti for Sale

Posted in Detailing, Integra, TL on November 5, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  556,317

Odometer (Integra):  241,282

Odometer (I30):  134,609

Hold up!  What’s that Infiniti odometer reading doing in the mileage lineup?  You’ll find out shortly.  Meanwhile, let me bring you up to speed on the latest & greatest in current events.  As my readers already know, on October 13 I was hosted at Honda/Acura headquarters in Torrance, California to participate in a short “enthusiast Q&A” segment with head of Acura Public Relations, Matt Sloustcher.

This was a photo taken with senior leaders of the brand, Jon Ikeda, Jeff Conrad, and Matt (to my left) after the program, with me holding up my custom personalized Acura jersey which I was presented as a gift.  Score!

Matt and his team were kind enough to get ahold of the 8-minute video segment for me, so here it is for your viewing pleasure.  Once again, thanks to the Acura team for letting me crash the party for a day.  I had a great time.

It’s been a busy last few weeks in the garage.  I finally had a few longstanding mechanical needs on the 1992 Integra GS-R addressed by my trusted friend and Honda know-it-all, Tait, also known as “Hon-Man.”  Here were the items I had him work on:

  • Oil and filter with synthetic blend 10W30
  • Manual transmission service
  • Recharge air conditioning
  • Replace hatch struts
  • Adjust window clearances for better wind noise abatement
  • Replace short shift lever with OEM

While the car was in there, it also got a new windshield so things are finally crystal clear from the driver’s seat.  I treated the car to a full (and much needed) detail yesterday, even getting into the nitty gritty details of the engine bay and radiator support with a toothbrush.  I’ll be sure not to put that brush back in the bathroom vanity closet.

Things ended up looking pretty magnificent, if I do say so myself, for having nearly 1/4 million miles on this motor.

I even cleaned up inside the fuel filler door.  Obsessive-compulsive disorder?  Nah!

Finished product tucked away in the garage.

On Friday I bid farewell to a car from my fleet.  While I only owned it for about 6 months and 5,000 miles, my 2007 TL Type-S was an incredibly fun car.  I enjoyed taking it on a road trip this summer to the far reaches of northern Utah and southern Idaho, but in an effort to reprioritize and evaluate financials, I simply couldn’t justify keeping this car – my 7th currently.  I was only driving it on average a couple of times per month, and it had a loan racking up interest.  Time to cut it loose.

So, better to let the TL go to a long-time friend who will enjoy it more than I’m able to.  My friend Dave from the St. Louis area flew in on Friday night and drove it away on Saturday morning.  Dave is no stranger to the Acura collector hobby, as he was one of just a few of to attend the very first National Acura Legend Meet in 2005 in Dallas with me.  His 1995 Legend LS coupe has since been handed down to his daughter.  Dave made it to Amarillo, Texas by Saturday evening.  And by the time he reads this blog entry, he’ll be home sweet home.  Congrats, Dave!

Short video with some clips from taking delivery.

Quick intermission:  I’m sure by now you’ve all seen the now-viral “commercial” for a 1996 Honda Accord EX coupe that was put together by a guy in California trying to help his girlfriend sell her car.  Entertaining stuff if you get the chance!  (And the car is now shockingly in the $100k+ bid range on Ebay, thanks to this clever advertising).

Finally, how about a shift in gears – literally – in a brand besides Honda?  I recently had the opportunity to pick up a very rare and very nice 1999 Infiniti.  On the surface, it’s not much more than a rebadged, upscale 4th generation Nissan Maxima.  But this I30, priced at $31,200 when it was new 18 years ago, is equipped with an ultra-rare 5-speed manual transmission.  Only a handful of Touring models like this one were configured in such a manner.  And today, my hope is that there’s some enthusiast out there who wants to give this one a good home.

To that end, I’ve listed it on an auction site called Bring a Trailer for a 7-day, no-reserve listing.  The highest bid as of this coming Friday afternoon, November 10th will take this beauty home!

Link to Bring a Trailer Auction

Check it out, and let your friends know if they’re in the market for such a ride!

Carfidant Paint Depth Gauge – User Review

Posted in Detailing on August 29, 2013 by tysonhugie

Odometer (ILX):  52,634


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.


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


Odometer (ILX):  45,120


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)


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


Jack’s 2008 Volkswagen GTI 6-Speed


Matt’s 2013 Nissan 370Z 6-speed


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


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.


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


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


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


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).


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.


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!


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.


Who would win this race?  Battle of the brands.


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.


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.


  • 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 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.