Tuesday, March 24, 2009

HSV VE GTS Fenders by Auto FX, Tacoma

I had been looking around for a shop to take care of my Fender painting & install and like most searches for a reputable business it turned out to be a frustrating endeavor. You would find reviews of one place that were glowing, only to find someone totally slamming the same shop a few lines down. Obviously employees change jobs, get fired etc etc so it's always hard to tell what you're going to get. Pricing varied highly and so did time estimates (multiple days to one day) and the techniques involved (blending into other panels, or simply matching based on color code or to a car part).

Brandon (aka 'BobTheMonkee' on GRRRR8.net) had advised me that he had taken his car to 'AutoFX' in Tacoma to get his Pedders Touring package installed and that he was really happy with them. Clint Cawley @ AutoFX told me that unfortunately can't install bushings when I contacted them about doing my Street II / xA Coilover kit but they COULD do body work! They are literally down the street from 'Turbo Technologies' who did my Converter & Headers so I knew exactly where they were which is quite a convenient location. Out of all the places that I tried to contact they were most forthcoming with information and most responsive - something I really appreciate since I don't have the time to baby-sit and beg a company to do work for me. Also in this economic slump their shop actually seemed to still be busy which is always a good sign!

After talking to Clint a few times about the process & parts I got I decided it was time to get it done finally (the fenders had been sitting around in the garage for a while now!). Since the paint needed some good drying time I dropped off the fenders and inserts and Todd the actual guy who would be painting the parts looked everything over to make sure there were no issues. Thought that was great service. They did suggest painting them on the car and dry-fitting first, but since it's my DD I can't really be without it for a week so we decided to just color match based on Paint-Code (which is 80U for the Panther Black Metallic) and I left my Fuel Door with them for a day so they could get just the right shade. The plastic parts would just be painted a flat/matte Black.

After reading the official 'Technical Manual' it said that once the rockerpanel/sideskirt comes off all the clips would break and that new clips would be required. Crazy Paul (on GRRRR8.net) was kind enough to hunt down which clips were needed... though 2 different sources gave him 2 different numbers so I ended up with getting 4 different types of clips just in case. Part #'s were: 92138009,92138807,92138808 and 92138811

'A.J.' the mechanic doing the actual install @ AutoFX however was able to get to it without taking everything off like the manual suggest (front bumper, hood, wheels, rockerp anel etc etc) which turned out to be a nice time-saver!

Clint was cool enough to take pictures through-out the process of them installing it which I really appreciated! When done they washed & polished making it look like brand new!

So in closing - a big thanks to Clint, AJ and Todd @ AutoFX for doing a fantastic job! And if you need any work done on your car - I highly recommend AutoFX!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pedders xA Extreme Coil-Overs

So around last December Pedders announced their Pedders xA Extreme Coil-Overs. I was always interested in a Pedders based setup but was never sure what to get. Just when I had decided that (at least for now) a Street II with Drop was the way to go they throw this in the mix! So I decided why not 'make' a Street II with xA's? Basically all it is, is combining their Street I bushings with the xA Coil-Overs.

Rob @ Wretched Motorsports ran an awesome special on the xA's so it was the perfect time to get them. Since it was a pre-order process everyone had to wait until they came which was last week. Last Monday they finally showed up and they look fantastic!
I can't wait to get these bad-boys installed!