Artema's build thread
Hello, my name is Michael Garza. Since the late 80s my most common online name in forums and games has been Artema. I had a 1993 Honda Accord as my first car, and it finally died from the Colorado Springs cold in early 2010. I picked up a blue 2008 Nissan Sentra as a quick replacement, which has now become my wife’s car. I have since moved to the Central Coast of California. I decided that because I was coming up on my re-enlistment with the Air Force, which I did on June 13th of last 2011, that I would get a car with my bonus pay. I considered many things such as the 300, RX8, RSX, Legacy GT, CLK430, Impreza, etc. I decided based on performance in its class, family car attributes, reliability, and upgradability, to get a 2008 Honda Accord V6 Coupe. I almost drove a few hours to get one in Ventura, but a 2009 with 32k miles appeared in Lompoc, only 10 minute drive away. I couldn’t figure out why it was 4,700 under the Kelly Blue Book value, but I jumped on it.
My first modification was a Takeda short ram intake. I could feel the power increase immediately, and my wheels spun more even into second gear.
Next I picked up the set of T-Rex billet grilles, which are of superb quality.
The thing that gets me the most complements came next. I got the Anzo 121258 headlights with R8 style LED. Their quality is very high, and it looks amazing when it gets dark.
The dark window visors from Weathertech are a very subtle addition, but are very functional and striking. I also picked up the Weathertech trunk liner, and digital fit mats for front and rear.
I love my Anzo 321182 tail lights which are full LED!
I briefly tried the terrible LeBra nose mask, and threw all but the hood portion in the trash.
Before a car show I tossed on a decepticon logo. I got a lot of compliments. I took it off a few weeks later and people harassed me, so I put it back on!
My awesome Muffler Shop in Lompoc hooked me up with these exhaust tips!
I got a dragon license plate frame and the Type-R red H emblem for the rear of my car. You can also see my tow hook that was only on for the picture, currently in my glove box.
The 5zigen FN01R-C were calling to me. They were a beautiful 5-spoke wheel used for drifting and racing due to their construction quality and being only 17.5 lbs. Black/polish style was my favorite. At this time I stuck with my stock Michelin tires, as they had plenty of tread left.
I picked up some Silblade Red wipers. Painting my plastic pieces under the hood seemed like a good idea, and it has grown since then. I also got a Mugen oil cap.
The red caliper covers from MGP were easy to install through the wide spokes in my wheels!
The P2R throttle body spacer was woefully unimpressive. I am sure it adds some power, but I didn’t feel a difference. Every little bit counts, and hopefully adds up! I also got a Mugen radiator cap, and cap cover.
EBC Blackdash rotors going in the front. I already had them on the rears, but the shipment was split and delayed. They looked so nice before the coating wore off!
My car came with HFP suspension, but I wanted to go a little lower. I picked up some Eibach Pro Kit springs, the Megan Racing camber arms, and a Progress 22mm rear sway bar.
My car won the Quaker State Ride of the Month in August, right after Jorge! Anyone want my old chrome mirror covers?
The Unorthodox Racing stock diameter pulley install was a pain! We had the car on a lift and put a pipe over a breaker bar to extend it to around 6 feet long. Three of us finally popped the crank bolt free, and the car almost spun and hit the wall. I felt the gains from it after early acceleration. Very nice!
The hefty rear sway bar made the car feel a bit off, so I decided to be the first person to swap in the 3.7L Acura TL AWD’s front sway bar. This is an upgrade from 27.2mm to 31mm. This time I also got the TL’s end links to match, as my Accord links were popping. The body roll difference is remarkable! This is still one of my favorite suspension upgrades.
Stoptech’s stainless steel braided brake lines were calling to me, and I found them for a little over $100 for all four.
These Mugen pedals are sweet. The brake is the best, I keep the gas pedal to match, but the grip on the brake is stellar.
I picked up a red H for my steering wheel from CorSport USA. It is for the Civic, but I put 3M tape inside the original, placed this on top, then put 3M emblem glue to ensure the edges wouldn’t come up.
I got wheel spacers! My offsets are currently +32 in the front with no camber, and +22 in the rear with 1.8 degrees of negative camber.
I could not stand the slippery feel of the Michelin tires, and the sides were splitting at 35k miles. I picked up the most amazing tires I’ve ever seen. The Nitto NT05! I put these at 225/40 on my front drive wheels for drag capability. The take-off at WOT does not slip at all, even in 25 degree weather with rain! Cornering and stopping are amazing too. They started as loud as the Michelin, but have gotten quieter a few thousand miles in. I had no need for my rear tires to wear out as fast as the 200 tread wear rating monsters up front, so I got the Continental DWS for the rears. They’re so quiet!
My local Muffler Shop was awesome again. After I installed my RV6 Version 3 J-pipe, they increased my piping to 2.5 inches back to the Y before the mufflers. Later they cut in my Vibrant large resonator to get rid of the annoying “dirt bike” sound that popped up.
The V6 automatics are known for having transmission issues not too late into their lives, and I like acceleration! I decided to pick up a B&M Transmission Supercooler. The install was not too bad. The place to tap in is on the driver’s side of the radiator. Run that in one side, and the other back into the transmission.
I decided to get my grille powder coated black! I think it was a great change. Also you can see my Colgan custom sport mask with the “carbon fiber” design. I have matching ones on my side mirrors.
I did a second major photoshoot, mostly near the ocean at the beginning of 2012, and got a better reception this time, as I had weeded out some of the early mistakes in design. The front Type-R red H emblem also showed up here.
My MDX riser finally arrived from Paul! I polished the interior before installation a few weeks later.
I finished putting LED in the rest of the car. The 3rd brake light, the reverse lights, and upgraded the trunk light to a super bright. The interior had been LED for half a year.
I’m unhappy with the chrome near the doors, so I got some Rustoleum Black Chrome paint. I like how it turned out, but I have some non-V6 handles on the way, and need to repaint the trim. I do like the color.
My Ultra Racing strut bar arrived. I painted the center red to match my interior. I discovered that the shop must have over-torqued one of the nuts, and when putting it on one bolt just sheared off. I decided at that point to upgrade to coilovers.
I got a nice shot of my co-workers’ cars near mine. 1993 Toyota MR2, 2004 Impreza WRX, and Snow (the name my daughter gave to my car).
I got DDM 35W 8k HID, and Nokya Hyper Yellow for the fogs.
My BC Racing coilovers arrived! Installation of these was supposed to be before the MDX riser, but Pepboys had a customer service issue with me and I left.
Finally the P2R ported intake runners, which had been on my office floor since August, and the riser from the Acura MDX could finally be installed on the J35Z2! I am currently working out a CEL for Vacuum loss, but a new Honda Gasket and some 3M yellow gasket glue should clear things up after I crack it open again.
My BC Racing coilovers were installed today. I am lower than before, but not slammed. The ride quality is amazing. Dips are the biggest improvement, as I don’t bounce as much. Cornering seems improved, acceleration lifts the car less, and braking no longer slams the front of the car down so hard. I also now have SPC front upper ball joints, and J-power toe and control arms to assist the existing Megan camber arm.
You can get high resolution copies of these images from this set on Flickr here: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjyLspdx
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