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We are still open regular retail hours:
Tues-Fri 12-7pm
Sat 11-6pm
Sun by Appointment
Closed Mondays

Retail Store Address:
11825 Firestone Blvd.

Norwalk CA 90650


Lowered Suspension Advantages and Disadvantages

Lowered suspension isn’t popular for cosmetic reasons alone; there are performance gains as well. But there are drawbacks that need to be considered.

There are pros and cons to lowered suspension systems. Some drivers change their suspension systems so that the vehicle sits lower to the ground. Any kind of aftermarket suspension system or alteration has its own specific effects on a vehicle.

The Advantages of Lowered Suspension

  • Better aerodynamics. With a lowered suspension, there’s less air going underneath the vehicle, and this can create a better outcome for wind drag on a car. That’s why some sportier models sit a bit lower to the ground.
  • Improved traction and handling. In general, having the vehicle so low to the ground can increase the grip of the tires on the roadway and improve handling. However, this is not always the case, as lowering can in some instances cost handling issues.
  • Reduced rollover risk. When its center of gravity makes it a rollover risk, almost any vehicle benefits from lowering. The higher the vehicle sits, the easier it tips over.
  • Greater comfort.Some drivers report that they feel better with a lower suspension. Additional stiffness can be desired in a suspension, and this is one of the perks that some drivers mention after lowering their suspensions.

The Disadvantages of Lowered Suspension

  • Increased bottoming out. One of the most common problems with lowered suspensions is that the vehicle can more easily hit the road when it bounces. Speed bumps can also be problematic. Contact with the ground can cause parts of the underside of the car to be seriously damaged. The oil pan and exhaust system are particularly vulnerable.
  • Uneven tire wear. In some cases, a lower suspension can cause tires to wear unevenly, or cause extreme wear patterns. Drivers should look out for this consequence when altering their suspension in any way.
  • Potential conflict with other parts. An even more dangerous consequence of a lowered suspension occurs when elements of the suspension system come into contact with other vehicle systems. Low suspensions can get caught up in anti-lock brake apparatus, sway bars, or even with the sidewalls of the tires. An incorrectly set up suspension can actually chew on tires, causing some serious potential risks.
  • Lifting and towing problems.For those who like to use manual jacks to raise a vehicle for routine maintenance, lowering the suspension can make a simple job a lot harder. Think about your access needs before shifting your car’s frame lower toward the ground.

All of these are important considerations for vehicle owners who want to mess around with the suspension system that came direct from the factory. Experts recommend paying extra for quality shock absorbers and other parts, and avoiding cheap aftermarket systems that can cause failure or other serious risks on the road

Lowering Suspension Kits

When it comes to modifying a vehicle, lowering suspension and ride height is often the first step many enthusiasts make.

For the best compromise between handling and looks, choose a kit that includes matched springs and shocks from the same manufacturer, with drops of no more than half an inch to an inch. This allows the spring rates to be increased with improved damping rates to match. Kits that include only lowering springs are cheap, but will generally have spring rates close to factory rates in order to be compatible with the factory shocks. What this means is that your suspension is lowered and travel is reduced, yet there is no increased spring rate or damping force to prevent bottoming out of the shocks. In the case of a rally suspension or suspension that will be used on rough, uneven roads, lowering should be avoided at all costs with attention paid to increased damping and spring rates. Lowered suspensions tend to work best on smooth roads, while excessively rough roads and uneven surfaces require near-stock ride height to function properly.

For the proper mix of lowering, suspension travel and damping, it is hard to pass up a full coilover kit. While these kits, such as the Tein type-Flex kit, run about $800 to $1200. Kits generally include shorter shocks and adjustable spring perches, which allow changes to ride height as situation dictates, without reducing valuable suspension travel. In addition, many of these kits are fitted with matched shocks that feature adjustable damping levels. This allows a reduced ride height while avoiding many of the problems that come with it.

Lowering kits from well known companies such as Eibach and Tokico are cheap and cost effective, while entry level coilover kits from companies such as Tein up the field in every respect at the cost of higher prices. For the cheapest combination, pairing Eibach Race springs with a cheap, adjustable shock such as the Tokico Illunima can allow you the choice of both spring height and spring rate in 25lb/in increments, without leaving behind changes in damping force. These available choices can help you fine tune your vehicle to perfection for the cheapest possible price.

End Links
The end links for the lowered suspension keeps several of the other components in place by securing the ends of the suspension frame parts. These links are crucial to the continued stability of the suspension kit and are available at most auto body repair shops.

Tie Bar
The tie bar extends across the base of the vehicle to secure several of the suspension parts in place as well.

The single most important part of a lowered suspension kit is the shocks. Shock absorbers respond to the different terrain and driving styles to provide a smooth ride and to help prevent you from bottoming out.

What is a Bodykit?

A Body kit or Bodykit is a collection of exterior modifications to a car, typically composed of front and rear bumpers, side skirts, spoilers, paint jobs, and sometimes front and rearside guards and roof scoops. These body kits are designed to mimic the look of a racing car with out the need for the functionality they provide, such as down-force and weight savings. Street driven cars do not need additional down-force to be safely driven, so items such as large rear wings, or pronounced front bumpers (known as spliters) serve aesthetic purposes.

There are many companies that offer alternatives to the original factory appearance of the vehicle. Body kits components are designed to complement each other and work together as a complete design. Despite this, the ‘mix and match’ approach is often seen on cars, where the front of one body kit will be matched with the rear of another, for example.

Automotive body kits are usually constructed of either fiberglass, polyurethane, polyurethane applications (automative parts), or in some cases carbon fiber. Fiberglass is cheap and widely available, although it can crack upon impact. Polyurethane is popular because it is flexible and thus more resistant to damage. Carbon fiber body kits are rare, due to the cost of the materials, and are rarely seen on street-legal vehicles. Further details found below:

Fiberglass (FRP) composite is very light and is extremely strong according to its weight/strength ratio. FRP material is easier to fix, if necessary.

Polyurethane (PU) is popularized in the manufacturing of some of the highest quality aerodynamic components/body kits ([kits]) for varying automobiles (car, truck, and SUV) on the market. These components include bumpers, side skirts, roll pans, and wiper cowls. Polyurethane allows production of durable components unlike the conventional fiberglass (FRP) that can easily break upon impact. Polyurethane is highly flexible therefore more resistant to damage. Including durability, these body kits when produced by a reputable manufacturer, exhibits less imperfections, are easy to install and maintain, and are affordable. [5] Super-Polyurethane (SPU) is a much stronger- weather proof polyurethane material researched and developed and used exclusively by JP Tokyo and JP USA, Co. When fiberglass body kits begin to show cracks, chips from usual wear and tear, a well manufactured polyurethane components have similar durability to a factory installed bumper. As mentioned above, when produced by a reputable manufacturer, tend to have less pinholes and casting imperfections. Flexibility of polyurethane makes them easy to work with. Installation can be completed individually as a “do-it-yourself” project, or can be done by a professional. Maintenance is minimal on many body kits. Pricing varys by manufacturer, but is kept in an affordable range. Although they has many good traits, polyurethane body kits too have their downfalls. Fiberglass or carbon fiber components are lighter in weight than most polyurethane kits. Polyurethane, again is flexible but more material and thickness is most often needed to keep adequate stiffness for road use. For drivers seeking speed for a high performance vehicle, this can become a problem. Also, unlike fiberglass, polyurethane cannot be patched or repaired. Though it is much harder to damage, if damage did occur, the entire component must be removed and replaced.

All consumers must be aware of lower quality replicas on the market.

Factory-fitted body kits are now becoming more common, perhaps in response to the growth of the aftermarket tuning industry in the late 1990s and onwards. Many manufacturers now work in-house with their motor sport divisions to develop styling upgrades.


Popular culture

In many racing video games, the vehicles can be modified in many ways, including with body kits. Games include Need for Speed: Underground (2003), Tokyo Xtreme Racer 3(2003), Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004), Ridge Racer 7 (2006), Juiced series (2005), The Fast And The Furious Tokyo Drift (2007), MotorStorm: Arctic Edge (2009)


Mazda Rotary Engine – How does it Work?

With Mazda set to retire the RX-8, it is also set to retire the underrated car’s unique power source—the Wankel rotary engine. Here’s how this peerless powerhouse works.

 mazda-rotary-01-0911-de (1)
Mazda’s sweet-handling RX-8 won’t return for 2012, and with it goes—for now—the unique Wankel rotary engine. It was patented in 1929 by Felix Wankel and licensed and developed by many companies, but only Mazda stuck with the engine. It’s an elegantly simple design: A three-lobed rotor rotates inside a peanut-shaped (the technical term is epitrochoid) housing. The four engine “strokes”— intake, compression, power and exhaust—occur between the rotor’s outer edge and the housing. There are no valves, as the gases enter and exit through ports in the housing. Rotaries are naturally smooth since there’s no reciprocating motion as in a piston engine, just a buttery flow of power as they climb the rev range. They’re about one-third smaller than a conventional engine of similar power, and modular. If you want more power, it’s relatively easy to add another rotor and housing (the RX-8 uses two rotors, but Mazda’s 1991 Le Mans–winning race car used four). What’s the downside? The seals at the rotor apex aren’t as robust as piston rings, so these engines are challenged to meet high-mileage emissions requirements. And they tend to be thirsty. Mazda says the rotary will return, and we hope that’s true. Running an RX-8 through the gears is an experience that’s not soon forgotten.

What is VTEC?

Anyone with a Facebook account will have seen the words ‘VTEC kicked in, yo!’emblazoned on their news feeds at least 10 times. It’s a phrase that has wormed its way into everyday conversation and has increasingly been used to caption car crash pictures, car jump images, and of course, scenes from that movie…


While most of us understand that a car gets faster when VTEC kicks in, many may not know why and how this occurs. In case you’re a little rusty on your VTEC knowledge, here is everything you need to know, plus a little extra for diehard VTECers.

1. What is VTEC?

VTEC is an acronym (a bad one at that) for Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control. Found only in a selection of Honda engines, the basic idea of VTEC is that itgives an engine the properties of multiple camshafts. (A camshaft is a shaft with multiple lobes. When the camshaft spins, the lobes – called cams – open and close intake and exhaust valves in time with the motion of the piston).

The benefit of having an engine that possesses the properties of multiple camshafts, is that just one camshaft is able to open the intake and exhaust valves more and for a longer duration at high RPMs. This means the engine gets more air flow which allows more power to be harnessed.

Just like we need more air in our lungs when we run, VTEC gives an engine more air to breathe at higher revs too.

How does VTEC work?

VTEC meme

A camshaft that you’d find in a VTEC engine has both larger and smaller lobes (or cams). A larger central lobe is flanked either side by one smaller lobe.

At low RPMs, the lobes which push the exhaust and intake valves open and closed by means of rocker arm (see video) are the two smaller ones. This limits how much the valves open, which in turn limits the amount of air that the engine gets; this is good for efficiency. At this point, the larger central lobe and central rocker arm are inactive.



At higher RPMs, by contrast, a solenoid injects more oil into the rocker arm whichforces two pins in the larger central rocker arm outwards. These pins lock the central rocker arm into the two flanking rocker arms, so that with every revolution of the larger central lobe on the cam shaft, the central rocker arm opens the valves more, allowing more airflow into the engine for enhanced performance.

When the large central lobe is active (when VTEC kicks in), the two smaller lobes do not control the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves.

Pros and cons of VTEC

Pros: VTEC engines are very reliable, offer enhanced fuel economy and more power at higher revs. When VTEC is engaged, the engine note also changes for the better.

Cons: The main disadvantage of VTEC is that it is engaged from (on average) 5000-6000 RPM, the area of the rev range that drivers explore rarely. For that reason, VTEC is not necessary for many cars and their drivers. Nice to have just in case, however…

Advanced info


1. There are 3 types of VTEC: VTEC-E, 3-stage VTEC and I-VTEC.


This increases combustion efficiency at low RPMs while maintaining mid-range performance. Instead of three intake lobes, VTEC-E has two different intake cam profiles per cylinder (a small cam and a normal cam). At low RPMs, the small cam opens one of the two intake valves by a very small amount, which forces most of the intake charge through the other valve with the normal cam. When this happens, a leaner fuel mixture results, which is good for economy.

When VTEC is engaged, pins connect the rocker arms together (via solenoids) which means both intake valves are controlled by the normal camshaft lobe, the same you would find on a non VTEC camshaft. For this reason, VTEC-E engines do not offer performance benefits higher up in the rev range.

3-stage VTEC:

This combines the low RPM combustion efficiency of VTEC-Es with the high RPM performance benefits of a VTEC engine. At low RPMs, one intake valve opens a little, while the other opens normally. This is called 12-valve mode and boosts efficiency and low-end torque. In the mid range (3000-5400 RPM), one VTEC solenoid is engaged, which locks the second valve onto the first valve’s camshaft lobe – this improves mid-range torque. Finally, at between 5500 and 7000 RPM, another solenoid locks the central rocker arm into its flanking rocker arms, which means the central, larger lobe controls the valves for increased performance.


I-VTEC (meaning intelligent-VTEC) has continuously variable timing of camshaft phasing on the intake camshaft of DOHC VTEC engines. An I-VTEC intake camshaft is capable of advancing between 25 and 50 degrees, which is controlled by an adjustable cam sprocket. The benefit of I-VTEC engines is to further optimise torque output.

2. A world’s first:

VTEC was the world’s first engine mechanism that simultaneously changed the valve timing and lift on the intake and exhaust sides. The man who is known as the‘father of VTEC’ is Ikuo Kajitani, who was employed in the first design department at Honda’s Tochigi R&D facility. He was given the task of producing an engine with 100bhp per litre. VTEC was the result.

3. Honda S2000’s previous record:

Image source: www.listofcarbrands.com

Until the introduction of the Ferrari 458, the S2000 boasted the highest horsepower per litre record for a naturally aspirated (non wankel) production car, at 118.5bhp (237bhp in total). Its record would only be taken away from the S2000 by the 458, which produced 123.78bhp per litre from its highly strung 557bhp 4.5-litre V8.

Different car makers use similar tech:

Honda is not the only manufacturer to use variable valve timing to enhance economy and/or increase performance. Here are six different versions of the same technology.

BMW = VANOS Fiat = MultiairGM = DCVCPMazda = S-VTNissan = VVLToyota = VVT-i/ VVTL-i

In this article, we’ve discussed what VTEC is and how it works, the popularity of VTEC and its pros and cons. We’ve also explored some advanced info (including the different types of VTEC) and how variable valve timing is applied by different manufacturers. Now there’s no excuse to be like this guy…

What is Drifting?


Drifting is a driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels or all tires, while maintaining control from entry to exit of a corner. A car is drifting when the rear slip angle is greater than the front slip angle, to such an extent that often the front wheels are pointing in the opposite direction to the turn (e.g. car is turning left, wheels are pointed right or vice versa, also known as opposite lock or counter-steering.

As a motorsport discipline, professional drifting competitions are held worldwide and are judged according to the speed, angle, showmanship and line taken through a corner or set of corners.

What is JDM? what does it mean and why is it so popular?

i-love-jdm - Copy
Japanese Domestic Market (JDM)
is a term for Japan’s economic market for Japanese-brand goods, such as automobiles and parts. The term’s most common application is to Japanese-brand automobiles built specifically for the Japanese market, i.e., designed and constructed to conform to Japanese vehicle and equipment regulations and to suit Japanese market preferences. JDM vehicles migrate to other markets through ordinary commerce and the grey market.

JDM vehicles often differ in features and equipment from vehicles sold elsewhere. For example, Honda has produced many different versions of the B18C, B16B and K20A engines for various markets worldwide. Generally, engines intended for use outside Japan have been detuned because Japanese Gasoline (Petrol) is of a higher octane rating than is generally available in other markets.[citation needed]

There are safety hazards associated with using JDM headlamps in countries where traffic flows along the right side of the road, because JDM headlamps, engineered for use on the left side of the road, fail to light the right-side driver’s way safely ahead while blinding oncoming motorists[1]. Nevertheless, primarily due to marketing efforts, JDM headlamps are quite popular.

In automotive culture, JDM refers to a style of modifying automobiles, mainly cars of Japanese origin.[citation needed] The function of components is often preferred[attribution needed] over cosmetic appeal.[citation needed] “True” Japanese domestic market components are also preferred[attribution needed] over Japanese aftermarket.[citation needed] An example of one such market is the import of used Japanese engines to North America to be put into Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Mazda, Subaru and Mitsubishi sports cars for higher performance.