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HTSpec TSX Redeux: Part 12, J's carbon bits featured

  • Posted: 06-17-2014 12:11 PM
  • HTSpec TSX

For all prior HTSpec TSX blog updates, please visit:

HTSpec TSX Redeux Build Log

With the assembly of the HTSpec TSX wrapping up post-paint, it is now time to break into the pile of bubble wrap sitting in the middle of the floor over here...

First up is the J's Vented Hood.

We ordered our hood with the optional wire mesh to keep woodland animals from getting into our engine.

The underside of these J's hoods are masterfully crafted. If you were wondering why JDM hoods more than ones you get from other brands made in Mexico or China, you need to look at the details. The finish quality of the hood, in and out, is what't you'd expect of a high level product, more on the side of OEM quality.

There is a full and complete under-side to the hood, not just a frame, that you can get in either fiberglass or carbon fiber. It is securely bonded to the top of the hood and is very strong. Lesser hoods would be prone to separation at speed and fly up. Cheap parts can be dangerous in this way. Hood pins would be required in these cases, which are hard to install properly. Really, spending a few hundred bucks more on a good hood is best to avoid potential headaches down the road.

The weave is nearly perfect. There is very little distortion , even around the different surfaces created by vents. Any air bubbles are very tiny and imperceptible. There is no such thing as different "grades" of J's racing hoods, such that you would see with other brands that grade their parts based on the finish quality. All of them are good.

The hardware supplied is strong and high quality. Let's not forget to snicker about how much power the sticker gives as well.

While we had the factory hood refinished with the rest of the car, the J's hood really ups the aggressive look we were going for.

Also from J's we've decided to pick up a carbon rear diffuser.

Like their composite bonnet, the J's Racing diffuser is produced to impeccable finish quality. For a part that basically hangs underneath the car we feel good about it knowing that there is a reasonable expectation that it will do it's job without flexing, deforming, or falling off. This excellently fabricated bracket set makes sure of that. Screws are only used where necessary to attach the brackets to the vehcile. The brackets are assembled with rivets to eliminate threaded hardware from coming loose with the constant flexing placed on them.

In care you were not quite sure, a diffuser is an aerodynamic element that works by increasing the air velocity as it evacuates from under the car. Faster-moving air zones have a lower atmosphereic pressure, and this effectively creates a vacuum which sucks the car closer to the ground. If your diffuser is shaped in a way that has any real effect, the brackets that hold it to the car must be strong enough not only to hold the diffuser on the car, or to withstand the suction it creates, but also to cope with additional stresses imparted on it by increased speed that comes from the increased downforce.

If you are considering buying cheap parts, do yourself a favor by saving up a few more bucks and get genuine parts. Cheap diffusers can deform under the loads encountered, assuming they are effective at all, and might even resist falling off at the first sign of impact or driver error. You'll save money in the long run getting parts you can confidently hammer your car with.

Or, you if you are just buying a part for looks, buy the genuine part that actually fits, and by extension, looks, good.

That said, in unfortunately typical fashion, we had found that the diffuser would not be installed with the Mugen rear under spoiler, nor the J's dual exhaust (it is designed only for the single-outlet exhaust). It is common for overlapping aftermarket items to be incompatible. In this case we will be making the necessary fabrication to make both parts fit because, well, that diffuser is going to look so damn awesome with the dial titanium exhaust! More on that in a future update.

In the meantime, here is a bit of a bonus mod, to bring you up to date with the body-mods to the HTSpec TSX. We completely broke down the side mirrors in order to properly paint them. Wearing a sultry new coat of Bordeaux Red paint, it would be a shame to leave the markers with their glaring, white lenses.

We got a small sheet of smoked film from Highline Customs in Beaverton, OR, which was a scrap left over from another job, and applied it to the lenses.

It was stretched and molded to the contours of the lenses with a heat-gun, and trimmed with a hobby knife.

The finished product really does look sharp. Such a simple thing really changes the look of the mirrors.

Our next update will come very shorly as we are trying to get caught up with our May event participation!


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