about the talking fish

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Writer. Wheelman. Occasional DIY mechanic. Walking collection of hang-ups. Hopeless romantic. Old-school. Analog soul in a digital world. I am all of these things and more.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Mechanical temptation beckons...

According to HCP acquaintance and SpeedLab shop owner Ferman Lao, the GD-series Honda Jazz is currently one of the hottest cars for tuning and modification enthusiasts. Since one of these "hamsters" now serves as my daily runabout, it's become pretty hard to ignore the lure of all the performance parts on sale.

From full coilover suspension kits and upsized brake rotors to turbo installations and custom exhaust headers, the list of possibilities is endless. I've said before that my Jazz's stock L13A3 twin-spark engine is short of about 30 BHP to be truly fun; SpeedLab's turbo kit promises a mouth-watering gain of 40-60 BHP. The price is equally tear-inducing though: installing the kit costs PhP135,000 all in, labor and tuning included.

The increased pace is tempting, but I'm inclined to take the minor engine-breathing upgrades instead and take a long hard look at the suspension and brake options. TEIN's Super Street Damper set starts at PhP57,500, while their more unique Basic Compact/Wagon coilover set is PhP60,000. Gulp. An aftermarket suspension has more value than a turbo, however, as TEIN's units are much more robustly constructed. The stock springs and dampers in comparison have generated a few complaints from other Jazz owners after a few years of local road use.

After avoiding car clubs like the plague for a couple of years, I think I've rediscovered how to make myself bankrupt. Now that I'm earning money, I'm taking a long hard look at keeping the Jazz for a long time and letting the tuning bug finally bite me.

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