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.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Lovin' my Honda's new shoes

Talking and thinking about my always wonky emotional state of mind all the time is not healthy for me. So let's move on to other things I can be happy about.

I had always planned to replace my 14-inch stock wheels and tires with something else. Originally I wanted to wait until I got my 14th-month pay for it, but a certain huge rut I encountered last week along the northbound SLEX entry at Sta. Rosa changed all that. Developing a little crack in the sidewall is enough cause for concern and replacing my rolling stock ASAP.

So this morning I drove to Wheelhaus Marketing on Evangelista St. and picked out a set of second-hand white Rota Circuit 10 wheels they happened to have. Considering their used nature, they were in very good condition, with only peeling Mugen MF10L decals and a series of evenly-spaced scratches on one spoke to give them away. (The Circuit 10s are replicas of Mugen's MF10/L wheels.) I had them shod with fresh 205/45ZR16 Bridgestone Potenza S-02 high-performance directional rubber as I traded in my old rolling stock.

After mounting, balancing, alignment and a set of center caps, my Jazz was instantly transformed into a great-looking hotshoe. Not bad for PhP20,400. Had I insisted on brand-new rims, I would have had them in bronze (no new white ones were in stock) and paid PhP9,000 more.

While having wheel alignment done, I took the chance to better peek at the underbelly of the engine bay as the Jazz sat raised on a lifter. I'm very glad to say nothing critical got damaged by last week's fall into the huge Laguna rut. The oil pan, front suspension subframe, oxygen sensor, exhaust piping and catalytic converter all looked intact and none the worse for wear. Only the plastic skidplate got scratched, gnarled and slightly torn. Unfortunately one of the Jazz-City United people had all those components damaged by a wayward metal object along NLEX in an expensive accidental encounter.

On the drive home I was wary of any rubbing against fender liners or worsening ride quality. So far, so good: ride compliance feels close to stock except for a greater awareness to the road's subtle camber changes. Tire rumble isn't greatly increased either, although I won't know for sure until the running-in period has passed.

On hindsight, I am glad I bought these rims and tires now instead of two months later. I love how my humble Honda looks now and it definitely lifts my spirits.

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