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6,444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I took the time to combine some of my posts into this thread. From now on I will update it with anything that relates to my caR. Unfortunately I was unable to pull all of them since it would require me to go through all my posts one by one and I don't have a week to do it…so that's the best I can do..

Since this is an R forum, I will begin with what brought me first to the R community - which was the sale of my 2003 S40


2003 S40
58,000 miles
Asking: $9,000 FIRM with mods

For sale is my midnight blue 2003 Volvo S40 with approximately 58,000 miles on it. The car is fully loaded and comes with tan leather seats, winter package (heated front seats, headlight wipers), Premium Package (front and rear spoiler, sunroof, chrome handles and rear trunk-lid strip), six airbags and alarm. The car is in a great condition, only has a few highway rock chips. I took really good care of it: full synthetic oil changes every 3,000 miles and kept it extremely clean. This is not your typical S40; it has been slightly modified to mirror a European-model S40. It has been my daily driver for a few years with these modifications and I've had no problems, since most of them are OEM replacements from Europe, cosmetic and suspension. With the tune and my free-flowing intake and exhaust I get 24 MPG in the city and 34 MPG on the highway!

Asking Price: $9,000
Below is the breakdown of what has been done (I have receipts for most):

Upgraded Turbo: TD04-14T (from a European model S40; direct swap)
Upsolute tune
2.5 inch catback exhaust with OBX muffler
EuroSport Tuning Cold Air Intake (heatshield with a cone filter)
Aluminum Intercooler-Throttle-body pipe
IPD wires,
NGK Iridium plugs
Volvo front strut brace
VMS rear tie bars (rear strut brace)
17" SSW Trex wheels
Yokohama AVS-ES 100 tires (215/45/17) (about 7,000 miles on them)
K-Sport coilovers (36-way adjustable)
GlowShift tinted boost and AFR gauges
MBC @ 17 psi
LSE chrome dash rings,
OEM color-matched body kit
Custom PH1 skirts
LSE headlight bezels and dark corners
Clear markers
5000K HID's
Tint + visor

I'll also throw in a new engine mount which I bought recently.

Post here or email me


Modified by tomedkaz at 9:20 AM 9-4-2008

Modified by tomedkaz at 6:41 AM 10-14-2008

When I first got the R:

Hi guys,
I finally pulled the trigger on a 2004 R 6MT with 57,000 miles and extended warranty until the end of the year. I bought it from a serious older gentleman who babied the car a lot - I think I got lucky.
I'm a Volvo guy and used to own a pretty heavily modified S40 (some of you know me and have even met me in person during NYC and FL meets). I've got a few mods planned in the future.

Can you guys help me with the following:
OEM spark plugs part #
What K&N filter to buy? (I want a drop-in)
IS there a cheaper place than myswedishparts.com to buy the OEM body kit?
Aluminum pedals - where to buy and which ones are good? (ipd? heico?)

Anyways, enjoy the pics.

Photo of my old car

Now, the new car (car has an EST exhaust on)

First tune-up etc

I spent this weekend doing a tune-up on my R and helped a buddy of mine change all of the engine mounts on his S40 - a very nice way to spend a weekend.

Having said that, I figured it's time for all my engine mounts to be replaced since I'm at 57K. I already have the IPD upper engine mount replaced and I will be ordering the IPD transmission mount bushing replacement. Other than that, what are the remaining mounts' part numbers and how many mounts do we have in our engines? I looked it up on ipd's website as well as myswedishparts.com but none of them list particular ones for the R. Could you guys help me identify the remaining mounts that need to be replaced? Thanks.

Btw, someone managed to snap a few photos of work in progress....

Modified by tomedkaz at 6:46 AM 3-9-2009

6,444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
First Detailing Session

I met up with jonathan today so he could provide some expertise with detailing my car. We spent a total of 6 hours washing, cleaning, claying, waxing, buffing, scrubbing and whatnot and the result is phenomenal! The car came out perfect! Thanks again jonathan. While there, another fellow R enthusiast decided to stop by....

I know my car is not a looker yet, but I figured I might as well post up some photos for the kicks of it....

First time I got in trouble with the caR

1. Took my car on a 1,400 mile round trip to Canada
What a fun trip; on my way back I drove through the scenic route and I felt like I was driving through Europe - lots of hills, dips and turns.

2. Which brings me to #2: My first (and then 2nd, 3rd, and 4th and so on) overtake in the R
This car PULLS! Even in 4th or 5th gear the torque is very evident. I loved it! I have a few video clips I recorder - will upload them soon.

3. Took my car up to fast speeds
Pretty nice actually, not as scary as doing the same speed in my old S40.

3. Got my very first speeding ticket (doing 88 in 65)
Now that sucks. I don't know what the ticket is yet or if it will involve points, but the cop clocked me with a LASER doing 88 in a 65 on a highway. I did have a radar detector on my windshield and slammed the brakes as soon as he hit me, but it was too late. A radar detector does not protect you from Laser - it just tells you that you've been hit.

Here's where I have a question: I received a summons which enables me to either plead guilty and i'll be sent a ticket (and points perhaps) or to appear in court. Obviously I won't appear in court since it's 300 miles away from home. What should I do?! I've heard that there are online services which fight the tickets for you and will reduce them to a traffic violation without any points. Do you have any tips here for me?

Modified by Needsdecaf at 10:35 AM 3-31-2009

6,444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The first version of a boost gauge I installed - basically a stick-on pod that was glued o the windshield… wasn't that bad at all actually


In preparation for my future mods I went ahead and put on a boost gauge.
I went with GlowShift black gauge, which is perfect for my taste. Ive had GlowShift Boost and AF gauges on my old S40 and I was very happy with them. And hey - you can't beat $39.99 with free overnight shipping (ordered it yesterday and got it today)

Since I'm VERY electrically inclined, I'm waiting for my friend to do the electrical work - I just hooked it up to the vacum line. It works, but it has no light. Once the electric stuff is hooked up, I'll be able to select from 7 diffrent colors.

Now, the pod. I bought this universal swivel pod from glowshift's website. Initially I was going to stick it on the dash but then I realized it was too tall. I was then going to cut the legs and retrofit it somehow to its stands that way it would sit low. but THEEEN I've had this great idea of flipping the pod upside down and sticking it to the windshield. Well, I think I got the best of both worlds now! The gauge is sitting low, AND I have full swivel adjustability.

The line will get hidden behind the pillar once I'm done with all the electricals

Now...hopefully I'll be able to report on performance mods very soon

Modified by tomedkaz at 5:04 PM 6-19-2009

Yup…another speeding ticket


About three months ago I got a speeding ticket for doing 89 in 65. I took it to court (through a lawyer - since it was 300 miles away from home) and we brought it down to 70 in a 65.

Now, on my way back home tonight I got pulled over as soon as I left the EZ Pass gates coming onto the Triboro bridge. The cop allegedly clocked me at 94, and the speed limit was 40. I know I was passing another car, but 94...ehh...

Anyways, the cop was being a real douche and he said that I will most likely lose my license. What do you think? What should I do in this situation? Should I plead guilty or should I go to court and fight it? Should I get a lawyer or should I do it myself?

...i'm really mad at myself now......but the car is just so fast in 2nd and 3rd

When i think about it, I think the radar might have been misguided by the EZ Pass booths...every time I pass through them my radar detector goes all crazy. ....anyhow, what's my situation?

Quick headlight mod

I did the same thing to my old S40, and I figured I could do the same thing to the R. Basically, I scraped off the orange color off the side indicators in the headlights. They look much cleaner now. Besides, the orange bulbs tend to peel (as you can see in the picture) and all that crap settles at the bottom of the headlight.

BTW, the passenger side bulbs was a b***ch to take out

The peeling sucker

Much better now IMO

So my exhaust was hanging too low, I decided to come up with a quick fix:


My EST was hanging a bit too low in the rear. I've exhausted all the adjustments in the exhaust; the next step was more drastic.

Basically, if your exhaust is hanging too low in the rear, all you have to do is jack-up the car from the rear by the two supporting exhaust brackets. When you do that, they will bend a bit uppward, thus raising the exhaust intself. Doing so gave me about an inch of extra clearance.

Modified by tomedkaz at 5:33 AM 8-31-2009

Modified by tomedkaz at 5:37 AM 8-31-2009

Modified by tomedkaz at 7:32 AM 8-31-2009

6,444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
After a few months of ownership I lowered it with TME springs


Spent a good portion of last evening (from 7-11 PM) installing TME springs that I got recently in a group buy. It was a complicated install, but we managed.
We could not disconnect the front 4C cables, so we ended up winging it above the front caliper; we compressed the spring, popped it out, replaced the spring seat and put in a new spring. The front took about 1.5 hours. By the way, after 60,000 miles the spring seats looked like new - I dont know how some people claim to be going through them every 10,000 miles...

Now, the back...it took us over two hours with the back. Basically, the rear struts are a beeehhhaaaattttch to remove - it takes a lot of wiggling. Oh, and disconnecting the 4C cable on the passenger rear side was almost impossible - took us over half hour just to do that.
But once everything was out it was a pretty easy swap.

Now, the impression: the car feels 10 times better. i dont know how to describe it, but I used to ride on coilovers on my S40 and these springs are a bit softer than what you get with coilovers, but you still get that sporty stiffness. I haven't had it aligned yet nor did I do the SUM update, but the car really felt great. I took it on a 250 mile round trip today to the IKEA meet and it was really good.

For comparison purposes, someone once said that with springs COMFORT feels like SPORT and SPORT feels like ADVANCED - I disagree.
COMFORT feels like "Controlled Comfort" - there is no wobble at all. SPORT feels like, well...sport - there is added stiffness of course. And ADVANCED feels a bit less harsh than stock advanced - I found myself driving in advanced most of the way. Oh, and the side-hop is gone.

Bottom line - I'm very happy with the purchase. I'm waiting for them to settle a bit and then I'll get it alligned + SUM. Contrary to what I've read the car DOES NOT behave strangely without SUM calibration. I'll give it 2 weeks to get it done.

Enjoy the photos.

…not directly R related, but still…my sick love for the caR is very very sick


...you carve a prancing moose!

EST Downpipe Installed


I took advantage of a day off today (Thank you Veterans) to install my EST downpipe. Overall, it took me about 2.5 hours from start to finish. The hardest part was taking off the rubber hangers from the stock DP and then at the end adjusting my catback EST exhaust because it wasn't long enough to meet with the DP. In terms of removing all the bolts, I sprayed each with a penetrating fluid, and then 2 minutes later I was good to go. There were no major headaches with the bolts.
I also installed an 02 sensor extender, just to be on the safe side.
Overall, the car idles nicer (deeper tone) and my butt dyno definitely feels an improvement. She really purrs like a kitty now.
As you can see, the quality of the DP seems really nice. The welds were really pretty and there were no fitment issues. EST really is a quality product.
Enjoy a few photos. As you can see, I did it all in my driveway with just cinder blocks under the front wheels (and metal jack stands underneath used as back-up).

So my center console has been broken for many years - I decided to fix it for $5 versus getting a replacement for $400!!


A lot of 2004 S60R's experience the problem of a broken latch over the center console cup holders. Instead of buying a $60 replacement piece or instead of upgrading to a 2005+ center console I've decided to fix it myself.

Basically, the guiding bolts were broken on each side. Instead of gluing them together I drilled a hole on each side to make room for a screw, which would then serve as a guide. As you can see, the screw fits nice and tight, and it even makes the little spring operational. The cover now is 100% operational!!

The guiding bolt was broken. I drilled a hole right through it

Then, to fix the scuffs on top of my console, I sanded it and painted it with a matching duplicolor paint.

I cleaned underneath the center console while at it....

I even took out the space ball and cleaned it

A finished product

For those wanting to know what the shift knob looks like. To remove it, you turn and pull.


The paint

Next weekend I'll paint the remaining pieces of the center console.

6,444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Busted Angle Gear!!!!

WEnt snowboarding today...found a nice lot to do drifts on...friend had a camera...
To my embarrassment my car was in a FWD mode....yup...it looks like the angle gear is busted (maybe just the temp sensor?)

but seriously, this just blows

luckily the car is a CPO until the end of this month!

Replaced the spaceball with an OEM leather boot (the knob is pending)


Finally got my package from John at BV. OEM boot + base.
Next step is to replace the shift knob with a nice, smaller leather one....preferably something similar to the one you get on an audi s4.

Now, I really like the way the shifter feels now. ...I dont know, but the shifts are more crisper now...the shifter just feels right - that's the best way to describe it. I absolutely hated the look and feel of the spaceball.

Sorry for crappy blackberry photos...i got excited about installing it that I couldnt wait until the sun is out. Notice that the boot does not sit all the way up on the knob....the shaft is too think for the opening....it'll be solved with a diffrent shift knob

Could you please suggest some shift knobs for me? ...I'm looking for something round-ish and wrapped in leather.


A first snowboarding trip after the angle gear got fixed


Nothing Special...I just like this shot taken with my BB...the quality sucks but I like the stance.
Washed the car a day prior and it got filthy as soon as we left the house in the AM.
The pic is taken with 1 person sitting in the car...not bad, eh?
....I'm sort of addicted to donuts now


The making of the famous "yeyyy drifting" video


I drove to Mont Tremblant over the long weekend to do some snowboarding with my gf.... made a quick video and took some pics

I gotta say - I took advantage of every snow patch and slid my tail every time I could!!
Gotta love AWD!

And then Saw this car on the highway near Montreal. Anyone here?


6,444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Eyebrows (I ended up taking them off a year or so later)


I ordered a nice pair of eyebrows from Europe.
I know i know some of you dont like eyebrows - but I like them. I rocked them on my S40, and they added to the overall look.

These are nice and sleek looking, made out of ABS plastic I believe.
The reason I picked them up is because they dont have any of that ridicilous corner-light covering as the ones you get on eBay do.

Now, how much would a shop charge to paint those things? I dont wanna tackle the job myself; paintscratch charges an arm and a leg for paint nowadays.

Winglets and front splitter first installed (and nope…I did not have a complete body kit on just yet)


Got a chance to paint my wings this week, and after a few days of drying I decided to put them on today. I really like the look with the eyebrows. http://********************/smile/emthup.gif

The middle CF piece is not exactly straight (its shape is a bit crooked)...I might have to do some minor fiddling to get it just right.

The rest of the body kit goes on very soon
But I'm gonna let the professionals handle the paintwork

Thanks for looking

Modified by tomedkaz at 10:29 AM 2-19-2010

Got an Autotech tune from Sweden….now the car wont start


***Im waiting to hear back from peter, but in the meantime perhaps someone could help***

I loaded the Autotech tune; at the end it showed that the tune was Completed and I got a nice green bar. After disconnecting everything the car will not start. When the ignition is on there's a clicking noise in the engine, but the started just wont turn.

I checked all fuses and they're ok. I disconnected the battery for 10 min and no luck. I even unplugged the ECU fuses for 10 min - no luck

I reflashed back to stock tune but the car still wont turn over. Also, I get an "Anti skid service" message.... The car wont start and there's a clicking noise when the ignition is on.


Body kit fully put together!!!! I only lasted a year without it…


Having purchased the car a year ago completely stock, I couldnt stand the look of it without the body kit...at the same time, I also didnt want to shell out $1500 for a new kit. So, with a bit of patience and luck on the forum, I was able to piece together a complete kit for a fraction of the cost.
FYI - I was able to get a killer deal on Elevate skirts, so I jumped on those.
BTW, my paint guy had to fill, sand and fill some more the skirts....they way they come from Elevate is pretty rough...so keep that in mind...
Installing the kit was apiece of cake, although it required me to take the rear wheels off in order to be able to screw the screws.....

Anyways...enjoy the pics
This is what the car looked like when I bough it...


6,444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
This is a proof that I was the one to find the OBX downpipe deal for you peeps!!!! Hehe

Finally a PROPER pillar pod installed (Thanks Darek!!)


A friend of mine and a fellow swedespeeder, in exchange for helping him install a full TME exhaust yesterday (DP + Exhaust) has given me this beautiful piece of art. Installed it in about 30 minutes today and it really makes the interior look better. It looks OEM. I was really tired of my ghetto-pod from before.

Thanks again Darek!


A quick photoshoot on a windy road


Ended up going hiking by Port Jervis. Stopped by one of my favorite roads in NY State.
Also, took the roof rack off (temporarily) .... the car feels naked :)

First track event with the caR


I had the opportunity to participate in the Hyperdrive over at the NJ Motorsport Park track in Millville this past weekend as part of the overall effort to support Josh and his TKI race team. I have to say that his car is an amazing piece of machinery and he's a great driver. The whole team is very friendly and really know how to take care of their fans.

Back to the Hyperdrive, there was a 30 minute classroom session followed by a 30 minute track session with the instructor sitting in the passenger seat. It was my very first track event with the R and i've gotta say that I"ll definitely do it again.

The car performed great. Of course the oversteer was really noticeable (I mean it's a heavy caR) but the combination of my minor mods really improved the overall driving experience. I"ll be adding track sways in the near future.

Anyways, to all of you who love your cars, you owe it to yourselves to take it to the track once in a while. You really get to learn how the car behaves under extreme conditions, and it's of course a blast!

Enjoy the pics


6,444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Went back to Tremblant…more photos, more drifting and more yeyyy!!


I'm in the middle of my week long snowboarding trip to Tremblant, Canada and I figured I might as well post some photos for my Volvo family.
Drove the car from NYC this past weekend, took us about 9 hours since the conditions were not best. I took the roof-rack off and put the boards in the trunk to to get better MPG, which ended up being 25MPG average.
The riding is good during the day, and in the evening I enjoy drifting the car whenever I can! I just cant get enough of it! The fact that the car is lowered and has a full body kit has never been a problem. For those who are considering doing so - do it.

By the way, Conti ExtremeContact DWS are one of the most amazing all-season performance tires! I get tremendous amounts of grip!

Oh and one more thing, I realized that traction control does not work well with Elevate tune (which I dont mind) - it really doesnt do much. I mean I still turn it off whenever I drive but I got stuck in a nasty snow storm the other day and kept it on to feel safer, but I was still able to spin the tires and slide the car around - not much of a help there. It worked completely diffrent with OEM tune.

Enjoy a few photos.

Starting the day with freezing temps. It was actually -13 when I first got in the car.

View from the Condo

Amazing tires

Drifting aftermath

Love these roads!

These tires have too much grip!


6,444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Ever wondered how to hardwire your radar detector?


I decided to hardwire a USB charger, since I use it a lot to charge my phone and to charge my GPS.
I've decided to expose the wire in the center cupholder by the radio, since that's where I keep my GPS, and that's where I also keep my phone. (Note: I'm still waiting for the GPS clip to arrive - will post pics once I get it, but what I have in mind will be pretty nifty.)

So, you start off with a USB Hardwire kit from eBay.

I installed a female adapter on each end. The blue piece will be used to tap into the wires.

I decided to tap into the cigarette lighter under the armrest, only because the cigarette lighter by the climate control unit had two purple wires and one black..didnt know what to do with two purple wires….the armrest one has one purple and one black - simple!

I installed the blue male adapters, making sure the tapping really cut into the wires.

Next, I drilled a hole in the cupholder, and ran the wire there. I ran it from the back.
To make the hole appear less drastic, I put a nice rubber protector over around it.

A better view. The cable goes from under the cupholder, through it and comes out on top through the drilled hole.

Cupholder installed back

Next step was to hide the black transformer box. I put a double sided tape on it and placed it out of the way, so it wouldn't rattle behind the climate control unit.

After running the wires through the center console, I finally connected them under the armrest.

Here, a proof that it works - my phone is charging! (notice the lighting thingy over the battery!)

Finally, this is what the hardwired USB cable looks like…I'm VERY happy with it.

While at it, I'll also showcase how I hardwired my radar detector. Ran the wire through the driver A pillar to the fuse box.

I also installed an on/off switch in the footwell so I can turn it off when I'm driving in the city

Oh, and this is how I mute the detector…a nice and tiny mute button. No worries, the double-sided tape will be trimmed

Nice and clean dash

Modified by tomedkaz at 5:17 PM 2-26-2010

Added rings to my dash - makes it look more 3D


Here you go - I took photos when I put it back together, but disassembling it is just working backwards of putting it together.
You just pop the plastic trim off, remove four torx screws, disconnect the cluster and there you go.

Basically - the rings give the cluster more bling and more of a 3D effect, which I really like.
I'm going to hold off on painting the bezel - will see how I like it like that.





YES! My photo made EST's website banner - very proud of that! …well my fiancé actually took the photo, but still ☺


I was browsing the forum just now and noticed that EST has used my photo for their banner! Wohoo!

Maybe they can hook me up with a free "sound" pipe for my EST exhaust!! hehe

The photo was taken during a track event in NJ

Original Image

6,444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Played an April Fools joke on the R community - I'm surprised so many people fell for it ☺

Since I live in the city now and the car is basically a once or twice a month toy, i've decided to make it more fun.
A buddy of mine recently totaled his AMAZING 2011 M3, and i was able to buy his side grilles for dirt cheap. After mingling with my body shop guy, we decided to fit these bad boys in!
My idea is to route the CAI feed through there for a true cold air feed.

Sorry for the single photo - will post details of the installation later.

I tried peeling the M3 decal from the side and was able to get most of it off - i'll propably but an R there


I really dig it - it makes me stand out a bit more....

Replaced my EST resonator with a "sound pipe" and installed a DEM heat Shield


So, what did YOU do this Saturday?

I replaced my EST resonator with an EST sound pipe. The sound is now AMAZING! I love it!
While down there, I also installed my DEM heat shield. I had to bend it in a bit to accomodate the exhaust.

Good day. I love the way she purrs now!

Eurotuner coverage!!


I sent it in just for the hell of it....too bad they didnt include every mod I listed :( ... left out Autotech!

So this is my first one from a few years back:

and this one ...yey!

Installed Chrome Mirror Covers… sanded to make them look like polished aluminum

Wash and Clay

Washed and clayed her yesterday afternoon...

...all clean...also took care of the plastic trim

Also, installed aluminum pedals. Drilling through the original pedals was a pain in the neck, but they look and feel great!

here's a funy thing. For the longest time I thought my driver's seat was worn. I tried using all kinds of products but nothing helped - it was black and nasty. Then, after watching Wheeler Dealers (love that show btw) I decided to take a brush, some liquid laundry detergent and water and scrub the crap out of the seats. The result? Gobi seats which aside from my minor boulster wear, look like new! I couldnt be hapier!!! Now all I have to do is condition them and they'll be good for another few years - if you're hesitant about doing it - dont wait and do it - these seats are not as fragile as I thought they were

Also, cleaned the engine bay and took the hood blanket off. I also took the airbox cover off to clean the air filter, and decided to drive without it for a day to see what the fuss is about. Well, with a SNABB pipe, no hood blanket and no airbox cover, the turbo spool and hiss is super loud! ...i kind of like it! ...but I'll be putting the airbox cover back on - dont want to be sucking in hot air


6,444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Rear sway installed and a couple of other things:

So DarekPL and I had a VERY productive day today. (it's amazing how you can meet amazing people on this forum)

We started by doing the tranny mount, the pollen filter then moved on to the rear sway on my car. Ended up following IPDs directions but you DO NOT need to loosed\n up the shock up top. You can just undo it at the bottom and it will be fine. After we were done, we did the brake shoes, and it turns out one of them was already delaminating, so I'm glad I did that. We also replaced the fuel filter. Once we were done with my car, we moved on to Darek's car, where we also replaced the rear sway (this time MUCH quicker) and fixed his drooopy lip.
Overall - a very good day. I'm loving my new Elevate sway bar - the car feels soooo much better now. We're gonna tackle the front in a few weeks

Made a clip with my GoPro

Bought a GoPro a few days ago...decided to strap it to the car and make some clips.

No extreme clips there since I had to keep it within the legal limit, but you get the idea...although the exhaust seems to sound a bit too high pitched in the video... I still need to play with it a bit.
Either way, enjoy :)

New SABB intake pipe and plugs


I found some time to install the SNABB pipe today. What a PITA to get to.
Took me about 3 hours start to finish. I removed the airbox, crossbar and the OTE pipe. I also had to remove the wastegate bolts from the turbo (but not the whole wg was out) to get to the clamp bolt. I got the usual share of scrapes and bruises on my hands.
The pipe produces zero new sound, so I don't know what the hype is all about, but I did notice a BIT of improved response. Worth it? I guess so...it's cool to have a new part installed in your caR

Oh, I also swapped my plugs. after 30K miles they still looked pretty good.

AN\nd finally, when I went to start the car, I forgot to connect the IC hose to the OTE pipe, so it popped off and the car died (you can see it in the video below towards the end 42nd second) ... scared me for a second - I thought it was snabb related haha


6,444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
VIVA FMIC is in!!!


Installed VIVA FMIC over the weekend. Decided to go with VIVA over Phuz because VIVA does not require you to drain the AC and it does not interfere with the R-Kelly CAI.

George from Viva ships the kit in two packages - one comes from the west coast and one comes from somewhere else. The couplings and custom piping comes in one package, and even though the couplings are very generic and need to be custom cut to fit, George highlights roughly what needs to be cut - pretty neat if you ask me.

Overall the install took me 8 hours of solid work, partly because I've never done this type of work, and partly because Viva instructions simply suck! I've read them three or four times and was still confused. The worst part is that the way they are designed is you have six pages of an essay, and another five pages of grainy photos. ((GEORGE - update it! :) ) I memorized some of the key comments from the write-up and decided to hack away on my own. George's instructions call for a coolant drain, but you DO NOT need to do that - I did not.

First and foremost I disconnected the battery. Then I removed the airbox and the cold feed pipe. Next I took the bumper off, unscrewed about twenty bolts from the metal "top piece" (not sure what it's called lol), pulled it to one side and pulled the power steering cooler to the other side. First I remove the secondary IC which was super easy and was held by two bolts. Then I went ahead and unscrewed the four bolts holding the radiator/IC/AC coolers. Up until now it was about an hour worth of work. Then I got stuck at disconnecting the stock IC hoses since they are very hard to get to. After about 20 minutes of work I finally succeeded but I got stuck again since removing the stock IC was such a PITA! No matter how I loosened things up I couldn't get it out, so I ended up cutting the the hot and cold points out - it then slid out like a champ.

Now, VIVA also says to drill holes in the bottom frame to move the radiator farther back. What they didn't know is that the bolts holding the radiator are adjustable, and the radiator can be simply pushed back and tightened using stock holes and bolts. So in a nutshell, you loosen the radiator from the bottom, push it back, and tighten it. Then I moved the AC cooler towards the radiator (bent the AC unit out of the way towards the front) and screwed them together using supplied bolts and washers. They are now spaced out about two millimeters from each other.

Next I dropped the FMIC to the front, measured the center, drilled the holes in the metal bumper, and tightened everything. Word of caution - even though i centered the FMIC, I was stupid enough to drill only one hole for each bracket, so after the install it shifted SLIGHTLY to the right...barely noticeable but I'll have to fix it one of these days.

Now, fitting the piping was another PITA. Viva requires you to remove every pipe except the OEM pipe which attaches to the OTA pipe. The couplers and pipes that attache to the throttle body are a poor design and are touching the starter cables, which could cause a short. I had to insulate that piece of the pipe with a rubber piece. Design Improvement idea: It would be much much easier to keep the stock plastic pipe which goes to the throttle body, cut it somewhere in the mid section and connect with a coupler the the IC.

After everything was set it place, I cut the couplings, fit everything in nicely, made sure there were no clearance issues and tightened everything up. Finally I put everything back together (including cutting the bumper to make it clear the new IC and cutting the top to clear the AC charging point) and went for a drive.

Of course during my test drive I found out the hard way that I either cut the throttle body coupler too short or didn't tighten it enough, but needless to say it decided to pop off. The car stalled and we pushed it back home. It was easy enough to fix, which required to remove the OTA and put the coupler back on the throttle body.

Overall, the FMIC made for a quicker throttle response, a faster 20PSI boost peak and a hotter exterior look! Of course I'll find out once it gets hot to see if it really made a big difference. It's a great buy for anyone looking for a ready kit, and allowed me for a worry free install without the need for sourcing any brackets and clamps. But, now that I'm richer by experience and know how everything works under there and how much space I have to play with, I'd most likely purchase a generic FMIC kit and fabricate it on my own. But kudos to Viva for a ready-kit for the community - it's a great buy for anyone looking for an all-in package.

So, key elements to remember when installing the VIVA FMIC:
- DO NOT follow the instructions, but rather look what everything looks like and start unbolting stuff
- DO NOT drain the coolant - not needed
- DO cut the stock IC tubes to make it slide out easily
- DO drill two holes in each IC bracket so it doesn't shift on you.
- Consider reusing the stock plastic Throttle Body pipe to prevent the new pipe from touching the starter cables

Now enjoy some photos. Thanks to my dad and DarekPL for their help.

Front Fascia off

Everything out of the way

Stock IC hose (photo taken from the engine bay, facing the front ) - PITA to take off

IC out

This is how close the radiator and AC are now

Test Fit

Silly design - the pipe is touching the starter cables - if anyone is doing this, i say reuse the stock TB pipe, cut it to length and attach it to your custom piping

Stock hose reused (attaching to the OTE pipe)

Custom piping - see - this is where the OEM plastic pipe could have been reused. It would save you at least an hour of work, by not having to custom fit that area of piping

Tight Fit

Test Fit

Bracket - silly me I only drilled one hole, which made the IC shift a bit - not a big deal but I'll handle it later. These brackets are a great quality and a perfect fit - no need to shave the metal bumper at all (George - update your write-up)

Cutting the top piece to clear the AC Charging Point

All hoked-up

Darek and pops fixing the coupler which popped-off. We had to push the car back home

Stock ICs - pretty poor design. The supplementary IC is a piece of crap. Notice how I cut everything out

the New Look

Money shot!

A new badge


6,444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Painted fog-light grilles

How to replace outer tie rods - yes mine were bad


After weeks of clunking in the front and a loose-feeling suspension I finally found the time to replace my worn out outer tie rods on both sides.
The job is fairly easy using common tools - it took me about 15 minutes per side, and that includes taking the wheel off.

Forgive my crappy tools....

Start by loosening up the tightening bolt. This is a normal thread. Lefty-loosie righty-tightie

Next loosen up the main bolt which attaches to the spindle. You might have to use a bit of force.

You'll notice that as you're loosening it up, the whole assembly will start spinning. TO fix that, simply hold the top part with another tool and prevent it front spinning. Preferably i'd use vice-grips here but I just couldn't find them

Yes - it's off!

Next you simply unscrew the whole rod from the steering rack. Be sure to hold the steering rack in place to prevent it from spinning

All taken off. Here you can see how much thread goes into the rod.

New and old. See how much play the old piece had?! The new piece is very tight and you cant just move it around like the old one

Install is just a reverse of removal

Now you can enjoy tighter, more precise steering. I took it for a quick spin around the block and the noise is gone. I'm getting it aligned today too.

Oh by the way, I was getting a clunking noise from the rear too - turned out to be a loose tool-set in the trunk :p

6,444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Front Sway Install (even though we installed it upside down first hehe)


Elevate sway

Shot at 2012-07-08

Shot at 2012-07-08

Shot at 2012-07-08

Shot at 2012-07-08

Shot at 2012-07-08

Crappy Elevate welds

Shot at 2012-07-08

How to replace rear bearings and hubs


Had a chance to replaced my rear bearings yesterday (Thanks Darek for your help)

Overall, the job took us 2 hours for both sides..in my driveway...- quite quickly actually.

In a nutshell, you have to remove the calipers, rotors, drive-shaft bolt, and then unscrew the hub from the back. All are fairly easy to get to, except the one bolt by the control arm. To get to it, we put in a jack under the control arm and jacked it up which gave us more room to squeeze in a socket.

Then after taking every bolt out we realized that the hub was seized in its place. So, we then jacked the rear of the car by the hub and banged it with a hammer which made it pop out. Reinstalling was reverse of what you just read, minus the hammer banging.

The driver's side was completely shot - I'm glad I replaced it. I was getting such bad humming noise that my rear windows were vibrating. After the fix I'm good as new!


6,444 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
New Wheels (work in progress - going to paint the lip)


I had a fantastic weekend (despite the fact that I came down with a cold now and can barely move...but oh well). So, here are the developments:
- I purchased a sweet set of 18 inch Tenzo wheels custom drilled and offset for the R. I was able to get a fantastic deal thanks to a great guy/vendor I met. Hit me up if you're interested and I'll share with you the info. But the wheels are Tenzo TZ.7 18x8 37mm offset, No spacers, Clears Brembos on the R. At 18 inches the wheel weighs 21 lbs, which is much lighter than the peg. The wheels are black, with a machined face.

- Once we were done with having the tires mounted and installed, Darek and I we went over to Pirenzo's friend's house to help Pirenzo (well, Patrick is his name) install his FMIC. As soon as we got there Darek, in his true foreman style, took charge of the job and guided it to the finish line. Custom piping was cut, measured and holes were drilled. At the end Patrick ended up with a nice, clean and CENTERED FMIC! Thanks for the pizza/bagels/donuts/beer Pat!

Anyways...here are some pics...They're all mixed up from the day but you get the idea

All in boxed ready to be installed

Plenty of Caliper clearance


1,126 Posts
Any special bulbs or steps needed to change the dash lights? Really like the blue. Any more pics of that? I wouldn't mind changing mine (if it doesn't sell)

Premium Member
8,711 Posts
LOL I love this thread, reminds me of mine. I wish I documented and took pictures of everything I did at every moment.
Btw, I like how you did your fog light grills Tommy (wonder where you got that idea?) :D

Seriously, we need to meet up some day. I swear, our cars are like long lost twins from the same era, and got the TLC it needed at the same time.

1,126 Posts
Oddly I had thought about painting the fog grilles exactly opposite--leave the middles black, but paint the 'surround' silver, in the spirit of the main grille (black center, silver surround). Might look nice with the grain sanded off...

Premium Member
8,711 Posts
thats why so many people do carlisle every year. puts a face with the user name ect. Its always a honest to god good fun event

i like pictures, i like this thread:)
Well, it sucks for us Canadians to trek 9+ hours down there for the event. I may do it eventually so you folks can see my car ;) But what I meant was to meet Tommy, and not you! J/K.
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