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Project: Audi S5 Custom Exhaust

A few weeks ago we were presented with the opportunity to build a custom exhaust in house for a customer who wanted a more aggressive sound from his Audi S5. Rather than get something conventional and off the shelf, we built the header back exhaust from scratch for a unique sound and look.

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Product Review: Whiteline Performance Sway Bars for S550 Mustang

As most of you know, we picked up an S550 Mustang as a shop car to learn more about the chassis and give an American “Classic” our own take. The mustang is by no means a light and nimble car, it has some mass to it. Weighing in at nearly 3800 lbs, we’re going to try and do everything in our power to make the car handle as if it were lighter while retaining the comforts of a street car that sees the occasional track.

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Event: Super D Matsuri 2016 feat. Naoki Nakamura

As the drifting season comes to a close here in the Midwest and the temperature starts to fall, we ventured out to sunny California for Super D Matsuri at Grange Motor Circuit! We worked with our friends over at Drift Team Animal Style with this crazy idea to bring Naoki Nakamura, one of the most stylish and exciting drifters in the world, to the US for an event. With hard work from the stateside team planning and help from Stacked Inc., Wolfreign Motors, and all of the event sponsors, the event took shape and one of Naoki’s freshly painted shells was en route to to the USA.

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Product Feature: New Vertex Japan Steering Wheels

Vertex is known for many things, one of them being their super stylish steering wheels. Normally the wheels feature ornate stitching and bright colors, and the latest from Vertex is no different. We received three of the latest styles this past week and have several more on the way in these designs as well as other ones. Check out the wheels and be sure to email us for any questions on them or any other product from Vertex!

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Event: Club FR Jam

We ventured back up north to Shawano, Wisconsin for Club FR Jam at USAIR! This is the track where Final Bout and Final Bout II were held, as well as where Club FR hosts its D-Day events. Unlike any previous event however, drifting was allowed during the night time hours thanks to a lenient track owner and the addition of lights to illuminate the intermediate course section! We originally went out to the event to help staff (and drive some) but we managed to snap a few photos of the event  as well. Enjoy!

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Product Feature: Koyorad Radiator for ND Miata

Koyorad Racing is constantly staying on top of the market as new cars are released and designing products to accommodate them. One of the latest is the ND Miata from Mazda which is already becoming a popular platform for modifying for track use and for show. Koyo stayed on the ball and designed a radiator that trumps the OEM one in every single way and generously sent us one of the first to put in the ND Miata we have around here to do a side by side comparison like we did with the E46.

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Final Bout: Special Stage Central – Part 1

We saw the return of the Final Bout crowd at USAIR this past weekend for the Special Stage Central event! Some of the cars from the previous event at PARC came out to the track from the West Coast, but the point of these events being split into three is to make the traveling aspect a bit less harsh for teams that travel from the complete opposite side of the country, and to sort of qualify to be invited to the Final Bout main event next summer.

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Event: Pizza Bout

Pre Final Bout festivities have been a thing at TF since the first Final Bout. Drivers from around the country were heading to the event, and TF acted as a pit stop of sorts. This year, rather than have one single Final Bout event during the summer, the guys behind the operation decided to hold three different events across the country in three parts (West, Central, East), dubbed “Special Stage”. Special Stage West was out in Portland Oregon at Pat’s Acre Racing Complex, and Central was to be held at the familiar USAIR track up in Shawano Wisconsin. The event is this Saturday, so rather than just having the participants show up randomly throughout the week or throwing a small meet, we decided to give back to those that give so much to drifting and the scene itself with a pizza party.

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Presenting, PIZZA BOUT.

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Project Update: R32 GTR – Part 3

We’ve been hoarding all of the photos from the R32 GTR build and figured now would be as good a time as ever to share them with you in this project update! This has been an extensive build process and we have documented a lot of it in these photographs throughout the past several months. When we left off last blog post, the car had its RB26 heart removed for disassembly and to be rebuilt for the power goals the customer had in mind.As the car sits now, it just needs a few more things buttoned up in the engine bay and the drivetrain for it to be ready to finally fire up for the first time.  Check out the extensive coverage below!

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Event: GridLife Round 2 – Track Battle & Drift

For the second year in a row, GridLife Track Battle returns to Autobahn Country Club! The track is beautiful, with three different layouts available to run; North, South, and Full. Saturday was dedicated to Time Attack and other track activities, while Sunday added a drifting demo in as well as a change of course running.

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Event: GridLife Round 2: Offset Kings Chicago

Offset Kings returns to the Chicago area! Our friends over at JDM Chicago and Fatlace worked with GridLife to bring this exclusive car showcase to our area. Featuring a few familiar cars and other new ones, there was a broad range of cars present on the grass. Check out our photo coverage of a few of the cars from this past weekend!

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Project Teaser: AE86 Build

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We’ve been keeping it under wraps here at TF, but we have been in the process of collecting parts for a new project that we have yet to do here in shop! More details will be released later, but for now enjoy a small teaser of some photos from Crystal Body Yokohama! CBY has been working with us getting all of the aero for our project car ready and it’s going to be on its way to us soon. Check out their website HERE!

CBY has been tuning with AE86 aero for many years now and has established their place in the market. You can find out more photos of their shop car at NoriYaro (beautiful car, simple and fast!)

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Event: GridLife Midwest

This past weekend we ventured out to Gingerman Raceway for the GridLife Midwest event! It was an event unlike any other, featuring drifting, time attack, music festival, vendors and more! The weekend was a massive success and we cannot wait until the next GridLife in Road Atlanta at the end of the summer! We brought out the TF 5.0 Mustang as well as the Time Attack S14 to participate in the road racing aspect of the event to test out new aero on the S14 and shake down the cars.

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Event: Final Bout – Special Stage West (Part 1)

We ventured out to Portland, Oregon for the first instillment of this year’s Final Bout Special Stage series! The event took place at Pat’s Acres Racing Complex, a track originally for karting but has grown to be a local favorite for drifting due to its tight technical turns and hairpins and overall fun! It is also a very scenic track and photographs really well, check out some of our photos from the event in Part 1 of our Final Bout coverage!

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Project Update: TF 5.0 Mustang Part 1

Our latest venture here at TF has been the new Ford Mustang (GT) with the 5.0L Coyote engine. Although we are more than comfortable with our standard 240s and other Import car projects, going outside of our comfort zone with this Mustang is proving to be a really rewarding process. Come on, who doesn’t love the easy power gains you can get from headers and a tune on these cars? Where as their 4 cylinder counterpart would take much much more for 70+ horsepower gains from simple comparable bolt-ons.

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Project Update: Christine’s 280Z Part 3

“You can have any color that you want, so long as it’s black…”

So much has happened since the last blog post on the 280Z; intake manifold finalized, everything powder coated and ceramic coated, engine bay painted, etc. The car is coming together beautifully, and we can’t wait to show you the progress!

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Wekfest Chicago 2016

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Wekfest USA returned to the Chicago area for the first time in over 5 years, and here is the result!
Tons of quality cars came out of the woodwork and from coast to coast to show what they have been up to this winter. Many over the top builds were present, some familiar cars with a few updates, and some classics. Thank you to everyone who stopped by the TF booth and said hi, enjoy a few photos and the gallery from some of the cars of Wekfest!

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Project: E46 M3 SMG to Manual Conversion Part 2

Over the past few weeks, a lot has happened since the E46 entered the shop doors; pulling the transmission, exhaust, and suspension as well as the subframe to fix a few common problems with this chassis. Plenty more is on the way, but we wanted to go ahead and throw an update your way to keep the public informed and dump all of the photos we’ve taken over the past few weeks.

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Product Feature: Koyorad Racing Radiator for E46 M3

While the market for the E46 chassis is large, it is no where near the size of the more common import chassis’, such as the S chassis. Comparing these two seems a bit unfair; the market appeal of each was aimed at an entirely different demographic, and the cars are years apart from each other technologically speaking. The E46 M3 was regarded as one of the best sports cars of all time for its superior handling and performance, and they are much more affordable to the masses now as time has gone by. The market for these cars was growing exponentially as they became more affordable so it was a no brainer for companies such as Koyorad to start developing more products for the chassis. Koyorad aluminum E46 M3 radiator

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Christine’s 280Z Project Part 2

Stepping forward a couple of months from the last dedicated blog update on Christine’s blackest of the black 280Z, and the car is now approaching it’s finishing point faster than ever. If this is your first time reading about the Z, be sure to check out the build thread HERE, as well as Part 1 to our blog regarding the Z HERE.

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Project: SMG E46 M3 Manual Conversion + 280Z & R32 GTR Updates

Where is the third pedal? A common question in the car enthusiast community, referring to the belief that a car with an automatic (using that term loosely, DSG and SMG fall under this category) transmission is not a true driver’s car. There’s no denying the evidence that having a flappy paddle gearbox means more efficient up and down-shifts, which translates to faster lap times. Super car manufacturers such as Porsche, Nissan, McLaren, and Ferrari have almost phased out the traditional gearbox in favor of the newest shifting technology. Purists will always prefer to do the work themselves as far as shifting goes; there is something satisfying about nailing that perfect heel-toe downshift that allows you to rocket out of the corner; it’s a much more involved process and it comes down to the feel.
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Project: Nissan Skyline GT-R

With the 25 year law in place, we are seeing a huge influx of what used to be extremely rare cars come through our shop. Many of the cars that drop by our shop, start out with the basic maintenance jobs and bolt on upgrades. This particular customer, was able to obtain a very low mileage R32 GT-R (12,000 original documented miles). Shipped directly to us before the owner even had a chance to smell it, drive it, or touch it. As a long time customer of ours, it started out as a “Hey I’m getting a GTR, and need some maintenance parts” to “Might as well do it all at once.” Not looking to build the fastest car, but wanting a build using only the best parts and making it reliable and most importantly fun to drive.


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Product Feature: NecksGen REV

The current availability for head and neck restrains is fairly slim, and HANS is the most common choice for anyone looking for this type of device. It has became the standard for head and neck safety, and it is used in various racing sanctions. Due to there being only one company dominating the market, NecksGen has come up with their own restrain system that has some advantages over the HANS.

Most SCCA and NASA events require SFI approved head and neck restraints and HANS has been extremely popular within. The next contender for this system is NecksGen and they have introduced their REV unit. Available in three sizes, small, medium, and large, each size except for the small will accept a 2″ and 3″ harness. The small variant will only accept the 2″ harness.


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Volkswagen Type 2 Vanagon Westfalia

Everyday, customers drop their cars off for anything from general maintenance, to a full build. The cars are typically ones you see commonly on the road, with the exception of some that have been imported from overseas. A few weeks ago, a customer approached us about putting in some time on a T3 Vanagon with an engine swap that is becoming more popular for these cars. The engine compartment is situated in the rear of the car, and it is very limited for engine swap options. The Subaru boxer engines are ideal for this application because they are readily available, and put out a good amount of power.

For our situation, we were given a Westfalia edition vanagon, with a Subaru SVX engine, straight from an auction, and asked to make everything function together. After a few weeks, the car was all buttoned up, and the owner saw the car for the first time since purchasing it.

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Service: Custom Roll Bar

Participating in a track day event is one of the best ways to improve your driving skill level. As your ability to pilot your car becomes greater, you are going to push yourself and your vehicle to the limit. That need to get a better lap time will result in buying parts to make the car lighter, faster, and more agile. But with all of these components to consider, safety needs to be the top priority.


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Product Spotlight: STANCE Suspension Coilover Covers

STANCE Suspension recently released a new product that will aid in preserving the life of their coilovers. Made from breathable neoprene, these covers protect your investment from salt, ice, and extreme road conditions. The neoprene covers feature a zipper on the back that allows for an easy install. Both ends of the covers are elastic and create a tight seal around the unit. Since coilovers come in varying sizes, 325mm and 395mm long variants are available.


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Product Spotlight: NISMO LMGT4 Omori Factory Spec Machining Logo Version

During the first quarter of 2015, Nismo announced that it was going to make a limited run of their iconic wheel, the LMGT4. This production was made only in a glossy black finish, and featured a state of the art machining process to achieve an etched Nismo logo on one of the spokes. Being 30% lighter and stronger than previous releases, this production is the ultimate set of LMGT4s to own. The GT-R specialists at Omori Factory arranged the following three sizes of this wheel to be released:

  • 17 x 9.0J 114.3 x 5H offset 22 BNR32 – 7.6kg
  • 18 x 9.0J 114.3 x 5H offset 22 BNR32 – 8.9kg
  • 18 x 9.5J 114.3 x 5H offset 12 BCNR33 BNR34 – 8.9kg

A knurled tire bead is used to avert the separation of the wheel and tire at high-G conditions.


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Product Preview: Cusco Miata ND5RC Under Braces

Mazda only recently released the new iteration to the Miata family, and companies are already working hard at developing new parts for the chassis. Cusco has extended their line of Power Braces by creating such components for this ND5RC chassis. The front, center, and rear under braces strengthen the chassis and minimize body flex during cornering, and ensure ideal suspension articulation. A similar effect can be achieved by stitch welding a worn out chassis.

These parts are 100% bolt on, with no modification needed, and designed with plenty of ground clearance.

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Event: TF RHD Meet

With the recent availability of importing Japanese cars older than 25 years, more and more RHD cars have been popping up around our area. The cars that are being brought in were previously not commonly allowed due to them not passing NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Association) regulations. The only legal way to get around it was to have the car be used for “Show and Display,” but you could only put 2,500mi on the car annually, pay a large sum of money, and fill out heaps of paperwork. So, the 25 year rule treats these cars a little different and is more lenient on what cars can be on the road.

With the popularity of these cars increasing stateside, we thought it would be fun to team up with GTR-Garage and throw a meet specifically for RHD cars at our facility on a gorgeous Sunday in November. Sure, not every local RHD car and driver could make it, but we still had a great time and turn out.


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Christine’s 280Z Project Part 1

The only way to keep moving forward is by constantly progressing and changing things up. Part of what makes the car community exciting is seeing what car enthusiasts will come up with next. Anything from small modifications to full-out builds keeps everyone looking forward to what is in store next.

Christine is someone who has put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into creating a 280Z that always turns heads and puts a smile on her face. Since obtaining the car in 2011, she has been restoring her Z (check out her build thread HERE). A little bit ago, she started building an L28 that would replace the current one in the car. And now we have reached the time to swap the car and further improve other components of the car. One of the crucial parts of the build will be turbocharging the L28! We are really excited to get a chance to work on this car, especially because she drops by so often!

As the build keeps progressing we will keep updating you with more content!

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Product Review: KOYORAD Oil Coolers

In the recent weeks, Koyorad has been introducing new products for consumers to implement into their cars. Among all the substantial products, the new universal oil cooler line caught our attention. The design is result of a collaborative effort with Koyorad’s Japan, Singapore, China and US offices. For many years in Japan, Koyorad custom oil coolers have proven their effectiveness during competition in D1 Gran Prix and D1 Street Legal on Koyorad sponsored vehicles. These purpose-built drift cars are subject to indirect and inconsistent flow of air, occasional contact between vehicles, and high oil pressures, therefore they require superior build quality and high heat transfer efficiency. The all new Koyorad universal oil coolers are extremely well built, highly efficient and tough.

Since Koyorad has built their reputation for precision and attention to detail from their all aluminum racing radiators, you can expect the same level of high efficiency within the tightest of engine confines. Koyorad Oil Coolers incorporate -10 AN ORB (O-Ring Boss) provisions for the inlet and outlet allowing versatility. Users may easily reduce AN to AN, or convert from AN to Push-Loc style barb fittings for any needs. When you’ve invested so much into you engine, function and quality is paramount. Choose the all-new Koyorad universal oil coolers in combination with a Koyorad Racing Radiator for the best cooling system on the market.


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Event: Final Bout II Part 3

View Final Bout 2 Part 2 Here

As the sun sunk below the horizon on Saturday, anticipation for the final day of drifting was upon everyone. With the first day in the books, some cars suffered damage that made them inoperable for the second day of the event. Unfortunate as it was, everyone shared high spirits and a positive attitude.

Just like any drift event hosted by ClubFR, Sunday began with a driver’s meeting and a general info session. Sunday was the day where the track would become a free-for-all. Most of the drivers already got the chance to get to know one another and each other’s driving style, so tandems and larger trains were constant throughout the day. Besides the brief lunch break, drivers were getting as much seat time as possible by constantly attacking the track.

Final Bout II was just as good if not better than the pilot event, and this event has the possibility of constantly growing year after year. The amount of spectators, media, and drivers present at this year’s event trumped that of the previous event. There were people everywhere, taking photos, enjoying the event, and we were probably using all of Shawano bandwidth for sharing our experience!

Large-scale grassroot gatherings like this one are the best way to keep everyone in from all over the continent (and from overseas) together. People from various countries and states made the trip to spend time with one another. When there’s a good event like this, people will do anything to make it! We cannot wait for next year’s iteration, but for now we have to thank everyone who made the event possible!


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Event: Final Bout 2 Part 2

View Final Bout 2 Part 1 Here
Last time we spoke, we looked at all the drivers preparing for the team competition portion of the weekend. For some drivers, this course is their home course, while for others it was completely new. However, the sheer skill of the drivers allowed them to get the hang of the layout quickly.

Saturday afternoon rolled around and the competition was in effect. Every team lined their cars up near the starting line and anticipated their turn to hit the track. Just like last year, each team had two runs to get judged on. Runs by every team were intense, and everyone was pushing their cars to the limit to get closer to their teammate! Once everyone had the chance to put down their runs, the top four teams were announced. Proceed, Heatbloom, Risky Devil, and Faction made the cut and moved on to the finals! After the top four, each team had two more chances to put down a solid lap to impress the judges with style, speed, angle and proximity. Once the final team ran and the smoke had cleared, Faction (3rd), Heatbloom (2nd), and Risky Devil (1st) were called! Once the news was announced by the judges through the megaphone at hand, pure joy was in the air, along with champagne getting sprayed everywhere! The cheer from the crowd and drivers for the newly crowned victors slowly faded out and everyone went back to their cars for more drifting, which went non-stop until the sun began to set!


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Event: Final Bout 2 Part 1

Ever since the departure of last year’s drivers and spectators, we have all anticipated the second iteration of Final Bout and worked hard to get ready for this year’s event. It is also no surprise after all the positive feedback from the inaugural event that once the list of the attending teams was posted, the excitement was real. Social media was buzzing as drivers and spectators began counting down to when all of the rad cars, previously seen online, would all be in one location again for a few days.

The Saturday of the event, the two seemingly never-ending pit lanes were amazing. Each featuring some of the best cars that the USA and Canada have to offer. Walking around the pit, seeing all the hard work everyone put in for the event was impressive. There were cars present that we had never seen before. A few cars even debuted at this event and that made everything seem so surreal.

Looking around, we noticed everyone was smiling, laughing, and getting to know one another. This event felt like a family reunion. Everyone was there; media people, spectators, drivers, social media car celebrities, eFamous divas, and those who had that one cool car but you didn’t know who drove it.

However, none of this could be possible if it wasn’t for the organizers. ClubFR teamed up with some judges, who ventured from Japan, sponsors, and USAIR to create an amazing event. The photos are taken by Nick and Darian. We hope you enjoy the coverage!


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Feature: Raymond’s Varis FR-S

Who: Raymond
Occupation: Duce Bigilow Male Gigolo
Car: Scion FR-S Series 10

Ray embarked on his FR-S journey with a limited edition Series 10 FR-S not even two years ago. Since then, the car kept on evolving through various stages and styles. Each evolution showcased attention to detail and thorough execution. With the great platform at hand, Ray wished to have a completely built car that did not resemble other builds in the community. After months of tinkering with off the shelf and custom parts, his vision has come to fruition.

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Recent Customers Part 10

Everyday customers drop by; some new and some regulars. Here are just a few recent customer cars we had the chance to snap pictures of over the past couple days:

Each week we will be posting a new iteration of this series so stay tuned for more!

And be sure to follow us on Instagram (@tfworks) and Facebook for more content from behind the scenes, event coverage, exclusive sales, product updates and more!

Project: D-Spec AE86 Part 2

Since the last time we left off, a lot has changed on this car. The wiring is complete and now a tune is the last electrical based item left on the list. All of the wiring was taken care of by FENESS Engineering, and everything is tucked and organized.

One of the most noticeable changes is the presence of the J-Blood front bumper, which is painted in a two tone fashion. Being influenced by styling cues from Japan, the owner opted for a Ueo style silver bumper. The rear bumper has a matching two tone, as well.


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Does Size Matter?

We recently had the chance to witness two iconic tuning cars parked front to back. Even though they differ greatly in size and power, both of these powerful cars seem like a blast to drive. Whether we’re looking at the 300PS Miata or 700PS GTR, does power and size play a part in how we view a car? We certainly don’t think so.

Recent Customers Part 9

Everyday customers drop by; some new and some regulars. Here are just a few that we had the chance to snap pictures of over the past couple days:

Each week we will be posting a new iteration of this series so stay tuned for more!

And be sure to follow us on Instagram (@tfworks) and Facebook for more content from behind the scenes, event coverage, exclusive sales, product updates and more!

Event: TF S2000 Meet

To start of the month of August, we held a S2000 themed meet at our location. Like our other themed meets, these gatherings are a great way to stay in touch with our friends and customers. Just because it was a purposefully held for the S2000, we had bunch of different cars drop by.


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Lowered Custom Tesla Model S

A few days ago, one of our frequent customers dropped off his family’s Tesla Model S for some custom suspension work. Unlike the newer models, which feature air suspension, this version of the car was equipped with a more common spring over strut setup. Our project was to lower the car about two inches. In order to effectively do this, notches had to be precisely lathed into the strut body. The notch is home to a c-clip that supports the spring perch. A few notches were made on each strut so that the height can be adjusted in the future. Below is a set of before and after pictures. Note, the perches were set at the second lowest notch all around in the after picture.

Before:

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Customer: Madd Max 180SX

After little over five years in the making, Max is near completion with his take on the ever popular 180SX. Max went with Type-X aero to start off the exterior and added on Rocket Bunny V1 flares to compensate for the wide SSR Koenig Monster’s. Since these flares are best suited for Rocket Bunny aero, he trimmed down the bottom portions of the flares so that they meet the OEM exterior components. At this point, the exterior already looks pretty wild so a Origin GT wing, with custom stands, GT mirrors, and a splitter and canard combo are put on to further the aggressiveness.


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Recent Customers Part 8

Everyday customers drop by; some new and some regulars. Here are just a few that we had the chance to snap pictures of over the past couple days:

Each week we will be posting a new iteration of this series so stay tuned for more!

And be sure to follow us on Instagram (@tfworks) and Facebook for more content from behind the scenes, event coverage, exclusive sales, product updates and more!

Project: D-Spec AE86 Part 1

Several months ago, one of our long time friends came to us with a fairly bare AE86 and an amazing wishlist. His plans were to make this chassis into a great turn-key car to get back into drifting with. Immediately after receiving the car, we got to work!


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Event: TF Drift Car Meet

Last weekend we hosted a Drift Car themed meet at our location. Many people took time out of their day to drop by and hangout with other car enthusiasts while hopefully enjoying the really hot weather. Even though this meet was geared towards drift cars, there were cars with different tuning styles that drove through throughout the day. Thank you to everyone who had the chance to come by! We will definitely have more themed meets throughout the year!


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Customer: Nick’s GR STI

Without a doubt you have probably seen Nick dela Rosa’s Subaru GR STI in one of multiple features online and in print. It is one of the most complete Subaru builds in North America, and needless to say when Nick contacted itsProper to collaborate, they were extremely excited for the opportunity to grace the car with one of their designs. Although this livery was actually put together about a year and a half ago, they were finally able to turn the concept into reality in two days in preparation for Hot Import Nights Chicago. We had the chance to take some photos before the car left for the show.


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