Hooking up Blue Steel with a late Christmas gift

It’s been a minute since I’ve written a little something, not sure why…maybe just being lazy. But today I have some updates for the Focus ST a.k.a. Blue Steel. Bought and installed a little something and did some exterior touch up/ enhancements. Back in December, after much research and debate, I ordered a set of Mountune lowering springs. The springs are supposedly designed to work great with the ST’s factory struts without being too low and ruining the struts prematurely. Dropping the ride height up to 1 inch up front and 1.4 out rear. Those numbers help to eliminate the unnecessary and unsightly wheel gap that the factory springs provide. The Mountune springs lower the cars center of gravity, tighten up the turn in, while sharpening the car’s already impressive handling. What’s in the box? I was excited to finally get notification that they shipped after almost 2 months of waiting. Funny thing is a cancelled the order when I found out they were backordered but after looking around and reading reviews I reordered them. Figured I wouldn’t have the time to install them until February anyway so the wait wouldn’t kill me. You know for me it’s like Christmas when car parts arrive at the house, but unlike my younger years I’m a little more apprehensive on doing installs. Just thinking about breaking something or just the soreness that comes from a day of labor under a car. Although I didn’t run into the garage to install them the same day they arrived, I have a friend who was pretty eager to get his hands dirty and help take the job. It was a rainy weekend and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to leave to even leave the house or even be in a garage, but I’m glad I did. My buddy Rahman helped me get the job done. The only hiccupa we had was not loosening the sway bar for the rear springs first. Would’ve made the job much easier and saved some time. Probably not necessary, but it did help. And not spreading the front knuckle wide enough. Being too gentle when it wasn’t necessary. That made for a workout. These tips I carry with me in the event another spring install comes my way.
Front strut removed
All in all it’s a simple install, but we took our time. Didn’t need any extra nuts and bolts after we were done. Plus it gave us some needed male bonding. Here is a pic from right after the install. I’ll get together with Rahman once we get some consecutive dry days to take some pics and compare my Mountune springs to his Ford Performance springs. From the little driving I’ve done, I’ve noticed a difference but I also want to hit some twisties soon. That’ll give me a chance to push the car and really test out the springs. And here is after a week of settling and a much needed wash. Looking pretty good. Along with lowering the car I also tinted the rear lower reflectors. Bought some inexpensive self adhering film from Amazon. Made a template. And wala! Just need to red out my 3rd brake light to finish off the look of the rear. Lastly I desperately needed to replace the crappy factory lug nuts. Mine were swelling making it difficult to use a standard tool to remove them. Apparently there is pending lawsuit about this as people have been unable to change there tire and have gotten stranded. Here are the new ones. I didn’t think that I wanted black but they do look good. Notice the swelling on the stock ones. Shame… Shame… Shame That about does it for this post. I will definitely follow up with a review of the springs and how the new lugs are holding up. Thanks for reading. Remember to like and follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our Perks Garage YouTube Channel and now on Instagram @perksgarageblog
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Going Topless

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Here is where I stand or shall I say sit today. 2002 Audi TT Quattro 225 6-speed 3 pedal…oh yeah!. I was sitting at work looking thru our companies internal car buying service on a Friday when this I came across the ad for this little TT.  It was not the baseball leather edition, but it still caught my eye. That Sunday after church, my wife asked what were my plans for the rest of the day and I thought this was the invite for a honey-do list day.  I told her, “going to check out a car.” I anticipated the usual WTH glare she gives whenever I mentioned the C- word. To my surprise she asked if she could go with me. Whuuuuuuuut? Happy dance, happpy dance!  Wait, what did you do with my wife?  I took this rare opportunity and ran with it.  So we headed down to northern OC, but just to look at it because my mind was already made up about this CLEEEEAN Blue Graphite Pearl B6 Passat – Wolfsburg Edition…euro💓. In my mind I. already had this thing bagged on Accuair, tucking something 3 piece and polished at all four corners with an APR tune and custom 3″ Magnaflow turbo back exhaust. I was trying to negotiate a lower price on the Passat that week when I decided to go take a look at the TT.

The TT was stock, but super clean with low miles for being such an old seasoned car. Garage kept and pretty well taken care of except for the slight rear bumper ding from either a backing incident or someone not respecting the sexy backside of the little Audi.  I always had a thing for roadsters, S2k’s, Miata’s especially, but the TT…who doesn’t want to pull the top down and show off their TTs ;). I told myself “just leave it stock and save the mods for Bubba (my NA BRG Miata I was building)”, but Self said…”SCREW THAT!” and you just can’t argue with Self…that’s just crazy talk.  Well I got a big beautiful smile from the Mrs when I put the top down to check it out.  The price was right, so the deal was done and the date night car was bought.

Now here she is, sitting low and fitted with a staggered set of Privat Cup wheels – 18×8.5f and18x9.5r.  Rubber comes in the form of Sumitomo’s measuring 215/40 up front and 225/40 out back, giving just the right amount of stretch.  These german vehicles have crazy factory hub spacing and fitting aftermarket wheels can be a challenge so the addition spacers is very necessary without custom built wheels.  I picked up some 12mm and 15mm spacers help the TT achieve just the right amount of pokage so that I can be “culturally” accepted.  The gravitational pull is courtesy of German built ST coilovers. The saying goes, “if you ain’t rubbin, you ain’t dubbin!”  That too can be said for Audi’s as well. No performance upgrades…yet.  Right now its simple and clean!
Photo by M Perkins

Intro to the Past

Welcome to Perks Garage! This blog will be used to discuss my passion for all things automotive. I will share my views, opinion and perspectives on cars, tuning, specs and events that I attend throughout the year, and yes there will be pics as well.  Now I admit that I am not the greatest photog, but in my head I am just as good as a Marcel Bischler or a Jeremy Cliff, look them up if you don’t already know.  I will be interviewing other enthusiast and showcasing builds along the way.
Now that we got that out of the way, let me start by introducing myself. I’m Mike and have been in love with cars since I was about 10, which was a looooong time ago. I am not afraid to work on my own cars, from regular maintenance and stereos to installing custom suspension and body kits.  My first memory of driving was in my sisters Honda Civic when I was about 12 or so.  At that moment I was in love and knew driving would be my sanctuary.  My first automotive love was the 88 Honda CRX SI.  When most boys were drooling over their dads dirty mags, I had the Honda car brochure spread eagle on my bedroom wall with the CRX centerfold enticing my dreams.  I would rush home and thumb thru the brochure everyday, going between the CRX and the Prelude.  It was torture since driving a car was years away…legally that is, and owning one was even further.  In my years, I have owned a number of vehicles and I have modified every last one of them with the exception for my 85 CRX (funny story about that one). Needless to say my  hobby drove drives my wife crazy, as I am sure it would most wives.  In the last 2 years, I tried to convince my wife that owning 5 vehs for 2 drivers with a 2.5 car garage was a great idea.  With that, I am now banned from buying another car for quite some time now 🙂  I’ve gone from Tercels with big wheels to slammed Accords.  From RonJon kitted TL’s to stretched and poked Quattro TT’s.  In the words of the great philosopher of this new generation imported direct from Canada “Started from the bottom, now we here!” – Drake 2014  lol

Now with that brief intro, I give you Perks Garage!

Welcome and enjoy the ride.