Friday, October 17, 2008

JDM Honda BBS.....No BS

Anybody got like $1,500.00 that I could borrow?

Wow…so there I was, scrolling through eBay and I came across these wheels being listed…..

“Auction is for a beautiful set of four (4) authentic JDM Honda BBS RG-II alloy wheels. These lightweight forged BBS alloys were exclusively made for Honda for their Japanese KA7/9 Legend. Take a look at the wheel face and you know these are not general BBS RG's. These wheels bearing Honda logo are hub-centric for use on the Legend and they use Honda OEM bulge-type lug nuts.”

Crazy, right? I never knew BBS made wheels specifically for Honda, much less the KA7/8/9 chassis!

Here’s a little more about BBS taken quite literally…..directly from their website.


“BBS is synonymous with top-quality wheels. But what makes BBS the best is not just elegant, stylish designs. It’s what you don’t see that makes our wheels the most sought-after and respected in the world.
The wheel has been around for thousands of years, but that doesn’t keep us from reinventing it all over again.
BBS got its start in the 1970s when it began producing wheels for touring car racing. It quickly became a widely recognized name in the world of motorsports because of its ability to produce race-winning wheels that compromised neither integrity nor weight. Over the years, we’ve developed and perfected various technologies used in the production of BBS wheels that have effectively set us apart from our competitors, on and off the racetrack.
Unlike standard wheel manufacturing processes—which have a limit to the level of performance they can deliver at a specific weight—BBS Flow Forming and Forging processes make it possible to manufacture solidly-engineered wheels that are also lightweight. Plus, the BBS commitment to quality, performance, and safety goes far beyond other recognized standards such as the German TUV, or the Japanese JWL / VIA requirements. In some cases the BBS standard is 10 times greater. Building wheels that are lighter and stronger requires a higher level of engineering, better manufacturing technologies, and a well-trained production staff.

Flow Forming

Flow Forming is a production procedure that turns the wheel (or rim section) over a special mandrel and three hydraulic rollers using tremendous pressure. The pressure and turning then force the rim area to form against the mandrel, creating the shape and width of the rim. During Flow Forming, the rim actually "flows” down to create the full rim width.
Less weight is key to record-breaking speed.

In the past few years, “forged” has become quite a popular term in the aftermarket wheel industry—but not all forged wheels are created equally, just as not all cast wheels are created equally.
When the goal is ultimate performance, only a BBS forged wheel will do.
The BBS forging process requires up to 16 million pounds of pressure, and a multi-stage forging process. Starting from a billet of 6,000 Series Aluminum, or a special Magnesium alloy, every stage of production is optimized to create the best forged wheel in the industry—so it’s no wonder why BBS supplies wheels for today’s supercars more than any other company.
The forging process used to make our aftermarket wheels is the same process we use to make our Formula 1 wheels and Original Equipment forged wheels used on the Porsche Carrera, Ferrari 360 Stradale, Ford GT, and a variety of other high-performance and luxury vehicles.
BBS forged wheels have style and substance.
Light weight wheels deliver better performance, but lighter wheels—without compromised reliability—are not as easily achieved as many companies would have you believe. The aftermarket wheel industry has been flooded with products promising light weight—however they are not always strong enough to survive in the real world. BBS forged wheels are not only light, they’ve been designed to handle all environments gracefully and safely.
Why is Flow Forming such a big deal? Because during Flow Forming, pressure applied to the cast rim actually changes its mechanical properties, so its strength and impact values become similar to those of a forged rim. That translates to up to 15% less weight when compared to a standard cast wheel.
BBS currently uses Flow Forming in the production of CH and RC one-piece wheels, and for the rim sections of the RXII, RKII, RSII, and RWII multi-piece wheels.”

So that’s it pretty much. I’m pretty stoked on those BBS wheels, I can’t afford them, but I’m psyched that they made these for my car and I found out something new.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Illumination Thru Fog: 91-93 vs. 94-95

Well, in a previous post I alluded to the fact that I was moving. Since then, I have moved and along with me came everything that I have amassed over the years for Project Legend as well.

Along with all my current possessions that I have yet to install and wire up, there is also the never ending search for the parts or “pieces to the puzzle” that I don’t have. A significant piece happened to pop up on eBay while I was in the final days of getting prepared to move. This same eBay auction also happened to end while I was going to be driving, therefore leaving me unable to bid on it. Well, the auction ended and I did not bid on it, nor would I have because it went well beyond my price range.

Call me crazy, but $270.00 for some OEM fog lights is just too much. Well, maybe not for some people but for me, during this time of economic instability, it sure was.

As much as I hated to see the fog lights slip through my fingers, there may be a silver lining in those clouds after all. I’ll get to that (don’t you worry) but before I do, I’d like to talk a little bit about the fog lights and why they probably went for as much as they did.

First off, some images of the fog lights that were posted:



And now, some images of the two separate OEM bumpers and there respective fog lights:


As you can see, there are two types; the rectangular and the circular.

The rectangular fog lights and the bumper that allows for them is specific to the production years of 1991-1993, while the circular fog lights and there respective bumpers that allow for them are specific to the final two years of production; 1994 and 1995.

While both of these OEM fog lights, as well as there wiring (and even there switches!) are hard to come by, I believe the rectangular 91-93’s to be even more so. In all of my searches, I’ve only come across a few. I should also state that the few that I did come across were in very poor condition. With that being said, it’s not hard to understand why the fog lights that were being bid upon on eBay went for as much as they did.

Still, $270.00 is a bit much. In comparison I only paid $250.00 for my JDM one piece headlights from Japan, and that was WITH shipping.


Ok, now for the silver lining: two days ago as I was about to board the Bay Area Rapid Transit train to San Francisco, I noticed a parked Magenta painted Legend with those same 91-93 OEM rectangular headlights installed! Like a kid in a candy store, I ran up and got on my hands and knees while eyeing them up and down. To my delight they were in excellent condition. The Legend however, was not. First off, it was painted a rather hideous shade of pink and many of its parts were in various states of decay. So upon arrival back into my new home in Oakland, I proceeded to write the owner of this Legend a note which basically stated my intentions of buying his fog lights from him.

Hopefully he’ll be into it. Hopefully he won’t know that they are worth (apparently $270.00) and hopefully, by this time next week, I will have in my possession, a slightly used pair of OEM Stanley produced 91-93 fog lights for a fraction of what I would have gotten them for had I usually done what I do; sniping to win an auction on impulse when I really should have saved the money.

However, even if that doesn’t pan out, I guess I’ll just have to hold out for the Mugen bumper and its respective fog lights: