I usually try to end each article with a lesson learned or a positive note – what Oprah would call an “Aha moment.” This time around, I’ll preface my article with two things:
- I’m an idiot. I don’t mean in every aspect of life, but mostly around a car. If I’m not holding a camera or stringing words together into a half-coherent thought, then I’m useless in many regards. Don’t get me wrong – I can handle basic wrench turning, but to be honest it’s not my favourite.
- If you’re going to do something, make sure you do it right.
Lucky for me, these two points aren’t mutually exclusive. And even luckier for me is that I’ve been fortunate enough to surround myself with people who have a greater aptitude in areas that more than make up for my own personal shortcomings.
If I had to guess, I’d say I’ve been talking about switching my wheels for like three years. I hummed and hawed about what wheels would replace my Wald D23s. But because I’m simple and basic, I always circled back to entry level Work wheels. That being said, it almost always took a back seat to everything else in my life. There’s always a “final” event to travel to or something else that seems unmissable, so wheel money inevitably goes towards photo opportunities.
Eventually Aleks from Rarespecwheels got sick of me sitting on the fence and pretending like I wanted to rebuild my Walds and found me some 19-inch Kiwamis on sale. In the midst of a true quarter life crisis, I jumped at the opportunity.
Before we go any further, allow to make this one point: I know that wheels are not a build. However, this is not a post about a build, but rather about doing a job right. And that’s why most it takes place at SerialNine.
I’m not super into stance. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate it, but it’s just not for me or my car. Regardless, fender work on a JZS161 can get a bit tricky – even with semi-aggressive fitment. It isn’t always as easy as a role and pull. In my situation, it required some cutting and shaving. This wasn’t something I was willing to take on myself, especially given my first point in this article.
So in keeping with my second point, Gerard and Kevin of SerialNine stepped in and went to work. Given the fact that they’ve been apart of both Formula D builds and SEMA builds, I knew my car would be in good hands.
Worst case scenario, had Gerard slipped, I probably would have ended up leaving with a set of SerialNine Breed overfenders for my car. That really wouldn’t have been such a bad scenario at all, but this wasn’t his first rodeo, so the job was easily tackled.
Not wanting to make things too easy for them, I didn’t pick the most convenient sized tires to pair with my wheels. Up front I ran 235/35 on my 19X9.5 + 15 wheel, and in the rear I decided to run 265/30 on a 19×10.5+22.
Admittedly I like being critical when I write posts. I feel like it’s easy to say a bunch of positive things, so I always try to toss a criticism or two into the mix. It conveys a sense of honesty. If you’re looking for one of those bits now, you’re not going to find one. I have nothing to negative to say about this experience. What should have been a few hours turned into a full work day, because Gerard wanted to make sure everything worked in unison. When the wheels didn’t fit because my calculations were off, Gerard made it work.
In order to pull all of this off, we decided it would be best for me to upgrade my upper control arms in favour of the SerialNine adjustable upper control arms. The arms allowed me to dial in some negative camber to properly fit the wheel and tire combo. In other good news, it means I now have replaceable balljoints and a little extra clearance with the new setup.
I was super pleased with how the car turned out, but I’d still say one of my favourite parts of the day was watching Gerard do what he does. The guy is just super into suspension and suspension settings, so it makes sense that SerialNine exists. It’s one of those rare times when a somewhat obscure passion and career meet, and being around that felt almost as rewarding as finally having a set of wheels I like on my car.