Freeways jammed with traffic, red lights keeping you from going to work and of course you yourself doesn’t want to get out of bed. Well, I’m probably sure the same goes for the crew of Garage Life (ライフガレージ) but nonetheless they shuffle on in sooner or later. Around 8 in the morning, Brian usually will be there already getting ready or just browsing the web. The shop doesn’t officially open till 11, but no one said being early is a bad thing. Jason is almost always there unless he’s at work but those two usually watch movies early in the morning.
The day I went to drop off my turbo for a rebuild, Brian had just bought Star Wars on Blue Ray. What can better pass the day while working on cars with all six episodes of Star Wars playing throughout the day.
The interior of the office recently got moved around so, if you’ve seen it awhile back they have furniture now!
Don’t let the outside fool you, Garage Life has yet to get a banner up. You can’t miss the row of import cars usually outside the shop, so you can’t say you didn’t see the shop. I got a little tour of the garage while I was there and wasn’t disappointed.
The shop itself is pretty massive in size, but sadly they only have one lift. No worries though they are going to grab a digital alignment machine and a few more TIG welders. The shop specializes in not only normal car overhaul duties, they can also rebuild rotary engines since head mechanic/co-owner Daniel Kuo and Jesse Mata have been around them long enough. It’s nice to know that they aren’t biased against the rotary world, but no worries they can also work on Euro cars.
This would be the engine that DK and Jesse rebuilt and dropped back into the FC. Of course later on Kristian Wong of renown SP Engineering, would tune the Apexi SAFC II inside the car. Kristian is also one of the crew members who work late into the night after his job ends at SP. Double duty, this guy’s tough.
Tube frames for EVERYBODY!
A display of the body work they can dish out. The carbon fiber hood off of a customers MKIV Supra, the crew was asked to keep the fins carbon fiber while painting the rest of it black.
Jason’s personal drift car is being serviced right now, the engine needs a rebuild but I guess you can say this thing has seen many tire walls and even the asphalt.
Formula D driver Aman Dio from Indonesia has left the car in Garage Life’s care while he’s off doing his own thing.
Interestingly enough, the car looks pretty normal of a drift car. Stripped, caged and ready to rock and roll, but check out that mad tyte JDM KEYS! racing wheel. Word.
Here further in the back of the shop is Kristian’s old daily driver. The poor thing died on the way to XDC Arizona this year due to massive overheating for at least 10 min. Even the mighty Honda motor went on it’s way to heaven after that ordeal. But no worries, he plans to bring it back to life sooner or later.
Last but not least, this is the Daniel Kuo’s personal drift car. Although not quite ready for the track right now, this car has seen many competitions and drift days. Maybe a return to XDC next season?
I came a few days later at night because my turbo started smoking again due to bad bearings and grinding fins. Although this may be the after hours of the shop, if corrections are need to be made DK and crew will be there to help. The two that went right to work on my car was Kristian and DK after the turbo cooled down of course.
Man, I hate my turbo…
All in all my car came out doing back flips and somersaults with the rebuilt turbo, no more oil leaks and no more oil burning. The garage is pretty peaceful at night, if they don’t have anything to work on they just go back in and watch movies or just talk about well… cars! I want to thank DK, Jesse and Kristian for the help on my car also Brian, Adrian and Jason for the customer service and hospitality. Your work is definitely appreciated! Hopefully in the future business will boom for you guys.
11128 Rush St.
South El Monte, CA 91733