Generation Toy J4ZZ (Jazz the 991 Porsche)

Jazz and I go way back. While I’m not a huge fan of the music, I absolutely the 935 Porsche Transformer from the 1984 cartoon series. In addition to be being a robot stud he was one of my favorite cars. I’m always a little slow on the uptake so I missed the release info for the Generation Toy J4ZZ figure. I finally got around to picking on up last month and I have to say it’s pretty amazing.

The box’s slipcover features some very nice artwork. Inside you’ll find the figure, a blaster and some instructions.

The car looks exceptional. They opted for a pearl white finish which looks good but might not have been the perfect choice. The detailing and fitment are excellent and the molding and paint are nice as well (there is one paint spot that’s an issue on my car and the side view mirrors need to be cleaned up a little). This particular model has a Porsche 991 front and a [more or less] 991 rear. That’s more exciting for me than a 935 since I’ve actually own a 991 style Porsche.

This is a 991 Martini Porsche and I’m certain the Generation Toy J4ZZ is modeled after this car (or one similar to it).

As far as transformation goes: One look under the chassis and it’s clear there’s a lot going on. J4ZZ comes with instructions, but it was honestly easier to stop using them and figure out the transformation on my own. Most of it is quite intuitive, although there are some small flaps here and there that I missed the first time around. This is definitely not like the toys you played with as a kid!

The quality on J4ZZ is comparable to other Masterpiece releases that I have (but to clarify- this is not a Masterpiece release).I can’t even fathom the amount of engineering that went into this project. I am blown away by how good he looks in car and robot mode. Everything is properly jointed and you can easily achieve some hero-caliber stances. I think this is an easy recommendation. If you love Jazz and you’re okay with it not being period-correct piece I’d pick one up ASAP.

Rating: 9/10

Porsche Lid Liner – The Missing Part has been Found claims owners refer to its hood (funk) liner as the  “missing part.” Honestly, I’d agree with that. The liner claims to prevent items in the trunk from hitting the inside of the hood and causing damage. While I’m not too worried about this personally, I know this has happened to people. However what sold me on the liner was how much better the car looks with it!. Taking it from the top…

Delivery was spectacular. I ordered from LidLiner on Monday and they sent it 2-day USPS. It arrived at my house on Wednesday. The packaging was good- nice box (mine came a little crushed but I knew that was a non-issue) and the liner inside was wrapped with paper & plastic.

The quality of the liner appears to be excellent. It’s well formed and feels quite sturdy. The front finish is well matched to the plastic that Porsche uses. The back of the liner has foam so that it rests snugly and safely against the hood’s painted interior. Installation is a breeze- you simply press the plastic clips into the designated locations and you’re set. Two minutes if you take your time.

As far as I’m concerned the visual payoff alone is worth it. The hood’s underside really did look unfinished and that’s what led me to see if there was a liner in the first place. Sure enough! Some forum member was kind enough to provide a discount code offering 15% off the retail price (I think discount codes like this are almost always floating around). For anyone considering one of these liners,  the current 15% discount code is RF14. If you have a 991 I would highly recommend ordering this part.

So… there is one potentially tiny downside to this liner. And that is simply that the hood hydraulics weren’t designed to accommodate much extra weight. I have XPEL covering my hood (good for me!) and that coupled with the weight of the Lid Liner (nearly two pounds) slightly alters the behavior of my trunk lid. I’ll just say that while you can get the lid up (and it does stay up) it all functions more like a senior citizen than a teenager now.

But again- a great, classy product. Maybe someone should send one to Nick Murray. When a guy gets leather on his steering column you know he cares about the little stuff. I care about the little stuff too and I love the lid liner!

I Can’t Believe It!

We’ve lived across from an empty lot for well over two years. It’s been an eyesore as well as a constant source of noise and debris (it serves as a concrete truck clean out). Lo and behind the Ivory gods are shining on us. Last week we heard through the grapevine that Ivory was building a spec home on the lot. A few days ago they marked it out and started digging the hole for the the foundation. I’m not certain what their timeline is like (I’d guess 4 months) but it will be wonderful to have a home across from us instead of a dirt field. Maybe we’ll get a little bit of the mountain wind blocked as well. Hopefully our new neighbors won’t suck (so far all of our neighbors are great).

First Door Ding… Well, Door Frame Ding

I’ve had a few door dings in my day but the first one on a new car is always the hardest. While my dealer was removing my old door sills (see post: 991 Illumuniated Carbon Fiber Door Sills) the technician accidentally made a tool dent in my door frame. I had a fair bit of empathy because I’d done the exact same thing while working on my Camaro. My primary concern was that everyone – myself included – recognize it was an accident and not get too stressed out about the damage.

I admit that I razzed the lead mechanic a bit, “Every time the sill illuminates the dent I’ll think of you.” Hopefully my humor doesn’t come across as mean-spirited. I told him I’d only bring it up for the next two years. Even though the dent was unintended my dealership was very apologetic about the situation and they were willing to do whatever they could to help.

We decided to try the dealership’s paintless dent repair guy. Accessing the proper location necessitated removing the seat and a good deal of interior trim and carpet. Once access was established the technician was only able to use his smallest too. In any event, some fairly good progress was made and the dent repair, althought not perfect, looks much better.

Top: Original Dent  Bottom: Dent diminished. Light reflection is really the enemy when dealing with dents. In many lightning situations the dent is difficult to see, however,  in other lightning environments it’s easier to spot (see below).

From what I’ve read dentless paint correction is an art that takes years of practice to master. Obviously I’m not a dent repair pro, but in my estimation the repair technician didn’t really have the necessary experience to completely repair the problem. In retrospect, I feel like they could have drilled an access hole to accommodate the necessary tools (there would have been no evidence of the hole) and a different technician may have been able to do a better job (I could be completely wrong on this). Even though the repair attempt was not perfect I appreciate the effort that went into it.

Top Left: In some lighting conditions light distortion, caused by the dent, is still present. Top Right: I am reminded of a time that a doctor removed a lump from my left hand. His lack of experience left me with with the pictured scar. My hand and my car’s body panel now have something in common- twins!  Bottom: Every time I take my car in for servicing I’m going to put a Band-Aid over the dent to try and be funny. Such eccentric humor is often unappreciated.

To be certain, I wish the damage had never happened. But it did and, frankly, it’s a good reminder of how our perspective regarding the importance of things can become distorted. As much as I like the car, it is just a thing. I probably won’t even own it in a few years. The dent has zero negative effect on any aspect of performance and, by extension, should not affect my enjoyment. Time will wipe away any negative feelings and eventually I won’t even think of the dent. But I will continue to enjoy driving my car, the illuminated sills and the relationship I have with my friends at the dealership.

9/25/2017 Update: 

I had always wondered if the area with the dent could be accessed from beneath, given that there are some fairly large holes when the side skirt is removed. Since I happened to have the side skirt off today I checked. Alas, there seems to be a brace piece covering that area (you can get with an inch to the left of the dent). Still good to know! 


Blue Apron Spiced Pork Competition

Like many people (it seems) Fran is subscribed to Blue Apron. It’s a fun way to try out new “high end” cuisine. It doesn’t come ready to go though- you still have to cook it yourself. For a lot of people, like my wife,  that’s part of the fun. Blue Apron recently held a video contest where they invited people to film themselves cooking their Spiced Pork dish. We decided it would be fun to give it a shot. Even though we didn’t win (I still can’t figure out who did) it was enjoyable to film and edit my wife’s entry (although like all my personal videos it was a “rush job”).

991 Illuminated Carbon Fiber Door Sills

The only option I wanted that wasn’t present when I purchased my car was the illuminated door sills in carbon fiber (it never occurred to me to ask the dealer to add the sills when I bought the car). I periodically lamented this omission and after a year of wishing and wanting I finally took the plunge. I never felt like the old inserts looked bad, but I always felt like they were out of place.

My local dealer was willing to price match a well known online vendor on the part and the quoted install price was reasonable enough that I was happy to have them do it (again, wary of doing any electrical work on the car myself). As it turned out, the total cost of the sills was only a couple hundred dollars more than adding the option when the car is being ordered new.

One thing you can be sure of: I will pick carbon fiber every time.

The carbon fiber illuminated sills look amazing. The “Turbo S” lights up in a very crisp bright white each time the door is opened and the carbon fiber insert is much longer than the stainless plaque. Admittedly I don’t notice it every time, but I usually do and it’s a very satisfying upgrade.

From what I was told by my dealer (and also from what I’ve read online) the install is difficult. In particular the dealership had trouble reprogramming the lightning control module. They also put a small dent into the door frame while removing the old sills (you can read about that here if you’re interested). Regardless, I’m extremely pleased with this mod and it will absolutely be included on my next 991.

The video below shows the operation of the illuminated sills and discusses install complications:

991 Hardwired Radar Detector

As has been mentioned on my blog, last year I bought an Escort Max 360 radar detector. I have enjoyed the unit quite a bit and have it an indispensable part of my driving repertoire. Due to power cord limitations I had the unit mounted fairly low on my windshield which caused the unit to be comfortably out of reach. With no easy way to hit the mute button I typically kept the volume lowered which meant that I sometimes missed warning. Most aggravating, however, was the cord constantly being in the way. Eventually I decided it was time to hardwire the Max 360.

Easy enough to fix! I purchased an Escort Directwire SmartCord and  had my local dealer wire it up (I’ve become more wary of messing with my car’s electrical systems). They actually created a new circuit for the detector, ran the wires behind the paneling and relocated the Max 360 underneath the rearview mirror. Having the mute button / indicator lights located to the left of the PCM has been very nice. And what do you know, it’s even wired up correctly (i.e. it doesn’t come on when I open my car door, only when  they key is turned to the accessory on position or the car is running).

Life with a cord was tough… the detector was over my clock, too far back to reach, power cable dangling out. Thank goodness for the Escort SmartCord! Detector repositioned and no cord, no problems!

In short, hardwiriing the detector is a functional and aesthetic upgrade that I would definitely recommend to anyone with a windshield mounted radar detector 😀

I did consider the Escort Max Ci system but felt like there were too many drawbacks. For example, the price seemed high and the technology was essentially the same as what I already included in the 360 (minus the laser shifters, which I don’t really think I need). I am always hesitant to be an early adopter of technology- I’d like to see the system vetted prior to a purchase like that. Additionally the Max Ci can’t move from car to car, I had a Beltronic STIR-Plus system installed on my ’07 Corvette and while it was cool to have everything integrated I actually preferred my STi Driver.

The video below shows the radar detector components, mounting location, installation information (as noted above I did not do the installation) and operation:

991 Renline Magnetic Phone Mount

Other than sticking your phone into the glovebox or center console the 991 series cars have no place (and certainly no good place) to put one. I suppose this is common problem on many vehicles but I’d had enough. After trying other solutions (i.e. a phone holder on my windshield) I was excited when Rennline released a 991 phone mount and decided to give it a whirl.

The Rennline system uses a ball joint that’s secured into place by piggy-backing on two screws holding in the PCM. You simply remove a trim piece on the center console and install the bracket. A magnetic mount secures onto the ball joint and a magnet is placed on your phone or inside your phone case.

I put some BHQ-blue vinyl over the magnet on the back of my phone.

The unit is well constructed and holds the phone securely. I recently got a new smaller phone and even with my far-left magnet placement the PCM screen is still badly obstructed by the phone. I think Rennline could have engineered the bracket to position the phone further to the left. Even with this limitation the system works well and is far superior to anything else I’ve found. Running my lightning cable from the glove box to the phone is fairly simple and unobstructive as well. Until something better comes along or Porsche addresses the issue I would recommend the Rennline magnetic mount to anyone looking for a place to put their phone.

The video below shows portions of the unboxing, installation and positioning of the various magnetic components:

5/20/2017 Update: After a few days of using the phone mount I can definitively say it works well. The location, aside from cutting off a slice of the PCM screen, is great. It’s easy to plug in, select music, use the maps, and even activate the voice control for music or to send a text (only when I’m stopped). Because my magnet is located at he bottom of the phone it’s quite stable when I’m pressing the home button which is helpful too.