I know! It’s been quite some time since I last updated on Project Mark II. Now that I’m finally back after two lovely trips to Japan. I’m happy to report that well, not that much has happened (yet), but just before I flew over, I managed to finish up whatever I wanted to do on the DIY soundproofing front, covering the rear doors as well as most of the boot. Whilst soundproofing the rear doors didn’t seem to have that much of an effect, the biggest surprise from this exercise was just how much of an improvement was made after I finished up the boot.
Yes, there is a bit of a weight penalty but really, it’s not much more than having some bits and bobs in the trunk. It’s no Lotus Elise either so I didn’t mind all that much. After finishing up the boot, it was time for me to fly into Japan for the Tokyo Auto Salon.
And this was what greeted me upon arrival at my hotel. Big thanks to the wonderful staff over at Nohga Akihabara for their wonderful hospitality and for accommodating my ridiculously sized box. Yes, it was huge and I was rather worried about getting it onto the plane. It was also too big to get it TA-Q-BIN-ed to the airport, so I needed to arrange my own transport to Haneda. Luckily my flight out wasn’t taking off from Narita!
That massive box in my hotel room wasn’t the only bit I was carting home. My next stop was SuperAutobacs Shinonome, now known as A PIT Autobacs Shinonome, to collect 2 more items that were waiting for me. Cusco undercarriage braces. I had wanted to buy more goodies for the car but the staff at Autobacs assured me that there was no way for me to carry them back to my hotel on the train unless I drove or took a cab.
Perhaps another time then. As you can see from the above picture, that was what I lugged all the way back to my hotel on the train. I added that strap myself to make it slightly easier to lift. It was a good idea.
Back in the room, after much googling and checking, I realized that even with oversized baggage limits being rather generous (as long as I stayed within the weight limits for which I had quite a bit of), my gigantic box was slightly over by 2cm on one side. So, because this was Japan, I decided to open everything up and with a bit of cardboard engineering and plenty of tape from a nearby Don Quijote, hacked and slashed it into allowable limits. It was a bit ugly but at least it’d fit. You can also now see what was inside, the rear bumper lower aerokit from Ito-Auto Service. Big thanks to them for shipping it to the hotel for me as well!
Since the big box was opened up, I also stuffed in the Cusco undercarriage braces and taped them up so they wouldn’t move around during transport.
The next hurdle was, of course, getting everything to Haneda! And for that I managed to book a Toyota Alphard for the journey, it was slightly on the expensive side (approx USD$120) but there really was no other way, and it was still cheaper than shipping it to Singapore. Even in an Alphard, this box barely fit and had to ride on top of the seats. I had to sit off to the side with my head just beside it. Still, it was a rather comfortable journey to the airport. I also had to book a minibus/van to get me home once I arrived in Singapore, that ran me about SGD$70, but considering I arrived at the stupid hour of 5am, I didn’t complain.
And so for those wondering, yes the massive box went in without any issues even though the staff seemed rather amused by how large it was. They all seemed to be big fans of Terrace House too. I did get plenty of stares from other passengers though. Once it went through security into the oversized baggage holding area, a giant weight (literally) was lifted off my shoulders and I could finally chill.
Would I ever do something like that again? Probably not. But whilst it was at times painful, there was quite a satisfying feeling having brought my own parts home. Mission accomplished!
And finally, after another trip to Japan for a vacation, it was time to book the car in to have the Aerokit fitted. It’s still currently in the workshop as I’m writing this but someone managed to grab a photo of it still unpainted. Finally, my car has a proper rear end!