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Team Hybrid Sets the Import Standard

Team Hybrid Sets the Import Standard

It’s no small feat to organize a group of tuner enthusiasts and turn it into a well-respected car club. Never mind one that is capable of steady accolades, awards and reverence in a highly-competitive scene.

That’s exactly what James Lin, Team Hybrid Founder and President, did 24 years ago. He’s steered his crew to unrivaled success ever since. In fact, Team Hybrid now resides at the top of an unspoken hierarchy in the import tuner world. Team members consistently reach heights that fellow enthusiasts may pursue, but rarely achieve.

Team Hybrid strives to be the best

That’s why James Lin and Team Hybrid were selected as participants in the AMSOIL 2019 Company of Enthusiasts campaign. They stake their reputation on the principle of being the best, much like AMSOIL. They don’t want to just look the best, they want to be the best.

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That principle is seen in the professionalism and passion on display at every show, event and in every magazine feature they land.

It’s not enough to have an impressive show-worthy car to be part of Team Hybrid. One must also demonstrate the ability to be part of a team, lead by example and share the common goal of representing the hybrid tuner scene with utmost respect and “Hybrid Luv,” the team’s motto.

Check out the video below for a glimpse into the world of Team Hybrid. You can catch their latest feature in PASMAG’supcoming Special Edition Tuner Handbook, where San Diego chapter’s Romel has the first-ever wide-body FK7 with a fully built L15B7 SI motor swap. There is no other vehicle like it in the world. Also noteworthy is this PASMAG online article featuring Nevada chapter’s Anthony Morfin’s 2011 Dodge Challenger, which recently captured the top award in PASMAG’s Tuner Battlegrounds Elite Tuner category. These are not out-of-the-ordinary occurrences; just more evidence of success in Team Hybrid’s never-ending quest to make history.



AMSOIL introduced the world to synthetic motor oil in 1972, and we’ve been extolling the benefits ever since. While we’ve been joined by many vehicle and equipment manufacturers and competing motor oil companies over the years, the American Automobile Association (AAA) is the most recent company to promote the benefits of using synthetics. The popular club recently conducted in-depth testing to determine if it’s worth paying more for synthetic oil over conventional oil.

The answer is a resounding “yes.”

“Oil protects critical engine components from damage and AAA found that synthetic engine oils performed an average of 47 percent better than conventional oils in a variety of industry-standard tests,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “With its superior resistance to deterioration, AAA’s findings indicate that synthetic oil is particularly beneficial to newer vehicles with turbo-charged engines and for vehicles that frequently drive in stop-and-go traffic, tow heavy loads or operate in extreme hot or cold conditions.

“It’s understandable that drivers may be skeptical of any service that is nearly twice the cost of the alternative. While a manufacturer-approved conventional oil will not harm a vehicle’s engine, the extra $30 per oil change could actually save money in the long run by protecting critical engine components over time.”

AAA Testing

AAA’s research included eight industrystandard ASTM tests focusing on shear stability, deposit formation, volatility, cold-temperature pumpability, oxidation resistance and oxidation-induced rheological changes. Each test was performed on five synthetic and five conventional oils. The results of this study by a reputable, thirdparty organization reaffirm what we’ve been saying for more than 45 years and give you one more reference point to back up your claims in the buy-sell process.

NOACK Volatility Test

The NOACK Volatility Test (ASTM D5800) determines the evaporation loss of lubricants in high-temperature service. The more motor oils vaporize, the thicker and heavier they become, contributing to poor circulation, reduced fuel economy and increased oil consumption, wear and emissions. The lower the number, the better the resistance to vaporization.

Thermo-Oxidation Engine Oil Simulation Test (TEOST)

The Thermo-Oxidation Engine Oil Simulation Test (ASTM D6335) determines the deposit-resisting properties of lubricants in high-temperature service. Motor oils can form deposits when exposed to increased heat, reducing efficiency and contributing to poor overall performance. The lower the number, the better the resistance to deposit formation.

AAA testing indicates synthetic motor oils more effectively resist hightemperature vaporization and deposit formation, helping maintain peak fuel efficiency and reducing wear, oil consumption and emissions.

What to Do When Your Car is Underwater

What to Do When Your Car is Underwater

Ohio Flood, July '06


Hurricane Harvey hit Houston hard.

Tragically, reports say the hurricane claimed the lives of at least 60 people. It has also wrought devastation to countless communities and households.

It seems meaningless by comparison to the lives lost, but some reports say that one million cars were destroyed. Images of submerged vehicles quickly circulated the Twittersphere in Harvey’s wake. Floods of all kinds are merciless and heartbreaking, but especially so on a scale this massive.

I remember when I was growing up in New Jersey we had a torrential rainfall one year and the creek below our next-door neighbor’s house went from five feet wide and one foot deep to 100 yards wide and 10 feet deep, filling the neighbor’s basement with water. When the water receded, the change in the water’s velocity as it went through the house left behind a couple feet of silt in the basement. The appliances were ruined and it was a heckuva mess to clean just this one house. I can’t imagine a whole city being taken out like this.

Or a million cars.

Speaking of which, a dozen years ago I had a friend who dabbled in automobile auctions. He drove to Chicago or Minneapolis, bought a few cars at auction, towed them back north to repair them and finally sold them. On one occasion I was looking at cars with him and I saw a brand-new Jaguar. I had always thought it would be cool to have a Jaguar, and this one was only $100. The reason it was so cheap? It had been underwater. That car had seen its best days.

What to do if your vehicle floods

If you Google this issue, there are several websites with advice on dealing with cars caught in floodwaters. Here are a handful of tips extracted from this Popular Mechanics article.

  1. “How high’s the water, mama?” –Johnny Cash
    First, try to identify the high-water line. Usually there will be leaves, debris or silt that indicates how high up your vehicle the water reached, sort of like a bathtub ring. If the water line goes partway up the windshield, scrap the vehicle.
  2. Disconnect the battery ground strap before tinkering.
  3. Do not start the engine to see if it still runs. As the saying goes, oil and water do not mix. If there is water in the engine and transmission, starting the car will turn that oil/water mix into a gooey mess, thereby making it that much more difficult to clean.
  4. Get as much water out of the vehicle as quickly as you can as soon as you can. The best tool is a wet/dry shop vac. Soak up all you can with towels and run fans to dry the vehicle. Some people recommend baking soda or some other moisture-absorbent product to reduce the chance of mold taking over.
  5. Change the oil, drivetrain fluids and filters. If this is beyond the scope of your auto maintenance skills – yes, the tranny fluid can be a pain – have your car towed to a place where the work can be done for you. That’s why people like me pay for AAA coverage. It’s a lot cheaper than a new car. (Note: Don’t tow the vehicle with the wheels on the ground; that defeats the purpose. Instead, use a flat-bed truck.)

I hope this is helpful. And don’t forget – try to park on high ground.

AMSOIL Helps Motorcyclist Set Guinness World Record

AMSOIL Helps Motorcyclist Set Guinness World Record

Sioux Falls Note: Yours truly tipped AMSOIL off on this story!! And it’s a great one! Consider your own adventure whether it’s on the pavement such as a coast to coast run or a single track off road advanture. Just be sure to use AMSOIL as it will hold up when all others sheer out. Over-built to take the abuse!

Danell Lynn hoists her GWR certificate while seated on her bike, Amelia.

AMSOIL SEMA Feature Vehicle of the Week: Project Buttercup

Article by Jamie Jarvi – AMSOIL Inc.2011 Subaru Impreza STI flish with AMSOIL products

There’s something about Subaru that draws legions of fans to become lifetime enthusiasts of their rides. Maybe it’s because they are consistently a top-safety pick, or they come with features that make them capable of playing on any terrain. Whatever the reason, Subaru has a solid reputation and some of the most loyal brand followers to be found in the automotive realm. And when they set out to modify them, they often turn out to be some of the most head-turning and well-respected rides on the import tuner scene.

Chef Christopher Haydostian is the proud owner of a 2011 Subaru Impreza STI dubbed Buttercup. After making his purchase, Haydostian wasted no time in dressing up his ride with new mods and preparing for her entrance at SEMA 2011. Since then she’s steadily climbed the ranks to become one of the most highly-regarded Subarus on the scene, earning countless awards and becoming a fixture at SEMA since her debut. They’ll be back this year as a feature vehicle for XXR Wheels, this time with AMSOIL under the hood.

Read on to see what makes Buttercup so special, and how she landed a split second on the big screen in the epic tuner film Fast & Furious 7.

Congratulations on landing a spot at SEMA.
Thank you! This will be the 4th year for Buttercup to make a trip to SEMA.  She has been both a Feature and Booth car since her creation.

Your 2011 Subaru Impreza STI is well-known in the Subaru community. Tell us a little about that and why it’s so recognized among your peers.
2011 Subaru Impreza STI featuring  AMSOIL 5W-30Buttercup, my 2011 Subaru Impreza STI was one of the first 2011 Sedans built. She made her debut at SEMA 2011 and featured various new products and prototyped items. Since then, she has grown several times over. The most recognizable feature that Buttercup is known for is her Charge Speed Wide-body kit.  She was the 1st USA built Charge Speed Wide-bodied car. This was done with a partnership with Charge Speed Japan. Because of the rarity of the kit and uniqueness of it, she has grown very popular. Another reason why she is so recognized is that I show Buttercup all around the sport compact/import car show scene. She has shown as far north as San Francisco, as far south as San Diego, and as far east as Las Vegas. In all shows and in-between, Buttercup has been able to take some of the top awards in some of the most prestigious shows. Some of these awards are: Subifest (all Subaru Car show/event) Best of Show 3-years in a row, Spocom SoCal Best Subaru 3-years in a row, Spocom Norcal Best Import Other 2014 & Best Mitsubishi/Subaru 2015, Subaru Summer Solstice (All Subaru show/event) Best S3 Impreza (2013/2014) and Best of Show for 2015. These awards and more!

Is your vision complete or do you have more modifications planned?
As with any project, they are never complete. As for Buttercup, she is still ever-evolving and changing. As new ideas arise, I’ll look at implementing them. Currently Buttercup is going under another small revision for SEMA 2015. This will be v4.5 for this project.

How did it come to be known as Buttercup?
My username handle is RTechChef. What most people don’t realize is, I’m an actual Chef by trade. Building cars and marketing them is a hobby and passion of mine. Because of my job, I am absolutely in love with food. Everything I name or project I build, I try to associate food with it. Since finding the name it has grown to mean multiple things. She is also known as Princess Buttercup (think Princess Bride) as well as the beast of a hero from the Power Puff Girls.  She has also been referenced to a horse character from another movie. However you slice it, she is my little Buttercup.

You’ve received several ‘Best of’ awards with Buttercup. Any standouts?
I achieved my first “Sword” award from Spocom-SoCal.I will never forget my 1st Best of Show award with Buttercup. It was 2013, Subiefest. Subiefest was known to be one of the largest all Subaru gatherings on the west coast. To be selected from a sea of Subaru’s is quite the honor. It’s one thing to compete for the Best Subaru award when there are 10 or so cars competing.  It’s another to be crowned the best in a sea of 100+. The second best standout is when I achieved my first “Sword” award from Spocom-SoCal. Spocom is considered one of the most prestigious shows in Southern California. Their special “Sword,” award handed out to the best of class, is a highly coveted award many try to achieve.  In the past 3 years I have been blessed to be crowned Best of Show at Subiefest (2013/2014/2015) as well as Best Subaru at Spocom-SoCal (2013/2014/2015). Although these 2 events and awards stand out to me, all awards I have been given are a true blessing.

Buttercup was part of the Fast & Furious 7 production in the Racewars scene. How did that come about and did it make the final cut?
Friends in the industry got a call from the production company of FF7. They contacted me and a few others to present our cars. With a sea of cars to choose from, Buttercup was one of the few selected.  I was commissioned to loan the car to the FF7 production team for 3 days of shooting. Unfortunately, due to my work schedule I was not able to be on site and actively drive and offer up my car for several portions of the scene.  There is about a 1-second clip of the front of Buttercup that you can see in the film. I haven’t seen the behind the scenes footage yet to see if she made any marks there. Working with and being selected by the production team is always an honor.  I also had the privilege to work on the first Fast & Furious with another project of mine (a 1994 Honda Accord).  Working within Hollywood is always a great experience.

How did it feel being part of such an epic tuner feature film series?
There is always a special feeling to be part of something that becomes a large part of our culture. To be a part of the first was amazing, but it was even more amazing to be a part of FF7 with the importance behind paying tribute to Paul Walker. Often times, it’s hard to imagine I was a part of the franchise and even harder to imagine the loss of an icon of our industry. Paul will forever be missed and I’m happy to know I was able to work with him even in my small capacity.

Do you have any previous experience using AMSOIL products?
To be honest, this will be my first time using AMSOIL in any of my projects. From what I’ve read and seen, I am quite impressed with the company and products. It is my hope that I can continue a strong working relationship with AMSOIL and continue to use their products for all future builds and projects.

If you were given the vehicle of your choice and unlimited funds to modify it to your liking, what would it be?
That is one of the toughest questions someone has ever posed. 2011 Subaru Impreza STI loaded with AMSOIL lubricants Being a true car fan, I am a fan of all brands/styles/years/ of cars. There are some “top” picks in various categories of cars.  So not to say just one, I’ll tell you about which ones of the categories I love. For an SUV – Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 (or HellCat version I hear is in the works). For a Wagon – Cadillac CTS-V Wagon (wish it was still made). For a Sport Sedan – I’ve always loved the BMW M5 and 4-dr GTR R34. For a Coupe – I’m a big fan of the Porsche Turbo, GTR, and Aston Martin DB9. For a Classic – a Ford ’32 Deuce is a dream car for sure. I know this doesn’t cover all lines, but hopefully gives you some idea of my passion.

Finally, tell us a quote or motto that describes you.
For those who know me, they will know that I always say, “Prepare for Otter Annihilation!”  It is my battle cry.

AMSOIL under the hood:

Signature Series 5W-30; Absolute Efficiency Oil Filter
Severe Gear 75W-90 Gear Lube
Pass. Car & Light Truck Antifreeze & Engine Coolant
Dominator Coolant Boost
DOT-4 Brake Fluid; Multi-Vehicle Signature Series ATF
P.i. Performance Improver


Project Buttercup Sponsor Shout-Outs Continental Tires, Whiteline, XXR, X-Force Exhaust, Turbosmart USA, Snail Performance, Whistler, Deatschwerks. Also, a special thanks to my wife for her unwavering support.

Fun Fact: At more than 1.5 billion, only two films have grossed more than Fast & Furious 7 in the history of Hollywood. Fast & Furious 7 is third only behind Avatar (#1) and Titanic (#2).

 2011 Subaru Impreza STI cockpit