Thursday, July 30, 2009

Michael is BACK!

Reading about Michael coming back is probably the best piece of news I’ve heard all year. Here comes a man come out from his retirement, claw back to his old gloves and helmet, doing it out of loyalty to the team which he embraced throughout his career with Ferrari is something that I give my utmost respect. He started F1 in 1992 with an epic Spa qualifying and bowed down with epic drive at Interlagos 2006 goes to show we’re living in the era witnessing a great F1 legend, possibly the greatest. With many things are now unknown to him and his fitness condition in doubt, I won’t put much hopes for him to be front runners but it wasn’t be much a surprised if he did.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Impul tuned Nissan Sylphy - Identity Crisis

Honestly, I don’t really fancy about having a normal family sedan to be given a taste of ‘sportiness’ flavour without substantial change on the engine and suspension. And that’s exactly what Toyota doing on Vios ‘tuned’ TRD and the one I’ve just driven yesterday is Nissan Sylphy ‘tuned’ by Impul.

For extra RM11k premium over standard version, you’ll get Impul bodykit, 17” Impul Aura SX-10 Black & Polish finish wheels, wrapped with Dunlop Formula D-01 205/45R17 tyres, Black II muffler with polished finishing and spring & dampers combo which lowers the car by 25mm. As a package, it looks as though it tried too hard to be young and energetic from what already 50 years old man. Just like Jalaluddin Hassan tried to be 30s, just so wrong.

On the inside, seats have been wrapped in black leather to match Impul black mats and you don’t need rocket science formula to say that black and cream won’t blend well and oh the steering wheel looks as through coming from a truck – the Navara? And that’s not all, if the car is meant to be sporty, why on earth Nissan or Tan Chong Motors in this matter retains cherry wood trims instead of replacing it with polished metals? I doubt it’ll cost much extra.

One thing the car good at is the definitely the cabin size. Although both Sylphy shares the same wheelbase length as Honda Civic at 2700mm, I felt legroom in the Slyphy is much better. Few cm shy than PV6 Executive in my honest opinion. And the boot is very very spacious too. Clarkson can be dumped in there no problem once Satria Neo & Myvi diehard fans get their hands on him and I guess you know why…

If you’re enthusiastic driver, you won’t like to drive this. Although it has loads of power on low end but as you floored further, midrange onwards have been err suffocated. Gear ratio is like having 1st, 2nd then 6th and 7th. At 100kmh, the engine revs just a bit shy below 2,000rpm making highway cruising a pleasing experience and easy on the wallet. But once you rev the engine past 3k onwards, expect the fuel consumption to increase very substantially.

Steering feels like you’re maneuvering a boat, light enough for babies to turn it around. This is very handy when it comes to parking the lateral giraffe but then its turning radius is quite well WIDE. Ride remains compliant even on 17” rims and lowered suspension, but damping is rather soft hence leans more on corners. Typical uncle setup.

This is by far to say that Sylphy as a family sedan a bad apple from Nissan but I think Impul ‘tuned’ one is. The additional premium you’re going to pay, in my view isn’t worth the extra and Civic prospective customers will still be eyeing Civic. Standard Sylphy is the better deal and good thing about Nissans is that just like Toyota, they hardly go wrong and maintenance going to be very straight forward and affordable. I for one like the simplicity and easy of mind of Nissan Sentra as a family car.

If you’re looking at sporty family car, Peugeot 308 Turbo is the one to go and its price is just about RM115k (now comes with paranomic glass) which is better spec-ed, more plush and definitely more usable power except just a ‘bit’ crampy on the legroom. And it turns out that I was wrong about RM11k extra for this Impul ‘tuned’ because there’s a more expensive option which costing RM15k extra making it RM127,900. And guess how much rip off they’re doing.

Images from Nissan

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Torsion twist beam axle

Talking about technical stuff has never been part of my forte but something caught my eyes when it comes to Pocong equipped torsion twist beam axle, which has been used by VW ever since Mk1 till Mk4 Golf and now in the Pocong.

Gossiping here and there, you’ll definitely be sure that majority of people prefers independent rear suspension (IRS) in comparison torsion/twist beam. Hardly surprising because generally speaking, it offers better ride quality and handling characteristics due to lower unsprung weight and the ability of each wheel to address the road without disturbing its neighbour. Does that make torsion beam axle that much inferior? If it is, how come Megane R26R which is the fastest fwd car ever to lap Nordschleife equipped with one?

Let’s have a brief idea what is torsion beam axle. Imagine it as long metal H shaped bar which the front H attached to the chassis via rubber bushings while the rear H carries stub axle for each side of the car and the cross beam holds two training arms providing “roll stiffness”. Coil spring are in placed for both side where they sits collinear with damper to form a “coilover” unlike having damper sits inside coil spring in IRS. VW at least to my knowledge didn’t use anti roll bar for the rear.

A key difference between the camber and toe changes of a twist beam vs IRS is the change in camber and toe is dependent on the position of the other wheel, not the car's chassis. In a traditional independent suspension, the camber and toe are based on the position of the wheel relative to the body. If both wheels compress together their camber and toe will not change. Thus if both wheels started perpendicular to the road and car compressed together they will stay perpendicular to the road. The camber and toe changes are the result of one wheel being compressed relative to the other.

In simplest term, torsion beam axle is very much a semi-independent where wheels can move relative with each one but their motion is inter-linked than IRS. Given that, tuning it is very much limited in torsion beam axle where toe, camber and caster couldn’t be adjusted upon doing alignment.

Naturally, oversteer will be more apparent nature in torsion beam axle. Thus why car manufacturers dial more –ve camber and +ve toe and softer spring & damping to mask this characteristic to give more compliant ride. Balance between handling and comfort is one trade juggle. You can’t have as ideal setup as you’ll get in IRS.

So we can conclude that torsion beam sucks? Err not really. Because it fairly use less components, you’ll get less weight, and because it’s ‘fixed’, rear cambers and toe didn’t have to be realigned after going through our infamous potholes. Unless you managed to bend the torsion beam axle, which I did after suffering horror tail out in the Proton Savvy, it won’t cost you your arm & leg i.e. RM800+. Hey for that whole thing, it’s reasonable.

Adding after market shims will reduce +ve toe will get the car more neutral. Anti roll bar for the rear will resist lateral motion of the wheels as the body leans in turns. Brands like H&R, Eibach, Neuspeed and Whiteline have blade adjustable where you can opt for three settings “Soft”, “Medium or “Max”. On top of that having H&R sport spring & Bielstein sport dampers providing firmer damping all around. And because you’ve done so much on the rear, you may need to replace standard front anti roll bar with after market ones as well to get it balanced all around. Replacing hardened rubber bushings will be next if you’re really hardcore. One thing that’s tough for the Pocong, is how can you extend the front & rear tracks apart from replacing the wheels. 17” is presumably the max you can go for as beyond that scrubbing against the wheel arch will be just a start of a whole new problem. When there’s a will, there’s a way and on top of that certainly plenty of dough will go down the drain.

Sketches of twist/torsion beam axle

Whiteline rear bush control arm

Whiteline toe kit adjustable (Shim)

Whiteline rear ARB 20mm blade adjustable

Whiteline front ARB 22mm blade adjustable

Saturday, July 18, 2009

C99 Track Day 2009 @ Kg Gajah

14 more days to go for me to get a crack on this track. Another place to learn more about Pocong aside from SIC. Brakes have been beefed up, TT’s Textar pads are good enough at least until I get my hands on DS2500’s, still on stock ARB, just probably I might need to dial more pressure on the rears to get the right balance. GAME ON!

Image taken from

For my sweaty hands!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Randomness of Jade K20-ed

My affection on Honda started when I was flipping through Evo magazine few years back about DC2 ITR on why they labeled it as “best handling fwd machine yet..”. Since then, scouting for good condition DC2 ITR began then DC5 ITR and then thinking of doing up the entire thing on my aunt’s EG coupe (remember F&F the original?). End up, I settled for the Pocong.

Back then, B series were ‘the’ in-thing and there’s some suspicious on how K series will retain the affection of enthusiasts. Well that was short lived till around 3 years ago when K series started showing its fangs in the NA world. It makes perfect sense to me for Honda to moved into that path simply because more cc will bring more power throughout rev range and new completely opposite engine orientation where intake manifold in front (just like VAG 1.8T) is one of the secret ingredient on why it’s so sweet.

Through Meor’s blog, I came a across one of the finest restored EK9 with K20 heart which have been touched and modded. Jade as the owner calls it, was unmolested, untouched legitimate right hand drive JDM before shipped to the big Apple.

Yank out the B-series and went for K20A from Acura RSX Type S (with the help of Hassport mounts) and went mad with the rebuild! CP X forged oversize pistons, ACL race bearings, skunk2 pro goodies & cams and these managed by Hondata K-pro ECU. 6 speeder gearbox derived from Type S along with Type R LSD and 4.78 final drive. Serious stuff being put in, with the right hands in tuning the beast, she registers 263hp and 245nm on the rollers!

JIC Flt full coilovers, Cusco 24mm rear sway bar, skunk2 LCA, skunk2 camber kits, skunk2 strut bars and Honda’s H1 12-point roll cage making it a race car prepped for street and yet legal to eyes of American’s police. Jade, you can’t be serious, can you???

Take a step back, the works being done is more than exemplary. Take a look at the pictures, you’ll be in awe on how well build is this beast. May not be the most powerful K20 around but one of the finest being restored! Just err Jade, you’ve got so many wheels fitted just like girls keep changing their heels! :P

PS: This has made me thinking an NA car to play alongside with the Pocong. EG with K20a or TE30 with 4AGE or SGTi with 4G93 (4G94 internal & on quads throttle)!


K20z1, inline 4
DOHC, K20a, aluminum, 4-valves per cylinder, ported & angled 12.5:1 CR
K20z1, balanced & blueprinted
88mm CP X forged K20a oversize piston
K20a conrods
skunk2 pro series spring base kit
skunk2 pro series valves
skunk2 pro series valve springs
skunk2 pro series retainers
skunk2 stage 2 cams
ACL race bearing
ARP head studs
RBC intake manifold ported match to 70mm BDL TB
BDL fuel rail
Rc440cc injector
Hassport EKK2 mounts
Custom 3” cold air intake with velocity stack
Koyo full size racing radiator with pusher fans
Samco radiator hoses

Transmission & Drivetrain

RSX Type S 6-speed gearbox
Type R LSD
4.78 final drive
Lightweight flywheel
Exedy stage 2 clutch


Skunk2 mega power exhaust manifold
Skunk2 mega power exhaust


Hondata K-pro ECU


Factory EK9 Type R
ARC front splitter


Honda challenge H1 legal 12 point roll cage panted ’09 BMW M3 Red
Newly re-painted/fully-gutted interior
Recaro SPG Black bucket with rail
Takata 4 points harness
Momo steering with NRG quick release


JIC Flt a2 full coilovers
Cusco rear 24mm rear sway bar
JIC lower front tie
New trailing arm bushing
New toe kit
Skunk2 LCA
Skunk2 pro series front and rear camber kits
Skunk2 front and rear strut bars
Skunk2 rear tie bar

Wheels & Tyres

Buddy Club P1 wheels Satin Black- for track with 16x8 Toyo R888
Work emotion kai custom Gold- for street 16x7 with Falken RT615
M&H drag slicks for strip

CP X forged K20a oversized piston

Another look

Completed bottom end

Cleaned cylinder head with skunk2 valves

skunk2 titanium retainers

RBC inlet manifold

skunk2 cams

BDL 70mm throttle body (in Malay terms I called it Bedal hehe)

skunk2 extractor

"When life gives you lemons, paint that shit GOLD" - I kinda like it

Hassport mount blend well with EK and new heart

Clean looking engine

H1 rollcage in M3 red

Mean looking!

No, this is meaner!

Must be tough being famous huh!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

So called Wheels Grooming

It’s slightly more than a year owning the Pocong and as expected tar and dirt contaminants already built up around the wheels. Far from being car detailing freak, I still very much particular about rims cleanliness.

Going through my old boxes, I managed to find Perma Glass Tar Remover which hasn’t been used. Great! Since it works on body paintwork, for sure it’ll do just as good to the wheels.

It’s not rocket science to do this job, all you need is a plain cloth to rub the contaminants and another to wipe it clean (hell I just use kain buruk). 20 mins and mission accomplished. Almost all have been wiped clean almost having brand new wheels. A cheap excuse not to upgrade these just yet :P



Close-up 1

Close-up 2

Perma Glass Tar Remover - Not Bad!

For Lelong: Thule Rapid Rack Fit Kit #1406

Item: Thule Rapid Rack Fit Kit #1406 meant for VW Mk5 Golf Plus
Condition: Brand New
Reason Selling: Bought the wrong one, can’t fit Mk5 Golf
URL Link : Thule Rapid Rack Kit #1406

Interested? Contact Iskandar @ 0122973251 or

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Federal 595 RSR

I guess I was too soon to say that the Contis are doing well. Upon close inspection on the rear tyres, the sidewalls are starting to show sign of tiredness of having too much fun.

Coincidentally, Azdilizan, a fellow Polo GTI owner just changed to Federal 595 RSR and initial finding is very performance oriented akin to semi slick grip with good wet traction unlike AD07. Just that the price went up to RM400 a pop from RM350 previously. Jooi Seng was even willing to take his almost bald tires for RM100/piece. Should I follow suit as well? Hehehe

Is it a bad excuse to change? :p

Very aggressive looking!

Images courtesy of Azdilizan

Friday, July 3, 2009

26k kms and Wishing for Somemore!

The Pocong clocked 26k kms as of yesterday and been with me slightly more than a year. Every working day, been terrorizing Duke highway because of the lateness of the hour to the office. I know, it’s a lame excuse for peddling the throttle deeper to the ground :p

At this moment, having enjoying the car in the perspective of pocket rocket, given me somemore expectations beyond what he can currently offer.

First of, I need more grunt on the top end, just a little bit will do. Having used to exercise my right foot to be as sensitive as female heart (pun intended!), it’s just as boring and laggy in 1-2k rpm! That’s the trademark of forced induction no matter how grown it might be nowadays, nothing beats NA.

Second, as progressive handling it gives, I just wish more way more outright grip entering and exiting corners. Steering as usual feels too light for me to dial on how much deg of steering input to tackle this, tackle that. At the very least, I really need H&R ARBs and camber kit very very soon arrgghhh…

Thirdly, and really on top of those two, rattling and squeaking noise are getting rather apparent by the day! It’s getting on my nerves now! Talking to people will almost certainly be answered with an evil laugh, that’s for sure. For the amount I’m paying, I can’t accept it nor can you. Believe me, sending to VW SCs especially VW Cars will be even worst.

How worst? Well, a friend of mine, complained about rough surfaced & rusty paintwork attributed to ill-fully done steel chemical treatment. 18 days waited, nothing was done. Few days later, upon inspection, he noted few over spraying causing drying droplet-like paint at the edge of the bonnet in addition to the uneven paint spraying. No way I’m sending mine, god knows what it turns up, could be the whole dashboard and trims doing full orchestra works at the very least. Yes, I’m prejudice about that, can’t help it.

To fulfil these wishes prompting for $$$ to be spent and spent and spent… Unlike some of you, I don’t have that many. And my end of year shopping trip to Jakarta, will definitely ake out more $$$ and this has to be priority no 1, because of wifey been nagging and nagging till cows come home… *sigh*

On the bright side, at 26k kms, the Contis are still well threaded, 5mm before indicator mark, another round of alignment & balancing & rotating will be good enough for 4-6 months :)

Kuman’s FighterVek

The ‘Mat Rock’ styling of Satria GTi is just HOT to the eyes of everybody, which is one of the apparent reasons why I bought mine at Ming Heng dealership, Jalan Setapak back in 2003 without even checking the car inside out. So, it’s hard to see really anything that can make it better.

This is where a friend of mine, Kuman comes in. His relentless quest of keeping this hot hatch hot! Sprayed his ‘Date’ in brilliant red, R3 front splitter with 16” Desmond Evo Regamaster (sometimes 15” Rays Gremlights 57s for track use) wheels is just uniquely eye catching experience. On top of that, it has the power to justify the looks :)

Mods kicked off with DMT custom exhaust with dual muffler, from there onwards blew an engine once (or twice hehe) knowing what’s right & wrong all the way until full engine rebuilt; forged 81.5 JE pistons, Duratech rods, Kings race bearings, Mivec heads and managed by Microtech LT10s. Aside from Microtech tuning, all of the works done by the same mechanic in Kuantan whom he knew for years. The same guy who worked on Zaid’s Evo3-ed SGTi, go figure!

Cusco Comp-S coilover with pillowball mounts heading the suspension upgrade along with AutoForm chassis stiffening, custom adjustable links and bumpsteer kit. Evo 3’s twin pot BBK with Project U rotors and pads making sure the car stops on time.

Last dynoed, the car registered 160 hp on wheel but expect 170+hp after changing to stock flywheel and crankshaft to get better momentum on high revs. 4G93T GSR’s injectors also in making sure sufficient fuel flowing to the combustion chamber.

In SIC, the car can safely register below 2:54 which I doubt my Pocong can at this moment of time (plus Pocong driver isn’t really skilled to begin with :))

Even with all the mods, the car is daily driven and reliable as he weekly commuting up and down the east coast. Just err your spine may need to get use to the 9kg spring rate.

Just like Plautos & Zaid rides, I have utmost respect for the works being done, everything seem to work in harmony. At this moment, only two parts are missing i.e. Jun step-2 cams and Jenvey’s 4 throttle kit. These among the things in the checklist by end of the year! :p


4G93P 1857cc inline 4
DOHC, 4G93 Mivec 4-valves per cylinder, hydraulic bucket tappets, 14.5:1 CR
81.5 * 89 mm, cast iron engine block
81.5 JE forged piston
Duratech forged conrods
Arospeed cam pulleys
0.7mm metal head gasket
4G93T 385cc injectors
Sard limited edition fuel regulator
Oil Cooler kit with steel braided hose
Crank Scrapper kit
MSD Ignition
NGK Hyper Silicon spark plug cables
KoyoRad aluminium radiator
Sard racing thermostat
4G92 Mivec 63mm throttle body
K&N air filter with heatshield & CAI
Custom Ram Air Intake
Gates Kevlar Racing Timing Belt

Transmission & Drivetrain

4G92 Mivec F22 5-speed manual with LSD
Factory standard flywheel
Exeedy Racing Clutch with pressure plate


Altered R3 4-1 extractor
Custom 2.5” exhaust system
Custom DMT twin muffler


Microtech LT10s
Microtech handset


Factory standard Satria GTi
Brilliant red
Racecraft CF V3 bonnet hood
Projector headlights
HID 4300k


Factory standard Satria GTi
Recaro bucket seats
Reupholstering rear seats & trimmings
A'PEX Gauges
Sony HU
Infinity front component
JBL sub
Clifford G5 alarm


Cusco Comp-S coilovers with pillowball mounts
AutoFoam chasis stiffening


Front. Evo 3 twin pot brakes.
Front. Project U slotted rotors
Rear. Factory standard brakes
Rear. AXT slotted/drilled rotors
Project Mu brake pads

Wheels & Tyres

Desmond Evo Regamaster Rims 16”
205/45/16 Michelin Pilot Preceda

JE forged pistons

Duratech conrods & Kings race bearings

Drooling bottom end

Crank scrapper

4G92 Mivec head in

Works almost there

KoyoRad aluminium radiator

Sard race thermostat

Previously on Power Enterprise, now on Gates

Cusco Comp-S coillovers

Bumpsteer kit

Custom adjustable links

Desmond Evo Regamaster

Racecraft V3 hood

Current engine bay

Date as hot as Stella!