Saturday, August 8, 2009

Tribute to a Legend... My Satria GTi

It’s almost a year three months I’ve parted ways with my old Satria GTi, the first hot hatch and the first car I started venturing into money sucking, time wasting modding hobby. Although Pocong is the better car in many ways, somehow this SGTi is the car I affectionate most. It has a soul that Pocong lacked, a recipe by Proton that well received locally and internationally. Hence, this is a small tribute to the car I dubbed as Hocus Pocus.

I’d like to apologize first of all because I’m going to bored you again about how much I adore the ‘Mat Rock’ styling sprayed in Ducati Silver and the wheels inspired by the late Lotus Esprit (I think). As a package, it managed to stunt not only local motorheads but also the Brits and Australians. Imagine it as a tasty nasi lemak wrapped in banana leaf and used newspaper at a price where people can afford. It made SGTi and ordinary Satria looks world apart… really!

No surprising that I want to have one, it’s already in my checklist since it was launched in 1998 anyway. After started working for three years, 2003 that is, I started to hunt one. Because of financial constraint, I can’t afford to buy one new, so second-hand is feasible choice. And it make more sense because Proton has started putting in Siemens ECU that made 4G93P feet like kueh lapis on post October 2001 model onwards.

If you read through my write up on Kuman’s FigtherVek, I spotted one in Ming Heng dealership, back in October 2003. Two years old, almost stock condition like except for grey OZ Superleggera replica wheels, Tanabe Medalion G exhaust and last one came with MMC ECU! Without looking through the details, I’ve closed my eyes and booked it straight away. This proved to be a ‘lemon’ one.

Took them three weeks to get the loan and ownership transfer done, and if not mistaken it was on 3rd Oct 2003 that I finally able drive it out of the showroom. The moment it’s out of the showroom, I still remember that I told myself “My God, what have I DONE??!!”. Tyres are basically bald with different brands put on each corner, heavily dented wheels, front ARB broke are just the start of my first year horrid experience. Oh, don’t get me started on the driveshafts, the first year I think I’ve replaced both twice and new timing belt I just changed snapped at 30k kms of usage.

No choice, I had to face the music and be very very patience. Each month, I had to dedicate small sum of dough to fix and restore the car at a pace that won’t “C-4” my pocket. There on, I’ve joined Satria GTi Club where TT session became my weekly appointment and Sunday Drive became part of my monthly agenda. That is the start where I learnt few tips and tricks on car control and reluctantly my rempitness nature started to grow….

First few years with financial limitation factor meant I kept the car stock and barrel. Parts change selection heavily down on affordability than desirability. But this doesn’t mean I skimp on those important. However, 2005 onwards with better financial status, I started venturing into the black art of modding. As a kick start, stock SGTi rims and new Falken Azenis ST115, new clutch, fully engine rebuild and used reconditioned Titan coilovers from buddy Arish (yeah the same coilovers he went ‘flying without wings’ in his SGTi).

These petty works seem adequate for me for a year but things started to shift into 2nd gear after went for baseline dyno at GT Auto. From there on, I opted for E-manage as a piggybag to squeeze more juices. And when I came back from my short stint in Indonesia, I sourced really good ICE stuff like Alpine 7998R HU, TRU T.465 amp, Scanspeak 5.5” drivers and Dynaudio MD130 tweets.

All is good until another timing belt failure haunt me back. Like the previous predicament, all most all valves dented and again it failed around 30k kms usage. I went for another round of rebuilt only this time sourcing another cylinder head, porting and polish it, metal gasket add in adjustable cam pulleys. It took my mechanic a week to get it done while I’m on our super duper efficient public transport.

Another week, I went to GT Auto for some fine tuning. And another horror strikes when huge smoke coming out from the exhaust during initial run prompted Thomas to do baseline dyno run instead of tuning the e-manage. I suspect the recent timing belt snapped has caused the piston ring somehow damaged and unintentionally ‘overbore’ one of the pistons. If things are ok, I honestly think the car should register 140-145hp on wheels without using high cams. Bummer!

Since then, patience has been somewhat pretty much thinned and my head started bugging for new car. After test driving the Polo GTi, I signed and sealed VW VSO and traded the SGTi in. Unexpectedly, before I handled out the keys, it already has ready buyer in waiting.

Still, I’m very much thankful that SGTi was among the car I ever owned. It’s the car that taught me a lot on car control, automotive techies and modding experience. A legend on its own way. Should I’ve some capital on second car, a used SGTi with transplant auto box could be wicked for wifey or made it hardcore for weekend use :)


Rebuilt 4G93P
Ported & polished cylinder head
1.0mm metal gasket
4G93P 81mm piston
Apexi PowerFlow & CAI funnel
4G93P throttle body polished
4G93P intake manifold polished
4G93P distributor (advance 2 deg)
Arospeed adjustable cam pulleys (intake advance 3 deg; exhaust 0 deg)
NGK IX spark plugs
GAIDO 100,000kms timing belt
Transparent Timing Belt Cover

Exhaust System

R3 Stage 2 4-1 extractor
2” piping
Tanabe Medallion G muffler

Electronics/Engine Management

E-manage Blue
Harness: Ignition


PERT PU steering bush
Eagleye HID 6000K kit 2800 lumens


Satria GTI (OEM)
Recaro NJoys seats
Alpine CDA7998R HU
Dynaudio MD130 tweeter
Scanspeak 5.5” midrange
Tru T.465 amplifier running active
Audiobahn RCA
Monster speaker cable


Titan monotube coilovers 5.5kg front & 4kg rear

Transmission & Drivetrains

4G93P gearbox
Lightened flywheel


OEM brake system
Bendix carbon ceramic brake pads

Wheels & Tyres

Satria GTi 16” rims
Goodyear Eagle F1-GSD3 205/45/16

135.94 hp on wheel
157.3 nm torque on wheel

Managed to locate some pictures of this legend!

First run 122.35hp/151.82nm

E-goreng effect 131.49hp/153.7nm



  1. Imagine if your car didn't have any of those problems. Would you still traded it in? :)

  2. Absolutely NOT bro. I'd have followed Kuman-san route and perhaps Jenvey's ITB and restore it to showroom condition. Cheaper than what I'm paying and maintaining right now hehehe :)

    But all these have been ditentukan, so I soldier on the Pocong, the first one I've tasted 250kmh.

  3. nice history about ur sgti!! i think its a great looking car myself. My borther has a sgti too, and was a SGTI club member himself.

    Jenvey ITB...hmnnnnn

  4. Mugil,

    Who's your brother? I might know. My SGTi is still puny compared to your SP :)

  5. his name is naveen, SGTI BGN 9495

    but ur pocong isnt :)

  6. Mugil,

    Response is another part of equation, NA rules :)

  7. hua ur plate no just remind me my ex-sgti
    WJM 9594 but stolen already.

  8. hi bro pocong...that ur car picture??
    i had bought in penang...

  9. Hi Teri,

    Yeah, WJM9594 was mine, traded in for Polo GTI in Penang. It was the bang for buck ride for you to enjoy and mod. Sorry to hear it was stolen....