Sunday, September 30, 2012

New Look for Piranha

Yup I decided to call this Neo: Piranha simply because of its appetite for fuel beyond my expectation and believe. I was thinking of Gluttony actually but it's just not famous enough to be joked around :P 

Anyway here's the new look after fitting in new shoes :)


Might look like a predator poised to pounce now but the heart just doesn't have the juice to trouble even the run-of-the-mill Myvis

Window Shopping for New Shoes

I’ve been doing a lot of window shopping lately to get new shoes for the Neo and I’ve to confess it’s a tough job and finding the right pattern to my liking at times seemed impossible. Let me share with you the pains: there’s no sign 180sx/S13 stock 15x6.5 rims, Rota Grid is overpriced and Taiwanese rims that can fit are either too common or too challenging to the eyes. 

Considering that yesterday was the last day for R3-Maybank promo, I decided to do a quick visit to Proton COE and signed credit card bill slip of RM2,021 for R3 15x7 wheels in gun metal finish wrapped in old stock Bridgestone RE001 195/50/16. The new look does showing signs of looking up the other siblings that racing in the MSS. With K20 under the hood and suspension setup by FA Racing, I don’t mind at all letting go of the Pocong :) 

Somebody to look up to

 The shoes with yummy AP four potter with floating 295mm rotors

 Rarely the rear gets so occupied like this...

 Now what should I do with a set of these *sigh*

Major Service on the Satria Neo

I didn’t wasted much time in sending the Neo in for major service because I know for sure the further the delay, the can of worms will likely be even more dangerous. Luckily enough, upon taking out the timing belt cover, some portion of the engine oil has slipped out from the head gasket. On the bright side, the bill that came at the end of that day is not as painful as the servicing the Pocong. Here’re the breakdowns: 

Engine Oil: Voltronic 5w40 RM120.00 
Oil Filter: Proton Original RM18.00 
Oil Additive: Nano Oil Cleaner RM38.00 
Spark Plugs: NGK TR6IX RM45.00 
Coolant: OEM RM45.00 
ATF: Proton Original RM135.00 
Timing Belt: Gaido 100,000kms RM335.00 
Gasket: OEM Valve Cover Gasket RM95.00 
Labour RM150.00 

Total RM1,051.60

So far the car is running fine and outstanding items so far are the new wheels & tyres, and perhaps the spongy braking. The dampers on the other hand are all new from the looks of it.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Oil dipstick tube torned to pieces!

You gotta love plastic when used in maybe-not-so-approprate applications....

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fun at slow speed

You know when a gate at a famous carpark out in the blue opens and the surface is slippery, so much fun can be had at slow speed :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Daily workhorse from now on

In the wake of exorbitant rise in Ron 97 fuel prices, inevitably I need to get a daily workhorse that is cheap to maintain, automatic, runs on Ron 95 and of course reasonably fun to drive (otherwise I’ll end up like other boring middle-aged men). So, welcome to latest addition, a used Proton Satria Neo 1.6 (A) born in 2006.

In terms of looks, the car is inspired by my old Satria GTi, carrying the sporty flavor from the DC5-like front headlamp, fairly flared wheel arches with lowered roofline giving the car a very low-slung with higher proportion of body-to-glass. Upon getting the car, the first thing I did was blacking out of the glass area at the rears making the car looks pleasing to the eye. The end result might not look like a predator poised to pounce but not exactly tamed pussy willing to get bullied either.

Like all Protons, the interior feels bare and crude with substandard plastics mostly ‘at home’ inside the cabin. That does not irk me as much as the ergonomics. Proton truly looks like a newbie in this department designing the interior for customers whom by nature going to behave like apes with badly designed seats, pathetic driving position and steering that feel bare bones in anyone’s hands. If there’s a small consolation I can give is perhaps the air conditioning system relaying cool air almost instantaneously than the previous predecessors.

This first generation of Satria Neo uses non-IAFM Campro twincam 1.6 litre supposedly offering 110bhp and 148nm around 4000rpm. For a car that weights the same as the Pocong, it offers adequate power to move around, even with aftermarket 4-2-1 extractor and catless exhaust system. After covering the distances of about 500 kms, I think the gearing is too long to extract more realistic juices out of the lethargic engine. Revving the car higher than 4000rpm does invite coarse metallic noise that irritates the Honda engines lover like me. And in a way, I’ve made a stupid decision on this car hoping the car can sip lesser fuel than the Pocong because it has taken 40 litres of Ron 95 covering about 295 kms. Luckily the Ron 95 does not cost much and I will reserve the final judgment on fuel economy after major refreshments buffet at my regular mechanic.

The moment I get passed all the negativities, for entry level hatch it’s really genuinely fun to drive thanks to the simple MacPherson struts upfront and multilink at the rear setup and tuned by guys who obviously know what they’re doing. The steering feels great and in tandem with the flowing of the suspension damping. Not exactly R56 MCS like, but you could trail brake as you turn into a corner, instigates a swivel, four wheel slides and the front bonnet should be able to pointing out of the corner very early in its radius. Hardly surprising that it's the norm choice of ride by lots of trackers and karters these days. The only hindrance I can see is that there is a surprisingly natural tendency towards understeer for a car that has symmetrical track width of 1710mm, wider than say 6R/9N Polo and Fiesta. Nevertheless it’s easy car to drive for anyone.

Before carrying it away, I don’t intend to meddle around this car as I do on the Pocong. So, everything will stay stock and cheap. Besides going for major service, I’m only thinking of replacing the 15” wheels and tyres with something a little bit more presentable. I do fancy something like 180sx/S13 15x6.5 or Rota Grid 1570 15x7 with reasonable new tyres. Oh well, let’s see how this new RM28k workaround for daily workhorse pans out and I’m still thinking about what name to give the car.

Might not look like a predator poised to pounce but not exactly tamed pussy willing to get bullied either.

 I'm at cross roads between the two lol

 My favourite is the rear view. But the wheels come with it have got to go for sure (if not refurbished and repainted)
 Option 1: Rota Grid 1570 15x7

Option 2: Original S13/180SX 15x6.5 but extremely rare. Might need to be refurbished and resprayed

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Lost wheel lock key

I've lost my wheel lock key a week before raya. Since then, it's been hell to source replacement including from VW service centers. Frankly I just can't comprehend as to why they don't have lock master keys as per any other VW service centers in other parts of the world. 

Anyway, through my own research, I found out out that there're about 12 different types of wheel locks fitted to 9N3 Polo GTIs randomly. Luckily I've been saved by a fellow Polo GTI owner. A quick visit to his home today made it possible to unlock the Pocong's wheel lock nuts using his lock key and replaces them with standard ones.

Speaking of my findings, here're the list of lock keys for the 9N3 Polo GTI owners just in case you lost it:
  • VW/Audi #51 (6 square splines)
  • VW/Audi #52 (7 square splines)
  • VW/Audi #53 (8 square splines)
  • VW/Audi #54 (9 square splines)
  • VW/Audi #55 (10 square splines)
  • VW/Audi #56 (11 square splines)
  • VW/Audi #57 (12 square splines)
  • VW/Audi #58 (13 square splines)
  • VW/Audi #59 (14 square splines)
  • VW/Audi #60 (15 square splines)
  • VW/Audi #61 (16 square splines)
  • VW/Audi #62 (17 square splines)

Mine with the 9 square splines

Thursday, August 23, 2012

K04-001 might be inevitable ... soon anyway

Although Wynn managed to soldier most of the cracks on the stock K03S turbo housing, there's one particular spot he can't is somewhere near the compressor shaft. While the engine is boosting fine now, the cracks will come back hunting me sooner or later.
The most easiest and 'worry free' upgrade would be Borg Warner K04-001 or OEM-ed from RP and CTS for less than USD1k. There won't be much of increase in hp but because of slightly larger housing, the power deliver should be more stronger and linear from mid range onwards. Pity that it is not water-cooled to disperse heat more efficiently.

Besides the the turbo, I definitely need to source for at least 380cc injectors, 3" MAF, custom remap and maybe after market turbo manifold. It won't be soon I hope...

Image taken from ECS Tuning USA

Teluk Bahang Rd. 6

@Teluk Bahang Rd. 6. Apart from mediocre road surface, I think this is one of the best winding roads in Penang. From Batu Ferringhi, the road started with wide sweeping corners and tightens all the way till the end. Definitely suited for agile and nippy hot hatches....

Captured using Samsung Galaxy S3. Although it comes with capabilities of setting ISO and aperture, I find it still has long way to go when it comes to noise reduction and depth. Nevertheless, the shutter speed is pretty impressive.

Say Hello to Samsung Galaxy S3

My hope of continuing marathon use of trusty but senile Nokia E72 has come to an end a day before Raya. I just had to put a stop with its growing appetite of freezing all the time. Furthermore, Maxis's recent RM799 offer for Samsung Galaxy S3 has sealed the deal without a heart beat considering I paid RM1.2k the predecessor S2 for wifey last year July. And that even cheaper than how much I paid for Nokia E72 when it was first launched in 2009, RM1.8k. 

Let see if this phone can last me for the next five years.....wishful thinking here :P

It comes with shoddy build quality though :(

Monday, August 6, 2012

Check Engine Light (CEL)

The Check Engine Light (CEL) pops up for the first time today. Must have been lazy to wake up early morning at 4am with ambient temperature ~18deg. Quick unplug the battery managed to shut up the CEL :)

Boost Leaks Fixed (for Now)

The Pocong was hospitalized for a week in Wynn’s for welding up the cracks on the K03S turbo housing that made of cast iron. At the same time, he also took the liberty in cleaning up the throttle body, AC blower and tighten up the engine’s subframe before ran full system checks. 

Upon collected the car last Saturday morning, I decided to drop over at Alex’s for 105k kms service considering Raya holidays is around the corner. Of course the welding exercise is just temporary solution as I was told there’s another crack near the compressor shaft which is not repairable and that means new turbo is inevitable after all. Oh well, I’m going to lay low for now :) 

Engine Oil: Liqui Moly Top Tech 5w40 RM222.40 
Oil Filter: VW 1.8T (06A 115 561 B) RM35.00 
Spark Plug: NGK Platinum V-Power BKR7E RM50.00 
Coolant: Redline Water Wetter RM65.00 Labour: 
Engine Oil, Oil Filter & Spark Plugs RM70.00 
Labour: Dismantling & Installing Turbo RM480.00 
Labour: Welding Turbo Housing RM75.00 

Total 997.40

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


These just reached my office. The best bang for buck plug :)

Private Karting Test (Part 2)

I’ve been subpoena-ed to attend a court hearing early this month and guess what it got delayed …. again. But I was well prepared this time. With all the gears in the Pocong’s trunk, I wafted into City Karting Shah Alam for another ‘private’ test session on 100cc kart. I had the track virtually for myself starting from 1400 till 1800 where my best time now is 1’03.959. 

I’m pretty sure there’re lots of rooms for improvements especially my line is just not clean enough and also my lacked of understanding on the tyre’s operating temperature window so that it won’t get overcooked after some hard laps. And because we’re entering Ramadhan month, I’m taking a short sabbatical and ordered “The Karting Manual: The Complete Beginner's Guide to Competitive Kart Racing” from Amazon. :) 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Audi B5 RS4

If there's one unassuming exotic I'm contemplating to own, it's definitely this Audi B5 RS4. The 2.7ltr fully built by Cosworth with twin K04-025 turbos is a mad one and has loads more useable torque than the current generation of V8 B7 and B8 RS4s. A genuine 180mph car. I just love the way it looks.... it looks really cool, punchy and angry with those wide front and rear wheel arches. Reminiscent of how George W. Bush portrays himself in public when he was running the Office hahaha

Of course, not many people know about this...including me until recently. Unfortunately, there're only 3 in Malaysia. Ok Firdaus...keep on dreaming!

New Pedal Covers

Managed to get hold on this predestine looking original pedal covers for RM150 from a friend where normal priced around USD80. It's the same brushed aluminium used in the TT.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

VECM Karting Challenge

I was waiting and I mean really waiting for VECM boys at City Karting Shah Alam. At 5.30pm after my brothers karting session, a quick call to friend, gob smacked my forehead I was in the WRONG track that they’ve been waiting for me at Sepang! With only 20 minutes to go before start of practice session, I had to nail my foot on the throttle pedal all the way through. 

It was a real challenge for me since I’ve never set my foot in Sepang International Kart Circuit so the practice session is crucial to familiarize myself with the track. And weighting at 70kg including all my gears on a 4 stroker 200cc fun kart, acceleration and straight-line speed will be unfortunate disadvantage compared to some. 

Surprisingly, the practice session went very well as there’re plenty of tyre marks for me to get base racing line and of course since it’s alike mini SIC, that’s pretty much makes things a whole lot easier for everyone. We’ve been assigned random karts by the circuit official. Although the kart I drove was a little lethargic I managed to qualified 2nd 1’10.116 two tenths behind pole sitter and finishes on the same place with best time of 1’09.860. Oh well, I’m going to try harder on next session!

Images courtesy of Volvo Enthusiasts Club Malaysia

New Arai Helmet

Ever since setting myself back on karting last year, I’ve been eyeing for CIK approved helmet but unfortunately seriously lacking of dough has discouraged me in popping to the shop and getting one. And I’ve been pretty ‘disciplined’ at that until yesterday. I just can’t resist this Arai SK6S helmet, hence I practically closed my both eyes and sign the dotted credit card slip at Momentum Autosport Sunway. 

The Arai SK6 helmet was designed specifically for karting. Built using Arai's proprietary cLc (Complex Laminate Construction) technology the shell of the SK6 is so strong it allows the use of an extremely soft EPS liner for better comfort and impact energy management. Key features include: 
  • Larger intake and exhaust holes for increased airflow (front vents are closeable). 
  • New shield pivot hardware with redesigned track slider for improved aerodynamics. 
  • Wider eye port for increased peripheral vision.
  • New positive shield locking mechanism provides solid shield latching while allowing normal operation. 
  • Arai 6 series 3mm thick visor (not interchangeable with SK-5).
  • Removable cheek pads for a custom fit and more thorough cleaning.
  • Newly sculpted chin bar and ridge along lower edge to improve structural integrity, give extra clearance above shoulders and lower the center of gravity. 

Next, I'll scout for good rib protector and CIK karting suit. Both Alpinestar and Sparco should be in the region of RM700ish

Letting the Steam Off on the Track!

Couple of weeks ago I rented 100cc 2-stroke kart for 4 hours in City Karting as part of ‘extensive’ test for me to get acclimatize to higher powered karts and of course indirectly see where do I stand between the pro karters out there. My best time then was pretty average of 1’04.982, uncomfortably short by almost 4 seconds a lap done by the pros. 

And yesterday while waiting for VECM boys for their karting event, I decided to have one go on the 100cc. Yes I’ve improved, 1’04.451 and another 3.5 seconds to go! Can’t wait for another ‘extensive’ test session! :) 

 Current Hall of Fame between friends. Kindly ignore Ramsey and Edwyn times as those are done on 125cc :)

Hairline Cracks on the Turbo Housing

Until quite recently the Pocong has been delivering pretty laggy power response and wastegate rattling noise alike under full boost. After being grounded under Wynn Car Care for couple of days, it’s confirmed that there’re two hairline cracks on the turbo housing. These should be easily fixed by spot welding those areas. Unfortunately I’ve to wait for Wynn to get back from Euro trip to embark on this rectification. While waiting, his understudy has cleaned up my open pod filter and skimmed the front rotors. Charges? Very reasonable and I would think beside Ever Auto and Autoworld, they would be my regular workshop from now on.

 Sample of hairline crack in K03 turbo housing

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Broken Brake Pad Wear Sensor

The “Check Brake Pads” warning lit up few days back while I was enroute to Kedah on NSE. Funny thing is all my pads are relatively new and have pretty ‘thick’ depth. True enough it wasn’t because of the pads but broken brake pad wear sensor wires. 

What Alex did was essentially connect back the two wires in the brake pad wear sensor together and walla no more warning light :) 

 Luckily it's just a basic DIY job

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Who says US don't have winding roads!!

 At Highway 330 enroute to Arrowhead Lake

 Roadhoggers are everywhere here lol

 Think of it as scale-up Ulu Yam or even Simpang Pulai :)

 Super Sweepers :)

 DC5 Type S spotted but as usual in US, speed limit capped to 50mph only :(