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