Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Nissan N15 DTC (German Touring Car) Racecar

Was digging thru my old racecar archives to post in the N16MO forum bout how to properly lower your car and I found this. Thought I'll just go ahead and blab a bit since the Pulsar/Almera N15 is the N16's Daddy. Might be late 90s touring car technology but this is still state of the art as far as I'm concerned and shows how much effort goes into a race car despite everything looking stock externally. Red boxes below show how much the top suspension mount has been raised to ensure sufficient suspension travel after extreme lowering. Engine uses a carbon plenum (inlet manifold) and single throttle body. And just look at the size of the blue anodized oil catch tank! The compression must be stupendous for a naturally aspirated engine to generate so much crankcase pressure. All major plumbing is via AN fittings and stainless steel braided hoses. Lesser ones are silicone. Major investment here alone.
Engine mount is fabricated from a block of solid aluminium to minimize engine movement. Obviously NVH comfy comfy is not a factor in a racecar.
The engine in it's glory after disassembly from car. Huge throttle body!

There are bellmouths for each cylinder in the inlet manifold

And here is the camshaft. Now that's what I call duration and overlap!

Rear suspension assembly below. Anti-roll bar is a very yellow blade type, adjutable and goes thru the spare tyre well. All links are spherical bearinged. Like the N16 the N15 uses a torsion beam rear suspension configuration. Rear dampers are running helper springs (black) and the main spring (red) is linear type and extremely stiff from the looks of it (how fat each spring coil is).

Cockpit nothing much to look at except Pi Research datalogger and integrated digital display. Pedal box assy is hinged from the floor. Rollcage tubing runs through the dash.

As trick as this might look it's still relatively Group N+ (production) based and nowhere near as developed as the old school touring cars such as the BTCC Primera. Will do an article on that stupendous piece of technology when time permits..

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Mine's Mine - Teaser

This arrived yesterday from Japan via EMS/Pos Laju courier service. As expected finishing is flawless and good enough to lick! Plans are in place to install and paint the boot lid in due time when I'm not doing my house. Stay tuned for a full lowdown...

Oh... plus I think it's time to get some trick forged wheels. See how things develop..

Saturday, June 2, 2007

DK Schweizer Leather Seat Upholstery and Interior Trim

The stock fabric upholstery adourning the Slowtra's seats really suck big time and make an otherwise pretty classy interior look really bargain basement cheap. Frankly I don't know what TCM was doing when the design for the seat upholstery was chosen. Anyway I decided to go for DK leather upholstery after being introduced by my school classmate and Bro. DK Schweizer is an established company in Bolehland having supplied many auto manufacturers including Chevrolet, Proton (ok.. save your Proton jokes pls. IMHO the leather upholstery in the latest Waja is actually pretty decent), Honda, Ford, Mitsubishi, etc. More details in DK's webpage.

Design of the leather upholstery is courtesy of Bro Fooyc (Thanks Bro!). I think this design is very sporty and contemporary with the perforated leather trim looking ala Brabus Mastik leather. This is a great relief as leather upholstery can sometimes look "Ah Pek". I choosed a dark grey colour rather than black for practical purposes. As you know black colour is really good at absorbing heat while going too light a colour means that any dirt or stains on the seats would show up easily. The leather material is imported from Germany and the upholstery is full leather unlike some oem leather upholstery which actually feature PVC for the sides of the seat for example. I also had the centre arm rest cover and shifter boot done up in leather. Wanted to do the steering wheel but unfortunately the machine to test the SRS airbag is only found in KL. This means that I will have to dismantle my steeering wheel and then send it to DK KL for wrapping. The whole exercise takes about a week which means that I can't drive my car during that period. Boo Hoo! Too much hassle if you ask me. Anyone want to lend me a N16 steering wheel?

Installation was pretty quick and painless. I checked the car in around 10am in the morning and everything was done by 2pm. The whole exercise cost me 2000 smackers which is very reasonable when you look at the quality of the work and the fact that the upholstery is full leather.

Pix below of the front passenger seat. The grey is actually darker but my Olympus camera had difficulty resolving the correct grey shade. The interior classiness and ambience really went up a notch after doing the leather upholstery.

Rear Seats

Close up of the perforated leather centre section.

Door trim

The downsides? Well apart from the higher cost, leather can be a pain to maintain if you always want it to look supple and soft. Also the leather material retains heat better which means that things can get sticky if you're the type that sweat a lot like me. Overall I'm very happy with the DK leather upholstery. Have received lotsa compliments on the leather upholstery and wifey really loves it compared to the beige leather/PVC upholstery in her Optra.