Sunday, July 29, 2007

Rear Disk Brakes Wanted!

As you know the N16 manual pathetically comes with rear drum brakes as standard so it's time to upgrade. TCM/Nissan is really unforgiveable for this cost saving exercise as even Kia Spectras come with rear disk brakes. I'm willing to pay decent cash for a good/excellent condition N16 SG-L/XG-L rear cut. Those crashed cars with the front wiped-off would do nicely. Alternatively I'm looking for the complete rear beam assembly complete with calipers. Have contacted TCEAS on this but they don't seem too interested. A new rear beam alone (not including calipers, etc) costs RM3K btw so don't ask me to get only new parts as the whole exercise will cost >5K!

I can source the other parts including the disc/rotors, rear parking brake assembly and brake hoses myself. Have in fact already purchased some Pro RS stainless steel braided brake hoses. The Pro RS branded braided hoses are claimed to be sourced from Eaton Aeroquip so should be decent quality. Shame about the Goodridge lookalike packaging though.
Anybody with leads on some decent N16 rear disk brakes please please contact me. Don't let my spiffy new brake hoses gather dust and feeling lonely in my cabinet..

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mine's Mine - More Beauty Shots!

Here's more takes by popular demand. Close up of the side plate below. Side plates are connected to the wing via 2 M6 allen socket cap head bolts.
Top View. Nice contrast with the Slowtra's new boot silver paintjob. My regular Painter did a massive job but he ain't cheap!
Another shot!
Side view

Last pix before things get too dark. IMHO the Mine's Multi Select wing manages to look aggressive yet subtle at the same time.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mine's Mine - Installed!

Finally had some spare time to get the Mine's Multi Select Rear Wing installed today. Installation was relatively painless taking only bout an hour. All that needed to be done was to ensure proper placement of the spoiler before drilling 4 holes for the mounting brackets/legs. Before doing that you have to remove the stock NVH carpet mounted to the bottom of the boot lid. I did junk the supplied rubber washers for the base of the wing's mounting bracket and had washers cut from thicker rubber supplied by a Bro. Also replaced the stock mild steel bolts, nuts and washers with stainless steel items. Oh, and once you install don't forget to adjust the angle of attack and ensure everything's tightened properly. Don't want to have the wing or plates fly off and sushi someone when you're at speed!

Pixs of the wing below before installation. The wing came with everything including the side plates installed but I dismantled them for some decent waxing! Disassembly also showed me the wing is not 100% carbon but primarily frp with carbon only top and bottom layers. Very expensive for the retail price but the quality really shows especially in the perfect weave of the carbon. Did not weight the Mine's wing but I'm convinced it's lighter than the Nismo lip spoiler having carried both.

The machined from aluminium mounting legs. The wing is adjustable for angle of attack only. Height is fixed. The base can be pivoted a couple degrees to the right or left to help ease the installation and placement.
First installed pixs below.

Should I stick a Mine's sticker to the Slowtra? Talk about mid life crisis :P

Have to admit it looks damn good and not too Beng! Even my mech that's normally not into rice or carbon admitted it look good. Come to think of it, this is the smallest lowest spoiler I had. My first car, a Wira 1.3 had the 1.8's tiang gol spoiler while the SP had the Mirage Asti High Spoiler which was also quite massive. More pixs to follow once I get the car back. Have sent it for painting to fix the holes drilled earlier on the boot from the abandoned Nismo carbon spoiler/lip project. Ouch!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Got Matt Bronze Wheels?

This ad first appeared in October 2003 issue of Option 2 magazine but never caught my eye until only recently . All this after nearly four years. Thank God I didn't throw away my old Option 2 mag collection..
All will be revealed in due time but no promises. Pls be patient :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Detailing - Autoglym

There's nothing more satisfying than admiring the shine of your car after a couple hours of your own muscle, sweat and sometimes blood! Nobody cleans and details my car but myself. Have been using Autoglym products for close to a decade and nothing comes more highly recommended when it comes to cleaning, waxing and polishing your car. Below are the Autoglym products I've used most. Warning they're not cheap! All the products in picture above will cost more than RM300 if bought one shot. No joke.

Bodywork Shampoo Conditioner
Careful regular washing with Autoglym Bodywork Shampoo Conditioner removes traffic film and greatly assists in preserving the finish and appearance of your vehicle. It's also perfect for maintaining the wax/gloss finish of your vehicle. Get yourself a decent sponge and shampoo the car from top front to rear then the bottom part of your car. Leave the wheels last.

Super Resin Polish
This used to be my mainstay cleaner/polish/sealant but has since been superseeded by the Ultra Deep Shine. I still use it for areas less exposed to the elements plus it's much cheaper! More prone to leaving spider webbing marks if you are not careful compared to Ultra Deep Shine. Autoglym Super Resin Polish contains low molecular weight resins which provide exceptional cosmetic effect and protection from most environmental hazards.

Ultra Deep Shine
This is the bees knees man and is my mainstay cleaner/polish/sealant. Specially formulated using the finest modern polishing and coating technology to impart a tough durable finish to a wide range of paint colours, new or old. The shine it leaves has to be seen to be believed. People who have seen the car cannot believe that the paint is years and not days old. You start the car with the Ultra Deep Shine first. Use a decent clean cotton cloth. I have used the Autoglym Perfect Polishing Cloth previously but am not too partial to it plus I find it overpriced. You can get cotton cloth in packs of 3 from places like Tesco. Cheap and good! Takes about 3 hours to do the Slowtra. Buff the car with the cloth & Ultra Deep Shine first then leave it to dry. Wipe off once the Ultra Deep Shine dries to a haze . I usually start with the bonnet then roof then doors/sides and finally bumpers.

Liquid Hardwax
Previously used the Extra Gloss Protection but this last loads longer. Cost much more too unfortunately. Formulated with tough synthetic resins and waxes. Once you have completed the Ultra Deep Shine portion you then apply this to the polished part of the car. Leave to dry for about 2 or more hours then wipe off with a clean dry cotton cloth. After than run your hands over the car and enjoy the smooth/glossiness. Smooth as a baby's bottom they say. All in all detailing the car with Ultra Deep Shine and Liquid Hardwax will take me most of the day (around 6-8 hours).

Leather Cleaner and Leather Care Cream (not in picture as I ran out)
Good for cleaning your leather interior. And No you can't use this on fabric. Once you've cleaned the leather interior apply the Autoglym Leather Care Cream. Autoglym Leather Care Cream is a carefully blended emulsion containing soaps and natural oils to protect and moisture the leather.

Instant Tyre Dressing
I use this not only for my tyres but also for exterior plastics and vinyl. Works a treat on the headlights and foglights too! A bit overprice though so if budget's tight use some other product.

Will talk about non-Autoglym detailing products I'm using next..

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Redline MT90 Transmission Oil

The N16 manual gearbox is not the quietest and famous for whining especially during slow 1st-2nd gear traffic jam gear speeds Penang is famous for. Bloody irritating unless you crank up the ICE! With mileage now approaching 20K km it was time to replace the gearbox oil anyway and I looked around for a decent synthetic transmission oil that would help reduce the gearbox whine while providing adequate protection and minimizing transmission loss. Having used the excellent Redline 75W90 previously on the SP my 1st choice would again be from Redline. Will not be using the 75W90 on the Slowtra as it's rated GL5 and besides I would not be using the friction modifiers in the 75W90 as the Slowtra does not have a limited slip diff. Using the 75W90 would just increase gearbox wear. You have been warned! The service manual states that gearbox oil with 75W90 viscocity and GL-4 rating be used. Referrencing Redline's web page led me to the MT-90 which is the correct specification transmission oil for my gearbox. I settled for the MT-90 rather than MTL for the comfort of additional protection as the Slowtra is not a race car. Man this sounds like a condom or birth control advertisement! Those with auto-gearboxes can look elsewhere.

However it did take some time to order the MT90 as it's not common unlike the more popular MTL. Northern Garage ordered some for me (Thanks Ah Loy) and a stock of MT-90 arrived in about 2 weeks. The N16's big fat manual gearbox needs about 3+ bottles as one MT-90 bottle is listed at 1 quart (0.946 litres) thanks to the American's love of everything non-metric. This means that you have to order 4 bottles unfortunately. One bottle is around Rm55 so total cost is RM220. Definitely not cheap! Picture below of the MT-90 sitting in my room

I had the Slowtra checked in yesterday (Sat) for tranny oil change at my usual workshop. Decided to skip TCEAS as I'm not partial to paying big bucks for a simple gearbox oil change. Only cost me RM8 labour at my usual place. Pix below of the bolt plug (in red box) which needs to be loosened to drain the gearbox oil.
Took some time to drain out all the gearbox oil. I would leave things for at least 30-45 min before refilling. Cleaned the underside of the Slowtra with healthy doses of WD90 during this time. Pix below of fresh MT90 being pumped into the gearbox. Car next to mine is my Bro CP's 200bhp Proton Satria Monster!

Driving home from the workshop the differences were instantly noticeable. Gearshifts felt slicker and the tranny whine is less but unfortunately not 100% eliminated. The downside is more pronounced tyre roar at slow speeds now. This means there is less tranny whine to mask the tyre noise. All in all a decent investment!