Monday, August 23, 2010

Nose Job

My Impul Front grille arived last week but I could not fit it then as the Slowtra was at the painters for a beautification job. After 4 years the Slowtra's front bumper, grille, bonnet and fenders were littered with lots of road rash and love bites. Decided to repaint more than 60% of the Slowtra and the resulting work took nearly two weeks. Got the car back today and immediately drove to TCEAS to get the Impul grille fitted.

Pix below of a pristine and virgin looking front bumper and bonnet till the next meeting with pebbles especially from lorries. Grrrr... My painter's the same guy that's been doing the SP previously. He knows my requirements and standard so I wouldn't simply settle for anyone else.

So why did I decide to go for the Impul grille? Well I was thinking about replacing the stock grille as it had way too much chrome in it and besides you can't really repair the chrome bits damaged by pebble hits. The stock grille also costs substantially more than RM500 so rather than get a replacement might as well settle for the sportier Impul grille which retails at RM800 but I managed to get some decent discount. The Impul grille is also much simpler to maintain and repaint when necessary. Pix below of the humongous box the Impul grille came in. The part number is IMN16 04FGTS for those with a part number fetish. Just tell TC you want the Impul N16 or Sentra grille would be simpler.

The TCEAS technician took about 15 minutes to remove the stock grille (loosen 7 nuts) and install Impul grille (only 6 nuts to tighten). Factor in extra 15 minutes as additional time take to view, discuss and comment about the Nismo and cf parts on the Slowtra. Pix with the new grille fitted. The Impul badge really looks a mismatch with the Nismo logo on the bumper lip.


I took the Slowtra home, gave it a good wash and promptly removed the Impul badge. The badge is fastened to the grille via good old double sided tape making it easy to remove. Lost a couple grammes of weight too! Looks loads better to my eyes with the Impul badge removed.


All in all I'm pretty satisfied with the cosmetic upgrade. The Slowtra now looks to my eyes cleaner, sportier and less "Ah Pek" like.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Clutch Hose Upgrade

I've ordered a stainless steel braided teflon/kevlar lined clutch hose from G Spec Performance in the States. I originally wanted to order from Techna Fit but the guy that I emailed told me he can send the hose via mail then never bothered to reply my next email on shipping cost and payment arrangement and another email reminder. Great customer service Not!

The clutch hose is meant for a USDM Sentra B15 with QR25 engine and different gearbox but my research tells me all USDM B15s and likely MYDM N16s use the same clutch hose. Guess I'll know in a couple weeks whether I'm correct.

Wassup with the Dog III?

Mike Kojima's excellent articles on the Dog III project can be found at Moto IQ's website. I won't be doing any further writeup on the Dog III as no point talking on the same thing. The article from the man hinself can be found here. The Dog III is proving to be a real inspiration for me to take the Slowtra towards a more performance oriented level.

Motul RBF600 Factory Line Brake Fluid

The brake fluid in the Slowtra is as old as the car itself so I guess it's time for a change after 4 years. Having used the excellent Motul 5.1 brake fluid previously on the SP I've decided to go for the same brand again. But this time round I'm trying the RBF600 having heard numerous praises and accolades mentioned on this brake fluid over the years. Unlike the 5.1 which is more for daily driven ABS cars the RBF (short for Racing Brake Fluid) 600 is a 100% synthetic Dot 4 race/performance brake fluid for race conditions but has proven to be long lasting as well.

So what's the deal with all the DOTs? DOT or "US Department Of Transportation" is used to classify the various fluids in the market. DOT 3, 4 and 5.1 brake fluids are glycol based while DOT 5 is silicone based. The higher the DOT number the higher the boiling point of the brake fluid indicating the ability of the brake fluid to withstand higher temperatures. However please do not use silicone (Dot 5) based brake fluids unless mentioned ok to use in your car's user/owner manual as these can damage the ABS system and even the brake seals in your car. Interestingly enough the boiling point of the RBF600 exceeds the Motul 5.1 despite the lower DOT rating. Confusing huh? The wet boiling point of the RBF600 is listed as 216 degrees C/420 degrees F while the dry boiling point 180 degrees C/356 degrees F.

Motul sells the RBF600 in 500ml bottles so I promptly bought 3 bottles to be on the safe side even though most brake fluid drain/refill operations will use bout 2 bottles. Apart from brakes, brake fluid is also a very good hydraulic fluid and can be used for the clutch system which is where I'm intending to use my excess fluid. Beauty shot of the brake fluid below

The brake fluid is waiting to go in together with a whole host of other stuff when I can find some time.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Impul Slowtra

Yes your eyes did not deceive you. These are pictures of a new N16 Slowtra. Impul is a popular Japanese Nissan tuning house and founded by ex-professional race driver Hoshino Impul. Impul has links to Nissan and currently runs a SuperGT team campaigning a GT500 class GTR. Quite why they (Impul and TCM) see fit to launch a hotted up Slowtra nearly 10 years after its launch and replaced by the G11 Sylphy or B16 Sentra in many markets defies logic but hey who's complaining?

The "mods" are limited to new subtly redesigned bodykit, new sportier front grille, Impul shocks and finally a "power' mod - the Impul Blast II exhaust muffler which should give bout 1-2hp and better response at the expense of more noise. Rims/wheels appear to be 16" Impul FS-16 which is from Japan but if you ask me I'll take my Rays Gramlights anytime anyday ;). The other mods are made in Bolehland including the exhaust muffler. The Impul Slowtra is not cheap and is listed as:
  • 1.6 MT Comfort - RM94.5K
  • 1.6 MT Luxury - RM98.5K
  • 1.6 AT Comfort - RM98.6K
  • 1.6AT Luxury - RM102.6K
Yes you got that right. Nearly RM103K for a 10 year old 1.6 Slowtra. Ouch! Details are at Impul Malaysia nee TC nee Nismo Malaysia's website

Luckily the parts can be purchased separately. The bodykit goes for RM3K, grille - RM800, shockers - RM2.5K, 16" Impul FS-16 wheels - RM4K, stainless steel Impul Blast-II exhaust muffler - RM1.8K. Whether the parts are worth it or expensively crazy you decide. A little bird did tell me the parts can be had with a 10% discount. Anybody managed to get more discount please do let me know. Am really interested in the exhaust and grille. Heck I've just called Alan and ordered the grille. Stay tuned..

It's Good to be Back!!!

I can't believe my hiatus from blogging has been nearly 2 years. 1 year 9 months to be more exact yet it feels just like yesterday as time has moved so fast. I originally took the hiatus to move into my new house and also to concentrate on my studies. Well I'm currently in my last semester and should be done by October. This means more time for hobbies and toys and the sadly neglected Slowtra. Woohoo!!!

Much has changed with my life, hobbies and toys in the intervening 21 months. As mentioned I moved into my new house and also finally got hitched. There has been changes to my career though mostly on a positive note. My wife's health hasn't been the best either so more TLC and time spent there. Then I got really crazy with my hi-fi. Not not the ICE variety but serious 2-channel home hi-fi. Anyway this blog's bout the Slowtra so lets not go there :) The Slowtra has registered 72+K kms to-date and continues to run without a hitch. The only "mods" have been new tyres and a new windscreen wiper. Oh and recently changed my rear Nismo shocks as the right hand (driver's) busted a seal. As you know the Nismo S-Tune is not rebuildable so decided to get a pair rather than only one damper to ensure the handling is balanced. Will blog bout this later.

I've been thinking bout the new direction for the Slowtra in the past 2-3 months and have decided to take it more towards the performance edge. Am still not building a "Dog" level racing car but the mods moving forward will be more towards a harder performance edge. The ICE is being slowly reduced to a simpler setup. I've removed one Steg amp and the sub is sitting in my boot unused. Anybody want a mint condition Focal 27KX sub? Have got a couple of real performance mods lined up in the roster so stay tuned. And yes, it's really good to be back!!!!!