Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pro-Bolt 2010 catalogue

Pro-Bolt's latest catalogue is avail in softcopy via CD. The CD is posted direct to your doorstep FOC. Excellent service. For those who rather have something to read during trips to the toilet the catalogue is also available in traditional hardcopy.

Picture below of the CD. The CD contains the catalogue, price list and some pictures & logos.

The catalogue itself. Disclaimer - Extremely poisonous and will lead to a lightened wallet apart from car.

The catalogue can be found here. Pro-Bolt supplies WTCC Champions Seat Sport and Lotus Cars. They also supply Formula 3, World Rally and numerous national Rally Cross Teams throughout the world. Excellent pedigree I must say. I've ordered a full titanium bolt set for my strut bar and now contemplating if I should convert my suspension arm and brake caliper mount fasteners to Ti.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Battery Musings

I took out the battery a couple days ago to clean the tray and replace the stock bolts with some lightweight aluminium versions. The stock battery tray is held in place by 5 M8 X 25mm bolts. Pix below of stock battery tray after some cleaning. Boy was it full of sand and other road grime.

I promptly replaced the mild steel stock bolts with some aluminium items

Saves some weight and looks trick eh? But there's a problem. The stock bolts have flat hexagon heads while the aluminium bolts have socket cap heads which have a higher height and protruded from the well. This resulted in the battery and its plastic tray unable to seat properly as everything was resting on top of the 5 bolts. So I had to remove the aluminium bolts and put back the stock items. Sigh :(

Battery reinstalled with blue anodized titanium nuts. I'm currently on my second Delkor maintenance free battery. The first one lasted me close to three and a half years. Highly recommended. The Helix Cap 33 has been ditched. Anybody interested? Comes with trick real carbon mounting bracket.

This also got me thinking if I should replace the mucho heavy NS70 sized battery (>20kgs) with an Odyssey item. The Odyssey PC680 weighs 7kg only while the PC925 weighs 11.8kg but has more reserve capacity. Apart from saving lots of weight saved, the extra engine bay space reclaimed due to the smaller sized Odysseys will enable me to run something like an ITG Maxogen carbon airbox. Pix below of the stock and very restrictive resonator piping. One end leads to airbox while other end leads to the wheel arch fender.

Time to start saving more money..

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Brake Dilemma

The European Nissan N16 Service Manual states the following brake specifications:

Master Cylinder Diameter: 15/16" (23.8125mm) - For QG15DE, QG18DE and YD22DD engines

I was pretty happy as 15/16" size is common to the SP and set about designing a Wilwood BBK (Big Brake Kit) along similar piston sizes as what was initially done for the SP (~1.38" diameter per piston for a 4 piston caliper). Then one day while cleaning the master cylinder on the Slowtra I saw the following embossed on the Slowtra's master cylinder - 7/8". This immediately registered horror and then disgust as 7/8" is only 22.225mm which is smaller than 15/16". If the total caliper piston area of  your upgraded BBK is too large for your master cylinder the term "pedal to the floor" will definitely ring a very painful, expensive and dangerous bell!

A quick check with the TCEAS parts center confirmed my nightmare. The MYDM N16 1.6 SG Manual comes with a smaller master cylinder compared to the SG-Lousy and 1.8 XG-L variants. Bummer! This means I would need to "upgrade" my stock master cylinder. And how much would a new master cylinder cost me? "RM1070 after discount" said the enthusiastic TCEAS technician. RM1070 just for a master cylinder!!! Once I pick myself  up from the floor I quickly said "Thanks but No Thanks" and have decided to look for an excellent condition pre-loved 15/16" or even 1" master cylinder from my regular contacts. Picture below of the Nabco master cylinder on the Slowtra. Talk about spec and cost cutting :( The N16 Service Manual also lists a Tokico master cylinder which is different so be careful what you get.


Modifying the Slowtra is going to take a lot of customized fabrication and even more R&D than the SP due to lack of parts, interest, etc from the regular speed shops and parts makers especially in this part of the world. While this can be frustrating it is not going to deter me. Oh.. and did I mention this time I'm going positive crankcase pressure for the Slowtra? The QG engine hates to rev so a snail would be a better option. I initially played with the though of an SR16/20VE transplant but have decided to persevere with the QG. Call me a sucker for punishment.

In the meantime here are 2 rejection emails for your amusement

From Impul Japan:
Mr Andrew Saw

Thank you for your inquiry.

We are sorry but we do not have N16 Sentra in Japan so we do not have any parts set for the vehicle. We have some reinforcement parts for Bluebird Sylphy but do not know if they are installable on Sentra or not because we do not have an actual vehile to try.

We are sorry.

Best regards,
Marketing and Sales Promotion
Tel: +81-(0)3-3439-1122

Interestingly Impul has ECUs and even a build engine (camshafts, pistons, etc) for the Sylpy making 160hp (claimed). NA Bagus? Sylphy owners you heard this from me. But we have a Malaysian Impul Sentra right? Errr... please don't even talk about it.
Another rejection this time from Okada Projects USA. Okada has upgraded ignition coils called the Plasma Direct for the Toyota Vios/Yaris/Vitz so I was kinda hoping they would be able to do something for the Slowtra. Kinda wishful thinking huh?

Hello Leng,

Thank you for your inquiry.

Unfortunately we do not have any products suitable for Nissan QG18 engine and B15 Sentra.
Best Regards,

Akira Sato
23891 Via Fabricante Suite 614
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Tel: 949-583-7800
Fax: 949-583-7810

Clutch Hose Upgrade - It's Here

My clutch hose from G Spec Performance arrived just in time for Raya hols. Pixs below.

Please don't ask if the clutch hose is available for auto N16s. I'm 99.9% sure it's the same as my stock clutch hose and there will be no fitment problems. One end fitting is a banjo while I'm pretty sure the other end is an NPT though I'm not sure on the thread size. Shame the end fittings are just steel and not anodized aluminium. Now thinking if I ahould send the hose to have a version with alloy end fittings done up. The Slowtra's engine bay looks kinda dull without coloured AN fittings :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Diet ICE?

I've decided the primary objective for Slowtra at least for the remainder of this year and next would be to at least lose its nick. Fast is the opposite of slow and there are 2 ways to be fast. One is to build power and the other is to lose weight for a better power to weight ratio. As many would have read from my earlier posts the N16 Sentra is already a big and flabby car and this got worse with all the mucho heavy ICE gear and sound deadening. The ICE is especially bad with more than 25 kgs in the boot itself.

In a bid to lose weight, the Slowtra lost it's spare tyre, car jack and tool kit. I know many will be shocked and say this is impractical but hey it costs zero ringgit and I'm desperate to lose some weight. The spare, jack and tool kit easily weighs more than 20 kilos and I can put everything back should I drive really long distance.

The next step is to simplify the ICE. I've decided to ditch the Focal 27KX subwoofer and its customized enclosure, the wiring, bracketry, etc. The Steg K series K202 amplifier powering the sub had already been sold to a Bro. This leaves the TRU amp and the Focal 165 K2P 6.5" 2 ways in the front door and its tweeters on the A-pillar as the only ICE gear left in the Slowtra. Told you I was desperate. The amount of weight lost is as follows:
  • Focal 27KX - 7.2kg
  • Steg K Series K202 amp - 3-4kg
  • Sub enclosure, panelling, acryllic windows, VDH speaker cable for the sub, etc - ~5kg (I didn't weight but I'm pretty sure this is very under estimated)
Total weight lost from the simplified ICE setup is easily more than 15kgs and possibly close to 20kgs for a combined total lost of ~40kgs (Simplified ICE + spare + jack + tool kit). Driving home the butt dyno immediately registered power differences of several horsies especially during 3-4th gear acceleration. Of course don't expect similar sound quality but hey even with my full ICE setup my home system blows it away in terms of SQ. So long as it delivers "decent" sound quality for my daily driving I can live with the revised ICE. Plus don't forget by the time the engine and exhaust mods get thrown in I'll be enjoying the exhaust note more and possibly some psssh sounds rather than the ICE. Oh and competition spec brakes deliver a nice squeal every time you do a slow stop. Need I say more?

Pix of the revised simplified ICE setup. Really neat looking and I get my boot space back. Problem now is how to fit a rear strut bar?

And this is not the end. I'm looking to ditch my TRU amp (~4.8kgs) for something much lighter like the Alpine PDX series of Class D amplifiers. Class D is more efficient than traditional class A/B leaving to smaller more compact circuitry with less neat for heat sink area. This leads to much smaller and lighter amplifiers albeit at the expense of sound quality but as I mentioned the brief now is for less weight rather than outright sound quality. The Alpine PDX-F4 weights nearly half my TRU Billet Series B2110 at only 2.87kg. Anybody want a mint condition preloved TRU Technology amp?