Sunday, November 28, 2010

Excellent Customer Service - The Tuners Group

I've been thinking to ditch my airbag steering wheel and get something proper like the Momo Corse Model 78 I was using on my previous car together with a quick release boss. Or maybe my carbon fetish will lead me to a Reverie pre-preg carbon steering wheel as used by the WRC teams? Nothing beats a proper "race" oriented steering wheel for feel.

I wanted a proper Works Bell shortened steering boss as using one with a longer length together with the Rapfix II meant my fingers couldn't reach the indicator and light stalks without me reaching forward.

Now the problem here is the N16 is not exactly available in Japan. I contacted The Tuners Group in Australia as they claim to offer the Rapfix II cheaper than retail in sushi land. I initially didn't hope for much but after exchanging some data for my car including the proper chassis designation for the equivalent model in Japan (The Bluebird Sylphy G10) they actually found the correct boss kit for my car and put in on their online web shop. So much better than the typical "I'm sorry but we do not have an application for your car as it is not sold in Japan" response. A big thumbs up!

Will blog more later after I order the short boss and Rapfix II.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Clutch Hose Evolution

Piccie from Bro Mugil on my evolved clutch hose with shorter hose length and alloy AN end fittings which he sourced for me from Down Under. Unfortunately only one end (the banjo end) is avail in aluminium. I think I am suffering from OCD :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Rims and Tyres are for Sale!

OK. This is it! I've decided to go for 17 inchers and selling my Gram Lights and tyres. Details of my rims/wheels here. My tyres are Michelin Pilot Sport 3s in 205-50 16" size. Tyres have been used for only 5000km+ only. I can sell the rims and tyres separate. Serious enquiries you know how to reach me. No low ballers please.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Larger Wheels - Work Emotion CR Kai

Another wheel available for my PCD and wheel lug configuration, the famed Work Emotion CR Kai. These are now low pressure cast and no longer forged. About a kilo heavier than a FN01R-C for 17" X 7" and more expensive unfortunately. Looks great though.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Larger Wheels

I'm starting to think if I should go to larger wheels or rims to contain the power that I'm building the Slowtra to produce (>2 times)? I really hate wheelspin as all that energy and power is wasted in heat, smoke and noise. I'm thinking if I should go for 215-45 series tyres on 17" X 8" or even fatter tyres on 17" X 9" wheels? This should clear the big brakes nicely too. On the other hand there are also camps advocating stretched tyres for a stiffer sidewall feeling.

The problem is N16 comes with fashion obsolete 4 lug 114.3mm PCD. While this might have been fashionable more than ten years ago when the likes of Evo 1-3 roams the streets nowadays all 114.3 PCD are 5 lugs. What this means is that most rims are meant for that configuration. Thinking if I should convert to get the wheel I want? The 114.3 PCD 4 lug option is extremely limited but here is one nice example still in the market. 5Zigen's FN01R-C "Hot Version". The are relatively light for a cast wheel but I still dream about forged Rays TE37s.

So my choices are stick with what I have (16" X 7" Rays Gram Lights), go for larger sizes and convert to 5 lug or stick with my current wheel mount config and get something like the FN01R-Cs. What do you think? I know what some of my close brothers will say :P

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Brake Master Cylinder Breakthrough!

Remember my horror and disgust on finding the puny size of my brake master cylinder? Well the good news is I've found the correct part number courtey Nissan Now I just have to bite the bullet, source, order then hope it fits and works. Cap Saw says its a 99% bolt-on!

Part number for Nabco 15/16" Non-ABS brake master cylinder is 460105M422. Check your master cylinder properly to ensure it is a Nabco. Nissan uses two BMC suppliers - Nabco and Tokico. The parts between both makes are NOT interchangeable.

Slowtra's Rear Brake Pad

I've completed my rear brake pad research and ordered my rear pads. Picture below of  my rear brake pad's backing plate complete with noise reduction shim.

The brake pad I'm using is different from regular TCM N16 1.6 SG-L and XG-L Sentras. Thanks to Nissan parts sharing the brake pad is the exactly the same as the USDM B15 Sentra SE-R with SR20DE engine and the famed JN15 Pulsar VZR N1. Brake pad drawing courtesy of Hawk (Pad Shape HB421)

and Endless (Pad Shape EP263). Measuring my stock pad with a vernier caliper confirmed the dimensions.

Sharing the same brake pad with a performance car has its merits. For one there are lots of brake pad options. Endless lists the following compounds for the EP263 - SNP, NS97, SS-Y, SS-M and CCA.
And what about the local disc brake Slowtras? I believe it should be this pad shape from my eye balling. Pls note that this is from eye balling only as I did not have the opportunity to dismantle the rear brake pad of local TCM Slowtras for measurements and verification.

This pad is apparently also the same as a Mazda RX8. The total pad surface area is slightly less than my pad as the max height is ~3.5mm less.

So did I get Endless or Hawk or? I'll save that for another story when my brake pad arrives

Saturday, November 6, 2010

BorgWarner EFR Snail

Those of you whom know me well will know I am an "NA Bagus" kaki. However this new turbine is making me excited about turbocharging something which I've not been for a long long time. Very excited. More details here:

The EFR is claimed to be the most responsive and fastest spooling snail in its range. Bye bye turbo lag..

Friday, November 5, 2010


I had a chance to take some quick snap shots of the Sylphy when I was @ TCEAS doing my rear disc brake and beam conversion. This is what happens when the major criteria in a car's design is NVH, comfort, cost and less cost.

The G11 Sylphy rear beam. The much maligned Scott-Russell lateral link fitted to the N16/G10/B15 is MIA which is a good thing for starters. The beam, arms and shock absorber mounts are all in one piece and integral with the beam. Can't do much here in terms of adding aftermarket anti-roll bars and chassis bars. Any upgrade on stiffness would mean upgrading the entire beam assembly. Ouch!

The lines in blue are hydraulic brake lines. Closeup of the hydraulic brake lines. The trailing arms have a bend so Nissan had to mount the brake lines on the straight beam itself.

Holy cut-outs on the beam Batman! Got flex?

No these are not reversed super aero brake cooling ducts but merely the platform to locate the rear coil springs and damper/shock absorber.  The Sylphy is the only current market 2 litre car still on rear drum brakes. Some 1.5 litre cars have better rear disc brakes.

Here's an ESM picture of the G11 rear beam and suspension. Don't ask me where I got it from :)

These are bout the pictures I managed to take. Other "interesting" design decisions include: PCD denoted Pitch Circle Diameter and is the distance between 2 opposite wheel or rim lugs and is a good indication of wheel bearing size and hub or upright stiffness. The Japs have settled for 2 sizes. 100mm PCD 4 bolt pattern for smaller cars (A and B segment ie. Myvi, Vios, City)  and 114.3mm PCD with 5 bolt pattern for larger C and D segment cars (Civic, Altis, Lancer, Accord). The 2 litre Sylphy is approaching D segment in size but uses the 100mm PCD 4 bolt pattern. Erm. Obviously the designers are not worried about caliper piston knock pad under performance or track driving conditions. Stop Tech has a good explanation on what piston knock back is here.

And finally (I forgot to take a picture but you can check it out on the web or better still go ask a TCM salesman. I am very interested in the answer) the Sylphy's speedo goes to only 190km/h max. JDM meters on a Bolehland car? I find it hard to believe. When I asked my TCEAS technician he just shrugged his shoulders and mentioned "CVT". You make the judgement. I admire the frankness and honesty.

Interestingly Impul in Japan (not the MYDM ripoff) has a 170hp engine package including throttle body, cams, pistons and even ECU upgrades. You read it from me first here. :) While the MR20DE engine like any other modern 2 litre engine shouldn't have an issue with such a power output I would really like to see how the flexi, truck like suspension and CVT gearboxed Sylphy cope with the additional power and stress. The brakes are also going to have a field day! As I mentioned in an earlier post, what a crying shame from the same company that spawned the 200ps 1.6 Pulsar VZR N1, Skylines, Sylvias and now R35 GTR. Bolehland Nissan performance driving enthusiasts deserve a better car!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

MYDM N16 Manual Transmission Horror!

I mentioned in an earlier post that the Slowtra's gearbox model is the RS5F70A. This is because the European Nissan Almera N16 ESM (Electrical Service Manual) states this particular gearbox for both QG16 and QG18 engines. Well I was Wrong!!! At least for our dear Bolehland domestic market 1.6 manual Slowtras. Here's why I say so.

Picture below of RS5F70A gearbox from Euro N16 FSM

Picture below of the RS5F30A gearbox used by Euro N16 Almera 1.3, 1.5s and the Proton Saga BLM. Yes the Proton Saga uses this same gearbox.  Don't believe so? Check here.

Below are actual pictures of my gearbox.

Here's a hint. Count the number of bolts on the case cover (red box). The RS5F70A has only 5 bolts. The RS5F30A has 6 bolts. My gearbox has 6 bolts. Does this mean my car uses the 30A gearbox? Well I'm still not sure but having seen lots of pictures online of 70A boxes I'm 101% sure it definitely ain't the 70A. The number of strengthening ribs around the driveshaft appears to be different from the 30A from what I can see on my box versus the ESM. Aichi Machine Industry also list another gearbox used by Sentras (not stated which model or gen though) called the F52A but that has 6 gears and is likely used by USDM B15s.

One joker in Autoworld forum even told me to go ask the technicians in TCEAS. Like I haven't asked before desperately trying the local forums. D'oh! Well the technician in the TCEAS spare parts centre which I usually go to didn't know and asked me to go ask the service technician. Which I immediately did so only to be told to go ask the spare parts centre. When I further probed the service technician he said he didn't know and that he wasn't familiar with manual Sentras. Most customers are auto! All this from the largest TCEAS in Butterworth. Err.. Think I better stop here. Oh and they (the TCEAS technicians) don't wear white uniforms. What a joke! I just wish I can get hold of the parts catalogue and ESM for MYDM TCM N16s.

So why am I so preoccupied with what gearbox I have? Well the 30A gearbox is rated to a max of 150Nm of torque and the 70A gearbox 200Nm. So you tell me which gearbox is stronger and able to withstand the rigors of positive crankcase pressure? On top of that there are plenty of LSD (no not the drug) options available for the 70A. I am now on the lookout for a good to excellent condition preloved RS5F70A gearbox. There's also the other matter of whether the 70A box and mine are sharing the same mounts. Might have to source for that too. Bummer!