Saturday, April 30, 2011

Deatschwerks DW301 In-Tank Fuel Pump

Amidst all the hooha regarding brakes this arrived courtesy of my wife's friend. Thanks Tsui Li!

This is the latest greatest fuel pump from Deatschwerks and is claimed to outflow the famed Walbro 255. Deatschwerks claims the fuel pump flows in excess of 300 lph (litres per hour) hence the name. Table below extracted from Deatschwerks website illustrates the flow figures.

The fuel pump is compatible with standard petrol and also ethanol. And in-tank fuel pump is installed inside the fuel tank itself as vs an external fuel pump. Deatschwerks equips every DW301 fuel pump with 3 year no-fault warranty. Picture below  of my fuel pump

I bought the universal pump kit which includes the following:
  • 2" x 2" sock
  • Electrical connector
  • 4" of fuel line
  • Miscellaneous hardware
The fuel pump impeller design is the single scroll composite turbine type which Deatschwerks claims to be quieter than the rotor style pump found in a Walbro. For those of you familiar with Walbros anything to reduce or eliminate the annoying fuel pump whine helps. Technical drawing of the DW301 from Deatschwerks website

This will go in when my engine is ready together with the Deatschwerks 600cc fuel injectors and Tomei fuel pressure regulator.

Fastbrakes Front Wilwood Brake Kit - Brake Hose and Adapter Musings

Picture below of the brake hose provided by Fastbrakes for my kit. Perfectly usable and high quality stainless braided brake hose except for one problem (to me).

Both end fittings are AN - (Dash) 3 female. AN fittings are highly popular in motorsport but problem is production cars rarely if ever use AN fittings due to cost. Nissan uses a metric M10 X 1.0 thread pitch fitting on the brake line end on the N16 where the brake hose is supposed to be bolted to it. To get around this issue Fastbrakes supplies adapters as pictured below.

The silver coloured adapter is a metric M10 X 1.00 female to male AN -3 adapter. The gold coloured adapter is a 90 degree "L" shaped male AN -3 to male NPT 1/8 27 adapter. Wilwood specifies an 1/8 27 NPT inlet fitting for its SL6R caliper. Picture below shows both adapters bolted to the brake hose.

The end in red frame bolts to the brake line on the Slowtra. The end in blue frame bolts to the Wilwood caliper. Everything is perfectly usable except for one issue. Increasing the number of adapters increases the number of failure points for leaks to happen. As brake hoses metric end fittings are widely available I'm not sure why Fastbrakes is supplying an additional adapter. On top of this Fastbrakes further supplied an alternative longer L shaped adapter as pictured below.

I am now looking to have a new brake hose fabricated with AN - 3 male end fittings at one end and metric M10 X 1.00 pitch female end fittings for the other end. Also thinking of replacing the steel "L" shape male AN -3 to male NPT 1/8 27 adapter with one of this bling aluminium blue anodize adapters from either Earls or Goodridge.
You know me lah.. :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Brake Upgrade Part 2.1 - New Right Hand Side Rear Caliper

My new caliper was shipped yesterday and should be here in a week or so. Picture below of my caliper courtesy of my supplier - Greg V from G Spec Performance in the US. I have compared the pictures with my caliper and everything seems to be the same right down to the "52" and "T5" and "R" engraved on the caliper body casting. I ordered just the caliper body which is cheaper compared to if I order the caliper body + mounting bracket. There is also a USD40 rebate if I return my current caliper. Overall cost before tax came up to half of what TCM wanna charge me.

Here's are two pictures of my current failed caliper for comparison purposes.

I have also ordered a brand new RHS hand brake cable from TCM. Also need to paint my new caliper when it arrives. Update to follow. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Brake Upgrade Part 2 - DBA 4000 Series Rear Brake Disc

Well I finally got my DBAs. They originally landed in Bolehland Capital as far back as January but work and other commitments kept me from delivering them to Penang for installation till now. One of my favourite bands is an acoustic duo called the Kings of Convenience. How about Kings of Procrastination? Haha...

Anyway add RM60 for Pos Laju and this arrived @ my doorstep.

The DBA part number.

Opening the box revealed the following. Each disc gets its own box and part number. Non-swept areas on the disc are painted for corrosion resistance.

The following one pamphlet serves as documentation for the disc

So why DBA 4000 series apart from the price premium (~1.8K for a pair of one piece solid brake discs)? You can read up on the advantages here. To summarize:
  • Thermographic paint markings for heat monitoring - But then DBA states the following in the pamphlet "Warranty of DBA product void when use in any form of motorsport". I don't see any reason why one would want to monitor the heat range of their brake rotors on a daily driver street use car. For the hardcore anal retentive?
  • Innovative Kangaroo Paw ventilation design which runs cooler - A moot point as the rear rotors on a Slowtra are solid and non-ventilated.
  • Suitable for specific production car motorsport use - Main reason why I got the 4000 series instead of the regular DBA Street Series Slotted. And of course some subtle poisoning sorry advice from Bro Jacko helped me on the decision to go for the 4000 series.
  • The unique 6x6 Wiper Slot is designed to efficiently clear gases, dust and debris, resulting in a cleaner disc surface for better braking while maintaining maximum friction - Looks cool too!
Picture below shows 2 of the 3 (green, orange and red) thermographic paint markings

Installation was done at my regular TCEAS in Prai. I expected this to be a no-brainer direct bolt-on job but unfortunately then ran into issues. Picture of the disc/rotor installed

Picture of disc, caliper and brake pad without shims installed. As posted the pads are Stoptech 309 Compound which have been sitting in my study's cabinet for more than 4 months! When the mech tried to bolt on the caliper to the pads and disc the caliper body would not clear the disc and pads due to sufficient width/clearance. The new disc with new pads was proving too thick for the caliper to accomodate even though the caliper pistons where fully recessed. I tested with brand new stock Hitachi pads and same problem. The workaround was to install the pads minus the anti-squeal/rattle shims. With some pad wear I should be able to later reinstall back the shims. I guess this is the reason why 10mm rear brake disc thickness is specified for year 2000 USDM Sentra B15s and 9mm for 2001 onwards.

Upon bolting everything back another issue was discovered. The rear right hand (driver) side handbrake was not working. The toggle lever on the caliper was not engaging or releasing the parking brake when the handbrake was engaged/disengaged. This means I only have the handbrake on one side of the Slowtra. The TCEAs technician tells me my caliper and handbrake cable are probably screwed. Sigh... Anyway the decision was to go ahead and bolt everything back together pending replacements. I am deciding if I should just bring in a brand new caliper as the caliper that failed came from a half cut together with my rear beam and brakes. Ditto handbrake cable. These lasted me 6 months but like most half cut parts the actual service life is unknown.  I did not have any issues with my handbrake till the latest dismantle for the brake disc and pad install. Am still troubleshooting and will report out on the fix in upcoming post.

Picture of everything with my rims installed. Being the same size as stock the new disc still looks small though the slots add some fierceness :)

After a couple days of driving and bedding-in the increased in braking performance is glaringly obvious. Yes, even with just the rear disc and pads with the front brakes still bone stock! Pedal feel is surprisingly firmer probably due to less brake caliper piston travel as the previous pads were pretty worn. Brake dust is to be expected more than the stock Hitachi pads though not by much. I did not notice any major increase in brake noise without the brake pad shims installed though will expect more noise once the pads begin to wear and increasing clearance. I now need to fix my handbrake before moving on to the fronts.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Works and New Tyres Installed

After a long three month wait I finally received a call from Goh Swee Hin on Tuesday. "Your rims are here". I promptly made arrangements to install them on Wednesday to lay to rest all those corny "your rims must be undergoing extensive tests for radiation hence the delay" jokes. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize if I unintentionally offended anyone. My heart goes out to the Japanese people in lieu of what happened recently.

These greeted me on arrival at GSH. "17" should be self explanatory.

Closer inspection of the packaging label reveals the rim/wheel size and specs. For some reason my crappy Olympus camera decided to screw up the colour turning everything a pinkish hue. As can be seen above the box should be white. MGM stands for "Matt Gun Metal".

One box holds 2 rims. Here's one of them. These are the real deal and not some crappy knockoff from the current land of knockoffs. You know where I mean. Fantastic casting and finish quality! Unlike my Rays Gramlights 57S the decals are all already applied to the Work Emotion CR Kai.

These were also in the box. Every rim gets a certificate!

I was initally going to go for Federal 595 RS-Rs but the kiasi + logical side of me prevailed. The Slowtra is still a daily driver and the thunderstorms nowadays is beginning to take on more and more typhoon like intensity especially on the Penang Bridge. Wet grip and handling is critical! I settled on the Dunlop SP Sport Maxx TTs after discussion with Mr Goh whom recommended them over the PRC made Goodyear F1 Assymetrics. Tire Rack also highly recommends these tyres and the review can be read here. The SP Sport Maxx TT came in first when compared to the famed Continental ContiSportContact (CSC) 3, Advan Sport and Pirelli PZero Rosso. Picture below of my tyres.

The Dunrop SP Sport Maxx TTs feature kevlar reinforced sidewalls which should hopefully result in a stiffer sidewall and ride compared to my now previous tyres - the Michelin Pilot Sport 3 (PS3). While the PS3s gave excellent grip in both wet and dry conditions I really don't dig the soft and numb feeling sidewall. Speed rating is "Y" or 300km/h for my size - 215-45 17". UTQG is 240 while traction is rated "AA".

Me old rims and tyres awaiting to be delivered to a Bro. Please come and get them real soon.. :)

Picture of rim + tyre installed. Am retaining my old Rays lugnuts as the rims are gonna be off plenty more times to install my brakes, coilovers, etc. The problem with big rims is that the stock brakes now look puny! This will change soon though.

You know the tyre manufacturer wants the country of manufacture to be known when it is embossed on the outer sidewall as opposed to inner sidewall for many Tom Yam Land made tyres.

Bling blue anodized lightweight aluminium valve stem and cap. I prefer the understated black ones from Rays as these have practically proven to be thief proof.

Despite being the same width and offset as my previous Gramlights, the Works have more meat and the design of the spokes means there is even more clearance for big brake calipers. Hope my new rims will clear my new brakes as-is without a spacer. One can even run extended length lug nuts without these sticking out like pimples like my previous rims.

The Slowtra getting its alignment done. I'll publish the alignment data in another post.

I've driven for 50+ kilometres the past two days and the initial feel, ride and handling are pretty good. I do not detect any increased tyre roar/noise despite the wider width. Dry grip appears to be as good as the Michelin PS3s. However without the power from the new engine to exploit the tyre's performance I'll be hard pressed to tell. And yes, the sidewalls are stiffer giving a more reassuring ride and more feedback. Have yet to drive on really wet roads so can't report the wet handling at this point. Will provide updates in future. Steering feel appears pretty good and again it feels like I've upgraded my suspension. Pixs of the Slowtra with new wheels and shoes. Pardon the wet sideskirts. I just hosed that a bit after driving on a typical sandy, muddy half wet half dry Penang road after a downpour an hour or so before.

I initially wanted to go for bling blue anodized Work RS lugnuts to match the valves but now feel black looks better. What do you think?