Monday, May 30, 2011

TiAL Sport V-Band Clamp

Just got back from the land of the BIG and this was one of the stuff hand carried home - The TiAL Sport 3" V-band clamp part number VC355. TiAL does not sell direct hence I got the clamp from one of their distributors - Road Race Engineering or RRE. RRE have been extremely helpful in expediting the delivery of the v-band clamp to my hotel even though the part was out of stock and had to be ordered. Just look for Lydia Welch @ RRE.

The TiAL VC355 is one of the V-band clamps recommended for use to mate the EFR6258 turbine with the GCG downpipe flange which I'm currently having a replica CNC machined from a block of stainless steel with approval from GCG :) Pictures below of the TiAL VC355 stainless steel V-band clamps. There are two of them as the other is meant for  Bro who wants to replace his ancient T25 with the EFR6258 on a Super Satria SOHC. That's like carrying a rocket launcher to a gunfight!

Closer up.

Locking bolt on the clamp

Super close up

RS5F70A Found!

After months of searching I finally found the gearbox I was looking for. For those of you wondering why I need a different gearbox you haven't been reading this blog enough. Mike Kojima over at MotoIQ has a detailed write up. And here's a post from the SR20 that explains the RS5F70A's strength.

Price is a quite considerable RM1.6K with no flywheel and driveshafts as this gearbox is pretty rare in Bolehland. I don't need the flywheel as I have something else in mind :) Likewise driveshafts. Pictures below of a very dirty tranny straight from the kedai potong. Don't expect pristine looking stuff from kedai potongs as most have been sitting there for quite a while and have never been cleaned since new.

Next step is to disassemble the gearbox and replace what needs to be replaced. The casing and bellhousing also need a thorough wash. I also need a proper clutch, flywheel, gear selector rods, driveshafts and perhaps something called a limited slip differential :)

Diagram below illustrates the differences between the 30, 50 and 70 series gearboxes.

My thanks to Darren from The Almera Owners Club UK for some of the research on the differences between 30 and 70 series gearboxes and what it takes to convert from the 30A to a 70A. Darren has apparently blown not one but four RS5F30A gearboxes! Guess this shows how strong NOT the 30 series gearbox is..

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Engine Development Delay

My conrods are actually supposed to be ready. Well at least I thought they were till I checked. To cut a long story short I bought a brand new QG18DE conrod and had it shipped to K1 Technologies in the US to be used for measurements to custom manufacture a much stronger forged H-beam conrod. That was back in early March and the lead time is around 12 weeks to design and custom manufacture a conrod hence I thought the conrods were about ready as we're coming to end of May. Unfortunately due to some miscommunication between K1, my supplier - G Spec and yours truly there's been zero progress till I checked with G Spec and K1 on the status. Well work has finally started but the downside is the conrods will only be ready by August. Triple Ouch!

Here's the official communication and quotation on my conrods. Certain details proprietary to myself only have been ommited.

We are pleased to quote this order for K1 Technologies H-beam Billet Rods.

This order to be supplied as follows:

4 pieces of Nissan QG18DE H-beam connecting rods as 1 matched/ balance set
Rod material: 4340 (fully machined billet)
Aluminum Bronze Bushing
Center to Center distance: 5.531”
Pin end honed to: .7487"/.7489"
Pin end width ground to: .858”/.852”
Journal end honed to: 1.6930”/1.6932”
Journal width ground to: .856"/.854"
Journal end chamfer: .075" on both sides
Bolts: ARP 2000 3/8-24 cap screw
K1 Part #TBD
Quote # G Spec 1
Quantity Price
1 Set $XXX.00 ea set

Slowtra's Vehicle Alignment Report

These are the alignment figures when I got the Slowtra aligned recently after installing my new wheels. Alignment done @ Goh Swee Hin in Penang. This is with the zero adjustable Nismo S-Tune G-Attack shocks. Forget the ridiculous date as the technician did not bother to set the proper date. Likewise do not compare the specs as these are in comparison with the older gen N14. Feel free to make your own intepretations. I took the rear alignment figures even though the rears are not adjustable purely as baseline figures.

Close up. For me there's quite a lot of understeer inducing toe-in for the rears and the fronts definitely need more camber which can only be gained with fully adjustable coilovers.

You can draw your own conclusions and let me know what you think.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Brake Upgrade Part 2.2 & 3 - Test Fitting the Wilwood BBK and Installing New RHS Rear Caliper

Test fitted my BBK over the weekend to see if I require a spacer and possibly extended wheel lugs for my Work Emotion CR Kai to clear the Wilwood SL6R caliper. Picture below of the disc/rotor assembled with the aluminium alloy centre bell (revers side). Each rotor is fastened to the bell with 8 bolts (Non-metric Grade 8 hex head 5/16-18 thread pitch). Unfortunately only 15 bolts in the kit hence I'm short of one bolt. Fastbrakes will supply the required bolt. Am thinking if I should splurge some cash to get 8740 chrome moly ARP fasteners which are stronger than Grade 8 and rated 200,000 psi tensile strength!

Here's how the new rotors compare size wise with the stock rotors. I admit I cheated. The new rotors are sitting on the caliper box hence slightly closer to the camera compared to the stock rotor. But still you get the picture.

So do I need a spacer? I'm chuffed to bits to say that I don't. The Works clears the caliper with room to spare.

Slightly closer up.

I'll be fitting the BBK when I get my new brake hoses and the bolt. In the meantime I also fitted my spanking new and newly painted RHS rear caliper to replace the faulty one. The rusty bolt securing the brake hose is a glaring contrast but TC does not have even one spare new bolt in stock. Sigh.

Peeping from behind the rims. Shiny lug nut is not some special super duper lug nut but rather the security adapter key for my Rays lug nuts which had not been removed and will need to be removed before driving.

The handbrake works like a charm now even without replacing the hand brake cable. And why did I not replace the handbrake cable although being told to by TCEAS in the first place? Well they ordered the wrong handbrake cable for me. They ordered the one meant for a rear drum brake. What a joke! But since my handbrake works perfectly well now I don't need to replace the handbrake cable. That's my hard earned money well saved. Thank You!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ultra Racing Room/ B-Pillar Floor Bar

I originally got the UR room bar together with the 4 point lower arm bar back in late October last year and had both repainted matte black. Well being the king of procrastination, one thing led to another and both were sitting in my spare room till now. The lower arm bar still is but I finally installed the room bar. I actually brought the room bar to be installed at TCEAS Prai about a month back when I installed my DBA 4000 series rear brake discs but they did not want to install for me citing the excuse that they didn't know how to charge the labour cost. Dunno whether to laugh or cry hearing this. What a joke! I could have installed the room bar myself if I had the correct sized spanner. It is that simple.

Anyway I finally got these installed over the weekend. Its a 20 minute job for me and probably less with experienced hands. 2 washers had to remove for each seat belt lower mount bolt to ensure sufficient thread length for the bolt.

Picture of the room bar installed. Matte black is just so much classier than gloss white.

Rear leg room is definitely compromised but not an issue for me though when I showed the room bar to my wife I did invite some not so positive comments :)

As mentioned in my original post the room bar is the bar linking both the B pillars behind the front seats and serves to improve the car's chassis rigidity. It really does its job as driving home after the install the butt feel is of greater solidity (ie the Slowtra feels more "together". All in all a pretty decent investment as the room bar is relatively cheap IMHO and even cheaper if you like Ultra Racing white and do not need to repaint it. Stay away though if you ferry your in-laws a lot at the rear. Guaranteed to invite not so nice comments like "Are you crazy? This is not a race car!" :)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Carbon Stripes - Prepreg Carbon Number Plates

I've been itchin to replace my carbon number plates (especially the front) for a while. If you remember history the fronts were Malaysia Boleh CSM with an aesthetic layer of wet lay up carbon on top. The rears were originally the same but fell out due to shrinkage and was duly replaced with a Rallytech UK equivalent. I could not afford to replace the fronts then due to the high cost factor then and this soldiered with me for a good three years.

Bro Mugil recently went on a marathon biz trip to Europe. While there he got me carbon plates at drop dead unbelievable price. Thanks Bro. Dunno where I'll be without all the help from you and my brothers. These are real pre-preg 100% carbon plates If you're not familar with the term "pre-preg" I think you will be familiar with "dry carbon". There is 0% CSM (fibreglass) in these plates! Pictures below of the front number plate - top and bottom surfaces. These are the more common and racy twill weave. As per norm I had the plates clear coated for UV protection. Looks good enough without clearcoating but from experience if you do not protect the carbon fibre from UV in the long run it will get yellow fever and inherit a yellowish hue.

Close up of the twill weave. Just look at the 3D carbon weave. Prepreg carbon like the SP's bonnet previously sounds like metal when you rap it with your knuckles. Much lighter than a CSM/carbom plate too!

The rear

Front number plate installed

And the rear. The clearcoat is really glossy!

My old number plates are now up for sale if anyone's interested. Any takers?

Friday, May 6, 2011

GCG V-band Flange for EFR Snail

The EFR6258 and all EFR series snails use a V-band clamp and coupling to mate its turbine outlet to the downpipe. The advantage of V-bands is that it can quickly be diassembled and disassembled compared to conventional fasteners. Loosen one bolt and the downpipe comes out. The disadvantage is higher cost and the fact that while V-bands are widely available specific EFR downpipe flanges took quite some time to come out. Quite a bit longer than the EFR snails in fact. GCG Turbo down under is an authorised distributor for BorgWarner and they have come up with a lovely V-band downpipe flange for the EFR. The flange can be ordered via GCG's website. I patiently waited more than a month for the flange and it finally arrived. Pictures below.

The flange features a male chamfer to suit the female chamfer in the EFR turbine housing and is suitable for a 3" diameter downpipe. The flange is most unfortunately made of mild steel. Its a shame as the EFR features a stainless steel turbine housing and I am planning for equivalent material for my downpipe and exhaust. Would be funny (to me) if the downpipe flange at the turbine end was the only part in mild steel. Despite being mild steel the cost is pretty prohibitive due to the strength of the Australian dollar and air freight duty.

To complete the V-band coupling I will need to purchase a V-band clamp and TiAL or Garrett make excellent examples. The TiAL V-band clamp part number for the EFR6255/58 is VC355SRT. Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Brake Master Cylinder Update

I initially thought upgrading the 7/8"  brake master cylinder (BMC) is as simple as upgrading to the 15/16" master cylinder from the SG-L and XG-L models. Life is or should I say Nissan unfortunately did not make it so simple. Picture below of my stock master cylinder.

There are 4 brake lines emnating from the BMC. Now here is a picture of the 15/16" BMC as fitted to the SG-L and XG-L.

There only seems to be two lines emnating from the BMC. So reconfiguring the brake lines will mean I can fit the larger BMC? Not so simple. Picture below illustrates why.

Those two things in red rectangles are what Nissan calls proportioning valves. Consider the fact that N16 models with no ABS and rear drum brakes come with 7/8" BMC while the rear disk brake ABS equipped models come with the 15/16" BMC. Apparently the proportioning valves/residual pressure valves/rear brake pressure reducers are to prevent rear brake lockup. On ABS equipped N16s the dual proportioning valve connected to the ABS unit is doing this job. You can read more about from the G20 Forum here. A thorough study of the USDM B15 technical service manual confirms this. Picture below of the brake hydraulic circuit and technical drawing of the BMC.

Then can I just get a non-ABS Nabco 15/16" BMC with proportioning valves build-in from the US? Altimas are widely sold there with such a BMC. Unfortunately the USDM and left hand drive market BMCs have their lines going into/out of the BMC body in a mirror image (ie the other side). If I stand looking at the BMC on RHD models the lines are emnating from the left hand side. In LHD models it is on the right hand side.What about the UKDM N16. That's RHD right? As far asI know all the N16s sold there with 15/16" BMCs and rear disk brakes are equipped with ABS. Believe me I have extensively checked. What about Australia and New Zealand. Well no one in Oz or should I say the Oz Pulsar forum was able to help. Bummer! :(

So are there any Nabco RHD non-ABS 15/16" BMC with proportioning valves available from Japan or anywhere in this world? I have checked around and the answer is not yet found at this point. I am willing to pay up to 4 figures worse case as I want something new and not some used part from a half cut which may bring more grief. My sources tell me the 15/16" BMC from a Bluebird U13 is a direct bolt-on but good luck trying to find a new one. The U13 Bluebird is the same as the USDM Altima btw. I can get a 15/16" non-ABS BMC from Taiwan that is supposedly a bolt-on but the long term quality cannot be vouched. At this point I've just bout given up and just going to bolt-on my Wilwood front BBK and see what happens. Wish me luck!