Friday, October 21, 2011

K1 Rods Ready and For Sale!

After some eight months my custom K1 Technologies billet h-beam conrods are ready. Pictures courtesy of Greg V while I arrange for shipment.

Those of you following this blog will know that I had the rods custom manufactured as no performance conrod manufacturer with the exception of Pauter has off the shelf rods for the Nissan QG18DE. The K1 conrod is forged and strong enough to withstand the power I am expecting to make (~300bhp). Unless you are crazier than me and plan a >600hp QG18 these conrods are going to be all that you will ever need. Specs of the QG18 K1 conrod can be found here. Material is forged 4340 steel. Finishing is top quality.

The even better news is that my set is not the only set of K1 QG18 conrods in existence. Yes, there is another (only one more set) and these are for sale @ USD675.00 for a set of four. Price does not include shipping and any tax. Lead time is NOT eight months but the amount of time it takes to deliver the rods to your doorstep once you place the order and pay. Serious enquiries only pls contact me. The conrods will also fit the Nissan GA16DE.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Slowtra does it Doggy Style - Turbonetics Spearco Intercooler

Collected my intercooler and got taxed big time (40%) by our dear customs. "This is the lowest I can go! Spare part kereta memang mahal" said the customs officer all the while eyeing her prey like a natural born predator. She was not going to let me off this time as I had avoided tax a couple months back with my gear selector rods. She even mentioned "I've seen you here before". I wonder how automotive innovation and engineering is going to grow in our dear country when an enthusiast who is not making a cent out of his or her passion is getting royally screwed?

Anyway my intercooler is an American Turbonetics Spearco unit. When ordering the intercooler I mentioned that I wanted the intercooler from a certain famed Sentra time attack race car. Due to the shape and vents of the Slowtra's front bumper a wider but shorter height intercooler is required versus the more common narrower but taller height intercooler found in Jap performance cars such as the Evo. Picture below of the technical drawing. Spearco can make any specification intercooler to your drawings if necessary.
The Spearco intercooler is a bar and plate type intercooler. This is different from many Japanese aftermarket performance intercoolers which are of the tube and fin type. The most noticeable difference between a bar and plate versus a tube and fin intercooler is the header plate. The header plate is also where the end tanks are welded to. Tube and fin intercoolers utilizes header plates to seal the charge rows from the ambient rows. The header plates seal around the oval tubes during the brazing process and are generally around 0.125" (3.175mm) thick. However, over time and constant vibration the header plate starts to crack away from the tube. Per Turbonetics you will not find this problem with bar and plate intercoolers. The end tanks for a bar and plate intercooler are welded directly to the core. Tube and fin intercooler uses extruded tubes to carry the charge air across. The thickness of the tube ranges but are generally 0.020 (0.5mm) thick compared to 0.125" (3.175mm) solid extruded bar on the bar and plate intercooler. This increased strength comes at the expense of additional weight for the bar and plate intercooler. However the bar and plate intercooler in a given size or space will have more capacity and surface area. Efficiency of both (bar and plate & tube and fin) are about the same. So in summary which type of intercooler is the "best"? There's no such thing unfortunately in engineering. Everything is a compromise.

Picture below of my intercooler. My intercooler is 2-255 assembly part number with custom end tanks based on 2-203 core 3.5" (88.9mm) thick, 6.52" (165.6mm) height and 24" (609.6mm) wide. 640 cubic feet/min flow rate.

The construction is simply superb and I concur with Greg on the lovely quality of the TIG welds. Of course with quality comes higher cost. Paid RM2.5K for the intercooler at USD1 for every MYR3.2 exchange rate including shipping not including tax. Pokai!!! On top of that one inlet/outlet pipe flange is dented from the shipping hence also need to get that repaired :(

Compared to a conventional bar and plate intercooler, Spearco utilizes W.A.V.E. (Wide Area Vane Effectiveness) technology which is also used in the aerospace industry where space is a constrain and performance is critical. A Spearco W.A.V.E. core incorporates a complex network of highly effective vanes to regularly decrease temperatures by as much as 30 degrees Farenheit over conventional tube and fin cores. Spearco W.A.V.E. cores are also capable of withstanding pressure in excess of 200 psi. Spearco cores undergo a strict manufacturing process which require numerous cleansing steps to ensure a 100% braze throughout the entire core. Two close up pixs of the core.

Picture of my upside down intercooler with the Slowtra.

Here's how the intercooler looks like installed on Kojima's Dog III btw. Picture courtesy of MotoIQ.

Install to follow when my engine is ready not so very soon. Also undecided if I should use some trick W900 clamps/connectors from Adel Wiggins although this means I would have to chop off the inlet/outlet pipe flanges.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lightweight ICE - Finale

I was originally going to totally remove the Slowtra's ICE and have the Slowtra's chassis squeaks, engine, wind and tyre noise as my only form of in-car entertainment but got talked out of it by the good uncles @ Golden. They basically convinced me having some music or at least the radio would be less stressful in Penang's many traffic jams. I settled for a used Steg QMOSII 120.2X. Amp is no longer in production and the parent company has gone under but who cares? Having used its brother the 105.4X a couple years back I can vouch for its impressive sound quality. A brand new Alpine PDX-F4 will cost more than twice what I paid for the 120.2X but I doubt it will better the Steg on sound quality. Furthermore the 120.2X only weights about 2.65 kg which is about half the weight of the TRU Technology Billet B2110 amp I was using. The 120.2X has the following specs:
  • 2 X 120W @ 4 ohms
  • 2 X 200W @ 2 ohms
  • 1 X 400W @ 4 ohms bridged
  • Efficiency: > 60% (at 11V, 4 or 2 ohms)
  • Frequency response: 20Hz ~60Hz (-3dB)
  • THD: < 0.05% (4ohms, max power)
  • S/N Ratio: > 95dBA
  • Damping Factor: >500
Picture of the amp installed.

I have also changed the interconnects back to Supra Dual using the Neutrik Profi RCA connectors. Sound quality might be slightly inferior to the Audioquest Sidewinder I was using previously but the Neutriks ensure continued noise free connectivity in the long run. Only downside is the Neutrik Profis cost about as much as a 4.5m pair of Supra Duals. Am only on front 2-way speakers - the excellent Focal 165K2P while head unit continues to be the Blaupunkt Bremen MP74.

Guess this ends my ICE journey for the foreseeable future as I concentrate only and only on making the Slowtra lose its nick. :)

Farewell Gift

No I'm not going anywhere. It was Bro Mugil who gave me these when he moved to Germany.

These are not kids construction toys but genuine Earl's aluminium wrenches. The short handles allow usage in cramped areas and discourages over–tightening. Wrenches are colour coded for quick size identification. Minimizes damage to aluminum alloy AN fittings. You can look up the sizes here.

Kinda felt like Frodo being handed a coat of mithril by Bilbo. These wrenches are not cheap mind you!. Needless to say this left me speechless in gratitude. Thanks Bro! If you ever need these wrenches back just let me know.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Convocation Present

Sitting, all dressed up waiting to receive my scroll and with nowhere to go nearly bored me to death hence decided to check my email. Got this lovely piece of gem from Greg.

"This is a thing of beauty. The welds are incredible. The box it came in was just too large. I need to get a box next week that will protect it and remain in size guidelines."

Picture below tells a thousand words...

This and the convo really made my day. More to follow once I receive the Turbonetics Spearco intercooler...

Sunday, October 2, 2011


It's been a real struggle balancing work, personal life, my studies and of course playing with the Slowtra these past 3+ years but I'll have to say it was worth every blood, sweat and tear. I graduated with an MBA in Supply Chain Management from UUM on the 1st October 2011. In comparison, the last time something like this happened more than 15 years ago was a walk in the park as I had nothing else to worry about then except passing my exams. I have a very very long list of people to thank for all the support, encouragement, advice and even rubbing some sense into me including my wife, family, current and previous bosses, friends, brudders, colleagues, etc. Won't bore this blog with details but you know who you are :)

Having achieved by academic objective I'll have to say I am pretty satisfied and look forward to really utilizing what I have learned.  However there is still one more thing I tend to dream about a lot. A motorsport engineering degree/masters from the likes of Cranfield University. Unfortunately I suck real bad in Physics and getting older by the day doesn't turn this into a strength. At this point of time this shall remain a dream but who knows? Life is full of surprises and like a box of chocolates you'll never know what's gonna come along with the chocolates.....