Sunday, March 31, 2013

1st Service

After close to 3000km the Shark was ready for it's first service since coming home. Made a trip to GT Auto and left Sharkie there for the following 5 things to be done:
  1. Service the engine/car
  2. Remap cold start idle
  3. Check and resolve knocking sound from exhaust
  4. Stop beeping sound upon startup
  5. Replace windscreen wiper water nozzle hose with Samco
Collected Sharkie bout a week later fully serviced and ready for the drive home. The engine oil I have been using since engine run-in and will continue to use for the service is the Motul 300V Chrono 10W40.

The 300V Chrono is a 100% fully synthetic engine oil with Motul's Double-Ester Technology for racing cars with NA or turbocharged engines requiring maximum power output and faster revs while maintaining oil pressure at high rpm and high temperatures. With this oil Sharkie's engine feels very smooth and this was very evident during my drive back to Penang. The only problem is the massive cost @ RM205 for a 2 litre bottle. Sharkie requires two bottles so it's RM410 on engine oil alone every service. Filter used is original Nissan. I might try the Nismo one of these days when more money falls from the sky.

The Shark's cold start and idling issues have been sorted as mentioned previously. More driving required to see if the knocking sound from the exhaust has been permanently eliminated. I did not hear any knocks on my drive home from Penang. The knocking sound was resolved by one of Toby's exhaust job contacts as Tonnka wanted Sharkie to be sent to Malacca for the job. Too much trouble and hassle lar :(

As for the beeping sound it was caused by this.

It's the g*dd*mn immobilizer! Every time I start the Shark or turn on the ignition circuit it would go "beep beep!" for about a minute or so. I believe the immobilizer has a connection to the stock ECU but since the Shark's brain transplant the stock ECU is no longer there hence the warning beeps. "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"? Not that I care much anyway. This security device would occasionally result in the Slowtra not being able to start and me having to remove the key from the ignition key socket and shake the key a bit before reinserting and trying to start the car. A real PITA! Removing the immobilizer permanently eliminated the irritating beeps. What a relief and also saves some weight!

Picture below of the Samco 4mm silicone hose I bought from Amber Performance @ eBay as replacement for the stock rubber windscreen wiper nozzle hose.

Job looks easy NOT! Lots of stuff had to be removed to install the hose as it snakes into the front right hand side fender before attaching to the reservoir.

Was thinking of a clamp to secure the coolant overflow hose but the man can read my mind and went ahead and did it despite me not asking. Big thumps up!

I also nicked some power decals from GT Auto. The decals are worth more than 230hp! :P

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Blood, Sweat and Tears

Greg was disassembling a brand new oil pump I had purchased when the below happened :( Hope the pix doesn't gross you out.

Words from the man himself - "As I was removing the large bolt holding the pressure valve, the grip on the assembly was tenuous at best. When it finally cracked open my hand slipped and my knuckle racked against the edge of the brand new assembly. Immediately I knew it would be bad as it began to bleed profusely. As I still had to remove some parts I wrapped it in a shop towel. Luckily, the only brand new, clean (are they ever really clean?) shop towel. Then after a minute I went into the sink to wash it and apply a band aid. It was cut open pretty nice and deep, and with an impressive jagged cut. My wife, who aspired to become a nurse, literally gave up the dream as she helped apply the bandage. It was enough that she didn't faint or puke. She insisted we go to the hospital where it was cleaned well and 3 stitches were applied. I wore a splint for 2 days to allow it to heal and not bend. Day 3 I'm good with just a bandage, and can mostly fully grip the steering wheel."

Greg joins a small number of esteemed individuals whom have shed BST on the Shark. He's the undisputed winner though when it comes to amount of "B" shed. Triple Ouch!!!

More on the oil pump project later. Happy guessing what I'm doing to it (the oil pump)...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Start and Idle

Making power from a fully build engine is actually the easier part. Getting the engine to behave close enough to stock on things like a stable engine idle and starting from cold so that the car is good enough for daily driving is the tougher part. Let's face it, unless your car is a full time kereta perang (track only race car) and transported to the race track on a truck all these things which we take for granted matter a lot. Nobody wants to have to start their daily driver multiple times just to get the engine running cleanly. Or having to crank the engine forever just to get it to start. Or wait in the hot sun for 5-10 minutes till the engine reaches optimum operating temps before being able to turn on the air-conditioning. That's why piggyback controllers are so popular. Let the stock ECU where thousands of man hours have been spent perfecting the idle and start to control these while the piggyback controls only the fuel and for some the ignition timing.

However piggyback controllers are mostly limited by what your stock ECU can achieve and was never going to cut it on an engine build to make three and more times the power than stock and with equivalent larger capacity fuel injectors and fuel pump. With popular cars like the Mitsubishi Evo, there are lots of players and the body of knowledge is immense in the market so finding a suitable map is much easier with many people sharing their data. With the Shark nobody has yet fitted a fully programmable ECU and mapped the QG engine so we are essentially starting from point zero. This is where the skill of the tuner installing and mapping ECU is very important and IMHO in Bolehland and South East Asia, Toby Lee can be considered one of the best. Having a decent ECU like the Autronic SM4 helps too :)

The Shark initially had perfect manners when I first collected it but after close to 3000km of run-in the engine had developed some quirks. Quirks include occasionally having to start the engine 3-5 times before it could idle especially when cold. Upon start up the revs would go up but the engine would stall once the revs dropped. The idle would also occasionally hunt a bit especially on hot days. Toby has managed to eliminate most of the quirkiness with a recent remap when the Shark visited GT Auto recently. I'll let the following two videos do the talking. Enjoy..

Start and Idle 1

Start and Idle 2 - When engine is really cold

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Dyno Run Video

Some of you have been asking me how Sharkie sounds like. Well, here's a very recent dyno run when I visited GT Auto to service the Shark and tidy up the start and idle mapping (more on that later). What is most impressive is the Shark had just done a 330+ km trip from Penang to GT Auto just before the dyno run. It was literally drive from Penang down south, stopping @ Tapah for a bio break, Sungai Buloh for lunch and then straight to Bandar Sunway and GT Auto traffic jam and all. Oh, and eat a few pesky cars for brunch till the speed limiter (sorry wife) kicked in.

The Shark getting prep for the dyno run.

The video of run #2. Power's down due to heat soak and a bloody hot day. Even then it's 295hp at the wheels. Remember to switch resolution to 720p. Video courtesy of Bro Peter.

Run #3 was a tad down from run #2 netting ~293whp so we decided to call it a day.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Whiteline Front Anti-Roll/Sway Bar Link Kit

I am currently in process of upgrading the the entire front lower arm, subframe and anti-roll bar assembly for the Shark which have seen better days in the more than 95 thousand km travelled. First part to arrive is the Whiteline Front Anti-Roll/Sway Bar Link Kit, part number W23188. Interestingly Whiteline quotes the same part number from Nissan N13 to N16 and also the Mitsubishi Galant HG, HH VR4 AWD. The part was ordered from Whiteline's wholesale distributor in Singapore & Malaysia - SP Line Trading. The contact for SP Line Trading is Simon Oh. You can get the full contact for Simon and other dealers from Whiteline's website. Simon was very responsive on my emails and with good follow up till delivery. Unfortunately he got my addresse a tad wrong for the delivery. "Lorong" became "Jalan". Luckily the courier had my contact number and I resolved the address slip and took delivery after bout a week later than expected. No big issue.

Picture of the anti-roll bar (ARB) link kit/assembly in its packaging. Cost me bout 350 moolahs including courier delivery cost.

Contents of the packaging. My first expression was OhmyGawd! Bling red coloured ball joints! Luckily this was only the plastic cover for the ball joints which need to be removed before assembly. Nice piece of quality from Whiteline.

Close up of the components of one side of the arb link.

This is what the the link is and where it goes in the whole scheme of the front suspension if you have no idea what I am referring to. Drawing is from a USDM Nissan Sentra B15 technical service manual.

The link assembly is exactly the same as stock except the use of better materials for the bushes/joints. A ball joint with rubber cap/seal is used for the anti-roll bar end while the end that bolts to the front lower arm makes do with Synthetic Elastomer bushes which are much stiffer than the stock mushy rubber ones yet allowing for the correct articulation of movement required from the front anti-roll bar without binding. Thank you Whiteline for specifying black coloured bushes which are much better aesthetically (to my eyes) than the yellow bushes Whiteline typically uses for its arb kits. This should definitely improve and quicken the feel/action of the front anti-roll bar.

Can't wait to install the Whiteline Front Anti-Roll/Sway Bar Link Kit. Need to grow some more money trees though as I also need to get a pair of new front lower arms first. Also even more money for the Superpro bushes to go with the arms. Then there's also delrin or aluminium bushes for the front crossmember. And maybe PU bushes for the front arb mounts. It's a bottomless pit...

Stop Press: Simon whatsapped me to follow up on the delivery of the arb link kit and gave me some juicy info:
  1. Whiteline and Superpro are competitors. This means Whiteline bushes are not going to be made by Superpro and neither are they the same material.
  2. Whiteline uses a material called Synthetic Elastomer for it's bushes and not polyurethane (PU). Whiteline details the advantages of Synthetic Elastomer versus PU on it's website. Major advantage apparently is less/no noise/squeak and less/no greasing required. Guess this answers my own doubt on why white lithium grease in a sachet is not supplied with the bushes as per norm. Cause the bushes are not PU! Technology has moved on and I need to do more reading...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Engine - Latest Spec

Here's the latest glam shot of the Shark's engine bay.

What is in the picture above engine wise as of today and as far as I can remember:
  • Ross custom forged pistons 
  • K1 Technologies custom H-beam connecting rods with ARP 2000 rod bolts
  • ARP 2000 head bolts 
  • ARP 8740 chromoly main bolts 
  • Ajusa MLS head gasket
  • GT Auto custom fuel rail with AN-6 fuel lines 
  • Deatschwerks 600cc fuel injectors 
  • Turbosmart FPR-800 fuel pressure regulator with mechanical fuel gauge
  • GT Auto custom oil catch tank modified for AN-8 fittings and lines 
  • Denso Iridium Power spark plugs 
  • Nissan latest generation ignition coils 
  • Tonnka full stainless custom turbo manifold and downpipe with Ceramico thermal dispersant coating
  • ARP 300 series stainless steel stud kit for exhaust/turbo manifold
  • Borg Warner EFR6258 turbine 
  • Full-Race Motorsports EFR BOV cover
  • GCG Downpipe full stainless V-Band Flange 
  • Design Engineering (DEI) Titanium Turbo Shield turbo blanket
  • Tonnka full stainless turbo inlet piping 
  • Turbosmart Murray Constant Tension Clamps (2.500"-3.375")
  • Earl's non-asbestos flame guard insulation hose sleeving 
  • Turbonetics Spearco intercooler
  • Sikky Manufacturing Thermalnator high temperature shielding gasket for inlet manifold
  • K&N X-Stream open pod air filter
  • Mishimoto 36mm dual core aluminium radiator 
  • 12" SPAL radiator and aircond fans 
  • Samco silicone radiator and turbo piping hoses 
  • Nismo radiator cap
  • Nismo oil filler cap
  • KICS Project magnetic drain bolt
  • AEM Water/Methanol Injection Kit with filter.
  • Autronic SM4 ECU running on MAP for airflow sensor with stock mass airflow sensor deleted
  • Innovate Motorsports LC-1 wideband air fuel ratio sensor/controller 

With the engine more or less sorted the focus will now be more towards the suspension, chassis and removing flab. All the power is useless if you can't get the car to handle.