Sunday, July 28, 2013

Nismo Exhaust Hangers

Seized the opportunity to upgrade Sharkie's exhaust hangers when I found out Nismo made equivalents in solid rubber. Those of you who know me from my SP days will know that I upgraded SP's exhaust hangers to Ralliart Group N items which are not solid but made from higher durometer (stiffer) rubber. The stiffer exhaust hangers prevent the exhaust from moving too much under hard acceleration and deceleration/braking leading to long term stress related failures and cracks. The stock exhaust hangers are too soft, come with big cut outs than contribute to even more softness and degrade and get worse over time.

Diagram below show's the N16/B15's exhaust hangers. 4 exhaust hangers are used and there are 2 types/shapes of exhaust hangers but I know Nismo only make one version which is the same as the exhaust hangers used for the rear muffler - in red rectangles in the picture below.

I bought 3 Nismo exhaust hangers. One is for spare. Part number is 20651-RS230. Each hanger costs 1000 yen or RM 32+ or so depending on the MYR to Yen exchange rate. Don't forget to add shipping which came up to 1920 yen for me via EMS air freight. Got my Nismo exhaust hangers from IRS Japan.

Picture of the Nismo exhaust hanger.

Mounted on Sharkie. The rear exhaust hanger is stock as Nismo does not make an equivalent. Notice the big cut out on the stock hanger.

The other side.

NVH is definitely worse than stock even with only 50% of Sharkie's exhaust hangers upgraded. Nothing more than an irritant with the occasional clutch chatter noise, exhaust growl, turbine whine, BOV release whoosh, tyre roar etc. :)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

BC Racing ER Series Coilover Dampers

When I blogged about the different model BC Racing coilover shocks available for the Nissan Sentra N16/B15 I left out their top range ER Series as that was initially not available for the Slowtra. However thanks to the efforts of 2J Racing in the US in collaboration with BC Racing North America (NA), the ER Series is now available for Slowtras. 2J Racing race a Sentra in the US so they know what they are doing. Here's a pix of their famed race car. If it looks a tad ghetto and worn that's because it's a real Race Car that gets whipped hard rather than sitting unused and constantly lovingly cleaned and polished for car shows.

Anyway back to topic. The ERs are not available off the shelf for the Sentra so had to be ordered from 2J Racing in the US. I also tried Daniel and BC Racing Bolehland previously but no luck :( Build time quoted by Joe from 2J Racing was bout 4 weeks but I ordered before that and yet the shocks arrived just the day before my flight home. Talk about "Just In Time" service. Pictures below of the shipping packaging. Total weight as stated in the shipping label including shocks, packaging, tools, everything is 53 lbs (24.1 kg).

A set of ERs cost bout 70% more than the BR in RH (top pillowball mount) configuration. This also means every damper gets its own box and there are 4 boxes inside the main shipping packaging.

The package contains:
  • 4 fully assembled ER Series coilover dampers with Swift linear rate metric springs
  • 2 adjustment wrenches and allen key for the bracket holding the remote reservoir
  • BC glamour plaque/badge
  • User manual written in not perfect Engrish but can still be understood (by me at least)
  • BC North America brochure

Opening up one of the damper boxes reveals the ER Series coilover damper.

I specified Swift springs which are bronze coloured rather than the standard black coloured BC Racing springs. Swift springs is actually the brand name for Tohatsu springs Japan founded way back in 1924. Swift springs are manufactured from a proprietary material designated "HS5. TW" rather than silicone chrome material used by majority of automotive suspension spring manufacturers. This advance alloy is stronger than silicone chrome which means Swift can make the spring wire thinner, wind the spring with fewer coils which decrease weight while increasing available stroke. In summary Swift claims to offer superior durability, stroke and most importantly to me weight savings and a more compliant ride. The Swift springs added another thousand or so ringgits to the cost which means my ERs now cost about double my BRs. I specified a 8 kg/mm front spring rate and 6 kg/mm for the rear. The spring diameter is also slightly larger at 65mm vs 62mm for stock BC Racing springs. Swift also make 60mm springs which should fit but I prefer bronze colour to blue :)

Picture of my ERs resting after the long flight home ;) Those springs sure look a bit short. More of that later.

The ER Series in BC Racing speak means "External Reservoir". This means every ER coilover damper features an external tube or reservoir for increased suspension fluid/oil capacity. The additional oil capacity reduces peak oil temperatures which decreases variations in damping rates due to oil viscosity  changes. In plain English this means the damper is able to operate consistently for a much longer period of time when compared to the BR Series. The external reservoir also house a secondary piston, which allows for compression and rebound damping adjustment to be independent or separated with compression damping adjustment via the remote reservoir and rebound damping adjustment via the main damper body. The separate adjustment of compression and rebound damping gives you more capability to fine tune the ride and handling of your car. ERs are monotube shocks btw. Do not confuse twin piston with twin tube.

Picture below of the front strut. Have not weight my ERs yet so can't comment how much heavier they are compared to the BR. Don't expect a lot of difference.

This knob adjusts the rebound damping. There is a 30-click adjustment range per BC but there are typically ~32 clicks. The knob is aluminium and centre stem steel. The upper top mount uses a Japan made pillowball (spherical) bearing.

The compression damping adjustment knob on the external reservoir. Same 30-click adjustment range. Interestingly this adjustment knob appears to be completely made of steel.

The rear damper. Like the BR series, the entire lower body/mount is aluminium.

LHS rear damper remote reservoir. Upper section of the reservoir (black colour) seems to be steel while lower part (gold coloured) is aluminium.

Shocks manufactured just this July. JIT remember?

The bump stop. Length of the bump stop is ~ 3.8cm or 1.5"

I specifically requested 200mm (8") spring length when I ordered my ERs but upon measuring, the front springs are only 152mm (6") in height while rears are 178mm (7"). WTF! Not sure if I will be able to achieve the ride height I want with with the shorter spring length/height. Sorry, "slammed" and "hellaflush" are not in my vocabulary. For daily driving duty Sharkie is only about 2 cm lower than stock and I wouldn't go more than 3cm. Will need to sort this out before I install the shocks. Patience Bro Wallance...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Nissan Sentra B15 Race Cars For Sale

Came across these trick Sentra B15 race cars for sale just recently. These are engineered and build by Le Mans and Daytona winning Multimatic Motorsports in the USA. The two 2002 Sentras also come with a substantial spares package. Original build cost was $200K USD (whadayya expect? these are professionally build race cars after all) but the whole package is offered at only $15K USD .today That's less than the cost of a Myvi 1.5!

Cars are for track only (full time kereta perang) and future extensive roll cage, fully stripped interiors, one-piece race seats, remote reservoir Dynamic suspension with Hyperco springs, ATL external fuel cell with quick refill filler necks, etc. No you can't use these cars on the road. Engine is a normally aspirated SR20DE. Further details can be found here. If only I live in the US. Sigh...

Friday, July 5, 2013

Full Circle - Back to Fog Light Covers

Decided to close up the two holes on The Shark's bumper where the fog lights used to reside but had to make way as the left hand side fog light was fouling the intercooler piping. While the holes initially looked fierce akin race cooling vents (who am I kidding?) after awhile I started to feel the holes looked "ghetto" or like Sharkie's bumper was incomplete. This niggling feeling did not go away so I decided to cover them up with fog light covers like a stock Slowtra SG trim.

Since I sold my original covers after fitting fog lights I had to buy back new ones from TC. Cost was not an insubstantial MYR 1XX for a pair without painting. If only I could read the future in 2007. Sigh.. Picture below of the fog light covers.

Painting cost me RM60 and install took bout 5 minutes for both covers as these just snap on to the bumper. No fouling issues as the cover is many times thinner (less depth) than a fog light.

Right hand side. Looks neater eh? I can argue the cover reduces aero drag and possibly lift ;)

Left hand side.

Wonder if anyone can replicate these in carbon fibre for me?