Sunday, September 22, 2013


"Mad!" said a Bro. "It's just a bracket!" exclaimed another Bro. "Like you only know Saw today" responded yet another Bro. Wife just knowingly smiles having coped with me all these years. She came home from work one late evening to find me at the kitchen basin sanding away (more on that later). I don't know what fellow readers of The N16 Files think of this article but I'll like to nicely call this "Obsessively Compulsive Bracketry".

Picture below of the mild steel bracket fabricated by GT Auto for my Turbosmart FPR-800 fuel pressure regulator.
The bracket itself

The more I looked at my fpr the more the familiar niggling feeling to replace the bracket grew stronger. Not up to my standardlah! I also took the opportunity to replace the crappy bracket for my ICE power supply cable. Picture below of the bracket.

Took both brackets to Bro Jack's chief engineer Ah Tiong who promptly fabricated for me some aluminium equivalents.

Here's how the new aluminium fpr bracket compares to the original mild steel version. Besides looking better the new brackets being aluminium are also lighter. The fpr bracket for instance weighs half the original mild steel bracket despite being thicker and without the additional "lightening" holes.

The new brackets still look unfinished so I bought a range of sandpaper to personally finish. Ain't no one gonna do the finishing for you as this takes a lot of time and if someone tried to make some money from all the hard labour frankly you ain't gonna pay. Besides I haven't done any personal sanding/finishing since SP days so consider this good practice.

Make sure you get the sandpaper fit for wet sanding. Started with 80 grit. The sanding removed the dull grey coloured corrosion protective coating but frankly I'm not concerned as the brackets are used at a location where there is very little risk of corrosion. Worse case can remove for some light re-finish after every six months or so. Picture below of the fpr bracket after 180 grit.

The higher grit you go the shinier the surface finish. I stopped at 400 grit as I prefer a satin matt look.

Pictures of the brackets installed.

Closer up of the fpr bracket installed.

The results are well worth it  if you ask me. Only cost me like RM30 to get the brackets fabricated. Add sandpaper cost and a couple hours of my own hard labour. I did check on cf equivalents but the cost will be exponentially more. Oh, and all fasteners are lightweight aluminium from Pro-Bolt. For a fraction of the fastener cost, you can use local stainless steel equivalents. Am now thinking if I should replace my oil catch tank mounting bracket or the entire oil catch tank itself. More (brackets) to follow for sure...

Stop Press! With some new fasteners from Pro-Bolt :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hellaflush Yo! Part 2

I test fitted one side of the rear as requested by BC Racing NA whom are coming up with a solution. Pictures below of my rear BR vs ER. The ER is already adjusted to max (tallest) height while I believe there is still some room left on the BR.

Measurements revealed the following:
  • My rear BC Racing BRs are currently set at about 645mm which is about 10mm (0.4") lower than stock.
  • The rear ERs at tallest height adjustment will give me a 620mm ride height which is 35mm or ~1.4" lower than stock. 
  • This means that both the front and rear ERs at tallest height adjustment will give a ride height ~35-36mm or 1.4" lower than stock at both ends. 

Picture of the rear right hand side with ER coilover damper and wheel installed. 

From a higher angle. 

More to follow once I hopefully have an update. BC Racing NA have been helpful unlike the vendor where I bought my ERs from.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hellaflush Yo!

I mentioned that my BC Racing ER coilover dampers were probably too short in a previous post. The response I got from BC Racing was " the height isn't dependent on the spring, as I am sure you are aware of. The Swift spring we utilized, was the proper spring required for a standard ER Sentra requirement". Checking BC Racing Taiwan's website revealed they now have a listing for the Sentra. Front spring length is stated as 160mm and rear 180mm. Joe from 2J Racing emailed me "This is the correct size for the ERs".

So I ate humble pie and installed the ER front coilover with the height adjusted at tallest setting. Can't go any higher as the remote reservoir tube was at the end of it's travel on the lower body.

Pictures below of the Shark with the ERs installed in front only. Installed both sides and took Sharkie for a short drive to be sure.

Only one Andrew Saw finger could go in the gap between the top of the tyre and the bottom of the wheel arch. Sure does look good and fierce though. Now compare this with my BC Racing BRs fitted.

Close to three of Andrew Saw's fingers can fit in the gap. So who's correct in his original assumption now? With the measuring tape I had the following:
  • My front BC Racing BRs are currently set at 645mm (measured from the bottom of the wheel arch to ground) which is bout 19mm or 0.8" lower than stock (664mm per Nissan Sentra B15 USDM Technical Manual)
  • The front ERs at the tallest height adjustment is only 628mm which is 36mm or 1.4" lower than stock
  • And I haven't even fitted the rear ERs yet. Lost my motivation at this point to continue with the install. 

Comparing my front BR with the ER shows that the ER is shorter by quite a bit. Going to taller springs ain't gonna help if the damper body/piston is too short. 

Had to pay close to two hundred ringgit on install labour and alignment job just to prove my assumption is correct. To make matters worse such a low ride height is impractical for daily driving. I doubt I can clear multi-story car parks or even the large speed bumps where I work with more one or more passenger on board (not sure if it'll even clear with only me on board). I haven't even talked about the possible impact to the suspension geometry and handling with regards to roll centre and bumpsteer. You can read up more on why lowering your Slowtra more than 25mm (1") makes it a Super Slowertra @ MotoIQ's excellent article.

The 36mm lower ride height was measured after taking the car for a short drive (a couple km). I would expect a tiny bit of spring sag even with Swift springs which means I might even end up a couple mm lower than 36mm after a couple thousand km. 

I have now paid a lot and more of my hard earned money on shocks I can't daily drive that will worsen the handling unless I spend even more money by buying parts to correct the screwed suspension geometry. On top of this Bro Wallance whom has reserved and paid a deposit for my BR shocks can't collect them as I'm still on the BRs. Really really sorry Bro. Emailing BC NA with the problem resulted in the following response after a week and more than one reminder email "They just told me that they make the ERs lower than the BRs generally and that is due to the design of the reservoir". Mind you none of this was mentioned to me when I ordered my ERs from Joe/2J Racing. I even mentioned the ride height I wanted more than once. I am now hoping and waiting for BC NA, Taiwan, Joe? for a solution soon failing which I will demand a full refund as the mistake is not from my end.