Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dietary Supplements - Organization

Over the years I've accumulated quite a bit of spare lightweight fasteners as a result of a habit of always buying extras just in case. Till recently these (the spares) were all still in original packaging in a plastic bag. Which is a pain every time I want to find a particular bolt, etc. as I had to empty out the entire plastic bag unless I got lucky and find what I want on top of the pile.

As the plastic bag was getting more and more full over time I decided to get organized. Found this general purpose organization plastic box with convertible compartments over @ Ace Hardware and bought one. Cost was MYR 44.90. Below's the end result.

If you're wondering what's that funky yellow coloured thingy in the picture above, it's a very handy tool from Pro-Bolt to measure size of fastener including thread pitch. Tool comes foc with purchases over 20 or 30 GBP once upon a time. I'm not sure if the offer is still valid currently.

Pro-Bolt also sell similar organization boxes but cost will be higher when you add shipping. I might be tempted to go the Pro-Bolt route one day..

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Nissan Bluebird Sylphy A-Pillar Garnish/Cover Confusion

6 different part numbers just for an A-pillar garnish (one side only)? What were Nissan thinking about? Picture below of the different part numbers.

In case you're wondering which part I am talking about it's the below in red rectangle top right hand corner.

Some keyboard surfing/research led me to the following. I am not sure how accurate as the information is from purely Googling.

Some of you might remember from my ICE days I had my stock pillar cover cut-up and rewrapped to accomodate the tweeter for my Focal K2P speakers. I am planning to totally de-ICE Sharkie hence looking for replacement a-pillar covers and some JDM ones would be nice. Problem is which part number is the closest to our MYDM Slowtra? Does anybody know? Am not partial to QG or TG10 covers with or without the tweeter cover so long as trim colour and shade is closest to Sharkie's stock pillar covers. Does anyone out there also know what is the trim colour for a MYDM N16 pillar cover/garnish?

Monday, June 16, 2014

J's Racing GT Wing Cover

J's Racing normally makes speed parts only for Hondas but in this case their GT Wing Cover would make a useful addition to protect the GTC-200 from the weather elements (UV from the sun, dust and of course rain). The cover is made from polyester with 3 layers of coating on the surface for waterproofing. A fleece like material is attached on the inner side of the cover to balance the durability and air permeability. The cover fits most wings up to 1600mm wide so is perfect for the GTC-200.

I  bought my cover from RHD Japan. Cost including shipping came up to 10,143 Japanese Yen. Picture below of the cover in its packaging. Part number is DGW-C2.

The inner side. The black plastic thingy helps secure the cover.

The J's Racing GT Wing Cover where it belongs covering the APR GTC-200 to protect it from the weather elements.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Functional Bling - APR GTC-200 Adjustable Wing Installed

Decided I was going to install the APR wing at the paint shop itself rather than drive home first then install just in case there were install issues which proved a sound decision (more on this below). Picture below of the monster @ the paint shop awaiting it's wing job.

Sharkie was gleaming so much I just had to take a second photo shot.

The painter (Ah Siang, Advancetech) did an excellent job. He even gave all of Sharkie a good polish. Here's how Sharkie's uplifted butt errr boot lid looks like.

Holes drilled on the inner frame. The holes are required to clear the socket wrenches used to tighten the nuts to the wing base studs. While the quality of the external paint work is top notch this (internal paint/drill job) is just passable to me. While the timeless adage "what you don't see doesn't matter that much" applies to many people it does to me. Feedback given to Ah Siang.

My APR GTC-200 sitting on one of the handy rubber lined stands Ah Siang has for installing and prepping bodywork parts. The stand is very handy for any work to be done on the wing and minimizes any risk of scratches/contact marks from clumsy people like me.

So now all that's left is to install the wing, badges/emblems and number plates. The badges are a no brainer. The wing install is where the problem starts. If you observe then measure the N16 FL1 and 2's boot lid really carefully you will notice that it is slightly curved in two orientations towards the rear and outer side edges. Because I specified for the wing base plates to be as close to the rear edge of the boot lid  to maximize aero effect and for the mounts wider apart (38" vs 29.5" for a std universal GTC-200) for personal aesthetic preference, the two rear pedestal bases on each side would not sit flush with the boot lid on the rear and outer edges. Using the carbon plates I had cut as the base actually worsen the effect as cf is stiff and not flexible/pliable. Big big bummer!!!!

After taking most of the morning and installing and removing the wing a couple times, me and Tao held up our hands and asked for help from Ah Siang. It took just a couple hits from the mallet of Ah Siang's panel beater for the pedestal bases to sit perfectly flush. The advice was to use the cf plates I had cut used as reinforcement on the bottom surface of the boot lid to help provide additional support by spreading the load on the boot lid. Next time, don't be a smart alec and ask the pros first.

Proceeded with the installation and all the pedestal mount bases sit flush with the boot lid now.

Close up on the carbon weave. Build quality is as good as it gets!

I set the wing @ 0 Angle of Attack (AOA) using the latest EAM (Eyeballing Aided Measurement) method. Need to get APR's wing angle indicator tool for a precise set up. Even @ 0 AOA the GTC-200 from APR's CFD data is expected to generate 78.5 lbs (35.7 kg) of downforce at the expense of only 8.4 lbs (3.8kg) of drag @ 80 mph (128 km/h). This rises to 123.4 lbs of downforce (56.1 kg) and 12.5 lbs (5.7kg) of drag @ 100 mp/h or 160 km/h. This is akin to having a slim adult woman sit on your boot at 160 km/h with much less drag of course so the effect is more than just aesthetics. Anyway here's how the wing looks like installed.

Aesthetically IMHO, the GTC-200 can look Beng or fierce depending on personal preference and which angle you look at it. Also, from the pictures the GTC-200 might actually look wider than the car but it isn't. Total span including side plates came up to 1550mm/155cm or 61.0236". Diagram below depicts the N16's dimensions including total width which is 169.5cm.

I might try the optional Gurney Flap for additional downforce later as per picture below. Picture courtesy of EAS. Might also try different shape sideplates if and when budget allows.

APR also sell a riser that will raise the installed height on the GTC-200 an additional 2.5" (63.5mm) as per picture above if the standard height is insufficient. I doubt I will be trying that unless Sharkie becomes a pro TA/track car like Mike Kojima's Dog 3. Pictures from the man himself below.

I will definitely need a proper front splitter and a rear diffuser to balance out the aero. The development never stops.

Monday, June 9, 2014

New Gearbox Upgrade Project

This was never part of this year's mod plans but when an opportunity arises one doesn't think twice. Out of the blue I was notified by Bro Wallance that he possibly had a RS5F70A gearbox in possession. The pictures from Wallance confirmed this was indeed the 70A gearbox which is as you know pretty rare in this part of the world. Paid for the gearbox prompto and Wallance even helped deliver it. Thanks Bro. Gearbox had to be disassembled from the (QG18DE) engine it was mated to and Ah Tiong did the job.

BTW, if you ever wondered how Nissan designates its gearbox/trannies this is how it goes. The first two letters of "RS5F70A" indicate shifter location and "RS" means " Rear Shift". The "5" is pretty simple and means 5 forward gears. Please don't ask me why reverse gear is not counted. The "F" means "Front wheel drive" while "70" refers to the gear stack code. The last letter refers to the differential type. "A" is for open, "V" for viscous limited slip differential and "H" is for helical LSD type. Learned this from MotoIQ.

Pictures below of the 70A gearbox I bought.

Great condition eh? Certainly much better than the original from half-cut shop condition of my current 70A. There is minimal corrosion on the casing and even the fasteners look close to factory new!

So why another RS5F70A? As you know my current gearbox apart from the Nismo LSD has bone stock internals and is near or at it's durability/strength limit at my current engine torque and power levels. The plan therefore is to strengthen the stock gearbox internals. Nothing mega serious like straight cut gears with dog shifters or anything like that so please don't believe Jack :)

I however plan to disassemble the gearbox and send the gears, synchros, shift rods and forks, input shafts, final drive/ring gear and countershaft to the US for the following:

  1. Cryo treatment
  2. Shot peening 
  3. WPC treatment
The upgraded internals will then be send back to Bolehland for reassembly. 

The above treatments will hopefully increase the strength of the gearbox by 20-30% as well as reduce internal friction. The reduced internal friction will help keep the gearbox oil fresh longer as well as lower internal operating temperatures. Got poisoned by the excellent article @ MotoIQ. This sounds like a lot of work and money for the relatively small upgrade in strength and durability but please remember to check the price of a decent dog gearset and availability for the RS5F70A not to mention the major exponential increase in NVH. 

I'll update further in due time as we move along the project path which will take a couple months. As usual, please be patient. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Plastic Surgery

Apart from installing the APR GTC-200 I decided to send Sharkie in for the now customary every 2 years or so front end beautification job. As usual Sharkie's front bumper, grille and bonnet are littered with lots of road gravel rash and love bites aka stone chips. The beautification job this round is more extensive and consists of the following:

  1. Repaint Sharkie's bonnet, grille and bumper 
  2. Remove current boot lid, drill holes on the new boot lid I bought, paint it and install
  3. Realign the rear doors. The rear doors are slightly out of alignment and the bottom edge will contact the side skirts. This problem has been there since day one. Problem does not affect opening/closing of the door but over time the contact will rub off the paint causing rust on the door's bottom edge and rust stains/wear on the top of the sideskirts. Bummer Bolehland CKD build quality.
  4. Recondition the headlights.
Badges/emblems for the new boot lid. 

Bought the Nissan round emblem from Japan. The brand new ones avail here are from Taiwan and appear to have less depth and finish quality than the stock 8 year old emblem on Sharkie. Part numbers for both Taiwan and JDM are the same. I did not have time to take a piccie of the Taiwanese emblem as I had to return it immediately to the local supplier to get a refund. Pix of the JDM Nissan round emblem. Quality is top notch!

Picture below of the new boot lid fitted. Says "Made in Japan" on the label. 

Part number of the boot lid. Pardon the dust. Ah.... Ahchoo!!!

Holes to mount the APR GTC-200 drilled. There are 4 holes per side, 8 total. 

The new painter doing Sharkie's current beautification work is an official panel repair workshop for Honda, BMW, Subaru, etc. over BM area and is IMHO very professional. Everything gets removed for the actual painting and no on-the car paint job which can lead to all the overspray sh*t.

I was thinking to replace Sharkie's headlights but Ah Siang (the paint shop boss) suggested reconditioning and re-clear coating the headlights. Many headlight reconditioning jobs while removing the yellowing and blurring on the headlights also remove the protective clear coating hence the reconditioned headlights will start to yellow again in no time. Bout as fast as a week if you frequently park your car under the sun. Trust me as I learned the hard way. 

Picture below of the reconditioned headlights. Pardon the poor picture quality. Was really dark and I was in a hurry so just took a quick pix of the reconditioned headlights in Sharkie's boot. Not as good as brand new but certainly better than before. Problem is some of the yellowing is on the inside surface of the headlight housing and nothing can be done about that. Will do for the time being as a brand new set of headlights will cost 1.4K or more.

Pix of Sharkie sans bumper, grille, bonnet and headlights. 

Just need to finish painting and re-install/install everything back including the APR wing. Soon..