Sunday, October 29, 2006

Tein Super Street Damper Groans!!

My Teins are producing a groaning sound when it goes over "sleeping policemen" (speed humps/breakers). Darn it! It has only been 2 months old and it's making noises?? What the .....!!


Did some asking around via Skyline owners in Australia and they suggested spraying WD-40 to rid of the sound. I tried that and it seems to work BUT only for a day or two. The sound re-appeared back soon after.

Initially, I noticed the sound comes from both the front and rear but after the WD-40 treatment, seem the sound has now been isolated to the rears only. Ok, I had enough and decided to lodge a complaint with the sole distributor of Teins in Malaysia. Hey afterall it comes with 1 year warranty.....

Pic 1: ER34 in a garage filled with mean cars. Two EK9 (one race and one street), an Evo 7 and a Toyota Aristo Twin Turbo. Gulp!

Anyway, took the car in for inspection and to my surprise, they took off both rear shocks and pry it open to bits, literally! Everything was dismantled to pieces!

Pic 2: The dampers were separated from the springs and pillow ball mounts.

Firstly, the springs and pillow ball mounts were separated from the dampers. The dampers were then taken apart piece by piece. Every bolt, nut, washer, etc.... was cleaned via "Motul Parts Cleaner". This means in the process, the gas in the tubes will be released and the 'damping liquid' will have to be poured out.

All parts were cleaned and re-used except for the pistons where new units were replaced. The whole procedure of 'servicing' the dampers were no less impressive. It's done in a clean room, torque wrenches were used, and the 'damping liquid/oil' were measured and topped up before putting it back in. Oh yes, so were the gas of course.

Pic 3: The dampers were take apart to bits!

After all the parts were put back together, it's installed back into the ER34 and my setting of 20 clicks at the rear were dialed in. A drive over a couple of speed breakers around the block confirms that all are A-Ok.

Woohoo. The Teins no longer groans!! (Fingers crossed my fronts stay quiet else will have to go through the whole process again!)

Side note: While servicing me dampers, there were a Toyota Vios in the same garage with an impressive array of interior gadgets. It has 6 HKS meters, an Apexi RSM, Apexi Turbo Timer, an air-fuel controller and Tein EDFC controller. Wow, that's a lot of meters for a Vios.

I asked the owner aren't he afraid that someone will flick his meters??

The reply was kinda funny......

He mentioned he doesn't drive the car to work and only used it occasionally. He would ride a motorcycle to work everyday and if he were to use the car, he's even prepared to pay RM50.00 (USD 14.00) for an extremely safe parking lot. Slavery to the car? Hehehehehe

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Rekindling Frasiers Hill in the ER34

Well, it has been like a year since I last went up to Frasiers Hill. This hill resort in Pahang is nicely tucked away from Kuala Lumpur in the neighbouring state of Pahang.

The best part is the route to the resort. To and fro one would clock in around 220km of pure twisting B roads. This has been my favourite driving route for the past 5 years and many more to come. :P

Pic 1: The Group

Anyway, got together some of my friends for the trek uphill. Admist the DeepaRaya holidays, one can be assured that the roads will be relatively void of many vehicles.

We met up at 7:30am sharp at a local petrol kiosk for the convoy up. Leaving
at 8:00am, the planned route as are below:-

Batu Caves - Ulu Yam - Kuala Kubu Baru - Batang Kali - The Gap - Frasiers Hill

All my previous drive up Frasiers Hill has been with a group of cars of the same make and model. This time round, it's a myriad of vehicles. I got together a Subaru Impreza WRX STi V-Limited (Version 8), an E60 BMW 525i, a Proton Satria GTi and three units of Proton Perdana V6 (2 manuals and 1 automatic transmission).

Pic 2: The trek up the twisty hill

The planned pace was 6th tenth to be lead by me. But I think we were doing more like 8th tenth all the way up. Sorry guys, can't help it.:P

Anyway, the road was pretty clear and the guys have all been through the route before. No first timers thus can push it up a 'lil bit more. Even so, I left some room for error as myself are still not too familar with driving hard in a RWD. Most second gear corners in The Gap are accompanied by the rear stepping out slightly and the TCS doing it's job to tuck it back in.

We reached the top of Frasiers Hill around 9:00am where we had our breakfast at the local "mamak" stall. Food wasn't that great but we don't have much choice though as most outlets are closed during the holidays. Tales of crazy corners and mad overtaking manouvers are shared excitedly.

Pic 3: Pit stop at The Gap Rest House

After our breakfast we head back downhill and stopped at The Gap Rest House for some chit-chat session before driving back to Kuala Lumpur. Yes, tales of crazy corners and mad overtaking manouvers are shared excitedly again!

We back tracked the way back to Kuala Lumpur and reach the city around lunch time where we head to Jalan Imbi for our lunch. Whats on the menu? Bak Kut Teh!!! Hehehehe........yes tales of crazy corners and mad overtaking manouvers are shared excitedly yet again! Hahahahaha

Pic 4: The Sti ran out of water for the intercooler water spray system.

Overall, it's a nice day spent on driving and sharing it all with a group of like minded car enthusiasts.

Can't wait to do it all over again!!!
Thanks Jason Chan (and gf!), Jason Yap, Mun Kit, Eric Tai, Allen Tan and Alex Yue for the great company & drive.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Blood change for the DeepaRaya long holidays

Well, next week is the long holidays in conjunction with the Hari Raya and Deepavali celebration. My company will be closed from 23rd October till 27th October 2006.

As most of business will be closed for the holidays, I've decided to get new blood for the ER34 in anticipation of a pre-dawn blast to my hometown in Ipoh and also to have a bit of fun in deserted Kuala Lumpur city when I'm back mid week.

Went to my usual mechanic for oil filter and oil change. As usual I used Q8 Formula F1 10W-50 with original Nissan oil filter (Part No. 15208-53J00). At 45,500km, it's just nice as my last service was at 40,000km.

With new blood on, car feels much better.............. :)

Friday, October 13, 2006

2008 Nissan Skyline GT-R

Pic 1: GT-R Proto unveiled in 2006

The GT-R Proto concept was first unveiled in the 2006 Tokyo Auto Show. It gave a pretty good hint at the eventual production car. I loved those headlights in carbon fibre housing and those carbon fibre front lips.

Pic 2: Production trim GT-R

The production unit was caught testing on the famous Nürburgring test track in Germany recently. The car sounds like it has a twin-turbo V6 under its hood. The 3.8-liter engine will be fed through a front mount intercooler and make at least 450 horsepower. Goodbye to the legendary RB series engines....... *sob*

Pic 3: Production trim GT-R

It is also rumored that the GT-R will sport a quick shifting sequential manual or a full-blown automatic. Most probably a seven-speed paddle-shifted gearbox.

In true GT-R tradition, it will have rear-biased all-wheel-drive system and the rear twin stove lights will remain. *thumbs up*

Pic 4: Production trim GT-R

Nissan isn't planning on showing the finished car until the 2007 Tokyo Auto Show. Sales in Japan should begin shortly thereafter, with U.S. deliveries beginning in the spring of 2008. This GT-R is set to be sold worldwide! Looks like the GT-R is gonna be shared with the world instead of being a Japan Domestic Model like it used to be (minus the 100 units of Australian delivered BNR32).

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Skyline fetish in Bangkok.

Pic 1: Bangkok city

I was in Bangkok from the 4th September 2006 till the 2nd October 2006. I landed in Bangkok International Suvarnabhumi Airport (the new International Airport that replaces Don Muang) on the 29th September '06; i.e. the second day of its opening.

Admist news report of it being highly haunted, it looks the business too. The lights were gloomy and dim. It really had to be better lit like Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). I see neither ghost nor ghouls though.

My trip to Bangkok is also admist the current take over of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's control of the nation by coup leader General Sonthi Boonyaratglin. General Sonthi was backed by the King and the people. I was actually looking forward to see and snap some pictures of tanks in the street. I got a cabby to send to me areas where the tanks are stationed, generally government houses and/or buildings. It was rather unfortunate that the areas no longer have tanks when I reach there. They have already moved out. How unfortunate. :(

Pic 2: Hummer and an army truck in World Trade Centre

BUT I did manage to see a Hummer and some military trucks. Oh well better than nuttin'.

On the day that I left, i.e Monday, I was in for a shock on how the people of the Kingdom respect their leaders. Yellow is for Mondays, and Monday was the day on which His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej was born. This year, 2006, marks the sixtieth anniversary of the king’s ascension to the thrown. He’s the world's longest-serving monarch. Because of the anniversary, yellow shirts are worn by Thais each Monday as a sign of loyalty and respect for His Majesty.

Some wore blue – the queen’s color.

I also visited one of the coolest restaurant/bar that I have ever been to. Check out the pictures of The Dome/Sirocco atop the State Tower.

Pic 3: The Dome on top of State Tower

Pic 4: Sirocco Bar on top of State Tower

Pic 5: The view from Sirocco Bar

A Skyline Freak in Bangkok
I was constantly on the lookout for any Skylines prowling the streets of Bangkok but alas! There's not a single unit that came to my view. Even in posh Siam Square all I see are Audi TT, Mercedes Benz SLK200 and the occasional Subaru Impreza WRX. Boooring.........
Oh but there's quite a bit of modded Nissan Cefiro (A31).

Anyway, while shopping around I came across a die-cast model of the BNR34. Cool! It's available in 6 colours. I really can't decide which colour should I pick to add to my collection of MANY, MANY, MANY die-cast models of the Skyline. :P (from Kyosho, Autoart and TOMY)

In the end? Hell, I bought all 6 colours that it came with. Hahahahaha

Pic 6: BNR34 die-cast models

Pic 7: BNR34 die-cast models

I also come across a fridge magnet of the BNR34 in Suam Lum Night Bazaar. As it does not look too convincing, I decided to give it a skip. The next day, in Jatujak Weekend Market I saw the same thing for sale. Hmmmmmm....should I or should I not???

Pic 8: BNR34 handmade fridge magnet

Oh to hell with it. Ugly looking is one thing but this is a handmade BNR34 fridge magnet. Buy first, think later. :P

So in the end, besides clothes I got myself 6 die-cast models of the Skyline and one fridge magnet. Hehehehe

Dude, where's my car!!
Well upon my return to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia near midnite on the 2nd October 2006, I went up to my ER34 and lo and car is gone from my parking lot! :O

I was in shock and with both hands on my head, I exclaimed, ”Shit! Where's my car!!!!" Panicked like mad and face turning whitish, I scan around the carpark compound and my car is not around anywhere!
Ok.......ok........ calm myself down and took another look around.............Phew..........finally I saw a white nose peeking out in the corner of the carpark blocked by a Nissan Serena MPV. Walk towards it and with a huge sign of relief, my ER34 is nicely tucked in the corner. Subsequent checks reveal that my dad actually drove the car to another lot.

Boy, what a scare!!!
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