Friday, December 28, 2007

Faulty Alternator

Lately, the ER34 felt really funny. It requires more cranks to start her up and also the headunit would suddenly shut down as if power was cut. On top of that the volt reading was highly irregular. It fluctuates upon usage of the power window and drops to an unhealthy 10 volts whenever I used the flash.

Yes..... Skylines notoriously hate low power. The battery must be weak. The NS40ZL AC Delco Maintenance Free Battery was changed on the 4th January 2007. It couldn't have died less than a year! There must be something wrong with the battery.

I sent in the car for checks and the volt meter suggests that the alternator is not charging the battery fully. It registers only 12 volts where it should be reading 14 volts with the engine started. Looks like a replacement alternator is the only way to solve this problem.

New alternator are costly items, probably in the range of RM2,000 to RM3,000 a unit. That route is definitely out of the question. I need to source for a used alternator. The alternator on the R33 and R34 are supposedly the same thus it is so much easier to find a unit off the R33 than the R34. My appreciation and thanks to bro Emeraude3388 for sourcing an alternator off the BCNR33 (R33 GT-R) halfcut for me. :)

Pic 1: The ER34 Mitsubishi made alternator (Part No. 23100-0V016)

Pic 2: The BCNR33 Hitachi made alternator (Part No. 23100-0V010)

With the alternator on the ER34 removed, I noticed that it is made by Mitsubishi whereas the BCNR33 unit was made by Hitachi. Oh darn, two different manufacturers....... there must be some minute differences.

Sure enough, upon closer inspection, the pulley design is different BUT luckily the alternator belt is the same and fits snugly. The ER34 still requires a couple of extra cranks than usual to start and checks on the battery indicator suggest that it's weak. I'm left with 2 options, either to change to a new battery or to recharge the current one.

Pic 3: Note the diffrent pulleys. The pulley on the left belongs to the BCNR33 while the right pulley belongs to the ER34

Nowadays battery prices are sky high and changing to a new one is going to cost me. There has been at least 3 price hike in 2007. This is due to the rising price of lead. The lead price on the London Metal Exchange (LME) had shot up from US$1,600 (RM5,325.82) a metric tonne early this year to US$3,600 (RM11,983) in November 2007.

Fortunately my current battery is just weak and a recharge on the current battery would fix the problem. I took the battery out to be recharged at a regular workshop and it was working allright after a 4 hours charge. Yea it took that long, luckily bro sakakida kept me company via some parts ogling at speedshops and chop shops. :P

In case you are wondering, nope I did not procure anything at all. :D

Monday, December 24, 2007

R&R to Hatyai, Thailand

Pic 1: The Hatyai city view from my hotel room

Recently, I drove to Hatyai (หาดใหญ่), Thailand which is about 1,200 km to and fro from Kuala Lumpur. I took time off and had a 'lil bit of a rest and relax in the second biggest city in Thailand after Bangkok. Co-incidently at the time of my visit (14th - 16th Dec), it was during the birthday celebration of his Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej Rama IX. The Thai King is the world's longest serving monarch and had served 61 years on the throne.

Actually, the King celebrated his 80th birthday a week prior on 5th December 2008 and is celebrated amidst the nation worrying about his fragile health. The King has just recently undergone treatment in the hospital for inadequate blood flow to the brain.

Pic 2: A concert in the city to celebrate the King's birthday

Pic 3: Some display stands on the King's birthday

Pic 4: Some display stands on the King's birthday

Anyway, what about my trip in Hatyai?? Well, I did nothing much when I was there except to gobble up on the excellent local food and had small walks here and there in shopping malls. The food was of course excellent from beef noodles, fresh seafood, dim sum to fried chickens from street vendors.

I also drove to the Hat Yai Municipal Park located on Kanchanawanit Road approximately 6 kilometers from the city center on the Hat Yai-Songkhla Highway. Within the park, there is a statue of King Rama V that is enshrined at the foot of the hill near the aviary, a hill-top Brahman shrine and a jade statue of Guan-yin, the Chinese Goddess situated, at the southern foothill. I did my prayers and wished for a couple of blessings....... The roads at the hills within the park are indeed very touge like.

Oh btw, I did saw some interesting cars while I was there. Came across 2 quite extensively modded A31 Cefiros and also a Toyota TE72 thats modded to almost drift spec look alike.

Do check out some of the pics.......

Pic 5: Fried stuffs from street vendors

Pic 6: Setting off firecrackers at the 4-faced Buddha shrine

Pic 7: Narrow touge roads?

Pic 8: Hairpin turn!

Pic 9: Touge!

Pic 10: At the border town of Sadao...heading back to Malaysian soil

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Removal of "S K Y L I N E" & 25GTt emblem

Pic 1: The ER34 with the SKYLINE emblem

The rear of the ER34 comes with a row of emblem emphasising the model of the car. The "S K Y L I N E" emblem is not particularly ugly or unsightly but somehow I like a clean look on the rear of the car.

Thus I had the emblem AND also the 25GTt logo removed. I kinda like the way it looked now as compared with the emblems in place. Nice, clean, smooth and tidy.

This is the outcome of it. What do you think?

Pic 2: With the SKYLINE emblem removed

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Top 10: Dangerous cars (A BNR34?!?!?)

I recently read an article on UK's MSN Cars on the Top 10 most dangerous cars. Dan Trent, a motoring journalist wrote down his opinion of the Top 10 most dangerous cars on our roads. And his list goes like this....

1) AC Cobra
2) Mercedes 300SL Gullwing
3) Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34)
4) Porsche 911 GT2 (996)
5) Ferrari F40
6) Renault Clio V6
7) Lotus Carlton
8) Peugeot 205 GTI
9) Lamborghini Miura
10) TVR Tuscan S

You guessed what caught my eye. A BNR34 as one of the most dangerous cars? WTF!! This is what Dan wrote about the BNR34,

"Accepted wisdom has it that the Skyline is so high-tech as to be virtually uncrashable. Just keep your foot in and the black boxes will do the rest, right? Partly so. Sure, the armoury of abbreviations and innovations - from ATTESA ET-S PRO torque distribution to Super HICAS four-wheel steering - all contribute to the GT-R's formidable cornering power and Porsche beating performance. And driving a Skyline can be like a video game made real. But personal experience proves the danger comes when you discover all the electronic brain power in the world can't actually over-rule the laws of physics. And that skidding off into the barrier requires more than hitting 'restart' on your PlayStation control pad. "

Geez......makes me wonder.
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