Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rear HICAS tie rod balljoint

Pic 1: The ER34 rear left wheel can wobble left and right

A while ago when I drove on smooth cement roads, i.e in carparks and such, there's a tiny metallic sound coming from the rear wheel. Thinking I got a nail on the tyres, I took the ER34 to the tyre shop for an inspection. Somehow there’s no nail on the tyres BUT one shocking thing I discovered is that the left rear wheel are able to wobble left and right.

Yea, you read that right, a wheel that can wobble is not something you would want to have in your ride. Trust me. The amount of confidence while driving suddenly drops to zero! I consulted a few reputable mechanics and the issue was identified as a faulty HICAS tie rod balljoint. Initially I was searching high and low to replace the whole HICAS tie rod. I thought it comes in a set together with the balljoint. Luckily for me, I found out that one can just get the balljoint thus eliminating the need to change the whole tie rod.

Phew.....there must be some savings there. :P

Pic 2: The faulty balljoint joining the HICAS tie rod to the knuckle

Pic 3: The balljoint with the HICAS tie rod end removed

Pic 4: This is how bad the state of the balljoint is

The trouble with driving a JDM is the difficulty in finding replacement parts for wear and tear items. Performance parts are almost everywhere but wear and tear parts are a scarcity. :( 

After delaying for 2 weeks I finally found someone with a spare rear knucke of the ER34. This lucky find eliminates my backup plans of ordering the balljoint from overseas. The knuckle is made of aluminum and it's amazing that a car introduced 10 years ago already have it; what more in a mass produced vehicle.  

Pic 5: The donor knuckle

Pic 6: Balljoint is in a very good condition
To change the balljoint, a whole lot of stuffs got to be removed. The wheel, brake caliper, rotor, wheel hub, wheel bearing, tie rod, etc... all have to be taken out. Gosh, this is probably the 5th time this was done.

After taking out the knuckle, it's apparent how bad it was; the rubber bush was torn exposing the insides, and the free play is beyond tolerable amount. The donor balljoint was in a pretty good nick and in it goes into my knuckle. Everything was assembled back and a quick shake of the wheel indicates no more wobbles. Finally I got another headache fixed.

After a quick alignment job, the ER34 is back to it's old form and ready to rip the road again.

Yay!!! :)

Pic 7: So many stuffs have got to be removed out

Pic 8: With the 'new' balljoint installed....finally

Pic 9: The 'wasted' balljoint

Thursday, July 24, 2008

WTF! A packet of condom near the ER34?

Pic 1: Of condoms and skylines

I woke up this morning to get to work and guess what beholds me when I walked to the ER34? It's bloody f@#king unbelievable but there it was lying on the ground next to the driver's door of the ER34 a packet of opened Durex with the condom lying next to it, and cosily beside it is a piece of white tissue paper.


Geeez!!! I wonder what the hell happened there the night before. I quickly kicked the condom away to the car next to mine. Yucks....

Did someone tried to have an intercourse with the exhaust of the ER34? Muahahahaha

Friday, July 18, 2008

I love flames !!!

No, I don't mean flame grilled burgers but rather, exhaust flames! Check out these flames coming out from the ER34 during a dyno session. Yeeeehaaaaa.... :P

Pic 1: Flaming hot!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Japanese ER34 Police Car

Pic 1: The Police ER34 half-cut

A bud of mine told me about a halfcut of an ER34 that used to serve the Japanese as a Police Patrol Car. Of course, when the time permits, off I go to check it out. Yeap, the Japanese Police uses high powered vehicles as pursuit vehicles. You'll find cars like Honda NSX, Subaru Impreza, Subaru Legacy, Mitsubishi Lancer, Nissan Skyline, Mazda RX-7 in various prefectures for highway patrols and pursuit uses.

Of course the average patrol cruisers are large sedans, although small compact and micro cars are used by rural police and in city centers where they are much more maneuverable around those tight alleys.

Kinda cool how one of these Police cars ended up as a halfcut in our car yard here in Malaysia. :P

Pic 2: This is how life is for the ER34 before it meet it's doom.

Pic 3: The Police ER34 half-cut

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Rear Wheel Bearings finally solved

Pic 1: The new wheel bearings fitted in

Well, finally the rear wheel bearings of the ER34 has been changed. Instead of going around Kuala Lumpur and searching from manufacturers in Australia, I've decided to fabricate a metal "collar/bracket" to fit into the centre of the new wheel bearing. This reduces the size of its internal diameter to fit in the hub of the vehicle.

This whole ordeal just to change a simple wheel bearing is such a pain. I've got the ER34 rear hub disassembled trice before it is finally done. I've wasted multiple labour charges and the new wheel bearings costs a bomb.

To add more salt to the wound, my usual workshop decided to charge me an exhorbitant fee to get the job done. On top of that there were some oil stains on the dashboard which I have to clean myself and there were some minute oil marks on the passenger seat too. I'm a fussy guy when it comes to my car and this is not what I would expect a customers' car is treated. I think it's time I seek other alternative workshops for smaller jobs like this. Any recommendations?

Such a sour experience.

Pic 2: The new wheel bearings finally got installed into the ER34

Pic 3: The "old" wheel bearings (face-up)

Pic 4: The "old" wheel bearings (face-down)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Another go at the rear wheel bearings

Pic 1: Nissan branded rear wheel bearings

Another update on my rear wheel bearing issue. I returned back the previous bearing (Part No. 43210-AA100) and found some replacements; Nissan rear wheel bearings with the part number 43281-AA100 for the left side and 43280-AA100 for the right side. Yes the left and right part is different. However, the difference is not in design but rather just the placement of a single screw. Thanks to bro Alan and Satigue for the part number confirmation.

Pic 2: L to R: 43280-AA100 and 43281-AA100

Immediately I registered the ER34 into the workshop for it to be installed and be rid of the irritating humming noise from the wheels. It has now gotten worst and starts making a racket at speeds as low as 60km/h.

When I finally thought my ordeal is over with my bearing issue, I got thrown a curve ball. These new bearings are exactly the same as the factory ones EXCEPT the middle hole is a little bit bigger thus my hub can't fit in 100% without free play.

There goes another effort and labour cost down the drain for me.

Ahhhh.....the "joys" of owning a JDM......

Pic 3: The new bearings on top of the old one. Red circle represents the bigger internal diameter of the new bearing

Pic 4: The factory wheel bearing

Pic 5: This is where the wheel bearing bolts on to

Thursday, July 03, 2008

WTB: Rear wheel bearings

My rear wheel bearing has been making a whole lot of humming noise for the past couple of months. Didn't find time to get it fixed until I recently got the part from the local "trusty" Nissan parts specialist. Stashed the part in my storeroom for a month before I finally haul myself and the ER34 to my regular mechanic.

And guess what I discovered at the workshop? It doesn't bloody fit! The new wheel bearing looks the same except that the one on my car has an additional "bracket". The part I got was verified via Nissan FAST and it's supposed to be the part for the ER34.

Well I learned a hard lesson. Never trust part numbers 100%. Oh damn it!! Now got to be on the lookout for replacements.

If you're in the market for ER34 rear wheel bearing, the Nissan part number 43210-AA100 may consist of the sequence numbers for the ER34 but hell it doesn't fit at all.

Anyone know where I can source for one??

Pic 1: ER34 rear wheel bearing (Part No. 43210-AA100 )

Pic 2: ER34 rear wheel bearing from my car

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Size of BNR34 versus CBA-R35

As mentioned, there are many CBA-R35s running around in Kuala Lumpur by now. For those that have seen the R35, you would know the growth in size as compared to the BNR34. I found a set of pictures comparing the BNR34 against the CBA-R35 on the net sometime ago. It is now floating all over the place and in a lot of automotive car forums.

The dimension differences between the BNR34 and the CBA-R35 as follows:-

BNR34 dimensions (LxWxH) : 4600mm x 1785mm x 1360mm
CBA-R35 dimensions (LxWxH) : 4655mm x 1895mm x 1370mm

BNR34 wheel base : 2665mm
CBA-R35 wheel base : 2780mm

For the benefit of those that have yet to see the comparison pictures, let me share it with you here.

Pic 1: BNR34 vs. CBA-R35

Pic 2: BNR34 vs. CBA-R35

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Got another AC Delco NS40ZL MF Battery

Pic 1: The ER34 half-cut

Hahahaha.....this is the 3rd AC Delco battery I've changed since I got the ER34. Darn, last week I left the ER34 undriven for 5 days while I was out of state. Stupid me left the cabin lights on and totally drained the darn battery.

Got another AC Delco NS40ZL MF Battery to replace it and finally in the process found a manufacturer that actually sells the NS40Z version (note that missing "L") of the battery where the positive and negative terminals are inverted. That is sold by Yokohama and is manufactured here in Malaysia. It's cheaper than the imported AC Delco but it's grey in colour, which isn't what I wanted. I wanted my battery in black. Yea am a bit fussy. :P

Pic 2: My old AC Delco batteries

Lucky thing that I have 2 used unit of the AC Delco batteries lying in my store room. With battery prices going sky high nowadays, at least I can trade-in the 2 used units for a small sum of RM26. (about USD 8.00) Well, better than nothing yea?

One thing I noticed is that the new NS40ZL by AC Delco is perhaps slightly different in size compared to my old one. I broke my battery cover trying to fit it in. God damn!

Anyway, since it's cracked, I've decided not to use it. I bet an aluminum cover would do wonders to dress up the engine bay. I wonder who can fabricate it for me.......

Pic 3: New battery in without the factory plastic cover

Pic 4: Cracked the battery cover

Pic 5: And another crack
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