Friday, September 26, 2008

Bugatti EB110 spotted in Kuala Lumpur

Pic 1: The Bugatti EB110

Over here in Malaysia, there is a definite chance that we will never see some legendary cars on our soil. Cars like the McLaren F1, Ferrari F40, Noble M12, Venturi 300 Atlantique, Noble M12, Koenigsegg, etc...

Yesterday while driving, I spotted a car approaching mine fast from the rear. The frontal area is somewhat distinctive but I can't immediately pin point what car it was until it overtook me. It took me a while to finally realise that it's a Bugatti EB110.

Bloody hell!! There is a Bugatti EB110 in Kuala Lumpur! Who would have thought that someone in Malaysia actually owns a Bugatti? This Italian supercar was penned by the very same designers who gave us the legendary Lamborghini Miura and Lamborghini Countach.

I was in a little Inokom (Hyundai) Atos 1.1 GLA when I spotted the EB110 thus you can imagine the work I had to do to keep up with the EB110 to snap these pictures. Luckily the roads were not wide open, else this car would have gone in a flash.

This beast has a 3,500cc 60-valve, quad-turbo V12 powering all four wheels through a six-speed gearbox producing 542 hp, enough to propel the vehicle to 336 km/h!

Pic 2: Rear view of the Bugatti EB110

Pic 3: Stunning even after so many years.....

Pic 4: The Inokom Atos 1.1 GLA camera car. LOL :D

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Drive It Like You Stole It #10 - Bukit Tinggi

Pic 1: The cars of DILYSI #10 @ Bukit Tinggi

Today we had our 10th Drive It Like You Stole It (DILYSI) session. Taking another route apart from our usual Frasiers Hill, DILSYI #10 brings us to Bukit Tinggi. Now this is an interesting DILYSI as the cars that joined comprises of two colours only. i.e. white and yellow. As such shall we call it the "Ambulance" and "Taxi" edition of DILYSI? Muahahaha :D

There were 3 ER34s and 2 FD3S. We met up at our usual meet-up point before heading to Bukit Tinggi via the below route:-

Batu Caves - Ulu Yam - Batang Kali - Goh Tong Jaya - Karak Highway - Bukit Tinggi

This route is not as hardcore as the Frasiers Hill route but nevertheless we clocked in about 140km of driving leaning on the enthusiastic side. :P

It's nice to hit the roads of Ulu Yam again after our last DILYSI last month. I tried to keep myself a bit restrained as the front tyres aren't exactly in tip top condition. Darn I need to save up for new tyres now. Sigh..... :(

After Ulu Yam, we turnoff towards Goh Tong Jaya via the backroads. Here, we bumped into another group of driving enthusiasts that comprises of a myriad of cars. I'm not really a fan of these roads but nevertheless had a great time carving through the bends. One of us had a 180 degrees spin here; but thankfully he and his ride escaped unscratched. Phew....

Pic 2: White smokes at the rear of the pack...??

Pic 3: Porsche Boxster S with billowing smokes from its rear

Pic 4: A closer look at the Porsche Boxster S. Smokes had lessen after a while...

The whole bunch of us stopped by the police security gate for a regroup. Here, we were joined by the sight of the other groups' Porsche Boxster S that came with white smokes billowing from the rear of the car. Not a pretty sight I must say. I think there must be an oil leak (added 26th Sept - Boxster S suffered coolant leak instead of the mentioned oil leak) somewhere that got burnt by the hot exhaust pipes. Soon after, we left the other group for a quick breakfast bite in Goh Tong Jaya before proceeding downhill to join back the notorious Karak Highway to the Bukit Tinggi exit.

Pic 5: Breakfast stop at Goh Tong Jaya

Pic 6: Breakfast stop at Goh Tong Jaya

Charging up Bukit Tinggi was a bit nerve wrecking initially as there were sand patches in the first couple of corners. Got to be wary of those! Further uphill, the roads were cleaner and off we go charging into corners after corners. The bends here sweeps longer and wider as compared to the short and tight corners up in Frasiers Hill. Naturally, the speed would be a 'lil bit faster here around the bends.

The last time we were up Bukit Tinggi was in DILYSI #06 way back in August 2007. Naturally, there could be some slight changes after a year. And lo and behold a couple of speed humps at the top of the hill appeared out of nowhere! Worst part is that it's not painted in stripped yellow! I was caught off guard and the ER34 crashed over the damn speed breakers! Jason (Sakakida) and Wayne whom was right behind me were not spared either. Lucky I did not scrape the bottom of the ER34. Funny thing was the cover of my tweeters came flying out of it's socket when the car landed. Hahaha

Up in Bukit Tinggi, we stopped by the Rabbit Farm but a little breather. We were all caught by surprise to see the carpark size shrinked to a tiny fraction of what it used to be. The huge carpark next to the helipad was undergoing some construction to turn them into shophouses! There goes another rendezvous point of ours. We stayed here for a little until we were politely 'chased' off by a white guy that was apparently in-charge of the premise.

We were told that we are taking up carpark space for genuine visitors to the Rabbit Farm. far as I can see there were only 3 of 4 other cars in the viccinity. So much for visitors. This place must have deteriorated quite bad as I remembered the Rabbit Farm was a popular haunt for families with kids during weekends.

Pic 7: Parked at the Rabbit Farm - front shot

Pic 8: Parked at the Rabbit Farm - rear shot

So be it then. Off we head off downhill back to Karak Highway for a stop at the Genting Sempah R&R to continue our chit-chat session until we decided to call it a day and head back home. Hmmm....this must be one of the earliest time we finish a DILYSI session. I reached home around 11:30am; just nice for my next outing out with the other half. :P

Here are some pictures of the day......

Pic 9: Left to right: Nasrul, Jason, Woay Chee, Steve and Wayne

Pic 10: Ambulances and taxis

Pic 11: Ambulances and taxis

Pic 12: Nasrul's mean ride

Pic 13: Jason aka Sakakida tailin'

Pic 14: The corners of Bukit Tinggi

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Height readjustment on the Tein Super Street

Pic 1: Adjusting the Tein Super Street

Many have commented that the ER34 rides a bit on the low side for the streets of Malaysia where there is an abundance of the road species called speed humpasaurus and parking rampasaurus. :P

Thus far I have managed to avoid damaging the IMPUL 534S front bumper from speed humps but that can't be said of parking ramps. The ER34 can only go to three shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur while any attempt to others will end up with a broken bumper. The worst part is I scrape the bumper ever so slightly everytime I leave the multi storey carpark where I reside.

With the impending full IMPUL 534S bodykit to be fitted to the ER34, I'm quite sure, the side skirts will pose an issue when it comes to speed humps. Thus I really really need to increase the ground clearance of the ER34, lest I'll end up breaking the side skirts.

Pic 2: The adjustments made

My main concern with any adjustments on the coilovers are to ensure that all four corners are adjusted equally, i.e. of equal height. Initially I wanted N1 Racing, the distributors of Tein products in Malaysia to re-adjust the coilovers since I'm sure they would know what they are doing and would get the measurements accurate. I changed my mind when I was quoted an exorbitant fee to get the job done. What a rip off!!

Thanks to bro Andrew's introduction, I got the same job done for 10% of the cost in another shop with vast experience to boot. Hey, as long as I have the Tein Height Adjustment Wrench and the mechanic has adequate experience, it shouldn't be that hard to ensure the accuracy of the adjustments yea? The pleasent surprise was the shop uses a manual allignment machine. Cool!

Pic 3: Manual allignment machine

The height were raised half an inch all round making it 23.5" up front and 23.7" at the rear measured from the base of the wheel to the wheel arch.

The ER34 doesn't look as good as before me think. Or it's relatively ok? What do you think?

Pic 4: 23.5" up front

Pic 5: 23.7" at the rear

Pic 6: Just managed to clear the parking ramp

Pic 7: Does the car looked too high??

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Replacement lug nuts

Pic 1: The replacement anodized aluminum lug nuts

Early last month I blogged about losing 3 pieces of my Rays Engineering Duraluminum lug nuts (read here). Ever since then, I replaced it with the factory lug nuts making the wheel looked quite weird with mismatch lug nuts.

Thanks to one of the workshops I frequent, I was given 3 units of blue anodized aluminum lug nuts to complete the 'look'. These are not from Rays Engineering but they do look similar enough to fool those who just took a quick glance. Hehehe

Finally I've gotten over the 'ugly' look of the wheels. :)

Pic 2: The previous look

Pic 3: This is how it looked like now. Red circle indicates the replacement lug nuts

Fresh Oils for the ER34

Pic 1: The ER34 undergoing oil change

It's time for my 75,000km oil change and needless to say, I revert back to the Torco SR-1 5W-40 with genuine Nissan oil filter (Part No. 15208-53J00). My last oil change was way back in May 2008 and it's great to pamper the ER34 with some fresh oil.

There goes another 5 litres of expensive fluids.... :(

Pic 2: Torco SR-1 5W-40 Engine Oil

Pic 3: Nissan Oil Filter (Part No. 15208-53J00)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Labuan, Pearl of Borneo

One of my work assignments brought me to Labuan. Since this little island of only 95sq. km is one of rarest place one would go to in Malaysia, I've decided to write about it a little bit.

With a small population of only 85,000 people, this is certainly not one of the more densely populated area in Malaysia. In fact only 56% of the island is actually developed. The rest are still lush forests. What is there in Labuan? Well, after driving around half of the day, there is nothing! Hahaha

Pic 1: Front view of the Ford Everest XLT

Pic 2: Ford Everest XLT can be driven right onto the beachside!

Pic 3: The heart of the Ford truck

I drove around the island via the network of inland roads and also costal roads in a 2,500 cc turbo diesel Ford Everest XLT. This car's interior reminded me of my old trusty 1994 Proton Wira 1.5GL. The dashboard looked exactly the same! On ride and handling, this has got to be one of the most uncomfortable car ever to be driven by me. You'll be bouncing everywhere even on nicely paved roads in this huge bulk of a car/truck. I find the gear ratios a bit whacked out too. 2nd gear going uphill is too low while 3rd gear is too high. Sigh....maybe I'm just not cut out for trucks.

Pic 4: The dashboard looked just like the dash from Proton Wira!

Ship building and oil and gas is the main activities in this island. Everywhere I go I see people from Schlumberger, Scomi, Shell or Petronas. What about the car scene here? Well to sum it up, there is none! I did see a unit each of the Toyota Caldina GT4, Nissan 350Z and a Nissan Silvia S15. They are probably brought in from the mainland by those oil and gas folks.

Pic 5: Spotted this S15 waiting to be serviced in Tan Chong Motor

Other than that are the run of the mill cars. There's quite a number of old skool cars around, saw a number of Toyota KE70, Toyota Corolla DX fastbacks and wagons (No AE86 tho). By the way, Labuan is a duty free island, therefore cars here are a lot cheaper compared to the rest of Malaysia (except Langkawi Island which is also duty free). Examples of OTR (on the road) car costs as below:-

Cherry QQ (clone of Chevy Spark) at RM 18,888
Ford Focus 2.0 at RM 74,000
Honda Civic Type R at RM 128,800
Honda Jazz at RM 62,800
Honda Civic 1.8 at RM 74,800
Nissan X-Trail 2.0 at RM 93,742
Nissan Sylphy 2.0 at RM 75,330

In the hotel where I stayed, they have a prsitine black S140 Toyota Crown 3.0 (produced from 1991 - 1995). Manificient car that is. Would be really cool to potter around Kuala Lumpur in this. Oh roadtax here is really cheap too, this 3.0 fuel guzzler only has a roadtax cost of RM25.00. :O

Seafood is cheap here without a doubt. I went to Mawilla Yacht Club Restaurant to savour the delights from the sea. Funny though as they serve frozen green lobster. I wonder why it needs to be frozen since green lobsters are caught off the Sabah waters. Weird...

Pic 6: Mawilla Yacht Club Restaurant

Beaches here are total crap. No regrets for forgetting to bring my swimming shorts. There are however three diving spots on islands (Kuraman, Rusukan Besar & Rusukan Kecil) in the Labuan Marine Park down south of Labuan island.

The island is literally flooded with Filipino and Indonesians. They are everywhere! Sometimes I feel like I was in Manila. Hahaha

Will I come again? Most definitely, will be here again sometime this year to sort out some work related matters but not before I do my rounds on the other Borneo destinations. :)

Here are some pictures I managed to snap.

Pic 7: Rubbish strewn in the waters around Labuan Marina Centre

Pic 8: Nice S140 Toyota Crown 3.0 - front view

Pic 9: Nice S140 Toyota Crown 3.0 - rear view

Pic 10: Uprooted tree along the beach. Must have been a huge wave?

Pic 11: This FD2 costs just RM 128,800

Pic 12: A Cherry QQ is yours for a mere RM 18,888

Pic 13: Liquor galore in duty free land

Pic 14: Anyone interested in alcohol made from Male Sikworm?

Monday, September 08, 2008 calling card

Pic 1: call card?

Out of boredom and with nothing much to do, I applied online for this call card service offered by ooprint for bloggers. It's free of charge and since I have the online coupon code with me, so errr....why not eh?

To my surprise they actually did sent it over all the way from Belgium on priority mail. They mail a hundred pieces to me and I guess these hundred pieces will remain with me forever. Hell I'm not about to give out these call cards. Hahahaha

Pic 2: The package that arrived
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