Monday, January 31, 2011

Gohtong Jaya Drive with the MSC #01

Pic 1: Heading towards Ulu Yam

The Malaysian Skyline Club had a drive to Gohtong Jaya via Ulu Yam road yesterday. Now it has been ages since my last drive (approx. 6 months ago!) thus was looking forward to do some driving. I've already decided not to push it like last time due to the ER34 having fresh tyres, fresh brake pads and also just had the rotors skimmed. Well PLUS I am a much slower driver nowadays, getting old might have got something to do with it, and also with a little one on tow does have its effect. :)

Anyway, I reached the rendezvous point at 6:30am only to see a huge gatherings of Alfa Romeos that are heading up the same route as well. As they start to move off, the rest of the Skyline chaps arrive in great numbers. There were a mix of cars from Skylines, Silvias, Pulsar GTi-R, Cefiros, R35 GT-R, Lancer Evolutions, 300ZX, etc....

Pic 2: Regroup before the cable car station

Pic 3: Regroup before the cable car station

How many cars? Gosh I really don't know man. It's a huge turnout!

The weather was not on our side this morning as it was raining pretty heavily on some stretch and the roads were soaking wet! It's at this point that I am glad I shod the ER34 with Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetrics. These were great in the wet!

Even in these adverse conditions, some of the front runners were really gunning it mad. I couldn't even catch a glimpse of them. Naturally in such a big group, the cars broke into two groups pretty soon. Those that are ahead and those that are a a little bit behind.

I stayed with a bunch of cars throughout comprising of R32s, A31s, Z31, R35 and some R34s. It's quote entertaining to watch those R32s drift round the wet corners ahead of me. Good stuffs!

The final destination of
the Cable Car station was reached pretty quick. This is where we grouped up for a much deserving breakfast before the group start to move off back home individually and in small groups. Nothing much to report on thus I'll just proceed with some pictures of the day.


Pic 4: Regroup before the cable car station

Pic 5: Regroup before the cable car station

Pic 6: Regroup before the cable car station

Pic 7: Yes it was really raining mad!

Pic 8: Yours truly

Pic 9: Slammed RPS13

Pic 10: The dorifto guys

Pic 11: Sexy and very rare Pulsar GTi-R

Pic 12: Probably the most awesome BCNR33 in the country

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Shod the ER34 with Volk Racing TE37 and slap on the Endless brakes??

This month seems to be the topic of footwork for the ER34. We've been talking about tyres, wheels, brakes and suspension. :)

Well, since we are at this topic, let me wrap up this month's blog entry on the discussion of possible replacement wheels for the ER34.

What got me thinking was that the good folks at JDM Auto Link have a set of used Volk Racing TE37 enroute from Japan. What's so special about the wheels is that it's finished in one of RAYS optional colour.

The standard colour of TE37 is just bronze and white. I mean, only two colours? Yes, only two colours are available off the shelf. However, they do carry some optional colours which needs to be ordered from their factory. The list of optional colours are:-

Optional Colours:
Mercury Silver
Platinum Silver
Titanium Gunmetal
Hyper Flat Black
Diamond Black
Takata Green
Gold (aka Top Secret Gold)
Magnesium Blue
Chameleon Blue/Purple

And they also have some special edition colours as below:-

Special Edition:
Black Time attack with red lip TE37 only
Seibon edition (similiar to black/red time attack) TE37 only
Silver Green time attack TE37 only
Blue Yellow time attack TE37 only

Before we go into the specs of the possible new wheels, let take a look at my journey from the stock ER34 wheels to my current
Work Emotion XD9. I took me a long while to decide what wheels to shod the ER34 with in order to ditch the fugly standard items.

After many hours, days, weeks, months of research, looking at pics, etc ..... only then I decided to go for the
Work Emotion XD9. I was very careful with my wheel order, thus with advise from Work I got the recommended specs for the ER34. Now lets look at what difference did it make to the ER34 on stock versus the Work Emotion XD9.

Stock ER34 wheels specs:-
17 x 7.5J PCD +40 - Front
17 x 7.5J PCD +40 - Rear

Work Emotion XD9 specs:-
18 × 8.0JJ+35 - Front
18 × 9.0JJ+38 - Rear

With the switch to
Work Emotion XD9, the ER34 had the below changes:-

Inner Clearance: 1mm LESS
Outer Position: EXTEND an extra 11mm

Inner Clearance: 17mm LESS
Outer Position: EXTEND an extra 21mm

Pic 1: This is how Volk Racing TE37 in Mercury Silver looks like

Now if I shod it in with the Volk Racing TE37s that have the below specs:-
18 X 8.5J+30 - Front
18 X 9.5J+40 - Rear

The ER34 will have the below changes from what it is currently:-

Inner Clearance: 1mm LESS
Outer Position: EXTEND an extra 11mm

Inner Clearance: 8mm LESS
Outer Position: EXTEND an extra 4mm

After checking my wheels yesterday, I have the extra space up front and rear to move the wheels outwards a bit. That means those Volk Racing TE37s will be perfect for the ER34. PLUS I will be able to fit in my Endless 6 pot brakes. Woohoo!!!

But but but I have not really decided to go for it tho. Decisions ..... decisions. I am still ok with selling off my Endless brakes at this moment. So yeah, in a bit of a dilemma now. :(

Well if you are interested in those wheels, you can check it out with JDM Auto Link. :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tein Super Street Re-adjustment

Previously, ER34 somehow handled a bit weird when it's flung around long sweeping bends. Somehow it felt a little bit unstable and not as planted as before. It has been a long while in that condition but the silly me just shrugged it off as perhaps due to my worn tyres.

However, after I changed to the new tyres, the problem still persists. There must be something wrong. What could it be? I decided to check my damping on the Tein Super Street as the first step.

Pic 1: Just a quick turn clockwise to set it to the hardest

Horrors that be, the front right side was set to the softest while the left side was set to the hardest.
Some low-life idiot must have decided to tamper with my damping adjustment!!! Damn it, no wonder it felt weird. This must be the handiwork of some itchy hand fellows while the ER34 was at the workshop. &%$#@!*

Well, since I'm readjusting it, I set it all round to the hardest setting. I mean the current setting was perfect for me. A good trade off for daily normal commute and the occasional spirited drives. But I wanted to try something a little bit harder. Think of it as a prelude to see how I can take it if I decided to upgrade to something from the Tein catalogue.

The verdict? The ride now is very firm and bordering to being uncomfortable for daily usage but I'll stick to it now and see how it goes. I think it'll grow on me. :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fitted in - Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric

After the brakes are done, it's time to shod on new shoes. Can't wait to wrap the wheels with Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric and have more confidence in driving. The old Yokohama Advan AD07s were pretty much worn down already.

Pic 1: Three tyres in the car

Pic 2: Last piece in the boot

I was having doubt on the transport of the tyres from my house to the shop. I had to do it using the ER34 you see. BUT amazingly it fits in well ..... except that one of the tyre kept on interfering whenever I need to use second gear coz it kinda blocks the shifter it from entering 2nd. Had to push it away whenever I engage 2nd gear. LOL :D

Now who says a 2 door car can't be practical? Hehehe

Pic 3: The old Yokohama Advan AD07

At the shop, after taking the tyres off, one can see that the old tyres were worn pretty evenly all round. It's good testament to the chap that adjust my suspension geometry. I had them on for 18,000km and just did one rotation in between. Nice job!

After fitment the wheels were balanced off-wheel and then fine tuned on-wheel. Gives the best accuracy. The rest were SOP as per before on the old skool machine. I like!

So now with skimmed rotors, new brake pads and new tyres, I have to rake in the miles to run them in properly before I start pushing the ER34 around. Problem is I don't travel around much distance so I guess it's gonna take me a while for this to be done.

Pic 4: Fitting in the new rubbers

Pic 5: Fitting in the new rubbers

Pic 6: Old skool method for me

Pic 7: Old skool machine

Pic 8: Time for the rear

Pic 9: On-wheel balancing

Pic 10: Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric thread pattern

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What Endless Brakes?

Pic 1: Endless 6 pot brakes clearance

Yes I can't wait for those lovely Endless 6 pot brakes to be installed into the ER34!!

Two days ago, I try-fitted in the Endless 6 pot but was utterly disappointed that there is a clearance issue. Between the caliper and the inner wheel, there's just about 2mm of clearance. The clearance is so close that even the wheel balancing counter-weighs couldn't pass through the gap. Yes it's that small. With the balancing counter-weighs removed, even the residue two-way tape underneath touches the caliper as the wheel is spun around.

Pic 2: It will hit on the balancing counter-weighs at the bottom left of the picture

A couple of guys said it's ok as long as the caliper does not touch any part of the wheel as it turns, but me being a little bit more careful gave it a hard thought and conjure out some worst case scenarios. I was thinking of:-

- Wheel flex under hard load (eg. while cornering) could have physical impact with the calipers
- A bent wheel (if I hit a massive pot hole) could also have physical impact with the calipers
- If a pebble/stone gets lodged between the caliper and the wheel, the inner wheel would have been scratched to kingdom come.
- etc.....

All of these thoughts made me realise that I cannot be driving with full confidence with these in my head. It is just not worth it to be thinking of the what-ifs while driving enthusiastically.

I do know the problem is due to my wheel design which is a Work Emotion XD-9 but changing to a new wheel now is not the solution. I tried-fitted in a Volk Racing TE37 and it has ample clearance. So much that a kid could be swimming in between! Well ok, I exaggerated a little bit but you get the picture.

Due to the above fears, I have decided not to mount on the Endless 6 pot brakes. It's totally sad as I was looking forward to having some good uprated braking power. Plus it's like my dream set of brakes. Sob! So I guess these brakes would be up for sale if there's any interested parties out there. :(

Pic 3: Newly skimmed Project Mu SCR Pro rotors

Well because I can't get those lovely Endless brakes in, I've decided to uhm ..... 're-new' my current brakes. I had the Project Mu SCR Pro rotors skimmed a wee bit and also changed to new Endless Super Street - S-sports brake pads (EP230 SSS). These are rated to 500 degrees which would be sufficient for fast road usage.

Pic 4: Endless Super Street - S-sports brake pads (EP230 SSS)

Pic 5: Endless Super Street - S-sports brake pads (EP230 SSS)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Rubbers - Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric

Pic 1: My stash of new tyres

I have been using my current set of Yokohama Advan AD07 for the past 18,000km. They are great tyres if you are looking for outright grip. In the wet, well, they could be better though. It's now time for replacements as they have almost ended their life already. Coupled with the torrential rains of late, I think it's time to go for an all round tyres that performs both in the dry and in the wet.

I have a couple of choice in my list, namely the:-

1) Yokohama Advan Neova AD08
2) Bridgestone Potenza RE-11
3) Dunlop Direzza® Sport Z1
Goodyear Eagle RS Sport
5) Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric

In the end, I decided on the
Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric due to the raving reviews it receives (and the great price I got :P). Ironically I was using the predecessor, the Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3 back in 2007. Looks like I have returned to the Eagle F1 tyres now. Hehehe

I am of the opinion that besides working great, the thread pattern should looked the business too. But unfortunately, the thread pattern on the
Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric aren't that aggressive at all. Oh well, as long as it performs as it claims to be.

Pic 2: This is how the thread pattern looks like

The below are what Goodyear says about its tyre features .....

Unique Active Cornergrip Technology
- Ensures even distribution of pressure and consequently more efficient tire/ road contact patch where all tread zones are in action
- Reinforces compression of the open tread zone designed for critical wet conditions like aquaplaning
benefit - High performance, Aquaplaning and wet handling

Racing Compound Technology
- Tread stiffness optimised via highly reinforcing filler and a new generation of polymers. This tread compound is more environmentally friendly through low PCA technology
benefit - Better tracking and grip in wet and dry conditions

Pitching Sequence
- Optimising tire noise harmonics
benefit - Ensuring a smoother, quieter ride

The Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric have a threadwear rating of 240 which is great. This should last me longer than the Yokohama Advan AD07s which is just rated at 180. Reassuring to note that this tyre is winning awards and praises the world over. Just check out some of the awards it won below.

The replacement size I got is exactly the same as per my current set which is 225/40/18 for the front and 255/35/18 for the rear. I should be fitting them soon BUT first I got to get my Endless brakes into the ER34. :)

Pic 3: F1 Asymmetric!

Pic 4: All round 2010 tyres

Pic 5: Multiple water channels - should be great in the wet

Pic 6: Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

'New' Power Window Regulator - RHS

Recently, my driver's side power window has been acting funny. At times, it will produce a "klack, klack, klack" sound when it is lowered or raised. Sometimes it can't full be closed without assistance via pushing up the glass by me.

Weird thing is, it's perfectly normal sometimes. Darn it!

Pic 1: The replacement power window regulator

I didn't bother and decided to stop using the power window for a good 2 months until I cannot take it anymore. My back hurts too much each time I need to open the door to pick up parking tickets, at the toll, etc.....yea and the R34 has a very long door. Plus being in a full bucket is tough to maneuver around.

Oh and at one time I was stopped by a traffic police; I only lowered the window down about 3 inches. That totally annoyed him until I told him there's something wrong with my power window. Hahahaha

I actually got a replacement power window regulator on hand. It has been sitting in my storeroom for a good month plus but I just couldn't find the time to get it replaced or perhaps I was just too lazy. LOL

Pic 2: Door panel off

I finally got it done today and upon opening the door panel, the only thing that was out of whack was a small piece of broken roller bracket as per the below picture.

With the new-ish
power window mechanism in, the ER34 is now back to 'normal'. I am pleased. :)

Pic 3: Broken roller bracket

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