Tuesday, November 30, 2010

R33 GTR Upgrades: Splitfire Super Direct DI Ignition System Installed

Due to excessive engine heat, RB26DETT coilpacks tend to get faulty over time. As a preventive measure, some owners make the upgrade to the Splitfire Super Direct DI Ignition System and this is what I have just done recently. The system replaces the original coil pack and ignition wires with a direct ignition coil on plug system. Not only does the upgrade give me peace of mind but the coilpacks also increase ignition performance.

You see, the Super Direct DI Ignition System is designed to provide a constant, stable voltage for the engine and will decrease ignition voltage loss at high RPM levels. With the Splitfire coilpacks installed, the following benefits can logically be gained :-

- Increased horsepower at the top end of the RPM band
- Ensures and maintains maximum energy supplied to the spark plugs
- Reduces incomplete combustion caused by misfire
- Eliminates RFI (radio frequency interference) by eliminating the need for a wire set

After the installation, there is major difference when I'm turning on the ignition. The engine starts up immediately, revs smoother and is far more responsive. Some people say that you are bound to feel all these things when replacing old and worn parts with something new. In fact, I did feel something similar when I replaced the old spark plugs with NGK Iridium IX units. Either way, I'm happy with my purchase as the car has responded well to the upgrades.

Next up, installation of Nismo engine and gearbox mounts. Followed by Whiteline suspension parts.

The Splitfire Super Direct DI Ignition System (Boxed)

The old coils which were probably in there since the time engine left the factory

Side by side comparison

The first Splitfire goes in

Joined by the others

Cables go back on before the engine's cover is closed

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Italia Auto Ulu Yam Dawn Run

Finally managed to have a shakedown run to get a feel of the new car. I guess theres no further need to hide the identity of the vehicle as its pretty obvious. Its a 1997 R33 Skyline GTR (BCNR33).

I invited Temujin, a member of the Skyline Club of Malaysia, to come along in his R32 GTR (BNR32) which had recently come out from GT Auto with a dyno figure of 380 bhp. He too wanted to have a shakedown session to get a 'feel' of the Angry Kermit (his car is green you see).

The meeting point for this weekend's run was at Petronas Batu Caves and as the title of this post clearly indicates, we were running with the Italia Auto boys (IA). I arrived at 7 am and it was a massive turnout. Nearly 40 cars, mostly Italians (Alfas and Fiats) but also some Frenchies, a Lotus and our JDMs (Temujin's R32 GTR, my R33 GTR and ToE's R35 GTR).

The weather was beautiful and the sun had just risen as we roared our way past the lake on the outskirts of Kampung Batang Batu (the settlement before Ulu Yam town). The car handled really well and is a testament to my foreman who serviced it after I had purchased the GTR. He made sure that the car was refreshed, not only in terms of consumables but also with parts that needed to be replaced due to wear and tear (long story). Although I do have to say that the twin turbo setup which makes quite a large amount of power, takes some getting used to especially when taking sharp corners (nearly did a drift at one stretch of the road). Gotta get used to braking early and ease off in the turn then power out.

From Ulu Yam, we then made our way to Gohtong Jaya to have breakfast at the mamak next to Hotel Seri Malaysia. Had a great time catching up with some of the IA guys and looking at each others' cars. Some Golf GTI buddies of mine from the Volkswagen Golf Club of Malaysia, who were in the area, dropped by to have a look at the GTR. Got to catch up with them as well before they headed down to GT Auto for a dyno day.

Here is footage taken by ognam of IA, which he edited into a video for our viewing pleasure. Especially liked that early bit of the silver car rolling into the Petronas station ;).

Till the next run which will take place in 2 weeks time - hehe - drive safe

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Alfa Romeo GTV 2000 Has Been Fully Restored

Car was completed just in time for my dad's birthday (a month back).

Last minute prep at the workshop.

We surprised my dad on a bright, sunny Sunday morning. We gave him an excuse of early morning tennis - which we did end up doing - but it was the manner in which he got to the tennis court that would be the highlight of his birth day.

You can't put a price on the smile that lighted up his face as he saw the car. I'm so glad that me and my sister undertook this 6 month project.

The moment he got into the driver's seat, my dad reminisced about the picture that we took of me when I was five years old, seated in the driver's seat with my dad standing by the door (I still have that picture which is hanging from my living room wall). We quickly did a re-enactment of that picture but this time I'm clearly somewhat grown up.

True fact - my dad used to drive his GT Junior from KL to Muar every weekend in the late 70s - through winding rubber estate roads - taking naps along the way before reaching his parent's house. I was too young to follow but my sis still remembers the long drives in the red Alfa...

Even though my dad isn't as young as he used to be, the moment he started the engine, the years just shed off him. Everything came back. He knew how to shift the gears when it came time to go back to gear one (you have to shift to gear two before going to first). The lack of power steering did not at all affect his driving. He was taking turns with aplomb and gusto. Revved the engine to let the twin Alfa carbs howl as we made our way to the tennis courts. He was that happy.

And I have to say that the car drives like a dream. Its such a far cry from the one I drove up to Awana Genting during the Alfa Romeo Centennial Celebration Drive. Six months of hard work has turned it back into what GTV 2000 Bertone should be - classic awesomeness.

If your dad is a car nut and has always hankered for a particular car, get it for him and do it up. The best birthday gift a son or daughter could ever give to a parent and it doesn't cost a bomb if you plan it right!

At the tennis center

Had a good game and we finished with brunch

Safely tucked away till the next time my dad wants to take the bella out

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New rims and tyres for the mystery car

It came with stock 17" factory rims and that setup didn't do the car justice. Hence, I immediately set about rectifying this problem. And so, a few weekends back, I made my way to Hup Shun in Sunway PJS 11/7. According to local motoring afficianados, this particular shop sells genuine rims and tyres at lower prices when compared to other places in the Klang Valley.

While browsing through the selection of wheels that were on display, a Hup Shun employee asked me what was my poison. I explained that I was looking for 18" x 9.5" +12 rims. He replied that strangely enough, a R34 GTR had come in earlier in the week to get its Volks Racing RE30s replaced with Volks Racing TE37s (the former came in bronze). He also mentioned that the rims were up for sale and were barely used.

Some Hup Shun technical staff then carried the four rims in and I could see that he was speaking the truth - they looked almost brand new. For those who are not aware, RE30s are one of the lightest rims available on the market. The 18s for example, weigh only 8.10 kg. The TE37s on the other hand weigh in at 8.45 kg. So I'm not sure if the R34 owner was actually "upgrading" but rather the whole exercise was more for looks, as the TE37s are a better match for the sharp edges of the BNR34.


Needless to say I was pretty much sold the moment I lifted up one of these babies. They were so light. After checking all four for any signs of damage and finding none, I asked the Hop Shun employee what tyres they had in stock that could fit the RE30s. He said that they recently brought in 6 units of Bridgestone Potenza S001s. Now I knew that the S001s came on the market in early 2010 and were actually factory fitments for the Aston Martin Rapide and Ferrari 458 Italia. It was also going to be used in the soon to be released Lexus LFA as the car's factory fitted tyres.

Here is the product description by tiretrack.com on the major features of the S001:

The Potenza S001 is Bridgestone's Max Performance Summer tire developed as Original Equipment for premium high-performance sports cars, coupes and sedans. The Potenza S001 is designed to combine low rolling resistance efficiency with maximum sports performance in dry and wet conditions. However, like all summer tires, they are not intended to be driven in near freezing temperatures, through snow or on ice.
The Potenza S001 features an asymmetric design combining a large outboard shoulder, interlocking tread blocks and a central circumferential rib to enhance dry road steering response, high-speed stability and cornering precision. Notches in the shoulders expel water to the sides while high-angle lateral grooves in the intermediate ribs pump water into the wide circumferential grooves to help resist hydroplaning.
The tire's internal structure features a lightweight belt package consisting of twin steel belts supported by a spirally wrapped aramid/nylon cord reinforcement that reduces rolling resistance, enhances ride quality and ensures high-speed durability. Active rubber inserts in the sidewalls near the bead areas tune vertical sidewall stiffness to blend cornering grip with ride comfort, as well as increase longitudinal stiffness to generate straight-line braking forces.
To cut the story short, I purchased both the RE30s and the S001s (265/35/18) that very day and they are now on the mystery car. Very, very happy indeed with the results despite having to cough up some dough.

The RE30s being prepped

Shod with S001s and being loaded onto my workhorse Nissan X-Trail for fitment and alignment eslewhere at a family friend's shop

On the mystery car

Getting the alignment done the old fashioned way

I'm pretty sure people will be able to figure out what the mystery car is by this point in time ;). Till the next mod entry, readers...

Bought some performance parts for the RB26DETT

Purchased the parts while I was in Melbourne a month back.

Currently waiting for the right time to install them onto the car ...

Talk about dipping into my savings! Modding is an expensive pursuit! :(

1. HKS Turbo Kit - GT-SS GTR Kit (To Suit BNR32,BCNR33,BNR34 11004-AN002)

2. Nismo Fuel Pump - (Nissan Skyline - BCNR33 17042-RR596)

3. Power Enterprise Injectors (NISSAN BNR32,BCNR33,BNR34 RB26DETT) 700cc - Top, Low Impedance, 1 Hole, Time 0.65msec 63500 (6 X 700cc)

4. Tomei Pon Camshafts + Pulley Set - Nissan BNR32/BCNR33 RB26DETT Duration IN 260, EX 252, Lift 9.15 (Pon Cam + Cam Pulley IN & EX) 143036 A Type + 153027 Cam Pulley

5. Koyo Radiator (Nissan BCNR33 RB26DETT, R33 ECR RB25DET Type Z BCNR33 ECR33 Type Z)

6. Tomei Fuel Pressure Regulator (Type L)

7. Nismo low temp thermostat

8. Nissan N1 Water Pump

9. Nissan N1 Oil Pump

10. Nismo Repair Gasket Kit (Nissan - BNCR33/BNR34 RB26DETT - t=1.2 Head Gasket + Gasket Set) 1010A-RR580 (includes turbine gasket, water pump gasket etc)

11. Z32 Bosch AFMs x 2 (BCNR33 compatible)

12. APEXi Power Intake (GTR Nissan BCN33/BNR34 RB26DETT 507-N011)

13. Greddy Oil Cooler Kit - (Nissan BCNR33 - Right Inner Fender - NS1610G 12024622)

14. Splitfire Super Direct DI Ignition System (Nissan BCNR33 - SF-DIS-001)

15. Whiteline Swaybar-h/duty Blade adjustable (BCNR33 - BNF27Z)

16. Whiteline Camber adj kit - upper c/arm (BCNR33 - KCA348)

17. Whiteline Camber adj kit - upper c/arm (BCNR33 - KCA347)

18. Whiteline Arm-adj upper radius-camber/toe (BCNR33 - KTA117)

19. Whiteline Swaybar-x h/duty Blade adjustable (BCNR33 - BNR11XZ)

20. Superpro Castor Rod Bushes (BCNR33 - SPF1202K)

Cusco Oil Catch Tank (BCNR33)

22. Goodridge Brake Hose (BCNR33 - 6 PCS)

Additional pics courtesy of Azmir :P

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The mystery car's engine

Near stock goodness. Hopefully it'll be pushing out close to 600 bhp in the near future. That is, once I'm done with it :).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The long search is over...

Its been a long while since I've last posted. The main reason is because I've been busy looking for the right car to replace my old 350Z Track Spec. I was after a coupe that was turbo'ed, had an AWD system and most importantly, preferably rare but cheap!

Initially, I was looking at Subarus. A locally delivered (Motor Image) 2002 Subaru WRX was in the picture but I eventually realised that I wouldn't be happy with lower specced Subbie.

What came next was a 2001 Subaru S202. It was in mint condition, not modded to kingdom come and very well kept. Unfortunately, despite all these plus points (0-100 in 4.9 seconds), I didn't think it was worth RM130,000 and decided not to go ahead with the purchase. I wasn't looking to get shafted by Malaysia's car import tax and who can really afford paying RM100,000+ for a car nowadays?

Still sticking to JDMs, I came across a 1999 AP1 Honda S2000. It was equipped with a lot of tasteful aftermarket parts and the car drove like a superbike. I've always been a fan of this particular model but lets face it, convertibles aren't the most logical of cars to own in this part of the world and the AP1 was notorious for being very tail happy. Scratch that *sigh*.

I then entertained the idea of getting a manual E46 M3 (again a 2001 make). Sadly, I wasn't looking to own another rear-wheel drive NA coupe and you tend to have to be gentle (sayang) with Beemers. There was also the issue of E46 non-M3 coupes (318ci/325ci etc) masquerading as M3s in Malaysia, which most certainly put me off. The price was too high too.

After several more trials and errors, I think I've found the right car...