Thursday, November 1, 2007

Look What the Tow Truck Did....

The car was parked on one side of the narrow lane in front of the workshop. This dumb-ass tow truck driver did not realised the tow was wider than the truck and went right through. The 2 cars were stuck side-by-side until we managed to use a jack to lift and pull the Swift to one side. The damage is not substantial. But, the pain and agony of seeing the damage is too much to bear. Why can't people be more careful? I would gladly move the car if they asked me. On top of that, the tow truck driver had the cheek to tell me to send it to his workshop for repair. Why should I let them desecrate the car further? It pisses me off that people think you can be suckered to do the things they want. Not me.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Project RAB Phase 2A

Almost there but not completely there yet. Through many twists and turns, I have finally managed to align the intake spout to the air duct. It's not completely aligned though. What's really needed is a 120deg aluminium pipe joining the 2 silicon hoses together to achieve the required angle. For now, this is the best it can be until I can custom make the pipe. In place of the metal air collector, I've switched it with a rubber one. The removes the noise issue because the metal air collector is too big and moves around. In the process, it hits some parts of the surrounding panels and creates irritating noise. The samaller diameter of the air collector also ensures less leakage of air from the air duct. The wire mesh inside the piping is from an old MAF that was previously used on Daisy. Everything fits nicley. This is one of the most satisfying project I have done to date.

Anyway, guess who picked up on this air duct idea? Check out the new Nissan GT-R. Looks like we have things in common.

The reverse lamp covers have been tinted slightly so as to give more attention to the exhaust pipes. The chrome fuel cover has been replaced with the original so as to ensure colour consistency throughout the car.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Project RAB Phase 2

I wouldn't call this the final product but it's as close as what I wanted it to look like. The pipings are made up of 2 pieces of 90deg silicon hose and joined together by an aluminium pipe. What I could not achieve was the angle of the opening to face the intake hole directly. Luckily, I kept the old funnel of an ITF foam filter. It sure came in useful in channelling air into the intake. The coolant tank has also be re-located to the front so that there is space for the pipings. I took into consideration that water ingress will be a major problem. So, the pipings are pointed downwards to allow water to drain off using sheer gravity. There is a little hole right at the bottom of the aluminium pipe. To test for water integrity, I actually filled the pipe with water to see if the water will really drain off. Eureka! The water did drain out from the hole and when I applied forced air using a blower, the rate of flow was even higher. I am not a scientist. So, don't ask me why it's like that. In fact, the stock air intake is really well designed by the Suzuki engineers. The reasonator has 3 large holes at the top to trap water and a smaller hole at the botton for drain-off. if that is not enough, the part where the air filter is slopes downwards so that any remaining water will flow down and out before it can actually enter the throttle body. So, if you count the number of fail-safe measures, there are at least 3. 300% redundancy is really a lot.

First impression of the set-up is that there is really no change to the low-end. I have purposely kept the piping length as close to original. Where noise is concerned, there is no change also. The fun is at higher revolutions. Where the stock intake will have problem sucking air, this set-up rams air into the air-box and keeps it pressurised. What you get is increased torque and better throttle response. Well, you won't need this for daily driving but my objective is obvious; B-roads drive and fast runs on the highways.

This has been a most satisfying project. If I were to do it all over again, there are a couple of things I would do:

1. Manufacture a one-piece piping using carbon fibre or aluminium.
2. Tight fit between the outlet of the air duct and opening of the intake so that there is literally no leak.
3. Black pipings instead of blue.

The best part about this whole mod is that I have kept the air intake system relatively stock. It looks neat and tidy. Maintenance is a breeze and cheap too because there is no open-pod filter, trunking, etc... to mess around with. Drive characteristics remains unchanged at leisure pace but when I need to open up the throttle, I know I have more air than needed.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Project RAB - First Glimpse

The first phase of Project RAB (Ram-air bonnet) is completed. The bonnet was installed without any hitches. The internals are kind of messy right now. However, it gives me the indications of how the pipings should run. Phase 2 of the project will be to make the permanent pipings either with carbon fibre or aluminium pipes.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Ram Air Bonnet

It's finally done. Hopefully, this bonnet is the one and only kind here with a NACA air duct. The logic for doing this is simple. The stock air intake is just not good enough. While it is situated at a low pressure area just behind the left headlight, the incoming air is just not charged-up enough. I wanted an air intake that serves 2 things; firstly, cool air and secondly, the air must be charged. Another thing, I wanted to retain the original air intake assembly. When I inspected it, I cannot help but notice how much thinking went into the design. Sufficed to say that, I was not going to swop it for some cone filter or ram air intake. There's still some R&D work to be done to channel all that charged air to the intake assembly. The biggest concern is water ingress. I have developed a few designs and trials should be starting soon. Stay tuned....this could be the next best thing to a supercharger.

Decal Mania

What happens on a boring Sunday afternoon? I ended up pasting decals on the car. Taking the cue from the recently launched Mini Challenge, I thought checkered flags would look nice here and there. Problem was identifying the right places to put them. A safe bet would be the side skirts, I thought...and that's where most of the decals went to. Had them on for a couple of days only. Just 2 hours ago, all the decals came off....and the car is back to stock. Not surprising, right? Anyway, back to the Mini Challenge. For the first time, I actually liked the looks of the car. It looks kind of retro to me and reminds me of how Minis should look like in the first place.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Debadged Front End & Pivot Stepping Gauge

Decided that the front chrome S badge needs to go since the rear one has left already. So, with plenty of patience, Ronsonol lighter fluid and my special tool, the big S came off. A fellow in the was selling actual carbon fibre ones for $62. That's alot to pay for a badge. So, as usual, I decided to make my own. Using the original S as a template, I cut out the shape on carbon fibre sticker sheet. Stuck it on and voila! saved myself $62. I'm attempting to 'wrap' the S with the same carbon fibre sticker and see how it goes.

Finally, after 2 or more years, the Pivot 5-in-1 stepping gauge is put to use. It was originally meant for Daisy but there was simply no space on the dashboard to put it. It would look ricey on the A pillar. So, the gauge was put into cold storage. When I wanted to sell it off on Yahoo! auctions, nobody wanted to buy it because it was so damn expensive. Price? $600. Hey, it's a Pivot Stepping Gauge, not some cheap crappy stuff. Anyway, it took 2 days for the workshop to rig it up. I am really pleased with it....especially the shift lamp. No more guessing, when that light comes on, I know exactly when to shift. It also monitors oil temp and water temp. We tried to get the boost/pressure to read vacum but it's not working well. We will sort that out later.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Debadged Rear End

Here's how the rear end looks like without all the badges. I think it looks better this way. It's got a clean look. Besides, those badges are killing my drying cloths. Due to their pointed edges, the cloth gets hooked up all the time and frays. If you want to remove your badges, a word of advice: patience. Whatever method you used, take your time or else, you are sure leave scratches. I use dental floss (waxed, of course) to cut off the badge from the body. Douse it with plenty of Ronsonol lighter fluid to soften the gum. Don't worry about the lighter fluid streaming down, it won't hurt the paint job. Remove the rest of the gunk with masking tape by pressing the tape on the gunk and then slowly lifting it off. This method is guaranteed not to leave scratches. After all the gunk is off, a few layers of polish will remove the tiny bits and give you back the shine.

Check out my Pivot 5-in-1 stepping gauge. Bought this almost 2 years ago when Daisy had a supercharger onboard. Never got round to installing it mainly because it looked kinda out of place inside Daisy. Tried to sell it on Yahoo! auctions but no one could afford to buy it. It is $600. It gives RPM reading, water temp, oil temp, boost and pressure readings. It also has a built-in shift lamp. This is one cool gauge and coincidentally, matches the main instrument cluster and air-con vents.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Engine Bay Water Seal

Fed-up with water all over the engine bay especially when I use a hose to wash down the car, I decided to do something about it. Thought about complicated methods of doing it but surprisingly, an idea flashed before me when I saw some discarded wipers. I pulled apart the rubber bit from the metal bits. With some double-sided tape, I attached them to the side of the engine bay and voila! no more water ingress from the side. That simple mod saves me having to wipe the engine bay dry. Coincidentally, the wipers were from an E39...

Sunday, September 2, 2007

More mods to come...

I've just bought over a second-hand bonnet for a CAI project. The idea is to cut a hole ideally near where the stock air box is located and channel air via a NASCAR air vent. Some pipings will be custom-made to ram air into the intake pipe of the stock air. Looking at all the available systems, I decided on customising my own CAI because I want to maintain the stock air box for 2 reasons; firstly, the stock air box is nicely constructed. It would be a waste to take it out and besides, it's got good shielding from the heat. Secondly, it will be not be noisy; taking into consideration that the stock air box comes with a reasonator. Stay tuned for the results.

The other mods in the pipeline is the modification of the Wilwood brakes used previously on Daisy. New hangers will be made and enlarged front rotors will be used; probably 286 mm. This would be a nice mod and make stopping that much better.

Minor Makeovers to the Swift

Added side mouldings today. At first glance, it did not looked good. As always, will let it stay on the car for a while before I decide what to do next.

Welcome to the Family

This posting is a carry-over from my other blog on Daisy.

Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting little Swifty. Yup, took the leap and got myself a Suzuki Swift Sport just about a week ago. Wasted no time getting her up and ready for some fast runs on the B-roads. Here's the list of upgrades to date:

1. Cusco Front Strut bar
2. Cusco Rear Strut bar
3. Cusco Front Anti-roll bar
4. Cusco Rear Anti-roll bar
5. Cusco 4-point brace
6. Tanabe Sustec GF Coilovers
7. SPK Steel Braided Teflon Brake lines
8. Hurricane Steel-mesh air filter
9. Suzuki Sports Sports Clutch pedal
10. SSW 17" rims with 215-45 tyres all round

Okay, so what took me almost 3 to 5 years to do on Daisy took me only 1 week on Swifty and at a fraction of the cost. So the drive is not as fantastic as Daisy but for the price, let me say that Swifty ain't no pushover. She is swift and sure-footed with all that enhancements. I've been holding back on the throttle just so that I do the break-in nicely. For now, enjoy the pics.

New Mods to the Swift Sport

I must admit that the mods I am laying on the little car is more than expected. While the initial intent was to keep it as stock as possible, I cannot resist putting more oomph into the car because it is really capable of doing more in the engineering department. However, I am keeping all mods as legal as possible. So, nothing will be done to the extractors and the exhaust will remain stock. To improve the air flow, a Sunline Racing mid-pipe was installed. The diameter is slightly larger compared to stock and the chrome steel pipe really looks good (especially after a good rub with autosol). Surprisingly, the improvement is quite significant. The pull is so much stronger and the car feels like it's lungs have expanded considerably.

To give some glam to the rear-end, I ditched the stock exhaust pipe tips and welded 2 really big tips! They fill the holes on the rear diffuser nicely and gives the car a nice sporty rear end.

Internally, I've added a Suzuki Sports foot rest and racing clutch pedal. The sports pedal is really nice and makes the clutch biting point much lower. It feels softer to press also and that helps in a traffic jam.