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.