Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Simple Pleasures for Two

It takes the 2 of us to revive our blogging spirit that brought us together once upon a time ago ~ now a collaborative piece @ http://simplepleasuresfortwo.blogspot.com/
Cheers!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hello 2011

It's been ages since I last blogged, thankfully I still have my blog password jotted down somewhere. Since this will be my first post of the year & it's only 3 weeks into this brand new year, I'd like to kick off mine with a list of New Year resolutions. Here are they:
1. Save 50K this year, for my Big Day.
2. Budget efficiently, so the spillover $$ (if any) gets routed into future assets (cozy house) fund (sports car included =p)
3. Plan & prepare well for my Big Day. 300+ days & counting.
4. Get Lean, get 6-pack. Just got back to the habit of working out towards the end of last year, I believe I'm half-way there. 3.2% more body fat to shed to reach the athletic/fitness level.
5. Keep my blog alive. 6th anniversary just around the corner.
6. Get a foothold on my career (1&1/2 year-old 2nd career since I switched field), so I'll know exactly where I would be, in 3 years time.
7. Kick my stubborn old habit of procrastinating. Yes, I need to Eat That Frog!
8. Be a good husband (aligned with my new status).
9. Review this year's resolutions a year from now.

Cheers! =D

Monday, September 06, 2010

New Crib

For those of you wondering where yours truly have disappeared to after declaring that "This blog is still alive" almost 2 full moons ago ~ Well, I've been busy packing, moving & settling in a new place, a more cozy & spacious crib & closer to my love one =)
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A place to call home, that has all the basic furnishing & creature comforts! *that includes a fully functional/loaded kitchen & an auto gate! i've always dreaded getting caught in the rain opening the gate when it pours... & ample shaded parking space that's not in a single flank!* =p Technically, I'm still renting the place, albeit on a longer term contract (housemoving is a tiring affair!), at least for the near future til I'm more certain about where to settle down permanently; at least as far as my career is concerned. Nothing beats the excitement & thrill of moving into a brand new house with brand new everything... =)
This is definitely one of the nicer / more affluent gated neighborhood in town, and conveniently close to my workplace, but a bit far from town (if one would consider 14km far *at least by Miri's standard, it is).
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Now i'm very contented just to stay at home ~ cozy with good company... nowadays free time spent doing chores, playing with my pup, keeping my ride(s) clean, gunpla-ing of course, save for the occasional grocery shopping, as we prefer to make full use of the complete kitchen. The only thing to dislike is the internet connection... this place is like the blackhole of communication signals/reception. No 3G, no phoneline/streamyx.... yet.
My only connection to world-wide-web now is a crappy celcom broadband + very mediocre wimax. Probably have to wait another couple of months before streamyx comes on stream here.
Hence, the lack of updates as uploading speed is crawl-like slow... =(
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Say hello to my pup Daisy~! We adopted her just barely a month ago & she's really growing up beautifully, & very fast (how come puppies always seem to grow up so fast?)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Business as usual...

Yes, this blog of mine is still alive. The novelty of blogging has worn out a bit on me, at least by quite a bit. I haven't been updating with the utmost diligence unlike the past year, for the past couple of months. Hit rates had been declining steadily, has saturated to a low, but did not gone all down to nil; it's good to know that my rants are still being read, although by very few. In fact i'm spending less time on FB as well. I already spend long hours in front of the monitor at work, so I figured I better spend less time on my PC at home, read some books, exercise, get my hands busy on some gunpla project, or some chores instead... & I felt like I actually had more time, like that. In between the hiatus since the last post, I've completed a couple of Gunpla projects i.e MG Figure-Rise Super Saiyan Son Goku & the MG RX-78-3 One Year War version, which I'll update when I have time (more like when I feel like it)... & speaking of which, my camera gears have been collecting dust since my last graphic post many moons ago... I find it a lot more convenient just to flick my I-phone & shoot. That's another cool piece of gadget I have in my possession for a good few months, which I never got to update about. Since, my project Civic has hit a mysterious glitch rendering it a VTEC-less lame duck for a terrible 2 months before I managed to find some credible tuner here in Miri who can fix her. She's been re-tuned since (I seriously have no idea what went nuts with the previous tuning ~ it was running perfect one day, gone crazy the next)... now I have good reasons to suspect that suffocating piece of exhaust silencer. Getting the exhaust work sorted out at the moment ~ can't live without the unadulterated VTEC. On the other hand, the law won't let me have my way with that obscenely loud un-muffled Skunk2 Megapower exhaust for long. Got to strike balance & keep within the acceptable decibels. Work load at this time of the year is going full steam too, & I'll be moving into a bigger place of my own sometime soon, will be eager to update about it, only if I get to doing it, hehe. Especially difficult when I have another distraction in hand, in the form of a PG 00 Raiser... Funding from the sale of my extra car parts here http://www.miricommunity.net/viewtopic.php?f=61&t=30086 definitely helps. Every thing's got to go! =)

Monday, May 03, 2010

K24 VTEC Franken-monster

From Rides

Tagged along for a ride in my friend's fully-loaded K24 powered Civic EG hatchback with dog-box transmission & it left a very profound impression on me ~ one that leaves a big grin on my face (thrill-factor) & sweaty palms (scare-factor)...

Here's a shot clip of the thrill ride ~ on a casual cruise with gradual acceleration; & only running on road tires... insanely fast & pretty damn scary if u ask me! This is how 280+ naturally aspirated wheel-horses gone beserk on the tarmac feels like! Definitely one of the fastest car point-to-point, if rode in... this monster's got serious supercar slaying potential =D
From Rides

Long live the NA King! =D

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Project Civic ~ All Motor & Fully Loaded

In my 5 years of ownership of this little sedan, she has had her fair share of adventures in the quest for more power; from a simple B16A transplant just a day after getting her keys (she was originally a single-cam non-VTEC), picking up basic bolt-on upgrades along the way, to a loaded & extensively modified NA machine she is today.
It has taken 3 dyno sessions to get the settings & tuning dialled in, with progressive improvements. Essentially, she's still retains her 1.6 litre naturally aspirated heart, with extensive work done on the engine head, the engine block receiving some beefing up to handle the power, & a transmission swap to the rare & highly coveted 98' ITR gearbox with LSD & a 4.785 final drive to exploit the increased capacity of the powerband.
From Rides

The final output on the dyno reads 168.12whp & 147nm, which translates to 205.5bhp & 179.3nm at the crank (considering 18% transmission loss, which is typical for B-series engines). A stock B16A is rated to make 170bhp at the crank, & typically 120+ to 130whp. While the figures may not be much to shout about, if you put it in the same league with high performance cars like EVOs, STis or 350Zs; to put things into perspective, 168.12whp from a 1.6 litre NA engine ~ that's already an output of more than 100 wheel-horsepower per litre! 105.1 whp per litre to be exact, achieved without resorting to turbocharging or supercharging. Admittedly, that's a consolation for me, for not breaching 200whp mark which I earlier thought was easily achievable (not unless I stroke it to 2 litres *will discuss about it another time*).
Power figures aside, it's the driving impression that will matter most, at the end of the day. In terms of response & power delivery, it's very swift, extremely smooth & linear all the way to the redline (as evidenced in the last dyno chart); to the extent that the 'VTEC kick' typically felt during the VTEC transition could no longer be felt or heard as distinctly. Such is the characteristics of the most aggressive camshaft design from Skunk2, the Pro Series Stage 3 bumpsticks. *It takes a little used to (without the VTEC signature loud bark), to start appreciating how much faster it is from point to point*. To sum it up, the car pulls much harder now, with significant gains & useable power throughout the rev range, especially from mid range all the way to the redline. The real fun starts from 7,300rpm onwards ~ watch the needle sweep across to the limit in one fluid motion =D
The torque band feels pretty broad & easily accesible from as low as past 2,300rpm, making hard launches prone to wheelspin, but the forward motion & traction is effectively remedied by the LSD & the thicker profile rubbers in using.
0 - 100km/h? With this setup, I reckon it should be in the mid, to low 6 secs *if i don't get sucky on my shifting
Quarter mile? Yet to try, I'd be very happy to be able to run 14 second-ish passes

It just takes a spirited drive out in the open roads to put a grin on my face. Quoted "there isn't much out there that will beat the thrill of a high strung, naturally aspirated engine, angrily & furiously screaming its way up to 9,000rpm" ~ I can't agree more... =)
It feels much faster in the open roads, pulling easily across at century speeds (80km/h - 160km/h), and acceleration is ample even at high gears (got to love the close-ratio gears & high final drive). Though it may not be a blistering straight line performer (by tuned car's standard), I believe it's got enough to hold its own against higher spec-ced performance cars out on the open roads ~ "may not be able to beat, but won't go down easily either".
Though, she still needs a little more upgrade in the handling department. Now, I'm fairly contented with the new found power she's making, still getting accustomed to driving her effectively to exploit the finer points of her potential =)
From Rides

Here's a bio profile on Project Civic:

Engine 1.6L NA JDM B16A2

Engine Upgrades Skunk2 Pro+3 camshafts, Skunk2 Pro-series valve springs, Skunk2 hi-comp forged valves, Skunk2 Pro-series titanium retainers, Toda Racing adjustable cam gears, head port & polish, Power Enterprise Kevlar timing belt, lightened crank pulley, B16B (PCT) hi-comp pistons, aluminium engine block guard, ACL main & rod race bearings, Walbro 255lph fuel pump, B18CR fuel injectors, NGK Iriway 8 spark plugs, Ultra power cables, Arospeed voltage stabilizer, Skunk2 Pro-series 68mm throttle body, Skunk2 Pro-series intake manifold, Top Fuel air ram + K&N open pod intake, Skunk2 Black Series billet oil cap, custom tuned-lenght 4-1 header + 2.5” stainless steel piping system, and Skunk2 Mega Power (60mm) universal muffler + silencer

Engine Management Hondata S300

Transmission S80 (98’ DC2R) manual gearbox with Helical LSD + 4.785 final drive, Exedy 4-puck Stage 2 racing clutch kit + lightened & balanced flywheel (3.8kg)

Handling / Chassis GAB HA series coilovers with AVCS, EG9 front lower arm & undercarriage assembly

Brakes EG9 front + rear disc brake system conversion, dual layer brake servo, and Improve stainless steel braided brake hose kit

Wheels & Tires Sparco Racing NSII 15”, Bridgestone Potenza RE001 195/55/15 semi-slicks (front), and Toyo Trampio R1R 195/55/15 semi-slicks (rear)

Exterior OEM stock standard, EG9 rear boot lid spoiler, and OEM EK9 rear emblem

Interior EG6 meter cluster panel + dashboard, Nardi Torino 3-spoke steering wheel, Skunk2 billet shift knob, Apexi’ auto-timer, EK4 semi-bucket seats


I try to keep the exterior & visible interior stock, simple & clean coz 'less is more' & to avoid unwanted attention. It's already enough having a bloody loud exhaust system. I had to cap it with a silencer to keep the noise levels within acceptable levels, & so that my neighbors don't hate me, at the expense of a few horses & a bit of fuel consumption due to back pressure from the restrictive silencer outlet -_-"
Measured fuel consumption now is 7.54 kms/litre, down from a fairly efficient 10.9 kms/litre before the extensive upgrade. So Project Civic is now officially a fuel guzzler that takes in premium 97-octane or higher fuel only (high-compression-engine friendly).
You got to be hardcore to be driving Project Civic on a daily basis. With the level of mods, she's a car that begs to be driven hard & fast. More effort & coaxing is required to drive her in a civilized manner (already detuned, with emphasis on favorable daily driving, rather than all-out track days), to blend in with the masses & keep under the radar of the men in blue. Yes, she's definitely a bitch to drive, in heavy traffic... xp
Project Civic ~ that's a true driver's car, for me =)






Sunday, April 11, 2010

MG Crossbone Gundam X-1 FullCloth

I just can't seem to keep my itchy hands away from Gunpla-ing for long... Having completed assembly of all the kits in my collection (save for the MG Figurese Super Saiyan I have yet to bring over from my hometown Kuching), I've finally decided to put a good closure to a long forgotten abandoned project belonging to one of my friend, which has been lying around somewhere in my house, collecting dust. It only had a assembled head & partially completed torso, from where I picked it up. Here's a series of shots of the legendary Crossbone Gundam X-1 FullCloth in all its glory!
From Gunpla

From Gunpla

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From Gunpla

From Gunpla

From Gunpla

From Gunpla

From Gunpla

This is one of 'em Gundams which looks more awesome in actual than in pictures. Though, I don't really know much about its origin & background, coz the series had only been featured in manga... coz i haven't watched the Gundam X anime series yet...
From Gunpla

Just checkout the plethora of cool arsenal it packs! I just dig that crossbow & the mammoth sword! Damn, I should have gotten one of this myself! Anyway, I'll just let it occupy my desktop til the rightful owner comes back to claim him! heheh! xp
*btw, I've almost used up the full 1024MB of storage capacity in my Picasa web photo hosting... got to migrate / set-up account for another web photo album soon; any good recommendations?