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 =)
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).
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... =(
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 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

From Gunpla

From Gunpla

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?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

That familiar blue top ~

From Rides

Came across this photo while browsing through FB ~ a press coverage of the other day's dyno session! My friend's exotic NSX takes the center stage here =)
Looking further on the photos in the upper left ~ that engine bay with blue top looks suspiciously familiar.... Project Civic on its maiden dyno run!
Now i finally recalled, there was a guy with a DSLR taking random shots during the dyno session; must be from the press. Can't quite make out what the text are about coz i'm chinese-character blind ~ it's got to be about Sarawak getting its very 1st dyno facility. The guys at Pro Dyno has got to be happy to be getting these free publicity... =)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

3's a family - Project BB Unicorn Gundam

My 3rd RX-0 ~ in the form of Super Deformed Unicorn Gundam
From Gunpla

It's transformable as well...
From Gunpla

Now I've got something that fits & looks good on the Furoku Grade Unicorn Head display base that came with my pre-ordered Dengeki Hobby January 2010 issue~! =)

~ BB Unicorn takes the center stage from MG Unicorn~

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Project Civic on the Dyno

Project Civic was put on its maiden dyno run at Pro Dyno in Kuching last Saturday, tested on the very 1st dyno machine brought into Kuching, if not the state which, was only set up & commissioned recently. The availability of these test machines would definitely give a big boost to the local tuning scene; as prior to this, to get a thorough quantitative & qualitative gauge on their engine performance, enthusiasts could either a) take out the engine, pack & ship it to KL, b) ship the whole car to KL, or c) put it on a trailer, or drive it to Brunei ~ just to put it on a dyno test *maybe PUSPAKOM would have one, but they're strictly for inspection only*. For a start, there are rumours that 2 more of the dyno machines are being shipped in ~ that's just a testament of the maturing tuning scene here =)

It took quite a while to prep the car up for the dyno run & getting machine calibration settings set. The machine is a 2-wheel dyno manufactured by Dynojet. Okay, i'm not going to bore you guys with anymore mundane details, but a couple of amusing dramas did unfold during the session; here are some photos & captions posted by the Pro Dyno guy himself, Clement Chong:

this is a scary car, why!!


guess how much the tuner want me to rev the car???
6000rpm... NO!
7000rpm... NO!
8000rpm... NO! this is the max rpm range on the rpm meter....NO!
10000rpm...... you must be insane............NO!
i finally rev the car pass the 9000rpm mark and over the mark which has no more readindg and continue until about the 0rpm mark. walau A!!! i only show this type of engine in japan magazine many year ago and thats a SPOON for honda . scary neh!!! i rev it i think pass 11000rpm, i myself cant believe it, can you???
FB link to ProDyno

He was behind the wheel, while my friend Ricky was busy dialling in the tuning for the Hondata S300 via his laptop in the passenger seat. Though, my dyno session did came to an abrupt end following a bang complemented with a spectacular exhaust flame sprouting antic ~ did my engine blow up after repeated rev runs to stratospheric 11,000rpm?? Fortunately no, *phew!(in relief)* the upgraded valvetrain assemblies & strengthened block held its worth against the abuse. It was actually the stock ignition coils that got toasted on the last dyno run... *now i know why modded hondas run pricey aftermarket ignition coils (MSD)* and that was the only extent of damage...

Here's a clip of one of the dyno runs

& the result which, i wasn't too enthusiastic about:

158.55whp @ 8,800rpm; 137.79 Nm (14.05kgm) @ 5,800rpm
~ which, translates to
193.35bhp & 168.04 Nm (17.14kgm) ~ estimated output at the crank / engine, assuming transmission loss of 18%.
Compared to the stock output of B16A 1.6 liter naturally aspirated engine on papers of 170bhp @ 8,200rpm & 157Nm (16kgm) ~ there are some considerable gains, but still leaves much to be desired as the current setup is supposedly capable of pushing over 200bhp at the crank.
The max torque figure isn't exactly impressive too, although it is quite close to the mark of a 1.8liter B18C GSR. There's an apparent torque dip around 4,400 to 5,200rpm that needs to be remedied with further tweaking. *may be running slightly higher profile tyres of 195/55/15 compared to the standard 195/50/15 does play a bit of reducing factor in the torque output to the ground*
The hp curve towards the higher rpm range is expected to spike higher, but it could be due to my current setup not giving sufficiently high (crazy high like 11.6 or higher) to fully capitalize on the potential gain of the hi-cams... currently in the progress of addressing this compression issue, hopefully it will net more gain to achieve 170whp on the next run.
Since the peak power has been shifted upwards to almost 9,000rpm, the B16A stock, & relatively long gear ratios (compared to aftermarket gear ratios la..) will make it a little tricky to keep up & stay in the powerband when shifting gears. In short, the real sweat-in-pants action only happens beyond the 7,000rpm & it literally it takes ages for the rpm needle to swoop past that magical mark with my current gear ratio!! After all, how much horses your engine makes should take a backseat to how much horses your car can effectively put to the ground... *the gear ratios surely determines how the power gets delivered to the ground, but i'm not sure to what extent it will affect the max hp output as well??
From the low to mid range, the power delivery feels a bit flat (& torque-less too, ~ inherent characteristics of small naturally aspirated engines; the mantra "there is no replacement for displacement" reigns here). Maybe i felt it increasingly so, coz i drove it right after i took Ricky's impressive 211whp & 233Nm FD2R for a spin... xp

Among the other 2 Hondas on dyno that afternoon was Ricky's K20A FD2R (superb output !) & another Steven's NA1 NSX which netted 218whp & a whooping 300Nm!

I just had to settle being the slow-poke for that day.... Until the next dyno run....

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Pasar Tamu thru 50mm

From Miri

Tagged along with my good photo kakis in Miri ~ Micheal & Unker David for photoshoot at Pasar Tamu Saberkas yesterday evening. I have never actually participated in a full-fledged street photography; i thought i would be really to be whisking out a big camera & start snapping pictures like a paparazi in a local market ~ imagine getting awkward stares from the people around... well, not unless i'm a tourist in a foreign land. Thanks to Unker David's impressive PR skills in getting the stall owners to warm up to the idea of having their photographs taken, of them doing their routines ~ first, he made his round, generously handing out prints of the photos he's shot there the week before to the respective stall owners who pleasantly suprised by the gesture... to which they responded by eagerly accommodating our photography antics =)
Unker David mentioned that his mom used to be a market kuih seller for many years but never had any photograph of her taken.... now this is something very meaningful
~ to have a candid snapshot of us in our working heydays to fondly reflect on, later in our golden years.
For the full set of photos, please visit my FB album link HERE.
Props to Unker David for the great shoot, & Mike too for extending the invitation! *i owe u guys a couple of PS tutorials... hehe =p

Project MG Exia ~ Completed!

I'm finally back in the business again after a month long hiatus; to my Gunpla followers, sorry for the long wait. Here are snapshots of my recently completed MG Exia:
From Gunpla

runners, decals & 2 LED units for the GN Drive
From Gunpla

I'd rank it as the 2nd best looking Gundam in my humble collection after MG Strike Freedom Gundam
From Gunpla

Closer shot ~ got to appreciate the details...
From Gunpla

From Gunpla

From Gunpla

GN Drive unit
From Gunpla

wielding the GN Sword *with bling-blings
From Gunpla

runners consisting parts to convert to Exia Repair Mode which, i'll save as a project for another day...
From Gunpla

will keep him as he is, for the time being =)

Monday, February 01, 2010

Sunday Club Revisit...

It's been a long while since i last been to Sunday Club ~ sort of like a local track day of all sorts (anything that runs on an engine & can be raced =p); came across some interesting video clips of it on Youtube...

I see some very familiar rides... ^_* these guys are fast!

Battle of the VTECs!
~ check out WTF!! moment at 1.22 that was one amusing close call xp

Action from inside the cockpit of an EG6 ~ i have always loved the way a track car sounded & handled *sweeet!*

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Work-In-Progress: MG Exia Ignition Mode

From Gunpla
GN Drive Unit + Weapons Arsenal comprising of a GN Sword, GN Short & Long Blade, and GN Shield

Monday, January 18, 2010

Project Civic Revisit

This is what a 200whp All-Motor 1.6L sounds like ~ also what i aspire to realistically achieve with my Project Civic *soon; 200 naturally aspirated horses, at the flywheel, at least - to hit that magical output of 125hp per litre from a high revving potent little engine =)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

RX-0 Unicorn Gundam + Head Display Base

From Gunpla

RX-0 Unicorn Gundam + Destroy Mode Head Display Base
*only realized that the display base is only compatible with HGUC grade Gunplas -__-"
(The head display base) Looks pretty plain with the all white parts + semi-transparent red inner parts only; luckily i had some extra redundant decals from the MG kit to bling up this display base (not yet applied at the time this picture was taken). Still lacks color coding for the inner neck part, gold coating for the antenna & green flourescent decals to light up its eyes. It transform quite effortlessly though, unlike its MG counterpart =)

From Gunpla

Revisiting Project MG RX-0 Unicorn Gundam ~
From Gunpla

*just assembled the leftover uncompleted arsenal from almost 2 years ago, the Magnum Beam rifle (not in picture yet) which, actually has more parts than the Head Display Base itself!
looks cool & sophisticated but is quite a pain in the butt to transform, & rather fragile too... the snap fit parts just wear out too soon, after a couple of transformations in between Unicorn & Destroy Mode & is starting to fall apart already... *strictly a display only model, & it's tough choosing either between the 2 modes to stick with. Updates in Destroy mode to come soon (after i overhaul my MG Unicorn) xp

Friday, January 08, 2010

January Goodies

Furoku Grade ~ RX-0 Unicorn Gundam Head Display Base
From Gunpla

From Gunpla

From Gunpla

From Gunpla

is a much sought after special item that comes with the January 2010 issue of Dengeki Hobby Japan
Had placed the pre-order for this magazine since last November together with my Gunpla kaki housemate; pricey but well worth it!
From Gunpla

definitely a very unique looking display base for MG Unicorn (maybe for its antagonist, Sinanju as well)
From Gunpla

Now this gives me a reason to re-visit Project MG RX-0 Unicorn Gundam which i have completed almost 2 years ago =)