Tuesday, 20 December 2011 | | Categories: General, Magazines/Blogs
Thanks to Marc at C-Red, where the car was built over almost a 4 year period, for highlighting to me that SILLBEER has made it into the pick list of the SPEEDHUNTERS 'Reader Car of the Year' Awards 2011.
Be sure to check out the line up, there's some stunning cars there.
Monday, 19 December 2011 | | Categories: General, Magazines/Blogs
Got an email this morning from an old mate of mine who's also the original owner of the sillbeer.com domain name. Ryan was kind enough to let me use his domain when he moved away from the scene for a short hiatus and subsequently let me have the domain name.
Well he's back into the scene again now with a new 240SX (S13 chassis) that he's going to be detailing his new build into a weekend drift machine primarily used to shred rubber making sure to follow his own mantra of "Shredding tires is way more fun than *real* racing". On the blog Ryan has some great info on preparing and parts choice for the S13 chassis.
Be sure to check it out at:
Monday, 1 November 2010 | | Categories: General
Well it's about time. I put aside some 'me' time to get my blog sorted. You see back in March, Blogger decided to turn off the feature I was using to publish my blog to my domain - www.sillbeer.com, which sort of put a halt on any updating. So for the last day I've been exporting, converting, designing, templating, styling and generally cleaning it up to a point that I could relaunch.
It's sort of a sorry state that as a website designer and developer, my own personal blog was in such a crappy out-of-date state. I'm happy to say now that the site is in a much better way, converting it over to my website development tool of choice - ExpressionEngine.
Left to do is some tidying up and additions to the side bar including some of my own favourite blogs and websites, plus all the address redirects from the old web pages to the new pages so that Google can find all the new stuff rather than the old pages which it currently has indexed, and that all those links coming in from forums in various guises also get redirected to the new site pages. It's not a job I'm looking forward too, with over 200 posts and other various archive links.
Got some stuff to post about the current state of the car, yes it's still my street driven daily (although I do work from home now), and also about having participated in the recent Powercruise #26 at Barbagallo Raceway.
Now it's time to keep on going before I lose steam on this.
Tuesday, 25 May 2010 | | Categories: General, Shows, Track
Last weekend was the running of the inaugural World Time Attack Challenge at Eastern Creek Raceway (Friday 21 May - Saturday 22 May 2010), just west of Sydney, Australia. It was put on by the same crew that has done Super Lap Time Attack series over the last couple of years, but this time inviting competitors from around the world to come and pit themselves against the best from Australia and each other - all up over 90 entrants. The lead up to the event had a number of big hitters set to come down here, but unfortunately there was some attrition that took place. Given the logistics of bringing a car, supporting equipment and crew overseas and on the somewhat limited budgets of the teams, it was not unexpected, as least from my point of view. Having said that, those internationl players that did turn up, pushed hard and came away winners.
In those travelling from overseas were four cars from Japan, and 1 car from the United States. Japan being where many see as roots of Time Attack (placed fair and square at Tsukuba) we had the Cyber Evo Mitsubishi Evolution IV (driven by Eiji “Tarzan” Yamada), the Tomei/Cusco Subaru Impreza WRX STI (again driven by Eiji “Tarzan” Yamada), the Pan Speed Racing Mazda RX-7 FD3S (driven by Kouta Sasaki) and the Pro Staff R-Magic Mazda RX-7 FD3S (driven by Kinoshita Mitsuhiro). The lone gun from the United States was none other than the Sierra Sierra Enterprises Cosworth Mitsubishi Evolution VIII (driven by David Empringham), having recently beaten the long standing HKS CT230R Evo's record time at Buttonwillow Raceway with a 1:43.43, just nine-tenths quicker than the CT230R.
Being in Perth, the journey to WTAC 2010 started early on Thursday morning with a 4 hr flight to Sydney, jumping into a hire car and tackling for the first time the freeways and toll booths out to our hotel in Blacktown, about 5 minutes drive from the track. Friday had us out at the track nice and early (if not a little seedy from the shenanigans the night before). My overall impression of the event is one that was very well run, with the best trade section I've seen at such and event and a good selection of cars out in the show and shine section too. Being able to get up and close to the back of the pit garages was great, probably something the Japanese can't do at say their Time Attack events which are generally closed to the public. Know this was the first day, I wasn't expecting a great deal in regards to times, as there was still all of Saturday to bang some fast laps in, but gave us all a good chance to take a peek at the teams doing their hard work and see what was available in the trade stalls.
Here's the 1st days pics, note that I'm putting these up in fairly high resolution (1280x960) so you can get a better glimpse at the goings on.
The Advan/Hi Octane Nissan R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R was hyped considerably before the event with plenty of news and the occasional video released showing it go through its shadedown paces. Unfortunately the weekend would see it plagued with problems that would keep it from running to its full potential. Hopefully next year, with much more track testing under its belt, we'll see this monster pushing it to the limit.
The Pan Speed Mazda RX-7 was a consistent performer throughout the weekend, not to mention an absolutely stunning piece of automotive engineering who's presentation was a standout on the weekend second only to the R Magic Mazda RX-7.
The Advan/Hi Octane GT-R coming back into the pits after 1 lap out, this would be a common site for this car which the team did the hard yards troubleshooting the running problems.
This strange looking snake piece is the roof trim from the Cyber Evo, ripped off at high speed down the long Eastern Creek pit lane straight. It just goes to show what sort of speed Tarzan was doing.
The Option film crew was on hand to document the efforts of the Japanese drivers (as well as the others), here seen doing a quick interview with Eiji “Tarzan” Yamada in the Tomei/Cusco Subaru Impreza WRX STI in what I recall was the first session out.
David Empringham in the Sierra Sierra Enterprise is seen here being pushed back into the pit garage after a quick practice session, and I assume still in shakedown/tuning/setup mode.
There were some really nice Mazda FD RX7's out there, one being this black example from Rama Racing driven by Brad Trenwith, and wearing a beautiful widebody kit from Bodyform. The sister car from Rama Racing was a Silver example, both the cars wrapped in vinyl by D&S Auto.
The immaculately turned out Pro Staff R-Magic Mazda RX-7 FD3S driven by Kinoshita Mitsuhiro trundling down pit lane after a couple of practice laps. This and the Pan Speed car were two of the best detailed race cars I've seen, certainly not '12-foot' cars by any stretch (a '12-foot' car is one that looks great from distances 12 feet or more away, any closer and you start to see blemishes).
This is the Prep'd Motorsport Lotus Exige GT3 driven by Warren Luff (a YouTube video of a full attack on Eastern Creek). There was a little bit of controversy about the fact this was a GT3 prepped racecar and it being allowed to race against what are essentially modified street cars, but considering the essentially 'no rules' type of modifications that have been done to the other cars, I thought there was a bit of a overhype on the issue. The more the merrier I reckon.
Tarzan brings the Tomei/Cusco WRX back in after a couple of laps. Again, as with the other Japanese cars, this was an immaculately turned out vehicle. It even turned up on the Autosalon circuit throughout Australia after WTAC.
A rear view of the Rama Racing Mazda RX7. The Bodyform widebody kit really is a nicely put together and design kit with the front guards and side skirts really lending their design from the FD race cars to an extent. And although that rear wing puts a Hills Hoist to shame, it doesn't look out of place given the tool that this car is.
This is a mix of the Motor Magazine Open Class and Yokohama Advan Clubsprint Class entrants lining up for practice. Considering there was over 90 entrants, the variety of different makes and models made for some great spectating and trainspotting.
Being an S13 chassis owner, I was really pleased to see Wayne Sutton in his Nissan S13 180SX Type-X. For what is essentially a late 80's designed chassis (first S13 appeared in 1988), it did extremely well in its class (Motor Magazine Open Class) even beating some of the times set in the Wynn's Pro Class. Not to mention it was immaculate too, with a widebody bodykit and all the essential time attack appendages. Just wish I'd managed to get some better photos (more photos I found on NissanSilvia.com).
As well as the on-track action, there was plenty in the pit paddock to keep any automotive enthusiast happy, from club displays to drift cars, aftermarket parts stalls and shop displays. One car that did catch my eye was this white Nissan S15 200SX/Silvia. The engine bay was immaculate and very well thought out. One item that did peak my interest especially was the placement and piping configuration for the GReddy Type-R Blow-off Valve, an item that I run on SILLBEER, and the cold air box that's been setup to keep initial intake temperatures down.
A close up shows the intricate piping configuration. Present in this pic are the GReddy Type-R Blow-off valve, which has a short return/plumb back into the intake pipe (seen with the K&N Air Filter). Interestingly it's still running the original plastic power steering reservoir. I'm not entirely sure what the tank is behind the power steering reservoir, but the black teflon braided line comes from the cam cover (see above overall photo) and is going to a custom breather can, which itself also vents back into the intake rather than venting to atmosphere keeping this package very much within the Australian ADR engineering guidelines and apart from the aftermarket parts, essentially a factory configuration. Bloody beautiful work whoever you are.
Another item that caught my attention, being another SR20 engine, was this one with an SR20VE/T head conversion. The heads come from either the SR20VE in the Nissan Primera or the SR20VET in the JDM Nissan X-Trail GT and house Nissan's Neo VVL (Variable Valve LIft) - see more on the SR16VE/SR20VE/SR20VET. The conversion allows for greater revs and superior response given a larger than stock turbo.
Well that brings me to the end of the Day one wrap-up. It was a top day, and on the Friday night we headed out and interacted with the locals, with some interesting social interaction witnessed at a local super pub (super because of the 3000 people capacity). There's plenty more to come.
Friday, 8 August 2008 | | Categories: General, Track
So I've had this helmet for a while now, but when I bought it it only had the clear visor/lens on it. Now most will probably recognise this helmet as the one the 'The Stig' wears on Top Gear...it being a Simpson Super Bandit. Unfortunately the clear lens just didn't cut it and wearing sunglasses under it has at times been uncomfortable so I finally got off my arse and ordered the tinted lens.
Go Gear in Mt Hawthorn were good enough to order it in nice and promptly so I now have a full 'Stig' version of the helmet. Looks freakin awesome if you ask me.
- Simpson Super Bandit - Front View
- Simpson Super Bandit - Side View
Wednesday, 16 January 2008 | | Categories: General, Magazines/Blogs
Seasons greetings to all. Apologies for the break, but went on holidays for a couple of weeks...now back at work. So I suppose I should give you an update on how things are going. Well, pretty good on a whole. The last time I posted we had just had a tune, and although laggy, the power figure eclipsed my goal of 300rwhp. Of course, now we have to make it responsive. A story that is still playing (today actually).
Anyway, over the Christmas break, the family went on holiday down to Margaret River (about 3.5hrs drive south of Perth). As we were spending Christmas Day down there with the majority of the extended family, we had to take the 5 of us (the wife and I plus the 3 kids) and all the presents. Now my wife's car is by now means small, it's actually a bit of a bohemoth (1995 BMW 740iL) but still it wasn't big enough to carry everything. As such, I decided to take Sillbeer on an extended cruise down south. At this point, the car had only done about 1500kms, so I was a little hesitant to take her on such a long route away from workshops and cheap tilt-tray fees, but I'm proud to say she made it there and back without too much of a hassle.
To give you an idea of what it was like, from Perth down to Busselton bypass it was all smooth, but the last 90kms or so to Margaret River, the road goes real country. The suspension on the Sillbeer, although reasonably compliant, didn't like the rutted, potted roads on that stretch. You basically had to keep your attention at a very high level. Once down there, I took it out a little, but wasn't expecting from the little amount that I'd end up with a busted front parker/indicator light. It wasn't until I took it down to my brother-in-law's business to take a look at the car, that it was noticed. By the looks of it, someone has rubbed their black bumper lightly on my front bumper, which was high enough to crack open the parker light. Not happy Jan. Now the reason for taking it to my brother-in-law's business is obvious by its name - Margaret River Panel Beaters. You see, soon after getting the car moving, spider cracks started appearing in the rear bumper...an affect of not sanding back the original two colours of paint enough and possibly too much filler. After seeing that and a quick chat with Scott the spray painter, it was agreed I'd leave the car there the next day when I went back with the family and come get it a week later.
Well the job was top class. The paint colour match was brilliant, and with all the shake, rattle and roll of the trip back, not a crack to be seen. While they had it, they also gave it a good polish. Many thanks to Anthony (my brother-in-law) and Scott at Margaret River Panel Beaters for a top notch job - wish they were in Perth.
As the car had just been polished, an established local automotive photo-journalist Rick McDowell made time to take some pics of Sillbeer. Over a period of about 4hrs and with lots of experimenting here's a sample of the photographs that were shot (click on the photo above). Many thanks to Rick for taking the time to shoot the car. He tells me there's more to do though with undercarriage, more engine and interior and move shots to go. Once that's done, he'll be submitting them, along with a story, to a few international magazines.
He'll cover the whole story hopefully on how I got from this:
One thing you will notice in the gallery is the Defi Gauges mounted on the dash. I did this between the tune and going down south. The result was surpisingly good, and have now scrapped plans to do a custom gauge hood/mounting arrangement. Still to be mounted on the A-Pillar is the boost gauge which will have to wait for the time being until I can build up the fundage again. The job was relative simple, just using my eye, a ruler and some masking tape to pre-determine how the gauges were to be mounted. While I had the dash apart, I also tried to adjust my fuel gauge which was showing just over half full as being full. Unfortunately I adjusted it a little too much and now full is pointing past the vertical position.
Now there's still some rattles that I'm chasing down, the most of them in the doors were to do with the windows rattling on the back of the speaker magnets when in the down position. The main one at the moment is the right hand bonnet (hood) hinge. The pin that runs through the centre has worn enough that when the bonnet is shut, it rattles around in it's hole...and right at idle or 60km/h. For now, a piece of paper stuffed in the hinge is enough to stop the rattle, but I'll be working towards a better solution soon.
As mentioned first up, the car is up at Allstar Garage getting tuned...with a view to dial in the cam timing for better response and maybe even a little more power considering the car was still pulling at the redline from the first tune. If successful, the car will be getting a bit of pushing at this weekend's Motorvation where I'll be entering under the SilviaWA banner. There's driving events on including motorkhana, slalom and go-to-whoa as well as a dyno competition, sound off and overall car judging too. It'll be my first major show with the car in relatively complete format so very excited.
Will post up results of the dyno session when I find out, until then, drive safe.
Friday, 14 December 2007 | | Categories: Engine, General
Well then, where do I start.
After getting the car registered, and bits and pieces back on it was time for the shakedown. Basically driving around, checking for squeaks, leaks, rattles and hums. There were a few rattles in the doors that have been pinpointed and fixed, along with one on the bonnet (hood) hinge which will require another hinge. We had a problem with the air-conditioning though, where the seals were naff, and after it was gassed up the first time, it all leaked out. The seals were replaced, re-gassed and now it's all good. I went without A/C for a week or so in what was one of Perth's hottest week in the month of November ever. Ugh!
As for leaks, which are all part of the fun, there was one of the factory oil pressure sender, now fixed, and another from the oil seal around the crank pulley. Now this is not to do with shoddy work, but a symptom of the GFB crank pulley being made of aluminium. The oil seal had worn a groove in the soft ally, so the pulley was removed, machined down and sleeved with a harder metal. The team at C-Red have now fixed that all up and all is good.
The car has settled down nicely on the suspension, and considering the fairly hard spring rate of 8kg/mm front and 6kg/mm rears for the Racing Gear JTC'N1 Stage-V coilovers, it's reasonably subtle. I thing it could be made a little softer for street work though but I'm yet to mess about with the damper settings. I also think the rear coilovers are clicking a little bit on some of the larger bumps in the road, but this is yet to be determined.
One of the items I'm not quite enjoying though is the exhaust. At about 60km/hr in fourth, it has a very loud drone that just goes right through the car, and unless you have the stereo cranked, you can hardly hear the sub-doofer. So I'm looking to eventually change over to a nice Tanabe Medalion g-FORDAN blue exhaust which C-Red have in stock.
Now the engine was run-in over a period of about 3-4weeks, clocking up about 1300kms. It was then time to put her on the dyno for her first, but by no means the last, tune. Tuning is being taken care of by Sean and his team at Allstar Garage and the first session was yesterday. After running her up, she made a very laggy 312hp (233kw) at 1.4bar to rear hubs (Dyno Pack hub dyno). After a conversation with Sean, it requires some experimentation with the camshaft timing to bring the power back down to the low/mid-range with as its making boost at about 4800rpm and full boost at about 5800rpm. Once you're into the power though, it's solid and just gets going.
Now how do I feel about all this? Well, I'm not disappointed that's for sure. I mean the car has been completely apart and is now together again in a state that Nissan would not have dreamed of. It's been three years in the making, and a few weeks of trial and error, refining and troubleshooting is to be expected.
Oh, and the Defi gauges are now hooked up, but just not on the dash yet. And I chose to go with a GReddy Profec B-spec II electronic boost controller rather than the PowerFC Boost Control kit. Reasoning behind this is that it has a high/low boost setting that can be easily changed, and you don't need to be a rocket scientist to work get through the menu system and understand how the PowerFC handles boost settings.
Until next week, have a good one.
Thursday, 15 November 2007 | | Categories: Exterior, General
I've read that a few people had downloaded the images from the latest photoshoot and used as their desktop, so I thought I'd pump a few dedicated images out at varying sizes for those that wish to use them. Enjoy.
- 1024 x 768
- 1280 x 960
- 1600 x 1200
- 1920 x 1200
- 1024 x 768
- 1280 x 960
- 1600 x 1200
- 1920 x 1200
- 1024 x 768
- 1280 x 960
- 1600 x 1200
- 1920 x 1200
- 1024 x 768
- 1280 x 960
- 1600 x 1200
- 1920 x 1200
For help on using these as Desktops or Wallpapers, just do a search for it on Google.
If there's any specific ones you want from previous photos, leave a comment and I'll see what I can do.
Wednesday, 14 November 2007 | | Categories: Exterior, General
Alright, a couple of people were having a whinge at me for not having photos up, so I quickly popped out and took some so here they are.
Wednesday, 14 November 2007 | | Categories: Engine, General
This week is a good week.
Yesterday (Tuesday) I was given the go ahead to pickup the car. It has had a run-in tune put into it by Sean at Allstar Garage on Monday...and in 39C (102F) heat I should add. Now, this was a special day for me as you would imagine, it was the day I could finally take my car home. Having started this journey on the 28th August 2004, that would make it 3 years, 2 months and 16 days to get it this far. To say I was nervous about driving it home was an understatement, but after driving it a couple of kms, I settled down and really appreciated what I and many others had created. The engine ran sweet (if not lumpy at idle due to the cam profiles), the suspension was tight, steering tracked true and the interior felt like new (as it should). That bodywork certainly lets you know it's there too, every time you look in the side mirrors..boom, take that.
I went and picked up the kids from school, they were all giggly about getting into the car too...I cranked up the tunes for them and they just loved it. Once home, I gave the car it's first ever wash. It has collected quite a bit of dust and crap since Autosalon as the cover hasn't been put on as much, and once clean the paint really did pop out so much more.
This morning was the first test in peak hour traffic, and did it serve it up...one of the worst days I've seen in a long time just getting onto the Freeway. Was it hard to drive? Well kind of, remembering it has a twin-plate clutch that hasn't really been run in yet, and a driver just getting used to a twin-plate again, I reckon it was pretty good. Give me another 2 weeks, and it would be a problem at all, just need to keep the revs up higher than I would in the Sigma.
I'll take a stack of pics soon and post up another gallery for those chomping at the bit to see how it's progressing.
Now is the journey over? Not by a long shot. Unfortunately when we switch ECU's over, the pin setup is slightly different between the ADM and JDM computers, which means the air conditioning isn't connected (although it has been gassed ready to go). But the weather is cooling down towards the end of the week, with a 30C today, and 28C tomorrow and Friday. We'll sort the aircon on Saturday along with the sump guard which I took delivery on Monday for. I will also run the sensor looms for the Defi Gauges and look towards getting those running...at least temporarily on the dash board. Then of course there's the run-in, which will be 1000kms of easy driving. The tune on Monday garnered a respectable 160rwhp on 6psi (0.4Bar) at 5000rpm (which is the current rev limit set in place for the run-in), so there's plenty left in it. Not sure what we'll boost her up to, but I'm saying the in region of about 22psi (1.5Bar), mmmmmm boost.
So keep an eye out for those photos.
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