Well it's been a couple of weeks since the Perth Autosalon 2008 event and I've finally found a space to get this update done. Oh, and I do apologise to those following this blog for the tardiness of the updates recently.
Anyways, the event. I must say first off that being able to drive the car to, into and out of the venue this year was a great feeling. Last year we didn't manage to get the car completed before the event (even with the massive two week push before hand). And even though I won the 'Best Overall Engineering' award, it didn't seem right.
Again Jeff Ash, Director of C-Red, asked to have Sillbeer back on the C-Red stand this year (thanks mate), and with the other cars that C-Red had I was in hallowed company. This included another C-Red customer's car '200SXY' (Nissan S15 Silvia/200SX) which took out 'Best Engineered Brakes' and 'Best Vinyl Graphics' this year. C-Red's vehicles included their 'EFO' Mitsubishi Evo VII GTA, a recently started Lexus GS300 with complete Junction Produce makeover and the new legendary 'General Lee Sideways' Nissan Laurel which has copped a 5.7L Holden LS1 twin-turbo conversion. The Laurel took out a number of awards including 'Top-Judged Innovation', 'V8 Highest Power Output' and 'Power Champion (Highest Power Output)' with a top of 502kw ATW!
I had spent the Thursday and Friday before the event cleaning and polishing the car inside, outside and underneath only to have to drive from the workshop to the venue in torrential rain! But as the polish had only just been done and it was rain water a quick chamois off and buff and all was good again.
Now as part of the event, and the fact that the car was a driver, I did take part in both the Dyno and dB Drag Racing components. I have no pics of the db Drag Racing, which is logical considering it's not really exciting and managed to crank the stereo up to a respectable 126.7db taking out 1st place in the 'Street Stock A' class. Not bad for a single 10" Sub-doofer in the boot.
As for the Dyno, well according to most who had run their cars on dyno's the week leading up to the event, it was reading low. But then again, dyno's are there as a tuning tool as opposed to a full on correct measuring system. The dyno used was a Mainline one and is trucked around to all the Autosalon events around Australia. As this was the case, I was estimating around the mid 200hp's for my run. After loading it on and having an initial go, this is the video of the second run.
The end results of 200.3kw (268.6hp) at the wheels was a pleasant surprise. Previously the car has made 251kw (337.4hp) at the hubs on a Dynapack Hub Dyno so it's anyones guess what it really makes. Whatever it is, for a daily driver and occasional track hack it's plenty.
At the end of the show, I did manage to pick up an award for 'Best Wheel Innovation'. Probably not as highly regarded as 'Best Overall Engineering' from the year before, but fitting 18x9.5+10 on the front and 18x10.5+12 on the rear of an S13 Silvia is no mean feat - and an award is an award after all.
All in all I had a cracker of a time and thank my wife and kiddies for letting me do it. Jeff, Marc, Josh, Boney and Armond from C-Red for their help in preparation and on the day and Sequoia (owner of 200SXY) for her support over the weekend too.
With the impending Perth Autosalon around the corner at the time, I thought it was a prime opportunity to finally get off my bum (again) and install the Defi-Link Turbo Boost Gauge.
I've had the link cable for some time that would connect from the Defi-Link Controller to the gauge, but to install it you need to remove the main gauge cluster...thus the procrastinating. Anyway, I unscrewed the various bits of trim from under the dash, steering column and cluster, and removed the main gauge cluster from it's position. Using a small cable snake I taped the Defi-Link extension to the end of it and poked it through to the glove box where the Controller is stashed. Then I removed the trim from the A-pillar and poked the other end of the extension cable up the corner of the windscreen/dashboard as I knew I would mount it somewhere there, just wasn't sure where.
Now while the gauge cluster was out, it was a good opportunity to fix the fuel gauge which has been on the piss ever since I frigged with it a few months ago. Basically I fiddled with it and it ended up going way off the dial on a full tank meaning empty was somewhere around 1/3 tank. Before I started in the morning, I stopped by the petrol station and filled right up. Then I plugged the cluster back in and turned the ignition. The needle is really just a slip fit over the spindle so with a bit a tweaking and waiting for it to normalise I had it spot on.
Back to the boost gauge. I wanted the location of it to be reasonably out of the way while being easy to read. I hand held it in a few locations such as the A-pillar and the top of the dash and none of the spots seems right. I got some feedback from Marc at C-Red and the suggestion was made to stick it to the windscreen in an upside-down position so to speak. As I was going to be sticking it to the screen using the supplied double-sided tape I thought it would be best to cut some black vinyl so the gauge cup foot wouldn't be visible from the outside. And it worked. After lining up the vinyl, marking positions to stick to I fitted the gauge holder/cup, the Single Visor (gauge hood), fed extension through to the gauge and finally pushed it all into place. I think this setup is just ideal.
From the outside, you would hardly know there's an additional gauge there. The fitting of it upside down there does not interrupt airflow coming from the side firing window demister vents, and when you look at it from the driving position you're looking straight down the barrel of the gauge...WINNER!
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.
One of the many things I love about the car, is its 'factory look'. An obvious way I did this was by using the Nissan Aero kit, which is now becoming quite a sort after item. But a couple of other ways was the filling of the front guards original vent holes (a necessity with the A-pillar braces behind) and the way the Tom modified and fitted the fuel filler cap to make it look factory. You see when you normally do widebody guards, you would use the supplied fuel filler cap which bolts up in the original located and looks like an after thought because it has chamfer on one side to clear the body. Here's an example:
I don't want to say that this car is by any means less worthy, it's a very nice ride. But in my case, the extra effort that Tom made in building up the flap with a small amount body filler and shaping it to suit the new rump really has made a huge, if mostly unnoticed difference...what you want really.
A number of weeks ago now, I did a photoshoot with Rick McDowell, a well known WA based photo journalist. The results of which were brilliant, but with a fair amount of work gone into the undercarriage, and an award to prove it, we needed to get some photos done of the underbelly along with additional engine and interior shots. This being something best done on a hoist of course, so last Saturday we were lucky enough to get some time on the hoist in the C-Red workshop (thanks to Marc, C-Red's Workshop Manager). I went in and first detailed the engine bay, which wasn't too bad really. But as I drive this on a daily basis, and that the road near work as had some work done on it recently (plus rain), I had quite a lot of dirt and mud built up under the guards. With the help of the trusty truck wash and a bit of elbow grease (and mess on the floor) the front and rear suspension on the passenger side came up a treat.
While Rick was snapping away, I thought I'd take the chance to update the undercarriage shots...being there's no longer the Ikeya Formula lower control arms in place, and the exhaust has been completed and changed since the last set I did 6mths ago or so. A couple of things to note though, first being the URAS Floor Reinforcement Kit which extends the chassis rail on the passenger side from the usual S13 cutoff point to the rear. Also, if you look on the drivers side, there's dirt there just to prove that it does indeed get driven. On a whole, I was surprised at how clean the undercarriage is considering the rain we've had lately. Having the fresh'ish paint surfaces certainly helped in cleaning it all up easily though.
A few weeks back, I had the chance to fit up a new exhaust while doing some other work on Sillbeer and with C-Red being an agent for Tanabe, it seemed a no brainer to go for the Tanabe 'Medalion g-FORDAN blue' cat-back exhaust. Now you might be wondering why I would change, fair enough question. The answer has two parts...the first is that the exhaust that was fitted (XSPower Dual N1) was rather loud at certain cruising rev ranges which made it a little annoying. The second part being that it hung down rather low and was a constant worry on whether or not I would hit it on some driveways. This was more due to the design of dual pipes coming through under the rear subframe. So when the chance came, I took it.
Now I wish I had the obligatory 'box opening' pics for this event, as the experience was incredible. This exhaust is a perfect example of pure Japanese aftermarket quality parts. The packaging was tight, there were all sorts of protection and the product was just beautiful. Fitting the exhaust was a dream, after we put back all the standard rubber mounts we removed to get the china made XSPower exhaust to fit. Within 10mins, it was fitted up and ready to go...it took longer to open the box. As you can see from the pics, this exhaust has a 'titanium look' blue tip. It's a little wanky, but I like it. The welds are a thing of beauty too and all the supplied nuts, bolts and gaskets were all top quality pieces.
So, it was down with the hoist and a turn of the key. Now coming from the Dual N1 to this exhaust was quite a change sound wise. The Dual N1 was reasonably loud, especially at WOT, but this Tanabe exhaust is very quiet at idle and normal off boost driving. Being a JASMA exhaust, this was to be expected, but the surpise came when I gave the car a quick squirt through the tunnel. OMG, it's like a banshee being let free. Just beautiful. I had the same experience with another JASMA certified exhaust on my 32 V-spec - being a Nismo Weldina item, quiet on running around, then opened it's lungs right up at WOT.
The experience in the cabin now is much more to my liking (I am getting on in years). It's now a huge difference, with no droning at cruising speeds, it means I can hear more of the sound system.
Here's a few more pics of this lovely Tanabe 'Medalion g-FORDAN blue' cat-back exhaust:
Phew, that was a hell of a break. Didn't think it had been that long. Well in the time between the last post and now the car has been my regular daily driver to and from work. So far the car has performed pretty well other than the niggles from those unknown camshafts that were installed in the initial build. I've also had a couple of weeks holiday visiting sunny Melbourne for the Australian F1 Grand Prix followed by a week on Hamilton Island - just the wife and I (our 3 kids stayed with their Nina).
While away, the car stayed at C-Red and had the camshafts changed over for some brand spanking new GReddy Performance Camshaft Pro items. The specs on these are as follows:
- IN 264deg/11.5mm (120deg)
- EX 264deg/11.5mm (114deg)
I had a chance to drive it around for a few days while I waited for the appointment at the tuners and although the idle was hunting, it was a lot smoother than with the previous camshafts that were in there. Airconditioning wasn't a problem anymore either in the traffic, whereas before if I had it on in peak hour, the engine would constantly stall (it was something that we couldn't get rid of).
So I dropped the car off for a couple of days at Allstar Garage in the capable hands of Sean. The last time it was in, the changing of the camshaft timing using the sprockets was a complete waste of time, this time though, with a bit cleaning up of the base tune we finally had a decent improvement. See the dyno sheet below for the results. The thin lines are the previous camshafts and the thick lines are with the new GReddy's in play.
So to sum it up. Run on Allstar Garage's Dynapack Hub Dyno. With the boost set to a maximum of 1.45bar (21psi) using the GReddy Profec-B SpecII, power (the blue lines) is up from about 312hp (233kw) to 337.4hp (251kw), an improvement of over 20hp (15kw). The torque (green line) has moved forward another 400rpm or so showing that we've got full boost by 4750rpm. Peak torque is 369.8Nm (272.8ft lb-f) at 6300rpm, but it hits about 365Nm at 4750rpm and stays about 355Nm from there until redline.
As for what the bum dyno says, well it's all good there too. Once on boost, the power seems endless, and now I can change gears and be right on top of things again. I think there could be more response gained from going slightly smaller camshafts, but for the time being, we'll see how we go with this.
I'll be endeavouring to get down to the strip soon to see what she'll do. But remember I'll be a drag virgin so don't set your hopes too high. I also need to get to a weigh bridge and see what it all weighs too. Also on the cards is a trip up to Barbagallo Raceway with No Limits Motorsport and the odd fang out at AHG in motorkhana and circuit time attack. If fundage allows, I'm also looking at competing in a tarmac rally called the Alphera Dutton Rally when it comes to Perth in July.
A couple of items are still sitting in the wings that need to be done. Firstly will be fitting the boost gauge...although I haven't missed having one, it'll round out the cabin nicely, the Meter Hood will need to be purchased first though. When I fit that, I also need to fix the fuel gauge as that's way out of wack. Oh, and the vents in the rear parcel shelf need to be affixed to the new shelf material because each time I take a sharp turn they go flying from side to side.
I also had a visit from a well known magazine photographer on the Australian import/four cylinder scene back in late February, so look forward to seeing my car staring back at you on the newstands in the within the next couple of months. Will try and get permission to post pics for those people overseas too.
Motorvation #22 finished up yesterday. It was a weekend of hot rods, muscle cars, street machines and imports...a few hundred cars in total with some hitting some serious bat. With a bit of a surprise, I didn't leave empty handed either. I picked up 'Best Engineered & Underbody' in the 'Late Model Performance' category. For those not familiar with the underbody, a previous post has a number of photos.
Overall the weekend was brilliant. I got to drive in the motorkhana event out on the grassed infield of the speedway track, making for a very sideways affair. Stupid me didn't wind up the windows, so I ended up with grass getting in all over the back seat somehow. Also went in a couple of the Supercruises which took us down the strip...and although we weren't racing, you could at least open the taps a bit which was just great. I would have done more driving on the Sunday morning, but due to a very liquid night prior, and Motorvation having a 'zero tolerance' policy towards your blood alcohol content (I blew 0.031 prior to my events to check), I was not allowed to drive. No matter, it was probably for the best considering the long day prior being awake for over 20hrs and only 4.5hrs sleep - my reaction times and driving abilities would have surely been impaired. I will know for next year though.
I was part of the SilviaWA (Silvia Owners Club of Western Australia) contingency, and had a cracker of a time with all the crew over the weekend. It was my first Motorvation and many thanks go to Badga and Scott in organising all the components around MV for SilviaWA.
Now it's time to recover. Roll on Powercruise #15 on 11-12th October up at Barbagallo!
Well the car spent some time on the Allstar Dyno yesterday with Sean at the helm. The aim of this tune was to try and bring the response back down the rev range as it was way up top. This was to be achieved by adjusting the cam timing using the adjustable camshaft sprockets that have been fitted.
Now this is a time consuming job, as each time you want to change the timing, you need to crack open the rocker cover make the change and screw it back down. It would have been easy if we knew the characteristics of the camshafts themselves, but all we had were the basic specs - 264deg duration with 11.8mm lift on both intake and exhaust.
Unfortunately, no matter what was done, we couldn't get any better response out of the engine. We could however put more lag in...but yeah, you probably guess that isn't what we're after. Boost comes on strong at 5300rpm, where I've seen some dyno graphs seeing boost rise from 2500rpm with full boost by 3600rpm. It is however making between 310-320rwhp, but only for about 2000rpm :( So currently in the throes if researching my camshaft options for maximum response. If anyone knows that HKS recommend as the best match for the HKS GT-RS turbo, I'd appreciate it if you could let me know what they say.