Wednesday, June 25, 2008

We are on ZTH~!!!

After a fair amount of waiting... The Dato Sagor Track in Kampung Gajah, Perak is featured on!!!

You can refer to their write up here. There are also lots of pics of the event and its many participants. Fantastic coverage.


Much thanks to Adam, Tom, Keshy, and the beautiful Angeline that day for the coverage and write up. Much appreciated!

More "Huan Lo" with a dash of spice!

I was driving home from work after a very dreary office day to see Kiong (exhaust man) for some bars he'd ordered for me. The Silver Banana felt great after the first two bars installation (I'll update later once I get pics) but I was fated to discover that there is a clunking sound everytime I turned left.

I then bypassed Kiong's shop and went straight to see Chris (my mech) only to find that my right upper arm had worn out. Dang... Just when I thought I'd be ready for the July excursion!

Anyways, Chris told me to keep using it for now until a suitable replacement could be found (I dun know what he has planned for me), so here I sit impaired, until my car could be repaired. What else could I do, I'm now retarded, I'll just have to wait open hearted. Seems to be I'll be restrained, while I've to keep myself enterteined.

Forgive the lame rhyming, it was just bad timing. It was just an outburst, good sense rather than to curse...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Corroded pump and a Mirage.

I'm happy to say that my bubbling radiator had been resolved with slight milling of the engine head and head gasket replacement. Sadly however, the clutch was seems to be giving way again so I'd visit Chris (my mech) for some "consultation".

After a short test, we decided to remove the upper clutch pump to see what's going on. It seems that the DOT4 fluid had corroded the rubber seal and that caused the piston to wear at the pump body.... Bad news...
We sourced around and finally found a good replacement unit with 2 seals on the valve body and an extra O-ring for good measure. Good design eh? Sweet... We got that and installed it ASAP as I was anxious to hit the touge again with a proper clutch...
Whilst getting around with my mech to source for parts, I came across this beautifully stock Mirage and just had to take some pics!
It's fully stock... Imagine how it'd perform in the touge with a transplanted 4G93 in it... Mmm mmm.... I'm going insane for hot hatches! Oh... And the plate number would cost a bomb now!
Beautiful specimen... Too bad its not for sale... Sad-ness...

I'm back... So's Ben from Ukraine!

It's been a slow week past and lots have happened... So sorry for not updating in all this time as office was super busy as well, let alone social obligations. Many Chinese couples are hurrying to be wed as the Chinese 7th month (Month'o'Ghoulies - Kinda like Halloween, but lasting a month!) approaches... The ang pows (red packets filled with $$$ traditionally given by invitee as token of thanks) given out... Phew!

Well, my god bro Ben got back from Ukraine with Catfish whiskers for hair as barber costs there are extravagant. He'd not changed at all.... Maybe skinnier due to lack of nutrition (another form of luxury... ) :P
As always, its customary for him to get me some unusual looking fags/ciggies... This round he'd bought a ciggie that had a long filter with an indent called Parliament, and a super smooth ciggie from Kent (which it had lived up to its reputation) called the Nanotek series. The packing of the Kent ciggies were beaut!
I was trying to get a pic of the embossed Kent letters... Dang the wrapping and sorry for the Pall Malls next to it :P).
Oh, did I mention it was a super slim? Kewl innit?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Road tax... Abolished?

I'd heard over the radio, as I was approaching my office, this morning that the government is planning to lower the road tax and eventually abolish it. As I'm sure all of us knows, the information from our local ministers are a dime a dozen and more often than not is like making, a local staple, the roti canai. Flip right, turn left, upside down and inside out! So I'd checked other media upon reaching the office and multiple sites have already printed out this statement. One of which I'll quote, from TheStar Online, albeit still doubtful.

"PETALING JAYA: Road tax will be reduced gradually and abolished.
Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat said the ministry was studying the possibility of abolishing road tax.

“I will bring the issue to the Cabinet, and if they agree, private vehicles will be the first to benefit,” he said.

Ong said the rebates given out in lieu of the fuel price increase was not enough to ease the people’s burden in the long term.

On June 4, the Government announced a RM200 reduction in road tax for private vehicles above 2000cc and RM50 for private motorcycles above 250cc.

Also announced were rebates of RM625 for private vehicles of 2000cc and below, and private pick-up trucks and jeeps with an engine capacity of 2500cc and below.

Rebates of RM150 will be given to private motorcycles with an engine capacity of 250cc and below.

On another matter, Ong said he “was going to call” the bosses of Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia for “peace talks” over the pricing war and their tit-for-tat remarks.

“Competition must be healthy and take place on a level playing field, devoid of acrimonious remarks.

“We are all mature citizens and we all know how to carry ourselves,” he told reporters after witnessing a memorandum of understanding between the Road Safety Department and Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Sdn Bhd at his office here yesterday.

He was commenting on the war of words between MAS managing director Datuk Seri Idris Jala and AirAsia group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes recently.

MAS said it would withdraw all travel privileges given to Fernandes who responded by saying that the move was “childish.” " - TheStar Online.

Monday, June 16, 2008

"Re-po" ethics

I'd been surfing around the net this morning to look over a topic that'd been dangling on my mind since this economic downturn, and here's what I'd managed to find on our rights as the debtors and the ethics of repossessors. I hope this helps in these tough times...

Has your car been repossessed and you are in dire straights? There are many options that you may not be aware of. When you buy a car, truck, or other vehicle on credit, you should be aware that, until you have made the last payment your creditor retains important rights in the vehicle. These rights are established by the contract you signed and by the law of your state. Your failure to make timely payments on the vehicle carries serious consequences. Your creditor will then have the right to "repossess" -- take back --your car without going to court or, in many states, without warning you in advance.

However, your creditor's right to repossess your car is subject to some limitations. In particular, state law places limits on how your creditor may repossess the vehicle and resell it to reduce or eliminate your debt. If any rules are violated, your creditor may lose other rights against you, or even be required to pay you damages. For further information about the rights discussed generally below, and about your state's specific repossession requirements, contact your state consumer protection agency or your private attorney.

Seizing the car
Normally, your creditor has legal authority to seize your vehicle as soon as you "default" on your loan. What constitutes default will be stated in your contract, but failure to make a payment on time would certainly be an example. However, if your creditor has agreed to accept your late payments or to change your payment date, the terms of your original contract may no longer apply. Such a change in your credit contract may be made orally, in writing, or, sometimes, simply by your creditor's repeated acceptance of late payments without complaint. Once you are in default, the laws of most states permit the creditor to repossess your car at any hour of the day or night, without prior notice, and to come onto your property to do so.

However, when seizing the vehicle, your creditor may not commit a "breach of the peace" by, for example, using physical force or threats of force. Taking your car over your protest or removing it from a closed garage without your permission also may constitute a breach of the peace, depending on the law in your state. Should there be a breach of the peace in seizing your car, your creditor may be required to pay a penalty or, if any harm is done to you or your property, to compensate you. Also, because of a breach of peace, your creditor may lose the right to collect a "deficiency judgment." A deficiency judgment is the difference between what you owe on your loan and what your creditor receives when reselling your vehicle. A private attorney or your local legal aid society can give you guidance about how your state courts have dealt with these matters.

Reselling the car
Once your car has been repossessed, your creditor may decide to keep the car as compensation for your debt or to resell it in either a public or private sale. In any case, generally your creditor must notify you about what will happen to the car. Under most state laws, your creditor must tell you if it wants to keep the car because you have the right to demand that the car be sold instead. You may want to exercise this right if the car is worth more than what you owe on it. Most creditors prefer to sell the car however, rather than keep it. If your creditor chooses to resell the car at public auction, state law usually requires you to be notified of the date so that if you wish, you can attend and participate in the bidding.

If the vehicle is to be sold privately you are usually entitled to a notice of the date after which it will be sold. In any of these circumstances you may be entitled to "redeem" or buyback the vehicle by paying the full amount owed on it plus the expenses connected with its repossession, such as storage and preparation for sale. Some states have consumer protection laws that also allow you to "reinstate" your loan. This means that you can reclaim your car by paying the amount you are behind on your loan together with your creditor's repossession expenses. Check with your state consumer protection office to learn what the laws are in your state.
Any resale of a repossessed car must be conducted in a "commercially reasonable manner." This does not mean that your creditor must get the highest possible price (or even a good price) for the vehicle. A resale price that is below fair market value, however, may indicate that the sale was not commercially reasonable. A sale made according to standard custom in a particular business or in an established market will be considered commercially reasonable in almost all cases. Failure to resell your car in a commercially reasonable manner may give you either a claim against your creditor for damages or a defense against a deficiency judgment.
(For an explanation, see the next section.) Whatever method is used to dispose of a repossessed car, a creditor may not keep or sell any personal property found inside. (This doesn't include most improvements made to the car itself, such as the addition of a stereo player or luggage rack.) Your creditor also may be required to use reasonable care to prevent others from removing your property from the repossessed car. If you find that your creditor cannot account for valuable articles left in your car, you may wish to speak with an attorney about your right to compensation.

Paying the deficiency
Any difference between what you owe on your loan and what your creditor gets for reselling the vehicle is a "deficiency." For example, if you owed $2,500 on the car and your creditor sells it for $1,500, the deficiency is $1,000. In most states, a creditor who has followed the proper procedures for repossession and sale is allowed to sue you for a "deficiency judgment" to collect the loan balance. Several states however, have consumer protection laws that restrict creditors from suing for a deficiency when vehicles or other similar consumer goods are involved. Your state consumer protection agency will be able to tell you whether this is true in the state where you live.

If you are sued for a deficiency judgment, you will be notified about the date of the court hearing. It may be important for you to appear at this hearing, because it may be your only opportunity to use any legal defenses you may have. If your creditor breached the peace when seizing the vehicle or failed to resell the car in a commercially reasonable manner, these may be defenses against a deficiency judgment. An attorney will be able to tell you whether you have grounds to contest a deficiency judgment.

Talking with your creditor
Because it is difficult to dispute a repossession once it has occurred you should contact your creditor when you first realize you will be late with a payment. Many creditors will agree to a delay, if they believe you will be able to pay later. Sometimes it may be possible to negotiate with your creditor to improve your position. If you do reach an agreement to modify your original contract be sure it is in writing so that it cannot be questioned later. You may wish to hire an attorney or contact your local attorney referral service for low-cost legal help.
However, your creditor may refuse to accept late payments and may demand that you return the car. By agreeing to a "voluntary repossession," you may reduce your creditor's expenses in retaking the car, which you otherwise would be responsible for paying. But remember, even if you return the car voluntarily, you still are responsible for paying any deficiency on your loan, and your creditor still may enter the repossession on your credit report. This portion brought to you by

Can I get my property back?
You can "redeem" the property by offering the creditor the entire unpaid balance on the debt, plus any expenses reasonably caused by the repossession. You must do this before the creditor has disposed of or sold the property or has signed an agreement to do so. Usually you cannot redeem just by paying the amount in arrears unless the creditor approves it. Many credit unions will allow this but generally speaking, once a creditor has the car in their grips, they will not give it back unless you pay it off. Why would they want to chance it again?

Can I go to jail?
Conceling the car can be a crime. Concealment of a vehicle with intent to hinder a creditor is a felony in some states. You need to read your state statute and see specifically what the rule is. It is probably listed under business or commercial fraud.

Does a bankruptcy stop a repossession?
A bankruptcy has an automatic stay to protect debtors so any collection efforts would violate the stay.

I know... I know... Its adapted from a US website but the general idea is the same. However, Paul Tan had found and listed the Malaysian "version" :

Listed below is what I found on on the code of ethics we adhere to here in Malaysia. I hope this helps :

The following is the Association of Hire Purchase Companies Malaysia’s Code of Ethics on Repossession. In these trying times, I believe that this information would help many out there.

As far as possible the number of authorized repossessors must be minimized unless circumstances warrant any additional assistance.

Repossessors should only gain entry into premises with the knowledge and consent of the occupant.

Repossessors should be well mannered and dress decently. They should ensure the practice of professionalism and dignity in carrying out their work.

The use of strong arm tactics of any kind is strictly prohibited in the performance of their work.
At the time of repossession, the repossessors should give a standard notice to the hirer informing him of the following:

The address and telephone number of the finance company and the authorized officers he/she can contact immediately to resolve any problems.

The repossessors must give a reasonable time to the hirer to inspect the vehicle and remove his personal items and belongings.

As far as possible repossession should be undertaken in the presence of the hirer or any person authorized to that car.

Repossessors should at all times act in accordance with the laws and regulations in the performance of their work.

All repossessors should be given and briefed on the Code of Ethics On Repossession and abide by its terms. They should also observe any other Code of Ethics introduced by the Association of Hire Purchase Companies Malaysia, the Association of Finance Companies Malaysia and the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs from time to time.

Good luck and all the best to all my family and friends out there whom are making ends' meet. I know that these are trying times, but we've to strive through this ordeal and come out stronger than we made it in.


July 13th Open Track Day Updates

Due to overwhelming response, you track driving enthusiasts will be able to have fun on July 13th, 2008! Every driver will have his chance in winning over RM4xxx (U$1xxx) worth of prizes, courtesy of Red Line Oil (fully synthetic top of the line blood you can feed your car), Ultra Racing (the ultimate in chassis strengthening), in conjunction with Autoria (your friendly Toyota dealer).

More info:
1) Event starts at 9am and ends at 5.30pm
2) Pre-payment required
3) Trophies for winners of the mini-race provided!
4) Mini-race is divided into:
Open class


1) Passenger and Driver of a car MUST WEAR HELMETS.
2) Car must be in good condition with working brakes, and not leaking fluids.
3) Participation in the mini-race is voluntary.
4) Grid designation for the mini-race will be contingent on your best lap.

1) RM150 per car per driver.
2) Free buffet lunch included for paid drivers.
3) If you are new to the track, an experienced driver will be assigned as your track guide for free.

There will be magazine coverage, so we'll see you there, in whatever you wear! :P
p.s. For registration for all you fellas out there, please feel free to call whichever liaison convenient to you at :
ScAvEnGeR : 012-4077575 (Penang)
Tougeking : 016-5066600 (Ipoh)
Tan : 012-4453535 (Seberang & Parit Buntar)
Calven : 0164442332 (Seberang & BM)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Touge friends leaving!

I just got to know last night that a lot of kaki touge will be leaving for either work or studies :(

Down lor... It'll be sad with few buddies left... For now we still have Daniel (Touge Monk), Raj (Black Faraj), Ah Soon (Bodykit Spclst), ScAvEnGeR (Silver Banana), Akihito (Mini Me), Chris (only mornings... you suck!), Tommy-san (our loyal sticker man) and super mech Christopher (another Dr. Goh, only that he deals with automotive ails).

Sad news indeed...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Open Track Day at Dato' Sagor Track!

Hi all, I've a confirmed date, 13th JULY 2008, for the open track day which will be held at the Dato' Sagor Track.

Date: 13th July 2008
Time: 9a.m. till the sun goes down, your car breaks down, or until you break down!
Venue: Dato' Sagor Track, Kg. Gajah, Perak.
Fees: RM150.00 per car, per driver.

Honestly, the food sucks, but you wouldn't be free to think of your tummy anyways... There's too much fun to be had.. Hah! But for the greater good, there will be a buffet line this round.

As before, there will be a mini race again in the afternoon. But this time, I'll be organising it to ensure fairer proceedings. And TROPHIES will be awarded to the winner for bragging rights and just to plainly SHOW-OFF!

I'd confirmed the date ASAP this time round so that participants will have at least a month to prep your cars and save up for the event. I hope you guys will do so to maximise your fun on track!

Cheers mate! And see you at the track!

Blackout touge!

I'd just thought of an interesting story of a touge run I did just a little while back.

I'd gone up the touge with Tommy and Daniel just for shits and giggles as we were bored outta our skulls.

We'd taken the usual forward route past Batu Feringghi and into Teluk Bahang, and as usual, we'd stopped by the dam for some smokes and a chat. Just shortly after, it was getting late and it was a weekday, so we took the Balik Pulau route home as it was nearer and convenient for all three of us.

Tommy was in the lead as he'd wanted to try the feeling of being the lead car, I was lined up behind him and Daniel followed suit.

After turn three, Daniel thought it'd be funny to follow me in the pitch black darkness without any lights on. Daniel suddenly dissapeared from all my mirrors as he switched off the lights (ala Initial D), even though he was right behind. I could hear him, but I couldn't see anything!

Just a few corners on and I thought, "Hey, it'd be fun if Daniel couldn't see me as well. My.. My... What fun we'd have!". So I switched off all my lights too. Poor Tommy had a shock and had slowed down, ever so little, just to realize we were fooling around.

I followed suit as Tommy continued to gun the touge and Daniel was in the darkness behind. I had a shot as Tommy understeered and an opening was available. We did it Initial D style and I switched on my lights just as I was passing Tommy, if only just for kicks!

It ended with me in the lead (lights on liao la!), followed by Daniel (still persistent with his lights off), and Tommy was happily cruising at the rear.

We stopped by the curb for a smoke and some story telling, reaccounting the events that had just taken place. Sweet!

Abnormally quiet!

I thought I'd just like to post up a bump since its been so long since any activities were carried out and social activities are grinding to a halt. I guess most are still trying to recover from the petrol price increase thus affecting all other amenities in every aspect of our lives. There has not been a touge in almost a week now, and nightly outings are scarce if not few. We are conforming more and more to routine life as we know it.. Wake up, work, get off work, go to bed... Repeat and repeat and repeat...

I read some bad news stating that the rebate is only a one time deal. We're rebated only ONCE, and in light of the current economic situation... Sad to say that many families will suffer and the need to tighten up our already constricting belts would cause much distress. I certainly hope there would not be another increase of fuel prices, which seems imminent. Haih... Time to quote my fav. sad-ness phrase... DOWN-loh!!!

Well, I guess my investing in a home entertainment system a few months back, at the cost of getting an e-manage installed in my Silver Banana, was the right choice eh?

Friday, June 6, 2008

One-off increase, why do it twice?

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad was found mentioning his justification for the one-off price increase of fuel.

In justifying the 78 sen per litre increase for petrol, Shahrir said the amount was the second choice.

“It was either 50 sen, 78 sen or RM1. Initially it was RM1, but then we decided that rather than placing it at 50 sen and then increasing it later, we would just stick to a one-off increase.

“Why do something twice when it can be implemented once?” he asked.
-source The Star

I find this a rather hypocritical albeit pretentious statement, seeing that the reason for the import tax on automobiles have to be slowly reduced so as to not impact the citizens (while protecting a certain manufacturer) resale value whilst the fuel prices had to be raised all at once so that they don't have to come up off their comfy fat asses to ammend the implementation again!

Now how would this sudden increase of 78cents fare for the low-mid income earners that are already making ends meet, and being raised right after the price hike of rice!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Fuel price comparison.

I got this mail from a colleague... See how we compare to the worldwide prices! Sheesh!!!
And we ARE a fuel producing country... The shame!

Of fuel, monkeys and ministers

I was about to leave the office last night and decided to do a final check on the fuel hike rumours I'd been getting SMS'd the whole day.

I went online to Malaysiakini and its reported that the price of fuel will rise to RM2.70
Even NST had reported this price hike for fuel!

Then it hit me that millions of lemmings living all around will be rushing for a refuel causing massive jams and super long waits in traffic. Is the savings you get per tank worth all the danger and angst you have to put up with? Sheesh!!!

Anyways, further reading was in order and I'd gone through a lot of articles and finally saw this in a forum. I like this dude for saying, in my own summation, "If the gov expects the rakyat (citizen) to pay real world price for fuel, they should also pay real world price for cars, not the artificially high price as is!" Damn it! We're already paying for more than the subsidised petrol up front! The public is paying for it like buying raffles for charity... Without hopes of return!!!

It is not the price of fuel that scares me, it's the repercussions that it brings with it. Imagine food costs increase (major concern), household items raised through the roof, and everyday needs unaffordable to the laymen.

There had been talks of the subsidy program which is unlikely to kick off anytime soon since no system nor framework had even been DECIDED upon, let alone constructed. Or they're being very coy and discreet about it seeing that no form of media had firm data to present at present.

With the removal of the petrol subsidy, the gov's excuse was that other countries are paying international prices whilst we enjoy the subsidised rate. What they fail to see is that other countries have the option of public transport and superb facilitation for their "rakyat"s ease of mobility. We on the other hand have hot and stuffy busses, improperly maintained taxis, bad mannered drivers, and it goes without mention... Their schedules are just USELESS!!!

How will the gov make up for this increase in LIVING COST? Are they just trying to milk their cash cows (us, the "rakyat") dry? Or had they been in office for way too many terms and just trying to make their way out from national affairs???

The gov cannot afford fuel subsidy but can afford a RM 100Mil project to renovate the Parliament building (which leaked thereafter), RM 40Mil to send a monkey into space and dub him "Angkasawan", multiple billions more ringgit bailing out "certain" companies of "interest", and all our Ministers are pottering around in luxurious German automobiles and spending lavishly!

Bullshit I say!!!

Feel free to drop me any views.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Head woes!

More checks were carried out last night and Chris' conclusion is that there is high possibility that the head gasket is a gonner. But just to verify, he'd asked me to perform the same inspection he did early in the morning when the engine is still cold.

I went home early that night and had a lousy rest with troubled sleep... How can this be happening again? I just replaced the head gosh darn it. But as any automotive enthusiast will tell you, it's just part and parcel of maintenance.

So I woke up at 5.30 this morning and was very anxious to inspect the radiator again in hopes Chris was wrong (which is very seldom).

I went to my darling Silver Banana, opened up the cap, filled in water, and fired her up. Goodness gracious, froth was coming out. Kinda like when we make cappucino. Once the temperature rised until the quarter mark and the thermostat opened, bubbles came out like a kid blowing them on his toy while he's having a sugar rush!

Darn... More work to be done... Updates coming soon.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Engine, radiator, and tires

After the recent flurry of events, I'd forgotten to take pics and update on my engine condition.

Last Saturday, after a brief touge session with some friends, I'd decided to see my old mech Ah Loon to change out the engine lube as I'd successfully clocked 1000+km just below a week!

As always, I just went for semi-snythetic oils and the Castrol Magnatec was my choice this round as it was relatively in my budget and it came with a free trunk (boot) organizer :P

Once the oil was drained and replaced, we fired up the old lady and Ah Loon's friend was listening to the popping sound at my exhaust. We checked and the conclusion was that I had been using the wrong sized plugs all along! The previous owner changed them without checking properly. I'll be getting them replaced in the near future as I'd already busted my budget.

The radiator was bubbling which either meant the engine head didn't fit properly or the radiator is clogged. So I hope its the latter and will be removing it next weekend for cleaning and reinstalling it with fresh coolant for good measure.

Once I got home, I turned my steering to full lock when parked and did a simple check on my tires. The rears are about time to give way and the fronts are almost worn out.

Haiz... Time for tires change again... Down lor!!!

Saturday morning outing

Since our regular touge sessions had been interrupted recently by the local authorities, we'd decided that this week, we'll try something different.

Last Friday, a group of us decided to go for breakfast and sighseeing early Saturday morning and of course... A little touge action!

We met up bright and early at the regular Shell station and who was to drive by but our 1.8 class champion, Suhaimi. We called him and he'd turned back to meet us and all of us went up the touge.

We arrived at the Balik Pulau Market around 7.40a.m. for breakfast and a ciggie. We all had our fill and we'd decided to bring a few newcomers to try out the BP-TB route. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves save for the random car here and there.

We arrived at the dam and enjoyed the scenery as we'd never seen it in daylight :P
After which, all of us took off for home in a slightly spirited drive. I was keen to push my engine since it'd been run in... But fear got the better of me and I only drove to below 5000RPM just to be safe.
Who knew, there was a beautiful waterfall in the touge.

It's such a different experience gunning the touge in the morning. We'll do it again some time :)