Monday, January 19, 2009

Of Cake, TV, and RPM

As a dreadfully hot afternoon was wafting by and after weeks worth of running about, RPM Autoworks, the Northern Touge panel workshop is up and running~!!! Yup, you heard me right.. Renovations had been completed and the Northern Touge network, now have a place to call HOME - welcoming all touge enthusiasts out there.

The "panel clinic" has all the tools needed for performing general services up 'till complete transplants. Heck, it's even got a 25" TV... Just needs a decoder donor to have Astro running.. Any sponsors? :P

Helping out with the banner is our main mechs (L-R) Chun and Joe.

Properly measured and stretched out for best effect.
Super solid install using wall plugs! Six were used :P
The Northern Touge banner is up and flying (not exactly since its held down by wall plugs) its colors.
On the same evening, Hai came over with his "soon-to-be" converted Passo. He already has front lips (for a more personalized look) and huge rims stuck on for kicks...With an accompanying TRD spoiler to boot.
The item he'd come to install were his twin Passo tailgates which would further progress the transfomation. After half an hours' worth of splicing and dicing and we'd gotten it up and running. Beaut aren't they? Welcome to the NT family dude! (Notice the little decal down low)
Then a patient, by the name of Accent, came in the next day with heart troubles. Chun efficiently removed and replaced the timing belt but to no avail. The engine indeed needed a proper looking at, but before proceeding any further we decided to remove the cam cover just to have a look at what's going on in there.
There was all sorts of gunk, grime and clusters of unnamed substances that had clung onto the valvetrain. The engine oil had quite dried off and formed a sort of "gunk-cake" on the valvetrain, seizing it!
The owner has been notified and repairs are progressing swiftly! - R.I.P. little motor... Can you say, Accent WRC??? Hahaha...
Here's a simple site map to where we are:
Feel free to contact RPM Autoworks through the personnel listed below:
Chun 016-4737488 [Older mech]
Joe 016-4326718 [There's a reason we call him "siao kia"]
Fer (Chris) 016-4772663 [He's the tech advisor around here]
ScAvEnGeR 012-4077575 [I'm just here...]

Kickin' back Sunday

After a super hectic week, being busy with the new shop and running errands of sorts. I took a breather on Sunday and went to the Pulau Tikus market for breakfast and just watch the rush for Chinese New Year as it does every year.

As I strolled on my jolly way without a thought in mind and a bun in my hand, I noticed the ever imposing "S"-Logo on an old Datsun (Nissan in its hey-day).
This called for further investigation and it turns out to be the Skyline "S" indeed.
What I had here was the 5th generation Skyline also called the C210 in the flesh! (or worn steel sheets if you will..) This model was just before the R30 whence Nissan started to name their Skylines with and "R" prefix.
It was old and rickety, but doubtless, it was a "had-to-be-there" moment when viewing the grandpa of the modern supercar!
After a few quick shots with my handphone cam, I "jolly-ly" strolled along further and came up to an Indian newsstand which I just had a quick glance through looking for automotive magazines. A beaut FD2-R caught my eye and being the first time I'm picking up Shift, it was actually quite a good read and had great coverage all the way up North to Penang.
Being quite absorbed, I was flipping through slowly and as I fingered the last few pages, I'd finally saw it! Our Northern Touge Race Day media coverage and published in a 3 page spread! Thanks a lot to all those that made it happen and to Shift and Hypertune for the opportunity as a feature article.
For all the participants that took part, GO GET ONE! You'll not be dissapointed.. We have two media covers for this event both published in it's Jan '09 issue.
English - my all time fav mag - Hypertune (I'll get a pic of it's cover up soon)
Bahasa Melayu - Shift

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Leng's new 70

As VictorGR left after dinner, I had a call from Ah Leng right about then about his KE70 that he'd just sent over to Fer for a Weber install and tuning. Leng had requested me to test drive, we were finishing up Soon's car, and it was getting late so I agreed to do the drive early the next morning.

This morning, Leng called up bright and early for the test drive and as I'd promised him, I dragged myself out of bed and we blasted up the touge to Balik Pulau and the Weber was performing beautifully. Crisp and sharp throttle response with much smoother torque across the RPM band. Fer is quite the authority on Webers here in Penang.
The Weber looks fantastic although the base looks a little rough, we'll be looking into that later on as Leng wanted to get it up and running in quite a hurry.
Our midway stop on the way back after having a light breakfast at Balik Pulau. The air there is just refreshingly crisp and clean.
Rear three quarter view of Leng's pristine KE70 which he bought as is.
Good job on the purchase and great decision to install the carbs.

VictorGR.. Pimpin' new outlook

I got a call from Victor yesterday just as I was leaving the office that he'd visited Soon at Mansion II and getting some new "peripherals" for his freshly coated RX-7. So after packing up, I was quite motivated to get a look at his newly styled FC since he's always had a unique sense of style.

I arrived a little later than expected due to a huge accident involving an industrial bus and 6 bikes, but that's a whole different story altogether.Here's when we caught Vic performing his JDM pose with his beaut yellow FC.
Nice rump with an excellent "circular-motive-thingy" decal with sakuras. Being the exceptional one, always, the sakuras are cut out of translucent pink tinting sheets.
VGR's new additions to the outlook. As always, Soon's workmanship is flawless.
Excellent install agreed to by the looks of that huge smile on Vic's face.
Thanks for calling me up for the meet Vic. Cheers on the fantastic outlook. Do call me up for a viewing when the paint's done ok? Cheers!
p.s. I just couldn't help but get a vanity shot of the Silver Banana, seeing how the rims shone after a good wash!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Torn and tattered

A couple of years back, I was searching for a bucket seat to hold me in place whilst "touge-ing" as the cornering forces were undeniable apparent. And due to my girth and mass, it was undoubtingly difficult to look for a seat that'll fit me. After much pains and trials, I found this excellent SPATS seat that fit me like a glove.
After extensive use, as the Silver Banana is also my daily drive, the covers were giving way. Sadly, it costs quite a fair bit to get the seat wrapped up and the original fabric is almost impossible to source due to its dated design.Thus, some compromise and "ingenuity" was needed to curb this issue. Cue scotch tape!

So with some handy tape available, and our belittled knowledge of custom fabrics, Tommy and I had the temporary solution "taped down", quite literally.

Further extension

As promised, the last installment to the body "enhancement" project is the installment of the final two diffusers. Brainchild of Fer and Soon. As usual, the placement took longer to decide than the installation itself. Sorry Soon :( Up close...
Pics are ponna dark since it was taken impromptu at night with my handphone cam. Thanks to Mansion II and Soon for the superb job done.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Buckle up hom-mie!

Yes... You heard that right! With the arrival of '09, so comes forth another ruling from our Road & Transport Department. All rear passengers will be required to buckle up from 1st Jan '09 onwards and failure to comply will get you an RM300.00 fine. Those below the age of 17 yrs old are exempted from the fine, whereby the driver is assumed responsible for these minors, hence the fine redirected to them... Bwahahaha...

The rear seatbelt ruling affects all but the following:
  • Cars registered before 1st of January 1995
  • Cars registered after the 1st of January 1995 but not equipped with rear seatbelt anchorage points
  • Commercial vehicles such as taxis and rental cars
  • Vehicles with more than 9 seats including the driver’s
  • Transport vehicles with capacity above 3.5 tonnes

Now, take a deep breath, it ain't the entire story just yet. It gets better. The RM300.00 fine will be in effect between the 1st of January '09 till the end of June '09. From the 1st of July '09 onwards, this fine will be increased to a whopping RM2000.00 or you could even go to jail for up to 1 year or BOTH~!!!

Popping the cherry!

It was a lazy Saturday morning and I wanted to get some simple DIY stuff done at Smart Tint. So off I went around 11a.m. and was on my merry way to install some sound proofing and a day's sound tuning was imminent. With my head in the car's trunk and going slightly deaf from the excessive sounds, I heard an ever familiar and distinct gurgle drive by, so I paid it no mind.

Moments later, my phone rang, and who was it but my buddy Chuah. He drove a KE70 and wanted me to have a test drive in his ride. Damn, after such a long absence from the RWD world, who was I to disagree? Not to mention I was puzzled by what he was up to again, this dude is just a bag of surprises. I quickly finished whatever padding that was left and packed up in a hurry. I drove over to Fer's shop and saw Chuah there waving and calling out to me, but a quick glance around showed no RWD machine anywhere in sight. But a yellow-on-blue vinyl job caught my eye.
Lo and behold, Chuah had gotten tired of repairing his old junker and had just thrown in the gloves to a Version 7 Subaru Impreza STI~! A test drive was of course warranted and I was simply blown away by its handling prowess! It's chassis was extremely obedient and it's stock suspension setup was pliant for everyday commute yet stiff enough for a touge enthusiast. I took a lap, then another, then another... I simply forgot the route home!
Mark and Ray showed up with their SLRs practically glued to their palms and with their trigger finger snapping, we were off for an afternoon of shooting.
A bug eye's view, or a bug's eye view??? You tell me :)
Profile shot shows it's muscularly macho haunches.
It just looks so beefed up and makes you wanna put on jeans and a leather jacket then go out for some curry, a few pints and a fight!
STI badging shows it's something special.
I somehow, weirdly, just love the view from this vantage point.
Our photographers for the day were hard at work and from diverse angles. I can't wait to get pics from them! Owner was "ponna" happy with the work done.
Face off, squint-eye vs bug-eye!
Clean and simple interior signature of an Impreza.
Clean (believe it or not, this is clean for a boxer layout engine bay) and stock looking engine bay.
Subaru's little forget-me-not whilst you pop your hood.
And this is my all time fav feature of the Impreza, frameless doors... And there are 4 of 'em!!!
Much thanks to Chuah for the excellent time behind the wheel of your STI. It was my virgin run and it was such a lap, the level of grip it muster's is just unbelievable. The memory of popping the proverbial 4WD cherry, in an STI, will be one to be cherished!
More fantastic shots at Ray's blog, which can be found here.

Of Phillip, paint and plaster!

In the previous installment, we'd seen Phillip's car going for body parts installation after a year's scavenging for parts and upon completion, all's left was for paint.

We met up about a week ago and he was beaming with pride, riding in his pristine condition Corolla LE.

Excellent paint job...
Which shone in the lazy weekend sun!
AE92 rear with hidden muffler. Watch out guys, this beauty has a beast within!
Beaut item for quick access or removal of its attachment.
I just had to get a vanity shot of it with the Silver Banana. Note the side marker lights.
Phillip will be ready to touge with us pending a tire change! Cheers fella!

Mini skirt and lips

Contrary to what you may have conceived in your corrupted little mind, and I know the title sounds like a catch-phrase for liposuction and botox :P However, there will be multiple updates today as I've not done so for ever such a long time. So bear with me whilst I blabber on...

About two weeks ago, I brought the Silver Banana over to Soon at Mansion II after he'd called up about putting me up with a surround to complete the looks. So I dropped the SB off for Soon to work his magic and after a couple of hours, all modifications and mouldings were done up and the skirts were ready for masking and paint.

Mark and I were there to perform the masking and painting... He did the masking (which was tough due to the curves), and I did the grinding down and painting. Which turned out quite sucessful except for a few areas that needed putty.
Ponna excellent job macha.. Thanks a bundle.
Once we were done with the paint and everything was glossy and shiny, Soon got to work to install the skirts. These were done without rivets or screws as I'd requested not to drill holes in the chassis. As usual, Soon did a fantastic job... This dude is gifted, I tell ya!
This is a profile shot of the complete works.
Rear 3/4 vision. The Silver Banana does have a fat ass doesn't she?
Rear shot of my banged up bumper... Again, I'd just like to say I hate bikes. Or at least those that like to ride fast and can't control their machines.
As customary after every visit to the fiberworks shop, it's time to wash down the Silver Banana. It was whence I'd realise that the Silver Banana is indeed a huge ass mutha'tucker. Time to downsize methinks... *mind churns*... *evil grin*

However, a week down the road and there was unanimous vote to add in canards to the fiber concoction already present. So Soon got to measuring and conjuring me up a set of whiskers.
Installed and looks excellent. Just for looks though... Hehehe...
As I was beginning to think that we were complete, my mech (and main advisor) Fer had a brilliant stroke of imagination and suggested more items!

A million thanks to Mansion II for the excellent job, and to Soon no less, for the tedious attention to details and care during the installation.
Check back soon for further updates.