Saturday, December 15, 2007

Nismo V1 Replica Wing

Installed the wing I got as a birthday present. Thanks Jally and all others for getting me the wing, I love it!

Thanks Vu for installing the wing for me and taking care not to scratch the paint. :P

Saturday, November 24, 2007

C-West Carbon Fibre Side Skirts


I spent a couple of hours in the afternoon installing the side skirts I bought a couple of weeks before. Thanks Shaun for arranging a bargain price for me and thanks Vu for selling them to me.

Fitting the side skirt was the easy part, but in order to do that, I first had to remove stock side skirt. That was a bit of a painful process as the stock skirts have a row of clips that snap into the chassis. I did my best to not damage anything, but in pulling on one of the clips, it ripped the bracket right off the stock skirt. T_T no biggy. Thanks Shaun and Jules for helping with the install.
The C-West skirts are well manufactured, with all the holes for bolts and clips all properly aligned with the holes on the chassis. Here are pics of the results.

Before:

After:

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tampered Motorsport Track Day - Winton Raceway

So, having installed the Cusco A Arms, my goal for this track day was to get into 1:44s. Any time lower than that would be a bonus.

Here's a break down of the sessions:

Session 1
1:54.0220
1:44.9480
1:44.1000
1:44.7290
1:44.8180
1:45.0640
1:45.1660
1:46.1860
1:45.7470
1:45.1690
1:45.8120
1:46.3600

Session 2
1:54.7570
1:45.4550
1:44.5410
2:08.4580
1:45.4270
1:46.0180
1:47.3460
1:46.6440

Session 3
1:54.3320
1:48.6280
1:47.8050
1:47.4660
1:52.1090
1:46.3280
2:12.8730
1:56.7610

Session 1 was by far my best session. I was getting consistent 1:45s, which was good. My new PB was also set on the third lap in this session - 1:44.1. The temperature was beginning to warm up and I guess my tyres were optimal on the third lap. From there it just went downhill. My new PB is probably mostly attributed to the negative camber and not an improvement in skill. Embarrassed

Session 2 was my second best session. The day was getting hotter and I only managed to do consistent 1:45 - 1:46. On lap 4, I lost it on the long sweeper, hence the 2:08. I tried taking the sweeper at 140kph, but I was in 3rd gear at high revs and the tail of the car stepped out too much on me. I went sliding onto the grass and kicked some dirt on to the track, sorry guys. After speaking to Silas, he said that I wouldn't have lost it if I was in 4th gear, so that's something to try next time.

Session 3 - The day was getting quite hot and my tyres overheated on lap 7. I tried taking half a cool down lap, but the grip just wasn't there on the next lap. So, I decided to pack it in for the day and save my tyres for the next track day. I spoke briefly to Scott from Chasers at the end of the day and he too commented that the track seemed more slippery.

Overall, I'm happy with the result.

Specs for the day:
  • K&N panel air filter
  • 17" Nismo LMGT4 with 225/45/17 Bridgestone RE55S
  • Cusco front upper A arms with -1.5 degrees camber
  • Motul RBF600 brake fluid


Overall results:
http://www.natsoft.com.au/cgi-bin/results.cgi?06/11/2007.WIN.P1

Individual results:
http://www.natsoft.com.au/cgi-bin/results.cgi?06/11/2007.WIN.P1.I

Monday, November 5, 2007

Installation of Cusco Upper Arms

After I received the Cusco upper arms, I realised that they did not include a metal collar which is a seat for the ball joint as it meets the knuckle. After numerous emails back and forth between the vendor and myself, I was told that Cusco "redesigned the ball joint and the metal collar from the stock A arms can be reused". So, I purchased another pair of collars from Nissan (because I couldn't get the originals off the stock A arms.

One day before the Tampered Motorsport track day, Shaun installed the A arms for me. Thank you very much. I set them on maximum negative camber (-12mm) and was ready to see what they could do for me.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cusco Upper A Arms

These arrived today at my office. I decided to get them because I felt it was time I had a little bit more negative camber at the front for the track. The A arms allow for -12, -8, -4, 0 and +4mm camber settings, which equates to -1.5, -1.0, -0.5, 0 and +0.5 degrees respectively.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Motorkhana - DECA Shepparton


Another new experience - my first time on the skid pan. We started the day with two different cone courses to maneuver through. It was so fun right from the beginning, I learned to use the handbrake to spin the car around. I also learned more about the car's braking limits.

Next up, a slalom course was formed with the cones. From weaving the car through the cones, I believe that the Z is a fairly nimble car even though it's heavy. The torque also helps as you can just apply throttle at appropriate moments and it will pull.

The final activity of the day was the most fun. The skid pan was sprayed with water and the cones were arranged into a huge circle. We could then driving around the circle and get the car into a slide by inducing some oversteer. After a few laps, I started getting the hang of it but there is still many hours of practice required before I will be able to hold the slide. This exercise was very beneficial because I now know what the car feels like when it loses control, and hopefully it will help improve my driving on the track in future.

Thanks must go to d-mag for the time and effort organizing the day and running it so smoothly.


Sunday, September 30, 2007

EXE Track Day - Winton Raceway


I went into this track day with the goal of getting 1:47.xxx. I was thinking that I would be happy if I at least achieved that time. Little did I know that I would be less fearful of Winton's walls and be more comfortable with my car. As a result, I ended the day with a new personal best of 1:45.359. I am very happy to say the least.

My previous PB at Winton was 1:49.376. I think that the following contributed to the 4 seconds that I gained today:
  • I was more confident
  • I braked later and harder
  • I braked less
  • I used 3rd gear on every corner (I previously used 2nd at the hairpins)
  • I used full throttle
  • I tried as hard as possible to get on the throttle early out of the corners

I can say now that I am feeling more confident in the Z as I slowly reveal more and more of its characteristic behaviours. It has taken four track days to get to this point.

Thank you Shaun for providing me with your tips and opinions. It was good to see things from your perspective.

Breakdown of lap times for my sessions:

Practice: I beat my previous PB here with 1:45.467.
2:10.5960
1:56.6170
1:50.3250
1:47.3370
1:56.4320
2:10.5900
1:57.6000
1:45.4670

Session 1: I was behind Vu the whole of this session, his car just pulled away from mine on the straights, but then I caught up on the corners.
2:09.7410
1:51.3670
1:53.8100
1:54.8180
1:52.8190
1:53.2830
1:50.5020
1:51.4550

Session 2: Shaun sat in the car with me and I managed to cut my PB down to 1:45.422.
1:52.0940
1:48.5580
1:50.4370
1:45.4230
1:45.7650
1:45.4220
1:45.9230
1:56.8390

Session 3: Jason sat in the car with me and I managed my final PB of 1:45.359.
1:52.6530
1:46.3550
1:46.5420
1:45.4450
1:46.5550
1:45.3590

Specs for track day:
  • K&N panel air filter
  • 17" Nismo LMGT4 with 225/45/17 Bridgestone RE55S
  • Motul RBF600 brake fluid
Overall results:
http://www.natsoft.com.au/cgi-bin/results.cgi?30/09/2007.WIN.P1
Individual results:
http://www.natsoft.com.au/cgi-bin/results.cgi?30/09/2007.WIN.P1.I

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Preparing for track day

  • Changed engine oil to Castrol Edge Sport 10W60
  • Changed gearbox oil to Castrol VMX-M 75W85 (GL-4)
  • Added Nulon G70 additive to gearbox
  • Changed differential oil to Castrol EPX 80W90 (GL-5)
  • Changed brake fluid to Motul RBF600


Gear shifts are a little bit smoother with the Nulon additive. I'll have to wait and see if I can feel the effects of the RBF600 on the track.

Thanks must go to Silas for guidance and changing the gearbox oil for me. Thanks to Dan and Shaun for guidance and help with the brake fluid. Thanks to Jas for operating the brake pedal and Mic for helping with jacking the car up.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Drag Racing

This was my second time dragging the car.


By the end of the day, I achieved my goal of getting into 14s - 14.77 secs @ 94.86 MPH.


Specs for drag day: Everything stock.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Circuit Club Track Day - Wakefield Park

Queens Birthday holiday and what better way to spend it than at the track! Senk9, Flameboy, UnCo, Jally07 and I headed up to Sydney on the long weekend and then down to Goulburn for a track day at Wakefield Park. The track day was organized by Circuit Club, who ran it very well.
Wakefield is a far safer track compared to Winton, it has much more run off and only one wall right next to the track. And it's also less technical than Winton meaning that noobs like me can get fairly good times.

Unfortunately, Circuit Club couldn't secure a timing person due to the V8 Supercars running at Eastern Creek. Therefore, Flameboy took matters into his own hands and bought an infrared timing device! Thanks for letting me use it too Silas!

At the end of the day, I managed a personal best of 1:15.85.

Specs for track day:

  • K&N panel air filter
  • 17" Nismo LMGT4 with 225/45/17 Bridgestone RE55S
More pictures of the day can be found at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14095039@N00/sets/72157600341328509/

and:

http://forum.jdmstyletuning.com/showthread.php?t=3478

Saturday, May 26, 2007

EXE Dyno Day - Pro-tek Automotive


Dyno'ed the car to get a baseline figure.

Results: 162.4 rwkW @ 7070RPM
Specs: 2006 350Z | 221kW VQ35DE | K&N Panel Filter

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Frustrations @ work

The old saying goes "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime". That's certainly not the case for me...


There is a guy who works for our company that is so computer illiterate that whenever he calls up with a problem, it's always the same problem. No matter how many times you explain something to him regarding using his computer, he will never remember and he will ask for help again in a few months time.


A couple of weeks ago, I spent half an hour on the phone with him helping him save an attachment from an email to a location on his hard drive and then editing a text file and saving it. I have done this at least five times in the past with him!


The root cause of this problem is an attitude whereby people think that if an issue they encounter as part of their job is remotely IT related, then they are not responsible for taking ownership of the issue and making the slightest bit of effort to overcome it. They think that any of the IT staff (even if they don't work in the support area) are there to answer their every whim.

Monday, April 16, 2007

EXE Track Day - Winton Raceway

My second time at Winton was more fun than the last. I was more used to the car and this time around I knew the track layout. I tried out heel and toe for the first time and it worked well, I just have to keep practicing. Areas where I can improve upon to go faster are my braking technique and knowing the car's behaviour better.

At the end of the day, I achieved a personal best time of 1:49.376 - a marginal improvement on my first outing. Thank you to Silas for sitting in the car with me and giving me tips.

Specs for track day:

  • K&N panel air filter
  • 17" Nismo LMGT4 with 225/45/17 Bridgestone RE55S.

Overall results:

http://www.natsoft.com.au/cgi-bin/results.cgi?16/04/2007.WIN.P1
Individual results:
http://www.natsoft.com.au/cgi-bin/results.cgi?16/04/2007.WIN.P1.I



Monday, February 19, 2007

Volkswagen Australia - Protocol that defies logic

Volkswagen - supposedly a marque of luxury and one of the highly desirable "Euro" badges. Well, it would seem that being a luxury brand does not go hand in hand with being intelligent.

Someone I know (I'll refer to them as J) has recently purchased a Volkswagen. After taking delivery of the vehicle, J purchased some personalised number plates. It was then that J discovered a flaw in Volkswagen Australia's method of attaching number plates to their vehicles. The holes that they had created in the bumpers for the number plates would not suit J's personalised plates and these plates are not as wide as standard plates. If you view the attached images, you will see that Volkswagen Australia has affixed the standard number plates to the car using the outer most holes (as indicated by the red arrows). It's beyond me why the hell they didn't use one of the holes towards the center of the plate (as indicated by the green elipses). Would it not be more logical to use the common factor? Even my Mazda and Nissan use the inside holes. This way, if you ever get narrower plates (like J did), they can still use the same holes on the bumper!!!

When J questioned the VW salesperson, his response was that this is VW Australia's "protocol"... Does that mean that anyone who gets narrower plates after taking delivery of a Volkswagen will be left with two unsightly holes in each bumper that they do not need? How the hell could VW Australia get it so wrong?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Drag Racing

My first time at the drags in Heathcote with the Gorilla was very fun.

My best time for the day was 15.1 secs @ 99 MPH. I'm looking forward to getting into the 14 second region next time.

Specs for drag day: Everything stock.