Sunday, March 29, 2015

parts parts parts

so the car hasn't even been transferred into my name yet - but there's always parts to buy.

the great thing about silvias is there's always someone who's crashed their one and are parting it out.

so why not buy... most of the interior, bootlid, dash, engine bay plastics, entire carpet?

plus we have to get rid of the terrible 19" chrome wheels that the car came on. let's go with stock wheels and bridgestone RE003s while we decide exactly which jdm wheels to put on. thank god for a big daily driver to cart around all this crap.

and since we're in the mood, some nismo s-tune suspension and a fujitsubo exhaust?

would be nice to actually register the car and start driving it one day. already joined up with the nissan/datsun owners club for entry into msca competition events - again, even though the car is still in pieces.

Friday, March 27, 2015

old cars, new keys

so when i bought the s15, it only had one key - a bit of a problem, since there's a transponder in it (NATS) that means the car won't start if the transponder is missing. Ordered a nice looking Nissan key with space for transponder off ebay and then set about looking for a locksmith.

first tried wynn locksmith in preston. Big mistake. Went in on a saturday morning, since i work the rest of the week. They had one guy working and a queue of people.

After waiting an hour, he cut my key for me and sold me a transponder for $30. This key was cut off my original key. Didn't work.

Waited in line for another 30 minutes. Now he said he'll sell me one of their keys. Charged me $50. This one worked.

For a day.

Then nothing.

having had enough, i went to Bond Locksmiths in Springfield Road,Nunawading. The blokes here actually know their stuff. Took one look at my "new" old key and basically said whoever cut that key was pretty #$$#@@$#$% for using a 15 year old worn key as a basis for a new key.

ho, based on the code from the manufacturer, Bond Locksmith cut me a brand new key - that actually works! The only thing they could salvage from the f@#$$ed key was the transponder.

Bond Locksmith can also replicate transponder keys, and unlike other locksmiths, actually know what they're talking about. so in future, clearly I'll only be using and recommending them. i'm going back this week to get another spare key made. don't bother with anyone else in melbourne.

Here's their website -

Friday, March 20, 2015

so, spent some spare time just trying to tidy up the car before taking it for a rwc (safety certificate).

this car had been pretty neglected - i don't think it had been washed in a year, smoked inside, and dirt everywhere under the bonnet.

so just grab a spray of generic "black stuff"

and a couple of minutes later things are starting to look a bit nicer. Also took a microfibre towel to anything I could to mop up dust.

and more recently, i've reinstalled the stock diverter valve ("blow off" valve) and airbox with snorkel. one thing about S15s, there's always plenty of them being wrecked and spare parts are pretty common to come by.

why? well it probably wouldn't pass RWC with the bov blocked at the throttle inlet - plenty of stupid "SuTuutoottuutoooo" for the idiots out these but pretty immature. plus a big exposed pod sucking up engine bay heat is never going to do anything but add more noise and less power.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

new car - nissan s15 silvia

so back in the late 90s, the subaru impreza wrx was one of the best bargain performance cars available in australia. while nissan did have a limnited release of r32 GTRs, they didn't have anything that could really compete against the wrx - until they decided to release the s15 silvia locally as the 200sx.

with a turbocharged, 2.0l 4 cylinder engine, a 6 speed manual driving the rear wheels with LSD and a very sexy coupe body, the s15 has become a cult car in australia and holds its value incredibly well!

so yesterday, my brother sends me a text message saying - "buy this s15, it's a bargain" - and 7 hours later i did.

this is's new 200sx spec r.

it comes with some godawful 19" chrome wheels and broken suspension.

plus the recirculating valve (BOV) has been blocked off so you get stupid flutter everytime you step off the accelerator.

it needs a lot of love & care to restore her to proper jdm spec, but at least it has some good points - a great gearbox & clutch, rare sunroof, and potential.

if i can remember to update this blog, hopefully keep track of the restoration process. today was mainly a massive exterior clean, involving a snow foam gun, 2 bucket wash, clay bar, rewash, wax. polish of the headlights, though i think i might need to replace them as they've previously been opened. a little tidy of the engine bay too, to restore the factory shine on most plastics. overall in pretty tidy condition for a 15 year olf car.

Monday, August 11, 2014

track car.... gone

so.... wrx track car is now sold (that escalated quickly)

let's wind back a bit.... after winton, I fitted a new aluminium radiator and slimline fans.

also ripped out the terrible brant alarm - these came standard on a lot of australian delivered wrxs, and they're crap. they spontaneously go off, or the solder joints go bad in the control unit, disabling your ecu or fuel pump (sometime when you're driving!), they don't disarm properly, the key unit goes bad - it's incredible how awful they are.

Removing brant alarm POS photo IMG_5144.jpg
Replaced it with a Mongoose alarm which is more reliable (well, after month anyway), as well as putting in a nice double DIN Sony head unit with some MB Quart speakers, Pioneer subwoofers, reverse camera etc. Fitted in a set of "defi" gauges, wired in boost and water temp with an adapter in to the top radiator hose after I flushed the coolant again. Haven't wired in the oil pressure gauge yet.

Then my wife was in an accident in my accord euro - written off. decided I wasn't going to have 4 cars at my house, with 4 sets of rego and insurance to pay off, so the wrx was going to go. sold the wrx after listing it for 3 days, and going to pick up a new car for the wife this afternoon.

of course, knowing what's going to happen, i'll pick up another track car soon - but it won't be a road registered track car! a friend of mine has recently given up racing porsches to do go-karting - a lot cheaper to buy and maintain than a car, cheaper track days, and in a way a lot more competitive. now I've got my cx5 it's the perfect tow vehicle for a gokart, so it's just a matter of researching and figuring out how to get started.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

winton may 2014

so after staying the night in benalla, enjoyed a very brief excursion onto winton with the combined track day of the WRX club and porsche club. Plenty of great machinery getting around the track was brilliant!

the plan was to have around 5 sessions on the track - but unfortunately during my third session out, my wrx suffered the pretty common problem of a cracked plastic end (top) tank, letting go of all the coolant :( managed to limp home - a pretty slow three hour crawl - without too many major issues.

up to then, was enjoying my first time at winton. Bit of a tricky track to learn, especially the hairpin leading onto the short back straight where I did go off a couple of times.

i've swapped in a full alloy radiator and slimline fans to replace the 11 year old stock radiator, and this weekend with re-flush the coolant as I'm installing a water temp gauge to keep a closer eye on temp, as well as swapping in an adjustable rear swaybar.

also just bought a new daily/tow car, a mazda cx5 - just got to hunt down a reasonably priced car trailer now!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

time for updates - long overdue :)

can't believe it's been that long since the last blog entry. too many other things in life, yadda yadda yadda...

anyway after stepping away from the car scene for a bit, it's time to get reactivated.

long time ago, i bought a '04 wrx sedan, and had a few cars since then. bought another one recently, this time an '03. the plan is to make it a weekend track car, but with street registration so it can still be driven around to get worked on (i don't have a trailer!). bought this car pretty cheap - that way should anything go wrong while racing *touch wood* it won't be such a big deal.

first track day: philip island april 2014. pretty standard, just changed to dot5.1 brake fluid a few days before. the plan is to reduce weight and increase handling/stopping capability, rather than adding power.

next track day should be winton raceway mid-may.

(rant) on a final note, it never ceases to amaze me the number of people who spend crazy amounts of money modifying their car so they can stand next to it in a carpark. big power, big wheels, and never been driven on a track. and if you're that much of a moron to drive stupidly fast on public roads, you probably deserve to get into an accident and write your car off. (/rant)