Sunday, May 31, 2009

Busy Weekend: Wheel Trial Fitment and Dashboard Measuring

I went back to Jakarta last weekend. Work has been so stressful lately so i figured i need some time off. I don't usually go to Jakarta on regular weekends like last weekend. I prefer where there's holiday on Friday or Monday so that i can stay there a bit longer. However, considering there won't be any long weekend until July, i decided to go back anyway.

It was a busy weekend for me. I tried my best to get as much work done as possible on The Dog. First i went to the shop to see the body work progress. I went there with my friend Ono. As you can see on previous update pics, the rust was horrible. Now i get to see it myself. Here's a shot i took myself. It was taken with Ono's camera phone since i forgot to bring a camera. So, please excuse the quality.
Now you see how bad the rust is.. Scary huh? I just hope once they finish, it can hold up for a few years before starting to show rust spots again. I also took Stanley's advice to trial fit the wheels i bought, in case some fender rolling is needed. So i took my CSA Globeline wheel and fit it to The Dog. There was not much room to move so i couldn't take full body shot of The Dog while the wheel is fitted. Anyway, here are how it looks fitted. These are from the rear fender.
It fits quite nicely. I was surprised it didn't come out of the fender lines. So i guess no fender rolling is needed. Here's another pic, fitted to the front this time.
The last thing i did on the shop was measure the dashboard panel. I am planning to customize my gauge cluster using some aftermarket gauges. The plan was to fit these gauges on an aluminum sheet. What i did was basically take the measurements for the aluminum sheet size. I'll let the pictures do the talking on what i did with a help from Ono.
Fortunately, Charmant's dashboard panel is quite flat so it really simplified the work. Now i just need to transfer the cardboard sizes to an aluminum panel and have it cut. I didn't have enough time so it'll have to wait until next time.

I also went to Automall and hunted for some items. There were a number of items i need to buy but unfortunately i went there on the wrong day. I went there on Sunday and only a few shops were open. So i couldn't get all the things i needed. These are what i managed to get..
Indicator lamps, toggle switches and battery cut off switch for 15 bucks. These will all be installed to the custom dashboard panel. Hopefully there's enough space since i'll be installing also six 2-inch and one 3-3/4 inch size gauges. I'll write a post on the design of the gauge cluster panel next time. Just to give you an idea of how cramped my dashboard panel will be, these all will go to the panel also..
These are water temp, oil temp, oil pressure, vacuum, volt and air-fuel ratio meters, measuring 2 inches in diameter. I already got a 2-inch tachometer but i want a bigger size. The dashboard panel would only fit a 3-3/4 inch sized gauge although 5 inch is available. I couldn't get the 3-3/4 inch tachometer yesterday since the shop was closed. I hope i can find a used one soon so i'd save money and can start pinpointing the hole positions for the gauges on the cardboard panel.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How To Calculate Your Car's Running Speed

This post is basically to help you answer this kind of questions:
"How fast am i going on 4th gear at 6000 rpm?"

There are so many ways to answer above question. Starting from the simplest to the most complex way. First one is of course by peeking at your speedometer, silly! Jumping to the third way, since i think it's the most complex and expensive way, is to have your car dynoed. There are of course other absurd ways like holding out a portable anemometer outside your window etc but why bother when you can do it this way..

The second method is by using a Gear Ratio Speed Calculator. This post will discuss this method. First of all, why would i bother doing this when my Charmant (or nearly all cars) already has speedometer? The reason is that i am going for a custom cluster gauge and as some of you may have experienced, aftermarket speedometer is one of the most difficult gauge to install with the gear ratio, speed sensor and all. So i am considering of not installing it. However, i also want to know if, once finished, The Dog can reach 200 kph or not. You know, just for my personal justification of the price i am paying for the engine ^ ^ So this method would help me pinpoint the 200 kph mark on my tachometer numbers..

Gear Ratio Speed Calculator is something i found on the net not so long time ago. You can download it here. I forgot where i got it so if you're the one making it, pls let me know. It's basically a tool which calculates these three: angular velocity, linear velocity and gear ratio. I won't bore you with math and all so i'll just explain how to use it. You need some inputs and they belong to the yellow and green fields as seen below.
The inputs are:
1. Rim diameter in inches
2. Tire profile and width
3. Engine rpm in question (on our case above, it's 6000 rpm)
4. Gearbox ratio for each gear position, usually found in owner's manual, brochure or just google it
5. Final gear or diff ratio, also usually found in owner's manual or google

In my case, i am planning to R14 175/65 tires so that's 14 for rim diameter, 175 for tire width and 65 for profile. Charmants use T50 gearbox ratio and by googling i found the following ratio for each gear:
1st = 3.587
2nd = 2.022
3rd = 1.384
4th = 1 --> meaning the drive shaft is turning as many RPM as the engine
5th = 0.861
For the last input which is the final gear ratio i got a help from a fellow Charmant owner here that it's 3.909..

So with those as the input, i can answer the question above: On the 4th gear at 6000 rpm, my Charmant is running at 168 kph!

I then managed to find that my Charmant is running 200 kph on 5th gear at approximately 6100 rpm. So, once i finish my custom dashboard panel, i'll know where to put the 200 kph mark on my tachometer.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Update 26 May 2009

These pics just arrived in my mailbox so they are still hot! Got help again from my sis for sending these shots of The Dog taken today. Each time i look at update photos, the price i am paying for the bodywork seems getting cheaper considering the amount of work and material involved. Heck, my dad even told me that the bodyshop owner is considering on getting new rear doors instead of working on the existing ones! Anyway, here are the shots..
Notice that AE70 Corolla on the back? *drool*
That engine bay's getting browner with rust each week. It just goes to show you how Indonesia's climate really is bad for exposed metals. They better hurry up or they'll replace more panels with new ones!
Fugly shift knob needs replacing..
Judging by these shots, i am guessing it would still be at least a month before they start painting. The car's been there for two months now. That's OK. I am not in a hurry anyway because there are some things i haven't decided yet like paint color or where will i have my 4A-GE installed so i'll let them take their time.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ono's Chevrolet Trooper Restoration

I've been wanting to write about this for some time and now i have the time to do it. First off, i am making a new category for my postings: Off-Topic and this post is the first one in that category. Any post that is not related to Daihatsu Charmant will be thrown into this category.
This is my best friend's ride. It's a diesel engine powered 1984 Chevrolet Trooper. It was left out in the open before it was decided to be restored. So, don't mind the bad condition the car's in. It will be much better in a few months. She's very excited on doing the restoration. Yes, you read that right: she. Not so many girls interested in this kind of ride, right? Well, Ono, that's my friend's nickname, really likes this kind of cars. She's even aspiring on owning a Ford Escape! The girl's got an unusually great taste for cars, huh?

Ono is a friend of mine from university. We both took Electrical Engineering degree in University of Indonesia. Her house is nearby to mine so each time she needed help on course assignments, she came to my house and i helped her. HAHAHA.. I lied. It was completely the other way around. I was lazy on doing assignments back then, so i often came to her house and asked her to help me out. By helping, i mean her letting me copy her works..

Anyway, here are some more shots of her awesome ride.
These pics show you how bad the condition is. Rooftop.. Duct tapes all over!
Headlight.. Or should i say, lack of it.. Those are plastic sheets covering where the lens should be..
I don't know much about Chevrolet Troopers. I know that the model was originally sold by Isuzu under the same name but other than that, i can't say much. If you're curious, then here's wikipedia to the rescue. It has the C223 diesel engine series. She's a bit interested in swapping her engine out, knowing that i am doing it to my Charmant. I'd say it was a good decision. Rather than spending the money on overhauling the old engine, why not add a little extra and swap it out with C223T or 4JB1T.. Turbocharged Diesel power! Both replacement engines require little adjustment on swapping process since all mounts are exactly the same.

Just like me, she's deciding what paint color to put on the Trooper. Below are some candidates.
So i guess it's some type of silver or metallic gray for the Trooper. She also mentioned about Sahara Desert brown once. Nice pick, girl!

Since both of our cars are being restored, we had to use our spare rides. Behold the ever best gas mileage rides!
Nice huh? LOL. They got the same cylinder capacity, which is zero cc, and fueled by rice and chicken. They go from 0 to 100 houses in approximately 30 minutes! Can your ride do that? The blue one's mine and the hot rod orange is Ono's.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Turbo or Not Turbo?

Been a while since my last post. Well, i couldn't say much about The Dog since it is still being worked on by the bodyshop. It's only been two months since i put The Dog in the bodyshop. I think the workers still need another month or two considering the severe rust The Dog has. Maybe dad will send me some update photos soon.

Anyway, i've been doing some research on turbochargers lately. I have to admit that i am really interested on getting a turbo for my 4A-GE but i don't want to have some workshop do it totally since i want to cut cost. So i focused on doing a tight budget turbocharger setup. I'll write about what i have reseached so far soon. Basically, i can do the electronics myself like for the extra injector controllers or Check Engine Light prevention. So that's where i'll focus on cutting cost. Heheh, four years of electrical engineering college really does pay off.

I won't be too serious on turbocharging it though. I'll do some research first and let's see how i think in the next two months. You see, i realize i have to learn to handle the stock engine power first since it would produce around 130hp. I can't imagine driving a turbocharged 4A-GE without familiarizing to the stock power first (which is already quite plenty).

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Penalty of Hesitation

Yesterday i saw these beauties for sale..
Yup, that's a Tosco rim. These rims were built for racing purpose by Tosco, the former name of TRD. They are very lightweight but strong. Here they are common in dragstrips due to the aforementioned characteristics. I have been wanting them for so long but couldn't find a set with good price. Most of them are being sold for too expensive. This one, however, is different. They fit my wallet perfectly. Sadly, life's not perfect, there's always a catch. This one has a BIG CATCH: only a pair being sold. Well i don't mind buying them if i can get another pair easily but it's not like that, they are quite rare. What makes me crazy is the width on these babies, 9 inches! Most Tosco here are 8 inches in width. So you can see that i was in a dilemma.. To buy or not to buy. That is the question. Buy it and wait forever until you can have another pair for sale OR don't buy it and hang yourself if another pair is for sale next week and this pair is already sold. So basically i hesitated.. I hesitated since the moment i saw the ad and now i have to pay the penalty.. They are already sold.. *sob sob*. I can't imagine the feeling if i found another pair is for sale tomorrow..

Silly me, why didn't i just buy them and even if i failed to find another pair, i can just sell them again? It's not like i really need to find another pair since i already got a set for The Dog. I've learned my lesson. I know i'll make the right move next time. Hey, who knows next time it will be 10 inches in width?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

German Fuel Pump and Taiwanese Gauges

This is starting to be a multinational project.. From my Japanese car, Italian steering wheels and pedals and Australian wheels, now Germany and Taiwan joined the parade. I just got a used Bosch in-line fuel pump and few Autogauge meters. As with some of my previous purchase, i bought them online from

If you read my guide on putting a 4A-GE to Daihatsu Charmant here, you'll know that i need a high pressure in-line fuel pump to cope with the gas requirement of a 4A-GE. A smallport 16v 4A-GE requires fuel pump capable of making at least 40 psi of pressure and flow 80 lph. Let's see if my Bosch fuel pump is up to the spec.
Since i am not in Jakarta and i had the pump delivered home, i asked my dad to tell me the part number of the pump. It is 0 580 254 942. Once i got the part number, next is easy. I got a reference sheet for many Bosch fuel pumps (sorry, forgot where i got it on the net). One quick peek at the sheet, i got the flow is 130..200 lph and pressure is 500 kPa which is around 72 psi. Phew! I got the correct pump after all. You see, the excess pressure will be handled by the fuel pressure regulator so that's why when it comes to choosing the correct fuel pump, bigger is better. Of course, as with anything in life, too much of something is never a good thing. So don't get a 200 psi fuel pump, for instance. Also my dad already checked the continuity of the terminals using a multimeter and the ohm read was just as expected. Hopefully, it'll work perfectly.
I also got me some used Taiwanese Autogauge meters just for fun, seen below. They look black because of the model, the smoke lens gauge series. I know they are not the diamond-cut precision type like Defi or Autometer, but who cares, they are cheap. I am supposed to keep my eyes on the road when driving, not on these gauges. Yeah, they are there just for the "wow" factor.
If anyone cares, they measure voltage, water temp, intake vacuum, oil temp and oil pressure. Why did i buy the smoke lens series? Well because i already have two more of this series at home, measuring air to fuel ratio and engine RPM from my previous ride. So in total i have SEVEN of these cheap gauges. Why so freakin' many? Well hopefully, i can have something like this as my dash panel..
What's left is to figure out how to have a working speedometer and especially fuel tank meter. Wouldn't want to run 150 kph on the freeway and stall my engine from empty tank.. Most probably i'll be using the original meters for them, cut to fit with the other 7 gauges, indicator lamps and some switches. I don't want to ruin the original speedometer so i guess another hunt to the junkyard is needed.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Ryoji Takada (RIP) - D1GP Charmant Drifter

Been looking for this for a while in Youtube. This is a short video of Ryoji Takada, a D1GP drifter famously known for using Daihatsu Charmant. His ride cost much less than most D1GP drifters. Actually, he's my inpiration of picking Daihatsu Charmant over KE70 or any other FR old japs. Unfortunately he passed away in a truck loading incident in 2005.

In the video, he got 160ps from his Charmant which is around 158hp. Not sure which 4A-GE he used but one pic i found on the net showed what could be his engine. If it was, then he was using a 16v 4A-GE since the distributor's positioned on the side, probably big port from the way the plug wiring goes and he put independent throttle bodies on it. Hmmm.. 158hp is not that difficult to reach. I better save up some cash to upgrade the engine.