Sunday, August 23, 2009

My New Cellphone: iPhone 3G!

Been wiping off my drool from my laptop ever since i saw it released, i finally made the move to get it.. Introducing my new phone, the iPhone 3G!
Telkomsel, one of our local cellular operators, has been chosen by Apple to resell iPhone in Indonesia and during Ramadan, they are making an offer i can't refuse: iPhone 3G for IDR7,500,000 (that's US$750) with a 0% interest installment plan of 6 months.. With iPhone 3GS coming out, it was a logical step for Telkomsel to lower the price of the 3G version. So why didn't i wait for the 3GS? Well surely Telkomsel won't sell 3GS for US$750, right? I just don't see any interesting feature that's worth the extra money i'll be paying for the 3GS so i decided that now is the right time to make the purchase.

For US$750, the iPhone was sold bundled with a Simpati, Telkomsel's prepaid simcard, having a bonus of monthly 500 MB of data quota for 12 months. Here's all that i got for the deal.
and here's the iPhone box together with my old phone, a Nokia E61. I plan to use the Nokia for work and the iPhone for private matters.
So far, i've finished upgrading the firmware to 3.0.1, allowing MMS sending/receiving, landscape text messaging and other extras that you can read here. I am still getting myself familiar with typing on the iPhone. Now, knowing that i have butter fingers, i should quickly get some rubber skin for it. Tomorrow's plan maybe? Anyway, most importantly, i am still searching for an app which would help me update this blog from the iPhone. Any ideas?

By the way, sorry for the crappy image quality. I took them using a camera phone..

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bonus Pics from Independence Day Holiday

During my last visit to Jakarta for Independence Day holiday, my main agenda is to shop the needed parts for my 4A-GE overhaul. However, i also got a chance to do some "sight-seeing" on the side. Here are some snapshots of the extra activities i did.. By the way, our Independence Day is Aug 17th 1945 for those who care.

Remember my friend, Ono? She's also restoring her Chevrolet Trooper. It is being worked on the same auto station as where i overhauled my 4A-GE so i took a peek at the progress so far..
It's been there since May and i reckon it'll take two or three more months to finish. Ono is not just restoring the body. She's also having the wiring redone. It was a mess that's why i suggested her to re-do the whole wiring.

An unfortunate incident struck my dad's car, a '94 Mercedes Benz C180. The sound deadening mat attached to the firewall somehow came loose, touched the exhaust pipe and caught fire. It quickly spread through the engine bay. Dad was driving with mom when he noticed smoke coming out from under the bonnet then he quickly pulled over. Luckily, they were near to an auto station. The guys from the station quickly took out the fire with a fire extinguisher. Now that's why you should never underestimate the importance of safety! Thank goodness, mom and dad are OK. Wish i could say the same for the car..
That's dad eyeing sadly at his poor car..
At home, mom went through a pile of old stuff stacked in our garage. She found some stuff from my previous car. I won't be needing these anymore so i am selling them. First is a gasket kit for 5K engine.
Next is a Pertronix Ignitor. It replaces your stock points with a Hall-effect pickup to drive a coil igniting circuit. Also for K-series engine. Maybe it would fit other engine but i don't know for sure.
How about replacing your ignition coil also? Got the same brand here.. Pertronix Flame Thrower. It's the low-ohm type, 3 ohms to be exact, so you may need an external resistor. Last i got a set of high performance spark plug wires. They're made by Hurricane if i remember correctly. They have braided-metal grounding jacket over each wire. Not sure if that'll do much to your engine performance but you can always have it for the looks.. Email me if you're interested.
This is one of my 18-inch wheels. They have double pcd of 100 and 114.3 so i can fit them to my Charmant. Will surely try them when i am bored with my Globeline rims.
I tried fitting the Razo horn knob to my Sparco steering wheel. Really dig how it looks..
On my way back from shopping the parts for my 4A-GE, i visited a junkyard in Taman Mini area. Unfortunately, they didn't have any scrapped Charmant. I am still hunting some chrome strips and i don't see any other way to obtain them than by getting from junkyards. Here's how the junkyard looks.
I always love visiting junkyards. They're heaven on earth for car enthusiasts like me..Wow, just realized it was another busy holiday for me. Can't wait for another long weekend. I am eager to see how my 4A-GE looks after the overhaul.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

4A-GE Overhaul Week Part 2

Since my engine is being disassembled, i took the chance to cleanup some parts of it. These are the parts i took and cleaned up at home:
I also bought a can of red spray paint, Brasso metal polishing liquid and few sheets of sandpaper. Not sure if i'll still be using some of these parts when i install the engine (for example, i might have to use the old engine's starter motor) but i cleaned them anyway. Besides, i got a help from one of my best friend..
That's Utun, asking me to play with her. She always does that, scrubbing her dirty paws to your otherwise clean pants, asking for some loving. Haha.. She's a Labrador Retriever. Cute, isn't she? I raised her since she was a few weeks old. If you're considering a pet dog, get a Lab. They're very playful and smart.

The first thing i did was wash those stuff with soap water and scrub them with old toothbrush and wire brush. Well not all actually, alternator, starter motor and the distributor skipped their bath. Wouldn't want to have a squeaky clean yet non-functional alternator, now would we? "Electronics hate water", repeat that 5 times before start doing something similar to what i did.
I also got help from mom.. Thanks mom!
It was quite tiring cleaning those stuff up especially getting to those gunks on tight spots. It took me almost an hour just to wash and brush the intake plenum. It took me the whole afternoon to clean these stuff. Luckily the sun was still shining brightly and it helped me to dry them quickly.
Next comes the hardest part.. polishing.
To reach difficult spots, i disassemble each part as best as i could. The intake plenum, for example, was stripped off its extra injector, vacuum ports, hose and gas cable holder. 10, 12mm spanners and an adjustable wrench should be enough. I didn't dare unbolting the throttle body so i left it attached.
Here's the extra injector.
and here's me.. Haha it was so hot so excuse me for being naked. On the back you can see Utun, bored after trying to ask me to play with her. You can also see my Dad's Toyota Kijang Innova and the old cub motorcycle that faithfully accompany me during university, a Honda Grand Astrea. It's now very old but still can outrun bicycles.. lol.
After a few hours of work, here are the results..
I admit it could shine better if i take the parts to a sandblasting machine but for the cheap price of Brasso and some detergent, i think the results are good enough, don't you agree?

Meanwhile, i just realized that i have enough tires to last me a couple of drifts! They're 13 inches so i won't be able to fit them to my Globeline rims. You'll see The Dog use different set of rims if i am drifting in the future.
I was planning to repaint the valve cover red but i postponed the plan since i have to strip off the old paint first. The old paint was too thick and i need some caustic soda to help me strip it off. Since it was holiday, no shop was open so i can't get a hold of the soda. Hence, i have to delay the valve cover repainting until next time.

As for the alternator, i decided to paint the rear cover black. Below you can see the painting process. First i took the rear cover off.
Then scrub it using sandpaper to allow the paint to firmly attach to the surface. Then i hang it.
Spray a few thin layers of paint. As can be read from the instruction, a few thin layers are better than one thick layer.
Allow 15 minutes for the paint to dry.
Finally, reassemble..
After two days, i've finished polishing the parts. Mom took them back to the autostation this Tuesday because it was holiday yesterday. Here's the end result with the parts loaded on the trunk.

4A-GE Overhaul Week Part 1

I went to Jakarta this weekend and focused my time on my 4A-GE overhaul. I asked Dad to give it to our regular auto station last Wednesday for them to start overhauling so that by Saturday, they can give me a list of stuff needed replacing. The plan worked out well. Saturday morning, i went to the auto station and the mechanic handed me a bunch of stuff needed to be replaced. Before that, i saw that he already finished grinding the valve seats.
He put some gasoline in the combustion chamber to check if there's any leak and, fortunately, there's none.

To check if the main and big-end bearings need to be oversized, i took the cylinder block, crankshaft and con-rods to a milling workshop. There i found out that my 4A-GE might have been overhauled not so long ago as my bearings are as good as new and i am already running .50 oversize pistons.

On their way to the milling workshop..
0.50 oversize piston. Notice the marking.
If only i had known that my engine is still good, i could've saved a few hundred bucks by skipping the overhaul.. But no regrets, now that i have my engine split open, i might as well replace the piston rings. I ended up buying all of these for my engine..

Engine gasket set
Piston ring set. Shop owner told me the second 3 on the part number (13013-16200) indicated that it's .50 piston ring set.
Thrust washers and oil filter
Timing belt and tensioner
and finally, a v-belt to drive the alternator
I am very grateful that i got this version of 4A-GE since it's the only version sold locally in Indonesia. Hence, spare parts are easier to find compared to its 20 valved sibling. I had no problem finding the parts i needed.

I gave all the replacement parts this Sunday morning to the mechanic. Unfortunately, he can't reassemble the engine just yet as some bolts on the cylinder head are broken and need to be replaced. He has to take it to a milling workshop to pull the bolts out and replace them. Since the workshop is closed during Independence Day, he has to wait until Tuesday.

Meanwhile, i also brought home these from the Automall where i bought the replacement parts.. More spare parts catalogs! These ones are for KE70 Corollas and *drum rolls..* our beloved Daihatsu Charmant! The parts shop owner is very kind. He trusts me and allows me to borrow the catalogs for a while.
As with my E90 Corolla catalog, i will have them copied and put them on sale.. Email me at if you're interested.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Update 8 Aug 2009

These pics were sent on Aug 8th 2009 by my sister. Actually i am not too eager on posting these update pics because there aren't many changes visible. The changes are minor, not something you can see from these pics, but essential. Like for today's update, the workshop owner found that the door lines didn't went smooth along with the body lines. He found that the body was slightly twisted and had to cut and reweld some part of it. These guys are THAT attentive to details. Either that or they are just making up excuses because it has been almost 5 months and they haven't even applied the base coat.. lol.

Here's the roof being cut to be rewelded later.

Straight enough?

Additional pics
Will be coming back to Jakarta this weekend and choose the paint color. Dad will also put my 4A-GE to an autostation near my house in Jakarta. They will split open the engine this Wednesday to check the internal parts and hopefully by this weekend, i can shop for the parts needing to be replaced myself.