Sunday, September 27, 2009

High Performance Charmants from Indonesia

Rarely you get to see pics of upgraded Charmants, especially ones that come from Indonesia. Though personally i think Charmants are better base for engine swaps, having T50 gearbox and hydraulic clutch as standard, they have less popularity compared to KE70. Subsequently, there are less magazine coverages for Charmants compared to their Toyota cousin.

I got lucky today and managed to find these pics of two local highly-tuned Charmants. Both are tuned by ERC Sports Tuning owned by Kenny Lie (+62-813 10 88 99 69 / 0817 699 89 69). Seeing these Charmants done by Kenny, i have to say that i am really tempted to have my engine swap there. Well, if the price is right, why not?

The first one is a black '88 Charmant. This Charmant is tuned for drag racing, besting at 15.4 seconds on 402m strip. The rim diameters are different between front and rear, perhaps to cope for loss of traction. The fronts are 15-inches and rears are 18-inches with Bridgestone tires.

The engine is our beloved 4A-GE 1.6L revving happily on 320-deg camshaft and breathing through two dual-barrel carbs. Such high camshaft duration requires stiffer valve springs to avoid the valves floating from the port-n-polished head during high RPM, hence the TRD dual valve spring. AEM camshaft sprocket is also installed. Inside the engine, you'll find hi-comp pistons and Carrillo piston rods. It needs to feed on aviation gasoline due to its high compression ratio. ERC Sports Tuning made a custom exhaust system for it.

The horses produced by the engine are transferred through its T50 gearbox, with its 1st until 5th gears upgraded to close-ratio TRDs. Bilstein shocks are used to reduce body swings during starts.

I gotta admit, seeing another black Charmant really made me consider not going black.. I am afraid i'd get bored quickly.

The second one is white, having sicker engine: a 2000cc 3S-GE! Rims are said will be equipped with RS Watanabes resting on Achiles 123 local-brand tires.

The engine was from a '93 Toyota Celica, a 2.0L 3S-GE converted to also two dual-barrel carbs and 320-deg high profile camshafts coupled with TRD-free flow exhaust. Perhaps this Charmant is meant for drifting as it has a TRD 2-way LSD underneath. I wonder if it's still using its factory diff housing..

Driver seat, shift knob and tachometer uses TRD while Sparco steering wheel ensures good grip.
There might be more pics coming up so i'll update this post when there's more.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hooray.. Another Scrapped Charmant!

One thing about Daihatsu Charmants is that scrapped ones are scarce. It's not easy finding its cousin, the KE70, but finding a Charmant in a junkyard is much harder. It's like trying to find a condom in a church! So far i've only managed to find one and it's already missing some stuff i need. So i kept searching.. and searching.. until one day.. there she was..
Finally.. another scrapped Charmant! Not much can be said about the body condition other than rusts and dents everywhere but lookie lookie here..
Roof water channel chrome strips! The Dog has been screaming for these and now she can calm down now that i found them. The condition's not perfect but at least now i got it. This Charmant was being stripped down by the owner when i saw it. It would be easier for anyone to pickup the parts they need now that it's already dismantled.
Daihatsu Charmant uses T50 gearbox, a very famous gearbox amongst Toyota fans. Usually it's used for KE70 engine conversion. That's why it's only a matter of time until this gearbox is sold. It's not often you get to see a scrapped Charmant still has its gearbox.
As for the engine, the 4A-C sometimes get its cylinder head swapped with a 4A-GE. Being in the same A series engine, i think not much needs to be done to fit the head.
More pics from the scrapped Charmant..
Pedal box, brake master cylinder and clutch master-slave cylinders
Dashboard stuff
Stripped to the bones.. Hey look! A steering hub kit! Lucky me..
Engine crossmember
Air-Con stuff
and radiator..
Need Charmant parts? Most probably this one still have them. It was still complete when i saw it. I already took some stuff for The Dog but most stuff are still there.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Update 17 September 2009

In between Mercedes Benz W123 and Corolla TE71..
Front bumper's fitted.. Now focusing on perfecting rear window frame.. 'nuff said..

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mini Project for My Other Ride

I decided to have my other ride, a Honda Tiger 2000 '97 motorbike, shipped to Lampung, the city where i work. I am glad i decided to do so since now i've another toy to play with. Since its arrival, my bike has been burning holes in my pocket. First, it asked for an engine overhaul and i had to oversize the cylinder to fit 1 mm larger piston. Once done, it unleashed powers i never knew it had!

This is a writeup on the second thing i did to my bike.. Not so long ago, this was for sale on
Yup, that's a set of upsidedown fork taken from an Aprilia. It was sold together with the 4-pistons Brembo brake and disc brake as shown. The day they arrived in Lampung, i picked them up and took them straight to an Authorized Honda Service Station together along with my bike. The first thing the mechanic did was this..
Despite to what the seller claimed before i bought it, we quickly found out that it was not an easy pull-out-plug-in process. The major obstacle we found was that the fork's steering tube would not fit the standard headset. The steering tube diameter was a tad too big for the headset to fit.

There are three options to solve said problem. First one is to oversize the headset bearings to snug them. This is the fastest way but the least cost-effective on the long run. There are two pairs of headset bearings, the top and bottom pair. Every time you need to replace these headsets, you need to oversize them. The second option is to downsize the steering tube. I avoided going this way because the steering tube is hollow and i was afraid that downsizing the tube would compromise strength since the tube wall would be thinner. The last option and the most expensive way is to make another steering tube having smaller diameter and fit it to the triple-tree. The steering tube should be made of a strong metal, preferable out of a non-hollow metal shaft. I decided to go this way since it would be cheaper on the long run while still maintaining steering tube strength. I can just fit the standard headset to the steering tube.

I took the Aprilia and standard triple trees here..
If you're from Lampung and also a motorfreak, this place should look familiar to you. It's one of the few milling workshop in Lampung located in Enggal area. Anyway, though from outside it doesn't look presentable, these monster machines are purring inside the workshop..
How i wish i could have my own milling workshop one day.. I can manufacture almost any metal stuff if i have one. Anyway, these are the triple trees.. I leave it to you to guess which is the Aprilia and which is stock.
and this is the metal shaft which will be engineered to make it similar to the standard steering tube and fitted to the Aprilia triple tree.
It was fun watching the whole manufacturing process. It makes you think that these milling workers can literally make anything from their workshop. They are also nice enough to allow me take pics of whole the process. After some measuring, the metal bar was milled down to the required diameter..
This would get you a shinier metal bar having the correct diameter to snug the headset in. After it, comes the threading process. You need to make a thread for the triple tree crown holder.
After that, the worker added some "meat" by welding around the other end of the bar. This is necessary since you'll be fitting this skinnier steering tube to where the bigger Aprilia tube was. The "meat" will later be milled down again to the same diameter as the Aprilia tube.

Finally, it was cut to length and fitted to the Aprilia triple tree. Here's the end result.
Amazing isn't it? It cost me 15 bucks to make this steering tube. I took it back to the service station and after one night of being separated from my bike with loads of measuring and welding done to it, this is how my baby looks like now..
Oooops.. wrong pic.. *ahem*.. okay this is it..
compare it with this old shot..
Looks tons better, eh? The Service Station mechanic had to figure out a way to install the gauge and headlamp. That's why it took him two days to finish the job, including the time to work on the triple-tree. I have to lose my right rearview-mirror. It usually sits together with the stock brake handle and because i am now using Brembo brake, the stock brake handle was replaced together with the mounting hole for the mirror.
Now that i have a very big front disk brake, my rear drum brake looks off. Installing an aftermarket rear disk brake kit surely would balance it out. Hmm.. *peeks inside wallet* ...