Monday, April 30, 2012


Contemplating on replacing my Work Equip 03 replica wheels lately and got my mind on TE37V. Some say TE37V would diminish the "retroness" and that it's better to find more period-correct wheels like Watanabe or the likes, although the V actually stands for Vintage and this series was made by Rays Wheels to cater the uprising of Japanese classics like AE86. Made myself a preview of how The Dog would look like on TE37Vs. What do you think?

My current ones, Axis OG

Bronze TE37V

Proper Oil Catch Tank

The Dog has been having occasional heavy white smoke coming out of the exhaust since the turbo conversion. There could be some causes for this but i ruled out most of them already like worn piston rings or valve stem seals. What's left is the probability of inadequate oil drain line, bad turbo seals or clogged PCV line.

Since the smoking only happens occasionally and mostly during idling, bad turbo seals are unlikely as this usually happens even when cruising. What's left is now either inadequate oil drain line or clogged PCV line.

Being cheap, i used an old AC dryer bottle as my oil catch tank. Since i didn't plumb it back to the intake line, it's possible that this isn't enough to relieve the crankcase positive pressure and causing the oil not draining properly from the turbo and finally seeping out of the seals and smoking. Fortunately, i found a used Greddy oil catch tank replica at a bargain. I bought the tank and install it myself. Here it is in action.
It's not uncommon that PCV lines are run incorrectly after a turbo conversion. Most forgot that now their intake manifold will also see boost pressure and they didn't change the original PCV line. As far as i know, stock 4A-GE PCV line don't have any check valve. It just goes straight from the valve cover to the intake plenum. After a turbo conversion, you'd need at least a check valve there. You don't want any positive pressure from the boost to leak into your crankcase. This will blow your seals prematurely and, as i suspect it earlier, could cause improper oil drainage from the turbo.

If you don't want any check valve, at least you'll need to move the line going to the intake plenum to further upstream. This line should only see, at maximum, atmospheric pressure and this, on a turbocharged engine, can only be found at the compressor inlet. Thus my line goes from the valve cover straight to the catch tank and from there it goes to the compressor inlet, routing the line above the intercooler and no check valve necessary.

Did it solve the problem? Not completely but it's better now. I still have some smoke every now and then but it's noticeably less frequent. All there's left to do now is enlarge the oil drain line. It's annoying that i have to take off the oil pan just to do this but i guess there's no other way if i want to get rid off the smoke completely..

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Daihatsu Charmant Community 6th Anniversary

Sunday, April 29th 2012.. It was a cloudy morning. I forced myself to wake up early at 5.30AM and feeling a little drowsy, obviously because i only got 4 hours of sleep that night. Why bother especially on a Sunday morning? Because today is the day we've all been waiting for.. It's time for Daihatsu Charmant Community's 6th Anniversary Meetup!

I didn't attend last year's due to overwhelming work at that time. I did, however, attend the 4th Anniversary where it was held in Ragunan, Jakarta Selatan. This time we decided to celebrate a bit away from Jakarta and agreed that Jatiluhur Dam would be the best place. It's not that far yet challenging enough for our 30 years old Charmants. Good way to see if these old farts are still good for long drives.

At 7AM, us Jakarta boys first gathered in Cikampek highway's Rest Area at Kilometer 39. From Jakarta to Jatiluhur, there's an interconnecting highway where Jakarta is Kilometer 0 and to reach Jatiluhur, we exit the highway at Kilometer 84,some 40 km short before reaching Bandung city. From the highway exit, it's another 8 km before we reach the dam.

These are when we gathered first at the highway Rest Area KM39.

Anky's custom front bumper. I believe he got the idea from the late bumper version.

Look who decided to accompany me to the meet up. Me and girlfriend departed from Lampung to head off to Jakarta on Thursday evening and reached our destination on very early Saturday morning. We were still both tired from the long drive and Saturday's full schedule but glad that we came to the meet up.

At 8.30 AM, we left the Rest Area and start our drive to Jatiluhur. These pics are taken along the drive from the highway to Jatiluhur.

We stopped just before the Jatiluhur dam entrance for a head count to pay the entry fee.

My pride and glory

Deva's Taxi. LOL.

It was a relief to know that no one encountered any problem with their Charmant. Only a minor overheat problem was found on Anky's but it was quickly resolved.

After about an hour and half, we finally reached our destination..

Me mesmerized by the sheer size of the dam. This is the biggest dam in Indonesia and i could barely see the other side of the reservoir.

Silly fun games were had..

Just before lunch time, we sat together and discussed some plans for the next phase, welcomed our newer members and awarded Charmant of The Year and Most Favorite Charmant which go to Anky and Dimas, respectively.
You can check out Dimas' Charmant on 4AC-Powered forum here and you'll understand why his is the Most Favorite Charmant. Anky's can be checked on his Facebook page here.

The newer members get their inaugural rear window stickers also.

Unfortunately, me and The Dog had to leave early as we still have another 8 hours of drive to get back to Lampung ahead of us. Just before i left, we took the obligatory banner shot.

It was definitely fun to be able to see the Daihatsu Charmant Community guys again after so long. Seeing so many new faces since my last time can only mean one thing: DCC is getting bigger and stronger! Go DCC Indonesia!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hubs and A Preview

Just got my old wheel hubs delivered today as dad sent these from Jakarta last Friday. I then quickly head off to the workshop and saw this beautiful view.

Just realized today, knowing how i always want to fiddle with soldering iron and constantly trying to find a way to improve (or ruin) my ride with electronics, i got to remind the builder tomorrow to prepare me a space somewhere under the seat to mount a kit box.

Here's the hubs, soon to be painted flat black.

TKCI Auto2000 Auto Contest Lampung

Last weekend 21-22 April 2012, the boys from Toyota Kijang Club Indonesia (TKCI) Lampung held an auto contest at Auto2000 parking area. On clear Sunday afternoon, i decided it's the best time to go visit this show and try my new camera. I still have no idea how to adjust shutter speed, aperture or light sensitivity so all these pics are shot using auto. Pretty good, methinks.

We start off with the clean engine bay from a 4th gen hatchback Civic. Not much of a Honda-head so i can only guess that the engine is still stock D13.

Look, same set of wheels as The Dog! Seriously, these wheels are now everywhere!.

Yet another example that simple and shiny are all the "wow" factors you need for an old Jap.

I know these TRD 13x8 wheels would cost an arm and a leg in the US.. It goes for only 400 bucks here.

Can anyone guess what car is this?

No? This one should give it away. First guy to guess the car on the comments gets an honorary publicity.

Remember this? This is the KE30 that won "Best Retro" from the contest which The Dog participated previously.

Air-suspension equipped Honda Accord. This won "Best VIP" last time. I heard it won also this time.

Here's a rare sight for some of you. A tasty Holden.. uhhh.. Statesman? I'm even worse when it comes to Holdens compared to Hondas.

At least i know enough that this is US-made Centerline billet wheel!

My favorite of the show.. Zesty Zenki KE70.

Here's a proof that cheap widened steelies can look as awesome as top dollar wheels.

How about a yankee-born Willys?

I'm sure getting this Jimny that dirty is as difficult as getting the shines on the rest of the contestants.

We conclude this live coverage with this full TRD 5K engine KF40.. or Toyota Kijang Super for us Indonesians.

Another KF40.. now with ultra big ass wheels!

So where is The Dog? She was still getting the roll cage installed.. Besides, the entry fee was significantly more expensive than the last one. I need all the cash i could save as now i'm working on two projects!