Saturday, February 17, 2007

Google Zeitgeist for Singapore

Popular queries in January 2007:

1. friendster
2. wikipedia
3. mercury interactive
4. women's health
5. starhub
6. singtel
7. singapore airlines
8. men's health
9. death note
10. dbs
11. cpf
12. iphone
13. street directory
14. chinese new year
15. singapore pools

Google zeitgeist for other countries. Interesting to see that Korean searchers are obsessed with celebrity.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Stressful week

Went to dyno tune an E9 GSR earlier this week.

First, a baseline pull before dyno tuning... came up to 400 HP. Fine. So I spend the next hour or so trying to get the fueling just right, making sure there's no detonation etc. After this the car makes another power run. 350 HP! I immediately load the map before the dyno tune to see what's wrong. Logically it should also produce close to 400 HP, or the same power it came in with.

Nope, it still showed 350 HP! All temperatures were normal between runs.

At this point in time it was getting late and the owner decided to bring it back and refuel. He pulls into the gas station and we hear something similar to brake caliper pistons getting knocked back into the seats. i.e. if the calipers seized they might be preventing the car from accelerating, hence explaining the loss in power. So we head back to the workshop and take it apart, but we find nothing. The pads are in good shape too. :(

The next day, the car went onto the dyno again, and another baseline power run. Now it is 340 HP! Loaded back the other dyno-tuned map, it is still 340 HP. At this point in time the owner made a decision to just trust what I've done so far. OK... so I mess around with the map a little more, taking out a little bit of fuel and advancing the spark in small increments. Nothing too radical. After about an hour I make a couple of runs. The dyno shows 370 HP. The owner decides it's enough and make a final power run. Here is where it gets weird. Final numbers are 420 HP @ 7000, peak torque of 440 Nm @ 6000. We take the car out on the street and it does seem to have a much better pull, especially on 4th and 5th gears.

In summary, we went from 400 to 350 to 340 to 420 HP. Very strange. All tuning and power runs were done in 4th. The ambient corrections were either 2-3%. I can understand the 350 to 340 HP drop since conditions may vary enough such that a 3% loss in between runs, while significant, is possible. But the 50 HP drop is still unexplained, same goes for the 340 to 420 HP gain. Could it really have been the brakes? It also doesn't explain why I saw 370 on the dyno yet the print out showed 420 HP.

From the figures, the following would seem to make more sense. 400 HP via some conversion factor becomes 350 HP. Net gain of 20 HP gives 370 HP. 20 HP gain applied to original 400 HP yields 420 HP. Comments?

HKS 3037S

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Ferrari F430

Ferrari F430
Originally uploaded by Florian*.
So today one of our friends dropped by to check on the progress of his Evo. In his red Ferrari F430. WOW!!!

Of course everyone wanted to know how it goes. "It feels slower than the Evo for some reason..." Yeah right! It's 4.3L worth of Italian V8 goodness dude!

So we're standing around admiring this exquisite work of automotive art and he says "Hey let's go for a ride." He didn't have to ask twice!!

The dashboard is in hand-stitched black leather ... nice :) Fires it up and the burbly V8 comes to life. Quick dab on the throttle brings the engine to a lovely hum, a lot more bassy than the F360's shriek.

Driving slowly out of the compound, we check for traffic both ways. Manettino set to "Race". All clear! Make a left turn, straighten the steering wheel, and floor it! The rear wheels chirp as the traction control struggles to bring the car in line, but we're still accelerating strongly to the 8500 RPM red line... upshift into 2nd, the gear change is hard and brutal. The car is still pulling hard, and into 3rd. A car ahead slows so he shuts it down.


My initial impressions... it's got good mid-range torque. He's right. It doesn't feel as raw as Sam's car in the first few gears. But the power never flags even towards rev limiter. Should be a real highway monster.

The car is on overrun when the foot is off the throttle so that should result in the occasional fireball out the exhaust. The sound of it is something that never gets old.

Hopefully he'll bring it to our next trackday so we have some idea of what it can do. I'll sure be looking forward to it. :)