Singapore Rotary Performance Parts Reviews ….. RE Amemiya | Autoexe | Knight Sports | Greddy |

PI World of Wheels Singapore Salesman Dishonest on RX-8 Sale

From Sviper – RX8Club: About time i came out and let the whole world know about this. I just recieved my Rx8 last month after a heart wrecking 3 month wait for it. Trust me when i say heart wrecking. For that 3 months i was constantly being tossed from left to right by the PI and the salesman who handled my sales. By not disclosing the names of the PI and salesman, i wish not to further bring up past disputes or quarrels against other PIs and salesman.

Soon after i made my downpayments and cash for accessories like any ordinary person would. I realised that i was actually issuing cheques to the saleman under his name. First initial “Booking Fee” was placed under company. Initially after which was additional payment for the full downpayment sum and money for my body kit which i asked the salesman to order for me. Reasons being that his boss required to cash in the cheque immediate and does not want to wait. I was requested to put the cheque under his name. Yes, i know it was stupid to do so but i was trusting and i did it anyway. Amount totalled up to $8000 SGD. Only when the salesman took a long break did the thought came to me that what happens if he just suddenly vanishes. Also coincidentally, another sales representative called up to follow up. When i asked the sales rep about my down payment, they could only find half of the amount that i paid in total in their records. Immediately i demanded for their boss and went down to find out what is happening. The salesman who took my down payments was in China and wont be coming back till the middle of the 3rd month. Which is why i requested that the boss of the PI call his staff and find out what is happening and why isnt my other payments recorded down on the sales agreement. Boss plainly said “He is on leave so lets not alarm him as we do not know what is happening now, why not wait for him to get back than we will arrange another meeting and get down to the bottom of things.” Which totally made my trip down useless, and did not give me any assurance that the company is willing to help out or not. Unsatisfied they just said “There is nothing we can do now also.” So for 3 weeks i had sleepless nights. When i tot it would end when the salesman came back and explain everything and all would go according to plan. But no… sadly salesman came back and told the company that he took the money as a personal loan from me. Which is crazy, i hardly know that guy. Why would i even lend him $8k. He gave me all sort of offers. $10k cash return with interest over 6 months If i paid the 8k back to the company first, compensations of $4k and even 12k worth of Rx8 parts from a Shinka2 whom owner is about to sell. I refused all offers as i know he would never be able to return. Cause the salesman did tell me; “Why blow this matter up, its only $10k not impossible to raise. Why want to make police report.”

When it was nearing my collection date. The salesman still couldnt raise that amount and i was eager to get my car. It was very clear that if the salesman did not return the $8k, i would not be able to get my car even if it was sitting there in the showroom. Another meeting with the boss and the salesman was arranged. Salesman have already defered payment of the $8k for 2 weeks already but have yet to pay a single cent. Boss of the PI told me straight forward. It was me who was too trusting to issue a cheque to the salesman under his name in the first place, and did not recognise the $8k liable under his company. And also the salesman have claimed that it was a personal loan from me to him. Furious i told the boss to return me remaining cash back and i will make a police report and i am no longer interested in getting the car. The boss showed signs of agitation and decided to come to a agreement. First of all, the $5k for downpayment will be paid for by the company and the salesman have to find someone to guaranty this $5k. As for the $3k the company will pay too, but i have to guaranty this amount. Which is ridiculous but i agreed. It was better that i stand to lose $3k rather than the whole $8k, and having to buy my COE from them and leaving not much choices left for PIs bringing in the Rx8 Type S and then waiting again for 3 months. Because from what i know, all Type S are indent basis and minimum waiting time was 3 months. I didnt want to go through the wait at the same time stand to lose 8k.

So i took the car and signed the IOU that the company wrote. Been having fun for the past 1 month and guess what. Not only did the sales follow up on my car was inefficient. No CD player was given to me as well cause it was not part of the “Standard Option”. Now… i paid $107k for a Rx8 and i dun even get a single disc normal CD player. Asked about the CD player i was told that it was a additional and chargable option of $500 dollars to install the CD mp3 player. Which after asking around, found out that it was free and thrown in by other PIs. Only later did i made it clear that i was seriously upset with the service, did the sales manager decided to throw it in, but was asked to wait for 2 months as they were going to indent it from japan. Lastly, the salesman who cheated me of the money, currently has disconnected his previous handphone, and failed to pay the monthly installment he agreed with the company on the $8k. I was than called up to ask to pay the balance share of $2800 which was agreed on my part. I am seriously taking up legal actions as i still have prove that the salesman took my cheques wrote it on the sales agreement, but have not updated on the company’s copy. And both cash cheques were cleared by him. Frankly this has to be one of the most screwed up deals, I only can blame myself for being too trusting.

Parallel Importer: World of Wheels (S)

Salesman: Jimmy Ang


June 6, 2007 Posted by | News & Events | 6 Comments

MM Singapore Succeeds In Restricting Parallel Imports of the JDM RX-8

 Editor’s Note: Apparently, not all the major supply sources have been affected, with niche importers with direct sources such as Garage R still getting their hands on the 8. However out of the few supply pipelines, it’s confirmed that one major one has been affected – thus impacting the generic PIs affiliated with them

Just in! Parallel importers in Singapore have confirmed that effective immediately, they will be stopping all new and existing orders of JDM RX-8s. This will affect all JDM models – 5MT, 6MT, 4AT, 6AT. This was further corroborated by customers, who have waited some 3 months prior for shipment confirmation, only to be told just of this situation.

Currently, only manufacturing date 2006 4ATs (ex-stock) are available while stocks last.

May 11, 2007 Posted by | News & Events | 1 Comment

First Impressions: Max Zone GT

2nd day into the Max Zone GT Desulphator and it doesn’t look good. Then again, before it was installed, Peter (one of the owners of Max Zone) did comment that my voltmeter levels did indicate that my battery was due for a change. At least the EZ-Stab did show some gains temporarily (until ECU was reset)

So to be fair to both Max Zone and EZ-Stab, RXReviews will be installing a brand new Amaron (at Monster Garage, where else?) and redo all the tests for both products again.

Shootout first impressions soon!

May 11, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | 1 Comment

EZ-Stab Extreme Confusion?

Yup am getting a little confused as to where EZ-Stab Extreme is targeted at. In one of his replies to RX readers here, Jon said: “I made a few mistakes: 1. Installing a EZ-Stab standard on a high spec RX-8; 2. Installing a EZ-Stab standard on a highly tuned RX-8………The EZ-Stab permium versions till now are mainly installed in BMW series, some Lexus, and the Subaru high end cars.” This is consistent with conversations I had with Jon, where he said that “should the EZ-Stab Extreme be used in low powered cars, chialat (i.e. it won’t work).”

While doing some routine link-backs, i came across a thread at the Latio Club where members are raving over the EZ-Stab Extreme.

My question now is, and I hope Jon can help clarify – what is the positioning of the EZ-Stab Extreme? Why did you represent it to RXReviews that it’s solely for high-powered cars when clearly, you’re selling them to low-powered makes?

May 11, 2007 Posted by | Electronics & Gauges | 1 Comment

RXReviews To Publish DRIFT.SG in July; Call for Contributors

As some of you may already know, we’ve been holding on to the drift.com.sg and drift.sg domains thinking – now what can i do with that?  Well, we’ll be publishing a whole new magazine format wholly focused on reviewing the different performance mods out there – we aim to be completely vendor neutral, and highly authoritative.

We’ll be dropping the traditional blog engine, and will go onto a more sophisticated content management route which will include a smattering of video reviews as well!

So if you’re into Zhnging Your Ride, have spare time, and would like to be part of the pioneer team of writers, do drop me a note at gfoo@msn.com   THANKS!

May 10, 2007 Posted by | News & Events | Leave a comment

Headsup: RXReviews To Review Max Zone GT

The good fellas at AMMPAF will be sending down a unit of their much touted (and grassroot-level acclaimed) Max Zone GT desulphator. So what is the Max Zone GT? From their website http://www.ammpaf.com.sg :

“Max-Zone consists of a two-part electronic device which incorporates Pulse Technology regulated by a fuzzy logic microprocessor (EME). The Pulse Technology is configured to automatically restore and maintain the lead acid battery in its peak condition. The microprocessor (EME) then proceeds to orchestrate and regulate the car’s complex electrical and electronic systems. The result is an increase in ENGINE POWER, longer battery life-span, reduction in fuel
consumption, increased MILEAGE, and a quieter, cleaner engine. The Max-Zone GT (red) is basically a much more powerful version of our best-selling Max-Zone Standard (silver), designed and build to cater to bigger cc cars and other performance vehicles. What the Max-Zone GT’s EME chip does for your car engine is that it aids your ECU in keeping the air/fuel mixture within the narrowest band of operating parameters (between 0.98 to 1.02), even tighter than what your ECU can manage on its own (0.8 to 1.2) on the lambda scale. What this translates to is better fuel economy and an increase in power, due to the more complete combustion of fuel and air.
The Ma

RXReviews will also be doing an EZ-Stab Extreme vs Max Zone GT shootout at the end of the reviews so watch out for it!

May 9, 2007 Posted by | Electronics & Gauges | 2 Comments

Shootout: RX-8 AT vs MT Dyno Comparison

What happens when you have 2 club guys with new rides and a lot of spare time? A Dyno shootout of course! Run at ST Powered just a few days ago, we’re pitting a stock, brand new JDM 6MT against a souped up JDM 4AT. We’ll also contrast a previous run done on a stock 4AT as baseline.

JDM 6MT: Mostly stock, HKS Hipermax II, Knight Sports ECU Remap
JDM 4AT:  RE headers, Fujitsubo exhaust, HKS open pod, battery relocated, Cusco suspension and braces, etc etc
JDM 4AT baseline: Stock

THE RESULTS (Horsepower at wheel):

JDM 6MT:  202.3 HP
JDM 4AT: 160.1 HP
JDM 4AT baseline: about 140 HP

May 3, 2007 Posted by | Others | 2 Comments

RX-8 vs 350z vs Evo Track Test Timings

Car & Driver’s Lightning Lap comparision test (their version of the Nurburgring benchmark) The test is on the Virginia International Raceway – 4.2 mile road course. Here are some of the results:

LL1 (under 30K)
car best lap time (min:secs) peak speed (mph) max lateral g

1) 350Z Track 3:12.5, 124.3, 0.9
2) Evo MR 3:13.5, 124, 0.94
3) RX-8 3:19.0, 116.4, 0.86
4) Cobalt SS – 3:20.6, 117.1, 0.85
5) Mustang GT – 3:20.9, 119.3, 0.88
6) GTI – 3:25.1, 112.0, 0.82
7) Civic Si – 3:26.5, 111.6, 0.80
8) MX-5 – 3:29.3, 108.6, 0.83

April 26, 2007 Posted by | News & Events | Leave a comment

Rugrats (the cartoon) makes underwear?

Not a conventional post on RXReviews but i just couldn’t help it! Check out the Rugrats underwear below – one of gfoo’s mates on a recent trip to Bangkok


http://leinadnat.blogspot.com/ wrote: What do you get when you put 8 guyz & a gal at the Songkran festival in Bangkok with loads of Alcohol??

A Drunken Water Festival Orgy! 🙂
Angel-Mystical succintly captures the fun experience we all had in her blogspace!
Nevertheless, these priceless pictures paint a thousand words!

Check out the Rugrats underwear!!! It’s a bit sexier than the one Tommy’s wearing

April 26, 2007 Posted by | Others | 1 Comment

Knight Sports RX-8 ECU Remap Review

The folks from Knight Sports Japan came down to Singapore end-April to do a series of supercharging, and ECU remapping for NA cars. According to Knight Sports, this was what you would get for your money:

Light tune = $750 (US$495)
– Speed cut
– Fan control to lower water temp

Basic tune = $1200 (US$790)
– Speed cut
– Fan control to lower water temp
– Ignition timing
– Smoothen pitch graph

According to Rei, who was one of the first to have his ECU remapped: “Horsepower gains are marginal but u will definitely be able to feel it if ur already on the knightsports muffler…exhaust note sounds slightly different (bassier if i’m not wrong), the whole car feels more responsive, rev climbs are smoother instead of the more unstable climb before…Difference in oil temp is ard 2-3 degree celcius, difference in water temp shld be slightly higher up to 5 degree clecius (estimated)

Most importantly for me, after several mods, the car is starting to feel very raw…The ultra smooth characteristic of the rotary engine is starting to fade away…But right after the tuning, the smooth feel of the rotary came back…When I was
driving home last nite, it actually feels like the very 1st time when I got my car…Super smooth…

Ride: JDM 6spd mt
Actual gains: 6-7ps or 12-13ps (wif the Knight Sports muffler)
Rating: Most bang for buck mod that offers the most horsepower gains for the
most minimal spending…(Better if u have the Knight Sports muffler)

April 25, 2007 Posted by | Electronics & Gauges | Leave a comment

EZ-Stab now in different flavors (and colors); including a new Extreme model

The guys at Auto Ennovations have launched different flavours / variants of their original EZ-Stab product including an ‘Extreme’ version that claims: “Using military grade components, EZ-Extreme is a high specification revision of the EZ-Stab. It has been proven to increase performance by up to 5HP*.
EZ-Extreme has the additional capability of upgrading the audio sound quality of any in-car-entertainment system (I.C.E).”

Also coming in a see-thru red ABS plastic case, it looks exactly identical to the base EZ-Stab model except for a new black and red wire combination. RXReviews received a unit Friday night and we will be posting our preview of how it works out pretty soon. This time, we’ll be testing it not only on an 8, but a stock WRX, and a souped up FI Corolla.

So is the new EZ-Extreme ready for primetime? I’ve already got some results out from test runs Fri and Sat, but I’ll reserve judgement till a bit later when I get some clarification on certain issues.

BTW Auto Ennovations also released a ‘Lite’ version of the EZ-Stab for those with much shallower pockets. It comes with a beautiful see-thru grey casing, which in my opinion should have been used for the EZ-Extreme for some differentiation. Then again on closer inspection of the pix, it seems to be recolored photoshop of the red EZ-Stab instead of an actual product shot.

One way power is maximized is thru optimizing air/fuel ratios/ignition timings and that can only be done from the ECU via a piggyback or a reflash.

The second way is to ensure that power to the ignition coils is consistent, and noise free. The 8 – like most modern cars – have built in transistors in the ignition coil that prevent any spikes past the rated voltage of 12v and a 3.5v trigger voltage. Supply for the coils in OEM condition may not be entirely optimum as the same source is used to power a myriad of devices including ICE. What many electrical mods do is to provide line conditioning to maintain stability during power distribution.

The third way is to lighten the load from the engine power-robbing alternator. Some 8s as well as many other cars invest in lightweight, underdriven pulleys to shift power back to the engine. Underdrivens have been proven to improve performance somewhat, but with a side effect of having less available power for ICE and other in-car stuff.

So what exactly does the EX-Stab do? seems to me like it has some capacitance function; a line conditioner, and something that minimizes work done by the power-losing alternator. We shall see…

April 15, 2007 Posted by | Electronics & Gauges | 19 Comments

Reuters: Singapore restricts debate on ministers’ pay

SINGAPORE (Reuters) — Singapore has banned seven foreigners, including three members of the European Parliament, from speaking at an opposition party debate on Friday on a big pay hike for ministers and civil servants.

The government said this week that ministers and senior civil servants would enjoy a 60 percent pay increase, giving them an average salary of S$1.9 million ($1.25 million).

The prime minister’s pay is set to jump to S$3.1 million — five times what the president of the United States earns.

The announcement has drawn widespread criticism from ordinary Singaporeans given the country’s widening income gap and the fact the city-state’s ministers were already among the highest-paid in the world.

The police told the Singapore Democratic Party it could not hold a public forum on Friday to discuss the increases, and the immigration authority rejected applications for professional visit passes for the seven foreigners the SDP invited to speak.

“Singapore’s politics are reserved for Singaporeans. As visitors to our country, foreigners should not abuse their privilege by interfering in our domestic politics,” the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement issued on its Web site late on Thursday.

“Foreigners who abuse the privileges that Singapore accords to guests and visitors, and meddle in Singapore’s domestic politics, are not welcome here,” the Ministry said.

The barred speakers include European parliament members Graham Watson of the United Kingdom, Anders Samuelsen of Denmark, and Lydie Polfer of Luxembourg, a former deputy prime minister of that country.

Under Singapore’s Public Entertainments and Meetings Act, public speaking is generally prohibited unless it has been licensed by the government.

Singaporeans who wish to speak indoors do not need to be licensed, but forums featuring foreign speakers require a permit, the ministry said.

Chee Siok Chin, sister of party leader Chee Soon Juan and a senior party member herself, said the SDP would go ahead with the forum with local speakers.

“You have this autocratic government coming down and showing utter disrespect for our international peers. I’m ashamed,” she said on Friday.

She said the seven foreigners barred from speaking at the forum are currently in Singapore.

According to the SDP Web site, Chee Soon Juan plans to speak at the forum and rebut remarks made by Lee Kuan Yew, modern Singapore’s first prime minister, about the ministers’ pay hike.

Lee said earlier this week that Singapore should pay ministers competitive wages because the city-state needs an “extraordinary government with extraordinary government officers”.

April 13, 2007 Posted by | Sillypore Stuff | Leave a comment

Drifting 101: How to Drift Basics

Drifting with Manual Rear Wheel Drive

  1. Find a car with both rear-wheel-drive and a manual transmission.
  2. Head to an open area (i.e. an empty parking lot) safely free of pedestrians and motorists.
  3. Accelerate and shift to second gear, which allows the widest variance of speed and is best for harnessing the engine’s torque without overly stressing the mechanicals.
  4. Push in the clutch to let the engine rev.
  5. With the engine revving, flick the steering wheel to the outside of the turn and steer strongly inside toward the turn.
  6. Simultaneously release the clutch. If you are uncomfortable with this method of sliding, try pulling the hand brake to further reduce traction(NEVER PULL BRAKE WHILE ACCELERATING. While that wont kill your car initially, it is a bad habit to get into. Don’t start now.)
  7. Immediately steer the car in the direction of the slide. You’re drifting!

Drifting with Auto Rear Wheel Drive

  1. Find a large, open area.
  2. Accelerate to a speed of 35-50kmh (depending on lot size and room)
  3. Turn the wheel hard and floor it. You should feel the rear end slide around if this is done correctly. Repeat until comfortable with sliding.
  4. Set up a cone in the middle of the lot. Drive up on the cone and turn around the cone. when you begin your turn accelerate hard to get the rear end loose.
  5. Counter steer to control where your car will go after turn.(opposite lock)
  6. Increase speed until comfortable
  • NOTE*
    • If your vehicle of choice doesn’t have enough power read the FWD directions but remember to release hand brake before accelerating.

Drifting with Front Wheel Drive

  1. Go to a large, open area.
  2. Accelerate then pull the handbrake or use the parking brake, riding it out the first time or two to get over your initial fear.
  3. Set up a cone in the middle of the lot.
  4. Drive up to it at speed (between 35-50kmh is desired).
  5. Hit the brake and turn toward the cone. Immediately after you feel the back end come around, turn to the opposite direction. This is known as opposite lock.
  6. Repeat the opposite lock at that speed until you can control your car well. Practice this for at least several weeks regularly until it becomes second nature. (Don’t do this on roadways. It is dangerous to others and can get you fined.)
  7. Slowly increase speed until you are proficient in a speed you are comfortable with. Get to know that speed–you should never drift above that speed unless you are practicing.
  8. Upgrade. At the same initial speed, flick the steering wheel opposite of the turn and swing it all the way into toward the CONE (not turn, you aren’t ready at this stage). As before, when you feel the rear end come around, go to opposite lock. It takes time and practice to successfully use the Scandinavian flick, especially on under powered cars.


  • No two cars react identically; try to “feel” yours to familiarize yourself with its reactions.
  • All wheel drive vehicles can be drifted, but it requires a specific, rather more difficult technique. Keep in mind that there are no rules that can be applied to AWDs because every car is different and more importantly, every AWD system is different. Read about your car, read real articles on it and go talk to people. If they tell you that you must drive rear wheel drive, find someone else.
  • In a rear wheel drive vehicle, you don’t need to pull the brake as you improve, but it is often necessary when first learning.
  • When looking for an area to learn and practice, a wet or slick surface will be much better for your tyres (hint: after rain lah!)
  • This is only a starting point. To do more, you need driving school like RisCulture to teach more than just basic maneuvers and you need driving theory.

Things You’ll Need

  • A car with
    • wheels
    • some horsepower(more the easier)
    • tires(slick tires on the rear is good for sliding, but it is bad for street driving)
    • suspension(if you fear body role, tight set up. Try reading up on suspension because you can collapse your rear suspension if you aren’t careful or if you are unlucky)

April 13, 2007 Posted by | Drift Culture | 2 Comments

Preview: Pivot Raizin Spark Earth (Red, Type S)

Have been provided a unit of Pivot Raizin Spark Earth for testing, installed over last weekend. The unit itself is a beautiful, transparent red case that shows innards of a board holding a series of capacitors and a couple of chips. The unit can be installed either via a direct plug-in into the ignition fuse, or a tap into the coil.

Installation on the 8 was easy – i chose the safer alternative via the fuse. Combined with my FEED aftermarket sparkplug cables, i must say that there was a noticeable difference in terms of throttle response, and launch speeds. Acceleration is definitely improved, and is a more linear than before.

Now I’m not too sure that the unit delivers ‘a new approach in voltage stabilizer devices for ignition coils that brings out 100% of your ignition’s performance by providing point blank power to the ignition coil via connection to our specially designed circuitry’ as the manufacturer claims. I believe that the FEED cable does a better job at that. But what i do think that the unit does is help reduce ignition coil pulse noise, resulting in stable, consistent delivery of power which is further accentuated with the FEED.

I’m not going to jump to conclusions until a more exhaustive test is done over a longer period of time, but ‘butt dyno’ -wise, this gets my thumbs up.

For US$80, this is one mod that seems to deliver, what it preaches.

(BTW this doesn’t mean that i’m endorsing the Pivot Raisin Blue, which by my books is what i call a ‘psychological mod’)

April 13, 2007 Posted by | Electronics & Gauges | 1 Comment

RXReviews Tops Google Vertical Searches

Thanks to the support of all of you, RXReviews is now in the top ranges for brand review searches! Just a few of note:

‘RE Amemiya review’ – #1
‘RE Amemiya’ – #10
‘Autoexe review’ – #1
‘Knight Sports review’ – #1
‘EZ-Stab review’ – #3 (in just 2 days!)

We’ll continue to bring you the most unbiased, commercial-free reviews on performance parts for the rotory the best we can! We’ll also be adding a new section called ‘Drift Culture’, which will cover the local/regional drifting scene, articles, and of course, more reviews 🙂 – ed.

April 13, 2007 Posted by | News & Events | Leave a comment

AVOID: EZ-Stab / EZ Stab (3rd Gen Red) Review

[Editor’s Note: EZ-Stab will be providing a higher-end version of the unit for testing. Performance cars like the 8 apparently won’t benefit from the standard off-the-shelf types for lower marque cars according to EZ-Stab. We will update this review in due time.]

I really hate to do this – especially to someone as nice as Jon – but I did promise an honest review of his new EZ-Stab Red. Now I’ve been testing, and monitoring performance of the EZ-Stab for some 5 months now, so this isn’t some stab in the dark.

The EZ-Stab unit comes in a see-through, translucent red plastic shell. It’s really big, about the size and thickness of two blackberrys on top of one another. I initially had concerns that with the extreme-heat conditions of the 8’s engine bay, the plastic would melt, or the capacitors within would explode, but thankfully that didn’t happen.

So what is the EZ-Stab? It’s a device, unlike Volt Stabilizers that provides “the benefits of a balanced charging system, one that gives a much more stable voltage while reducing the load on the engine…..(sic) increased engine responsiveness, acceleration and power when such benefits may be easily achieved through a EZ-Stab in the system with no sacrifice of vehicle comfort and vehicle warranty. And for additional value, EZ-Stab also protects the battery and ECU for repeated heavy usage within service life.”

Methodology: Periodically tested and monitored with baseline GTech-Pro, Voltmeter and CANBUS ECU readings taken before installation, recorded fortnightly.

Pros: Nice blinking light; solid ABS plastic construction; hasn’t exploded in extreme heat conditions yet

Cons: It doesn’t work – period.

The EZ-Stab has no effect, positive or negative, on the performance / responsiveness of my ride, nor does it provide more stable voltage when the engine/alternator is on high load (cabin lights/ headlamps still dim as per norm under load, and no difference in my substantial ICE setup). Now I’ve seen tons of compliments and positive testimonials from users, but if you read the forums in-depth, there’ll be 1 bad review for every good one. And the majority of those negative reviews come to the same conclusion as I have – the EZ Stab just doesn’t work.

Jon has a PhD in electrical and power control, and works for one of the biggest electronics manufacturers in the world – there is no doubt that he’s a pretty smart guy with the street cred to back him up. But his claims of ” better understanding (sic) the main reason behind the drain of a car engine’s power – the charging system that continues its charging of batteries when the car engine is running, even when they have been fully charged” – is a bit of a fallacy and myth.

Here’s why: Modern vehicle wiring and ECUs are already designed to operate in a harsh electrical environment. They cope with conditions from maybe 8V starting with a nearly-flat battery to 16V on a boost charge, and with electrical interference from mobile telephones etc, without failure. The ECU runs internally at 5V or even less and is heavily stabilised to ensure the processor runs fault-free at all times. Many modern ECUs repeatedly self-check and would shut down the engine entirely if any kind of fault condition occurred. Overall, it is hard to envisage how a more stable electrical supply could significantly improve engine economy, emissions or performance on a vehicle in good condition.

The suggestion made by some sellers of such products, that the alternator on “unmodified” vehicles is always pushing 1 – 2 kW into the battery (and hence “robbing” the engine of this power) also does not fit. Once the battery is fully charged, the alternator automatically reduces its output (otherwise the continual flow of energy into the battery would cause it to boil and ultimately be destroyed), and the mechanical loading on the engine then drops to a relatively low level – though undoubtedly there is still some power loss. The same goes for any petrol savings.

So in summary, and I’m very sorry to say, EZ-Stab is definitely not worth the $180 Jon’s charging for it. Will be more than happy to receive any comments or quantifiable (not butt dyno) evidence that says otherwise…. Sorry Jon

April 9, 2007 Posted by | Electronics & Gauges | 27 Comments

Mazda Unveils New Rotary Engine; RX-8 Replacement by 2010

Mazda has confirmed it’s working on an all-new rotary engine for 2010.

This second-generation Renesis rotary, with more power and less thirst than today’s unit (as found in the RX-8), is the star act in a new round of Mazda powertrain technologies unveiled last week at a business conference in Tokyo.

Mazda said it also plans to introduce a new automatic transmission with improved fuel efficiency and “performance comparable to that of a manual transmission” beginning in about 2010.

As it reaffirms its commitment to rotary technology, Mazda will also begin leasing a Premacy (Japan’s version of the Mazda 5) with a hydrogen rotary hybrid in 2008 and launch a full production model using this Mazda-designed system by 2010.

Further ahead, Mazda also has an all-new hydrogen rotary engine with power equivalent to a 3.0-liter gasoline engine and a range of some 250 miles under development.

This reaffirms previous reports that a redesign would come in early 2009 as a 2010 model – a two-seat coupe was once evaluated but deemed too expensive to develop for the incremental volume it would produce. With the Mazda Kabura concept also slated for 2010 – is this a hint towards how the future development of the RX-8 replacement would look like?

April 4, 2007 Posted by | News & Events | 3 Comments

New 2008 Impreza WRX Surfaces

I’ll let the pix do all my talking, but essentially – YUCKS

April 3, 2007 Posted by | News & Events | Leave a comment

RUMOR: D1 Professional Series Coming To Singapore

Overshadowed by news on Singapore’s F1 bid, its much smaller, but flashier Japanese cousin the D1 professional series seems to be heading down to sunny Singapore sometime towards the 4th quarter of Singapore. The founding organizers including Singapore drift kings, D1 Japan and private investors are cooking up something, and it seems that D1 arriving in Singapore is looking more and more like a firm possiblity.

April 2, 2007 Posted by | News & Events | Leave a comment

UPDATE: MM Singapore Succeeds In Restricting JDM 6MT Imports

As recently reported, seems like Mazda Japan has folded under the immense pressure from MM Singapore – there will be a moratoriam on shipments from May/June onwards for JDM-spec 6MTs. Sold primarily through parallel importers in Singapore, the JDM 6MTs are some 20% cheaper than Euro-spec 6MTs sold by MM Singapore, and are up to 16bhp more powerful as the Euro vehicles are detuned for emissions.

April 2, 2007 Posted by | News & Events | Leave a comment

Mark Webber Completes Singapore Trial F1 Street Circuit at avg 30kmh

Red Bull racing’s Formula One driver Mark Webber drove through Singapore’s proposed street circuit this morning and declared that he and his fellow drivers would be looking forward to driving a “challenging & exciting” race here.

A media frenzy ensued in front of the Swissotel when Webber appeared, much to the bemusement of some of the Swissotel’s guests, some craning their necks to see what the fuss was about.

The 1.84 metre tall Australian then proceeded to test out the circuit in a black Renault Coupe-Cabiolet – with the top down – and completed three laps at a leisurely pace.

However, with ongoing road works and construction at Beach Road and Temasek Avenue, the asphalt that Webber had to traverse was far from race-worthy.

The morning traffic also provided some hairy moments as Webber was at one point, sandwiched between a car packed with photographers and journalists, and a slow-moving taxi along St Andrews Road. Midway through attempting a deft overtaking maneouvre, he coolly slowed down when it appeared that he might have realised that the Sepang race was still a week away.

Another more enthusiastic driver decided to shadow Webber in a ‘less-than-subtle’ yellow Korean-made coupe that swerved dangerously out of the Ritz-Carlton driveway ahead of this reporter to latch on to the Australian as he passed the proposed start/finish straight.

Following his jaunt along the designated route, Webber described the circuit as “a mixture of a tight and twisting section with a faster section across the start and finish line. The start of the lap looks quicker, but the middle to last sector looks a little bit tighter and slower.”

When asked to compare the route with other existing street circuits like Monaco, Webber said that Singapore’s version was more akin to the Adelaide street circuit, but would be faster.

In dutifully obeying local traffic laws while navigating city traffic, each 4.8km lap took more than ten minutes, which at race pace, could easily see more than six laps completed. Webber estimates lap times of no more than 1 minute 30 seconds given the current circuit layout.

Webber picked out section following the tight right turn at the Fullerton Hotel as his personal favourite, citing Anderson Bridge and the trees overhanging the track as elements which would give drivers the “sensation of speed and the rush of driving a car.”

In terms of overtaking opportunities, the Raffles Avenue straight which turns left onto Esplanade Drive appears to be a prime spot, as it will see the cars trying to outbrake each other at speeds of close to 300km/hr.

The Australian seemed less enthusiastic about the sections around Suntec City which he thought were “tight and twisty”, but then readily acknowledged that “to make a street circuit, you’ve got to have compromises. You cannot enjoy every single corner.

“There are going to be corners that have some potential safety issues.”

Other concerns that were raised involved the possibility of a downpour during night racing , and how the glare from surrounding floodlights being reflected in rainwater puddles could cause havoc for the drivers, in addition to the spray bring thrown up by the cars.

“Street circuits are mentally quite draining because of the immense concentration required,” he added.

“There’s a few straights here but you’ve got blind crests and manhole covers to keep yourself occupied.”

Another potential cause for concern: the heat and humidity.

Red Bull racing’s head of communications, Thomas Hofmann, confirmed that temperatures in Sepang had reached 47 degrees Celsius in the past week. With drivers losing up to 3 kg in sweat, Webber noted that a night race would certainly bring some welcome relief.

With 17 races already on the current F1 calendar, the easy-going Australian driver estimates that the racing season could eventually accommodate as many as 20 races, though admittedly, it would be quite a “busy season”.

So, will we see F1 in Singapore next year? Stay tuned.

April 2, 2007 Posted by | News & Events | Leave a comment

AVOID: Sun Hotwires / Nology Hot Wires on the 8

Apparently, Nology Hotwires spark plug wires are causing CEL lights due to either:
– misfirings
– melted plugs
– shorted ignition coils

Sun Hotwires looks visually the same as the Nology, and is the OEM for Nology outside of the US – Sun (the maker of Hot Inazma) is widely popular in Asia as a ‘ricer’ brand.

Our advice – stay clear of Nology/Sun – better safe than sorry. Other brands such as RE Amemiya, FEED and Autoexe do not seem to have any probs and has been street proven – at least in Singapore it has.

“CAPACITOR” EFFECT WIRES with grounded metal braiding over jacket

The most notable of exaggerated claims for ignition wires are made by Nology, a recent manufacturer of ignition wires promoted as “the only spark plug wires with built-in capacitor.” Nology’s “HotWires” (called “Plasma Leads” in the UK) consist of unsuppressed solid metal or spiral conductor ignition wires over which braided metal sleeves are partially fitted. The braided metal sleeves are grounded via straps formed from part of the braiding. Insulating covers are fitted over the braided metal sleeves. These wires are well constructed. For whatever reason, Nology specifies that non-resistor spark plugs need to be used with their “HotWires.” In a demonstration, the use of resistor plugs nullifies the visual effect of the brighter spark.

Ignition wires with grounded braided metal sleeves over the cable have come and gone all over the world for (at least) the last 30 years, and similar wires were used over 20 years ago by a few car makers to solve cross-firing problems on early fuel injected engines and RFI problems on fiberglass bodied cars — only to find other problems were created. The recent Circle Track Magazine (USA, May, 1996 issue) test showed Nology “HotWires” produced no additional horsepower (the test actually showed a 10 horsepower decrease when compared to stock carbon conductor wires).

The perceived effect a brighter spark, conducted by an ignition wire, encased or partially encased in a braided metal sleeve (shield) grounded to the engine, jumping across a huge free-air gap (which bears no relationship to the spark needed to fire the variable air/fuel mixture under pressure in a combustion chamber) is continually being re-discovered and cleverly demonstrated by marketers who convince themselves there’s monetary value in such a bright spark, and all sorts of wild, completely un-provable claims are made for this phenomena.

Like many in the past, Nology cleverly demonstrates a brighter free-air spark containing useless flash-over created by the crude “capacitor” (effect) of this style of wire. In reality, the bright spark has no more useful energy to fire a variable compressed air/fuel mixture than the clean spark you would see in a similar demonstration using any good carbon conductor wire. What is happening in such a demonstration is the coil output is being unnecessarily boosted to additionally supply spark energy that is induced (and wasted) into the grounded braided metal sleeve around the ignition wire’s jacket. To test the validity of this statement, ask the demonstrator to disconnect the ground strap and observe just how much energy is sparking to ground.

Claims by Nology of their “HotWires” creating sparks that are “300 times more powerful,” reaching temperatures of “100,000 to 150,000 degrees F” (more than enough to melt spark plug electrodes), spark durations of “4 billionths of a second” (spark duration is controlled by the ignition system itself) and currents of “1,000 amperes” magically evolving in “capacitors” allegedly “built-in” to the ignition wires are as ridiculous as the data and the depiction of sparks in photographs used in advertising material and the price asked for these wires! Most stock ignition primaries are regulated to 6 amperes and the most powerful race ignition to no more than 40 amperes at 12,000 RPM.

It is common knowledge amongst automotive electrical engineers that it is unwise to use ignition wires fitted with grounded braided metal sleeves fitted over ignition cable jackets on an automobile engine. This type of ignition wires forces its cable jackets to become an unsuitable dielectric for a crude capacitor (effect) between the conductor and the braided metal sleeves. While the wires function normally when first fitted, the cable jackets soon break down as a dielectric, and progressively more spark energy is induced from the conductors (though the cable jackets) into the grounded metal sleeves, causing the ignition coil to unnecessarily output more energy to fire both the spark plug gaps and the additional energy lost via the braided metal sleeves. Often this situation leads to ignition coil and control unit overload failures. It should be noted that it is dangerous to use these wires if not grounded to the engine, as the grounding straps will be alive with thousands of volts wanting to ground-out to anything (or body) nearby.

Unless you are prepared to accept poorly suppressed ignition wires that fail sooner than any other type of ignition wires and stretch your ignition system to the limit, and have an engine with no electronic management system and/or exhaust emission controls, it’s best not to be influenced by the exaggerated claims, and some vested-interest journalists’, resellers’ and installers’ perception an engine has more power after Nology wires are fitted. Often, after replacing deteriorated wires, any new ignition wires make an engine run better

April 2, 2007 Posted by | Engine | 59 Comments

Knight Sports ECU Remap Prices

Knight Sports – the Japanese rotary tuning specialist – will be making a stopover in Singapore sometime April, primarily to provide ECU remapping for the large number of JDM 8s here. Here’s an insight on how much it costs to tune the 8’s ECU and what you get for your money

Light tune = S$750 (US$480)
– Speed cut
– Fan control to lower water temp

Basic tune = $1200 (US$770)
– Speed cut
– Fan control to lower water temp
– Ignition timing
– Smoothen pitch graph

*NB: Apparently both Knight Sports and RE Amemiya’s tuning service are not suitable for Euro-spec 8s, which are detuned and have totally different maps from the JDM/US versions.

March 23, 2007 Posted by | Electronics & Gauges, Engine, News & Events | Leave a comment

Mazda Motors Complains to Japan, Restricts RX-8 Parallel Imports to Singapore

The rumor has been verified. Apparently, Mazda Motors Singapore has lost so much business to the PIs on the 8, that an official complaint has been made to Mazda Japan, who will restrict the availability of the 8 to parallel importers to Singapore. Sources within the PI industry here have verified this, and added that short-term supply of PI 8s will be affected, and customers now have longer waiting periods of 3-6 months for some models. This contrasts to the average 1 month waiting period for models such as the Type S. Existing stockpiles of 4ATs and 6ATs are all but gone, and could soon face shipment delays.  However, PIs are rerouting their supply networks, probably obtaining 8s from alternative channels within Japan.

(NB: Mazda Motors ONLY carries the detuned Euro-spec manual 8, and not the ATs -80% of all 8s in Singapore being ATs)

March 13, 2007 Posted by | News & Events, Others | 1 Comment

We’re Back!!

Ok, so i’ve been a delinquent arse for not posting for months. Now that I’m more or less back from my travels, I’ll be updating this blog as much as i can.

January 15, 2007 Posted by | Others | Leave a comment