Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Moment of Silence

Nine years ago this date, the world was rocked by the destruction of the World Trade Center in NYC.

Some call it conspiracy, some call it terrorism.

Whatever it is, the world as we know it was changed ever since the event.

A Moment of Silent as a tribute to the devastation that happened, and follows..

Car Care DIY: How to Service & Clean Your K&N Air-Filter

My car was due for her fourth service soon, so I decide to do a little pre-service of my own.

I had replaced the stock air filter with a better aftermarket replacement filter. This new filter is better as they are washable and reusable, as opposed to the single-use stock filter that you completely replace on every other service, or 10000 km. Although the aftermarket filter is pricey, in the long run it will pay back for itself.

Other than that, the aftermarket air filter (in this case, a stock-replacement drop-in filter) has a much higher rate of airflow while retaining, if not better, filtration capabilities. My experience in using them is slightly better fuel economy and better acceleration as the engine breathes easier. After all, it's easier to breathe through a cotton cloth (aftermarket filters) than a piece of carboard (OEM filters).

Even so, I do not imply that the stock filters were not good - it gets the job done. Good, pricey aftermarket parts does the same job as stock parts too, only better.

Medusa is equipped with a hi-flow K&N filter. This filter is made from thick cotton sandwiched between wire mesh. This type of filter is oiled to provide the best filtration capability, and it's different from foam-type aftermarket filters.

I clean mine every 10000 km or so, but if you drive on dusty roads alot, clean them more frequently.

This filter could be serviced at the place you bought the filter, or you could buy this cleaning kit for DIY Car Care. The multi-tool above is used to undo the securing screw of the airbox.

This kit is by K&N, and it comes with a bottle of Air Filter Cleaner, and a bottle of Air Filter Oil. The other version of this kit comes with a bigger bottle of the Air Filter Cleaner with a trigger-spray, and an aerosol can of the Air Filter Oil.

First off, undo the latches securing the airbox.

Three latches in total for the Neo. Plus one screw at the south point.

Just one simple screw. You don't have to unsrew it all the way.

Remove the filter, and visually inspect it for any damage. The filter will have a dirty side where it comes in contact with outside particles. Identify which side it is on - usually it's the side with small bugs are trapped in-between the pleats, or dustier pleats. Shake the debris loose, and (lightly) tap the filter to dislodge the debris.

Flip the filter so that the dirty side is facing downwards. Spray the filter with theAir Filter Cleaner until it's soaked with the cleaning solution.

Let the filter sit for 10 minutes to ensure that the cleaning solution soaks and seeps into the pleats thoroghly. The stock filter that my K&N filter replaces is for comparison.

Notice the higher number of pleats on this filter. The other major difference is that this filter is 'dry', in contrast to my K&N aftermarket filter which is oiled for best filtration capability.

This filter is made of cardboard, or thick paper that is very restrictive for the airflow. Like I said, using the stock filter for your engine is like putting a tight cardboard box against your face and trying to breathe through it.

Rinse the filter thoroughly. DO NOT use high pressure water, or a high pressure air blower. It will damage the pleats and shortens the filter's lifespan. Use a normal garden hose or tap.

It's also important to rinse the filter by passing water from the cleaner side. If you rinse with the 'dirty' side on top, you might push some smaller contaminants deeper inside the filter.

Set the filter out to dry. Ensure that the filter is dried thoroughly, and drying it out under the sun is a great way. Else, dry the filter on some newspapers overnight, preferably in a room with the fan on.

When the filter is completely dry, notice the change of color.

The filter is ready for the next step - re-oiling

Follow the instructions carefully - particularly about the amount of oil needed to re-oil the air filter. If you over oiled the filter, it might mess up the MAF (Mass Air-Flow) sensor,a nd other engine components.

The correct amount of oil to be used for the filter is indicated on the bar code label of the airfilter's box.

The air filter oil bottle has a scaled measure with a see-through window. Use it.

On the 'dirty' side, draw a bead of the oil across the top of the pleat. Use a consistent amount on each, and use only a single, continuous pass.

When all the pleats were oiled, set it aside for about 20 minutes to let the oil wick through the pleats completely. If you do it right, turning the filter over will reveal that the other side of the filter - the 'clean' side - evenly coated too. Dab some more oil on any spots missed.

Before installing the air filter back to the airbox, clean the box and inspect for any large debris or damages.

Finally, re-install the air filter, with the 'clean' side facing to the intake manifold, back to the airbox. Ensure the sides are properly inserted to make a good air seal.

Latch the closures shut, and screw it home. Now your air filter is good to go!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hobby #6 - Multi-tool Collection: The Medley

Checked the mailbox, and whadya know?

My package from the US of A is here!

Let's see what's inside..

Cool! My pair of Squirts.

Powder Pink & Inferno Red

Scissors, knife blade, nail file, cap lifer, several flat drivers, a phillips driver, and a pair of tweezers. Missing the kitchen sink though.

Red for me, Pink for the girlfriend

Rides nicely on my key-chain.

I love shiny new (multi)tools!

The Leatherman Squirt S4 is a real handy, keychain-sized multi-tool that could tackle most tasks at hand. "S4" stands for "Scissors, 4 external tools".

The other variant is the Squirt P4, "P4" as in "Pliers, 4 external tools". I opted for the scissors variant as I have two bigger-sized pliers to get a job done. I often overlooked how much a scissors is needed for specific jobs where even my scalpel-sharp knife blades won't..err, cut.

The Squirts came in Blue, Gray, Red, or Pink. I decided to take the Red for myself, and the Pink for my girlfriend. She likes the tool a lot, and quickly found many uses for it daily.

While I'm on the topic of multi-tools, I might as well show you the collection thus far:

Skeletool CX. Yessireebob, that's a real carbon fiber insert.

The Big, Bad Daddy - Charge TTi. Yup, Ti as in Titanium slabs on the handles.

The Medley: Exposed

The Medley: Lining Up for the Shot


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Hobby #6 - Multi-tool Collection: Leatherman Skeletool CX + Custom Leather Sheath

To supplement my Hobby #5 - EDC, I carry around one, or two multi-tool on my person.


Same reason as for the rest of the things I EDC - you never know when you might need them.

You might already notice my Leatherman Skeletool CX on the previous post, and since I love to carry this sexy hunk of stainless steel (and carbon fiber) so much I opted for a better carrying method for it.

I have been using the supplied ballistic nylon sheath, which is great, to carry the Skeley on my belt. But after some surfing 'round the Net I spotted someone who crafts awesome custom-made, genuine leather pouches and sheaths. His name is Simon, and he made for me the perfect one-of-a-kind leather sheath for my Skeletool CX.

The sheath is made from genuine high-quality cowhide, and Simon owns a Skeletool himself, therefore he used it as the mold for the wet-forming process - effectively forming a sheath that is shaped perfectly as the tool it meant to hold.

Quality is top-notch, and the end product was dyed in black. As with all leather products, the aesthetic quality comes with natural wear and tear. I personally love a distressed look to my leather merchandise.

Stitch work is immaculate. At the back, the sheath features a belt-loop, but meant to be worn vertically only on the belt.

The back of the sheath is actually layered, totally protecting the tool inside.

The flap is secured with a brass stud for easy one-hand opening, but at the same time being very effective in securing the sheath shut.

The hole is where the pocket clip of the Skeletool clips in securely. Overall, I am very happy with the sheath. Simon really did a stellar job.

After knowing him a little better, he is a person who EDC too. He carries around a Swiss Army Knife, and a Leatherman Wave, and has been EDCing for years. Simon custom-makes various pouches and sheaths for knives, multitools, and even one with a flashlight holder.

For those who would like him to craft a sheath (or two), drop Simon an email.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Julia's Body

I hate goodbyes. Never was good at it, as it's hard for me to let go the things that I love.

Proton Satria 1.3 (M) GLi

This is my humble ride, serving me since the day I got my drivers' license back in 2004. In fact, it stood there in the garage while I was still taking my SPM. It has been the motivator for me to get a drivers' license and give her a go.

Her name is Julia. Somehow, the name fits, and I kinda like it. Thus it has been an icon, a representation of myself. Back in college, I was referred to as "Rezza Satria Putih".

For six years we rode together..


Like everything else in this world, nothing is eternal.

Lately, Julia fell sick. Her body was damaged severely in two accidents when people bang into her from behind.

She had heart attacks too. Her metallic shell of a body could not take it two, three years more - even with my meticulous care of her.

So, with very much despair, Julia has to be replaced.


Julia deserves a great body to reside in.

And it doesn't get any better than this:

Proton Satria Neo CPS 1.6 (M) Hi-Line

Enjoy your new body, Julia.

To go with your new body, you are now named..


hat tip to Fadli.