Sunday, February 24, 2019

OK OK - Maybe I have an LED addiction?

So in my last LED post for 2018, I mentioned that I had been tempted to replace the rear turn signal bulbs with LED ones as well.  But, I was too lazy to figure out how to wire in the resistors - but a couple of you quickly educated me on replacing the OEM turn signal relay with one that works for LEDs.

I may just have to go that route in the end, but for now, I was able to find some orange LEDs that not only claimed to be super bright, but had the required resistors already built in! I am too lazy to figure it out, but one question I had on the relays was, would using such relay require me to change out ALL bulbs in the turn signal circuit (so all of the orange ones - front, side and rear) or would the relay be able to handle a mix?

So for now, since I wanted to experiment and see how much brighter LEDs were for the turn signals, I went ahead and ordered these:
Pricing wasn't that bad - around 3400 yen for the pair.

Here are the specs, for those interested

Saying it has good heat dispersion and is high quality. We shall see...

Flash forward a few days and I got this in the mail:

With apologies to my Chinese friends, yes, it appears Chinese quality cheap... But hey since most  smart phones and electronics are now made in China, I'm not going to just on packaging... for now. After all, performance is everything in the end.

So here is how my car looks with regular bulbs:


And then the difference between the LED on the left and the regular bulb on the right (check out how the incandescent bulb on the left turns on slightly before the LED bulb does).

And finally with these LEDs on both sides:


So what do you all think? Frankly, while I like the brightness, here is what bothers me - the light isn't as evenly diffused across the lamp housing. It's more pinpoint really. Also, yes it is very bright - I wonder if it's too bright?  Finally, while I was handling the bulbs and switching between the LEDs and the regular bulbs (to take these videos - I neglected to take the one with regular bulbs until AFTER I put one LED bulb in), I realized these LEDs run VERY HOT!  Is this normal?

In any case - I think more research is needed here. Maybe a cool upgrade would be an LED strip that lights up directionally, like the newer cars? Keep the outside housing the same but just replace in the inside with such a strip... that might work?

But I'll keep these for now!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

First Mod of the Year - Super Easy!

Welcome to 2019 - and yes it's already one month old!  Here in Japan it's been cold which is always an excuse for me to not work on the car.  Luckily, the first mod of the year was a super easy one, thanks to my misguided 34 owner friend Ale who kindly came over to drop it off.

I have no idea whether what he told me is true (you know those Italians), but he told me "this is a NISMO item that's not even in their catalog."  Duly curious, I popped open the hood and waited to be surprised.

What does the nice NISMO bag contain?
What's this? Large thin rubber rings with holes in them.
It turns out that Nismo Omori Factory uses these to prevent galvanic corrosion between their titanium tower bar and the steel body chassis mount point. Of course, I beat them to this idea, because about five years ago I found a tower bar modified with rubber strips on Yahoo Auctions, for the same reason.  But because I don't cut rubber strips well, I went with another route.
Plasti-Dip does wonders!

Because I didn't source these parts myself, this means is that I have no idea what these gigantic rubber washers cost, nor whether it really is rare, or even whether Ale punked me by picking up some cheap rubber at the local DIY store and had someone at Kinkos punch holes in them. (I DID check the NISMO OMORI website but couldn't find them either...)

Anyway, installation is super easy - just take off your tower bar, make sure the surface is clean, and then place over the strut tower bolts.
Here is Ale showing us how to do so, singlehandedly!
Being NISMO, of course it fits perfectly.
After that, just bolt up the tower bar again and you are done! Maybe 3 minutes from start to finish. Don't forget to use a torque wrench to properly torque up those bolts! (39.3-53.9 N-m or 4-5.5kg-m).

Anyway, the following months of 2019 promise some interesting mods I have planned. For one, it's been over 11 years (!!) since I got the Mine's build engine installed - maybe it's time to tinker with it or improve it? My car still shows some other problems from the horrible, crap work done at Worx Autoalarm and so I really want to finish fixing all of those issues as well.  So let's hope 2019 is a great year for all of us! And thanks to Ale from taking time to stop by and drop off these parts!