4AGE Blacktop Disassembly

Yesterday was disassemble-your-engine-and-see-if-you-can-put-it-back-together-again day. So that was exactly what we did. Initially we wanted to do remove the cylinder head and change the valve seals but we were missing the tool to open up the head. So we only managed to remove the valve cover and throttle bodies for cleaning.

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With the valve cover removed and throttle body removed. There is a large number of vacuum and fuel hoses to disconnect so it’s wise to label them properly during removal. You can clearly see the camshafts and the cam pulleys from this angle. Those were not disturbed because we lack tools to open up the head.

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Here’s the throttle body removed from the engine block. You can see the throttle cable quadrant near the 2nd throttle intake.

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Because there are 4 throttle bodies each feeding their own cylinder, all must be tuned properly ensure that airflow to each cylinder is balanced. The flat head screw that you see beside the throttle body intake are the bypass screws that are used for tuning. A carburetor balancer is needed to perform the tuning.

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This is the other end of the throttle body assembly. This surface mates with the engine block’s intake side. The grooves running below and to all the openings is the tapping for the manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor. The MAP sensor sends manifold pressure to the ECU to calculate how much fuel to inject through the fuel injectors. Not shown here are the fuel injector nozzles and various vacuum tappings.

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The back view of the throttle body assembly. There’s a throttle opener (doughnut shaped object with an actuating rod) and a vacuum switching valve (square shaped object with blue connector) for emission control.

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And this is the idle speed control valve (ISCV) to control the idling speed of the engine. This is attached to the engine block and has a flapper valve inside that regulates flow in the vacuum line.

The reason I opened up the engine was to find the cause of engine oil consumption. During hard acceleration, white smoke can be seen coming from the exhaust and that is an indication of engine oil burning in the cylinders. A normal engine burns oil too, but at a very slow rate hence smoke will not visible from the exhaust. With the throttle body out, I can see the valves:

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Now it is very obvious from this picture that a substantial amount of oil has seeped through the valve seals and are now coating the top of the valve. Once the valve opens, the oil will go into the cylinder together with the mixture of fuel and air, thus creating the white smoke at the exhaust. A top overhaul should solve this problem. But since oil consumption is still not very high, I might just put it off till next time.

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The oil on the valve comes from here. The oil that is used to lubricate the cam lobes and valves have seeped through defective valve seals and entered the combustion chamber.

Soon it was getting late and dark so we decided to put everything back together again. The throttle body assembly was cleaned with diesel. Surprisingly the throttle body was quite clean. Just grime on the outside. Also readjusted the throttle cable to reduce the slack.

With everything reinstalled and triple checked, the ignition key was turned. The engine cranked for a while but didn’t start. It took a lot more cranking before it finally started. Must be due to the lack of fuel in the fuel manifold since we drained it when we removed the throttle body. Engine idled properly, no unusual smoke or sounds. Went for a drive and everything was fine.

Next up, probably going to remove the head once I get the proper tool for it and get the valve seals changed and to examine the pistons and valve seats.

Travelling woes

Travelling in KL can be a real pain in the ***. Even if you have a car, you still have to pay expensive tolls and pay for expensive petrol. And taking the KTM and LRT is not cheap either if you travel a lot. Last week I managed to travel to Nilai using 2 buses only. And that cost me RM8. From Subang MAS to KLIA, then from KLIA to INTI. But the bus from Subang is reserved for MAS staff only.


I came all the way to Nilai for this.

Then on Saturday I travelled down to Pudu, going through the Bandar Tasik Selatan KTM. Got some electronic parts and stuff. They don’t sell ultra fast recovery 1000v 20a, so I had to settle with 1000v 3a. I think I will go to Farnell for parts.


Travelling in a KTM can induce boredom, especially if you need to switch off your phone to conserve battery.

Then I met KC at the Bandar Tasik Selatan station and we went to Midvalley. I got some stuff from ACE hardware for my upcoming project. I’m a sucker for shiney things. And we headed over to Subang Jaya to meet my housemates who are going to Asia Cafe for dinner.


This is what I’ll be seeing every morning when I go to work.

I’ve heard of Asia Cafe quite a few times, but I have no idea how it was like. It looks like a normal food court, but it’s bursting with activity and of course girls. Great place to hang out for us MAS guys. But the drinks are expensive. RM4 for a cup of juice.


Hmm…


Someone needs to get their BM right.

I need a car.

Continue reading

First day at MAS

My first day at MAS was like any other first days. There was nothing much to do. I can’t say too much here in case they discover this blog and accuse me of disclosing company secrets and kicking me out of the program. I can’t afford to go out, not when a 20k monthly salary awaits me at the end of 5 years ;)

Anyways, there are 3 girls in this batch. No comments, because of my new year resolution (refer back). There are a lot of bumis from west Malaysia and only 3 chinese. That wouldn’t be much of a problem because they are also very friendly.

Regarding the apartment, we have decided to let one more of our Sabah friend stay with us. So that means only RM90 rent per month. More money for streamyx and toys! We will be drawing lots to see who gets to have the single rooms and who gets to share the master bedroom. I would prefer to stay in the single room (easier to do stuff) but I don’t mind sharing.

After “work”, 3 of us went to 1 Utama using the free bus service. It jammed along the way and the 15 minutes trip took 1 hour and 45 minutes. Me and a friend from St Jo (taking same course in MAS) were talking and then we suddenly mentioned about the Damai trip we had last year. Turns out, we both had met for a game of beach football before during that time and it was his group who gave us the whole bucketload of food to barbecue!! What a coincidence! What a small world this is =) haha those were the days… read my (very old) blog entry on that trip.

More updates to come after I have done something interesting in MAS. Friend getting a car very soon. The possibilities are endless hehe Continue reading

Sub repair

To repair a subwoofer, one must understand the forces that we are dealing with. Failure to do so will result in failures after repair. Apparently, the shop/guy that fixed Jon’s sub didn’t understand the way he listens to his music. The last repair lasted 15 seconds after he pulled out of the shop. I’m here to try and beat that time.

For the repair, all you need is a soldering iron, some thick wires and a broken sub.


Sony Xplode, max power 800W


Here’s the problem.


Soldering a wire directly to it…


… and running that wire directly to the terminals. I have therefore eliminated the problem of the wire ever breaking again.


Nope, my hands ain’t shaking.

To further understand the sheer power of a subwoofer, download this video. Note: the volume was not on full to make sure that I still have friendly neighbours after I’m done. Continue reading