April 22, 2012

Messing around with my car

Wow I'm calling it MY car now, but for the sake of correct grammar and keeping it short and simple, yes, MY car.

A 1981 Datsun (the name before Nissan) Sunny 120Y. The Sunny was then succeeded by the Sentra and Latio.
Post not suitable for those who know nothing about cars and I shall not be responsible for any splitting headaches due to the vocabulary used.

So the story was that one night picking up my brother from Bangsar LRT, on the way back the engine was extremely rough and weak with the aircond and headlights on. The engine even stalled twice at traffic lights. After consulting dad, the loving and all-knowing owner of this fellow for about 10 years plus, he suggested I increased the ratio of air and petrol going into the engine (aka making it rich) as well as it's idle RPM. I did this by adjusting two screws at the side of the carburettor:

The two being the one at the left and right sides. The one in the middle is just to hold the carb' in place.

So after adjusting these two, the engine was very stable and smooth with all accessories turned on. All was well until I saw my fuel efficiency plummet like a stone. Originally I was doing about 12-13km/liter for mostly town driving. This is comparable to a Saga or Myvi. After I tinkered around it has dropped to about 9km/liter. So naturally the solution is to bring both the air/fuel ratio and idle RPM back down again. So I went back to the screws and did more turning.

This afternoon when heading out to Taipan for lunch, the engine would stall whenever I came to a stop, but would start up again and idle just fine. Under the sun, wearing of all colours a BLACK shirt (damn smart right me), I did more screw turning to try and fix it but to no avail.

The heat got the better of me and I retreated back to headquarters the internet to look for the solution while I waited for dad's reply. click click click, tap tap tap, and sure enough one of the (common!) causes was setting the air-fuel mixture too lean (too little petrol), and then setting the idle RPM screw too high to compensate.

So at 5.40pm, with the sun being a bit more merciful, I went back out and screwed (pardon he pun) around a bit more, and finally, success! Well, sort of. The stalling engine was no more, but then came traces of black smoke from the exhaust and split-second flatspotting (temporary lack of fuel mixing with the air) when I press the accelerator pedal lightly. 
When dad finally called, he confirmed my suspicion that human error was the cause of the stalling. 
The black smoke he says is PROBABLY because the choke plate is stuck closed. You know how you choke somebody and deprive him of air? Yeah the choke plate does exactly that. It's purpose is to make easier cold-weather starts. He says best leave it alone, and shouldnt be concerned about it. Good thing I'm not much of an environmentalist.

The flatspotting also, shouldnt be much to worry about.

So now all that remains is to top up the tank and monitor my fuel consumption. Hopefully it improves after this...

April 2, 2012

Electronic Grim Reaper

 This, is my Freecom external hard drive.

And this, is my dear Nokia 6300, although with a lot more scratches since this photo was taken.

I believe that over the period of this last 2-3 weeks, the Electronic Grim Reaper has been checking out these two gadgets of mine:

Firstly, my phone encountered what I would call the 'White Screen of Death'. Twice within one same week, it would automatically restart itself showing a blank white screen while I was using it. And on top of that the backlights wont turn off until I press a button after it has rebooted. 

The next week, again the same thing happened, but what made it unusual was that the screen turned white first, then quickly the sides closed in on the center in a circle pattern, and then restarting.

AND THEN, just this morning I found that the vibrating mechanism stopped working when my phone didnt vibrate when my alarm went off. Instead of the normal bzzz-bzzz-bzzz, bzz-bzzz-bzzz, I got a very weak klk-klk-klk-klk-klk. Upon checking this evening however, it magically started working again.


Next up is my external hard disk. Yesterday I plugged it in for routine file back-upping from my laptop. Normally after plugging in Autoplay would run and I will cancel it. However, after I clicked 'Cancel' this time, there was this error about a G:$ftm file or something like that, data was lost something something. 

Then it started connecting and disconnecting non stop on its own until I unplugged it. 

Then I tried a second time, this time it didnt even connect to the laptop. 

The third time, it connected and disconnected repeatedly, accompanied by some clicking sounds. And for a hard disk, regardless of internal or external, clicking sounds are the #1 signs of impending device failure.

Strangely however, it worked perfectly fine today.

Perhaps these are just innocent glitches. Perhaps these are signs of something serious. Well, I dunno. But deep down inside I have been eyeing a replacement for my 6300 for quite some time. Teehee~