Thursday, July 29, 2010

Battery Replacement

In preparation for my upcoming event on 25th July 2010 (Sunday), I decided to change away my "still working" battery on my BB Lion. The event which will be held in the morning and I will need to leave around 7am. In case somehow the battery decided to fail on me on that day, I'll have no where to get a replacement at that particular time of the day.

Since my "still working" battery is already over a year, I decided to take prevention steps and change it. Besides, in recent months, I've been doing a lot of short distance driving with frequent start and stop. It ain't good for the battery.

The battery I'm changing to is of Varta brand (Europe), which is one of the original brand for Peugeot cars. Basically there're variants of each size:
Black Dynamic

Blue Dynamic
Silver Dynamic

If you check out Varta official website, you can find more types. I would say the 3 different variant/types is similar to of Bosch S3, S4 and S5. My current battery is Bosch S3 of size DIN55L.
I found this Varta seller from; Actually, I found him last year when my battery failed on me early in the morning before leaving to work, due to time constraint, I bought the Bosch S3 from nearby tyre shop. Wanted Bosch S4, but they only have Bosch S3. This time, I have more time and choices.

The Varta battery seller is actually a battery supplier, and they also supply Bosch batteries in case anyone is interested. They also accept trade in of your old battery for a small fee. Finally, they do delivery service around Klang Valley. How good is that deal? In my opinion, superb~

I bought Varta Blue Dynamic DIN55L for RM350 and traded in my old Bosch S3 DIN55L for RM20. The boss himself came over and do the installation as his staff was not able to make it. Very nice guy, after he installed the battery, he also test and checked the battery and also my alternator to confirm everything is OK. I don't get such service when I change battery outside before, have you?

He also tested my old battery and notice my cold cranking amp (CCA) was around 280++ only, while the new one is around 600++. So, guess my old battery was also retiring soon. Oh yes, he also check my old battery manufactured date, it was somewhere in 2008, so it was also in storage for sometime before I actually bought it.

Finally, I was also given a receipt for the battery. Overall, the price is reasonable or great and the service was great~ definitely recommended!
Hopefully, through this, he can give special price for all 206 owners and hope we can all help to support him for providing such good service and product.





TEL: +603-5191 6113

FAX: +603-5192 6113
MOBILE: +6012-225 5152 +6016-769 8811 (Sirlim)

They are Automotive Battery Supplier and they supplies many ranges of battery brands. So, if you're interested to get other brand, you can consider their service too.

Lastly, actually there's some important information on disconnecting and reconnecting the battery which you can find from the Internet. This applies for most modern cars with BSI, this is to prevent problems like corrupting/damage to the BSI (something like when you remove your memory card while it's being access which could lead to corrupted data or worst, your memory card). This is actually very important as there're owners with failed BSI and have to replace the entire BSI, although I'm not sure the actual caused. But why take the risk when the below simple step isn't hard to follow?

Method for unplugging/disconnecting the battery:
1. Before unplugging the battery, turn off all gadgets and lights, closing all the doors and unplugging any kind of diagnostic tool. The drivers side window has to be kept open for any kind of requirement.

2. Turn off the ignition and take out the key following which unplug the battery after an interval of
3 minutes.

3. The BSI needs to be taken to sleep mode or Active Economy mode, during which nothing in the vehicle should be operating. Even the bonnet should not be opened that time as it can 'wake up' the BSI if the vehicle has got an alarm installed.
For batteries under the bonnet, the bonnet should be opened and left up before allowing the BSI to go to Sleep Mode. During this 3 minute interval, use of any remote control central locking gadgets for other vehicles should be avoided in the vicinity of the concerned vehicle.

Method for connecting the battery:
The following procedure is for reinstalling the battery connection unless told otherwise by Peugeot or Product service. Failure to follow this procedure may result in damage to the BSI's embedded software during reconnection.

1. All the doors have to be closed with the ignition key turned off and the key taken out.

2. Now without opening the doors, replug the battery and wait for 10 seconds.

3. Turn on the headlights, turn on the engine and inspect the system's functioning.

Some good source of information about Battery:

Some information taken from the above site:

Batteries are perishable, so buy fresh.

Unless a battery has periodically been recharged, never buy a non-sealed wet Low Maintenance battery that is more than three months old or a sealed wet Maintenance Free battery that is more than six months old because they have started to sulfate.

"Dry charged" batteries are shipped without electrolyte, but usually have "sell by" dates of one to three years. Battery dealers will often place their fresher batteries in the rear of the rack or in a storage room. The date of manufacture is often stamped on the case or printed on a sticker. If you cannot determine the date code, ask the dealer or contact the manufacturer.

A battery will lose its charge sitting in storage.

Depending on the type of battery and temperature, batteries have a natural self-discharge or internal electro chemical "leakage" at a 1% to 25% rate per month. Over time the battery will become sulfated and fully discharged. Higher temperatures accelerate this process. A battery stored at 95° F (35° C) will self-discharge twice as fast than one stored at 75° F (23.9° C).

More RC (Reserve Capacity) or Amp Hours is a good thing.

Larger RC or Amp Hours is better because of the effects of increased parasitic (ignition key off) loads, normal battery self discharge while in long term parking or storage, and the demands of stop-and-go driving.

Amp Hours (AH) is normally used to describe the capacity of deep cycle and international car batteries.
When comparing Amp Hour specifications, use the same discharge rates, expressed in hours. There is a relationship between the weight of the battery and the amount of RC or Amp Hours. A heavier battery has more lead and is normally better choice.

Size matters!

Purchasing a battery has become much easier because most of the battery and vehicle manufacturers have adopted the BCI Group Number as a standard for the battery's voltage, physical size, terminal type and terminal location. It contains the vehicle's minimum cold cranking amps (CCA) requirement and Battery Council International (BCI) Group Number replacement recommendations by make, model and year of manufacturer.

Select the battery with CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) that will meet or exceed the vehicle manufacturer's recommendation.

Do not substitute CA (Cranking Performance Amps), MCA (Marine Cranking Amps), or HCA (Hot Cranking Amps) for CCA. In hot climates, buying batteries with double or triple the cranking amps that exceeds your starting requirement is not recommended. However, in cold climates, a higher CCA rating is better, due to increased power required to crank a sluggish engine and the inefficiency of a cold battery.

A larger capacity battery will damage my car.
A starter motor will only draw a fixed amount of current from the battery, based on the resistance of its load. A larger current capacity battery supplies only what is required. It will not damage your vehicle. Using batteries with higher or lower voltage or physically too tall could potentially damage your vehicle.

Care & Maintenance:

Bad batteries may harm the charging system or starter.
A bad or weak battery causes more stress on a charging system or starter and can cause premature failures due having to compensate the voltage or current. If you replace a battery, alternator, voltage regulator or starter, you should test the other components for latent or permanent damage.

"Maintenance free" batteries VS hot climates.
In hot climates, the water in the electrolyte is lost due to the high under hood temperatures. Water can also be lost due to excessive charging voltage or charging currents. Non-sealed batteries are recommended in hot climates so distilled water can be added when this occurs.

Car batteries in hot climates & cold climates.

Car batteries last an average of two thirds as long in hot climates as cold ones. Heat kills car batteries, especially sealed wet Maintenance Free batteries and cold reduces the battery's starting capacity.

DO NOT test the alternator by disconnecting the battery with the engine running.

A battery acts as a voltage stabilizer or filter to the pulsating DC produced by the alternator. Disconnecting a battery while the engine is running can destroy the sensitive electronic components connected to the electrical system such as the emission computer, audio system, cell phone, alarm system, etc., or the charging system because the peak voltage can rise to 40 volts or more. In the 1970s, removing a battery terminal was an accepted practice to test charging systems of that era. That is not the case today.

Pulse chargers, aspirins or additives will revive sulfated batteries? Myth Or Fact?

Using pulse chargers or additives is a very controversial subject. Most battery experts agree that there is no conclusive proof that pulse chargers work any better than constant voltage chargers to remove sulfation. They also agree that there is no evidence that additives or aspirins provide any long-term benefits. Short term gains are achieved by increasing the acidity of the battery, but this will damage the battery plates.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Custom Exhaust System

Ever heard of a badly modified exhaust sound? It's noisy and annoying; this is exactly how it sounded when my BB Lion's exhaust pipe cracks. The sound is horrible, the performance drops and it's a shame on the road, plus for those that didn't know, will thought you modified your car and wants to race you! The cracks happen on weekday and I have to endure the whole week until the weekend before I can get it repaired.

To cut the story short, in total the crack happen 3 times, each happen after some time of the previous repair, and the cracks happen on the same line after the crack as if it will break apart. After repairing the cracks on my exhaust pipe twice, finally I change the whole Exhaust System on the third crack.

For the first incident, since it was repaired, I decided to change when it happen again, but the second time it happen at not-so-good time where festive season is near and when I'm busy. So, after getting the quotation of the price from a recommended reputable workshop "Ah Heng" in Subang, I get it repaired first temporarily.

The 1st & 2nd Crack:

The 3rd crack (this one is real bad, almost as if it's breaking apart):

Close up:

My Repair History Episode:
My first repair visit was some exhaust shop in Sunway, I was quoted RM500++ for a set of Stainless Steel Exhaust System (excluding the Catalytic Converter). It was "really" cheap. During the first incident, I have also surveyed and remember one of our members, Dacmo (Donovan) have blog about a good workshop (Torque Gear) which does his RX7 and he also owns a 206. After checking with him, he suggested me to check with Everco in Sunway. Tough, in the end, I didn't take the time to go there.

My 2nd repair visit to "Ah Heng" in Subang, I was quoted around RM1500 for a set of Stainless Steel Exhaust System (excluding the Catalytic Converter). The price was quite surprising as it was triple the price of the previous quote I get, but the product/material quality and workmanship is very important in this case. Was thinking of checking out Jaafar and also Everco to get their quote, but in the end, also didn't took the time to do it.

Current Episode:
Cutting short again, basically in the end I went to Torque Gear in Sunway, which I found out was also belongs to/partner of "Ah Heng" in Subang. The reason I choose Sunway is because it is easier to access and less traffic congestion issue. Now here's the funny part: there was no Shop Name/Banner, when I reach, the shop hasn't open and I actually round a few times around the area looking for it. In case you're looking for it, it's just next to Beemerholics.

The boss name is Andrew, a friendly and nice chap. Now, here's the difference from the other 2 shop. Andrew checks through my BB Lion and explain some minor technical to me. Later, he went into his office, did some drawings and start explaining many things about exhaust modifications to me and also providing few options with different pricing for me to choose. The modding options can affect your powerband, whether you want to shift the powerband lower or higher or stock standard depending on individual preferences. To avoid me giving wrong explanation or confusing explanation, it's best for you to consult Mr. Andrew (no, not the blackdolphin) directly if you're interested in modding the exhaust system.

Basically, since I drive mostly in the city and I prefer to have more torque at lower rpm, I opt for the mod that is close to stock standard; Of course, this is in theory, the actual we will need to dyno it to find out. Due to my setup which the materials (pipe diameter) does not have local version and have to opt for imported product, it's the most expensive option of all. In total, it cost around RM1.5K (similar to what previously "Ah Heng" quoted). Damage to the pocket, but the workmanship is really good.

The Custom System Starts After The Catalytic Converter

The Cat (Meow):

Stock Peugeot 206 GTi Muffler:


The Joint (Before touch-up):

The Sound:
I was also asked if I would like some "sound". As I don't really fancy these exhaust sound, especially inside the car when you're dragging your car in 1 gear higher, it's horrible, so I opt for the "quiet" version. I prefer engine sound, that's the real roar, especially when you install an open pod, that's the real nice and fierce roar. No offense but, exhaust sound sounded like 'fart' to me; It's different from engine sound and have this rhythm which sounds like 'fart', well after all, it's similar concept, the release of air (no pun intended).

I've sat in a friend's car with modded exhaust, it's really horrible experience. Funny thing is, he have also modded his sound system and installed head unit with video player. I can tell you that I'm sitting in front as passenger, and I can hardly hear the conversation from the movie, even talking and listening to one another is hard. It's worst when he tries to overtake a car, not to mention that his car is auto transmission, so imagine as he floor the accelerator and the "loudness" inside the car, it's like we're inside a subwoofer.

Nonetheless, it's not like I don't like the exhaust sound at all, I do like those that sounded "manly" and not over. I have heard few cars which have such nice sound, not necessarily from expensive cars, even many low end local cars have done good mod with nice deep "manly" sound.

Before the final process, Mr. Andrew asked me again whether I would like a little bit "sound", so I said, a little bit is OK, and also confirmed with him that it wouldn't be "loud" inside the BB Lion. Anyway, he told me not to worry as if I really don't like the sound, I can send it back and he will fix it up for me again.

Performance Issues Dilemma:
Actually, I'm also worried that the mod might alter the powerband NOT to my preference, as many of you may have notice many modded cars sounded really loud but performs badly, like what we always say "STILL THERE". They probably shifted the power band to the top end? Not sure.
Anyway, Mr. Andrew also reassures me not to worry, as if I'm not satisfied with the setup, I can send it back and they can do adjustment to the current setup. This is a really good deal and service.

Custom Mod Info:
From the whole process, the hardest part which I can see is the muffler. Due to the placement of the muffler and the exhaust tip hole at the bumper, they need to divert the exhaust tip within a very small available space. I don't know how to explain this, but that's why they say a picture worth a thousand words.

The only complain I have is... the exhaust tip is kind of too "OUT", it come out too much from the bumper, I actually prefer it inline with the bumper. I guess it's because when they were measuring and installing, they do it from the front to the back, thus in the end, the back have cramped space, and adjusting will need additional work.

Final Inspection:
Finally, it's done. Mr. Andrew did a final inspection and then gets into BB Lion, which is then being jack up for his workers to check for any possible leaks. Everything seems in order, and the sound seems quite OK to me, not too loud or slightly softer than what I expected. I was also informed that my Catalytic Converter is not in good condition. I've known this as it's been diagnose by Nasim-Peugeot Glenmarie Service Centre, but they told me that it is "wear and tear" items, thus there's no warranty.

Experience On Custom Exhaust System BB Lion:
When I first got into the exhaust modded BB Lion and as I drive it, immediately I felt a VERY big difference in the accelerator pedal.. It's so... erm... Light??? But as I drive, slowly it seems returns to normal and I can't tell the difference with before and after the mod anymore.

As for power, honestly, I also can't tell any difference, maybe there's some improvements, maybe there is no improvements, or maybe. maybe. there is some drop in performance??? No idea, unless there is a dyno of before and after. Besides, I think a little increase or drop in performance is not really noticeable, MOREOVER, many factors can affect the current performance of the car even before modding. Even with stock, sometimes, you can feel the car is less powerful, probably due to tyre pressure, or some other reason, while sometimes, you feel the car's performance in tip top condition and just keep pushing. So, I don't really know if the mod have resulted in any changes in performance, probably it did shift the power-band slightly.
Sorry for those expecting some positive or accurate answer.

The one thing that is noticeable is... of course... the sound. Funny thing is, I notice it's slightly noisier around 3~3.5K rpm, higher rpm seems not as bad. After confirming with a passenger, seems it's not that bad as it weren't really noticeable unless asked to pay attention to the sound.
Standing outside BB Lion, the exhaust sound has deeper bass, which is OK, acceptable for me.
Starting my BB Lion, sometimes it gives a nice deep bass sound, sometimes, it sounded very close to stock or normal, but if it's inside a closed environment, then it will sound better as the bass is deeper.

Overall, it will sound nice inside a closed environment (e.g. inside parking lot, car wash centre, etc).
One thing weird that I notice, when driving in the rain, the exhaust sound goes deeper and more noticeable inside BB Lion. No idea why as of this writing.

Basically, from my personal experience, if you're looking for performance increase, I'm not sure if it's noticeable unless you're looking to shift your current power-band setup to a quite different setup?
Changing to a more free-flowing or less restriction muffler might possibly make some changes, but no idea what kind of changes.

If you're looking into modding your Exhaust System, I would advice you to go for Custom unless you can find a reputable brand which fits your car; And the workmanship is very important in this case.