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Monday, March 14, 2011

Going offroad with the Suzuki SJ410

This is my first time participating in a 4x4 event as Kinabalu Four Wheel Drive Club (KFWDC) organized the Jamboree 4x4 to Ulu Membakut, Papar. After having my SJ410 ready for basic offroad setting, I tried the car to the Crocker Range Sub Station, Ulu-Membakut. The car is very basic for offroad, with only A/T rear tyres. However, it was a very fun offroad when the tyres spinning on wet and mud road. I really need to drive carefully with the unsuitable tyres.  Photography wise, it was another opportunity for 4x4 photography and I only equipped with trusted Olympus E-1, 14-42mm and 70-300mm.

KFWDC 4x4 Jamboree 2011 - Ulu Membakut
Campsite location, Sub Stesen Ulu Membakut (Crocker Range Park) Olympus E-1 + 14-42mm

KFWDC 4x4 Jamboree 2011 - Ulu Membakut
My basic things for 3 days 2 nights trip with my son. Olympus E-1 + 14-42mm

KFWDC 4x4 Jamboree 2011 - Ulu Membakut
The convoy, Olympus E-1 + 14-42mm

  KFWDC 4x4 Jamboree 2011 - Ulu Membakut
No, I am not sleeping at the top of the car.. just a temporary storage of the tent. =) Olympus E-1 + 14-42mm

KFWDC 4x4 Jamboree 2011 - Ulu Membakut - Novice 4x4 Challenge
Novice/Semi-hardcore 4x4 challenge, Olympus E-1 + 14-42mm

KFWDC 4x4 Jamboree 2011 - Ulu Membakut
Novice/Semi-hardcore 4x4 challenge, Olympus E-1 + 14-42mm
KFWDC 4x4 Jamboree 2011 - Ulu Membakut - Novice 4x4 Challenge
ATV in action, Olympus E-1 + 14-42mm

KFWDC 4x4 Jamboree 2011 - Ulu Membakut
My dream car.. Landcruiser BJ80 series =), Olympus E-1 + 14-42mm

KFWDC 4x4 Jamboree 2011 - Ulu Membakut
The SJ410 at the small stream, Olympus E-1 + 14-42mm

KFWDC 4x4 Jamboree 2011 - Ulu Membakut
Old skool technique to add some grip and approach to avoid mud. Not effective but slightly help to remove the mud when the tyres spin. Use better tyres next time.. Olympus E-1 + 14-42mm

KFWDC 4x4 Jamboree 2011 - Ulu Membakut
Ready to cross the river, the water level reach the rear bumper. I need to do more lift next time. Olympus E-1 + 14-42mm

KFWDC 4x4 Jamboree 2011 - Ulu Membakut 
Centipede track.. Olympus E-1 + 14-42mm

KFWDC 4x4 Jamboree 2011 - Ulu Membakut
Ok, at least MT tyres would do.. Olympus E-1 + 14-42mm

Monday, March 07, 2011

Suzuki SJ Death Wobble - my experience on the Suzuki SJ410

On one fine afternoon, I tested my SJ410 on the road to check on something else. Actually preparing the basic SJ410 for the local 4x4 Jamboree which is my first time participating in such 4x4 event. While on the road, the front tyres hit the uneven road and suddenly the car shakes violently. It was around 70KM/h and I almost feel like accident would happen. I quickly did an emergency braking and the frightening shake gone. The terrible front end shake will happen every time the tyres hit even the slight uneven or hole on the road.
 
I did not aware of the real problem that the first thing I did was to do tyre check and balancing, and replacing the old (bend) leaf spring. However, the problem still keep bugging me. Then, I tried searcing on Google about the problem but did not find anything. I nearly sent the car to the workshop but before I made up my mind, I did another search on Google. This time I found a Youtube video about "death wobble" on some Jeeps. Great, that the exact problem on my SJ410. Death wobble is  a violent shaking at a certain speed or after hitting a bump which vibrates the entire front end viciously.


There are lots of possible causes based on my readings. Its ended up my list was:
1. check front axle components (king pin bearing)
2. check steering box
3. check steering component
4. check steering damper
5. check bushing

Ok. In order to do them all, necessary things were removed. I'm not a mechanic, just a keen DIY with Google is my best friend. What most important I found was the steering damper. It seems out of order which made me think that this was the real source of the problem. However, on second thought,  when I checked my brother's SJ413, there's no steering damper. Therefore, I think that "Suzuki death wobble" is caused by one or multiple problems as listed above. One of my friends suggest me to modify the steering damper attachment using LN106 Toyota Hilux damper for better and cheaper alternative to the expensive Suzuki steering (not OEM) damper. It cost me around RM170 for the Suzuki steering damper while Hilux damper is just around RM120. However, to use the Hilux steering damper, I have to do some welding work and I want to avoid that for this time around.  

So, apart from replacing this one only, I have decided to do some other replacements. I replaced front axle kingpin bearings because they look like not in good condition anymore, including the oil seals and knuckle seals. Then, replaced the steering box with new (used) which I got from friend, because the old steering box was quite bad with to much play. The universal joint on the steering shaft was also replaced. Finished with that, my SJ410 is back to perfect condition again.

Suzuki SJ410 repair 
Standard leaf spring replacement

Suzuki SJ410 repair 
The real cause of the death wobble on my SJ410, out of service steering damper.
Suzuki SJ410 repair 
Replacing the kingpin bearings and seals.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Memancing di Kuala Puaka, Terayung

Saya bukanlah kaki pancing tapi kalau ada masa dan ada orang ajak, boleh lah juga duduk dan membuang mata kail ke air. Cuma mungkin saya jenis kurang sabar untuk menunggu terlalu lama untuk mendapatkan ikan. Senang lagi pergi ke gerai ikan dan beli dari sana. Tapi bagi pemacing kepuasan membuang mata kail dan kalau nasib baik ikan menelan mata kail, acara melawan tarikan ikan itu yang seronok. 

Kuala Puaka, Terayung
Anak-anak pun seronok melihat keindahan alam, tetapi sayang pantai di sini agak bahaya untuk mandi-manda.

Kaki Pancing
Mereka pun mahu juga merasa pegang pancing, tapi entah nasib apa tiada seekor pun yang menelan mata kail. Agaknya salah teknik.

Kaki Pancing
Kaki pancing sebenar sedang asyik melayan emosi joran pancing. Adalah beberapa ekor dia dapat.

Kaki Pancing
Akhirnya cuma gambar sahaja yang saya berjaya tangkap berkeping-keping. Ikannya lansung tiada saya perolehi, mungkin sedang mentertawakan saya yang hanya berjaya menaikkan sekampit plastik berisi pasir.

Ikan Sebelah
Ikan sebelah atau ada yang memanggil ikan sisa nabi yang terdapat di sini. Inilah pertama kali saya melihat ikan seperti ini. Patutlah ada ikan pelik macam ini dalam katun Spongebob Squarepant.

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