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Old 23rd February 2006, 16:04   #1
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Default Zen to Ezen: Goldie Ki Kahani (The Story of Goldie)

This is gonna be my longest post ever.

May, 2005:
After almost 1 lakh kms of pushing it hard n fast, my golden colored (hence the name Goldie, thanks to V1p3r) 1998 model Maruti Zen (carb) had started showing signs of old age and fatigue. The first time it got a taste of tuning was on a TBHP drive (First blood (Sunday Drive Whos In??? --- Bangalore Bhpians)), down Old Madras road, when Psycho asked me to open the hood. My car got treated to not one but two tuners! Psycho and Dom!!! It was like giving a shot of magic potion to Asterix. More than 90K on the odo and the car started to impress again.

September, 2005:
By now I was thoroughly hooked to TBHP and my motto had become “Give me all the power you can but I still want more”. Got a new cam fitted as suggested and later executed by Psycho. 40 in 1st, 90 in 2nd, 120 in 3rd! Managed to cross 160 on the first drive (Second taste (TBHP Bangalore: 770 bhp drive!!!)) after this mod! It was fun while it lasted. I am told people are still wondering that was it a stock zen with just a different cam???

Jan, 2006: At around 1.2L kms, the engine started showing signs that it needs a rebuild. Its valves started jamming up due to which it would just refuse to start. Thrice the maruti mechanics managed to get it started but now it was clear that if once more the car refuses to start, the engine will need to be rebuilt.

This got me thinking. Since i intended to turn it into an e-zen sooner or later, won’t now be the right time for that???? Who would do that was never a question. If you give ur car to someone for a complete makeover, that person should know three things. One is cars of course, second is your car specifically and third is your driving style. Psycho knew all three so that was never a question.

Feb, 2005: Psycho got an original jap 1.3L engine! So about a couple of weeks back, work started on the engine while I drove my old car to work n back for one more week. Then the time came to drop the car at the garage for a week. The front suspension had gone bust to the extent that I could push the front of the car down by pressing it with just one finger and it would then bounce up and left and right all over.

13th Feb 2006 to 20th Feb 2006:
Left the car at the garage on Monday evening and came back to pick it up on Saturday. Also had to buy a new set of wheels for the car, to handle the extra power it will be getting now. After about 4 hours of going through all the options, Psycho finally convinced me to go for new 14 inchers and 195/45R14 tyres (and I convinced my thumping heart that the extra 30+ grands will be well worth it)! Reached the garage and found that we need to go to Shivajinagar to get the nuts for the wheels. The clock was inching towards 6:30 and Psycho needed to be at Yashwantpur railway station by 8! So Psycho and I hopped into his Conti, went to Shivajinagar, from there to Yashwantpur, and from there back to the garage. I can never forget that ride! It’s not everyday that one gets to experience a Conti being driven like an M800 in city traffic. Got back to the garage, took the car out for a trial run. At 60 kmph Psycho asked me to stand on the brakes! The car came to a stop in a perfect straight line, though the stock tyres locked up. Went back, put on the new wheels and again went for a test drive. Again stood on the brakes. This time there was no locking and the car stopped a lot sooner. On the way back, Psycho was driving the car, there were three of us, and he asked me to look at the speedo. The needle rapidly moved from 20 kmph to well above 60. What I screamed when he told me that its in 5th gear can not be reprinted here.

Boy does the car move like a dream now!!! Slight touch of the pedal and u get the oh-so-pleasant feeling of being pushed into the seat. The torque is just beautiful coz I have never, until now, been able to make a car move from 20 to 60 so quickly in 4th gear! Scared to push it right now coz the engine needs running in. Besides, Mr Psycho here has ensured that I do not do anything terrible to the engine during the first 200 kms. Still the traffic comes up in the front so fast that it gets frustrating at times.

Point by point improvements:
1. Of course, acceleration! Thanks to the rebuilt and worked upon engine, the pick up in any gear is awesome.

2. Grip. Thanks to the fatter and bigger tyres, the grip is very inspiring. There is a lonely 90 degree bend on the way to work, and I decided to test the grip there. I was grinning ear to ear as I came out of that turn.

3. Braking. Thanks to the new brake boosters from esteem, the braking is very sure footed and decisive and in a straight line. Couple of days back I was cruising down the ring road with no vehicles around me. I saw a girl on a two wheeler waiting to cross the road. She saw me, I saw her, she did not move. Then as I approached the crossing, I think I became invisible to her coz she merrily drove right across the road. Had to stand on the brakes!! And the car came to a dead stop well in advance!!

4. Have to mention the new suspension of course. The car feels so “tight” on the road!

5. Sound. The engine hardly makes a sound!! The earlier one was a racket compared to this one!

Took my family out for a small drive in it on Sunday. They were all amazed at how quiet and smooth the car was running! And the 14 inchers give it a nice look as well (will post pics soon)!

23rd Feb 2006: Yesterday 200 kms got over and the car is now back in the garage, getting ready for the next stage of running in. Just some screws getting tightened here and there and Vasu getting to spend time on the car to his satisfaction (I had to rush Vasu and Psycho a bit on Saturday).

Still to come are headers and free flow. Waiting to let the engine (and my finances) to settle down a little before that happens.

Cheers
Amitoj
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Old 23rd February 2006, 16:23   #2
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very nice write up amitoj, its new wine in the old bottle na... btw will it be on the chennai track on the 11 and 12th of march.

what the total cost or rebuild???
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Old 23rd February 2006, 16:29   #3
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Another one bites the dust!!! With just a new cam people had a tough time catching up with ypu during the meets. Wonder what would happen now. Have fun. Isn't the tire up size a little too big. And guys, stay away from Psycho. This stuff is contagious.
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Old 23rd February 2006, 16:30   #4
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Well written! an e-zen.... Wonder what the guys would say now on the drives. You probably would be at the destination by the time others assemble! And How are 14'' wheels (45 profile ) doing on the nice road from Mantri Elite to BTM?

And more details man! What wheels? Which tyres?

Last edited by mohit : 23rd February 2006 at 16:32.
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Old 23rd February 2006, 16:37   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tifosikrishna
will it be on the chennai track on the 11 and 12th of march.

what the total cost or rebuild???
It will go only upto the track, but not on the track (though i am itching to take it on track). 5K of running-in = 5K of extreme patience.
Dont ask the cost man! But one thing is there. The estimate i was given was way more accurate than any of the estimates given to me by those authorised service stations!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joz
Isn't the tire up size a little too big
Quote:
How are 14'' wheels (45 profile ) doing on the nice road from Mantri Elite to BTM
U wonder about Mantri Elite to BTM? I start from Meenakshi temple!!But the suspension has been prepared keeping in mind the upsize. As far as the ride quality is concerned, my wife who is the least sensitive to such things also commented on the improvement!
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Old 23rd February 2006, 16:58   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joz
And guys, stay away from Psycho. This stuff is contagious.
Ahem, what did I do now???
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Old 23rd February 2006, 17:17   #7
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Hey amitoj very good writeup, waiting to see the pics. Enjoy your ride in new goldie.

Last edited by sridhar24 : 23rd February 2006 at 17:18.
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Old 23rd February 2006, 17:23   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joz
With just a new cam people had a tough time catching up with ypu during the meets. Wonder what would happen now.
Am clearly not participating in any of the runs if i see Amitoj with his Goldie around. Well, actually I hate to make people wait, be it half an hour, half a day...be it a toll plaza, a restaurant, the final destination. or maybe, rest of the gang can start a day ahead and amitoj shall catch up with us at the destination. What say ?

Great diary of upgradation. But why 5000km running in ? Shouldn't 1-2k be enough ?
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Old 23rd February 2006, 18:07   #9
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Goldie is very lucky to have such a loving and large-hearted owner!!!!!!

I believe all this is cosmetic, and that Amitoj doesnt really need a big engine to go fast....the engine is just an excuse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joz
And guys, stay away from Psycho. This stuff is contagious.
You can say that again....and again........and then again a few times over. You'll still get infected.
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Old 23rd February 2006, 19:08   #10
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Hey had the chance to see the goldie at the garage today , must admit the engine sounds dead stock .. Actually unless u see the huge tyres its quite impossible to find out if the car is running any performance mods ?? Btw amitoj nice wheels ..

Arey bcoz this tall looking bloke who owns the goldie had to work OT we couldnt get a ride in it as i had to head home early.. Well i guess it will be really soon .. Now this reminds me once again the line "sheep in a wolf's clothing" .. I bet u would want to prove me wrong really soon ..
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Old 23rd February 2006, 19:13   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joz
And guys, stay away from Psycho. This stuff is contagious.
Quote:
Originally Posted by steeroid
You can say that again....and again........and then again a few times over. You'll still get infected.
U BET !!!!! This guy certainly lives upto his nick .. These days im spending more time at the garage than i spend collectively at college and home .. Its that bloody addictive .. And everytime he seems to amaze me more .. Well done Mr.Madscientist (thats the nick i have given psycho) .. Now its my turn to squeeze ur neck to have the BIG grin on my face ..
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Old 23rd February 2006, 19:22   #12
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Excellent and exciting!! Congratulations Amitoj!
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Old 23rd February 2006, 23:49   #13
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I need to test-drive this car before giving my H opinion...
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Old 24th February 2006, 00:10   #14
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Hey amit, congrats on the heart transplant. By jap engine, you mean its from like a 93 carb esteem that's now rebuilt.
Also what suspension are you running now. aftermarket struts or just new stock parts. Diesel spring might be helpful to take the added weight.

Last edited by Mpower : 24th February 2006 at 00:11.
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Old 24th February 2006, 00:17   #15
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Congratulations, Amitoj.
Goldie must really be happy with what u've done to her.

One important thing, a lot of us have been wondering about using an E-zen as a daily driver. A lot of duds here claim that modded cars are unreliable and is a total waste.I want u to prove them wrong. We'll need ur Ownership reports often. Can u do this to our community??
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