Friday, August 27, 2010

King Long CAM Placer 15 seater Van review

Engine : Isuzu sourced 4JB1-T (engine also used in hicom perkasa MTB150T, and isuzu trooper 4x4).
Engine type: 4cyl,8 valve, euro 2, turbocharged diesel engine
Transmission: 5 speed manual , full synchro with single plate clutch

Drive type:  front engine , rear wheel drive,
front suspension: independat suspension
rear suspension: Torsion beam with leaf spring
Brakes: front disc and rear drum type

This King Long CAM Placer commercial van is the latest 15 seater van from China Auto Manufacturers group, priced at an affordable RM83,837.60 for private registration and RM84,201.71 for company registration, it represents great value if you compare it againts other chinese competition such as Jinbei. This van offers huge amount of headroom, and small people could easily stand up in the cabin without bobbing his head.

The engine

As expected from every diesel engine, it is noisy and clattery, but thats all that is sacrificed. The engine is powerful, torquey and very economical. Because of my work that involves commercial trucks, i dont find any problems with the engine, and i think that Kinglong has made a wise decision in fitting the world's most popular diesel engine into the worlds most undesirable brand, as it balances it.

The cabin

The cabin is a great place to be in, although the rear seat are a bit upright,hard and covered with canvas and cloth, but i do get a powerful air conditioner, and the ride is quite comfy too. I might scare you when i say the engine is a bit loud, but the quietness and the comfort level of the ride is more than make up for that inadequacies. And a expected too are its quality level which is typically low, although i do noticed that the plastics on the door of this van is less rough and inferior to the Proton Exora's, and the doors close with solid thud'."not so Tinny as expected", and i also liked the LED lights on the wing mirrors of the van.

The drive

The van is powerful and effortless enough to cruise along highways  at a fairly high speed straights, but DO watch out for the corners as it isn't very good there. At speeds of 80-100kmh, the ride is still comfy, but as it goes higher it deteriorates.The supplied onboard computer is a gimmicky device...sure its got reverse camera,trip, info and etc function, but it is difficult to see under a bright day due to poor LCD screen, and its difficult to judge the distance when reversing, even with a reverse camera.


All this while, i've never been in a chinese made van before, and i actually thought that these vans are inferior and prone to breakdowns, but guess what, My perception is wrong with this van. And i'll suggest this product to those who wants to ferry 15 people, drives around town, wants cheap and good value van.

I maybe selling this product,but i try not to be bias in my reviews, anyway i can be contacted through e-mail to arrange for a test drive.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Review on the Nissan Murano or Impul 725SW SUV

This Nissan Murano or Impul 725SW SUV 4x2, specifications as follows:-

 Engine capacity: The QR25DE is a 2.5 L (2488 cc)
Bore and stroke: 89mm x 100mm
Compression ratio: 9.5.1
Power output : 175 HP / 130KW @ 6000rpm
Torque: 180 ft.lbf at 4000rpm

Performance wise, its just merely OK from the 2.5litre unit, as it need to haul something that's around 1.8tonnes. A hard drive on the stretches of genting highlands will expose all the weaknesses of the handling of any vehicles, and this big SUV is not exempted. This SUV gives a bumpy ride on rough roads even though it has a long travel suspension. The low speed ride is terrible, and small ridges rattled their way into the cabin, and even those fantastic and cushy seats cant seems to hold you in properly in place because the ride can get so bumpy that you will constantly find yourself adjusting your bottom very often.
When cornering, this SUV tends to lurch thru the corners. The amount of body roll is OK, but when cornering, it tends to feel front heavy, making cornering entry feels scary. Thankfully the steering feels is good and accurate, but there's not much feels to it.
The brakes on the other hand feels just 'sufficient' to stop this SUV, perhaps its because of the long travel pedal? The brakes also tend to cook easily, because when i reached the foothill of genting highland, i found myself slamming harder on the brakes to stop.

On highway runs, this thing feels more comfortable, partly due to its smooth CVT gearbox. The engine is spinning at merely 2000rpm when doing 120-130kmh, and at speeds of up to 160kmh, the cabin remains very quiet. But in town the CVT behaves differently, because i found myself braking more frequently in heavy traffic.The gear ratio can be so high that a dab on the accelerator can bring the vehicle so far away. Fuel consumption of this vehicle is relatively high, and i average around 6.4 - 7.3Km/litre when driving around town , but when driving on the highways it improves at around 10-11km/litre.

The interior of this cruiser is a very comfortable place to be in, because it is spacious, the big and cushy seats are comfy feels supportive just like couch would, and it is quiet. Driving controls feels good,  tactility is OK, ergonomics is OK but the overall build quality feels somewhat poor. The doors don't close with a solid "Thud", the back tonneau cover rattles when going over bumps, and door handles that feels too filmsy.
The rear seats are very spacious and comfy, and it can fit 3 big and tall fellas back there comfortably. The keyless entry feature is very usefull, as well as the rear and side camera that becomes indispensable when parking this vehicle in tight spaces.

As conclusion the the ownership of this SUV, i'd say its best suited for highway runs, because its the only place where i find it relaxing to travel in, and also won't scare me. Most auto magazines will tell you how good this SUV is, but let me tell you that it ISN'T, and the only reason why i end up owning this Murano is because there is no other car in the market that is this stylish,big,have good ground clearance, good standard specs, and within the 2500cc range.

The way it drives feels 'similar' to the KIA SORENTO.

Sorry for the poor picture quality,  its taken with my HD2 again, lost my lumix yesterday

Update 16/4/2010

Taken the Nissan Murano 3.5 AWD for a spin and it is different compared to the IMPUL tuned units. For one the ride is smoother and much much more comfy, but with extra weight at the front, it feels a little more nose heavy when cornering hard. Also, the Nissan Murano rolls more in corners.

So the  Impul 725 is actually, a tuned up version of the nissan murano, that has a terribly harder ride, and a little bit more enjoyable when cornering hard.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Final Year Project

I'm currently studying on the suitable materials for cargo body construction, will start with a design via dassaults systemes solidworks 2009 x64 designing software.

1st stage designing the crossmembers
2nd stage assembling the floor panels
3rd stage assembling the crossmembers and the floor panels
4th stage simulation

But before starting these designs, i'll first have to do test on the various types of woods, aluminium and steels.