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Polish the life

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Replacing the rear mid-range speaker of my 325i.

Posted by Sandy on May 29th, 2009

About a few weeks ago, I notice the imbalanced audio sound in my car. My early thoughts was the loose contact, but it turns out that both mid-range base in the back were broken.

Considering that letting broken speakers connected could damage my amp, I decided to replace them asap. On the other side, the performance of  BMW stock mid-range speakers is really basic, I can also take the chance to do a bit upgrade.

Unfortunately, the speakers have weird size and mounting structure. It thus become hard to find a perfectly replacement. Even there are several aftermarkt or OEM products, they are over-priced to my opinion. WTF???

After some investigatons, I decide to modify some mid level products from branded manufactors and let them to fit in my car. Finally the one I went for is Pioneer TS-A1673R, a 3-way speakers.

Here is a compare picture

(left: stock BMW speaker with paper cone, foam edge and plastic frame, righ: Pioneer speaker with  injection-molded polypropylene woofer, rubber surround, and PET dome tweeter)bmw_stock_pioneer


Here is some pictures showing the modification







 It’s a bit pain when I try to mount the modded speakers, as it became a bit “fat”. So I have to trim down the frame a little bit. But they eventually fit in the back of the car, and I can still use the original speaker cover :)The sound is indeed improved and after the work I stayed in the car for 20 mins just listening CDs. Very happy about the cost and the quality :)   

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Time to share my car wheel project with you :)

Posted by Sandy on April 24th, 2009

Hello my friends,

As some of you have known that I have been doing my “wheel business” for a while. It took indeed long time on finding rims, collecting tires, selling tires, and so on… I think it’s been 6 or 8 weeks.

Finally it’s all settled, and I think it’s nice to share this experience with you guys. Of course you can use it as a DIY guide if you want J

BUT, I STRONGLY suggest NOT TO DO THIS, unless you have no friends to hang out with during weekends, or really want a challenging “work out” physically and mentally.

Alright, here we go.

1)      The original wheels with dirt and a lot curb rashes :(


2)      Clean the dirt


3)      Slightly sand the surface around curb rashes


4)      Use paint thinner to remove the grease and a bit old clear paint


5) Use some filler to fill the curb damages. I used epoxy putty, my god this thing stinks and hard to handle, better use something else :(


6) Remove the extra putty before sanding


7) Sand the fixed surface until it becomes smooth


8) Phew…


9) Ready to sand the whole surface down. I tried wire brush to do a coarse sanding. But later I found it’s not a good idea, as your arms got tired it’s hard to control and I got some deep scratches :(


10) Start…


11) Fine sanding and edge sanding with sand paper, MANUALLY… :(


12) Finally it’s ready for coating.


13) Tape and mask the area you don’t want to paint


14) First of first, twice filler primer


15) Twice color coating…. Still going ….


16) Twice clear coating… phew… coating finished here.


17) Another pic with flash on


18) It’s ready to get them mounted. I decided to do caliper painting and differential oil change along with it. But I dropped the differential oil change later, as I think there’s a leak and I have to get it checked first


19) Un-mount the wheels and spray some break cleaner to remove the dirt and grease on the caliper


20) Do a further clean and sand the surface a bit. ( compare to wheel sanding, this is just a piece of cake :) ) Mask the break disc, as I don’t want to paint the disk


21) Ready to paint :)


22) Detail painting with brushes.


23) Another pic


24) The caliper paint is so so so thin, I had to paint each caliper three times. This becomes time consuming but it gave you better result. Here it is.


25)  With old wheels


26)   With “new” wheels and caliper


27)  Different angle


28) Close look


29) Make sure you have all the protection on during the work :)


Hope you enjoy this :)

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Waxed my car, it becomes shinning now :)

Posted by Sandy on July 13th, 2008

Saturday, a good weather we have been waiting for a long time. Since it’s dry, I decided to wax my car. A couple of days ago, I have bought a polisher machine, and maguires 3 step wax/cleaning set  from Canadian Tire. The reason that I chose its 3 steps set is my car hasn’t been waxed for a year, and there’s a lot micro dust on the paints. I need a deep pre-wax cleaning product to remove those micro dust. Although, I have the puffer, it still took me almost 5 hours to go through all the 3 steps: pre-wax cleaning, polishing, wax. Futurnately, the results is conviencing. Nice product and good work out for me.

Waxed Car

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Replaced Drum Brakes at Canada Day

Posted by Sandy on July 1st, 2008

It’s Canada Day today, and it’s a great chance to see free shows out doors. However, I am tired of being in the crowds and decided to finish the brake work for my car’s rear wheels.

The work itself is much easier than I thought, even it’s my first time to replace drum brakes. But the mechanism itself is more complex than disc brakes. The material we need are brand new pair of brake drums and pads, the new springs, high temp brake grease, ….., and some tools. There are may articles out there explaining how to do it by yourself, so I decided to save my words here and just post some photos for fun. (click the picture for enlarged version)

Old Drum Brake  The Old Brake Pads On the Wheel

Drum Brake Unmounted Brakes Drum and PadsUnmounted

Old drum and pads Old Brake Drums and Pads ( totally worn off :(  )

New drum brake pads  The New Brake Pads

New drum brake pads mounted New Brake Pads Mounted

New Drum The Brand New Shinning Brake Drum

New Drum Mounted New Brake Drum Mounted. JOB DONE !!!!!!

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Replaced Brake Pads and Rotors today.

Posted by Sandy on April 6th, 2008

About 2 months ago, I was warned that my front break pads and rotors were 99% worn out and the rear brake shoes were 95% worn out, when I got my engine oil changed at Canadian Tire. I then asked the price for the replacement, and the answer was 600 ~ 700 bucks. Harsh! I don’t have that much money and I went there for oil change only because I got a free oil change voucher. Actually the pads and rotors cost way less than the full service. Then I decided to do it by myself. Fortunately, the old brake stuffs still did their job until they got replace.

Last week I went to Canadian Tire and bought 2 pair brake pads, 2 front rotors, 2 pair brake shoes, and brake spring set for about $170 after taxes. Of course I need some tools as well.

This weekend I finally got sometime to replaced the brake pads and rotors of my ride’s front wheels. I’d say it’s not technically difficult by physically hard. This makes me think I’d better work out every day. It might take a professional mechanic 1 hour to finish the job but I spent 5 hours on it. What a shame :(

Anyway, I am still happy to see the old, dirty, heavily worn out pads and rotors were replaced by the shinning brand new ones :) Here are some photos to keep the nice memory.

brake01 Prepare work to protect the environment.

brake02 Prepare work to protect myself :P

brake03 Jack my ride up and ready to go!!!

Wheels are removed and “My God” the old pad and rotor were totally worn out.

brake05 I removed the rear wheel as well because I will exchange the front and rear tire later.

brake06 Hehe, Shining brand new Rotor and Pads

brake07 The retired old pads and rotors.

Actually I planned to replace the rear brake shoes as well this time. However, when I take the brake drum off, I found the the drum was also heavily worn out and I didn’t buy the new drum for the replacement. Normally the drum last much longer than the rotors, and it seems I just ran out of my luck this time. So I’ve to replace the rear brake next time. Give me a break~~~

Posted in Life Recorder | 1 Comment »

FIFAStreet 3

Posted by Sandy on March 6th, 2008


A cool commercial ads video found at Youtube:

Official Website:

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“Die Nibelungen - Der Fluch des Drachen”

Posted by Sandy on February 9th, 2008

It’s a fine movie to my opinion. The story line was based on the Germanic myth “Das Nibelungenlied” and the Nordic “Volsunga Saga” which also inspired the four-opera cycle by Richard Wagner and J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic “The Lord of the Rings”.

Reading the story and history behind the movie brought even more fun to me. For example, the word “Nibelung” is the German title was borrowed by it’s English title, which is called “Ring of the Nibelungs”. However, that might confuse the English speakers. Actually the Nibelung of the title is the dwarf Alberich, and the Ring in question is the one he fashions from the Rhinegold. The title therefore means “Alberich’s Ring”. About the word Nibelung (Nibelunge, Niflunger) is derived from the German/old Norse word “Nebel” (mist), and means darkness. In some case, people think Nibelung also refers to the Son of Mist (Nebel).

Die Nibelungen

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Windows: IDE ATA and ATAPI disks use PIO mode after multiple time-out or CRC errors occur

Posted by Sandy on January 28th, 2008

This problem occurs since my new SATA HD installed. I noticed after several days my Windows XP became extremely slow and the HD access uses a lot CPU time. However everything seems to be fine under Linux. Odd!

Then I checked the settings under Device Manager and found that windows automatically re-set my new SATA driver to run in PIO mode. That was in sin.  My first guess was my new driver has problem and windows couldn’t let it work under UDMA. But it’s just hard to believe. After several hours research. It turns out that my new SATA has NCQ (Native Command Queuing) while my Intel mainboard chip 845PE dosen’t support it. That incompatible issue causes a lot error interruption to windows, which then consider the bad of my new driver :(

OK, our M$ indeed has a solution to that, although it can’t be called a solution at all. I will list the step in below:

1) Make sure we got SP2 installed.
2) use “regedit” open the key [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E96A-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}\0002]
3) add a new DWORD Value by name ResetErrorCountersOnSuccess and set the value to be 1
4) repeat the above step if you have more IDE controllors. They must be named in a number sequence, like \003, \004 ….
5) If necessary, uninstall the IDE driver through device manager, which will manually reset the error count to be zero.

OK, enjoy, it’s done.

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Greater Vancouver’s First Snow in 2007

Posted by Sandy on December 3rd, 2007

I have heard that Vancouver is a warm city even in winter. However, in my first 6 moths in Vancouver, we met this heavy snow.

I guess many people are still not ready for this and most of the cars on the road were going like snails, since they don’t have the winter tires.


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Hooray! Nikon D300 and D3 are out.

Posted by Sandy on August 23rd, 2007 published two articles today to Nikon D300 and D3. The status of D200 might become embarrassing. But Nikon will take some marketing strategy to handle this. I am ready to throw my old D100 away now, and hope We can get a good deal for D200 before Xmas :D

Here are the photos and citation words from


Nikon announced the new DX format D300 which also features a 12 megapixel CMOS sensor, 14-bit A/D conversion, EXPEED image processor, sensitivity up to ISO 6400 (with boost), the new CAM3500DX AF sensor (51 point), HDMI video output, UDMA CF support and last but not least the super-impressive 3.0″ 922,000 pixel LCD monitor with Live View. See full review at


Nikon has today lifted the covers on their first full-frame digital SLR, the new 12.1 megapixel D3. The D3 is all about speed and sensitivity, twelve megapixels on a big CMOS chip means large photosites (8.45 µm pitch to be precise) and that adds up to base sensitivity of ISO 200 to 6400 with an additional two stop boost over that (up to ISO 25600). See full review at

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