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This is a very long overdue update on my Proton Wira modifications under RM1K project.

Picking up from what I last posted, the Proton badge (meant for Proton Iswara) finally arrived but there was a problem. The original was a screw-on badge while the new one was a stick on and somehow I could not find a way to get it to stick properly on the original place. So I came up with an idea. Was not sure whether it would work but fortunately it did. I peeled off the plastic logo and super glued it on to the original screw-on base.





I also bought a new Proton Manual Car Leather Gear Knob Carbon With R3 stitching on the sides for RM50/, also from a seller on Lelong.


Definitely a great improvement on the original rounded plastic knobs which were worn out. This brought me to a new total of RM363.90.

Thinking of what to do next, I thought about the faulty reverse sensor. I have been meaning to change it for a long time but kept putting it off. So one day I drove down to the Brother's outlet near my house in PJ. However, the place was packed and I could not get any parking. I was impatient and decided to go to another car accessories place - Elegance Audio Sdn Bhd. in Kelana Jaya.

I was delighted because there were not that many customers around. Their manager Oliver Lim, came out and told me that it would cost me around RM200+ to install new reverse sensors. This was much costlier than what it would normally cost me at Brothers but I assumed that at that price their product would be of a better quality than at Brothers, which was where I had installed my old reverse sensors.

Since the shop was specialised in audio equipment and I was still under budget, I decided to install front speakers in the car. Previously it only had 2 rear Clarion speakers. The cheapest speakers was the Powerbass S-4002 4-Inch Coaxial speakers (105 W), at around RM260 a pair. A little bit steep but he assured me that the sound quality would be really great. This would nicely bring me just below my budget of a Thousand dollars and I decided to go ahead.


However, this is where it all went wrong. I was waiting inside their office with my son when the manager came in and showed me the old speakers - it was completely torn. I knew it was old but I am sure it was definitely not that bad. I now had no choice but to replace the rear speakers as well. I went along with what the manager recommended and installed a pair of EFX 6x9" rear speakers (RM480).

I was dismayed when I learnt that as the new speakers would not fit into the original speaker enclosure and they would have to cut into the rear speaker board. I wished the manager had explained that to me before I said yes.





The final damage - a whooping RM1020 in total, including the installation charges. These three items alone would have blown my small budget of RM1K at one go.

In hindsight, I could have said "No!" and this would have left me with a total budget of RM903.9. I could have then gone to Brothers and have cheaper speakers installed. But that is what you call "buyer's remorse" and I am trying hard not to have any regrets. However, I hope other people reading this would learn from my experience and make an informed choice.

I am sure that some of you are wondering "what's the difference"?

Now, I do notice that I don't have to crank up the volume and sound quality has definitely improved but no once else - neither my family members nor my friends seems to have realised the difference. The only guy who noticed is my son who went along with me and tries to put peanuts and other stuff into the holes in the speaker covers - a clear design flaw if you have hyperactive kids with itchy hands.

So my budget is blown and I have failed in my project. It was stupid anyway as an old car needs constant attention and replacement of parts. In conclusion, RM1000 goes a bit but is but a drop in the ocean if you decide to hold on to an old car and decide to "pimp it". However, on the other hand, well maintained cars can go a long way and is considerably cheaper than getting a brand new car - specially if you live in Malaysia.

A couple of months back I wrote about "Rejuvenating an old car - repairs on a Proton Wira 1.3 M". Well, I was having a chat with some of my friends, discussing the pros and cons of repairing and modifying old cars over buying new ones.

I feel that Malaysians in general take good care of their cars but once they pass a certain number of years, apart from irregular service, they kind of stop replacing worn out parts, there are dents and scratches everywhere, rust in various parts are left untreated, their headlight turn yellow with age, the bumpers are nearly falling off and the you tend to hit the speed bumps whenever you go over them as the shock absorbers are way past their due date.

The dilemma facing a lot of owners of old cars is that you do not want to repair/ replace the parts as "it is an old car" and you are thinking of upgrading to a newer car. But you continue driving the same car until one day, the bumper falls off or worse, breaks down in the middle of the highway. A friend was telling us that it would cost thousands to repair/replace everything in his old car which set me thinking: How much modifications/ improvements can you do on your car with just RM1000?

I was lucky I had the ideal car for this project - my dad's old Proton Wira Aeroback. Based on the Mitsubishi Lancer platform, this car is a favourite among car modification enthusiasts in Malaysia, mainly because of the wide range of accessories and aftermarket parts available and of course the affordability.

The car is still running beautifully without any major issues. As mentioned in my previous post, the timing belt had been changed last year and I recently had the shock absorbers and a few other parts changed. However, it was clear that the car had seen better days. The paint is pealing off on the rear bumper, the Proton logo in the front has also fallen off.

Of course I have to clarify that all the mods I plan to do are mostly remedial and/or aesthetic. I do not plan to do anything related to performance enhancement or the engine. I also plan to do most of the work myself whenever I can to reduce the cost and keep under the budget.

First of all, I had to think about all the parts which were essential. So I went about replacing the old wipers. I bought Genuine Bosch (BE17+BE20) Proton Wira ECO Wiper Blades for RM54 on Lazada. This is one of the things that we can do ourselves and do not need to go to a workshop for. This is not my first time and I had the new wipers on in a couple of minutes.

Next I sent the car off to painting specialist M. Spray Work in Taman Mayang Jaya and got the rear bumper painted. The big ugly patch on the bumper was really lowering the image of the car. That cost me RM200, which took a big chunk out of my small budget. However, Mr. Tan did a really good job and the bumper looks as good as new.

Before

After

Sometime back I had read an article on car soundproofing kits which helped to reduce vibrations and noise in the car. After a bit of searching online, I found a seller -Fsmotoersport on Lelong.com.my, selling soundproofing kits for Proton Wira cars. It cost me RM40 for the custom made bonnet soundproofing kit and it finally arrived day before yesterday. The pieces were custom cut to fit the spaces on the car bonnet and the experience was like doing a jigsaw puzzle as I had to figure out which piece went where. There was no need to use glue as the pieces were self adhesive with easy peel away backing and it was all done in less than half an hour. I was quite unsure whether it would work but was quite happy after driving around our neighbourhood. There is a noticeable reduction in the engine noise.
before



After

Of course, I also had to get a new emblem/logo to go on the front grill. The font looks quite plain without the logo. I initially thought of replacing it with the original "old" Proton logo - the one with a star and crescent moon but then while going through Lelong.com.my, found someone selling the new Proton Tiger logo/ emblem. Though it is meant for the Proton Iswara, I think it will fit perfectly on the Wira as well. It cost me RM19.90 and I am waiting for it to arrive.

All together I have now used a total of RM313.90 which leaves me with RM686.10 for other improvements.

What should I do next?

Read: Proton Wira modifications under RM1K project: Part 2

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