And to start off the month of February we take another look at what can be done to one of the most common car in Malaysia – the Perodua Myvi. Note that if you owned one or intend to own one, you would be similar to a whole lot of Malaysians who own different variants of it (probably hundreds of thousand people including yours truly) and there is nothing really unique about it even if you spend thousands of Ringgit on it. So what you need to do is make it more drive-able instead of focusing too much on cosmetics. That’s what I would do to a car that is really common – a nice compact supermini, with decent packaging and ample poke for the highways (but again I state, its no sports car).
So aside from stating the obvious above, what should you do to improve its driveability? Let’s start with more affordable mods, this time to the induction system of the car. Note that this basic mods also apply to the latest, 2nd generation Myvi too.
One simple mod that in my opinion is necessary is to the air-box entrance of the Myvi. The thing about the stock car is that the inlet tube basically sits at the right side of the engine bay right behind the headlights. There is no direct cold air feed to it and it basically sucks up hot air from the engine bay. Hot air is less dense that cold air and this means that the Myvi will actually suck in less air on a hot day or during traffic jams than on a cold day. And even on a cooler day, it would still suck up hot air that resonates from the engine as it gets its air from inside the engine bay. Get it?
So what it really needs is something to shield the intake from hot air or something to direct cold air to the intake. I have decided to feed the intake with cold air by using a flexible plastic hose (which you can buy at most performance parts shops in the Klang Valley) that I simply made fit (not a proper fit) one end around the original Myvi intake tube and adjusted and put the other end through the hole found at the right side of the engine bay (which leads to the right fender of the car). This tube is slightly directed deep and slightly low into the fender. Not too low as you may drive through floods and whatnot.
This simple tube allows the air intake to suck air from an area that is cooler than the engine bay. I chose to use just the plastic flexible length hose instead of with the alloy ends for the stealth look as I didn’t want to mount the intake to the bumper. Note that because of this there is no ‘ram-air’ effect but I do not think that such a thing is necessary for a car like this. It isn’t a track car and if you look at the standard air-box, which is located transversely but the throttle body is located vertically and facing downwards, ram-air would not help by much.
So does it work? I honestly don’t actually know but what I can say is that it does feel very slightly more preppy during when accelerating through heavy traffic. It still doesn’t feel like driving on a cold rainy day, but it is slightly better nonetheless.
Now since we are at the intake section, the next mod that you can do without spending a whole lot of cash is a drop in or replacement air filter upgrade. Six clips will open the air-box and you can get your hands on the stock air-filter. I chose a UTR washable replacement air filter to replace it. The reason I chose this over the venerable K&N air filter was that it is cheap. It costs half as much as the K&N and works just as well – 1bhp increase to the Myvi.
This figure is according to my friendly neighbourhood parts supplier – Mr Tee of Sykt Multi Industries, located at Paramount Gardens, PJ. How he got such figures is that some of his customers have too much time and a lot of money as they will dyno their rides after every little ‘upgrade’. He however adds that the K&N will actually last longer than the UTR filter as that really lasts over 5 years whereas the UTR may give up the ghost in 3years or so. You pay for quality. Remember this. I on the other hand have too many hobbies (shoes, watches, bicycles, cars, travelling etc etc…the list is endless), hence me being cheap when it comes to modding the Myvi. At least you readers get to find out whether the cheaper parts work or don’t. In this case it does.
Throttle response is slightly better when you first drop it in but after a day of driving you won’t feel any difference. This plainly shows that 1 measly bhp will not get you all excited for long. But at least you don’t have to change the air filter often. So there you have it. Another two affordable mods for one of the most common car owned around these parts.
What’s next you may ask? I’d have to say brakes. The stock brakes actually suck big time. A full stop from 120km/h takes too long a distance. Trust me. And anytime I see a Myvi going more than 120km/h I worry about them. In the Myvi you cannot SLOW DOWN quickly enough at speeds in excess of 120km/h. If you tell me your Myvi can reach 180km/h, I believe you. But can you stop properly at 180km/h? You actually cannot. Trust me on this.
On that bombshell we end this article. The next step for the Myvi is upgrading the braking system before we go to more power upgrades.
Note: You can click here for the first part of this series.