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Merlin Automotive Service - For All Your Tweaking Needs


#1

What is Merlin Automotive Service?

Established in 1988, Merlin Automotive Service is one of the leading automotive modifying company. Catering to all sorts of automobile for every sort of service you’d ever need.

Founded by Chris Merlin and his son Kenneth. The mechanic team at Merlin Automotive Service offers many type of modification for any cars. Engine, suspension, brakes, gearbox, bodywork and interior works. Anything you’d ever need. No matter how big or small a job is, we do it all.

Right now, we’ve just established a Social Media outlet for the fans to follow our works. We’re also in the process of finding demo cars. Cars that we will modify to showcase the sort of work we do here in our newly created blog. We don’t know what we want yet, maybe you can suggest what you’d like to see to us?

Our mission is to satisfy our customers. No matter what you need, we wish to provide.

Because at Merlin Automotive Service. Your Car, Improved.

What actually is Merlin Automotive Service?

This is a thread for a tuning company I’ve just thought of. I got this idea while downloading some cars from repository and thought of the way to improve them as a guy with tuning ability would in real life. ECU Tunings, wheels, tyres, upgraded turbo, sports suspension. It was a really fun experience that I thought could be fun to share as well.

It is going to be a blog format, think of your favourite tuning company creating a Facebook page for chronicling their works. It’s going to be a bit of a car review as well as the car coming in for works would be test driven to see what they’re like as is. And I’ll of course listed the improvements in realistic way along with the improved car getting a test as a finished product.

And here’s where you come in.

The cars I’ll be doing may be my own car. But wouldn’t it be fun if you can contribute? Post something in this thread, tell me a bit about what the car is. Maybe also specify as what you’d like to be done as a customer. Or left it vague like I’d found it randomly in a classified and modify it to my liking.

Anything goes. As I do have the game, the cars will be tested in BeamNG.

And as the modification will be all realistic, the car could be worsen as well, just like real life. Maybe the reliability will be absolute crap because of huge aftermarket turbo, or the car will be lowered way too much to be undrivable. This is not multi-billion dollar operation R&D-ing the car to absolute best. Think of this as some guy in a shed doing stuff.

But hey, the shop is competent enough for even the most intensive modification, trust me.

I hope there’ll be some interest in this! It’ll be interesting for sure to see what people will bring to me to have “improvements” perform on.

Here goes!


#2

Post 1

Welcome to Merlin Automotive Service social media outlet. I’m Ken Merlin. As you may have known, me and my dad opened MAS in 1988 as the only independent garage in the area and we’ve spent the last 30 years building the reputation as the best around. We do everything here. Brakes, exhaust, suspension, tyres, engine, gearbox, bodywork. You name it, we do it. We currently have 8 specially trained mechanics ready for any sort of fix or improvement you may seek. We’ll work with you no matter what sort of car you have.

You may send in some questions regarding our service. Or maybe your car has some problem and you want some quick troubleshooting before visiting that’s okay as well.

I’ve heard a lot of people are afraid of visiting since they see a lot of expensive, sporty model at our garage a lot. But that doesn’t mean we charged exorbitant amount of money. And the work we do here we can guaranteed is top notch. We aren’t one of those shop which don’t allow customer to inspect the work themselves either, you may walk around our shop if you wish to, just remember not to touch some of the cool cars we get in before asking! In fact, if you think you want something done in a specific way, just tell our mechanic and we’ll decide whether or not it’s a viable option for you.

And to showcase that, I think our first post should be about something really basic!

Today one of our long time customer, Mr. Hu, made a visit with his 2012 Mitsushita Polly GLE. An extremely basic, 6 years old car. This little Japanese Hatchback made in Thailand was the cheapest car you could buy new in 2012 and it clearly shows. It’s very much a basic little runabout with metropolis as it’s main habitat.

It has 1.2-litre 3-cylinder engine, with 75 horsepower standard. It’s very economical and cheap. It uses about 4.3l/100km if you’re careful.

Mr. Hu normally visit us for works done on his modified 1998 Tishillyman Sagata Turbo, which has been tuned for about 650hp and still daily driven! But recently Mr. Hu got the little Polly back from his mother who’ve quit driving. But instead of selling it on, he decided that this will become his new runabout and relegating the uneconomical Tishilly into a full hobby car. (Which he planned soon to have improvements done too!)

I think we should take the Polly on our local test track to see what it’s like to drive, right?

Mitsushita Polly 4G - 1.2 GLE.car (26.4 KB)

Mr. Hu nicknamed the car “Roly Polly”, which incidentally was the origin of the name Polly. (Fun fact: Mitsushita did name the Polly after the Roly Poly toy).

Roly Polly really is like it’s namesake. The cheap, manual GLE model doesn’t have anti-sway bar as standard and as a result rolling around a lot in hard cornering. At high speed, the Roly Polly doesn’t really have stability as such and you won’t likely want to drive it any faster than 120km/h. This is a part of it that Mr. Hu wants changing.

The 1.2-litre 3-Cylinder engine is willing enough. With 75hp on tap it won’t be winning any Grand Prix soon. 0-100km/h is dealt with in a bit over 12 seconds and on Slingshot we only managed 150km/h. But any faster we think we’d have binned it anyway! The tyres on it are cheap, low rolling resistance standard tyres which squeal like a pig. The car looks a bit like a pig too.

So, Mr. Hu specified that this car is going to be a daily drive car. But that doesn’t mean he cannot have fun (or safe) fast driving it in too. So we need to remedied a few things on the Roly Polly. A cheap and cheerful upgrades then. That’s apt for the car.

So we started to look for the way to upgrade it. Surprisingly, even though it’s a basic motoring, there’s a lot of off shelf aftermarket improvement parts for the Mitsushita Polly 4G (as people call it). As it is, Mr. Hu specified we don’t go overboard just yet as he don’t think he’ll be driving it all that fast. It doesn’t need to be full track spec.

The main thing that needs improvement on the standard Polly GLE is the sway bars. It doesn’t have one. A harebrained decision in my opinion as it makes the car drives like it’s name. Roly Polly. Not very nice. So we’ve ordered some thick, sports anti-roll bar from Ultra Racing. It’s stiffer than standard Polly GLX sway bars. And since it’s 6 years of age, a few of rubber suspension parts need replacing too. We of course refresh that while we’re at it. With only 2 of those fixes, the Roly Polly has been made considerably less wobbly. But it’s still not very stiff so it rides in town really nicely too.

The tyres on it are 6 years old factory tyres! The car has covered only 27,000km since new because it was an old lady’s car. Mr. Hu saw a set of ET73 alloy wheels in bronze colour and was enamoured by it. “Gotta have it” was his exact word. We paired it with some excellent sporty 195/55R15 tyres that’s going to be way overkill for this car. But Mr. Hu likes his safety item to be the best available.

Nice, isn’t it? Just a set of wheels and the car is much more than basic runabout!

After the ride and handling has been sorted, Mr. Hu also specified that he wants some extra noise. Not too loud of course, he’s not the sort to annoy other people around him. So after a few deliberating Mr. Hu went for Magma full stainless exhaust system specifically for Polly with 1.2-litre engine. Also way overkill for this stock motor but Mr. Hu said maybe he’ll improve the power soon if he feels like it. We can do exactly as he wished. Mr. Hu also ordered the NK Cold Air Intake system that gives a really nice noise even though it’s a basic 1.2.

Little improvements that made the whole car a lot better! We decided to give the Roly Polly another try on our test track.

Mitsushita Polly 4G - 1.2 GLE Modified.car (26.1 KB)

The car handles a lot better than before. Less roll from aftermarket anti roll bars and nice, precise handling. But there’s still a lot of roll since the dampers and springs are exactly the same. Mr. Hu said he’s thinking about going to lowered springs, or maybe a set of quality coilovers in the future. The tyres are of really nice quality and is very grippy. You’d be surprised at how good a set of tyres can improve even the most basic of cars. The turn in is much nicer, the grip is much better.

As it is right now Mr. Hu is very satisfied with the improvements in handling department.

But we reckon the main reason Mr. Hu is so happy is because the noise it makes it addicting! It sounds very good even though it’s a small displacement 3-cylinder engine. In my own opinion I don’t think the power gain from the exhaust and intake are noticeable. But the sound certainly is! Makes the whole car feels a lot faster than it is!

Cheap and cheerful, this Mitsushita Polly is going to have a lot more modifications done to it in the future. Mr. Hu is going to putter along in it for a bit first before deciding what else need to be done. The base of it is very basic indeed, and that’s why little tweaks can make the car so much better.

And here we go! This is a short first post as it’s just basic upgrading of a few things. We’ll show you some more works in the future. Keep tuning in!

(Sorry if I done something wrong, I’m still new to this platform!)

Ken Merlin
Merlin Automotive Service. Your Car, Improved.


#3

Post 2

Our first post seems to have quite a good reception! Many people are sending in inquiries for what they can do with their cars and I’m trying to answer to all of them. I apologize if I manage to miss any messages you may have sent us.

I’d like to have said that this gave us an idea. But the reality is that this has been planned for at least 2 months by now (the timeline fits!) We’ve decided to document the build of our new “Demo” car here. It literally has just arrived this morning.

As you know, MAS have had many demo cars, the cars that would showcase the sort of work we do here, our capability. We’ve had so many that listing them here would take months. I’m sure you’d have seen at least one of our demo car at car shows all over the planet.

So what is the newest MAS Demo Car? Here it is.

Brand new, 2018 Contendiente Ataque. A beautiful car by all means. This particular car is the S-EC 3-door model with 6-speed Manual transmission. All wheel drive. So these would usually have the 1.8-litre Turbocharged engine producing about 200hp.

But while this might be the S-Eco model, you’re able to have it with the 2.0-litre 250hp engine as an option. To say that this car is a pocket rocket would be an understatement.

This particular car we’ve chosen is specifically ordered in the most powerful trim, but also with the least equipment. It doesn’t have any of the luxury you’d expect. No collision avoidance system, no expensive audio system. This is the classic racer spec. Most powerful engine, least optional extra. It also doesn’t have the S body kit.

But it does have the optional Limited Slip Differential system. $370 option. But it works so well that I’d recommended it to anyone looking to buy an Ataque. We’ve also got the 235/45R17 alloy rims with sporty tyres.

This extremely popular hatchback is the sort of car that can cater to any sort of customer. It’s fast, fun, economical and practical. We’ve got it in the perfect specification for performance.

It has the most powerful engine, best chassis option, less weight. On our test track this car performs extremely well already with it’s grippy chassis, well tuned power distribution, and punchy engine. But we also see a lot of corporate bean counting. I personally think with a few tweaks this car would be extremely fast and fun.

The way this car drives is so much fun you’d have to be careful on the road. Tickets are awaiting for those who aren’t! The car is very safe and easy also and thus would be welcoming for everybody who wish to go fast.

It also feels very much an analogue car. While most of it’s rival today would have more power and more electronic gubbins to improve the driving experience, there is surprising lack of exactly that on the Ataque. Especially with the car we got. But you can specify optional extras that will give this car all the infotainment and safety technology that you could wish for.

There are a host of upgrade parts already available for the Ataque, but if we just bolt on the off the shelves stuff it wouldn’t be interesting. We’ll be working with our suppliers whom we’ve kept a very good relationship throughout the years. This won’t only be the demonstration for our workshop, it’ll also be one for the parts producer.

If you drive way beyond limit the All Wheel Drive system will also save you. It’s fantastic fun! An already fantastic machine! I love this car to bits. Maybe I should borrow it to go somewhere more, right?

Soon enough we’ll start working on our Ataque. And all of the stuff we will be doing is going to be documented here. It won’t be a simple bolt on, I tell you!

The plan is to make it the perfect track and street machine. With every bits of the car we can see improvements that can be done. Less weight, more grip, more power. With parts that will soon to be available for your own Ataque in the future.

Stay tuned!

Ken Merlin
Merlin Automotive Service. Your Car, Improved.


#4

I have a challenge for you
This somewhat old hunk of junk is in need of tweaking
I was unforntunate when I bought it realising it was one of the rare Defects
they are not good and this thing needs tuning
are you up to the challenge?
N00BY - Sharpo.car (15.7 KB)


#5

Oh damn.

I didn’t see this topic.

And I was shaping up my own bolt-ons manufacturer company with basically the same concept.

Hope you don’t mind some competition? xD


#6

Since these day I barely have time for even trying to launch Automation? Go right ahead.