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Typhoon Request

Hurry up and review a Typhoon will you! Every other publication has; I'd like to see your opinion on the Ford V8 killer.

Derek MacLean
Australia

If Ford will make one available, we’ll be happy to drive it.

Overtaking

About time someone did a story about overtaking (see How Not to Die this Week).

I do agree that more drivers seem to be not as good on country roads as they might have been 10 years ago. I put it down to the fact that most city roads are now so controlled that very few decisions need to be made by the driver, most intersections are fully controlled by traffic lights and very few overtaking situations exist except in the extreme outer suburbs (where I grew up). They don’t teach overtaking in driving schools...so how does one learn?

My father taught it to me....some of the basic rules stuck...sit back and wind it up about 6-10 car lengths back (the sling-shot manoeuvre) is the only way, and it works extremely well with gutless cars...aim to be doing at least 20km/h faster than the car in front when hitting the other side of the road. He also went on to say that you should still consider pulling out of the manoeuvre (by heavy braking) unless the rear quarter panel is level with their front fender, as most cars brake much more quickly than they accelerate.

I find these things work well for me.

One of the most annoying things that I see on Australian roads are the number of people who insist on lifting their speed 10-15 km/h during the overtaking lanes and then slowing back down once the overtaking lane finishes.

Adrian Wortley
Australia

Stupid Country Driving

I couldn't agree with you more on driver’s attitude when it comes to overtaking (see How Not to Die this Week). I was out one day with my wife and we got caught behind a B-Double on a winding road, then we came across a sign stating passing lane 10 km ahead. Come on - 10 kays to wait to overtake! That is just stupid and many other drivers thought so as well. Even though I sat behind the B-Double and waited for the passing lane (didn't have any other chance), many of the drivers stuck behind me not only took on me but the B-Double as well, overtaking at inopportune times that made my skin crawl with fear. One lady even overtook both of us with a B-Double tanker coming straight for her with lights and horn blazing away - all she did was arm out the window and gave us the digit salute. How she didn't kill us all is amazing; we are still praising God for His help that day.

Russell Sharp
Adelaide

Tuning

Hi guys, been a subscriber since 2003 - most impressed. I own a twin turbocharged Toyota Soarer with aftermarket engine management. I am now aided and abetted by a wideband oxygen sensor and an EGT probe. Before I embark on any tuning, I was wondering what books or online resources you might suggest to deepen my preparation. Thanks for any suggestions you can provide.

Shom Bhattacharjee
Australia

See Tuning Air/Fuel Ratios and Real World Air/Fuel Ratio Tuning for information on air/fuel ratio tuning.

Exhaust Butterfly

Today I became a member of your website, and I like it a lot. I noticed an article about the exhaust butterfly valve (see Butterfly Effect) and was wondering where I can purchase one of those. I am making a tuneable exhaust but am not able to find one. I’m trying to look for a 3 inch butterfly bolt flange, like the one on the main page of the article. If you can help me that would be great.

Thanks

Jeff
United States

Your email has been passed onto the manufacturer of the valve.

High Stall Converters


Re Torque Converter Transformation.

There are a couple of other issues with high stall converters. I have a "defacto" high stall converter in my 3.9 Range Rover. I replaced my normal 3.9 inlet manifold with a "Thor" which optimises low down torque by having far longer runners, and have modded heads and a Unichip and several dyno sessions. This gives me over 50% more power from idle tapering to about 20% up to 3000 rpm. My torque converter slip below lock-up has increased dramatically so that at 1800 rpm on the flat increases to 2200 rpm up a hill. That’s 22% over what is supposed to be normal stall speed. First as you observe, you get a bunch of power as you take off, but also my fuel economy has decreased a lot in city driving as all that slip creates heat not go. So if someone has a turbo tuned to low rev boost, or they fit a bigger engine with more low rev torque, the converter will slip a lot more anyway. I suggest that people check out what effect engine mods have on their standard converter before fitting a high stall during an engine replacement or modification.

Phillip Armbruster
Australia

In-car PCs


Carputers. Something that's been around for a while, I've recently discovered and are well... mind blowing. Logging on board diagnostics, 0-100, 1/4 mile times, the ins and outs of any late model engine, plus the ability to display DVD's, TV, GPS, MP3's, wireless internet when available. Awesome stuff and totally build-your-own which is what AutoSpeed is all about. I'd love to see your views on it, being a keen subscriber for years.

Keep up the good work guys!

Mark Gilchrist
Australia

We have done a series on in-car PCs, starting at Setting Up an In-Car PC, Part 1

Hybrid Mods


After reading all about the modifications the Prius has undergone since becoming a part of the AutoSpeed stable, I would really like to see an article on the Insight being modified to address some of the criticisms the vehicle has received.  Poor rear dampers?  How about revising the suspension?  Overly tall gearing slowing acceleration?  How about either shortening the final drive, or improving engine performance?  Interior a little "cheap" for a $50k car, and seats lacking support?  How about some new bucket seats and an interior retrim?  Would make an interesting article that is applicable to almost any car. Obviously this is a privately owned vehicle and hence these modifications might not be practical or economical, but it would certainly be interesting to see the results!  Perhaps seeing other performance enhanced Insights around the world might inspire you enough to undertake such a task! (see www.insightcentral.net).

On the subject of modified hybrids, potentially the turbo Prius could also have an additional modification - an extended range to its electric-only mode.  There is a company developing such a system (see www.hymotion.com) promising 100mpg+ that might be interesting to install on the turbo Prius.  Again, being a privately owned vehicle, there are practical and economical considerations, but the results would be interesting for sure!

As an aside, you might be interested to know that after nearly a decade, AutoSpeed's comments on the Nissan R32 GTR are still causing controversy on various web forums that I've come across!

I'll make you a deal - keep up the good work and I'll keep subscribing!

Ryan Goostrey
Australia

All the modifications you suggest for the Insight are under active consideration.

Real World Hybrid #1

Re My Commute. Good to see a real world example of hybrid technology at work. I love the high tech nature of the cars you have been writing about lately. If all I had to use my car for was personal transport (and not as a work vehicle carrying heavy equipment) I would get a hybrid, 100% sure of it. Even with the performance decrease from my current car, the economy and 'clean' feeling you get from driving it would make it worth it.

Much nicer than the dirty feeling you get when your twin turbo performance car dumps some oil into the engine and you get that lovely cloud of white smoke!

Martin Mulholland
Australia

Real World Hybrid #2

I get 100+ mpg in my daily work commute! That headline would have been utterly incredible just a few years ago. However that’s just what Julian Edgar returns in his 2001 Honda Insight (at 2.8 lit / 100 km) in his daily 86km drive to work, over a range of rural roads, high speed freeways and slow moving congested city traffic. Just shows where the future in personal transportation technology is heading. Thanks Julian for showcasing the 'real world' performance of hybrids.

Richard Everett
Australia

Bypass Didn’t Work

After doing all the pipe work fabrication and waiting 4 weeks for the DFA to be available, I completed the airflow meter bypass on my AW11 Supercharged MR2.

Unfortunately it didn’t work.

Maybe it’s because the MR2 has a particularly small airflow meter (44mm x 44mm, 1936mm square), or maybe it‘s because I used too large a bypass (37mm diameter, 1075mm square), but basically, the amount of spring tension in the small AFM meant that most (all) of the air would flow past the AFM at idle. This AFM has a dropping output voltage, and even with the DFA set at -127, the thing wouldn’t even idle or free rev.  Standard idle voltage is about 2.97 volts. With the bypass open, it was about 4.8 volts and the DFA could only bring it down to about 3.8 volts. Loosening the spring tension lots allowed it to idle, but even then, the output of the AFM didn’t change at light loads (free revving). To give you an idea of how bad the airflow restriction is, with the standard throttle body (50mm), there was always 2” of mercury vacuum at full throttle, rising to 4” above 6500rpm. A 55mm throttle body and 3” pipe and pod filter in front of the gearbox feeding the airflow meter helped, but at the end of the day, the little airflow meter is the limiting factor. The bypass that I fitted gave a combined surface area (with the AFM), of a 2.5” pipe, the size of pipe that feeds the throttle body, so I didn’t really want to be any smaller than 37mm diameter. Unfortunately, in this case, I would have to say that a bypass around a vane type AFM isn’t anywhere near as successful as a bypass around a hotwire type AFM (see Airflow Meter Bypass, Part 1).

There is definitely power hiding in there, but I think I’ll need a MAP sensed computer to get it.

Howard Hartman
Australia

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