I have been reading
through your series on underbonnet airflow and undercar trays on the Maxima
turbo and also Prius - fantastic stuff and an area of car modification that is
too rarely touched on. I recently fitted a front mount intercooler to my JZA80
Supra and had to ditch the factory under-radiator tray as it curved up to meet
the front bar and would not fit on with the FMIC in place. As such I've been
trying to get some clues on re-forming this tray and also the concept of forming
a car-length series of trays. I know there are some problems with blocking
cooling to the engine and trans sumps and of course the exhaust would probably
be too hot to allow this tray to be made out of ABS - but materials aside, do
you think this is a worthwhile pursuit? Have you seen this done before and can
you offer any advice?
All the advice we have available on that topic
is in the articles we’ve run on it – the three part series starting at
Undertrays, Spoilers & Bonnet Vents, Part 1
and the two part series
Modifying Under-Car Airflow, Part 1
. Also note the
use of undertray vortex generators as covered in
Blowing the Vortex, Part 4
Another Exhaust Butterfly
In your Nov. 12 "Reader Response", Ritchie
from the UK inquired about exhaust cut outs. I've been running an electronic QTP
valve on my modded 93 Legacy Turbo Wagon for 6 months. No probs - it takes about
4 seconds to close or open. And on the latter the spool-up is noticeably faster.
While louder, it's not too bad as there are two resonators after the down pipe.
Olde Time Economy
Julian Edgar's recent article
My Commute bought to mind an old car
of mine that, when pressed, really pressed, could return 90 mpg. Now I know
Julian does this daily, and in comfort, and probably in comparative safety. But
many lightweight small cars driven appropriately will do this. The keywords are
"small" and "driven appropriately".
Back in the 80's I was seen about
town in a Datsun 1000 station wagon. Horrible little piece of shite, but with a
worked over 1200+ engine it certainly wasn't the slowest car out there. Drum
brakes and transverse leaf spring front end made it a bit dodgy at the outer
reaches and passenger safety had a lot in common with a push bike. Worse
actually, it featured a non collapsible steering column aimed straight to the
But stripped to the basics, as it was, it weighed maybe 600 kg.
So there I am in the 80's and in the middle a fuel strike. And
with a desperate need to get to Wollongong from Padstow, and back, and on the
smell of an oily rag. The caper was simple - pump up the tyres to 50 psi, lean
the mixture screw back a half turn and set the idle closed. The rules to driving
were simple, don't rush and don't use the brakes. Oh, and full throttle, low
revs. Simple rules, but try and stick to them.
Not using the brakes means
judging your coasting, even in traffic, with precision. It’s about not wasting
energy. Julian’s Honda does it for him with regenerative brakes. Mind you it
also means not using the brakes on a downhill run, something I was not brave
enough to do at Mt Ouzley, I mean 90 mph in a Dato 1k is a bad thing... And not
rushing means on the flat loaf along averaging maybe 45 or 50 mph, take your
time enjoy the scenery. Bump the engine in gear, accelerate to 55, back in
neutral, let the engine die, coast down to say 35, do it again.
this: 90 mpg, or 3 litres per 100 kilometres, is something your average farmer
can do, if the effort is put in, if the car is small enough.
my words of wisdom today, I had better go to work. (In my 7 metre long 2 tonne 8
seat limo that has twin air conditioning systems that gets 12 miles to the
gallon, or 23.5 litres per 100 klicks, in Sydney traffic, with just moi in the
back. I need to examine my
I suspect that your online publication reaches
beyond Australia. Please consider the cars that also appear in the North
American market when you feature DIY articles and stories about modified cars.
Thanks for an excellent publication. I am so tired of the juvenile and
superficial content of most current performance auto mags.
Just read your article on scan tools (see
Scan Tools) and am surprised that you
omitted the biggest selling scan tool in the world - the Launch X431 - go to
www.cnlaunch.com or have a chat to
LaunchTech Victoria (ph 03 9532 3288 Bill Mahoney) or EastCoast efi on www.eastcoastefi.com. This is a
magic bit of kit, 32 bit processor, Bluetooth, Windows Linux, fully supported in
Australia (only scan tool people to have staff here in Aust.) used by a number
of dealers and top repairers.
Keep up the good work.
Just as a matter of interest regarding
My Commute. We just bought a
1990 Jaguar XJ40 as a runabout for my wife. The main reasons for buying were:
price - $13,000 for a fully optioned luxury Australian-delivered car in
immaculate condition. Servicing - I do all my own maintenance, and parts for
this model are very cheap and easy to obtain via the internet. Depreciation -
it's $13,000 so we don't stand to lose too much money if we run it for 4 or 5
years and keep it in reasonable condition (although at that price you could dump
it at the tip after five years and still lose less money than the depreciation
on any new large Australian 6 over the same time).
An added bonus is the
fuel consumption, we live in the country and so fuel consumption is always an
issue. We have been stunned to find that at 110 km/h with the aircon always on
and pretty well loaded up, this large 4.0 litre sedan will use 7.1 litres per
100K's. This is much better than we were ever able to get out of our new 2003
Commodore 6, or our new Hyundai Tucson and Santa Fe. If we were driving in a
city I would expect a worse result, but still for a 16 year old car with 200,000
+ k's on the clock, that is pretty good.
Overall, taking into account
servicing costs (I can't service a new car myself due to warranty requirements),
interest, and depreciation, I think that the Jag is much better value than a new
car (even a hybrid).
Falcon Project Car #1
I think your
new format is great. Before you do any EF Falcon modifications can you have a
dyno done stock standard, then have another at each significant modification so
graphs can show the real result.
The Falcon will be dyno'd each
Falcon Project Car #2
see your "new direction" - I had 1996 EF 11 Futura 5 speed manual and found
some subtle mods for low $$ such as a camber kit to increase negative camber to
-1 degree and a set of Pedders Touring Black shocks made for a nice touring set
up which worked on the rough Gold Coast Hinterland roads. Bendix Ultimate brake pads on the OE discs were worth the money and avoid that nasty
scraping noise of metal pads (but the AU11 I now have brakes better again so
bigger discs must help). A 2.5 inch exhaust from cat back only due to $
constraints gave a nice note but I would have liked a good set of headers.
Please do your project mods one step at a time and
evaluate each step so we readers can get a valid cost to benefits result.
I felt that a diff ratio drop to at least the
3.45:1 a la XR6 would have helped a lot. Too costly for me to do but
I think that a gearbox rebuild with the closer ratio set of the V8's
T5 would have been beneficial. (I once had a 4.2 V8 Commodore with
M20 box rebuilt with M21 close ratios and it was a much nicer car to drive,
although the 2.54:1 first gear would not help the drag racing set.....)
My other car is a TJ Magna Sports auto so please
keep the info flowing on your Verada; these are a great car for very affordable
money and should respond to some handling tweaks - like how about relocating the
battery to the boot to remove some of the weight off the front end as a
cheap mod and perhaps upgrading the rear sway bar to reduce the inherent
Anyway, keep up the good work and your re-emphasis
on normal cars and less bling mobiles works for me.