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Bloody Arsed

"Bloody" and "arsed" don't belong in what I have long thought were the writings of an intelligent and well qualified person.  Otherwise I agree with your sentiments re VE SS Commodore.  For a good size and space balance with good (passive) safety, my old VR Commodore was about right, rivalling my Volvo 144 and Merc 280 sedans.  The Volvo and Merc (and LH Torana and VC-VK Commodores) all afforded excellent visibility and were easy to park; something current styling has lost.

Bob Junor

We’ve looked and looked and still can’t see "arsed" in the test to which you refer!


I just thought I would point you at a very interesting read regarding your Digital Fuel Adjuster being used on a Mitsubishi FTO. Although the article does say that it uses a MAP sensor (so the kit would be less effective) it does go on to say that the MIVEC solenoid was used to switch the DFA in and out, so it only worked at higher rpm. The article can be found at After reading it you will see that although there was no effect on power, the kit did work as intended. It would also be of use on cars that have anything switched on at higher rpm, such as VTEC control, the variable runner switch on later model Falcons, or indeed be used with an aftermarket rpm switch.

Ben Powell


What ever happened to the Columns? (Sophisticated Side etc.) They were always amusing and good for some light automotive reading; any chance of a similar things coming back?

On another note, I’m loving your articles on the EF Falcon. I recently bought one (auto GLI) for a mere $3400, and it had only done 150,000km. It really is a bargain! My EF tends to require large amounts of pedal force (as in almost standing on the pedal) to obtain the last 20% or so of braking; did your brake upgrade improve this? Keep up the good articles.

(And just my 2 cents worth, but I can't say I love the repeat articles, I like something new to read when I log on everyday, and I would be willing to pay more for it!)

Andrew Lamb

We dropped some columns five years ago when other changes were made. Readership stats show that they were little read, although we agree that they were well written and entertaining. The brake pedal feel of the Falcon with the EBC pads and RDA discs is excellent – although even the standard system shouldn’t be as bad as you describe.

Wonderful VE SS Economy

I have owned a VE [Commodore] SS auto now for 6 months and was interested in your write-up but have to disagree with some of your findings. Fuel economy from Coolangatta to Sydney was 9.8 kpl - this was trickle filling last fuel up and working out the figures manually, car computer said 9.1 kpl. This was 2 adults 1 child full boot and aircon all day, car has done 13500k. Currently after a reset and 2 weeks around town Syd western suburbs 11.8 on the computer.

The auto was tricky at first but settles down in a few thousand k's it drives superbly but can be confused with fast on off throttle applications. My car recorded a 13.47 at WSID in 41c heat and is stock standard so it performs extremely well. I can't fault the beast. It's actually cheaper to run than my SV6! Cheers thanks for the review.

Paul Jarman

We always wonder why new car purchasers "can’t fault the beast" when we can always find plenty of deficiencies in every car we drive... Note that the fuel consumption read-out is in litres per 100 kilometres, not kilometres per litre.

Aftermarket Diesel Management?

Having read both Common Rail Diesel Injection articles, one wonders whether or when the aftermarket ECU manufacturers will develop units to suit diesel engines.

Malcolm Land

More Tests Wanted

I just got done reading your 'Negative Boost Revisited' series.  The articles were very informative and quite interesting.   I was very interested to see exactly how closely the vacuum drop was proportional to the horsepower increase.  9 inches of water less vacuum means you should be getting about 2.25% more air into the engine.  That is almost exactly the gains you saw from the modifications.  This makes it easy to see how much one could gain from upgraded intakes simply from measuring plenum vacuum at full throttle.  However there was some information that I thought was lacking that might be useful to add.  You have a lot of before information and testing which was really great.  However, you only have a small amount of post modification testing results.  Did you measure the vacuum in the same 5 areas after the modifications?  If so, what are those new numbers?  Did all areas improve, or did some get worse?  Also, a torque graph on your dyno sheet would have been very useful in seeing more precisely how the new plumbing has affected your powerbands.  I have to admit, I was disappointed when I saw AFR instead of torque.  Despite these things, the series was great.  Keep up the good work!

Tim Fulton
United States

If torque (tractive effort in this case) decreases, so does power at those revs – so you can see the torque change from the power change. We didn’t do extensive ‘after’ testing – it was enough that we’d dropped intake restriction by 40 per cent. Keep in mind that if you want a really detailed analysis of ‘before’ and ‘after’ results, the techniques are cheaply and easily achievable on any car – do it on your own car and find out!

Falcon Deficiencies

Re your project car EF Falcon. I've looked at the late EF's and early AU's and see them as great value. But two things turn me off and I'd like your opinion or even story material.

1. Power-steer is far too light and kills the feedback.  I don't think it's electronically controlled like you did with your other mods? – could playing around with pulley sizes or a bleed on the pressure lines make a difference here?

2. Engine braking on the auto trannie is almost non existent when manually clonked into second, could there be methods to change this?

Matt King

We think both aspects are things to just live with. That said, we’ll think about doing something on steering feel.

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