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Response

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Unhappy

Re: re-cycled articles. To a certain extent I agree with the earlier correspondents disappointed with your recycling of articles, though both from earlier AutoSpeed editions and from other sources. To illustrate this point let’s look at the articles available in the 10 days to the 2nd Feb 07.

Two (20%) are the regular editorials, though I note that Response only includes 3 letters this week, 4 the previous week, down from the 15 and 11 of issues 409 and 413 respectively (though this could be entirely due to lack of feedback).

We print the vast majority of readers’ letters but unlike some magazines, we don’t make up ones when people haven’t written.

Two (20%) are revisits to the Negative Boost story covered previously, the only change being a new test mule.

That’s simply not true. The second series measured cross-sectional areas throughout the intake system, which the first series did not. The second series took into account negative pressures associated with surface airflow over the body of the car, which the first series did not. The second series made greater changes to the intake system than the first series – and needed to, as the Falcon’s intake was as standard much more efficient than the Audi intake. The second series made use of factory parts from other models, which the first series did not. Finally, the second series dyno-proved the power increase, which the first series did not.

In fact we’re very proud of the new series. (1) To reduce total intake system pressure drop by 40 per cent on a car that already had a very efficient intake system was an excellent result, especially when (2) no special techniques were employed, (3) anyone could replicate the results for very little money, (4) factory air filtration standards were maintained and (5) low intake air temps were maintained.

Three (30%) are word for word repeats from prior issues, which whilst interesting reads in their own right aren't new - not even an added editorial comment.  The Merc EFI conversion for instance is (IMO) far less applicable to most of us now than it was 9 years ago when first published.

Perhaps less relevant – but certainly still relevant. In fact, right now, we’re thinking of doing something similar to a car with mechanical injection.

One (10%) is a word for word repeat of a story published elsewhere on a topic that many motoring enthusiasts would have already been familiar via various emails and internet sites that ran the story last year.  It could (at least until recently) be read in its entirety for free at www.ricardo.com/rQ/rQlatest_article.pdf.

The story is clearly credited to Ricardo. Our reader rating of the story was particularly high – so (1) most of our readers hadn’t seen it before, (2) most readers enjoyed it a lot. We’re very pleased that we were able to run that - and the previous story - on the JCB diesel world record breaker.

One (10%) is a continuation of the Diesel series, which appears to be at least 60% word for word from a BMW technical report, though no attribution is given.

The story was based primarily on research of Bosch material. If the BMW report is "60 per cent word for word", we’d like to see it. In fact, although you don’t mention it, the story was first published in Silicon Chip magazine, when Julian Edgar was a contributor to that publication. However, the vast majority of AutoSpeed readers would not have seen it, and very good reader ratings show it was widely enjoyed. It’s also part of the content thrust that we’re making into diesel and hybrid powered cars.

One (10%) is a new car review, that even the author stated was completed though having the car for less time than usual.  Did this affect the quality of the finished work?  If it didn't, why mention it?

The story was termed a ‘quick test’ because we thought it important that readers be aware that the car was had for a less than usual period. Would you rather we hadn’t told you? Or would you rather the test didn’t appear at all? The choice was between no test or a 2 day drive test.

Conclusion - excluding Response (given it is for the most part reader's comments) and including Driving Emotion, only 2 articles (or 20%) of the last ten articles contained genuinely new journalistic content or editorial opinion.

As with all consumer choices, you can vote with your money. If you are unhappy with the content, don’t renew your subscription!

50% of the articles were 'reprints' of prior AutoSpeed works, reprints of works published by others (attributed) or reprints of works seemingly published by others (BMW/Bosch) though not attributed.

We do not agree that those articles were "reprints of works seemingly published by others (BMW/Bosch) though not attributed".

This 'reprinted' figure is actually 70% if (like me) you consider the Negative Boost series to be a simple re-write with a new test mule, adding no new processes, principles or outcomes.

That statement about the Negative Boost series is simply not true. One wonders if you actually even read it.

Your comment in the most recent Response that "These stats show that the repeat articles are very popular with external readers – they help bring new readers to AutoSpeed."  also shows that your focus is clearly on selling old articles to those that haven't read them yet, rather than creating the new, interesting and up to date articles that AutoSpeed has been built upon.

Huh? Repeat articles are free access....

I commend you on the quality of the new articles produced by your team, however it is getting harder and harder to find them lately.

PS.  On a slightly different topic, with your focus on new readers to Autospeed it is surprising that there was no mention of the Christmas hiatus in the Driving Emotion immediately prior to the break.  Though I have been a reader for many years now I still went looking for articles during the break.

We do not usually make a specific mention of a forthcoming Christmas break. As a reader for many years, we’re surprised you aren’t aware of that.

PPS.  In the Negative Boost Part 5 the dyno run clearly shows a considerably leaner mixture (0.5-1:1) in the 'after’ runs.  Was this explained at all by the ChipTorque crew?

Andrew Vandreike
Australia


I Can Hear Voices....

Subscriber: What an excellent idea!! Congratulations, can't wait for the next one

AS: One what?

Subscriber: I was wondering when you were going to take the plunge. With all that stills experience, it would be easy.

AS: Stills experience, easy, what are you on about?

Subscriber: I'm congratulating you on deciding to take the next step for an online magazine, especially one that does excellent DIY, into the obvious inclusion of video into the online articles.

AS: Whoa, we haven't done that

Subscriber: Oh yes you have

AS: Oh no we haven’t

Subscriber : What about Response 416?

AS: Well that was just...

Subscriber: Oh no the cat's well and truly bolted over the spilled milk.

AS: Hey?

Subscriber: Another nail in the coffin of paper publication I'd say. Now when you describe a tricky procedure or need to demonstrate a particular technique you can just toss in a small piece of vision and everybody gets it straight away.  Brillant idea.

AS: Now wait up.

Subscriber: Gotta go, looking forward to the next video instalment. See ya

AS: What?? How?? ...Oh Well... Hey anybody know about video compression...

Simon Briggs
Australia

Where it can really add a lot we will think about doing it more often...


The Six Series

I read your BMW 6-Series article and it reminded me why I loved that car so - my favourite.  However, I owned a 1985 635CSi in the U.S. so they were imported at least until then.  My friend owned a 1988 M6, the last of the M6 Series cars imported into the U.S.  I believe the last of the 635CSis were in '89.

Lawrence Newman
Canada


Check the Dates

Re: BMW 6-Series article. You may wish to check the production dates. I think you will find that 1983 was when the 635 CSi was released. Production went through until 1988 or 1989.

Blair Coull
Australia

Thanks – model cessation date corrected.


Why Not MegaSquirt?

Re the Back to the Future article: why not use a MegaSquirt ECU???  It's far cheaper, easier to program, uses GM (Holden) sensors, and much more capable.  It's also an OPEN design, so you're not locked into a shop that can only tune a specific type of OEM computer. The end user can tune it himself if he so desires.

Check it out:
http://www.megasquirt.info
http://ww.megamanual.com
http://msefi.com
http://msextra.com


Dave Andruczyk
United States

Invention

Now that we as car drivers, consumers, etc have 'mucked up' our world so much that we are now getting concerned. Maybe this is a time to examine my invention. It is an opportunity for motorists to repay some of the greenhouse gases we motorists keep chugging out. My invention is entirely green, the only one of its kind in the world, and works. Please take a peak at www.carmagic.com.au

Charles

Australia


Wrong Vote

Just a quick note to let you know that, as a reflex action, I clicked on the "2" at the bottom of your BMW 6-series article in an attempt to go to page 2.  I then realised I had voted the article as 2 out of 5. I wonder if your votes might be skewed towards the "2" value by others doing the same as it's almost second nature on the net to click to the next page at the bottom of the current page....or am I the only idiot out here?

Anthony Meegan
Australia

We receive relatively few '2' votes so it is not something many people do.


Grading the GTR

Regarding Grading the GT-R republished in issue 408, I think a few things have changed since this article was published 6 years ago. When I was looking for my GTR at the end of last year, 70% of the R32s had engine rebuilds or required engine rebuilds or were on their last legs (ie poor compression in one or more cylinders). And most gearboxes were very sloppy around 3rd gear. These cars have really suffered with the extra 6 years of thrashing, and if someone was to buy the wrong car, they could be up for significant repair bills. General estimates are in the order of $8k for a RB26DETT rebuild. Not something you'd like to do when the car is costing somewhere around $20k. Also, alternative options have changed. You won’t find an STi for between $20-30K with factory warranty. You can find mostly hammered ones with noticeable gearbox wear.

Apart from that it's still a great article and stood the test of time. Do you still receive hate mail over that article?

PS here is a shot of my stock-ish R32. http://www.users.bigpond.net.au/pade/gtras.jpg


Andrew Pade
Australia

Most of the negatives about our views on R32 GTRs are in forums. Here’s a good one: http://www.skylinesaustralia.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=141358&hl=


When a Diesel?

Great articles on diesel engine management.  Now.....when are you going to buy one and start modifying it??  Been waiting for you to do this for a very long time and surely very interesting, given potential performance yet spectacular economy.

Peter Bodon
Australia

Not any time soon. Old Japanese grey market diesel imports (eg Corolla diesel) are slow and run mechanical injection. Old Mercedes diesels are also slow and use mechanical injection. First decent turbo diesel cars with electronic injection (eg Peugeot 406) hold their value very well unless they have astronomical kilometres on them. For similar dollars we’d rather drive a Prius.

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