On Heavier Gear
OK. I'll step up and put my two cents in: I reckon the
gear-knob story was great. Right up there with the article on changing the
steering weight in the LS400. I think they both go right to the heart of what
separates a nice driving car from a really nice driving car, and as such I would
like to see more of them.
On Heavier Gear
Browsing through old
articles this evening, I came across two items which caught my eye - one on
modifying gear knobs, and a 'Response' column indicating that the 'knobs'
article got canned on some web forum. The reason I found this so interesting is
the car I drive - a 91 Mazda MX5. Now everyone who drives a 5 knows that the
designers have done as much as possible to capture the 'feel' of a sports car -
right down to the gear knob - we all love the legendary MX5 'snick-snick' gear
What makes it more interesting is that a company called Voodoo
Knobs sell an upgraded gear knob, designed completely to improve the MX5's
fabulous gear shift. It's a solid billet aluminium knob – it feels great in the
hand, and is slightly heavier, providing a more even and direct feel on changes.
I've got one, and everyone I know who also does swears by them.
be too fussed by someone on a web forum who thinks that an article about
changing your knob is a wank..... because a whole bunch of drivers of the
world's most popular roadster (according to Guinness Book of World records) know
that what you wrote about gear knobs is perfectly true, and a legitimate and
simple modification to improve the driving experience. After all - that's what
it’s about isn't it???
On Heavier Gear
Imaginative approaches and eclectic topics are what keep both
your fordmods friend and me reading your articles. Apart from the door handle,
steering wheel and pedals, few parts are more in contact with the driver, so why
would it be considered strange? Enzo Ferrari loved the feel so intimately he
adopted the 'H' gate design pattern.
Who does not close a Lexis or BMW
door and not listen for that solid note, so why would solid feel from lever
weights be strange? Direct connection gear levers in rear drive cars spoiled me.
Here the lever ball fulcrum in the top of the casting extension was often
directly below the gear lever. This gave a great feel and I expect the focus
selling point of the forgotten and spartan HB Torana. Its memorable selection
feel was tainted by its too light throw weight. Who would have thought this
could be fixed by a trip to the wreckers? Not me unfortunately.
Would your fordmods
commenter consider this?
Someone who has a
spark of thought or an innate consciousness that a product can be improved and
follows this by a realisation of what can be done and further caps this with
their effort to complete a successful change, truly has three of the
'essential oils' of design and creativity. That is why reports on the way things
are are covered in other sites, and those regarding the way designs ’could be'
are the nucleus of AutoSpeed.
Negative on Diesels
Your article 'Diesels!' (9th April)
was rather negative overall, with only one advantage - fuel economy - to
counteract a long list of disadvantages including noise, weight and
emissions. I would suggest that modern turbo diesel engines produce torque
outputs, and hence give in-gear acceleration, equivalent to much larger-capacity
petrol engines but with the fuel economy of a smaller petrol engine. They
are also high-geared giving very relaxed high-speed cruising. Demand for
diesel engines is Europe in particular is driving rapid development giving
ever-increasing specific power and torque outputs and improving low-rev pickup
and refinement. All-aluminium engines such as the excellent 2.2 litre unit
in the Honda Accord also reduce the weight penalty associated with diesel
engines. Particulate emissions are being tackled by exhaust traps on
vehicles meeting the latest Euro IV emissions standard. I would also
suggest the reasons given by US car buyers for not choosing diesels are also
rather different from those of the average UK or Australian buyer, and are based
on the older-generation diesel engines available in 1997. I also suspect
the choice of diesel passenger cars, as opposed to SUVs, in America was rather
limited at the time of the survey, and may still be so due to the prevalence of
cheap petrol in the US.
With the recent
unveiling of the Chevy Volt concept car I was prompted to research the internet
a bit on the history of electric vehicles (EVs). I uncovered the California
market EVs that were brought on by the California Air Resources Board (CARB)
Zero Emission Vehicle laws from 1990, cars like the GM EV1 and RAV4-EV. These
cars were probably ground breaking and met an unfortunate end due to the CARB
backflip. Have you thought about writing a bit on this chapter and maybe expand
into the GM Volt? With your passion for the Prius and the Insight I thought you
might provide a good read on the subject? If GM/Holden bring the Volt to market
and sell it in Australia I will surely buy one!
In the article
"killing Wastegate Creep" does the car featured have an ECU controlled solenoid
before the wastegate? I was thinking of fitting a bottle to my car that has an
ECU controlled wastegate.
We have tried the
technique only on cars with non-electronic boost control
Re: Logging Your
Every Driving Moment. "...all the data stored in the memory is permanently
written to EEPROM. It then cannot be erased, cleared or altered..." FYI - An
EEPROM is Electronically Erasable by definition.
We assume that
the data is code-protected.