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Readers write

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Blatant Lies

I am continually surprised how car "experts" such as yourselves insist on calling a Subaru WRX a "Rex". A Rex and a WRX are two completely different cars, just Google "Subaru Rex" and you will see what I mean. Are you out there to deliberately deceive people who don’t know much about cars? I'm sure many people come to this site for advice and articles, but this site is just telling blatant lies. I look forward to your reply.

Chris
New Zealand

Electric Bike

I intend to build your electric bike from the 4 February, 2005 issue (and subsequent parts). Thanks for the great design and writeup. Since it has been three years since you wrote the articles, is there anything additional that you would suggest for my build?

My build thread is www.ecomodder.com

David Friedl
United States

It would be better to use a direct chain drive rather than the roller drive to the tyre.

Variable Exhaust Butterfly

I was wondering, is the VariFlow system still being sold? Do they have any mail address or something? Cause if I'd call them, I could probably buy the whole system from the money spent on calling to Australia. Thanks.

Jeffrey Teunissen
Netherlands

Try kevintdavis@bigpond.com

Retrofitting Stability Control

With all the articles on this site regarding modification of electronic car systems, i have now been inspired to retrofit some of these marvels to my own vehicle, a 2003 holden station wagon. This model (VYII) already has some electronic goodies but the one i really want is stability controll. i know the later VZ has it as an option an i would like to retrofit a module (and brake actuator) to my vehicle. firstly are the stability units a 'stand alone' system and therefore transferable? (by just doing a 'bolt in ' fitment?) (my car already has abs sensors)

My second question is about using the air temp sensor to control final igition timing (as mentioned in one of your fine articles). i know these things are ultimately governed by the ECU programming, but how effective is changing the voltage of the output on the degrees of timing? (eg by drastically changing the 'percieved' air temp, would the ECU change timing by 1/2 a degree or so, or by many degrees?)

thankyou for being fellow 'tinkerers'

Stewart Murray
Australia

We have never heard of anyone retrofitting stability control, but if it came out in a later model there should be no intrinsic problems in bolting it all in. It would also depend on how well the loom is integrated with the rest of the car – it could be such a major job that it would be cheaper and easier to buy the model that came with stability control. However, that said, we really don’t know. Re the intake air temp sensor – we’re doing some work right now on that topic... standby for an article in the next month.

Real World Spoiler Development 1

Hi many years ago, Autocar ( I think) ran a series of aerodynamic tests on the Ford Sierra. They had great success increasing the front downthrust by creating a venturi under the nose. Perhaps you might want to give this a go on the Lexus? Their venturi was a simple convex curved panel sited between the front edge and the front axle line, with a flat surface running a little way rearward of that from memory. I would love to see how that might work with and without the splitter you have already tested.

Robert Lawrence
New Zealand

Real World Spoiler Development 2

I saw your article 'real world spoiler development' which reminded me of something I've never gotten around to. Another option to try for downforce at the front would be to add an undertray between the bumper and the firewall. The undertray may be tucked under and fastened at the lowest point of the plastic bumper; curve underneath the sump & subframe etc.; before curving back up to fasten onto the floor pan. Higher curvature will accelerate the airflow between it and the road and create a venturi, sucking the nose down. The deepest point would be between the front wheels... so no scraping the nose. It would need to be fastened well to the car (ie any downforce will be trying to pull it off the car) and although aluminium sheet may seem ideal, it could be disastrous if it came away. And if it doesn't provide more downforce, you've probably still reduced the vehicle's drag. I imagine you'd also need to cut a 'V' out of the rear to go either side of the transmission tunnel and exhaust hot air from the engine bay.

Ben Guymer
Australia

We have fitted front undertrays to two cars and covered the results in AutoSpeed. One was on a Nissan Maxima and achieved excellent results in improving the intercooler flow –

Undertrays, Spoilers & Bonnet Vents, Part 1

Undertrays, Spoiler & Bonnet Vents, Part 2

Undertrays, Spoiler & Bonnet Vents, Part 3

The other car was a NHW10 Prius –

Modifying Under-Car Airflow, Part 1

Modifying Under-Car Airflow, Part 2

Neither tray was quite as suggested but the results are interesting anyway.

Fuel ‘Catalysts’

Hi. Love the site. Wondering if you have any opinion or have done articles about in line fuel catalyst. EG Fitch or fuelstar? They claim some appreciable fuel savings. Love to get an unbiased and expert opinions. Thanks

Dean Lewis
Australia

www.choice.com.au seems a good summary

DIY Electric Car

I am going to biuld an electric car sometime in the future, and at this stage im hunting for information. You have no doubt come across alot of imformation, and I do recall seeing on a current affiars program, 5 or 6 guys in brisbane that have built their own. Do you have any information about these ones? I am searchign for information on parts batteries and motor and controller suppliers.

John Warnes
Australia

We’ve recently covered a few DIY electric cars –Electric Clubman! and Electric Hyundai!. There are contact details at the end of the articles.

In Brisbane we think the electric vehicle experts are:

GWG Creative Engineering
5 / 148 Tennyson Memorial Drive
Tennyson Q 4104

 Ph. 07-3217 1175

However, this business deals with the state of the art (AC motors and perm magnet brushless motors, special high efficiency controllers, bespoke gearboxes, etc) and so systems are expensive.

Water Injection

Hello, I am a huge fan of the great resources here at Autospeed, and I wanted to ask a question about water injection. After looking at the article about intelligent intercooler sprayers, I decided that I would do some for my car. And then I heard about water injection. I was wondering if you had any products that would work well with this application? I was thinking that something "intelligent" and adjustable would be much better than simply an adjustable Hobbs switch. (something like the FANG feature in the intercooler sprayer controller)

Jackson de Oliveira
United States

We have a series of articles on water injection coming up in the next month or so.

Deadly Cars

After reading your article "Unsafe at Any Speed" i was prompted to write this to let you know about a dear late friend of mine. She always worked on her on a an old XF falcon wagon, one day it required new upper & lower bushes so she place the wagon on the jack stands as ussual as dor her it was the only way to work nice and safe well so she thought during the attempt the undo the left hand upper nuts or what ever holds it in place the wagon got a bit of a rock on it (she always work on a hard dirt base I mean real hard) after a few seconds I heard an almighty scream I ran outside to see what was going on only to find her trap by both her legs under the wagon. She spend the next 9 months in plaster and the following 12 months on walking stciks before she was able to walk without sticks again and she never worked on that wagon again she sold it to a wrecker. In November 2006 she passed away not due to any car related work accident but a peanut allergy she didn't know she had.

I just thought you might like to know about what can happen even when cars are safe on jack stands. I hope you put this in an article to help other who might have an idea of work on rock hard dirt, DON'T.

Russell Sharp
Australia

Since that article appeared another person here in Australia has been crushed to death by a car falling on them. Take care when working under cars!

No WA LPG Diesel Rebate

Diesel/Gas conversion article, thought that you might like to know that the article was a little inaccurate. Rebate scheme for gas conversions in WA is only for PRIVATELY OWNED PETROL powered vehicles. Does not cover diesel conversions. Not sure on the federal rebate scheme.

Hector Smith
Australia

Article fixed.

Little Diesel

Check out some of the mind-boggling stats at this URL! people.bath.ac.uk

Barry dal Herbert
Australia

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