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Some of this week's Letters to the Editor, discussion group posts and other feedback!

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Welcome Back!

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I just read "From the Editor" ["From the Editor"] in the current issue. I'm not sure how happy Tickford or owners of their product will be, but it is about time someone with a bit of weight pointed out a few "Quality Control Issues". I think you may have made their marketing department cry when you blew their strategy for the next few months.

However I believe in giving the people what they want. That said, I do not believe you tell them what they want; but if they are that blind then they bring it on themselves. My philosophy: each to their own. I can't pass judgement; hell, I am obsessed with Datsuns. My reasoning behind my choice: if you want something done properly, then you've gotta do it yourself these days. I have failed to find a product off the shelf that fits my wants. I say 'wants' as I, like Joe Public, only really needs to get from A to B. But there is a lot more fun that can be had.

Keep up the "exposure" and my regards to your legal adviser. Glad to see the Editor found his metallic balls and has re-attached them once more. This writing style is what I want more of; force them to change for the better.

Mike Kliese

You Are a Tosser!

I have been a member of your site for some time now, and have watched it steadily move towards the "rice markets" of this age... Fine, keep with the trends, whatever sells! But your latest attack against Ford ["From the Editor"] is utter crap! I am fuming that a person in your position would comment about a car he has not even driven! You, Julian Edgar, are a so for up your own world, get with it, and if want to read some interesting comment go to

All I can say is.... Tossa!!!!

Gary Miotello

Vice President
XR8 & XR6 Owners Club of Victoria

I have read your email and the discussion thread that you have cited. Nothing that has been said by you or any posters to that thread contradicts any factual material I wrote in that column. For example, the body kits of the Tickford Falcons are indeed put on very poorly - if you haven't done so, go see for yourself. For example, the current Tickford XR8 runs an engine whose basic design goes back a very long time ago indeed - I can't think of any other performance car using an engine first designed any earlier. Can you? (The Falcon six being cited by someone in that thread as an example of an older engine is completely wrong - you can't change an engine from OHV to OHC and still claim it's the same engine! And what does it say of the car when people happily argue that the other engine offered in the line-up is even older than the one I am criticising?!) And I note that neither you nor anyone else has pointed out that I included the current Commodore rear suspension in my column's criticisms.

Pretty obviously, no Ford fan will like what I have written. But if I have any facts wrong, I'm happy to hear of them.

Julian Edgar

RS Liberty Intake

Your excellent article on Negative Pressure [starts "Eliminating Negative Boost - Part 1"] mentioned the bad intake airflow characteristics of the RS turbo Liberty. Before I spend any money on my own RS, I'd like to know what you recommend to fix the problem. Thanks, and BTW, this is a great e-zine. Better than Motor and Wheels by far.

Bob Flaherty

Take out the in-guard resonant box and use a 3-inch duct through the standard opening to the airbox, picking up air from within the guard. Thanks for the praise.

Blow Off Valves

I was reading your article about allowing your stock blow off valve to discharge to the atmosphere without having idling problems. I think it is the article titled "Pssshht" ["Psssshhht!"]. What do you think of this other option I have in mind? We don't want the air to enter the blow off valve instead of the air flow meter therefore reducing the air being metered. I was thinking instead of putting a large check valve on the discharge of the blow off valve. Pressurized air exits and makes nice sound but when the pressure differential becomes zero and instead of pulling air into the valve that bypasses meter the check valve prevents that and forces the air required for idle to come through the meter!

Sinhsack Norinh

The approach will work fine; the problem is in finding a 25mm or larger one-way valve that is both cheap and has a low cracking pressure.


Guys, is it possible to do a series IV/V RX7!! What kind of mods would be good? What is the max boost pressure the computer can take etc? I have been reading for over a year and there has been only one of these cars mentioned!

Brendan McCarthy

We are considering running more late model rotary stories.

And MR2s?

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I own a '94 MR2 GT and was wondering if you guys would be doing any articles on MR2's in the near future? I can only find one MR2 article on your site.

John Ha
New Zealand

In terms of feature cars, we run them when we find them!

Exhausts and Warranties

I enjoyed your recent article on the Nissan 200SX modifications and I am interested in putting a 3-inch exhaust system on my 200SX, which I bought new in May this year. My problem is that Nissan has told me they will not honour the warranty if some future fault could be traced to the non-standard exhaust.

My question is - would fitting a new exhaust place any additional stress on the car over and above the standard exhaust?

Keith Fanner

If Nissan wish to be pedantic, they could easily claim that - say - engine damage is the result of a larger than standard exhaust. The argument would go like this: "The larger exhaust aids outflow from the engine, in turn allowing better cylinder filling. This results in higher cylinder pressures, which gives the increased power. However, those elevated cylinder pressures could lead to detonation and/or leaning out, resulting in engine damage." We don't think either detonation of leaning-out will be remotely likely to occur, but if they wanted to get out of an engine warranty issue they'd win with that argument. The same 'extra power' argument could also be extended to the diff, gearbox, etc.

Conversions, Please!

This may seem like a dumb question, we dummies in the US still don't use the metric system - that said, what is the conversion from kW to hp and Nm to ft-lb? I absolutely love your articles but I always get sidetracked when you quote hp in kWs etc. You'll have some cool #%*! cars down under. Keep up the good work.

Richard Landreth-Smith

Please, Please Give Us Conversions!

Love the mag. Please help us Yanks with conversions from kW to hp, Nm to torque, etc. A short article to print up would help a lot. Thanks for your time.

Rod Grosvenor

We'll run a full conversions article very soon.

Water Spray Controller

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I am currently planing on installing the Intelligent Intercooler Water Spray Controller to the Liberty RS. What I have in mind is for the spray to work on the heat exchanger at the front, and also to control the pump at the same time. Basically the pump works as normal, controlled by the ECU, but can be set to full power when the water spray functions. I will also try a couple of other things.

I have thought about it a little bit and what I have decided for the testing procedure is a series of 0-140?-0 runs with a couple of minutes idling in between. Reading off the temperatures at the start of a run, when reached 140 km/h, when stopped etc. What do you think of this process? Can you suggest anything better or different? In-gear acceleration perhaps? Any feedback is appreciated.

By the way, great editorial this week. Have you been on the HSV factory tour?

Dusko Mackoski

As discussed in a recent Response, we can't see the water spray having much affect on intake air temps in this application - the thermal mass of the water/air system is too great to respond quickly to short-term cooling sprays. The factory ECU already alters pump speed on the basis of load (just two steps though) and that system seems to work fine. You could easily use a temp switch to run the pump at high speed if you feel the faster speed is required more often.

We haven't been on a tour through HSV.

FM Modulator

I was just wondering if anyone sells a device to link the audio output from a laptop computer to a car radio. I have heard that the device is similar to a FM modulator for the use of aftermarket CD stackers on standard head units. From what I understand the device is essentially simple, turning the audio output from a headphone jack to a radio frequency for the head unit. Any help on this subject would be greatly appreciated. Keep up the good work guys.

Graham Treloar

Modules are available that transmit on FM frequencies, allowing an audio output to be picked up and then played through a car radio. Jaycar Electronics sell kit versions.

Making Wheels Gold

I would like to have the original alloy wheels on my UZZ32 Toyota Soarer made to look like gold metal. Hardware stores have spray paint cans with lids the right colour, but the contents are certainly are not! Gold passivation people say, "No can do". Anodising is not on because the wheels are forged, not spun. Powder coating is not available in gold metal colour. Real gold plating is too expensive. Have I exhausted all the options? Any other suggestions that you may have would be most welcome...

Barry dal Herbert

We can't think of any other way of doing it. Can anyone else?

BP1800 Wanted

I was wondering if anyone at AutoSpeed would know of the best way for me, being in the States (California), to get hold of a BP1800? I have a '92 Mazda Protege, and I want to start putting some power into her. I called a couple of the Ford and Mazda dealers, but their people were clueless. Also, if anyone there has a better recommendation or advice as to something better to put into my Protege than a BP1800, it's more than welcome.

Thanks in advance.

Bryan Miller
United States

We suggest that you try - they often have the engine in stock and export worldwide.

Commodore Intake

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I am looking for information on setting up a cold air induction system for a VT V6 Commodore. I have researched the aftermarket scene and just can't see the value in spending $500 odd dollars on a couple of bits of plastic or fibreglass only to suck air from above the radiator anyway. I am sure there is a cheaper and probably far more effective way to do this.

I have read some of the earlier articles such as "Heavy Breather" ["Heavy Breather"] and "Negative Boost" [starts "Eliminating Negative Boost - Part 1"]. These articles were helpful and increased my understanding but I am hoping to track down something more specific.

Do you guys know of, or can you point me in the direction of specific instructions for setting up a pod filter for a VT V6? This in itself is not too hard but I am guessing there is a better place to locate the intake than the engine bay where it is only going to suck warm air due to ambient temp. The challenge I face at the moment is working out an alternative spot and what plumbing is needed to get it there.

Any chance of running an article on this specifically any time soon?

I am also getting mixed reports about whether or not it's worth the money investing in an aftermarket chip or getting the existing memcal reprogrammed. Your recent article with Leon Vincenzi was very informative but word on the street is the gains achieved with VT's are minimal. Sometimes it is very hard to sort the shit from the clay and the dolphins from the sharks. Don't spose you got the inside word?

Pacemakers and twin 2?-inch s/s system is being attached as I speak :-)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you for your time. Keep up the good work!!

Marcus Towner

In addition to the two articles that you have cited we have also covered how to locate the intake to get the greatest ram air effect ["Siting Cold Air Intakes"] and we have also covered a digital thermometer [Jaycar Thermometer Module with Alarm ] that can be used to find the coolest air. That's enough information to work out your own system! Re the engine management changes - get a money back guarantee with regards to the power gain - then there's no problem.

Aero Drag

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A response to the letter about skin drag and form drag ["Response"]. As an engineer who works in the area of airflow I can answer the questions about skin roughness. Skin drag is minimised by having the smoothest surface you can get. A fine polish is best. HOWEVER most automotive drag is form drag. A major determinant of form drag is when the airflow starts to separate from the body: the later the better. A slightly rough surface can produce a thin layer of surface turbulence which will substantially delay the separation of airflow from the body and hence reduce form drag. As form drag is the majority of the drag for a car (or boat) this will result in less drag overall.

Patrick McAuliffe

Intake Air Temp Measurement

Regarding the 'Response' letter about Engine Load Measurement ["Response"] you mention that MAP (or MAF) is used in combination with a few other measurements to estimate engine load. Does anyone think that manifold-air-temp is a better measurement that intake-air-temp? After all, when taking intake-air-temp, you have to 'assume' some level of intercooler efficiency on the ECU, while taking manifold-air-temp you take the I/C efficiency out of the equation. MAP and MAT (mani-air-temp) would be the most direct indication to the ECU as to 'how much' air is available to the engine at any particular point. Agreed, it isn't engine load on its own.

Peter Schurr

The term 'intake air' in this context isn't confined to air entering just the airbox. Many intake air temp sensors are in fact placed on the intake manifold.

GMC Syclone

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You asked the question: Is there any current car that responds quite so well to mods as the Silvia?

Yes there is.

My 1991 GMC Syclone ran a best 12.55 at 106 mph on the stock factory turbo and the valve covers have never been removed. If you want details, please let me know. If you are unfamiliar with the GMC Syclone or Typhoon as you are an Aussie, please see: or

Adam Auerbach

Missing the Point #1

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Did you like or dislike the Turbo Zet ["The Twin Turbo Zet"]? Is it practical to use? You didn't say what you thought of it?


Missing the Point #2

I read the review on the Turbo Zet, but I want to know if I can buy the Turbo Zet, particularly the twin Turbo Zet, from anywhere in Australia, is there any one that I can contact?



We suggest you both read the article again, very carefully.

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