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Response

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

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That 'From the Editor' #1 - I'm Renewing!

"But for Christ's sake, someone in the media has to have the guts and honesty and integrity to tell it like it is..." ["From the Editor"]

Bloody good on you! I'll be resubscribing when due! I no longer buy any other motor-mag.

Ian Carter
Australia

That 'From the Editor' #2 - I'm Cancelling!

Please cancel my membership. I have had enough of Edgar's crap!

Robert Akester
Australia

That 'From the Editor' #3 - Full Marks

Full marks on the Tickford article. It's good to see you say what you think and not base your opinion on advertising dollars they may throw your way. As a mechanic myself I've seen some fairly dodgy things carried out but most people shelling out $50,000 would like to think there was a more professional crew screwing there beloved new car together. Why don't they send the cars from Ford without all the pieces they junk - like the extractors - on them and then the cost of their cars could come down and they may claw back some of the market which they have lost. I don't feel so bad about my Hyundai's build quality after all.

Nigel Dunn
Australia

That 'From the Editor' #4 - Two Sides to the Coin

So then Julian, did you see any positive things when you went to Tickford? I am surprised by you saying that they probably won't give you an evaluation vehicle now, I wouldn't think that you would want to drive one. Just remember Julian there are two sides to every coin, 90% of the time anyway.

Marcus Keam
Australia

That 'From the Editor' #5 - What 'tossa' Really Means

Just read issue #156 and was mildly disturbed at the feedback from the vice president of the Falcon XR6 & XR8 club ["Response"]. Surely a person in this position should be able to write letters with a less personal and more businesslike approach, or at least better grammatically? Didn't do himself, club members OR the "performance" Falcons image any favours...... It just confirmed for me what "tossa" really means....I admit the offending article was strongly written but I think the right amount of cynicism was used, it certainly opened my eyes to the "she'll be right" attitude displayed by some of the Tickford assemblers - and to do it in front of visiting media!?

HELLO!!!

Think about this too - if you reckon Julian is pretty harsh and critical with certain cars, you're right - just look at how he bags his own Audi ["The Road to Change - Part 1" ] in the latest issue.........

Good on ya Julian, it's refreshing to see someone not afraid to call it as he sees it. I take my (symbolic) hat off to you...

Rob Haylock
New Zealand

That 'From the Editor' #6 - Shooting Off Your Mouth

I am surprised to say the least. I have been with this site since day zero, when it was free and read by around 20 people. I have been in aus.cars for many many years, and have read what you have had to say on there also. A lot of what you say makes sense and is well informed.

However, your review of the Tickford operation was anything but. Correct me if I am wrong, but it is pretty apparent that you arrived at the plant completely uninformed of what these vehicles are about, and what they have to offer. Consequently, the angle you took in your review was not on the end result of their processes, but rather the ways and means they went about it. If you had sampled any of the products, you would have entered the facilities with a completely different attitude, knowing the proven potential and quality of the end product.

If you are willing to judge and criticise the production process of a product, surely you can't be so biased as to denigrate the product itself (and company) because of this? It appears that you are equating perfect production technique with a perfect product. Wrong!

I suggest that before you go shooting your mouth off again, you sample the product first, and then get some hard statistics to back up your opinions. Until then, your opinion is meaningless without statistics to back it up. You can whinge and groan and bitch about how "badly" Tickford performs their modifications, but at the end of the day, where are your figures? If 90% of owners are happy and have had minimal or no problems, where does that leave your little rant? On the other hand, if 10% are happy with minimal or no problems, then you are justified.

As it stands, you are not yet justified in your assessment, and as such, if you promote it as being fact, then you are misleading the public.

I expected more from you Julian!

Michael Hansen
Australia

You have presented absolutely no information that shows that any of these points made in the column are incorrect:

1. The workmanship in the fixing of the body kit is poor (have you gone along and seen it being done?)

2. The approach to fitting the sunroof is completely at odds with that carried out in cars of a similar cost from non-Australian manufacturers.

3. The engine being used was first designed longer ago than any engine being fitted ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD to a performance car.

If you are happy with these aspects of the car, fine.

Julian Edgar

That 'From the Editor' #7 - Double Standard

I was wondering why you bagged out the Windsor as used in the XR8/Tickford cars, when you were praising the [Holden] 3.8 V6 only a couple of weeks earlier! I mean, both are pretty damn outdated, but both do a good job at their intended purpose, I'm sorry but I think you are having a bit of a double standard, however I'm sure the bagging out of Ford and the constant praise of Holden will get you more readers... You say its being brave by bagging out Tickford, and that you did include criticism of the Holden IRS, but a couple of lines is nothing compared to a whole article. You will notice that I haven't put a huge amount of effort into this email, as I don't think its worthy, I'm a subscriber and I just wanted to point out that you are seeming to have a huge double standard. However most Australian auto press seems to at the moment.

Why don't I think you will give the new 5.4 V8 and DOHC turbo 6 Fords a whole heap of credit when they come out, I can hear it now, the DOHC 6 is just a rehash of some old design and has no use whatsoever, or that the 5.4 V8 is just an American engine they shipped over and it isn't Australian and has no worth...

Please don't disappoint me ...

PS I know you don't think one reader matters, as you have shown in the (ex)forums, but I don't wish to hear any more criticism levelled at the Ford cars when the same if not MORE could be said about the Holdens. If you are going to do it, at least drive both and compare, I mean if you had said all that about the Tickford but then went on to say about how superior the chassis it and how much better it handles and how its just quicker than the HSV equivalent, it would have been acceptable.

Thanks for listening

Marty Hogan
Australia

We are glad that you agree that the Windsor engine is "pretty damn outdated". As for our last test of a Holden V6, you seem to have forgotten what we actually said - "Driven gently, the pushrod engine delivers torquey, effortless performance. Kept below 3500 rpm - which isn't hard to do - you could even be forgiven for thinking that the engine is refined. But venture anywhere near peak power revs of 5200 rpm and the V6 is harsh and loud."

The odd idea that if we criticise Ford it must mean that we love Holden is a discussion I take up further in this issue's 'From the Editor'.

Perhaps you haven't read what we have already said after driving the Ford modular OHC V8 in 4.6-litre Mustang form: "The SOHC 4.6 litre engine - although down in capacity over the 302 that it replaced - is a truly mighty one. [It] idles smoothly with its sequential injection and it is much less 'grumpy' than the engine it replaced. It also revs out relatively smoothly and delivers good torque at all revs."

Finally, as was made absolutely clear in the first lines of the editorial, we have not driven the Tickford V8 - the column was about build quality and technological issues of the cars, not a road test.

Julian Edgar

Heat Exchanger

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In your online intercooler articles, there is shown a bullet-shaped air-water heat exchanger "made from a boat oil cooling stack". Are there more detailed instructions on building one of these? I've checked several marine catalogs and found nothing close. Thanks in advance for your assistance.

George Barrett
USA

Oil/water cooling heat exchangers are used to cool the engine oil in many power boats. Typically these comprise a heavy cast iron enclosure, but inside the massive housing is a cooling stack made from many copper tubes, placed together a little like a lot of drinking straws jammed in a glass. These copper stacks can be re-enclosed with lighter materials to make a compact and efficient heat exchanger for a water/air intercooler. The one pictured here was enclosed in brass sheet, with the coned ends made from exhaust tubing. These additions were silver-soldered to the copper cooling stack. However, that project was first carried out when air/air cores were relatively scarce and expensive - these days it is cheaper and easier to modify an air/air core or source a factory water/air heat exchanger.

More Fuel

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I have a Toyota Corsa, Model:EL-31, Year:1988 EFI Turbo Intercooler car. The problem is that it seems to be leaning out, in 3rd gear especially. Unfortunately, a performance chip is not available for it anywhere and the only other way to increase fuel is by putting in a programmable EMS. This seems to be quite effective but expensive. I have read about your EFI mod articles and putting an extra injector in the intake. I need an opinion on what would be the best way to increase fuel under heavy-load. My application is 1/4 mile.

Nikhil Praveen

The easiest way to increase the fuel flow in a turbo EFI car is to use a rising rate fuel pressure regulator.

Liberty RS

I need some advice on modifying my RS Turbo and thought who better to ask? My car is a Ruby Red '92 with 106,000km on the clock and I have fitted a 3-inch exhaust, STi clutch, cold air intake, K&N Filter and a BOV. The ECU and fuel system are standard. I am planning on fitting a fuel cut defender and a boost tap (both from Turbosmart) but I am not sure how much boost is safe to run? I can recall reading that the standard RS water to air IC is good for over 200kW. Can this be achieved safely with what I have already done and extra boost? I have been investigating different liquids in the IC but distilled water with Redline water wetter (http://www.carcarepros.com/RedlineWatterWetter.html) seems to be the best thing. I haven't been able to get a hold of the Redline stuff but it sounds good. I have considered fitting a bigger heat exchanger at the front of the car and MRT recommend fitting a bigger water pump in the IC. Is the bigger pump beneficial?

Eric Bouwmeester
Australia

The amount of boost that's safe to run depends on how you drive the car and in what climate that is done! Certainly 15-16 psi shouldn't cause too many problems. We wouldn't bother changing the intercooler water pump (just make it run at full speed all of the time if you're concerned that its flow is insufficient) or fitting the larger front heat exchanger, and we've never seen the Water Wetter proved as helpful in this type of application.

Supra RZ Correction

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Just read your article on the Supra RZ ["The Supra RZ"] and would like to point out an inaccuracy.

I have two sets of 2JZ turbo's on my bench and the only difference between the front and back turbo that I can find is the exhaust housing. The housing on the back turbo doesn't have a wastegate per se. But as far as dimensions are concerned, they are identical. To prove a point, I recently swapped the wastegated housing off a front turbo onto a back turbo to make one good complete set.

Darren Cowling
Australia

Making Bends

I have Julian Edgar's book, 21st Century Performance", and am trying to replace my restrictive intake piping with some 80mm PVC pipe. I need a few mild bends in it and have been practising bending the pipe using a heat gun (well okay, it's a popcorn maker). My problem is that my bends turn out very ripply and not much like bends at all. Can you please offer any further details on how to make smooth bends with PVC.

By the way, the way you suggest making bell mouths worked great for me!

John Avis
Australia

You simply need to take great care and work very slowly, expecting to make the same piece three or four times before you get it right. For anything more than about a 15-degree bend, buy a preformed one off the shelf.

Readers' Cars

How do I get my car featured in your Readers' Cars? BTW - I just joined for 2 years so I'll be around for a long while ;^)

Sharif Khan
United States

Easy - just send us some pics and a good description of what's been done to the car. If the car's already featured on a private website, just send us the URL.

Dangers of Laminated Glass

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In your article titled "Glass and a Half" ["Glass and a Half"], I believe you omitted an important point: For safety reasons, laminated glass was never used on the side windows of US vehicles. The glass that you praised for keeping thieves out will also keep rescue crews from extracting trapped accident victims. As a former police officer, I was frequently the first responder in crashes. One of the tools I carried was a spring-loaded centre punch for shattering windows. If I had encountered a crash in a car using this new glass, I may have had to wait for the fire department to show up with the 'Jaws of Life', a large pneumatic extraction tool. Quiet cars are great, but I don't think anyone should be selling this as a safety development. I'd hate to know someone bled to death because Toyota wanted to build a quieter Lexus.

Mack Manning
United States

AFAIK, laminated glass is currently being used in some US models. But we appreciate the 'emergency rescue' angle that you highlight.

DIY Knock Detector

I read the article about DIY detonation detection and was disappointed when I found out that the Whisper 2000 is no longer available. I did find what may be a suitable alternative though. It is a Radio Shack Stereo Listener with a 3-band equalizer #33-1097. Here is the web page: "Amplified Stereo Listener With 3-Band Equalizer".

The cool thing about it is that it has two microphones and you can adjust balance between them so you could monitor two places on the engine if necessary. I have not tried it, but I thought the equalizer may come in handy to filter out any non knocking noise.

Todd Kirkwood
USA

Assuming that you can easily detach the microphones and place them on the end of long cables, yes, it looks good.

Boost Control

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Hey, just wanted to let you guys know that your site is just awesome... So much more info than a lot of the other sites out there! Anyway, I was very interested in your DIY manual boost controller, and had one question: Would it be possible to use the needle valve as the restrictor and the ball valve as the in-cabin full boost/standard boost switch? I liked the idea of having an "on/off" boost system and especially the idea of having a switch seemed cooler than a needle valve. So would it matter which valve I used for what? Then, using the ball valve, 'off' would simply be 7lbs, or standard, and 'on' would be my max dictated by the restrictor. Also, another question I had... if this setup worked, would I be able to "flip the switch" during full boost to get that extra instant kick?

Thanks again, I only wish more sites had this type of valuable info.

Sean Porter
USA

Yes, and yes.

South Australian Event

Small Car Sunday is on again from November 23rd to 25th and with the event spanning three days it promises to be another jam-packed weekend of motoring. It will kick off with a Friday night cruise around the streets of Adelaide just to get people warmed up. Saturday will see a new feature in this its seventh running, that being a Hillclimb event, held at the Collingrove Hillclimb track (8km from Angaston). Then on Sunday, the huge show at Patterson Sportsground cnr of OG Road and Payneham Road, with around 300 of Adelaide's hottest small cars all gathered in one place for all to see. The hillclimb on Saturday is free for spectators with racing starting at 10am.

Spectator entry to the show on Sunday is $5.00 each with gates opening at 10am. Those who wish to enter their car or wanting more information call Jason on 0412 064 683 or contact the Sporting Car Club on 8373 4899.

Turbo Health

I have a quick question that I hope you fellas can answer. Recently my highflowed IHI RHB5 (on a Ford TX5 turbo) failed due to compressor wheel breaking a piece on the exducer side off. The turbo place have blamed the car as the cause. After running some tests I have discovered that there is a 1 to 1.5 psi drop over the cooler (seems reasonable). But of more note there is a negative boost before the turbo of around 7.5 Inches of Mercury (not 7.5 inches of water!). In your opinion do you think that this could cause such a failure and also if such a negative boost is reduced dramatically will there be a substantial (notable) increase in performance.

Shane Pavey
Australia

A pressure drop of 7.5 inches of mercury is no less than 3.7 psi - or 102 inches of water! That's a truly massive restriction in front of the turbo, and while we'd only be guessing, we'd assume that with such little air density to work with, the turbo could well be overspeeding. Removing that before-turbo restriction should make a huge difference to performance.

Management

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I read your old article on the Apexi Power FC ["The APEXi Power FC Engine Management ECU"] that you tested on the Skyline GT-R R32 for 25,000km. Can you remember if there was any improvement in fuel consumption and top end power at all due to the leaner A/F ratio and other settings? What about any dyno figures? I also read the S2000 article with MoTeC, and that car gained about 8% power and also gets more top end towards the red line, as shown by graph. I was hoping to find a cure to make my local S15 rev cleanly to redline as well. Any other suggestions?

Kelvin Ho
Australia

There was no measurable improvement in fuel consumption on the GT-R. The car did not have 'before' and 'after' dyno runs, but peak power seemed little changed with the leaner mixtures. If your car does not rev cleanly to the redline, have it checked by a competent workshop on a dyno, looking especially at its air/fuel ratios.

I am Happy With My Bone-Jarring Ride!

After reading Michael Knowling's column ["Michael's Speed Zone"] about the Nissan GTiRs and Mazda Familas and of course EVOs I'm still at a bit of a loss as to what his point was. He was talking about homologation specials built to get the cars into rallying, and whinging about the interior trim? Puzzling, nearly everything in the world is of the 'get what you pay for' ilk why would go fast cars be any different? I enjoy driving my GSR/EVO; it's a great compromise, that's what all cars are about, it just so happens that in the compromise between performance/price/comfort I tend to lean toward the performance more than comfort. Sure I could get faster cars for less money, or more comfortable cars for less, but I am happy with my bone-jarring ride, because I know no matter how long the straight is, there's a corner just up ahead. :)

Steve Lemon
Australia

Metric Converter

I noticed a couple of letters in the Response section this week asking about conversions from kW to hp. I know I get annoyed reading hp but I've since learnt the basic math for doing an in-head conversion, however for those of us that don't carry conversion factors around in our heads, and in the interests of cross number-system friendship, I've devised a javascript converter that will fit nicely on the left hand side of the AutoSpeed web site that will happily convert both power and torque from metric to imperial and back again. If you're interested you can get it at http://www.wermspowke.net/convert.html

Brendan Alderslade
Australia

Heat Wraps

I have a warning to offer and a question to ask regarding underbonnet insulation of extractors, turbos etc.

Firstly - do not use heat insulation wrap on exhausts or turbo bags on turbine housings unless you feel like replacing them every couple of years or so. I have been up for a lot of money to replace the fabricated extractors, TO4B turbine housing and turbo dump pipe in my RX-7. The insulation works very well but it seems to kill (via excess heat) the components it insulates. The car would have travelled only about 15,000 k's in the two years the insulation wraps were in place. Some of those kilometres were very hard, however, with supersprints, hillclimbs etc being what the car is preferentially used for. OK - rotaries are known to be hard on exhausts, but this one is not tuned that highly (only 10 psi boost). Others I've talked too have had or know of similar situations.

I've asked HPC about their extreme temperature ceramic coating suitable for turbine housings etc but am not sure when they advised that only the outside of the turbine housing is treated. This still keeps all the heat in the housing, which sounds like it will have the same effect in being detrimental to the (expensive) housing. Have you or any readers had any experience with such coatings on turbos?

In the meantime I will just continue with a stainless steel heat shroud over the turbine.

PS - if you think rotaries and turbo rotaries in particular are fragile, think again. My 12A turbo engine has covered nearly 40,000 k's in 6 years and gets a full weight SII RX-7 down the quater mile (many times in fact!) at 180 km/h across the line.

Julian O'Hara
Australia

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