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Response

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

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Repairing Wheels

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I have just had a look at the article ["Damage Control"] on repairing alloy rims. In it you make the comment to the effect of there being no legal worries if the rim is "repairable". This may not always be true. In certain places there may be laws that prohibit the use of damaged alloy wheels, whether they are "repairable" or not. This is due to a very real safety concern.

In the event of the incident that deforms the wheel, residual stresses are left in the metal. In the event of repairing the rim, more residual stresses are left in the metal. This is called "work hardening" and the only way to fully remove it from an aluminium alloy is to melt the metal and re-cast the wheel - ie, to purchase an entirely new wheel. Where work hardening becomes a safety issue is where the wheel is then subjected to another accident where the wheel is damaged. It is possible that (due to work hardening) the wheel will disintegrate during the accident. This produces the effect of pieces of shrapnel coming off the wheel, which can cause major damage to such things as brake hoses, body panels, and (not least) humans.

Since people see your e-zine as an authority on automotive subjects, please make sure of what you are printing before you print it. For instance, I am informed that in Tasmania there were laws that make it illegal to use "repaired" alloy wheels. While this seems not to be the case in the current (as of mid 2001) legislation, there may be other areas where laws like Tasmania's old laws still apply, so making statements like "there are no legal worries" can open your organization up to litigation. Please (for you sake and the sake of others) be careful when making blanket statements like that.

Danny Barrett
Australia

Given that AutoSpeed is read worldwide, we cannot take into account laws applying wherever a reader resides. In all such cases, the local legal obligations should be ascertained. However, thanks for making the point.

Size of the Tip

I have had fitted a 3-inch exhaust system to my Nissan S15 200SX. I notice the inside diameter of the tip is smaller than the inside diameter of the muffler. Would this cause backpressure? I have bought 21st Century Performance and have found it to be very informative. Unfortunately I bought the book after I had the exhaust fitted and there are some areas of concern with the work done.

Keith Fanner
Australia

It depends on how much smaller the ID of the tip is. A few mm and no problem.

There Must Be a Point in There Somewhere

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I have read your review ["The Twin Turbo Zet"] on the turbozet electric supercharger, and while i agree that the divice in question probably does not meet its claims, i feel you have given an unfair report on the idea of electric supercharging. It may well be that a traditional supercharger requires 14kw to produce 250 cfm of air, but i think comparing this power requirement and airflow to pc fan may be a little unjust. By taking a look in any respectable electronics catalouge, you may be suprised to fin that for as little as $30 you can but a fan that will move 105 cfm of air. I know of a few retailers such as rs components thgat sell "cooling fans" capable of producing over 800cfm of air, with extremely little current draw. I don't want to go into a physics lecture about the benifits of mechanical energy, vs elecric, but i think you shouldn't deismiss the idea of an electric supercharger quite so quickly. mabey do a little research next time, and realise that theres more to electric fa! ns that 18cfm pc cooling.

Shaun Barker
Australia

Perhaps if you read the story ["Turbo Revolution - The Coming Technologies Part 2"] in last week's issue on electric-assisted turbochargers you'll realise that indeed we have "mabey do a little research next time, and realise that theres more to electric fa!" We think we have anyway... it's a bit hard to understand your brand of English. And from that article you'll note the similarity to our previous article in the amount of electrical power that's required.

Missing Caravelle

Your article about the Tarago misses the VW Caravelle as a comparison. This seems to be a common malaise when people write articles about people movers.

Bruce Knowling
Australia

Old Cars and Old Engines

"The RB30 is now getting so old - more than 16 years - that we are unlikely to do a story on getting more power from it. After all, a starting point of 118kW from a naturally aspirated 3-litre six isn't a terribly good beginning these days." (Editorial Response comment)

I think that's a bit of a cheap shot, especially considering the [then] current issue has an article on a 30+ year old Holden V8 design which only manages 165kW from 5 litres - an even less terribly good beginning these days. You have no issues doing stories on the RB30ET (or RB20DET) however...

Recent stories also include chats with Leon about the Holden (Buick) sixes... 120-150kW from a 3.8 litre six is no more impressive than the RB30E's output.

This of course could go on forever... I'm not saying you should do stories on the RB30E, but your given reasons for not doing an article are not consistent with the rest of your magazine.

Otherwise, top mag, top read;)

Gary Barnes
Australia

There are few inconsistencies in that approach. We are reluctant to do modification stories on old engines, that is, engines that have not been locally delivered for many years.

In some cases, circumstances dictate otherwise, for example the turbo versions of all of the RB-series Nissan engines can so easily make huge power that they are a completely different kettle of fish. A car with the standard EFI Holden V8 simply has a lot more power (nearly 40 per cent more!) than one with a RB30E - you are going much faster before you even begin to spend any modification money.

We are tired of seeing people persevering with old, slow technology, when they would be far better advised to move on to something else.

People have an emotional attachment to whatever car they are modifying - so few RB30 owners will agree with us. However, and we have seen it time and time again, when people modifying these sorts of cars decide to buy a more modern vehicle, they're always very happy....often without spending a greater total amount of money.

And of course that idea applies to lots of cars - in fact we have an article on the topic coming up.

WRX Security Problems

You may be interested in the problems I am having with my WRX MY02.

The security system in these new models is pathetic - well too good. I have been locked out of my car for 2 days since I gave my wife a drive (the car was convinced it has been car jacked). Subaru have a deeper level 4-digit code needed to get the cars out of this form of immobilisation. Hence you need to ensure your MY02 members get this code before they need it!

Also the security system flattens the battery if the car is left for a week without driving. If you then bump the back of the car the alarm goes off but there is insufficient voltage in the battery to turn off the alarm! You then have to open the door with the key and then the bonnet to disconnect the battery. If you take off both the (+) and (-) terminals you will need the above code. Only the (+) being removed shuts down the alarm but doesn't need the extra code.

Basically the new security systems are like ticking time bombs. You never know when they will go off and leave you stranded at the mercy of Subaru. Since Subaru only work office hours, you need to get the extra code and keep it "just in case". Subaru know there is a problem but have been trying to keep the problem and the extra code a secret (the code appears to be unique for each vehicle so the only issue with releasing it appears to be an ex-owner can still access a sold car. To me not a justification for leaving WRX owners stranded "out of hours").

The car has also twice locked itself on me whilst I am getting stuff out of the boot. So in no case should the keys be left within the bounds of the car if the windows are up. Also it appears that leaving the keys in the ignition for, say, 4 minutes if the car thinks it is being stolen can also immobilise the car, requiring the extra code.

All this has happened in about 3 weeks of ownership. Please warn your members who have bought an MY02 (and perhaps MY01 models with the optional high level security system, assuming this is the same as the standard MY02 system.) I believe this system is also in the STI.

Ian Dunn
Australia

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