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Some of this week's Letters to the Editor!

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Get Kompressing


Are there are articles available that deal with performance modifications to the Mercedes SLK230 Kompressor?



Although we don't have too much on this individual model, use AutoSpeed's 'search' command to take a look at our huge archive of individual tech stories on subjects such as exhausts, intake system mods and intercooling. GT

Lumpy Bumpsticks

I own a turbocharged 1959 Volkswagen Beetle and I consider myself fairly switched on. My vehicle has been around for many years and continues to perform with most low tech, do-it-yourself mods; it spits out the quarter mile in 13.2 and the 1/8-mile in 8.50. I am astounded no one can explain to me what camshaft profiles work best, stock or otherwise. Can you consider comparing a camshaft profile from a normally aspirated motor to that of a turbocharged motor from the factory eg: a turbo Nissan/Commodore VL? Keep it a single cammed motor so we can all understand. I think many would find this very interesting.

Leigh Harris
(Treasurer Club VeeDub Sydney)
Sydney, Australia

Thanks for the idea - we'll add it to the list of future articles. A 13-second '58 Beetle? That could be a very demoralising sight for a lot of late-model cars.. GT

Good Cop, Bad Cop

Never have I felt such respect for a traffic patrol officer. I applaud the police person who wrote in last week's Response email, for his/her intelligent approach to the controversial issue of speeding.

I wish that all police could share this understanding. It is very easy to see the authorities as the enemy as they are the ones who deliver the bad fines. I am almost 20, on my 'green' P plates (probationary licence) and drive a non-turbo Nissan SR20DE Silvia. I have had a few bad experiences with the police that have given me a negative attitude towards them. I understand that some other young drivers have probably given them grief, and as they say, a few can ruin it for everyone. A few dangerous hoons leave a sour impression of youths at the wheels, and accordingly, a few arrogant police leave a foul taste in the mouths of some innocent drivers.

I am aware that I am not an experienced driver, but I consider myself much closer to the favourable category mentioned last week than the other. I do look well ahead, and anticipate. Already I have avoided potential disasters several times by acting quickly and calmly, not locking brakes or losing control but taking evasive action with success. My mother falls into the other category, driving for many, many years, never losing a point off her license, but would lock up the wheels or panic in the face of danger. Yet she feels she is superior to anyone younger. What also I find disheartening is the attitude of the public towards our different vehicle modifications.

I have a full exhaust, advanced ignition timing, some airbox modifications, and some unneeded parts removed (trim, etc) to save weight. I am concerned with performance, in all aspects, not just straight line. I have had great success, lopping almost a second off the factory-quoted 0-100km/h time, spending about $100 thus far (the exhaust came with the car). I try to develop my driving skills - acceleration, braking, cornering, oversteer control and awareness, but only in situations with a favourable outcome. I always allow room for error, and only in areas that are deserted and have good visibility. This particular driving experience will ensure that I have a realistic chance of recovery if the car ever loses control, or a situation requiring precise and confident driving occurs.

My mother has fitted a host of heavy duty parts such as bull bars, that are not only dangerous to pedestrians and other cars, but blunt the handling and braking of her already 2000kg Mitsubishi Pajero. Combine this with her panicky nature and you have a disaster waiting to happen, even though she follows all the road rules.

Her modifications are accepted by society as her being an enthusiast, yet mine are not. She will never be pulled over and hassled, or frowned upon by the public. I draw many dirty looks by jay-walking pedestrians, because they have to suddenly withdraw from crossing the road after not looking when they finally see me coming. I can be crawling along but they assume I am in the wrong, because I am young and in a sports car.

I believe that a possible solution is to try and make new drivers like those in the alert category. Your mention of CAMS gives an idea that all drivers should be forced to pass an advanced driving skills course at the end of their Learner period. I have just passed the Road and Traffic Authority's new Hazard Perception Test, and believe that it has in no way made me a better driver. I was disgusted at the money involved, with $30 each attempt at the test (luckily I passed the first time), and $25 for the book. The book is hardly related to the test at all, and is more a guide to developing driving with on-road exercises. While this is a good idea, the RTA must get serious and give this book to drivers for free as soon as they obtain their provisional license. Perhaps the emphasis is on money making?

I would happily cough up a few hundred dollars for a compulsory driving course on a racetrack, as I have read these to be extremely effective and entertaining. Perhaps avenues to motor sport can come from this, making track work a lot more mainstream, keeping the performance crowd performing in the right places. Public opinion would be swayed by the understanding of the joy of driving as a sport, and the overall skills of all drivers would be through the stratosphere. Then maybe the Police officer's nirvana of speed limitless roads will be closer to reality.

I feel I am doing the right thing in the long run by developing my driving skills, but there is no doubt that professional instruction would be vastly superior. Congrats to all the noble and intelligent officers such as the individual from last week's Response who are patrolling our roads.

Michael Laws

Post-licence driver training is a worthwhile investment, however there is mounting evidence that 'racetrack' style tuition can lead to over-confidence in, and increase the risk and severity of accidents involving, young drivers. We have an article on low-risk driver training coming soon. GT

Did It Myself!

Hello guys, I just joined AutoSpeed and it's the best money I have ever spent. Keep up the great research! Regarding the Audi boost control ["The Audi's DIY Boost Control - Part 1"] went to Norgren supplier in Brisbane, the bloke there said he has sold hundreds of your DIY boost control kits. I installed the kit as per article 1 in my 1993 Nissan 180SX and what a difference!! Annoyed the neighbours tuning it up and down the street but well worth the effort. Norgren now supply the reg and relief valves in 1-10 psi and 1-50 psi units or you can still do the spring swap. My latest DIY was an install of a 65mm boost gauge and when pricing pods they are $40-75. Mine cost $8 from a Bunnings hardware store and I used a 70mm drain pipe vent cap which has a cool cone head with cut outs and used an O ring around the gauge to get it to sit in the 70mm hole nicely. Matt black paint and a mounting strap and the job is done! I'd send a photo but no money left for digital camera! Keep up the good work!


Speed Demon

G'day Glenn, welcome aboard. I've got an idea for you regarding a project car. You'd better get the AutoSpeed cheque book out. My idea is a Chev Gen III V8 and six speed conversion in an 80s VL Commodore, with wheels, big brakes etc. A club racer. This would be more cost effective than my second idea which is the same principal but VR/VS Commodore. Let me know what you think.

Alice Springs, Australia

A 300kW V8 in a nimble 1300kg car sounds like great idea - now what's this you're telling me about a chequebook?! GT

T-bone Grille

I had much pleasure reading the "Eliminating Negative Boost" article, especially since it was performed on an Audi S4. (I get the feeling the German mod scene isn't really your concentration). Anyways, a few S4 (current model with the 2.7 Biturbo) members have found that removing the grilles around the MAF sensors actually disturbs the MAF readings. They also explained that the MAF sensors are calibrated with the grilles on, hence the ECU needs to be remapped followed by removing the grille. Well I hope this wasn't a waste of space. I own a VW with 4motion and love your unbiased and performance orientated articles on all cars. Hope to see more VW articles. Some ideas: Articles on suspension mods eg, coil-overs. Also CAI vs. forced induction kits vs. stock box with drop in panel filters etc. For example, many VW Golf MK4 owners have claimed that cone type air filters actually reduce performance due to the increased intake temp in the engine bay.

Good luck and great mag!


Some airflow meters may alter their output with removal of the screens - it's always wise to check the before/after air-fuel ratios. JE

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