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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed!

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Love It, but...

Just wanted to say this site is excellent for information regarding just about anything car related. I'm from the US and I'll admit the conversions are a bit confusing sometimes (I've gotten used to the silly American system), but the information and articles throughout the site are very informative and helpful. Thankyou for continuing to host this informative site.

Chris Milbert
(1986 Mercedes 190E 2.3-16)

Don't Forget!

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Hey guys - love your work, just love it. I can't wait for a new week to start just so I can read your mag. I was just reading over the Fresh Outta Japan story [articles start from "Fresh Outta Japan - Part 1"], and I was quite pleased with what was offered, but I was annoyed to see that you missed out two absolute cracker Toyota engines. First off, although you mentioned the 4A-GE 20V silver, you forgot to mention the 4A-GE 20V black head - 123kW, 8000 rpm redline, VVTi and torque from 2300 rpm (I know, I've got one). Also the GEN 5 3S-GE from the Japanese-spec Lexus IS200\Toyota Altezza RS200 Z Edition (the longest car title in the world) - 150kW, 8500 rpm redline, VVTi and, again, torque right across the rev range... this thing in a fire cracker on wheels. I wonder why Toyota never released these to the world market?

Adam Hocker

Rally Rex

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I have questions about turbochargers and restrictors. I am a team member of Mayhem Racing. We have a 2002 WRX in Group N of the SCCA Pro Rally Series. SCCA Group N requires a restrictor within 50mm of the turbo inlet. How do I figure the mass of air available through that restrictor and the interaction of the mass of the air and engine speed? What is the best boost curve for this application? The current turbo is the stock 2002 USA WRX. Which is more limiting - the restrictor or the turbo? Is there a benefit to a larger turbo? I think it would come up on boost slower, thus having less boost/torque coming out of the slower corners. Without anti-lag is a stock sized turbo better? If anti-lag was an option, do you think it could keep a larger turbo spooled up, but you would still run out of mass airflow at higher rpm because of the restrictor?

Todd Erickson

We'd suggest using the standard turbocharger or maybe just slight upgrade - the scope for a much larger turbo is severely limited by the restrictor. Pay particular attention to your boost control system - you want something that will allow boost to build as quickly as possible to provide maximum drive out of corners. One STi rally car we've seen produces 20 psi (with the restrictor) at very low rpm, but less pressure as revs rise. It'd be a good idea to contact experienced WRX rally teams and ask their opinion. Try Brett Middleton from Australia's MRT - go to the email button at

GT4 Drivability

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I just signed up yesterday and I remember reading a story by Julian Edgar (in FF & R) about how he fitted a blow-off valve to his Subaru Liberty (Legacy) RS. I have a Celica GT4 Group A that I want to start modifying to be more drivable. Would you have a copy of that article or a later version that I could read, please? I have read several AutoSpeed articles on BOVs but none of them seem to work the way the RS one did (with pressure switches and a solenoid operated valve). It occurred to me that I should make an intelligent bypass that opened the valve, a) when the pressure difference across the turbo indicated a closed throttle, b) when the throttle was closed - allowing the turbo to spin up at idle, and c) when the clutch was depressed (early notice of closing throttle). Any ideas? Anything else I should be aware of?

BTW - I wanted to do one of your catch cans but cannot find any space under the bonnet. The only spare space is occupied by my car alarm system. Drat! Thanks.

Patrick Berry

If you're after a copy of the RS BOV article you we'd suggest contacting Fast Fours for the relevant back issue. The reason AutoSpeed hasn't built a pressure switch activated BOV is we don't believe it's worth the hassle. The advantages of a blow-off valve - any blow-off valve - are very much overstated in our opinion. One experienced tuner we know of has seen cars that perform better with their BOV removed. If your car presently has no BOV whatsoever, a cheaper and easier alternative is to buy - or borrow - a second-hand factory BOV (such as off a WRX/Liberty RS or Saab) and see if it makes any difference at all to the GT4. If you're after significantly improved drivability, though, we'd suggest a high-flow intake and exhaust and perhaps revising fuel and ignition.

Gushing Over Pug

I've just purchased a Peugeot 307 XSi. Being a novice of Peugeot cars, and my previous cars being the heavy Mazda Enfini MS-8 and tin-canny Mitsubishi RVR, I was flabbergasted. I love the car and in the winding roads around Japan I'm having a ball.

I do have two questions (I'm taking the car in for its one month check up very soon). Firstly, there is a slight rubbing noise as the steering wheel is turned in either direction. It is slight, but it's there. Do you know what this is? Secondly, being my first leather seats, what care products do you recommend for these dark grey beauties? Sorry I'm gushing but this is a beautiful car to me. Many thanks from a Yank in Japan.

Brian Cook

We're not sure what the rubbing noise is - tell the dealer about it when you take the car in for a service. And, yep, it's a good idea to 'feed' the leather on a regula basis - again, Peugeot should be able to help you out with a product. You know it'll work well if it's a product the car manufacturer has developed - if it doesn't, there's no disputing where you should aim the blame!

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