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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed!

21st January 2003

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Scorchin' Truck Times

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You mentioned incorrectly in an article that the Ford Lightning is the fastest production pickup truck ("New Car Test - Ford F150 SVT Lightning"). You neglected to mention that the GMC Syclone remains the quickest production pickup truck - 0 - 60 mph in 4.3-seconds... See

Adam Auerbach

We've done some research and, yes, the GMC Syclone appears to be the fastest production pickup truck - certainly it is faster than the Ford Lightning. We've now pulled back on that "fastest production pickup" claim.

Pipe Part

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I have a '94 WRX with a Version 2 STi engine and have just finished the airbox modifications outlined in your "Rex Sucks" article with good results. My 0-100 km/h time fell from 5.4 to 5.0 seconds. I am trying to get hold of the MRT pre-turbo pipe and would like the part number if you have it available. Thanks for your help and keep up the good work.

Daniel Walker

That's nearly a 10 percent improvement in 0 - 100 km/h with just the airbox feed - well done! MRT's pre-turbo pipe part number is MUSSE123C (the part is not listed on the MRT website). It seems the correct price is actually $73.92 (including GST) - the $60 price quoted in the story is for the pipe that replaces the resonant chamber when using a pod filter. We've now corrected this in the story.

Feel Like a Read?

Your readers may like to know what is happening to intra-brand competition in some segments of the Australian market and how their interests are being protected (or not). We prepared a discussion paper for the Australian Automobile Dealers' Association, which became their major submission - The Dawson Committee's Review of The Trade Practices Act. It is downloadable in pdf format from:

It presents new work on the importance of intra-brand competition to the consumer and sounds warning bells as to its attrition both globally and within Australia. Kind Regards.

Mark Wainwright
Managing Partner
The Sirius Consulting Group

Plug It

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It's been ages since I've written to you - I was most interested in your intercooler water spray kit and I got Don P from Houston interested in it enough to write a great article.

Anyhow, regarding the article about the WRX "Blizing Them", the bung in the up-pipe is indeed for an exhaust temp sensor that is used by the ECU in US-spec cars. Thanks and keep up the great work!

Robert Ohlhausen

Who's With Me? Could you mention this somewhere on your site please?


How Many $ for 1G?

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How do I get in contact with the person who wrote New Car Test - Lexus IS200 Limited Edition? I want to know where he gets his engines... "In fact, last thing I heard, you could pick up a used 1G engine - any 1G engine - for about $150." Last time I checked a 1G-GTE was $1200. I would like to buy one - or two - at that price!

Ian Black

1G engines certainly used to be advertised for around $150 back when that particular story was written. Of course, without having gone to look, we can't say if those engines were in great condition or not...

Note that the price of those older engines is edging upward in value due to their rarity in Japan (and fluctuating exchange rates). If you're after a cheap 1G, you might want to try EKW ( or Adelaide Jap Dismantlers (

Wonder Potion?

I'm an engine reconditioner who works primarily on European autos. Through our distributor we have been put onto "the latest" wonder additive" that will protect your engine infinitely times better than any product on the market. I haven't been able to find any credible resources anywhere - everything (except for the testing done at the Queensland University of Technology) seems to be in-house. I was wondering if you have done any reviews or would you plan on doing so?

Here's a link to the product portfolio they send you when you're interested in purchasing the product. It's pretty amazing - I wonder if it's too good to be true. Thanks for any time you have to share.

Rod Maclure

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Unfortunately we haven't had any experience with the particular brand you're referring to. In all honesty, if it looks too good to be true it probably is - you can rest assured car manufacturers would latch onto such products if they gave any significant worth.

Check our test of the Militec-1 metal conditioner - "Militec-1 Metal Conditioner".

Missing Panasonic

I thought I would point out that in your roundup of MP3 Head Units you forgot to include probably one of the better (best?) looking MP3 units on the market at the moment - the Panasonic CQ-DFX972. I have one in my car, which I got instead of the Kenwood KDC-MPV7020 I intended to buy after comparing the quality and functionality of the two 'in the flesh'.

Quinton Dolan

Turbo Diesel Wake Up

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I have a copy of 21st Century Performance and think it is fantastic. So much so that I have the confidence to try some of your suggestions on my turbo diesel 4x4. I really appreciate the emphasis you place on testing, as it is so easy just to pay someone to do something because everyone else is. You have convinced me to do some testing on my 4x4.

I understand that turbo diesel 4x4s hardly offer earth-shattering performance, however would there be any scope for tech articles on improvements and modifications to TDs? Being a new owner, I have found almost no performance off boost in the lower gears of a 2-year-old Ford Courier 2.5-litre TD. So my goal is not so much outright power as low down driveability and torque. I think there might be valid topics regarding fuel delivery and detonation given the high compression of a diesel engine.

Thankyou for everything you have written and researched in the past. Your knowledge is invaluable.

Orazio Barbagallo

Have a look at the power-up on the Toyota Prado TD at "Prado Power-Up". A Unichip can make good drivability gains, as can a free-flowing air intake and exhaust. Maybe seek some expert 4x4 advice from APS (at

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