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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed!

20 July 2003

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1.8 Wake Up?

There have been many articles in recent months on tuning WRX Subarus. These have all been very interesting and many of the principles apply across a wider range of turbo-powered cars. However, I was wondering if you had any plans to carry out similar tuning exercises on the VAG 1.8L turbo engine as found in a variety of VWs, Audis, SEATs etc and what is probably one of the most common turbo motors on the road. I would be particularly interested on any modifications concerned with moderate increases in boost pressure and how this was achieved.

In any event, great on-line mag and keep the technical articles coming. Regards.

David Wilson

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We don't have any plans to tune the VAG 1.8 Turbo engine at the moment. If we find a workshop doing some interesting mods, though, you can count on us covering it!

As you say, many of the principles we've covered in past stories - exhaust, intakes etc - apply to a variety of cars.

Further GTS25T Feedback

I just read the Response regarding the GTS25t ["Response"]and have some info that can help. I had a similar experience with what I thought was boost cut due to excess boost on both of my Skylines - GTS25t manual and auto - but the answer was very simple. The standard plug gap is too wide for higher boost settings at 1.1mm +/- 0.1 mm; I now run GTR spec plugs at 0.8mm gap. That made a huge improvement but, until I get a front-mount, detonation can be a problem. Also the GTS25t, to my knowledge, has no boost cut or fuel cut for overboost so purchasing the items to overcome this would be a waste of money.

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Second, AutoSpeed rocks. Regardless of the car or the outcome your journalistic principles provide your readers with a dose of reality unavailable in other media forums. Thanks for the honesty.

Geoff Williams

Who's With Me?

Hi - we have set up a site to protest against the fact Canberra doesn't have a dragway. We would thank any support you could give us by signing the protest page and letting the public know about this site. Thanks in advance.

Phil Black (Canberra Street Cars Webmaster)

It Takes More than That to Make us Sick...

Please don't feel sick after my praise, but you really do deserve it.

In Daewoo Kalos review ["New Car Test - Daewoo Kalos SE"]

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"As an automotive journalist, in many ways I find road testing smaller, cheaper cars more enjoyable than larger luxury machines."

Great to see AutoSpeed have their feet concreted into reality. My humble opinion is that great engine advances are released into small cars first simply because they have to keep up with traffic. I almost rejected a Daihatsu Curio rent car once, then found it's 3-cyl 660cc 5-speed to be the best fun I'd had in a small car. The owner had six of them, all with around 120,000km, and said that backpackers zoomed them flat-out to all the Cairns tourist spots and nothing went wrong. My 800km showed me this was a well-designed car. The notion that "an Echo is good, but a Soarer would great" often doesn't stack up.

Craig Brudenell writes:

"I'm impressed with the high quality of diction and grammar - qualities that are becoming rare these days, especially on websites"

Good on you Craig. I can't count the times I've tried to read articles on bikes and cars and been immediately sure of biases or just the plain ignorance of the writer by the way he has written.

Also in Daewoo Kalos I read "parsimonious" and "halcyon." Is there another motoring journalist who writes this well? After I'd found my dictionary I knew Craig would like reading this also!

Shane Quinn

Free Goodies!

The breakout box at the end of "New Car Test - Daewoo Kalos SE" - "A GM Daewoo carry bag was given to the author."

That is simply one of the best things I've read. How I wish other publications (not just automotive) gave that sort of information - especially when it becomes a bit more significant than a carry bag... Keep it up.

Patrick McAuliffe

Which Management For Me?

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I am doing up a Mitsubishi VR4 with a 4G63 engine and I was just reading your story on engine management systems. I was wondering if you could tell me what one you think is the best. Thankyou.

New Zealand

The "best" engine management system for you is hard to identify. Systems like MoTeC and Autronic are widely regarded as the ultimate systems, but it is possible to achieve very good results with less sophisticated systems.

Other factors that should influence your decision include ease of fitment (ie whether it is a plug'n'play), whether or not you plan to run anti-lag etc and, of course, cost.

In any case, the ability of the tuner - and the time that they can set aside to work on the car - usually has a bigger impact on the end result.

We'd be inclined to start investigating workshops that have already fitted and tuned an aftermarket system to a VR4.

1.8 Too Weak?

Great Site. I have a question.

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I now live in Germany and want to buy a Nissan 180SX, but they all seem to come with CA18DET engines - I can't find a SR20 anywhere. Can you tell me if Nissan released SR20 180s over here or should I just bite the bullet and buy a 1.8? Any response would be great. Thanx in advance.

Andrew Pearson

We haven't been able to find out if the SR20DET Nissan 180SX was officially delivered to Germany. If prices are anything like in Australia, though, SR20 models (although newer) are much more expensive. The CA18DET powered S13s are actually quite a good drive - very revy and punchy. See "Silvia Surprise" for our review of the CA Silvia.

Early Turbo Boo-Boos

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I have some comments about "The Early Days of Turbo - Part 5". In your opening statement about the Sigma Turbo you describe the KB Laser turbo as suck-through design. This is incorrect. They are a blow-through design with the carby mounted on the intake manifold AFTER the turbo.

I also have a few more stats on the Sigma Turbo for you. The camshaft is in fact the same as the 2.6 litre engine, the suspension is exactly the same as the Peter Wherret Special (which, incidentally, is a 2.6 not a turbo as many people believe) and the alloys are also shared with this model.

And the picture of the interior is only of an SE Sigma not the Turbo - the Turbo had either light blue or beige honeycomb pattern seat trim and door inserts. This is the only vehicle this trim was used on.

Thanks for listening.

Phillip Morris

Sounds like you know your Sigma Turbos! Thankyou for pointing out these points.

And, yes, it appears you're right in regard to the Ford Laser carby turbo. A Solex 32DIS carb was fitted as standard and, from photos, it looks like a blow-through carb arrangement is hidden beneath a large 'Turbo' cover.

Corrections made.

Killer Conversion

I am looking at putting WRX running gear in my Brumby. At this stage I'm only gathering information about what's involved - I know its pretty full-on, but that's what makes it fun...

Have you guys had any involvement with something like this? Like I said, I want all of the WRX running gear - suspension, rear diff, gearbox, etc - because if it goes like a WRX, I want it to stop and corner like a WRX! Any help would be great.


Hmm, we'd try contacting Tony Rigoli Performance (+61 2 9726 6662). The guys there have been involved with David Khoury's EJ20 turbo Brumby and might be able to help you out.

We hear Stefan Graf of ChipTorque (+61 7 5596 4204) is also starting a similar project.

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