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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed!

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Thanks to You...

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I just thought I would drop you a line to say thanks. Inspired by your articles (such as Australia's Best Value Performance Car) I have just purchased a Japanese import 1988 Mitsubishi Galant VR4. The car came with electric Recaros, a K&N replacement filter, 17-inch rims, Michelin Pilot Sport tyres, lowered King springs, strut tower brace and thicker swaybars. It also had only 70,000km and is in immaculate condition. I have just had a 3-inch exhaust put on, raised the boost to 13.5 psi and had it dyno-tuned on 98 octane fuel. The end result is 212hp at all four wheels. I have spent just under 14 grand all up and I am very pleased. I am very much looking forward to my first sprint event at Queensland Raceway on 13th December '03. If it weren't for your magazine and articles I would never have gone in this direction and would not have known about this practical performance vehicle. Keep up the good work!


Glad to hear it! We're sure the VR4 will serve you well.

Keep 'Em Coming #1

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Just had to let you know - great piece on the Nissan engine The Nissan VG30DETT. I have never seen that sort of technical story in mainstream auto publications. I suppose that's the reason I subscribe... Don't be afraid to go technical because relevant detail always makes a good read.

Simon Briggs

Keep 'Em Coming #2

Just finished reading your excellent technical article on the VG30DETT The Nissan VG30DETT. There is just one piece of information that was lacking - engine weight. For people like me that are always on the lookout for engines to swap into other vehicles, engine weight is one of the most critical aspects. It would be great to know, for example, how the weights of an SR20DET and VG30DETT compare with all accessories attached. Keep up the great articles. I like the mix as it currently exists - a good mix of technical, special interest and editorial.

Richard Laxton

Dissect the RB25DET?

"The The Nissan VG30DETT Inside its development" - what a great article! Can we expect a similar article that dissects the RB25DET? I believe that this is one of the sweetest engines that any Japanese car company has built to date. It responds very well to mods while retaining its silky smoothness and refinement. I would be very keen to understand how this engine was developed and how the Nissan engineers adopted this base platform and transformed it into a fire-breathing RB26DETT. I think this article would make an interesting read to many of your readers due to the fact that this engine is so common, available and affordable these days.

Boris Kotevski

We're pleased that so many readers liked the VG30DETT engine article - we plan to do more stories of that type. But, no, we haven't come across any engineering data for the RB series engines and we haven't found any engine weight figures.

Water-to-Air Chiller System?

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I just read some of your intercooler articles and I drive a 2002 Ford Lightning. I was wondering if there is a way to put a chiller system on a water-to-air intercooler? Can you purchase a CO2 spray system for air-to-air systems, which sprays CO2 gas onto the heat-exchange radiator to give a huge boost of cold air? Would this work on a water-to-air system? Where could a guy buy one?

Doug Eriksen

Few people chose to fit a "chiller system" (such as a water spray) to water-to-air intercooled vehicles - the large thermal mass of the system means that rapid temp changes won't be accomplished with a spray.

The Diagnosis Is...

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In a recent Response The phenomenon that David Seldon mentioned in regard to your Driving Emotion article on the 350Z is well known in the field of psychology. The angry respondents are probably acting the way they are to avoid Cognitive Dissonance. Basically, as they own or support a particular car, to agree that the car has major faults is to admit they have made a silly decision to support/buy that car (in their own minds). This phenomenon can often lead people to argue strongly in the face of strong evidence, despite not having any of their own. In cases like this it's often best to not even bother trying to reason with them, because you won't succeed in convincing them, no matter how hard you try. Just look at those who argue that the Monaros in Nations Cup and the Bathurst 24 hour are competing on an even playing field and are winning fairly and squarely...

Roger Canty

Rex Buyer Guide?

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I see you have a review of the 94-96 series Subaru WRX Pre-Owned Performance - Impreza WRX (MY94 to MY96) I am looking for a guide to buying a WRX, most probably a '99 or '00 model. Do you have any articles or guides for people looking to choose a model of WRX beyond the '96 model?

Doug Parker

Check out Subie Dos  for buyer-relevant details on the rest of the range.

Not Legal Yet

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After reading The Active Car I must correct one small error in your otherwise fine publication... Fly-by-wire steering is not legal (in Australia, at least) outside of slow moving plant equipment. This is a carry over from hydraulic steering on tractors being seen - quite accurately - as significantly less reliable than mechanical steering. It was therefore deemed unsuitable for fast moving cars. This legislation will have to change before fly-by-wire could be used on passenger car steering. Sophisticated electronics are difficult to make reliable at the best of times - it gets significantly harder when there is an expectation that the vehicles will be poorly maintained.

Stephen Flood

Confused Re Downforce and Drag

I just read the Holden VL Walkinshaw story Holden Commodore VL SS Group A "Walkinshaw" and I'm confused. It had less drag but also less downforce at over 80 km/h - how?

As quoted in your article... "To assess their results, compare a Permanent Red VL Group A with a Cd of 0.41 against the Walky's 0.32 Cd - a drop in drag of 22 per cent! Holden's figures indicated that an aero-kitted Walky travelling at a sustained 190km/h required 30kW less driving power than the previous Red Group A! While the car was obviously slipperier through the air, downforce (or more likely, a lack of lift) could be distinctly felt at speeds over 80km/h."

Shane Keller

At Holden Commodore VL SS Group A "Walkinshaw"  (and as quoted in your email) we state that the VL Walky has lower drag and higher downforce. Technically, though, the Walky doesn't produce downforce but it does exhibit less aerodynamic lift when travelling at high speed. It's quite possible to reduce both lift and drag, especially with such a poor starting point.

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