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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed!

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Jazz - No Blues

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I would just like to thank you helping me purchase my new car... I read your article on the Honda Jazz (New Car Test - Honda Jazz VTi-S) and was impressed by what was said. I bit the bullet and decided to go for the VTI-S as it offered a lot more power and a more distinctive look. I love the performance, handling, fuel economy and, most of all, the look... it's a sensational looking car that's very different. Many thanks to your article and website.

Nick Goulimis

V6 Swap

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I just found your informative site on the net. I have a 1990 model V6 Holden Commodore and want to replace the old V6 with a later model Ecotec V6 from a VS-onward. Do you know anybody who might have first-hand info on this swap?

Alan Goodwin

Have a read of Holden V6s with Leon Vincenzi. Leon Vincenzi would be the man to talk to.

Hitting the Track

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I have a couple of questions regarding my recently purchased and mildly modified 1988 Galant VR4. My mild mods (exhaust, filter and boost) achieved 212hp at the wheels. While I realise this is nothing special, my intent for the car is to learn to circuit race - therefore I don't see too much point in having power beyond my driving ability. What I am concerned about is reliability. I want to protect my engine, clutch, driveline, brakes, etc from the rigours of track work so that I don't have to be concerned about the drive home from the track. What are some smart (read relatively inexpensive) ways of protecting my investment? Also, will a factory clutch plate be good enough for track work or motorkhanas? What is a good way to step up without sacrificing daily drivability? Finally, underbonnet heat seems to be a problem here in Brisbane - what should I be thinking about in regards to bonnet vents (ie placement, size, etc)?

Brett Clarke

An oil catch can, fuel surge tank, quality brake pads and cooling ducts, and top-notch intercooling are very important when taking a streeter onto the track. The VR4 gearbox isn't as fragile as some others so you can probably get away with running a massively upgraded clutch - although remember that some clutch slip will help preserve the gearbox. If underbonnet heat is an issue in everyday conditions we suggest a pair of bonnet vents (similar to as fitted on the VR4 EVO RS).

EWP Revisit?

I was wondering whether sufficient time had passed since June 27, 2000, to allow you to release your report on the Davies Craig water pump and controller (Testing the Davies Craig Electric Water Pump - Part 1)? I must say I was disappointed to read that legal action was threatened if you published the results.

Andrew Oldfield

We doubt whether the results of our EWP testing will ever be able to be released.

Cleaning the Dags

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I was wondering if you could help me with a slight problem. I recently bought a Mitsubishi Magna Sports and bought a new exhaust system for it. I have fitted it all (I used to be a mechanic) except for the muffler. I need to cut some of the bumper and was wondering if there is a kit you can purchase to clean things up after the cut. I would appreciate any information or knowledge you have on this matter.


Use a sanding roll or fine burr in a die grinder at low speed. We have seen exhaust shops use this approach.

RWD Road Rocket?

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I'm in the market for a RWD performance car that I can drive everyday but something that I can also take out onto the track and compete in motorkhanas with on the weekends. I have $15,000 to spend.

Attila Arva

For 15 grand we reckon a SR20DET 5-speed S13 Silvia/180SX with some mods would be a good choice. S13s are relatively lightweight and the SRs make good power with minimal mods. Some suspension work would be advisable if you plan to tackle the circuit. Another option is a Series 4 RX-7 with a few mods. Compared to the S13, though, these are heavier and more expensive to bring up to the same level of all-round performance.

Easy Turbo Conversion

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I own a Holden VL Commodore with the RB30E engine and am confused about the turbocharging concept. I have seen many of these engines turbocharged without changes to the internals, so what are the bare necessities for a turbo conversion (apart from the turbo, intercooler and blow-off valve)? Could you please send me a list of parts and prices to turbo my VL - just the standard features, because I cant afford all that chrome stuff!

Niall Campbell

The essential stuff is a turbocharger, an appropriate exhaust manifold (or turbo adapter plate) and oil and water lines for the turbo. The air intake and exhaust will generally require alteration as well. In most instances, the engine management and/or fuel system will require upgrading to cope with the forced induction.For all the details and costs we suggest you contact a local go-fast workshop.

Peak Hold II

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About your 'Add a peak hold feature to your boost gauge' article (Do-It-Yourself Peak Hold)... For the last two years I have been using a tyre air pressure gauge (actually an inflatable mattress gauge, since they go from 0 to 20 psi) to measure boost on my '02 WRX. I painted green, blue and red stripes on the stem around my car's 16.5 psi limit so that I know at one glance where the boost went. It works fine and a hold feature is built in as well. Total price is 8 Canadian dollars for the thing (about US$5) plus a few feet of nylon tubing, a restrictor and a T splice.

Patrick Girard

What's Up?

What's with AutoSpeed these days? This week we've had Response, 3 feature cars, 1 Daewoo test and 1 interesting article on intercooling. I'm sick to death of reading about how such and such has bolted such and such on to his car, providing a nice balance of everything and making for a nice drive. Such and such is now selling his car.

I'm also sick of reviews of every different spec Magna there is. This policy of reviewing anything that comes through the door for free is ridiculous. If I was the editor of a dirt bike magazine and reviewed all these different makes of the one brand of scooter just because I could get a ride on them with no hassle, do you really think I should? You're a *high performance* magazine, or so the blurb as the title for this web page suggests...

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I probably sound a bit angry/crazy but it's only because I love the good features, like the interview with Harry Watson, the Spin Circuit, intercooling and the rest. It just seems like you can't be bothered on the content front these days. Thanks for listening to me vent.

Charlie Driver

Actually, that week (Issue 259) had Response, 2 feature cars (one Aussie car and one Japanese car), 1 Daewoo test, a special feature on Whiteline's MY03 WRX suspension upgrade and two technical features - the do-it-yourself peak hold article and Intercooling Plan of Attack Part 1. Obviously, different stories will appeal to different folk - for example, the Harry Watson interview that you liked has rated quite poorly...

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