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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed!

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Very Impressed

I found your website today and wanted to say that I am very impressed. It covers every aspect of auto performance and provides ample information.

Andrew Hajal

Shine a Light

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I've just enjoyed reading your technical advice on extra driving lights (Fitting Xtra Lights). One important omission that I want to suggest to you is that of dealing with the low beam issue.

When dropping back from high beam with additional driving lights, a very good low beam is important as visibility drops dramatically. I feel that it is just as important to attend to low beam as it is to improve high beam. In fact fog lamps, much derided, are quite good in this regard!  But more watts in the low beam and careful attention to alignment with low beam in mind can pay dividends. I appreciate your thoughts. Excellent magazine by the way!

John Waterhouse

Thanks for your input. We’re planning another headlight enhancement article for the near future!


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Pathetic... The Daihatsu G200 that’s a supposed haul ass machine (Charade Shock!) is a large piece of ass... If you guys would like to do an article on a Charade, at least check out to see one that really hauls ass... Oh, yeah - turbo Charades find it easy to run 20 psi if built correctly and, if this guy is having so many problems that he can’t get a quarter mile time, maybe his car ain’t that good.

I have a fully stock 1987 G100 3 cylinder carby beast that can beat 6 cylinder Ford Falcons off the mark so, when it’s fully rebuilt with the beautiful twin cam turbo running 20 psi, I’ll call you to say I ran a 13-second quarter mile - for a 17 year old chick that’s fairly good!


We don’t know about “pathetic”... This car is more than worthy as a feature car – especially since the G200-series was never released with the GTti engine, so it’s far from a drop-in conversion. The owner isn’t having “so many problems”. In this case, the ability to run 20 psi is limited simply by fuel system flow. No big thing. Let us know when you crack a 13!

You Can’t Resist

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Just read Fan-Forcing Your Intercooler, Part 2 and thought I would let you know (if you didn't already) of a possible source of cheap power resistors. Several import Nissan models (including R32 Skylines and some Silvias) run a set-up exactly as you have described, except on the fuel pump to reduce pump noise at idle. The relays are controlled by the ECU but, other than that, the system is identical. In the engine bay of these cars is a *large* resistor in a metal case about 30 x 60 x15mm (off the top of my head). I'm not sure what the resistance or the power rating is, but I imagine it'd be roughly in the right ballpark for controlling any large 12V device. These should be able to be sourced from any import wrecker and I wouldn't be surprised if Nissan used the same setup on locally delivered vehicles.

Adam Bellchambers

SUV Slagged?

Just thought I'd punch in a quick reply to Julian's article on the trend towards SUVs (Driving Emotion). I picked up a Subaru Forester XT last November to replace my 1999 Holden Berlina and here are my observations on where the Forester was a better car than the Berlina:

  • Better performance - much faster in a straight line
  • Much more versatile - carries more than twice the camping gear
  • More features - leather, sunroof, 6-stack CD and side airbags to name a few
  • Smaller dimensions - the wife finds it much easier to drive and park

About the same were the following:

  • Price - brand new they cost about the same
  • Fuel consumption
  • Handling - despite the Subaru's snow-spec tyres and higher ground clearance I can cross the Blue Mountains between Casino and Tenterfield in about the same time - faster in the wet with the Subaru

The advantage of the Berlina is in the following:

  • More leg room in the rear

I have to tell you that I searched for around two years for a replacement that would be versatile and perform as well - if not better - as a road car, while having the flexibility of the SUV configuration. That includes being able to pull a boat off the ramp and get out onto the beach. In Australia there are no hatches that have a towing capacity of greater than 1000kg - and a dog would feel fairly claustrophobic inside a boot... A road-based wagon with the same specification would be well over the price of the XT - and be a much larger car than what I would want (not to mention the fuel cost of powering the V8 to get similar performance).

SUVs aren't perfect but they are changing as car companies, with their long development cycles, change cars to suit people’s needs and wants. But to say that a SUV has no real advantage over a conventional car is like saying a conventional car has no real advantage over sports cars like the WRX and RX8, which are being designed with more practicality in mind.

Malcolm Schulstad

A Forester is a crossover vehicle, not an SUV. SUVs don't have a direct car relative.

‘Cooler Efficiency

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I'm looking for an article regarding intercooler placement. I tried searching for some time, but was unable to locate it. I was looking for some assistance.

Christopher Murdock

Check out Getting Air In & Out. This article details all you need to know.

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