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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed!

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Dash Data for Mitsus?

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Re your article "In-car Dash Data"... Do you know of any similar products (hardware or software) that work with Mitsubishi engines - specifically grey imports such as the FTO?

Stephen Morison


The only plug-in ECU data reader we’ve seen for Mitsubishis is suited to the early 4G63 turbo engine (eg Galant VR4). This system uses a PDA or laptop to display ECU data and has been discussed at

Bumper Massacre

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I have seen many turbocharged vehicles with enlarged openings in the front bumper (to feed cooling air to the front-mounted intercooler). It’s difficult not to notice the reduced cross-section of the bumper – would these vehicles still pass government frontal crash tests?

BTW your site is a great source of technical automotive info. If there is a site that can cause a subscriber/viewer to wear out a printer, it is this one! It is well worth the price of the subscription.

Gary Schaumberg

Good point. Cutting small sections of plastic from the bumper probably has no major effect on crash properties, but we have seen some real hack jobs which remove metal reinforcement that would certainly have an effect. Note that the intercooler core itself also has an effect on crash properties - as stated by Ford Australia (in the article The XR6 Turbo According to Ford - Part Two.)

Import Turbo Guide?

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Just a suggestion for an article... I read your comparison of intercoolers from Japanese turbo cars The World's Biggest Intercooler Comparison - Part One and thought that a similar article on used turbochargers might also be of use. It would be great to have detailed specs, flow maps, flange measurements, etc.

Richard Chwiendacz

Good suggestion. It would be virtually impossible to obtain OE compressor maps, but we would certainly be able to put together a handy guide for Do-It-Yourselfers. We’ll get onto it!

Which One?

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I was about to buy a Honda V6 but your report (New Car Test - Honda Accord V6 Luxury) is a little off-putting. I would be grateful if you would comment on other cars in this price range. I was going to buy another Ford Fairmont (I have had two in the past) but I prefer a smaller and more economical car.

Denis Thomas

Have a drive of the Holden Vectra (New Car Test - Holden Vectra CDX, New Car Test - Holden Vectra CD Sedan, New Car Test - Holden Vectra CDXi. These are great cars.

You might also be interested in the new Nissan Maxima - Nissan Maxima Ti Road Test

The Mitsubishi Magna AWD is also an exhilarating drive, even though the design and engine are now relatively old. (See Mitsubishi VR AWD Test)

We also have an up-coming test of the base BA Falcon and, remember, the coming new-engine’d Commodores might also be worth the wait...

Silvia Substitute

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Over the last three months I have been lent a Nissan Silvia Q (5 speed manual) by my father. It has been a number of years BK (Before Kids) since I have driven car as much fun.  Although gut-less, I found the cornering ability of the car fantastic compared to my Falcon (with modified suspension). I find myself now wanting a manual car that can go around corners, while doing the following...

  • Fit the two kids in the back (bit hard in the Silvia)
  • Turbo
  • Under AUD$20k
  • Preferably Nissan
  • How do the Zeds and Skyline compare to the Silvia? (I have two VG30DET motors in the shed for another project!) I know both of these cars are designed for different markets, but is their handling compromised due to size and weight? Any suggestions?

    Richard Stevens

    A lot of the ‘chuckability’ of the S13 Silvia/180SX comes from its relatively compact dimensions. The R32 Skyline is the best next-size-up option, but it doesn’t feel quite as nimble. The Z32 300ZX is another step away from what you’re after. Both offer good power in turbo form but note that none of these Nissans offer great rear space.

    Have a read of Pre-Owned Performance - Nissan Skyline R32 GTS-t, Unknown Warrior - Skyline GTS4, Nissan 180SX SR20DET and Silvia Surprise

    Oh, and the 4-door Cefiro also fits the bill perfectly. The Cefiro Alternative

    Get test driving!

    N20 WWW

    I thought I might give you the URL of a very informative website in relation to nitrous oxide systems and a whole lot more...

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    At Nitrous Notes Rob Madden said, "Really, we don’t want people to start playing again – if that happens we might return to the days when nitrous had a bad name." While I would not try it myself, I see what he means - a few rotten bananas can spoil the bunch and why give away information you have worked so hard for? But, having said that, saying you do not want people to start playing again - with it coming from someone in his industry - does sound a bit su$$!

    Ian Armstrong

    Go-Go G11!

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    I’ve got a G11 Daihatsu Charade turbo with the stock CB60 carby turbo and I am looking to upgrade to an injected turbo engine. I am hoping for some advice on what is the best way to go.

    I am really, really impressed with the Daihatsu YRV engine (K3-VET) and was wondering if you guys have had any experience with them. Would it be at all possible to fit one into my G11? I know most people go the CB70 twin-cam turbo, but I want some thing a little more aggressive. Do you know of any other engines I can drop into this thing - like an Isuzu or Starlet EP-82 engine? Overall, what would you suggest as the best set-up in the car and what would go the hardest? Can you also help by telling me where I can get my hands on these engines?


    The K3-VET is a pretty rare engine in the import yards and we have no idea if it would be possible – or worthwhile – to put one into a G11. We’d suggest sticking to the CB70 from the Japanese G100 GTti. As you say, this conversion has been done quite a few times – and, yes, it can give very “aggressive” performance. Adelaide Japanese Dismantlers ( usually have CB70 engines in stock.

    You might be able to fit a more powerful engine from a different vehicle, but you’ll also need a gearbox and driveshafts that can handle it. Considering the ample power you can screw out of the CB70, we wouldn’t bother.

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