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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed!

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Having Themselves On

First of all I'd like to commend you on an excellent website containing excellent information on everything automotive. Reading countless number of articles on AutoSpeed have entrusted me in your objective journalism.

After reading the latest Reader's Response column of an individual who was so unhappy about the review you gave for the Peugeot 206 GTi 180 I couldn't help but write how childish SOME of the Peugeot fans are when browsing their forum. I'm sure you get lots of emails from fans when you give an unfavourable review. But, c'mon - I'm sure MOST people are able to accept some factual criticism!

You didn't need to explain yourself on the review. If they read the article carefully and objectively they would be able to see all the reasons were clearly there.

Eric Koh

Stonkin’ New Subies

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I was wondering if there are any plans to test the new Subaru Liberty GT (2.0 turbo) up against the Liberty 3.0 R-B?

The two engines have obviously different power delivery characteristics, but having driven the GT turbo (paddle slushbox only) I find it hard to believe its peak torque of 310Nm at 2400 rpm compared to only 297Nm at 4200 rpm for the 3.0. After driving the turbo - which has little below 3000 rpm in terms of power - it hardly seems credible to have the torque so low down the rev range. I would also like to see a comparison in handling with the heavier (I think) 6 cylinder engine out front compared to the turbo 4 – that is, if Subaru will allow you access to the vehicles to test...

Note that my insurance company quoted me AUD$1800 annually for the GT and AUD$800 for the 3.0 R-B. Incredible difference!

Noel Puzey

Unfortunately, Subaru Australia continues to refuse us test cars. A pity, because we’d absolutely love to check out the new range. Interesting re insurance – the 3.0 R-B (with its variable valve timing and lift) could really take off.

2 Test?

I have just bought a Mazda 2 - can you guys do a review on it? Also, I would very much appreciate if you guys can give me the ECU circuit drawing for my ride - I cannot manage to tap into the rpm signal for my A’PEXi RSM.

Rosman Rais

We have a review of the Mazda2 in the pipeline – contact your local Mazda service agent re a wiring diagram and ECU pin-outs.

Peugeot Problems

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I may be alone, but I’m not surprised you found fault with a Peugeot (Peugeot 307 CC Dynamic Test).

Five years ago my partner and I rented a Pug 306 diesel 1.9 litre in Paris with 9000km on odo. We drove it 12,000km in 46 days. While the engine and brakes were very good, I was surprised at the strange design logic and poor build of this car. Yet on our return we found one automotive group had awarded it car of the year.

Our 306 Equinox was the base model, but its 13 inch tyres were still a bit narrow for windy roads. Second and third gear would ‘notch’ on every careful change. If the washer was selected the wipers would smear up-down-up before the squirter started. Doors would not close without a slam. Cold winter air entered at door seals. The totally concealed washer bottle froze solid in Dresden. Engine used over 1 litre of oil. Rear doors did not sit flush when closed. Glovebox too small for even the owner’s manual and all maps fell from the shallow door pockets on door closure. The rear hatch jammed locked twice and the bonnet release was so stiff you’d swear it would pull off in your fingers. The upside is we were treated very well at French, Swiss and ex-East German Peugeot dealers as they fixed our car’s design and build nuances. They seemed to love my drawings and gestures as I described the problems, none of which seemed strange to them. Inside is roomy...  pity the Japanese didn’t manufacture them.

Shane Quinn

Big 2 Weeks Ahead!

I just stumbled across AutoSpeed when doing a search for info on intercooler water sprays... wow, what a goldmine! This is just the sort of thing I've been looking for years. I'm no mechanic but a self-taught car modifier and it's refreshing to read the tech articles which often debunk all the supposed expert knowledge with genuine road tested work. Too many times have I modded with my own hands and tested stuff out myself (eg aero and suspension mods) and had good concrete results – then to be told by internet armchair experts that I must be mistaken, that it went against all the theory and that I was basically an idiot for thinking that I could trust my own results. Well, I have taken heart from the articles in AutoSpeed. Now I've just got to clear two solid weeks to read the whole 295 issues that I just bought! Keep up the good work.

Nicholas Read

Mixed Bs and Gs

Regarding your review of turbos - "Used Turbo Info - Part Two" ... I believe you have made a mistake in identifying one of the Mitsubishi turbos as a "TD05H/14G". The run-of-the-mill GVR4 actually use a "TD05H/14B" turbo. I think maybe you're confusing this with the TD05/16G turbo as fitted to the EVOs. TD05 refers to the turbine housing and wheel while 14B or 16G refers to the compressor wheel used. It is possible to upgrade a 14B turbo to a 'small' 16G turbo by only swapping compressor wheels. Also, using the same turbine housing, it possible to upgrade to a full 'big' 16G turbo by just swapping the CHRA.

Dale Nicol

You’re right – article now fixed.

Automotive Health Checks

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Re Inspection Session - great story. It’s something that most Buyers (and Sellers) wouldn't even think of.

The following are probably suitable for posting as they offer similar services to your recent article on Mobile Vehicle Inspections.

Note that the info available on the NRMA (NSW) and RAA (SA) was very poor. This included price and warranty info.

The story did not mention any type of warranty cover provided with the mobile inspection. The inspection provided by this company is certainly more comprehensive than some available from the motoring association but most of them offer member discounts and the backup of warranties.

Andrew Vandreike

Pot Search

I have read your article "Real World Spoiler Development" where you measured the downforce on a Lexus LS400 with different spoiler and undertray modifications.

I have an early model Honda NSX that I occasionally race and would like to make some aerodynamic changes to the front and rear undertray. The Japanese released NSX-R made some significant handling improvements by adding undertrays as an alterative to larger front and rear spoilers. To help ascertain the effectiveness of the additions I have planned, I would like to measure the downforce by the means of a suspension potentiometer. However, searching the 'net the cheapest potentiometer I found is around AUD$800.00 - way over my planned budget. Could you please provide a list of cars that use potentiometers so that I can source a couple of them second-hand?

Les Dombi

Readers - please send us in the names of vehicles  that use suspension potentiometers and we'll make a list.

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