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Response

Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed

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Lively Lantra

Re Lantra Ball of Fun... Where can I get more information about turbocharging Hyundai Lantras?

Gareth Howe
UK

The company behind the vehicle in that article is Silverwater Automotive – Sydney, Australia (phone +61 2 9748 1300). You might also want to read Turbo Kits Explained.

Incredible Infrared

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Re the infrared scope article (Infrared Temperature Measurement...)  incredible!  That’s exactly the kind of article that auto magazines should be publishing. Anyone who can beg, borrow or steal such a device will find this article very useful.

M.Machin
Korea

Tellie Tips

I have just reread your article about in-car TV (From the Editor) and made me think of a possible article for you...

I have recently modified my BA Falcon Premium Sound screen to view digital TV - this modification was quite cheap at only AUD$300-ish. The mod is detailed at...

www.fordxr6turbo.com

and also at...

www.dtvforum.info

I thought you might want to do an article on this mod. The only issue I have is obtaining a suitable antenna for the digital STB - the picture is average whilst driving and excellent when stopped using a set of rabbit ears on the parcel shelf.

Brett Cashmore
Australia

Thanks for that - most interesting. We're currently writing a series on installing a full PC in a car and as part of that series (probably in the second full installation that we'll cover) we'll be running a digital TV card in the PC. Please let us know if you find any really good amplified TV antennas for digital car use.

Seeking Spacers

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I read with great interest your article concerning custom wheel centering rings Custom Wheel Centre Rings. For some odd reason, we here in North America haven't yet discovered the whole concept of aluminium wheel centering rings - yet your article implied that they are standard fare in Australia... Custom wheels in the US are supplied with plastic centering rings, if any are supplied at all. The main purveyors of wheels hereabouts would like us to think they don't matter, that the wheels are supposedly "lug centric". I melted my plastic wheel centering rings due to brake heat on the first track event that I participated in and have been running without them ever since... Having some clue about the extra forces that this is placing on the wheel studs I am constantly worried that at some point I am going to have a wheel stud failure. Anyway, to get to the point, I was wondering if you can point me in the direction of any Australian suppliers of aluminium centering rings who would ship to the US. If not I will have to have them custom made at a local machine shop that has no prior experience with such applications. I have a very common car (Toyota MR2), the wheels in question were produced in great quantity and I am therefore fairly certain that an off the shelf centering ring would be available. I looked around the AutoSpeed on-line shop, ran a Google search and visited the link to the shop in your article but came up empty handed. Any help that you can give would be most appreciated.

Roy Wendell
USA

We don’t know of any companies that currently supply centre rings to the US. However, you should be able to find a competent local wheel reconditioning specialist who can do the job for you – that’s what we did.  

Smog Situation

As a potential subscriber from California I would like to know how your smog standards compare to ours - especially in regards to working on, tuning and adding performance equipment. In other words, does tuning advice given in AutoSpeed have direct carry-over to American and - especially Californian – cars? Also, for the Do-It-Yourselfer, would an OBD II (post ‘96) be easier to performance tune?

P.S. I like your tech section, especially the low-buck approach and a lot of your articles.  It would be nice if you would interview American tuners.

John Lund
USA

If you perform modifications shown on AutoSpeed it’s up to you to check their legality in your local area. Laws differ state to state and country to country.

Generally, the newer a vehicle is, the more difficult the manufacturer will have made it to modify. Being able to read OBDII data, however, helps you see part of what’s going on in the management system.

Re US interviews - point taken but keep in mind we’re based in Australia!

Poised Prius

I'm wondering if the Modifying Electronic Car Handling Systems series is directly applicable to the 2004 Toyota Prius?

Phil Keck
USA

Yes - it is applicable to all cars with stability control.

Would Like to See...

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I’ve just been reading your review of the Ford Territory Ghia AWD (Ford Territory Ghia AWD Test) – I enjoyed it but would really like to see some reviews of the Subaru line-up, such as the new Legacy and Legacy Outback (I guess the Outback is in the same arena as the Territory). I'd especially like to see something on the new hotted up Forester STi. However, I know you have some problems with Subaru and getting cars for test. Here in the UK, there is a TV motoring show called Top Gear - they seem to pretty much tell it like it is and if the car falls down in some areas, then that is what they'll say. They wanted to review a new compact Rover, but Rover didn't want to let them have it - knowing they'd almost certainly slate it. So Top Gear took hidden cameras to a local dealership and did a test drive that way. What I'm wondering is whether you could do similar 'tests' - admittedly they wouldn't be your usual test report article where you have the car for a week or so, but an article based on first or initial impressions of all aspects of the car might be interesting and would also allow coverage of those vehicles that are difficult to get hold of.

Adrian Hocking
UK

You’re right - we generally have press cars for a week so, unfortunately, a quick test drive wouldn’t really do the cars any justice. But, yes, we have pondered about unconventional approaches to a Subi test!

Cool Fuel?

I am not sure if this has been researched before, but is there a certain temperature that fuel is most effective?

Shane
Australia

Fuel temperature can have an effect on power but, no, we have not researched or done any testing in the area.

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