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Response

Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed

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On N20 and Not

In your 3 part series on nitrous (starting at Exploring Nitrous - Part One) you mention needing colder spark plugs. Does that affect power when NOT using nitrous?

Darren Chan
Australia

A cold heat range spark plug will foul more easily when power outputs are kept low.

Faster Ford

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I'm rebuilding my Ford 3.9 litre multi-point engine soon. Would I be better off sourcing a newer six like an EL motor? I intend to warm it up a little bit by doing some basics at home - I will linish the rods, clean the dags off the crank, etc. Any advice?

Tim Triscari
Australia

A later-series engine is better as the head and various other parts are improved. If you haven’t already, see Awakening the Aussie Ford Six - Part One and Awakening the Aussie Ford Six - Part Two

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Kitted Up

I desperately need help for a 1986 Toyota MR2 that I race in the United States in a stock class. I am very interested in the following Jaycar kits - KC 5385 (Digital Fuel Adjuster), KC5386 (Hand Controller) and KC5300 (Fuel Mixture Display Kit). Do these kits come assembled ready-to-use or do they require assembly? Also, are there articles on how to use these with a stock computer?

Rudy Payton
USA

Pre-assembled versions of the Digital Fuel Adjuster, Hand Controller and Smart Mixture Meter (though not the Fuel Mixture Display) are now available. We are running a 4-part series on using the DFA. As you’ll see, the unit is very easily tuned on the road using a wide-band air-fuel ratio meter and excellent drivability can be achieved.

Boosting a Patrol TD

I just bought the Silicon Chip Performance Electronics Projects for Cars book; now there is a good value buy!

Is there any thought being given to a version of the independent boost controller that can use a MAP sensor instead of injector duty cycle? I ask this because one of my vehicles, a 4.2L turbo diesel Nissan Patrol, has no electronics at all but could do with a more sophisticated boost controller than "pipe goes from turbo to actuator".

Richard Laxton
Australia

Future kit development will depend heavily on the success of the existing kits. Meanwhile, we suggest a relatively simple pneumatic boost control for your Patrol TD.

DFA’d AMG C43

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I got my Digital Fuel Adjuster today and I sure hope it is going to work on my 1999 Mercedes C43 with a Bosch 2.0 system. If it does, I and countless other Mercedes Do-It-Yourself tuners are going to be in heaven! Do you have an opinion on the likelihood the DFA will function with our OBDII cars?

By the way, I taped wool tufts all over one side of my AMG C43 and got some photos of the airflow going down the road at 110 km/h - good stuff! Thanks for your Aero Articles (starting at Aero Testing - Part 1).

Jeff Short
USA

OBDII readings relating to the engine load input will be false because the DFA is altering it. If the car goes out of closed loop at high loads there shouldn't be any problems with using the DFA. The aero testing you did looks great – thanks for the interesting photo!

D-Jet Tinkering

I have bought the magazine Performance Electronics for Cars – it’s great and I will be implementing many of the projects. I am currently working on an old Volvo 6 cylinder with Bosch D-jet FI. It works well within its 35 year old parameters and was very advanced for its day - electronic control, multi-point, MAP sensor, throttle switch with overrun fuel cut-off.

However, it uses a lot of petrol and the car has points-type ignition. Part of the project for me is to modernise the Fi and ignition, so I will be implementing a Hall effect ignition and spark control (with knock sensing) from Silicon Chip’s Electronic Projects 2 book.

My question to you is about the Digital Fuel Adjuster (DFA). The Bosch D-jet uses a primitive method to meter the fuel where, simply put, if a line at 45 degrees on a graph is the optimum fuel needed for a given situation, the D-jet line would oscillate around this; it’s far too rich at low revs/ load and too lean at high revs/load. I want to trim these back for better mileage and driveability at all ranges.

With no airflow meter installed, how would I achieve this with some level of accuracy? I have access to an airflow meter and the only thing I could come up with is to place this in the intake tract, for use solely by the fuel adjuster in trimming the mixtures. Do you have any suggestions for me?

Craig Dunn
Australia

The Digital Fuel Adjuster has not been designed to work with D-Jetronic cars and to be honest we don’t have any realistic answers for you. Can any readers help?

Spacious SC400?

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Great site - I really appreciate your car reviews and articles. I recently read your review of the SC400 (Pre-Owned Performance - Lexus SC400/Soarer V8) which really makes me want to own one of those babies!

I’m a 17 year old looking to sell my ’94 BMW 318i and hoping to buy a SC400. I am curious to what its like with boot space and back seat space. I have the job of taking my younger brothers and sister to school and am also a sound enthusiast - I have two 12" subs in my Beemer.

I am curious about the dimension differences between the two and if you think the boot space is similar or not. I am also curious if you know how the comfort level is in the rear seats of the SC400. Right now, apart from how much I will have to pay for car insurance (a whopping AUD$3400!), this is one of the practicalities hindering me.

Michael Fattal
Australia

The Soarer/SC400’s boot and back seat space is poor – it’s possible to slide the front seat back so  that it almost touches the back seat... Put a couple of 12 inch subs in the boot and there’s not much room for anything more than a soft bag. But go check one out – you might decide you can ‘get by’.

Davies Craig Hoopla

I was just wondering what happened to your article regarding the Davies Craig water pump and the hoopla concerning it? Testing the Davies Craig Electric Water Pump - Part 1

David Dearborn
USA

Nothing further has happened - we doubt whether the results of our very extensive and detailed EWP testing will ever be able to be released without legal action being taken against us.

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