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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed

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Feeling the Pressure

In your nitrous article (Exploring Nitrous - Part Two) you say a bottle pressure of 750-1000 psi is needed. From both personal experience and what I've been reading, a bottle pressure of 900-950 psi is needed.


750 – 1000 psi is a typical nitrous operating range only. As you have indicated, there are several systems optimised for operation at more than 900 psi.

Make it Heavier

I have been reading the steering weight adjustment article (Mapping Power Steering Weight) with interest but have so far not been able to relate it to my car. I have a '02 Subaru Forester GT and have been unable to find out if it is possible to vary the weight of the steering. Is it possible that the steering is so low tech that is simply assisted but not variable? I have a friend who has looked and tells me that there is nothing of any relevance in the service manual (CD). I have also posed this question on a Forester forum but have not had any success. How can I tell if what I need to do to make my steering heavier (without resorting to wider tyres)?

Brent Muldoon

A look at a wiring diagram should reveal whether the car uses an electronically controlled power steering system (which will typically use a pulse width modulated solenoid to control hydraulic pressure). If it uses a PWM modulated solenoid, you can use the DPA as discussed in the article.

Rough Territory

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I read your review of the Ford Territory (Ford Territory Ghia AWD Test) and find it hard to comprehend. My wife and I, after reading a number of reviews, took a Ford Territory for a test drive. We took it over sealed roads with some dips. By the time we had travelled 30km we both felt car sick. We took the car back to the dealer and he had a 2003 Ford Explorer - something we would normally not have considered. After driving the Explorer there was no way we would consider the Territory. We bought the Explorer - we both felt it drove like a big car and handled well on curves and bends in the road.

Marshall Binstock

We’re surprised you disliked the Territory within such a short distance. Good luck with the Explorer!

A Cooler Cooler

I wonder if you can settle a disagreement between and a few mates? I’m saying that a front-mount intercooler would be more efficient if it was painted in radiator paint to improve the thermal conductivity. But my mate says it will insulate the FMIC. Please correct me if I’m wrong, because I’ve just mounted an intercooler in the bumper of my Toyota GT4 ST185 and don’t want to mess up the install by painting it matt black...

Chris Geraghty

We have seen conflicting literature on the matter but our testing leads us to believe that a black painted intercooler performs better than a bare one.

GTO Alignment Issues

What is the deal with Pontiac GTOs? The rear of my GTO is toed-in on top, making my tyres go bald. Is there anything you can think of that makes this happen?


We assume you mean it has too much negative camber (which wears the rear tyres’ inside edge). It sounds like a rear camber kit is what you need. These – and various other suspension parts – are available from

Perfect Spray

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I just ran across Julian Edgar's series on intercooler sprayers (starting at Intelligent Intercooler Water Spray - Part 1). I have a 1994 Audi UrS4 that makes 400+bhp and this device sounds perfect for my driving needs. Can the complete system be purchased? I'm afraid some of the parts listed may not be available in the U.S.

Lee Legnon

The Intelligent intercooler water spray controller can be bought at AutoSpeed Shop. The nozzle is at AutoSpeed Shop; and the reservoir/pump kit is AutoSpeed Shop

Cool Me Down

I’ve just installed a blower on my tow vehicle (a 454ci Chev) and I need to do something about the added heat. A spray bar in front of the radiator for those stressful moments is what I'm after. Not a full-time spray - just for the tough pulls.

Ed Ballinger

The intelligent intercooler spray controller can be configured to control radiator spray nozzles. We have a series on this device, starting at Intelligent Intercooler Water Spray - Part 1

RX Under Stuff

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A friend of mine has a 1988 Subaru RX and is having a bit of a hard time finding suspension parts that fit it (shocks, swaybars, coil-overs, etc). Do you know of any vendors or shops which provide (or even have experience making) gear for these cars? Apparently even his friends on the big Subaru forums don't know anything about parts for these cars. He says he's tried calling major vendors like Koni directly and received negative responses on drop-in parts. If you have any ideas on where else to look (anywhere worldwide) I'd love to be able to pass on some good news to him.

Daniel Collins

Hmm, we don’t know of anyone with suspension parts to suit. Maybe some readers can help out?

Vitara Quickening

Is there a cheap and ezy engine transplant to suit a Suzuki Vitara 1988? I was looking at fitting a 1600 EFI Japanese import, but these are very rare where I am. I did find a Suzuki 1996 Vitara Estate V6 auto half-cut, but this is AUD$4400 or AUD$3300 for the engine only. On the other hand, I know you can buy a brand new Mitsubishi 3.5 litre V6 Pajero engine from the local dealership for just AUD$2990 - but I don’t think it would fit. I have a budget of $2500. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Alan Richards

We assume you’ve got the base 1.6 litre carby model with 55kW. The 71kW EFI version is the easiest upgrade but, given these vehicles are available locally for a similar price, we suggest that you trade-in. The V6 Vitara engine would be the second easiest conversion but we imagine would be impossible with a budget of AUD$2500. Go the trade-in!

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