Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed

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Pump Parade

I've read your article "IC Spray Pump Test" – it’s an interesting read.

In the past I've done some pump tests myself. I've found that the pumps that produce really high pressure started leaking after a while. Especially the headlight washer pumps, which could reach a very high pressure when connected to the spraying nozzle, but are really meant to flow a lot more water at a slightly lower pressure. All pumps that started to leak did so between the tiny shaft of the motor and the seal that seals it from the pump. After a while, the motor gets too wet inside and breaks down. I'm not sure whether you tested long enough for that to happen, but I'd go with a windscreen washer pump and ignore the big headlight washer pumps.

I'm now using two very cheap windscreen washer pumps in series - the output pressure is approximately twice as high when two pumps are used in series. These pumps are from a VW Golf - a very common car over here and therefore very cheap. I've tried the VDO pump you used in the original article "Intelligent Intercooler Water Spray" – it is slightly better than the VW pump, but I couldn't find two of them at that time, so I decided to go ahead with the VW pumps.

Bas van Elten

We didn’t notice any of the water pumps leaking during our test – however, they probably weren’t run for long enough for this to occur. Thank you for the fantastic info. Running a pair of pumps in series is an excellent idea.

Spell Check #1

Check your spelling of 'Champagne' on your cover story (Champagne Taste, Beer Budget - Part One)...

Mr. Gammarr
New Zealand

Spell Check #2

Your article title "Champaign Taste Beer Budget" (Champagne Taste, Beer Budget - Part One) appears to spelt incorrectly, should it actually be "Champagne Taste Beer Budget"?

Brett Cashmore

Spell Check #3

Have you guys misspelled Champagne in Champagne Taste, Beer Budget - Part One or am I missing something?

James Whitbourn

Well spotted everyone – article now fixed!

Hot Holdens/HSVs

I was looking back through some old issues and came across the road test of the HSV VX2 SV300 (New Car Test - HSV SV300). The pictures in this article are some of the best shots of this car I have seen. Is it possible to get these pictures big enough for wall papers (high resolution)?

Also are you going to do a road test of the new LS2 VZ HSV's soon? I would love to read a comparison between the new LS2 VZ and the superseded LS1 VY2.

Anyway keep up the good work.

Darren Kirwin

Just click on the image(s) you like to expand to a size and resolution you can use. A road test of the LS2 is certainly something we'd like to do!

DFA on MAP Sensor Solution

Re: Implementing a Digital Fuel Adjuster in a Normally Aspirated MAP sensor equipped vehicle ("Tuning Qs" at Response - 17 April 2005)...

I have a 2000 model Suzuki Baleno 1.6 that uses a MAP sensor. I have been contemplating how best to use my Digital Fuel Adjuster and hand-controller which I am still to build and install.

After reading up a lot about it, in particular the AutoSpeed article (The Fueltronics AMFC) on the problems encountered implementing an interceptor on the MAP sensor equipped Charade, I was wondering if anyone has gone to the level of implementing a Digital Fuel Adjuster combined with the Frequency Switch on such a car.

I was thinking about it and thought why not use the Frequency Switch kit to turn on the Digital Fuel Adjuster only in the higher RPM range - that way you won't lean out the lower RPM mixtures.

What do you think of this idea?

I just have to go and get a frequency switch kit now and after that find a good dyno tuner.

Damian Robins

Yep, that sounds fine. Let us know how it goes!

Re: Trapped #1

At Response - 17 April 2005...

"I'm sick of speed traps - they are, in most cases, revenue raisers. I have been cited by the QLD Police Dept for warning drivers that they were entering a speed trap. I was flashing my light. Any ideas on how to fight this?


I have read somewhere that someone got booked for a similar thing - they took it to court and won. The argument used was this:

1. The point of "safety" cameras is to slow people down - not raise money

2. By "flashing" oncoming traffic, you are merely assisting the police in their efforts to slow people down.

Anyway, keep up the good work - and get some euro cars dammit!

Dustin Bartlett

Re: Trapped #2

A quick response to the guy done for warning about a radar trap (Response - 17 April 2005)...

A good friend of mine, who is currently training to join 'the Force', has told me that it is not illegal to warn motorists of a radar trap. But what they will do if they catch you (and have done in this case) is to cite you for is operating your headlights in a manner which may dazzle oncoming drivers.

In your defence, it may be appropriate to say that you were attempting to warn oncoming drivers of a potential hazard on the road ahead (make no reference to a radar trap), and (if this is the case) that as the warning was made during the day so it was unlikely that your lights would be likely to cause any risk of dazzling drivers due to the ambient sunlight.

Worth a shot...

Michael O'Brien

Trapped #3

In reply to Dave's letter in Response of 17 April, 2005

As I understand it, the two laws applicable to Dave's case are:

1. Using High Beam within x hundred metres of another car

2. Perverting the course of justice

The first is not applicable if you were simply switching your low beams on and off rapidly. The question is whether an observer could pick the difference - switching on low beam in most cars MAY show the parkers coming on first. Test this out. In future, use this technique as it is quite legal to turn your headlights on and off.

The second is also only applicable if the police can prove that there was a 'crime' occurring. If each car that you allegedly signalled went through the trap below the speed limit, then there is no such evidence.

Note that I am not a legal professional.

Philosophically, if you are slowing traffic down, then aren't you supporting the police intent? The alternative view is that the police want to ensure that drivers continue to exceed their speed limits. At a bigger picture level, you have to ask yourself whether or not the speeds of those drivers negatively affected public safety. Fixed speed limits, after all, are by definition arbitrary.


Missing R32 ‘Dub

How come you have not test driven the Volkswagen R32? I need your opinion on this new car.


We haven’t done a test on the R32 Golf because VW has not yet made one available. We’ll keep trying.

Reverse Fan Flow

How hard is it to make radiator fans work in reverse?! I would love to be able to manually run the fans of my 300 hp WRX auto cross car in reverse ... between runs ... so that I get continued cooling through the top mounted (STI) intercooler instead of blowing hot air up through the IC...

Mako Koiwai

All you need to do is wire the fans with opposite polarity so they run backwards when you flick a switch. This is the same idea as the ‘reverse’ switch on a model railway!

Tweaked Cool-Down

Re: Electronic Radiator Fan Switch

I want to keep my radiator fans running after the car is stopped, as my old car (Renault 19) used to do. Will this require the coolant pump to run to make any difference to temperature, and is that possible using the DPDT relay on the kit, or is the pump connected to the drive belt? The car is a Nissan EXA with a CA18DE.

Also, in the article The Simple Voltage Switch there is a bit of a typo: The SVS actually uses an on-board double pole, double pole (DPDT) relay.

Kent Slaughter

If the manufacturer (Nissan) has set up the car with fans that switch off with the engine, chances are you won’t find much advantage letting them run longer. On the other hand, temperature measurement is the only way to find out. The EXA’s water pump is connected to a drive belt so, no, you can’t keep it operating without the engine running. You may be able to use a timer circuit to keep the engine idling when you switch off (like a turbo timer). If the fans are wired to operate during the count-down period you might achieve a more progressive engine cool-down.

Typo now fixed.

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