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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed

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Burnin’ Bike

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Re Building an Electric Bike (Building an Electric Bike, Part 1) - I liked this article.

Only one comment... RCA connectors and high power batteries are dangerous. More than once, RCA connectors have failed and caused a short circuit. The power delivered into a short circuit causes melted wires and burns in short order. RCA connectors are just not designed for such use. People now generally recommend automotive style connectors.

Mathew Boorman

Where’s the Power?

Re the recent “FWD Fiends” article (FWD Fiends)... I was wondering if the N13 EXA makes *around* 190kW at the flywheel or at the wheels? If you can clear this one up it'd be appreciated.

Brenden Wells

That’s 190kW at the flywheel.

Cool, Cooler or Coolest?

Great magazine that you guys put together online. Brilliant articles for the guy like me – someone who likes cars, but knows very little about how exactly an engine works.

I wonder whether you can help me with intercoolers.

I have read most of the archived articles regarding intercoolers and what are the best second-hand intercoolers (eg The World's Biggest Intercooler Comparison - Part One). But I was looking to buy a new intercooler to put on my R33 Nissan Skyline. I have not seen anything written on the differences of new intercoolers on the market. Given there is a plethora of brands and prices vary substantially for each kit (AUD$650 to AUD$2600), I thought you could shed some light on whether it really is worth spending the extra money on, say, a Trust intercooler.

As I stated, I’ve read through everything in the archived articles regarding intercoolers but have not got much information regarding how well these ‘brand name’ intercoolers stack up against ‘no-frills’ brands.

Thanks in advance and I hope the magazine continues to be a success.

Matt James

We have not done any comparisons of new off-the-shelf intercoolers but it does seem that Hybrid-type intercoolers (as commonly sold online) are very good value. We’ve seen these being used successfully in some very high horsepower applications. Certainly, these are a good place to start.

Swift Answer

Re "Swifter Suzuki” at Response...

“I am currently driving a Suzuki Ignis Sports (Swift Sports) and it feels like there is some restriction. Do you have any recommendations or advice to improve power?”

Tell him to go to - I own JETGTI and this site has everything about Swifts. There are also some really good people on there that could discuss some stuff with him.

Luke Congdon

Real-World Fuel Saving

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Re Savings on Fuel Part 3 (Savings on Fuel - Part Three... Over the last year I've altered my driving style based on research information similar to your article. In my case, I've managed a 9 percent improvement on a 40 mile (65km) daily commute to work.

However, the one area where your article seemed to differ is in acceleration. Based on a Swedish study, the advice I've followed is to "use about two-thirds of available power and change through the gears relatively quickly". Hence minimising acceleration time, but not too hard so you’re sending loads of unburnt fuel out the exhaust.

That’s my understanding anyway.

Justin Timbrell

Speedo Fix

I am currently driving a 2004 Subaru Impreza 2.5 litre RS. My stock tyres are 205/50 16 and I would like to go for 17 inch or 18 inch rims. My problem is that the tyres I want to put on those rims would affect my speedo. For example, if I were to buy a set of 17s and put on 225/45 17 tyres there would be a 3 percent difference in my speedo. My question is... Do you guys have a device that lets me recalibrate my speedometer or is there more to it than just adjusting the needle?

Barry Tabios

It appears that you need the Silicon Chip developed Speedo Corrector. But to determine whether the kit is electronically suitable you should perform some tests as detailed in the book Performance Electronics for Cars (AutoSpeed Shop)

RVR with Rrrrmmmm

I love your mag and the way you explain technical aspects so that even someone like me - who can't tell one end of a shifting spanner from the other - can grasp. I would dearly love to get myself a Mitsubishi RVR Hypersportsgear (the one with the EVO drivetrain), but it appears out of my price range.

The RVR is an interesting car and is just about perfect for my needs. I have a chance to buy a good non-turbo version (‘93 model) at a good price but I don't want to drive a sludge-box. Can you tell me if it's worth trying to modify the non-turbo 2 litre 4G63 engine? Otherwise, is an engine swap a realistic option? If so, from which model?

Sven Laptop

Thanks for the praise. We have not seen anyone achieve a sizeable power gain from a naturally aspirated 4G63. A better option would be to buy a Galant VR4 4G63 turbo half cut and perform a transplant. These engines make around 200hp in standard form (slightly more in later versions) and are easily tweaked to give Evo-like performance.

Detailed and Unbiased

I don't usually write to websites but I'd just like to say I have been visiting your site for at least a year and you guys have some of the best car reviews around. Detailed, unbiased reviews and large, good quality photos to go with them... Keep up the good work!


Mini Mumbo

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Just wondering if you know the power and torque specs for Mini with Attitude?

Kent Slaughter

Unfortunately, the car’s carby turbo set-up has never been fully sorted to deliver a representative power figure.

Citroen Coming?

Any chance of testing the Citroen C2 VTR at some stage? There seems to be a complete lack of reviews on this car in Australia and I would like to hear your thoughts - particularly about the Sensodrive gearbox.

Tony Cardone

We’ll see if we can get one!

Vent Question

I was just reading up on the IEBC and was looking at the way you relieved the pressure using a soldered and drilled T-piece (see The Independent Electronic Boost Control, Part 2).

I was thinking... Would it be a viable option to connect the one-way valve used in the Audi’s DIY Boost Control System (The Audi's DIY Boost Control - Part 2) for the same purpose? (The valve connected between the wastegate and the solenoid and between the boost source and solenoid.)

I've been considering using this one-way valve (I have a spare lying around) in my current Blitz dual solenoid EBC system. The idea seems pretty straightforward and the theory looks sound. Any thoughts on this or am I just wasting my time?

Keep up the good work. I appreciate all the nice techy articles.

Andrew Hew

In the case of the IEBC, the venting T-piece serves two purposes - to relieve actuator pressure after a boost event and to vary the operating range of the control solenoid. A one-way valve could be tee’d into the wastegate hose to give a similar result - however, you won’t be easily able to adjust the vent size (to vary the operating range of the solenoid). In the case of your existing aftermarket controller, you could certainly try adding a one-way valve to improve response after a boost period. Make sure the valve vents back to the hose between the compressor and solenoid (as shown in The Audi's DIY Boost Control - Part 2)

Never Seen That...

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I was just reading your article on DIY Turbo Installs (The Audi's DIY Boost Control - Part 2)... God, I love this magazine. Turboing and supercharging a hybrid - I have never seen that before! And modifications for fuel savings – wonderful! Great work on the mag. It has some of the most original and informative articles ever.

Did you use just the DFA to reprogram the Prius for the turbo? Are you going to do an article on choosing the turbo for your car?

Keep up the great articles – especially the weird stuff like outboard motors, VW factories, etc.

Andrew Lamb

The main engine management change to accomodate the turbo is switching out the oxy sensors and increasing fuel pressure at high loads. The DFA is used to tweak the end result. We have a Driving Emotion column coming on the Prius turbo selection.

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