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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed

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Boostin’ the BPD

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I was just reading the Familia GT-R article (Mazda Familia GT-R)...

You guys stated that the BPD engine should be able to take 14 psi boost... Well, in fact, I know of two people who have taken boost up to 18 psi. This is with stock everything except for an aftermarket exhaust. I have been told that the stock ECU doesn't map over 18 psi, but at this level you can expect 160-180kW at the wheels!

James Wade

Loved the Oasis

Re Oasis of Personalised Comfort - Or a Bloody Pain?... Great article - and an interesting choice given the shortness of trip. I too have wondered about the comparative costs against budget hotels. One other option you hadn't considered was that of onsite vans or cabins where the overnight costs are often not a lot more than that of bare site. Another cost factor you hadn’t considered was that of time lost travelling due to having to set up/pack up and the most under-rated stress doing this exercise.

Keep up the varied and interesting articles like this as they are a great read and a departure from Joe's hot car has had this and that and wow how great is it but guess what it's now for sale or he's going to now do that, or this...

Simon Brown

Fuel Prices Force a Change

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With rising fuel prices I’m afraid I can't keep the car that I currently have - it's a 4.0 litre Jeep Cherokee that eats fuel pretty fast. I have been looking into LPG engines, however I have found that very few - other than the Magna, Falcon and Commodore – that come with gas as a single fuel option. What I would like is impressive performance in the form of a 4WD. Can you please make a recommendation for a 4WD, dual fuel, single fuel (LPG) or a diesel from which I can expect a sufficient performance level - in addition to the desired fuel cost benefits?

Ilya Zak

You might want to check out the Pajero Turbo Diesel (New Car Road Trip - Mitsubishi Pajero Exceed Turbo Diesel) and Hyundai Terracan CRDi (Hyundai Terracan CRDi )

Copper Pipe Problems?

In regard to your article Copper Intercooler Plumbing... I was thinking about the conductivity and expansion of the copper piping under heat. Copper, being a soft metal, will absorb heat more readily therefore causing it to expand and reline the original plumbing route. Even with insulation it will experience some heat soak. Will this in any way reduce the effectiveness of the intercooler and piping?

Chris Mcmahon

We can’t imagine pipework deformation to the extent that it would cause problems - we have had no such issues with our installation.

How Hot is Too Hot?

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I have a question for ya - in the tech article Hi-Po LED Brakelight Upgrades... You say the resistor can become hot if the brake pedal is held for too long... Can you tell me how this can be avoided? I'm planning LED taillights for my car and where I live the stop lights can be very long – I wouldn’t want to melt something down... Would the LED get too hot - hot enough to melt anything?

Sylvain Brousseau

If the resistor value is correct, the LED will barely get warm. How hot the resistor gets depends largely on the available ventilation. Make sure that air can flow past the resistor and that it is not in contact with any surface - the results should then be fine.  

Electronics Error

A small correction for Performance Electronics Part 5 (Performance Electronics, Part 5)... In the paragraph under "ECU Input Pull Up and Pull Down" it says... "the resistor is too high in value to prevent much current passing through it to ground". This should be "allow" instead of "prevent".

Rick Dathan

Thanks – now corrected.

Little Ripper Gem

I recently purchased a rare little "Gem"... It's an Isuzu JT Gemini (MY91) and its a little ripper!!!

It's the 4 door sedan Irmscher model - complete with AWD, passive 4WS, 1.6 litre turbo and TMIC with 134kW @ 6600 rpm and 207Nm @ 4800 rpm. They come factory standard with front Recaros, Momo steering wheel, Lotus tuned suspension and the 4XE1 turbo engine (also used in the Lotus Elan of the time, I think).

I have to say it's a very fun little car to drive - cant' say I know much about it though!

If you could provide some information on its history, development, performance, mods applicable, problems and parts suppliers I would be VERY grateful! Hell, if you could even run a short article on the little unknown beast - that'd be even better!

Julian Sheriff

Sounds like a great package. Unfortunately, we don’t know much about the background of this model – can any readers offer information or a related link?

Beemer Test?

How about a road test of the new BMW 3 series - preferably a 6 cylinder model? I have an E46 BMW 325CI and am interested in the new model. I think your road tests are more objective than other tests available.

Keith Fanner

Thanks - we’ll see if we can get some press cars from BMW.

Can’t See IEBC Working

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I have just read your article on electronic boost control - The Independent Electronic Boost Control, Part 1.

I have a query regarding the controller. I can’t see it working that well using fuel as the boost indicator. The only reason the ECU puts in a certain amount of fuel is because of the boost its running – the IEBC only knows what boost to run by what fuel the ECU is putting in. So there is a problem - both rely on each other for information.

Have I got this right or is there something I’m missing?

Hetal Patel

The car’s ECU and IEBC operate in a constant loop. If you set a high boost value into the IEBC at a given injector duty cycle, the engine will receive greater airflow at this point. As a result, the ECU will then increase injector duty cycle to maintain suitable mixtures. This in turn alters the IEBC reference site where you might have entered a completely different boost value. As you can see, the IEBC depends on injector duty cycle - which is partly determined by the boost value you have set at the previous load site. Unless you have a huge output jump between adjoining load sites, in use the system works very well.

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