Magazines:  Real Estate Shopping: Adult Costumes  |  Kids Costumes  |  Car Books  |  Guitars |  Electronics
This Issue Archived Articles Blog About Us Contact Us


Some of this week’s Letters to AutoSpeed

Click on pics to view larger images

Laser Heart Swap

I have a Ford Laser KETX3 4WD turbo and I desperately need any information you guys can give me on converting to the 1.8 BP engine. Is it a big job to do and is it worth the performance or is there a better engine that will bolt in? Please, if youguys don’t mind, can you give me some advice on doing such aproject?


The BP turbo engine is the best option for you – a good performance enhancement and relatively easy. Check out some of the 323/TX3 related forums - you will find plenty of people who have done the conversion and are willing to share info.

Canning the Crunch

Click for larger image

I've been looking for a solution to the typical synchro 'crunch' of a Nissan R33 gearbox - any suggestions?I've thought about a swap to a 6-speed Zed ‘box but can't find anydetails on this being done before - any suggestions?

Peter Halcomb

Our first suggestion is to experiment with some different gearbox fluids. Beyond that it’s a matter of replacing the synchros – it is possible to modify synchro or fit aftermarket items to improve shift speed.

Useful Info!

Copied from The Honest John section of the Daily Telegraph, who said...

"This is a fantastically useful resource. Such work deserves as much recognition as it can get". (See

"Many readers might not be aware that there are lots of unresolved recalls on grey-market Japanese imports. It's a big issue in New Zealand, because vehicles have suffered brake failures, among other things.

Anyway, we were so fed up with the lack of data that we paid translators to convert the entire Japanese transport department recalls database into English. As far as I am aware this is the only English-language translation of this data on the planet. Access is free at

Please note also that VIN numbers on Japanese recalls are often different from those in England, so accessing our database is the only way of knowing if a second-hand Japanese import was subject to a recall at home.

C.M., New Zealand"
David Sparkes

Very well spotted – a useful site!

Fuelling Set-up

I have a grey import BMW M635 (1985) that came factory without a cat or oxygen sensor. The car was then fitted with a cat and oxygen sensor when it arrived in the US to meet our emission requirements. At some stage, the oxygen sensor was disconnected – or it was never was connected. I just replaced the cat converter with a new one and was told it will die if the oxygen sensor remains disconnected. Do you know of any electronic units to allow this set-up without needing the oxygen sensor functioning correctly? If the oxygen sensor must be connected (I will figure where it goes) what set-up do you recommend?

Scott Stierheim

Interesting one. If you’re running the car on unleaded you shouldn’t have any immediate problems with the cat (assuming mixtures are set within the standard range). The ideal situation would be to fit the oxygen sensor and use the factory closed-loop fuel system to take care of mixtures. However, being a grey market car, we’re not sure if the car’s ECU has closed-loop capability. Your first step should be to check the ECU number to find out if it supports closed-loop – if not, you might need to swap ECUs. There are no cheap electronic kits to give closed-loop fuelling.

Watered WRX

Click for larger image

I am just building my first PCB (the Smart Mixture Meter) - all is going well and plan on tackling the Intercooler Water Spray Module next. My question is in relation to a spray nozzle to use. I like the one you are selling but do you know if it would be suitablefor the standard top-mount on a MY99 WRX? If not, would you be able to recommend an alternative (or point me in the right direction)? Similarly for the pump, is it possible to add a pump to the existing water tank (for the wipers) or do I need to source a tank that has been moulded for the second pump (or add an additional water tank somewhere!)?

Anthony Southwell

In the case of a WRX with a top-mount intercooler, it’s best to mount the nozzle(s) using a right-angled brass fitting – as shown in the article Installing an Intercooler Water Spray The decision whether to use the existing washer bottle or a dedicated water spray bottle depends a lot on the way the water spray is calibrated and how much water it consumes – if the system consumes a lot of water you probably won’t get away with sharing the washer bottle.We believe that the WRX wagon has a washer bottle with provision for two pumps (one for the front and another for the rear window). You may be able to find a complete WRX wagon bottle for low cost at the wreckers. If in doubt regarding water capacity, it’s best to add a dedicated tank (as shown in the same article).

DFA Query

I have recently bought an old Range Rover with a vane style AFM and modified the fuelling via the Jaycar DFA. The kit and handset all work great, however I am looking for advice on the best way to configure it. This AFM drops in voltage from 2.8V to 1.6V with increasing airflow, but does so in a non-linear fashion. This gives me a resolution problem where idle represents a load point of ~70, and full throttle a load point of ~42, but the 1st few millimetres of throttle travel sends the readings from idle to ~50, with then only 3-4 load points to represent the rest of the usual load range. Can you suggest how I might increase resolution in the mid-range (ie change it to a 1V max and use the trim-pots to offset the zero and full range to close to that represented by my AFM?)

Regards and thanks for the great work in helping anyone interested in DIY car modifications.

Tony Plunkett

The DFA should be set up so that it has full scale at 2.8V rather than 5V. So in the Input Signal Calibration, apply 2.8V rather than 5V and adjust VR1 for 5V at TP2. VR2 should then be adjusted to deliver 2.8V and VR3 set so that the output is 0V with 0V applied. This will give a wider range of load points. The operation from 0V to 1.6V will still be lost. For all load points below 1.6V set the output using the hand controller all to the same value. This value would be that required to be set at the 1.6V setting. (John Clarke - Silicon Chip)

Cheap Pumps!

Re World's Best Intercooler Water Spray, Part 1...

Just wondered if you saw this - (under the ‘Vibrating Pumps’ section)? Would this do just as well in your "World’s Best Intercooler Water Spray"? It appears to be a 24V version of the pump you are using.

Andrew Miller

Wow, that company’s vibrating pumps are very cheap! The pumps listed - including the 24V version - are still AC so it’s probably easiest to run a mains-powered version with an inverter. But, again, thanks for the great find!

Not So Impressive

Click for larger image

Re: Merc's most powerful V8 ever The World's Most Powerful V8...

I was blown away by this engine until I thought about it in terms of power per litre. 375kW from a 6.3-litre engine equates to 59.53kW per litre...not bad really. But my five year old 1.8-litre Honda Type R produces 141kW in standard form - 78.3kW per litre (standard). And it now makes 151kW (with an ECU mod) which means 83.88kW per litre...WITHOUT A BLOWER IN SIGHT!

Paul Kennedy

Did you enjoy this article?

Please consider supporting AutoSpeed with a small contribution. More Info...

Share this Article: 

More of our most popular articles.
Got an old cordless drill around the place? Here are the parts you can salvage from it!

DIY Tech Features - 8 May, 2008

A Heap of Parts for Nothing!

The electronics of diesel engine fuel systems

Technical Features - 29 January, 2007

Common Rail Diesel Engine Management, Part 2

Great bits for the inventive

DIY Tech Features - 31 March, 2009

More Parts for Nothing!

Is it worthwhile tuning an engine cylinder by cylinder?

Technical Features - 4 February, 2008

Cylinder-Specific Tuning

Developing an aero undertray for a Toyota Prius!

DIY Tech Features - 19 March, 2005

Modifying Under-Car Airflow, Part 2

Squirt your intercooler spray for 5, 10 or 20 seconds - all at the press of a single button!

DIY Tech Features - 2 September, 2008

Intercooler Spray Squirter


DIY Tech Features - 3 April, 2012

A New Home Workshop, Part 7

Reducing drag

DIY Tech Features - 10 July, 2012

Reducing the drag on square-back cars

How tyres really work on the road

Technical Features - 9 August, 2007

Tyres, Grip and All That

The story of the wonderful BMW M1 - a purpose-built racer

Special Features - 7 April, 2009

M1 Magnificence

Copyright © 1996-2019 Web Publications Pty Limited. All Rights ReservedRSS|Privacy policy|Advertise
Consulting Services: Magento Experts|Technologies : Magento Extensions|ReadytoShip