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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed!

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Boost Controller Face-Off

I have a 1992 Subaru Liberty RS Turbo wagon and am looking at boost controllers. I have read all your articles on the subject and am thinking about building the second version of your Audi Boost Control system - The Audi's DIY Boost Control - Part 1and The Audi's DIY Boost Control - Part 2. I can get the all the parts locally for about $140. I also have a mate with a TurboSmart gated boost controller on his Legacy GTB and he believes his controller is equal if not superior to the set-up you created. Apart from being smaller could you please explain the difference, if any?

Ben Henderson

We’re not sure on the internals of the TurboSmart gated controller but we doubt it would bring boost up any faster than the "Audi" system – the whole purpose of its in-line relief valve is to prevent wastegate creep until your desired boost is reached. Boost consistency may vary between the two controllers because the Audi system uses a pressure regulator to control boost. Note that we have an article coming up that compares each of the controllers we’ve tested.

Coupla Good Articles

Quick comment about two recent articles...

Driving Emotion – 29th, January 2006 . I've got to agree with you on the petrol price thing. I was actually happy to see petrol prices increase the way they did thanks to the "war on terror" - not because I like to spend more money on petrol, but because it completely turns around the economic viability of car companies to develop more fuel efficient methods to push our cars along. Toyota is at the pointy end of introducing more fuel efficient hybrids (though they still sell the huge Land Cruiser guzzler in significantly larger numbers than their hybrids, which nobody seems to mention) so the higher prices will hopefully give the other biggies a bit of a push along to bring their new technologies to market.

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The Real Way of Comparing Engine Designs – 8th February, 2006 . I’m VERY pleased to see a more engineering approach introduced to the masses. I really would have liked to have seen a graph however with BMEP plotted over the rev range - just like power and torque, it changes so a point measurement does not tell anything like the whole story. Keep up the great work.

Peter Bodon

Volvo Ready to Rip!

First off I’d like to say great mag! Always a good read, despite all the Japanese and Aussie modified cars - more Euros please! I'm looking at a hot Volvo - a 1996-1997 850 R manual. What modifications would you recommend?

Tim Clulow

We’d start with the basics – air intake, exhaust and intercooler (maybe even adding a spray to the factory core). Just these mods ought to get the already quick T5-R hauling along. We also suggest having a look at for owner experiences.

Soarer Issues?

After reading lots and lots of your articles I finally bought a Toyota Soarer/Lexus SC300 - beautiful car, thanks. However, a friend who knows more about cars than I do tells me that Toyota does not support these imported cars and, furthermore, is dropping other local cars in the Lexus range. He says that I should instead get a Nissan 300ZX as Nissan fully supports them. And it is a better car - he says. Would you have any views on this matter?

Alan Curtis

The Soarer is far better in build quality, comfort and safety than the Zed – which is ‘better’ depends on your needs and wants. We’re not sure on the parts back-up in your particular area but it is likely the Zed will have better parts back-up due the local release of the 300ZX body and naturally aspirated VG30DE engine. Having said that, it shouldn’t be too difficult to source the parts you need for the Soarer – check out dedicated forums, such as Soarer Central.

The Wonderful New GT-R...

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Re Julian Edgar’s article Driving Emotion...

Bravo on the "new GTR". Greenspeed make some of the nicest crafted and sharpest (aggressive, even) handling recumbents/trikes available. I have spent some time in the bicycle industry and have consistently been blown away with the excellent engineering, superb handling and breathtaking price of the Greenspeed line. Congratulations - you'll have a blast I am sure. Nice to see an "enthusiast oriented" non-automotive article. Frankly, I like this direction *much* better than the electric-assist on the heavy mountain bike article of a while back (Building an Electric Bike, Part 1). You'll get used to the GT-R’s scalpel sharp steering response - just don't sneeze in the middle of a corner! The really incredible aspect of recumbents (especially low profile ones like GTR) is how much efficiency is gained from a reduction in frontal area - adding even a small fairing to your ride will allow you to easily cruise more than 5 mph (maybe 9 – 10 km/h) above your current two-wheeler pace without any real change in exertion. Fantastic stuff.

Boris Kort-Packard

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