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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed!

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Pricing Problem

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I suggest you check the 'all up’ price in the last paragraph in your Ford Territory story on the MRT/Whiteline spring and swaybar upgrade - Tauter Territory. It doesn't add up given the prices of each piece of equipment (two swaybars plus a set of springs)

Noel Puzey

Oops - our mentioned price doesn’t include the rear swaybar. Article now fixed.

Re Braided Brake Lines

Re Braided Brake Lines - The Advantages. Your testing was not realistic. What is design pressure for those lines? Overpressure testing usually uses the Weibull format. For road cars, there’s no significant difference using braided lines. Improvements (including pedal feel) probably comes from bleeding the brakes. Uses for stainless steel brake lines are in racing where resistance to rocks and sharp objects may be a factor. Yes, they may help tether the wheel in case of an accident but you did not test for this. There are hundreds of millions of feet of hydraulic lines in use every day - I do not accept your reasons to use stainless lines.


Rex v XR6T

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I was reading your review on the Ford XR6 turbo (New Car Test - Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo) boasting 0 – 100 km/h in around 6 secs. Quite impressive, but what surprised me was the comment about it being quicker then the "fabled WRX". Subaru have figures of less then 6 seconds for the WRX, so please explain.


There’s a big difference between manufacturers’ claimed performance figures and what’s realistically achievable when you own the car (and, therefore, you have to pay for maintenance and repairs). It’s likely a WRX might be able to pip the XR6T to 100 km/h IF the driver is prepared to be very brutal with the clutch and gearbox (which are known weaknesses). The chance of bogging down on launch is also pretty high given the lack of torque at lower revs. The XR6T, on the other hand, is able to get off the line without bogging down or a brutal launch – even though it doesn’t have as much traction. Oh, and note that the test was written before the release of the 2.5-litre WRX which is much more flexible than the earlier 2-litre turbo.

Problems re Turbo’d for Torque

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I have just finished reading your article "Turbo'd for Torque" (Turbo'd for Torque). It is a good article but I think you have missed some other disadvantages with this approach.

Firstly, with the car almost constantly on boost there will be major intercooling problems - especially in traffic. Water sprays would be useless as the water would run out too quickly and water-to-air intercooling would not be effective as it relies on short bursts of boost. The only solution I can see is to have a large front-mount intercooler with a thermo fan constantly running (how long would the expensive thermo fan last?). I think in this situation it would be more effective to paint the cooler black because radiating the heat would be more effective in day-to-day running than high conductivity - especially when sitting in traffic. What do you think? The other problem I saw with this method is that you are increasing peak torque (aren’t you?) as well as average torque so there will be extra stress on the driveline - this is a fact worth considering (but not such a problem in the Falcon). The other problem is now small turbos will increase in price... Will there be another part to this story and are you planning on turboing the falcon?


Yes, it’s likely a relatively small turbo will be on boost earlier and you might have a higher average intercooler temp in normal driving. However, in the real world, this is unlikely to be a problem given the small amount of time you can drive at large throttle openings. And, yes, increasing peak torque will put more stress on parts of the driveline – the Falcon is pretty strong in this area and, as always, the likelihood of problems is directly related to the amount of extra output you’re after... You’ll just have to stick around to see if we boost the mighty Falcon!

Forlorn Pop-Ups

On the issue of pop up headlights in(Ideas That've Come and Gone) - it might have been Ferrari in the mid 1970s that really popularised the idea. Both the Daytona and the V8 Dino had pop-up headlights and then, as you mention, Porsche came along with the 924 and 928 in the late ‘70s.

I don't know about their crash worthiness, but they were great for saying ‘hello’ to your friends - you hit the headlight switch and the lights pop up and then retract. Quite a techno move on the plain old headlight flash! On the other side, there is nothing more forlorn than a car with one pop-up headlight stuck in the up position - it looks like a young German Shepherd with those ears that haven't learnt to both stand up together...

John Clague

BA Beef Up

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I have a Ford Fairmont BA V8 and am looking to get a bit more power out of it. Could you give me some ideas and send me the specs?

New Zealand

As first mods, we suggest reducing restriction in the exhaust and pre-airbox air intake, and an ECU retune (perhaps using an interceptor). We can only guess these mods will pick up 10 – 20 percent more power depending on exhaust design and the custom tune.

Australia-Japan Ocean Freight

Are any of your members/readers interested in competitive ocean freight rates and import service ex Japan to Australia? Our company is known as Bechtrans Motorsport Logistics and is based at Tullamarine airport. We handle many race teams and equipment for events, however we are also offering shipping rates for used Japanese vehicles.

Deborah Robinson

VAG Turbo Feature?

Has AutoSpeed published an Engine Epic type history on the VAG 1.8T Turbo four cylinder engine?

John Sancrant

No, we haven’t. We’ll investigate if there’s enough information to support such an article.

Lighter - but Better?

Referring to “Making Things Part Three” (Making Things, Part 3)... In the article you say "So in the project which can be occasionally seen in this series (a human-powered vehicle)..." I hope that the components you are making are not exposed to airflow - the extra drag from the holes will cancel any benefit from reduced weight!

Blair Coull

We doubt the holes will cause much drag at an average speed of around 20 km/h.

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