AutoSpeed Interesting and Entertaining
Re: “Hip and Fun?” – Response... As a 24 year
old with little technical background in vehicle modification, I read AutoSpeed
to be interested and entertained. Frankly, tech articles with no real-world or
human element bore me to tears and what first attracted me to AutoSpeed was the
unbiased, informative, and above all, human feel of the articles. I first came
across the site by chance and was moved to subscribe several years ago by just
the sort of writing that appears to offend Mr Eby. Though I don't understand all
of the concepts or terminology, I have found much greater understanding through
reading articles that keep me interested.
So thank you AutoSpeed, for drawing me away from
the newsagent's magazines full of chrome and little substance, and into a world
that reinforces the idea that cars are possibly one of man's greatest inventions
without reading like a textbook.
Need More on MPS
Why are there so few reviews of the Mazda 3 MPS? I
have only seen two short reviews in Australia – one claiming it was good, the
other claiming it was crap. 190kW rates it as the most powerful hatch - using
the same underpinnings as the Focus XR5!
Can’t Find the Flow
I am trying to locate an article in the archives
but am unable to find it. It was regarding turbulence/heat under the bonnet and
in the engine bay. I remember the article had diagrams showing airflow and
illustrated airflow through the radiator and how negative air in the engine bay
can be a problem.
Are you able to help?
You’re after this particular series...Undertrays, Spoilers & Bonnet Vents, Part 1
Undertrays, Spoiler & Bonnet Vents, Part 2
Undertrays, Spoiler & Bonnet Vents, Part 3
I was hoping for bit more considering the esteem I
read your magazine and assumed that someone would cast at least a cursory
critical eye over a reader-suggested website before publicising it. However, the
'eagleresearch' internet site mentioned in one of the letters this week –
Response - appears to be
rubbish. It deals mostly with carburettors - as if it is news that they can be
improved - and then very basic fuel saving techniques. It goes on to make
outrageous claims that FI cars are designed to waste fuel and appears to be the
usual croc made to sell a dubious petrol saving device - in this case US$388 for
their 'water injection' system. I really do hope we hear no more of these people
(or testimonials from AutoSpeed reader letters) and that no one gives these
We understand your concerns but there is some
merit in what the company claims the EFIE can do... “The EFIE allows you to apply
an offset to the voltage coming from the oxygen sensor, so your vehicle's
computer is completely unaware that the oxygen content of the exhaust has
increased.” We have attempted similar mods using a sophisticated Toyota Prius
(which runs closed-loop at all times) but have been unsuccessful. Note that the
company offers a 60 day satisfaction guarantee. Listed price is also
Deadly Bonnet? Nah...
Response - I would just
like to point out to Evan Smith that you can buy several carbon bonnets for BA
Falcons that are ADR approved and 100 percent road safe and legal.
Counter Assistant Fight Back
– “Jeez, how do spare parts counter assistants keep their jobs?”
Personally, I find this article to be pretty
offensive. Now, while I understand your specific complaint, I think you are
being pretty prejudiced towards counter staff. I am 20 years old and I have been
working at a major parts chain for some months now, having no experience in the
automotive industry other than personal.
The thing is, people expect us to be experts and
have years of practical knowledge. I find this attitude to be frankly bullshit.
If we had the knowledge, most of us would be mechanics earning far more than
what we get working on a counter in a store. Would you be willing to pay more
for parts in order that I complete two or more years of training, just to work
in a shop?
Case in point; a man comes in and says "My RAC man
says that I need to replace two filters in my car because fuel isn’t getting
through". So, obviously, I ask him for details of his car and also if he can
narrow it down as to which filters he needs to replace, to which he replies he
doesn't know. Naturally, I tell him that without more information I can't be
sure which filters he needs - however I will sell him fuel and air filters
because they are the most likely to be causing the problem. He replies "Uh, is
there someone more senior than you who would know?"
Apparently we are psychic. Anyway, my point is,
have a little more patience with counter staff - we are most definitely doing
Multi Light Dimmer
I was just reading your article on the interior
light dimmer delay – Delaying the Dim.
Will one unit control more than one light? My car has four interior lights. I
assume I don’t need a unit for each interior light?
One unit should be fine.
More on Aero
Re your article on aerodynamics –
Driving Emotion... I just towed
a hired trailer 150km each way to my country property. It had a vertical
tailgate/ramp that caused my Toyota Hi-Lux to use almost exactly twice the
normal amount of fuel (20 litres per 100km vs 10 litres per 100km) at only 90
km/h. The same weight on my smaller trailer makes about 1 litre per 100km
difference. And as for these clowns who have a downforce wing BEHIND the back
axle on their front wheel drive cars... It LIFTS the front wheels (reducing
traction and handling), adds weight (reducing acceleration), adds drag (reducing
top speed and increasing fuel consumption) and costs money. A lousy trade-off...
Nearly as bad as the front "streamlined" panel people put in front of their
dirty great luggage carrier on top of their 4WDs!
DIY Citroen Suspension Mods
Re Resetting Springs
Good stuff! However, on my 1973 Citroen, the same
can be accomplished by loosening a few set screws on the rollbars, twisting the
height adjuster brackets slightly in the desired direction and retightening the
set screws. It takes about five minutes to do. That global adjustment is in
addition to the five height steps that are instantly available by simply moving
a handle by the driver’s left knee to a different notch. Spring rates are
adjusted independently by adjusting the nitrogen pressure in the suspension
spheres - something that can be done with simple home-made tools and a bottle of
nitrogen gas. No blacksmithing involved.
After reading AutoSpeed for a while, I think you
would love those cars - they are a tweaker's paradise. Of course, you might end
up hating them to bits instead, for any number of good reasons. A quote from the
current Practical Classics on restoring a Citroen SM: "It will cost you your
sanity, but it's worth it. Really."
Reset Spring Rate Variation
Once again a very informative and useful article - congrats and keep up the good
work. But I do have a question. In the article you mention that the coils were
adjusted separately and that it was important to have even spacing of the coils.
Is this always the case? Is it possible to change a spring from linear rate to
progressive rate by varying coil spacing?
Theoretically, yes – you can create a softer
section in the spring by spacing the coils closer together. However, according
to Industrial Engineers and Spring Makers (the company involved in the article),
it doesn’t produce a noticeable effect when resetting a spring by an inch or
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