I guess I’m a fairly long time reader and only
ever really put my 2 cents in a few times. I came close to not renewing my
subscription when it came up for renewal. After the new look AutoSpeed came out,
I’m glad I renewed my subscription. Since I wrote in last (read: incoherently
complained) things have changed for the better, and since then the content has
changed... You probably didn't even take note of my comments, but the stuff
you've been pushing out since then has been great.
I do have a few gripes with the new way you’re
doing things... but they’re fairly trivial. The first is that I'm not so sure
about the way you re-release old articles. I was really hoping that you would be
putting out the older articles in addition to a new article for the day. It's
just the last few that you've put out I’ve already read (like many of your
readers, I use AutoSpeed to cure my boredom... the archives are great for
that)... If it was possible, I think it'd be great to put out new articles /
editorials / responses each day, with one or two older archived articles chucked
in for good measure. I guess I think you should really be adding value... but
hey, you guys have your reasons, and heck, I’m sure there is a good reason for
doing things the way you’re doing it.
The other was the pictures that you have at the
top of each article. Being a photographer myself, I generally enjoy the
photographic content in all of your articles... it's just the headings that you
have on them! With this new, slick AutoSpeed, don't you think it’s time you made
the font choices and effects you use new and slick?
As I said, my complaints were small and rather
trivial, but they’ve been bugging me so I thought I may as well voice my
opinion. And I, like many other readers, hope you stick around for the next 8
Getting Your Car in AutoSpeed
I was just enquiring about how you can get your
own vehicle in one of the issues as I think my car would be worthy of being in
The best start is to email pictures and a
I have some trouble with the logic expressed
in The New Intelligent Intercooler Water Spray Controller, Part 1 and in the earlier
series on the subject. On your blast up the hill, the manifold air temp stayed
constant. This implies that the heat input is equal to the heat
rejected. When you back off, you still have cooling air flow, and you have
less combustion air flow. Under these conditions if the intercooler air
inlet temp was the same or lower, the outlet temp should be less. The higher
manifold air temperature you experience implies that the air going into the
intercooler is hotter when you back off. This heat must come not from a
heat soaked intercooler, but from a heat soaked turbo. Given that the
turbo is now glowing red, this is not surprising. Turbocharger compressor
discharge temperature would prove the point. When you back off the air is
flowing slower through the turbo and spends more time in it - allowing more heat
to be transferred to it. Heating due to compression is less, but heating from
the hot turbo is more. Also, the turbo is a much bigger heat sink than the
intercooler. An aluminium intercooler breathing cool air and being externally
cooled should cool in a matter of seconds.
But according to that logic, if (when you back
off) the air spends more time in the turbo getting hot, it also must spend more
time in the intercooler getting cold! When we have measured compressor outlet
temps, the temperature has closely correlated to actual boost ie high boost,
high temp; low (or no) boost, low temps. However, we agree that some of the
temperature increase measured after a boost event could come from residual heat
in the turbo. We disagree that the turbo is a greater heat sink than the
If you have a fast-response intake air
temperature readout, you can do a simple test for yourself. Drive the car and
measure the intake air temp when on boost. Now, cover the intercooler with a
sheet of cardboard and do the same. In nearly all cars being driven in typical
road fashion (ie point and squirt bursts of boost), the peak intake air temp
will be much the same as when the intercooler was uncovered. However, the
average temperature will be higher as the heat stored in the intercooler is fed
back into the intake airstream off boost. This is a good example of how most
intercoolers act primarily as heat sinks.
I've written to AutoSpeed a couple of times
during my four and a half year membership of this magnificent on-line magazine,
although this will be the first time I have written to complain.
many magazines your content is of a higher quality in some issues than it is in
others. However the last couple of weeks I have been hugely disappointed by your
decision to repeat old articles. I understand that you can rationalise this
decision to free up some of the back-catalogue to new members, but quite frankly
I feel ripped off. I have already paid for these articles, and every one of the
repeat articles I have already read. Today's article (regarding the massive
tuning effort on an Escort – see Escorting Power) was formerly a favourite
article that I had read several times.
In some respects I understand your
situation. You feel that AutoSpeed has a standard of quality to maintain,
yet you are having trouble keeping up the quantity of quality material. So
what better way to maintain the quality of your content than to re-use it?
right? .... WRONG. It has been obvious for some time that there has been a lack
of original content, considering the use of articles that were previously
published elsewhere, however, I had always found it an interesting way of
introducing subject matter from outside the normal scope.
I can only speculate regarding the reasons for
diminishing original content, but would hope that you are planning to improve
the situation. Maybe it's time for some more staff? Regardless, I
remain grateful that AutoSpeed exists to save us from the "pedestrian"
automotive print media!
Keep up the good fight, but please, no more
The Escort article is actually an interesting one
to pick – we always thought it a good article but its reader rankings were
previously very low. So as someone who had read that article several times, you
were quite unusual among our readers. The general approach of repeating certain
content is something that we’re watching closely – that’s one reason we
introduced instant reader feedback ratings. At this stage those articles are
rating as well as new material, indicating that the majority of readers are
Over the years we have often run material that has
been published elsewhere eg
Greasy Times - Part 1,
Bearings You Grease and many others. Basically,
if we see material published that we think will interest readers, and we can
gain permission to publish it, we’ll do so.
As indicated in
AutoSpeed is Changing!, we are altering
AutoSpeed. There will be more focus on driving cars, and more technical
modification and background stories. There will also be less general stories and
feature cars. The content that we are repeating comprises strong stories that we
think add to our new themes.
Not So Green
I read with interest the article on the V8
Volvo Roadster (see Northern Composure) and
noted the comment that it "drinks carbon free ethanol". Seems the writer of the
article confused the public image of this fuel resource as being "green" (that
is, renewable) with its chemical composition, as it certainly does contain
carbon - in fact its formula is C2H5OH, that is it has 2 carbon atoms for each
molecule. So, when burnt, it still contributes to the greenhouse gases and so
Thanks – correction made.
Think you have what it takes to write a shortish
(eg 500 words) review of a technical book? Like to keep the book when you’re
finished? You’ll need to have a good knowledge of the material the book covers
and be able to write clearly.
We’re after reviewers for the following books:
The Alfa Romeo DOHC Engine High Performance Manual
(which cover the classic DOHC Alfa engines)
How to Build and Power Tune Holley
How to Build and Power Tune Weber and Dellorto
DCOE, DCO/SP and DHLA Carburettors
If you’d like to write a review (and keep the
book!) email us with the book you’re interested in reviewing and a description
of your expertise in the mechanical area that’s being covered. We’ll also rate
the emails (which won’t be published) on grammar, spelling and clarity.