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AFM swap

I am interested in utilizing the DFA to convert from AFM to MAF sensor.  My 85 Toyota Supra uses a 5V-0V (via resistors) AFM output.  The MAF sensor (Ford) is 0V-5V output.  I thought to use the DFA since it can be programmed to output +/- voltage values. The problem I face is the opposing voltage scales and possibly needing up to 4.5V of adjustment.  If the 0-12V scale could be used with this application there would be suitable adjustability, but, do I need a 12V reference in order to use this circuit?  I believe that the 85 AFM uses a max ~5V for supply and reference voltage.  I am desperately trying to find a way to accomplish this swap, as numbers of other Supra owners are also looking to perform the mod. Thank you in advance for your time and response... 

Carlos Brown
United States

But why would you bother doing this swap? Assuming it is not a vane airflow meter, just fit an airflow meter bypass around the standard airflow meter and then use the DFA to tune the airflow meter output. It works extremely well, costs far less and is easier to tune. See Airflow Meter Bypass, Part 1 and Airflow Meter Bypass, Part 2. If the standard airflow meter is a vane design, we’d suggest simply fitting a bigger vane design and then tuning with the DFA. At high power outputs a large vane airflow meter is less restrictive than an equivalent cross-sectional area hot wire airflow meter.


I was reading the article 'The Complete Guide to Intercooling’ and I'm trying to work out whether or not it is worth getting for my car. I currently own a Holden Commodore VY SS and frequently driving between Sydney and Melbourne. I have a mate who says it also helps with fuel consumption however I've found nothing to verify this.

Matthew Hayden

Intercooling is not advantageous except on turbocharged or supercharged cars.

Fast Car Fluids 1

In regards to the "fast fluids" article, a few points. Dot 5 fluid is not hygroscopic, as its silicone based. i think it may be worth mentioning that it cant be mixed with other (more common) types of fluid, and if a change is to be made, the braking system needs to be flushed. I believe that dot 5.1 would be more applicable for mention for most readers, and i believe actually offers a minimum boiling point 10 degree's higher. A mention that many manufacturers often exceed the standards which they are advertising (ie, high temp dot4 can exceed the dot4 standard by a large amount)

Blake Parry

Fast Car Fluids 2

Attn: Michael Knowling re Issue 452 Fast Car Fluids. In the Engine Oil section you refer to the latest API standard as SJ. That is a 2001 standard and has been superceded by SL and SM. I just did a quick Google to find which has a good link to a pdf called EngineOilGuide2006.pdf. There is plenty of debate out there questioning the back-compatability of the latest standards (ie, that newer is not better).  One of the most informative (and least hysterical) I just found at

Rick Dathan

Fast Car Fluids 3

Your Fluids article. Should you not put in a disclaimer, DOT5 is Silicon and cannot be mixed with DOT 3 OR 4, perhaps you should have said DOT5.1 or referred to a previous article that you've done on Brake Fluids? Even for day-to-day duties, a DOT 5 fluid is preferable over DOT 3s and 4s. Brake fluid is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs moisture from the air. Absorbed over the course of a couple of years, this moisture reduces the fluid's boiling point and can lead to the aforementioned spongy pedal or a total loss of brakes. Starting off with a higher-grade fluid obviously allows lengthier use before there's a pressing need for replacement. The presence of moisture within the brake fluid can also lead to corrosion of internal brake system components.


Fast Car Fluids 4

Surely Michael Knowling knows that there are different viscosity standards for engine oil and gear oil. "In general, gearbox oils are required to be far thicker than engine oils. This is due to the extreme pressure between the gear teeth in a gearbox - a thin oil would be squeezed out from between the teeth of the gears, allowing abrasive metal-to-metal contact.” From Wikipeadia- Gear oils "API viscosity ratings for gear oils are not directly comparable with those for motor oil, and they are thinner than the figures suggest. For example, many modern gearboxes use a 75W90 gear oil, which is actually of equivalent viscosity to a 10W40 motor oil." Pretty basic error.

Philip Armbruster

Fast Car Fluids was originally published in 2002 – a production oversight prevented this from being stated at the beginning of the article. Michael Knowling has not worked for AutoSpeed for some time. Given the deficiencies highlighted by readers, we will look at doing an updated and corrected article on the same topic.

Obtaining Signals

In regards to the article on modifying the automotive electronic handling systems (turning traction control off with relays) is it better to intercept the factory wires right at the wheel speed sensor or is can I grab them right as they are about to enter into the ABS computer, I looked at the wiring diagram and there are no other connections just weird splice thingys. Thanks

United States

Grab them at the ECU.

Farewelling Frank

I really enjoyed the articles on your EF Falcon, Frank. Having owned a mildly modified ED Falcon for many years I too know how enjoyable these E-series Falcons can be.  Though I was shocked to read in your wrap up of a panhard bar assisting the location of the live rear axle.  I suspect it was actually a Watts linkage in the rear along with the SLALS up front that made the car so enjoyable.  Panhard bars and struts being the inferior solutions employed but that other Aussie large car manufacturer.

Rob Ryder

Thanks – article corrected.


Hey guys, big fan of your publication and blog. Keep up the good work. Bit sad to see Frank go as well :D

The reason I write to you this time, is a recent (relatively speaking) "news" item that was broadcast on Today Tonight about the increase of "drifting" as the new cool amongst hoons.

The broadcast can be seen in full here:

The video in question is this one:

This has lead to negative reaction from the public and authority figures:

Now usually I would ignore the rants of sensationalists like Today Tonight and other "current affair" programs, but being an active member of Skylines Australia, and a keen participant in legal drift events, I was offended. The car in the video is clearly an R32 Skyline and made out by Today Tonight to be of Australian origin ("Authorities are trying to determine just where in the country this reckless stunt.., was carried out").

The amusing part about all this is that the video that the police are reviewing as evidence is from Option Video, released a while ago in the late 1990's. It is of mountain drifters in Japan, with Japanese registered cars and Japanese drivers. I fail to see what jurisdiction Australian Police have over these cars or drivers. I think its an extreme waste of resources that Superintendent Tony Rankin deems it necessary to have the Electronic Crime Section look into the source of the YouTube video, or "narrow it down to a couple of hundred cars" (because we all know there's only a couple of hundred white skylines in Australia).

What irks me more than the taxpayer waste is that we (SAU) have tried to foster a community that is as responsible as they are passionate about their cars. Going as far as creating CAMS affiliated clubs in most states around Australia, and organising events to improve driver control and provide an avenue for the drivers and owners to test their skills in a legal and safe environment. Hype peddling like this by Today Tonight only reinforces the negative stereotype about drivers of these cars, and deteriorates the good work done by clubs such as us and organisers of legal drift events.

I've written to Seven to try and get a response, but largely it has fallen on deaf ears. I'm hoping that you can help us voice our concerns.

Shan Moorthy

DIY Traction Control

can i suggest a diy project? i have been trying to nut this one out myself. i am looking to get a vt commodore wagon and do it up a bit, something for me and the wife. so i would like traction control for her because she isn't used to rear wheel drive on a big car. because I am thinking of doing it cheap i would start off with a car that doesn't have trac control but does have abs. then make a circuit which uses the existing ABS signals to judge when rear wheel slip is occuring (this could be fully user adjustable) and close an additional throttle butterfly to control power (like the old lexus system).it could use existing throttle bodies from wreckers and use a stepper motor to control it.

just an idea to bounce around

Stewart Murray

We looked carefully at doing this a few years ago but decided the potential cost, installation complexity and development time made it a project not worth pursuing.

Fusion Intercooler

Your article: "The Fusion Intercooler, A brand new approach to road car intercooling by Julian Edgar" in issue 238 on 2003-07-08, was very interesting. I would like to ask Mr. Edgar if there has been any development in this kind of intercoolers. Has anybody tested the idea in real life and what are the resuts? I found no data of these intercoolers on the Internet although phase cahange materials (PCM) seem to be used in heat and cold storage elsewhere.

Tom Antikainen

We don’t know of any that have been built. A point many miss is that the off-boost outlet temperature of the turbo or supercharger is the vital measurement to make before embarking on such a project.

Wrong Engine Origin

I have a query about your posted story this week on the Saab 99 Turbo. You stated that "The engine was actually one-half of the 3.5-litre V8 used in the Triumph Stag, and was equipped with a single Stromberg CD carburettor"

I am sure I am not the only one that will / has pointed this out, but the Stag oringinally used a 3 Litre engine, which was basically 2 Triumph Dolimite engines put together as I understand it. British Leyland did have a 3.5 L V8, which was used in the Rover 3500, P6B, P5B, MGB V8, and even Land Rovers up until the late 90's. In fact I got taken to school in a Rover V8! This, the 3.5 Litre V8, the English bought the plans off the Yanks, who originially designed the motor, I believe it dated back to drawing board of the late 30's, but I couldn't be sure.  It was an all Alloy unit.

The 3.5 L V8 became a very popular upgrade for Stag owners and today you will find many many Stags with the motors fitted. They fitted this 3500 motor to even the most revered of Australian Cars, the Leyland P76, who swallowed the 4.4L version of the engine. People have also told me that they were used in off shore power boat racing!

Sorry for my Rant, Keep up posting a great online publication, as it always brightens my day when I hear the articles. I hope the new Pug serves you well, and I am interested to see that it has what looks like a 405 Mi16 body kit on it! We have a Mi16 in the family, one owner from new, and its a great drive, a tad unreliable, and ergonomically ... well, lets just say "special". Have fun with those French electrics!Alex Bennett

We meant, one half of the 3 litre V8. Correction made.


Hi there just read the Blog on "normal fuel economy" and wondered if you guys would ever do a current article on LPG? I know you have covered it in the past, but that mainly covered older style LPG carb system. I know LPG might not get the economy of a Hybrid but the out of pocket expense might be similar if setup correctly???? (cheaper buying price). With current electronic Vapour injection systems and soon to be released Liquid Injection systems you might not get the 5-6ltrs /100km, but the cheaper cost might offset this. Is "economy" based on the litres per km or $$$ per km???? I know a lot of people hate LPG not sure where you guys stand on the topic, but with the grant ect it can take a fair chunk out of the setup costs.

I have in the past used LPG on v8 guzzlers as its the only way to run them cheaply while still getting a decent performance gain. I will prob do this again on my 355 torana with a Liquid injection system in the next 6 months, keep you guys updated as i think you would find this interesting.

Back to the main point, don't trucks use LPG on deisel engines to clean up emisions and increase power??? Could this be an option for the PUG????? interesting...... I guess the ideal car for Julian would be a turbo deisel hybrid, hopefully someone will run with this idea!! Sorry for going on but did you guys also hear about i think it was 5 stroke engines???? I think Lotus was looking into it, 2 power strokes????? interesting stuff :)

Keep up the great work still a big fan after all these years and like the direction you are taking things.

Luke Stolfo

We’re intending to do more coverage of LPG in the near future, including LPG on diesels.

Intercooler Spray

I was wondering if the intercooler spray nozzles you sell work with the Ulka E5 pump, and what the flow rate would be when used with that pump?  What would happen if 2 nozzles were used with one pump in terms of flow rate and noticeable decrease in atomization?

Also, though atomization is improved with the high pressure pump, is the shear act of raisng the water to such a pressure (thus heating it somewhat) reducing its ability to cool?  Any comments on that?

Toma Kicovic

When we used the Ulka (ex coffee machine) high pressure pump for an intercooler spray we used it with the brass Spraying Systems nozzles. We used only one nozzle but we think two would be fine. Water doesn’t get hot with the compression of the pump and even if it did, it’s the evaporation of the water (ie phase change) that cools the intercooler.

Steam Power

After reading your article on steam powered cars, I did a little more search on the subject on google. And according to this article I've found ( it might well be, that there is a comeback for steam powered cars – even when working a little bit different. More about the working principle of his engine can be found in the inventors abstract. (

I think it's definitely worth a look and maybe even good enough for a story on your alternative cars series.


Where’s the built engine driving a car with massively improved efficiency?

Pointless Products

What happened to that article about that electric supercharger? Also could you do an article on items such as "Power Tornado" and other not so useful performance enhancers? That would be great.

New Zealand

The Twin Turbo Zet? We prefer to spend our time on things that work.

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