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Suspension HPV

Many. many thanks to Julian Edgar for his articles. The HPV building series is destined to be a definitive text on the subject of suspended trikes (I hope).

Paul Hittel

United States

“Poorly-researched, crappy and factually incorrect”

I just want to say the article by Michael Knowling about the Saab 900 "Enduro" was about the most poorly-researched, crappy and factually incorrect piece of automotive journalism I've ever read. Pass it along to him if he hasn't died of his own incompetence. If he'd like a detailed list of why he sucks I'd be more than happy to itemize my reasons.

Evan Finch

United States

That article was first published nearly 10 years ago and has been read by countless thousands of people, including (at the time it was released) by the owner (and modifier) of the car that is described in the story. You are the first person to ever complain about it.

Celsior Steering

I run a Celsior as the family car , loved your Road to change articles and such , especially the humour style [ crawl !! ] Anyhow haven't just fitted a ucf21 rack into my car the steering is even a bit lighter than it was , was always intending fitting one of your pulse adjuster kits but now it is a necessity. Would it be possible for you to send me an exact wiring diagram..please with flowers !! Thanks in advance.



We don’t give individual tech advice but Mapping Power Steering Weight describes the process in generic terms.

5V Supply

hi, i was wondering if you could help me out with a couple technical questions. i read one of your articles, "Cheap and easy 5V supply" and have a couple questions.

i have a 16x2 LCD screen that needs a 5V source to connect for my car. So i could simply replace the 2pair resistors with a pot, connect the positive output wire of the phone charger adapter to my LCD screen and it'll work fine? For the 2 pair of resistors you need to remove, i don't understand how you see 1 side of them joined one another and the other side going their separate ways. are there tracks underneath the board or something b/c i don't see anything from the provided pics. instead of using a mobile phone adapter, could you use a +12Vdc to +5Vdc USB cigarette adapter and use the positive output lead on that?


United States

You should be able to use it to power the LCD and you can use a USB 5V converter instead if you wish. All printed circuit boards have tracks, usually on the back.

Hybrid Types

Your article Diesel or Petrol or Hybrid, 21 Nov 07. You stated " the Honda Civic Hybrid is hamstrung by the primitive way it mixes electric & engine power" without any explanation. I'm torn between buying the Civic & the Prius. The economy is close to the same 4.4 versus 4.6, I feel the Civic rides & drives better, and the 8 year battery warranty is almost the clincher, but I don't think I can live with the baby poo yellow interior. To make it harder to choose the Civic at 33k is $4400 cheaper than the Prius at 37.4K. In what way is the Honda IMA system primitive? Please explain your veiw.

Mark Doherty


In short, the Honda system requires the petrol engine to turn whenever the car is moving.

LED Bike Lights

I have read the articles on LED lights for bicycles/recumbants and was wondering if they (side and read LED flashers) could be modified to flash 2 groups of LEDs alternately instead of havig them blink simultaneously. I commute by bike around Sydney and all of the rear lights I see have this facility. It would be good to use a couple of cree or seoul red LEDs with 40 degree lens as rear lights rather than the regular range of bike lights available. (Although, apparently a new light in the USA uses a combination of alternating wide and narrow beams to better draw attention ot the rider [PT swerve] . Would this be possible with a relay or the like being added into the equasion - I'm not very electronically minded so you will have to excuse any ignorance on my part.

Brett Slavin


We’d suggest that you use the eLabtronics Pulser pre-built module to flash the lights very fast, eg 5 times a second at a short duty cycle. With that approach there is no advantage in having one set flashing alternately with another set. See Bike LED Lighting Power!.

E-Coli Bugs

I found an interesting article on times online and thought it had a direct relevance to the future of driving:

Its pretty cool - they have engineered e-coli bugs so that they eat straw and excrete petrol!

its early days so they have not set up a factory yet, but they will soon. so lets not stress too much about running out of oil, as human ingeneity has shown the way!

Now if they can make one that eats carbon dioxide and excretes o2 then we are sorted!



BSFC Error

Regarding 'Brake Specific Fuel Consumption' Issue: 475 10 April, 2008, theres a typo in the imperial units which it lists as lb/hp. Hp is a unit of power, not energy. A minor quibble, and a fantastic read otherwise. Its interesting that a lot of literature reports Wankel engines as having better specifc fuel consumption in comparison to conventional engine designs, yet in practice they have a reputation for being a bit thirsty. Any thoughts on this?

Sam Hurst


You are quite right about lb/hp being erroneous, but that is how some BSFC graphs are labelled. As we said, it should be lb per hphour. We’d suggest that the part-throttle BSFC of rotaries isn’t better than conventional piston engines.

FG Falcon

I have enjoyed reading Autospeed for some time know. The articles on a diverse range of vehicles make for enjoyable reading – especially the history of an automotive dynasty such as BMW, Mercedes et al.

I recall reading some time ago your derogatory review of the new FG Falcon series where you stated that - mainly due to weight issues - it was a step backwards and not much to be excited about.

Winston Churchill once said words to the effect: "Ive never suffered indigestion eating my own words". In light of the five star ANCAP rating perhaps a second look at the FG is warranted? Autospeed should acknowledge that - despite the incompetence of Ford management in the States - the Falcon scores more highly on the safety front than the Audi A4 and A6 with all their R & D might. Excuse the hyperbole but it is the automotive equivalent of David vs Goliath.

An NRMA journalist who reviewed the FG said the damping was a work of art and the steering world class. Other journalists have said that the FG is comparable with any car in its class in terms of refinement and performance. Please review the car again and by all means point out its foibles but also its many merits.

Evidently I'm a Ford man...we have a 320000 km old EB Fairmont Ghia (runs on LPG...). But don't pigeonhole me In recent times I've had the pleasure of piloting a Mini Cooper S, a Subaru Outback 3.0L, Range Rover Sport, a VE Commodore (which I liked warts and all) and a N14 Pulsar SSS which various family have loaned me.

Lachlan Brown


We have never reviewed the FG Falcon and nor have we said “it was a step backwards and not much to be excited about”.

We have said that it is surprising that Ford has released a car that appears so out of step with the times in regard to size, fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions; and have suggested in an ironic piece that the new Falcon would be ideal in a time of low oil prices, high speed limits, and where high performance could be used legally on Australian roads.

We also said that it was not the car that would re-establish Falcon as a dominant force in Australian new car sales. We wondered where the diesel, high tech LPG or downsized engine models were.

Since then, Ford’s chief has suggested a diesel engine version will be released in a few years, and sales of the new car have been up only marginally over sales of its predecessor – significant, when the previous model was recording dreadful sales figures. We are pleased that the FG has recorded excellent crash testing results – it is literally the only thing that might save it in sales until new engine versions are introduced.

We have no doubt that the FG is a very good car when viewed in isolation. (Considering how good the previous turbo models were, we’d guess the new turbos are quite brilliant for their price.) Trouble is, when Australia’s best-selling private purchase is the Toyota Corolla, the Falcon is way out of step.

Also, expect government and many other fleet sales of the Falcon to drop to near-zero when the Australian-built Camry hybrid comes on line.

Altering Oxy Sensor Output

Re: your article Running Lean for Economy. You say that intercepting the narrowband O2 sensor signal doesn't work. I don't inderstand why that is the case. Surely you have seen this device: It simply changes the voltage that the sensor reports to the ecu. The goal of the ecu in closed loop is to adjust fuel delivery up or down to maintain an O2 sensor voltage of .45 volts which happens to equate to an AFR of 14.7:1. If the EFIE adds .20 volts, increasing the voltage the ecu sees to .65v, won't the ecu the reduce fuel flow to bring it back down to .45v and in the process lean the AFR? What am I missing here? Thanks.

Kenneth Steinbach

United States

A narrow band oxygen sensor is not a linear sensor, so it is not true to say the ECU is looking for 0.45 volts to show that the air/fuel ratio is at 14.7:1. Instead, it is looking at a switch in oxygen sensor output value that shows the air/fuel ratio has just passed through 14.7:1.

By adding 0.2 volts to the sensor output, you do not change the air/fuel ratio at which the sensor switches from high to low, you just make both ‘high’ and ‘low’ higher.

If you add too much voltage, the ECU will decide the sensor is never switching from high to low, and will register a fault. If you add only a small amount, ‘high’ might become 1V and ‘low’ 0.4V, but the air/fuel ratio at which the sensor changes from high to low doesn’t change!

As we said in the story, we’ve never seen anyone modify narrow band oxy sensor output to achieve a measured change of closed loop air/fuel ratios from a steady 14.7 to (say) an equally steady 15.5:1. If anyone has, we’d love to see how they did it.

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