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Wrong Information

Your info on when the 4g63 was introduced is incorrect as the motor was used in 8valve form in the Starions It put out 125 kw then in some countries it had 12 valves and was called the DASH MOTOR (dual action super head ) where the small in valve opened all the time & the larger inlet came into action at app 1700rpm& put out 148 kws the same as the tc vr4s

Rad Guerin

Altering Compression

Although published some time ago, I really enjoyed your article Changing the Squeeze. FYI, one new patented method developed since the article's publication includes mounting the whole crankshaft in an eccentric and moving it up and down. Saab's patent number 7,213,545 describes this technique. See

Ted Yurkon
United States

All At Once

Congratulations! The new 'all at once' approach to releasing the weekly articles is greatly welcomed, as many of us live busy lives & cannot log on daily to get our Autospeed fix.


Suction Camera Mount

What a brilliant article by Julian Edgar on : "DIY Suction Camera Mount - Get your still or video camera into weird and wonderful places!" I have a film production company and been trying to locate exactly that suction mount from a very early version I have from the UK many, many, many years ago. We use similar mounts for documentaries and soon for 3 Indian rallies / races. However they are expen$ive for long shoots! This version is absolutely ideal, we'd liek to make a few for our kits. Could you please advise where he bought it. Hopefully in Melbourne, although anywhere is Aus is OK.

Howard Grimsdale

The suction mount was bought some years ago from a boating supplies shop in Brisbane.

Intake Boxes

I read your latest article on airbox testing. Well done!!! I found the decrease in airflow in the various boxes when attached to an 'intake' or 'snorkle' to be very interesting. I have a question. Both of my cars, a 2001 Turbo Beetle and a Toyota Sienna van (3.0L V- 6), have 'snorkels' attached to the air filter boxes that lead to cooler air outside the engine compartment. The snorkels have large boxes, or chambers, designed into the snorkel. The van's looks like a boxy saxophone and there's a secondary, and much larger, intake tube that is opened or closed by a vacuum motor/flap set up. The Beetle's system looks like plumber's nightmare!!! I just looked at a new Camry Hybrid with the 2.4L four engine, and it too has a small chamber attached to the intake on the air filter box. Indeed, there's also a very small 'box' designed into the intake just behind the mass air flow unit.

OK! So what are these boxes for?? How do they work?? Would the presence of the boxes or chambers in the 'snorkel' have the effect of increasing the 'efficiency' of a 'Plane Jane' intake tube?

Thanks!!! And, I really enjoy reading the articles in Autospeed!!

Jim Myers
United States


Kicks Dirt on Biofuels

I enjoyed Andrew Simpson's article that compared various fuels and vehicle types. Although it is presented as the "last word on the subject," it still needs refining. For instance, I make biodiesel, but I do it very differently from the usual. Instead of using soybeans or rapeseed, I use jatropha. Our plants grow for 30-50 years so we don't run tractors and combines over the fields every year, opting instead to plant, tend and harvest by hand. We also only sell within our local markets to minimize the impact of shipping. We don't use petroleum-based fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. So you can see, the resultant fuel has a very different well-to-wheel number than conventional biodiesel.

Additionally, we hope to use algae in the future to improve these numbers further. We are also looking to use hydro-treatment instead of transesterification that dramatically reduces the fuel's environmental footprint by not using methanol. This new fuel, called "green diesel," has better mileage and other properties than petro-diesel.

My point here is that this study kicks some dirt on biofuels which are still in their infancy. We are making major strides to improve the well-to-wheel numbers, so don't count us out just yet. Also remember that the passenger vehicle is not the only problem we face. We need better fuels for generators, big trucks, trains, ships, planes and construction/farm equipment. In most of these cases there is no gasoline, electric, hybrid, fuel cell, CNG or other alternative -- it's petro-diesel vs. biodiesel. As petroleum is used up and gets harder to extract, its price will make biodiesel more and more attractive.

The other critical area we need some serious work on is that our vehicles need to make the most out of what ever fuel we use by being much lighter, aerodynamic and efficient.

Steve Stout
United States

Die Nuts

I don't know if it's bean mentioned befor, but a 'Die Nut' isn't actually used for forming a thread, it is used to clean, tidy up a damaged thread or finish a new thread (such as a thread that is cut on a lathe). Having said that, brute force and ignorance can allow a Die Nut to form a thread, just don't expect them to form many with a good finish.

Howard Hartman

Thanks - correction to Making Things, Part 4 has been made.

Fuel Cells

Re : Alternative Cars, Part 7 - Fuel Cells Alternative Cars, Part 7 - Fuel Cells

I was just reading your article on Fuel Cells dated October 2007. In November 2007 Honda has news released that they have overcome a few of the technical issues, mainly the low temperature starting As far as generation of Hydrogen is concerned, we can go zero emmissions on this by using solar electircity and water which are abundantly available. Honda has shown that the car itself is quite viable as a prduction car not just as a prototype. The Oil producers have tried very hard over the past 30 years to supress all of this type of technology to the point that they have enriched themselves at the expense of the world where they can be building cities like the New Dubai. This is not envy by the rest of the world, but simply a matter of looking at an over priced commodity at the expense of everyone else, not to mention the environmental impact of using fossil fuel. Solar cell manufacturers need to step up to the plate and lobby Goverments to help them subsidise the cost of making innovative cells that integrate with house roofs rather than something that looks quite unsighly. Image a roof that was really a solar panel with all the durability of a conventional roof. You could now have self sufficient engery homes, fueling stations, and offices running off solar. We need to make the investment for making solar electricity practical now that the automakers like Honda have made a fuel cell for automobiles that is ready for real world production. You may also notice that Honda has a home Hydrogen fueling solution also using natural gas which is abundalty available However I believe solar is ultimately the best solution.

Horatio Williams

Diesel LPG

Would you please inform Julian Edgar that the claim of a "breakthrough" in his LPG injection for diesels article Diesel LPG - an Amazing Breakthrough is stretching things a bit. Here in Canada , LPG has been injected in commercial boats, trucks, and buses for decades.


If you have any evidence that electronically-controlled, fully mappable, aftermarket LPG has been used on diesels for decades, we’d love to see it.

Alternator Switch-Off

Re: Auto Air Conditioner Controller Auto Air Conditioner Controller. Wouldn't it also be useful if this could switch off the alternator? Surely it does not need to run 100% of the time. Is there a method of switching it off electrically that would prevent it from taking mechanical power from the engine? I have a lightweight kitcar with a smallish engine that would benefit greatly from this.


Normally, the alternator power drain is quite small – depending on what accessories the car has on, perhaps 500W. So yes, it will help a little – but only a little.

Water Injection

I'm really interested in the water injection articles, however I noticed that in the subsequent article Motor Speed Control Module - Part 3 - Water Injection Motor Speed Control Module - Part 3 - Water Injection, you utilise a speed contorler that modifies DC voltage over 12v.

However the ulka high pressure pump runs on 240v AC. I'm keen on trying to develop a system whereby the ulka pump can provide varying water injection with load, and after checking out the ulka website I've found out that the movement of the piston is dependant on the frequency of the current. Or in italian translated to english,

"The vibration pump, then, can be described as a pumping system where a piston makes its sucking passive stroke in the active electromagnetic stage and its pushing fluid active stroke in the passive electromagnetic stage. The piston strokes correspond to the frequency values in use"

So if the frequency can be varied so can the action of the pump itself.

Do you guys have any ideas on the best way to achieve variable frequency in an automotive application?

Perhaps it could be the basis of a new article?

The other option I have considered is using the pump to feed two seperate nozzles each controlled independantly by a flow control valve of some sort. In this instance the water injection could be varied in a number of steps, off at low load, on at medium, and both on at full load. Or you could get trricky and use two different sized nozzles to vary the flow even more. Obviously this solution would not be ideal due to the very coarse adjustments available in the system.

Thanks guys, I'd appreciate any help you could give me.

Alex Elphinstone

We are aware that the pump frequency can be varied to alter flow. The trouble is, once the flow drops, the nozzles no longer atomise. Yes, you could use multiple, different sized nozzles switched-in as appropriate.

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