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Some of this week's Letters to the Editor, discussion group posts and other feedback!

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Starring Role

Lexus of Canada recently approached us for permission to use quotations from the AutoSpeed road test of the Lexus RX300 ["New Car Test - Toyota Harrier/Lexus RX300"]. We were happy to oblige, and reproduce here some pages from that brochure. You'll find the whole pamphlet at The RX300 road test was written by Michael Knowling.

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Impreza RS

I just read the Impreza RV article with great interest. Given one of the major flaws of the vehicle was the power output, I thought an article on the new 2.5 litre Impreza RS would be interesting.

Adrian Fisse

We'd find it interesting too - but we can only test the Subarus that the importer makes available. Unfortunately, we don't have a choice of them!

Praise x 1

I love AutoSpeed dude. I have been subscribing for about a year and it is the best all round mag I read. I just read about the new changes and they sound awesome. Keep up the good work and congrats to all the team.

Kirk Sallans

Praise x 2

What a fantastic site! Just want to let you know that this is the best on-line magazine / car resource I have found, I have a Mitsubishi Starion and have been searching for articles on mods tech info etc for quite some time and its great to find such a vast range of info on modified and turb cars etc. Keep up the good work and don't let this site fade away like so many others. From a web developer's point of view I would also like to comment on your excellent site design - esp the ability to download .pdf's


Thanks for the praise - we do appreciate it. After 3 years and 155 weekly issues, we won't be fading away!

Turning On the Switch

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Re: article "Junkyard Dawg - Part 1"

Quote: "The speed-dependent pressure signal can be increased by using a small funnel aimed forward"

If you are familiar with Bernoulli's equation then you should note that a funnel will have no affect on the stagnation pressure as it relates to airflow speed. The funnel may however serve to create a full stagnation point, as opposed to a straight pipe on the front of a curved car nose where the flow would not be completely stopped, therefore getting the maximum efficiency out of the switch. But the funnel size will not change the switching speed.

Otherwise, another interesting article.

Matt King

Practical testing was carried out which showed that using the funnel (rather than using a tube alone) reduced the required speed for switch tripping.

Suspension Day Postponement

Unfortunately we have been forced to postpone our suspension clinic day. The new date is Tuesday 12th March 2002. We'd ask that you keep the new date in your diary and we'll confirm more details in December. We plan to keep the format and agenda for the new date the same.

Jim Gurieff

Flowdrill Heat Resistant Lubricant?

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Our company did some trials on the Flowdrill for an aluminium heat exchanger application. The problem we faced was the difficulty in cleaning the special heat resistant lubricant after the operation (a conventional alkaline bath was not sufficient). What kind of lubricant can we used as an alternative that cleans up easier and still gets good hole quality and tool life? Our process (Nocolok furnace brazing) is NOT forgiving to any oil residues. I appreciate your feedback.

Ken Nakayama
Product Engineer / Automotive Division
Modine Manufacturing Company

While we ran a story on the Flowdrill ["Thermal Drilling"], we are not qualified to give technical advice on the technology. We suggest that you contact the drill's manufacturer.

Cat Converter 'Modification'

I own an R31 Nissan Skyline 5-speed, 2? -inch exhaust, racing filter with a slightly modified cold air intake system. I was curious as to the effects of bashing out the contents of my catalytic converter. I've heard some stories that if bashed out, it will increase power up to 15 per cent and other stories that the computer wont be able to read the emission readings and the car will go like a bucket. Any help on this topic would be appreciated, and readers of your site may also be interested if you do an article on it. Thanks for your time.


Firstly, the ECU does not monitor emissions in that car. An oxygen sensor is used but it detects the air/fuel ratio in front of the cat converter. (Some more recent cars use oxy sensors both before and after the cat, in order that cat converter efficiency can be detected.) Whether removing the contents of the cat converter will make any difference to power is almost entirely dependent on how well the cat converter currently flows. Since in almost all factory (and most aftermarket) exhaust systems the cat converter is the single most restrictive element (ie more restrictive than the mufflers), it is likely that the exhaust will flow better with the cat converter gutted. However, no guesswork is really needed - it is very easy to measure how well the exhaust is actually flowing by simply measuring its backpressure. The easiest way to do this is to temporarily remove the oxygen sensor, replacing it with a threaded fitting running to a normal pressure gauge. Drive the car hard and note the peak pressure reading - the lower the reading, the better. If it is above (say) 3-4 psi you need to change the exhaust. If it is low, changing the cat will make no difference to performance. Our preference from legal, moral and practical viewpoints is to use an aftermarket high-flow cat converter to replace the standard cat. However, if you are on a very tight budget, buy a standard cat converter that has been removed from a high performance car developing a lot more power than your car - eg an Impreza WRX or HSV Commodore. These used cat converters can often be picked up from large performance exhaust shops for chickenfeed.

Film Cars Wanted

I hope you can help - we are looking for show stopping cars that are needed for the production of a feature length cult movie that is being shot in Brisbane/Gold Coast in December this year. Owners will be driving their own cars. Send a couple of photos and short note to:

Paul McCamley
PO Box 856
Springwood, QLD 4127

The movie will be using all makes of cars.

Warwick Anderson
Creative Director

2002 Diary Entry

We are holding a Car, Rod & Bike Expo at the Campbelltown City Show at Menangle Park Paceway on Sunday 7/4/02. The cost of entering a car, rod or bike is $22 which includes entry to the Show for family (occupants of the vehicle). Any profit we make is donated to the Campbelltown Hospital - Children's Ward. We are looking for vehicles to enter the Car Show as well as Sponsors.

Greg Stevenson

New Australian Import Regulations

Recently I read that the new SEVS regulations will mean that manufacturers will be able to bring in imports which were normally the domain of 'grey importers.'

However, last weekend I attended the Sydney Motor Show at Darling Harbour. When I questioned representatives from the various manufacturers, none of them knew what I was talking about. In fact, some of them looked at me as though I was from another planet. I was looking at buying an import. I was wondering if it would be worthwhile waiting for the new laws to take effect. Now I'm more confused than ever. Any ideas?

Michael Adamantidis

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Just because the changed regulations permit it, doesn't mean that it is commercially viable for major car companies to do it. Importers of Japanese used cars have costs that are way less than a major car company selling the same product brand new. The new car company has to provide service and parts support (ie train technicians, translate manuals, get in the special tools, hold spare parts stock, etc), wear advertising and vehicle distribution costs, and of course pay top dollar for the new cars in the first place. Also, the history of major new car importers successfully selling small batches of unique models in Australia is quite poor - Nissan took forever to sell their 100 R32 Skyline GT-Rs and Mitsubishi had huge red tape problems with their Evo 6.5 Lancers which delayed the release of the car for so long that when it finally hit the new car showrooms it was the old model. Manufacturers such as Audi that have imported small batches of very high performance cars have seen the resale values of those cars drop dramatically - which certainly isn't good for brand image. So we would imagine that the new car companies will be a little tentative about bringing in small batches of cars - until they see a real chance for success in the marketplace.

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