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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed!

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You rotten bastards! All this pre-release info about the Digital Fuel Controller and not even a date? (See Driving Emotion.) I have been a long time (foundation member) reader of AutoSpeed and have been making John Clarke's kits from Silicon Chip magazine forever - so, basically, I can't wait! Let us know more...

Will it let Skylines run atmospheric venting BOVs without rich stalling between gears?

Will it have an add-on to measure load with a MAP sensor so we can toss those annoying AFMs?

Will it work with MAP, AFM and Karman Vortex sensors?

Will A’PEXi be sending a hit squad of Ninjas to silence you? I'll keep a close eye on your column for any titbits of info you may cast to the eager readership.

Omar Hasan

The release date of the book that covers the projects is in the hands of Silicon Chip magazine - the projects won't be released prior to the book being published. We'll be tackling blow-off valves in a few weeks using the Delta Throttle Timer kit that's already available - and yes, you will be able to have atmospheric venting BOVs with that technqiue. No, you won't be able to use the module to switch to a MAP sensor system but you can reduce the restriction of any voltage output airflow meter by at least 50 per cent. The interceptor module will work with any voltage output sensor.

Back to Front?

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I have purchased an AWD Mitsubishi Magna Sports after reading your articles. I have asked the Mitsubishi service guys if it’s possible to change the sequential shift orientation (so it’s like the Ford Falcon system). They just said "I dunno mate - why would ya anyways?" I am not asking for a solution from you guys, just a suggestion on who to ask would be appreciated.

Tony Turton

Try waiting a while to see if you get use to the existing set-up. If you still want to change it, we imagine all you need to do is swap the + and - switches on the Sports-Mode section of the selector. Have any of our readers had experience with this?

Fizzled out Familia?

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Can you please settle an argument for me? Did Mazda make the Familia after 1994? I’ve seen a 1999 version on GT2 - I say it’s fiction but my mate is adamant that it is fact. Please help!

Andrew Watters

GT2 doesn't lie – the Familia sure was made beyond 1994!

Fun Stuff from Japan

Great mag. Here’s a link to see the interesting/amusing stuff some of the Japanese kids are doing ... .

Adrian Hocking

Gotta love those crazy vans and scooters! And what’s the deal with the exposed oil coolers and lines?!

Where does it End?

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You have been teasing me for a long time about these kits you are co-developing. With today's Driving Emotion (Driving Emotion) "I'd like to give you the details but..." now you are just taking it too far! The amount of extra gear you have in you're car brings me to think of a local Torana. It was an LC with backwards SLR5000 scoop and other body modifications. What made this car truly interesting was the amount of extra knobs and switches on the dash (and other places!). I don’t know what most of them did, but from windscreen wipers to headlight and brakelight brightness it was all under control!

This sort of brings me back to Julian's Nissan Maxima. There must be a little extra weight from all the extra gear - fine it is offset by power, but where does it end?

Ian Armstrong

Box Swap

I am looking at putting a Celica 5-speed into my ’76 LX Torana 4-door. The motor is a 186 red motor with a M21 behind it. Can you please help me out with prices and the best way to go around the conversion? I know I have to change the length of the driveshaft and get a new cross-member made.

Corey Peterson

Contact Dellow Automotive on +618 29774 4419


I would like to make a comment to your relevant department about a Mitsubishi Lancer, which I hired a few months ago. The car was quite new when I hired it.

The comment is that I think that the Mitsubishi Lancer is not a good car - for the reasons I’ll describe - and it should be reassessed as a hire car for the general public to use. I would like the suggestions made to be treated seriously as although they may seem unusual. If I am right in my assessment, these issues could be a major issue in terms of road safety.

My experience is that I am a normal person who is a good driver and very aware of what cars should be and what they should not be - other than that you will have to assess it yourself.

I hired the car for two days and drove a considerable distance (ie 800km). This is not unusual for me and I have never had a problem doing so in the past. I drove within the speed limit at all times and treated the car in a gentle manner, not revving the engine, skidding or anything of the sort - as is usual for me.

However, a number of things happened that I consider unusual and I would not expect them to happen during a regular car trip...

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On a trip to Newcastle from Manly the car experienced clutch burning smells. The Lancer is classed as a light car and yet, during normal use, there was a distinct smell of burning clutch. At the time of night which I drove to Newcastle, it would not be a good time to break down. I am suggesting the clutch in the Lancer was not in a good condition or it wasn't powerful enough for the car.

After driving for two days I experienced motion sickness for a week afterwards. Motion sickness is type of headache and disorientation which people get after undergoing unusual physical stresses on their balance mechanisms in their ears. Part of the effect of this motion sickness was that it was caused a week later by an entirely visual stimulus sitting still watching TV.

My conclusion is that, as I don't normally suffer from motion sickness, it was the car which caused it. And because I don't speed when driving, it was likely to be caused by the very tight suspension in the car together with bucket seats that don't allow for driver compensation against intense and unusual turning forces. It was also maybe due to the all-window tinting that was used in the car. The reason I am assuming the all-window tinting was part of the cause is because it disables clear vision which, in itself, is disorientating and the motion sickness was caused by an intensely visual stimulus a week later.

On the second day of the trip, being pressed to return home, I noticed a very severe momentary depression during driving that caused a type of suicidal tendency to happen to me. I am not a suicidal type and am a very confident, good driver under normal conditions.

My assumption about the cause was road stress due to being hurried, possibly being a bit tired and not being able to find a place to rest for a while near Nowra - together with the all-round window tinting.

The all-round window tinting dulls the senses for long periods of time and, to my way of thinking, is depressing and possibly (or me) too depressing to consider driving a car with all-round window tinting again.

Power windows again caused a problem for me. The relaxation of using manual windows and getting fresh air is a necessary part of staying awake whilst driving. The power windows didn't work consistently and I wasn't able to get air when required, and lower my body temperature which is part of staying awake at the wheel.

In summary...

I found that driving a Mitsubishi Lancer was not a good experience - it was dangerous, causes severe motion sickness and, under stressful conditions, may have caused a momentary suicidal thought and restricted normal access to air and lower temperatures whilst driving.

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The car is not balanced for road use as the clutch didn't function according to an acceptable standard which is driving under normal use. There were no excessive stresses placed on the car – unless, of course, the clutch had been damaged by a previous user of the car.

I would suggest that general motoring design rules be re-evaluated by car makers to ensure driver safety in the long term including: access to cool fresh air as a priority with failsafe window controls preferably manual winders. Don’t tint the windows all around the car, because it creates dangerous effects on the user. The only tinting should be on the top of the front or rear windows but nowhere else. Tight suspension and bucket seats may be a cause of motion sickness and need to be redesigned to suit user safety. A clutch is what makes the car keep going and shouldn't be burning on normal driving runs. Maybe it needs to be made slightly stronger.

These thoughts are what happened to me and because I am an average person who, in the past, has never had problems when driving long distances, it is possible that other people may experience similar instances as what I described happened to me.

If you are in contact with Mitsubishi, it would be good to keep them informed about their product.


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