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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed!

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Falcon XT Errors

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Re your Ford Falcon BA XT test - Falcon BA XT. You mentioned in this article that "whenever you push the lever across to change to manual mode, the trans downchanges a gear". The mode selected at this point isn't manual mode as suggested, but a performance setting similar to the Power/Economy on older trannies. When put into this mode the trans drops out of top gear (overdrive?) ready for action. Manual mode is not entered until a down/upshift input is received from the driver.

Did the test car really have "30,0000km on the odometer"? Fair bit for a rental. Maybe it’s a minor typo?

Andrew Vandreike

Thanks for that – you’re right re the transmission mode. And, yes, the number of kilometres quoted was a typo...

AFR Tuning

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With the imminent release of the “air fuel adjuster” it occurred to me I'm not terribly well educated on altering air-fuel ratios, how to use (or even get to use) a dynamometer and so on. So my question is this: will the adjuster be tuneable by a regular performance workshop with a dyno? I think I'd rather trust someone with a reputation and experience with tuning it.


The DFA is very simple to adjust but if you’re not confident any performance workshop should be able to help you out. Look for a workshop with experience tuning a wide range of programmable ECUs and interceptors.

High Comp Surprise

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Recently a friend of mine who owns a Holden VL turbo, after fitting intercooler, head work, decompression and boost increase managed to burn the side out of a piston on an extremely cold night testing just how much boost it could take – oops! As we were heading to Winton Motor Raceway for the sprints a week later he decided to slap all his turbo gear on a NA engine. The results where simply amazing - less lag, much stronger mid-range and the ability to out perform the turbo bottom-end at the track due to mid-corner response. All round for a cheap (AUD$200) I would strongly recommend this from now on as an upgrade path for those that only want a mild performance increase (eg intercooler first then NA bottom-end to create a nice street package. Of course, it would need to be treated with respect.

Vincent Whitehead

Interesting stuff – thank for that. The high comp NA won’t tolerate the same amount of boost as the turbo-spec engine but there shouldn’t be any probs if mixtures and detonation are monitored. There’s a lot to be said for relatively high-comp turbo engines!

Super Stunner?

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Re: Super Turbo Stunner article Super Turbo Stunner.

Yeah, all very well and nice to have a fun cheap 'hot' hatch but you're really getting carried away with your descriptions of a car that you claim will easily do high 7s to 100 km/h. I offer my daily driver, completely stock (apart from later model 205 x 15 rims and tyres) VN Commodore manual wagon as an example. Fact: 300,000km, untouched and stock. Quarter mile in 16 sec flat at drags and 0-60 MPH in 7.4 sec on my G-Tech. Now I'm not saying these times are impressive or even feel fast, so I wonder why you get excited about even slower times? Without having driven a March I'm betting the Commode will be more comfortable, is more spacious and cheap as chips to run and repair. It's also got the world’s roughest motor (Hilux diesel excepted...). Don't get me wrong, I don't particularly care for my Commode, but the point is that it's an old piece of poo and is still faster that a car you’re getting all wound up about! Just a bit of perspective is all I ask for...

Keep up the good work!

Julian O'Hara

Low 7s for a stock VN 5 speed is pretty impressive – contemporary road tests list a VN manual sedan with 8.0 flat 0 - 100! The high 7 sec time in the March Super Turbo was achieved without a particularly hard launch and with two people on board – that’s why we called in an “easy” time. We can’t think of an affordable ‘80s hatch that can come close to matching that performance.

Reading the VY

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I've been reading your article 'Reading Your Car's Brain' (Reading Your Car's Brain - Part 1) and was wondering if the VY Holden Commodore was OBDII compliant? I know it has a 16 pin plug but I'm still not sure. I would really like to use the Auterra Dyno-Scan for Palm tool like you did on the Holden Astra, would this be alright for the Commodore too?

Alan Lowing

Yes, the VY Commodore is OBDII compliant. The Auterra reader will interpret the OBD data format used. Grab a Palm and you’re away!

Immobiliser Help

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I was looking at your article on the D.I.Y. Immobilizer for your car and went out to buy the parts. Well, there were so many of each part I didn't know which one to get. For the heavy-duty relay, there were SPST, DPDT, etc. Could you give me the specs of all the parts? Like the LED I’m assuming has to be 12V (or 3V with a resistor), but I’m not sure on the relays and magnetic switch. Also, is the push button a normally closed type? I was doing some research but just making sure. Here's the link to your article: The World's Best DIY Immobiliser

Bao Tran

A DPDT relay is required (DPDT = Double Pole Double Throw). The flashing LED should be rated at 12V (these are often sold as fake car alarm LEDs). The relay that cuts the starting circuit can be the same as used in high-current spotlight fitments. The reed switch can be the same sort as used in home alarm systems (usually fitted to door frames). And, yes, the push button must be a normally-closed type.

If you are not confident, an electronics enthusiast should be able to get the project up and running for you.

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