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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed!

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Speed Alert

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Re your Volvo S40 T5 test (Volvo S40 T5)... In paragraph 7 it reads, "with a lot of the kays on the highway cruising at 100 – 100 km/h." Narrow range there... must have been some revenue raisers hanging about ;-) Just thought I’d let you know.

Ian Armstrong


16V TDi TBA?

I am looking at the Peugeot 307 diesel; in the UK the 2.0 TDi comes with a 16 valve engine rather than the standard 8 valve currently available in Australia. Any idea how I can find out if and when the 307 will be offered in Australia with the 16 valve diesel engine? I am not in the market for a vehicle until mid 2005 so I can wait!

Luke Petersen

Your best bet is to contact Peugeot Australia.

Nasty 929

Firstly, love your magazine - it's great to see unbiased tests and your tech articles are unmatched by any other magazine.

This may be a bit out of AutoSpeed's field as it is an old carby car, but here goes... I have been given a 1980 Mazda 929L 2.0 carby auto for use as a bit of a project car. It is about to have a top-end rebuild and I was wondering if you had any idea what would be worth doing to make it feel a bit quicker - it's a bit of a slug in stock form. Perhaps increasing the compression would be worthwhile as it is designed for 86 RON leaded and I will be running it on 95 or 98 RON with an anti valve seat recession additive (I think it's about 8.5:1 now).

BTW it’s a Mazda F/MA 2.0 SOHC engine with a single Nikki carb - 83kW at 5300 rpm and 66


As always, it depends how much you want to spend! If the top-end is about to be rebuilt then, yes, it’s the ideal opportunity to do a bit of port work and machine the head for a higher CR. Whack on a free-flow exhaust and filter arrangement and you might have about 10 – 15 percent more power than stock. A carby and cam upgrade would be next on the ‘to do’ list.

Hard Copy?

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I was wondering if 'the guru' Julian Edgar is going to release the next instalment of his 21st Century Performance book?

I would love to subscribe to a hard copy version of these AutoSpeed articles, but I get sore eyes after prolonged reading on computers, so this online magazine is sadly not for me.

Love your work – I want more in hard print!

Dean Marzolla

There are no immediate plans for another version of 21st Century Performance. To avoid prolonged reading on the computer, you can pick the articles you’re most interested in and click on ‘Print Article’ for a hard copy.

Prius Prob

I’m having a problem with the steering on my ‘04 Toyota Prius - the steering wheel won't return to neutral. The Toyota regional rep witnessed the problem but had no remedy. I would appreciate any help.

Allen Madrick

If the car is like the earlier models, the centrepoint of the electric steering may need to be recalibrated. We also suggest checking out some Prius-related forums and maybe asking the question there. Try...

Yahoo Autos Groups

More Euros!

I enjoyed your Euro-phoria Part 1 article.

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I too have also marvelled at some of the top shelf Euro cars available at bargain basement prices. I have looked at the Volvo 740 turbo and Audi 200 turbo, but eventually chose a BMW E28 528i Motorsport. This offers performance virtually on par with the later M535i (which was crippled with emission gear) for a fraction of the price. The running gear is standard 5 series, but the extras like LSD, sports seats, Bilstein suspension, BBS wheels, etc make it well worth seeking out. Most have high kilometres and worn out engines but this just means it’s ripe for an engine transplant and can be had even cheaper. I also came across Saab 900 Turbos, Mercedes 450SE/SELs and even the odd 6.9 at incredibly cheap prices. Peugeot Mi16, 205GTi, BMW 323i (even E30s) and E34 535i's are also coming down to under $10,000. I'm looking forward to some of these being covered in later articles.

Ross Roberts

Supercharged Fun

We have been researching supercharging and was quite interested in the Book Review - Corky Bell's Supercharged! We have a 1.2 carby car with many spare engines to blow up using our recently acquired Toyota 2.0 litre supercharger... Trouble is, it sounds like Corky Bell’s book doesn't say much about supercharging carby engines - we were wondering if there are any supercharging books or articles more applicable to what we intend doing?

Rachel and Gus
New Zealand

Supercharged! will certainly have a lot of useful info. Another fairly old supercharging related book is Automotive Supercharging and Turbocharging Manual by John D. Humphries. (Haynes Publishing)

RPM Switch

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I own a Honda NSX which I race occasionally and, like most people, want it to go faster. I have done most of the add-on things like a cold air intake, exhaust, etc however I want to play with the VTEC and the dual inlet chamber activation points. I found an AutoSpeed article on a Gear Change Shift Indicator which has a LED and buzzer for shift point warnings and individual gearshift points. What I would like to do is to adjust the point the VTEC and dual inlet chamber activates in each gear. The problem is I can’t find this kit anywhere. If you know where I can still get one - or if you have a better idea - it would be appreciated.

Les Dombi

We assume you mean Simple DIY Rev Switch

Spot-On Prediction

Almost 5 years has past since Julian sold his Nissan Skyline GTR and wrote this article - Julian's New Car - Part 2 - From Audi to Honda Your prediction of GTRs being sold for AUD$20K has proven right. Now might be a good time to snap up a once AUD$110,000 car as a second runabout car... Probably not the best runabout car, but for the price you get a lot of bang for buck!

Andrew Pade

Duel #1

Re Diesel v Hybrid

I guess the reason diesel is so popular in Europeis that the fuel is significantly cheaper than unleaded petrol in most countries...

Secondly, while greenhouse CO2 emissions are directly related to (mass) fuel consumption, smog causing emissions are (IIRC) worse for diesels due to the higher compression ratios. (Higher CR leads to higher temperatures, which leads to higher NOx, which in high concentrations - eg urban areas - and with HC emissions, leads to higher ozone levels - acid rain!). Of course, some of this can be overcome with exhaust catalysing and I'm a little out of date in my knowledge here.

(By the way I bet that most people don't know that the primary "greenhouse effect" cause is water vapour, not CO2...)

But back to price – ultimately, what will be most popular in the US (or Australia) is likely to be dictated by the relative fuel prices, which will largely be controlled by government taxation policy.

Matt King

Duel #2

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Re Diesel vs Hybrid ... The obvious question - why not Diesel Electric Hybrid? Hey, it works fine in trains...

Simon Briggs

Duel #3

I just read Julian Edgar's article on Diesel v Hybrid technology. It seems that hybrid has the advantage in stop-start environments and diesel on the open road. It seems then that it's just a matter if time until someone makes a diesel/electric hybrid.

Jamie Ericson

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