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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed

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Big Boss

Have you heard anything about a new tuning device for Fords called "BossEdit"? It sounds similar to LS1 Edit for Holdens and I think CAPA are developing it.

Carl Talbot

We have heard about it but, at present, we can’t give you any further information. We hope to cover it in an article soon.

No More Bikes!

I really enjoy getting your articles each day. One of the highlights is the Response article each week. It is great to hear some of the views of other readers and the varieties of opinion. You generally do a good job of putting a wide variety of interesting letters in the mix. However, I for one have heard enough about the motorbike vs car handling issue. Whilst the original article was somewhat interesting, it’s going on adnausium with my interest ending after about the 2nd response.

I would assume that most people subscribing to AutoSpeed are car enthusiasts not bike enthusiasts (hence the name AutoSpeed, not BikeSpeed). It’s simply not on the radar as a point of interest.

I am not having a go - I am just annoyed that I have to skim through or overlook an article that I normally really enjoy.

Craig Dunn

And – Again – No More Bikes!

Dear Response, how long before the bike/car debate is going to stop filling the Response section? I have raced sidecars, open wheelers, tin-tops and boats - let’s get back to some varied content please.

Scott Bell

How long? I think your email will be the last on the topic!

B4 Enhancement

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I am interested in the EcuTeK program for my Subaru B4 (as covered at B4 and After). My concerns are: Does the change in program alter the engine’s reliability? Does it increase fuel consumption? Is it necessary to have a blow-off valve? And, finally, does it affect insurance premiums?

Peter Fallon

We wouldn’t expect any change in reliability so long as the engine doesn’t detonate – a factor that applies even to the standard car. Fuel consumption at wide-open throttle will be increased because MRT richens the mixture. However, the overall rate of fuel consumption is probably near to standard. A blow-off valve is fitted from factory but there’s no need to change to an aftermarket valve. Re insurance – we suggest you contact your insurance company for details. As we said in our article, the EcuTeK upgrade (at $1550) is not cheap but it is very effective.

Terrific TDis

Have you guys test driven any of latest VW Golf TDi's yet? I would be keen to hear your points of view.

I have recently driven the Golf TDi 1.9 DSG gearbox and was so impressed that my MY01 WRX is for sale. The gearbox was fantastic, the fuel economy looks fantastic and the torque was very impressive. I can't wait to test drive the 2.0 16V version with DSG.

If you can get your hands on one I am sure the readers would be impressed with a new car review. Keep up the good work.

Jason Seagg

Stay tuned – we’ve got a test of the VW’s cousin, the 103kW Audi A3 TDi 2.0, coming soon.

Machining Madness

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A previous Response feature mentioned disc brakes losing their longevity due to machining.

My father was a diesel mechanic during the 1950-70s; he often commented/moaned about the regularity of items being over-serviced in modern motor vehicle maintenance, that were just a plain rort and sometimes were not really as necessary as manufacturers stipulated.

Disc facing/machining was one of them. He'd say it reduced the effective contact area of the brake pad and disc by removing the grooves which the pads were always 'meant' to conform to over time. The pad was the consumable/throw-away item - not the disc as well. New pads apparently would quickly groove themselves into fit with the older un-machined disc face.

I always thought this was one of his more feral automotive opinions. Each time my car's brakes needed new pads, it was out with "And don't waste yer money on refacing either, once you start machining discs, you've got to keep doing it!"

Maybe he was right... who knows? Never was that game to prove it.

John Kirkham

How thirsty?

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I am considering a non-turbo 1989 Nissan 300ZX or a non-turbo S13 Silvia. I understand that the 300 is a 3 litre 6 cylinder engine, which would obviously gobble down the fuel quite hungrily (I read somewhere an approximate figure of about 7.5 to 8km for a litre of petrol). Forgetting all else and just judging by the fuel economy, either for the 1.8 or 2 litre non-turbo Silvias, how much better fuel economy could it offer me? (This is, of course, based on Grandma-style driving and not revving the hell out of the engine.) Considering the ridiculous way that the fuel prices are going up I need to take this into account. Some information on this would be much appreciated.


We're not sure of the exact figures, but we'd guess a 300ZX would achieve about 12 – 13 litres per 100km consumption. The non-turbo Silvia would offer about 9-10 litres/100 km. And be aware maintenance is a lot more expensive on the Zed.

Unsung Warriors

Just a quick suggestion for some cars to add to your Weekday Warrior lists Weekday Warriors - Part One!!

How ‘bout a Pug 306 GTI-6 or S16? These li’l flyers are now available for anywhere up from about AUD$10k! The GTI-6 is a real a bargain! Also, from the same stable is the 205 GTI (harder to live with) and the 206 GTI (still on the high side in $$).

Yes, I am biased towards the little Pugs as I formally owned a 405 Mi16 which was a hoot to fang - if a bit underpowered. The little ‘uns are a BLAST and somewhat underrated in my opinion!!!

Cameron Tuesley

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