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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed

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Magna Motor

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I was just wondering what engine they put in the car in the article Mega Magna - I have a ‘94 TS Magna Executive 2.4 litre and I want to make it a turbo...

Con Leondiadis

The engine is a 4G54 2.6 taken to 2.8 litres with a stroker crank and overbore. The 4G54 is a bolt-in for your series Magna and can be custom modified to suit a turbocharger – as was done on the car featured. Incidentally, as far as we’re aware, a 2.4 litre engine didn’t appear in the Magna until the all-new TE Magna appeared in ’96.

School Kid Comments

In regards to the article Mega Magna.

"Bradley has already wiped a Holden VL Turbo on the street – and we can imagine that would’ve gone down well!"

Do I even need to explain myself?! That’s the sort of comments I'd expect from school kids - please tell me that they also wrote the article for you...

Filip Petreski

Proper Patent?

In your recent article "Starr Charger" (Starr Charger - Part One) you wrote that the intake manifold intercooler design is patented. Do you in fact have the patent number and the country of Issue? Whenever a claim of patent is advertised it should be accompanied with the Country of Issue and Patent Number as per patent law. The Australian patent authority can be searched at and there is no record of Peter Starr or Starr Performance holding any patents, or any patents being issued for an intercooler design. It is quite interesting (not to mention illegal) to see how many companies try to take the cheap way out when it comes to protecting their intellectual property, by simply claiming a patent which does not exist. Generally, if there is no patent number stated it is because there is no patent.

It has cost our company tens upon tens of thousands of dollars to get a full US and UK patent for our products, so I hate to see people claiming something which they did not pay for. It is the same as if someone ripped off the design of a kit you worked hard to design and produce. Hopefully, I will be pleasantly surprised on this occasion and Starr Performance will be able to provide the proof to back up their claims. If not I can add them to my list of companies to be sent to IP Australia for false claims.

Adam Tate

The Starr intake manifold is an Australian registered design – details can be found at

DFA Has Arrived!

Whatever happened to the air fuel adjuster? Is it on sale as yet? Have I missed something?

Leon Leondiadis

Yes – it’s now on sale through Jaycar stores. Call your local store to make sure they have ‘em in stock!

Bright Lights

I refer to Driving Emotion by Julian Edgar (Driving Emotion) where he talks about a workshop light assembly. I have a similar problem but do not want to go his way. Instead, I am after a couple of 200W 240V GES/E40 incandescent bulbs. Any idea W  H  E  R  E  to get them?

Reinhard G Plitsch

We’re not sure – try making a few calls out of the yellow pages.


I don't have to tell you again how much your online mag rocks. With "bang for your buck" ideas and honest reviews.

I do have to tell you though about some possible typographical errors.

In your article 25 Years of Commodores it states

"Several limited edition VT models commemorated Holden's 50th Anniversary in 1988."

Shouldn't that actually read "1998"?

Secondly, in your article Hyundai Tucson Elite Test it states

"it fails the deliver the goods you expect given its part-throttle grunt."

Shouldn't that read "it fails to deliver the goods..."

I know that is fussy, but I hate to see the best automotive journalism in Australialet down by a few minor typo's.

Michael Connors

Well spotted – errors fixed!

Used or Abused?

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I was reading through your article on the AWD Sports TJ Magna from February, 2003 New Car Test - Magna Sport AWD. How long did you have the pewter test car? Do you know if it was used and abused?

The reason I am asking - I own it now. The license plate has been changed but I know the original license number from the documentation that came with the car.


We normally have test cars for a week. And was it abused? Well, we can’t comment for other people who drove it but Julian says he drove it immensely hard...but don’t worry - these are tough cars!

More on BOVs

I refer to your response to the below email by BIG BLUE on Blow off valves (?????).

I have been a member of AutoSpeed since day one and have loved the no-BS commentary.  However, your response to BIG BLUE was definitely BS. How can you sell BOVs from your shop and then claim that they don’t work - or only make a difference if your stock BOV is leaking?

Aftermarket BOVs like the GReddy Type S open faster than stock BOVs, thereby improving the relief of pressure and reducing lag between gear changes. Also, if you have a MAP sensor and not a MAF you can have an externally-venting BOV with no side-effects. You might also gain some benefit from not having the hot compressed air coming back through a recirculating BOV system into the compressor again.

I think in this case BIG BLUE is the "expert".

Simon Cooke

AutoSpeed has maintained the same stance on blow-off valves since Day One. Our shop sells blow-off valves because there is demand for them. We have no objection to people buying blow-off valves if they want the ‘psshht’ noise – but, as you would have read in many of our articles, we don’t push the idea of a guaranteed performance improvement. Also, as stated in our original reply, we are yet to see any solid evidence of improved compressor life. Nothing has changed!

PC Follower #1

I have been following your In-Car PC Installation closely and am looking at doing something similar myself. One option I'm sure you have thought of but haven't mentioned would be the addition of wireless networking technology. This would mean data could be sent to the in-car pc wirelessly from the home PC. Theoretically – you could also swap data with friends if they had a similar setup. Really, the options are endless.

Did you know that you can buy solid state computers? They use memory cards (like your digital camera) as the hard drive.

One last thing... You mentioned that you are having trouble finding a solution to shutting down the PC. I'm not sure if it will work but I suggest looking at a small UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply). Not only do they have software to shut down PCs if the power source fails, but they also provide a filter for the power.

Brenden Smith

PC Follower #2

Regarding your In-Car PC Installation articles...  How about using a UPS to detect when the car has been switched off? You could use the auto shutdown software provided with most UPSs these days. You possibly wouldn't even need to use the UPS's battery (to save weight) and you could probably run it off the car’s 12V battery.

Also, in theory, you could probably use a UPS instead of an inverter to power the PC - but then you would have to work out another way to trigger the auto shutdown. I also don't know how long a UPS would last if it was running all the time.

James Fitness

Do any readers have any experience running a UPS in this role?

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