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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed!

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Turbo’d Typo

Just a spelling correction in “Turbo'd for Torque Turbo'd for Torque... "it doesn’t matter which way you express sit." I dare say you mean "express it".


Thanks for that – article now corrected.

Disingenuous Comparison

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Re “Ford Time Machine” Ford Time Machine...
Taking nothing away from the XR6T, which I think has been an enormous breath of fresh air for the local car industry, I think it was somewhat disingenuous of you to compare the outputs of a modern 4-litre turbo engine to that of an ancient 5-litre NA donk. Japanese manufacturers - Toyota and Nissan in particular - have been making engines that produce very respectable numbers from standard, unopened mills for the last 15 years. All it did, was highlight just how long it took the Red and Blue brigade to leave the ‘70s behind and join the rest of us in the modern era. Otherwise keep up the good work.

P.S. I know they're an awesome tuning house, but no more MRT stories for a little while please.

Ashley Rogers

Custom Brew

Is it possible to do an article on various fuel additives? In South Africa, we have been downgraded from 97 to 95 octane petrol and the detonation that can be heard from some cars is horrendous. Currently, a few friends and I use Toluene and Xylene (used in a safe, careful and responsible manner, of course) with lubricating additives to overcome this detonation problem and to regain (or, in some cases, exceed) lost performance. We have done our own research and have found marvellous results with big increases in torque from all our experiments. I would like to have your take on the subject.

Francois van Jaarsveld
South Africa

Yes, it is possible to find significant gains by pouring additives into the tank and tuning the engine management to suit. However, we do not have any immediate plans for such testing.

Mic’d Up

I made one of your electronic stethoscopes DIY Detonation Detection - Part 2. I took off the microphone boom, attached the unit to three metres of cable with a right-angle mono mini plug on other end. I then managed to cut a standard mini jack into the case and wire it. I put the microphone near fuel pump well to see if pump worked and, yes, it sounds like a threshing machine. I also got a very loud sonar type ping when I turned the ignition key. I then tried putting it on the power steer rack, but no noise - maybe the noise I hear when turning is coming from wheel bearing. Thanks for the article.


Chasing an Original RX2

I am looking to buy a Mazda RX2 Coupe. I want the car to be close to original condition. I am an older buyer who is not really in the loop and I have been looking for some time with no success. I will pay the right money for the right car. Any assistance will be appreciated.


If you haven’t already, have a look in Unique Cars. Can any readers offer some help?

Solenoid Search

I am trying to track down an electronic solenoid to activate a vacuum supply switch which will be fitted in the engine bay of my car. I have contacted Bosch and their response was that they do not supply any solenoids that can be operated in an under-bonnet environment. This was surprising. Any ideas of where to go to source something suitable?

Robert Williams

We suggest visiting a wrecker – plenty of vacuum solenoids available there!

How to Frost Glass

Regarding Kerry Novak's search for how to frost glass (Response)... The quickest and easiest way to do this is probably to sand blast it. That should give a good finish and last forever. Just make sure that whoever does it has worked with glass before because you can crack it if you are not careful.

Richard Laxton

Love the LED Light #1

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Re Driving Emotion 07 May ‘06 Driving Emotion – the LED bike light. Brilliant!

I have an ex Australia Post 'Postie' bike and have been thinking through similar problems. The standard light is junk, the alternator has no current to spare, the battery is almost cosmetic and the environment is pretty tough. Your LED is just the ticket - when do you release the build specs?

Matt King

Love the LED Light #2

If possible could you please go into more detail regarding the headlight you created for your trike in Driving Emotion? Things like cost, fabrication, where to source stuff from - it looks ideal for auxiliary driving lights/cornering lamps/fog lights, etc.


Full details can be found at Universal High-Energy LED Lighting System

Wanting Some Info

I am wondering if you’ve got any info on shaved door handles, interior rebuilds, turbo-ing a non turbo engine, etc. It would be very nice if you could give me some info on this, or where to find it.

Thor Knutson

We haven’t covered shaved door handles. We’ve done several articles on subtle interior upgrades but none on “rebuilding” – for that, you might need a book like Book Review - Automotive Upholstery Handbook. Re turbocharging – we’ve covered the principles in Turbocharging Philosophies, Turbo'd for Torque and Turbo Kits Explained  and we’ve covered the process of turbocharging a Prius hybrid. Have a look through our archives and you’ll find stories on making a turbo manifold, turbo oiling and cooling and more. It starts at The Story of Turbo'ing a Hybrid Prius, Part 1!

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