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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed!

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Help in RX2 Search

Re “Chasing an Original RX2” (Response)...

RX-2s in original condition are pretty rare to come by. We generally specialise in importing newer model cars from Japan. However, of late we've had an increase in inquiries on cars like the Honda S600, RA20 and, most interestingly, on RX-2s. We did manage to find one particular RX-2 in Japan (also known as a Capella) in very good condition - that could be of interest to your reader. More details on the car can be found at

Shan Moorthy - J-Spec Imports

More on the Digital Manometer

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Re Handheld Digital Manometer ...

I just bought one last month for use in my company (in Hong Kong) to check vacuum pumps. I spent HK$650 which equals around AUD$110 – so your eBay purchase is not bad at all. Apparently these are made by a Taiwanese company called AZ Instruments The 8230 model measures +/- 30 psi and I saw in the shops a more sensitive model (the 8215 at +/- 15 psi) and a higher pressure model (the 82100 at +/-100 psi). I might go back and buy the 82100 later on...

Alwin Ngai
Hong Kong

Re Stability Control and ABS #1

Reading the first Stability Control article (Electronic Stability Control - Part 1 ) prompted me to do a web search on ABS, because I have always read that there has never been any scientific survey that has found ABS to reduce crashes. This led me to an NTHSA study which found that, while ABS reduced crashes in wet conditions, rollovers were increased (presumable as a result of the newly enhanced swerve-ability LOL) and there was no statistical difference in dry conditions between ABS cars and non-ABS cars. Another study of Munich taxi drivers found an increase in accidents for ABS vehicles. The proposition put forward by several sources is that drivers changed behaviour (ie braked later, etc) when they had ABS and one source suggests that the presence of ABS in a car should be hidden from the driver! I am afraid that there still is no scientific support for the proposition that ABS is a safety feature - so please stop referring to it as such. I see it merely as a "value" feature. It is now cheap and the perceived value by buyers is high, so motor manufacturers include it partly due to pressure from the media. But then you cannot have stability control or traction control without ABS, so maybe it does have some use...

Philip Armbruster

Re Stability Control and ABS #2

Re the recent stability control articles - Electronic Stability Control - Part 1 and Electronic Stability Control - Part 2... Michael Knowling's enthusiasm for electronic stability control and total acceptance of ABS is premature. Recent real-world statistics have shown ABS kills as many people as it saves. There is perhaps some reduction in accidents on multi-lane segregated highways, but an increase in fatalities on secondary roads - particularly single vehicle run-off road incidents. Look around Australia and see how many secondary roads we have.

Michael South

Re Stability Control and ABS #3

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Thank you for the information on stability controls. In the past I spent some years teaching advanced, defensive, race and learner driving. Most drivers have an appalling lack of ability in emergency situations and a stability control system would be a Godsend. Not to mention where the system can extend the performance envelope of a car when it is needed most! Which brings me to the interesting point... Which ESP systems make driving more satisfying? I presume the Mitsubishi Evo system is near the top of that tree and some, like the Mercedes A Class (due to its wrist-slapping interventions), near the bottom?

Robert Lawrence

The Evo doesn’t have a ‘proper’ stability control system – it doesn’t control individual brakes and reduce engine power. It does, however, have magnificent handling and stability thanks to its combination of an anti-yaw control (AYC) rear diff and Active Centre Diff (ACD). The Pug 206 GTi 180 is a car that uses its stability control well. On the other hand, some of the Audi models (such as the 2004 S4 - Audi S4 Road Test) do nothing but understeer when pushed in the dry. The Honda V6 Accord falls into a similar category.

Twin Charged Grunt!

Great online mag! I have been looking at twin charging my laggy 2-litre Lancia Turbo for some time with little advice. I know I want a small supercharger to boost the car until about 3000 rpm when the GT28RS starts to come in. I know that the Nissan Micra/March Super Turbo, Delta S4 and new Golf use twin charging systems and I am told the MR2 boys also twin charge. I am not worried about making the supercharger fit - what I need to know is how the system should run as I want the supercharger to work as a turbo lag eliminator. I have seen some cheap Suzuki 660cc superchargers for sale in Japan - will one of these do? Can you help?


The 660cc (Kei class) superchargers may work given you probably won’t be driving them to generate any more than about 50kW. On the other hand, the 1-litre Nissan March engine uses a slightly larger supercharger so, for a 2-litre engine, you’re probably better off with a Toyota 4AGZE or 1GGZE blower. In terms of set-up, it’s probably best to configure the turbo to blow through the supercharger during low rpm/load operation. Then, at high rpm/load, disengage the supercharger clutch and re-direct turbo boost through a supercharger bypass passage. This is the way the Nissan March system works (as described in Super Turbo Stunner). Can any readers offer some experience with twin-charger set-ups?

Speed Fix

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I have recently fitted a new diff to my car and have gone from 4.444:1 ratio to 3.9:1. As you would expect, my speedo is now out. I have been considering the digital speedo corrector sold by Jaycar. My question is this... I understand this corrector ‘clips’ the signal when trying to decrease the speedo reading but can it also multiply for people using taller diffs (I need more pulses not less)? Are there any other solutions? Any help you can provide will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Brent Muldoon

Sounds like the Speedo Corrector is exactly what you need. Alternatively, a ratio box might be available from your local automotive instrument specialist. See Needles and Pointers for a brief summary.

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