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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed!

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Appropriate Response

Your response to the unhappy reader (Driving Emotion) was well done and very appropriate. Good stuff. Keep up the hard work.

Michael South

Loves the Strange Articles

Re Driving Emotion... I just wanted to say I couldn't agree with the person who emailed you. Keep up the strange articles involving LEDs, etc. Also, how about an article on engine rebuilding and the options involved?

Andrew Lamb

Disappointed There’s No Diesel

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Re Car Crazies, Part 1... I was a little disappointed that you decided against a common rail diesel car to purchase for modifications. With the current trend of diesel engines in passenger cars and with fuel efficiency priorities in the market, this car - and possible modifications - would have made very interesting reading. A turbocharged diesel motor with a small intercooler sounds like a good base for performance improvements while maintaining very good economy and drivability. I am hoping you will continue to be in front of local car modification and maybe include some articles on modifications of turbo diesels and associated benefits and negatives compared to their petrol counterparts.

Nick Pannell

Smart Stuff?

Have you any plans to do an article on a Smart car? There are several models including a limited edition Brabus V6 Biturbo...

Edward Kelly
United Kingdom

We’ll see if we can source a Smart for testing.

Missing Toyota Engine Info

Re The Toyota R and T-series Engine Guide... I was disappointed by this article as it did not mention the 4T-GTE or the 16 valve racing versions - 151E, 152E and the ultimate 503E. I also believe there should have been more information on development, links with Yamaha and to highlight that TRD supply performance parts. One of the most attractive facets of these engines is the thick sidewalls which lend themselves to oversize rebores of up to 5mm. There also was no mention that, in the ‘70s and early ‘80s, Toyotas powered by these engines either won or led their classes at Bathurst and other racing/rally events.

Ray Romano

DPA Possibility?

I wonder if the Digital Pulse Adjuster (DPA) could be applied to alter the ignition advance in multi channel set-ups (distributor-less, waste spark and coil-on-plug)? Is there a detailed spec sheet available?

Tom Wang

No, the DPA can’t be used in that particular application. Full details of the kit can be found in the book..(Book Review - Performance Electronics for Cars)

Rubbery Flywheel Power Figures #1

I have noticed in a few of your stories (False Advertising HSV being the latest) you are using a percentage of drivetrain loss to back-calculate engine power from power at the wheels. In this case, 330kW at the wheels translating to 500kW at the flywheel. It is my belief that if the car lost 80kW through the drivetrain in stock form, it will lose pretty much the same or maybe slightly higher when engine power is cranked up. It's the same drivetrain with maybe a little more clutch slippage from the extra torque. Where is that extra 90kW of drive train loss going? Figures I saw posted on SAU years ago showed Nissan Skylines lost 65-70kW through the drivetrain, as long as the clutch held, when engine and chassis dynos where compared - regardless of the engine power. Perhaps you could do an article on this with some figures from workshops that have run engines on chassis and engine dynos? As you have pointed out before, ‘facts’ posted on internet forums aren't worth the paper they are printed on... Keep up the good work AutoSpeed.

Gavin MacLean

Rubbery Flywheel Power Figures #2

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I was checking out your latest feature car - False Advertising HSV- with its rather serious RWKW figures. I recently read an interesting article discussing percentage transmission losses and, hence, flywheel vs rear wheel power. It seems from this article that 15-17 percent losses would seem appropriate for the six-speed HSV, hence 330RWKW would equal 398kW at flywheel (using a 17 percent loss figure). So, for me, I couldn't see how to reach the 500kW figure quoted. Check out the article at I thought this site had some interesting articles that might appeal to AutoSpeed type readers.

Simon Nieper
New Zealand

As you’re probably aware, there are many factors that determine the relationship between the at the wheels and at the flywheel output of a given vehicle. There is no ‘correct’ formula – at best, all we can do is give approximations. That’s why, in circumstances such as vehicle you mention, we quote only an approximate flywheel figure along with the proven at the wheels power figure. Unfortunately, true back-to-back engine and dyno figures are very difficult to come by – at minimum, most engines are engine dyno’d using a different exhaust and intercooler (where fitted) compared to what’s used in the car.

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