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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed!

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Unhappy Nitrous Book Author #1

I am the author of the book reviewed at Book Review: The Nitrous Oxide High-Performance Manual. I was pointed to your website by a reader of my book who was very unhappy with your review.

Whilst I am the first to accept that everyone has a right to their own opinion, I'd say this review was a matter of "the kettle calling the pot black". I'm accused of writing a biased book, yet this review is obviously biased against it. Mr. Edgar is virtually accusing me of lying by suggesting that the factual content of the book should be doubted due to my position as the author and the Managing Director of a nitrous company, has he not heard that there are laws against libel? Had anything I'd written been untrue I'm sure one of the other major nitrous companies would have taken action against me by now, as I've been preaching the same facts for many years on my open forum. Furthermore I've had numerous discussions with the Presidents of the two major US nitrous companies (NOS & NX), whilst working WITH THEM, during which I've expressed the same facts about the shortcomings of their products relative to my own and they've been conceded.

Here is a link to the reviews from amateurs but if you ask me they're more relevant than those of your so-called professional and there are further similar reviews scattered about my forum here

These reviews are genuinely independent and although some are by novices they are obviously better informed and more appreciative of how such a book should be written than Mr. Edgar. Might I suggest you have someone with a better understanding of nitrous oxide write your review of my book, because the one written by Mr. Edgar could well be responsible for preventing your readers being enlightened, as those that have bought the book most certainly have been.
Trevor Langfield

Mr Langfield,

As managing director of a nitrous oxide company, you have a vested interest in promoting your products. Authors with financial interests in products about which they are writing have a clear conflict of interest. Your book repeatedly praises your own products and, frequently by implication and sometimes specifically, denigrates other manufacturers' products.

The credibility of such a book, which purports to be a general guide to nitrous systems, is therefore low. If the book was billed as a guide to WON nitrous systems, written by the man who produces them, self-evidently the review would have been quite different - in fact, in that light, it looks quite an interesting book.

I have no vested interest in writing either a positive or negative review: I am not managing director of a nitrous company and I do not sell nitrous equipment.

The book was supplied by your publisher for the review; clearly they felt me qualified to write it.

Julian Edgar

Unhappy Nitrous Book Author #2

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Mr. Edgar,

Thank you for your prompt response.

Whilst I fully agree with you that as the managing director of my company I have a vested interest in promoting my products, I would like to point out that I have a rare quality known as "integrity" and as a consequence I would not put personal gain above the factual content of my book.

Furthermore I see no conflict of interest, as my sole aim for both my business and my book, is to enlighten people to the fact that they are being sold generic garbage masquerading as purpose made nitrous systems, by all other companies.

Yes I've frequently praised my own products and highlighted the shortcomings of others but that's not denigrating the other products because it's the truth!

All other products are inferior to mine and that would have to be a lie for my statements to be "denigrating" them. Just as with most products there are the best and there are the worst and that's a fact!

Ferrari make what are arguably the best cars in the world and I'm sure anyone who wrote a book about them would say so, but I don't see any reason to decry the content of such a book just because the author states the truth.

Maybe you would have preferred it if I'd told a few lies and said that the other kits perform well, despite the fact that they are responsible for the worldwide reputation that nitrous systems have for destroying engines? 

You may not have a vested interest in what you write in a review but I've encountered many such people with no vested interest but regardless of that fact they have been extremely biased in their opinions. It seems some people developed an irrational allegiance to say US products, despite not even being American - the UK drag racers are a prime example and as a consequence they look at US products through rose-coloured glasses.

With the above in mind and since you felt qualified to pass judgement on my work, here is my review of yours:

Whilst David Vizard was a good author and had extensive knowledge on some subjects, nitrous oxide was not one. I know this to be a fact, because we've worked together on a number of projects and he's admitted/proven as much to me. When he wrote his book on nitrous all he did was temporarily absorb the information he required to write it and once it was done he forgot it all. When I first met him (some 20 years ago), I was under the misapprehension that he was "the expert" on nitrous but his first words to me when we started the project were "don't ask me, you're the nitrous expert" and he was right!

His book was well written and full of "tech" info (most of which is little use to the majority of nitrous users) but lacked the real information that most people need. The reason for this was that he didn't understand the subject and wrote the book in parrot fashion using quotes from those who he thought did know.

Had you done a bit of homework into my position before writing your review you may have discovered that I'm not only "a big cheese" in the UK but I'm "a big cheese" in the USA as well, which is a major achievement for a small UK based company with the exchange rate against me.

I've supplied my products to ALL the top US companies and a few of them (NX & NW) have sold my products under their own name, others have wanted to sell my produces (NOS & TNT) but due to the poor exchange rate have not, whilst others are considering selling them (Speedtech & Ny-Trex) at this time.

There is NO OTHER nitrous company in the world that supplies to other nitrous companies and my company is the only true "manufacturer" of nitrous products, as the others just 'buy in' generic components (like the solenoids) from specialist companies, whilst we manufacture our own UNIQUE components.  

I mentioned in my previous email that I've spent a good deal of time working with the US nitrous companies but it seems you chose to ignore that fact, so to enlighten you further about how big a "cheese" I am, please allow me to enlarge on that for you.

I was paid to visit Holley when they purchased the NOS company to spend a week with their top brass discussing how they could improve their products and demonstrating my own. I've spent 100s of hours on the phone to the top brass at NX and carried out R&D for them on pulsing their solenoids, so we could develop the progressive controller to work with them - they've since purchased approaching 1,000 of these units from us.

I'd spent 100s of hours discussing my products with John Stewart (President of NW) and we were in the process of negotiating a deal for him to import my full product range to the USA, when he sudden died. John Stewart was known as Mr. Nitrous in the USA and gave seminars on the subject at numerous shows throughout the USA, yet he (like many other nitrous experts) acknowledged my superior knowledge and products.  

You state "the author must write in an utterly impartial style" my impartiality is to "the truth" and that's what should be important to you!!!

You also state that "with such huge bias evident throughout the book, the credibility of the author is low" - should you not consider that anyone who has the strength of conviction to write the truth regardless of the overwhelming propaganda to the contrary, is deserving of the utmost respect and credibility?

For your information the intro was written by my daughter and whilst my own (redundant term in your language but not in genuine English) experiences may be modest, I've been involved in great depth at the highest levels of racing for over 20 years and the point is that my experience covers a wide spectrum rather than just a narrow band.

You criticise me for stating what you call "the obvious" (while to some lesser informed people it wouldn't be) and then write the following comment about my statement "nitrous makes a good in-car fire extinguisher – trouble is, he doesn’t mention it must put out the flames before they take hold, otherwise...". If that isn't stating the obvious I don't know what is?

In the following paragraph you mention my use of nylon pipe and then question the sense of doing so based on what is obviously very limited experience/knowledge and without fully reading the appropriate chapter by saying "That’s pretty radical, especially if the line rubs on something sharp or hot". Now if you'd read the book as you were supposed to do, you should have learned a great deal on this subject, because your statement applies to braided hose just as much as it does for nylon hose and is therefore irrelevant.

For your information my UNIQUE nylon hose has just been approved by the NHRA for use on race vehicles in their events and is the ONLY nylon hose to get such approval!

While you're "laughing out loud" over the next chapter (Brand/System Comparisons), maybe you can tell me in what 'major' respect does a Zex solenoid differ from a NOS solenoid, or a NX solenoid or even a solenoid used in a mass production industrial application? When you've done that maybe you can tell me in what ways the distribution blocks and nozzles differ between these companies?

The answer to the first point is usually just the sticker but if you come up with ANYTHING of note please let me know and I'll include it in the next reprint of my book!

You then go on to mock me by writing "It’s probably not worth even repeating here what the claimed advantages of nylon tube are for carrying 1000 psi of liquid nitrous around a car, but anyway one of them is that people are more careful of where they route the nylon in case it is melted by a hot engine component..." which proves you've either failed to read the book adequately or you've failed to understand the content.

Heat is SERIOUSLY detrimental to the performance of a nitrous system (as I've stated a number of times in the book - shame you missed this point) and anything that makes people take this fact seriously is going to result in superior results (performance and reliability). Braided hose is falsely perceived as being indestructible and resilient to heat whereas the truth is it's little better than 'my' nylon in such respects and this results in people running braided hose close to hot components leading to failure. On the other hand nylon is falsely perceived as being "extremely" weak and sensitive to heat, when in fact it's much better than most people realise (including yourself) but thanks to the perceived weakness people are less likely to run the pipe near hot components.

Even if the braided hose resists the heat of being routed near hot components, the heat has a detrimental effect on performance so it's not a benefit for it to resist the heat anyway.

It strikes me that you should have resisted the urge to start "jumping through the book" as you would have found the information that would have prevented you making such inane comments about my work. You've questioned my credibility for the content, yet you feel you deserve credibility for your review despite the fact that you admit to short cutting the job!!!

How can a review be credible if the reviewer has failed to do a thorough job??

For your information CURRENT 'dry' kits are the plague of the nitrous industry and only exist because they are more profitable than "wet" kits. Once again had you read my book thoroughly you would have learned why!

Your closing paragraph clearly proves your lack of thoroughness in reading my book. Had you read and understood it fully you should have been able to appreciate that the contents make sense to even a novice, as has been reported in the reviews I sent you links to.

There are NO other nitrous experts that understand nitrous to the degree I do and I know this to be a fact as I've spoken to all of them at length. Nobody else has dedicated the last 25 years 24/7 to understanding nitrous the way I have. Sure they may have spent 25 years playing with nitrous a few weekends a year whilst racing and sure they may have been in the nitrous business buying and selling unsuitable components whilst creaming their customers in the process, BUT I'M the ONLY person on the planet that has spent insane hours in R&D work to developed UNIQUE components that have resulted in optimum results for my customers. One OBVIOUS example of this fact is my Pulsoids - the ONLY purpose designed/manufactured solenoids for pulsed nitrous use in the world.

Now that's a "thorough" review and response to your half hearted attempt at reviewing my book, so maybe now you'll do me the courtesy of reviewing my book again now that you're better informed about my integrity and my standing in the nitrous world. 


Trevor Langfield

PS. The fact that you were sent a book to review by my publishers, in no way validates your qualifications to review the book, as I'm sure they've sent it to anyone who they feel would give their publication some publicity. If you want to prove you're qualified to do the job, the only way to do that is to do it RIGHT! By giving my book an unfair bad press you are denying your readership of the opportunity to discover the TRUTH about nitrous and condemning them to an eternal struggle using the garbage supplied by mainstream companies.

Mr Langfield,

We will publish your comments in our Response section and put a link at the bottom of the book review to them.

Julian Edgar

Unhappy Nitrous Book Author #3

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Mr. Edgar,

Thank you for yet another 'comprehensive' effort!

I assume you 'jumped' through my last email as you did with my book and then put in a proportionally small amount of effort to your response as you did with your review.

You might like to reflect on my motto "If a jobs worth doing, it's worth doing well", then rather than criticising those that make the effort to do a job well you might learn something from them!

By the way I omitted to mention that I was confined by the publishers to a limited volume due to financial restraints to keep my book under 60,000 words and since I did not feel I could condense the full extent of my knowledge into such a restricted volume I proposed to the publishers that I write the book in 2 parts.

The first part is just aimed at novices and those that 'think' they know about nitrous, whilst the second part will be aimed at those wanting to learn the highest degree of nitrous knowledge available.

When that's printed I'll make sure to advise my publishers not to waste their time and effort sending you a copy. You obviously failed to grasp the fundamentals in my first book, so you're certainly inadequately qualified to review the contents of the next. 


Trevor Langfield

Those #$%@ Spare Parts Counter Assistants!

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Re Driving Emotion 2 July 2006 - Driving Emotion... To add insult to injury, how do you like it when other people's recommendations (forums, etc.) are that you should support your local X-Y-Z shop as they need the business and are probably more knowledgeable due to their experience? My experience is that my local (bike, hobby or auto) shop wouldn't know if their A#% was on fire!

Like you, I try to do as much research as I possibly can on the internet and then if I find what I'm looking for I don't hesitate to buy it on the net.

PS: I am LOVING the HPV articles. Have you tried using something like Solidworks to model the motions of your linkages - it's not easy but with considerable mucking around, it can be done? There is also kinematic modelling software around that will help you with dynamic and static forces and accelerations as well as the motions but again they are often pretty intensive to build your model and perform analyses. Maybe you should turn the project into a mechanical engineering PhD.

Peter Bodon

Stick around – there’s plenty more to come on the HPV!

PC’s ‘Air Suspension’ Still Good?

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I note your previous series on installing a PC in a car and the ‘air suspension’ method used to mount the PC (Setting Up an In-Car PC, Part 4) I am currently acquiring parts to install a similar system into my vehicle and I am wondering whether this method proved effective in reducing vibration sufficient to allow the computer (especially the hard drive) to last over time? Enjoy your articles, keep up the great work!

Brendon Black

We’ve had no vibration related problems, however it wasn't in use for a long time. We have a feeling the balls might need to be replaced on (say) an annual basis.

More on EWP

RE: Scottie Young’s question about the EWP (Response)...

I know that AutoSpeed can't publish their findings on the Davies Craig EWP but I thought I might share my experience. I own and operate a Generation 3 Davies Craig EWP on my NA 4A-GE AE86. It has been in service for the better part of a year. My setup has the EWP mounted low in the bottom radiator hose, the factory mechanical water pump is bypassed by using a shorter/adjusted belt, no thermostat and the Davies Craig EWP controller. To date, I have found the product to work quite acceptably. I previously had an overheating problem (due to other issues with the engine) and this has been all but cured now. The EWP controller winds up whenever the temperature rises and prevents the engine from getting much warmer than half way the gauge. To add to this I find the engine revs a little better, especially toward the top end of the rev range. While this is indicative of recovered power, I can't be sure as I have no dyno tests to prove (or disprove) this. I would say that depending on the application, the latest generations of EWP appear to work exceptionally well. There are a few issues when running them on smaller engines with relatively good performing cooling systems (less waste heat = intermittent pump operation = inconsistent cabin heating!!!).

Lindsay Young
New Zealand

Interesting stuff. We’re aware there have been a few changes to the EWP since its release – sounds like it might be heading in the right direction.

Epic Error

Just noticed that in your Engine Epic for Toyota (going back a while), you've only got one mention of the 1FZ-FE - and that's in the V8 section! See Engine Epic Part 2 - Toyotas The 1FZ-FE is an iron-block, 24 valve, DOHC, EFI inline 6 cylinder that's been around in Toyota Landcruisers in various forms since at least 1990. Might be nearly time to do a re-cap of this series? There is also the 1UZ-FE (which you mentioned) and a 4.3 version known as the 3UZ-FE.

Nick Main

Wow, we’re surprised that hasn’t been picked before in the last seven years! Article now fixed. Our most recent related article can be found at The Toyota UZ-series Engine Guide - and no such errors there...

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