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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed!

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Variable Flow Exhaust

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I have been reading your last year’s worth of articles and it is a fantastic goldmine of information for the DIY tuner. My problem is that in my quest for the perfect MX5/Miata/Eunos (do not know what badge Australia got) I will be going FI and with this comes a lovely 3-inch bore exhaust. However, although the sound will be great, I want to not be lynched by my locals. The Kev Davis Variflow system looks to be brilliant but therein is my predicament: I am not only in the UK but also ringing Australia for an hour is hardly cheap. As you have his tutorial for this invention you will probably have more contact info than shown for your services to him, could you please contact him expressing my interest and forward my email or give me a forwarding email for him so that contact would be easier.

Ritchie Wilson

Your email has been forwarded to Kevin Davis.

Interceptor Downsides

One of the main drawbacks for an interceptor style approach to modifying the fuel enrichment curve is the effect this may have on ignition timing. Would ignition timing be affected on vehicles using electronic fuel injection in conjunction with a distributor? Vehicle in question is a 1986 Nissan 300zx.

Sam Hurst

If the distributor still uses points and weights (some very early fuel-only EFI systems used this approach) then you can change the fuel curve without at the same time altering the ignition curve. But for the vast majority of cars – including your 300ZX – that isn’t the case.

Bonnet Vents

I really have been enjoying the articles on aerodynamics, and the tweaking of them. First a question: on your hood vents, why are the vents not at the most rear of the hood? I would think that this allows for the air to flow completely over the motor and out the hood; also the exhaust manifold is back there, meaning it is the warmest. Also cowl panels or cowl induction hoods. I am looking into these currently. They provide a nice exit path for the engine bay air. Also allow more air to come in and out of the engine bay (better cooling). Also they slightly make the overall shape of the car more aerodynamic. What do you think?

Aaron Jongbloedt

We’ve covered the design and placement of bonnet vents in some detail in our series starting at Undertrays, Spoilers & Bonnet Vents, Part 1.

Likes Tests

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I have just read your review on the diesel ML Triton (see Mitsubishi Triton GLX-R Turbo Diesel) and having owned one for a few weeks, I think you have done an excellent job in summing the vehicle up, from a fleet or business buyer’s perspective (mine). This would have helped me make a positive decision to buy, had I not already done it on my own. When looking for my last car, your review of the Nissan X Trail was enough to send me straight down for a test drive and subsequent purchase. I urge you to continue to produce reviews where you highlight both the good and bad points of vehicles, the latter often being glossed over by other publications. One of these 'balanced' reviews is worth three of the 'other type' to me.

Also, I congratulate manufacturers who will happily submit their vehicles to you, knowing that some sub-optimal points are likely to come up. Obviously all production cars are built to compromises of perceived use, taste and cost and some compromises work better than others. I'm sure these enlightened manufacturers take on board any criticisms you may make, because there is always the next model to improve. As for companies that seem too afraid to submit vehicles for you to test, I for one would not wish to purchase their product.

Keep up the great work.

Omar Hasan

Not the First

This has no doubt been mentioned before. I was reading through your article on the Peugeot 405 SRDT (Diesel Discovery - Part One) and you say that it was the first turbo diesel Peugeot available in Australia. I have a fine 1982 505 SRD turbo which was made at the old Renault plant in Victoria and wonder how you neglected that particular model, which was a far earlier turbo diesel than the 405.

Alex Wegman

Test Wanted

Please consider a story/review of Carcom I am considering getting it installed and can’t find a proper review of the service.


Driving Skills

Re: How Not to Die this Week. It's a sad situation when Autospeed has to write an article like this one.

I agree with the underlying message in this article... We're lucky there are not more incidents on our roads due to this behaviour.

Other dumb things that your article doesn't cover are the leap frog games people play on our motorways such as the M5 and F1. A couple of years back I regularly travelled between Sydney and Canberra, and I noticed this situation more so in the afternoons probably because I left Sydney so that I arrived in the ACT at around 7:30AM, and I left the ACT to arrive back in Sydney at around 5:00PM. Drivers in the slow lane would travel Indian file at somewhere between 100 & 110 km/h and position themselves about 5-6 car lengths apart. They then played leapfrog with one another, taking copious quantities of time to overtake and in doing so, slowing the traffic in the fast lane. Once you manage to get past these d__kheads there will be another bunch of them another kilometre or so ahead. I don't understand the logic... They're too close together for a start, there's plenty of room at either end of the bunch so "s p r e a d o u t".

I'd suggest the "cutting back in" situation when overtaking (on all roads) is compounded by domed mirrors... People just can't seem to work out that like the mirror says "other vehicles are actually closer than they appear".

Having travelled on motorways in both the UK and US I must say that drivers in both countries when travelling at speeds have more brains and are more courteous than Australian drivers. In the US their fast lane is FAST (about 10-15 mph above the speed limit), the slower vehicles keep right except in a peak hour traffic jam! In the UK everyone keeps left... If you indicate to move out into fast lane the vehicles in the fast lane will flash their lights to let you out. But if you don't get going they'll remind you with their high beam that you're in their way. (We seem to ignore this in Australia).

Travelling on our roads would be a more pleasurable experience if drivers realised there are other people on the road besides them, especially if they practiced looking in their rear view mirror more often!

Malcolm Land

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