Hurry up and review a Typhoon will you! Every
other publication has; I'd like to see your opinion on the Ford V8 killer.
If Ford will make one available, we’ll be happy
to drive it.
About time someone did a story about overtaking
(see How Not to Die this Week).
I do agree
that more drivers seem to be not as good on country roads as they might have
been 10 years ago. I put it down to the fact that most city roads are now so
controlled that very few decisions need to be made by the driver, most
intersections are fully controlled by traffic lights and very few overtaking
situations exist except in the extreme outer suburbs (where I grew up). They
don’t teach overtaking in driving schools...so how does one learn?
father taught it to me....some of the basic rules stuck...sit back and wind it
up about 6-10 car lengths back (the sling-shot manoeuvre) is the only way, and
it works extremely well with gutless cars...aim to be doing at least 20km/h faster
than the car in front when hitting the other side of the road. He also went on
to say that you should still consider pulling out of the manoeuvre (by heavy
braking) unless the rear quarter panel is level with their front fender, as most
cars brake much more quickly than they accelerate.
I find these things
work well for me.
One of the most annoying things that I see on
Australian roads are the number of people who insist on lifting their speed
10-15 km/h during the overtaking lanes and then slowing back down once the
overtaking lane finishes.
Stupid Country Driving
I couldn't agree with you more on driver’s
attitude when it comes to overtaking (see How Not to Die this Week). I was out one day with my
wife and we got caught behind a B-Double on a winding road, then we came across
a sign stating passing lane 10 km ahead. Come on - 10 kays to wait to overtake!
That is just stupid and many other drivers thought so as well. Even though I sat
behind the B-Double and waited for the passing lane (didn't have any other
chance), many of the drivers stuck behind me not only took on me but the
B-Double as well, overtaking at inopportune times that made my skin crawl with
fear. One lady even overtook both of us with a B-Double tanker coming straight
for her with lights and horn blazing away - all she did was arm out the window
and gave us the digit salute. How she didn't kill us all is amazing; we are
still praising God for His help that day.
Hi guys, been a subscriber since 2003 - most
impressed. I own a twin turbocharged Toyota Soarer with aftermarket engine
management. I am now aided and abetted by a wideband oxygen sensor and an EGT
probe. Before I embark on any tuning, I was wondering what books or online
resources you might suggest to deepen my preparation. Thanks for any suggestions
you can provide.
See Tuning Air/Fuel Ratios and
Real World Air/Fuel Ratio Tuning for information on air/fuel
Today I became a member of your website, and I
like it a lot. I noticed an article about the exhaust butterfly valve (see
Butterfly Effect) and was wondering where I
can purchase one of those. I am making a tuneable exhaust but am not able to
find one. I’m trying to look for a 3 inch butterfly bolt flange, like the one on
the main page of the article. If you can help me that would be great.
Your email has been passed onto the
manufacturer of the valve.
High Stall Converters
Re Torque Converter Transformation
There are a couple of other issues with high stall
converters. I have a "defacto" high stall converter in my 3.9 Range Rover.
I replaced my normal 3.9 inlet manifold with a "Thor" which optimises low down
torque by having far longer runners, and have modded heads and a Unichip and
several dyno sessions. This gives me over 50% more power from idle tapering to
about 20% up to 3000 rpm. My torque converter slip below lock-up has increased
dramatically so that at 1800 rpm on the flat increases to 2200 rpm up a hill.
That’s 22% over what is supposed to be normal stall speed. First as you observe,
you get a bunch of power as you take off, but also my fuel economy has decreased
a lot in city driving as all that slip creates heat not go. So if someone has a
turbo tuned to low rev boost, or they fit a bigger engine with more low rev
torque, the converter will slip a lot more anyway. I suggest that people check
out what effect engine mods have on their standard converter before fitting a
high stall during an engine replacement or modification.
Carputers. Something that's been around for a
while, I've recently discovered and are well... mind blowing. Logging on board
diagnostics, 0-100, 1/4 mile times, the ins and outs of any late model engine,
plus the ability to display DVD's, TV, GPS, MP3's, wireless internet when
available. Awesome stuff and totally build-your-own which is what AutoSpeed is
all about. I'd love to see your views on it, being a keen subscriber for
Keep up the good work guys!
We have done a series on in-car PCs, starting
at Setting Up an In-Car PC, Part 1
After reading all about
the modifications the Prius has undergone since becoming a part of the AutoSpeed
stable, I would really like to see an article on the Insight being modified to
address some of the criticisms the vehicle has received. Poor rear
dampers? How about revising the suspension? Overly tall gearing
slowing acceleration? How about either shortening the final drive, or
improving engine performance? Interior a little "cheap" for a $50k car,
and seats lacking support? How about some new bucket seats and an interior
retrim? Would make an interesting article that is applicable to almost any
car. Obviously this is a privately owned vehicle and hence these modifications
might not be practical or economical, but it would certainly be interesting to
see the results! Perhaps seeing other performance enhanced Insights around
the world might inspire you enough to undertake such a task! (see www.insightcentral.net
the subject of modified hybrids, potentially the turbo Prius could also have an
additional modification - an extended range to its electric-only mode.
There is a company developing such a system (see www.hymotion.com
promising 100mpg+ that might be interesting to install on the turbo Prius.
Again, being a privately owned vehicle, there are practical and economical
considerations, but the results would be interesting for sure!
aside, you might be interested to know that after nearly a decade, AutoSpeed's
comments on the Nissan R32 GTR are still causing controversy on various web
forums that I've come across!
I'll make you a deal - keep up the good work and
I'll keep subscribing!
All the modifications you suggest for the
Insight are under active consideration.
Real World Hybrid #1
Re My Commute. Good to see a real world
example of hybrid technology at work. I love the high tech nature of the cars
you have been writing about lately. If all I had to use my car for was personal
transport (and not as a work vehicle carrying heavy equipment) I would get a
hybrid, 100% sure of it. Even with the performance decrease from my current car,
the economy and 'clean' feeling you get from driving it would make it worth
Much nicer than the dirty feeling you get when
your twin turbo performance car dumps some oil into the engine and you get that
lovely cloud of white smoke!
Real World Hybrid #2
I get 100+ mpg in my daily work commute! That
headline would have been utterly incredible just a few years ago. However that’s
just what Julian Edgar returns in his 2001 Honda Insight (at 2.8 lit / 100 km)
in his daily 86km drive to work, over a range of rural roads, high speed
freeways and slow moving congested city traffic. Just shows where the future in
personal transportation technology is heading. Thanks Julian for showcasing the
'real world' performance of hybrids.
Bypass Didn’t Work
After doing all the pipe work fabrication and
waiting 4 weeks for the DFA to be available, I completed the airflow meter
bypass on my AW11 Supercharged MR2.
Unfortunately it didn’t work.
Maybe it’s because the MR2 has a particularly
small airflow meter (44mm x 44mm, 1936mm square), or maybe it‘s because I used
too large a bypass (37mm diameter, 1075mm square), but basically, the amount of
spring tension in the small AFM meant that most (all) of the air would flow past
the AFM at idle. This AFM has a dropping output voltage, and even with the DFA
set at -127, the thing wouldn’t even idle or free rev. Standard idle
voltage is about 2.97 volts. With the bypass open, it was about 4.8 volts and
the DFA could only bring it down to about 3.8 volts. Loosening the spring
tension lots allowed it to idle, but even then, the output of the AFM didn’t
change at light loads (free revving). To give you an idea of how bad the airflow
restriction is, with the standard throttle body (50mm), there was always 2” of
mercury vacuum at full throttle, rising to 4” above 6500rpm. A 55mm throttle
body and 3” pipe and pod filter in front of the gearbox feeding the airflow
meter helped, but at the end of the day, the little airflow meter is the
limiting factor. The bypass that I fitted gave a combined surface area (with the
AFM), of a 2.5” pipe, the size of pipe that feeds the throttle body, so I didn’t
really want to be any smaller than 37mm diameter. Unfortunately, in this case, I
would have to say that a bypass around a vane type AFM isn’t anywhere near as
successful as a bypass around a hotwire type AFM (see Airflow Meter Bypass, Part 1).
There is definitely power hiding in there, but I
think I’ll need a MAP sensed computer to get it.