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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed

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How Many Cylinders?

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I was just reading your article on import motors (Import Motors '05 - Part Two) and, owning a little 1989 Suzuki Alto Works (550cc DOHC RS-R) myself, I can point out that the F6B engine you displayed is a four cylinder - not three. Zooming in on the pic shows “twin cam 16” on the rocker. I was almost caught out by this myself at an import wrecker in Melbourne (EKW) when scouting for F6As. The F6B also has distributor-less ignition and a few other goodies over the older F6A.

But it’s great to see you talking about these little cars and engines. Nothing better than screaming along, weaving up a twisty road, feeling like you're flying and looking down and seeing you're still under the speed limit. Legal fun!!

I’m still in the process of getting mine complianced (got to love temporary registration papers) and am having issues finding someone in Victoria to fit intrusion bars and sign off on them. Do you or your readers have any contacts that do this sort of work?

Daniel Griffiths

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You’re right. The engine shown in our pic is from the CN31S series Suzuki Cervo Mode SR-Four – the top-of-the-range model. This engine (with four cylinders!) makes 47kW at 7000 rpm and 82Nm at 3500 rpm. You might be interested to see Suzuki 660cc Turbo Fun for our test of the Suzuki Cervo Mode SR which uses a F6A 3-cylinder SOHC turbo version - just to make things more confusing! Re intrusion bars... We’ve been told that you might be able to get the car registered as a two-seater commercial vehicle which avoids the need for intrusion bars – but we cannot confirm this.

Freaking Rock!

Again, I have to say you guys FREAKING ROCK!!! I've recommended your site to anyone who will listen. I'm building an intercooled turbo set-up on my Toyota Tacoma V6 (replacing my TRD supercharger) and your articles have been invaluable. It is a little disconcerting to find out that so much conventional wisdom that people throw around is all a bunch of crap - but then you get over it and the knowledge is very empowering.

Since I joined your site, I've removed and inspected my entire exhaust, cut open the muffler to see what the inside looked like (straight pipe – good - so welded it back together), welded bungs along the exhaust to measure backpressures (at 7 psi boost there's a 9 peak psi restriction before the dual inline cats - NOT good), made a negative-pressure tester from your instructions and ordered up components to install a complete, dual cat 3 inch stainless steel system from the turbo with only a single flange and straight pipes throughout.

Again, thanks for doing such a great job. I really appreciate it!

Sam Wolanyk

Switchable Steering

In the article RS Kicking Wagon you talk about Subaru Legacy GTs having a computer controlled steering system. I have a MY00 GTB (same as B4 shape) and it definitely has variable steering. How do you get your hands on or make that toggle switch to change between ‘light’ and ‘firm’ steering as mentioned in the article? The computer deciding for you is very annoying.


We suggest talking the car owner (Patt) directly. Ask the question on the RS Liberty forum ( and Patt will likely hear your call!

Shift Light Install

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I have a question re “Shift Light Shape Up” (Shift Light Shape Up)... The article advertises the ChipTorque shift lights at a certain price installed – however it fails to mention where/who to contact for installation/purchase. I’m in Sydney. Any help would be great.


The price quoted in the article (AUD$59.95) is the purchase price only. You can either install the shift light yourself (as we did) or any performance workshop should be able to install it for you. Silverwater Automotive (+61 2 9748 1300) is your nearest ChipTorque distributor – they’d be able to order one in and fit it in a snap!

More on Magnas

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In reference to Daniel Hyde's Magna Sports question from a previous Response column (Response)... I'd like to recommend Daniel has a wander over to the Australian Magna Club's forums ( This site is home to many modified (and stock) cars and is an active, enthusiastic user base.

Which brings me to my real reason for writing in...

I've recently spent a bit of money on my TJ Magna, getting 165kW ATW so far with bigger cams on the way. I was wanting to pick your brains on the subject of airflow meter bypasses. One of my mods has been to fit two throttle bodies - one at each end of the intake manifold plenum. But because I'm only using a piggy-back ECU (and still need to keep the MAS in service) I've got a Y-pipe after the MAS to distribute air to both throttles. I haven't tested this, but I presume there isn't equal flow to each throttle and it seems to me an 'easy' way to achieve this is to bypass the MAS completely for the second throttle - and re-map to compensate.

My question - this mod seems pretty hard-core compared to the MAS bypass that you performed on your test Nissan Maxima (Airflow Meter Bypass, Part 1). Do you think it would work or is it too extreme? My mechanic is keen to give it a whirl for fun, but I'd like to know your take on it.

Brendan Alderslade

We can’t imagine any major problems with the idea – it would certainly look pretty trick under the bonnet of a Magna! The only hurdle is mapping the output of the Magna’s frequency output airflow meter - the Silicon Chip DFA isn’t compatible with frequency output AFMs. However, if your existing piggyback ECU can modify a frequency signal and has a large range of adjustment here’s nothing holding you back. Make sure that tuning is done with a close eye on mixtures and you monitor detonation. We suggest relatively tame overall mixtures because, without measuring individual cylinder mixtures, you can’t be sure if the twin-throttle setup is causing certain cylinders to run lean. Monitoring individual EGTs and inspection of spark plugs will help identify any distribution abnormalities. BTW, the airflow meter bypass we ran on the Maxima was the same size as the standard intake arrangement. This means there are no problems running a ‘50 percent’ bypass (which is what you’d be doing). Let us know how you go!

Ford Hidden Data?

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Re VT/VX Hidden Data VT/VX Hidden Data...

In this article you explained how to access data such as fuel consumption, digital tach/speed, etc. Do you have such an article for Ford Falcons? I can do this on my EF Falcon but I don’t know much of the data apart from digital tacho/speedo, temperature and fuel consumption.

To access this on the Falcon, hold the trip button on and turn the ignition on. Release the button, then press it three times and hold it on the third. Release when the seatbelt warning light goes out. If correct, the odometer/trip meter disappears and is replaced by a flashing "Ford". Press the button again to cycle through the data. Can anyone tell me what these screens mean?


Very interesting – we haven’t heard of this function in Fords. Do any readers know what the different screens identify?

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