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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed!

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Gold Plated World

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I just wanted to make a point that I think your article on the Holden Astra coupe (Holden Astra Coupe Test) is ridiculous. Over AUD$23,000 for a car and you call that cheap?It must be nice living in a plush gold plated world where everything is handed to you on a silver platter but, in the real world, AUD$23,000 for a two-door car, made cheap on the cheap and then imported is not a cheap car. You can go ahead and ignore me - that's your business - but how can you honestly say a car that costs AUD$23,000 is cheap? I would call the little Korean imports at under AUD$14,000 cheap, but in your rich world you probably think people earn that sort of money in a week - maybe a month - and so they are just kid’s cars. Wake up and smell the roses. Australians are doing it tough. Howard is bringing in these new IR laws to screw Australian workers and families and you go and call an AUD$23,000 car cheap. I am appalled.

Frank Smith

Enjoying Making Things

I’m enjoying your series on "Making Things" - do we get to seethe finished product? Specifically, regarding Making Things, Part 3 you mention to wear eye protection, but I think it's worth BOLDING and CAPITALISING when working with aluminium. You see, the first port of call in hospital emergency to remove metal splinters from the eye is with a magnet - and of course, with alloy, this won't work. It is incredibly painful having a metal splinter removed from your eye with tweezers...Just thought I'd mention it.

Luke Konynenburg

Very good point. And, yes, you probably will see the product once it is completed...

Details on WD

I saw your mention of WD40 in Making Things, Part 3 with a query about what it means. As a wayside, from my memory, the "WD" in "WD40" means Water Dispersant/Displacement. The number 40 is actually the iteration of attempts at creating a water dispersant. So WD40 is the 40th attempt at creating what it actually is. Dunno about RP7.

Nigel Hornidge

Hardware Shops and Cars

Great magazine - if it wasn't for AutoSpeed I would never have owned a turbo car! I couldn't help laughing this weekend as I was reminded of words that I read numerous times on your site - and that is the description of hardware shop attendants' faces when an explanation was given for what was going to be done with a part in question... I think I made a shop attendant’s mind go all fuzzy when asked what I was going to do with PVC pipes usually used for guttering and I answered: "it’s for a car..." The blank and confused expression was worth a thousand words!

Francois van Jaarsveld
South Africa

DFA Tuner?

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I just bought and put together the Digital Fuel Adjuster (DFA) and the hand-held adjuster for my 1990 Range Rover five-speed. I was wondering if you know anyone in Melbourne who can tune it? And do you know of anyone who has tuned a Range Rover with this system?


Any workshop with a wide band air-fuel ratio meter and an open mind should be able to successfully tune the DFA. Can any readers suggest a Melbourne-based tuner with experience using DFAs?

Demonstrating the Bogan Mentality

Well, no-name, it's a pity you didn't sign off or initial your article on the Territory/380 'comparo'... though I can see why. It is nice how, these days, anyone - that's ANYONE - can feel free in venting their 2 cents on any issue, such as you have with the article in question. Just like you, I'm going to give my 2 cents - though I'm actually capable of doing so with far less words.

As a fan of the 380 (yes, and I'm aware it's not perfect) I find it disconcerting that those in the media such as yourself seem to find enjoyment out of denigrating what is essentially a very good car. You clearly demonstrate a bogan mentality (your picture proves it) and that, thankfully, takes away virtually all credibility you could have had in your juvenile arguments. Unfortunately it won't stop people reading it - that's why I'm writing this. It is painfully obvious you either have never driven a 380 or, if so, drove it for 10 minutes to the shops and back. I worked with a car rental giant and had the privilege of driving many cars on a regular basis for next to nothing. In fact there's a 380 in the driveway is I write this. The first time I drove it, I REALLY drove it. From slow suburban driving to rapid acceleration to hairpins out Mt Macedon way, I was having so much fun I stopped and rang Mitsubishi to let them know. They need positive feedback, but you couldn't care less about this Aussie car - you couldn't give a bloody f**k about the workers over in Adelaide who have poured their blood, sweat and tears into this car whilst Mitsu Japan hangs over their heads feeding them cash on a drip. Your comments regarding its mechanicals and drivetrain are as shallow as your mind. Sure, a single cam engine could be found 15 years ago - as could 4 x 4s and four-door sedans. Progressive technological advancement (hope I'm not confusing you) is what 380 is all about.

Imagine this. A new car customer has narrowed their choices down to a VZ Commondork and Mitsubishi 380. It's a hard choice but the problem is they’re confused. The person wants to confirm with their lease officer that the specs of both cars haven't been switched somehow. The person has read that Crappodore is 'all-alloy', has double cams, variable valve timing etc - all modern stuff. 380 has only one cam, no VVT and is part alloy and part steel. Yet they swear it feels the complete opposite. So what car do they choose? The 380. Why? Because they felt greater enjoyment in driving the 380 than in reading the spec sheet of the VZ.

As for saying it would be hard to, amongst other things, find a consumer who doesn't have loyalty to either Ford or Holden is yet further proof of your and most Ford/Holden fans' bogan mentality. You think you are God's gift to the auto industry and to hell with any other marques whether they're Aussie built or not. It is also clear you haven't driven other cars you claim you have, such as when you say the Honda Accord V6 has similar performance etc to the 380. You should go into comedy.

My final point involves mathematics - so if you don't understand, don't worry. The Lord designed your feeble mind for Holden/Ford chat only. Take two average drivers, driving through a mix of city and freeway conditions over 20,000km in a year, using 91 octane set at a fixed rate of AUD$1.10 per litre. One is driving a 2.4-litre Camry, the other a Mitsubishi 380. The difference is minimal - in fact, the Camry driver would save less than AUD$250 in that year! That's less than what most manufacturers charge for metallic paint - a feature the vast majority of drivers don't even consider. So there goes your 380 economy argument down the drain - or for any family 6 cylinder, for that matter.

Just a warning. I strongly suggest you take greater care and consideration before you write your future literature works. Consider you are contributing to the totally unfounded negativity about the 380, which in turn may contribute to MMAL's downfall. If you continue to publish such absolute garbage, I will make it my priority that I find out who you are and track you down for, let us say, a wake-up call. PS - please elaborate on your term "stylistically forced".

Matthew Wells

The article you mention – Driving Emotion – is an opinion piece by Julian Edgar (as credited at the beginning of the article). The full details of our 380 road test can be found at Mitsubishi 380LS New Car Test. Stylistically forced = an appearance which is a bit ‘try hard’...

Refreshingly Honest Re 380

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Your Mitsubishi 380LS New Car Test was refreshingly honest. I have owned two consecutive Mitsis which have both been great cars but, as you noted with the 380, they can be an odd mix of inspired thinking and annoying cost cutting. My current Magna is no exception. From COTY in 1996, it stagnated to being unceremoniously run out at thousands of $ below retail... which, as a cheapskate, is why I bought one with a ten year warranty and all. Nice car to drive though.

But all that aside, I do think to myself... wouldn't it have been nice to have seen the Adelaide factory building a new generation Lancer? Perhaps slightly bigger, a turbo diesel engine choice with the option of a small V6 engine (just like the Magna of 1985) and we could start the cycle all over again...


IEBC with Staged Injectors?

I've enjoyed reading your Boost Controller Roundups (Boost Controller Roundup - Part One and Boost Controller Roundup - Part Two) and am trying to pick the controller for me. I'm thinking I like your IEBC the best, but I have some questions...My injection system consists of two pairs of injectors with staged operation. Can I run off duty cycle in this application? Is it possible to have this setup so that I have 1 Bar of boost at mid-rpm and 0.5 Bar at top rpm?

Simon Nieper
New Zealand

It largely depends on the operational duty cycle of each set of injectors. If the primary injectors are augmented by the secondaries at, say, an engine load corresponding to 80 percent duty cycle you may be able to tune the IEBC based on the signal from the primary injectors. In this case, you’ll still be able to tune the top-end of your boost control between around 80 and 100 percent duty cycle. On the other hand, if the secondary injectors are staged quite early in the load range (and, of course, use variable duty cycle) you might be able to tune the IEBC from these. Failing these scenarios we don’t think the IEBC is suitable – at least, not without some fancy custom modification...

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