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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed

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Crewman Six Power

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I just read your review on the Holden Crewman Cross 6 (Holden Crewman Cross 6 Test). Sounds like you are pretty disappointed with the 175kW engine. My wife has a 2005 Adventra LX6 (190kW) and we are very happy with its performance and economy – and, as a result, I am looking at the Cross 6 Crewman for a work vehicle. Question is, is GMH looking at bringing out the 190kW in the Crewman utes and will the spec level improve?

Dean Wynhorst

We aren’t aware of any plans to shuffle the ‘high performance’ 190kW engine into the Crewman. However, if you’re happy with the V6 Adventra it might be worthwhile test driving the current 175kW Crewman.

Cooper Capers

Re your article on the Mini Cooper (New Car Test - Mini Cooper)... You said that the ABS light had a fault. My 2001 Mini's ABS light also has a fault (it stays on) and it has been looked at. A sensor and split wire have been replaced but to no satisfaction - and now the run-flat light comes on... Can you help? I'm pulling my hair out trying to find what is wrong - I have only had the car a few weeks. Please help!

P. Mcquillan

We’re not sure what the problem is, but it appears our car’s problem wasn’t a one-off – can any readers offer their experiences and help?

Re Fizzing Battery #1

Re Disaster! - commiserations for Julian. The Prius battery charger was a fascinating and pioneering effort. Attempts to explore outside the box often have unwanted setbacks, but are learning experiences (albeit costly!). Keep forging ahead, I read with interest.

Jeff Dean

Re Fizzing Battery #2

Julian, you're a good man to tell the bad as well as the good. Sorry about the batteries. But it has increased my trust in what you tell me.

W. Taylor

Re Fizzing Battery #3

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Regarding your Prius battery meltdown (Disaster!)...

I used to race electric radio control cars for much of a misspent youth and they ran 7.2V Ni-Cd battery packs using sub-c cells. So, yes, much of our time and money was spent developing charging techniques to get the most out of the batteries.

Anyway - simple solutions to your charger problem include...

1) Peak voltage detection charge method. Under charge, when the voltage stops climbing and starts to decrease, switch off charger.

2) Temperature detection charge method. Measure the temp of the battery pack with a probe (or two) and switch off the charger at a preset limit.

But you knew all this no doubt and thought you were trickle charging batteries connected in parallel, not series and hence didn't worry about all these safeguards!

Julian O'Hara

Re Fizzing Battery #4

Oh dear, Mr Edgar, ain’t new-tech fun?

I have to wonder just how prepared the roadside assist arms of the various state auto clubs are when it comes to getting sensitive new-age cars like the Prius going again.

If NiMH batteries are good for about 1500 deep cycles or so, how does that equate to average driving habits? Does the cost of battery pack replacement outweigh the reduced hydrocarbon fuel costs? Maybe not. For some interesting info on NiMH batteries have a look at I was there recently looking at the suitability of NiCad chargers with NiMH cells. The trick with charging those things is knowing just when to stop. There are some suggestions in the above document and cell voltage is only a small part of the bigger picture.

Ted Palmer

Interesting stuff. As far as we’re aware, no battery pack has worn out in any Prius – it appears that its charging logic is pretty clever!

Interesting - but not Diverse Enough

I've been reading AutoSpeed for about a year now and recently renewed my subscription.  I find some of your technical articles very interesting, most recently the Prius supercharging - I can't think of anyone else who would have attempted such an ambitious project. However, I feel there is too much focus on certain marques and models. In the last 20 issues there have been no less than 10 articles on Falcodores and 10 on Subarus. I realise these are popular in Australasia, but as an expat Brit I am used to seeing a greater diversity of vehicles on the roads, and would enjoy reading about different vehicles more, perhaps even classics from the '70s and '80s.

Ben Garside
New Zealand

Thanks for your praise – and point taken re mix of featured cars.

Really Cool Coronas

I own a really rare two-door Corona GT-TR. I read the write up about the four-door (Kick-Ass Corona!) but thought you might like to know there was a two-door one made as well. Please look at this link and see what I mean about rare -

I would also like to know how I would go about getting another one - I got mine off someone who had it in Australia already.

Clinton Poke

Great stuff. We suggest contacting the supplier of the four-door GT-T that we tested – they might be able to source you another example. Yahoo Motorsport - +61 8 8345 0939/ 0416 080462

Sonata Clunking

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In your report on the new Hyundai Sonata V6 (Hyundai Sonata V6) you said "and the front suspension of the test car had a clunk on sharp low-speed turns."

Were you able to find out what the clunk was? If not, what’s your best guess? I bought a new Sonata and I have the same clunk. My local Hyundai dealership doesn’t know what it is.

Michael Lynn

We don’t know what the cause is. Perhaps bypass your dealer and contact Hyundai Australia regarding the problem.

Tyre Comparo?

I was wondering if you guys have thought of doing a track tyre (R series) comparison? I have been using Dunlop D01s for a while now but they have now been replaced by the D02 and I am considering other brands.

Darren Wood

We have no plans to do a tyre comparison. Keep in mind that certain tyres perform well on some cars but not others.

Most Power from BOV

I just wanted to know what blow-off valve you would recommend to give the most power on my stock MY00 4-speed auto WRX (old shape).


Any blow-off valve that doesn’t leak under boost pressure.

Waking Rover

I’m looking to put a SR20 into a Rover 416i. Can you please give me an approximate price and someone that would do it for me? And, if it’s not possible, how much would a rebuild and turbo cost?


Try V&E Rigoli (+61 2 9756 3413) – they do plenty of conversions. Price will vary depending on your choice of engine management and other facts – best asking V&E directly. It is likely that turbocharging your existing engine will be a better bang-for-buck solution.

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