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To help bring him up to speed, we're giving Jim a case of 0W-50 oil from ENEOS Oil. Produced by Nippon Oil, Japan's largest oil company, ENEOS is a 100% fully synthetic motor oil that promises high wear resistance and temperature stability. Visit www.eneos.us for more info. To follow in Jim's footsteps, send us your feedback to email@example.com, or to Sport Compact Car - Inbox, 2400 E. Katella Ave. - 11th Floor, Anaheim, Calif., 92806.
Letter Of The Month
Though I've got a '99 Miata, I've been upgrading for only the past two years - Jackson supercharger, KYB adjustable shocks, '01 Miata big brakes plus Hawk pads, HardDog rollbar, bigger wheels with Kumhos, etc. Soon I'll get into sporadic track/performance events. However, since I haven't been fiddling with cars since drag racing in the 60s, I'm way behind in technology. Hence my interest in your magazine and three big questions:
A)What's the best "primer" for modern automotive technology (if there is one)?
B) Now that I've read your Oct '08 issue, how can I get parts 1, 3, 6, 8, 9 10, 11 and 12 of the previously published "Suck, Squish, Bang, Blow" series (which would adequately answer "a" above)?
C) How can I get reprints of the five part "Making It Stick" suspension series?
These two series alone would be worth putting into a compilation for sale. Hey, it's tough to put together a respectable daily driver/performance car and try to sort through various mechanics' opinions, anecdotal "histories", vendor promises, et al and being 30 years (or so) behind the times!
We've been putting some extra time into our website, www.SportCompactCarWeb.com, and plan to have complete archives up soon of your favorite past tech stories and series. But if you're looking for a solid, real copy that you can take to the bathroom or the garage, then the task will get a little bit harder. "Suck, Squish, Bang, Blow" began back in 1999 and it's not guaranteed that our back issues department (at www.primediabackisues.com) will still have copies on the shelf. The chances are much higher for finding hard copies of the later "Making It Stick" series. So for those of you that don't have SCC issues from '99 sitting on your bookshelf, who else wants to see a compilation or "best of" printed up separately? - JL
Read any good books lately?
Two thumbs up for your "Best of 20 Years" issue, I more than enjoyed.
Well allow me to get right into my request. I want to better prepare myself for being a tuner upon my release from prison. I would love to specialize in engine and suspension tuning. So if you can, I would greatly appreciate any references to reading material that covers tuning in the above two fields.
I don't have the 12-part issue "Suck, Squish, Bang, Blow" (Aug 1999 - May 2003) and there's no way I could get some good ol' hands on experience behind these walls. So your recommendation would be appreciated.
Federal Correctional Institution, NY
As long as you've got some spare time, I'd study what racing teams are doing. Then you can de-tune your approach for tuning street/weekend track cars. The bible for racecar set up is Carroll Smith's "Tune To Win." It is part of a series that he has written. They're each very informative on their own. But to avoid saying the same things over and over they frequently reference the other books. I'd start with "Tune To Win" then hunt down "Engineer To Win," or "Prepare To Win," or whatever other area peaks your interest. "Drive To Win" is a must for any aspiring track drivers out there.
Mike Kojima, the author of SCC's "Suck, Squish, Bang, Blow" series wrote a book titled "Honda/Acura Engine Performance." It focuses on the old D, B, and H series Honda engines but the basics can be applied to any engine build.
While on the subject of books, I recently read Dave Gran's "Go Ahead- Take the Wheel." Gran focuses on how to get into racing for the least amount of money. I could relate to many of his experiences and would highly recommend it for people that always wanted to race but never thought they could afford it. -AH
Make Mine In Cast Iron Please
The Micra has always seemed like a fun, small car we'll never see, and Joey Leh's article in the Nov '08 issue makes it sound just so. I just can't fathom a micro car with a 1.6L engine weighing in at the same weight as an STI. Is it a Mercedes badged as a Nissan, or is it made out of lead and encased in concrete? How on earth does it get 40mpg? I'm flabbergasted.
The Micra 160 SR is indeed a really fun, small car that delivers great fuel economy as well as "toss me into a corner" excitement. But its doors are in fact, not made of 3-foot thick steel and filled with lead. Our numbers came from an international press kit, which had a printing error inside of it. By the time that we noticed the error, the issue had already gone to print. The little Micra actually weighs in around 2400lbs, not 3285lbs. With only 110bhp on tap, we would have noticed the extra 800lbs. - JL
They Do Exist
Hi guys, I have been reading your excellent magazine since 1994. Congrats on the 20 years! Currently I am on active duty here in Iraq, which has afforded me time to really put some thought into my project. I currently own a '90 Nissan 240sx hatch, for which I am planning the almost standard SR20DET swap and have been considering transmissions available for this swap.
From my reading I have noticed there is a choice between a 5 spd and 6 spd manual tranny. The plans for this car are mainly as a daily driver with some autocross weekends and sometimes 1/4 mile runs for fun. I am curious as whether there is much performance difference between these options and if there is which would better suit the driving I mentioned. I like the idea of having a 6 spd and do not mind that it will cost a bit more.
SGT Mike Odom
If you flip a little further in this month's issue, you'll see the beginning of our plans for a S13 fastback time attack street car. Like many 240SX owners, we've been in the same position that you're now in. The SR20DET does have 5-speed and 6-speed transmission options open to those that are looking to swap out their KA24DE. If you buy a S13 or S14 Silvia front clip or the average engine swap package, then you'll get the stock 5-speed transmission. The 6-speed you probably heard about is from the S15 Silvia, which came so equipped from the factory. The only issue is that the S15 Silvia doesn't use a speedometer drive gear in the transmission like the S13s and S14s do, the speed signal is taken from the ABS sensor in the rear pumpkin. This means swapping over so many drivetrain components from the S15 that most people just stick with the 5-speed. But we've run across a new option and we'll be covering it in next month's issue. Silvia fans stay tuned; can you say Nismo direct bolt-in 6-speed transmission for the S13 and S14? - JL
20 Years Of Something?
Did I get ripped off or what? The October issue is JUNK! I think it's great that the magazine has been published for 20 years. But I don't feel I need to buy your birthday card. This issue had nothing. It's the first car magazine.. ever.. that I sent right to the recycle bin! I have boxes upon boxes of car mags in my garage and attic. If I could sell them I could give Bill Gates a run for richest man. If you wanted to show the cars, that's neat. Where are the articles on that NSX? I've been looking for them for a few months now. What happened? In the past I have bought the mag on blind faith, knowing that there will be interesting articles. Now I will look at the index before the purchase.
I am just writing to thank you guys, and by you guys, I mean every person who's made SCC possible for the last twenty years. I just read the October issue, "Best Of 20 Years", and it was amazing.
The way it wrapped up the last 20 years was nothing short of perfection. It made me feel nostalgic, almost like reading an old high school yearbook. SCC is the only magazine that I will ever be subscribing to for the rest of my life. You've always been a treasure trove for knowledge and at an entirely different level than the rest of your competition. You are a true connoisseur's publication. Bravo, here's to 20 more years of greatness.
P.S. What about a full color 500-page best of SCC book? Just name your price.
Sandy Hook, CT
Letters To The Editor
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Joey Leh, Editor-in-Chief
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