Dang, what a hot summer we just blew through. We camped out in the garage for a few weeks. Fans don't help, they just blow hot air at you. The best bet is to wait until nighttime and start wrenching. But if somehow you're on an extended summer break, you shouldn't waste all your time cooped up in your house blasting the air conditioner-though it isn't exactly a bad idea. We'll try to speed up the process by answering whatever tech questions you throw at us. You know how to get in contact with us. Snail mail will get to us at Super Street Magazine c/o Technical Support 6420 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90048. Those who bought into the whole internet fad can hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, our Inquiry of the Month gets a prize and this month it is from PWR Performance (951.245.2900, www.pwr-performance.com). Maybe a nice aluminum radiator will cool things down a bit for everyone. OK. Cheesy joke. But seriously, if your car is running hot, the PWR aluminum radiator can fix your problem in an instant.
Ricky's Inquiry Of The Month
Q Don't kill me, but I just bought an aftermarket turbo kit for my KA24DE-powered 240SX. I thought I'd defy you guys and not go with the engine swap. I hope you're not that upset because I really do need your help. I'll do whatever you want if you can get my car running again. Just name it. And I do mean anything. Just kidding. I'm sure you guys don't want anything to do with a pasty tubby white dude with jet black hair. Anyway, here's my problem. With the turbo kit being bolt-on and all, I figured that a couple friends and I could install it after work while throwing back some double cheeseburgers and sodas. It took about three nights, which wasn't too bad considering we only spent a few hours each night working on it. Here's where we were all left puzzled and confused: When I went to start the car, everything was fine. It idled and there were no leaks. Success. Actually, not quite. When I went to rev the motor, we were all ready for the grumble of the engine followed by a whoosh of the blow-off valve. Neither of these happened. In fact, it was a complete blow to the gut. The car barely revved then died. I tried a couple more times with the exact same result. Insert your laughs and giggles about the KA motor here if you like. Was it the Super Street curse for not doing an SR20DET swap? I would do it now, but I'm all tapped out on money so please make my car run again. Thank you.
Palm Beach, FL
A You're right, we cursed you all the way over from killa Cali. How dare you go against what we preach? Unfortunately, we can't think of anything we want from you so good luck, KA-boy. OK. Well, maybe we can find some compassion for you. The very first reason for this problem, as you may have guessed, is because you're using a truck motor in a sports car. And just like Wonger and Speedos, they don't mix. When an airflow meter car reacts the way yours is, it's usually the airflow meter that's the source of all your headaches. Double and triple check to make sure none of the wires were damaged or loosened when you were putting the kit on. Sometimes it's just a bad connection that can be fixed in seconds and get your car running right away. If all the wires are intact, then you should check the airflow meter itself. Unplug it and free rev the motor. It should start going crazy at around 3,000 rpm. If it does, that means something else is wrong. It might be time to get another airflow meter, though it'd be wise to source out why it burned out in the first place before dropping the cash on a new unit. One thing you could check too, is if you installed the airflow meter on backwards. If you did, then it's a quick easy fix. The side with the adapter for the air filter goes towards the front. It's an easy mistake to make when you're rushing so if that ends up being the problem's source, we promise we won't tell anyone.
Q What's up, Super Street dudes? I just picked myself up a used second generation MR 2 and had a question for you guys. Since the car came stock with a turbo, I was thinking about adding a boost controller so I can get more power out of it. The thing is, there are so many different companies with boost controllers out there. And if I'm about to spend $400 or more on something, I want to know which is the best one. Are all the functions necessary or is it just fluff to bump up the price? Help me.
A Ah yes, the never-ending quest to find the perfect boost controller. We think you'd have an easier time ordering a dinner entre off of a menu written completely in Hebrew. The most simple boost controller to go with is a manual one. There are no electronics so the likelihood of anything failing is slim. All you need to do is turn the knob up or down and it's surprisingly accurate. The only problem with that is that you need to run a boost gauge (though you should anyway) to set it at the boost level you want. There are several basic electronic boost controllers that do the same thing as the manual one, but use solenoids or stepping motors to control the boost. They usually have digital displays to show boost levels so it can double up as a boost gauge. Those are the basics. Now we get to the fun stuff. The higher-end controllers have cool functions like scramble, which lets you set your normal boost level, then a higher one that comes on for a preset period of time. So you can go from, like 17psi for daily driving, hit scramble and it'll jump to 23psi for 8 seconds or whatever you set it to. This works good for drag racing or if somebody hits you up on the freeway and you need that extra power. Not that we condone racing on public highways. Two other cool features are speed mapping and boost-by-gear. Both are very similar in that they allow you to set up several different boost levels. But speed mapping is dependent on speed and boost-by-gear is dependent on gear, if you couldn't figure out by their names. These are extremely helpful when drag racing because you can launch at lower boost and get traction, then have the boost increase automatically without having to taking your hands off the steering wheel or shifter. They are also beneficial in circuit racing because you want lower boost levels around tight curves and higher ones on straightaways. It also works good the other way around, to have the top end run lower boost so that your car doesn't get too crazy on the freeway. There are the facts, now you can decide what best suits your needs.