Yo, where you at? In the garage, at the magazine stand or on the can? It's April, so we think Spring Break is coming up. Maybe you should take a break from throwing beads at girls and figure out why your car is blowing out black smoke when you rev it past 5,000rpm. That broken wheel stud isn't going to fix itself while you're kicking it on the beach trying to get rid of your farmer's tan. Hop to it, sucka. We're here, ready for your inquiries, so write in to Super Street magazine c/o Technical Support, 6420 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048. No magic markers, please. If you can take a break from reading spam e-mail, you can get us at email@example.com.Yet again, the Technical Support Inquiry of the Month gets a big fat prize. This month it's a handful of melted Hershey Kisses.
Q Hi, uh, my name is Nohn Jaderi. I have a brown '02 RSX with a Toda 2.3L stroker kit, a header, exhaust, intake and a Hondata ECU. After I had the motor redone it ran great. I'm pretty sure I went through the proper break-in procedure, but recently I saw that my car was leaking some type of fluid in my parking space at home. It looks and tastes like oil, er, I mean, nevermind. It's not water, that's for sure. I also hear a loud clunking noise when I'm driving around, but I don't recall running over any traffic cones. The car seems to ping when I'm revving it at high RPM trying to take down M3s and whatnot. Another weird thing is that the temperature gauge starts creeping up really fast when I'm stuck in traffic. Lastly, can you recommend a color to paint my car that isn't brown? Thanks a lot.
Nohn "Jads" Jaderi
West Hollywood, CA
A That's quite an interesting name you have there, Nohn. We're glad you went with the Toda stroker kit-that sucker makes a lot of power and torque. We're guessing that you went with the high compression version of the kit, which would somewhat explain your pinging. Especially with the 91 low-octane stuff that's available in LA-even worse, if you're Jonny-ing it and using 89 or 87 octane. Your best bet would be to fork out some big bucks and get 100 octane or at least mix some in with the 91 to bump up the octane a bit. Another option would be to drop in a bottle of octane booster during every fill up. We're guessing the leaking problem is not coming from your motor. Maybe the CV boot is bad and you're leaking fluids from there. Next on your list, the over-heating. See if the cooling system was bled properly. If so, then it's the fans. Check to see when they come on, or if they even work at all. You might have to change the temp sensor, signal wire or the entire unit altogether. Maybe run an aftermarket dual electric fan with its own temp trigger and switch. Clunking noises sound like loose suspension. This could very possibly be a result of a martini-filled co-worker forgetting to torque down some bolts. To fix all your mechanical problems, we recommend taking your car to a private mechanic and leaving it with him to drive around for two months. And the paint-anything but brown is good, but make sure you don't take it to Leigh's body shop because they'll paint it the wrong color anyway. And don't take it to the body shop where we had the Fit painted, either, because they'll tell you it's done when it really isn't. (Thanks, Ricky...er, Nohn is probably thankful for the advice - JN)
Q My co-worker was talking about how his 2.3L high compression RSX was pinging at high RPM. Is he an idiot or what? Well since you stupid import guys don't know anything about building cars, me and my muscle car friends came up with a solution. How about a timing controller that retards when the car goes into boost? Those have been around forever. And you call yourselves a car magazine. I am so much smarter than you guys and my corduroy shirts rule, chumps.
Milhouse "Goggles" YeeAzusa, CA
A OK, Mr. So-Called Genius. An ignition that retards the timing when a car goes into boost is a great idea. It's even better than great. It's absolutely, positively superb. If the car was boosted that is. D'oh! Not such a great idea on a naturally-aspirated car. There are other timing control devices that might band aid the problem, but we'd say to get it back on the dyno again and retune the ECU.
Q I have an '03 Infiniti G35 sedan with an aftermarket supercharger kit. When I start it up I hear a very high-pitched squealing noise coming from under the hood. It's almost as annoying as Rosie O'Donnell's voice, but not quite. Should I be worried?
Via the Internet
A We wouldn't worry about it too much. There's no way Rosie would fit under your hood. It's probably just that the belts are loose or have some kind of moisture on them. Double check that and you should be back in business.
Q I have a '91 Nissan 240SX with an SR20DET swap and every time I shut it down the battery dies. I had to go buy a portable jumper just so I don't get stuck at the gas station or in parking lots. What makes things even worse is that my hood is jammed and I can't pop it all the time. In fact, sometimes it takes four or five tries of me running from my driver's compartment to the front of the car. Save me.
Via the Internet
A Sounds like you have a very bad parasitic drain somewhere in your car. Batteries shouldn't die that quickly unless you're rocking some 5,000watt audio system. We think you should take your car to your cousin and have him figure out what's wrong. In the meantime, try parking on a downhill slope-it makes for easy one-man push starts.