Here's where we act like we know something technical about cars. Feel free to ask us about your technical troubles. Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Super Street c/o Tech Support, 831 S. Douglas St. El Segundo, CA 90245. Feel free to include a picture of your project or tech problem.
Q Hey guys, first off sick mag. Since Sean has recently switched the direction of his section to photos, I was hoping you guys could help me out. I'm in the market for a new car and want an AWD. So naturally I turned my attention to Subies. After a quick scan of the 2010 models, I'm stuck deciding between a WRX and a WRX STI. Of course, the no-brainer is the STI, but is paying extra gonna pay off in the end? Looking to build a streetable car for now, but maybe a more aggressive street/track car down the road. Just wanna' know what you guys think and input is gonna help. Thanks again, and keep the sick cars coming! Nick Canada
A The STI vs WRX base debate is a tough one. The cool thing with the WRX is that, unlike the Lancer and its big brother EVO, everything from the STI can be swapped onto the WRX. It's tough to cough up an extra $10k when we all know that you'll be upgrading half the parts eventually anyway. We'd recommend getting the WRX and upgrading to STI parts or aftermarket pieces - for that same $10k you'll have a car that could spank the STI in some ways. That's not to say that the STI isn't a good deal, but if you aren't going to leave the car stock it's hard to justify the pricetag. Subaru's own SPT line of parts will also work with the WRX and you get the option of buying a sedan instead of a wagon (many people prefer the four door).
Q Hey guys, what's up? I just happened to pick up your latest issue and see the article on that SWEET old-school Skyline. Nice! Then I was reading the article and I thought "hey, these guys might know something about MY old-school tuner." Hmmm... so here goes: I have a 1975 Dodge Colt. No, it's not an actual Dodge; the tag says it's a Mitsubishi 112. The engine says 4G62. I'm kinda' a muscle car guy, so I don't know what this means as far as potential. So the question is really, what do I have here, and is it cool enough to build? I'd like to get into tuners and this seems like it could be a great non-smog car to play with. Anything you could tell me would be great! Thanks! Jonathan C. Grass Valley, CA
A We're glad to hear you enjoyed the article on Paul's amazing Hakosuka. As much as we'd like to act like we know everything, we had to do a little research on this one. Fortunately your car is essentially a second-generation Mitsubishi Galant (as you stated) and the car is rear-wheel drive, which makes it a much better candidate than the later (and uglier) front-wheel drive Colts. The engine that your car came with is a 4G32 so if you have a 4G62 someone already did you a favor and bumped your car from 1.6L to 1.8L 135hp by swapping the engine. There are a few variations of the 4G62 but we'll presume yours is the carbureted version. None of the work will be easy but you could start by making a manifold and mounting some aftermarket side-draft carbs to replace your single down-draft unit. Next you can take the car to an exhaust fabricator and have a header and exhaust made, then have the car tuned. Another cheap option would be to add a nitrous system. You could also try to source a 4G62T turbo engine, which should be a direct bolt-in but a rare find. Since the car is FR layout already there are plenty of newer engines you could swap in with some custom work like a SR20 or 4AG. As far as the suspension is concerned you're going to have to get custom but really the sky is the limit if you have the time and patience.
Q I have a quick question about the beautiful EG Civic towards the back of the magazine in the February 2010 issue. The front bumper seems to have some fasteners by the front wheels that I've been looking for forever and I can't find. Can you tell me what the purpose of them is and where I can find them? Thanks for your time and keep up the good work on your great magazine! Frank Coello Miami, FL
A What a typical Honda guy mindset- "I don't know what it is or what it does, but I've gotta' have it!" The fasteners you're referring to are made by Dzus. They are a quick-release device that lets you install and remove body panels via a screwdriver or coin. You can find them at almost any hot-rod shop; we'd recommend buying yours from Summit Racing (www.summitracing.com).
Q I own a 1984 Nissan 300ZX and was wondering if there is any way possible to convert it from a four lug configuration to a five lug? I've searched the Internet but haven't been able to find anything that helps me. I have another question too; I've been wanting to turbocharge my '74 Datsun 260Z and can't seem to find an exhaust manifold that will work. All the ones I find are non-turbo applications, so if you guys can find anything I'd really love to hear about it! CJ Carney Via the Internet
A You have two Z cars, searched the Internet and you haven't found www.hybridz.org yet? You should check out that site immediately (no really - stop what you're doing and look) your mind is going to be blown. Not only can you find the answers to your questions on that site, you'll find at least fifty different ways of achieving both. The quickest and cheapest way to convert your 300ZX to five lug would be to run adapters. And turbo charging a car is a lot more involved than just finding the manifold. If you're going to do it you might as well do it right and swap a L28ET (280ZX) motor in the car - and as a matter of fact there is even a FAQ on exactly how to perform that swap on your car on... you guessed it... www.hybridz.org so go forth and learn!