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Where We Cure All Your Tech Problems - Tech Support

Feel free to include a picture of your project or tech problem.

John Salangsang
Mar 25, 2011

Here's where we act like we know something technical about cars. Feel free to ask us about your technical troubles. Write us at 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.

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Squeaky Mcsqueakerson
I have a '08 Scion tC and just put on an '06 supercharger. However, if I turn the wheel all the way left or right it, squeals from the engine and also does the same when I run the air conditioning. It was installed by a dealership but they seem to be unable to solve the problem. Do you think that you guys might be able to give me a hint or any help? I am considering on getting new motor mounts but honestly, I am not sure that is going to stop the car from making the noise. Anything would be helpful, really.
Chad Bohr
Via the Internet

A It sounds like the problem is simply a loose belt, possibly if the supercharger is driven by the ancillary belt they may have used a belt that is slightly too long or they didn't tension it properly. When you max out the steering wheel left or right the steering pump has to work at a higher load, thus the belt has a tendency to slip; the same goes for when the air conditioner first kicks on and the compressor is engaged. Either way it's not a serious problem and the solution should be a pretty simple repair.

Cam Gears, What's Up DOHC?
First off, I just want to say that I love your mag. I've been a reader for years. My daily driven car is a 2000 Honda Civic Si and I was wondering if I wanted to do it myself, to replace the cam gears to aftermarket, do I have to remove the whole thing including the camshaft or can I just leave the camshaft in place and just remove the bolts that hold the cam gears? Please advise. Thank you and hello to the crew of Super Street.
John Protasio
Via the Internet

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A For starters, if you're going to be installing aftermarket cam gears, to get any real benefit from them, you'll want to have your cam timing tuned by a professional, in which case they can also install the gears. If you're doing it purely for looks on a daily driven vehicle we would recommend spending your money elsewhere. But to answer your question, no, the camshafts do not need to be removed. We recommend following the procedure in the factory service manual as this task is more difficult than simply removing two bolts. Installing the gears out of time can and will cause a catastrophic engine falure.

Jonesin' For A Downshift
I recently got my first manual transmission car and learned to drive stick through trial and error. It's a totally different feeling than driving automatic and I love it so far. But I've been having a problem I can't seem to solve that's been bugging me every time I drive. What's the correct way to downshift/brake into turns during daily driving without complicated techniques like heel and toe? Every forum seems to have a million different answers. Some tell you to ease out the clutch, some say that's bad for the clutch/synchros. So, once and for all, what's the right way to do this with out putting extra stress on my car?
Jamaul Stephens
Via the Internet

A We've all gone through our fast-and-furious-I-must-downshift-at-every-light phase but to be perfectly honest unless you're driving your car on a track it's pretty pointless. Although rev-matching is quite fun it can cause premature failure of synchros and excessive wear, although minimal, on the clutch. A mechanic we know once said, "It's cheaper and easier to replace brake pads than a clutch disc" and we couldn't agree more.

This is my first time emailing you guys so I'm going to make it quick and simple. When talking about torque, are you supposed to say ft-lbs or lb-ft? For example: you have to torque the lug nuts down to 87 "ft-lbs" or "lb-ft"? I normally say lb-ft so I'm just trying to figure this stuff out.
Terrence N
Via the Internet

A Believe it or not there actually is a difference between lb-ft and ft-lbs and surprisingly even most tuners and mechanics don't know the difference. A lb-ft (used in rating engine torque specifications) is a measurement of torque which is a vector force. One lb-ft is the torque created by a one pound force acting at a perpendicular distance of one foot from a pivot point. A ft-lb (used in rating bolt torque specifications) is a unit of work or energy. One ft-lb is the energy transferred on applying a force of one pound-force (lbf) through a displacement of one foot.

Swappy Time!
I own a 1998 Civic DX with a D16Y7 and was wondering how involved a B18C swap would be? There also seem to be no mounting points for sway bars, could this be corrected by a knuckle swap? Thanks for your time, really enjoy the publication keep it up.
Via the Internet

A As far as engine swaps go they don't get much easier than swapping a B-series into a 90's Honda. They have been documented to death and although they can be a 100% OEM bolt-in affair, there are endless amounts of upgrades and mounts available for your setup. Stay tuned as we are on the verge of a B-series swap in Sean's EK Leroy. As far as the swaybars are concerned your knuckles are fine but you need lower control arms from a Si or EX model to allow mounting points for the endlinks.

New Car,Old Parts?
I just bought a 2011 Civic Si coupe. After browsing the Internet for a couple hours, it seems like there really isn't anything out for it. I figure that the 2006+ Si coupe parts would work. What do you guys think?
James Buckman
Via the Internet

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A We think you're right; all the parts from the earlier 8th generation Civics will be the same as your car so you're good to go.

Never Heard Of Them
I'm looking into modifying my car, a 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT, and one site I came across and seen had good reviews about was Road Race Engineering. I was just wondering if you have ever heard of them to see if they're legit. I'm just getting into cars so I picked up your magazine and it's pretty cool.
Steve Chapman
Via the Internet

A Road who? Only joking, of course. We've heard of Road Race Engineering; they're very well known in Southern California and have a big following from Mitsubishi owners like you. Recently they've even been involved in a small scale with some OE ventures with companies like Suzuki so rest assured they are legit.

By John Salangsang
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