Category Archives: Tech

Vehicle Preparations before and after a trip

Road trips don’t require much preparation, but 4×4 trips off the beaten track are a different thing altogether. There is no help available off the highway, so the vehicle has to be in good shape and the driver must be well prepared to deal with any eventuality. Of course, the idea is to avoid breakdowns in the first place, so a number of things have to be looked at when setting out on a 4×4 trip out into the wild.

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How well do K&N air filters work?

This is a question which has been long debated. There are those who swear by K&N filters, and many who swear at them. From ‘Autoblog:’:

Fortunately, a Duramax owner tired of the lack of scientific evidence pursued a path of testing that eventually ended with a lab performing the ISO 5011 procedure on a number of replacement air filters.

Read the ‘full test results here’: The gist of the tests is:

The K&N and UNI filters were far less efficient at trapping dust, and note that they lose their flow advantage after filtering about 180 grams of dust.

Continue reading How well do K&N air filters work?

Fluid selection

Good article on oils: ‘Fluid Selection’:

Today, the automotive service industry is faced with a daunting variety of fluids. One type certainly does not fit all applications. This article summarizes some of the most common fluids and the unique OEM specifications that have appeared over the last 10 to 15 years and that are in use today.

Diesel Motorcycles

We’ve been saying it for years, the future of vehicles is likely not hybrid, it’s TDI – Turbo Direct Injection Diesel. Thunderstar seems to agree, having just developed a three-cylinder, 1200cc, TDI motorcycle. Weighing in at 455 lbs, ready to roll, it produces 90hp and 150 ftlbs of torque in stock trim.

Thunderstar TDI Motorcycle

The engine is a VW 3 cylinder diesel (from the VW Polo), recast to fit the motorcycle. Apparantly these things don’t go very fast, the current speed record for diesel motorcycles being 85.46mph. (Diesel KLR650 Sets Speed Record)

Continue reading Diesel Motorcycles

Pass the lab coat

bq.. New passenger-car diesel engines from the Ford-Peugeot Citroen alliance will require workers to be trained to work in a sterile environment. The common-rail diesel design, requiring all cylinders to be injected with fuel at the same pressure, needs a dirt-free environment to ensure there is no blockages in the fuel lines.

*”With the old tractor-type diesel engines it didn’t matter too much about a bit of dirt, but these new engines have much less tolerance of any dirt particles, especially in fuel lines and the fuel head,”* a Ford U.K. spokesman says.

Such attention to detail will require workers in high-tech environments to labor under sterile conditions and powerful lighting. They will be required to wear white coats and protective footwear.

>> ‘Pass me the lab coat; I have diesel engines to build’:

Whatever will local mechanics do? Especially when the majority of workshops in this country look like ‘this’: Common rail diesels are now becoming common in all the new diesel cars and suvs. A 28,000 psi encounter with a bit of dirt is not going to be pretty…

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Hot under the Bonnet

The following article is the elaboration of a post that I made in the forums a while ago. My good friend KO insisted I turn it into a tech article as a reference for those who are not regular visitors around here.

Proper cooling for an engine is like oxygen for us – you don’t care about it until you’re not getting enough of it. That’s why cooling systems tend to go unnoticed until something bad happens, usually accompanied by a lot of huffing, hissing and steam. Continue reading Hot under the Bonnet

Jeep rebuilders

There was a time when Jeeps were only owned and maintained by the either the Landlords for a visit to the lands or shikari’s (hunters) or contractors engaged in construction/mining in remote areas. With the introduction of Pajeros and Land Cruisers a more comfortable approach to the wilderness was available to the not so outdoors kind. Pakistan Army, the single largest possessor of Jeeps gradually phased out the American Legend and replaced its fleet with Toyotas, the auctioned Jeeps found their way in the driveways of enthusiasts, sparkling and shining rebuilt by a few master professionals.

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Motivation Equation

I first published this article back in 2003 when the petroleum pricing structure in Pakistan was completely different from present day and hence the engines available locally were also accordingly different. With the recent alignment of Pakistani petroleum prices with global oil prices, gasoline engines have quickly become a less expensive and often more desirable alternative to diesel engines. I have reproduced the article in more or less its original form, albeit updated where appropriate to reflect engine options now available in light of this development.

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