Sunday, October 02, 2005

technoculture new media

I never know thought that there will be so much knowledge needed to modify cars, in my mind, modified cars are those cars with big exhaust, huge body- kit, and oversize wheels, which you see everyday on the roads.

After I went to a garage for modifying cars with my boyfriend the other day, I saw there are a few cars looking very factory form to me, but my boyfriend told me they can go as fast as a Ferrari or Porsche, then I started questioning how they made it that fast. At the beginning my boyfriend just explained the simple stuff to me like putting on larger exhaust and filter, but after I asked him to explain more in depth, he told me it’s the computer in the car doing the job these days. The computer acts like a brain for the car; it calculates how much air goes into the engine and how much fuel it would use to do the combustion. Since most of the car modifiers just put on bigger filter and exhaust, it doesn’t help the car gain much power, because the factory computer setting is not programmed to run more air and fuel. So putting on an after market computer to fine-tune the car is the only option to gain high power. There are two types of after market computer, first type is a piggy-back type which you connect the after market computer to the factory computer, then the after market computer will link up and modify the factory computer settings, but most of them only allow to change around 20 to 30% of the factory settings. The second type is a full con type, which you replace the factory computer with the after market one, this will give you a full accessibility to the computer to do any new setting.

The best way to tune the computer is to run it on a dyno machine. The dyno machine has a computer inside, after the car done some running on the machine, it will save the car running data, and show it on screen, which allow the technician to do the new setting to the after market computer installed in the car. To fine tune a car, it will take at least 6 hours, depending on the experience of the technician.

I have never thought of that a little computer in the car can make such a big difference to the performance of the car. Now I understand why guys like modifying cars, it is very impressive to see the results when you’ve modified the right thing.


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