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TOYOTA 86 It’s a game changer

Dealers warned to ‘keep it real’ Unions rush legislation before Labor shuts up shop

Mark Ma ark Brennan Bre enna nnan National Na atio at tioona ona nal al Small Sm Sma mall ma alll Bus Bu Business usin us siine nes ess ss Commissioner Co Commissione om om mmi m misiss sssio sioo In the Big Chair

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Official publication of the Victorian and Tasmanian Automobile Chambers of Commerce Level 7, 464 St Kilda Road, Melbourne 3004 P: 03 9829 1111 F: 03 9867 3159 ABN 63 009 478 209 President: J Buskes Executive Director: DA Purchase OAM



Unions’ final push for anti-business legislation

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Dealers warned by ACCC on misleading ‘Was/Now’ pricing

Organisation can save lots of time, and it’s easier than ever



Franchise Code of Conduct Review: small business bullied

14 CARBON TAX It is just plain bad for small business

16 NO MORE LEVY VACC adheres to its obligations under National Privacy Principles legislation. Information on products and services contained in the editorial and advertising pages of this magazine does not imply the endorsement of any product or service by VACC. Australian Automotive is copyright and no part may be reproduced without the written permission of VACC. Advertisers and advertising agencies lodging material for publication in Australian Automotive indemnify the VACC, its directors, Board, employees, members, and its agents against all claims and any other liability whatsoever wholly or partially arising from the publication of the material, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, indemnify each of them in relation to defamation, libel, slander of title, infringement of copyright, infringement of trademarks or names of publication titles, unfair competition, breach of trade practices or fair trading legislation, violation of rights of privacy or confidential information or licences or royalty rights or other intellectual property rights, and warrant that the material complies with all relevant laws and regulations. Advertising accepted for publication in Australian Automotive is subject to the conditions set out in the Australian Automotive rate card, available from

Motorcycle Safety Inquiry hands down recommendations

20 TIME TO ACT Police find shocking numbers of unsafe commercial vehicles

22 ENERGY EFFICIENCY Get in quick for free audits: your business could save

Racing legend talks exclusively to us about his early racing days

50 TECHNICAL Window limit resets, semiconductors, Dr Rick, and more...

56 REVIEWS Toyota 86, Mitsubishi Mirage, Nissan Patrol, Volvo V40, Kawasaki Z800

67 SERVICE DIRECTORY Goods and services at your fingertips



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Carbon pricing forces rethink from Mick



46 APRIL 2013


Rick Besserdin Qualified motor mechanic, Rick Besserdin, spent a number of years in the electronics industry. He was a Ford Master Technician and Master Training Coordinator and has a Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training and a Certificate IV in Automotive. He has been Editor of VACC Technical Department’s Tech Talk since 2004 and, this Issue, delves into semiconductors on page 50. He insists he is no relation to Dr Rick.

Paul Tuzson Paul Tuzson, Australia’s foremost automotive technical journalist, writes for several leading car magazines, including Street Machine. This issue, Tuzson reports on the time savings you can gain with considered handtool storage solutions. Elsewhere, Tuzson investigates the world of OEM parts. He talks to several major players. Check out his findings on page 38.

Government: you get what you deserve! PRIME MINISTER, JULIA Gillard, has called an election for 14 September. You now have less than five months to think about what you are going to do about it. Of course, other important things will be happening on that Saturday, but there will be only one event in which you can make a difference to the outcome. The election, unlike the fate of your footy team in the finals, is in your hands. Having the right employees is vital to the success of any business, and that’s why you ask for resumes, references, background checks and interviews before taking on someone new. So, why should a new government be any different? The government is, after all, an employee. It’s there to help your business, and to do so you have to pay it. Just like when hiring a new employee, it’s important to do your homework, so you can choose the right candidate. Are you informed? Do you know the policies of the major parties, and the key differences in those policies? The media, despite its fascination with leadership and personality, occasionally churns out the odd piece on policies and plans, and you will find plenty of these stories inside this month’s Australian Automotive.



Issues like the Carbon Tax (page 14), workplace relations laws (page 6), and promoting small business (page 34) will all feature prominently in this year’s election campaign. However, there’s plenty more to find out about the major parties, such as their attitude to funding the local car industry, and while we will continue to inform you over the coming months, it’s up to you to do the homework so you can make the best choice come September 14. Make sure those politicians work for you, though. Write to them, and expect clear answers on matters of policy, as they will be keen to impress you. So, to paraphrase a famous US President: Ask not what you can do for your government, but what your government can do for you!

Murray Collins Following the completion of his postgraduate Broadcast Journalism degree in Darlington, UK in 1994, Murray Collins spent six years working as a BBC local radio reporter. Collins then joined BSkyB Sky News Radio in 2001, producing and presenting national bulletins. In 2006, he moved to Melbourne and joined VACC in 2007. On page 10 he delves into the Franchising Code of Conduct.

Rod Chapman R R Chapman has previously Rod sserved as News Editor of Australian Motorcycle News A aand was Editor of British monthly, Motorcycle Sport & m Leisure L . He currently works for best motorcycling f a number b off Australia’s A titles, including Motorcycle Trader, as a freelance journalist. In this issue, he experiences the many qualities of the Kawasaki Z800 (page 64).

Australian Automotive Managing Editor: David Dowsey 03 9829 1247 Design & Layout: Gavin van Langenberg, Faith Perrett Database & Distribution: Mary Gouvas Contributors: Rick Besserdin, Dr Richard CreightonSmythe (retired), Nick Dalziel, Darren House, Horace Kope, Ian Porter, Dr Rick, Damien Slavin, The Sommelier

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Last Stand Unions seek to rush workplace changes through before Labor leaves office WORDS David Dowsey


t doesn’t take a crystal ball to predict the election result. And the unions know it.

The Federal Labor Government looks increasingly unlikely to be re-elected come 14 September, with a recent poll giving Labor a primary vote of just 30 per cent. Meanwhile, there has also been a rush on industrial relations legislation. A coincidence? Not on your life. Industrial relations feature in every election. But, recently, instead of reform, the practice has been to introduce political extremes. The Coalition is now reluctant to advocate reform because of the blow it received from Work Choices, legislation which many believed was too far in favour of employers. However, the Gillard Government continues to steamroll ahead in the opposite direction with laws that further tip the balance in the direction of unions and individuals to the detriment of Australian business, alarming

industry groups such as the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), and the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC). “It is concerning for business that so many union demands seem to be getting pushed through in this election year. It seems to us that unions are pressuring the Federal Government to rush through legislation because they can smell the winds of change,” said Leyla Yilmaz, VACC General Manager Industrial Relations, OHS & Training. “It appears increasingly unlikely that the Gillard Government will be re-elected and it is therefore beneficial to unions to get controversial antibusiness legislation passed before the lights go out on the Labor Government.” In the whirlwind of an election year, and the blur of the 24hour news cycle, the voice of business owners is being lost. But if stakeholders are not listened to, and unions are allowed to railroad the Federal

“Discrimination laws are more than plentiful, which makes it very difficult for employers to comply with legislation. The original intention, which VACC endorsed, was for the Federal Government to harmonise anti-discrimination laws, not add further layers and greater exposure to employers for litigation.

Peter Anderson Government into making broad changes, that will be difficult and expensive to overturn, the cost to all Australians could be immense. It is a time for wise heads and genuine discussion; a time for a balance of rights and obligations, say industry groups like ACCI and VACC.

Anti-Discrimination The Executive Director of ACCI, Peter Anderson, has called on Parliament to delay the passage of new antidiscrimination laws. Consultation is needed in order to strike the correct balance, he says. Yilmaz backs up ACCI’s call. “Parliament would be doing the country a massive disservice if the anti-discrimination laws were rushed through in their current form in an election year,” she told Australian Automotive. “If the Federal Government goes ahead with this new anti-discrimination legislation, they will be breaking another promise to simplify laws. “The draft of these laws lacks the required balance; they fall in favour of aggrieved individuals, leaving business owners at the mercy of people who have an axe to grind against their employers.



“If these laws get up, employers will be exposed to multiple levels of litigation. The draft laws encourage forum shopping: lodging claims with multiple courts and tribunals, which adds a further layer, another potential claim area, making it more difficult for employers to defend themselves.” What’s more, even if aggrieved individuals are unsuccessful in their claims, they will not have to pay expenses, which further promotes this sort of activity, and the proliferation of ‘go-away’ money, as well as wasting time and public money in courts on vexatious claims. Small to medium-sized businesses across Australia can ill-afford the possibility of even more litigation. The draft anti-discrimination laws make it easier for individuals to sue, which does not meet the expectations business had when the Government embarked on the harmonisation of discrimination laws in April 2010. ACCI and VACC support the ‘consolidation’ of antidiscrimination laws; this will make complying with them easier for business owners, but the re-writing and additions, as opposed to consolidation, that has been exhibited in the draft laws, is concerning for both business advocates and employers, says Yilmaz.

VACC’s Leyla Yilmaz says Australian small businesses are concerned about legislation that is too far in favour of unions and workers, to the detriment of employers

“BUSINESS IS DIVERSE AND ‘ONE-SIZEFITS-ALL’ RULES FAIL TO MEET EMPLOYER NEEDS. A BLANKET SET OF RULES CANNOT BE APPLIED TO ALL BUSINESS OWNERS” Workplace Bullying The Federal Government’s proposal to change Fair Work laws, and to extend work and family and workplace bullying rights, appears to be wellintentioned. However, Yilmaz says they need to be considered as part of the bigger picture of industrial relations changes if the Labor Government wants support from business owners. “Important changes such as these require consultation and a considered approach,” says Yilmaz. “Laws don’t change behaviour, education does.” The proposed changes to workplace bullying laws, which take the issue of bullying out of the health and safety arena and place it into the realm of industrial relations, allows workers, who believe they have

been bullied, to lodge a claim with the Fair Work Commission. This will only increase the likelihood of vexatious complaints and will therefore see a spike in this type of activity in the workplace, leading to a loss in productivity and business confidence, says Yilmaz. “Bullying is something that we do not tolerate. However, the serious issue of bullying belongs with health and safety, not with the Fair Work Commission.” But while Workplace Relations Minister, Bill Shorten, says that businesses would not be open to bullying accusations, simply for telling their workers to improve their performance, this is not the message being relayed to employer organisations like VACC, by the owners of small businesses.

size-fits-all’ rules fail to meet employer and employee needs.A blanket set of rules cannot be applied to all business owners.” Over-regulation through Fair Work has a cost to business: employment. It is simple, really: when business gets expensive from such regulation, employers are unable to take on more staff. That’s why VACC calls on the government to abolish unnecessary imposts on business owners.

“Our members are reporting that they are fearful of litigation. Business owners are telling us that they can’t even ‘look sideways’ at an employee for fear of being reported for bullying behaviour. This is simply taking things too far.” Employers and employees need each other. Without effective More litigation means more relations between the two, there disputes, more expenses and is no industry: nothing gets done. a weakening of a business Therefore, it is in everybody’s owner’s position and confidence interests to come to a workable, to employ staff, says Yilmaz. levelled Industrial Relations policy In the end, everybody loses. that benefits all. But while an election year can be distracting, IR Reform it does provide an opportunity The swing from Work Choices to send clear messages to both to Fair Work has seen an sides of politics, says Yilmaz. overreaction that has left “We want Government to business owners hurting. implement the recommendations “Fair Work is unfair”, says Yilmaz. from the Fair Work Act Review “Most people agree that a safety Panel Report, which in their nature, net of rules is a good thing, but address balance, and not just to rules need to allow for flexibility; implement changes that win votes business is diverse and‘oneor that unions support.”

APRIL 2013


Dealers warned to ‘keep it real’ WORDS David Dowsey LICENSED MOTOR CAR Traders (LMCTs) should heed the warning handed down in the Federal Court recently to well-known jewelry chain, Zamels, says AADA (Vic) Division Manager, Michael McKenna. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recently launched action against Zamels as a result of a Was/Now pricing method initiated by the jewelry chain in a national advertising promotion. ACCC investigations determined that Zamels had either not sold any items at the advertised higher price, or that it had sold very limited quantities of the items at the higher price prior to its advertising campaign, thereby inflating the ‘savings’ available to consumers. ACCC considered the advertising to be misleading and brought action against



the company, which eventually led to a $250,000 fine and a determination that Zamels publish corrective notices in daily newspapers and on its website. Zamels was also ordered to pay ACCC’s legal costs. ACCC issued a statement advising that: ‘Zamels’ conduct was found to be in breach of Section 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974, which prohibits conduct that is misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive. Zamels’ also contravened Section 53(e) of the Trades Practices Act 1974, which prohibits making false or misleading representations with respect to the price of goods and services.’ “ACCC’s warning is unequivocal: an advertised discount needs to be genuine,” says Michael McKenna. “If in doubt about pricing policies, LMCTs should contact VACC, or see the ACCC website for details of discount pricing initiatives that meet legal requirements.”

ACCC gives the following advice on discount pricing: ‘Discount pricing involves a comparison of two prices – commonly taking the form of ‘Was/Now’ pricing – and is also often referred to as twoprice advertising. If you use this type of pricing practice, you need to ensure that any comparison drawn is genuine and accurately reflects the previous (most recent) price with the discounted amount. The legislation mandates that any previous price stated should be genuine and not inflated, so the discount is real. A discounted price or special offer should only be available for a limited period of time.’ “AADA (Vic) acknowledges that, in most cases, factories will be aware of their obligations and adhere to the regulations as stipulated under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. But, dealers

Michael McKenna should always be mindful when advertising stock outside of factory-supported campaigns, for instance with local newspapers, to ensure compliance with all advertising requirements,” warned McKenna. “LMCTs should consider why vehicle discounting is taking place and ensure that any advertised consumer savings are genuine.” On 1 January 2011, as part of Australian Consumer Law amendments, the Trades Practices Act 1974 was renamed the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. See to download a copy of Pricing manual for the motor vehicle industry.

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Franchise Code of Conduct Review: Automotive industry calls for better accord with dealers and good faith WORDS Murray Collins THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY has repeatedly highlighted concerns regarding the Franchising Code of Conduct and so, when the Federal Government announced a Review of the Code in January, VACC, its national body, the Australian Motor Industry Federation (AMIF) and the Australian Automotive Dealers Association (AADA) didn’t need a second invitation to present their views. VACC, AADA and AMIF members were sent bulletins, information and a survey to canvas opinion and collect evidence. The responses resulted in two submissions, one on behalf of AADA and the other on behalf of the retail automotive industry. The submissions were sent to Alan Wein, appointed by former Minister for Small Business, Brendan O’Connor, to review the Code.

Alan Wein

AADA National Submission AADA HAS CALLED for an automotive industry-specific Franchising Code of Conduct. AADA represents the interests of the operators and owners of Australia’s 4,400 new vehicle retail outlets, which last year, sold a record 1.1 million vehicles to Australian consumers. Dealers of new cars and motorcycles consider themselves different to other franchisees because of the size and scale of their investments in land, stock, equipment and branding. One multi-franchise dealer, who wanted to remain anonymous, told Australian Automotive, that the huge financial commitment required by a dealer could not be compared to any ‘normal’ franchisor-franchisee relationship and that the unique nature of the agreement merited special attention.



dealers also took their chance to tell it like it is. “They have no consideration for their dealers,” said one unnamed dealer.

Tony Sitch “It’s a master and servant relationship. There’s a huge imbalance of power in the agreement and they’re ‘take it or leave it’ documents,” he said. “A new, dealer-specific Code is required to address return on investment, Prime Market Areas (PMAs), and the issue of good faith.” Given the opportunity to anonymously voice concerns via the submission, several

“Our franchisors have a completely ‘take it or leave it’ attitude to their franchisees and to complain is to risk being singled out and punished,” said another dealer. AADA (Vic) Chairman, Tony Sitch, proprietor of Essendon Nissan and Kia, was happy to go on the record. He told Australian Automotive the issue of PMAs was a key concern for dealers. With online websites, expanding suburbs, government identified growth corridors and demanding customers, the landscape in which new car dealers operated had changed, but franchisors and franchisees had very different views of these changes.

“Each PMA is different; rural, regional, metropolitan but they are calculated using old census data. One of my franchisors looked at my PMA and said they wanted to put in another dealership within 13 kilometres of me, based on data that is five years old. There was little consultation and I would have preferred to have had more dealer input into these changes,” said Sitch. If there was little communication, there was certainly no compensation. “When I bought Essendon Nissan, I acquired Daewoo as well. Then GM informed me they intended to shut down Daewoo. I took up the fight, with VACC support and support from other dealers. I found out through the media that the franchise had ceased. I didn’t get any compensation, very little notice and little chance to sell the stock,” Sitch said.

Industry Code of Conduct submission IT’S NOT JUST car dealers calling for an overhaul of the Franchise Code of Conduct. Other automotive business owners in franchise agreements are also left exposed by the terms of the current Code. Component part specialists, retailers, service centres, body repairers and car rental businesses operate on ‘agreements’, skewed in favour of the franchisor. Automotive industry small business owners are calling on the Review to address goodwill, PMAs, termination and imbalances in the terms and conditions of franchise contracts. The Australian Motor Industry Federation (AMIF), on behalf of its member motor trades associations including VACC, has submitted a retail automotive industry position to the Review.

“There are two million small businesses employing nearly five million employees in Australia. Ninety five per cent of all businesses are small businesses and yet, many are controlled by the remaining five per cent. Big organisations, many of which are franchisors, are now so big they dictate terms, influence business decisions, exert pressure and threaten to terminate agreements if things don’t go their way,” VACC Executive Director, David Purchase, said. “The Review needs to consider small business owners and recommend changes to make sure they are treated fairly,” Purchase said. The issue of ‘big versus small’ is one being driven by VACC, as reported in the February issue of Australian

increasingly treat them unfairly and, often, unconscionably.” “Big business counter claims that often small business suppliers are inefficient, selfinterested, narrow minded and fail to adequately understand the agreement they are entering into.

David Purchase Automotive. Purchase says small businesses need a stronger Franchising Code of Conduct to provide protections, fairness, a moral compass and protection of goodwill. “Many retail automotive small businesses, be they independent service stations, new car or motorcycle dealers or body repairers claim that the big businesses with whom they deal,

“But what is clear is that small business is not listened to or taken seriously by their so called big business partners. Small business owners do not want to bring down big business; this is not a story of David and Goliath. Small business owners understand this is a symbiotic partnership, where both parties need each other to survive, but, as it stands now, if we want to prevent the demise of the small business, then big business, governments and regulators have to make the playing field fair. We are hopeful the Review will do this,” Purchase said.

APR APRIL R IL L 201 2 2013 0 013 3

11 11






Members see Red with Green Tax WORDS David Dowsey VACC HAS BEEN monitoring the impact of the Carbon Tax on the automotive businesses of its members and the feedback received has been that the Tax is negatively impacting on their enterprises. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There was a lot of speculation about the Carbon Tax before it was introduced. But, no one could accurately anticipate its bearing on small business, in particular. During the ďŹ rst few months of the Tax, VACC monitored its progress and consulted with members. Based on what members have said, VACC cannot support the Tax,â&#x20AC;? VACC Executive Director, David Purchase, said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;VACCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s position on the Carbon Tax is not politically

based, but rather is a representation of the views of members.

July introduction. Unlike households, small and medium businesses do not receive compensation for increased costs.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Of course, the Carbon Tax is now a reality and we have to adapt to it. Members are coping as best they can and VACC continues to assist them with a range of programs to cut their costs, improve their energy efďŹ ciencies and their environmental practices,â&#x20AC;? Purchase added.

David Purchase

Trade-exposed businesses have also seen their global competitiveness reduced, as they are in competition with overseas companies that do not have such a tax imposed upon them.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;However, given the chance to speak directly to the Prime Minister, our members would inform her that the Tax is certainly not helping in a very tough and competitive commercial environment.â&#x20AC;? While not actually being taxed, members claim they have seen large increases in energy bills since the 1

Shadow Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson, reiterated to Australian Automotive that an Abbott-led government will repeal the Carbon Tax if elected in September. While VACC members agree that lowering their carbon footprint is good for everyone, they believe that the Carbon Tax is not the way to do it.



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Motorcycle Safety Levy should go WORDS David Dowsey


THE MOTORCYCLE SAFETY Levy should be abolished. That is one of the key recommendations to come out of the Road Safety Committee Inquiry into Motorcycle Safety.

Rec 12. That an on-road training component for learner riders, and onroad testing component for probationary riders, be introduced.


Rec 23. That a ‘Motorcycle Safety Awareness Week’ be held annually in Victoria in conjunction with the Phillip Island MotoGP.


Rec 59. That the benefits and risks of filtering, as distinct from lane splitting, be reviewed with the aim of introducing filtering in Victoria.

VACC’s Motorcycle Industry Division originally told the Road Safety Committee Inquiry into Motorcycle Safety that the Motorcycle Safety Levy (currently $63.80, which is added at each yearly vehicle registration) was an unfair impost on owners of powered two-wheelers (motorcycles and scooters) in its official submission, back in September 2011. Since then, in December 2012, the Road Safety Committee Inquiry into Motorcycle Safety report was issued. The report contains 64 recommendations published in it – apart from abolishing the unfair ‘Safety Levy’ – some of the key recommendations include: q


Rec 1. That an independent office of road safety data be created which will be responsible for collecting, interpreting and publishing all data relevant to road safety.


“Every powered two-wheeler rider, and all road users, welcome any initiative that will make road users safer,” says VACC Motorcycle Industry Division Manager, Paul Muccitelli, “but we have serious reservations about how the income from the levy is being spent by authorities.

“We are calling for the Motorcycle Safety Levy to be scrapped. A safety levy should be equitable and fair, it should be levied across all road users. But, if it is not abolished, at the very least, we urge the government to investigate how funds are being spent and to ensure – and disclose – that every cent, as promised, is being put into initiatives that better protect riders of powered twowheelers when on our public roads. All Motorcycle Safety Levy-funded projects must have clear performance indicators and be evaluated, the results of such evaluations must be available for public access. It is time for the government to take action, Muccitelli says, on all 64 recommendations brought to the attention of

Paul Muccitelli the Road Safety Committee Inquiry into Motorcycle Safety. “It is important that the government takes careful note of the recommendations of the Road Safety Committee Inquiry into Motorcycle Safety. “The key recommendation is that the Safety Levy be abolished. But, if that is not going to happen, then the government needs to begin actioning the other twelve Motorcycle Safety Levy recommendations that have been delivered to it.”

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New Small Business Minister urged to act on big issues WORDS David Dowsey WITH THE 2013 FEDERAL election now very much front of mind for both politicians and voters, the needs of Australia’s largest employer – small business – have been put under the microscope. So, it was noted with interest that a new Minister for Small Business was recently appointed in the Gillard government’s reshuffle in the wake of resignations from Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, and Minister for Immigration, Workplace Relations and Tertiary Education, Chris Evans. Replacing Brendan O’Connor, Chris Bowen is now representing Australia’s engine room; the two million small business owners, who employ five million Australians. “VACC congratulates The Hon Chris Bowen MP on his appointment as Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science

and Research, and Minister for Small Business in the recent Cabinet reshuffle,” said VACC Executive Director, David Purchase. VACC represents more than 5,300 businesses in the retail, service and repair sector of the automotive industry, 95 per cent of which are small businesses, whose owners face many challenges. “We trust that, as Minister for Small Business, Mr Bowen will do everything in his power to support and promote this vital sector.”

Chris Bowen

Purchase said that areas where immediate action was needed by Bowens’ department included skills, training, franchisee issues, fair competition, taxes, red tape and unworkable regulations.

businesses with the seriousness and the priority that they deserve.”

“I have written to wish Mr Bowen well in his new role and have offered him every assistance that he may require. I hope that he will treat the issues facing Australia’s small

Chris Bowen is the fourth Labor Minister for Small Business since 2011. Bruce Billson remains Shadow Minister for Small Business.


David Purchase

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New safety inspection for commercial vehicles WORDS Murray Collins

been allowed to fall between the cracks. This area requires urgent consideration. We can’t stand back and say this is not our problem,” VACC Executive Director, David Purchase, said.

LIGHT COMMERCIAL VEHICLES (1.5-4.5 tonnes) make up 81 per cent of Australia’s truck fleet. Many are owner/driver courier and delivery vans, making short, but frequent journeys as they zip around towns and cities, making pick-ups and drop-offs. While providing important services, especially in today’s webbased environment of on-demand products and services, time is money, and owners of commercial vehicles are understandably reluctant to take vehicles off the road for any length of time.

John Glbert During an enforcement operation by Victoria Police in metropolitan Melbourne in late 2012, 80 per cent of commercial vehicles were found to be defective.

And when it comes to safety, from a commercial vehicle owner’s perspective, there is never a good moment to book in the van for a service, as that could result in a period of down time in the workshop. Why pull over to investigate a strange noise in the engine or change that worn tyre, when there are deadlines to make and customers to keep happy?

VACC campaigns for better passenger vehicle safety, while the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) campaigns for better heavy vehicle safety, but the two organisations have become so concerned about the condition of Victoria’s commercial vehicles that they have collaborated to address the commercial vehicle sector.

So, it is little wonder that the statistics for commercial vehicle safety are appalling.

“Commercial vehicle safety has had little or no attention paid to it and, as a result, has

“When most people think of freight, they think of road-trains, B-doubles, and the like. But heavy vehicles make up less than a quarter of the Australian freight fleet and there are nearly 2.5 million light commercial vehicles on our roads. Owners and drivers are responsible for their condition and maintenance, but the only time this is scrutinised is when they are pulled over in a random police inspection. Unchecked and unsafe commercial vehicles are a risk, causing crashes and avoidable breakdowns,” VTA Industry Services Manager, John Gilbert, said. VACC and VTA have pooled resources to develop a pre-drive visual inspection for commercial vehicle owners and drivers. Using VACC’s Five Point Safety Check, a free visual inspection of a car or motorcycle’s tyres, brakes, lights, steering and restraints at the point of service, the

David Purchase 10 Point Commercial Vehicle Safety Check was introduced at a Freight Week 2013 activity, Safety Drive Day, in early March. Covering basic safety features including tyres, mirrors, lights, seat position, fuel load and load restraints, the tick list is quick and simple. The check sheet will clearly state that any faults found should be repaired by a professional. When applied in conjunction with WorkSafe’s Guide to Safe Work Related Driving, the 10 Point Commercial Vehicle Safety Check will make considerable in-roads into commercial vehicle safety. well and it is a credit to Phil and his committee.

Vale Phillip Kenny PHILLIP KENNY, VACC Past President (1983-1985) passed away on 19 December 2012. Phil was a proud towing operator, a collector of vehicles, a collector of towing memorabilia and a custodian of the history of the



towing industry in Victoria. His business, Town and Country Towing, was a feature in Mount Alexander Road, Ascot Vale, for many years. As Chairman of the Towing Operators Division from 1973 to 1981, Phil led a very active

committee that successfully lobbied for the introduction of the legislated accident allocation system of towing regulation in Victoria. The allocation system has served the industry and community

Phil was also active in his local community in Moonee Ponds and Essendon and internationally, as a delegate to the International Organisation of Motor Trades and Repairers and the US Towing and Recovery Association. Phil attended meetings in the USA as an Australian towing industry representative. He was also a foundation sponsor of the International Association that became ‘Friends of Towing’. In 1986, Phil was recognised for his contribution and inducted into the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame. The VACC Board, members and staff offer their condolences to Olga, the Kenny family and the many business and community friends that Phil made over his successful business career.

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Go Further APRIL 2013


VACC launches new Energy EfďŹ ciency Program to add value to an already popular Green Stamp Plus Accreditation program, which VACC Members are using to promote their sustainable business practices to the community and their client base,â&#x20AC;? added Yilmaz.

WORDS Murray Collins WITH THE FINANCIAL support of the Federal Government, VACC has been rolling out, from October 2012, the Automotive Energy Information Program. Designed to identify and promote energy efďŹ cienct practices and resources, practical information for the industry to reduce costs and adopt energy efďŹ ciencies will be distributed over the two year program. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The automotive industry has made great strides in recent years to become more environmentally friendly and introduce more sustainable business practices. However, with increasing energy and other business costs, VACC is keen to explore opportunities

SpeciďŹ cally, the Program will involve:

Leyla Yilmaz to improve energy efďŹ ciencies which in turn will reduce the cost of doing business,â&#x20AC;? said Leyla Yilmaz, General Manager IR OHSE and Training. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Automotive Energy EfďŹ ciency Program was designed

qGSFFFOFSHZBVEJUT conducted by an energy specialist across a diverse range of businesses over the next year q5IFFOFSHZBVEJUTXJMM be used to identify practical cost saving measures that can be shared among automotive businesses

q5IFEFWFMPQNFOUPGBVUPNPUJWF speciďŹ c advice and support q4FNJOBSTBOEJOGPSNBUJPOTFTTJPOT to promote energy efďŹ cient practices and innovative business case studies used by the automotive industry q*OEVTUSZTQFDJĹĽDHVJEFMJOFT and fact sheets q"EFEJDBUFEFOFSHZFGĹĽDJFODZXFCTJUF q"OFOFSHZFGĹĽDJFODZUFMFQIPOF hotline operated by VACC VACC Members are already volunteering to participate in the free energy audits. If an automotive business has less than 200 full-time employees and is interested in accessing a free energy audit, contact the VACC OHSE Unit on 03 9829 1117. Register your interest quickly, as only 100 free assessments are available.

Update: CCAAC inquiry WORDS Bernard Murray IN MARCH 2011, the then Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, The Hon David Bradbury MP, requested the Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council (CCAAC) undertake a review of the sharing of repair information in the automotive industry. An issues paper was released on 15 July 2011 calling

for submissions to be lodged by 19 August 2011. Due to VACC holding a national conference on the issue, VACCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s request to have the deadline extended was granted and a new submission date of 23 September 2011 was set. A large number of submissions were received by CCAAC, including a submission from VACC on behalf of its independent repairers, Austr Australian Motor Industry Fede Federation (AMIF) and Aust Australian Automobile Deal Association (AADA). Dealers Sinc that time, VACC Since has continuously called for CCAAC to release ďŹ its ďŹ ndings. The CCAAC Sha Sharing of repair inf information in the au automotive industry, Final Re Report was released on 27 November 2012. Summary of Report Su C CCAAC recognised the im importance of access t information for the to r repair of motor vehicles, but could not report on any evidence of systemic consumer



detriment and, therefore, did not warrant government intervention. CCAAC did, however, acknowledge that the accessibility of repair information had the potential to become a barrier to entry to the market, and that the viability of the independent repair sector is in the interest of consumers, repairers and manufacturers. CCAAC encouraged the automotive industry to develop an industry-led outcome to improve access to repair information for independent repairers. It was ďŹ rm that this should be achieved in a reasonable timeframe. The Canadian Automotive Service Information Standard (CASIS) was repeatedly referred to in the report as an example of a workable solution. CCAAC also recommended that any implemented industry outcome should be reviewed for adequacy within 18 months of implementation. Report Responses The report has received mixed responses from industry participants. Whilst some are

Bernard Murray steadfast in their resolve for a legislative solution, it is noteworthy that VACC and AMIF were quoted numerous times in the Report. Next Steps Following the reportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s release, VACC requested a meeting with Bradbury and Colin Neave, Chairman of CCAAC, to discuss outcomes. A meeting is also being scheduled with the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) involving VACC and AMIF to discuss an industry-led solution. VACC will also continue to lead discussions with manufacturers and information developers regarding reaching agreements to provide industry access to manufacturer service and repair information.


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Toyota Design Head joins VACC Automotive Design Awards Judging Panel WORDS Murray Collins NICOLAS HOGIOS, TOYOTAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S Manager, Product Design, and the inaugural winner of Wheels Young Designer of the Year Award, has accepted an invitation to join the VACC Automotive Design Awards Judging Panel. Hogios is now responsible for the Melbourne-based Toyota design team, following the retirement of former Corporate Manager, Styling and Design, Paul Beranger.

design competition means this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s entries will, again, be judged by Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s three local manufacturers: Ford, Holden and Toyota. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am looking forward to being a VACC Automotive Design Awards judge, representing Toyota. Victoria is the hotbed of automotive design and I know there are many aspiring young auto-designers in this state. I look forward

to seeing their entries and providing entrants with feedback, advice and tips to help them follow their dreams of working in an automotive design studio,â&#x20AC;? Hogios, said. Also joining the Panel is Paul Beranger, who has shown such commitment to the Awards over the years that VACC didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to lose his expertise and experience. Beranger will Chair the Panel this year.

Hogiosâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; involvement in Victoriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier student automotive

Judges will consider design, model and essay entries in the secondary and tertiary categories, before announcing the shortlisted entries for the Awards Night at Federation Square on 20 June. In front of students, parents, teachers, professional designers, and members of the automotive industry, the winners will be announced, with awards being presented by Minster for Higher Education and Skills, Peter Hall, MP.

Nicolas Hogios In addition, selected entries will be exhibited at the Australian International Motor Show, 28 June to 7 July, where students will have their designs seen by an estimated 200,000 visitors at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, including Presidents and CEOs of automotive manufacturers and importers, and the national media. For more details, visit




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         APRIL 2013


‘High’ GP cost not unique to Australia

to construct. Additionally, until terms were re-negotiated in 2011, Shanghai also had to pay some of the world’s highest licence fees. Other races with high licence fees include Suzuka in Japan, at $48 million in 2011, and Bahrain, at $37 million in 2012. Official figures for these fees are kept closely guarded, as knowledge of this would allow other cities to broker deals with the sport’s bosses and ‘pinch’ races.

WORDS Nick Dalziel

negotiated to keep the race in Singapore until at least 2017.

IT’S BECOME A seasonal occurrence: every summer articles will be released bemoaning the high cost of the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix to taxpayers. This year, it is claimed that the Victorian government will directly lose nearly $60 million on Melbourne’s race, following a loss of $57 million in 2012. One report this summer revealed a $34.2 million licence fee to F1 management. This drew out responses from a number of public figures, suggesting that Victorians were lining the pockets of F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone. In response to this, the Victoria Events Industry Council (VEIC) reaffirmed its support for the Albert Park race. Chief Executive Dianne Smith says, “The Formula Money report last year assessed that the race alone has generated exposure for Melbourne valued at $816 million in the past four years.” Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott told Australian Automotive that the race brings a considerable financial boon to the state. “A 2011 Ernst & Young report estimated the Grand Prix in that year increased Victoria’s real gross state product (GSP) by between $32 and $39 million. That figure includes the cost to the states of running the event, meaning the benefits significantly outweigh the drawbacks.”



Neither Melbourne nor Singapore face the burden of constructing a racetrack, unlike many other cities, which have built racetracks costing hundreds of millions of dollars.

Andrew Westacott The report also claimed that the 2011 event generated between 351 and 411 fulltime equivalent jobs. Westacott added that the event’s benefits extend well beyond economics alone, “The Albert Park race has gained a formidable reputation amongst teams, organisers, and of course spectators worldwide. That reputation extends to the city as a whole.” Comparing our race to those overseas puts it in greater standing. Melbourne is not the only city to pay a large licence fee for the privilege of being a Grand Prix host city. Similar licence fees exist throughout the world with an average of over $30 million. Singapore, for example, is reported to pay a fee of around AUD$40 million to host its Grand Prix, part of an overall cost to the state of nearly $70 million. However the city-state’s trade ministry estimates the race generates $120 million in annual revenue. That last figure was part of the reason organisers last year

China hosted its first Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit in 2004. The purposebuilt track cost $240 million

Nevertheless, it looks as though the Grand Prix will remain a part of Melbourne’s major events calendar beyond 2015, with bipartisan support for the race. Pride is certainly a factor in keeping the race in Melbourne. As former SA premier John Bannon, the man who brought the Grand Prix to Australia, pointed out, “you don’t want to be the man who lost the grand prix.” The Australian Grand Prix runs from March 14-17. Visit

APRIL 2013


Nissan Genuine Parts announces exciting trade promotion for all Mechanical and Panel customers exciting period for V8 Supercars. Nissan’s entry into the V8 Supercar Championship reflects its brand promises of ‘innovation and excitement’; innovation with the Car of the Future program and excitement through the attraction and popularity of V8 Supercars.

IN 2013 ALL roads will lead to Bathurst! Nissan’s trade customers have the opportunity to ‘Take a Mate’ to their local round of the 2013 V8 Supercars Championship (two tickets per winner). A total of eight regional locations will be on offer leading up to the ultimate prize of a three-night/ four-day Nissan Bathurst experience in October 2013 (one ticket per winner). The promotion runs from 1 February to 13 September 2013.

Each local round of the V8 Supercars has its own entry closure date so please refer to the individual terms and conditions of these events. Registered entries entitle you not only to win the local round, but also remain in the draw for the major prize to Bathurst !

Every $200 (excluding GST) in Nissan Genuine Replacement Parts purchased from an authorised Nissan Dealer, you receive one entry into your regional draw and, all entries go

into the main draw for ‘The Road to Bathurst’ prize. Get Genuine Get Rewards® members get two entries for every $200 (excluding GST) purchased, so if you are not a member why not join up today to double your chances to win! Put yourself in pole position to win one of these exciting prizes by registering now via bathurst. It’s that easy! (Full program terms and conditions are detailed on the website).

As we enter the new era of the championship under ‘Car of the Future’ regulations we will see vehicles from Nissan and Erebus/ SBR tackle Holden and Ford. This is sure to be an historic and

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APRIL 2013


Altima racecar preview: Nissan dealers positive

Two Jack Daniel’s and two Norton cars will fly the Nissan flag in 2013

WORDS Nick Dalziel NISSAN IS HOPING that the exposure of its Altima V8 Supercar will create an air of anticipation before the fourth quarter launch of the roadgoing version, in a previously untested marketing strategy. Traditionally, V8 Supercars have adopted the new livery of a model after the launch of the road-going version, such as the Ford Falcon, which kept BF livery in the 2008 season, after the launch of the FG. Nissan Corporate Communications Manager, Peter Fadeyev, believes the Nissan Motorsport race team will be of great benefit to the company’s dealers. “The traditional mantra has been ‘Win on Sunday, sell on Monday’, except this car won’t be on the market until the fourth quarter of this year,” Fadeyev told Australian Automotive.

Nissan showed its national dealer group the mid-sized Altima, which has already been released in North America, last October. At the same time the company outlined its marketing plans.

“It gives us a chance to seed the name ‘Altima’ for at least a year, and for people to become familiar with the shape and look of the car for at least a year before it goes on sale.”

“In short [the dealers] think it’s a very positive step. The main reason being it gives them a running start,” Fadeyev added.

The road-going Altima will be a front-wheel drive sedan, offered with four- and sixcylinder engines. Despite being of different architecture to the racecar, Fadeyev believes that this won’t be “critical to the [Altima’s sales] success.”

Rather than advertising the Altima after launching it and then complementing the publicity with the V8 Supercar program, Fadeyev hopes buyers will begin to recognise the Altima name in 2013, a new nameplate to Australians.

In a similar move, Holden’s VF Commodore will be previewed on Australian and American racetracks before being




launched later in the year. The day after revealing the new Commodore to the media, three race teams unveiled their 2013 cars in VF livery. The Chevrolet SS, an exported version of the VF Commodore for the American market, will feature in the 2013 NASCAR season before going on sale to the public later this year. Consumers got their first peek at the Nissan Altima and VF Commodore at race pace at Adelaide’s Clipsal 500 in early March. The race for dealer sales will begin later in the year.

WORDS David Dowsey SINCE ITS HUMBLE beginnings, which were formulated at the Charing Cross Hotel in Bendigo, where car-dealer brothers, Henry and Percy Rickards and others, formed the Retail Motor Dealers’ Association of Victoria, later to become the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce, on 20 September 1918, VACC has grown to become the Peak Body for Victoria’s Automotive Retail, Service and Repair industry. Later incorporating Tasmania, VACC now represents 5,300 automotive businesses. Now, 95 years later, it’s time for a party.

Members, and their guests, are invited to attend VACC’s official 95th Anniversary Celebration in September in Melbourne. The fabulous gala event is a time to dress to impress, dine on fine food and beverages, and to dance the night away with worldclass entertainment. Held at the wonderful Sebel Albert Park Melbourne, attendees will be entertained by The Tim Campbell Band, featuring a tribute to Johnny O’Keefe. Tickets can be purchased individually, or as a table of 12, (at $110 per head). Booking information will be provided to VACC members shortly.

VACC’s 95th Anniversary Celebration will take place at The Sebel Albert Park 191 8 Melbourne (63 Queens Road, Melbourne) on Saturday, 21 September, beginning at 7pm. Ticket registrations close on 1 August. Parking is available onsite. Those wishing to stay the evening are advised to book with The Sebel Albert Park Melbourne as soon as possible, as places are limited.


Be quick, this event will sell out fast. For more information contact Ismini Tsiftis at VACC on 9829 1263 or email

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APRIL 2013


Waste Tyre Disposal The ‘Implementation Working Group’ transition to ‘Tyre Stewardship Australia’ WORDS Terry Conroy he vexing issue of appropriate waste tyre disposal has long been a problem for the tyre industry. After having failed to resolve this issue following ten years of discussions, in 2008, a waste tyre ‘Round Table’ of industry representatives disbanded.


In November 2009, the Environment Protection and Heritage Council (EPHC) agreed to work with the tyre industry to develop an industryled approach to product stewardship for tyres.


These delegates, including VTDA Division Manager, represented their sector of the tyre industry on a small ‘Implementation Working Group’ (IWG) to develop a voluntary tyre stewardship scheme. VACC was the only state association invited to be involved directly in this process. This was most likely a result of VACC’s submission to a previous public meeting on the issue of waste tyres held in Melbourne by the EPHC.

Following this, in October 2010, the incoming Labor Environment Minister, the Hon. Peter Garrett, invited VACC to attend a meeting of industry stakeholders, requesting that attendees work together to resolve this major environmental issue, giving them a twelvemonth timeframe to complete the task.

It has been advised that the EPHC remit was withdrawn by COAG upon the establishment of the Standing Council on Environment and Water in 2011. EPHC was established in 2001 to ensure that governments work together with communities to achieve and enhance a healthy, natural and cultural environment in harmony with social and economic goals. It replaced the ‘Australian and New Zealand Environment Conservation Council’.

Gerry Morvell was appointed as the facilitator, taking the position of Chair of all subsequent meetings. He requested that industry delegates should be nominated from each stakeholder group at that initial meeting.

Over the next twelve months IWG met regularly in various locations across the country, including VACC House, as it developed the guidelines for this ‘voluntary’ Waste Tyre Stewardship Scheme.


It was agreed this scheme would be funded by applying a 25-cent levy per tyre or, ‘Equivalent Passenger Unit’ (EPU) imported into Australia. (All tyres sold in Australia are now imported). Note: One EPU represents an average waste passenger tyre, weighing 8kg. On this basis, a 4x4 tyre, weighing 16kg, equals two EPUs, with some mining tyres equaling up to 400 EPUs. The IWG formed a body called Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) with a small Governing Board of representatives from each of the original stakeholder groups to run the scheme. One of those being VTDA Chair and Australian Tyre Dealers and Retreaders Association (ATDRA) President, Chris Hummer. This new Tyre Stewardship scheme will be market-based and commit participants to handle ‘end of life’ tyres in a sustainable manner by ensuring that waste tyres are retained for more appropriate disposal through recycling into a range of other products, relying on market-based solutions, leading to the lowest cost for consumers. The levy will be used to administer the scheme, to educate the community, and to assist in the development of new tyre-derived product research. During this process, participants identified a number of complementary actions needed to be addressed by governments, including:

qDPOUSPMMJOHJOBQQSPQSJBUF exports of whole baled tyres;

Rubbery Road Ahead

qUIFOFFEGPSOBUJPOBMDPOTJTUFODZJO licensing for collection, storage and disposal of ‘end of life’ tyres; and

WORDS David Dowsey

qEFWFMPQNFOUBOEFOGPSDFNFOU of appropriate standards for all imported tyres. The VTDA/VACC Environment Unitdeveloped ‘Green Stamp Waste Tyre Program’ has been proposed as one of the acceptable means for tyre dealers to comply with the requirements of the TSA. ‘Green Stamp’ is currently being assessed by the Waste Policy Branch of the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPC). This process is required to gain the use of the TSA logo on the Green Stamp program, which will allow for automatic acceptance of the Green Stamp program by TSA as members join it. Green Stamp will then be reviewed by ATDRA members to ensure compliance with all state requirements prior to release. Having been successful in its work to develop an agreed industry-based approach to product stewardship for tyres, the IWG was then concluded. It is to be replaced by an interim board of directors for a new company, Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA). It is intended that the TSA be responsible for administration of the proposed scheme. The interim board of directors will be responsible for: FTUBCMJTIJOHUIF54"EFWFMPQJOH qGPSNBMMZFTUBCMJTIJOHUIF54"EFWFMPQJOH tional level detail required to the operational make the scheme concept developed G ready for operation; and by the IWG

Terry Conroy points and further fine detail. This was followed by a series of positive public consultations across the country. In June 2012 the IWG noted that the value of the accreditation will be dependent on the public perception and understanding of the accreditation system and the logo. It is, therefore, important for the Commonwealth to fully promote the logo if it is to have value and meaning to industry and consumers. At the 17 August 2012 meeting, held at VACC House, the IWG participants agreed that they had achieved their objective. Gerry Morvell then officially disbanded the IWG, with an option to call on me to time if participants from time needed. The IWG advised them all that what was required for the TSA’s governing board to implement the scheme was the completion of ACCC’s authorisation, which is now simply a matter of process.

An essential piece of the life-of-tyre puzzle is the safe and responsible recycling of waste tyre rubber for other purposes. One of the best uses for ground-up rubber is in Australia’s roads, where the product has a demonstrated positive impact in terms of bitumen longevity and even vehicle braking. So, using waste tyres in our road systems appears to make a lot of sense. The roadblock here is that using rubber in roads increases the cost by around 25 per cent, which is unpalatable to roads authorities. The whole story here, though, is that the use of rubber extends the longevity of road surfaces by up to 50 per cent. The mathematics here is simple. But, getting over the hurdle of the initial higher cost needs to be straddled. There is an obvious answer. “The excise on fuel raises $12.5 billion per year,” says Terry Conroy, VACC Manager Service Station & Convenience Store Division and Victorian Tyre Dealer’s Association. “The Federal Government promised to use that money for the construction and maintenance of roads, nationally. We ask that the Federal Government put some of that money towards the seed funding required to purchase the required road-construction infrastructure that will allow for the use of waste rubber products in our roads.” Investing the moneyy up-front, according to Conroy, will make for better quality roads that last longer, while also consuming high volumes of waste tyre product. “There are no losers here, only winners. And it certainly deals with a huge issue – what to do with waste tyres – in an environmentally responsible manner that also has benefits for all motorists and all taxpayers.”

TUSBMJBO$PNQFUJUJPO qTFFLJOH"VTUSBMJBO$PNQFUJUJPO mer Commission (ACCC) and Consumer on to implement the scheme. authorisation d as a great success by This was hailed arrell on 15 August 2011. Senator Don Farrell eholders and government However, stakeholders sappointed to learn, in early bodies were disappointed 2012, that this process had fallen over due ved to be, funding issues. to, what is believed On 27 February 2012, Declan e newly appointed O’Connor-Cox, the e Policy Branch head of the Waste econvened the of the DSEWPC reconvened IWG to resolve thiss impasse. es A subsequent series d in of meetings resulted ng agreement on sticking

APRIL 2013


Mark Brennan National Small Business Commissioner Mark Brennan commenced his role as Australian Small Business Commissioner in January. He served for seven years as the inaugural Victorian Small Business Commissioner (VSBC), the first such position in any jurisdiction in Australia. The VSBC model he implemented is widely regarded as best practice and he has been consulted by those states which have since introduced their own small business commissioners. Brennan has owned and operated his own small business as Principal of MA Brennan and Associates. The firm provided advice to government on legislative reviews and policy issues. It also advised businesses and industry membership groups on government relations.

34 34


How will the Australian Small Business Commissioner assist small business owners to compete in an ever-more competitive market place? I have been given some responsibilities that basically fall down into four areas: to advocate to government about small business issues; to refer small business to the right place for things like dispute resolution; to assist small business in any way I feel our office can do so; and to represent small business interests. I’m looking to stress the need to small businesses to get better at what they do. Ways in which they can seek to improve include becoming members of industry associations, trading groups and chambers of commerce. I advocate to businesses that they should consider joining organisations such as VACC and should expect to get benefits that will help educate them and inform them better about how to operate their business.

To whom do you report? The Federal Minister for Small Business. The government was keen to maintain the independence of the position so they’ve engaged me as an independent contractor.

What are the powers of the Small Business Commissioner, and are they sufficient? There are no specified legislative powers but there is a role of advocacy, representation, referral and assistance. I’d go about performing that function by

establishing the credibility of the office, by looking to work cooperatively and consultatively with every interested participant in respect of an issue I’d be looking at. That’s the key to how this office can work. So I’ll consult widely with the business sector, both big business and small, and certainly with industry associations. In terms of not having powers to make people do things, it’s really not in the nature of the role to be coercive.

Can you be an advocate for small business? Although I’d be agitating the government on particular issues, that doesn’t mean that everything that is put to me by a small business or an industry association, I’d run off to government and tell them about it. I’ve already had discussions with government where I say: “I should be an advocate to business, as well as an advocate to government.” Here in that advocacy role I see some scope to have an influence on a competitive market place. Although they’re early days and these are early thoughts in the position, there is great scope to shape the job and the government’s happy for me to look at scoping it.

How will you challenge Government to pay more attention to the issues that small business owners will raise with you? Part of my role would be to be diagnostic, to say “there’s something really in that”, or “I’m hearing this all the

WITH David Dowsey

APRIL 2013


ti time” and then the advocacy role could e either take two roles: either bringing the g government’s attention to the existence o of the issue or, secondly, bringing to the a attention of the government the existence o of the issue, and making recommendations a as to how it may be addressed. There’s a m mode of operations that would happen th there in terms of what we would do to in influence outcomes and discharge that p part of the function of advocating to g government, without having specific p powers to say to people, “You must p provide me with this information so that I can work out whether there’s a problem th that I can go to the government with.”

H How will you interact with the State Small Business th Commissioners? C It would be collaborative. The State ccommissioners already have a regular p pattern of meetings. I’ve participated in o one of those already, just before I took up th the formal appointment. NSW, Victoria, S South Australia and Western Australia h have Small Business Commissioners. T Tasmania, Queensland, Northern T Territory and ACT don’t have them. The ccommissioners meet on a regular basis. I’I’ll be hosting the next meeting of Small B Business Commissioners in April. The k key here is to make sure that we’re all p pulling in the same direction; that we h have in place appropriate means of re referring and consulting with each other. I’I’m very confident that it will work well.

Is there a model of operation from overseas that you can follow? o N that I’m aware of. In Europe, there’s Not a an office called the European Small B Business Envoy, which is part of the EU. T That, to some extent, has a similar mode o of operation. From what I understand, it has an advocacy-type function.

H How will you apply the experiences that you had as Victorian Small th B Business Commissioner? T That was a really good preparation ground for this role. I’ve discovered the way to go fo a about this role is to be consultative and cco-operative and not to go shaking your fi fist or pointing the finger at people. Any is issue I have which involves a problem a ssmall business has with the way someone’s b behaving in the business environment, I w would always contact either the CEO of th the business concerned, or the government a agency concerned, and give them the o opportunity to be aware that there’s a p problem and to see if they can direct that p problem without there being any further in interventions. That worked extremely ssuccessfully, and that’s why you don’t re really need the legislation if you have p people responding to your credibility.

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Can you discuss with Government the power imbalance that often exists between small business owners and their big business suppliers/customers? That’s been a challenge for some time. I’d like to have specific instances where you can say, “The game in that area is not being played the way it could be, either because someone’s not playing in the right spirit or because the rules that have been made by the rule-maker, the government for example, are inhibiting.” With that I would always like to say we’re well armed with specific examples of where the harm is, rather than just being assertive and saying, “I know best, I know there’s a power imbalance”.

Would you agree that the relationship between smash repairers and insurance companies is at such an imbalance that it’s very difficult for equitable negotiations to occur? I’d like to bring a bit of optimism. I don’t think any cause is hopeless. Particularly if part of what you think is a problem is something like negotiation. I always feel a bit optimistic that a small business commissioner having an honest brokertype approach, if they can be inserted into the issue, can facilitate things like negotiating a fair go and sorting things out, hopefully without the need for specific government intervention. You’re always at risk that government intervention mightn’t quite hit the mark. The insurers can’t be so dumb to flirt with the possibility that if enough noise is made about this, the government will intervene, and then the voluntary code won’t be voluntary anymore. It will become something like legislation.

Are Australian small business owners over-regulated by Government? I make the comment that not all regulation is bad regulation. It’s almost a hackneyed description when people talk about ‘red tape’ – in an election year you can be sure that we’ll hear from all sides of politics about red tape reduction. I’m very much in favour of supporting those sorts of initiatives, but I’d hope that where they are introduced, they are substantial. You want things that can really make a difference to an industry. I’ve come to the conclusion that business areas operate far better if the regulator is facilitative, rather than a crackdown, enforcementemphasised regulator. I think business responds better when they have a regulator who is trying to understand what their business is about and is trying to help them to comply, rather than someone who is sweating on them and trying to catch them out when they don’t comply.

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The Genuine Article

IMAGES Paul Tuzson

Aftermarket parts may sometimes be cheaper than OEM. But, as Paul Tuzson explains thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no substitute for the real thing 38


here’s no doubt that advances in automotive technology have led, and continue to lead, to cars that last longer and perform better than those of yesteryear. However, all these advances come on the back of ever increasing technical complexity. Pretty obviously, the individual components that contribute to this growing complexity are themselves, more technically complex and often call for special techniques to be fitted properly. This is particularly true in smash repair. Ideally, it’s important that any parts fitted to a newer generation car be of the same quality as those from the factory in order to maintain the structural integrity of a vehicle. Of course, as everyone in the industry knows, it’s far from an ideal world.


It’s unfair to label all aftermarket parts as inferior. Some can be of good quality and there are suppliers who work very hard to create high aftermarket standards. Some conform with internationally recognised certification schemes, which makes it easier to spot an appropriate part. However, it’s just as fair to say that there are aftermarket parts available that do not comply with any local or international standards. The process of finding out which ones are, and which ones aren’t up to standard can be quite expensive. We spoke to the owner of a large bus fleet who said he’d always used OEM parts in both mechanical and collision repairs. However, after a recent accident he thought he’d give a half-priced aftermarket taillight assembly a try to save a few dollars. He wishes he hadn’t. First, the assembly didn’t fit properly and the mechanic had to spend time rectifying that problem. Second, unlike the connectors on OEM units, those on the rear of the cheaper assembly weren’t insulated. This never leads to good results. Third (when it was finally fitted) it “didn’t seem to be wired properly because applying the brakes activated all of the lamps in the assembly”, he explained. If that’s not enough, once that fault was

rectified and the vehicle had to go for its roadworthy (NSW) the lights simply stopped working all together. You can’t ask for less than that! Fitting, testing and rectifying the aftermarket assembly ended up taking over five hours instead of the fifteen minutes that an OEM part would have required. Consequently, the initial $300 saving well and truly evaporated.

out in the past, “If such a part were fitted to a vehicle here, it would be non-compliant and someone could end up facing prosecution at the behest of a coroner.” A bodyshop may not feel it has done that much wrong in fitting such a part. But it’s a worrying thing when the authorities start looking for someone to blame and their gaze begins to narrow in on you. I know of someone who sat through a coroner’s inquiry It’s not just sub-standard listening to evidence and copies of OEM parts that noting, with some alarm, that are the problem. With OEM perceptions were shifting manufacturers shifting a in just such a direction. The measure of their production particular matter related to other countries, including to custom work rather China, there are factories Darren Curry than a sub-standard, nonthat produce both OE OEM part fitted as part parts and aftermarket of a crash repair, but the versions of the same. However, a wide range feeling in the pit of the stomach is the same. of adjustments to OEM specifications What’s more, as society becomes increasingly are possible in terms of both design and litigious, smaller and smaller things seem to materials. Constructional features deemed attract attention as focal points for blame. necessary by OE customers can be left out to simplify manufacture and reduce Another big problem for copiers of OEM material costs, while cheaper materials can parts is that they may not fully understand be substituted for those what it is they’re copying. specified by OE customers. OEM parts can often have These practices could, and features that are not easily almost certainly would, discernible. Simply digitizing result in lower quality a part, however accurately, aftermarket components. doesn’t necessarily reveal all After all, in the current of the information needed automotive manufacturing to reproduce a duplicate climate, OEM specifications that will function as well for production line or as durably, in service components don’t include as would the OE part from unnecessary features. which it was derived.

Allan Smith Probably the best known One local manufacturer example of this is with of tight-tolerance engine door assemblies suited to a components we spoke to particular model, but intended for different had been making its main product for the markets that don’t require anti-intrusion aftermarket for decades. The company’s bars. As Darren Curry, VACC Divisional owner said they were pretty confident that Manager Body Repair Division, has pointed they knew how to do it – until they got involved with a car company. “An engineering group from the manufacturer descended on our operation to implement the required standards and practices and we learned things that we never would have otherwise known.” Without direct access to product detail at the OE level it would have been virtually impossible to manufacture the required part to the specification required on the production line. It’s also not that hard to find anecdotal evidence of aftermarket-sourced, general service components that don’t function to OE standards. For instance, some auto electricians and mechanics we’ve spoken to say that there are comparatively cheap VicRoads stipulates that no alloy wheel should be repaired, yet there are instances of some insurance companies wanting it done. Europanels refuses and will only fit appropriate OEM parts (far left). OEM parts maintain quality but the preparatory work underpinning the fitting of them makes all the difference to how they’ll perform in service (left)

APR APRIL PRIL IL 201 2013 01 0 13

3 39

Second-hand panels always need work. In combination with the necessary preparation for paint it doesn’t take much damage to offset the price advantage (above). Whether a car is new, or not so new, Europanels does the work properly, even in areas that won’t be seen in the finished job. Peter Ruggeri points out that if you don’t do the work you promise/quote, it’s fraud (right)

relays available with very high failure rates. There are other examples, too. Recently, in one workshop, a factory MAF sensor wasn’t working terribly well and was replaced with a much less expensive aftermarket version. The replacement worked so poorly the car was practically undrivable. The original unit was cleaned and temporarily refitted and although it was less than perfect, it worked much better than the cheap alternative. Not surprisingly, though, no one is prepared to be quoted directly on these matters.

“Honda works hard to ensure the best service possible for repairers to help reduce cycle times.” The size of the Honda parts warehouse demonstrates the degree of investment needed to support a brand to that level.

Honda Customer Services Manager, Timothy Beatie, pointed out that everything revolves around consumer safety these days, and that means OEM parts, methods and materials. “Imported cars that have been tested to demonstrate compliance [with local regulations] need to be fitted with parts which maintain that. Issues arising from examples Grey imports can’t match similar to those outlined Timothy Beatie those standards,” he said. above are easily avoided – He further explained that, simply use OEM parts. Done while such compliance does make parts more and dusted. And it’s often about as simple expensive, the company continues to work as that with newer cars still in warranty. hard to minimise the difference. “It’s a tough As VACC’s Curry says, “These must have market and we’ve had to drive our efficiencies OEM parts fitted to retain cover under the hard to bring prices to competitive levels.” applicable warranty terms. For the most part it’s after the warranty period ends GetGenuine GetRewards™ is a trade loyalty that the use of lower quality aftermarket and rewards program that helps to bring OEM components can become an issue.” Although parts from a wide range of manufacturers price disparity between to the industry at prices OEM and aftermarket comparable to those in the components is about the only aftermarket. GetGenuine relevant driver for the use Managing Director, Allan of aftermarket parts, price Smith, says that, in many isn’t the only cost involved. instances, the price Lawrence Lau, Senior Parts disparity between OEM Manager from Honda, parts and aftermarket pointed out that, in the smash versions isn’t really an repair industry, increased issue any more. In general cycle times cost money. there’s not much doubt Cars need to move through that repairers actually the workshop as quickly as prefer OEM parts and Lawrence Lau possible to maximise profits. if price impediments



are removed, they’ll fit them. What’s more, the Qantas Frequent Flyer reward points available to repairers through the GetGenuine program are a worthwhile added incentive – the icing on the cake, so to speak. Timothy Beatie also mentioned that educating both repairers and customers to understand the benefits of OEM parts is important. Philip Larmour, from Volvo, confirms the value of such understanding. “Volvo is well known for its safety innovations. Our customers understand that it takes OEM parts to maintain that level of safety,” he said. The City Safety anti-collision system available on new models is a good example of the complexity of such systems. Obviously, aftermarket imitation parts compromise these systems but the intricacy involved also makes it difficult to copy the components in the first place. “A bigger problem, as far as we’re concerned, is dubiously sourced components that are actually obsolete stock from overseas. Airbags, for instance, have

The parts warehousing operation at Honda is big but entirely necessary to support the brand properly. These shots are just part of it and it’s the same for any major brand (above)

Audi in Australia because of the way they can affect systems like ABS, cruise control, and more advanced vehicle features like torque vectoring. Like all the manufacturers we spoke to Bain also pointed out that modern vehicle complexity extends to even relatively simple components like panels.

The methods used in repairing current model cars are as complex as the parts. The only way to paint this Subaru to factory standard was to remove the glass. Pulling back the rubber with tape would have worked but then the repair wouldn’t have been to pre-crash standard. Europanels takes that provision of the code very seriously

a shelf-life and any offered ‘on-the-cheap’ are likely to be past their use-by date, or very close to it,” Larmour said. The best way to avoid such parts is to purchase from an authorised local dealer. This goes for all manufacturers. Badged dealerships make significant investments to obtain factory approval and they’re not about to put that at risk by supplying inappropriate parts. On the matter of dealerships, Lyndon Bain, General Manager of Aftersales at Audi Australia said, “Gone are the days of taking your car down to the local garage to have a bit of work done. It needs to be connected to the factory system.” He pointed out the fact that control systems in the latest models are updated just like any other software system and that, if a car doesn’t have the latest version, components may not work properly. “It’s not just a matter of replacing a part, it has to integrate with the rest of the car.” Bain says that non-genuine wheels are probably one of the the bigger concerns for

Insurance companies also specify secondhand parts for cars no longer covered by warranty. This can be an acceptable approach, but only if the second-hand replacement part fulfils the fundamental requirement of returning the vehicle to its precrash condition.

Highly independent crash Lachlan Wymer, from repairer, Peter Ruggeri, Mercedes-Benz, says that owns the well-known the aftermarket does prestige repair shop offer cheap copies of basic Europanels in Geelong, and components like panels for suggests caution is needed the company’s cars. Not in using second-hand panels. surprisingly, they’re often He points out that you never poorly prepared and some know where a part is from. have been demonstrated “All the cars written off to contain the beginnings Philip Larmour in the recent Queensland of rust almost as soon as floods will be dismantled they’re made. Wymer also and those panels will enter the system,” mentioned non-sanctioned re-manufacturing he said. No customer offered such a part of Mercedes-Benz parts, like transmissions, openly would accept it. While panels from as another area of concern. Because these a write-off due to fresh water inundation use OE cases they look authentic but the internals aren’t up to company standards. The won’t be as damaged as those immersed in salt water, they’re still less-than-ideal supremely simple, yet effective, response as replacement parts. Interestingly, new from Mercedes-Benz is a re-manufactured rules for determining a statutory write-off parts program of its own, which is now don’t distinguish between fresh, brackish available. Transmissions, alternators, or salt water damage. starter motors and similar Ruggeri suggests that the products will be available safest route through these under the program at prices potential problems is simply substantially lower than to use new OEM panels, new replacement parts. although he says he’d rather The Mercedes-Benz fit second-hand OEM solution is an intelligent parts than aftermarket approach for a number of versions. Really, Ruggeri reasons. One in particular has hit the nail on the head. is that it sets a standard While an aftermarket part for re-manufactured parts, may be up to standard, which some insurance it may not. An OEM part companies specify for out will always be up to OEM Lyndon Bain of warranty vehicles. standard by definition.

APRIL 2013


Time and motion efďŹ ciencies should be exploited in even the smallest corners of a workshop: tool drawers, writes Paul Tuzson 42


Last time we covered the subject of hand tools we mentioned a survey that revealed many cabinets are stocked with tools that span a significant range as far as quality is concerned. That’s fine because sometimes a cheap tool will work perfectly well. We have never seen a sump or rocker cover bolt squeezing a cork gasket on an iron V8 that couldn’t be undone with a cheap socket. co Similarly, lots of low-tension tasks on o modern motors can also be done with cheaper tools.

here wouldn’t be anyone who hasn’t heard that time is money. That’s why everyone in the automotive trades has only the highest quality tools in their rolling cabinets, and why those tools are always perfectly organized in accordance with the golden rule – a place for e everything y and everything in its place. ce. Ain’t life grand? grand and? Enough daydreaming. Iff you’re in a big workshop the bell rings and it’s time tim me to rinse your cup. In a smaller shop without hop witho hout a bell the most responsible worker ker slowly slow wly rises to his feet and leads everyone ne back to the trenches. In either case you’re back on the tools, a fact that can mean different things to different people.


Many things can contribute riibute to job satisfaction, orr d dis-satisfaction is-sati t sfaction as the case may be. Some ome are outside the control of mechanicss on on the floor, but the individuals involved can control other factors. f t rs The contents of a mechanic’s tool cabinet is one of the factors that can be controlled, to some extent at least. Most mechanics don’t mind so much when jobs are challenging; that’s just life under a car on a hoist. What is annoying is when things are needlessly difficult because a tool doesn’t function as it should, or because it can’t be found in the first place. These things will make a tough job tougher and wear down enthusiasm like nothing else. So, quality and organisation within the tool cabinet constitute one of the major keys to reducing frustration.

It’s said that if a torque adaptor is fitted fitt d at right angles to a torque wrench it doesn’t affect the reading very much. That’s true with a deflecting beam-based wrench but with a ‘click’ type ratcheting head unit the difference is more significant

Of course, the problem is that a high tension bolt of the same size locked in the threads by corrosion or some other problem will likely break a cheap tool. Still, facts are facts and cheap tools are present in the industry. Breakage isn’t the only potential trouble that can be caused by cheap tools. We spoke with Derek Hermann from Force Tools, who was originally a design engineer tasked with finding and eradicating plant and operational inefficiencies in large years industrial concerns. Over the e ye

he too noted the variety of quality present in many tool cabinets throughout industry in general, including the automotive trades. He pointed out to us that loose mixing both cheap and top quality tools, and even good quality tools from different brands, can reduce the usage efficiency of a tool set. That may sound like a bit of an overstatement, but industrial experience taught him that small things, like time losses created by inefficiently laid out tool draws, can be cumulatively significant. Well-organised draws in a tool cabinet make Well g for the greatest grea eatest efficiency. Every mechanic knows thiss and an most utilise some sort of personal persona a system that suits both their the work habits and the most common work that they do. Metric and Imperial tools will be in separate draws as will open-enders, rings, sockets, pliers, screwdrivers, s hammers hamme and mallets, and special tools. However, Howev they are often loose in the drawers, which makes maintaining w completely organised tools time consuming. org If there’s no compartmentalisation tools will co inevitably become mixed without constant bec attention. Even Eve the simple act of opening and closing can move them about, i draws dr although newer soft-close drawer designs help minimise the problem. This kind of broad, open drawer organisation works well for many diligent mechanics but we see just as many drawers that have deteriorated into a mass of loose tools requiring constant, time consuming rummaging to find things. Also, such draws can become seriously overloaded, although it’s not too bad if you stick with the ‘only open one drawer at a time’ rule. The new Force Tools cabinets have a mechanism that ensures this. When Hermann started supplying tools to the automotive trades he kept records of what he had sold to various workshops. He says that it wasn’t uncommon for some customers

Force Tools doesn’t finish broach marks out of its tools: not doing so retains tighter tolerances (far left)

The double flex head on these Kabo ratcheting spanners is a nice touch (top). This tool draw is at a workshop that does very good work: but disorganisation costs it time (left). Moulded plastic trays can fit more tools in a given space (right)

APRIL 2013


to order the same tool or attachment they’d bought the month before. This was because they’d either misplaced/lost it or simply didn’t remember that they’d already replaced it. This can be understandable because it’s difficult to keep track of the whereabouts of every socket and spanner when there are so many more important things vying for one’s attention. However, full tool systemisation provides the means to address these problems and do so with minimal attention and maintenance.

from the company’s range. Likewise, socket rails and posts will take any sockets with the correct drive. The company also offers basic drawer dividers to compartmentalise open storage space. It’s a pretty versatile system that’s probably well suited to the vast range of tools offered by Snap-on Tools.

Moulded plastic trays that suit individual tools are another common form of organisation. These are less flexible but offer the advantage of ensuring that a particular tool is always replaced in pretty much Trays from some Basically, tool systemisation manufacturers interlock exactly the same place in a consists of using tool-ordering rolling cabinet or associated inserts in cabinet drawers chest. Their curved and smooth surfaces to ensure that tools must be replaced in also make them easier to clean than any exactly the same position. There are three other type of drawer insert. Most companies basic systems available for doing this. There utilise these and, as we recall, Kincrome are non-specific systems that simply take will replace them for free if they become tools of a particular type without specifying exactly what they must be. Snap-on Tools’ tool damaged in service, which is fairly likely over time. Other companies may do the same. tray organisers are of this type. A horizontal spanner rack will take many types of spanners Another approach that’s very her organisational orga effective is th the two-layered cut foam system. It seems that one of the first companies to utilise this material was Stahlwille and it’s ma always been a popular approach in Europe. p Over time it has also gained in popularity locally, although it’s still far from universal. However, it does doe offer one distinct advantage. Because the tools fit snugly in Be the cutouts th they obscure the lower, brightly coloured foam layer. If the coloured f layer is visible it is instantly obvious v that something is missing. This so makes it instant and effortless to keep track of the fact that tools are missing.



The coloured lower level in foam trays shows instantly if something is missing (above left). Ball-ended Torx bits are a welcome addition although you probably wouldn’t want to use one to turn a stubborn fastener. Then again, it is a Stahlwille (above)

The limiting factor with moulded plastic and cut foam inserts is that they pretty much suit tool combinations determin determined ne by manufacturers. This isn’t necessarily cessaril arily a bad thing; a set of metric open-enders end nders should be kept together as should a set of pliers. The advantage of modularr systems from the manufacturers is thatt the modules tend to come in standard rd sizes that fit into drawers in wayss which optimise space but remain main reasonably versatile. Purchasing entire filled tool cabinets at one e time means that the he various storage modules in the drawers are in the same places. es. This can create te uniformity within a workshop. p. Anyone A yone An can go to any an ny tool cabinet and immediately edia iately find a tool. Of cours course, se, diving into someone ne else’s ’s tools isn’t a practice tice likely y to t win any n Improved packaging for smaller toolboxes is also receiving attention. This see-through lid shows at a glance if everything is back in the case (left). This extension for use with ordinary spanners is something we hadn’t seen before (below left)

friends, but some companies are starting to supply tools rather than expecting mechanics to bring their own, as has always been the case. The reason some businesses (not many at this stage, it has to be said) are doing this is to achieve complete quality control. If a company handles expensive cars, trucks or heavy iron equipment there’s no place for old, worn tools that can damage the parts to which they’re applied. By taking control of the tools in a workshop, a company can ensure that only well maintained and appropriate tools are used on the valuable equipment passing through the shop. Also, employer-supplied tool cabinets guarantee that bays dedicated to specialised tasks are always equipped with the exact tool sets needed. Basic uniformity between these tool sets means that staff can be rotated more easily. Combined with an appropriate training program this can make for the most versatile workforce possible. St most mechanics do continue to bring Still, tools and consequently like to their own to organise their draws iin very precise and personal ways. Snap-on caters to this need by aforementioned supplying, in addition to their afore ement storage systems, two-layer foam in uncut sheets that can be cut to suit a any combination of tools that a mechanic mec echanic

A very useful little magnet by Stahlwille

wants in a particular drawer. Force Tools takes a different approach. The company obviously has the dimensions of all its tools recorded in a CAD program. A customer can nominate any selection of tools they want to keep together and a computerised cutter creates a perfect slot for each tool in a position commensurate with the most efficient use of drawer space. This would have to be about the neatest, most efficient system available. So, organised tool storage is more than So cosmetic. It makes for time efficient co work practices. How efficient? Different w numbers can be applied to the problem but conservatively; if a mechanic spends just ten to fifteen minutes a day searching for or organising tools, that’s about an hour a week. Four mechanics adds up to half a day of work. Eight mechanics in a large

shop adds up to a day. Who wouldn’t want a mechanic to come in and work for free for a day? There are those, Hermann included, who suggest that time wastage figures from inefficient tool drawers are much, much higher than ten to fifteen minutes each day. There’s an obvious benefit in completing jobs in less than the time allocated for them. But directly increased profitability from time saving isn’t the only advantage to efficiently organised tool draws. Reduced frustration resulting from having every tool exactly where it’s meant to be at the instant it’s needed also contributes to increased profitability because of more consistent performance. So, the organisational state of a tool cabinet is more than a personal choice. It’s business decision that can have a significant effect on the bottom line.

There’s a wider range of torque wrenches available than ever before and some incorporate angle sensitivity for tightening more modern fasteners. Smaller digital adaptors are also becoming more popular (right). Although many mechanics pride themselves on their ability to pour oil without spilling it this universal oil funnel at Qualitools took our fancy (bottom right). Larger pliers normally have to be pushed open with one finger. These newer Sidchrome types are sprung open which is considerably more convenient (below)

CONTACT CON Qua Qualitools 03 5221 8915 forc stah sna kinc


Despite experiencing great success in Australia with his well-known Sidchrome Mustang during the mid-70s, Jim Richards was building an even more effective sports sedan â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the famous BIG M Falcon. Jim told Australian Automotiveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Darren House how the car came about and the role it played in catapulting him from amateur racer to professional superstar...

From s g n a M ust k l i M o t 46



purchased the Mustang from Sidchrome Tools and allowed us to take it to Australia.

We started building the car just after we moved to Australia from New Zealand because the Mustang wasn’t going to be good enough and the Falcon would take 18 months to build.


WHY DID YOU CHOOSE A FALCON? We were Ford guys in those days. We had the Ford affiliation with the Mustang and we thought we’d build a Falcon Coupe because it’s an Australian car and no one was running one. So, I went to Ford and spoke to a young Geoff Polites and also Peter Gillitzer, who was in charge of motorsport. They didn’t give me any money, but they did give me a body shell and stamped some aluminium panels – doors, bonnet and bootlid – which didn’t work out brilliantly because they tore.

MONEY WAS TIGHT FOR YOU BACK THEN. HOW DID YOU PAY FOR THE CAR? Jerry Clayton, a motor car dealer in Auckland, financed and owned the car. He had also

We shipped the body panels over to Murray Bunn where he built the car in the workshop of his engineering business in Papakura, South Auckland. When we decided to build the Falcon, Murray and I also went to America to buy bits and pieces. We wanted to run the Gurney Weslake heads, which we had also run on the Mustang, so we decided to go to Dan Gurney’s All American Racers. Dan ran Ford-engined cars in Can Am sports cars and we ended up sourcing nearly all of our components from All American Racers. We got to look around his huge spare parts place and found all sorts of unbelievable things, including new three-valve Weslake heads. The sales guy wouldn’t sell me the three-valve heads, but he said that maybe we could speak to Dan and convince him. We told Dan what we were doing and he said the heads had never been raced because the class had petered out by then, but they had been tested – there

had been an overheating issue, but Murray thought he could suss that out. Dan didn’t want a lot of money for the heads but it was still out of our budget, so we didn’t end up getting them. But it was really great for a couple of young guys from New Zealand, to be able to sit in Dan Gurney’s office and talk to him for probably three-quarters of an hour.

WHAT PARTS DID YOU COME HOME WITH? We found Gurney Eagle front uprights and McLaren rear uprights, they just happened to suit our purpose so we ran those on the Falcon. We bought an LG500 two-speed gearbox/diff unit from a big roadster Indy car. It had a gear for starting and a gear for racing. We used the first and second gears as two different diff ratios. You just moved the lever and it popped it into a different gear, which gave a different gear diff ratio.

CLEARLY THE FALCON WAS MUCH MORE SOPHISTICATED THAN THE MUSTANG. That was very true. The Mustang was very standard – it was less sophisticated

Thhe The he Andretti’s An Andrretti’s first And firs fir fi r t family car, carr, a 1946 19 946 46 Ford Foor For ord rd (above). (abo above) ab b ve) vee)). Bruce McLaren, Br B Bru uce ce Mc McL M c are en,, lleft, eft, and Andretti tii pose p se po e with wit wit ith the the he race winning rrac ra ce w ce innn iinn nning Ford Foorrdd MkIV at the 1967 Sebring Sebr ebbbriin ing nng 12 2 Hour H Hou Ho oour (left). (lef (lef eft) ft) tt). ) Andretti Andre re etti drives the Bignottii Lola-Ford Lola-F Lol oollaa-F -FFord ord Can Andretti in 1968’s in 19 196 9 8 968’s 96 8’s ’ss C an Am m rrace ace (far left). Andrett tti tt ttii in in vi vvictory victo iccto tory oryy lane 500, llan la a e aatt the the e Ind IIndyy 5 00, 1969 (below)


47 47

than a Touring Car Masters car is now; basically, it had a nine-inch diff and standard front suspension with heavier springs. The Falcon had the engine in the middle of the car, in accordance with the Australian Sports Sedan regulations, and the gearbox was a Hewland DG300 transaxle with no diff in it. The reason the car looked so low is that Murray built it on a plate and the sills were 3.5 inches off the ground, so he set the sills up and built the space frame that housed the engine, gearbox and diff. To give the aluminium doors some strength we filled them with two-pack foam so that the door became more of a solid member. We didn’t have the room to run a roll cage down the side of the car because the engine was back in the cabin. There was barely enough room for me and a seat; it was really just jammed in there.

THE FALCON MUST HAVE FELT VERY DIFFERENT TO DRIVE? Yes. It was a lot faster and did everything better, but when we raced it we had no budget at all. In those days, I was getting $12,000 a meeting from Big M – you couldn’t run it for that. It was a lot better than nothing, but we could not develop it. We ran it with the springs it came with, the shocks that it came with and I just drove it. Potentially, it could have been a lot better, but those were the circumstances. In those days, sponsorship was hard to get, some guys had it, but we were an unknown quantity. In the first year of the Sidchrome Mustang over here, we had $30,000 from Sidchrome Tools, so when we got the Falcon, we didn’t have that, but we got appearance money. We would get $2000/$3000/$4000 to appear, so I got my money that way.



YOU GOT SOME T-MART SPONSORSHIP AS WELL? They were fantastic. I knew w Bo B Bob ob Ja Jane ane ne a and nd A Alan lan la n ssponsorship pon onso s rrsship hip hi Coleman, they gave us the sp and we also had some sponsorship nssorrsh nsor ship ship p from fro om Allbrells and other bits and d pieces, so we managed to make ends meet, but only just. For a while there, Bob owned the car after the New Zealand owners decided that they had had enough of racing. They put it up for sale and stored it in Peter Janson’s warehouse because they knew if they had kept the car with me, I would have kept racing it. So Bob asked me, “What’s happening with your car?” I said “I can’t drive it, because the guys want to sell it”. He asked how much they wanted for it – I can’t remember what it was, but he bought it and said to me, “Take it back and keep racing it”. So, when we sold it, we gave the money back to Bob.

WERE YOU THINKING YOUR CAREER WAS OVER WHEN THE CAR WAS TAKEN FROM YOU? My cousin and I had a Bob Jane T-Mart at that stage. We were earning a living but as far as racing went, that was a time when I probably was going to stop. I had no plans, I had driven with ‘Brocky’ at Bathurst three times and I thought, ‘Oh well, I will concentrate on the business and just get a drive at the endurance races’. That is when Frank Gardner started his own BMW team and made me an offer to drive for him.

SPORTS SEDANS WERE STARTING TO DIE AT THAT TIME ANYWAY? When I first came over in 1975, Sports Sedans were almost bigger than touring cars because you had Bob Jane, Pete Geoghegan, Allan Moffat, John McCormack, Bryan Thomson – all the guns were racing in Sports Sedans. Then Frank Gardner’s Corvair came along and it won everything and spectator interest began to wane. They were good days, but things change.

YOU HAD SOME GOOD DICES WITH THAT CORVAIR? Oh, hell yeah! Firstly, with Frank Gardner and then Allan Grice when Frank put him in the car. We beat both of them once or twice and they did the same to me. One of the good wins occurred at Calder Park. At the time Goodyear made the quickest tyre but neither ‘Gricey’ nor I ran them because we both had

Richards starred in the Sports Sedan Championship in the late 1970s, narrowly missing out on the 1978 title

Bridgestone deals. My B Br d with Bridgestone deal wasn’t anywhere near as encumbering as Gricey’s. B Bridgestone said to m me me, “If the tyre isn’t good e en no enough for you to win with, w e don’t mind you using an we alt al t alternative”, so I thought I w wo oul uld pull a swifty by running would Go G ood odye year ar rre e tyres. I sprayed over Goodyear rear tthe th he Go G ood dye ear ar llogo ogo with satin black paint Goodyear a an d then th hen m ad de a Br B Brid ri and made Bridgestone stencil and sp pra raye yed ye ed a wh w ite it e Br B Bri rid sprayed white Bridgestone logo on them. We w erre G Gr riccey ey’s ’ss ttoughest ou were Gricey’s competition, so F Fr ran nk wa w as al a lwa w ys llooking o Frank was always around making su ure re e very ve ryth thin th ing in ng wa w as all right. He didn’t take sure everything was tth hatt m u hn uc no oti t ce ce a that much notice att fi first but when we got

quickest time and won the race, he came walking down the pit road and said, “Gee, you’re going well today young fella”, and he looked around. All of a sudden he said, “What’s going on here?” and I told him about the Goodyear tyres. He said, “You bastards”, with a smirk on his face.

DID YOUR TOURING CAR ASSOCIATION WITH FRANK GARDNER RESULT FROM THOSE SPORTS SEDAN RACES? I think so, because we raced against him with the Mustang when he had Bob Jane’s Torana 302 Chev, and then the Corvair. Later, with Gricey in the Corvair, we were probably his best opposition. We built a relationship through always being at the same meeting as him, I think he noticed that I was doing pretty well and I wasn’t a bad young guy, so I think that is where that came from.

Richards’ career was initially associated with Fords, before a move to BMWs and, eventually, Nissans

APRIL A APR PR R IL L 201 2 2013 013 0

49 49

BMW 3 Series Service Reset BMW 3 Series E46 1998-2006 n vehicles with the diagnostic connector in the engine compartment, the service lights can be reset using a tool specially designed for that purpose or by carrying out Procedure 1. E46 cars produced after September 1999 have the diagnostic connector inside the vehicle and can be reset using the trip odometer button as described in Procedure 2.


Procedure 1 Oil Service Light 1. Turn ignition on. 2. Connect LED test lamp between Ground and terminal number 7 in diagnostic connector in engine compartment. 3. After 3-4 seconds, five green LEDs in cluster will illuminate. 4. Switch ignition off and remove LED.

Procedure 2

Leaving the jumper in too long, with the ignition on, will perform an inspection reset as well and the next service indicator will come up as an oil service rather than an inspection.

1. The ignition key must be in OFF position.


2. Press and hold tripmeter reset button in instrument cluster, and turn ignition key to position ‘I’. 3. Keep button pressed for approximately five more seconds until any of following messages appear in display: ‘Oil Service’ or ‘Inspection’. ‘Reset’ or ‘Re’ is also shown if resetting is possible, if no ‘Reset’ is shown service distance has not been reached and resetting is not possible.

Inspection Service Light 1. Turn ignition on. 2. Connect LED test lamp between Ground and terminal number 7 in diagnostic connector in engine compartment. 3. After 10–12 seconds, five green LEDs in cluster will illuminate. 4. Switch ignition off and remove LED. Inspection Service Light

1998-1999 20-pin connector

4. Release and then immediately press button again and hold for approximately five seconds until the message ‘Reset’ or ‘Re’ flashes.

6. Reconnect LED test lamp between Ground and terminal number 7 in 15-pin diagnostic connector in engine compartment.

5. While display is flashing, release button and then press briefly to reset Service Light.

7. After 10-12 seconds, five green LEDs in cluster will illuminate.

6. After display shows new interval, the words ‘End SIA’ will appear for approximately two seconds.

8. Switch ignition off and remove LED.

7. Turn ignition off.

together with Clock symbol 1. Turn ignition on.

E46 318i Cluster

2. Connect LED test lamp between Ground and terminal number 7 in 15-pin diagnostic connector in engine compartment. 3. After 10–12 seconds, five green LEDs in cluster will illuminate. 4. Switch the ignition off and disconnect the LED. 5. Wait 20 seconds and then turn ignition back on.

Reset Button



Nissan X-Trail Window Limit Reset Nissan T30 X-Trail Oct 2001 – Sept 2007


his model X-Trail has an Automatic Limit Switch built into the driver’s window regulator motor.

Nissan recommends that the limit switch be reset if any of the following are removed or replaced:

3. Hold window switch up, in MANUAL close position. Keep holding switch until window is fully closed, and then wait three seconds before releasing switch. 4. Check operation of auto up, auto down, and anti-pinch functions.


T30 Window Motor Reset Switch

q 8JOEPXHMBTTSVOOFS T30 Reset 1. Close window by holding switch in manual Up position. 2. Press and hold reset switch that is part of motor. See diagram. 3. Fully open window using MANUAL switch function. 4. Stop holding reset switch and check it releases. 5. Fully close window, using MANUAL switch function. 6. Check operation of auto up, auto down, and anti-pinch functions.

T31 X-Trail Oct 2007 – 2013 The latest model X-Trail has an updated automatic glass limit Anti-Pinch System.

Reset Switch

Nissan recommends that the Anti-Pinch System be reset if any of the following are done: q 1  PXFSJTJOUFSSVQUFEUPFJUIFSUIFXJOEPX switch or the regulator motor by either blowing a fuse, disconnecting the battery, or by disconnecting an electrical connector

T31 X-Trail Window Switches

q 8JOEPXSFHVMBUPSJTSFNPWFEPSSFQMBDFE q 8  JOEPXSFHVMBUPSNPUPSJT removed or replaced q 8JOEPXHMBTTJTSFNPWFEPSSFQMBDFE q 8  JOEPXHMBTTSVOOFSJT removed or replaced T31 Reset 1. Turn ignition to ON. 2. Half close driver’s window using MANUAL switch function and release switch.

NOTE: Always use the MANUAL (first detent) switch position when carrying out any resetting of Nissan’s Automatic Window functions.

APRIL 2013


Understanding Semiconductors t was a little over 50 years ago that semiconductors first made their way into vehicles as alternator diodes. These diodes made alternators much more efficient than the generators they replaced. Since then semiconductors have revolutionised vehicle design and are now part of nearly every component in the modern vehicles.


To understand how semiconductors operate we need to look at the structure of atoms that are used. We also need to be able to grasp the concept of electron holes that move around in the semiconductor material. Having a hole that can be moved around is normally only something that you would expect to see in cartoons. However, it is how semiconductors, such as silicon, are described as operating. Lets have a brief look at the simplest semiconductor device, which is the diode. Diodes are normally used as a one-way valve for the electrons.

Semiconductors Silicon is the most common semiconductor. The silicon atom is made up of a nucleus in the centre, and a number of circling electrons. The nucleus is normally made up of 14 protons and 14 neutrons. The protons have a positive electrical charge, while the neutrons have no electrical charge. The orbiting electrons have a negative electrical charge and are normally 14 in number. (Scientists believe that these particles are, in turn, made up of smaller elementary particles, but we do not need to concern ourselves with these in our basic understanding of semiconductors.) In an atom with the same number of electrons and protons, the charges cancel each other out and the atom is electrically neutral. Looking at the diagram of the silicon atom, you will see that the electrons are arranged in shells. The first shell contains two electrons, the next eight, and the outer shell contains four. Silicon atoms have an affinity for having eight electrons in the outer shell. To get these eight electrons they will attach themselves to other silicon atoms and share the electrons. As you can see in the simplified diagram of silicon crystal, each atom is now satisfied by having



Silicon Atom Silicon normally has 14 each of protons and neutrons in the nucleus. It also has 14 electrons arranged in shells around the nucleus. Two in the first, eight in the next, and four in the outer shell eight electrons in the outer shell via this sharing arrangement. It is this sharing that binds the atoms together. Silicon crystal is electrically neutral because the number of electrons is the same as the number of protons. It is also a poor conductor because all the electrons are tightly bound into their shared orbits. To make it possible for this material to conduct electricity we need to either add extra electrons or make additional spaces for them. To do this we ‘dope’ the silicon crystal by adding other substances to the crystal structure. For example, adding phosphorus to the crystal will create N-type (negative) crystalline material. The phosphorus atom is similar to that of silicon, but

it has 15 each of electrons, neutrons, and protons. Therefore, in the outer electron shell there are five electrons. When it is evenly distributed in a silicon crystal, four of the electrons are shared with the surrounding atoms. On the other hand, the fifth electron is free to move around. The doping has taken a poor conductor and created a material that is now readily conductive to electricity. On the other hand, if we add boron to the silicon as the crystal is forming, we form P-Type (positive) material. Boron atoms only have three electrons in their outer shell. Therefore, instead of having an extra electron in the crystal structure, as phosphorus did, we have a shortage of an electron. This shortage is called a ‘hole.’

movement of ‘holes’ occurs trillions of times in an electrical current. We therefore need to remember that N-Type silicon conducts only by means of its free electrons, as it has virtually no free holes. On the other hand, P-Type silicon conducts by means of its holes, as it has virtually no free electrons. It is important to grasp this concept of moving holes to understand semiconductor operation.

Diode Operation To make a useful semiconductor we need to combine the P and N materials. In a diode, we have N and P-Type silicon at either end of a silicon chip, with the wires attached at the ends. The PN junction is where the P and N-Type materials join. The actions of the holes and electrons around the PN junction determine the operation of the diode.

Silicon Crystal Silicon crystal, with the silicon atoms sharing their electrons, so that they all have eight in their outer shells

Electrons in the outer shell of the silicon atoms easily move across and fill these holes. In this way, the ‘holes’ can move through the crystal in the same way as the free electrons did in the N-Type silicon. While it is clear that there is no such physical thing as a hole, when an electron moves from one atom to another, it is as though the ‘hole’ moves in the opposite direction. When the ‘hole’ moves away from the boron atom it represents a positive charge and can then be thought of as a freely moving positive charge. There is a principle that ‘like charges repel and unlike charges attract’. Keeping this principle in mind along with our understanding of P and N-Type materials, we can now comprehend how they conduct electricity.

If we attach some wires to our N-Type silicon, we can pump an electron into one end. As electrons are negatively charged, they will repel each other and push each other along causing an electron to leave the crystal through the wire at the other end. The number of electrons in the crystal remains the same, so for each electron pumped in, one will leave the other side. This is then repeated for the trillions of electrons in an electrical current. With wires attached to our P-Type silicon, we can remove an electron at one end. This creates a new positively charged ‘hole’. As like charges repel, the holes repel each other until one gets to the other end and an electron from the other wire fills it. Once again, this

We can see how a diode conducts electricity by pumping electrons into the N side of the diode. The negatively charged electrons repel the electrons in the silicon, forcing them towards the PN junction. At the same time, we remove electrons from the P side of the diode. This creates extra holes, which also repel each other and move towards the PN junction. The free electrons that have moved to the PN junction fall into these holes. This movement of electrons and holes continues as long as we keep pumping in electrons and holes in this direction. In contrast, let’s look at what happens if we attempt to reverse the flow of the electrons. Instead of moving towards the PN junction, both the electrons and the holes move away from it. As a result, there are no free electrons or holes near the PN junction and no current can flow. The diode will not conduct electrons, as long as we attempt to move them in the reverse direction. It is called a semiconductor because of its ability to conduct electricity under certain conditions and act as an insulator in other conditions. Therefore, while the concept of having holes moving around is an unusual concept, it helps us to understand the fundamental principles in semiconductor operation.

APRIL 2013


Understanding Semiconductors

N-Type Semiconductor Silicon crystal doped with phosphorous, which has an extra electron in the outer shell, leaving an electron that is free to move around

P-Type Semiconductor Silicon crystal doped with boron, which has one less electron in the outer shell, leaving gaps or â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;holesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; that are free to move around



Diode Operation Flowing Electrons

with Dr Rick


P-Type PN Junction with flowing electrons and holes

Electrons Blocked

Electron – Negative Charge Hole – Positive Charge

Email questions to: t ti

Dear Dr Rick, If an engine has been badly overheated can the cylinder head become too soft to use again.

Hi Steve,


P-Type PN Junction depleted of electrons and holes

Electron Flow & Current Flow Conventional current flow is described as the direction of positive charges. This is in the opposite direction to the flow of electrons. The fact that almost all current flow is by movement of negatively charged electrons was not discovered until many years after Benjamin Franklin wrote about electrical current flow in 1752. By the time scientists discovered the existence and movement of negatively charged electrons, the idea of current flow was so well established that they decided not to change it. That is why the arrow on the symbol of the diode points in the direction of

conventional current flow, and not in the direction of electron flow. However, there are a few examples where current flow is composed of positively charged protons. One is in a fuel cell; this is where protons pass through the centre of the fuel cell after being separated from their electrons. In this instance, conventional current flow is in the same direction as the flow of charged particles. Generally, it is better to think of current flow when looking at electrical circuits, and to think in terms of electrons and holes when looking at semiconductor operation.

Yes they can. Aluminium is a relatively soft metal that needs to be alloyed with another metal in order to have enough hardness to be used in an engine. Typical alloying compounds are silicon manganese, copper manganese, and iron. This alloyed aluminium is then treated to ensure that the finished product has the correct grain structure and strength for its application. This strength and hardness will change over time, even if the engine is not used. Old and overheated cylinder heads are particularly prone to becoming too soft to use reliably. Sometimes warped cylinder heads are also heated in a special oven to straighten them. A cylinder head that is too soft will deform over time and will suffer from cracking or premature gasket failure. In any case, if you have any doubts about the cylinders hardness, you should test it for hardness or get your head re-conditioner to check it for you. There are a number of readily available tools that can be easily used to check the cylinder head’s relative hardness level.

Electron Versus Current Flow

It is best not to use cylinder heads that have a hardness level below 75 Brinell. Electron Flow



Current Flow

APRIL 2013


86 gets s Toyota’s head turner is a game changer for the brand

Buyers will have to wait if they want an 86. Toyota’s website warns of wait times of up to eight months, depending on model, transmission and colour

56 56



WORDS David Dowsey


oyota’s much anticipated new sports car, the 86, is everything we hoped it would be. Well, almost.

With traffic-stopping looks, sensational steering and grip, and starting at just $29,990, the new machine plants massive ticks in the styling, handling and value for money boxes. However, it comes up a little short in terms of horsepower. That’s not to say the 86 isn’t fun to drive – it’s a hoot to be sure – it’s just that the performance is spirited rather than exhilarating. With the 86 being jointly developed by Subaru, the 86 employs a horizontally-opposed 2.0-litre four-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine. Like its Subaru BRZ twin, the 86 develops 147kW/205Nm. While those figures don’t set the world on fire, the 86’s performance is boosted by a low kerb weight of 1257kg (GT manual), which gives the car a better power-to-weight ratio than the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Mazda MX-5, Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart, and even the Lotus Elise. This makes the 86 an involving car, as you need to constantly work the gearshift and be prepared to rev it to really get going. Not that too many people will complain about that, as the short-throw manual gearshift lever is a delight to use and superbly positioned. When pushed, the boxer engine produces the familiar trademark growl. It’s nice enough, we thought, for a factory exhaust system, but it’s one area that has brought criticism from others. The 86 is a small car, much smaller than most people first think, and while that produces limitations in terms of comfort and practicality, it contributes greatly to the car’s amazing road manners. Take it out onto a winding country road and you’ll quickly discover it’s the type of environment where this car really shines. The steering is very direct and almost race-car like in response, allowing the superbly-balanced coupe to change direction with ease. It will even forgive you for changing line midcorner, which makes it great for underestimating the 86’s superb turn-in ability, or dodging potholes. The trade-off for this is a suspension that’s a little harsh over our poorly-maintained roads but is bearable, nontheless. We loved the brakes, too – excellent stopping ability and a well-weighted pedal. Wheels are 16inch alloy fitted with 205/55 V16 rubber.


NA 2.0-litre four-cylinder boxer 147kW/205Nm Six-speed manual Front engine, RWD 7.8L/100km Two-door coupe Independent with MacPherson struts (front); independent with coil springs and anti-roll bar (rear) Ventilated discs (front); discs (rear) 1257kg From $29,990 BMW 125i Coupe (from $55,600); Lotus Elise (from $67,990)


Inside, the design is purposeful, with body-hugging sports seats and a leather-bound steering wheel devoid of any electronic devices. To keep the centre of gravity down, you sit low in the car, which adds to the sports car feel. It remains to be seen if buyers will tire of easing themselves over the high sill, and it’s all too easy for taller people to rub their shoe on the lower part of the hard plastic door trim, potentially damaging it. The instrument pod is all business: the three main gauges positioned in a Porsche-like layout with a large tachometer in the middle and a smaller speedo offset to the right. The dash pad looked cheap both in design and material – it’s constructed from plain hard plastic – and we weren’t the only ones to form that opinion – others we showed the car to made the same comment. There are two seats in the back, but they are next to useless, other than serving as storage space, which is handy as the bootspace is limited, too. Overall, the 86 is a standout sports car that lives up to the pre-release hype and one that represents outstanding value for money.

APRIL IL 201 2013 3

57 57


Update Super reform changes:

What are the changes to the super guarantee rate?

what you have to do

employees based on the minimum 9% super guarantee rate,

As an employer your super obligations to your employees are changing. From 1 July this year, you need to increase the superannuation guarantee (SG) contributions you make on behalf of your employees. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve put together a Question & Answer sheet to help you understand what is changing and what you need to do about it.

What are the changes to employee eligibility for super? As of 1 July 2013, there is no upper age limit for paying super for an employee. Removal of the limit is to encourage mature workers to remain in the workforce. This means you may need to make super guarantee payments for eligible employees aged 70 years or older.

What do I need to do to meet the new eligibility requirements? From 1 July 2013, you will need to check if you have any employees aged 70 years or older who may be eligible to receive super payments. For those employees who are eligible, arrange to pay super contributions into their chosen fund. For help working out if an employee is eligible for compulsory super payments, refer to the Superannuation guarantee eligibility decision tool on the ATO website



The compulsory super guarantee rate will gradually increase from 9% to 12%. If you make super payments on behalf of your you will need to increase this rate to 9.25% on 1 July 2013.

What are the new super guarantee rates? The super guarantee increases to 12% over seven years, as shown below. Year

SG Rate

2012-13 (current)

9 per cent


9.25 per cent


9.5 per cent


10 per cent


10.5 per cent


11 per cent


11.5 per cent

2019 and after

12 per cent

What are the changes to my payslip reporting obligations? To give your employees more information about their super, from 1 July 2013, you will be required to report on their payslips the amount of super contributions paid into their account and the date the super contribution was made.

What do I need to do to meet the new super guarantee rates? F

(:.+>/C9?<:+C<966+8.+--9?8>381=C=>/7=>9 incorporate the increase to the super guarantee rate.


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If you are a small business with fewer than 20 employees the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House is available to help you meet your super guarantee obligations. Go to or contact them on 1300 660 048 for more information.

What are the new data and e-commerce standard requirements?

What do I need to do to meet the new data and e-commerce standard? If you prefer to process your super contributions for staff yourself, you can work with your default super fund or payroll supplier to meet the new data and e-commerce standard. Other partners, including accountants and clearing houses, will be able to help as well.

How do I start making electronic payments with MTAA Super? It is easy for employers to pay electronically via our online tool, Supersite. SuperSite is highly secure and simple to use with a unique employer log-in and password. It allows you to: F#+CC9?<=?:/<-98><3,?>398=,C3</->/,3>'9<#* F..?:.+>/./>+36=9<=/+<-209<+8/7:69C//38=/-98.= 9<79</3809<7+>3989869.1381/6/-><983-+66C-+66?=98 1300 362 415 or email us at *9?-+8+6=9</;?/=>+A9<5:6+-/@3=3>0<9798/909?< /B:/<3/8-/.?=38/==/@/69:7/8> +8+1/<=>9<?8C9? through the process â&#x20AC;&#x201C; go to BDM for their details.

Are there any tools or calculators that can help me meet my super obligations? '2/?=><+63+8'+B"0D-/A/,=3>/2+=+8?7,/<90>996= and calculators on their website to assist businesses in meeting their super obligations at

.+>++8./-977/<-/=>+8.+<.3=,/38138><9.?-/.>2+>A366 make it possible for you to send contributions to all funds in one standard electronic form, removing the need to submit this

Free seminars for employers

information to separate funds in different formats.

'92/6:C9??8./<=>+8.C9?<8/A9,631+>398=A/A366,/ running seminars throughout 2013 on the changes.

When do I need to start using the new data and e-commerce standard?

If you would like to attend a seminar on super obligations for /7:69C/<=-98>+->C9?<69-+6?=38/==/@/69:7/8> +8+1/< whose details can be found at


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APRIL 2013



Value equation no Mirage

WORDS David Dowsey itsubishi’s sweet little Mirage has a lot going for it. The small car, which replaces the Colt nameplate, is priced from $12,990. But that’s not the only number of note: Mirage also has excellent fuel economy and emissions figures, too.


Mitsubishi’s three-pronged city car attack begins with the ES manual at $12,990 (tested here). ES Sport begins from $14,190 and the range-topping LS, which adds automatic windscreen wipers and headlamps, smart entry, fog lamps, and 15-inch alloy wheels, reaches $15,490 (add $2,250 across the board for CVT).

As an introductory offer, all Mirage variants currently come with drive-away pricing

with audio streaming, steering wheel controls for phone and audio, power windows, central locking with keyless entry, and air-conditioning. Safety features include six airbags, ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Active Stability Control. Child seat installation is simple, with three tether anchors and two ISOFIX rear seat restraints fitted.

The ES sits on 14-inch wheels and its smoothed-over design, with colour-keyed wing On the road Mirage boasts an excellent turning mirrors and door handles, is pleasing on the eye. circle – perfect for city carparks – but falls down somewhat when it comes to road noise. Cleverly packaged, the Mirage boasts a The 1.2-litre three-cylinder produces a modest surprising amount of passenger space 57kW/100Nm. But the Mirage weighs a and plenty of headroom. Storage areas, feather-light 865kg, so it gets along very well including a glovebox, dashboard and centre indeed (the drag coefficient is just 0.31). A console trays, front door pockets, front great surprise is the low-pitched grunty exhaust and rear seat drink holders, and front note. Who would have thought from a threepassenger seat-back pocket, add to the car’s cylinder? We recommend saving the money considerable practicality. The cargo area and foregoing the CVT, the manual is better. holds an impressive 235-litres, and folding the 60/40-split rear seat adds even more. Emissions for the ES are 109g/km and fuel economy is an excellent 4.6L/100km. ES variants come standard with a CD player, All Mirage models fitted with fivetwo speakers, USB and AUX input, Bluetooth



speed manual transmission achieve the maximum five-star green rating in the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Transport’s Green Vehicle Guide. The Mirage is a winner: it’s cutely styled, frugal, a neat drive and competitively priced. Throw in a five-year warranty and capped-price servicing and it is a done deal. Mirage should sell well. MITSUBISHI MIRAGE ES MANUAL SAFETY RATING: ENGINE: POWER/TORQUE: TRANSMISSION: CONSUMPTION: BODY: SUSPENSION: BRAKES: WEIGHT: PRICE: COMPETITORS: WEBSITE:

1.2-litre three-cylinder 57kW/100Nm Five-speed manual 4.6L/100km Five-door hatch MacPherson strut (front); torsion beam (rear) Ventilated discs (front); drum (rear) 865kg From $12,990 Suzuki Alto (from $11,790); Nissan Micra ST (from $12,990)


Patrol wades into new waters WORDS David Dowsey


issan’s newly landed Patrol certainly has presence. It’s huge. Every which way. And it nudges the scales at close to three tonnes. The imposing statement appears intentional, as Nissan has drawn a line in the sand with Patrol. It has shifted from rugged 4x4 working class hero to luxury SUV: with a price to match. Significantly bigger and more refined than its aging predecessor, the new Patrol line up now begins at $82,200 with the base model ST. For ten grand more ($92,850) the Ti is available and the range topper, the Ti-L (tested here), is a whopping $113,900. The Ti-L, of course, gets all the bells and whistles, but buyers of the base model make do with velour seats and forego sat nav. For eighty grand! Pricing isn’t the only question mark hanging over Patrol’s head. The decision has been made to forego a diesel variant for the 2013 model. That’s brave, because it puts a cross against the Nissan for many shoppers. That said, Ti-L models really do a nice job on the luxury front. Inside the seven-seat cabin (ST and Ti models accommodate eight), are acres of leg and headroom (admittedly, it’s a bit tighter for rear passengers), plenty of quality leather and wood veneer inserts on the dash, transmission tunnel and doors. There is plenty of clever kit too: Around View Monitor (four cameras help make parking

this behemoth much easier), Blind Spot Warning (comes in handy during overtaking manoeuvres), Lane Departure Warning, Intelligent Cruise Control and Forward Collision Warning (helps prevent rear-end crashes), and a trye pressure monitoring system (a potential lifesaver on and off-road).

Suspension is now independent all-round and Nissan’s Hydraulic Body Motion Control system is installed to mitigate excessive body roll in corners and to maximise suspension travel in extreme off-road conditions. It is, no doubt, clever kit, but at 2,735kg, Patrol asks much of it.

Sitting on 18-inch alloy wheels with 265/70 R18 tyres (a full-size alloy spare is standard), Patrol’s new styling is modern and cool. With its tall stance and high sides it looks luxurious. Tough, too.

Nissan has done a good job bringing the Patrol into the luxury league (at least with the two upperspec models). Comfort and cabin ambience are superb, and the silky drivetrain is outstanding. But the pricing structure and lack of diesel (which automatically puts Patrol off the shopping list of many) raises questions over its future success.

The highlight of the new range is the standard 5.6-litre petrol V8, hooked up to a sweet sevenspeed automatic transmission. Oh, yeah, this one’s silky smooth. Like a crème caramel; like brandy custard. And 298kW/560Nm on tap, this baby can mumbo with the best of them. On full noise, Patrol’s menacing exhaust note is exhilarating. There is a price to pay for this, of course. The engine requires 95 RON or higher fuel and usage is predictably high at a quoted 14.5L/100km, which is difficult to achieve in real world conditions. With a full load of passengers, gear and a caravan (braked towing capacity is 3,500kg) hitched up, the ‘economy’ could be off the scale. A 140-litre fuel tank is fitted to facilitate a decent cruising range. Serious four-wheel drive conditions are met via Patrol’s circular central control selector that allows the dialling-up for sand, rock, snow or bitumen driving. At the same time, the rear diff can be locked, VDC and Hill Descent Control engaged and 4H and 4L activated.

Patrol has been a much-loved nameplate in Australia for decades and diehard fans will lap up the new model. But, the job is in front of Nissan convincing buyers to pony up the minimum $90,000-plus (drive away) being asked of them.


NA 5.6-litre V8 petrol 298kW/560Nm Seven-speed automatic Front engine, 4WD 14.5L/100km Five-door SUV Independent double wishbones with coil springs Ventilated discs 2,735kg From $113,900 Land Rover Discovery V8 (from $129,900); Toyota Land Cruiser Sahara (from $113,490)


The 15-year old GU diesel Patrol will remain on sale as a more rugged alternative to the petrol V8 models

APRIL 2013


Volvo will be force in small luxo niche WORDS David Dowsey remium players in the luxury small car segment now have a new strong contender to consider: Volvo, with its new V40 makes a compelling case for buyer’s cash in this hard earned segment...


It seems logical that car companies are now clueing to growing customer demand for excellent, luxurious cars that just happen to be small. Audi has its A3, BMW the 1 Series and Mercedes-Benz the new A-Class. The V40 is a worthy and welcome addition to this league. There’s a multitude of choice in the V40 lineup: three model grades (Kinetic, Luxury and R-Design), four engines (1.6 ‘four’ and 2.0-litre five-cylinder diesel, and 2.0-litre and 2.5 fivecylinder petrol units) and two transmissions. Prices start from $34,990 for the D2 Kinetic (a well specified car) and tops out with the wonderful and powerful R-Design T5 from $49,990. The expected volume seller, the D4 Luxury (tested here) sits in the middle at $45,990. The D4’s 130kW/400 five-cylinder turbodiesel engine is a cracker. Even in sixth gear, it will overtake like a train. Off the line, however, it would benefit from more available low-range

torque. 0-100km/h takes 8.3 seconds. Both the six-speed manual and automatic transmissions are silky smooth, with good pedal and stick feel in the manual. Fuel consumption is rated at 5.3L/100km. Volvo’s electric steering system is well weighted, while the suspension is tuned nicely for a neat compromise of comfortable cruising, along with engaging driving. From the outside, V40 is a wonderful looking design. With echoes of the most familiar classic Volvo, the P1800, the V40 blurs the line between station wagon and hatchback – even the ‘V’ designation is normally reserved for wagons. The reason for the hatch nomenclature? According to Volvo, it is the rake of the rear window and the lack of rear overhang. Where the V40 really shines is inside. It’s the best interior in class. With minimalist Scandinavian lines, the cabin is refreshing and comfortable. It’s simply superb and a nice place to be. V40’s safety credentials are beyond question: EuroNCAP has awarded V40 its highest ever ranking. Volvo’s Pedestrian Airbag technology

– a world first and standard on all V40s – takes safety to a new level. Working at city speeds of between 20-50km/h, the external airbag system activates when a human leg is sensed as being hit at the front: in the blink of an eye the bonnet is propelled upward (away from the hard engine) and an airbag is deployed at the base of the windscreen, shielding pedestrians from the worst of such an impact. There is a cost however, for this feature. Volvo says replacement of the airbag and ancillary companonents will exceed $1,400. But, as Hakan Abrahamsson, visiting Volvo vehicle line director, says: “It is better to send flowers to the hospital than somewhere else.” Other clever features include collision warning, and auto brake and City Safe systems, adaptive cruise control, and a driver’s knee airbag.Throw in free scheduled servicing and there is not much to hold one back: the V40 will sell well.


2.0-litre five-cylinder turbodiesel 130kW/400Nm Six-speed automatic Front engine, FWD 5.3L/100km Five-door hatch MacPherson strut (front); multi-link (rear) Ventilated discs (front); solid discs (rear) 1455kg From $45,990 BMW 118d (from $46,193); Lexus CT200h (from $39,990)


Volvo expects the D4 Luxury to be the volume seller in the V40 range; it is loaded with plenty of kit from $45,990



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APRIL 2013


Zed’s not Kawasaki’s Z800 is a worthy descendant of the ‘Z’ dynasty…


“…the ride is akin to wearing a jet pack on roller blades” 64



806cc four-cylinder 83kW/61Nm Six-speed Inverted 41mm fork and rear monoshock, both adjustable for preload and rebound Twin 310mm discs, four-piston calipers (front); single 250mm disc, single-piston caliper (rear) 231kg (wet) From $12,999 Yamaha FZ8N ($12,990), Suzuki GSR750 ($12,490), Triumph Street Triple ($12,490)


t dead WORDS Rod Chapman awasaki has released its new Z800 amid the on-going celebrations of the 40th anniversary of its Z family of performance bikes – a family that was born in 1972 with the marque’s first superbike, the Z1 (see sidebar). While the Z800 isn’t going to reshape our notion of modern motorcycles like the Z1 did all those years ago, it is a damn fine machine in its own right – a quality successor to the Z750 that went before it and a worthy progeny of the Z family name.


In essence, Kawasaki’s engineers have taken the Z750 – a fine starting point – and given it a moderate revision. The cosmetic update is obvious – there’s a restyled front cowl, an LED taillight, new graphics and new (all digital) instrumentation. The new model name underlines the in-line four’s boosted capacity of 806cc – up from the Z750’s 748cc courtesy of a larger 71mm bore (the 50.9mm stroke has been retained). Less obvious are the new throttle bodies (four 34mm Keihin units with dual throttle valves) and new mapping, the latter emphasising low to mid-range performance. The end result of all the tinkering? A claimed (and significant) increase of 5.3kW and 5Nm, both delivered lower in the rev range than before. The chassis has been tweaked to offer a more responsive ride, the braking package has been upgraded (four-piston front calipers with twin 310mm petal discs instead of the old twin-piston caliper/twin 300mm disc set-up) and the final gearing has been shortened care of a larger rear sprocket. The bike’s claimed kerb weight is also up – from 226kg to 231kg.

Yep, this is one fun and involving nvolving ride. It flicks cks from corner to corner with minimal mall input, yet it’s t’s far from flightly, y, even when powering ing on over typically average rage Aussie roads. The shriek riek of the stubby muffler serves as a spine-tingling gling aural backdrop – the Z800 is one of the best-sounding est-sounding stock bikes I’ve come across in n ages – while th the li light and responsive controls, compliant suspension and slick gearbox turn any outing, no matter how mundane the objective, into a delight. The brakes deserve special mention. This Nissin package is devoid of initial bite but it offers all the power a road rider could want and has superb progression and ultimately ferocious power, all backed up by super-smooth ABS. It’s a set-up that will serve the broader spectrum of riders well, from those stepping up to their first ‘big’ bike to veteran campaigners.

CATCHING ZEDS When Kawasaki released its Z1 in 1972 it redefined the modern sporting motorcycle. The Z1 raised the bar from what is commonly regarded as the world’s first superbike, Honda’s CB750 of 1969, and was the first volumeproduction bike to be powered by a DOHC four-cylinder engine – the CB was powered by a SOHC four.

Returning an average fuel economy of 6.25L/100km, in the greater scheme of motorcycling it’s not about to win any environmental awards, and with a 17-litre tank (down 1.5 litres from the Z750) we are talking a safe working range of around 250km. That’s okay, but it’s not brilliant.

Developed in a shroud of secrecy under the curious project name of ‘New York Steak’, Kawasaki had been planning to build a 750cc in-line four from the late ’60s but Honda beat it to the market with its CB. This delayed the arrival of the Z1 and also resulted in Kawasaki boosting the engine’s capacity to 903cc.

The Z800 has plunged headlong into a pool of hungry sharks – there is no shortage of naked streetfighters vying for buyers’ hearts and minds these days, and they are all keenly priced. From $12,999, the Z800 is just $500 more than the Z750, which will remain on sale while stocks last. In our opinion, that is not a lot of money for the fun, thrills and quality on offer. Nope, Zed’s not dead, baby – not by a long shot…

Packed with technological wizardry for its time, that first Z1 was the forefather of a long line of ‘Z’ family models that continues to this day. Now the new Z800 draws on that lineage of performance as Kawasaki celebrates the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Z nameplate.

On the road, this is one of that rare breed – a bike that intangibly feels like it’s more than the sum of its parts. It looks compact from a distance and that sense is only emphasised when behind the ’bars. At 188cm I’m on the taller side, but when riding the Z800 the only part of the bike I could see when looking ahead was the very top edges of its mirrors – with punchy acceleration all the way through to its 12,000rpm redline and racy steering geometry, the ride is akin to wearing a jet pack on roller blades.







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APRIL 2013



Tune-up your taste buds


See page 69 



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Alfa Romeo BMW Iveco Peugeot Mazda Mercedes Benz Nissan

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Coopers Pale Ale The Cooper family have been brewing ales in Australia for over 150 years. In that time their Pale Ale has gained a strong following among beer drinkers and became the standard alternative beer on tap in pubs. It is now the basis for the Australian pale ale beer style that has been adopted by many Australian breweries.

Their Pale Ale undergoes secondary fermentation in the bottle, which means that there is yeast sediment in the bottom of the bottle. You can either decant the beer into your glass or follow Coopers’ recommendation to roll the bottle gently before opening and drink it cloudy. It pours a cloudy pale apricot colour with a soft white head. The taste is a fruity malt flavour with a slight tang from the bubbles as they dance on your tongue. It is a medium bodied beer with a light bitter aftertaste that leaves your mouth feeling refreshed and ready for another sip.


Australian pale ale




25 IBU






Pilsner or Tulip


Chicken, Fish, Seafood, and Spicy Mexican

Beer-Brined Beer Can Chicken A sure way to impress guests at your next BBQ is by making a chicken that looks magnificent. Brining the chicken in beer before cooking will make it extra moist and flavoursome. Ideally, you will have a hooded BBQ with a thermometer, but I have also cooked it in the oven. It needs to stand after cooking, which will give you time to cook your other meats on the BBQ. It is also easy to cook more than one chicken at a time, if you have room on your BBQ. To get the best flavour, you should begin the brining process the day before cooking. Ingredients for each chicken you will need: Brine · 1 lemon, juiced · 2 cloves garlic, crushed · 750ml Australian pale ale (such as Coopers Pale Ale) · 1/3 cup sugar · 1/3 cup salt Can · 1 can beer (such as Coopers Mild Ale) · 3 cloves garlic, chopped Coating · 2-3 tbsp. olive oil · 3 tsp. mild dried paprika · ½ tsp. salt · ¼ tsp. pepper Method 1. Wash chicken, remove excess fat from around opening. 2. Combine beer, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and sugar. 3. Put chicken into zip-lock bag, pour in brine mixture. Leave for at least six hours, preferably overnight, in refrigerator. 4. Drink half the can of beer. (This is for quality control!) It is important that the beer used for cooking is not cold: pop it in microwave for 30 seconds before returning it to can. 5. Cut top off can and add garlic to half can of beer. 6. Remove chicken from brine and place it over beer can so chicken sits up. 7. Mix coating ingredients together. Use enough oil so that it mixes to a thick paint-like consistency. 8. Brush chicken with coating, then fold wings out of way, behind chicken’s shoulders. 9. Place on a preheated BBQ away from direct heat. 10. Brush chicken again with remaining coating mixture. 11. Cook at 150 degrees for about an hour, and then check temperature of thigh and breast. When they are both over 65 degrees, remove chicken. 12. Loosely cover with foil and let stand for 20 minutes. 13. Remove chicken from beer can, carve, and serve with your favourite Australian pale ale.

APRIL 2013




with Hor Horace Kope

Answers 1 58 2 1960 3 2012 4 Yokohama 5 Dainese

6 7 8 9 10

Australian Detroit MG Rover Group Brazil DKW

Aut oju mble April ~ May Aries M March 21 - April 20 You are influenced by Mars, the Sun, Venus and Saturn. So you’re red, hot, missing an arm and your rings are full of gravel – explains those weird engine noises. Taurus April 21 - May 21 If you’ve been thinking about moving, now’s the time to keep thinking about it. The planets are moving, all the time actually, around the sun as it turns out. So you should too. Gemini May 22 - June 21 Sucking up to the boss won’t pay off this month. You are sensitive and you care about everyone but your gut feeling about not being liked is real. Welcome to Earth. Cancer June 22 - July 23 Moon behaving differently this month? Relax, it’s just a phase. Remember that dream about eating a giant marshmallow? And your pillow gone the next morning? Curious. Leo July 24 - August 23 Saturn is moving from Libra, the sun is moving closer to Neptune, pork tastes like chicken, you’re a year older, time flies like an arrow and fruit flies like a banana. Virgo August 24 - September 23 The sun is on its way back from Libra. From all reports it had a splendid time, but the thing it brought back for you melted. Oh well, maintain the rage.



Libra September 24 - October 23 Find a project, get someone else to do it. The full moon rearranged your personal zones (your ‘little’ argument means she probs won’t be back till June). Scorpio October 24 - November 22 Jupiter is in your sign. You should have it repainted. Advice for the coming lunar phase is ‘relax, things could be worse’ – that way when you relax, things will probably be worse.

Sagittarius November 23 - December 22 You’ve been pretty busy, huh? Head down, charging here, there. Speaking of charges, I’d beat the missus to the post box when your monthly statement arrives ... just saying. Capricorn December 23 - January 20 How did you find February and March? Troublesome? Happy? Ambivalent? Neither here nor there? Confusing? Clear? Did it say on the pack not to mix with alcohol?

Aquarius January 21 - February 19 This planetary phase focuses on romance. You meet your life partner very soon. You will both be very happy. Keeping it from the missus will be hard though. Pisces February 20 - March 20 You’re a dreamer. The world needs people like you. This week Mercury is in Uranus, so you should probably check the instructions that came with the thermometer.






























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Decid Decided to head down to the Phillip Islan Isl Island Historics last month – a chance to finally get some time away from the ‘trouble and strife’. Or so I thought. Unfortunately, she who must be obeyed decided to come along, not that she had any interest in the fine British au automobiles on display. No, her interes interest lay in a very different area. Mrs Richard Rich Creighton-Smythe (retired) is a wo woman on a mission, arguing that along with historic cars, drivers and media representatives, vintage racing shoul should embrace historic grid girls. You see, the old girl used to be one of Jack Brabham’s grid girls before he we went off to Europe. Back then she was a fine figure of a woman – these days, n not so much. Gravity and the years have certainly taken their toll. While I was looking dashing and debonair in my cream trousers, Jaguar Owners Club blazer, tweed driving cap and navy boat shoes, the Missus was shovelling herself into a stretch lycra disaster with Black Jack’s photo emblazoned across the front, stretched every which way (but loose, of course). How can I put it – she had all the class and style of a Jaguar MkII with a flame paint job, 20-inch chrome mags and JAGWAH number plates. And when she walked, everything bounced around as though she had lo-rider suspension, too. Oh, it was ghastly. In my line of work, I’ve seen some nasty things, so you can believe me when I say, as a proctologist, there are some things you just can’t sugarcoat. We never did make it to the Island. We’d barely got three miles down Eastlink when the foul stench of boiling coolant signalled the end of the XJS’ ability to proceed. “Don’t worry,” said the Missus. “I’ll get someone to pull over by flashing a bit of leg…”.

APRIL 2013




Teaser Correct answer for last issueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Taillight Teaser is Suzuki Kizashi


Adler Beckmann Cyklon Deutz Dixi Ego EMW Exor


Fulmina Glas Goggomobil Hanomag Hansa Induhag Joswin Kleinschnittger


Komnick Loreley Maico Nacke Neckar NSU Presto RollďŹ x

Sperber Stoewer Trabant Veritas Wartburg Zundapp

aners m k er a G rm a C


Production of the Type 1 VW Beetle lasted for how many years?


In what year did production of the Ford Falcon begin?


What year holds the all-time record for sales of new motor vehicles in Australia?


Nissan is headquartered in which Japanese city?


Which major protective motorcycle apparel manufacturer recently celebrated its 40th anniversary?


What nationality is the reigning FIM World Motorcycle Speedway Champion, Chris Holder?


The North American International Auto Show was held in January in what US city?


In 2005 the Nanjing Automobile Group purchased which British car company?


The 2013 F1 Championship culminates in what country in November?

10. Which defunct German car and motorcycle marque was founded in Zschopau in 1916?


If you can find my nuts, you’re a dead set legend.




























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Across 4 5 7 8 10 13 15 16 17 21 22 25 26 28 30 32 33 34 35 1 2 3 4 5 6 9 11 12 14 15 16 17

Canadian owner of Ski-Doo and Can-Am, among other brands (3) NSW train operator CountryLink operates this service (3) Italian for race (5) This British marque was founded in Wolverhampton in 1909 (3) The Hidden Valley circuit is closest to what Australian capital? (6) In 2012 Mark Webber won F1 GPs at Silverstone and ...... (6) Transmission fluid should be this colour (4) Long-lived Kawasaki middleweight adventure bike, ...500 (3) Famous Chevy first released in 1958 (6) The Bonneville Salt Flats are in which US state? (4) Slang term for plain steel wheels (8) A common climatic road hazard (3) To accelerate hard, open the .... (4) English Festival of Speed (8) Multinational oil company (2) Colloquial name for Subaru’s WRX (3) The ‘brains’ of any modern car (3) Honda’s hydrogen fuel cell car (7) Eastern Creek Raceway’s new name, Sydney Motorsport .... (4) This British car marque was behind the legendary Cobra (2) John Deere agricultural machinery is this colour (5) What is the corporate colour of Massey Ferguson? (3) Measurement of air pressure (3) Two-door Subaru coupe produced from 1985-91 (2) Major Indian auto-maker (4) The Octavia is made by what car company? (5) Common one-wheeled motorcycle stunt (7) Acronym denoting a metric measurement of torque (2) If a car component isn’t aftermarket, it’s ... (3) The 2013 Dakar Rally began in this South American country (4) The name of the car in the TV series, Knight Rider (4) This historic motorcycle marque was bought by Polaris in 2011 (6)

18 German equivalent to HP (horsepower) (2) 19 An inherent problem with turbo systems (3) 20 F1’s first megastar, Juan ...... (6) This iconic Holden panel van was introduced in 1974 (7) Portuguese race circuit (7) A form of axle (4) The current Ford Falcon (2) This Japanese race circuit celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012 (6) The Mercedes-Benz SUV line (2) When quoting a vehicle’s weight without any fuel or fluids it’s classified as a ... weight (3) 31 Historic US hillclimb event, Pikes .... (4) 22 23 24 25 27 28 29

APRIL JUNE 2013 2012


Mythical Motors WORDS WOR WO W RD RDS DSS D Damien amien i Slavin Slavin i CA CARTOON CART RTOO OON N JJohn oh hn S Stoneham toneh ham

Power to Save MORNING TEA AT Mythical Motors, and the day had already seen its usual challenges with the typical no-shows. Despite the advances in technology (SMS and emails reminding customers of appointments) some people just did not turn up. Some would ring to cancel, but most did not. Mick often pondered if he could find some way of charging the no-shows but, in the end, just decided it was part of the way things happened in the motor industry. Anyway, people who, despite being told countless times, still simply arrived at Mythical Motors expecting Mick would just automatically be able to slot them in, generally balanced these ‘no-shows’ out. As they were normally regular customers, Mick had no idea how to fix this problem, apart from just accepting that this, too, was the way things happened. Mick arrived late for tea and bikkies and entered the lunchroom with a bemused expression, holding a piece of paper. “A penny for them?” enquired Steve.



“Just the blasted power bill,” sighed Mick, “and it has gone through the roof again!”

of years power prices seem to be rising at a much faster rate than the CPI.”

“Bloody carbon tax,” came anonymously from the group.

“Therefore, we have to look at the way we use electricity, and cut down where practicable. Of course, in no way is safety to be compromised but, where possible, we have to be more careful.

“As I have said before, I am not really interested in the debate about climate change. If the eggheads cannot agree then what chance has a simple motor mechanic? It seems like a good idea to cut greenhouse gas emissions, I just wonder if a tax is the best way of going about it.” The carbon tax debate had been the subject of some very ‘lively’ discussions in the Mythical lunchroom with neither party able to convince the other. Mick, after a couple of weeks of this running debate, decided that things were getting out of hand and placed all carbon tax/climate change ‘discussions’ on the banned list (along with such things as religion, politics, Coke versus Pepsi, and Collingwood Grand Final losses). Mick continued: “All I know is that it is an additional cost for the business and, accordingly, must be managed as such. Up until recent times, power costs have not been so much of an issue but, of course, in the last couple

“A case in point, I have lost track of the number of times that I have been greeted at the workshop entrance by the sound of the air-compressor recharging its holding tank because the unit has been left on overnight. There’s no need for that to happen, but it is just habit and it is a habit we are going to change. Look in here, that microwave, does that need to be on 24 hours a day, 52 weeks a year, as it has for the past god-knows how many years? “We have all been faced with the same problem at home, and no doubt made adjustments. Until recently, at home, I did not turn off the lights in the lounge room. It looked like Christmas with all the standby lights glowing, not anymore! “We have to bring the same mentality to work as well, and be far more aware of our energy consumption.”

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Australian Automotive April 2013  
Australian Automotive April 2013