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About Zair

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  1. Well, it does depend a lot on what type of sound you want. If you're just after loud, boomy bass, then it's pretty hard to go wrong. I'd stay away from the super-cheap brands, as the output will be pretty crappy. Basically, have a listen at your local car audio shop or Circuit City, Best Buy, places like that, and see what sounds good. If you're after nice deep bass with quick transients and not just the "one-note" boom, then brands like JL Audio, JBL, Infinity, and Eclipse are a good and relatively affordable way to go. If you're after something of competetion quality then brands like Massive Audio are for you. The higher end models from JL and Eclipse are supposed to be quite nice as well. First find a good subwoofer for you, then find an amp that fits in its power range. It's never good to give a sub TOO much power, as it can cause distortion which can damage the sub. Too little power can be bad, too, as when you turn up the gain to compensate, it can cause the amp to clip and send power spikes to the sub, also damaging it! Class-D monoblock amps are probably the best bet for subwoofers as they provide plenty of clean, efficient power, and can usually even power two subs at once if you're feeling ambitious. They can be found anywhere from 150-2000 watts. Your local car audio shop should be able to provide plenty of good advice regarding subs and amps. Just tell them the kind of sound you're after and they can show you plenty of options. I'm not much of a bass-freak, I just like to get the extension and to be able to hear the really low notes. I've got a 10" JL Audio W0 in a small-ish wedge enclosure. It's powered by an older Eclipse amp that gives it 200W rms. It does everything I ask of it, but I can guarantee that if you're really into bass you'll want a bigger subwoofer (or more than one). A 12" can move a lot more air and sound quite a bit louder, and the further up you go the louder it can get. Even two 10" subs can provide a surprisingly large amount of sound. Really cheap subs, though (like the kind you tend to find at auto parts shops), even if they're large won't do too much. So, good luck, and we'll see if anyone else on these boards has some better advice!
  2. Well, I hate to keep asking questions without actually having gotten anything done yet (what a busy week its been, and the weekend looks even busier!), but I have another question anyway! In my investigation into spark plugs, I've found that AC Delco plugs for my car are gapped to .042 (that's what comes up for the recommendation for a Geo Prizm), whereas the suggestion from Toyota for the Corolla is .032. As far as I've heard my engine is 100% Toyota, so I'm not sure why the GM folks would have a different gap recommendation. My question is this: How much of a difference would that .01" make in the performance of my car? Whom should I trust, Toyota or GM? My feeling is to trust Toyota and gap my spark plugs to .032, but I don't know for sure. Thanks again! -Tobyn
  3. When I cleaned mine, I took it out completely and used cleaner, a rag, and a little brush to get every passage in there. Mine was still pretty clean and the carb cleaner got what little there was in there, so the brush wasn't really necessary, nor was taking the whole thing apart. I suppose if you're having really bad problems it would be worth taking out and giving it a thorough cleaning. I hear you sometimes have to get a new gasket, but that's about it.
  4. Genius!
  5. I've decided to examine my spark plugs and make sure they're gapped correctly when I test the wires. However, I can't find out what to gap them to! My Chilton's manual is bloody useless on the subject. After searching the book to find the tune-up specifications (why oh why could they not just specify the gap settings in the same place where they tell me 30 times to make sure the gap is correct?), it tells me to gap them to 0.31 inches. Almost a third of an inch?? That seems... terribly terribly wrong. Perhaps they meant 0.031 inches? I've double checked that page three or four times, and it definitely says .31 inches, and it repeats it for every single Corolla model from 1988-1997. So either I'm nuts or .31 inches is an acceptable gap. I suppose either one is possible. Suffice to say, I don't trust the manual one bit on this matter. Does anyone have a manual with correct values in there? If so, what is it? (1997 4A-FE model) Thanks again, -Tobyn
  6. Without my service manual, I'd pretty much be totally lost! I'll give my EGR valve a good examination and cleaning next week when I should have some spare time! I'll check back in and let you know how it goes when I get that done. I can say that I've never had any noticable hesitation/stuttering when coming to a stop coming off the freeway, or anywhere else. It actually happens mostly AFTER I've stopped and I'm sitting at a light while still in drive. I find it happens much less often when I switch it to neutral. Nonetheless, as I haven't yet checked the EGR valve, that's a good next step along with the spark plug wires.
  7. Hmm, I'll replace those wires then; better late than never! I found in my service manual how to check for proper resistance in the wires, so maybe I'll do that first, assuming my cheap multimeter will do the job. How would I go about checking the vacuum system? I've inspected all the hoses that I can see and nothing seems cracked or worn. I don't think I've checked the EGR valve. Is that something I can clean out, or will I need to replace it? (Also will I need a new gasket for it if I do take it off? I'd like to know BEFORE I remove it ) Finally, I hadn't thought about the ECT or O2 sensors. I don't think I have the tools to check either of those out (though maybe my repair manual might help; I do have that multimeter), but I can probably get them checked out somewhere. Thank you very much for your quick (and very knowledgable) reply. As I've parused the forums over the past few days, you always seem to have excellent advice. Much appreciated! -Tobyn
  8. Hi, I have a '97 Geo Prizm with 104,000 miles on it. It's been pretty well taken care of, with regular maintenance and I never drive it very hard. I've had it since it had 45,000 miles and I've had nary a problem. It's a 3-speed automatic, the 1.5 liter non-lsi version. It's never broken down or had any major issues of any sort. One thing that it has started doing though within the last 20,000 miles or so is stuttering when at idle. This only happens when the engine has warmed up. I'll pull up to a stop light and the engine will ocassionally stutter. It's almost like it wants to die, but it never has. Sometimes it will stutter slightly when I first start to accelerate, but it's never for more than a very brief moment. The stuttering seems to come and go. It will do it fairly often for a couple weeks, and then not at all for a while. I've replaced the spark plugs, the cap, the rotor, cleaned out the throttle assembly and IAC valve(which was actually amazingly clean for a car that had 95,000 miles on it!), I even replaced the MAP sensor and to no avail. One thing I haven't checked is the spark plug wires, but I don't know if they would even go bad. I know my transmission fluid is in need of changing (it's quite brown), but I don't think that can be the problem, since my transmission fluid was relatively new when the problem first started. Otherwise, I never need to add oil or coolant... My gas mileage has dropped since I got it, though. I used to get 26-28 city, 32-35 highway. Now I get 23-26 city and 29-32 highway. I had the fuel injectors replaced and got the whole fuel system cleaned and the filter replaced, but that didn't seem to help much. Finally, the stuttering seems to increase when I'm in drive, gets even worse in reverse (the one time it ALMOST died was in reverse), and having the a/c on makes it worse as well. My fiance's dad hooked my car up to a tachometer, and it was idling around 700, which I think is okay. Though I don't remember, I'm pretty sure that the RPM drops when it stutters. That's about all I can think of for now. Anyone have any ideas? This problem has been a real stumper. Let me know if I can provide any more information. Thanks, Tobyn