Been Reading Issue 27

Remember back in the day when magazines such as this one contained little projects that showed you how to make something like an LED rev counter with a quid’s-worth of bits from Tandy? And you know how most cars made in the last 10 years are so heavily computerised that you’re afraid to switch on the interior light for fear of the ECU thinking it’s being hacked and grassing you up to the dealership?

This book is somewhere in the middle. It’s another title from the widely published Julian Edgar, and talks about those cars from the late-Eighties-to-early-2000s sweet spot, between the days of feeble and un-tunable factory ECUs and the days of untouchable supercomputers. The first half of the book is about how to fine-tune your engine for power and/or economy with various tweaks and electronic intercepts, before moving onto programmable aftermarket engine management. The rest concerns further modifications to other electronic control systems, dash instruments, and even sound systems.

There’s lots of information here, and lots of how-to guides and little projects varying from the simple to the hideously complex. It’s a weighty book – in excess of 250 pages – and I tried reading it from cover to cover, but this just gave me brain-fry, and I don’t recommend it. It’s a book to read a bit at a time, stopping and rereading every time your eyes begin to glaze over. There’s plenty to learn, but it helps if you have a clue about electronics to begin with.

Modifying The Electronics Of Modern Classic Cars, by Julian Edgar, is published in softback by Veloce ( with a RRP of £40.