Monday, December 17, 2012
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Monday, December 10, 2012
Friday, December 07, 2012
Thursday, December 06, 2012
Monday, December 03, 2012
Friday, November 30, 2012
Monday, November 26, 2012
Sunday, November 25, 2012
When I connected it to my 6 gallon "pancake" air compressor, and tried to use it to loosen my car's lug nuts, it was unable to budge them. In fact, I could hold the socket with my hand, and feel that it was really feeble.
Then I read the instructions. The recommended air hose is 3/8"ID, while my hose is a 1/4" ID, and I also have 1/4" fittings all around. No wonder, the small hose and fittings are so restrictive, the impact wrench probably doesn't get enough air flow to do its thing.
So I went to Home Depot (which is like a pilgrimage site for me, I circle it's aisles many times...) and picked up a modestly priced 3/8" ID hose, as well as some 3/8" "automotive" fittings. By the way, the 3/8" fitting kits were more expensive than the hose itself!
At home, I removed one of the quick connects from my pancake compressor and using some nylon plumbers tape to make a good seal, screwed on the huge 3/8" automotive connector. Then I put the matching bits on my hose, and on my air wrench.
Now, the air impact wrench whacks off the lug nuts like a champ. The air flow is obviously much improved--running the air gun continuously will drain my 6 gallon air tank in about 30s. Which is why the instructions recommend a 20gal tank.
But don't let that dissuade you. If you only need to use your air impact once in a while (like me, to rotate my tires), it will work. You may have to give your compressor a little bit time in between pairs of nuts to rebuild its pressure.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Monday, November 05, 2012
Friday, November 02, 2012
Sung Hwan Cho, president of Hyundai America Technical Center Inc., said the company in 2010 changed testing procedures to calculate road resistance that accidentally overestimated the fuel economy.
So what happened? It sounds like Hyundai screwed up their dynamometer calibration for road loads. In order to get a close match between road performance and lab results, Carmakers calculate numerical coefficients which are used to estimate the effect of air resistance, rolling resistance, vehicle inertia, etc. on a vehicle on the road. These coefficients are used to correct the load that a chassis dyno puts on a vehicle, so that the fuel economy and emissions results are a reasonable match to real world performance.
Thursday, November 01, 2012
Friday, October 26, 2012
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Workers at LG Chem, a $300 million lithium-ion battery plant heavily funded by taxpayers, tell Target 8 that they have so little work to do that they spend hours playing cards and board games, reading magazines or watching movies.
Sunday, October 07, 2012
Friday, October 05, 2012
Thursday, October 04, 2012
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
The Karma ranks as our lowest-rated luxury sedan. Of all sedans, only three have lower overall scores: Chrysler 200,Dodge Avenger, and Nissan Versa SV.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Monday, September 10, 2012
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Monday, August 27, 2012
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
0-60 (sec): 4.3 (4.3 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 12.6 @ 108.3 (12.6 @ 108.2 w/ TC on)
60-0 (ft): 108
Slalom (mph): 66.8 (66.0 w/TC off)
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.86 (0.86 w/TC on)
Thursday, August 09, 2012
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Friday, July 20, 2012
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Since the behaviour of the Jeep Grand Cherokee was both dangerous and potentially lethal, we suspected that the car was actually packed with too much weight. We immediately proceeded to weigh the car on a scale and got our answer. The Jeep Grand Cherokee does not have a curb weight of 2 347 kilos (5 174 lbs) that the Swedish certificate of registration indicates (see the attached image below), a figure that Jeep/Chrysler has provided to Transportstyrelsen. In fact, the car actually has a curb weight of 2 505 kilos (5 523 lbs) with a driver in the car. That is a full 158 kilos (348 lbs) more than what Jeep/Chrysler claims the car to weigh in the official documentation provided to Swedish authorities.
Add the 602 kilos (1 327 lbs) that Jeep/Chrysler claims the car being capable to load and the total gross weight is now at 3 107 kilos (6 850 lbs). This can be compared to the claimed total gross weight in the vehicle's registration papers – 2 949 kilos (6 501 lbs). This, again, is a number that Jeep/Chrysler have provided. In other words – if one packs a Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 3.0 CRD V6 with the maximum allowed capacity, one overshoots the total gross weight of the car by 158 kilos (348 lbs). Worth mentioning is that we only overshot the total net weight by 58 kilos (128 lbs) since we unloaded 100 kilos (220 lbs) out of the car when we performed the test as can be seen in the video clip. The car still went up on two wheels.
Monday, July 09, 2012
Perhaps Coda will find a large base of customers willing to sacrifice ride quality and amenities in exchange for a dependable range of 100 miles. I'm not in that group; in the production version I drove, the high-pitched whine was just the beginning of the Coda cacophony.
When starting out, the electric motor groans in low deep spasms as speed builds. At higher speeds, wind noise and buzzing intrude. The ride is harsh, giving passengers intimate knowledge of every imperfection in the road.
Monday, June 25, 2012
Sunday, June 24, 2012
What is interesting to me here is the "one pedal driving" comment. What Tesla apparently has done is tuned a very aggressive off-throttle regen. In the gas side of the biz, you would say that they used very little "dashpot", in other words, allowing the throttle plate to close quickly. In this case, of course, you get electric regen braking, not engine vacuum based braking.
This is interesting because many efficiency gurus actually prefer a lot of dashpot--this allows for an efficient "pulse and glide" driving style, while saving heavy regen for actual braking events.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Here's the best song, IMHO: "Infinite Dreams".
Friday, June 15, 2012
|Image courtesy of Edmunds.com|
|Image courtesy of Edmunds.com|
I was amazed at how obviously different the two vehicles were in driving character, and particularly, in their sounds.
The Volt, from the driver's seat, was a little cramped, I found my head a bit close to the headliner at the sides, and had to lower my seat a bit more than I would like. The center stack was a mess of graphical buttons, which were not fast to learn, though I am sure with time you would get used to it. The interior finish was a mix of shiny hard plastic and crinkly hard plastic, for the most part. I wasn't really a fan of the high-gloss finish on much of the plastic.
The driving experience of the Volt was pleasant, with lots of torque from standstill and good acceleration through about 50mph, which was as fast as I had a chance to take it. The car felt fairly heavy, but body movement was smooth and controlled.
The regenerative brakes didn't fell bad, they had a bit of a grabby feel until you got used to them.
The rear passenger space on the Volt isn't good for adults. I was banging my head on the headliner near the windscreen, and the seating position was not pleasant. I would not want to be a rear passenger for more than a short trip in the Volt.
I thought the IP graphics were nice, but I was annoyed at the animated green ball that GM is using to indicate regen. It is constantly animated, rotating in place or shrinking/growing, and I found it distracting.
Next I had a chance to sample the Focus EV.
The Focus EV had a much sportier character, handling wise, than the Volt. It also had a much more conventional interior, basically the same as the gasoline Focus in high-end trim. The switchgear was normal and easy to use, and the LCD IP had more traditional style bar graph/pie chart type graphics.
The Focus also had lots of lower speed torque, and accelerated easily to 50mph without trouble. The regen braking was smooth and wasn't obtrusive, to me. I thought the pedal feel was more linear than the Volt.
I didn't have a chance to ride in the rear seat of the Focus, but I heard that the battery package does compromise the leg room and cargo floor.
The big difference between the two vehicles, other than the interior, was the overall sound in the cabin. The Volt was much boomier than the Focus, letting in more low to mid frequency road noise, combined with noticeable whine during regen braking. There was also a quiet, high frequency sound when accelerating, almost a whistle. The Focus also had some electric whine during acceleration and braking, but it was noticeably quieter than the Volt. Comparing either vehicle to a gasoline car of the same class is eye opening--these vehicles are shockingly quiet in electric propulsion mode. I would even say the quietness is a major reason to buy an electric vehicle.
Neither vehicle would really work for me as they stand. For about the same price, I would like a Focus EV with a gasoline range extender, though this beast would not have room for the extra equipment. The Volt is a great car, if you are willing to overlook seating utility and funky controls in exchange for a range extending gasoline engine. The Focus EV is a fantastic car, if you can live with the restrictions on range (76mi EPA estimate).
If I had to pick one for my $40,000 before credits, I would take the Focus EV as a better place to sit as driver. It is really neat to drive, as long as your range holds out.
- Unobtrusive gasoline range extender
- Decent handling
- Good acceleration
- Snazzy graphics on IP
- Glossy or crinkly hard plastic interior
- Animated graphics annoying
- Road noise and braking whine
- Cramped rear seats
Focus EV Pluses:
- Gasoline Focus interior
- Gasoline Focus chassis
- Very quiet
Focus EV Minuses:
- 76mile range
- Rear seat leg room
- Compromised cargo space
Friday, June 08, 2012
Sunday, June 03, 2012
Here is an email I just received from Kathy.
I believe we have fallen for one of the scams you describe on your blog. Is there any recourse we may try to get our money back?My response:
If you sent the scammer money using Western Union/Moneygram, and they picked it up, then I am afraid you are basically screwed. You can file a report, however, you are unlikely to see a penny back. If they did not yet pick the money up, call WU right away and see if they can cancel the money order.
Take this as a very expensive, harsh lesson: never buy ANYTHING using non-reversible payments (e.g. Western Union money transfers).
We made the call to Western Union etc and the money was picked up. We are filing a report with the FBI and State Attorney General in case we have a chance of getting anything back. Painful lesson for our 21 year old son! Thank you for your response.
The sad truth is, Kathy's son is basically out of whatever money he sent, probably several thousand dollars. The FBI is unlikely to recover a penny.
Remember some ironclad rules of internet commerce:
- If it seems to be too good to be true, it probably is
- NEVER pay ANYONE using non-traceable money transfers such as Western Union or Moneygram
- NEVER buy goods from ANYONE on Craigslist who isn't local to you.
Friday, June 01, 2012
First, the redesigned Explorer is doing well, much better than the old truck-based model. The new Explorer is running around 160,000 units annually, while the old Explorer was around 50,000.
Second, Lincoln is in BIG trouble. In a rising tide of sales, Lincoln is down 2%, mostly due to the aging of the MKZ. May saw only 7,274 Lincolns sold. I suppose a new MKZ will help that, but still, Mustang outsold the entire Lincoln brand in May!
Ford needs to fix Lincoln, quick, or its dealers will starve to death.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
A very "Private equity" like takeover of GM and Chrysler, under which plants, dealers, and many many jobs were cut, in order to re-organize the companies. The only difference here is that Rattner was using taxpayer money instead of investor money to back the re-organization, but his goals were essentially the same as Bain's would have been: improve shareholder (taxpayer) value by re-structuring the operations into profitable enterprises.
Monday, May 21, 2012
For example, comparing a Chevrolet Malibu Eco to a base gasoline Malibu, 12,000mi/year, 60% city driving, gasoline at $3.75, the tool says that you would save a whopping $200/year on gasoline, and that the $550 MSRP difference would be paid off in 2.7 years.
Clearly, the Malibu Eco isn't an irresistibly good deal, because that $200/year in fuel savings is going to cost you several cubic feet of trunk space.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
I find it odd that he only considers fuel economy in his question.
A more careful ethicist would also consider the resources going into the transmission. For example, a manual will over its lifetime consume one or two clutches. An automatic (unless it is one of those rare CVTs) will consume several changes of automatic transmission fluid, a.k.a. oil.
Also, consider that automatics usually cost about $1000 more than a manual. Why is that? Simply, omplexity. The automatic has more parts, including electronic controls. More parts means more manufacturing footprint to make it.
It seems to me that manuals are more "ethical" than automatics until such time as their fuel economy gains can overcome the manuals advantage in simplicity.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
I found a video about the car on the Detroit Free Press site.
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
There are major engineering challenges to be solved for designs like this, so these aren't exactly a few months or even years away from mass production. For example, how do you keep debris from getting caught between the spokes? How will the spokes do when hit with red-hot brake rotors in a repeat braking situation? What happens if you drive over a few large nails, which penetrate through the friction layer and into the spokes, will the wheel still perform?
These type of wheels do have some very interesting tuning possibilities. For example, they could have a different lateral stiffness (very high) than radial stiffness, so impact harshness could be reduced while keeping a sharp turn-in feel.
A few years ago, Michelin brought out a concept the called the Tweel (tire+wheel). After some initial publicity, the Tweel seems to have disappeared--I can't find any new news about it on Michelin's web site any more.
Find great deals on tires online at CARiD.com.
Monday, May 07, 2012
If you bite, this is what will happen.
An blandly named fellow, such as "Mark Nelson", will arrange to send you a check, usually by FedEx or priority mail (to give it an air of urgency).
He will ask you to deposit the check, keep some money for yourself, and then split up the rest into smaller Western Union or Moneygram payments.
The reason they use Western Union is that it is not really traceable and can not be revoked. All they need is the Money Transfer Control Number and they have the cash, simple as that.
Then, your bank will sock you with fees and expect you to pay back the fictitious money.
Here we have an example where the package was apparently sent from Boise, ID. However, using the tracking number on the label will show that it actually came from Pennsylvania!
April 30, 2012, 2:06 pm
DREXEL HILL, PA 19026
The fake check itself is pretty good, however, you might notice small flaws. For example, in this case, the ink used for the check account number, check #, signature, and other information was the same color of black and slightly raised (like a laser printer would produce). There is no actual "water mark" on the check paper, when you hold it up to the light you only see printed ink. Also, the "reflective ink" watermark that the front of the check claims is there is not in fact reflective, it is just yellow.
Don't be fooled. There is no such thing as a "work at home" job which pays $100's of dollars an hour for cashing checks and sending out Western Union payments.
Thursday, May 03, 2012
Here are some thoughts.
The Dart appears to be Chrysler's first competitive compact/midsize vehicle since the Dodge Cirrus of years ago. It has modern efficient powertrains, a nice interior, and nice gadgets.
It is a 100% improvement over the Caliber, which was, even after a refresh, a cheap rent-a-car.
Reviewers so far have been saying that the driving dynamics are quite good, and NVH is excellent.
Chrysler's weak spot now is quality and reliability. They need to work hard to convince people that they aren't selling pretty junk. Though, these days, even below-average quality new cars are quite a bit better than the average of just a decade ago.
I wouldn't buy a new Dart, yet, but I would not hesitate to lease one.
The other part I'm not sold on is the front end styling. It seems like a mish-mash of Dodge cross and more organic influences. I actually like the basic monochrome version much better than the black bedecked Rallye trim. The front overhang seems very long to me.
Still, this is the first car I have seen from Chrysler in a while that I could see myself owning.
Friday, April 27, 2012
SOLVED!Jason F. has solved the challenge and captured the prize. However, in true geocaching spirit, he left the container with something new in it for the next person.
I didn't think it would still be there, but wow, there it was! So cool! Thank you for the awesome prize and sharing this great park with me. I will be coming back here for sure. Now in true geocaching spirit I left behind a little prize, and I plan on listing it on a caching site if thats ok with you?
Ps. I plan on using this to detail my new-to-me 04' Grand Marquis. :)
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
A question to the panel, regarding transmission, elicits an interesting comment on DCT (dual clutch or automated manual transmissions)
In the U.S., DCTs (e.g. Ford Focus) are not well liked because they have a less smooth low-speed and stop/start/creep performance compared to a traditional hydraulic torque converter equipped automatic. In the U.S., customers are used to the very smooth performance of automatics, having mostly abandoned manual transmissions, so the jerky feel from DCTs is a big minus. In Europe, most customers are coming from automatics, and are used to some clunkiness.
The industry hopes that customer acceptance in the US will increase as consumers become used to the feel of DCTs... but there is a real danger here to the technology, judging by the poor acceptance and near-demise of the CVT in the NA market.
Personally, I would nave no problem trading some clunkiness of a DCT for its advantages: fast shifts, full manual control, and no fluid to deal with.
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
I like the exterior design, it is a big improvement over the current, ancient Impala.
The interior is also a big upgrade, but to me seems a bit busy.
GM says that it will come with a choice of 2.5L I4, 2.4L eAssist (mild hybrid), and 3.6L V6 powertrains. It should get pretty good fuel economy, but with the I4 engines pushing about 200HP, it is not going to feel very quick unless the weight is substantially reduced over the current model. Looking at the photos, I'd be surprised if it is less than 3750#.
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
I think these need a rebuttal.
Myth 1: "The technology isn't ready."
Ford: "Ford has been putting reliable, efficient hybrid electric vehicles on the road for over 10 years."
Rebuttal: Sneaky Ford is combining hybrid electric vehicles into the same bin as battery electric vehicles. Truth is, Ford is about to release its first modern mass market BEV. The electric Ranger of the late 1990's was a low volume fleet product. And high profile technical issues in the new crop of EVs show that, in fact, the technology is still in flux.
Myth 2: "Electric vehicles are too expensive."
Ford: "Ford has yet to determine pricing on its plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and all-electric vehicles. Though the initial price of these vehicles may be higher than a conventional gas-powered vehicle, keep in mind that the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is being designed to deliver maximum fuel efficiency. So you may be able to save money on fuel costs. Tax credits may also be available. Check with your appropriate local, state and federal agencies for more information."
Rebuttal: Ford has yet to determine? They already announced an MSRP of $40,000 for the Focus BEV, and current HEVs, I don't expect the final prices to go down by much--batteries are still expensive. Truth is, BEVs are prohibitive for most people to buy, until battery costs are reduced dramatically. HEVs do have a faster payoff, yet even with $4/gal gas, they are not exactly flying off of the dealer lots.
Myth 3: "I'm afraid I'm going to get stranded when the battery runs out."
Ford: "A Ford hybrid electric vehicle has a gasoline engine, so you're in no more danger of getting stuck than you would be if you were driving a traditional gasoline engine- powered vehicle. The battery of the hybrid electric is also continuously charged while you drive. As for the all-electric vehicle now in development, Ford is working with the public and private sectors to help create the infrastructure that will enable you to recharge your all-electric vehicle in a variety of locations other than your home."
Rebuttal: Ford again combines HEV and BEV into the same answer. If you have a Focus BEV, chances are you will only get about 75 miles (according to EPA) on average. That's a mere one hour of driving at Michigan speeds. Anyone driving a BEV must be careful about range, because recharging takes at least 4 hours for a full charge.
Myth 4: "My commute is too long for an electric vehicle."
Ford: "Because a hybrid electric vehicle has a gas engine as well as an electric motor, no commute is too long for a hybrid. The Ford all-electric vehicle, currently in development, is targeted to go up to 100 miles on a single charge."
Rebuttal: The average daily commute is about 40 miles, so a 75 mile average range should cover it. But if you are driving in the winter, and using the heater, you probably won't have much range left for the grocery run after work, or the detour to pick up the dry cleaning.
Myth 5: "They don't make electric vehicles in the style I want."
Ford: "Ford offers hybrid electric vehicles in the responsive, fun-to-drive Fusion as well as the Escape small SUV. Other Ford vehicles are currently in development."
Rebuttal: Escape HEV is about to be killed. Transit BEV is in limbo along with Azure's future. Which leaves two styles of vehicle--compact hatch and mid-size car.
Friday, March 30, 2012
- Honda Civic Hybrid
- Volvo C30
- Nissan Leaf
- Acura TSX Wagon
- Ford Fiesta Sedan
Here are the top 5 vehicles most popular with Republicans:
- Ford Mustang Convertible
- Audi A8
- Mercedes GL
- Ford Expedition
- Ford F150
Now, there is a very interesting trend here. Only one of the Democrat picks is built by an American automaker, and NONE of them are built in UAW plants (the Fiesta is built in Mexico).
On the Republican side, 3/5 are Fords, and all 3 are built by UAW run plants in MIchigan-Flat Rock MI, Rouge MI, and Wayne MI.
I think some re-evaluation of stereotypes may be in order here. Democrats will fight tooth and nail to increase union power--but don't necessarily buy the products they produce.
That's because Azure wasn't selling many electric vehicles, not enough to support operations.
I am somewhat disappointing, because Azure is a relatively mature player, and wasn't going after exotic 3-wheel cars or anything fancy, they are in what should be a solid business: retrofitting existing designs with electric powertrains.
The problem remains, that the EV conversions are so expensive (batteries!) that few businesses can afford to buy them in lean times, even though they do save a lot of money in the long run, in fuel savings.
I hope Azure survives, but the future for small EV players looks dim.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
In the pre-launch frame, there is a large black dot on the left wing, but no matching dot on the right.
In the post-launch frame, there are large dots on both wings.
That's because the post-launch stuff is CGI.
So why the fakery? Is Smeets just fooling around, or is this project one of those elaborate marketing devices?
However, this cart from the American Petroleum Institute tells an interesting detail.
Production is up on private lands. On Federally controlled lands, production is in fact down. And much of that is due to Obama's policies and regulations.
Production may be up, but it isn't as large as it could be.
Monday, March 19, 2012
But the Fisker is languishing in our lot, going out mostly for short commutes that remain well within cell-phone coverage in case of trouble--a concern in the rural area surrounding our track. Just this weekend, for example, the speedometer and energy meter display disappeared when driving, on top of having several other rogue warning indicators appear last week. It is expected we'll be revisiting the dealership soon. We've had cars in the past that have been troublesome, but never anything like this.
Friday, March 16, 2012
His latest tactic? Accusing people who oppose his energy policy as being "flat earthers".
Um, no. Truth is Mr. President, we who are critical of your misadventures in energy policy, we adhere to this ancient, dogmatic system called "the laws of economics". You can have windmills, and Solyndra powered solar power plants, and magical Unicorn tear powered hydro plants. For a price, paid by us, the taxpayers..
Your plans may damage the economy further, kneecap industry with regulations and taxes, and take away consumer choice.
GM correctly argues that adding fees on EVs will discourage people from buying them. However, lost gas tax revenues are looming problem. As gas cars become more efficient, and some people switch to hybrids and pure EVs, revenue from gasoline sales will drop significantly. Federal and state gas taxes are generally used to maintain the roads.
So there needs to be a "technology neutral" way to fund road repair. I think a sensible solution would be to drop gasoline taxes entirely, and fund roads through some sort of usage fee that all cars would pay. There are many ways to do this:
- Mileage based fees, which can be collected annually at registration renewal.
- Higher registration fees.
- Digital toll roads using license plate reading cameras or RFID
- Extra sales taxes on new car sales
- Taxes on electricity used to charge EVs (smart metering)
Each of these has advantages and disadvantages. The nice thing about gasoline taxes is that the fees are collected gradually. A camera based toll system could work this way, charging your credit card every month for approximate miles driven, however the required infrastructure and privacy issues would be significant.
Putting the motoring tax on tires is an interesting concept--all cars and trucks, no matter what the powertrain technology, consume tires. The problem is, tires last a long time, so the tire tax would have to be very high to recapture lost revenue from gasoline. Can you imagine payint $1000 extra for a set of tires?
Annual mileage based fees would be equitable, but if you imagine having to pay a year's worth of gasoline taxes at once, you are talking about a hefty bill, on the order of $500-700/year for a typical motorist. Still, if I had to pick my favorite taxation method I think annual miles driven would be my choice.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Sunday, March 11, 2012
I have always wanted to get some of my guns ported, so I finally took the plunge and dropped off my Beretta M9 9mm, and my Remington 870 12ga shotgun at Mag-na-port.
A week later, they were finished. The cost was about $250 for both guns, and Mag-na-port gave me a 15% coupon to use for my next service.
The ports were cut cleaning through both barrels, leaving crisp edges and no burrs or other leftovers that I could see.
Today I took the guns to an indoor shooting range that I like (Target Sports on Woodward) to test drive the ports.
The Beretta M9 was never a very hard recoiling gun to begin with, but I do think the porting helped reduce muzzle rise. It was quite pleasant to shoot. I did notice the bright orange gas streams venting upwards to either side of the barrel, but they were gone so quickly that they were not obtrusive. I need to go back and shoot some +P ammo, as I only had Winchester white box for this trip.
The 870 was still a 12 ga shoulder bruiser, but I also felt that the muzzle rise was reduced. Additional flash from the vents was not very apparent to me.
For both guns, I could not tell that they were any louder.
* I did not receive any compensation from Mag-na-port for this review, I am just a customer.