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Old 02-07-2018, 12:08 AM   #31 (permalink)
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I doubt the radiator can be eliminated altogether. It's still radiating heat even if it's blocked by cardboard.

I would think circulation rate could be reduced from factory specs considering it's sized on worst case scenarios; pulling a trailer up a mountain in 100 degree heat.

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Old 02-07-2018, 11:42 AM   #32 (permalink)
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I doubt the radiator can be eliminated altogether.
Even though it can be eliminated altogether, it wouldn't be worth doing so. Some tractors and stationary engines resorted to a water tank for evaporative cooling through "total loss" of the water, which is avoided by a recirculating system fitted with a radiator.
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:00 PM   #33 (permalink)
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The sole purpose of going into trouble with electric pump is to reduce consumption of gasoline-derived power by increasing consumption of gasoline-independent electric power. Isn't it gasoline that we are trying to save here?
Personally, I try to save money. I would be curious how long it takes to break even on that $250 electric water pump.

I've thought of converting my Astro to electric accessories but I can't get past the cost vs payback. (Originally I was looking at converting the A/C to a rooftop unit but I chose to just fix the OEM system)
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:30 PM   #34 (permalink)
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I am working on a project to eliminate belt-driven accessories in Geo Metro to further improve fuel efficiency. The car has a 60 A alternator. Alternator voltage output is 14 V. With all accessories on, electricity consumption may be as high as 40-50 A, or close to rated output. Electric power output could be 1.1 hp, and with 60% energy losses typical for a smaller alternator, power taken from engine for electricity generation is almost 3 hp.
You might be surprised how little draw the electrical load actually is, once the alternator has replaced the charge in the battery after a start. Do you really think it could be as much as 600W (12Vx50A)?

I am not disagreeing that you can get some fuel savings at night in a cold rainstorm, but then you have to plug in to recharge the battery, hopefully when you get to your destination.
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:25 PM   #35 (permalink)
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You might be surprised how little draw the electrical load actually is, once the alternator has replaced the charge in the battery after a start. Do you really think it could be as much as 600W (12Vx50A)?
Night driving (no radio, no heater fan, fully charged battery) requires about 300 W electric power. With other losses (water pump, alternator inefficiency, alternator fan, bearings, serpentine belt) the drag on engine could be in the ballpark of 1 hp.

[/QUOTE]I am not disagreeing that you can get some fuel savings at night in a cold rainstorm, but then you have to plug in to recharge the battery, hopefully when you get to your destination.[/QUOTE]

At night, especially cold night, engine works inefficiently. If about 5-6 hp is needed for sustained 55 mph on level ground, 1 hp is 20% of that. Yes, the battery needs recharging after a long trip, but electric cars are much more aggravating in this regard.
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:42 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Personally, I try to save money. I would be curious how long it takes to break even on that $250 electric water pump.

I've thought of converting my Astro to electric accessories but I can't get past the cost vs payback. (Originally I was looking at converting the A/C to a rooftop unit but I chose to just fix the OEM system)
This Saturday I am picking up a '99 Metro for $300 to serve as a platform for my ecomodding project. Indeed, $250 part for $300 car does not make sense. However, I got my electric water pumps lightly used for $75 apiece, which is a more reasonable price. Electric water pump is just one thing, others are new xfi engine, lower ratio transmission, low current fuel pump, CDI ignition, alloy wheels with LRR tires, etc, etc. Whether it is worthwhile spending money on this project depends on how you look at it. Propping up an old beater by throwing money at it does not make sense, but buying a Prius or Insight for what they charge for them doesn't make sense either. This is a hobby project for fun, and maybe a better use of money than collecting guns or restoring antique cars.

Astro is so handicapped in fuel economy that it is not worth modifying.
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Old 02-15-2018, 04:13 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sser2 View Post
This Saturday I am picking up a '99 Metro for $300 to serve as a platform for my ecomodding project. Indeed, $250 part for $300 car does not make sense. However, I got my electric water pumps lightly used for $75 apiece, which is a more reasonable price. Electric water pump is just one thing, others are new xfi engine, lower ratio transmission, low current fuel pump, CDI ignition, alloy wheels with LRR tires, etc, etc. Whether it is worthwhile spending money on this project depends on how you look at it. Propping up an old beater by throwing money at it does not make sense, but buying a Prius or Insight for what they charge for them doesn't make sense either.
Considering the cost and energy usage involved in the manufacturing of a new car, it actually doesn't seem so pointless to refurbish an older beater. It may also be a good excuse to try some ecomods that oneself wouldn't be so willing to do in a newer and more expensive car.


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Astro is so handicapped in fuel economy that it is not worth modifying.
Considering that even a minor improvement would be proportionally higher than it would look in a small econobox, it doesn't seem so worthless at all to modify an Astro.
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Old 02-16-2018, 06:22 PM   #38 (permalink)
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...This is a hobby project for fun, and maybe a better use of money than collecting guns or restoring antique cars.
Makes sense now. Some people buy muscle cars and some buy Metros. Sounds like a fun project

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Astro is so handicapped in fuel economy that it is not worth modifying.
I disagree. Even 1 mpg on a 15 mpg vehicle like my Astro has huge savings in fuel.
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Old 02-16-2018, 07:47 PM   #39 (permalink)
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I disagree. Even 1 mpg on a 15 mpg vehicle like my Astro has huge savings in fuel.
I know, I shouldn't have posted that. I have a Nissan hardbody truck, on which I did one ecomod - 8.5% larger wheels. Mpg went from 24 to 27 in mixed driving, which is not bad for a pickup truck. But I try do drive it as little as possible. Most of my driving is either Metros or Honda Insight.

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