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Old 02-26-2008, 04:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Car and Driver magazine ecomods a Pinto: MPG up +25%

The catch is that the car in question was a Pinto runabout, and the project took place 34 years ago "to ease the fuel shortage" of that era.



Nevertheless, most of their mods still apply today.

Quote:
All we did was apply some race car technology to a street car. The result: a 25% increase in gas mileage from $10 worth of sheet aluminum, $1 worth of plexigass and a set of radial-ply tires. Gentlemen, man your tin snips.
Everything old is new again...

The Pinto came to my attention in a post Phil made in the "How to decide whether to remove a rear spoiler" thread. He mentioned the C&D article in that context about the "Crisis Fighter Pinto" because it had a sheet metal spoiler added on as part of its list of mods.

Phil must have also mentioned the article to the Edmunds.com writer who did the piece about ecomodding this week.

Here's what Car and Driver did:



- "LRR" (radial) tires replaced the OEM bias ply ones
- massive front air dam (2 inches clearance)
- partial grille block
- plexiglass headlight bucket covers
- 6 inch rear spoiler
- removed 2 blades from the OEM 4 blade radiator fan

End results: 18.2 mpg (US) in modded form, vs. 14.6 mpg in stock form, tested @ 70 mph.


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Old 02-26-2008, 06:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It is amazing what ratty MPG those old Pintos and Vegas got. My old Cosworth Vega got 24 MPG and I thought that was great. Now my truck does as well...in the winter. Of course, back then I drove like a crazed twentysomething.

Wish I had that car back but I don't think I could squeeze in anymore.
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Old 02-26-2008, 07:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice find. Thanks for sharing it.
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Old 02-26-2008, 07:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Very nice, I like seeing the "pros" do something with ecomodding every once and a while. Helps me gauge whether the stuff I do, or think about doing is really all that effective and if my findings of my efficiency gains were accurate.
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Old 02-26-2008, 07:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Fan Mod

Too bad the fan mod won't make that big of a difference today: mechanical clutch vs. electric.

The Pinto/Maverick could have been so much more, but alas, Amerikanized.

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Old 02-26-2008, 07:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Woooo, I remember a pinto mod article in Popular Mechanics I believe, base line was 24mpg, and finish was 44. I know I have the article up stairs in among a box of magazines.

I recall an open air cleaner, header , carb rejet kit, header and several other things. If anyone is interested I will see if I can dig it out.
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Old 02-26-2008, 07:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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oldschool -please do.

I suspect the main difference was that the C&D project intentionally avoided mods that would have interfered with emissions. We can all make our cars more efficient if we want to raise NOX, for example.
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
It is amazing what ratty MPG those old Pintos and Vegas got. My old Cosworth Vega got 24 MPG and I thought that was great. Now my truck does as well...in the winter. Of course, back then I drove like a crazed twentysomething.
Keep in mind, that's how the C&D people drive too!

The mileage quoted is @ 70 mph. At 55 it would be quite different.
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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What we should do is make something that effectively cleans out NOX, like on a diesel, when you run biodiesel. All other green house gases are lowered, except NOx... So if we could get a filter with that we could run more efficient and not worry about nox.
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I agree

I agree -- and have thought quite a bit about this.

We can make engines more efficient from a consumption standpoint, but emissions nevertheless increase. A catalytic converter and EGR setup are supposed to remove most of the NOx. Newer tech (although more expensive) could be implemented.

Too bad it's one or the other right now...

RH77

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