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Old 06-12-2017, 10:02 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
The real test was always loading the vehicle to maximum capacity and THEN finding highest average mpg. Do that for 10,000 miles (what is needed to become accustomed), and real bragging rights accrue.
I had my Renault loaded to it's (unbraked trailer) GCM, and still beat the NEDC figure by 10%. The difference is all accounted for by the aero drag of the trailer, the added weight makes no difference.


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Old 06-12-2017, 11:28 PM   #22 (permalink)
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This is why I try to explain to people, if you spend $5k-$10k more on a car to get 5-10 more mpg, the car will never pay for itself unless you keep it 20-30 years, and even at that it's gonna need some good repairs by then. Food for thought. Kinda like people who buy a new $8k-$9k motorcycle so they can save on gas. It will NEVER pay for itself if that's the only reason you get it.

Get something cheaper and mod it if need be.
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Old 06-13-2017, 01:40 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by oldtamiyaphile View Post
I had my Renault loaded to it's (unbraked trailer) GCM, and still beat the NEDC figure by 10%. The difference is all accounted for by the aero drag of the trailer, the added weight makes no difference.
With my Insight significantly overloaded (maybe 1.75x GCM) plus towing a trailer weighing half of what the loaded car weighed, I still beat the EPA combined for my car by 10% over a 1700 mile trip.
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Old 06-13-2017, 03:23 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Most people on here have kinda middle of the road cars it seems when it comes to FE. I mean, sure there's the Insight and Metro crowds, but there's Civics, Jettas, and such too. Those guys can actually save some money.

I'm still selling my Auto-Stop chips for the G1 Insight at $18 US shipped, with them, because of what they let you do, they might be worth it. But I guess it depends how much you use it and what you were getting before. Coroplast aero is good too but IDK how effective it is. Depends on what you do with it.

Probably the best thing you can do is pump your tires up (free) followed by building grill blocks or a boat tail.

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Old 06-14-2017, 12:56 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Vehicle choices and the mods we do need to fit our needs and it's not a one size fits all. My needs are much different than someone else's. That said, some options are more economical than others and some mods more worthwhile.
When I bought my Rondo, we were a one car family and we were often making long trips on short notice. I bought the car with the best mileage rating I could find that would still fit everything I needed. I bought it new which, looking back was unwise, but I've driven it for almost 10 years with almost nothing but maintenance. That will eventually change and I know it will never be as cheap overall as my old junkers, but it is far more economical than a truck or SUV. I also have to allow some value to being able to just get in and go without taking my tool box and wondering the whole way if it was going to make it. My mods didn't cost much and I believe have saved me money. OTOH, If I'd spent 10 grand more to buy a Hybrid, I'd be behind even more.
I agree that that the all in costs have to be factored in and buying an expensive car just to save gas is never going to pay. But, while most if us here are tinkerers, for someone who can't fix their own car, a newer car may be justified.
I bought my Echo for a city commuter because it is not only very economical, but it can carry four adults comfortably and has a huge trunk for its size. My mods have paid for themselves quickly (most were free) and I'm not only beating combined EPA in city driving with 3-4 adults in the car, I'm using it as my family car most of the time as well. It uses way less gas than the Rondo in town. If I had a lot of highway driving, my choices might be different, but do what fits. I used to dream of building a hot rod when I was young. As slowmover said, ecomodding is sort of niche hotrodding, except we can actually save more that we spend and have fun doing it.

Almost all my driving is done 1-5 miles at a time.
Best short trip: 2.4 l/100 km, 3.9 km
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Old 06-14-2017, 01:59 PM   #26 (permalink)
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yeah, like SH@UN said earlier

Instead of getting a modern, economical ATV for a couple thousand bucks for my meek forest trips and other small, easy tasks, i think it's better to get a ol' 2-wheel tractor, even if it's slow as as a snail and drinks heaps of fuel.

If you don't make any mistakes in your life,
life itself will be a f*ckup.


Last edited by Fingie; 06-14-2017 at 02:01 PM.. Reason: edit
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Old 06-14-2017, 03:32 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by slowmover
The thread title implies a larger picture.
Practicality rules the scenario. What man can call himself a man otherwise?
I think your posts are always insightful, but that one should be engraved in stone somewhere. Except with 'hot ridding' corrected.

So I'm past the wife and family part. Four-door driver's doors are too short. This was my solution:

The bike rack integrates two solutions. The bike had $100 in it after both rims had been replaced.

Modification to double the range.

Although the embodied energy was invested 46 years ago and it's the cleanest, most reliable car I've driven; practically, it's too valuable and fragile to flog. so:

Where the Superbeetle gets 30mpg burning clear premium, the new weekly driver [should get] 40 mpg burning vegetables. Plus I see an opportunity to mod it with a mild hybrid KERS.

NADA mid-book on the '71 Super is $8100 (it was $7700 six months ago ) with original MSRP of $1,985; on the '79 Dasher, $1325 with the original MSRP of $7,228. They've sort of traded places over the years.
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Old 07-16-2017, 08:11 AM   #28 (permalink)
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"Hit rodding" corrected, ha! Some other editing for detail and clarity

Thanks, freebeard. The thanks button wasn't enough.

This site is good for clearing misconceptions. Anxieties.

There's only so much one can do.

After that, if it isn't fun (no one else considers it such), then the checklist stopgaps practical against impractical.

Bummed about Poly Metal. I envisioned it as that stuff the second Terminator robot was built with. I'd just put a scale model of my RV in a wind tunnel, drop a blob of Poly Metal on it, turn on the fan and watch it flow to fill the spaces. Then take off the measurements for fabrication after perfect aero was demonstrated.

A rose by any other name. Ah, well.

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Last edited by slowmover; 07-16-2017 at 08:50 AM..
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:50 AM   #29 (permalink)
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If one plans to keep the same car for a longer term, might not only justify the cost of certain mods but also eventually go further on other mods that would otherwise be seen as detrimental to resale value. BTW nowadays if I were looking for something that I wouldn't care too much about resale value, my choice would be some random small motorcycle.
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:05 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Your post reminded me — I took these pictures today on my way back downriver. It's in the Thurston Hills just before the 45mph sign.

$650. If 'nowadays [if] I were looking' it would be for something like this. I should find a Metro thread to post it in.

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