Go Back   EcoModder Forum > EcoModding > EcoModding Central
Register Now
 Register Now
 

Reply  Post New Thread
 
Submit Tools LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-11-2013, 05:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
cbaber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 540

Lean and Mean - '98 Honda Civic HX
Team Honda
90 day: 46.69 mpg (US)
Thanks: 30
Thanked 189 Times in 110 Posts
Lean and Mean - 1998 Honda Civic HX Project Log

Introduction
From now on this thread will be used to document the ecomodding journey of my 1998 Honda Civic HX. I've owned the car since 2010 and it has served me well so far. The journey started about in 2011 when I got a new job 50 miles away. I went searching for ways to improve my fuel economy and found this forum. The goal for this car is to keep a low-profile appearance (no crazy aero mods) yet achieve good fuel economy without diving too deep into advanced hypermiling techniques.

Overview: 1998 Honda Civic HX
1998 Honda Civic HX. 220,000 miles and counting. I bought the car with 125,000 miles. The car is mostly stock besides aftermarket wheels that were on the car when I bought it. I had to replace the engine due to low compression at the 163,000 mile mark. Since then I've completed some major repairs like a faulty headgasket, snapped timing belt, and some other general maintenance tasks. It's been quite a journey, but I've learned so much about the car in the process.

Click here for full vehicle specs & more pictures!



The Goal
As I already mentioned in the introduction I want this car to appear stock but achieve fuel mileage well in excess of the EPA rating.

1. 50 MPG - Goal Achieved 4/11/2014 50.53 MPG
2. 60 MPG - In progress

Current Modifications
Tires at max sidewall pressure +3 MPG
ScanGauge II
Power steering delete
VX/CX transmission swap
Upper Grill Block

Planned Modifications
Alternator delete/externally charged battery (Cancelled)
Lower grill block
OEM spoiler removal
OEM antenna removal
Restore wheels to factory HX with LRR tires

Fuel Log

__________________
1998 Honda Civic HX - My Project Thread


Last edited by cbaber; 04-12-2014 at 03:21 PM..
  Reply With Quote
Alt Today
Popular topics

Other popular topics in this forum...

   
Old 08-11-2013, 05:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
cbaber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 540

Lean and Mean - '98 Honda Civic HX
Team Honda
90 day: 46.69 mpg (US)
Thanks: 30
Thanked 189 Times in 110 Posts
Alternator Delete Project

Alternator Delete Project

As many of you have found out, deleting parasitic accessories reduces the load on the engine, which can increase fuel economy. The alternator is another one of those parasitic systems that can be replaced with an alternative power system.

With the guidance of California98Civic and his DIY thread, I wanted to be able to switch off the alternator when I didn't need it and on when I needed a charge.

I decided to replace my starting battery with a marine deep cycle battery. This would allow the car to run without alternator assistance. Doing the same with a car starting battery would kill it very quickly. Marine deep cycles are meant to cycle many times, and a group 24 can provide about 100 Ah. Due to the size of these batteries I had to relocate the battery to the trunk. I'll need to see what kind of distance I can get out of a full charge to see if one battery will be sufficient. I'm hoping to only use 50% capacity in 100 miles of driving. If I can do that, I only need to charge the battery overnight at home.

Charging the battery will occur overnight with a battery charger. I haven't decided to permanently install it in the car or not. For now I will just use my regular battery charger on the lowest setting that will allow it to fully charge in about 9 hours.

Parts and Accessories Used
- Marine Battery Box (fits group 24-31) - $8 @ Menards
- 15' 2-gauge welding cable - $30 @ eBay
- Inline fuse holder - $7 @ eBay
- Misc. connectors and parts - $10
- Fuses - $14 @ Best Buy
- Group 27 marine deep cycle battery - $70 @ Wal Mart

Inline fuse holder with 150 A anl fuse. 2 gauge welding cable is routed through the passenger compartment up through the firewall to the distribution box.



Ground is connected to the mounting bolt on the shock tower. 4 gauge ground cable.



*Updated* Instead of previous distribution block, I simply bolted together the positive leads for the starter, fuse box, and battery together with copper lugs and a bolt. The bolt is connected to a plastic mounting tab, which is secured with double sided tape to the fuse box.


I don't actually have the deep cycle battery yet. I'm waiting on this 7 year old car battery to finally die!!! But it still fits nicely with the included spacer.



This thing takes up quite a bit of room...



Here is my alternator switch. Just a simple toggle switch that I mounted in a spare pop-out plug on the left side of the dash. Labels were made with a label maker.



So far I have tested the switch and it works. You can't turn the alternator off while the car is running. The switch does nothing. I have to turn the motor off and then I can switch the alternator off. However I can turn the alternator on while the car is running.

Just waiting for the new battery. This mod would not make financial sense unless you needed a new battery anyway (like I do). I figure that despite the cost of relocating the battery, my cost is still going to come out at about the price of a nice quality battery. I'm not sure what to expect to gain in fuel economy. Some have reported as much as 10%, another 2%. I'm hoping for at least 7% but only time and gas will tell. Stay tuned.
__________________
1998 Honda Civic HX - My Project Thread


Last edited by cbaber; 08-28-2013 at 02:50 AM..
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2013, 06:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
cbaber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 540

Lean and Mean - '98 Honda Civic HX
Team Honda
90 day: 46.69 mpg (US)
Thanks: 30
Thanked 189 Times in 110 Posts
Well I think it might be finally time for the new battery. After I got the battery relocation project finished I made sure everything worked by starting the car. It ran fine, no fires, battery was charging, etc. So I called it a night. I woke up and went out to get coffee. It started right up and we made it to Dunkin Donuts. When we go to leave I try to start the car and... Nothing! Just a loud click and everything dies. No scangauge, nothing. I hop out to make sure I hadn't blow my fuses. All fuses were good, all connections good. I come back inside to see the scangauge is now back online and I at least have power to the car. Me and my girlfriend proceed to push the car so I can push start it. Starts right up and runs fine on the way home. I get home and it try to start it again. Same thing. Everything dies when I try to start it. No voltage to the scangauge or anything for awhile after I start it.

At this point I am suspecting the battery is finally toast. I had to drive my truck to work today and didn't have time to tinker anymore. When I get home tonight I'm going to jump the battery to make sure it's a voltage/battery problem and not the starter or my wiring.

What I assume is happening is that the starter drains the battery so low when I try to start it, that there isn't enough voltage to run the scangauge or any other accessories. After awhile the voltage climbs back up enough to turn the car accessories on and bump start the engine.

Just my luck!
__________________
1998 Honda Civic HX - My Project Thread

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2013, 08:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
jedi_sol's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Tustin, CA
Posts: 929

2013 STi *SOLD* - '13 Subaru Impreza WRX STi
Subaru
Sports Cars
Team Turbocharged!
90 day: 26.59 mpg (US)

1996 Geo Metro *RETIRED from Ecomodding* - '96 Geo Metro Base
90 day: 58.68 mpg (US)
Thanks: 368
Thanked 375 Times in 236 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbaber View Post
This thing takes up quite a bit of room...
You might as well do a spare tire delete too
__________________







See the rest of the Sti project log:
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...log-26612.html
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2013, 10:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
cbaber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Missouri
Posts: 540

Lean and Mean - '98 Honda Civic HX
Team Honda
90 day: 46.69 mpg (US)
Thanks: 30
Thanked 189 Times in 110 Posts
I actually like to keep a spare tire in there just in case. You won't need it until you need it, but I would rather be able to limp to the nearest tire place than call a tow truck or leave the car to go repair the tire.

After some more research it looks like my battery is not the problem. I might be facing a bad starter or simply some corrosion issues. I'll know for sure after tonight. I'm also replacing the distribution box. I don't like the one I have because it has fuses and is too big. Instead I am just going to bolt 3 copper lugs together and mount then on a plastic tab somewhere in the engine bay.
__________________
1998 Honda Civic HX - My Project Thread

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2013, 10:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
jedi_sol's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Tustin, CA
Posts: 929

2013 STi *SOLD* - '13 Subaru Impreza WRX STi
Subaru
Sports Cars
Team Turbocharged!
90 day: 26.59 mpg (US)

1996 Geo Metro *RETIRED from Ecomodding* - '96 Geo Metro Base
90 day: 58.68 mpg (US)
Thanks: 368
Thanked 375 Times in 236 Posts
it could also be a bad battery ground....my old del sol had a similar problem...tried to start the car, loud pop noise...all fuses good...get out, get back in...everything works again.
__________________







See the rest of the Sti project log:
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...log-26612.html
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2013, 10:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
herp derp Apprentice
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Lawrence, KS
Posts: 996

saturn - '99 saturn sc1
Team Saturn
90 day: 26.22 mpg (US)
Thanks: 41
Thanked 296 Times in 214 Posts
A seven year old Walmart starter battery being used like a deep cycle... Have you had the battery tested?
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2013, 10:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
Coasting in the Carolinas
 
wolydotmatrix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: CLT, NC
Posts: 33

Blue - '94 Honda Civic DX
Team Honda
90 day: 47.49 mpg (US)
Thanks: 7
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Some of the honda starters are rebuildable. Usually just the contacts on the solenoid.
__________________
Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2013, 10:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
Cyborg ECU
 
California98Civic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Coastal Southern California
Posts: 4,158

Black and Green - '98 Honda Civic DX Coupe
Team Honda
90 day: 61.22 mpg (US)

Black and Red - '00 Nashbar Custom built eBike
90 day: 3671.43 mpg (US)
Thanks: 1,480
Thanked 1,159 Times in 770 Posts
Impressive set up. I hope the troubles get cleared soon and easily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbaber View Post
You can't turn the alternator off while the car is running. The switch does nothing. I have to turn the motor off and then I can switch the alternator off. However I can turn the alternator on while the car is running.
That's exactly how mine works in my 1998 Civic DX.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbaber View Post
I actually like to keep a spare tire in there just in case. You won't need it until you need it, but I would rather be able to limp to the nearest tire place than call a tow truck or leave the car to go repair the tire.
I have that emergency flat-tire-filler-spray-stuff-in-a-can. Lighter and smaller than the tire.

-james
__________________


See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2013, 10:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
Coasting in the Carolinas
 
wolydotmatrix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: CLT, NC
Posts: 33

Blue - '94 Honda Civic DX
Team Honda
90 day: 47.49 mpg (US)
Thanks: 7
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Where is your battery grounded?? pic?

__________________
Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
  Reply With Quote
Reply  Post New Thread


Thread Tools




Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.5.2
All content copyright EcoModder.com