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Old 10-30-2011, 04:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
GMPG
EcoModding Lurker
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Central NY
Posts: 21
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Ahoy hoy! New member here with 2000 Sunfire

HI! I'VE BEEN READING ABOUT ECOMMODDING AND AERODINAMICS FOR OVER SIX WEEKS NOW AND I HAD TO JOIN THE FORUM BECAUSE YOUR ALL DOING IT WRONG AND I WANTED TO COME IN HERE AND SHOW YOU HOW TO GET AT LEAST 15MPG OVER WHAT YOUR GETTING NOW NO MATTER WHAT. HAHA, SIMPLE GUYS HOW COULD YOU NOT SEE YOUR DOING IT WRONG!!1!!one



Ahem. Just kidding. I'm a noob but not a total lemon.

I'm new to the forum here and I'm going to be starting a thread or threads sometime soon but I figured I'd bite the bullet and get registration out the way while I'm still gathering info and formulating a plan.

I have a 2000 Pontiac Sunfire 2 door 2.2 OHV, 5spd and I usually get about 32mpg on the highway. I've been wanting a VW TDI for the last couple of years for utility, non-krapboxness and economy but due to the other economy a TDi isn't in the cards for a year or so at least. Instead I've set myself a goal of making my Sunfire into a 40mpg (highway) car and getting the best overall mileage I can. Most of the time.

Mods planned or being considered include:

Grill block, streamlining the front end.
This is actually pretty easy for me, the ~1999 cars had a different front bumper and facia that basically had a factory grill block, or no openings where the later cars have them above the bumper. The lower skirt of the bumper cover also doesn't have a few lumps at the corners that the 2000+ covers do.

Lower airdam, probably using lawn edging from a box store.

Headlight blending.
I'd thought about swapping to a Cavalier front end largely because of it's more smoothly integrated headlights but unless I find a donor car with all the parts I need for several of these projects it isn't worth doing. Instead I plan to make lexan covers to blend the existing non-aero aero headlights into the hood line. I'm also going to use some neoprene stripping to close the gap between the hood and bumper facia.

Rear spoiler delete/replacement.
The OE Sunfire rear spoiler...I hates it. I'll save this for another thread but I'd take a small MPG penalty to get rid of this miserable thing. I have a Cavalier LS spoiler I may install that has no air gap under it and provides a sharp break at the rear of the car as opposed to the OE Sunfire which looks like it must do terrible things to the wake.

Mini Kamm back? This is for another post also but I just stumbled on a GT Styling rear window "shade" type thing that is basically a mini Kamm from what I understand of how those work. Seems like it would separate the flow right at the roof to window transition.

Side skirt extensions? Air Tabs? Powdered Unicorn Horn Smoothie?

Whip antenna will eventually be replaced with power antenna with a switch, not connected directly to the radio because I only use the tuner about 1/3 of the time.

Tires:
Right now it has 205/50/16 tires which will need to be replaced next season, I'll miss the grip but I'm going to try something more like a 196/55/16 unless I'm feeling flush and get new rims also in which case I might go 195/50/17. Those are both closer to the correct size for this car anyway.

SGII for data collection and live FE monitoring.

Mirrors:
I plan to replace the OEM mirrors next Spring with motorcycle mirrors. I use my mirrors and won't remove one for the sake of mileage but I think I can achieve roughly the same gains as deleting the passenger mirror by using a more aerodynamic and smaller option.

Wiper Arms:
I'm going to do some junkyard swapping and find arms that should cause less turbulence at rest. Mostly I want arms that don't have a built in bend so I can set the rest position closer to the actual bottom of the glass. I don't think this would cause any significant loss of cleared acreage in the rain.

Spats/covers.
I occasionally make 1000mi plus trips and while I don't think I'd drive with them every day I've had some thoughts on building easy to install rear wheel covers that could live in the trunk most of the time. (maybe 10lbs at most) I'm talking about something to cover the entire wheel opening, not just the rim.

Gearing:
I think there is one option for a taller FDR and I may go with that if I end up swapping in a different engine.

Engine: I change my air filter with Napa Gold filters twice a year, run a full synthetic oil (T6 right now) and Napa Gold oil filter and gap my plugs twice during their 12-18 month life. I plan to relocate the oil filter for easier access and change from a 180 degree thermostat to a 195* part at the next coolant change.

MOAR PWR!
I want to gain aero benefits but I also have some performance mods in mind that may or may not impact mileage with a light foot. I plan to use the stock airbox but delete the snail shell intake under the fender and replace the rubber tubing to the throttle body with metal tube for flow. A larger throttle body from a different GM car is also an option as are a matched set of OE injectors. I have a header I may install (got it cheap) but will be installing a 2.25in ID radius bent exhaust system with a resonator, a straight thru muffler without the coffee can tip and a freer flowing cat.
I'm planning to buy a parts car with the same engine and rebuild that (I have over 200,000mi now) since this car is rust free. If I go to the trouble of building up a new engine I'll probably port match the manifolds and use full roller tip rocker arms, possibly with different ratios from the stock arms.
The final touch, and one I'm not likely to get into unless I can relegate this Sunfire to Hobby Car status, would be a light pressure turbo system.

My goal obviously isn't strictly about MPG and the engine mods that don't relate to or result in better mileage I'll be talking about on a different forum. My question at this point is "have you read this far?" and if so would a single "my project" post or a series of posts in different areas be a better fit for the culture of this forum?

Thanks for reading and I'm looking forward to being obsessed with drag and turbulence!

GMPG

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