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Old 11-05-2012, 12:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Indiana
Posts: 69

Ol' Reliable - '02 Saturn SL2
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Thanked 12 Times in 7 Posts
new guy saying Hi.

Long intro, prepare yourselves (sorry, I get wordy when I type).

I’ve been lurking here off and on for a number of years. I’ve gotten some good ideas off this board and I decided to finally join up.

A bit about me:
I’m 33, married 12yrs and have 2 kids (7 and 4) with another on the way. I have been an automotive “enthusiast” since long before I could drive. I’ve built a number of 4x4’s, street rods, beaters, odballs and other vehicles. I’m a person who loves to get my hands dirty and loves a good project. I have a reasonably high skillset and an often consuming desire to utilize it.
Anyway, when gas prices went haywire a few years back I found myself EXTREMELY discouraged as all of the vehicles I built and loved the most were um… less than economical, thus EXPENSIVE to drive and enjoy. The idea of “eco-modding” is right up my alley though.

The wife and I’s driving could be best classified as “eco-minded” but not necessarily “hyper-miler”. We don’t really practice the more extreme tactics like EOC or P&G. What we primarily focus on is “smart” and “conservative”. That means lots of coasting with the clutch in (almost all of our vehicles are manuals), looking ahead and “reading” traffic patterns/lights, conserving momentum and “casual” acceleration. This has netted us above average mpg’s as we can pretty much beat the EPA rating on any of our vehicles (some by a WIDE margin). I know there is much better mpg’s to be had through more radical driving style changes, but we just aren’t willing to go quite that far. Our primary focus for fuel conservation is $$$ driven. However, I don’t mind spending a little money to save fuel and give myself a project. In my mind I’d MUCH rather give money to aftermarket vendors and local businesses than to any oil company.

anyway, Here’s my current list of vehicles for those that are curious:

-1969 Ford Mustang- 460ci 4sp-the one project I simply will not part with. It was my first car and it will remain in my garage come hell or high water. Sure it’s going to be a gas pig with that 466cu/in engine in it but it’s worth it in my eyes. There’s sentimental value in this car and it’s unlikely to see a significant number of miles a year when finished anyway so mileage is a non-isuue.

-1993 Saturn SL-2, 5sp. My daily driver. I bought the car for $700 from someone who simply didn’t know what was wrong with it. A couple $100 later I have a good, reliable, and thrifty little car to cover my 80mi round trip commute in (80/20 hwy) . It’s old, and ugly, and I seldom get any Oooo’s or Aaaahh’s in it (although the 225,000+ mi on the odo does raise a few eyebrows), but it’s been a good car and it consistently returns me 38-40miles for every gallon I put into it.

-2004 Saturn Vue 2.2 5sp. My wife’s driver. This is a recent addition to replace the tried, true, and dearly missed, Focus ZX3 we’ve had for a number of years. With 2 kids already and a 3rd on the way, the little Focus that could was simply too small for my growing family. The added room from the Vue is much appreciated though and it’s shaping up to be a reasonably economical driver. My wife has been averaging between 26-28mpg from it with her commute (70/30 in town). She’s still learning the car though so there may yet be another mpg hiding in there.

2000 Ford Expedition 4wd. Yeah, I know “planet destroyer”. The thing is, this vehicle was bought for a specific purpose. My family and I GREATLY enjoy camping. This vehicle is used to pull our camper and for the occasional times when we need seating for 7-8 people. It sees maybe 3000-5000mi/year, if that. It serves its purpose well and quite frankly, there is practically nothing else out there that will do what it will and return significantly better mpg without a HUGE expense on my part. For its limited use the 14city/19hwy we get from it is adequate (we won’t talk about what it gets with the camper in tow! ).

2000 Suzuki Hayabusa. My beloved toy and primary transportation during the nicer 8-10months out of the year. I love being on 2 wheels and I ride as much as possible. The fact that this beast will run 0-60 in less than 3 seconds is topped off by the fact that it returns me 50mpg when I’m commuting. MAN I LOVE MY BIKE!

Anyway, that’s me.
Hopefully I can contribute something useful here and gain some new knowledge as well.
Looking forward to reading about some of the crazy projects you guys seem to come up with.

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