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Old 08-12-2014, 04:29 PM   #28 (permalink)
Got MPG?
maplesyrupghost's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 18

4x4Vitality - '03 Suzuki Vitara Base
90 day: 27.25 mpg (US)

93SupraTT - '93 Toyota Supra GZ
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Sorry, but no. It's an SUV, not a truck, no matter what you want to call it. You can call your cat a dog all you want, but it's never going to bark :-)

Loud one = CRAP! In other words, you've probably got a halfway decently quiet vehicle now, and plan to spend money making it louder?
I agree, it's an SUV but it has the spirit of a truck. Everything about it is a truck except the shape. I wish this forum had another option besides "car" and "truck" for the defitions. Seems there aren't even many SUVs on here, period. They aught to be. They need help the most. I might casually call my Vitara a truck but that's because it is a cat that barks like a dog!

Re: the loudness.. I don't want it to sound like a Civic with a fart cannon on it. Not only is that just painful on the ears for passerbys, but also at high rev on the highway it would be louder than my stereo, depending on how extreme it is. But there are trucks out there that sound throaty and if you have just a slightest bit of exhaust noise it is nice. But being a 4-cylinder, I have to be careful, basically any exhaust sounds like garbage. So that's why I am leaning towards leaving the stock exhaust in place but replacing the manifold with the header, that MAY change the sound. Right now it's dead silent, like the quietest vehicle I've ever owned. Too quiet. I will post before/after videos of the header for you to judge, once I can find a dealer who will ship me the header.. eBay sellers are being unresponsive so far. There are videos of people who have taken this engine and put a magnaflow on it, but no one posting a video of the header AND magnaflow, so I am in slightly uncharted waters. Spending money to make it louder... only if in theory it is only slightly louder and improves performance, ever so slightly. Either that or I am going to buy a brand new exhaust that is entirely stock, but it's all rusty down there, I have to replace it eventually.

Originally Posted by serialk11r View Post
An older car wouldn't really adapt to the piggyback, with narrowband O2 sensors, no EGT sensors, and open/closed loop based off rpm the ECU is easily fooled.

For fuel economy increasing I don't think the tuning would be that difficult especially if you can use a switchable map (not that I'm saying this is easy to get in most cases) and use a wideband input. You can erase some of the emissions safety margin built into the top of the powerband by leaning it out to a more reasonable 0.85 lambda instead of the 0.75-0.8 on a lot of stock cars, and then lean out the cells in your cruising range to 1.2 lambda, and tweak the spark advance just a bit (since you're changing the low load cells there's already a lot of advance).

If you drive a lot of highway miles like many people in the US, the 5-10% fuel you'd save doing that could pay off the piggyback in under 2 years. A Greddy EMU is what, $800-900 with a harness? Unichips are less but I don't know if they're as capable. I think the EMU can run the injectors independently using a wideband input, and you can use a narrowband emulator to get the stock ECU to cooperate, since the stock ECU would then have no idea what the injectors are doing at all. A gas guzzler SUV/truck/luxury land yacht burns through several k in fuel in a year easily.
^^ this is the post I wanted to hear! I sort of want to get the Greddy.. whatever is best within reason. I need to find someone who can recommend EXACTLY what I should buy, right now leaning towards the RPM SplitSec Piggyback but those Greddy's aren't very expensive either. Not only would it pay for itself, but I would rather spend the extra money now to drive a more economical vehicle. Instead of buying a $15,000 land rover (which I almost did) I got the Suzuki with the intension of making it the most economical SUV possible. Maxing out the performance in the engine area is not even very expensive to do what I want, it's all under budget if I go "all out" with these mods. Plus it's better for the environment! Not always about money!

Originally Posted by roosterk0031 View Post
Looking for a 4x4 for my 15 yo for school and for me for weekends and a Vitara is on my watch for list, good to see it can get decent numbers.

Don't need skinny tires for better mpg, but a set of Nokian WRG2 or 3 might help when replacement time comes and do good in snow/ice.
Yeah your 15 yo will forever thank you if they get to drive to school in a Vitara. Living in Iowa you probably see some cold and snow in the winter, I would be hesitant to let a NEW driver go out there with a 2 wheel drive car on icy roads. Having it in 4x4 mode is amazing, I've owned 9 cars before this Vitara and never a 4x4, driving in the winter is now fun. I even pulled a police car out of the ditch. That was when I had a lot of rusty components under the hood that was holding me back. I actually can't wait until it snows so I can rip through drifts again!

Good call on those Nokian tires. Guy at work bought them and swears by them. New tires are in the budget, I was planning on putting my decent-tread-life Michelins on some nice aluminum (but affordable) 16" rims and get a nice pair of VERY grippy winter tires for my steel rims.. but never thought about installing Nokians for year-round, I might just do that.

Another advantage in the Vitara you will find is that there are a LOT of them out there. Not "common" but you can find parts EVERYWHERE around the world. It wasn't just popular in North America, these things are in Japan, South America, Europe, and extremely popular in Australia. Not only can you modify them a bit, you can find cheap replacement parts, good aftermarket parts and solid advice out there.

Originally Posted by sarguy01 View Post
The best thing for better mileage is to leave the stock engine stock. Don't mess with it aside from preventative maintenance. If there are any mileage gains by upgrading an engine, it will probably take a couple hundred thousand miles to pay back.

Tuners are usually the same way. You will pay $$$ and might have some gains, but is it worth it financially? It could take 1,000,000 miles to pay off a tuner. Plus, before and after testing is needed to prove the tune actually works, which means ABA testing in controlled conditions and swapping the tune back and forth. I am not saying don't do it, but tuning a modern fuel injected car is not worth it financially. It may be worth it as a hobby or for personal reasons.
I plan on leaving it as stock as possible, but still want it to perform better than stock. I know they are tuned very carefully and I won't see much gain, but I want to explore all options. Even if there isn't a gain in performance or economy, I like to buy nice things. Like, the timing chain... I don't know how old it is, but I hear it's wise to change. I plan on getting it changed next year. While the engine is all ripped apart, what else is there to swap? eBay kits come with water pump, oil pump, and so on. But each component is probably made by an aftermarket company, and there are probably better options out there that are better than OEM quality. If there was a timing chain that was physically the same dimensions but was $50 more because the metal was forged by an actual samurai and hand made, I would explore that option. Each moving part under the hood probably has 146,000 km on it and I'd like to replace each one with the highest quality replacement. There aren't many options from my explorations, so most likely just going to use OEM parts. So far I have only replaced parts that literally died on me, I haven't changed anything unnecessarily yet.

But there are unnecessary upgrades coming, slight ones at least. I haven't even looked at the spark plugs in there, they might be old or they might be new, but when I unscrew those coil bolts I want to know I have premium ones to put in anyway, they are like $50 for a good set and I am going to get those on friday. The gear oil in the diffs, might be okay but I am going to put in synthetic immediately, just to see the difference.

Another thing I spent like 10 hours googling for information was the gear ratios all over. If I could change the ratio in the diff to be lower, it would reduce my highway RPMs and thus save fuel. It seems to be geared a bit more towards towing than highway comfort. Still silky smooth, but I sure wish I could reduce it by 15%. Having front and rear diffs means I need to probably find a perfect mate, plus there are transfer case gears which could be theoretically changed, and the final drive in the transmission could be swapped, but of all my research I came to the conclusion that I can't just order something to put in. Not going to focus on it unless there is a clear choice.

Last edited by maplesyrupghost; 08-12-2014 at 04:44 PM..
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