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Old 11-30-2014, 11:24 PM   #116 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: MI
Posts: 54

grey panther - '02 Mercury Grand Marquis
Team Panther
90 day: 27.15 mpg (US)
Thanks: 9
Thanked 18 Times in 12 Posts
Finally reached my milestone of over 30 mpg with my 4200#, V8, automatic 02 Grand Marquis. It has taken just about a year to get there. Of course this was a highway only 200 plus mule test trip to pick up my mother, but half of it was with her and her ton of baggage, so an extra 400#. Nice 50 degree weather here in Michigan today, so that helped. IAT was 125 to 130F @ the throttle body. Target speed was 65mph.

Yesterday I finally installed the coroplast wheel covers. I used some 3/8" thick stuff that I scavenged for free from a sign. It fit perfectly, 17" diameter fit the "16" wheel and stuck out maybe 1/16". They weighed 2.4# for all 4. I removed the stock center caps, 1.0#, so a net weight increase of 1.4#. I secured them with 3 heavy duty Zip ties wrapped around the spokes, thru a slot in the cover and retained with the end of a second zip tie. I made the slots with a hot jig saw blade and filed to clean it up. I used valve stem extensions through a hole that I finished with a grommet. I painted the white coroplast "aluminum". I notched the cover a bit on the backside to clear a couple wheel weights and added about a 2" piece of "Dynamat" slightly offset to the center to balance the grommet and valve stem extension.

I haven't been able to find any Panthers getting over 30mpg and averaging over 26mpg in the summer and still over 25 lifetime.

I didn't think the covers would help that much, but it coasted much further, over 20% further on the flat. On some familiar small hills where the car would coast and slow, the car was now accelerating. I think the wheel well mods and partial rear skirt had little effect until I added the covers. The stock wheel face section was about 2" inset from the outside of the rim.

Thanks to everyone here for all the help and information.

Last edited by tyronasauras; 12-01-2014 at 07:13 PM..
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