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Old 02-07-2009, 03:42 PM   #65 (permalink)
mobilerik's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 108

rik's prerunner - '03 Toyota Tacoma Prerunner Double Cab TRD 4A
90 day: 29.68 mpg (US)
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Originally Posted by groar View Post
Congrats akashic
During this first week, does you front skirts react well ?
As far as "do they work?" in a mechanical sense, they've held up well. One thing I'm liking about my cheap no-weld-coroplast-and-lumber-ties version is that they're flexible. As you can see in the photo from the front, they don't actually push out like a wing very much -- they actually bulge out more than they protract.

There is one minor annoyance, which is that I made the "push plates" too narrow, and when I turn at certain angles, the tire scrapes the sides of the push plate and makes fart noises. This only sometimes happens on the left side on a right turn -- the right side is silent. Pretty cool.

I'm a little concerned about the vibration, though, because I made these with acrylic, because that's what I had around. And acrylic has a tendency to shatter like glass, which would be bad around the tires. Come to think of it, that's pretty stupid, and I should change those out today for something else.

Do you feel a change at your butt-o-meter ? or in some place such as a faster glide when you go down-hill or a longer glide in some other places ?
The weather this week has been too inconsistent to get a good read. But I think I'm able to coast longer and faster. I did make a big change in my driving habits this week when I noticed I wasn't decelerating as much, and that I could often avoid pulsing as much before the long hills, just getting myself up to 55 or even 53 rather than gassing up to 60. But I'm pretty sure I could have made that change a month ago had I been paying more attention, so it's hard to tell how much is due to the front skirts.

Do you see a change in numbers shown by the SGII ? I'm particularly thinking about the load.
I can't tell yet. I made a mistake at the pump by forgetting to reset it when I filled up, so this tank was confusing. (I'm not really trusting the daily trip averages as much any more, and I prefer now to calculate my tank from the SG's tank miles and gallons, because they've been calibrated dead-on the last few weeks. But since that was off, I didn't fuss with the dailies this week.)

BUT -- I have been noticing something the past few weeks that is tough to confirm, because it is inconsistent, and tough to nail down with the varying weather conditions, particularly the winds. It seems that I may be experiencing the BSFC shift that occurs with dramatically-improved aero. The main symptom I'm struggling with is that I'm now requiring more throttle to get up the hills. I used to be able to make it up my hills with TPS 18-20. I never had to go above 20. Now I frequently need to gas at TPS 22-23, getting 20mpg or less up certain hills. I'm not entirely certain that this isn't sometimes due to losing overdrive, as is happening more now, because my automatic shift points seem to wander sometimes. And I'm finding I often can't hold 50mph up the same hills without giving a lot of gas. Can some of you engine gurus help me figure this out?

I did just think of this... since my cold-air intake is in the wheel well, could I be suffocating the engine now? Can that happen? As I think about it my symptoms seem more like a loss of power than a specific efficiency-loss.

How does people react about them ? I have regularly fun when I spot someone wondering about the full front grill block of the scenic
The overall look of your car is fantastic Children must love your car.
Thanks for the compliments. Out in the real world, I'm really not much of a showoff, and I'm introverted enough that I don't really care to have strangers talking to me. That said, I haven't noticed that many people looking at it. Maybe it's because I'm in California... I don't know. I'm mean, really, I see so many jacked up monster-trucks, that I'm sure I fall into that category of "There goes another ridiculous truck-modder guy." I have had however, two very good conversations with some aero-engineers who have stopped to check it out. But for the most part, I've stopped wondering what people think, because after a month of watching peoples' expressions, most don't seem to even notice! Also I work at a university. The staff parking lot is about a quarter-full of Priuses. I bet a number of those who even notice are saying to themselves, "Oh, neat, a fuel-efficiency experiment..." and think nothing more of it, because for them, it's sort of obvious. Which is a reaction I can live with.

Last edited by mobilerik; 02-08-2009 at 03:14 PM..
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