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Old 11-20-2014, 12:29 PM   #211 (permalink)
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Yeah, I'm running the 165/65s

I was gonna buy three of Ecky's til he decided to go off-roading in his the other day. But if the Bridgestones are worth 5 mpg over the Michelins, I'll go with them when I replace my tires

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Old 11-20-2014, 03:52 PM   #212 (permalink)
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Hit ~7500 miles since my last oil change. I was thinking of stretching it to 10k, but it wasn't too cold today and I'd rather not do it in the middle of winter. It's nice to get almost 2 oil changes out of a 5qt of oil.

A few months ago I ordered a Fumoto oil drain valve, model F106N. The oil pan in the Insight is made of magnesium, is notoriously easy to strip, and rather expensive to replace, so some over on InsightCentral have opted for these valves.




There's a spacer over the drain hole, held in place with a single 8mm bolt. It has a rubber o-ring behind it, presumably to help prevent stripping the threads by allowing the o-ring to compress. The drain bolt is longer than the threads on the valve so I first tried taking off the spacer before putting the fumoto valve on. The valve bottomed out against something before going in all the way, so I put the spacer back on. When tightening the 8mm bolt I accidentally stripped it, which put the fear of God in me about overtightening on this magnesium pan. I wasn't even using a socket wrench, just hand tightening with a screwdriver with a socket end.

I sure as hell wouldn't let anyone but the dealership do a change on this car.






Luckily, I found I would've needed to remove the bolt anyway because the valve wouldn't clear it when screwing it in. The valve compresses the spacer/o-ring and is leak free.




It looks like the valve will fit 3/8" ID tubing, which would allow for oil changes without even removing the plastic panel. I'll pick some up next time I'm in Walmart.
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:02 PM   #213 (permalink)
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Quote:
It looks like the valve will fit 3/8" ID tubing, which would allow for oil changes without even removing the plastic panel. I'll pick some up next time I'm in Walmart.
Does the panel cover the valve? It looks like a stick could get caught on it and open it wide open while you're driving. If you hook up the tubing to it, and it's fully covered by the panel, how do you turn the valve?

Honestly, I have never looked under my car except to see it's missing all of the front panels. I have one of those valves installed already for all I know, lol! I guess at some point I'll need to change the oil and I'll find out

BTW, are you changing the oil out there where you found the fossils? What's all that gravel?
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:09 PM   #214 (permalink)
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The oil drain hole is dead center of the passenger aero panel, and there's about an inch of space between the valve and the panel, so it's not likely to take any impacts. Also, the valve is locking, so there won't be any accidental openings.

Reaching the valve to open it with the aero panel on might be tricky, but at least you wouldn't need to take the panel off completely, just two bolts at the end. The hose can be run and zip tied to a more convenient location.
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:29 PM   #215 (permalink)
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Here's a diagram (not necessarily proportional!) I just drew up of the aero panels under the front:




Engine is marked in dark green, transmission in light green, drain hole in purple.

Panel #1 is a rubber panel to absorb impacts/scrapes that slopes down to #4, which is aluminum and seems to provide a rigid support for the others. #2 and #3 have air deflectors in front of the tires and are a flexible rubber. #5 and #6 are black plastic and run from the the aluminum panel back to a cross bar.

Below is the best view I can get of mine with the panels in place. I have replaced panel #2 with coroplast.


Last edited by Ecky; 11-20-2014 at 05:37 PM..
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:37 PM   #216 (permalink)
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Yeah I don't think I have ANY of them on mine.

Now I'm curious, I'll check it out when I leave work. Hopefully it'll still be light enough to see under it, but I think it's probably already getting dark. I don't see daylight much except on the weekends, when I mow yards

I was considering buying one of the aluminum ones from that guy on IC, would it replace all of those?

Let me know how you like that valve, I might get one if it's cheap.
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:45 PM   #217 (permalink)
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I think the all aluminum one is a replacement for panels #4, 5 and 6. If you have a rubber lip on your car at the front, you probably have #1, but it wouldn't surprise me if #2 and 3 were missing.
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Old 11-21-2014, 07:40 AM   #218 (permalink)
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KLR3CYL (Scott) on ICN sells a nicely made one-piece aluminum ribbed replacement panel for a decent price. Replaces all three of #4, 5, and 6 in your diagram.

$65 plus shipping and Made in the USA .



EDIT: Whoops, had this tab open since yesterday and didn't see those previous posts!

Last edited by samwichse; 11-21-2014 at 07:50 AM..
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Old 11-22-2014, 12:00 AM   #219 (permalink)
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Decided to do a bit more belly pan work tonight. Added/replaced the missing passenger wheel deflector and extended the pan to be unbroken on the sides from the front bumper back to the fuel tank. I also added some angled pieces to the wheel wells to prevent wind from catching and stressing the coroplast. The suspension is able to travel up and down fully without damaging or overstressing any of my added panels.

I won't tackle any work in the rear until my hitch is done.








Only thing left to do was to make cutouts so the wheels can turn fully. I may add some more clearance later if necessary.






The coroplast doesn't seem like it's going anywhere, but I suspect that it might become brittle and crumble at the mount points eventually. I can't begin to estimate its lifespan, but probably no less than several years.

~~

I'm often in the parking lot in front of my apartment, under the car, and there's a fair amount of foot traffic. Lately people have been noticing the cord for the 12v tender and grid charger, and have been asking what kind of car it is, if it's electric, how's the fuel economy, etc., and I'm quite pleased to be raising awareness of fuel economy by talking about some of the concepts behind it with curious passers-by.

EDIT: I've also noticed that with my fumoto valve installed as it is, it contacts the plastic pan beneath it. I'm slightly concerned about the possibility of impacts, so next time I need to change the oil I'll likely try removing the spacer and adding washers of various thicknesses to get it pointed in a better direction.

Last edited by Ecky; 11-22-2014 at 04:42 AM..
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Old 11-22-2014, 05:43 PM   #220 (permalink)
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This morning I decided to check the the lug nuts, as the ones I had checked before were all so tight I couldn't get them off with the tire iron in the car, which would be bad if I had a flat. I found one of the wheels had two non-matching lug nuts that didn't fit the tire iron (I think they were 21mm), and picked up replacements.

The wife wasn't feeling well and had me drop her off at work. Generally I return significantly better city numbers than she does, but she has always beat me overall on her commute. Her best trip was 59mpg there and 64mpg on the return, happened since installing the block heater and battery charger, but before the tires and belly pan additions. In the summer she's been as low as upper 40's when running the A/C and before mods.

On her return in the afternoon it's always warmer, and I suspect there's either a net elevation change and possibly more favorable lights/traffic, but we both consistently get better numbers coming back. It's around 7 miles, 50-50 city and highway, with a lot of steep hills requiring using assist in 3rd to get up on the highway, and 2nd + assist in town. I didn't use any fancy driving techniques like EoC or my calpod switch, and tried to beat her numbers.

Today, here's what I got:

8AM
To work: 59.4mpg
Back: 72.8mpg

5PM
To work: 63.9mpg
Back: 72.8mpg

It was relatively warm today, in the 60's. The block heater and 12v tender had been on overnight. On the first trip the car was trying to bring the HV battery up to full, and I let it. By the time I got home with 72.8mpg it had gone from ~1/3 charge to full.

For the afternoon trips it was raining fairly hard, which usually reduces mileage. I had put it back on the block heater and 12v tender around 2 hours before leaving.

I had the advantage of having a warm car on both return trips so it's not apples to apples, but I still beat her best "to work" trip by about 5mpg in pouring rain. Tomorrow she'll probably drive herself, so I'll have some more numbers, but so far the belly pan + tire change is working out.


Last edited by Ecky; 11-22-2014 at 05:49 PM..
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