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Old 03-30-2009, 03:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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97 Mazda MPV going for 30!

So I recently got my moms minivan all to my own and I'm going to work on it to get 25-30mpg. It's been getting 18 average the way she drove it and where she drove it.

I will be posting a running thread on what mods I do and what kind of gas mileage I see. My trip is not the best one for gas mileage, a 2.5 mile trip to school and the same road on the way back. I do take a 45 or so minute ride to my moms house every weekend, mostly flat road, so that should be good.

I would like to know what I should do about the oil leak the van has, it's not too bad, but it would mess up any plastic I put under the van and that would a(e)ffect my plan for body pan. Does anyone have an idea? Maybe like a 1/3 full length pan?

Mods so far:
  • engine fan delete
    roof rack delete
    partial duct tape grill block
    antenna delete

Mods to come:
  • side mirror replacement/delete
    full/permanent grill block
    215/205 tires
    steeper rear end gears
    bottom pan thingy

Current mileage=137556
Current weight reduction=111lbs+w/e the back seat weighs.

Pictures so far:






I will be running an identical thread over at the mpv's site.


Last edited by MadisonMPG; 03-30-2009 at 08:32 PM..
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would strongly discourage you from running *NO* engine fan. If you're ever in traffic on a warm day, you may overheat.

There's nothing wrong with installing a more efficient fan, but not having a fan is bad news.
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1337 View Post
I would strongly discourage you from running *NO* engine fan. If you're ever in traffic on a warm day, you may overheat.

There's nothing wrong with installing a more efficient fan, but not having a fan is bad news.
I don't get stuck in traffic. If I get in traffic after school I wait in the parking lot w/o the engine running. Obvious hypermiler technique.
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Nice grill block. Lexan over the fog light holes could be good if you can find a neat clean way to mount it.

I too am skeptical about the fan delete. I recognize that you will stay aware of the temperature status but even one time overheating is too many. One day the car will go to a shop or your gf will need it for something or your mom will borrow it back or... whatever. And they may "forget" or just not care to watch out for overheating.

Now my old dd had a mechanical fan that spun always (slowly unless engine got very hot); I removed it and replaced with electric. I saved on the energy used to spin the fan and also the silly extra cooling it always created. Thankfully most cars now use electric. I think the only gain from an electric fan delete is the weight savings. Nice if you're in AK but maybe not in AL. With all due respect.
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Last edited by brucepick; 03-31-2009 at 09:41 AM..
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Fix the oil leak. Your driveway will appreciate it.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree about the cooling fan. You can easily put it on a switch if you want to keep it off, but it's only a flick away if/when needed.

Smooth wheel covers, maybe some rear wheel skirts, kammback, etc

Oh, and tire pressure - use more. Max sidewall for sure, more if you want.
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DonR View Post
Fix the oil leak. Your driveway will appreciate it.
Don't park in the driveway, only parked here for pics.
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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What noone realizes on here, or the MPV site, is that I drive 2.5 miles to school @ 40mph. I idle for 2 red lights max and am on my way. If it starts to run even the slightest bit warmer, I will put it back on. I might see how much of an improvement there is between with and without it.
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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With a grille block and no fan, you are really pushing the cooling system to it's limits. The fan weighs nothing in terms of overall vehicle weight, you'd benefit much more from removing a third row of seats believe me.

I realize you are experimenting for gains, but for what it's worth any car I've ever seen with no fan has overheating issues. Even if you run no thermostat. (which is another huge DON'T DO THIS move.) No thermostat will cause the engine to take for ever to warm up to operating temperature and run rich for an extended period of time decreasing gas mileage.

Mechanically attached fan would be a parasitic drag on the engine in which case I'd advise one to upgrade to an electric fan or fans.
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Old 03-31-2009, 06:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Why did you remove your fan? Give one good reason for not having it in there. And it better be good to offset the huge disadvantages and risks.


Remember, there's nothing environmentally friendly about killing your van, or causing extra wear to various parts from additional heat.

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