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Old 02-22-2019, 08:10 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Shaneajanderson View Post
As for a hybrid: I live in the frozen wastelands of ND (it got above 0 degrees in sunlight today for the first time in nearly 40 days, and we've seen several days of -65 windchills), so I'm hesitant to trust a battery in that cold. I've also seen the damage on of those big Lithium batteries can do if it fails the right (wrong?) way.

Call me paranoid, but I'll stick with full internal combustion drive until the hybrids have been proven out more. Plus I usually run $1000 or less cars, and hybrid batteries alone are 3-4x that budget.

Most likely plan is going to switch to a little four-banger with a 5-speed. That's what I wanted in the first place but the wife pushed for a car we could all fit in (even though she has a minivan). When I did the math on what we could save a month if I could get a car to hit 40 MPG I think I persuaded her otherwise though.
This is pretty overblown. Hybrid technology is 20 years old at this point, and Toyota's hybrids are typically a lot more reliable than non-hybrid vehicles. Toyota's planetary gear transmissions have no wear parts and if the fluid is changed regularly, they'll long outlast the rest of the vehicle. Taxi companies regularly put the better part of a million miles on them. Do that with any other automatic.

Your concerns about lithium batteries are well founded, but Toyota still uses NiMH in most of their cars for this very reason. It's a chemistry that's safe and reliable at subzero temperatures. Ask me how I know.



That said, the are plenty of good ICE-only choices. You could for instance get a first generation Civic hybrid and remove the hybrid battery, running it gas-only. They have no alternator and use EPS, which alone gives them a huge efficiency advantage. The gas engine is a reliable 1.3L lean burn 4 cylinder, and they come with either a CVT (not so good) or a very tall 5 speed manual. You can find these cars around here for under $1,000. They're good for 50-60mpg in good weather and very comfortable.


Last edited by Ecky; 02-22-2019 at 08:16 AM..
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Old 02-22-2019, 03:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Stubby79 View Post
Buying a TDI Jetta would be a lot simpler. Comfy ride, not terribly expensive to get ahold of, though maintenance might kill ya.

As to a diesel swap...if you really want to go that route...assuming GM makes diesel engines with the same bell housing pattern as a 350, you can get adapter kits for chevy V8's to the metric bell housing. Of course, unless you find a used one, it will probably cost more than the car is worth.

Since it's no easy task, the sane route is to buy something that already does what you need of it and call it a day.
Nobody will touch a Volkswagon within 100 miles of me, and I don't know enough about Volkswagons OR Diesels to be confident taking one into my possession right now
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Old 02-22-2019, 03:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
This is pretty overblown. Hybrid technology is 20 years old at this point, and Toyota's hybrids are typically a lot more reliable than non-hybrid vehicles. Toyota's planetary gear transmissions have no wear parts and if the fluid is changed regularly, they'll long outlast the rest of the vehicle. Taxi companies regularly put the better part of a million miles on them. Do that with any other automatic.

Your concerns about lithium batteries are well founded, but Toyota still uses NiMH in most of their cars for this very reason. It's a chemistry that's safe and reliable at subzero temperatures. Ask me how I know.



That said, the are plenty of good ICE-only choices. You could for instance get a first generation Civic hybrid and remove the hybrid battery, running it gas-only. They have no alternator and use EPS, which alone gives them a huge efficiency advantage. The gas engine is a reliable 1.3L lean burn 4 cylinder, and they come with either a CVT (not so good) or a very tall 5 speed manual. You can find these cars around here for under $1,000. They're good for 50-60mpg in good weather and very comfortable.
I might look into the Civic. I'm surprised they use NiMH as those things are a lot heavier and less energy dense than Lithium batteries.

I'll have to do more research on that transmission too. I found a 07 prius for $2700 the other day. More than I want to spend but if I can hit that 100 mark it might pay off.
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Old 02-22-2019, 04:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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100mpg in a Prius is basically unattainable. You'll see that only in a first gen Insight (easily), maybe a CRX or Metro that's really, really hypermiled.

A first gen Civic Hybrid (even with hybrid system removed or disabled) will likely use a little less fuel than a 2nd gen Prius, and a hybrid battery is essential for a Prius and not for the Honda, but Prii have some pretty amazing capacity in their hatches. Toyota's hybrids may absolutely require their hybrid systems functional, but their batteries are both cheaper and more reliable/longer lasting than Honda's, often coming in at less than $1,000 for a completely new one and less than $60 per cell of it's only a single cell that needs replacement.
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Old 02-22-2019, 04:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
100mpg in a Prius is basically unattainable. You'll see that only in a first gen Insight (easily), maybe a CRX or Metro that's really, really hypermiled.

A first gen Civic Hybrid (even with hybrid system removed or disabled) will likely use a little less fuel than a 2nd gen Prius, and a hybrid battery is essential for a Prius and not for the Honda, but Prii have some pretty amazing capacity in their hatches. Toyota's hybrids may absolutely require their hybrid systems functional, but their batteries are both cheaper and more reliable/longer lasting than Honda's, often coming in at less than $1,000 for a completely new one and less than $60 per cell of it's only a single cell that needs replacement.
I read about someone pulling that off once. Still, even if I managed 60 MPG that would save me 700-800 dollars over the best straight gas car I've ever had (95 corolla)

So another question, I have a 85 mile round trip commute, could I make that happen on strictly the battery if I take it easy? I remember that the prius can run on solely electric unlike many hybrids, but I forget what the range was. Electricity is pretty cheap where I live so plugging it in to save gas might be worthwhile.
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Old 02-22-2019, 04:49 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Short answer: no. The reason basic hybrids can get away with a small and relatively inexpensive NiMH battery is that they only use the battery in very brief bursts. You'll use it for 15 seconds as an aid to get up to speed (making the engine feel twice as powerful as it is), and you'll fill that depleted capacity back up when you press the brakes coming to a stop. I want to say you might nurse 2-4 miles out of it in good conditions, but the only way to charge it back up is either by burning gasoline or by regenerating (e.g. slowing down the car with the electric motor).

Now, there *are* kits which let you add as much electric range as you'd like to a Prius, but they're not terribly cheap.
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:34 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Well thanks for all the input. I picked up a 92 metro today for $350, so the dent mobile will be going down the road.

The metro needs cv axles, and I'll probably do plugs, wires, cap and rotor just because. I'm guessing the pcv is plugged as that seems to be a common thing with these cars.

I tried searching a little but didn't find anything, does anyone have input on spark plugs? I know my f150 has a 302 and apparently they hate anything but copper plugs, is there anything like that on the metro?

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