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Drive Stick 03-25-2009 04:07 PM

From bruiser, to cruiser! (My story, take a look!)
I for what ever reason like cheap, small, economical cars as much as I like performance machines. 2 doors, power nothing, and sub 2,500 lbs I'm sure to like it. I'm a self-taught auto mechanic who has been through many performance machines including my 97 Supra, and 06 WRX STi - now driving a 98 Subaru Legacy L wagon 5 speed, and 95 Dodge neon coupe 5 speed.

Nothing changed my mind really, I just want a new Ferrari someday, and the only way to get what I want later is to drive a $600.00 car now. Oh, and never have children :thumbup: (haha, not just kidding.)

I happen to also be a previous record holder for an outrageous number of speeding tickets. If you wonder how many.. don't. Let's just say I now have a much greater respect for authority, and appreciate driving the speed limits. It doesn't just save gas, it saves lives!

So what am I doing here you ask?

I paid my dues, I went to the classes, I walked to work, paid $340 a month for insurance for several years, etc. I am proud to say I haven't had a ticket in several years now I'm 25 & all of this practicing driving slow on my behalf has lead me to challenge myself to not only drive for space, instead of time - but more recently I've been trying to use the least amount of fuel possible as sort of a game to make driving right, a little more fun and rewarding.

I picked up the 95 neon recently for 600 bucks thinking, this is never even going to make it to the road. Engine knocking like a pileated woodpecker, steel brake line exploded, battery is 7 years old, hood is falling apart due to rust etc. It was ready for the crusher, but I was determined to park my Subaru for the warmer season and leave the AWD for when I actually need it.

After many BLT's and some TLC the neon no longer needs to RIP. It's 100% legal and sipping fuel slower than a lawn mower (more fun to drive too!) The first tank got me 36 mpg on average over 300 miles @ 8.296 gallons of gas. For a 14 year old car, with 145,000 miles that's a good start considering it was rated for 28 mpg mixed.

My goal is 40 mpg ave on at least 1 tank and to keep it between 36-40+ all the time. Here's the car, thanks for taking the time to read my long story, it's good to be among others who share a common interest. :cool:

Daox 03-25-2009 04:31 PM

Welcome to EM. That target will be fairly easy to hit. Just keep reading here and find what you like. Definitely check out our 100+ hypermiling tips and the 65+ mods list.

skyl4rk 03-25-2009 04:35 PM

Driving and modding for high mpg is the new way to have fun in the garage and on the street. Some like the straight track, some the oval, some the slow lane.


Drive Stick 03-25-2009 05:23 PM

I read the 100/65, and out of the 100 honestly I do all of the mentioned items that I can possibly do in order to hit 36 mpg already. I did however install a new air filter, and remove the rear seats / spare / jack to cut a little weight out maybe 50 lbs total, every bit helps.

The A/C doesn't work right now so I'm debating on weather or not I should eliminate it as I work landscaping.. I'm always a hot sweaty mess anyway so the a/c doesn't mean anything after 13 hours in the 94 degree sun. Just the wind of driving at that point feels like an arctic chill!

Out of the 65, the only ones I can conceivably do with out making the car into a chop top mess would be passenger mirror delete (legal since some 95 neons came with out a pass. mirror) a DIY front air dam possibly, and lowered ride height which I would like try.

I have a couple ideas, but I have to make sure nothing is going to melt when I go to a hot air intake, other than that I'm not sure what I can do to improve efficiency above and beyond like 45mpg+

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