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Old 01-13-2015, 05:12 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Location: SE USA - East Tennessee
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Josie - '87 Toyota Pickup
90 day: 28.6 mpg (US)

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I thought the point of EM was to make the most of what you have, not insist on everyone buying the thriftiest car possible. Ecomodder, not Ecoshopper.

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Old 01-14-2015, 12:31 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Blue - '93 Ford Tempo
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I'm not insisting he change cars. It's the notion that a Metro is somehow "less than" or unsuitable that puzzles me.
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:26 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Al the Third, year four - '13 Honda Fit Base
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Can't fight lifestyle inflation! :P
Performing necessary mainenance can be considered making a sacrifice for creature comforts, but...

In a car with bad aero a grille block is kind of an assumed mod, so why not a little Dynamat in a car that's a little loud? Livability mods are just as valid as mpg mods, probably more so because they let you look at cars you otherwise wouldn't.

But after you've become an ecomodder, at some point in the future you're going to be a shopper. You've got to do a real mod or two at that point, once again with the nut behind the wheel. A Mega Cab with tow mirrors and a drag chute just isn't going to fly anymore, no matter what your friends drive. Fuel economy needs to be on your list and anything that takes away from it needs to be justified.

In no-budget used car shopping, mpg is obviously way below initial price and probable reliability, but once you get past "I have $500 and I need a car this afternoon" you do need to step up and be an Ecoshopper.
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Transmission type Efficiency
Manual neutral engine off.100% @MPG <----- Fun Fact.
Manual 1:1 gear ratio .......98%
CVT belt ............................88%
Automatic .........................86%

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Old 01-14-2015, 02:30 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Wow!

THanks for the great welcome, guys!

I guess for a bit more info...

I live pretty much in the FAR South-East corner of ND. Flat prairie lands and virtually ZERO hills. So my only concerns for mileage is Ice/Snow and Wind.

My current vehicles:

1997 Toyota Camry 3.0L V6 (1MZ-FE)
278,000 Miles, averaging just under 30 MPG.

2002 Chevy Impala
250,000 Miles
3400 SFI Engine
Paid $25 for it, sunk in $475 into it for all new engine gaskets, head machining, plugs, wires, serpentine belt, and it's running like a dream. This is my wife's daily driver for hauling our daughter. Averaging 31 mpg with aggressive driving - likely that could improve with changing driving styles.

1979 Chevy K20 Scottsdale (Camper Special)
407,000+ miles
Goodwrench Crate 350 (about 85,000 miles)
Edelbrock intake, carburetor & valve covers / filter.
4-on-the-Floor Manual, 4x4,
14 Bolt rear axle, rear air suspension for campers.
About 9 MPG average, I can get 11 MPG if I'm careful! LoL!

1979 Honda CM400T motorcycle for summer fun.
Pretty much stock bike except for a small windscreen.
Gets 65 MPG if I keep it around 55mph.
At 48 to 50 mph, I can get close to 70 MPG with it.

I also have a 1955 Farmall 400 with 7' Allied snowblower...
It helps me get the 3.7 miles to the nearest paved road in the winter months, and mows the ~11 acre homestead I own. I've been working on a design for a downdraft stratified woodgas generator for backup power on the tractor. Its slow & simple design makes this not too difficult to acheive.

I work as a Quality Technician for a very reputable and popular manufacturer in the area. Lots of co-workers travel from miles and miles around to work at the same place, so many of them have Metros, hybrids, and pickup trucks.

I'm very good with any CAD software, CAM software & tools, I do my own reloading & gun designing & building for a hobby.

I ***HATE*** modern cars with a passion. I hate dealing with electrical wiring, sensor faults / failures, shorts, and other electrical / computer crap in cars. I love simplicity, and ease of maintenance. I want a car that's carbureted, or has such a simple EFI system that it works a lot like a carbureted engine, like some early EFI engines. I love the simplicity of my GM 350, but hate the poor mileage.

I specifically bought my Honda 400 because it's a simple 2 cylinder, carb engine, with kick start & electric start, and is incredibly easy to work on myself.

I'm going to have to look more at the links in this thread, and also look at good, reliable, low-cost, high-efficiency used vehicles.

My budget for my next used car will likely be around the $3000 to $4000 range, and I'm hoping to get something efficient, but with Automatic (I know) transmission - so my wife can use it as a backup vehicle if necessary (she has a disability & needs Auto).

That's why I was thinking perhaps a Metro with Automatic? Or a used Civic, and install something to let me see instantaneous MPG to help me develop my driving habits, and maybe do a couple modifications?

Any other ideas / suggestions?
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Old 01-14-2015, 02:50 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
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Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 52.8 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 73.57 mpg (US)

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Oh my -- stay away from the automatic Metros! They took a 10 MPG hit with antiquated non-lock-up 3-speed slushboxes.

Some older automatic Corollas were equally antiquated & inefficient.

Make sure you do the research when choosing a budget econo-slushbox.
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Old 01-14-2015, 03:20 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Josie - '87 Toyota Pickup
90 day: 28.6 mpg (US)

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90 day: 50.31 mpg (US)
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Bannie,
Thanks for telling us more about your fleet. You might want to start a garage page for your daily drivers; maintaining a record of results helps a lot in determining what works and what doesn't.

Granted, looking at your bio I don't think anyone really needs to tell you that.

Farmall 400, hey? That's a sweet piece of equipment, certainly means you don't wish the snowplow would come by when you can shift for yourself. I have a '45 A, but since I live on 1/4 acre I only really ever use it for fair weather fun, motoring to the post office and such. It's a smile-and-wave sort of tractor.

If you get the chance, look up Changzuki elsewhere on the EM. On top of building a compact diesel engine into a Riley kit car (and getting bonkers mileage numbers out of that), he also screwed a small Chinese diesel engine into a Suzuki bike frame. It ain't fast, but it is thrifty. Fascinating read. If you're comfortable at modest speeds on a modest bike in the name of immodest mileage, well, it gets the creative juices going.
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:09 PM   #27 (permalink)
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That's good to know about the automatics...

Part of me would love to have something like the XR-3 Hybrid, but I may not have adequate time to build something to the same detail level of the XR-3, and it may not quite be in the budget as well.

I've always toyed with the idea of building something similar to a simplified version of the XR-3, but using the drivetrain of a Honda Goldwing, with steeply reclined seats, and a welded steel tube structure for a safety cage, and use the front wheels & steering / suspension from an older style 70's VW Beetle.

Or perhaps purchase a Kubota Diesel, and mate it with a drivetrain, and drop it into a more simplified & low-cost kit car design based off a factory car...

Here at work, the engineering team puts on an annual "Pinewood Derby" contest using a highly advanced track with timers, etc... There are numerous classes - like BSA class, and Anything Goes... It's incredibly impressive to see how engineers design for aerodynamics, and to see what does and doesn't work best. These guys use CNC and 3D modeling to cut their pinewood derby cars to truly amazing designs, and use clever weight distribution... To see how those designs worked out aerodynamically was impressive.

Seeing custom designs that significantly improve aerodynamics is inspiring to say the least. But I also have to keep cost and self-maintainability and long term parts availability & commonality in mind.

What do you guys suggest? Or just get a used Carolla?

Edited: Yeah, I LOVE my Farmall! I truly wish there was a way to install a Farmall 400 / SuperM engine into a car... I absolutely LOVE being able to completely rebuild the engine for under $500, including replacement cylinder sleeves, replacement pistons/rings... Engine wears out? Just re-line it, new gaskets, check your valves & seating - good to go! They're so easy to work on and keep running. It's still running on a 1987 battery too - why use the battery when I can crank start it?

Too bad car manufacturers don't design engines to have lifelong replacement & repair capability. I'm sure I'm at least the 3rd generation to own that tractor, and it's running great.

It takes the township about 3-4 days after a storm to get around to plowing out my way, and I have one neighbor with a large brand new Case IH and he blows about 2.5 miles to the main road - so I only have to blow out about 1 mile, about 3 passes to clear the road (unless it's really deep). I used to drive the tractor into town for food & supplies during a couple huge blizzards our first winter in ND (before I had the 79 Chevy). When the snow gets extremely deep the narrow-front wheels no longer do anything for steering - I have to steer the tractor with the left & right brake pedals to keep it on the road if snow is over 2-3 feet deep! But it'll run through anything!

Last edited by bannie; 01-14-2015 at 05:17 PM..
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:21 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Location: up north
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Blue - '93 Ford Tempo
Last 3: 27.29 mpg (US)

F150 - '94 Ford F150 XLT 4x4
90 day: 18.5 mpg (US)

Sport Coupe - '92 Ford Tempo GL
Last 3: 69.62 mpg (US)

ShWing! - '82 honda gold wing Interstate
90 day: 33.65 mpg (US)

Moon Unit - '98 Mercury Sable LX Wagon
90 day: 21.24 mpg (US)
Thanks: 1,534
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GoldWing = inefficient. Look elsewhere.
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:48 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Location: Dirty Jersey
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The New Focus - '07 Ford Focus ZX5
90 day: 32.44 mpg (US)
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One good thing is that your commute is basically a set-and-forget drive where cruise control can be used without feeling guilty. On many new-er cars the manuals are geared much shorter than the autos so for constant cruising an auto might do better considering the lower cruising speed. Certain cars are more simple than others, you'll just have to pop the hood and decide for yourself how much spaghetti you are willing to deal with.

FWIW My brother had an Impala like yours and my fiance has a 2008 with 3.5 V6. My bro isn't an overly aggressive driver and used to get low 30s and I swear my woman's 08 could beat my Focus on my work commute (90% highway) if it were driven the same way.
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2007 Ford Focus ZX5 - 91k - SGII, pending upper and lower grill bocks - auto trans
1987 Monte Carlo SS - 5.3/4L80E swap - 13.67 @ 106
2007 Ford Focus Estate - 230k - 33mpg - Retired 4/2018
1995 Saturn SL2 - 256K miles - 44mpg - Retired 9/2014

Cost to Operate Spreadsheet for "The New Focus"

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Old 01-14-2015, 09:26 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Snow White and the 6.2 Dwarfs - '11 Chevrolet Corvette LT2
Last 3: 26.46 mpg (US)

Silver Flea - '05 Honda Insight
90 day: 58.96 mpg (US)
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I'll just leave this here...

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...ems-18892.html

Whatever you decide, I look forward to seeing how it turns out

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