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Old 09-23-2019, 06:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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EcoModding success! 23mpg on (numerous passes on)the tail of the dragon!

So, guys, I decided to meet up with the folks at forum.sixthsphere.com (a Saturn group) and run the Tail of the Dragon (US-129 at Deals Gap, TN). We ran the dragon a few times as a group, at paces usually far above the posted limit. There was a C6 Corvette, a turbo NA Miata, a Porsche Boxster, a turbo Civic, two turbo SL2s, a modded Sky Redline, a modded Vue Redline, a modded VW GTI, my Ion sedan and a new Fit and a Subaru BRZ... for anyone who doesnít know the road, itís 318 curves in 11mi. I ran with them at speed, the majority of the runs were completed in 2nd and 3rd gear, with a couple turns tight enough to warrant going down to 1st. Engine speeds were consistently kept above 3500, and usually in the 4500-5000 range with trips up close to my limiter at 6500. I showed my engine and car no mercy whatsoever, and as a result I usually far outpaced the Fit and BRZ, usually keeping pace with the GTI or the turbo SL2s or the Vue RL despite them all (mostly) being on sticky track day rubber and me being on LRR tires. When we filled up before our run of the Cherohala Skyway I had averaged a little over 23mpg, best in group by far!

Now there were some casualties of the trip... on the first run as a group I melted my front wheel covers. I intended to make my first run with the group at a lower intensity but once we got going that all went out the window and I just went for broke and when we got to the other end my front brakes were smoking. Oops!

On the last day I sheared the roll pin in my shifter assembly (transmission end) doing a low speed solo run to get video of the road. I guess I broke so that the more expensive cars didnít have to lol

I also pretty much wasted my front tires. No regrets whatsoever there, I had a blast. Itís also worth noting that I averaged 43.6mpg in the way down there with zero hypermiling and 44.2 on the way back without front wheel covers and my shifter held together with a cotter pin (couldnít extract center piece of roll pin). Now I guess Iím off to more properly fix my shifter so I can have all of my gears lol

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Old 09-24-2019, 06:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow, speeding through 318 curves in 11 miles must have got the adrenaline flowing.

Congratulations on your best-in-show 23 mpg. It might be half your normal, but I bet it was at more than twice the thrill!
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Old 09-24-2019, 02:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Congrats on your results.
Was the 11 mile part of that road closed during this thing?
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Old 09-24-2019, 06:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeteorGray View Post
Wow, speeding through 318 curves in 11 miles must have got the adrenaline flowing.

Congratulations on your best-in-show 23 mpg. It might be half your normal, but I bet it was at more than twice the thrill!
It was at least 10x the thrill! Iím still riding down a big natural high from the weekend and still get all giddy looking back on it all. BEST. WEEKEND. EVER.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iikhod View Post
Congrats on your results.
Was the 11 mile part of that road closed during this thing?
The road was not closed in the least; an unspoken law of the Dragon is that you never cross the center for any reason whatsoever- while youíre blitzing the road in one direction, other people are blitzing it from the opposite direction and it wasnít uncommon to meet someone on a sport bike or super car coming in the other direction at 80-90mph... for reference the posted limit was 30
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Old 09-24-2019, 06:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jun 2016
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IGL - '04 Saturn Ion
Team Saturn
90 day: 56.19 mpg (US)
Thanks: 46
Thanked 253 Times in 198 Posts
I also got my shift linkage properly repaired/ upgraded and found out that one of my Hankook tires broke a belt so I tossed it and got a used one. Car also needs itís LCA bushings replaced/upgraded so mileage will suffer (as alignment does) until I get it done...

Hereís what it looks like now after the weekend; no front wheel covers and a dragon sticker on the spoiler

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