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Old 05-02-2015, 02:43 PM   #21 (permalink)
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The Renner has a lower floor too.

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Old 05-12-2015, 12:41 PM   #22 (permalink)
It's all about Diesel
 
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It's kinda surprising to see how big the 2nd-generation Kangoo is compared to the early one.
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:32 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Those are nice caps!

-

The MB... very strange van... mid-engined front wheel drive, with a front transaxle instead of a transverse mount. Those were actually nice to drive... only ours were made in Indonesia by Ssangyong (with a 2.8 diesel, if I recall) and the interior plastics (locally sourced, I guess) turned brittle pretty quickly.

Also, the gearing was a bit too long on the diesels for commercial use... hire drivers would bust the engines while lugging them everywhere.

Sad to see the last one in our fleet go. It was a relatively painless big van drive compared to the other garbage we've had to put up with over the years.
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:38 AM   #24 (permalink)
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UFI - '12 Fiat 500 Twinair
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90 day: 40.3 mpg (US)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by niky View Post
The MB... very strange van... mid-engined front wheel drive, with a front transaxle instead of a transverse mount. Those were actually nice to drive... only ours were made in Indonesia by Ssangyong (with a 2.8 diesel, if I recall) and the interior plastics (locally sourced, I guess) turned brittle pretty quickly.

Also, the gearing was a bit too long on the diesels for commercial use... hire drivers would bust the engines while lugging them everywhere.

Sad to see the last one in our fleet go. It was a relatively painless big van drive compared to the other garbage we've had to put up with over the years.
The MB isn't mid engined, front wheel drive, it's front engined, front wheel drive. The engine sits way, way out front, making it very, very front heavy (if the engine sits behind the front axle, it's considered mid-front engined sports cars, and some van are set up this way, such as the old Mazda Bongos and the current Suzuki APV). So front heavy in fact that the battery is located way out by the rear door to try and compensate. It always felt front heavy to drive and did nothing but understeer. Any time the engine sits completely in front of the front axle handling will suffer (more so when it's a longitudinal placement!). The transaxle located the axles just behind the clutch and the actual gears behind the axle, much like a mid engined super car

It was actually the most comfortable car I've ever owned. However, I wouldn't say it actually drove well. Even in our climate the plastics still looked good. The petrol version was pretty low geared, no problem pulling 5th at 38km/h, it cruised at BSFC at 80km/h. The switch gear also felt amazing compared to the flimsy stuff in modern cars. It had a crazy amount of space considering it's external dimensions.

In hind sight I should have kept it and bought the Kangoo for daily use. The MB100 would have been more livable in only occasional use. The gearbox was pretty bad, the turning circle embarrassing, the A/C far too thirsty and the fuel gauge all but pointless. It was also really noisy, thanks to the engine being only a plastic cover away from you. On the plus side, you got to sit in the comfy driver's seat while changing plugs. An EV conversion would have fixed 95% of it's issues, but one drive of the T5 and I was smitten. Most expensive mistake of my life...
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Old 05-17-2015, 12:35 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Well, mid in the sense that the engine isn't sitting in front of you. But yeah, one of the craziest drivetrain layouts I've ever seen, aside from the old Previa.

Also, by nice to drive, I was alluding to the ride... very comfy for a working van. Never had a chance to test the handling limits... but endemic understeer is a whole lot better than what Japanese rear drive vans do... which is hop, skip and oversteer over any road that isn't completely smooth.
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Old 05-17-2015, 08:19 PM   #26 (permalink)
It's all about Diesel
 
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The only mid-engined FWD van that I can recall is the Tempo Matador.
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Old 06-05-2015, 07:25 AM   #27 (permalink)
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UFI - '12 Fiat 500 Twinair
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Coast down tested my van+trailer combo.

Combined CD 0.45 vs the (published) van alone of 0.33.



It's about what I expected, but no doubt room for improvement. I drove the trailer in the rain for the first time and noted quite pronounced vortices coming off the side mounted toolboxes
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Old 07-11-2015, 12:37 AM   #28 (permalink)
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UFI - '12 Fiat 500 Twinair
Team Turbocharged!
90 day: 40.3 mpg (US)

Jeep - '05 Jeep Wrangler Renegade
90 day: 18.09 mpg (US)

R32 - '89 Nissan Skyline

STiG - '16 Renault Trafic 140dCi Energy
90 day: 30.12 mpg (US)

Prius - '05 Toyota Prius
Team Toyota
90 day: 50.25 mpg (US)

Premodded - '49 Ford Freighter
90 day: 13.48 mpg (US)

F-117 - '10 Proton Arena GLSi
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Mitsubishi
90 day: 37.82 mpg (US)

Ralica - '85 Toyota Celica ST
90 day: 25.23 mpg (US)

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So, time for an update.

I love having LED stop lights for their improved reaction time, but even the third stop on the Kangoo was incandescent. The main stop/ tails were done a while ago, but the third stop was left. It's only a W5W globe and led versions just aren't bright enough.

So I bought a pair of proper T20 sized stop lights and modded one to work.

I cut a away a lot of the base until it fit into the stock socket, the bulb holder was discarded and substituted with a cable tie and a dab of silicone.



To improve brightness, I added a pie dish foil reflector to the recess, it's held to the sheet metal with VHB tape.



Here it is illuminated:



It's a touch brighter than stock, not as much as it should be given I only buy the very brightest LED's I can get. The light pattern just doesn't suit this kind on application, but it's something I can work on later.

I re-added my solar panel and roof rack. I don't really see a measurable MPG loss from the roof rack, and the solar panel probably restores any MPG lost. It's also nice to be able to put long items straight onto the roof without having to install the rack first. In short, it makes my car much more user friendly, and I can EOC with the vent fan on all I want knowing that my battery will be 100% full after parking for 10mins on a sunny day.



Mounting up my plastic backed flexible panel was a pain. It's backed with alu mesh for rigidity and to act as a heatsink, and I scoured long and hard to find a suitable alu profile to make my side rails from. It uses rivnuts and T nuts to attach to the undersize of the rack, leaving the top free for loads as normal.

I used these handy pipe bending pliers to make up some curvy mounting straps:



Here's a sneak preview of a future mod:




Results? Last tank saw a bunch of really great commutes (including a record of 4.7l/100km) but the tank was only a disappointing 6.85l/100km.

With the solar panel and roof rack back on, I have a new best tank to date of 6.05l/100km or 38.85MPG US
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Old 09-12-2015, 12:49 AM   #29 (permalink)
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UFI - '12 Fiat 500 Twinair
Team Turbocharged!
90 day: 40.3 mpg (US)

Jeep - '05 Jeep Wrangler Renegade
90 day: 18.09 mpg (US)

R32 - '89 Nissan Skyline

STiG - '16 Renault Trafic 140dCi Energy
90 day: 30.12 mpg (US)

Prius - '05 Toyota Prius
Team Toyota
90 day: 50.25 mpg (US)

Premodded - '49 Ford Freighter
90 day: 13.48 mpg (US)

F-117 - '10 Proton Arena GLSi
Pickups
Mitsubishi
90 day: 37.82 mpg (US)

Ralica - '85 Toyota Celica ST
90 day: 25.23 mpg (US)

Sx4 - '07 Suzuki Sx4
90 day: 32.21 mpg (US)

F-117 (2) - '03 Citroen Xsara VTS
90 day: 30.06 mpg (US)
Thanks: 324
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Front airdam. I made lightweight alloy brackets from a bit of left over paver edging, held with factory screws in the bumper. The rest is plastic lawn edging that's been hard to get here, all the ones we had previously weren't suitable, this seems to be a new product and available in 3-6" heights. Mine is the 3".



It's a bit hard to see but it I like the way it reminds me of a NASCAR now

The rear bumper is the usual mess, so I did an axle back under tray. I folded the front edge and jammed in in behind a shroud or something back there, then zip tied the main section to the spare wheel carrier. The side folds up behind the exhaust heat shield, and then the back of the tray simply pushes between the bumper cover and the towbar.





The test run matched my best ever of 4.7l/100km, and I've since done 4.4l/100km as my best trip. So they seem to be helping.
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Old 12-04-2015, 09:37 PM   #30 (permalink)
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UFI - '12 Fiat 500 Twinair
Team Turbocharged!
90 day: 40.3 mpg (US)

Jeep - '05 Jeep Wrangler Renegade
90 day: 18.09 mpg (US)

R32 - '89 Nissan Skyline

STiG - '16 Renault Trafic 140dCi Energy
90 day: 30.12 mpg (US)

Prius - '05 Toyota Prius
Team Toyota
90 day: 50.25 mpg (US)

Premodded - '49 Ford Freighter
90 day: 13.48 mpg (US)

F-117 - '10 Proton Arena GLSi
Pickups
Mitsubishi
90 day: 37.82 mpg (US)

Ralica - '85 Toyota Celica ST
90 day: 25.23 mpg (US)

Sx4 - '07 Suzuki Sx4
90 day: 32.21 mpg (US)

F-117 (2) - '03 Citroen Xsara VTS
90 day: 30.06 mpg (US)
Thanks: 324
Thanked 444 Times in 313 Posts
My MPG's have been slipping, so I was really surprised to come across the rankings to find EMMA in the number 1 spot in the gas trucks category

The rear undertray came loose (only 3mm coroplast with a handfull of cable ties) and I was going to re-do it this weekend, but of course it's raining out...

I'm planning on selling it within six months so the mods have stalled, a bigger, 'greener' vehicle is coming though

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