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Old 04-10-2015, 07:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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EMMA 2014 Renault Kangoo Work Van EcoModding

I'll start with a little history, I thought some of our American members might like to see something different.

Van number one, a Mercedes MB100 2.3 Petrol. wasn't exactly economical, blown head gasket at 100,000km, while fixable, it wasn't economical to do so.



So onto van number two, a VW T5 with 44,000km on the clock. 2.5 TDi (128kW/ 400Nm), six speed, 30mpg in all city use. It was a blast, but the head cracked soon after I got it and the repair bill was/is astronomical.



So finally, onto a brand new van.

It's a Renault Kangoo 1.6 petrol. Some as delivered pics:











It's almost like this van was designed for the hypermiler. It has EPAS which works engine off, and there's enough vacuum for SIX full brake applications (I've only ever had three with any other car). The radio continues to play while you crank the engine, and the headlights turn off when the car comes to a stop with the ignition off (while not ideal at night, but it works great in bad weather as I can sit engine off a traffic lights and the headlights aren't drawing power when they aren't needed).

Best tank to date is 6.7l/100km with a best trip of 4.7. It would be better by it's all city driving with commute speeds as low as 16km/h (10mph). I don't think it's ever exceeded 60mph to date.

First mod, LED stop lights I had from the MB100, using good quality globes that are much brighter than stock. It's very sunny here and sometimes it's hard to see stop lights with the sun already lighting up the lenses. Also LED reverse lights, cheap-ish ones because I had them on hand.

I couldn't get my UG working with the Renault so I fitted the SGII out of the Transporter, it won't be needing it much longer.

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Old 04-10-2015, 07:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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First mod, this van didn't come with a passenger side window which makes reversing out of parking spaces and driveways dicey.

Nothing like cutting a massive hole in a brand new car to break in the modding bug. I used a drill powered nibbler as it's safer than an angle grinder (no chance of slipping and ruining the paint). Once done I tidied up the edges with a file and applied a coat of cold galv paint to the raw metal. If you let the pros do it they won't bother with this step. My T5 had a pro fitted window before I bought it and the edges are pretty nasty on the inside.





I let the pros bond the glass in. In hindsight I probably should have done it myself, but it's potentially a bit of a mess if it goes wrong.

It's still an eco mod when compared to the potential panel repairs!

Also visible are the roof racks, with such a small van, the roof space gets used quite often. Not it's still an eco mod if it means I can use a smaller vehicle.
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Old 04-10-2015, 03:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What have you done with van #1 and van #2? Scrapped them?
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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UFI - '12 Fiat 500 Twinair
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STiG - '16 Renault Trafic 140dCi Energy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
What have you done with van #1 and van #2? Scrapped them?
When you need a vehicle for work, hire costs have to be factored in, that $1500 or so made all the difference for the Mercedes. It was well fixable, but just wasn't worth my while. My mechanic took it, fixed it an made himself some money. I've seen it running around, looking as nice and clean as I kept it

I still have the VW at the moment. I don't think it will get scrapped, but the repair cost is pretty close to market value, I'm even toying with the idea of EVing it (about the same cost as the required repairs). The Renault was originally purchased as I felt that money was better spent on a back up vehicle that could be used on smaller jobs, than on hire fees. It was never intended to be my primary van as it's only 3m cubed, vs 5.8 for the T5 and around 7 for the Mercedes. It's a big step down but has been doing the job of a vehicle twice it's size quite well, for the most part.

Here's the glass bonded in (and since tinted), I know I said it wasn't an Ecomod, but the glass sits flush, where as the sheet metal is inset, so if I can fill in the slight gap, it should reduce drag.



The total thickness of the glass, pinchweld and sealant is about 6mm, so it sits nice and flush with the surrounding metal:



I might even do an insert on the other side to get a similar effect.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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UFI - '12 Fiat 500 Twinair
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90 day: 40.3 mpg (US)

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90 day: 18.09 mpg (US)

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Prius - '05 Toyota Prius
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90 day: 13.48 mpg (US)

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

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Next mod, adding a bulkhead/ cargo barrier. These can be factory ordered, but the factory barriers are steel, the window is small and the inside isn't lined.

I ordered a Motexion fibreglass bulkhead. Had I known it was fibreglass I might not have got it, I was expecting ABS like the one in my T5. I think they're all ABS now though.

A big van means a lot of air to cool, so the A/C has to work hard. Reducing A/C use is a definite ecomod since around 1l/100km goes into running the A/C in summer. Other benefits include safety, and noise reduction, plus potentially more storage space if you hang things off it. You'll also never have to use the rear window demister.

View from inside:



View from cargo side:

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Old 04-11-2015, 06:08 AM   #6 (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: 31.31 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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Even with the roof racks (Thule Wingbar, supposedly the most aero bars you can get) and ladder on the roofm and at least 200kg payload, I'm still beating EPA by some 40%.

Hard at work:



Towbar fitted, with only 3 cubic metres, I'm going to need it quite often:

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Old 04-12-2015, 12:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtamiyaphile View Post
I still have the VW at the moment. I don't think it will get scrapped, but the repair cost is pretty close to market value
What happened to the VW exactly? And how much is that repair?


Quote:
I'm even toying with the idea of EVing it (about the same cost as the required repairs).
Such project would be interesting to say the least.


Quote:
The Renault was originally purchased as I felt that money was better spent on a back up vehicle that could be used on smaller jobs, than on hire fees. It was never intended to be my primary van as it's only 3m cubed, vs 5.8 for the T5 and around 7 for the Mercedes. It's a big step down but has been doing the job of a vehicle twice it's size quite well, for the most part.
Every vehicle is a set of compromises, but that Kangoo still seems to be a sensible option at all.
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Old 04-12-2015, 07:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2009
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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: 31.31 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)
Thanks: 316
Thanked 433 Times in 307 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
What happened to the VW exactly? And how much is that repair?
The cylinder head on 5cyl T5's is known to crack, the fuel rail is in the head and let's diesel into the oil (also causes a misfire underload). It's a $18K repair through VW, not much less through an independent, and while the engine is out you may as well replace the clutch and DMF, and I think I need a driveshaft, possibly do the water pump, before you know it you've spent a massive amount.

The manual gearboxes are known to go, as are camshafts and injectors. Too many 'known issues' and all of them extra ordinarily expensive to fix, particularly as VW need special tools for everything.

I'm seriously looking at for T3 (Vanagon) as my primary work van, I'd restore and mod it while I have the Kangoo (which I'll likely only keep while the warranty lasts). I'd have 5.7 cubic meters in a smaller package than the T5, stick a Subaru in the back, and a vehicle I could actually fix myself. The economy wouldn't be great, but I suppose I could use s Syncro front end for a hybrid set up. This would all be possible for less than the cost of any mid size new van.
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
It's all about Diesel
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtamiyaphile View Post
I'm seriously looking at for T3 (Vanagon) as my primary work van, I'd restore and mod it while I have the Kangoo (which I'll likely only keep while the warranty lasts). I'd have 5.7 cubic meters in a smaller package than the T5, stick a Subaru in the back, and a vehicle I could actually fix myself.
This plan sounds interesting. But would you eventually consider some random small Diesel instead, such as a Kubota V2203 or an Isuzu 4LE2?
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Old 04-21-2015, 08:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,470

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: 31.31 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)
Thanks: 316
Thanked 433 Times in 307 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
This plan sounds interesting. But would you eventually consider some random small Diesel instead, such as a Kubota V2203 or an Isuzu 4LE2?
If I do the T3 build it will be more about fun than Eco. I always liked VW Buses, Split's, Bays and Wedges. I always liked the idea of building a sleeper van (and no I don't mean camping). But I don't have anywhere to really rebuild such a big bus (and my mechanical skills are modest) so I have to keep things simple, which means using tried and true conversions where everything is available off the shelf and the process is relatively quick. Once it's up and running I can think about the gold plating.

I've always liked the idea of 'one car to do it all' (even if I currently own one for every occasion). A modified T3 (being rear engined like a Porsche) can be fast and fun on the track (replacing my Skyline), big enough for work (replacing the other vans), and still be relatively economical. It's not really practical to build a true on/off road vehicle so the Jeep stays as the off roader. I even like the idea of making the tool shelving easily removable so it could be swapped out for a camper interior.

It looks like I could do a basic Subaru conversion in about 2 weeks, so 4-8 weeks realistically with work and other projects For max economy I could use a 1.6 NA from an early FWD Impreza, that could see 35MPG with basic mods. At the other end of the scale would be a 2.5 WRX engine. The final possibility is either a 2.5 NA or 3-3.6 NA six cylinder. These could be teamed with an electric supercharger for massive power and still let me EOC

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