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Old 08-17-2009, 07:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Getting started with modding and planning a road trip

I came across this place while planning a road trip and have since caught the eco-modding bug. I've done a lot of reading around the site but I have a few questions before I get started, just to make sure I get everything right and I'm looking forward to installing my newly order sgII as soon as it gets here!

Here goes:
  • My Lancer recently had some idling problems and the mechanic told me they were caused by a dirty the throttle body. Since I bought the car used I don't know how well taken care of it was and I'm thinking I wouldn't mind giving it a good cleaning. I've been using STP Fuel system cleaner since I had the idling problems a couple weeks ago, so I'm wondering if I should go ahead and give it the seafoam treatment or should I just finish the STP treatment and then switch to a TC-W3 oil additive as discussed here?
  • My manual recommends 26/29 psi tire pressure(this seems awfully low to me?). I currently have 44 psi rated tires on the car and the last time I got an oil change, the mechanic put in 32 psi. Can I put in 40 or 42 psi without worrying too much about the huge difference between the manual and the actual pressure?
  • What would be an best/easiest DIY mod to start with? Grill blocking? I'm thinking I can start with the two left and right slots without having to worry about sufficient cooling too much. (not my car, but here is what it looks like)
  • I'm in the process of planning a 7000 mile road trip for next summer with a couple friends and we will be using my car. What are some recommendations for doing such a long (mostly highway) trip? I was thinking of removing my rear wing (again, not my car, but here is what it looks like), but couldn't find any good info on whether that would be worth it?

Thanks in advance for any feedback!!

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Old 08-17-2009, 09:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Glad to hear you've caught the fever, and it looks like you're headed down the right track.

Dirty throttle? I would buy a can of throttle body cleaner and apply it directly to the throttle body.

Tires rated for 44psi? Run them at 44psi without worrying about the tires. As long as the ride and handling are acceptable at that pressure, you're fine. I run at sidewall max during the summer, and lower pressure when there's snow on the ground.

Yep, instrumentation and grille block are easy and rewarding. Driving style is actually where you will get, by far, the most of your gains, but mods, aero or otherwise, will be a fuel economy bonus on top of the gains from driving style.

Removing cosmetic wings that stick up into the airstream is always a good idea, with the only downside being that your car will look like a Camry. It would definately be worth while. I would remove your passenger side mirror, unless your car has blind spots over there. I would also start testing a homemade underbody aero kit now, before the road trip.

Mitsubishi made engineering tradeoffs between fuel economy, cost, comfort, fashion, consumer acceptance, acceleration, handling, ease of service, longevity, cargo capacity, etc. As an ecomodder, you get to look over each system in the car and adjust those tradeoffs. There's lots of room for improvement in every car on the road.
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm not 100% certain that removing that rear spoiler will reduce Cd. We already know from the CFD images in the Mitsu VG study that the trailing edge of that deck lid (without spoiler) is in detached flow. The spoiler may be providing an attachment point that helps things.

It'd be useful if there were Cd figures available for the car with & without it of course...

As for the other points mentioned, agreed! Aero is where you'll find your biggest gains. Well, driving technique may be as well, if you change your cruising speed from 80 to 60 mph . On that note, glad to hear the first thing you did was order some instrumentation.
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Dirty throttle? I would buy a can of throttle body cleaner and apply it directly to the throttle body.
That's exactly what the mechanic did, hopefully next time around if there is a similar problem I'll be able to fix it myself!

Quote:
I would also start testing a homemade underbody aero kit now, before the road trip.
I wish I could, unfortunately I live in a city apartment I have no way of doing any work underneath the car. What I might do instead is adding a small airdam to my front bumper after I'm done with the grill block.

Quote:
It'd be useful if there were Cd figures available for the car with & without it of course...
that's exactly why I was asking, I couldn't find any useful information on it and I was hoping someone here might be able to help, but I guess I'll have to keep digging

Quote:
On that note, glad to hear the first thing you did was order some instrumentation.
To improve something you have to know when you're doing it wrong, no better way to know that than actually seeing some data!

Thanks for the feeback!
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My thoughts on the rear spoiler is leave it alone. It is already there and if you remove it you will have to fill the holes and repaint the rear deck $$$. It isn't going to affect your gas mileage that much. If the car didn't come with one then I would say no to adding a spoiler.

Look at filling the engine and transmission with synthetic. Also doing at least a 25% grill block will help highway mileage. Look on Mitsubishi performance web sites and forums to see if there is a cheap OD gear change available. I'd bet your Lancer has a relatively low OD gear (Performance) compared to other Mitsubishi's with the same transmission.

I don't know about Mitsu's transmissions but with some Honda's it is a pretty easy mod.

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