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Old 12-22-2016, 08:33 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Hi,

Getting into the upper 20s with a Subaru is pretty good. I can't do it with mine, though my son has managed it on a couple of longer trips. Breaking 30 has been beyond my capability.

With all your short trips, weight reduction and mechanical drag reduction are probably going to be the biggest contributors to any gains you get in terms of mods. That and adding heat to the engine, which I see you've already got in the cards. I don't have any experience there but some of the guys do it even in milder weather and report good results.

If you're not going to use the AC, you could consider removing it entirely. The compressor alone is 13 pounds and if you're never going to use it, that's 13 pounds that's getting a free tour of the city. The hoses and other ancillary hardware is another few pounds here and there. As to it not coming back on, it's probably lost too much of its refrigerant charge to engage the low pressure cutout switch.

If you choose to remove the compressor and other bits, seal them in heavy-duty Ziploc bags to keep them safe so you can include them with the car if/when you sell it on. Sealing them in zipper bags will help prevent the seals drying out too much.

Any other weight reduction you can do will simply be more to the good: unused seats, whatever interior bits you can live without, spare tire if your roads are fabulous or you have AAA, etc.

Congrats on the EJ22. That's a good'un. I have the EJ25 and there are days I could cheerfully shoot it out of a cannon - preferably at Subaru's engineering department.

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Old 12-22-2016, 02:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elhigh View Post
Hi,

Getting into the upper 20s with a Subaru is pretty good. I can't do it with mine, though my son has managed it on a couple of longer trips. Breaking 30 has been beyond my capability.
Thanks. My best tank of 32 MPG was under the best possible conditions and I may never touch it again. It was in June a couple years ago, I had already started doing the grille block, pumped-up tires, driving in lower RPMs, and was only using the car for longer trips in which I didn't need to go super-fast.

Quote:
With all your short trips, weight reduction and mechanical drag reduction are probably going to be the biggest contributors to any gains you get in terms of mods. That and adding heat to the engine, which I see you've already got in the cards. I don't have any experience there but some of the guys do it even in milder weather and report good results.

If you're not going to use the AC, you could consider removing it entirely. The compressor alone is 13 pounds and if you're never going to use it, that's 13 pounds that's getting a free tour of the city. The hoses and other ancillary hardware is another few pounds here and there. As to it not coming back on, it's probably lost too much of its refrigerant charge to engage the low pressure cutout switch.

If you choose to remove the compressor and other bits, seal them in heavy-duty Ziploc bags to keep them safe so you can include them with the car if/when you sell it on. Sealing them in zipper bags will help prevent the seals drying out too much.
Hmm, that's intriguing! I didn't know that a low amount of refrigerant could cause that. If that's it, I have no interest in having the refrigerant replaced, but had thought it would be too much work to remove the AC system entirely.

Quote:
Any other weight reduction you can do will simply be more to the good: unused seats, whatever interior bits you can live without, spare tire if your roads are fabulous or you have AAA, etc.

Congrats on the EJ22. That's a good'un. I have the EJ25 and there are days I could cheerfully shoot it out of a cannon - preferably at Subaru's engineering department.
Hehe. I know the gas mileage on this car will never be great, but I've been very pleased with its reliability. I tell my wife often that I wish I could go back in time and just keep buying brand-new 1996 EJ22 Outbacks with 5-speeds when the old one bites the dust.
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Last edited by ThermionicScott; 12-22-2016 at 02:45 PM..
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Old 12-23-2016, 10:32 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Hehe. I know the gas mileage on this car will never be great, but I've been very pleased with its reliability.
It's not about getting great mileage compared to other cars, it's about getting great 96 Subaru mileage.

Worry about how your car compares to others when you're looking to buy a car. After that, that's the only car you have to worry about.
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Old 12-23-2016, 12:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Fat Charlie View Post
It's not about getting great mileage compared to other cars, it's about getting great 96 Subaru mileage.

Worry about how your car compares to others when you're looking to buy a car. After that, that's the only car you have to worry about.
Oh yeah! I'm not beating myself up about not getting the 40+ MPG of a Metro, or the 55+ of an Insight, at all.

With the much-reduced amount of driving I'm able to do these days (I've only filled up the Outback 12 times this year, and am trying to stretch the current tank into next), the cheap gas, and decent emissions of my car, wringing the most out of every gallon is more of a hobby in my case than anything else. In earlier posts on this forum, I thought that my '96 Subaru was a little too early for a ScanGauge to work, so I never bothered trying one. Now I'm having trouble finding evidence for that thought, so I ordered one and can't wait to see if it works. If I could step my winter average up to 25 MPG and my summer average to 30, I'd be pretty darned excited/content.

I've got a pretty good arrangement, but I try not to gloat or take it for granted -- many folks have longer commutes or other trips they need to do on a regular basis, so efficiency is more of a real concern, especially when gas prices are higher.

My wife and I have chatted about what we'll replace this Outback with when it inevitably dies. I've brought up cars like the Prius or Mirage, but we really dig the utility of an Outback-like car. We can throw a whole 6-7' Christmas tree in the back, or I can put in a bike or two without needing to remove any wheels, which is really nice. That storage area came in really handy for our recent move, too. So we may not end up with a super-efficient small car anyway -- the next car might just be another Outback or perhaps a Crosstrek.
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Old 12-24-2016, 05:50 PM   #15 (permalink)
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We can throw a whole 6-7' Christmas tree in the back, or I can put in a bike or two without needing to remove any wheels, which is really nice. That storage area came in really handy for our recent move, too.
The good ol' station wagons are still a far more reasonable alternative to oversized SUVs in many circumstances...

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