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Old 12-30-2009, 03:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Horsepower junkie goes on the wagon, so to speak

Hi, group. My name is Andy, and I'm a horsepoweraholic. Most of the cars I have owned have been purchased and modified for speed, power, and more speed. This has been the case all my life. As I noted in my introduction a couple weeks ago, I currently drive a gloriously quick turbo Mazdaspeed3, 4-door hatch. As a driving enthusiast, I must say that this is one of the most rewarding street cars to drive, on the street or track, while still retaining so much real world practicality. But maybe not so much efficiency. So for some unknown reason, I am now interested in the car squeezing out a few more mpg, rather than mph.

This going cold turkey routine (or the closest thing to it, automotively) is difficult! I've prowled around on this website for a while and have started working on my "hypermiling" habits: mainly just accelerating more slowly and keeping an eye on the instant mileagemeter in the dash, but also keeping the highway speed under 65, shifting a lot lower in the rpms (generally no more than 2200 - damn, that takes so much restraint with that turbo beast under the hood tempting me!), and as someone here put it, driving like there is an egg under the gas pedal. Sometimes with the radio off, I can hear that turbo just beginning to start spooling up. It makes me just want to drop down a gear and punch the gas. Honestly, I sometimes feel like an alchoholic who is trying to quit drinking, while working at a liquor store. I almost need a support group .

Anyway, I just filled up my first tank since I started working on these habits. My first tank mpg averaged out to 25.6, which is a marked improvement over my last few tanks, especially considering the traffic drive in, and the fact that I didn't start this until a couple of commutes after my previous fill up. Fueleconomy.gov says I should be getting 18/25, and I'm at 25.6 this tank, driving about 40/60 city/highway, and on winter blend gas. I guess that's a start. I think my tires are only around 36psi, so I think that will be next. Ok, thanks for letting me ramble...

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Old 12-30-2009, 03:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Andy, and welcome to EM!

The cool thing about moving into EV's (as some here are doing) is that you can have your torque and economy, too! Take a look around for "White Zombie" and the Tesla, and the EV1 was no slouch...
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Old 12-30-2009, 06:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Mifunego -

Welcome to EM! I have heard that turbos require even more skillz to ecodrive than regular cars. If I were you, I'd try to implement a "turbo light" that comes on when the turbo is spooling up. Probably annoying after a while, but you could have a little black plastic cover for it when you are in the mood to punch it.

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Old 12-30-2009, 07:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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In terms of % over EPA, I have read that manual sports cars are almost ideal for hypermiling with P&G.
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If America manages to eliminate obesity, we would save as much fuel as if every American were to stop driving for three days every year. To be slender like Tiffany Yep is to be a real hypermiler...

Allie Moore and I have a combined carbon footprint much smaller than that of one average American...
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post
Mifunego -

Welcome to EM! I have heard that turbos require even more skillz to ecodrive than regular cars. If I were you, I'd try to implement a "turbo light" that comes on when the turbo is spooling up. Probably annoying after a while, but you could have a little black plastic cover for it when you are in the mood to punch it.

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Watch your boost gauge, and keep it as low as possible.
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Just 'cuz you can't do it, don't mean it can't be done...
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The presence of traffic is the single most complicating factor of hypermiling. I know what I'm going to do, it's contending with whatever the hell all these other people are going to do that makes things hard.
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustang Dave View Post
Watch your boost gauge, and keep it as low as possible.
No boost gauge in the 'speed3. But as some famous car enthsuiast once said, "Life begins at 3000 rpms." Generally that's where turbo boost starts. But as far as spool-up goes, you only need to listen in this car. Once I ditched that ridiculously restrictive factory airbox, I can hear all that mechanically musical turbo activity pretty easily. There isn't too much noise that gets muffled through an air intake like this:
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Mifunego

Welcome to the site!!!

You will find that there are a few of us HP/FE guys on here
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Old 01-02-2010, 01:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
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You will find that there are a few of us HP/FE guys on here

Sshhh! A few of us rehabilitated Muscle Car addicts of the late 1960s don't want to blow our cover! I was in high school '66-'70 and had a heck of a time getting the lead out of my foot! Worn out 4-banger Fords are much easier on my wallet.

BTW- welcome Mifunego!
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Old 01-02-2010, 01:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You should add a boost gauge and an exhaust temp gauge IMO. Keeping boost pressure low and exhaust temp low will help save fuel during acceleration - at least that is what I learned with the diesel pickup. It should follow true with a gasser.
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Old 01-02-2010, 01:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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inline transverse four 2wd with a turbo, and self declared speed freak....
That is not a quest for horsepower, you have a modern disease called "ricer syndrome". It is a great step to speak forward.
A fantastic way to get over this..simply find any v8 vehicle, the first epeiphany is same gas mileage for 1500-to 1 ton more weight, half the rpms...and same freakin gas mileage...
A cheap way for this quest is finding an auctioned cop car, or facotyr with a towing package. Maybe an older unibody mustang, stay in the same "feel" of things, or for a unique twist on consimption/power.weight.mileage and usefulness, you could go all the way backj toa 90hp subaru and hack the 1mm into a legendary powerouse..at 40 mpg. Or any boxer driven machine at all, lots to play with. All the mentioned bring an epiphany of "manly" proportions.

I relate to this quest, my first sense of false speed and going fast was a mazda MX6 in the late 80s. I caught onto the falsity whne a pot hole pulverized main substructures in the rear end..oh my god...it was a faker..the whole freakin time...tin canned underwight go cart with a low torque screamin overcammed sideways..I could go on with the adjectives...

good luck in your quest. A bit of motivation: a 1950s chevy 283 could achieve 30s mpg hauling another vehicle. that's uhmm 50 years....second think technology. Often times turbos are used in ittle cars to maintain a cheaper body. No joke....turbos are laggy soft accelerators if you haven't noticed.

There is hope for you and your mazda daydream..you admitted it, the reward for consumption. step one is complete.

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