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Old 06-28-2008, 09:28 PM   #101 (permalink)
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cfg83,
Thanks for posting all those links. We will each have a plasmatron by next week at this rate of progress!

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Old 06-28-2008, 10:35 PM   #102 (permalink)
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I think that part that freaks me out the most is that presentation was done in 2004. Is there any industry that improves/innovates at a rate that is SLOWER than the car industry? Maybe the people who still make buggy whips or whale-bone corsets? Jumping jeebus christus on a pogostick.
If anything they are going backwards. Cars are getting heavier and getting lower gas mileage every year, have been since the late eighties. That trend may finally reverse now, but only slowly and painfully.

The biggest innovation for IC engines in ages is in the works, hopefully it will make it to market in the not too distant future. I am referring to the camless valvetrain. Solenoid actuated valves, allowing the valves to be opened and closed at any point in the intake and exhaust strokes, with any amount of lift, completely eliminating all the compromises inherent in camshaft operated valves. And reducing weight and rotating mass as well. I can't wait to see what one of these engines can do.
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Old 06-29-2008, 12:40 AM   #103 (permalink)
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Let's face it, the only reason that Detroit is paying any attention to fuel efficiency is because the consumers are, FINALLY!. It took $4.00 gas to make car buyers reconsider their choices. The auto industry has consistently opposed Federal mandates regarding fuel consumption standards because it costs money to build a more efficient car, money better spent on fancy interiors and power everything. Even the foreign manufacturers have even been sucked into this psychology. Witness the ever bigger, more powerful, fancier Japanese cars. Toyota had to create a whole new company (Scion) to produce a smaller, simpler, less up-scale line of cars.

Thanks for the info on the solenoid valve train. I had never heard of it, but now that I have it seems ridiculously obvious. No broken timing belts with the attendant crashed valves and pistons.
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Old 06-29-2008, 10:22 AM   #104 (permalink)
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If anything they are going backwards. Cars are getting heavier and getting lower gas mileage every year, have been since the late eighties. That trend may finally reverse now, but only slowly and painfully.
I hope so. Another gas-robber in newer cars is the heater core that is hot all the time. So not only is gas wasted heating up the dashboard, even more gas is wasted when you have to run the AC to offset the heater core. I know there are vents and flaps to control the airflow, but the dash still heats up. All this just so you can have "automatic climate control".
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Old 06-29-2008, 10:26 AM   #105 (permalink)
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I hope so. Another gas-robber in newer cars is the heater core that is hot all the time. So not only is gas wasted heating up the dashboard, even more gas is wasted when you have to run the AC to offset the heater core. I know there are vents and flaps to control the airflow, but the dash still heats up. All this just so you can have "automatic climate control".
I always wondered about that. I have been at car shows and seen old cars with a little spigot under the hood that would allow you to shut off coolant to the heater core. It does seem stupid to have it hot year round. I wonder if there is anything to gain by adding something like that to a car, it wouldn't be that hard.
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Old 06-29-2008, 10:35 AM   #106 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info on the solenoid valve train. I had never heard of it, but now that I have it seems ridiculously obvious. No broken timing belts with the attendant crashed valves and pistons.
From what I remember reading the only thing holding it back is that the 12V electrical system found in current cars is not powerful enough to run such a setup. The plan is to convert to a 48V electrical standard to facilitate this.

I found a few links:

Camless - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

CAMLESS ENGINE (USC)

This link proposes using exhaust gas pressure to operate the valves, rather than electricity:

Halfbakery: Camless engine
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Old 06-29-2008, 12:44 PM   #107 (permalink)
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I always wondered about that. I have been at car shows and seen old cars with a little spigot under the hood that would allow you to shut off coolant to the heater core. It does seem stupid to have it hot year round. I wonder if there is anything to gain by adding something like that to a car, it wouldn't be that hard.
I don't know what year toyota switched over to getting rid of the heater valve. (I assume they have, I don't know.) I think cars that have a temperature slider that is a little hard to move use a cable and a valve. A car with "climate control" with rotary temp selector knobs that turn really easy does not have a valve as far as I know. Hopefully the heater core on-all-the-time is not used as a bypass to circulate coolant by some other part of the engine. I would not think so but you never know till you look at where the hoses go. I helped a buddy with a ford tarus that the heater core was clogged on, (they are made of steel to save money, and they rust closed?!?) and that car did not overheat with the core blocked.

As far as a gain by shutting it off, sure. Using more gas to run more AC to cool of the inside of a car that is being heated by the car heater..Durrr... I'd like to have a chat with whoever came up with that idea..
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Old 06-29-2008, 12:49 PM   #108 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Formula413 View Post
I always wondered about that. I have been at car shows and seen old cars with a little spigot under the hood that would allow you to shut off coolant to the heater core. It does seem stupid to have it hot year round. I wonder if there is anything to gain by adding something like that to a car, it wouldn't be that hard.
You could put one of these: "ACE" QUARTER TURN 3-WAY VALVE Dual outlet AH2905 PLUMB PAK CORPORATION in the hoses to/from the heater core and manually be able to bypass the flow to the heater.

I wouldn't want to use a 2-way valve to stop the flow through the circuit entirely, it might interrupt cooling flow though part of the engine. But a bypass would positively keep the core cool and prevent the pass. compartment from getting as hot in warm weather.
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Old 06-29-2008, 01:15 PM   #109 (permalink)
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garys_1k
You are a genius and I salute you.
Damn. Why didn't I think of that. Durr.
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Old 06-29-2008, 02:47 PM   #110 (permalink)
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As far as I know the heater core is just a second radiator that operates in parallel with the main radiator, except that it does not have a thermostat regulating coolant flow through it, hence there is always coolant flow present. In my Escort the feed line is in the thermostat housing before the thermostat, and the return line goes to the water pump. So I don't see any reason you couldn't just put a valve on the input hose and shut it off.

As far as air conditioning goes, I don't know if the heater core is really a huge obstacle to cooling the car, it should be isolated from the vent system by louvres when the temperature knob is all the way to cool. I suppose it is possible that it's presence inside the dash could add some heat, although I would think it would be well insulated to avoid this.

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