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Old 11-19-2009, 01:35 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bondvagabond View Post
A spool is about a hundred bucks and a lock right is about 220, I never drive around town, I ride my pedal powered infinity mpg mobile, that's why I got rid of the xfi, was making me fat :-) this mud is so hard to get through that I think I will end up doing a spool in the back and a lock right in the front. At least one poster here thinks that the spool shouldn't cost any mpg on strait highway,.
As far as I can tell, you've already talked yourself into whatever it is you're going to do and there's not much point in discussion.

I don't think a spool will cost you MPG's, but I do think a spool on rainy highways - particularly in a vehicle with a very short wheelbase - is a good way to cost yourself a whole lot more.

Spooled (and lincoln locked) 4x4's here in AZ are great on the rocks, and manageable on the road because it's dry 99% of the time so a little scrub on highway corners gives you some "fight" on the steering wheel and reminds you that you're spooled up. In the rain.. not so much. A short wheelbase vehicle differentiates more left to right when turning, and for the same reason will scrub more on turns if locked. Can you get away with it? Sure, the same way you an probably get away with putting 5000 more miles on a bald set of tires. It's just pants-on-head retarded.

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Old 11-19-2009, 10:41 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by moorecomp View Post
Or you can do what this guy did:

http://www.skyhawg.com/sam1.html

He is a regular on some of the homebuilt aircraft forums I frequent.
very cool, and good for just the fabrication education, but not really practical for my application. Revtech engines are like 3800 bucks plus serious fabrication, and no idea what it would get for mpgs. but thanks for the link anyway.
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:11 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by shovel View Post
As far as I can tell, you've already talked yourself into whatever it is you're going to do and there's not much point in discussion.

I don't think a spool will cost you MPG's, but I do think a spool on rainy highways - particularly in a vehicle with a very short wheelbase - is a good way to cost yourself a whole lot more.

Spooled (and lincoln locked) 4x4's here in AZ are great on the rocks, and manageable on the road because it's dry 99% of the time so a little scrub on highway corners gives you some "fight" on the steering wheel and reminds you that you're spooled up. In the rain.. not so much. A short wheelbase vehicle differentiates more left to right when turning, and for the same reason will scrub more on turns if locked. Can you get away with it? Sure, the same way you an probably get away with putting 5000 more miles on a bald set of tires. It's just pants-on-head retarded.
I had a first gen toyota 4x4 pickup with a spool in the back and lock rite in the front. These are just a smidge longer than a samurai. I started off with a lock right in the back but didn't like the unpredictable windup/letoff that happened sometimes while cornering at hwy speeds. Moved it to the front, tried out a friends rig with a spool in the back here in the rain, it was a little slippery but very predictable. I threw one in the rear of my truck and had no problems. The previous owner had put bigger tires on without changing gears, so it was impossible to spin the tires and made it very easy to drive it like a little old lady.

On several suzuki forums guys are running similar setups on there daily drivers and haven't had any traction problems or even noticed any additional tire wear. They guess it is the samurai's gutless engine and light weight helping out again.

I am confident that this could be a safe setup for me, and my driving experience. But I do value your guys opinion greatly on the mechanical efficiency of this differential setup, And am very open to change when I get better info from people smarter about that stuff than I am. I'm solid about putting a lockright in the front, because there are just about no negatives to it, in keeping to the "real" economy aspect of this project I would put that in first and try it out before I even messed with the rear diff, who knows, it might work out just fine with the samurai float on top effect, with an open rear diff. I'll have to experiment first to find out.

Don't worry, I'm going to keep playing with this project, and will get pictures as soon as I have any to post. The only reason I haven't bought my base vehicle yet, is again because I value your guys opinion so much, I wanted to make sure that somebody out there didn't know of some different vehicle that would make a better starting point.

Where would we be if all the great innovators had quit the first time they were called "pants on the head retarded"
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:12 AM   #24 (permalink)
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What about a diesel from a VW in the samurai? Diesel swaps are common and pretty cheap, and people report 35~ mpg with mud tires and probably no regard to hypermiling.

Or better yet, how bout a mini truck with a cummins 4BT in it? 40 MPG isn't out of the question and you get a 6 foot bed.

I had a samurai, it was great. But highway was something it did nto like. And that was with "Just" 33's, rear locker, and a 6:1 low range. 55 MPH was about the top speed in the little fella. Unless I was drafting a truck.
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:28 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by brucey View Post
What about a diesel from a VW in the samurai? Diesel swaps are common and pretty cheap, and people report 35~ mpg with mud tires and probably no regard to hypermiling.

Or better yet, how bout a mini truck with a cummins 4BT in it? 40 MPG isn't out of the question and you get a 6 foot bed.

I had a samurai, it was great. But highway was something it did nto like. And that was with "Just" 33's, rear locker, and a 6:1 low range. 55 MPH was about the top speed in the little fella. Unless I was drafting a truck.
Very cool engine swaps, The vw diesel I have thought about for some time, but when you read the suzuki forums about how much people ended up spending on them they don't fit my real economy criteria well. And I know the cummins diesel swaps are expensive, people are like groupies about those engines. plus, for economies sake, we should really be talking about dollars/mile not miles per gallon, cause diesel is usually more expensive here in the states. Although why is a mystery to me, since you can make more with a barrel of oil mI love diesels though, goodbye electrical ignition system!

I worked for years as a shipwright mostly on old wooden sailboats and salmon trollers. old fashioned low rpm marine diesels are awesome. my favorite are the old saabs. Flywheel start=goodbye electric starting system, the cause of 80% of motor vehicle breakdowns. they have a little hole in the bottom of the block to insert a flaming cigarette or splint of wood instead of a complex glow plug settup. heck yeah!! change the injectors out every 1 YEAR OF CONTINUOUS RUN TIME for $45 then when you die give it to your kid and they can do the same. That is good engineering. In the old salmon trollers they had to be super efficient, because that was before all the ma and pa outfits got kicked out by the big corporate setups buying regulation that favored them. And if your engine conked in bad weather, you died. I wish I had the machining skills to throw one of these in a truck.
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Old 11-19-2009, 12:06 PM   #26 (permalink)
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If I do the collapse-able spandex boat tail again, I think I will do it with strong magnets on the front edge instead of an electrical conduit frame for the front edge. Just have an aluminum expando awning pole to support the tip of the cone. way less work, no holes in vehicle, fold up smaller etc. and I can dumpster strong speaker magnets till the cows come home. samurais are so much blockier than my xfi was it should work even better.
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Old 11-19-2009, 12:10 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Seems as though you're still going to be up against some fundamental problems. First, any 4WD that will handle your too-bad-for-Subaru road is going to have really crappy aerodynamics. If you jack it up and put big off-road tires on it, that's just going to make things worse, as will your lockups &c.

So here's an out-of-the-box suggestion. (Or maybe I should say "in the box"?). Get one of those used metal shipping containers, and park it at the entrance to your property. (You could even pour concrete to mount it to.) Keep a small 4x4 for the property (maybe even a quad with trailer?), drive a small car to & from the city, and put whichever you're not using in the strong metal box.
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Old 11-19-2009, 12:28 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I'm intrigued by the spandex boat-tail, because I've been thinking along those lines myself. I ride recumbent bikes, and those are pretty popular in those circles. With car design it seems like most of the aero features focus on the front, but in the bicycle circles it seems like more results are netted from quasi-boat-tail contraptions. It's easier to feel how effective these modifications are by the seat of the pants, when all the power for the vehicle comes from within those pants.

I hadn't thought about magnets, but that's a great idea. I like the hitch mount, and I've been checking out used hatchback style bike racks for part of the support structure. This will be for my minivan. The reason I drive a minivan is because I have to haul stuff, so I need modifications that won't hinder the access to the hatchback.

I live in the mountains of CO, so I know what you are talking about as far as bad roads and terrain. It really sucks that the days are gone in which you could leave a vehicle out and people would just respect that it's not theirs and leave it alone. But when the "help" that the sheriff has to offer is a suggestion that you stay away from your own property while the pot growing season is on, I begin to wonder what is his cut?? If you leave a vehicle out and something happens to it, you might not get much help...
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Old 11-19-2009, 12:30 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Seems as though you're still going to be up against some fundamental problems. First, any 4WD that will handle your too-bad-for-Subaru road is going to have really crappy aerodynamics. If you jack it up and put big off-road tires on it, that's just going to make things worse, as will your lockups &c.

So here's an out-of-the-box suggestion. (Or maybe I should say "in the box"?). Get one of those used metal shipping containers, and park it at the entrance to your property. (You could even pour concrete to mount it to.) Keep a small 4x4 for the property (maybe even a quad with trailer?), drive a small car to & from the city, and put whichever you're not using in the strong metal box.
Thanks for an out of the box solution

As I said earlier I am going to avoid big tires/lift at all cost. As you say, they shoot mpg all to hell. My hope is that a combination of more agresively treaded tires/locking differentials/tire chains/samurai light weight floating over the goo compared to bigger trucks effect, will counteract the lack of conventional big tires/lift solution to off road performance.

I'd love to do the box solution, unfortunately the land at the beginning of the 2 miles of bad road does not belong to me. If I put a shipping container on it, it would be confiscated and I would get a fat illegal dumping ticket.

Also as I mentioned earlier in the thread, in my neck of the woods the contianers cost 2500, plus several hundred for delivery, several times the budget for my project.

Keep the ideas coming guys, brainstorming is good.
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Old 11-19-2009, 01:37 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I don't realistically see you getting good MPG out of anything that can off road decently. At least not while also staying cheap.

My samurai could go anywhere up the side of a mountain, but got 23 mpg doing 55mph (top speed was probably around 60~65 or so) and it was pretty mild for an off road vehicle. It also was properly geared for the tires it had. It cost way too much for what it was. Rusted all through out. Beat to hell. Laughable interior, or rather lack there of. Non running condition when I got it. No shocks. No brakes. Bald tires. 600$

So a decent running one in decent condition is probably 2 grand minimum. They carry a premium because of their fan base and its hard enough finding them in stock condition anymore.

I loved it, but it was a four wheeler with heat. And not something I'd ever consider driving 300 miles even if the world ended and it was all I had. I'd rather walk.

The goals seem to be working against each other. You can smooth out the belly all you want but you're still going to have not one but TWO solid axles that you can't do anything about, along with the brakes/shock lines connected to them. It's shaped not box shaped, but just box. You really can't get them any lighter than they are. A few pounds here and there. I cut the bolts to the doors so I could lift out the doors and enjoy the off road and they couldn't have been more than 30 lbs. The tub couldn't have weighed much of anything. The metal on the entire vehicle was paper thin.

Re: Cummins fanbase: Theres a reason for that (: Same with the samurai fanbase, 4BT's arent that expensive and I've seen the entire swap done for less than 2K into a full size pick up.

I just don't see this as a realistic goal, and much better way of getting what you want.. but what the hell, go for it. We're Americans right, aren't we supposed to be pioneers?

For what its worth, anything I could call a 'road' I wouldn't hesitate taking my Subaru over. I've hauled 1000 pound oak trees with it without issue. Pulled a 3500 dually driving the other direction, and stayed with the big boys in mucking mud. (I cheated there and actually had swampers on it at the time.) And thats with my daily driver outback, with the girly AWD. We had a mid 80s GL 4WD subaru on the oak farm that I could absolutely not kill and it was more useful on the farm than the K5 Blazer we also had there.

This post is way too long.

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