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Old 08-18-2008, 04:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 70

Neon1 - '97 Plymouth Neon highline
90 day: 27.26 mpg (US)
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impressed with the site

I have been lurking as a guest for several weeks, and am very impressed with the site. I have been watching metrompg for about a year from when I used to own a metro myself. It was totaled in a parking lot last winter.

I decided to just drive my jeep XJ for the rest of the winter and through the snow here in Wyoming, but by spring...I was looking toward getting better gas mileage again either on the motorcycle, or by looking for a new project vehicle.

A friend's son went into the military and was selling a 1998 Neon SOHC, 5speed, as he had no way to take it with him. it was a little bigger than the Metro and had 4 doors, so it seemed worthwhile. Unfortunately, it turned out to also have a spun bearing. So, while deciding whether to replace the motor or rebuild, I was driving down a side-street near my place and saw a 1997 DOHC Auto for sale. The blocks on these engines are pretty much a direct swap, so I figured it was worth the cost and having the spare parts.

It ran so well that I decided to go the other direction. I have been taking parts off of the '98 and going to the '97. So far most of the mods have been for runability, with FE being a concern at the same time. Fueleconomy.gov rates this vehicle in it's current configuration at 22/31 with 25 combined. That is with the auto trans (more on that later). My current best in a combined tank is 35 and all highway tank has been 39, so I feel like it is on the way.

For the record, I like driving, so the goal was to ecomod the car to get better than 40mpg combined without having to hypermile. Cruise control and AC as well as some creature comforts are necessary fir the well being of my family life, and anyone who has been to Wyoming knows that 50-100 miles between towns could really drag on you if the comfort level was not there. So far, I have added a free flowing WAI, an adjustable thermostat for the cooling fans, the optional narrower Bridgestone touring tires (inflated to sidewall pressure) removed the "fan" hubcaps and replaced with the stock ones which are much smoother, added a "redneck" airdam to the front lip, and of course tuned the car up. I have also rin an auto-rx cleaniing through the engine and am curently on the rinse phase. After that is done I will be going to synthetic fluids.

I tend to drive kind of "middle of the pack". I accelerate briskly, not excessively, but also not at a crawl. I do the indicated speed limit as long as conditions permit and tend to drive to the 1/4 tank mark in the summer and the 1/2 in the winter.

Currently, the car is still running on the ATX, but since I have a parts car with an MTX, which gets MUCH better MPG, I will likely change that over this winter when the snow makes it difficult to drive the Neon. I'll go back to driving the jeep then since that is what it was made for Between now and then the next several projects are.

1. Finish installation of cruise control from Donor Car
2. Install the adjustable lowering springs to put the car closer to the road. Install sway bars at that time and have an alignment done.
3. free flowing muffler
4. Air "escape" holes in rear bumper.

Other Ideas I am playing with since the car really is an experiment
Vortex Generators
Browns Gas (hho) injector
scanguage
Side skirts
LED lights (not much of a change I know)

This is a hobby/testing car, and so I figure whatever I save as compared to driving the jeep can get put back into the car, so the add-ons will come slowly except for the ones I can remove from the parts car or do for low cost.

A little about me, I turned wrenches professionally for about 10 years before going into computers abot 15 years ago, so I am pretty comfortable with modding a vehicle for the purpose I am aiming for. Currently I work as a net-admin, but still stay up on my hobby of working on cars and motorcycles.

Jim

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Old 08-18-2008, 04:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 21,472

Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 52.8 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)
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Hi, Jim - welcome to EcoModder.

35 in a car rated at 25 is pretty impressive for a non-hypermiler! Congrats.

The manual trans swap is also going to be worth some nice numbers - it gives you way more options in terms of driving technique. I don't really consider engine-off coasting all that hard core (Hmmm, I'm coming to a stop anyway, why should the engine be running?), and a manual makes that so much easier/worry free.

I'd put the ScanGauge at the top of your list, or build yourself an mpguino.

And you might be interested in this thread about VG's: http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...olla-2390.html

Darin
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www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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Old 08-18-2008, 04:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 21,472

Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 52.8 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,235
Thanked 6,090 Times in 3,156 Posts
PS - you have to tell the story of how your Metro got totalled in a parking lot. Someone hit it with a shopping cart?
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Latest mods: 3-cylinder Mitsubishi Mirage. EcoMods now in progress...
Ecodriving test:
Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown



EcoModder
has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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Old 08-18-2008, 04:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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HA!


Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
PS - you have to tell the story of how your Metro got totalled in a parking lot. Someone hit it with a shopping cart?
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,864

1999 Saturn SW2 - '99 Saturn SW2 Wagon
Team Saturn
90 day: 40.49 mpg (US)
Thanks: 439
Thanked 528 Times in 355 Posts
mavinwy -

Welcome to EM! I really like the 1st gen Neon because it was always "it's own design". You're way ahead of the curve with a donor-Neon and your Wrench + Computer(ECU/PCM!!!) skillzz.

CarloSW2
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2008
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Looking forward to your activity here on the forum! Welcome to ecomodder.
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 70

Neon1 - '97 Plymouth Neon highline
90 day: 27.26 mpg (US)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Thanks all for the good words.

The Metro story is not that great. One of the delivery semi trucks backed into it and the damage done was more than the value of the vehicle since the frame was tweaked. I did buy it back and sold the motor, 5 speed and tires to another local metro owner that wanted them, so I guess it still lives on in its own way.

As far as the EOC, I know it is not that big of a deal...with a manual. It is kind of a pita with an auto. We shall see next spring how that one goes

I probably should have mentioned that I am currently running a vacuum guage rather than a scanguage, mostly because I had it sitting on a shelf and fixing the runability and comfort issues came first.

To be honest, I know a lot of people slam the neon as cheap and unreliable, but I have been pretty impressed on how easy this has been to work on and modify. and have had no problems with runability after I changed the radiator which was leaking. (gotta love parts cars). The style has grown on me. and with the Highline trim, they are pretty comfortable.

My other vehicles are all modified somewhat, and even here in Wyo with all of the mountain driving they all get at least EPA, and most better. The Neon is a luxury to purely test ideas on and see what mods work before applying them to the fleet.

I'll get some pics of the current mods and put them up for the critics at some point.

As far as the VG's go....thanks for the link. I am thinking about mounting them to sheet magnet first so that I can play with positioning.

Jim

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