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Old 03-04-2014, 05:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
MechE
 
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Its been a long time...

...more than 4 years it seems.

The loose ends:

So, there I was - working on some neat aero stuff while at University. Post graduation, I was considering opening a composites design/fabrication shop. I had a tiny bit of seed money, supplier relationships and list of potential clients....

I got a call from some friends on the other side of the country. "Trebuchet, you need to come with us, to East Africa, right now." We were making prototypes for a renewable energy pilot. Things went well, really well.

Flash forward - I moved to San Francisco and co-found an energy company. I'm doing a lot of manufacturing stuff right now. Anyone want to see solar module assembly, step by step?

New strings:

The best fuel economy vehicle is the one you never own. So I did that. I just didn't own a car. It was practical for me. Zip car, folding bike, bus pass A few months ago, I started looking for a weekend car. Honda Insight. Honda Insight. Honda Insight....

The last thing I remember was asking myself "What would Jeremy Clarkson do?" ...now there's a little blue sports car in my building's garage. Thankfully, my girlfriend shot down a high mileage Mercedes SLK. I bought a Miata.

GOOD: Tiny fA, manual transmission, no plans on car commuting, 1000lbs lighter than my last car, suspension package.

BAD: 23MPG combined estimate (as a barometer, not great), crap Cd (even crappier with top down), suspension package, premium fuel.

Anyone know what's being used in high octane gas in California and environment impact? Economically, for me, its $80 a year...


In any case, glad to see some old 'faces' still here (yo Metro! what's up!?)

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Old 03-04-2014, 02:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome back! Congratulations on your path, sounds like it was a good one. Would love to see what solar module assembly looks like... is this something that's actually happening in SF or is the manufacturing overseas?
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Old 03-04-2014, 04:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I recognize the handle, but I have a join date in 2012. ???? Maybe I read a lot of old threads.

Quote:
Anyone want to see solar module assembly, step by step?
Maybe in Saving@Home? Have you confirmed that 23mpg estimate in real life? It seems low for what a Miata is, although Google confirms it.







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Old 03-04-2014, 06:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Trebuchet! Welcome back!

I remember you prefacing your disappearance with words to the effect of "top secret... buh-bye".

There are a bunch of guys pulling decent numbers from Miatas - with the manual, provided you're not doing high speed steady state driving, you should be able to do the same. Technique, baby. Oh... and instrumentation, baby.

I would have posted the aero hardtop too, if freebeard hadn't beat me to it. But you don't buy a roadster to put a hardtop on it, do you?

As for high octane, won't the ECU just pull back some timing if you run regular? I would think it's recommended but not essential. And then I would research...

As for what Jeremy Clarkson would have done, he would have brought a shotgun with him and filled as many Insights with as much lead as he could have. Glad you didn't do that.

Also: http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...0-a-18667.html

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Old 03-04-2014, 10:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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glad to see you back. i do also read a lot of old posts.
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Old 03-05-2014, 01:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That first hardtop (fastback? I guess) looks fantastic - I like the factory aesthetic(the second one is using rivets - just a different aesthetic if the wing didn't tip anyone off before). I need to find pictures of it post paint


Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
As for high octane, won't the ECU just pull back some timing if you run regular? I would think it's recommended but not essential. And then I would research...
I may experiment, I have the instrumentation and its easy enough. The price differential is about $0.20 per gallon, 5% isn't that much wiggle room if retarded timing results in a drop in FE. Internet searches result in mixed anecdotal results. I'll need to do some regular maintenance (gear/diff oil, general tune up) and get a baseline first.

Funny thing is, this is considered a "high compression" engine (9.5:1) and why higher octane fuel is recommended. Meanwhile, my 2.0 Jetta that was a bit older than this car had 10:1 CR and regular fuel recommended. That engine also produced a lot less power but was likely under higher load.
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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How is the car going to be used? What type of driving, I mean?
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Welcome back! I remember ya.
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The car's website. I like the Lucas headlights. The Eunos GT | Garage Woolery No finished paint there.


From Miatas Galore Project G Annual Miata Meet 2014. Lots more Miatii there.

What did you think of the Difflow diffuser? That was to point to the 25-30% of the drag that occurs on the side you can't see. Belly pan/wheel spats/diffuser for stealth aero. Here's a more conservative example.
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Old 03-07-2014, 02:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
MechE
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
How is the car going to be used? What type of driving, I mean?
Weekender. Ideally, at least as imagined, longish trips. 80% long trips, 20% short trips. So far, the car has lived most of its life under my care with the top down going 45-60MPH down the pacific coast highway


Quote:
The car's website. I like the Lucas headlights. The Eunos GT | Garage Woolery No finished paint there.

What did you think of the Difflow diffuser? That was to point to the 25-30% of the drag that occurs on the side you can't see. Belly pan/wheel spats/diffuser for stealth aero. Here's a more conservative example.
The craftsmanship is pretty damn amazing.

I suspect the difflow ones are tailored for track/speed (the first example vehicle on their site is a lotus which have a full belly pan from the factory). Those large fins probably do a good job at keeping outward flow tangential with the direction of motion (much more important at higher speed). Unclear if they provide significant benefit at typical highway speeds.

Diffusers in general - gains won't be fully realized unless there's flow to diffuse - that is, a smooth underbelly is really needed. Luckily, I'm not an all or nothing sort of person A cursory search shows people cutting their bumpers up (to relieve pressure) rather than covering up their bottom side. Probably easier/cheaper.



Smooth. Plus some tasty submerged NACA ducts (I think are going into the engine bay).


Unfortunately, I currently don't have a place to actually work on my car :/ Building garage forbids it.

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