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-   -   A long distance test (https://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/long-distance-test-20195.html)

Cassem 01-21-2012 02:29 PM

A long distance test
 
Hello all,

Im going to be making a long trip on the first of the month and I would like to put some of the ecomodding techniques to the test. I made the same trip (from Atlanta to Detroit) around the same date last year with my car loaded with the same amount of weight and managed to get 35.1 mpg over the full 697 miles in my 2011 Mazda 2. When will I have another opportunity for such a perfect test?

My question is: using things like duct tape, cardboard, and minimal tools what sort of mods would you like to see made?

Also, if anybody is in the Atlanta area with tools and time they would like to donate, Im happy to get more in-depth with the mods. I just don't have a)much ability b)anything more than duct tape and a dremel (I am a pathetic excuse for a man!!!)

I will post the results when I finish the trip if there is sufficient interest.

Here is what I am planning so far (mostly deals with driving style):
  • Average 55 mph - track using both indash computer and gps tracking
  • inflate tires to sidewall max (already done)
  • airial removal (I don't listen to over-the-air transmission when I drive long distance)
  • grill block

aerohead 01-21-2012 02:36 PM

Mazda 2
 
Is there a way to get some images of the car,especially from the side,from a long distance with telephoto lens? Or from a Mazda dealer showroom brochure on that car?
We could learn a lot from that.

Cassem 01-21-2012 02:43 PM

The best I can do is with my cellphone camera. Im not allowed to post pictures or links until I have more posts. Ill try to do that soon.

**Kirk beat me to actual pictures, but I have enough posts to upload now.

http://i.imgur.com/14r2H.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/d13jm.jpg

aerohead 01-21-2012 02:48 PM

new users
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cassem (Post 281296)
The best I can do is with my cellphone camera. Give me a few minutes to strip off the metadata (I don't want anybody coming to my house)

Thanks,I understand.I'll look around.;)

FXSTi 01-21-2012 02:58 PM

He needs a few more posts to include links. I'm have great Google-Fu so here ya go.

http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/...azda2front.jpg

http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/...mazda2side.jpg

Kirk

skyking 01-21-2012 03:00 PM

I suggest lexan rear wheel skirts.

Cassem 01-21-2012 03:04 PM

Kirk, you probably could have just taken a picture of your Fiesta, lol

Cassem 01-21-2012 03:06 PM

As far a rear wheel skirts go, the rear bumper actually starts closer to the center of the car that the outside of the tire. A skirt would also have to extend the width of the bumper. Ideas?

skyking 01-21-2012 03:09 PM

bring it down as far as you can. Pizza pan covers. Grille block?
Grilled Pizza Mmmmmm.

Cassem 01-21-2012 03:21 PM

Hm. Ill check out the pizza pan wheel covers. I saw people make wheel covers out of fiberglass and shirts ... what about duct taping over the vents in the hubcap?

Im not doing permanent or even semi-permanent mods right now (i.e., no tools). Just cheap testing.

aerohead 01-21-2012 04:02 PM

mods
 
Good to have photos!
Since you don't have much time,here's my 2-cents:
* do the wheel covers as mentioned
* figure out a way to do the rear wheel skirts,forget about the front for now
* here's the big one,get a top quality bicycle rack which can easily and securely attach to the hatch and create a short (a couple feet would do okay) boat-tail extension which can attach over the bike rack.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
The wheel covers and skirts will help with clean airflow to the tail.And the boat-tail will give you the biggest bang for the buck.
You want to end up having the roof look like the Mercedes 'Boxfish' concept car(2008),Renault Vesta II concept car(1987),Chevrolet Express concept(1987),VW 1-liter car (2009),Cadillac CTS Wagon (2010),Honda Insight (2010),AeroCivic (2005),--------------------------------------- push the back as far as you dare.
You can use the 'Aerodynamic Streamlining Template' to help with the contour.The sides will want to gently curve in towards the middle of the car also.

FXSTi 01-21-2012 04:14 PM

Cassem,
They do share a platform, but the Mazda is sexier. Mudflaps might bring the back bumper out enough to add side skirts, at least they look like they do on the Fiesta (yeah, I got mudflaps hanging in the breeze:o)

Have you done a grill block yet?

Kirk

Cassem 01-21-2012 04:22 PM

Aerohead: That is an awesome idea! I will definitely try to do that with the bike rack. By "Do the wheel covers as mentioned" do you mean with duct tape? Im looking into the better options.

Kirk: Right now she is completely stock. The grille block is planned for tomorrow or Monday, since I don't have to work either of my jobs. I look into mud flaps, thanks.

aerohead 01-21-2012 04:36 PM

wheel covers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cassem (Post 281322)
Aerohead: That is an awesome idea! I will definitely try to do that with the bike rack. By "Do the wheel covers as mentioned" do you mean with duct tape? Im looking into the better options.

Kirk: Right now she is completely stock. The grille block is planned for tomorrow or Monday, since I don't have to work either of my jobs. I look into mud flaps, thanks.

I sprang or the bang-on style MOONies but the pizza pans would be very economical.Or plastic wheel covers taped over.You've got options.Let your wallet help decide.The wheel covers will help smooth the air to the tail,so any way you can do it won't matter to the air.:thumbup:

Cassem 01-21-2012 04:42 PM

Aerohead: Ill stop by the ghetto looking tire and hub place on Monday. If he has spinners, I don't see why he wouldn't have moonies. :p

Sven7 01-21-2012 11:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cassem (Post 281302)
As far a rear wheel skirts go, the rear bumper actually starts closer to the center of the car that the outside of the tire. A skirt would also have to extend the width of the bumper. Ideas?

On my Probe I put a couple scraps of coroplast behind the bottom of the skirt to space it out a bit.

Don't use duct tape on the paint- blue painters tape might work well enough if you use long enough segments.

Here is a rear skirt prototype I almost did but didn't know how to attach it at the time. I really don't care about how bad the car looks so I used duct tape for the final version.

The elegance of this setup is that it keeps attached flow all the way back instead of breaking directly to the rear of the wheel arch. You could even overlap this with your boattail. Anyway, I look forward to seeing your mods. If you like you can take a peek at the Probe in its current state when you get to Detroit :)

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6087/6...08c3f777f0.jpg

Also consider making a belly pan out of large coroplast sheets or some sort of metal sheet. You can attach it to the frame using existing holes.

Cassem 01-22-2012 01:25 AM

Sven ... of COURSE I want to see it! I was just reading the build thread for it.

Cassem 01-22-2012 10:49 AM

As per Aerohead's recommendation I applied the Aerodynamic Streamlining Template to my car. I made sure to keep the aspect ratio exactly the same ... this is about the extent of my photoshoping skills.

http://i.imgur.com/5Tez8.jpg

Im off to the store in a bit to look at options for the wheel covers, grille block, and skirts.

Cassem 01-22-2012 01:11 PM

Ive made a little bit of progress. I was hoping to do more but we are forecast to have a big storm come through in a few hours so Id rather not start something I can't finish.
--

Before I started with the grille block. The nice people at Mazda already put in a nice partial block. It really isn't very substantial.
http://i.imgur.com/iS6Tr.jpg

After I applied a liberal amount of black duct tape. Im doing this the ghetto way! If I was going to actually make a block for the inside of the grille I would have to take apart a lot of the front end
http://i.imgur.com/ykl3z.jpg

Im thinking of rounding off these bad lads with painters tape covered in silver shiny tape. I never use these lights anyways, they don't make much of a difference.
http://i.imgur.com/Df3rn.jpg

--
I attempted a bidirectional test using a 55mph stretch of highway and my cruise control. I set the cruise control, reset my factory installed mpg gauge at the same spot on the highway and went for an exactly one mile drive.
Before the grille block: 39.8 average
After the grille block: 45.6 average

... these numbers can't be right. I did close off a huge area but it's like giving Michael Phelps orthodontics to fix his overbite, sure it will help performance but by how much?

Sven7 01-22-2012 03:31 PM

Use this for the kammback; you'll get more accurate measurements :)

http://www.the-blueprints.com/bluepr...2008-22374.jpg

For the grille block and stuff, I'd buy some thin acrylic or other bendable plastic and tape it onto the bumper from the painted lower lip all the way up to the matte black bumper bar. That way it will be exceedingly smooth and the air won't hit the little flanges on the edge of the grille. Start from the sides and do the center last so the air doesn't get trapped.

If I'm not being clear let me know and I can Photoshop it!

Cassem 01-22-2012 03:45 PM

Thanks Sven, that is very helpful. That lip is actually a thin piece of plastic held on with small clips. I don't thing it is very secure seeing as I ripped it off on my driveway a few weeks ago ... oops. Ill look into it.

I was able to pick up some coroplast signs. Depending on the fit I will decide whether Im going to use them for a body pan or skirts.

Sven7 01-22-2012 09:36 PM

I meant the lip molded into the bumper itself.

Good luck on the mods!

Cassem 01-23-2012 04:02 PM

Oh, I misunderstood. Would you mind photoshopping it so I can better understand?

Sven7 01-23-2012 08:20 PM

Hope this helps. I don't know exactly how the surfaces work out in 3D but it should work fine.

I also added rear wheel skirts and small front skirts. You shouldn't have a clearance issue up front if you put them down only to the top of the tire.

http://i44.tinypic.com/v5isms.jpg

Skirts, kammback, some taped gaps for good measure. Consider extending the front skirts to cover the wheelgap in front of the tire as well, but make sure you have clearance when steering. There's a Scion xA on here with a well-executed version of these.

I made the kammback clear because I'm kinda lazy but using some sort of angle brackets or other structural reinforcement is highly recommended. They can usually be slipped into existing bolt holes inside the edge of the hatch.
http://i39.tinypic.com/2h496pw.jpg

That's pretty close to what I'd do... :)

euromodder 01-24-2012 01:16 AM

Keep an eye on the engine / coolant temperature when blocking the entire grille.
The meter in the car won't move much unless you're really heating up the engine.

The good part about duct tape modding is you can remove it when necessary.

Cassem 01-24-2012 09:58 PM

I just finished up my fog light covers and foil tape wheel covers. After running an initial bidirectional test and coming up with an average of 48mpg I pulled into Chick-Fil-A and removed the fog light covers and patch up a small missed spot on the wheel covers.

Without the fog light covers the average came to 52.05mpg.

Euromodder - Good point. Im planning on opening a vent for the big trip. I don't want to hurt my baby.

Sven - Thanks, that is very helpful and I understand what you were saying now.


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