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Old 01-17-2008, 12:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My introduction, and plans

Hi I'm David,

I'm pretty active in the Honda community online for years now. I have been autocrossing since 2003, and my current autox car is a 91 CRX Si modded for STS2 competition. It still gets mid 30mpg mileage which is fine since I really only use is a couple times a month for competitions.

The car I drive the most is a 2000 Honda Civic Hatchback. Its automatic, and basically stock motor-wise. My commute to and from work is mostly highway, totaling 74 miles a day. So you can see how I'd quickly become interested in maximizing my fuel economy.

My GOAL is to get as close to 40mpg out of the civic as possible, meaning I can go a full week between fill ups.

So far I have done the following steps to get from 30 up to 34mpg:
1.) Modified my driving habits. Though I cannot be a pokey driver on busy 70mph highways, I do not speed, and I draft whenever I can. I also never take off too quickly.

2.) Slightly taller than stock tires. The diameter of my current tires are about .5" taller than stock...effectively raising my gearing.

3.) Added a factory front spoiler from and Si model...it looks great, anyways.

4.) Removed the 50lb subwoofer box... I dont miss it at all.

5.) Well-inflated tires.
My plans to continue increasing FE are as follows, along with questions:

1.) Remove factory mud guards. The car gets quite filthy without the front ones...so I'd like to avoid losing those if there is a way to.

2.) Partial grill block off...Is it better to block off the top small grill or some of the larger bottom one?

3.) Remove power steering belt.

4.) Underbody panels. I know Honda sells an underbody panel for 92-95 models that installs towards the rear. I would like to make something like that for starters.

5.) Install low-resistance wiper blades like Valeo Ultimates

6.) Continue to improve driving habits
Changing out the trans for a manual is out of the question for me. I have a CRX I could daily drive, but there are small legs of my daily trip that would require clutching etc up to 100 times if traffic gets slow. Besides, my wife will not drive a standard, period.

As a side note, I'd love to be able to create a Engine Off button, that I can hold down to turn the engine off temporarily, then release when I want it to come back on... any DIY insights on that would be appreciated.


I hope to reach 40mpg in 2008! Thanks in advance for your input or comments.

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Old 01-17-2008, 12:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome David. It's great to have more people here who are actively working on mods!

Though I'm not yet qualified enough to answer questions, I would like to note that I wish those damn SUV drivers had mudflaps on their vehicles. It is absolute hell driving on highways in northern New England with these people driving around kicking up salt/sand/snow/dirt onto my windshield every time they pass me thinking 4wd will keep them on an iced highway at 80 mph. Coincidentally, they are the people I am most likely to find in a ditch later.
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Greetings and Salutations.
It all sounds good. Now if I can just find that time expander around here for my own stuff.
Point 1 on the mods is easy, check the aerodynamics threads for a way to keep your guards by making them into boattails behind the wheels. I can't remember right now where exactly it was.
Check basjoos aerocivic, I think maybe thats where it was.
C'mon guys, help out my tired memory.

"Memories, in the corners of my mind"

Have fun.
S.

BTW wher are you located?
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Old 01-17-2008, 03:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome to the site! I was going to suggest a manual (would definitely get you there on the highway), but after reading the whole intro, I won't!

Sounds like you're already well on your way! I would suggest a scangauge II as the most important thing you can buy.
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Old 01-17-2008, 04:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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do you have any links to where I can look at ScanGauge II's? Is it difficult to install? (The civic is OBDII rev 1, with a large serial plug somewhere under the dash)

Yeah, the auto-to-manual swap would seem fun, but the cost and labor plus the pain of occasional log jams (at least twice a week) makes it not so fun. I do enjoy the easy driving auto, even if it is not very fast compared to the CRX.
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Old 01-17-2008, 04:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Here's the Scangauge

Welcome to the site!
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Old 01-17-2008, 04:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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www.scangauge.com is the best, plug and play!

Too bad on the manual. I <3 my auto to manual swap,
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Old 01-17-2008, 05:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sweet, Scangauge will work with my 95 Ranger beater as well!
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Old 01-17-2008, 05:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Welcome: On the grill block, you can block the upper one entirely and you probably won't even notice any difference, temperature wise. On the lower part, in the bumper, you should be able to do fine with a 1 inch by 4 inch slot and the rest of it blocked. I am running that on my 89 Civic and from mid September through mid June I can't see any engine temperature increase, in town, highway or anything.

The other change you can make, if your willing, is to bump the tire pressure up to 55 lbs or so. A lot of people are not comfortable with that, in which case you can just use the maximum sidewall pressure. I've been running 55 on old balding tires and on brand new Michelins and I haven't encountered any issues with it, but the car does roll quite a lot further.

On the Scangqauge, you should be able to just get it and plug it into the port on your car. From what everyone says, that would probably give you the biggest improvement. My car is an 89, so it won't work, but mine is paid for and I can get about 37 on the freeway, at 80, so I am pretty happy with my cost effectiveness.
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Old 01-18-2008, 01:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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On blocking the grills, isn't it better to put the block-off on the OUTside of the grill instead of hidden inside it?

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