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Old 12-05-2008, 07:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Need tips for driving cross-country

I'm gonna be driving from Spokane WA to Livingston MT, then on to Albany MN. Leaving on December 24 and arriving in MN on the 25th. Any ideas on quick mods (I'm about to install my MPGuino) that'll help improve fuel economy and approximately how much will each mod help (it's a 1300 mile one way trip so any little increase will help, links to how-to's are greatly appreciated). I'm trying to figure out how to make an easy grill block. I'd like to also put on covers over the lights (I have the in-set style)

I want to take off the passenger mirror right away but it's some stupid aftermarket that is impossible to get off. Any ideas on how it's on? Screws, tape, glue, etc? (I'm gonna leave the driver's for now to avoid getting pulled over by an over-ambitious police officer)

Also, what would be the best FE way to drive on the highway? EO P&G? I'm staying at 55mph (either constant or average) that's for sure :

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Old 12-05-2008, 08:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would block the grill, remove the mirror, and add a belly pan of some sort for sure. As for driving technique I would just watch the mpguino and DWL, worked for me,
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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1300 miles at 55 mph is about a 24 hour drive...is this the plan? If so, that's quite a haul bro...stay safe.

If you can choose the time of day you are driving I always try to leave after 9pm so the roads are relatively empty. Maybe you don't have flexibility in your leave time though since it's such a long trip and you may be driving during all 24 hours of the day anyway.

The obvious mods would be:

*Heavy, heavy pulse and glide (don't be afraid on the highway to pulse it up to 5-10 mph past speed limit (watch out for the fuzz) and coast it down to 5-10mph below speed limit...I saw a nice 5 mpg gain doing this in September...especially on long downhills in neutral for me...EOC might produce even better results). On the long coasts the mpg loss you see on the guino getting it up to speed will be made up with benefits on the longer coasts.

*Tuck the Metro "safely" behind a big rig and ride his tailwind.

*If possible limit the weight you are hauling in the car (if you're going by yourself and don't have to lug the kids or wife with you...delete the seats you don't need).

* I didn't delete my passenger mirror on my long trip but I did fold it in to reduce drag (I have big 4runner block mirrors...at the least I would fold it in if you can't remove it).

* Pre-plan your route to avoid cities or areas where highways might enter cities rather than circumvent them. Some smaller highways take you a few miles out of the way but in terms of FE are better because you can continue going "sweet spot" speed with no traffic vs. touching the breaks on highways that are busier.

* Can you make some wheel discs or wheel skirts before your trip? How about a grill block (guessing the weather will be colder and engine temp will not be a major factor...you know your car and trip better than me).

Good luck!
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I know long trips can be detremental to trying to drive efficiently so either;

Keep the throttle steady
Use cruise control

Sure, you can do better with other driving techniques but they put A LOT of FATIGUE on you and in the long run a half ass computer can de better than a weak human mind

I (on my 266 mile commute from school to home) simply keep the throttle steady. It gains about 2-3 more mpg than with cruise control and I averge a higher speed. I have tried DWL and I get about 1-2 more mpg than with steady throttle BUT I get extremley FATIGUED!

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Old 12-06-2008, 02:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the driving tips. Didn't take into consideration that instead of a 19 hour trip going 70mph, it'd be a 24 hour trip going 55mph. it'll be a 6 hour drive the first day, then 16 hours the second day. I'd rather it the other way around but wife won't have it and got to keep her happy seeing as she's coming with. (especially since I can't exactly get out and take a walk going 55 mph )

What material would be good for both a grill block and belly pan and where would I be able to get them? Also, I'm clueless on how to attach the belly pan while keeping it easily removable so I can change oil etc. Any tips?

Thanks for the help so far.

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