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Old 08-11-2010, 04:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New Guy from Ontario Canad,


I suck at introductions lo. I've been moding cars for 7 years going on 8 now and while I do own a show car (best Fueleconomy is that it never moves) I have been modding my Chevrolet Optra (Suzuki reno) for fuel efficeny the past 4 years have been trial and error as this car was cheep on the wallet not so good on gas 4cy that had barely any power to move the car. So i was loosing mpg the best I could do was 585-600km on a 53L tank on the highway doing the limit. I tried a warm air intake that shot the mpg way down to dismle proportions so I went out and bout a CAI that helped at first. I know the controversy over a CAI vs a warm air but to help the intake I installed a set of pulstart puls plugs. This was not a cheep mod the plus go for $25 US a pop and they were worth every penny. I've managed to improve the fuel economy by 4.3%.

Being involved in the aftermarket area I'm looking at small 15" light weight rims to help further along with low rolling resistance tires set to the same overal diameter so that I do not disrupt my stock suspension set up. on the plus side with this car are the molded door handles almost no drag, no attena at all in the wind shield. I keep the tires are 1-2psi over the requirement. I'm contemplating replacing the factory exhaust system or at the very least heat wraping my stock setup for better flow so the engine can breath and exhale properly without choking.

I run Moble 1 pure synthetic oil in the car at all times. As well as wash and wax every week. Being a car guy I needed my tunes. I replaced my factory speakers (big heavy magnets) With aftermarket infinities which were surpringly lighter as well I put 2 subs in a 1/4 plywood box not MDF again weight was on my mind. The car came with a tach in the cluster so I know which RPM I'm at. At the time I was car pooling so I was stuck with the auto not going to spend the 4K to transfer it over to 5spd.

Next year I'm looking at light weight racing seats to lighten the car up I know it will look odd for a slow moving car to have racing seats but if I can save 50-75lbs why not. As well I'm looking to remove some of my insulation on the inside of the car i know that there are risks associated with this but its worth it. That and removing the spare tire assembly all together. I do have small profile wipers.

I'm not big on paying for mods so I tend to be a Do It Yourselfer.

I think that is for now.


2 cars one never gets driven the other is an MPG project already at 5% increase in standard driving economy CAI and Pulstar plus. Thinking weight reduction next year.
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the site Creeper.

I hate to say it, but I highly doubt your pulstar plugs got you a 4% increase. I've seen a lot of guys use them and nobody has ever seen a noticeable increase in fuel economy, including myself. Also, one of my failed after only 1 year of use. Thankfully I didn't dish out the $ for them as it was a free trial. If I had paid for them I would have been very upset.

As for tire pressure, I'd air the tires up up to max sidewall pressure. 1-2 psi won't do much to decrease rolling resistance.

I do like synthetic in the engine as well as the transmission. In winter the synthetic tranny oil made a noticeable difference in coasting distance before the engine was warmed up with. The engine oil I don't think does as much, but it does allow for extended oil change intervals which reduces oil consumption.

If you are doing mostly highway driving, I wouldn't concentrate so much on weight reduction as I would on aerodynamics. You'll see much better gains there.
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Old 08-12-2010, 01:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Creeper, sounds like you've got a decent project on your hands. Seeing as you're just getting started, I'd recommend doing a little bit of a cost vs gain analysis on each mod you do.

Shaving weight really helps when you are accelerating/decelerating the car as it lowers the inertia/momentum of the vehicle. Unless you are doing a tremendous amount of stop and go, your return will be poor. The racing seat idea has merit, however from a strictly financial point of view, the break even point is likely not within the expected life span of the car. (I emphasize the strictly financial part of that statement)

Why not start with the cheapies/freebies, like Daox suggested, your best gains will probably be in aero mods. Things such as folding in a mirror on the highway/smaller(aero) mirrors have shown gains as well as the somewhat infamous pizza pan hubcaps or a good 'ol fashioned grille block.

On the note of exhaust modifications, I haven't looked under an optra in about a year, so I can't remember for sure but I think they have a resonator as well as a muffler, eliminating the resonator will give you a little better flow but will make it louder. Making the engine breathe a little easier should give you a little more power without requiring more fuel.

And yes, I'm new here too, but I'm definitely not new to automobiles.
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks guys,

My car used to be a highway only but now it sees allot of stop n go trafic so some of the less likely mods are what I am searching for. The seats wont cost too much normally at performance world, you can get a pair for $250-300 on the cheep and they are fairly comfy. If need be I can fabricate my own brackes out of thin aluminum or steel (with the excess cut away).

As for the exhaust you are correct there is a second pipe similar to old school civics. I know I can get a strait pipe for em and delete the 2 large resonators unerneath the car. I know if I delete these two it will give better flow however the sound can be delt with if need be with smaller resonators not the big bulky ones that GM used.

As for the mirrors I have an idea as to something I saw at the autoshow a few years back with a Suzuki concept SUV that had no side mirrors at all only camera's in their place. Ebay has back up camera's on the cheep about $100 a pop. Either that or I fab up some M3 style mirrors that have the gap at the center eliminated.

For the rims I'd like to eliminate as much wieght as posible I know some rim companies make light weight rims that do not feature many gaps or to many spaces. My concern is being too light. Anything that weights under 15Lbs and your on the cops list. Hence why I'm looking at 15" rims that weigh a few punds under the required weight and adding tires to balance them up. As for raising the tire pressure I'd rather have minimal gains and keep my tires a bit longer.

I know most of my mods will take a while but I'll keep at it till I get where I want to be.

2 cars one never gets driven the other is an MPG project already at 5% increase in standard driving economy CAI and Pulstar plus. Thinking weight reduction next year.
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