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Old 05-22-2008, 12:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New User Here: 2006 Corolla LE 5 Spd

Hey guys,

So, I'm new here, obviously. I just surfed on in while looking for a couple things related to hypermiling for a thread on another forum. After reading a thread or two of interest, and meeting someone on here from an old forum, I decided why not hang around?

Anyway, let's get to the real discussions here.

First off, I would like to start off by saying that I am largely interested in performance of my car, but most of the performance I like is handling more so than speed. Even so, I tend to be a lead foot, so between harder acceleration and higher top speeds, I know I don't come close to the potential of my car.

On an average tank (12 gallons if I squeeze it, but I think it's rated as a 10 or 11), I'll get anywhere from 300-350 MPT. Most of the time it's closer to 350, and I of course never let the tank run dry, so I usually would estimate having a gallon or so left based on meter and on how much I pump.

I have gotten extremely high MPGs on a single tank in the past, this is mostly due to having a manual and having cruise control. On long stretches of highway, especially on long trips (say 100 Miles+) I will frequently just put it on cruise control and stay between 55-65 MPH, depending on the law and flow of traffic. On one such trip I was around 470 miles on my tank, and I still had near quarter tank left.

Obviously I won't come close to 500 miles to a tank again while doing my normal short trips, but I do want to try to at least pull more even with my magic number of 400. Now, obviously if I can hypermile it a bit, it would really be great to push over 400 regularly.

Of course, I need to combat my urge to drive like a bat out of hell, and New York traffic makes that nearly impossible. So instead, I'd rather just do my best to streamline my car while not looking totally ridiculous, and also maintaining my handling and the like.

My first mod will be to begin to build a custom front baffle for my Corolla that will be designed to look like a factory part of the car that will block out the grille as this was determined by another user here to not be central in any way to the cooling system of the Corolla. Most of its air is redirected from the lower opening which apparently is also considered "too wide."

After that, I may attempt to do a custom belly plate as has been done here on one or two of the Matrixs I've seen. Yes, I know the plural of that is Matrices, but since it is a brand name, I wasn't sure on the technicality of it still applying.

Anyway, I was wondering what your guys thoughts were on where to start and all that? My primary mods will pertain to aerodynamics, followed thereafter perhaps by any viable engine modifications. I will be starting an official build thread soon, we'll see how far I take it.

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Old 05-22-2008, 12:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi ncc...

If you're going to stick around, definitely add a garage entry for your Corolla.

It's a great platform with good efficiency - my dad's got the same car with an automatic, and it's good for roughly 50 mpg at 50 mph (warm weather, flat roads).

You might as well get used to talking MPG rather than Miles per Tank. It'll save everyone having to do the mental math to translate your results into into units people are used to working with!

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 05-22-2008, 01:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Hi ncc...

If you're going to stick around, definitely add a garage entry for your Corolla.

It's a great platform with good efficiency - my dad's got the same car with an automatic, and it's good for roughly 50 mpg at 50 mph (warm weather, flat roads).

You might as well get used to talking MPG rather than Miles per Tank. It'll save everyone having to do the mental math to translate your results into into units people are used to working with!

Welcome to the forum.
Ok, considering that my brain just started working... YOU built the Forkenswift???
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Old 05-22-2008, 01:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hey Ncc, welcome again.

Unfortunatley for your lead food, driving technique is the #1 mod to do to a car to improve mileage. Check out the 100+ ecodriving tips here and pick out a few and try them. I'd highly suggest looking at pulse and glide, driving without brakes for techniques. With a little work you should be over 40 mpg easily. As for immediate mods, pump up those tires to max sidewall pressure. The car will handle better, tires will last longer, and you'll get better mileage. The only downside is a slightly harsher ride. The grill mod will help the car warm up faster, but unless you do a lot of highway traveling, your not going to see the aerodynamic benefits from it.
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Old 05-22-2008, 02:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
Hey Ncc, welcome again.

Unfortunatley for your lead food, driving technique is the #1 mod to do to a car to improve mileage. Check out the 100+ ecodriving tips here and pick out a few and try them. I'd highly suggest looking at pulse and glide, driving without brakes for techniques. With a little work you should be over 40 mpg easily. As for immediate mods, pump up those tires to max sidewall pressure. The car will handle better, tires will last longer, and you'll get better mileage. The only downside is a slightly harsher ride. The grill mod will help the car warm up faster, but unless you do a lot of highway traveling, your not going to see the aerodynamic benefits from it.
My issue with the appropriate driving style for maximum MPG is one of several. First off, NY roads, both highway and street, are just about never suited to most of them, everything from steady speed to P&G techniques. It's just a fact of life most of us live with in this area. In other areas of the nation it's easier to do, I believe. Remember, it's not just us on the road, it's everyone else that helps dictate our driving style.

As noted in my original post, when I do take into account consistent driving, there is no doubt that the consistency helps greatly. Also, staying at the recommended 55 MPH is another tremendous boost. This is the type of situtation where I'd like to employ things like the aero mods. I'm doing this activity largely out of an interest in the subject and proof of concept rather than significant changes to my driving style.

I had originally wanted a Prius (barring a higher performance car, that is), but was actually very uncomfortable in a Prius (I'm 6'4"). Otherwise I found it to be an excellent car.

One of my first mods will be lowering the car, which is part of a whole suspension project in general. If I understand correctly, and there is no countering force, lowering the car creates less wind resistance and therefore drag, and is thus more efficient. The next part of it all will be the baffle project, as well as a skin under the car.

Thoughts?

Oh, a small aside for an update to the P&G techniques write-up. Most modern manuals are equipped with a fuel saving mode that causes the engine to kill the injectors while the car is coasting in gear. It does induce drag, naturally, which means that some sort of research here on the comparative costs/benefits of the loss of coasting difference over neutral, but it's worth mentioning anyway.
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Old 05-23-2008, 09:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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YOU built the Forkenswift???
Well, half of it My buddy built the other half. My reputation preceeds me? Now I'm curious where you first heard about/saw it.
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Old 05-23-2008, 09:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncc74656m View Post
If I understand correctly, and there is no countering force, lowering the car creates less wind resistance and therefore drag, and is thus more efficient.

Thoughts?
There are a few threads on lowering if you pop that keyword into the search box. There's also some debate on the topic, and the answer is likely "it depends" (TM):

Does reducing ground clearance REALLY reduce drag?
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncc74656m View Post
My issue with the appropriate driving style for maximum MPG is one of several. First off, NY roads, both highway and street, are just about never suited to most of them, everything from steady speed to P&G techniques. It's just a fact of life most of us live with in this area. In other areas of the nation it's easier to do, I believe. Remember, it's not just us on the road, it's everyone else that helps dictate our driving style.

As noted in my original post, when I do take into account consistent driving, there is no doubt that the consistency helps greatly. Also, staying at the recommended 55 MPH is another tremendous boost. This is the type of situtation where I'd like to employ things like the aero mods. I'm doing this activity largely out of an interest in the subject and proof of concept rather than significant changes to my driving style.

Oh, a small aside for an update to the P&G techniques write-up. Most modern manuals are equipped with a fuel saving mode that causes the engine to kill the injectors while the car is coasting in gear. It does induce drag, naturally, which means that some sort of research here on the comparative costs/benefits of the loss of coasting difference over neutral, but it's worth mentioning anyway.

Ideal situations are really never there for driving efficiently. I used to think the same thing as you that "I can't do that where I live, theres too much traffic". Then I tried it for one tank and instantly saw a 10 mpg jump into the high 40s in the Paseo. From then on out I kept on doing it. These techniques really can be performed anywhere at any time. The more you use them the more natural it is and it just becomes the way you drive instead of a chore.

You are right about fuel cutoff happening in gear. However, the pumping losses from the engine drastically reduce the gliding distance to the point its not even worth it. Coasting with the engine on is still more efficient than coasting in gear. Coasting with the engine off (bump start when you need to pulse) is the most efficient. If you do try to do this try it out in a parking lot first as it does take some practice. However, I do use fuel cutoff in gear when I am coasting to a stop sign, or know I need to slow down faster than just coasting in neutral.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Well, half of it My buddy built the other half. My reputation preceeds me? Now I'm curious where you first heard about/saw it.
Well, without any slight in the phrase, not so much your reputation as the car's. Some people don't always do a good job connecting a project to its owner. I think I saw it on Digg at some point, but it was a link to a blog talking about it with a YouTube link or something like that.

Either way, it's awesome. Way to go! I'm actually considering an EV mod of my own, but I'm still only in the "inspired with limited research" phase of things. I'm trying to get an idea of the actual cost, as well as the complexity of the project and a timeframe.

I prefer to do something like, say, a Tercel, vs a Geo Metro, mostly because I had and worked on one for a long time and so think that I can do well with it, and unlike you, I'd rather go with "new parts" that would produce more consistent power and the like, something that if possible, would be driveable on roads and even highways.

Any good thoughts on where i could begin to get an idea of a parts list and pricing?
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Ah, good old Digg.

For conversion parts & pricing, head to the Fossil Fuel Free forum. There's a thread going on about that right now.

FYI, the motor we have is fully capable of highway speeds. The limitation is the controller and number of batteries (system voltage).

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