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Old 04-26-2011, 04:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Newby With Questions

First off, I'm new here, Howdy Ya'll!

My project car is a '91 Toyota Tercel 4 door sedan 1500cc engine (I think) and 3 speed automatic. No, I don't plan on giving up my automatic or my AC but I might drop the power steering being that I have a parts car with a manual rack and pinion. And I'm not giving up my little engine as mine is newly rebuilt.



Mods, thus far:

Solid engine mounts. But they're coming off as they make the whole car shake. That said, solid engine mounts do increase efficiency. (It was late at night, I was putting the rebuilt engine back into the car and found the rubbers in my mounts were shot so I quickly replaced the rubbers with wood.)



Covered most of the grill area with cardboard and duct tape-- lots of duct tape. I actually did this last winter when I discovered my thermostat was stuck open and the car never warmed up. I was surprised to discover I immediately got several MPG to the better so I left it on. (Reminder: I need to take the new thermostat out of the glove box and install it in the engine.) To date, even with outdoor temps in the 80s I have yet to see the needle creep past 1/2 and the electric cooling fan has never came on. The AC fan will come on if I turn on the AC.

Day before yesterday I removed all my mud flaps.

Yesterday I used more cardboard and duct tap to make the nose just a little more pointy.

I found 2 of the smoothest wheel covers Toyota made for the Tercel and put them on the front. I thought about buying 2 more but the best deal I've found to date was $50 each plus shipping on e-bay. Will pizza pans fit my 13" wheels?

That's the extent of my mods thus far. I'm sometimes able to achieve 50 MPG but usually closer to 40 mixed highway/city. Hey, I'm still beating my brother's 38MPG in his Paseo.

Mods I'm considering:

Did you know the front mud flaps can be switched left to right and mounted in front of the rear wheels to be used as rear wheel spoilers? Well, on my Tercel, that is. I'm thinking I might give that a try. Thoughts anyone?

Would a performance computer chip, up my MPG? The chip makers claim it does but they are in the business of selling chips. If yes, then which brand of chip?

Yes, I do plan to shield the bottom of the car and design front wheel spoilers. I'm kicking around an idea for spoilers that work against a spring that pulls them up against the body at speeds below 35MPH so they don't get bumped on parking bumpers, speed bumps and the like. I would actually use the power of the wind to pull them down. Any thoughts?

North Carolina requires at least one outside mirror but I'm wondering if they might let me slide if I get something like those NASCAR mirrors that go all the way across the cab?

Rear fender skirts are a given but I'm thinking I might run the skirts from front to rear, slightly increasing the frontal area but closing up all the fender openings. Behind the rear wheels I would vent the air to the rear via louvers. Below is a rough sketch. Thoughts?



By the way, I love those rollers inside the front wheel skirts. I suspect I'll steal that idea.

I've got tons of 3" PVC pipe and FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic) sheeting so I'm thinking I might cut and bend some PVC pipe into the shape of fake Laker pipes and incorporate that into some sort of ground effects. You reckon it might be worth my while? I can hide the tailpipe and really up the cool factor.

No, I don't plan to lower the springs as the Tercel already rides harder than my RAM 150 pick-up. (Which, by the way, gets about 8-10 MPG city and only gets used when I can't figure out a way to cram it in my Tercel.) Besides, it's already so low I fall in and out.

I would love to have automatic louvers for the grill opening. Tractor-trailers had them 50 years ago but Ford doesn't add it to cars until 2011-- what's up with that?

I almost never use the rear doors and the door handles are already broken so I'm thinking I might weld up the holes. It's easy enough to reach inside to open the rear doors.

I'm thinking of a fairing for the windshield wipers that doubles as a under-hood vent. I realize the lower windshield is a high pressure area so I'm thinking the vents would be to the side and not to the rear of the fairing. Think of one of those really wide hood scoops that taper towards the front and suck the air into the rear except with the rear closed and part of the sides vented via louvers facing rearward. Am I painting a picture you understand.

Pay attention to the next paragraph.

I learned something interesting last night. My automatic transmission equipped Tercel WILL roll start at about 20 MPH in "Drive" but will not roll start in 1st or 2nd. Would that make Engine off coasting an option or can I count on turning the tranny into toast? A momentary kill switch on the shifter would be all I would need.

Is there a mod that would give me a lock-up torque converter? Do I already have a lock-up torque converter? If yes, then is there a mod that might be to my advantage, perhaps allow a lower speed lock-up?

What about a performance shift kit for my tranny?

What about Brown's gas (HHO) PROVIDED its electrical needs are taken care of by a separate battery charged by a solar cells? I don't drive a lot, preferring instead to rack up my miles on my '83 XS650 Yamaha Heritage Special so the solar cells would often have days to charge up the battery. Is there a way to store up the Brown's gas to be used later?



And finally, what, if any aerodynamic improvements need to be made to the rear of my 91 Tercel sedan?


Last edited by billyjones; 04-27-2011 at 09:22 AM.. Reason: spelling. added photos
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyjones View Post
Solid engine mounts. But they're coming off as they make the whole car shake. That said, solid engine mounts do increase efficiency.
Inventive, but not really practical

New shocks will also help a bit to reduce the energy being wasted on rocking the engine back and forth.

Quote:
(Reminder: I need to take the new thermostat out of the glove box and install it in the engine.)
I've only ever had the thermostat fail on a diesel, and it seriously impaired both the fuel mileage and driveability. I'd replace it asap.


Quote:
Will pizza pans fit my 13" wheels?
Plenty of people here with pizza pans.
IIRC, they mostly use 1 size bigger, i.e. 14" pizza pans on 13" rims.


Quote:
Did you know the front mud flaps can be switched left to right and mounted in front of the rear wheels to be used as rear wheel spoilers? Well, on my Tercel, that is. I'm thinking I might give that a try. Thoughts anyone?
It's been done by some members here.
One of them with a Mini.


Quote:
Would a performance computer chip, up my MPG? The chip makers claim it does but they are in the business of selling chips.
If it also significantly increases torque at fairly low revs, it might help.

Hypermiling, you're not going anywhere near the upper end of the powerband - so whatever improvement you get there is lost to the cause

Quote:
Rear fender skirts are a given but I'm thinking I might run the skirts from front to rear, slightly increasing the frontal area but closing up all the fender openings. Thoughts?
Be careful when adding frontal area - you could end up paying for it while the benefits of the closed fender openings hide the loss.


Quote:
I almost never use the rear doors and the door handles are already broken so I'm thinking I might weld up the holes. It's easy enough to reach inside to open the rear doors.
There isn't much to be gained by filling these holes, but if you're not using them anyway, then why not.
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the imput.
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Added photos!

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