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Old 03-09-2012, 04:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Noob with dumb ideas here

After looking at all the boattailing mods and whatnot, it struck me that my car (a 92 Pontiac Firebird) is already very aerodynamic.

I'm wondering what my options are for improving mpg beyond just driving style and tire pressure.

I'm a computer nerd, not a greasemonkey, so I've got a lot to learn, I guess.

Having taller gear ratios sounds like it would be a big help but I don't know how feasible it is.

I'm planning on installing new spark plugs and keeping my tired properly inflated and my axels greased...

Can anyone gimme a clue what my best options are?

Thanks

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Old 03-09-2012, 06:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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First of all, welcome to the forum mang!

As for what you can do, there are a few physical modifications you can do to improve your gas mileage.
-Instrumentation: Vacuum gauges, MPGuinos, and scangauges are worth researching within this forum. They don't actually improve economy, but they further assist you to drive economically.
-Aero modifications: This doesn't have to be a boat tail dude. Have you thought about grille blocks, smooth wheel covers, or an improved undertray? They are all cheap and easy to make, and again, can be researched right here.

In terms of powetrain modifications, unfortunately there aren't many modifications you can perform on the cheap to improve your gas mileage. However, almost any engine will return much better fuel economy with a new air filter, fuel filter, and oil change. In other words, keep the servicing up to date, because it can dramatically kill your fuel economy.

I hope that helped a bit. Do you have any pictures of the beast?
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have to post more before it'll let me put up images or links.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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3 more to go
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Ok, maybe its just two.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Post number 5, next one I should be able to do images.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I did a little image trickery to see what it would look like with some mods...



Of course the back tire can't be enclosed like that without major work, as it sticks out from the sides by an inch or so. So either thinner/shallower tires, which would reduce traction, or major reworking to get them deeper in the wells.
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Welcome, and very nice image work.

I just installed grille blockers on my 12 Fiesta and guessing at 0.6 to 1 MPG gain. Although each car will be a little different. Haven t had a good time to do proper tests but I think I could tell by watching the Ultra Gauge.

I just started making aero-mods too and plan on making a few small changes to get the easy MPG increases. But all will tell you its your right foot that makes the larges difference.

Good Luck
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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There's a relatively recent thread on Firebird aerodynamics here. My best advice is to read like a madman, and use the search function often. But don't be afraid to ask questions. And read everything in sight.


I know you said "beyond just driving style and tire pressure", but don't neglect the driving tips. It IS where you'll see the largest gains.
Did I mention there's a lot of reading?
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Old 03-09-2012, 04:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I read through the 108+ driving tips. I already do many of those things naturally, so hopefully it won't be too difficult to add some more good habits.

It also helps that this is a 5-speed manual.

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