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Old 05-05-2011, 03:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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DGC - '08 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT
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Not another newbie...aww man...

Hey folks,

I'm new. Please excuse my newbie posts for a little while at least.

I am the father of four boys and as such drive a 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT whenever we all need to go anywhere together. This is going to be the initial target of my eco mods.

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Old 05-05-2011, 03:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2011
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DGC - '08 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT
90 day: 17.39 mpg (US)

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90 day: 18.52 mpg (US)
Thanks: 4
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My daily driver is a 2001 Buick LeSabre that I inherited years ago. Not the best on gas mileage, but gets better than 30 on the hwy (17 - 19 city) unmodified and is ridiculously comfortable.
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2011
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DGC - '08 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT
90 day: 17.39 mpg (US)

Buick - '01 Buick LeSabre Limited
90 day: 18.52 mpg (US)
Thanks: 4
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And my toy is a '73 Porsche 914 that I originally picked up to turn into an EV, but am waiting on batteries to get cheaper.

(I'm padding my posts here to get to 5... )
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Cool.

Well, the basics first. Tuneup, change the fluids, get the tires up to the sidewall imprint max pressure.

In EcoModding Central, get started reading the Sticky "Master list of 65+ proven mods... ". It will tell you more than I certainly can.

Use the thinnest engine oil suggested/recommended by your owners manual, as long as that grade doesn't burn or leak out of the engine.

Exactly which mods will help you the most depends partially on your driving type. If driving many short hops to deliver and retrieve youngsters, you could benefit from getting the engine warmed up quickly and then taking maximum advantage of that warmed up state.

When you need tires, make an effort to get low rolling resistance tires.

Consider a belly pan. Not a small or quick project but I think a minivan's aero is mostly pre-determined in other areas. Often the underside is an aerodynamic nightmare that can be improved, even if your creation is not perfect.
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Old 05-07-2011, 12:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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pnambic -

Welcome to EM! I want drivetrain diversity, so it will be neat to see what you can get with your Caravan and LeSabre. The idea of owning a Buick LeSabre super-comfy-vacation-trip machine is intriguing.

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Old 05-09-2011, 11:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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DGC - '08 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT
90 day: 17.39 mpg (US)

Buick - '01 Buick LeSabre Limited
90 day: 18.52 mpg (US)
Thanks: 4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucepick View Post
In EcoModding Central, get started reading the Sticky "Master list of 65+ proven mods... ". It will tell you more than I certainly can.
Definitely the first order of business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucepick View Post
Consider a belly pan. Not a small or quick project but I think a minivan's aero is mostly pre-determined in other areas. Often the underside is an aerodynamic nightmare that can be improved, even if your creation is not perfect.
This has been top of my list. I made an aluminum one for our old '99 Plymouth years ago and it was a good exercise. It only covered the bottom side of the engine compartment (made from 3ft x 4ft sheet aluminum), but it made a noticeable improvement in handling in buffeting wind conditions (passing big trucks and such). I didn't do extensive testing, but the mileage didn't take any significant jump - maybe something on the order of half a mpg overall. It was noisy though - the aluminum liked to "pop" and resonate. I saw a 4ft x 8ft sheet of plastic at the Home Depot normally used for bathroom/bathtub walls. Wondering if I might re-purpose some for a belly pan...
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Im intersted to see what you can do with the van.

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