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Old 11-19-2023, 05:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Are people still ecomodding?

Sometimes I wonder why I haven't actually done any ecomodding, other than a block heater that has turned out to not really help all that much.

I think the main person to blame is myself. I just don't have what it takes to add a boat tail to my car, and other than body mods there doesn't seem like much I can do to these new fangled cars. I've tried the cardboard in front of the radiator and the blockheater, but I don't feel like I'm getting those great MPG's I always wanted. In fact some the cardboard seemed more of a pain than a help, especially on weekends going up steep mountain passes.

I haven't kept track myself, but my MPG average according to my car is just over 35mpg. That's 12.5% lower than advertised and we haven't even started winter yet!

On the other hand I don't seem to be the only one. When I log on to Ecomodder and go to the recent posts, nowadays there might only be 11 or 12 recent threads and of those about 20% are about anti climate change. There may be a thread here and there about pizza tins on rims, but other than that it doesn't seem that many people actually ecomod any more.

I used to have the dream I'd put on wheel skirts, and boat tail, and add more battery to the hybrid and make it a PHEV, and put insulation all around the engine and transaxle, and put on a 1.5kW block heater, and make a thick "sleeping bag" car cover for the night and tuck in my car every night. But I think I gave up without even trying.

What should I try? What should I do? What would be a good plan? What should the goal even be?

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Old 11-19-2023, 06:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Currently Active Users: 1245 (2 members and 1243 guests)
Typical would be three members and 800+ lurkers. So posting is low, but the interest among the gen pop is high.

Do what I do, in hard times conserve things. Currently, the Superbeetle is under a car cover, under the roof rack with a 12ft piece of corrugated metal as a ridge with plastic fencing over that for air space, and finally a silver tarp for waterproofing with hospital corners.

The other part is 'never give up, never surrender'. I'd still like to EV the Baja Bug but I've lost my contacts at Arcimoto. I can drive by and see that the flood damage FUVs are still there. It's currently out in the country in the hedgerow where the Superbeetle spent a few months; I want to get it downtown and get different wheel and tires on it. The carport is empty and waiting.
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Old 11-20-2023, 12:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I got a company car that gets shop maintenance and all fuel covered by the company, so my interest dropped. I did get the most fuel efficient vehicle on the menu, which was the Mazda CX-5. It gets pathetic fuel economy; less than my 1996 Subaru Legacy. Don't know why it's reviewed so well, because it's a basic gutless AWD crossover with the accompanying middling handling and less usable space than a Prius.

Next car is likely a minivan. That's usually a drop in efficiency, but I'll look for the best MPG. Most likely is a Toyota Sienna hybrid. 36 MPG isn't bad. Heck, way better than the pathetic Mazda CX-5 that shills claim is such a great vehicle.
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Old 11-20-2023, 05:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I've been meaning to ecomod my Insight, but I've been discouraged by how poorly it runs in lean burn. I'd like to get it running well before any major mods. It's even frustrating to hypermile. Also, it gets 60+ MPG already. 100 MPG would be nice.

I did recently install a front belly pan. Just some random sedan trunk floor panel that fits perfectly. I removed the power steering motor. And installed LED headlight bulbs. And a grill block. Nothing that made a noticeable different without controlled testing.

I'm currently running oversized tires on heavy steel wheels. Not good for MPG, but $60 for a set of tires on wheels sounds pretty eco! I have proper Insight tires, just need to get them mounted. But I should probably refinish the crusty wheels first. Or mount the tires on the lighter donut wheels after making them anything-but-yellow. Or continue to procrastinate.
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Old 11-20-2023, 05:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac Zachary View Post
block heater that has turned out to not really help all that much.
The block heater was great in the Civic Wagon. That thing took forever to warm up. It was worth it just for the quicker cabin heat. The exact same block heater, transferred into the Insight engine, isn't that useful. The Insight was designed to warm up quickly, and it does.
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Old 11-20-2023, 09:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gasoline Fumes View Post
The block heater was great in the Civic Wagon. That thing took forever to warm up. It was worth it just for the quicker cabin heat. The exact same block heater, transferred into the Insight engine, isn't that useful. The Insight was designed to warm up quickly, and it does.
I need to do some testing, but just from experience:
  • Without the block heater connected the engine will be some 10 degrees or so warmer than ambient in the morning. If it's -30 F the engine will be like -20 F. It takes several minutes for the heater to start putting out any heat.
  • With the block heater connected all night long the engine will be some 30 to 40 F warmer than ambient. So on a -30 F day it's not that much better than 0 F still. It still takes several minutes for the heater to start putting out any heat.

I do have a 1,500W circulating tank block heater that I want to install. The problem is finding places to attach it. I either need a 120V pump that's connected to the same plug as the heater so coolant always flows through it when it's on, or I need to modify the thermostat housing for a place for coolant to flow out towards the circulating heater, with a T up on the upper radiator hose.
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Old 11-20-2023, 11:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I stopped ecomodding, yes, but I still hypermile and drive an efficient car.

My Prius C averages 60-65 mpg. My 1st gen Insight with a few ecomods averaged ~75 mpg. I also aggressively combine fuel discounts (currently paying about $2.349 for gas). The cost difference over my 10k miles a year between the two cars is a little over $60 at that fuel cost, or closer to $100 back when gas was around $4/gallon here.

Ecomodding my Prius might save me $50 a year at most, assuming somewhere between a 5-10 mpg gain, if that's even possible. For me there are many easier ways to save $50 a year, such as shopping around for good tire deals, such as here where I saved $200 on a $500 set of tires+installation. Or where instead of spending $3k in expensive luxury car maintenance on my wife's Volvo we sold it and spent the $3k upgrading her to a nicer, newer, safer Mazda that gets 38-40 mpg on regular instead of 25-30 mpg on premium.
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Old 11-21-2023, 06:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac Zachary View Post
I need to do some testing, but just from experience:
  • Without the block heater connected the engine will be some 10 degrees or so warmer than ambient in the morning. If it's -30 F the engine will be like -20 F. It takes several minutes for the heater to start putting out any heat.
  • With the block heater connected all night long the engine will be some 30 to 40 F warmer than ambient. So on a -30 F day it's not that much better than 0 F still. It still takes several minutes for the heater to start putting out any heat.

I do have a 1,500W circulating tank block heater that I want to install. The problem is finding places to attach it. I either need a 120V pump that's connected to the same plug as the heater so coolant always flows through it when it's on, or I need to modify the thermostat housing for a place for coolant to flow out towards the circulating heater, with a T up on the upper radiator hose.
-30F is a lot colder than what I experience in NY! I would use my block heater at temps like that! Below 0F is rare here.
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Old 11-21-2023, 10:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Same story here.

I got involved in ecomodding to save money back when I had a primary vehicle that got fuel economy in the 20's. For the last 20 years our primary car has returned fuel economy in the 45 to 50 mpg range. Then 7 years ago we bought our first EV and our fueling cost dropped into the 3 cents per mile range. I can't see spending dollars to save pennies.

I'm still interested in efficiency tech - but more from the manufacturing side than retrofits.

Today my ecomodding is limited to running my tire pressure a bit higher to reduce rolling resistance - and increase the cornering grip.
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Old 11-21-2023, 03:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I’ve been EcoModding my 2019 Hyundai Ioniq. Wheel shirts. Flat covers. Box cavity fins. No side mirrors. Played with wheel deflectors and wheel boat tailing. Need to revise a rear diffuser.

Learned the hard way rhat eco modding destroys a cars trade in value. Went tk Toyota dealer to see about a trade in for a 2024 Prius. They valued my 2019 Ioniq at 500 bucks. The day after dropping 450 bucks on new winter tires. Ignored the 1200 ceramic window tints and 800 dollar led headlight upgrade. Biggest spit in the face ever.

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