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Old 09-28-2011, 12:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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NoD~'s Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 468

Frogger - '00 Honda Insight Gas Only (unHybrid)
90 day: 64.7 mpg (US)
Thanks: 13
Thanked 245 Times in 132 Posts
Performance machines turned fuel sipper (Neons mostly)

Hey guys,

Been lurking on the forums unregistered for a while and learning lots of ideas on modifications to both car and driving habits. Figured it was time to jump on and take the next step in learning how to optimize my fuel savings.

04 Dodge Neon

I bought this new off the lot. Since, it has seen many upgrades... and downgrades... over the years. To sum it up, I start this advanture with the SRT-4 suspension to make it handle a little better, urethane bushings, wider tires for more grip, the magnum intake system (2-stage intake), magnum exhaust header, aftermarket mufflers (glasspack + muffler... I don't like loud exhaust), under drive pulley, and cold air intake.

After moving from the far side of my small town to much closer, I noticed that my MPG went down to about 27-28MPG. I knew I needed a change in order to regain some lost savings. After reading on another forum on how a belly pan helped that person's Evo run a few more MPH in the 1/4, I wanted to see what aerodynamic mods people have been using to help with this.

This turned me to this site, where I started reading how people were getting crazy MPG numbers out of their cars. I read a few how-to's, random posts, etc. and decided to give it a try. I taped up some of my grill, removed my rear wing, inflated my tires to their highest rating of I think 44psi, and tried coasting to stops, some times with the engine off. I don't do much highway, but did 55 when I did. That next fill-up left me in some shock as it showed 38MPG! I have never hit such a high number, and this was still 2/3 or so city driving!

Since then, I only have averaged about 36MPG with a lowest of 34.5. I removed the cold air potion of the instake system (intake filter out of fender well and into engine bay), built further duct blocks and a larger air damn... but JUST installed the ScanGauge the other day. Finding some very interesting information about my car and my driving with that!

89 Dodge Caravan 2.5L Turbo

I have been building this beast for a few years. It's around 300whp right now, with an upgraded turbo, fuel delivery, computer... just a lot done to it But it drove me nuts that it took 17MPG and a best of 19MPG since I did all the mods, on premium So, I started trying out some of these hypermiling techniques to it.

This was a little harder to do, since it is a 3 speed automatic w/o lockup and has a VERY hard time starting up... so turning off the engine to coast was a big no-no. I also do a lot of hauling with it... band equipment, tools, bales of hay... it does it all. Also, towing! So it is my hard-core utility race car. And finally, the thing that kills it... I didn't build this thing for MPG, so I have to make sure the WOT function works on occasion

Anywho, after taking a few trips and plenty of city driving, I did come up with 21MPG. This is definitely impressive VS the 17mpg I usually get. I know there is plenty of room for improvement, but all in good time.

To sum it up

So I wanted to thank you guys for posting such awesome information on helping me to get better MPG.

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Old 09-28-2011, 12:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
Daox's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Germantown, WI
Posts: 11,181

CM400E - '81 Honda CM400E
90 day: 51.49 mpg (US)

Daox's Grey Prius - '04 Toyota Prius
Team Toyota
90 day: 49.53 mpg (US)

Daox's Insight - '00 Honda Insight
90 day: 64.33 mpg (US)

Swarthy - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage DE
90 day: 56.69 mpg (US)
Thanks: 2,479
Thanked 2,548 Times in 1,537 Posts
Welcome to the site and congrats on the way better mileage. It is pretty crazy how much and how easily one can change their mileage.
Current project: A better alternator delete
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 553

Little Blue - '98 Ford Escort ZX2 Cool
Team ZX2
90 day: 44.75 mpg (US)

Big Red - '00 Ford Excursion XLT
90 day: 15.53 mpg (US)
Thanks: 5
Thanked 45 Times in 29 Posts
I wouldn't consider my car a "race" car, but I race it occasionally. I have similar mods done: Intake, Exhaust, Pulleys, suspension, etc...
Stock it ran a 16.9 quarter, now it runs a 15.3 and is much more fun to drive....I also get over 50mpg
Keep going with the ecomods and you will continue to see improvements in both mpg and performance.
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
TYPE-R KING's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Alabama
Posts: 18

TYPE-R - '98 Acura Integra Type-R
Team Honda
90 day: 31.04 mpg (US)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Im running around 14.1 in 1/4 getting 32 to 34mpg.
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Old 09-28-2011, 02:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
NoD~'s Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 468

Frogger - '00 Honda Insight Gas Only (unHybrid)
90 day: 64.7 mpg (US)
Thanks: 13
Thanked 245 Times in 132 Posts
Thanx for the warm welcome, guys!

My Neon wasn't really designed to be a 1/4 mile machine... I used to Autocross with it. I had an 98 neon that I built that did 14.2 in the 1/4 and saw 33.5 city and 42 highway (without even trying to get good mileage at all! It weighed 2100 lbs, which I'm guessing is what a lot of it came from). My minivan runs high 12's... but obviously, without some major work, I don't think it will see 30+MPG! (Not to mention, it eats methanol on top of gas (edit: Petrol, for those not in the USA who call it by it's real name... lol) at WOT).

I look forward to modding my 04 neon some more to see what I can get out of it. I haven't raced it in a long time, just use it as a daily driver, so might as well try out this new challenge and see where I can go with it! I definitely want to go with 14" steelies and some tires made for minimal resistance. I bought a little coroplast sheeting, but haven't had a chance to do anything with it. I'll post up some pics of it currently when I get a chance.
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
...beats walking...
Join Date: Jul 2009
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"Welcome aboard"

Ironically, I tried the samething w-a-y back in 1973-'74 (HIPO to SIPPO) with somewhat "...less than planned..." results.

My 1970 Plymouth AAR 'Cuda 340/BBL was getting about 10-12 mpg when the "first" OPEC "oil embargo" occurred, so Mr. Automotive-Einstein here decided to *lean* things out by driving with only the center 2BBL carburetor 'working.' Did so, by interrupting the vacuum lines to the front and rear 2BBL carburetors.

Well, the "good news" was that highway milage got up to 16.1 mpg @ 55 mph (best), while the "bad news" was that it eventually burnt four exhaust values in the process...ie: half of the them!

Moral-of-the-story? Always be aware of possible "Unintended Negative Consequences"!!!!!

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