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Old 08-12-2015, 02:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cool A quick hello from the middle of nowhere

Hey there everyone!! My name is Shon and I've been lurking on this site for quite some time. I finally decided to get registered and get some questions answered and get some of my ideas out there for others to build off of.

A bit about me:

I'm a college student so saving money right now (with a baby on the way) is a big concern for us. I purchased a 2003 VW Jetta TDI (absolutely LOVE this car) for the ~50 mpg that they are known for. I've never been really serious about getting the most mpg out of my car, but it has been on my mind for months and I think that it could be fun. I am already having fun trying to beat my last tank averages.

Now, being on the budget I am of college dude with a kid on the way, I am going to attempt to do as much as I can for as cheap as I can. I am hoping to do all of my fabricating and design myself. My goal with this car is to see an exceptional difference in mpgs as well as keeping the car "cool-ish" looking. I want to retain all of the creature comforts that I use the most (full interior, radio, power windows). My focus to begin is going to be aero mods, as I believe that I could fabricate some body mods cheaper than modding the engine and trans.

I don't know how soon I will be able to get started with mods as we are living in a TINY apartment and my wife lets me get away with a few things like a motorcycle in the kitchen, but I doubt she would let me use the closet to store car parts lol So I am on the hunt for a working space (storage, garage, shop). In the meantime, I will be posting pics and ideas that I have in order to get feedback before making a full commitment toward any project.

As for my first "mod", I am looking into getting something like ScanGaugeII to get a baseline before making too many changes to affect my fuel consumption. I've been reading about apps such as Torque and iRev that can be used with a tablet or smartphone. I am still reading/researching to figure what will be the cheapest and smartest route for me to go there.

Anyway, sorry for the long intro. Just wanted to say hello and get myself out there. Looking forward to chatting with some of you about ideas and getting and giving feedback.


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Old 08-14-2015, 11:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forum!

Originally Posted by HalfBreed View Post
I am already having fun trying to beat my last tank averages.
That's the spirit. Imagine how much more fun it'll be when you can play that game on a trip-by-trip basis or on the regular commute to school. It's definitely worthwhile picking up some sort of gauge. Instant feedback is a great motivator.

Feel free to make a garage page and start posting your mileage, too.

I am hoping to do all of my fabricating and design myself.
Since your goal is saving money and you're already driving a 50 mpg car, that's pretty well a must. The payback on mods gets longer and longer the more efficient you make it.

Let us know when you start your mods!
Project MPGiata! Mods for getting 50+ MPG from a 1990 Miata
Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
Mitsu mods: 70 MPG in my ecomodded, dirt cheap, 3-cylinder Mirage.
Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown

has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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Old 08-14-2015, 11:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome the fun Shon! Based on your intro, you are going to enjoy every minute of ecomodding

There are quite a few option with instrumentation: ScanGauge2, UltraGauge, Torque. Find one that best suits your needs and budget. I picked up my SG2 for $70 last year, lightly used and in perfect condition.

As far as saving money, this last year has saved me close to $800 in fuel cost. That's going from 35 mpg to 46-47 mpg over the course of 23,000 miles. Getting to 60 mpg will save you around 20% on fuel cost, and that should not be all too difficult with the diesel if driven correctly.

Starting out with a partial grill block and an air dam is low mess and shows the biggest gains for the buck. We usually use coroplast (Election signs) and lawn edging for them respectively, in order to keep cost minimal and payback quick

Remember, thank a fellow EM'er for a helpful post!!!
I hypermile better in my cowboy boots

Past threads:
ZX2 modding thread
Ecomodder's Top 10: How they do it!
ZX2 Aerodynamics: Shooting for 0.15 Cd
ZX2 coast-down testing for Cd & Crr
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Old 08-14-2015, 12:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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For the money you might be happiest with Torque as it is a lot cheaper than an SG and is extremely portable. Given the choice I would prefer the SG but I'm not sure why.

Wyoming gets pretty hot in the summer, if there isn't any tinting on your windows you might want to consider that to reduce your reliance on AC until the baby is born. And you'll almost certainly want it when the baby comes, regardless.

There's all manner of subtle aero to be done as other posters have already pointed out, so you can reap some benefits while retaining the Jetta's good looks.

I'm certain you've already figured this out but off in freewheeling Wyoming it bears repeating, slowing down pays the biggest dividends. It costs you nothing but a little extra time (a very little, easily overlooked few minutes per hundred miles, really) and in my experience I generally arrive happier, at nearly the same time as my fellow travelers who all hurried and hustled to the next stop light, and making up the time with avoided fuel stops.

Good luck with it.


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