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Old 01-11-2011, 04:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnmarcus View Post
Diesel can be injected through the skin because of the high psi direct injection systems use. The only medical remedy for this is amputation.
...exact same technology as todays' medical "trans-dermal" (needle-less) shot injection devices...like Dr. McCoy uses in "Star Trek" (wink,wink).

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Old 01-12-2011, 12:50 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I was hoping to get a few short answers but it's turned into something not so simple.

What might be ideal is something like a Ford Transit Connect that already has a Eberspacher pre-heater on the engine block, to cut down hassle with all that in a camper. But how do I go about finding something like that?
Then again there is the Renault Traffic at el with the 6 speed box. Although the 6 speed box has problems perhaps I could find one already replaced, or cheap because it's acknowledged as a problem.

....
I actually get 35mpg from this high top van. I don't have pizza pans on the wheels or a smooth underbelly, the wing mirrors are massive and this is moderately loaded. But of course, with the high roof I'm always going to be limited. What I don't understand is that reading what other people are getting in their low top versions of the same van, they're getting only 5mpg extra at tops.

Sorry for all the questions. Is there a forum we know of more European centric?
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:42 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Have you seen this ?



But they want £23K for it new
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:51 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Is diesel really bad or dirty? NO!

It is worth pointing out that "modern" diesel fuel is much better than stinky old diesel from 10 or 15 years ago. The new stuff is actually pretty good/clean/ultra low sulfur.

Plus, it takes less energy to refine diesel than gasoline.
Plus, it has more energy per liter than gasoline.
Plus, the engines designed for it are thermodynamically more efficient than the equivalent gasser.
Plus, it has a much higher flash point, so it is an inherently safer fuel than gasoline, and orders of magnitude less flammable than hydrogen.

So really, I think diesel is the more eco-friendly fuel than gasoline.

AND you have some renewable options like biodiesel.


Good luck and have fun!

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Old 01-13-2011, 09:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
EV OR DIESEL
 
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WOW diesel van :-) I wish there were more of those on our side of the pond.
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:00 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dremd View Post
WOW diesel van :-) I wish there were more of those on our side of the pond.
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Last time I checked Ford only make one Petrol Transit, and that is advertised as being 'suitable for LPG'.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:42 AM   #17 (permalink)
EV OR DIESEL
 
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We actually get 2 diesel vans.
1) dodge sprinter
2) ford E-350 powerstroke.
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Old 01-22-2011, 02:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
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This has become an incredibly complex decision!

The questions only you guys can answer:

- how much is going from ~2.5m high to less than half that really going to help me? It should help a lot. However, why is it my unmodified vehcile gets 35mpg when the same unmodified model without the high roof (only about 0.40m lower) get the same mpg?

- which cars are popular for ecomods in Europe? In America the Honda and Metro are popular. But there are better options here. It's a lot easier if someone has gone the path before you. For example, I'm familiar with the VW T4 5th gear mod and I know there are camshafts available for American vehicles but what about vehicles popular in Europe?
Is a Skoda Octavia a good car to ecomod or is it something no one's done before?


The long winded going through it all... (possibly self!) discussion:

Knowing I'm pushing a high top through the air is the bind really. I know that will always limit me. However... still can't see an option compelling enough to replace.

I mean, it's a very aerodynamically dirty van. High top, bits sticking out of the roof, massive wing mirrors, rough underside. Yet I get 35mpg.

Let's say Vauxhall Astra van. Enough room in there and maybe 55mpg before mods.
Only thing is, none for sale on ebay germany.

What about the Renault Traffic? Only 45mpg at best. The Astra 1.3CDi sounds very interesting. What a small engine! And it's 6 speed. But can't see a left hand drive version from Opel... as far as I can see.

Can we say from this that my van would be as good as modern diesels if it wasn't for the high top? How much is that high top costing me? I thought it was a lot, but now I compare to the other options I wonder if it's not as bad as I think.

Other options?
Skoda Octavia Estate... (55mpg ish again)
attach a fold up bed to the bed of the rear seats. Add a heater. Swap the starter battery for a deep cycle and keep an eye on voltage with a battery meter. Ecomod with a smooth underside and pizza pans.

The funny thing is... diesel...

This ties in with something else I'm working on.

I am actually looking at half face masks for my bicycle in the city where bicycles make the most sense. You can't really get away from the fact that diesel is a dirty fuel. Not like LPG at all in that it has particulates and a whole swathe of chemicals that a face mask can't really filter out. fter some incredibly confusing research into this I found you can choose only about 2 filters at a time, a HEPA filter and a chemical filter - If you filter out carbon monoxide then you're left with benzene and the rest... And besides, wearing one of these things is a pain... there are only full masks with camelbak adapters. Pollution is a pain in the neck for me. So much so if my love of my life has to live in a city I think I would have to leave her. I can't love without health. A list of carfree cities here:
List of car-free places - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (I can't stand the anti car movement by the way. I love cars, it's the fuel that I can't stand. At least biodiesel is a nice fuel, even if it is dirty my proxy due to cleaning out the soot left by diesel)

I'd love to live somewhere like that but also have something parked on the edge of town.

...so to sit in a diesel seems hypocritical. Yet I need the range to get across Spain with a surfboard. By the way, motorists get more fumes than cyclists. This makes long journeys hard work. For example, if I take a holiday skiing and choose to drive, by the time I get back my lungs and body feels much the same as it did when I left... very pronounced. I really think it makes sense to have some basic filtering on the air coming into the cabin even if it costs efficiency.

solarguy: Is diesel fuel cleaner? I've heard not actually. I don't know if what I've heard is accurate but I'm sure I remember someone saying to me that the UK has very poor standards for diesel whereas on the continent (& probably wealthier US states) standards are a lot higher. However, I'm a diesel van too. Very much so. I just like the technology. Just having problems at the mo with cycling, which I hope I can nail with displine of keeping a mask on.

dremd: Thanks for the info for American vehicles. I'm going to Buenos Aires in a week or 2 and I wondered about buying a van there. They don't have cheap cars though($1200+) so I may hire instead to get to and from the beach. Intresting you only get a choice of 2!


I'm leaning toward a diesel because I can't stand driving low torque petrol cars now... an estate I can customise, parked out of town I can cycle to with a fold-up.

But as I say... how much is this frontal area reduction from ~2.30m to less than half that going to help? ...how much does Cda matter?

Thanks for all the info people! All good stuff. A suprisingly complex decision this is turning out to be. I'll put a summary in the OP when done.
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Old 01-22-2011, 04:58 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Wow, thats a lot of thinking

I suspect this will turn into a discussion about Diesel polution vs Petrol I'll post my view here and then leave that aspect, and stick to cars and vans...

I have read (on here and elsewhere) how dirty diesel is and how people would not like to live in a poluted UK city, yet in Edinburgh I can see people out running and cycling in this apparently dirty city - if it was so bad then they wouldn't been there doing what they do. Me, I'm fat and unfit but I walk a lot here and I have had Asthma since childhood and it doesn't bother me as much as other factors - the extreme cold recently for example. In fact it bothers me less here than it did before I moved from England. Equally there are people who are more or less floored by particulant emissions. That must be hard for them.

You can add a scrubber to a diesel to remove most if not all of the particulants, a large number of buses have them and a large number do not. Emissions limits are European wide although the quality of air in different cities varies quite a bit as does enforcement. In the UK we have cut back on traffic police (in favour of cameras) so the likelihood of being caught is quite rare, even on main routes or indeed in cities.

I have been in parts of the US where Diesels are rare and the air in those areas (South East) was dominated by the smell given off by catalysed engines being worked hard - that sulphurous type smell. I wonder what that does to people long term.

As for your van, I think you are edging towards keeping it. Thats a valid choice, the money is as well in your wallet.

An Octavia TDi is a good basis for ecomodding. Its basically a VW Golf underneath so you can use all the tips posted for those, and related vehicles - see Vekke's excellent thread on his Cordoba Vario for example. Even the ports and sockets and the underbonnet in the Octavia vs the Golf is more or less identical. The issue you may have is finding a decent one as they are popular taxis when used. If you do go for one, check it over for service history (oil especially) and listen for DMF issues. DMFs are ok but when they go it can be unexpected and expensive.

The Transporter is an excellent basis for an ecomodded practical vehicle though, and will be much less of a compromise than an Astra or an Octavia sized vehicle. If you keep it and mod it then it will be an interesting project to watch, I would subscribe

I have read threads of Aero vs weight in here - search for some of them. Opinions differ but I think its related to the speeds involved. If you go 5-10 MPH less than you do just now you will see a significant saving either way. At higher speeds then the hole you are trying to punch through the air is going to cost you more than weight, at lower speeds or in traffic then getting the weigh moving costs you the most.

Anyway, good luck.
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:14 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Arragonis: Thanks for allying my doubts about diesel. I'm gonna stick with it.
Thanks also for letting me know that the stuff we've worked out for the golf is applicable for the Octavia. It looks like it's gonna be Octavia. I'll search out one that needs a fly wheel and get it done when I buy it.
The other advantage I can see is that taxi drivers should be very interested in any way I can help them save fuel.

To come to that conclusion I also did some calulations in addition to what you say. Took a while to work out but kind of rewarding when you get the final figure. (whew!)


Conclusions:

1) Other people who drive my van must drive a lot less efficient than I do because they look after them just the same.
2) I calculate, very roughly that a high roof delete is only goin to save me 7mpg at best (UK metric). Probably only costs me 4-5mpg. That's a saving of £30(~$48) on a 800 mile ski run. Thus, if I'm going to change vehicles for this reason I better do it properly and get something really low.



My working out. Other people might find this useful:

Very approximately(measuring with a ruler on screen!) the high top is 23% of the frontal area. The van cda without the high top is quoted as 0.36.
( 1.7 Delivery Program )

I can't just add on 23% to 0.36. I need the frontal area used for the normal roof T4 to get that 0.36 figure.

The german for frontal area according to google translate is "Frontfläche" but could also be "Stirnfläche" (Google Translate )
...
A search on that turns up nothing:
"vw t4" frontfläche "m²" -volvo - Google Search

Ah! Found the calculator at:
Aerodynamic & rolling resistance, power & MPG calculator - EcoModder.com
perhaps I can use that with trial and error to make some estimations...

if a '95 GTI VR6 has a frontal area of 21.66' then my van is going to be just under double that (sadly a very rough estimate... have to get an exact figure when I have the van in front of me). If I use 33' and all other settings on the most optimistic I get 27.91mpg... ah, that's imperial. Check that my figures were calculated as UK... yes they were... should be about 33mpg. (I drive at 60mph)

So!
Minus the 22% gain from high to low roof (~25') gives 39mpg(UK units)

So the grand total saved from hi to low roof is.... (wait for it!)

4mpg!!

- and that's being very generous on the frontal area difference.

I loose being able to stand up in the back for that? hmm... ok, not worth getting a standard roof T4.

What if we go lower, as a control test on these calculations I'm doing...
put 21 back into the calulator for a Golf...
= 45mpg (UK units).

Hmm... sounds a bit high for a diesel golf... lower engine efficiency to 20%
= 40mpg (UK units). Sounds more like it.

Replug the figures in with engine efficiency at 20%...
29mpg to 36mpg(UK) = 7mpg saving. (metric UK)

and from standard t4 roof to even lower... 44mpg.



edit:: I think I was putting the mpg US/UK converting in the wrong way round on here:
http://www.tdiclub.com/misc/conversions.html
...might need to start again....


Last edited by jago25_98; 01-23-2011 at 01:20 AM..
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