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Old 08-18-2012, 05:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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S10, El Camino, or Caprice best aero w/mods?

Seeking opinions...

Would a Chevy S10 mini pickup (WITH modifications, not talking stock here) or a Chevy El Camino (again WITH modifications, being mostly a mid 80's fullsize sedan front, wider and lower to the ground, lower roofline than the S10) have better potential for a low coefficient of drag x frontal area total? (CdA) I'm exploring towing vehicles capable of pulling 5000lbs, both qualify, both can swap nearly the same engines, so it mostly comes down to aero. A cap on the camino can be any shape you want obviously.

The RWD Caprice is the 4 door sedan made later than al El Caminos, the latest in 1996, that can still tow 5000lbs. It looks slicker than the 80's but no clue if thats looks or actual refinement. Potentially smoother than the Camino pickup but with the right topper not necessarily, so...

I'm aware a trailer wont have much aero normally - it would be a flatbed for things like hauling 4x8 sheet goods or a cord of wood at a time, and the aero is primarily for when it's running without the trailer though not exclusively. (consideration of "merged" designs for certain trailer loads would be looked at later if I can narrow down what things I will commonly be hauling besides general utility stuff)

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Old 08-18-2012, 09:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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An 80's el camino could be done quite well. There is a lot of grill to block, it is lighter than an S10, and as you said, the low roofline is a big help and the bed would work really well for building an aero cap.
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Old 08-18-2012, 10:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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if you're gonna be towing then get a diesel. or swap a diesel in any other car/truck you get
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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tow vehicle

Quote:
Originally Posted by stillsearching View Post
Seeking opinions...

Would a Chevy S10 mini pickup (WITH modifications, not talking stock here) or a Chevy El Camino (again WITH modifications, being mostly a mid 80's fullsize sedan front, wider and lower to the ground, lower roofline than the S10) have better potential for a low coefficient of drag x frontal area total? (CdA) I'm exploring towing vehicles capable of pulling 5000lbs, both qualify, both can swap nearly the same engines, so it mostly comes down to aero. A cap on the camino can be any shape you want obviously.

The RWD Caprice is the 4 door sedan made later than al El Caminos, the latest in 1996, that can still tow 5000lbs. It looks slicker than the 80's but no clue if thats looks or actual refinement. Potentially smoother than the Camino pickup but with the right topper not necessarily, so...

I'm aware a trailer wont have much aero normally - it would be a flatbed for things like hauling 4x8 sheet goods or a cord of wood at a time, and the aero is primarily for when it's running without the trailer though not exclusively. (consideration of "merged" designs for certain trailer loads would be looked at later if I can narrow down what things I will commonly be hauling besides general utility stuff)
*The 1st-gen S-10/GMC S-15 has Cd 0.475 and with gas 4-banger gets 24 mpg at old 55-mph speed.
*The 1994 S-10/SONOMA is Cd 0.42,I'm unsure of it's actual mpg.
*The 1991 Caprice Classic is Cd 0.33 and with 350 V-8 and auto trans,will get an actual 24 mpg if you don't exceed 65 mph.
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From a safety standpoint,I'd be inclined to go with the Caprice.When you're not towing,you could slip in a receiver hitch-style boat tail,adding a couple feet in length,dropping your Cd closer to 0.22 'n maybe see in the neighborhood of 28 mpg.
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Where did you get those aero figures? I didn't realize the Caprice was actually that good, not many cars improve much upon 0.33. I'm assuming the 80's El Camino are boxy enough to be 0.4x something... but remember both S10 and el camino could get an aero treatment and possibly not be too much worse.

Actually instead of a receiver hitch only boat tail what i'd like is to have a trailer that merges aerodynamics with the car somehow so it's always aero.

I think i'm liking the idea of hauling up to 6 people better than pickup only options and don't necessarily want an SUV.

I discovered a 93 Cadillac Fleetwood with a special tow package was rated 7000lbs from the factory. Chassis basically the same as the Caprice, wondering if cross swapping parts would uprate the Caprice, the differences are mostly documented and non-exclusive. (ie - the cop suspension, bigger radiator, uprated trans, axle ratio, more power)


And yes GRU i'd like to swap a diesel in there. Getting mixed responses to my discussion of that in other threads though, everyone saying "just get a pickup" basically. :P
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stillsearching View Post
Where did you get those aero figures? I didn't realize the Caprice was actually that good, not many cars improve much upon 0.33. I'm assuming the 80's El Camino are boxy enough to be 0.4x something... but remember both S10 and el camino could get an aero treatment and possibly not be too much worse.

Actually instead of a receiver hitch only boat tail what i'd like is to have a trailer that merges aerodynamics with the car somehow so it's always aero.

I think i'm liking the idea of hauling up to 6 people better than pickup only options and don't necessarily want an SUV.

I discovered a 93 Cadillac Fleetwood with a special tow package was rated 7000lbs from the factory. Chassis basically the same as the Caprice, wondering if cross swapping parts would uprate the Caprice, the differences are mostly documented and non-exclusive. (ie - the cop suspension, bigger radiator, uprated trans, axle ratio, more power)


And yes GRU i'd like to swap a diesel in there. Getting mixed responses to my discussion of that in other threads though, everyone saying "just get a pickup" basically. :P
The Cds for the vehicles were published in magazines from manufacturers data.
With respect to your trailer idea,you might want to look at the full-boat-tail trailer thread.I'm not done with this project and I have only 6,000 miles of data so far,but my truck registered it's highest mpg ever while pulling this trailer.Which will keep my interest up enough to finish it.
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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That 7k Cad tow weight figure is, IIRC, based on a one year only 3.73 or similar low axle ratio. The problem for the late '80's GM fullsize was the 305 Chev motor more than anything else. The rest of the vehicle was easily up to 5k plus with proper weight distribution / anti-sway hitch equipment. But with a V8-350 or something with long life and decent torque curve. (I drove a '77 Impala wagon past 240k on the original motor, rebuilt the TH-350 once).
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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7k Cad was a 3.73 with the 305 TBI, and a 3.42 (or close) with the LT1 260hp. Other mods included what was basically the cop suspension, upgraded radiator, HD trans, and some other things. If I stick a diesel in there i'm planning on having the trans rebuilt or uprated for towing, and hunting down a bigger radiator. Swapping on 9C1 suspension parts or some other handling upgrade i've wanted to do ever since I got it.

Although a 6.2 diesel would have even less horsepower than the 305 i'm hoping a wider range of ultimate ratios in the transmission, or a range box, will let me both tow slow or run the highway just fine. Following the same strategy i'd bet dropping to a 4.10 or 4.56 would tow fine with the diesel those weights. The pickups were towing heavy weights with low rears afterall.

And to other yes i'm looking at boattail trailers. I'm hoping to aeromod everything. Whats tricky is that it will be a flat bed, and my mods will have to be some kind of expanding frame with strong tarps/soft sided aero of some sort if that works. An enclosed trailer is too much resistance for usually dense low loads.

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