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-   -   Saturn TDI nose job... (

Craig 11-01-2010 07:40 PM

Saturn TDI nose job...

Just a few quick pics of my Saturn TDI nose job; I fitted a couple pieces of lexan around the lower front fascia to block off the grille opening (which is really huge) and, at the suggestion of my son, modified the headlight brackets to move the headlights forward about an inch, bringing them flush with the leading edge of the hood.

The car warms up faster and maintains a higher operating temperature than it usually does for this time of year, and coasts a lot further, too! I was part-way through a tank of diesel when I did this last week, but I got my all-time best of 57.45 mpg! I usually get around 54-55 mpg, so I was really happy about that, and hope to see an even higher figure when I fill up again.

The car has a small chin spoiler to duct air up into the intercooler (kind of hard to see in the picture), but I have a couple of ideas in the works to make a bigger/better one to help reduce some of the air passing under the car, and making a sort of hinged trap door to allow more cooling in warmer weather, but easily drawn shut in cooler weather...something that I can regulate from the drivers seat. I'd also like to mount the rearview mirrors inside the car as I've seen several people do on this site - just too many ideas and not enough time to do them in!

cfg83 11-01-2010 08:04 PM

Craig -

Neat mods. I can't think of anyone that has moved the headlight in the past. To see an all-time high *after* summer is a great sign.


Craig 11-04-2010 07:04 PM

Saturn TDI Conversion - TDIClub Forums

This is the build thread for the car; I'm having a lot of fun with this thing!

Weather Spotter 11-04-2010 07:19 PM

Nice job on the TDI swap :)

That would be fun for my car, but not worth the work, or would it be....

Craig 11-04-2010 07:32 PM

Thanks! Part of the beauty of this car is that I DID do it, and learned a great deal along the way in surmounting all the technical challenges that it posed. The really neat thing about a car like this is that I'm free to experiment on it without worrying that I will screw something up, like I normally would when tinkering on a really nice car :-)

Weather Spotter 11-04-2010 07:49 PM

That is the fun part. I think I would be to scared to try this on my car :( I have no where near this skill yet.

COcyclist 11-07-2010 10:55 AM

Craig, I like the flush headlight mod, it cleans up the front end a little. I read through your swap on TDIclub. Awesome build! As we go into winter I think you will find you can really close up a lot of the grill opening on a diesel and it will be happier. The block heater helps too. Does your engine have the cast magnesium oil pan? You may want to consider fabbing up a belly pan. It helps aerodynamics and may save your engine (and helps keep it warmer in winter and protect it from grime) A coroplast belly pan from the cat back really helped my highway mileage.

Welcome to Ecomodder, it's nice to have someone with your build skills on this site.

Craig 11-14-2010 07:01 PM

Thanks! I'll have to try the belly pan, although I have a steel oil pan ('97 AHU) on my motor. I did snag a large coroplast political sign the other day for such a project, I just need the time to do it! I also bought a pair of 3" round convex mirrors so I can remove the outside rearview mirrors, so that's another project to do whenever I can squeeze it in.

BTW, I just filled up the other day and got 58 mpg! The actual figure was 57.9807, but 58 has a better ring to it :-) I'm heading to Mont Vernon, NH for Thanksgiving dinner, so I'm keen to find out what I will get for fuel mileage on a long trip.

Craig 12-04-2010 09:50 PM

Just a quick update: best mpg to date is 58.46 mpg, although I didn't get to drive it to Mont Vernon...I created a fuel leak while adjusting the injector pump, so the car was sidelined for a week while awaiting an injector pump gasket kit. But it's all fixed now, at least until I screw something else up. While the car was down, I swapped out the side view mirrors for the round convex ones mounted inside the car; not sure how much of a measurable gain I will see, but every little bit helps.

cfg83 12-05-2010 01:25 AM

Craig -

Amazing. Are there any MPG-Race competitions near you? It would be cool to see the "STDI" among its peers.


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