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-   -   Saturn TDI nose job... (https://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/saturn-tdi-nose-job-15044.html)

Craig 11-01-2010 07:40 PM

Saturn TDI nose job...
 
http://i636.photobucket.com/albums/u...h_DSC03224.jpg

http://i636.photobucket.com/albums/u...h_DSC03223.jpg

http://i636.photobucket.com/albums/u...h_DSC03222.jpg

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.

CarloSW2

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.

CarloSW2

bikeprof 12-05-2010 07:27 PM

Craig:
1.Check out the BMW headlights, they are behind like yours but have lexan/similar to flush the wind out of that pocket behind the bumper.
2. Front air dam is GREAT, I installed one in all of my wagons, really helps MPG's, high speed control and cross wind(big truck + push/pressure on highway).
3. Next easy MOD. for you is to get taller gear: a, taller tires or b, internal tranny gear
4. Cover the rear fender wells and the under car with HDPE plastic in 3mm-4mm thick, very durable and moldeable(heatgun ~175F only!).
5. Wheel/tire drops, behind tires to smoothen out transition to body, all four but rears are MOST important, flush/smooth to rear bumper/lower valance.

The Volvo 544(?), from 1958(?), had manual grill louvers to close at will! Did you mean some like those?

dremd 12-06-2010 09:44 PM

Awesome.
You need a 6 speed now:-)

Arragonis 12-08-2010 03:57 PM

How does the Saturn compare to the original VW for weight ?

And yes defo a 6sp. Oh yes.

cfg83 12-08-2010 05:15 PM

Arragonis -

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arragonis (Post 208649)
How does the Saturn compare to the original VW for weight ?

And yes defo a 6sp. Oh yes.

This is not exact, but my Dad's 1971 VW Karmann Ghia was 1800 lbs. An S-Series Saturn is around 2300 lbs.

CarloSW2

4more 12-08-2010 08:01 PM

i just found your build and read through it. very nice. I worked as a Saturn tech for a year my first job out of tech school 1997-1998 so i have a soft spot for these cars they are great. and you just made them better. very nice work.....now i must fight the urg to try it

Craig 12-24-2010 06:05 PM

Thanks everyone for all the great information, suggestions, and comments! I'm not sure how much the car weighs, but the next time I go to the town dump to drop off my recyclables, I'll see about putting it on their scales.

Even with the onset of winter, my fuel mileage is still pretty good; I managed 56 mpg on the last tank, and 56.7 on the one before that. I still have some aerodynamic things that I want to try, and will definitely experiment with some of the suggestions I've received...it's just too cold out to do much with it at the moment!

Craig 02-19-2011 06:39 PM

A quick update here: been getting low-mid fifties out of it with all the snow and single-digit weather we've experienced over the last few weeks. This past week has been very mild, though - and no snow! Between that and careful driving techniques, I knocked down an all-time high of 63.3 mpg today! The REAL trick to this, however, is to be able to repeat it. I went 312.5 miles and took 4.932 gallons of diesel, using the same pump that I've used over the last several fill-ups...hard to argue with the math, but I want to be sure it wasn't a fluke, either!

bikeprof 02-19-2011 08:26 PM

:thumbup: Your hybrid Saturn is way more aerodynamic than most other cars out there so getting better fuel MPG return IS expected, and now with the TDI..., you should be seeing close to 70 per gallon!

What speeds are you computing your MPG's at?
Hills/mountains in this equation, windy?

Put a tail on that thing and flush the rear air exit, that is the ticket to get there...

:turtle:, makes fuel last longer...

cfg83 02-19-2011 08:31 PM

Craig -

Fantastic work! Too bad Saturn never sourced a TDI engine "for fun".

CarloSW2

Craig 02-19-2011 10:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bikeprof (Post 221142)
:thumbup: Your hybrid Saturn is way more aerodynamic than most other cars out there so getting better fuel MPG return IS expected, and now with the TDI..., you should be seeing close to 70 per gallon!

What speeds are you computing your MPG's at?
Hills/mountains in this equation, windy?

Put a tail on that thing and flush the rear air exit, that is the ticket to get there...

:turtle:, makes fuel last longer...

I usually drive around 60-62 mph on the highway, which equates 2000 rpm for the motor. The TDI makes peak torque between 1800-2200 rpm; a Stage 2 Rocketchip puts this figure to around 200 lbs of torque. I put the car on a scale and found it weighed 2480 lbs, and that's with 10 gallons of fuel and a second battery in the trunk for the winter months.

I-95 has some hills along the stretch I drive on, so I try to make the most of them. I find that I can coast almost a mile to the York toll plaza in either direction, along with my exits and a few stop signs...getting better at hypermiling this thing! Hope to play with aerodynamics some more as the weather warms up, too!

bikeprof 02-19-2011 10:33 PM

Getting the proper torque to MPH is essential for higher MPG, that chipped TDI should be able to handle 1.700 @ 60(~1.630 @ 55), so seems that there is plenty of HP/TQ in there to pull the weight of the Saturn.
Of course, this translates to more MPG on the highway!

Some really MOD'd VW TDI's have tall gears ~ .68 or .73 final drive, translating to really low RPM's @ 75. Check this out in the TDI club forum...

Taller tires are the easiest and cheapest manner to play with the RPM's
Keep it going/rolling..., hoping less fuel usage for you!

ChazInMT 02-19-2011 11:52 PM

Craig, Excellent Job!!!! Ya Nut!! I read through your whole build thread on the TDI forum and I have to say, you have pretty much cured me from ever wanting to try something like that. :confused: I consider myself a pretty handy guy, but dam, I don't hold a candle to your mad skills. And thanks for sharing! That is itself a ton of work.

You da Man!!:thumbup:

Craig 02-20-2011 08:31 AM

Thanks! A friend of mine once told me that the only reason I do these things is because I don't know any better to begin with :-)

I recently picked up a '93 Saturn SL2 with steel wheels...thinking about swapping the wheels to the TDI and adding a set of Moon discs or something along that line that I could make myself. The OEM alloy wheels probably create a good amount of turbulence with that sawtooth pattern, so there are some potential gains to be had.

Arragonis 02-20-2011 11:52 AM

If you chip it don't forget the clutch. A lot of generic remaps can make the torque peak quite suddenly which can cause the clutch some issues especially if it has quite a few miles on it.

Craig 02-20-2011 05:59 PM

Yep, I already did that - I put a new VR6 clutch upgrade in it last summer...more than enough to hold 200 lbs of torque!

Arragonis 02-21-2011 04:05 AM

200 ? Ffft. I have 250. :p

Do you have plans for a 6 sp ?

Craig 03-13-2011 01:05 PM

Just a quick update: after that figure of 63.36 mpg awhile back, the weather got really cold again, so I was down into the low-mid 50's. Last week things started to warm up again, and my mileage increased with it. I managed 61.13 out of it on the last tank, so I was pretty happy about that. As I've said before, the real trick is to repeat it! The weather wasn't too bad this week, so I'm anxious to see how it did when I fill up again tomorrow.

Craig 03-14-2011 07:28 PM

Well, I came close...57.55 mpg on this tank, so I'm "gradually" getting more consistent.

Craig 03-17-2011 07:08 PM

Filled it up again today; this time I got 61.19 mpg. Hoping to maintain/improve this figure as the mild weather patterns become more consistent...spring can't come soon enough!

euromodder 03-18-2011 04:14 AM

So much for the impossible 60 mpg car :thumbup:

Craig 03-23-2011 06:51 PM

Filled it up again today, and got 60.92 mpg, so I finally was able to back up my 60+ figure two fillups in a row!

I'm going to play with the nose job some more; need to pick up some coroplast and make a belly pan under the nose to see what kind of improvement that will make. I'm sure there is a good deal of turbulence that can be smoothed out.

Craig 04-15-2011 08:00 PM

I made a belly pan to go under the nose, and it helped a bit. Took a trip to Rockland, and it got 64 mpg...would have done even better, but I was following my uncle on the return trip, and he was doing 75 mph most of the time. The next fillup netted 60.6 mpg, but I ran some errands and got caught in some construction traffic a couple of times this week, which I'm sure didn't help my mileage. Still, I'm getting better at squeezing more fuel mileage out of it, and having a good time doing it!

After I run this for awhile, I'm going to build a belly pan to go between the rear suspension and under the rear bumper and see how that works. I'm also looking at some of the smooth wheel cover ideas, as I have a complete set of Saturn wheel covers that would be ideal for this project.

cfg83 04-15-2011 11:50 PM

Craig -

I am looking forward to pictures of the belly pan. MPG racers will fear you!

CarloSW2

brihoo2k 04-16-2011 09:04 AM

Awesome build
 
Very impressive build. I read the entire thread both here and the tdi forums. I have a 1500 vw diesel in my garage I think maybe I'll be on the lookout for a Saturn instead of putting it back into an 81 rabbit. It may not have the power of the tdi but I think it would have enough torque to do the job. Also I think I have the perfect thing to make an adapter plate for the transmission (some 1/2" aluminum plate). You have some mad skills my friend.:thumbup:

COcyclist 04-16-2011 09:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Craig (Post 231908)
I made a belly pan to go under the nose, and it helped a bit. Took a trip to Rockland, and it got 64 mpg...would have done even better, but I was following my uncle on the return trip, and he was doing 75 mph most of the time. The next fillup netted 60.6 mpg, but I ran some errands and got caught in some construction traffic a couple of times this week, which I'm sure didn't help my mileage. Still, I'm getting better at squeezing more fuel mileage out of it, and having a good time doing it!

After I run this for awhile, I'm going to build a belly pan to go between the rear suspension and under the rear bumper and see how that works. I'm also looking at some of the smooth wheel cover ideas, as I have a complete set of Saturn wheel covers that would be ideal for this project.

Nice! The belly pan helped me get into the 60s for mpg for some highway trips (according to the ScanGuage). Like you, I couldn't keep it there for the whole tank but my tank averages have been better. If you do a partial rear pan, make sure the leading edge is tucked up tight so air doesn't get in. I was doing a slow speed test of v1.0 mock-up belly pan and a gust of wind hit and sucked it right off the bottom of the car. Version 2.0 has been tested at triple digit speeds with no problems. Diesel exhaust is cool enough that I have coroplast in direct contact with the exhaust. I have pictures in my album.

Do you think the Saturn is more aero than the Jetta? Less frontal area? Will you swap in a taller 5th gear at some point?

Craig 04-17-2011 06:15 PM

http://i636.photobucket.com/albums/u...h_DSC03464.jpg

Hope this turns out ok, had to resize it to make it work. Anyways, here it is! I ended up making it in three pieces, with the third (center) piece easily removable so I can change the oil filter. I made up some brackets to secure the inboard part of the belly pans, and the outer ones use those plastic push pins to secure it around the nose. You can see where the chin spoiler ducts air up into the intercooler and radiator - diesels tend to run cooler, so I haven't experienced any cooling problems.

I'm guessing the Saturn might have a slight aerodynamic edge over the Jetta...I know it's a lot lighter, weighing in at 2480 lbs with 10 gallons of fuel and a second battery in the trunk. The 195-60 15 tires are a lot taller than the Jetta tires, making the overall gear ratios taller across the board. 60 mph = 2000 rpm with this car, although it would be really nice if I had a six speed to drop into!

Craig 05-07-2011 05:35 PM

My mileage figures continue to improve...been getting 62-63 mpg on a regular basis with the warm weather we are now getting. Yesterday I hit a new all-time high of 65.31 mpg, so I was VERY happy about that!

I ran over a tire carcass on I-95 a couple weeks back that took a big bite out of the belly pan and dislodged the rear bumper cover. I was able to remove the cover and beat all the mounting points back into shape so I could install it properly, and had to replace the drivers side belly pan with a spare piece of corrugated plastic. Haven't been able to find any locally, so I'm hoping they will have an election soon so I can scam a few political signs...

brihoo2k 05-23-2011 01:46 AM

Well I've gone and done it. I bought a 94 Saturn SL1 from an ad on Craigslist. It has the ever so famous cracked head that most of the sohc engines seem to get I mentioned to the wife about making the switch over to the VW diesel. She asked how long it would take? I told most of the summer (really I think I could do it in less time but then if it didn't take less time then it would get thrown in my face):eek:. Her reply was that's too long just fix it. I might fix it but it sure is tempting to start the switch over to diesel and start burning svo in it.


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