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Old 07-03-2009, 05:45 PM   #191 (permalink)
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Loving the video mirrors!

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Old 07-03-2009, 09:27 PM   #192 (permalink)
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Thanks! They work very well in low light and in the rain. They are less effective in bright sunshine if it is coming into the camera and/or shining on the screen.
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Old 07-03-2009, 10:53 PM   #193 (permalink)
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checked your gas log

you drive a ton!


doesnt seem like much of a change with the cams
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:49 AM   #194 (permalink)
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Hi,

I can tell in the coasting that it is better. My high last summer was 47.4mpg (IIRC) and my 90-day average was 46+ at the peak. I had just 1 (or 2?) tanks over 500 miles -- 509 was my best.

This year, I've added the smooth wheel covers and I have my tires up to 44PSI (vs 39PSI last year) and I've added the partial front wheel fairings -- and installed the video mirrors, and my high is 51.1, and so far my 90-day average is ~48.3mpg. And a majority of tanks are over 500 miles, with the best at 542! It has been unusually cool and rainy this year, and I'm still extending my mileage as I become more accustomed to the better coasting.

So, an ~7.5% improvement in the high MPG, an ~4% improvement in the 90-day average, and a ~6.5% increase in the tank distance, is decent -- though I too, thought that I would fly past 50mpg average.

I do think that I am (severely?) limited by the 4.31:1 final drive on the xA, and as soon as I go over the 100K limit of my extended warranty, and when/if I can afford it, I'll have a ~3.56:1 (or possibly the 3.72:1) final drive installed. ALL of the other models that Toyota make with this same 1.5L drive train (Echo, Spectrum, xB, Yaris...) have one of the higher ratio final drive; most of them have the ~3.56:1. This would be a 17.5% drop in my RPM's and would surely give me a big improvement in the FE.
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:23 PM   #195 (permalink)
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Congrats on the numbers! Nice having a payoff for all that effort. And good luck going for that lower final drive. I agree that it would likely help a lot.
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:42 AM   #196 (permalink)
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Thanks for the post. Excellent project, and I'm inspired to try it on my Prius (05). I'll have to re-read to check what camera and displays you used. I've been thinking of a slightly different approach in which the mirrors come off and cosmetically get covered up. The cameras get mounted in small fairings on the sides of the front fenders just aft of the headlight mounts. That way, you get the whole side of the car, and there is lot of switched power to tap into up there. Might have issues with engine static (though I doubt it) so I'll have to proto it just a bit.
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Old 07-09-2009, 01:33 PM   #197 (permalink)
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You're welcome, and thanks for the props! The video cameras I used are pretty wide angle: like 100-110 degrees, so even with them where they are, I can see the back of cars that are ahead of me in the next lanes. You may want to experiment with the location, because the biggest challenge is to gauge the distance to cars behind you -- they appear smaller than you're used to, and so it might be better to mount them closer to the back of the car? It also is critical to have a bit of your car in the view, for a point of reference.
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:57 PM   #198 (permalink)
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Well,

My rear under pan fell off yesterday -- it had started rubbing on the left rear tire, and it was parachuting apparently. My mileage was suffering a bit, and when it started dragging on the ground I finally figured out, yanked it out, and eked out almost 50mpg.

Before the thing failed, I had gone 290 miles by the "half" tank mark on the gas gauge, which is 10 miles better than my previous best.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:05 PM   #199 (permalink)
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Just curious Neil, what is your commute like and what driving techniques are you using?
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:01 AM   #200 (permalink)
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My commute is...

Hi,

My commute is ~45 miles each way from Maynard to Hanover MA. Route 117 to Route 20 to Route 128 to Route 3.

The Rt. 117 is ~12.5 miles of two lane road that is somewhat hilly in parts and flatter in others. When I start out is critical to the amount of traffic I get -- too late and I get at least half of it in stop and go and it takes up to ~50 minutes. If I start early (or late), then it is a 20 minute ~45mph cruise. It gets more dense traffic as I move east closer to Rt. 128, naturally.

The bit on Rt. 20 is very short with a lot of traffic, culminating in a rotary-style entrance onto Rt. 128. Rt. 128 and Rt. 3 south is a MUCH easier drive than going north (in the morning; vis versa in the afternoon), but it gets choked down to stop and go in a few places typically (but not always) -- and sometimes when there is an accident or construction, etc. it can be a mess.

I pulse and glide when I can on Rt. 117, and I coast in neutral down the hills and approaching the 3 traffic lights. When I get stuck in stop and go, I let a gap open up so I can get into 3rd gear and let the engine idle and I go ~15mph and get ~54mpg. I shut off the engine at stop lights, and I either watch the lights in the opposite direction if I can see them, or I restart when I see the brake lights go off a few vehicles ahead of me.

Rt. 128/3 I go ~50-55mph, coast in neutral on long hills (and I just push in the clutch on the short hills). I try to "swoop" on the hills and this works on all but the longest ones. I always downshift and engine brake when I need to slow more that coasting can provide. I have figured out which lane to be in in all the various interchanges so I can most likely keep ecodriving.

I have the luxury of being a contractor in the office, so I usually leave at 4:00pm to avoid the worst of the traffic home. The trip home often involves going to pick up my two kids in either Framingham and/or Ashland, so I get to drive on the Mass Pike from Exit 15 to Exit 12 (or Exit 13), and this is similar to the other limited access highways.

This adds ~15 miles, and I get to drive in the peak evening local traffic from Framingham up to Maynard. I have found it is better for FE to stick to the bigger flatter roads even though they have more traffic; partly because I can just shut off the engine at lights, and there are good coasting and P&G opportunities, too.

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