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Old 05-02-2014, 08:59 PM   #91 (permalink)
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Centurion - '74 FIAT X1/9 Centurion Full Race DNA
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During Stage 1 there was a required 5 minute pit-stop and entrants could determine when they'd like to take it. I let Mother Nature dictate that schedule. Not sure what was going on here but it looked like the Alfred State Insight may have taken an unplanned pitstop, "track-side" as they say:
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Prior to Team Centurion's pit/break, Sheepdog 44 mentioned the GGP number on the sail panel had been flapping a bit. I'm surprised it stuck to the gray primer as well as it did.
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So pit we did! Luckily I carry urethane windshield rope for those little annoyances that crop up. Rolling it between my hands, I made a thin string of it and applied it to the affected area - problem solved!
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Time to get back on the track!
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With more than half of Stage 1 completed, I couldn't help but wonder where UltArc was or mloveland78. Seems like we had seen everyone else. I could only guess that our similar lap times kept our staggered start constant throughout the race.
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However, in looking over the footage, it is possible that the 75mpg DX was briefly caught on camera! (Confirmation needed!)
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During the next few laps there seemed to be really strange noises coming from the rear of the Centurion. Had something gone wrong with the flux capacitor? The only way to find out was to pull into the pits and have a look. The danger of course lies in the fact that the holographic circuit may have been misfiring and the beams were randomly ejecting.
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Team Centurion would need to take a risk that could have catastrophic consequences. Sheepdog 44 being far more youthful and agile than myself, volunteered for this unmanned spacewalk and before doing so, he willed me the 1/2 uneaten pepperoni pizza that waited faithfully on his passenger seat all the way from Massachusetts the day before!
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With great anticipation, we initiated Pitstop #2:
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Then in the span of a milli-second, there was a huge elecrtrical flash and the smell of ozone filled the area. Retreating to Centurion's cockpit for safety was the only option. Sheepdog 44 made it first... Or did he?????
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I guess he crossed the path of the holographic circuit and took a very powerful and direct hit - one strong enough to erase the Insight right off the front of his shirt. Luck was with us that day and thankfully he had made it!!!
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With no time to waste Team Centurion high-tailed it outta the pits - Blast Off!!
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(Video or it didn't happen)
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Closest estimates indicated this Green Grand Prix had about half an hour left. Would we make it?
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What would the numbers be? What were the chances we'd have to panic stop and the Spitfire rear axle assembly would "jack" causing a massive fiery wreck?
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These questions may never be answered but others will in the next entry of the 2014 Green Grand Prix!
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~CrazyJerry


Last edited by changzuki; 08-04-2018 at 11:02 PM.. Reason: Add "Video or it didn't happen" link.
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Old 05-04-2014, 01:28 AM   #92 (permalink)
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That is interesting about the ear plugs for the sound. I've watched the youtube vids and it did seem a bit loud. I'm sure that can be modified if the owner wanted.

Kubota diesel in a Fiero? - Pennock's Fiero Forum
This guy here was wondering about the Kubota planted into a fiero.

Great to see the progress of this car. Thx for sharing.
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Old 05-04-2014, 07:30 PM   #93 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 93hatchDX View Post
That is interesting about the ear plugs for the sound. I've watched the youtube vids and it did seem a bit loud. I'm sure that can be modified if the owner wanted.
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Kubota diesel in a Fiero? - Pennock's Fiero Forum
This guy here was wondering about the Kubota planted into a fiero.
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Great to see the progress of this car. Thx for sharing.
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Hi 93hatchDX,
Most of the time the earplugs aren't really needed especially if you're hearing is not as sharp as it used to be (hand raised here!) The noise is more of a vibration throughout the entire structure - really more like a resonance. I believe it mainly stems from very stiff mounting of the engine and transmission. The highlight of it is when there is a steep hill and the rpms are around 1800-2000 rpm. For a tiny engine the Kubota has impressive pulling power at that speed and its fury manifests then.
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Previous to the Green Grand Prix, I had looked over the elevation maps and applied the worst of the course (turn #1, the uphill that extended most of the way in some form to the horsehoe) and found an existing stretch of road here that falls very close to it. After countless runs I was able to narrow down the best speed of approach, then the climb, that would yield max mpg and still allow for the target 45 mph to be met. I was off a little and my test course was actually worse than the track. The downside to the resonant vibration was a quick easy fix: earplugs. They take the edge right off and still allow one to hear for the most part.
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I did check out the Fiero/diesel thread many years ago. I almost went that route myself but the deciding factor was the mid-engine layout and the limitations of it. With a few remnants of the 1973-74 energy crisis (and then another surge in 1979),there was somewhat of a mpg revolution brewing. Going back prior to the Fiero/diesel idea, was the infamous Smokey Yunick Fiero that appeared on Hot Rod magazine's cover 2 years after Mechanix Illustrated ran the Urba Centurion on its cover. Here was a lackluster Iron Duke four-banger that could now produce some get-up-and-go and return some impressive mpg's.
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I've resurrected those magazines years ago and it's funny how in principle, they are still in keeping with today!
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At some point after this GGP write-up I am hoping to go into some technical details that helped to really push this project and those mpg numbers over the top past the original Centurion's.
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Have a great day and thanks for taking the time to read this endless-thread!
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~CrazyJerry

Last edited by changzuki; 08-04-2018 at 11:04 PM..
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:20 PM   #94 (permalink)
Changfa diesel + Suzuki
 
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Centurion - '74 FIAT X1/9 Centurion Full Race DNA
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Continuing with the last half hour of the 2014 Green Grand Prix....
There were a few cars that looked like they belonged on a track and this 2006 Porsche Cayman S was one of them. Averaging 32.2 mpg is pretty good too!
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Another vehicle that looked pretty cool out there was a 1952 Chevy Pickup with a Cummins diesel. There's little doubt the engine was loafing along with plenty of power to spare, and this truck did excellent on the sharpies! One of the faster runners on the track, it averaged 22.7 mpg - Nice job!!
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Did somebody call CSTEP? If the GGP is supposed to be fun then this car had that written all over it! A 1959 Vauxhall Victor (looking a little like a vintage taxi-cab) competed - with passengers! Two thumbs-up for the Vauxhall Victor!!
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Getting awfully close to the end, we caught up to the Alfred State Insight again! A previous winner at the GGP, today the heavily modified 2003 Honda Insight would average 67.6 mpg:
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Next was another one of the faster cars on the track, a 1989 Toyota Supra. There's no mpg figure posted on the results sheet but if there was one for having a ball the score would've been really, really high! Thanks for some comic relief and the black plume as you went by!!!
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The last vehicle Team Centurion would squeak by before the checkered flag was smokey442's Chevy S/10 pickup. Averaging an extremely respectable 37.7 mpg would certainly make this a story worth telling after the event was long over!
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smokey442's S10 & Urba Centurion at the 2014 Toyota Green Grand Prix - YouTube
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The 2014 GGP finale' is on deck!
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~CrazyJerry

Last edited by changzuki; 08-04-2018 at 11:05 PM.. Reason: typos
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Old 05-08-2014, 09:42 AM   #95 (permalink)
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Thank you for taking the time to report back on what it was like to participate in the GGP.

I would have loved to have gone, but couldn't make it. However, your blow by blow description of the event is like I was almost there. Most of time, one only hears the final results of such a event as this and not the "behind the wheel" scene account. You sir, make it interesting and humorous.

Looking forward to the final installment ...




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Old 05-08-2014, 01:31 PM   #96 (permalink)
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Jerry, I wanted to congratulate you on your well-deserved success in the fuel economy competition. Great job! The Centurion continues to amaze me. And you amaze me.

I put a post acknowledging you and your success on my Facebook page for Robert Q Riley Enterprises.

Bob
(Robert Q. Riley)
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Old 05-08-2014, 02:55 PM   #97 (permalink)
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Jerry, A few posts back you asked if I had any input that might help others. There's no sliver bullet, but if I had to pick one thing, it would be to recommend that folks stick with a diesel and install a turbocharger. Both the Centurion and the new XR3 are naturally aspirated diesels. But diesels love turbochargers. A turbocharger will increase power output and reduce fuel consumption too (improve bsfc - make the engine more efficient).

But your focus on aerodynamic drag and mass, and reducing friction - and appropriate tall gearing, are the general keys. As for gearing, the idea is to get the engine rpm down at cruising speed. You could say it another way by saying that you want to get the engine loading up so the engine is operating in its range of minimum bsfc (brake specific fuel consumption, or the fuel consumed per unit of output). As rpm drops, the power output capability of the engine also drops. So engine loading goes up if the engine is operating at low rpm where it cannot develop maximum output. So engine loading is just a different way of saying the same thing.

Just reducing mass does not do much to improve fuel economy (some, but not much). What it does, however, is to reduce the road load (the necessary power). With reduced road load, you can use taller gearing (where the engine cannot produce as much power) which will then improve fuel economy by increasing engine loading. Or you can use less installed power (a smaller engine, because not as much power is needed). Or you can do both. But if you look at a fuel consumption map, you'll find that the engine has islands of varying bsfc. And somewhere there will be a sweet spot where the engine is delivering power at the lowest fuel consumption. So you want to get inside that island. And that island is not a single point. There's plenty of latitude for normal operation.

The fundamental problem with production cars is that they are heavy (high mass) and people want lots of acceleration. Acceleration is a factor of the power to weight ratio. So getting the mass down means that you can have good acceleration with a smaller engine. But one also needs to reconsider the amount of acceleration one really needs, and make a value judgment about what they're willing to pay for that lightening acceleration. The truth is that they are paying for it even when they are not using it. They are paying for it in the form of far too much installed horsepower, which translates into poor (low) engine loading at normal operating speeds.

In a way, that's like buying a pickup truck or a utility van for those two times a year when one needs to haul a sheet of plywood home. And then all the rest of the time, dragging around a fuel-hungry beast for those everyday trips to work or the market.

I used an analogy in my book, "Alternative Cars in the 21st Century" wherein I point out that most of a car's energy goes to getting itself to the destination, and the occupant come along for free. It's a cute analogy, but it's real.

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Old 05-08-2014, 03:05 PM   #98 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rqriley View Post
In a way, that's like buying a pickup truck or a utility van for those two times a year when one needs to haul a sheet of plywood home. And then all the rest of the time, dragging around a fuel-hungry beast for those everyday trips to work or the market.
That's America, but it's a mentality promoted as much by the manufacturers as the public, worse still is that few cars roll off the assembly line as efficient as they could be... Matter of fact, most cars produced fall far below their optimum performance levels.

Simply using headers instead of those clutzky exhaust manifolds would make a great difference, just as one example.
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Old 05-09-2014, 10:36 PM   #99 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redneck View Post
Thank you for taking the time to report back on what it was like to participate in the GGP.

I would have loved to have gone, but couldn't make it. However, your blow by blow description of the event is like I was almost there. Most of time, one only hears the final results of such a event as this and not the "behind the wheel" scene account. You sir, make it interesting and humorous.

Looking forward to the final installment ...



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Thanks Redneck!
I really don't get out much so when I do it's kind of a big deal. Hopefully if there's anyone contemplating going to such an event, they'll have a fairly broad picture of what to expect after reading through all of this. When editing the posts I try to keep it interesting, and since I'm easily amused, I find myself laughing my own-aszsz off...
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Running a 41" tall Kubota powered fiberglass brush-primered wedge a couple of hundred miles down the interstate to-and-then-from something called the "Green Grand Prix" pretty much requires one should have a sense of humor or at the very least a couple of screws loose!!
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Working on assembling the next entry - thanks for staying with this!!
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~CrazyJerry
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Last edited by changzuki; 08-04-2018 at 11:07 PM..
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:03 PM   #100 (permalink)
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Centurion - '74 FIAT X1/9 Centurion Full Race DNA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rqriley View Post
Jerry, I wanted to congratulate you on your well-deserved success in the fuel economy competition. Great job! The Centurion continues to amaze me. And you amaze me.

I put a post acknowledging you and your success on my Facebook page for Robert Q Riley Enterprises.

Bob
(Robert Q. Riley)
Mr. Riley! Welcome back and thank you very much for your kind words and for a parking space on your Facebook page! Being greeted by the XR3 at the top is pretty kick too! (I had the XR3 in mind when I badged my Centurion X1/9... )
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Keep us posted on that gorgeous XR3 - you're one of the GrandDaddys of Ecomodding!!!
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Decades behind you,
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~CrazyJerry


Last edited by changzuki; 08-04-2018 at 11:07 PM..
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