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Old 08-19-2009, 10:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: uk
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VW T4 Hitop Campervan, southern United Kingdom

Hello everyone!

I'm so chuffed to find this website!

We're getting close to $9/gallon over here. Most of that is tax. (about 1.10/litre).

I'm amazed cars have took so long to address fuel efficiency. I can only imagine the technology repression conspiracy rumours are true.

I've been asking around whether it's possible to improve mpg on older cars round here and no one seems to know anything about it. People prefer to buy new cars with the better ratings.
That is all very well, but there are very few vans with the higher ratings above say, 40mpg.

The `car`:

I currently get 35mpg at 60mph (96kph). But that's with a high top campervan with a chimney, skylight and solar panel! So I'm already pretty happy with that. I already run biodiesel from time to time. But it's fun to improve. I also found low rolling resistance tyres made a big difference (guessing 5mpg).

Questions and mods I'm interested in:

- not going to bother with a vaccum gauge. Is this the same as a boost gauge? The reason being is that I can hear the turbo whistling away anyway. I find it tends to kick in and be on slightly at about 60mph - I've heard conflicting reports from people; some say turbo can help mpg, others say no.

- It would be nice to find a European forum similar to Ecomodder

- I already have duct tape to help smooth out the solar panel. The first things I'm going to try are smoothing out the chimney

- The problem with duck tails is parking! If only they could be removable... a pole extended from the underside of the vehicle with plastic sheeting? Could that be taught enough to not flap?

- SuperMID or some other cheaper option. The first thing I need to do is fit one of these so I'm not measuring mpg by filling top to top on the tank (costing me fuel with the extra weight of that)

- rear wheel covers, smooth front wheel caps, front wind dam and lowering are all options, but I need to be able to handle rough stony roads and speed bumps from time to time. Speed bumps are everwhere like a rash round here!

- I'm looking into a 6 gear gearbox. If mine needs replacing I might as well make it a 6 gear.

- Belly pan. Could be a relatively easy mod.

- Alternator. Well, I have a solar panel anyway. But I don't see how this works.

- I'm suprised better wheel greese/servicing wheels can't do more to help. Same for lighter wheels, if that's possible.

Alternatively, and this is something that I'm considering. It might be better to just get a new car. If I do it would probably have to be a diesel estate (MPV would be better but can't find one with decent mpg to start with). But which one is the best use of money? It would be great if it had a block preheater already on it, I could then redirect this into the rear for heating a bed. I just don't know if I can bear to part with my very much loved camper.
We shall see.

I already do most if not all the driving tips already. This was from when I used to have a very low wage. I used to coast with the engine off. Without that and biodiesel I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to afford to get to work everyday. I haven't done this in a while because without hydraulics the brakes are very hard to work. Someone also told me it's only worth switching the engine off if you're stopped for 3mins or more - I don't know where they got that from because the alternator is running whether you use it or not.

Anyway, great to meet you all, here's pics of the van:
white_van pictures by jago25_98 - Photobucket



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