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View Full Version : Car Modifications for Better MPG?


bear15
10-06-2006, 07:57 PM
Has anyone completed any car modificaton such as type of tires, K&N air filters, radiator covers, etc. and receive better MPG?

tbaleno
10-06-2006, 08:07 PM
Many have done just that. I don't think you mentioned WAI (warm air intake) which a lot of people live by when winter comes. Some have even gone so far as to make aerodynamic modifications. This site mostly deals with techniques (though we will occasionaly talk about mods). If you want to see some guys that do a lot of mods then check out http://www.gassavers.org as well as this site. Between the two sites you will get both halves of the FE coin.

kickflipjr
10-06-2006, 08:31 PM
High pressure in the tires(LRR tires is a plus), Grill block, hot air intake.
Aero mods are a bit more difficult to do. But help at highway speeds

K&N air filters don't help according to this test:

http://www.metrompg.com/posts/air-filter-part-2.htm

bear15
10-06-2006, 08:35 PM
Tbaleno ~ Thanks for the information. My son (12 years old) and I are viewing this a project car with a goal to someday reach 100 + mpg.

We have 51 psi in the rear tires and 49 psi in the front tires. We just replaced the factory oil with Mobil 1 0w-20 (3 qts. only instead of the 3.4 listed in manual) and replaced the air filter with a K&N.

We have solar panels we would like to fully charge the battery when it is parked. Do you know how this can be done?

We were also considering covering the raditor now that we have cooler temps but do not have any data that would support a MPG improvement. What do you think?

xcel
10-06-2006, 08:40 PM
Hi Bear15:

___100 mpg goal is a lofty one but mods will not get you there. Techniques will however! You may recognize the dash as it should be awfully familiar to you already … This was achieved here in IL. a day or two before HF2006 this summer if that helps ;)

http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/504/103_0_mpg_19_5_miles.jpg

___Good Luck

___Wayne

bear15
10-06-2006, 08:41 PM
Hi Kickflipjr ~ I am very new at this. Please excuse my inexperience. I am not sure what "LRR" tires are or what "Hot Air Intake" is.

xcel
10-06-2006, 08:45 PM
Hi Bear15:

___You have hidden mode toggled. You can change this in your CP where you uploaded your Avatar and sig.

___LRR is Low Rolling Resistance tires. You already have those. A WAI will not help the non-lean burn capable HCH-II much as it was mainly used to achieve lean-burn and AS in the Insight/HCH-I when temps dropped below 40 degrees F. Your HCH-II was allowed a much wider range of temps where the hybrid HW works. It will not hurt but it will not help nearly as much as it does with the Lean-burn capable ICE’s. Purchase the block heater and raise those pressures even higher is about all you are going to see in terms of HW. Read about the techniques as that is where the real numbers come from.

___Good Luck

___Wayne

tbaleno
10-06-2006, 08:46 PM
Well, on a good day you could get 100mpg ;) But you would need ideal conditions. If you ever want to get 100+mpg then you are well served to keep coming back to this site often. Some of the best drivers in the world are here.

For instance, just last week a few guys took an insight to a 2254.4 mile tank with the tank mpg being about 160 mpg. Thats pretty much an unmoded vehicle. I think the cost of the total mods on it was <$100.00.

Technique give you more bang for your buck than mods. Since technique is free. However, mods are good so you don't have to work as hard. There is a guy with a saturn here that can get 70mpg segments.

A radiator block will help improve FE.

A link for a battery charger using solar power. It is for a riding mower, but the battery isn't that much bigger (at least in my 03 civic hybrid. Not 100% sure of the 06)
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=6065112209&ih=009&category=41980&rd=1&ssPageName=mem_guide:1

tbaleno
10-06-2006, 08:55 PM
The master spoke as I was typing. The best thing to do is take advice from people that can post good numbers. Xcel is one of the best. Most of us have signatures telling what kind of mpg we get. It should be helpful in determining who knows what.

bear15
10-06-2006, 09:15 PM
Hi Bear15:

___You have hidden mode toggled. You can change this in your CP where you uploaded your Avatar and sig.

___LRR is Low Rolling Resistance tires. You already have those. A WAI will not help the non-lean burn capable HCH-II much as it was mainly used to achieve lean-burn and AS in the Insight/HCH-I when temps dropped below 40 degrees F. Your HCH-II was allowed a much wider range of temps where the hybrid HW works. It will not hurt but it will not help nearly as much as it does with the Lean-burn capable ICE’s. Purchase the block heater and raise those pressures even higher is about all you are going to see in terms of HW. Read about the techniques as that is where the real numbers come from.

___Good Luck

___Wayne
Wayne ~ Thanks for the information. We have much to learn. Ed & Drew

dcoyne78
10-18-2006, 07:26 PM
Hi Ed and Drew,

Achieving 100 MPG may be difficult for a whole tank of gas. You can certainly do it over slow speed segments using a technique called pulse and glide(p&g). I have managed a few segments of 50 miles at just over 100 mpg with a Prius II travelling between 25 and 40 mph using p&g. Maybe Wayne can comment on the technique used last summer for that 103 mpg segment over 19 miles. My car has no mods, but I do use Mobil 1 0-20 and inflate the tires to 55 psi, also my original tires had about 25-30000 miles on them and I think the thin tires help FE.

Dennis

highwater
10-19-2006, 01:22 AM
My son (12 years old) and I are viewing this a project car with a goal to someday reach 100 + MPG

Atta boy!!!!!

Randall

xcel
10-19-2006, 04:47 AM
Hi Ed and Drew:

___As Randall just posted an encouraging word, I will do the same. Keep your younger one interested as he is truly the generation who will save the world unlike what our generation is doing :(

___I have had Scotty out in the Ranger (he was only 13 at the time but you may as well teach the younger generation how to drive a stick on deserted roads early on) and within his first ½ mile, he performed his first FAS. I hope your 12 year old is as eager and ready to learn as well. Having to hide the car keys afterwards might become a problem however ;)

___DCoyne, yes, a low to MS P&G was how the HCH-II nailed down its 100 mpg segment.

___A next gen hybrid could reach 100 mpg sustained on the FTP75 or HWFET but I am not sure Honda/Toyota will go that far just yet? See earlier posts on Honda’s iCDTi CAT tech. Mate one of those to an always live lean burn .6 - .8L SI-ICE w/ a large Li-Ion and 2 MGSet capability (true pure EV like Toyota/Ford) in an under 1-ton, small yet aerodynamic sedan and you have the makings for 100 + sustained without all the tricks and possibly even real world highway speeds! Throw in a 1.0 - 1.2 L iCDTi with the same next gen hybrid drivetrain and I bet it would be a slam dunk! Think along the lines of the Daihatsu UFE-I, II and III.

UFE-I
http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/2/Daihatsu_UFE-I.jpg

UFE-II Front
http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/2/Daihatsu_UFE-II.jpg

UFE-II Side
http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/2/Daihatsu_UFE-II_side_view.jpg

UFE-III
http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/2/Daihatsu_UFE-III.jpg

The UFE-III is a third-generation, 660-cc super streamliner concept that follows the UFE (from the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show) and the UFE-II (from the 2003 show). The 2005 UFE-III (for Ultra Fuel Economy) is now a three-seat car with a centrally located driving position and a big, lift-up canopy door. Its coefficient of drag has improved from an already impressive 0.19 to an incredible 0.17. The UFE-III, which is only 134 inches long, has a 660-cc, three-cylinder hybrid powertrain that is basically a carryover from the 2003 concept. Fuel economy is now up to 72 kilometers per liter--or an incredible 203 mpg--compared with 60 km/l (169 mpg) two years ago.

___Good Luck

___Wayne

dcoyne78
10-19-2006, 01:16 PM
Wow I can't imagine what Wayne would do in an UFE III, 400 mpg anyone? :)

Dennis

msirach
10-19-2006, 02:15 PM
(3 qts. only instead of the 3.4 listed in manual)

O.K. I thought I had read all of the tricks, but less oil is a new one. What is the advantage of .4 of a qt. less oil than manufacturers specifications???? I know the disadvantages!:eek:

xcel
10-19-2006, 03:13 PM
Hi Msirach:

___A little higher temp in the crankcase with a little less viscosity to have to work through. There are no disadvantages unless you were to have a leak … and if you were to have a leak, you would probably drain out that extra 4 - 8 oz. as well? Since the ICE was driven at such a low load all the time, I did not have to worry. In the heat of a Phoenix summer with a hot rodder behind the wheel, maybe a 2.5 quart fill would be ill-advised … I used 2.5 quarts w/ a new filter in the Insight and it brought her half way between the marks on each and every fill.

___DCoyne, you and Carl would be the one to punch out 400 mpg tank’s with this little beauty. I would be stuck in the 300 - 350 mpg range ;)

___Good Luck

___Wayne

diamondlarry
10-19-2006, 04:48 PM
___DCoyne, you and Carl would be the one to punch out 400 mpg tank’s with this little beauty. I would be stuck in the 300 - 350 mpg range ;)

___Good Luck

___Wayne

I'm seeing Wayne at closer to 500 mpg.:p

bear15
10-19-2006, 08:15 PM
Wow!! These cars are look great! We certainly need to consider some of these new concepts.

johnf514
10-20-2006, 12:48 PM
I'm seeing Wayne at closer to 500 mpg.:p

If you guys keep this up, his ego is going to be too big and heavy to get above 300 MPG. :rolleyes: ;)

sno779
10-21-2006, 12:31 AM
At the Insight marathon we got 2.5 times the EPA of 65.5 MPG using P&G. If the UFE-III starts out at 203 MPG and the extreme hypermilers get ahold of it and P&G it at a UFE-III marathon, you could expect around 500 MPG. I don't know how much gas the UFE-III holds but if it holds 14 gallons like the Insight does it would go 7000 miles. Lets see 7000devided by 18 MPH = 16 full days + weather days = about a month. What do you say, team, want to give it a go? Louis

xcel
10-21-2006, 03:29 AM
Hi Louis:

If the UFE-III starts out at 203 MPG and the extreme hypermilers get a hold of it and P&G it at a UFE-III marathon, you could expect around 500 MPG. I don't know how much gas the UFE-III holds but if it holds 14 gallons like the Insight does it would go 7,000 miles. Lets see 7000 divided by 18 MPH = 16 full days + weather days = about a month. What do you say, team, want to give it a go?
___You are a sick man! Where do we meet and when do we go :D

___Good Luck

___Wayne

highwater
10-21-2006, 04:45 AM
Na:D .....Sorry, that 4 in a row did me in.:Banane36:

Randall

diamondlarry
10-21-2006, 08:48 AM
Hi Louis:

___You are a sick man! Where do we meet and when do we go :D

___Good Luck

___Wayne

I vote for somewhere near Northern Indiana.:p I'm kind of sick too.:)

Chuck
10-21-2006, 09:11 AM
That would be an ultramarathon indeed.

bear15
10-29-2006, 09:49 PM
We did some recent mods to our hchII. We added a 3rd seat up front which we took from a Ford Taurus. This makes a great 6 seater which also added an excellent center arm rest and two additional cup holders for the people sitting in the back seat.

We have now waxed the car 6 times to help with wind resistance and attempted to use the LeBra in the front. The LeBra added rub marks to the paint up front and we highly recommend not using the LeBra brand front nose mask.

Please keep us updated on any mods that you are experimenting with. We still have a long way to go to reach our goal of over 100 mpg on a full tank.

tbaleno
10-29-2006, 10:14 PM
First, I'd like to see pictures of the 3rd seat.

Second, I'd like to see a cross-country marathon. Sure it won't be as controlled and you probably won't find out its max potential, but it would be great to cross the country on one tank of gas.

bear15
10-29-2006, 11:17 PM
Are you experimenting with any mods. or strickly working on driving techniques?

xcel
10-29-2006, 11:22 PM
Hi Bear15:

___Besides Tom’s extremely high power stereo gear and Car Computer, he lowered his HCH-I an inch for a tad less overall aero drag by reducing the frontal area by the amount of the tires height covered up a tad more and possibly even reducing the Cd although I have not seen any facts and figures for that …

___I am one of the guys who is exclusively using driving techniques in a non-hybrid Accord w/ a Cd of .30.

___Good Luck

___Wayne

tbaleno
10-30-2006, 12:33 AM
Actually. By lowering my car I suspect I added even more weight because of the coilovers. At anyrate, I didn't lower my car for better aerodynamics and I haven't noticed any significant change one way or the other.

Mike Dabrowski 2000
10-30-2006, 10:46 AM
A point of comparison.
My cousin and his friend traveled all the way around the US on bikes. They followed the coast from Miami to Maine, cut across the country following the Canadial border, then down the California coast, and finally across the Mexican border to return to Miami. I forgot how many miles it was, but it took them over 6 months. I bet their average speed was not much lower than the extreeme P&G Insight marathon. They used no gas for the whole trip.
That may present a better course for an UFE-III ultramarathon, it probably would be more fun than going in circles?
;)

xcel
10-30-2006, 01:18 PM
Hi Mike:

___One or two tastes of “Casino Bridge” or “Heartbreak Hill” w/ a 20 + mph headwind at the Insight Marathon and I think they would have given up trying to keep up with the Insight on their bicycles :D

___They would however have loved the “Tonkawa Glide” and the “Marlin Slide” on the days when the wind decided to stay home! Just a few of the descriptions where you just had to be there ;)

___Good Luck

___Wayne

psyshack
10-30-2006, 02:07 PM
Hi Mike:

___One or two tastes of “Casino Bridge” or “Heartbreak Hill” w/ a 20 + mph headwind at the Insight Marathon and I think they would have given up trying to keep up with the Insight on their bicycles :D

___They would however have loved the “Tonkawa Glide” and the “Marlin Slide” on the days when the wind decided to stay home! Just a few of the descriptions where you just had to be there ;)

___Good Luck

___Wayne


HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

You have been Okietized Wayne.

bear15
10-31-2006, 09:22 PM
Perhaps the biggest savings is the cost of the Oil-- Mobil 1 is over $5.00 per qt. Over the lifetime of a car, this adds up.

xcel
10-31-2006, 10:13 PM
Hi Ed:

___I run 15K miles per on Mobil1 0W-20. I am sure your dealer will use whatever and want you to change it every 3,000 miles. That can add up quick at $25.00 + a pop ;) One Honda dealership near me actually charges an extra $15.00 over and above a $22.95 change for a Hybrid! Highway robbery at its best but I never went there for anything other then to call for a quote.

___Take your own Wal-Mart purchased SuperTech filter and 4 quarts of 0W-20 in (~ $24.00 buys the 4 quarts of oil and filter) and demand the half quart back for the next change. Total price for the change using your oil/filter from your Honda dealership should be ~ $9.00 including a free car wash. At least that is what my local Honda dealership charges. If you cannot find Mobil1 0W-20 locally, the Honda 0W-20 is Mobil1 as well and if it costs < $5.50 per, you can purchase it from the parts counter before your oil change. Demand that ½ quart back for your next oil change however.

___Good Luck

___Wayne

psyshack
11-01-2006, 11:10 PM
Bear

M1 is the best over the counter easy to get oil on the planet IMO. M1, PureOne, Wix Gold and even Fram's top of the line filter's are better than the standard Honda oil filters. I to date have only used M1 or PureOne filters in my Accord and Civic. I currently run 5w-20 in the Civic,, The Accord has 0w-20 in it. Next change the civic is going to 0w-20. Im very comfy with running the M1 to 10k miles plus. As a matter of fact. Im allowing the current oil in the cars run ti 12k miles.

bear15
11-02-2006, 07:40 PM
Wayne ~ I always change my own oil but if they only charge $9.00 for doing the labor, it is worth considering.

I recently purchased 21 qts. of M1 0w-20 on sale for $4.19 per qt. so, as you suggest, I should be good for the next 70,000 miles or more if I only use 3 qts per change. By the way, my oil stick shows a little less than full after adding the 3 qts. vs. adding the 3.4qts.

xcel
11-02-2006, 08:10 PM
Hi Ed:

___Nice job!

___Good Luck

___Wayne

psyshack
11-03-2006, 09:23 AM
WOW!!!

M1 at that price is great! Its never on sale here like that. The best Ive ever done is,,, buy the oil up to 5 qt. and get a M1 filter for free.

FireEngineer
11-03-2006, 11:02 AM
WOW!! WOW!!

Ed, where did you get the Mobil 1 0W20 for that price? I feel a need to take a drive this weekend.

Wayne

bear15
11-03-2006, 07:17 PM
We found the oil on sale at Pep Boys!:)

bear15
11-03-2006, 07:32 PM
We recently completed an additional minor mod to our HCH II. Since our trunk gets opened often, we decided to add a switch to control the trunk light. This will likely save on the cost of bulbs rather than MPG.

With all the driving we have been doing, we had to make a few cosmetic repairs as well. First, we were driving in the right lane in MI and a truck trailering a camper in the left lane traveling much faster than us, threw a rock and cracked our front windshield. We found that the cost of these windows is costly, however, we were able to find a less expensive replacement. Second, during a busy rush hour in suburban Chicago, a dog ran in front of the car and we had to do some body work to left-front fender. The dog was fine and the car looks new again.

That's our mod update for now.

bear15
11-12-2006, 12:08 AM
:flag: Listening to advice from others, we are now running 55psi in all 4 tires. We have, however, kept the K&N air filter in as we got it on sale for approx. the price of a honda replacement filter and we can use it for the life of the car which, hopefully, will save some money over the life of the car.

Tochatihu
11-12-2006, 11:58 AM
As a K&N air filter user in 2001 Prius I can hardly speak against them. However I doubt that they will increase power or fuel economy in any hybrid car - the latter are just too well optimised already on the air fuel mixture side.

You will be avoiding the purchase of a stack of paper filters eventually. When re-oiling the filter take care to let it drain excess onto paper towels before reinstall - an oil drip on the MAF sensor may lead to expensive repair. The question of harmful dirt ingestion seems open, but it has not been a problem for me. Used engine oil analysis is the only way to know for sure.

DAS

bear15
11-13-2006, 06:59 PM
Hi, Das ~ Thanks for the information.

bear15
11-18-2006, 06:03 PM
2006 vs 2007: Has anyone measured the impact of wind on FE?

I was out of the state today on business and passed a Honda dealer that had FIVE HCH II out in front (2 - 2006, 3 - 2007)-- I was shocked! I had a few min. so I stopped in. I explained to the the salesman that I was a member of this group and wanted to know if he would let me compare the differences btw. the 2006 & 2007. He said sure as business at this dealership seemed very slow.

One of the 2006 was used with 2,300 miles and the window sticker was folded neatly in the glove box (the other 4 were brand new). We took the window sticker out, walked it over to the 2007 window sticker and compared it. They were almost identical. The price on the 2007 was approx. $500 more, the cost of fuel per year was more as they must have figured a higher cost per gal. of fuel, and one of the lines describing the safety cage was a bit different.

If you go to the honda website you will find a few other minor changes, however, both the 2006 & 2007 looked and drove identical to me.

gregersonke
11-25-2006, 07:13 PM
Newbie to this site because I was bored... But anyways better gas mileage isn't all that difficult to achieve. Just expensive. I managed to get my little ford escort zx2 from 26mpg at 75-85mph up to 40mpg at 60-90mph with a head package(1500) exhaust(400) intake(200) headers(300) cam gear to tune the power band(90). Though the reverse side of this was that I could bring it down to about 14 if I really floored it everywhere. Vs before it was 22. But at the same time the car had about 55 extra hp combined with the 4.10 gears that come with it stock gave it a lot of pep. I Thought about going to a standard escort transmission but by then I had blown a dual valve spring. Got the head repaired and sold it. I have been thinking about getting a standard escort and bumping it up to 50mpg with the mods I can get online to do so. Sometimes just doing a little work to the design will net you more gains than spending bucko bucks on a new car.

xcel
11-25-2006, 07:50 PM
Hi Gregersonke:

___Welcome to CleanMPG and hopefully you will find more here to entertain then just being bored ;)

___Higher FE is not expensive at all. If you believe your FE has increased because of ICE mods to a ZX-2, great as less fuel consumed is less fuel at the pump and less emissions overall in many cases. With regards to 60 - 90 mph type FE, let us know what your average speed is from the time you get in your car in the morning to when you the parking spot at work. The non-modded Ranger’s last two tanks buried the ZX-2 although its average speed was more along the lines of 45 - 50 mph for them with highs around 75.

___Now that you are here, we are ready to see those tank over tanks posted. You can find the Mileage Logs above in the menu bar. Krousdb told me about a ZX-2 punching out 100 + mpg segments a few weeks ago so who knows what a ZX-2 can possibly top out at.

___Good Luck

___Wayne

tbaleno
11-25-2006, 08:03 PM
I paid probably 2-3K for my modifications. Start with a std civic. Replace it with a 1.3 atkinized head. Add a battery pack. A motor between the transmission and wheels.

It was a lot of work, but fortunately for me it was done before I picked it up from the dealer. Best part is everything is covered under warranty ;)

Just kidding there, I was obviously describing my civic hybrid. Glad to hear the successes on modifying your vehicle. Now that you are hear learn to drive it well and add another 20-40% over and above what you are getting.

Welcome aboard. And thanks for checking us out.

Pmistel
11-26-2006, 06:55 PM
Hi Ed

About the "Le Bra". I was looking at these as well. I think they are not going to do anything to help with aerodynamics. It looks like they are designed only to protect the paint from chips, so they are useless because as you said, they scratch the paint instead. They do not block any of the grill, which is what you want to help with aerodynamics. I bought some Lebra type material from a local auto shop that does seats and such for $10. I am going to try to sew my own lebra, but I will cover the entire grill. I have diesels and live near Toronto so I need all the heat I can get in the winter.

Peter

bear15
11-26-2006, 11:36 PM
Hi Peter,

Please let us know how you make out with this mod. I have used the Le Bra nose cover for cars in the past but the one for the civic hybrid did not fit well at all. Ones I used in the past had a nice cotton backing and I modified it a bit so I could quickly take it off if rainy weather was forcasted. The inside material used for the civic hybrid was like a plastic mesh and did cause some marks.

Cheers :cool:

bear15
12-14-2006, 06:40 PM
Peter -- Did you have a chance to try this mod? If yes, do you hear the fan turn on more often?

:cool:

Hi Peter,

Please let us know how you make out with this mod. I have used the Le Bra nose cover for cars in the past but the one for the civic hybrid did not fit well at all. Ones I used in the past had a nice cotton backing and I modified it a bit so I could quickly take it off if rainy weather was forcasted. The inside material used for the civic hybrid was like a plastic mesh and did cause some marks.

Cheers :cool:



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