I'm Keith, and when I say we I usually mean me and Denise, my wife. I might mean King Louie, my collie beagle buddy, but you'll usually be able to tell. I rarely have to worry about Denise running into traffic!
We have a 195 Mercury Villager (Nissan Quest)
3.0L V6, 4 speed auto, and a TCC.
EPA rating is 17/23
141,000 miles on the original engine, 45,000 on the replaced trans that got destroyed in an accident 5 years ago.
It weighs 3800lbs and has every creature comfort Mercury had to offer. Worst part is Denise will not let me gut the AC, rear heat (the passengers will have coats on in the winter!) and the second row seat (theres plenty of floor for the passengers to sit on!) to save some weight. So she's not really into max FE! lol
Bought it from my inlaws for $750.
I'll post some pics in the garage later this week. I think I'll use picassa web for the bulk of my pics with this project, and put links here to the pics as needed, other that a few to show what we work with.
Our real goal is 48mpg as 55mpg, but out "advertised" goal, the one we tell everyone about, it 40mpg, which I am pretty confident is reachable.
I have more gas to burn, but it looks like our baseline will be 26.4mpg with nothing but setting the cruise at 55 and doing a round trip of 150 miles with me and Denise in the van.
I look forward to learning lots and being able to contribute some good test results to the community
I wouldn't worry too much about the small amount of weight you'll save from gutting those things. Lots of people here are weight-removal junkies, but it doesn't seem to make much of a difference, especially on heavy vehicles. You probably won't measure any difference after removing 200 pounds of 3 rows of seating.
I use picasaweb too.
You have high hopes indeed. A 1995 model with 3.0 and auto weighing 3800 pounds...I'd love to hear how you eventually get to 40mpg. Someone else on this forum reports a number like that for a minivan but I don't remember who.