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Old 11-10-2007, 12:07 PM   #1
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Otis the Mini Van

thanks for having me here.

As my name states yes its a Mini-van. I guess you can change it to a Delivery van, make me feel better. Just a little background on the car, 99 Ply Grand Yoyager 3.3. Only mod so far is rear seat removal. I use this just twice a wk to carry freight between Albany, NY and Hartford, CT. The route never changes. Normal time frame is 11pm-4ish. Freight weight out is 15-30lbs on the return 150-600lbs which I will list on my fuel logs, but that is a influence I have no control over.

I can fuel the car in 2 spots both on the Mass Pike which fuel is running about $.20 cheaper . If I fuel once a day its 249 miles. But I can fuel up on my way back that gives me a 142 mile loop. Warm car, all highway one toll both and some slower speed zones. Very Little Traffic. Aprox 2.5miles of city traffic 2 stop signs and repeat to return. As you can see not alot of variables besides my right foot. The issue I have is fuel cost vs sleep. I do also work 7:30-5:00 so how much I sleep comes into play. I guess how much Im willing to pay for 1hr or so worth of sleep. But at the end of the yr it all add's up money wise.

I hope to share with you my findings. Im currenlty working on how much speed effect the fuel milage figures.

John Oliver
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Old 11-10-2007, 12:34 PM   #2
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Welcome to the site otis
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Old 11-11-2007, 01:07 AM   #3
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Otistheminivan -

Welcome to GS! Sounds like a tough grind, but your circumstances are (unfortunately) ideal for measuring FE gains. Fuel cost vs sleep is a VERY tough choice, but I vote for sleep (it's safer)! If more sleep forces you to drive faster, maybe aero mods will be your cup of tea.

CarloSW2
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Old 11-11-2007, 07:22 PM   #4
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Otistheminivan -

Welcome to GS! Sounds like a tough grind, but your circumstances are (unfortunately) ideal for measuring FE gains. Fuel cost vs sleep is a VERY tough choice, but I vote for sleep (it's safer)! If more sleep forces you to drive faster, maybe aero mods will be your cup of tea.

CarloSW2
Carlo yes its a tough one but the extra money sure is nice. All I would need to do is this one more night of the wk and I could make more than what Im currently making fixing cars(48hr wk). Nothing else I ever will do where you can make $40+hr doing something 5 hr a night that I enjoy. I could set the cruise at 80 and never have to worry about a ticket. I could even run faster if needed. But the gas bill is starting to get up there. Right now just running 5mph over is saving about $8 dollars a night. Like I said Im going to try some thing, to see if they work. Colder weather is here and snow tires are coming.

John
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Old 11-12-2007, 02:37 PM   #5
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Welcome to GasSavers.

On the items you are hauling, how much volume are you talking about. With the weights your talking about, I would get a 88-91 Honda Civic Wagon, or if your packages are small enough, get a 92-95 VX.

I can typically get mid to high 30's with my 89 Wagon while still driving at 80 or so. Your sleep is ultimately more important than any gas savings, but that is a call you'd have to make.

You should probably try increasing your tire pressures, at least as high as the sidewall ratings on the tires. Another thing you should give a try is blocking almost all of the grill off. My wife has a 98 Chrysler Town & Country and with the grill almost totally blocked I got 10-15% better mileage. (I just used some sheets of saran wrap across the front, for the inital test. Ugly but funtional.)
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Old 11-12-2007, 03:37 PM   #6
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Welcome to GasSavers.

On the items you are hauling, how much volume are you talking about. With the weights your talking about, I would get a 88-91 Honda Civic Wagon, or if your packages are small enough, get a 92-95 VX.

I can typically get mid to high 30's with my 89 Wagon while still driving at 80 or so. Your sleep is ultimately more important than any gas savings, but that is a call you'd have to make.

You should probably try increasing your tire pressures, at least as high as the sidewall ratings on the tires. Another thing you should give a try is blocking almost all of the grill off. My wife has a 98 Chrysler Town & Country and with the grill almost totally blocked I got 10-15% better mileage. (I just used some sheets of saran wrap across the front, for the inital test. Ugly but funtional.)
Gary Ive worked on a bunch of Civic wagons some days it might fit, some days it wouldnt. I've had days that it would fit into my crown Vic. I just dont have away of finding out until the truck shows up at 2Am.

As for blocking off the front grill. Did you Also do the Lower Grill openings? The other tech I work with was commenting this morning that I could easliy tape the grill off and the lower part too... Seeing that I use the truck only at night who cares what it looks like..... I could carry the tape down and around... Checking the oil might be hard but I think I could let it go for a couple wk to see how it goes..... Gary any Pic's
I already bumped the tire pressure's, If I would of known that I would be purchasing this from the lady I was covering for, I would of put a tire with a higher air pressure rating.

I have been kicking the idea of a Fuel efficent car with a trailer. But this is a way off.
John
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:47 AM   #7
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Ok, twas a thought. As far as blocking goes, you want to block off everything in the front, the grill as well as the lower grill openings in the bumper. I had to put a couple of openings about 2 * 2 inches in, to keep the radiator cool. I would imagine with the fall you may not need any, although if you get it really totally blocked, the temperature will climb and you will need something. What was surprising to me was how little a opening it really needs, to keep the engine temperature at operating levels.
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Old 11-14-2007, 05:45 AM   #8
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Ok, twas a thought. As far as blocking goes, you want to block off everything in the front, the grill as well as the lower grill openings in the bumper. I had to put a couple of openings about 2 * 2 inches in, to keep the radiator cool. I would imagine with the fall you may not need any, although if you get it really totally blocked, the temperature will climb and you will need something. What was surprising to me was how little a opening it really needs, to keep the engine temperature at operating levels.

Gary thanks for the tip. I upped the MPG with driving slower, I need to re-run to verify. I'll try for aero next wk. I guess I need to shoot for 30mpg. But getting up earlier and gettting back later, I dont know how long this will last. Hopefully aero make a bigger chunk so I can say its worth it. After driving last night I didnt get past by many vehicles until I got in CT. I think I might be able to draft for long distance's. But this route on the Mass Pike is not flat. I would love to see what this thing does on a Flat section of road.

John
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