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Old 05-28-2007, 06:18 AM   #31
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Weight is certainly not a problem to add, regardless of where it's needed. I've got several 4 inch PCV tubes packed with sand to go in the back of my truck for snow driving, each one weighs about 50lbs. Got 4 now, found during the snow we had last winter that I'm going to need 2 more. Worked great. I used nylon ratchet straps to hold them in place, wound the straps around, with a loop under the tailgate and around the bumper. I imagine something similar could be done with a rear engine car to get weight on the front wheels, if necessary.

Best thing about the PVC tubes, the sand is kept nice, dry, and out of the bed. No mess.

On the FWD/RWD issue, I don't mind a little driveline loss for a more comfortable ride. There are things that can be done to minimize that loss, and gains can be made elsewhere to make up for them.
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Old 05-28-2007, 07:32 AM   #32
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With the housing market so expensive here in So Cal, 50 mile (or more) commutes are not uncommon. I heard some guy complaining he was spending a thousand a month in gas commuting his F150 to work (which seemed pretty stupid to me). It would take years in gas savings to pay for a $25K Hybrid, but I think newer versions of these high FE cars would allow people to buy second cars just to get to work and allow them to have their SUVs and pickup trucks to drive on the weekends.
Those are the people I look at in disgust when they complain about gas prices. It just doesn't make any sense at all to drive a truck that can carry a 2000 lb load, or an SUV that seats 8 to and from work by yourself. I know a guy who has a conversion van, its HUGE but he drives a old 80's dodge shadow to work and back every day. Its a 30-40 mile drive. Sure it would take years, but he could save a car payments worth of gas in a month and then some. I just bet that with a hybrid he could get that thousand a month down to maybe even 250, leaving the rest to make the car payments and put in his pocket...
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Old 05-28-2007, 01:54 PM   #33
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Use to own a Corvair too. Well maybe 15, dad was a vair tech in Lansing. Never had problems in the winter. You through that weight set you never use in the trunk. Only got it stuck once and that was going down a closed road due to snow, got high centered. Oh the good old days. Nah give me the Geo
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Old 05-28-2007, 03:36 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Telco View Post
Weight is certainly not a problem to add, regardless of where it's needed. I've got several 4 inch PCV tubes packed with sand to go in the back of my truck for snow driving, each one weighs about 50lbs. Got 4 now, found during the snow we had last winter that I'm going to need 2 more. Worked great. I used nylon ratchet straps to hold them in place, wound the straps around, with a loop under the tailgate and around the bumper. I imagine something similar could be done with a rear engine car to get weight on the front wheels, if necessary.

Best thing about the PVC tubes, the sand is kept nice, dry, and out of the bed. No mess.

On the FWD/RWD issue, I don't mind a little driveline loss for a more comfortable ride. There are things that can be done to minimize that loss, and gains can be made elsewhere to make up for them.
wowza why havent i thoight of that! i got the dumb sandbags that always get wet and freeze and then whe i need to take my racing mower i cant get them out or move them cuz they froze to the bed!

or i could be cheap and just shovel snow into my bed for weight
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Old 08-10-2007, 03:32 PM   #35
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VW to build 1-litre car by 2009?
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I think if i could get that type of FE i would have no problem driving a dildo shaped car.
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Old 08-10-2007, 03:55 PM   #36
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Hope it is true. Then lets hope it is exported! HERE
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Old 08-10-2007, 04:51 PM   #37
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All good points guys but like I've said before, the general public is stupid and hardheaded. Compromise is the answer, but people wont learn to give up their huge 4x4 SUV crapwagons...

I find it funny how everyone says how small the Metros are, but once you get inside one, they're freakin huge. The cubic feet inside them is amazing especially if you lay the back seat down. I'm sure you can agree with that Minic

Providing for yourself is going to be the best way to save gas. I dont expect the government or car companies to start producing high FE cars, its against their personal interests. Until we as Americans figure it out, we need to just stick with what we are doing now. Sure, I'd like to see gas go down, but I'll still hypermile and everything...
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Old 08-11-2007, 01:05 AM   #38
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IMO, companies like Honda an Toyota should make a REAL economy car. Standard engine, but smaller, like the ones in the 80s. 100hp is all you need to safely get on the highway. My 97 civic has 140, I have absolutely no need for that extra 40hp. I never push the pedal past 1/4th, unless I'm playing around occasionally. Full throttle? No one needs that kind of acceleration for basic commuting or traveling.
Weight - They could easily get the weight down to 2000lbs. And with today's technology and improved aerodynamics, they could make this basic economy "Civic" or "Corolla" get 40/50mpg or more.

Why not?
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Old 08-11-2007, 06:31 AM   #39
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Why not Cost!! the Aveo weighs close to 2800lbs. my metro is 1650!!!! In 13 years of added saftey regs. and demands for more content in cars. Stuff most of us don't need thats how heavy cars have become. Have you wondered why all new cars are looking like they have been chopped? Thank side impact regs.!
I'm all for exotic materials, but when you have to sell them at a resonable cost??????????? What is the puplic willing to pay?

I have said this before, GM built the Metro, Ford the Fiestiva, Chyrsler Neon, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, ect. All either went away because of sales or transformed into bigger, faster and thirstier cars? Its a cycle I have always liked smaller cars, thats me and most of you. The puplic NO and thats what drives sales period. The industry has built many FE cars but they aren't big sellers when gas is cheap or we get use to the cost!
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Old 08-11-2007, 07:13 AM   #40
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Car makers are selling what they say people want to buy, and people are buying what the car makers want to sell. The problem is simple...many people have forgotten what the primary purpose of an automobile is/was: move your butt from point A to point B without having to walk. Everything else is an embellishment on that simple purpose.
True.

However, IMHO that's just a symptom of a bigger problem in society. The real problem is that for many years now, we haven't been teaching the kids to think in terms of LONG TERM benefits (i.e. what a "durable good" is all about, and the fact that when dealing with "durable goods" the "total cost of ownership" is much more important than the "initial costs").

Since thinking in long terms is not natural to kids (kids natural tendency is to think about the "here and now" and ignore the future), and in many (most?) cases the schools/parents aren't teaching the "long term thinking" skills anymore, many in our society are thinking more and more "short term". And this hurts our society in all sorts of ways. For example, it's a primary reason why so many of our society are addicted to credit, and our overall savings is questionable.

And getting back to cars, it's the reason why so many make poor decisions with their vehicles (which are naturally "durable goods", and therefore should be longer term "investments"). For example, leasing is often a poor decision for an end consumer to get a car by, but part of the reason so many people lease is that it looks "cheaper" in the "here and now" (never mind extra costs later). Ditto for things like SUVs. To the short timespan minded, they think it's "cheaper" to have their "family car" be able to do everything (never mind that most of the time an econo-box would work fine and be much cheaper to operate, and you could always rent a truck when you need to haul big stuff). And don't get me started on when you should "replace" your car/SUV/etc. After all, some people have actually been conditioned to think that "it's time to get a new car" when they finally aren't making car payments (when someone familiar with "durable goods" knows that's the time when the savings really start to occur)!

So yes, it's true that people in the US frequently "shoot themselves in the foot" with their vehicle choices. But really, the vehicle is just one example of them "shooting themselves in the foot" generally, because so many of them have not learned how to think critically about "long term planning"...
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