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Old 11-28-2007, 04:56 PM   #71
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This sounds like a very interesting idea. Please keep us posted on your progress. I have been interested in a "throttle lock" ever since I saw it on the dash(factory installed) of my grandpa's '52 Ford F2 truck. I'm wondering if I could get it to work on my Prius without the ECU have a major fit.
Long story short, we never could get the electronic cruse control to work right on my car, so we just sent it back (for a refund). And that was AFTER talking to the tech support for the CC maker, which advised us on how we needed a relay because we used LED lights (although no mention of that issue was in the instructions) and it STILL didn't work after that mod was made.

So we just "gave up" and put in a low cost mechanical (locking) hand throttle (this thing: http://www.redrock4x4.com/shop/products/263.html ). Downsides are its not as fancy as a full "cruse control", although it makes a great cheap "throttle lock", and it doesn't have an auto-off safety feature (when you step on the brake or clutch). But it does work surprisingly well (especially on more level ground), and it puts zero additional load on the car (no electronics to supply power to), as it's just an extra mechanical throttle control. So from a FE standpoint, the thing is great (and it's a cheap mod to do, as well)!

As to the safety issues, I think the thing is "safe enough". After all, if I ever forget to turn the thing "off" (set it to the non-throttle position) during an "emergency", the worst that will happen is I'll have a little extra throttle when either stepping on the brake or the clutch (or both). If it's the clutch the engine will just race a bit more, so there is no safety issue with the clutch. And while in theory there is a safety issue with the brake, in practice that isn't a concern either, because a hard/emergency brake (in gear) tends to kill the engine anyway, and as soon as the engine kills you are back to no extra braking distance (due to the extra "locked" throttle).

And yes, I do now sometimes use the hand throttle when driving to/from work (it depends upon what mood I'm in, as to if I use it or just control things manually with my foot). And if I'm in a relaxed mood, I'll sometimes use that as a way to keep a slightly slower speed.

BTW: One minor irritation, was that the "handle" of the hand tension screw (on the hand throttle lever itself) would vibrate (making noise) while driving down the road. My "fix" for that was to put some rare earth magnets (I had around the house) on the throttle, to keep the tension screw "handle" attached firmly to the hand throttle (while still allowing me to move the magnets when I wanted to adjust the throttle lock tension). Voila, no more rattling tension screw handle to annoy me!
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Old 11-28-2007, 05:31 PM   #72
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It doesn't bother me so much... until a clump of fast moving cars all have to slow down for some reason -- standing wave traffic

I quite agree. I keep a moderate pace in rush hour(s) and have a buffer in front of me to absorb some of that accordian effect. There's always a few fast drivers that zoom around everybody and zip into the space, but I try hard not to take it personally.

While I've been driving slow for some time (the truck CAN stop and start quickly, but I don't like being so rude to it...and with the power of the LS1, I don't feel a need to exercise it constantly) I've learned and entirely new world by driving the CRX. It's a world I haven't seen before. SLOW-slow is quite a change.

I think probably the biggest part of learning to drive for FE has been un-learning being territorial on the highway. I can't close off a space in front of me quickly if I have no revs (or power) like in the Camaro. I'm not big enough to intimidate people into politeness like in the truck. I have no power to be territorial. I may still have to occasionally to thwart dangerous moves, but it's always dangerous itself.

On particularly bad drives I feel like a bunny rabbit being buzzed by a squadron of hawks. Not a comfortable feeling.
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Old 11-28-2007, 06:23 PM   #73
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in traffic I'm a lot more concerned with safety and traffic flow than squeezing the last 2 mpg out of my car. I find it a lot less detrimental to my mental calm to use a hair more gas to keep up with traffic than dealing with people avoiding my obnoxious and interfering backside.However, when I was getting paid by the hour to transport vehicles for a dealership, I matched the slowest person in traffic. course I wasn't paying for gas then either, still helping my wallet proportionally tho.
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Old 11-28-2007, 06:35 PM   #74
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I think it helps that my car kinda looks like a POS. That and the fact that it only has 62HP in stock form. I'd guess the new Weber carb bumps that up to 67, so I'm not going to keep many people happy even if I floor it everywhere. Most get a clue before I'm ever able to hold them up and simply go around.
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Old 11-30-2007, 03:31 AM   #75
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Well, I don't even try to drive slow. I guess it is just too hard for me to do, given (1) my need for speed, and (2) my desire not to block traffic. I try to do the best I can with hardware. The 30-35MPG that I get from the ITR CRX may not be that good compared to what some folks here get from more economy-oriented cars driven in more economy-oriented ways. But the way I look at it, it is quite a bit better than what MOST folks out there get. Even if they are lumbering along at 55MPH in their Suburbans, I'm probably getting close to double what they are getting (while screaming down the road at 80+MPH). There is also my prject Civic, which, at this time, is running an HF transmission. Some day, I might swap a D15Z1. And it will be interesting to see what ind of mileage I can get from a car that is driven like everybody else does.
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Old 11-30-2007, 01:42 PM   #76
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Dropping from 65MPH to 60MPH raised my tank averages to 62MPG from 57MPG. The 6 handle feels so much better. On the interstate I set the cruise control to 60 and forget about it. My I-40/I-95 (65-70MPH speed limit)drive to work is from 6:15 to 7:05 AM so there is not much traffic. Going home 5:00 to 5:50 the traffic is thicker but there is always another slowpoke in the area slowing things down so passing traffic is rarely exceeding 75MPH.
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:32 PM   #77
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I'm considering lowering my spead to 60 mph, but I will admit that it is already a challenge driving 65 mph, so I was wondering how other people do it.
I found that I used to speed because I was bored - my mind wanted stimulation.

If you pulse and glide it tends to provide enough stimulation on your brain that you don't need to speed. In fact, it's really like riding a bike as a kid (i.e. you are even more underpowered than an adult, the weight/power ratio is higher, and so is your frontal area/power ratio.) Or riding a bike on a hot day. Pretty much all the lessons you learned as a kid on a bike apply to fuel efficient driving, since it's all about energy conservation. i.e. don't stop unless you absolutely, absolutely have to, don't go too fast in general, take corners fast because if you brake you will only have to peddle more later, and each time you peddle when you know you will have to slow down means that you are getting hot, tired and sweaty for no reason at all.

Basically, you want to coast as long as possible, usually only using the engine on the hills or on the flat after you have coasted down. And you will want to start that coast from as low a speed as is feasible. Technically, you may find you need to coast going up a hill, you don't have to have the engine on going up the hill. The critical thing with P&G is not that you pulse up hills and glide down them, but you keep your engine in the most efficient range (i.e. 75% throttle at about 2k rpm), or in neutral/off.

This turns your ride home into a game - how can you extend the coast as long as possible without pissing other drivers off too much, and during the pulse it's keeping the throttle in a position to give you about 75% of the power of full throttle, for as long as you need to and won't have to brake, preferably being able to draft for a little bit as well.

If you do all that, you will find that it's enough of a mental exercise. If you find yourself getting bored, learn some more techniques and try to apply them. So instead of trying to be in the top 5% of cars speeding (while not getting caught), try and be in the top 5% of fuel efficient cars (without getting beeped at).
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:44 PM   #78
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For me, the epiphany came from riding a charter bus to a concert an hour from home. By nature, the bus can't accelerate or brake anywhere near as quickly as the cars surrounding it but it can (and really must) focus farther in the distance. What I found was that at the end of certain stretches of road we were still amongst the same groups of cars that we started with despite their efforts at accelerating, lane changing, etc.
Since then, I've found that the trucks and buses in the traffic mix generally do as well for arrival time as the surrounding traffic while avoiding most stops and starts.
So I drive my BMW as if were a charter bus (sort of) .
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Old 12-01-2007, 12:37 AM   #79
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For me, the epiphany came from riding a charter bus to a concert an hour from home. By nature, the bus can't accelerate or brake anywhere near as quickly as the cars surrounding it but it can (and really must) focus farther in the distance. What I found was that at the end of certain stretches of road we were still amongst the same groups of cars that we started with despite their efforts at accelerating, lane changing, etc.
Since then, I've found that the trucks and buses in the traffic mix generally do as well for arrival time as the surrounding traffic while avoiding most stops and starts.
So I drive my BMW as if were a charter bus (sort of) .
werd. I spent a summer a few years ago working in CT commuting I95 from fairfield to norwalk basically about 15 miles with the NYC rush hour. avg speed 20-30 mph. I watched people swerve and slam the gas and brake and get so pissed off and waste so much gas. I tried slightly aggressive driving the first day but gave up when I noticed the crazy bastards creating a hazard for everyone and wasting gas gained about 2 carlengths over the 15 miles. after that I sat in the middle or right lane (depending on upcoming exits and merges) mostly idling in OD managing to get 25-26 mpg in my cressida rated for 24 mpg (uncorrected epa hwy rating) with horrible blow-by, no stem seals to speak of (10w40 high mileage oil leaking into combustion) leaky tires, and auto trans.
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Old 12-01-2007, 10:54 AM   #80
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Driving Backwards

Driving backwards I refer to my old days of driving a commercial truck cross country for a living. I was in a slow diesel cab over Type B that had a 40 foot box and a wheel base the same as a city bus. When I passed other trucks, it was a slow waiting game. Since traffic behind and next to me was moving much faster I used my mirrors to look for a hole behind me and jump in that hole to catch a draft off a passing car to help me accelerate around another truck.

I use this technique today, I avoid 70 and look for trucks that are cruising around 65 mph, semis move slowly and can really teach you some throttle feathering to keep an even speed. But there are times I'm out there alone, without any trucks to draft and I stay close to the limit 60-65. I do get tailgatted every so often, but still some people can't figure out the right lane is the slow lane.

In my quest for better mileage I totally focus on my mpg read out. When I first discovered Gas Savers, I spent one whole 250 mile trip glued to MPH vs. MPG. I found my best mileage is at 64 mph, on level gounds without anything in front of me I can maintain 34 mpg. Go up to 70 and I go right to 28 mpg, go down to 55-60 and I do about 30. Some where is an rpm, wind resistance marriage that likes 64 mph. At 55 the engine is spinning too low and lugs around 2200 rpm, 70 is 3000 and 64 is 2800 rpm.

I also found disturbed air is good too, if I find a line of moving traffic, the turbulence around that group of cars gives me 2 to 3 better mpg, than just breaking wind on my own. A couple of car lengths behind a semi still gives a good mpg boost, rather than being right behind a semi, that's dangerous and your blind.

I make sure I signal allot and look for gutter ballers who like to speed in the slow lane. Some times I see a guy bullet behind me and I move over a lane, its an old racing thing that's a courtesy. They don't know it, but its kind of an ebb and flow thing. I like to drive and since I'm driving for MPG and not setting a personal speed record anymore, I find my drives to be very relaxing.

Things I can recommend is XM or Serius, I have XM and hit the 60's thru the 90's, 7 channels of rock and retroactive and then there is a station that plays movie sounds tracks I can listen to all day. In the old days of trucking before DVD's I used to listen to books on tape and tape movies. I'd listen to the entire movie through a couple hundred watts and 4 speakers. Try ro achieve the Zen of driving.
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