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Old 05-05-2008, 07:11 AM   #11
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I'm living without a car right now. I'm here to research my next car. Right now I'm very interested in any Geo Metro or Suzuki Swift made between 1989 and 1993. I don't know how their low and high beams operate. Anyone out there know? Thanks
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Old 05-05-2008, 08:08 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
most cars have 60 watt low beams, and 65 watt high beams, or 70/75, but yes, 5 watts each is normal, so you save 10 watts by only using low beams, your tail lights are often at least 5 watts each, along with each of the other marker lights, even the brightest LED's available draw less then one watt each while being used as marker lights, and up to 3 watts while being used as brake lights (compared to 25 watt brakes lights), the 1/3 watt LED's are also brighter then the bulbs they replace, and should last the rest of your life.
And before you ask, LED head lights seem to be in the $500+ range, LED tail light replacements are in the $20-25 range.
I am under the impression that the tail light replacements use resistors to keep the car from thinking that a bulb is out. So they may not actually be using less power.
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:59 AM   #13
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I am under the impression that the tail light replacements use resistors to keep the car from thinking that a bulb is out. So they may not actually be using less power.
Yeah, come to think of it, the flasher units use the resistance to bias the flash rate, so that would get messed up on the stock unit unless you used a resistance.
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Old 05-05-2008, 12:16 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by trollbait View Post
I am under the impression that the tail light replacements use resistors to keep the car from thinking that a bulb is out. So they may not actually be using less power.
That is correct if you keep the old flasher, but for about $12 you can get an electronic flasher that uses less then the old mechanical flasher, and will run LED's without a resistor, and because the LEDs will last longer then the car you don't need that flasher to tell you that a bulb is burnt out.

The geo metro has a single head light on each side with a dual filament bulb, only one filament is on at a time, and one the models that have day time running lights the head lights are run low beam in seres instead of parallel like they are when run as head lights.
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Old 05-05-2008, 06:56 PM   #15
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The difference between high and low beams is mostly in the optical beam pattern. True that high beams are usually 5W more than the lows but that's less than a 10% difference - not very significant.
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:20 PM   #16
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I think i saw a guy on the net who had taken out the generator and ran all electrical off a deep cycle extra battery, then charge the battery at night. It add FE to his car. Of course he is an electrical engineer.
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Old 05-06-2008, 06:32 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by 1cheap1 View Post
I think i saw a guy on the net who had taken out the generator and ran all electrical off a deep cycle extra battery, then charge the battery at night. It add FE to his car. Of course he is an electrical engineer.
He's right here on this forum...his name is rgathright and he did it on a Jeep Wrangler. Here's where he first described it:
http://www.gassavers.org/showthread.php?t=7140
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Hi, just wanted to to drop a line.

I am currently driving a 2005 Jeep TJ with an onboard custom built switching (solid state) battery charger, Group 24 Gel, no alternator and electric fan. My best MPG so far is 17.1MPG but that was before I removed the mechanical engine fan.

Check my switching power supply out, I have lots of pictures and discussion on MySpace. http://www.myspace.com/reubengathright
I've been considering a more mild form of that, where I don't remove the alternator but just disconnect it, and I don't have to invest in an expensive battery but I can just use my existing starter battery and maybe a deep cycle battery I have for my boat too.
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:39 AM   #18
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You could try to do a kind of "mild hybrid" thing with the alternator, and have a relay keep the field coils disconnected while the throttle is open. As soon as you lift off the gas, it cuts the field coils back in again. Would probably get you a flat battery on long highway hauls though, so rigging a manual bypass would be wise.

However, many ECUs modulate the field current according to state of battery charge, electrical load or other factors... so as soon as you're fully charged up and not using many electrics, the alternator should be in minimal drag mode. This is why I doubt the overall FE potential of underdrive pulleys on vehicles that have this, it just prolongs the charge time.
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:57 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
The geo metro has a single head light on each side with a dual filament bulb, only one filament is on at a time, and one the models that have day time running lights the head lights are run low beam in seres instead of parallel like they are when run as head lights.
ACTUALLY on my 1994 Geo Metro the high beam and the low beam are both lit when you pull back on the high beam flash lever which really lights up the road! I miss that on those times when you can't quite see something and need a little more light. My xB alternates between low and high beams if the lights are on or just the high beams if the lights are off when I FLASH.
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:22 AM   #20
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Thanks to theholycow, yes thats what i found, i might try that eventually.
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