Fuel Efficient Engine Builders? - Page 4 - Fuelly Forums

Android Users - Coming Soon! - Migrating from aCar 4.8 to 5.0

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-03-2007, 03:59 PM   #31
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 127
Country: United States
Quote:
Originally Posted by northboundtrain View Post
No doubt there will come a day when most cars are being built for optimal economy. The time when the difference between 50 mpg and 60 mpg will really matter is when gasoline is being rationed. Imagine you get 25 gallons per month. At 50 mpg you can go 1,250 miles a month. At 60 mpg you can go 1,500 miles, an additional 250 miles! At 70 mpg you can go 1,750 miles, another 250 miles still. Here is where the law of diminishing returns does not apply. Each additional 10 mpg gets you another 250 miles. And that could mean an extra weekend trip to the mountains or the ability to actually get to work all month. That day could easily come. So if you develop a high performance FE cam, there could be a market for your efforts someday.

But until that day arrives, The market for extremely fuel efficient cars is pretty small. That is not to say that all else being equal -- price, safety, etc. -- someone buying a new car today wouldn't choose 80 mpg over 50 mpg (the argument that Detroit is withholding more fuel efficient cars from the public is certainly true). But that same person probably wouldn't drop a buch of money into mods that improve the fuel economy of a 10 or 15 year old vehicle from 50 mpg to 60 mpg.

But a one mpg improvement for a trucker that hauls 100,000 miles a year yields a fuel savings of 3,333 gallons per year, or about $8,000 at current diesel prices.

Why don't we be the trailblazers for FE. The whole reason why I used the hotrod analogy at the beginning of this thread, was to paralell what had happened with the Detroit car industry, when they realized the potential of what was coming out of the average man's garage.

Like us, these guys were taking stock automobiles from the factory and making them better for their purposes. They started out with the same passion & inquisitiveness that we all have for our FE mods, until finally, Detroit took notice and expanded upon the technology. Everyone on this site has the potential to be the catalyst to do that very same thing for FE.

Now I am well aware of the "law of diminishing returns" and it is quite logical. However, it can also be the very same argument that shuts the door on a potentially new ideas or concepts. Just to be clear, I'm not saying that we should blow all of our cash on something impracticle or far fetched. Instead, I'm saying that we need to take care, so as not to stifle both curiosity and discovery. Because when the need arrives to take action(e.g. 4-5 dollars per gallon) and pehaps one day it might, the acquisition of a novel solution will be pursued anyways. I personally think it best to get a head start on that beforehand.
__________________

Davo53209 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2007, 09:54 AM   #32
Registered Member
 
bzipitidoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 112
Country: United States
Prob is, FE is about saving money as well

The problem with an FE aftermarket is even if it were popularized with races, FE is still fundamentally about saving money. The cold reality is that it doesn't make economic sense to blow hundreds of dollars to save a few pounds (like by upgrading from steel to aluminum rims), or on an engine mod that increases efficiency by such a small amount it will be very hard to measure the improvement in FE,

$500 to have your engine cryo treated? Another $500 for ceramic coatings? And then another $500 for teflon impregnation? $500 more for budget mag wheels, another $500 for a lightweight composite hood, and so on. Probably the payback on all that is well over 100,000 miles, and that's the relatively cheap stuff. And there's always the question of whether you're really doing the environment a favor. For instance, the reason aluminum is so expensive is not that it's rare-- quite the opposite. It's that producing aluminum is extremely energy intensive. Factor in the energy difference in making aluminum vs steel, and that 100,000 mile payback might shoot up to 150,000. The costs of manufacturing and disposing of batteries is a huge problem with all electric cars. Nonetheless, I do think about doing such things.

Good prize money for FE competitions might change the economics. Also, I've noticed often the prices are out of line. I mean, $10K for a thermoelectric generator? Granted, it's a prototype, but what are they smoking??

I thought I was pretty tight, but among this company, I'm average or even spendthrift. I really wish I'd learned of coroplast back in Nov when there were still signs around for the taking. Since I've been unable to find coroplast at what I consider good prices, I'm thinking maybe I can do aero mods with plastic shingles made from milk jugs. For anyone thinking of offering custom aero mods, that kind of economy is tough competition.
__________________

bzipitidoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2007, 03:23 PM   #33
Supporting Member
 
cfg83's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,779
Country: United States
bzipitidoo -

Quote:
Originally Posted by bzipitidoo View Post
The problem with an FE aftermarket is even if it were popularized with races, FE is still fundamentally about saving money. The cold reality is that it doesn't make economic sense to blow hundreds of dollars to save a few pounds (like by upgrading from steel to aluminum rims), or on an engine mod that increases efficiency by such a small amount it will be very hard to measure the improvement in FE,

$500 to have your engine cryo treated? Another $500 for ceramic coatings? And then another $500 for teflon impregnation? $500 more for budget mag wheels, another $500 for a lightweight composite hood, and so on. Probably the payback on all that is well over 100,000 miles, and that's the relatively cheap stuff. And there's always the question of whether you're really doing the environment a favor. For instance, the reason aluminum is so expensive is not that it's rare-- quite the opposite. It's that producing aluminum is extremely energy intensive. Factor in the energy difference in making aluminum vs steel, and that 100,000 mile payback might shoot up to 150,000. The costs of manufacturing and disposing of batteries is a huge problem with all electric cars. Nonetheless, I do think about doing such things.

Good prize money for FE competitions might change the economics. Also, I've noticed often the prices are out of line. I mean, $10K for a thermoelectric generator? Granted, it's a prototype, but what are they smoking??

I thought I was pretty tight, but among this company, I'm average or even spendthrift. I really wish I'd learned of coroplast back in Nov when there were still signs around for the taking. Since I've been unable to find coroplast at what I consider good prices, I'm thinking maybe I can do aero mods with plastic shingles made from milk jugs. For anyone thinking of offering custom aero mods, that kind of economy is tough competition.
I think that CO ZX2 got his 0.06 plastic sheet, 4'x8', for $20 at Home Depot in the wall department. That would be the one for me because all of the signs around here are too small to be practical for even a one piece air-dam under the front of my car.

...

You and I live in a culture where 0-60 in X seconds is the height of achievement. How much $$$ is spent in the aftermarket performance business trying to bring that magic number down?

I do think that the problem is more of an aesthetic one. FE races don't sound "sexy" to me when I try to put myself in Average Joe's shoes. Where's the danger in driving at 20 MPH? I think the only audience that will respond to these races are the environmentists. But who cares? If enough people can *sustain* the races, then there would be an avenue for innovation.

I don't think increasing FE is fundamentally about saving money. It is the practical side of the argument that will convince Average Joe, but it is not the whole argument. For me it's about saving the planet (which, from one POV, is more important than saving money).

This, again, gets to the question of what your goal is in terms of FE. Right now, anyone can bump up their FE by just changing the way they drive. And that's great! In direct terms that costs no $ at all, but it can cost time (I know, time is $, but it is also question of how you choose to spend it, yada yada yada).

Here's a silly analogy. In Slot Car racing, there can be all sorts of classes of racing. For example, there can be stock, where the car is straight out of the box, or no magnets, which is slower but requires more skill to drive, or "modded to the max" where you can do whatever you want to make the car go faster.

I think that for you, in terms of FE, you would prefer the "stock" FE race, where it is mostly the skill of the driver that determines the FE. A race like that would imply the same car (aka all Toyota Yaris' cars) to make everything the same, along with extra weight in the car to make up for the differences in driver weights (maybe races would start at Truck weighing stations).

Hmmmmm, I wonder if this is an avenue for soliciting the car companies? They could provide the cars, let us race them for a few hundred miles, and then maybe sell them to the rent-a-car companies when we're done.

I think I'll go have a slice of pie-in-the-sky-ala-mode right now,

CarloSW2
__________________
Old School SW2 EPA ... New School Civic EPA :

What's your EPA MPG? http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/calculatorSelectYear.jsp
cfg83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2007, 03:30 PM   #34
Registered Member
 
MetroMPG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 4,223
Country: United States
Quote:
Originally Posted by bzipitidoo View Post
The costs of manufacturing and disposing of batteries is a huge problem with all electric cars. Nonetheless, I do think about doing such things.
Battery disposal is a problem. But battery recycling isn't. So much so that recyclers will gladly pay you for your dead lead acid batteries.

I don't know about the other "advanced" battery chemistries, but I have read that lead acid (ie starting & golf cart type) batteries are the single most recycled consumer product.
MetroMPG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2007, 07:47 PM   #35
Tuggin at the surly bonds
 
Silveredwings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 839
Country: United States
Quote:
Originally Posted by bzipitidoo View Post
The problem with an FE aftermarket is even if it were popularized with races, FE is still fundamentally about saving money.
I think you hit the nail right on the thumb

On the subjective side of rallying the masses, the problem is that thus far, it is only about money. There isn't any sex or coolness in FE right now. That's what keeps the gazelle from stampeding the marauding lions. So many of us feel alone and believe that our efforts are lost in our collective stupor. But if FE was done enmasse, we could save $billions. It may be heressy to suggest in our culture, but what if we didn't give $billions in subsidies to the oil industry? What if we didn't spend hundreds of $billions maintaining the security of their worldwide infrastructure? We might even create a whole huge export industry of alternate energy technology (before all the less repressed countries do). Maybe we could reverse course and move towards sanity.

... Nahhhhhhhh!!!!! What was I thinking?!?
__________________
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Albert Einstein
Silveredwings is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2007, 11:33 AM   #36
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 81
Country: United States
The thing about FE mods on existing cars is that it is nothing new -- we're not breaking new ground. You think Detroit doesn't know a thing or two about aerodynamics or camshafts? Volkswagen recently made a "one liter" car that gets over 260 mpg. Then VW shelved the entire project when the company determined that the car would have to sell for $26,000 to be profitable and their market researchers came back with a report stating that the target market wouldn't be willing to pay that much. You can check out the car here if you don't already know about it: http://greatchange.org/footnotes-1-liter-car.html

If you want to know why there aren't more fuel efficient or alternative fuel vehicles on the road right now just rent the film "who killed the electric car?"

Detroit will start offering better fuel efficient cars when their SUVs are rusting away on the dealer lots and there are long waiting lists for hybrids and small diesels -- in other words, when the population votes en masse with it's collective pocket book.

I can't help but see a bit of irony when I think of people spending their free time needlessly burning up fossil fuels in their little FE grand prix events in order to make some sort of statement about how we all should be consuming less fossil fuel.
__________________
northboundtrain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2007, 06:22 PM   #37
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 81
Country: United States
Quote:
Originally Posted by theclencher View Post
I'd bet it was always intended to be just a technical excercise and never a serious production proposal.
Well perhaps you are right about the one liter car. I just re-read this article, http://www.greencarcongress.com/2005...ndons_its.html It says that the one liter was a testbed for an ultra fuel efficient concept car which it would not have been able to sell for less than 26k. I guess the concept car wouldn't have quite gotten 260 mpg, but presumably it would have been considerably more efficient than the lupo (78 mpg), which VW did sell in Europe. I guess that says it all though. People will pay for speed (26k is nothing for a sports car), but not fuel economy -- not yet at least. . .
__________________
northboundtrain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2007, 07:12 PM   #38
Tuggin at the surly bonds
 
Silveredwings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 839
Country: United States
Quote:
Originally Posted by northboundtrain View Post
People will pay for speed (26k is nothing for a sports car), but not fuel economy -- not yet at least. . . [emphasis added]
Exactamundo.
__________________
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Albert Einstein
Silveredwings is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2007, 07:22 AM   #39
Registered Member
 
skewbe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 771
Country: United States
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondlarry View Post
I would say my biggest key to my success would be the injector kill switch that allows me to FAS so easily. I have a suggestion for you if you do drop in a stick: make sure it comes from a SOHC car. The transmissions for DOHC's are geared much lower. If I were to ever get ambitious(like that will ever happen ) or come into some money, I would take the transmission out of my old SOHC and put it in my current car. With all of the computer garbage nowadays, it's possible that my DOHC's ECU could have a minor fit with a trans from a SOHC.
Thanks for the tips larry, the swap is done, I'm quite happy with it. Now to get the wife to drive the metro so I can play with it
__________________

__________________
Standard Disclaimer
skewbe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Incorrect Milage Calcuatlion PatM Fuelly Web Support and Community News 4 07-17-2009 08:21 PM
Missing Fuelup jmonty Fuelly Web Support and Community News 3 05-27-2009 05:10 AM
total fuel cost for fill-up instead of price per gallon EmptyH Fuelly Web Support and Community News 1 08-26-2008 12:14 PM
All Licensed Drivers terrapin Fuelly Web Support and Community News 0 08-07-2008 10:49 AM
"active" aero grille slats on 06 civic concept MetroMPG General Fuel Topics 21 01-03-2006 01:02 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:45 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.