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Old 01-20-2008, 08:56 AM   #1
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I Just Gained 25% On My FE (lame teaser)

The solution for such a monumental improvement? Another car.

While I don't generally do many miles in the T4WD, the 5-speed Escort LX Wagon we just got should improve our options for longer road trips and even around town by up to 25% or more despite the larger engine. (Since it is actually more slippery and doesn't have the extra drag of the 4WD.)

Anyway, the first thing I have already done to it is to bump tire pressure up from 35 psi to 45, and that has made a noticeable difference in coast down rate, though I have not timed it. Next up will be synthetic oil and some LRR tires very soon since it needs a change of both.

I'm also going to explore P/S disablement, but I don't have my hopes up that a manually driven power rack will be as easy to steer as it is on the Tercel, and I don't really feel up to messing with dropping in a Pony manual rack.

And of course, like every other vehicle I've had since I found this site, it will get a grill block of some sort.

For the most part, this car won't see allot of highway miles, so my focus is going to be on rolling resistance and other low speed parasitic losses. I may eventually make rear skirts and install disc wheel covers, but I'm not guessing there's going to be much payback on those mods unless I do allot more highway driving.
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Old 01-20-2008, 12:21 PM   #2
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congrats, I bet you will do pretty well with the escort. I drove one across the country once with snow tires and still got 40 mpg. I am thinking of upsizing to one since my wife is complaining about the 2 dr civic now that we have 1 child and another on the way. I think i will hold on to the vx as long as possible, without ruining the marrage.
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Old 01-21-2008, 08:53 PM   #3
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Cripes, the people who had this car last did NOT take care of it!

Even after putting in a quart of 0W20 synthetic the other day, the sludge coming out of the pan was the consistancy of molasses. So anyway, it's now full of new synthetic motor oil.

I also took a closer look at the current wheel covers, and I can't see that discs would offer much of an advantage over them. The OEM ones are really quite smooth with minimal air holes. So the next major improvement will likely be the tires.
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Old 01-22-2008, 01:43 AM   #4
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You should use an oil flush and then change the oil and filter if it is that sludged up?

Looks like you bought my mpg dream car? Hope it isn't teal or green too! Won't be any left when I get around to buying one.


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Cripes, the people who had this car last did NOT take care of it!

Even after putting in a quart of 0W20 synthetic the other day, the sludge coming out of the pan was the consistancy of molasses. So anyway, it's now full of new synthetic motor oil.

I also took a closer look at the current wheel covers, and I can't see that discs would offer much of an advantage over them. The OEM ones are really quite smooth with minimal air holes. So the next major improvement will likely be the tires.
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Old 01-22-2008, 03:16 AM   #5
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Perhaps I exaggerated a touch, but the coloring of it was definately on the dark side.

I don't really believe in doing a flush because you can waste allot of oil trying to get every last bit of the old stuff out, and I don't see it as that detrimental over the long term so long as the filter is changed out at the same time as the oil. Likewise, there's no real need to make sure the new synthetic remains dino oil free (as all of the blends you can buy off the shelf already suggest). It will still get contaminated by combustion and fuel blow-by from the cylinders anyway.
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Old 01-22-2008, 06:04 PM   #6
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yes and no, if it really is bad, best to do a flush or run it somewhat hard for 500 miles on cheap dino oil to loosen the sludge and then switch to synthetic, sythnetic my break up the sludge and clog the oil pump screen. or filter.
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Old 01-22-2008, 06:40 PM   #7
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I'm assuming you've done this but you might check with the numbers printed on the side of the tire, if the Max psi allowed by the mfg is less than 45 you'll only spend the money you save on gas for new tires later.

I would also continue to monitor the oil, if it turns black again in short order it might need a kerosene-based engine flush. On that note you might want to think about changing transmission fluid and filter as well, that's likely never been done.

PCV valve, air filter, fuel filter, breather cap, maybe the O2 sensor, some high performance 8 - 10mm spark plug wires and 2x platinum plugs with a high performance cap and rotor likely wouldn't hurt either.
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:35 AM   #8
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I don't really believe in doing a flush because you can waste allot of oil trying to get every last bit of the old stuff out, and I don't see it as that detrimental over the long term so long as the filter is changed out at the same time as the oil. Likewise, there's no real need to make sure the new synthetic remains dino oil free (as all of the blends you can buy off the shelf already suggest). It will still get contaminated by combustion and fuel blow-by from the cylinders anyway.
You need to be careful...I've HEARD of an engine being trashed when synth was added...clogged up and spun a bearing? Depends on engine condition.

I've heard the best bet is 3 qts dino and 1 qt synth.

I reduced my oil use from 1 qt per 5K to 1/3 qt in 7 K miles by flushing with kerosene before an oil change...doing a water carbon cleanse...using a Condensator (PCV jar)....using Valvoline Synpower oil additve...some synth oil...Pure One filter.

I think a better carbon cleaning method might be to use windshield washer fluid (-20F)...but you need to go real slow with it as in inject maybe 1 pint over 100 miles...and use some MMoil in the gas too.

If you use a PCV jar and the right fuel additive or engine mod you won't see much carbon?
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:59 AM   #9
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The power steering shouldn't be too hard on you when disabled. Just make sure to disable it correctly.

If you just remove the belt it'll be VERY hard to steer, you want to disconnect the hydralic lines and hook the two lines off of the rack together. This way there will be no resistance for the hydralic in the rack and it will not be any harder to steer than manual (or at least minimally so).
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:09 AM   #10
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The power steering shouldn't be too hard on you when disabled. Just make sure to disable it correctly.

If you just remove the belt it'll be VERY hard to steer, you want to disconnect the hydralic lines and hook the two lines off of the rack together. This way there will be no resistance for the hydralic in the rack and it will not be any harder to steer than manual (or at least minimally so).
except for that bit about severe lack of leverage in the rack itself...manual racks are usually 4-6 turns lock to lock. powered racks are usually around 3 turns with a smaller wheel. it'll be a lot easier to steer with a manual rack than a powered rack disabled.
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