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Old 05-13-2008, 09:37 PM   #31
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I know this thread is more about the cheap DIY solution, but I think it's worth pointing out that for a little more than a Scanguage, one could have an OBD-1&2 compatible scan tool with real time display and logging. E.g.
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Old 05-14-2008, 12:56 AM   #32
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road: "have to get digging through my old magazines"

Great stuff! I had a bunch of those old magazines. I knew I never should have thrown them out.

"AH Finally! someone who thinks like us..."

Another nice find. I like the chrome plate.

I think it's interesting when the hot-rod car culture starts bumping into the green-miser-cheapskate car culture. They are seemingly contradictory, but I think a lot of us (like me) have a foot in both worlds.
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holy: "A similar company is Cummins Tools"

Good tip, thanks. I didn't know. I think they are found at toolsnow.com.

"I can probably extend this wire to a convenient place on my dash and probe the extension."

Exactly, yes. I think this would work just fine.

"I thought they [wideband O2 sensors] were common on newer vehicles"

No, I don't think so. New vehicles have a bunch of O2 sensors, but I think they're the simple kind (i.e., not wideband).

"I'm very interested in open/closed loop detection, especially in my VW."

I think there are various approaches to accomplishing that. But since you intend to use dwell to monitor your injectors, it could be that the simplest thing is just to watch what they do at large throttle settings. If they suddenly open up a lot, this could be a nice direct indication of open-loop.

I haven't tried this, so I'm not sure. It's a hunch. Maybe someone else who knows more about this aspect will chime in.

"while using the software it seemed like it would do some of its stuff for standard OBDII"

Maybe so. But I don't even have OBDII. No VW, no OBDII. So Vag-Com can't do anything for me.

"I can open and close the windows using the remote (from long distances, even)"

Oh, so that's you. Now I know why my windows go up and down at night. jk.

"I especially want to know when I'm in DFCO and when I'm not."

I find that my DMM/dwell device gives me great info on that. I see it happening very clearly and consistently (850 rpm, just like the shop manual says). Then again, I still much prefer coasting in neutral.
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fume: "I might hook up my DMM across one of my injectors and take a look when I get a little time to play [Just wondering if a regular AC voltmeter would work]"

I tried a DC voltmeter. Didn't work. It didn't occur to me to try AC, but I don't think that would work either.

"an LED does indeed respond to pulse width as long as the current is kept quite low"

Interesting. I didn't realize that. Sounds like it might be a very simple way to get some useful info.
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snax: "one could have an OBD-1&2 compatible scan tool"

The beauty of watching the injectors is not just that it can be done simply and cheaply. It's also more accurate.

OBD2 does not report what the injectors are doing. (I think some makers, like GM, might have that info in their OBD2 protocol, but it's not part of the general OBD2 protocol. And I think this is also true about OBD1.) Therefore, OBD2 is a fundamentally flawed way of monitoring fuel consumption.

Devices like the Scangauge are a good example. It relies completely on OBD2. Therefore it can have a hard time calculating fuel use. It accomplishes this by making calculations involving air flow. This usually works pretty well, but there are all sorts of circumstances where the scheme falls apart, and the result is inaccurate results. A lot of the time, the user is probably not aware that they are accepting numbers that are wrong.

The methods being discussed in this thread aren't just cheaper. They're more accurate. And also more universal, because they apply to any EFI car, OBD or not.

More details on this issue can be found in various places, like here:

http://forum.ecomodder.com/showthrea...ight-1949.html
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:54 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monroe74 View Post

I think it's interesting when the hot-rod car culture starts bumping into the green-miser-cheapskate car culture. They are seemingly contradictory, but I think a lot of us (like me) have a foot in both worlds.
The thing is, they are both about getting the most out of a vehicle, which requires a scientific/technical mindset.

I'm coming at it from the same perspective, old hot rodder, sports car/motorcycle enthusiast suddenly forced to look at it from the opposite point of view.

Being obsessive helps.
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:09 AM   #34
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I think everything you said probably applies to a bunch of us. Well said.
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:54 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snax View Post
one could have an OBD-1&2 compatible scan tool with real time display and logging. E.g.
Good idea. What kind of data does it provide and log? Sites describing it are a bit short on info...

Anyway, the biggest problem with it is the form factor. It can't easily be used as a gauge. The ScanGauge can be mounted on the steering column and you can look at 4 simultaneous pieces of data while driving. That DMM from HF won't fit there, but with its big display it can be mounted somewhere less direct, such as off to the right of the car's gauge cluster. Of course, unlike those two, the Equus unit can log data, which can be useful in different ways.

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holy: "A similar company is Cummins Tools"

Good tip, thanks. I didn't know. I think they are found at toolsnow.com.
I guess they changed their name. It looks like they're not as good as they used to be. I bet their traveling sale is still good though.

Quote:
I find that my DMM/dwell device gives me great info on that. I see it happening very clearly and consistently (850 rpm, just like the shop manual says). Then again, I still much prefer coasting in neutral.
Which shop manual provides that info? I'm almost 100% sure it goes down to 990rpm in my VW, but in my GMC I can't even begin to guess except by someone's report here that their Cavalier only does it down to 1800.

Trying to keep an automatic above 2000 rpm when approaching a red light / going downhill / etc makes for a bit of a jerky ride, which makes my wife sick. Generally if I'm driving the GMC my wife is in the passenger seat...

Quote:
OBD2 does not report what the injectors are doing. [...] Devices like the Scangauge are a good example. It relies completely on OBD2. Therefore it can have a hard time calculating fuel use. It accomplishes this by making calculations involving air flow.
Thank you. I've been trying to find out if it measures fuel flow or if it calculates it, but nobody's been able to answer. You may have just saved me $160, though the SG is probably still convenient.

This thread is great.
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Old 05-14-2008, 06:06 AM   #36
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I spent some time yesterday working on a couple of rattles, so I guess I also one of those obsessive types. My wife and pop (now 87) think so.

One of the real annoying rattles turned out to be what I think was one of those dealer sabotage jokes that stupid mechanics play on each other at the customers expense.

Someone had popped out the access plug to the back end of the rocker panel and dropped in an old Proto 5/16-1/4 drive socket, which would roll around in the cavity in the rocker panel when you went around a turn. The second was the glove box. Honda had installed a shock absorber on the box which had a loose pivot on one end. The glove box rattled when you drove at low rpm. Now I have no more annoying rattles when I use low engine speeds.

I learned clutches a long time ago, but when I first drove a Z car with the old SU carbs the throttle response was so instant I learned to keep my heel on the floor when working the clutch. I can engage the clutch completely at 200 rpm above idle.

All this may seem irrelevant but be patient, I'll get there.

I bought my VX in March this year, did the second oil change yesterday.
Filled the tank, also another local tank at 55 MPG. I have driven this car long enough to be able to closely estimate the mileage based on the fuel guage itself. Not precise or instantaneous but it doesn't cost me a dime.

Basically my mileage is 55 in local traffic, 60 in low speed highway (55MPH) and 65 at 65 drafting big trucks at three stripes distance (I believe that is legal everywhere, as well as fairly safe).

In my previous 84 Del Sol the best mileage I ever got was 47, the average was 42-43. Thats over 10,000 miles. Worst was 36 at 75-80 MPH, about 39 at 70.

I dont do engine off coast, the amount of attention it requires in the sometimes very heavy traffic here is detrimental to my situational awareness.
In 42 years of driving no person has been injured while riding in a car with me. I would like to think that is priority number 1 for every driver.

The VX required a change in driving tactic to achieve the mileage I currently manage. The first two tanks were 50 MPG. I was actually somewhat disappointed compared to the difference in the EPA ratings of the two cars.
Reading this forum especially the links to VX info by Tom O with the article by one of the Eco marathon hypermilers (probably some of the best anywhere) I learned that the VX is difficult to hypermile. Lean burn does not work for 30 seconds after engine off coasting. Lean burn is difficult to maintain on acceleration, not possible at greater throttle opening positions.

To allow the vehicle to obtain max mileage averaging better than 56, required different driving tactics from those I have used for several years. It takes a while (about 3000 miles) to reprogram my old brain.

When they build the right engine powertrain combination hypermiling will be ineffective. which is the basis of my powertrain and engine designs. When that is done (whether its my idea or someone elses) hypermiling will fade into history because the worst driver will have a hard time driving stupid enough to be uneconomical. At present it takes the smartest driver to accomplish maximum mileage (not necessarily the smartest person-just one who drives smart ).

The specific changes in driving my VX for max mileage (remember no engine off) are:

Pulses are much more gradual, with significantly lower throttle openings specifically to try to stay in lean burn. If lean vurn didn't exist I would use much larger throttle openings, but the much higher AF ratio cancels out the advantage of larger throttle openings (just my opinion)

P&G cycles are therefore much less perceptible to other drivers, probably unnoticeable to many.

P&G full cycle times are shorter with a speed variation of only 5 to 7 MPH in traffic. Call it stealth P&G, most of the drivers around me are probably unaware that my minor speed variations are intentional (or they just think I am a jerk who can't maintain a constant speed LOL). It does discourage tailgaters.

Deceleration is accomplished with transmission downshifting to maximize fuel shutoff time, Since almost every red light ahead of me has cars waiting for it to change I try to downshift to keep engine speed above 1100 rpm for as long as possible. Ideally I match the speed of the traffic as it accelerates away from the light in the correct gear at just above 1100 rpm (eliminating all idle losses).

I have to loose some efficiency to accelerate enough to keep the lights timed properly due to the way they are timed here. In most cases if you go the speed limit you will catch every one, three miles over the limit and you catch almost none of them. It works against efficiency to a degree but thats just the way it is, and if you get caught at every light you loose a lot.

I draft whenever its possible. The traffic here can be very heavy and I use that fact to my advantage, instead of allowing it to aggravate me. Every time a SUV pulls over one car lenght in front of me it's a drafting oportunity. It used to be a source of aggravation.

I strategically plan my routes (40 years local knowledge) to minimize thraffic lights and left turns. In one instance a left turn can result in waiting 1 minute 45 seconds for the light to change. When that happens I take an alternate route. My average speed in local driving is about 38 MPH, which is exceptional when you consider that route has 56 lights in 40 miles, with speed limits in the 45 mph range, except for a 4 mile stretch at 55 mph. Maintaining the highest possible average speed (to a reasonable point) minimizes idle wastage, especially combined with in gear deceleration which is the same as engine off without killing lean burn potential.

Sorry about hijacking the thread. It would be nice to be able to have an instant fuel economy reading to further improve my technique. Instead I have used the knowledge available here to accomplish the same.

My driving technique also has another advantage in that it is prioritized to preserve my vehicle without creating situations that would accelerate wear and tear on components. My goal is to drive this car another 8 years (I will be eligible for Medicaid) until the manufacturers have resolved their design issues to the point where it will no longer be necessary to hypermile, because the vehicle itself will do the hypermiling and the driver will not have to be the real brains of the system.

regards
gary
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Old 05-14-2008, 06:21 AM   #37
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Palm Pilot datalogger for OBD-1... mitsubishi specific, but may work for some functions on other vehicles that use similar protocol...
http://mmcdlogger.sourceforge.net/

MiniDash for chrysler SMEC/SBEC
http://www.squirrelpf.com/shelgame/M...niDashUser.pdf

More reading...
http://www.getglitched.com/pgmfiwiki...taLogging.html

HAlo OBD1 datalogger demo...
http://downloads.zdnet.co.uk/0,10000...297387s,00.htm

Most of those you'll be needing a RS-232 to TTL serial (5V) adapter, hackable with a MAX232 chip.
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Old 05-14-2008, 06:30 AM   #38
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FWIW, an LED does indeed respond to pulse width as long as the current is kept quite low, a 5K ohm series current limiting resistor and a schottky diode would do the trick.

The circuit would look like this...

Injector positive---->LED--->5K resistor--->schottky diode--->injector ground.

A regular diode would probably work just fine but a schottky diode is high speed and might respond to narrow pulse widths better.
I think we have to be in the 10s of Mhz range before we need to worry about needing schottky for speed, and is it gonna make any difference if the rise time in the LED is slower anyway. I guess it does mean less forward bias voltage drop though.
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I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
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Old 05-14-2008, 08:24 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadWarrior View Post
I looked through Ebscohost for the articles listed in there. I've found only this one:
Build a duty-cycle monitor. By: Campisi, Skip, Popular Electronics, 1042170X, May97, Vol. 14, Issue 5 (in Ebsco's "MasterFILE Premier" database)

It's got the full text, parts list, and photos of the finished product but the circuit diagrams are missing. I think there's enough info in this thread that it's no loss anyway.
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Old 05-14-2008, 08:29 AM   #40
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I think we have to be in the 10s of Mhz range before we need to worry about needing schottky for speed, and is it gonna make any difference if the rise time in the LED is slower anyway. I guess it does mean less forward bias voltage drop though.
I *said* I was obsessive.
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