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Old 03-05-2011, 08:06 AM   #1
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Subaru Squeeze

I drive a Subaru Legacy ('94) as my primary transportation vehicle. I love the AWD for the safety factor it gives me on the icy roads that are the rule in Montana, rather than the exception. Running Toyo Observe tires it always goes where I point it, no matter what road conditions are, and even stops decently on ice.
The problem is economy... the 2.2 L engine is wonderful, good starting, indestructible, loads of power, no oil consumption to speak of, even at 170K miles, but the very best I can possibly get from it for mileage seems to be about 27-28, and I have to work to get that.
Considering the fact that I can pull 22 mpg out of a '97 full size extended cab pickup (2wd), that figure is pathetic. Unfortunately the '94 cannot connect to a scangage which helps a lot. The full wagon naturally has a big "drag bucket" at the rear, and if I were an extremist, I might build a light weight rear body to streamline the airflow there, the worst point on most cars for drag, but aside from that, there are only the fender openings, and roof rack with it's beautifully streamlined airfoil bars....... which shouldn't be an issue. The engine itself and the AWD system would seem to be the real culprits, but it's hard to imagine that AWD would impose much of an additional load so long as the tires match and the viscous coupling is not dragging all the time as the front and rear try to equalize.

The things I am thinking of doing are first to do the disk brakes, and shim the rotors when they are being turned, so they have a few thousandths wobble. The thickness of course would remain constant, so there would be no pulse, but stock car racers have used wobble to push the pads back just a bit and reduce brake drag for years, and secondly I am examining the possibility of building a heated air induction system that will provide warm or cold air as required for economy or power. But that's a huge job... forming all the sheathing around the exhaust... a lot of blacksmith work! Anybody play with making some sort of ceramic or fiberglass "cast"? I personally feel that hot air has a significant potential if it can be managed properly.

Any dramatically successful Subaru tips?
Howard
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:47 AM   #2
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Re: Subaru Squeeze

subi's are tough to get good mileage on especially with the all wheel drive. as it sits your doing better than my impreza that i had. id look into replace the driveline oils with good synthetics to try to reduce friction and loss. awd and 4x4 are killers on economy.
Hot air has huge potential but it also comes at a cost for the smaller motors. they tend to really hurt overall power. some cars are ok to lose abit but my saturn couldnt deal with it. I only had 85hp to start with and the hai felt like someone was stepping on my brakes on hot days. I settled on a simple wai to get better mpg and driveability together.
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:46 PM   #3
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Re: Subaru Squeeze

There are options for monitoring FE. The MPGUINO is what I use (see wiki page) and it works on all FI OBDI cars. They go for $55 shipped, last I knew. There's another one too, but I'm not familiar with it.
Of all the mods I made, the gauge was the one that provided the most boost in FE.
B
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:46 AM   #4
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Re: Subaru Squeeze

Quote:
Originally Posted by benfrogg View Post
There are options for monitoring FE. The MPGUINO is what I use (see wiki page) and it works on all FI OBDI cars. They go for $55 shipped, last I knew. There's another one too, but I'm not familiar with it.
Of all the mods I made, the gauge was the one that provided the most boost in FE.
B
Reading about them, it looks like they would NOT work on pre OBDII Subaru. This car is at about 175K, at around 250, I will probably retire it while I can still get something out of it........ I buy vehicles with not less than 100K, and usually run them to around 250K. I buy for cash, and not much of that usually. When I retire this soob, I'll pick up 97 or so model with moderate mileage. Then my equipment will all work on it. I have a scangage on my pickup, and I also have a great diagnostic system by auto enginuity that runs on my laptop and reads out virtually any imaginable parameter via OBDII.

Howard
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Old 03-16-2011, 07:07 AM   #5
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Re: Subaru Squeeze

Well I have a Subaru... and warped rotors. I have had a dragging brake for some time now so my mileage has been really bad. I fixed the caliper a few days ago.
But anyway. Someone on another forum tried a WAI on a 2.5L and got bad results. Same MPG, and lack of power.
It's some major work to make a WAI on a Subaru, and you don't want to suck up any puddles.
I would recommend some simple things though. Take off your AC belt, block off some of your grill in a way which would improve aerodynamics. Adjust your rocker arm to valve clearance. Use 0W30 (unless you have a big oil leak, like me, then it's a PITA because it leaks faster). Use slightly thinner than recommended synthetic oils for everything. Don't use your brakes.
If you tap into the signal wires of your O2 sensor you can see when your car goes into DFCO. You can learn the right way to downshift for your car with this info. You could also tap into an injector wire for this test. For my car I have to keep the RPM above about 1300 for DFCO, I can now feel it, But I have an EJ223, and you have a EJ222 (i think).
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:19 PM   #6
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Re: Subaru Squeeze

MPGUINO works with any vehicle that is fuel injected and has a vehicle speed sensor.
I suspect yours has both.
It requires some basic wiring skills and solidering skills to install. It also requires you to create a housing for it to live in (it comes as a bare circuit board).
Here's where you buy it.
http://opengauge.org/mpguino/
What makes you think that it wont work? Do you have a cable operated speedo or something?
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:22 PM   #7
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Re: Subaru Squeeze

Found a post of someone using a MPGUINO in a "loyale." (94, subaru)
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...all-11639.html

Good data to be had there.
B
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