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Old 04-14-2008, 07:34 AM   #1
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tips for cavaliers

I just joined about 10 min ago. I have a '97 cavalier and am getting 30mpg almost to the dot. are there small things that will save me gas? I have a scan gauge II and plan to try the grill block on my lower grill out of plexi glass and want to experiment with the warm air intake. are there any other tricks out there? anyone know how to make your windshield wipers stay vertical on these cars? I am more confident about the WAI now that I have the scangauge because I can see the IAT with it. I plan to play with that this weekend. I am still calibrating my scangauge. the mileage above is actual calculated mileage.

any suggestions are welcome thanks
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:30 AM   #2
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Welcome. I'm not sure how to get the wipers to stay vertical, but I would say that the grill block will be more effective. Just use the scangauge to keep an eye on your intake temps and coolant temps. I was fine with my grill blockoff over winter, but now that we are seeing some warmer temps, I think I may have to put a hole in it to let some air in. Is your Cavalier an automatic or manual? Be sure to have your gauge set to the right engine size or the readings will be off.

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Originally Posted by BEEF View Post
I just joined about 10 min ago. I have a '97 cavalier and am getting 30mpg almost to the dot. are there small things that will save me gas? I have a scan gauge II and plan to try the grill block on my lower grill out of plexi glass and want to experiment with the warm air intake. are there any other tricks out there? anyone know how to make your windshield wipers stay vertical on these cars? I am more confident about the WAI now that I have the scangauge because I can see the IAT with it. I plan to play with that this weekend. I am still calibrating my scangauge. the mileage above is actual calculated mileage.

any suggestions are welcome thanks
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:48 AM   #3
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If your wipers stay vertical when the ignition is shut off (assuming that they were in motion when you shut the ignition off), then you'll just need to run a switch to the wiper motor power fuse and cut the power when the wipers are vertical.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:57 AM   #4
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Don't worry about the wipers too much, air will kind of shortcut that corner there at the base of the windshield a bit and they don't make much drag.
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Old 04-14-2008, 11:38 AM   #5
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mine is an auto but it is the 4 spd. also the best I have ever gotten on a tank is 35.95 and that is calculated. right now I have about a 220lb weight in the passenger seat almost everywhere I go that is killing my gas mileage.

a buddy of mine got out of the military and works where I do now (lives with me too) we drive about 22 miles one way to work so it is stupid to take two vehicles.

I wanted the scan gauge for the temperatures more than anything. I am getting roughly 30 mpg recently (stopped keeping up with it after I moved) I used to live 52 miles from work. that got old fast. any recommendations on intake temperature? I have heard that between 100? and 140? is where you should be optimally. any thoughts?
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Old 04-14-2008, 06:48 PM   #6
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what you could do is find out a sweet spot for your car, say 40 mph and its getting 50 mpg on the scanguage. keep it at or around that sweet spot as much as possible and that will help alot
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:37 AM   #7
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mr. pig

I am thinking about doing a 3 piece grill block. I am talking about the lower grill that looks like an oval (kind of) I was thinking of putting two pieces of plexi glass (one on either side) with a 4 inch or so gap in the middle. use a third piece that will overlap the first two pieces (just slightly) and that way if I need to remove some because of overheating, I can just remove the smaller center piece. I was thinking of using carraige bolts with wing nuts on the back with 1" washers on them. (I don't mean actual carraige bolts but ones with domed heads maybe with a flat head slot in it)

civic 94

I have noticed several sweet spots. it really likes 63 for some reason. I am getting 32-40 mpg at that point on a flat road which is pretty good for me. I live in a hilly but not mountainous region. it is more rolling. that seems to be my biggest problem. 20mpg up the hill and 40+ going down.
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:53 AM   #8
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My grill block off is fashioned out of aluminum flashing. I made a cardboard template, then traced it onto the flashing and cut with tin snips. At first I tried to make it all one piece, but because of the curvature of the front bumper, the bottom wanted to bunch up, so I made it out of four pieces. I'll get some pictures soon. You're idea should work with plexiglass, but that stuff is expensive to buy. You definitely want to be able to pop a section off if you have to, no matter what it is made from. Mine has stayed pretty steady at 200-205 deg. F so far, but a few times it's went as high as 215. I am guessing once it really starts to warm up outside I will make a few holes in it.
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Old 04-15-2008, 08:11 PM   #9
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A Saturn will take as high as 180 F for IAT pretty well. The Cavalier is a GM too. Sorry I don't have experience with them but I am certainly curious what you find out with respect to IAT. I had a 2000 Mazda protege and on a hot day without heated IA it ran as poorly as my Saturns at about 200 F. Just curious how it goes for you. Welcome.
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Old 04-16-2008, 04:47 AM   #10
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mr. pig

I cut out the plexi glass yesterday. it was a bear to work with. $13 for the sheet (24x48"). I used the I guess eighth inch stuff. anyway it was really thin and I am thinking of leaving a space big enough for a lisince plate and then getting a vanity plate (needs to be metal) and shaping it to cover the gap. mine never had the bracket so I can curve the plate to fill the gap. that also saves me from trying to form another piece to go over the gap. I know what you mean about the curvature. it was a bear.

usedgeo

I am really curious about the WAI I have read several places that it depends on how your computer does the mixture. what sensors it uses to whether its worth it or not. I plan to play with it but I want to see how the grill block does first. the scan gauge is going to help in that respect. watching temps and what not. I plan by first just plugging the existing hole and cutting a new one so that it takes air from the engine compartment. if that doesn't get me where I want to be then I will run some flex tubing. I'll keep you posted.
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