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Old 04-24-2008, 09:08 PM   #1
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Calculators that can help

OK, here's a post from here on how to determine the ideal cruising rpm for your engine...

And here's a calculator to determine what speed your car will run given a certain rpm, tire size, axle ratio, and gear ratio...

So I determined that my big old 1979 Delta 88 with 205/75R15 tires (27.1 inch diameter), 2.41 rear axle, 1.00 ratio in top gear, and 1475-1775rpm cruising speed (determined from a 4 inch stroke), gives me 49-59mph as my ideal speed to drive for efficiency.

The speed limits around town are 35, 40, 45, and 50. 60 in between towns, 65 on the interstate and east of Alvarado on US 67. So driving 60 as I have been doing is about as efficient as it needs to be. I'll be driving 50mph as much as I can from now on. Should I choose to change out my transmission for a 700R4 overdrive later on, my ideal cruising speed would rise to 70-85mph. I guess there's no point in that since I can't drive those speeds around here. Car might as well stay stock and I'll keep it tuned. I'm having no trouble getting 20-22mpg in 50-60mph cruising mode, and for a 4000lb car that seats six and never leaves the house unless it's loaded full up with kids, I think it'll do.

I checked out some various different cars. My wife's car does best from 56-67mph and the 1999 Suburban we're looking at is ideal from 62-73mph. Sounding good to me.

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Old 04-25-2008, 09:25 AM   #2
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that is interesteing - i think i will try them tools.

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Old 06-22-2008, 04:04 AM   #3
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I figured this thread is worth bumping, so....bump!

Also, I think aerodynamic drag probably makes the above calculation somewhat inaccurate, but it's still a good starting point. Aerodynamic drag probably brings the ideal down a little.

If you can google up a BSFC map for your engine, you are saved the hassle of trying to find the optimum piston speed and calculate it against your gear ratios.
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