The belly pan did fine. I did tape off the grill block and removed it as needed to maintain less than 200f wt . Here are the results of the trip
Going down. Payload was 2 adults, 1 baby, clothes, diapers, supplies, gun, ammo, tools needed to make changes to pan, some healthy food. enough for 10 days. plus the weight of the belly pan and skirts. Conditions ranged from 30-60f mostly sunny.
For the return we added some weight ALOT! dewalt skilsaw, jigsaw,3 drills, some more tools, a banana box of food, christmas gifts for the kid, a 8lb dog, pet taxi, 15lbs of dog food, and a large duffle stuffed with clothes. The suspension was wobbling bottoming all the way home.
previous best tank 50.54mpg
previous best trip 41.53mpg (1784.5miles)
For half the time the intake pickup was routed away from the hai box on the manifold. This I found greatly increased underhood temps and in turn caused the water temp to rise considerably. This also begs the question of how long a battery will last due to excessive heat. As you can see the mileage was better coming back so I'm no longer sure of its effectiveness.
My previous best tank was 50.5mpg with an assumed accurate fill. This time I filled up all the way. It was a 20 minute process both times. I was flabbergasted by the 51mpg tank with the payload I had. I'll be the first to admit I drafted 40-50% of the time. But I can't quantify how effective it was. The problem lies in finding a suitable draft. Trucks have different weights, drivers, power, rear end ratios, etc and it all adds up to a truck pulling smartly away on hills and hill tops. Some types of trailers are terrible to draft they offer very little gain and you lose that because you have to be so hamfisted with your own accellerator that you waste fuel trying to balance personal safety and economy.
Some condition differences between the 2 trips are the first was high summer 90f+ temps, first half was just me, clothes and my rifles. The rest I had to use the air often but at moderate temps, and my wife drove some. And much less weight overall. The second trip was last week. It was cold and dryish. I drove all the miles, I did a lot of cold short hops throughout my stay, the car was kept outside, and required some warmups. Overall I carried more stuff throughout the week.
The things I have changed after the first trip
02 Saturn SL
for pics click the link below
wow! that is quite good gas mileage! I also often find myself concerned about high underhood temperatures.
I was just thinking that this would be a good excuse to move the battery to the trunk, like the racers do (for weight distribution purposes and such). When I asked my mechanic about this, he didn't want to do it because he wants the battery to be grounded to the engine block, and therefore wants the battery closer to the engine to avoid long ground lines.
It would also free up room for some other gadget, like a hydrogen generator or some heat-resistant hamsters that could drive a habitrail electrical generator or some such thing .
I'm really impressed that numbers improved despite the weight, weather, and gas formula changes. This means that lovemysan is beating the system left and right and down the block.