Introducing myself :-p
I've been pretty into gas milage ever since I first got a car. When I was 16 I went out and bought a 97 Civic HX. I got it up to 48 mpg with a car full of people (5 total) before my project turned a different way. Now it's down to about 8 mpg. It is now an all out race car, and a great deal of fun.
My new project is my 2002 Odyssey. I got it to tow my Civic to the track. I had a truck before, but getting 11 mpg daily just to be able to tow once a month was nonsensical. I'm a sprited driver, even in the Odyssey, so I'm only pulling in about 19 mpg city. Probably the best thing I can do is change my driving habits, but whats the fun in that? :p
The underbody aerodynamics of the Odyssey are already quite good. I'm probably going to add spoilers to divert air around the rear wheel and suspension area, but that's about all I can do. I want to make a rear wheel cover, but need to research more. I want to make sure it looks good and is easily removed. I also want to fill in some of the front bumper, but in a way that it is removable for when I'm towing. Also some removable wheel covers for the front (don't want to let the brakes heat up when towing).
The project should be fun and challenging, as I need to keep perfomance for towing in mind. I can't do anything to kill the torque, or let the brakes heat up too much. I can't really lower it either, as the rear is borderline for towing as it is.
I've removed the removable seats, and will probably be removing the bench to save on weight. If people want a ride they can bring a bean bag to sit on or something :p
I'm looking into removing the antenna, but I can't live without my radio, so I'll need to find somewhere else to mount it (maybe the trunk area?). I'm also thinking of removing the luggage racks, as I will never use them anyway.
This is the only picture I could find:
Welcome to GS!
It's good to see someone with a unique vehicle check-in here.
There's basically a beginner's guide to saving fuel and that new members should browse:
If you have any more questions, just let us know -- we're here to help.
sweet - another Ody owner! Since you use yours for towing, you might be interested in this thread from odyclub:
And lets see some pics & specs on the HX racer!
Hell yeah, I wanna see the HX.
Welcome, by the way.
Perhaps you could pick up a crx hella cheap and have a 50 mpg daily and have the van for tow only, :p
Your list of mods you have in mind all sound reasonable. I'd start with the roof racks!
Towing... those odysseys sure have a lot of rear camber when you load them up, don't they? They remind me of the rear geometry of old Beemers and Mercs when I see them barrel past me on the highways.
As for changing driving habits, to me, driving for great FE is just as challenging as driving fast on a track. I've done some recreational track driving, and spent far too much money in racing schools, and I see lots of similarities.
Anyway - welcome!
From what I am reading you want a mechanical air dam system, full adjustability between towing and hypermiling, and a bag of potato chips. I mean it can be done if you are willing, but the engineering task of your problem would be daunting, I dont know any automaker who could deliver.
I think SVOboy has a better solution, a happy crx for hypermiling.
I don't really want something mechanical, just easy to snap on/off. Also, I could get a CRX, but I really want to mess with the Odyssey, plus over 30 mpg for road trips while still being able to lounge in the back playing Xbox would be awesome.
MetroMPG - Ya, the camber issue is one I've been fighting. The tongue weight is hard to get just right. 350 lbs is very stable, but it makes you low-ride, where 100 lbs doesn't load the suspension, but you get a lot of sway. Everything I've read points to the weight distribution kit fixing that, so thats my next purchase. Possibly also some custom springs (2x stiffness) for the rear. Should be able to get both those items for under $500.
Here's the HX. Its probably around 70% done. Needs a cage, seats, multiplying gear for the steering, new flywheel/clutch, exhaust manifold, downpipe/catback, and accusump. The current modifications are (whenever I say "custom" I mean "ghetto rigged":
Exhaust- crx hf header, custom downpipe and "catback"
Turbo- gt28r turbo, oversized intercooler, custom charge pipes
Cooling- Fluidyne Integra double-sized aluminium radiator
Engine- Suzuki Vitara pistons (7.5:1 compression), Tunertoys I-beam rods
Computer- P06 upgraded to p28 running Uberdata maps.
Suspension&Steering- KYB AGX shocks with Eibach Road Race springs, Integra GSR rear swaybar, Civic DX manual steering rack
Brakes- Integra rear disc brakes, custom front cooling ducts
Tranmission- Civic EX manual
Lightening-All unnessisary interior removed, gutted dashboard, removed A/C, PS, anything emissions related, etc.
Aerodynamics- Shaved antenna :p
I think thats everything.
I'll take better pics once I clean it up a little :p
Change in driving style
Well, I changed my driving style for two tanks, and it has gotten me nearly 100 more miles per tank (about 5.5mpg increase). Seems well worth the extra 10 minutes to get home. One problem I will have is I am about to move somewhere where I will be driving about 15 miles on a 2 lane road (one each way) that's 70 mph. I drove out there the other day and tried to hold 55 and pissed a ton of people off. So I'll be losing quite a bit of milage going an extra 15 mph everyday. All the more reason for some aero mods I guess :D
I'm also about to fully service the engine. The engine is running really well though, so I doubt it'll do anything for FE, but there's always hope.
Don't give up...
Now, regarding the 55 mph, the trick is to keep constant throttle on hills and ditch the cruise control -- for example on a U-shaped hill: you're going down the hill at 10% throttle and your speed is climbing. Use that momentum and keep that constant 10% going up the hill. The downside is that speed decreases, but it's a proven technique to improve FE. I have a 2-laner that I take sometimes that's similar. I'll tick off people behind me going up the hills, then I lose them going down (I should probably coast or bleed-off, but it's mostly a mind-game to convince yourself that you're not annoying others). Then I catch up to a truck that has a similar driving dynamic because of weight -- now it's "his" fault. :) Also, compromise with the other drivers on the road and go 60-65 instead of 70. But yeah, aero mods will probably help.
I finally averaged more than the EPA avg for the van :thumbup: Thats with no lack of comfort, so about 75% of the time the A/C was on full. I'm almost looking forward to my hour commute now because it's all highway :p
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