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improving vehicle mileage

 
paul wheaton
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First, here is a good video on hypermilage. This guy has modified his biodiesel truck in a bunch of ways and added habits to get better mileage.



Next, I'm kinda curious: would it not be possible to have a MUCH smaller engine and get far superior mileage? Granted, there would be less acceleration power, but this guy is already doing lots of stuff to go easy on acceleration.

I know that I had a pretty beefy diesel tractor that seemed to run for weeks with ten gallons of fuel. It had a three cylinder engine.

What about the stuff with engines that sometimes use 4 cylinders and other times use 6 or 8?

And then there is all the stuff about hybrids: they tend to almost double mileage, but they seem to still use central motors. Digging ... here is a video from 2006



and from 2007:



If nothing else, this seems like it would vastly cut the weight of the car.

Here is a freaky fast non-hybrid car that gets 100mpg that comes from wikispeed.com



I know that I cannot seem to get away from using a car. And I think that is true for most of us. I would like to better get my head wrapped around the spectrum of solutions for getting better mileage. I know that there is a lot of push these days for all electric vehicles, and as much as I loved my all electric golf cart for farm use, and i think when it comes to tractors, nothing beats an all electric tractor, a lot of my driving has me going long distances that are beyond the range of electric vehicles. Also, for myself, I seem to constantly run into situations where all wheel drive is a big help.

As I peruse youtube, I think about two passengers, room for gear/supplies, AWD and the ability to go 600 miles in a day. I like the idea of fleshing out ideas on how to improve mileage with an existing vehicle (like in the first video) and getting a better understanding of what is available now and what might be on the horizon.







 
paul wheaton
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Are some cars using more coasting stuff now for better mileage?
 
paul wheaton
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Amedean Messan
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I would just buy a Volt, it is a wonderful platform.
 
tel jetson
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paul wheaton wrote:Next, I'm kinda curious: would it not be possible to have a MUCH smaller engine and get far superior mileage? Granted, there would be less acceleration power, but this guy is already doing lots of stuff to go easy on acceleration.

I know that I had a pretty beefy diesel tractor that seemed to run for weeks with ten gallons of fuel. It had a three cylinder engine.


nope. if a motor is under-sized or under-powered, it'll have to be geared lower, so it will end up running at higher RPM and using more fuel. too big is no good either, so there's a sweet spot.

the reason tractors don't need huge engines is that they don't need a lot of horsepower because they don't need to move fast, they just need adequate torque to pull implements or drive PTOs. that's my understanding, anyhow. I drove a pretty big John Deere for a decade. the rear tires were over my head and full of calcium chloride solution so they weighed about 1800 pounds each. 50 horsepower. it was easy to do a wheelie if a person wasn't so great with a clutch. it got used for several hours five days each week and got filled up on diesel less than once in a month. there were some unusual stretches where I drove it for eight or ten hours a day, though, and it would take about a week to run through a tank of fuel.
 
paul wheaton
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So there was an xprize for a 4 seater vehicle that would be a high production vehicle that would get more than 100mpg. There were 111 entrants. This is the winner:



http://www.edison2.com/




 
Jonathan Fuller
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Last year we bought a 2011 VW Jetta TDI sportwagon. I commute about 35 miles one way to work. As an experiment, cause it has the nifty real time MPG gauge, I started experimenting with some hypermilage techniques. I always did my best to anticipate when I would have to stop and take my foot off the accelerator well ahead of time to use up the residual velocity etc. But as an extension I started driving 55 on the highway.

This is a 4 cylinder 180ish hp turbo deisel engine with a 6 (forward) speed transmission and being good about keeping it at 55 (love cruise control) and using that 6th forward gear I went from around 43-45 mpg going 65-70 mph to 52 MPG going 55.

This car has ALOT of pickup and I imagine with some novel modifications to the computer you could get significantly more miles out of it.

my 2003 TDI sedan gets just over 48 mpg in normal (65mph) highway commute. I would continue with the 55 mph thing but right now I am only getting about 4-5 hours sleep a night as it is and I need that extra 15 minutes going 65 gets me (at least that's how I justify it to myself)

My concern with hybrids is still the issue of what to do with half a ton of spent batteries at the end of the 5 years life span. I know chevy talks about using them as power storage in grid but that seems pretty stop gap to me. It seems like bio fuels are the only technology out there right not that deals with most of the major polution issues with autos. At least then your day to day carbon footprint is close to 0.
 
Jesus Martinez
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i think the answer lies in artificial aspiration ans lower displacement engines. you can get a lot more boost than what a stock.turbo delivers. also, unless you need the ectra power you dont always have to.gear down a smaller motor. the motor in that guys truck is meant for hauling 5 tons in addition to his truck. if he only needs to haul 1000 lbs a much smaller motr is ok. the other thing.is that his motor weighs 1000lbs. a smaller one might weigh half that. he can also work at reducing the overall weight of the truck by usimg carbon fiber or aluminum
 
Andrew Parker
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Hydraulic hybrid (still the orphan of hybrids, I like this one the best) with an on-off setup would significantly improve city mileage and you don't need batteries. Then a smaller engine optimized for cruising could lighten the vehicle and also improve highway miles. Anything above 40 mph can benefit from streamlining and aerodynamic improvements, but you will call attention to the vehicle, sometimes unwanted.

My 2007 Dodge Caravan gets over 30 mpg on the highway with no modifications (if I stay at or below 65 mph), but it plummets into the mid to low teens in the city.

I drove behind a converted step van last year that had some peculiar (hideous and perhaps even effective) aero-mods. I wish I'd had a camera at the time, but I didn't. Besides some clear plastic fairings on the front and some skirting, he had rigged a flexible kammback out of canvas tarp and bungee cords. A smooth brick is still a brick at 65 mph, but I suppose it helped some.
 
Jonathan Fuller
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Andrew Parker wrote:Hydraulic hybrid (still the orphan of hybrids, I like this one the best) with an on-off setup would significantly improve city mileage and you don't need batteries. Then a smaller engine optimized for cruising could lighten the vehicle and also improve highway miles. Anything above 40 mph can benefit from streamlining and aerodynamic improvements, but you will call attention to the vehicle, sometimes unwanted.

My 2007 Dodge Caravan gets over 30 mpg on the highway with no modifications (if I stay at or below 65 mph), but it plummets into the mid to low teens in the city.

I drove behind a converted step van last year that had some peculiar (hideous and perhaps even effective) aero-mods. I wish I'd had a camera at the time, but I didn't. Besides some clear plastic fairings on the front and some skirting, he had rigged a flexible kammback out of canvas tarp and bungee cords. A smooth brick is still a brick at 65 mph, but I suppose it helped some.


I hadn't heard of that hydraulic hybrid technology before. slick. I've noticed most tractor trailers have the aero things underneath the trailers these days. I remember seeing an interview with a guy that designed hyper aero rigs that looks super futuristic. THey were also like 20 feet tall with all those ferrings set up to flow the air over the trailer. Was it the Tesla (motors) guy? can't remember
 
Daniel Hatfield
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paul wheaton wrote:First, here is a good video on hypermilage. This guy has modified his biodiesel truck in a bunch of ways and added habits to get better mileage.

Great video. I personally think that this old technology is the way of the (near) future. If this guy can double his MPG with some home mods, imagine what a mechanic/engineer could do. All the stuff he has done could be automated. For example the cut out switch could be on the gear stick (as he has it) but to re-engage it could be on the accelerator pedal (this would be awesome on an auto). With the exception of hybrids, this guy has got more fuel efficiency from his truck than the motor industry has in the last 10 years.
 
Andrew Parker
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The trucking industry is very aggressive about implementing cheap but effective modifications. I have also noticed a lot of skirts now on semi trailers.

I read a study about simplified kammbacks. You can put a rectangular box on the back whose end dimensions match the end of the kammback, and length matches the base of the slope. The air fills in the void and you get a virtual surface for the slope. Depending on the length, it shouldn't look too awkward and it could easily be mounted to a receiver hitch, like those cargo boxes.
 
Andy Commons
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I think these are great ideas, and improving gas mileage is a noble cause, but I'm a bit nervous about the guy coasting down the road in neutral with his engine off.
I was taught to drive with the car in gear (the proper gear for my speed if a stick) so that I would be able to react quickly to get out of the way of danger.

My life was probably saved in one case, where a drunk driver was heading right for me, but I was able to accelerate beyond the path of his car. He narrowly missed hitting me and then flew off the road in a nasty crash. Had I been in neutral, coasting, I might not be here to type this today.

Driving 55 or 60 vs 75 or 80 is certainly a good idea, but thinking it's OK to be putting along I-5 at 45 when those around you are going 80 is pretty dangerous too. We have to consider the whole picture.

Didn't myth busters do a segment on driving with the windows down vs. running the AC?



 
Andrew Parker
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Hypermiling wouldn't work if everyone was doing it. There would be no traffic flow. Still he is within his rights as long as he remains above 45 mph, but they could cite him for repeatedly speeding up and slowing down (driving erratically), and I think that it is illegal in some jurisdictions to coast like that (It was called Mexican overdrive, when I was a young man. Sorry, not very PC.) My brother used to do it on rural highways, but he didn't do it too often on the freeway in the city.
 
Daniel Morse
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My GEO Metro got 55 MPG. The 93 GEO Metro convertible got 40 MPG. I had air cond, a rag top and looked cool. Nothing better than a big hairy scary guy in a Barbie Car, lol. The Hybrid Cars are a joke. They MAKE cars get lousy mileage. My 94 Grand Am got 36 MPG very often. They site EPA and all that crap. Its bull. Its a game to get every cent and laugh at us, the consumer. There is and will be plenty of energy. Its all about max profits and control.
 
Jonathan Fuller
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Daniel Morse wrote:My GEO Metro got 55 MPG. The 93 GEO Metro convertible got 40 MPG. I had air cond, a rag top and looked cool. Nothing better than a big hairy scary guy in a Barbie Car, lol. The Hybrid Cars are a joke. They MAKE cars get lousy mileage. My 94 Grand Am got 36 MPG very often. They site EPA and all that crap. Its bull. Its a game to get every cent and laugh at us, the consumer. There is and will be plenty of energy. Its all about max profits and control.


I think, at least when it comes to vehicles, the goal of more efficiency is less about making the energy go further and more about reducing the insane amounts of co2 being released into the atmosphere. I agree that, as soon as it becomes either unavoidable or more profitable, industry will switch to renewable energy sources but in the mean time any technology that allows us to minimize our modifications of the climat are a pretty good thing.
 
Andrew Parker
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Jonathan,

I am pretty sure that the goal of efficiency is to make the energy go further. Any reduction in CO2 output is coincidental. If that is your motivation, more power to you. I don't see renewables as unavoidable or profitable for at least a couple hundred years and many put it beyond 400 years. Of course, as we become more efficient, renewables become even less attractive and we can stretch out reserves of fossil fuels considerably.

I am quite confident that technology will find cleaner and economically competitive sources of energy in a much shorter time frame.
 
Andrew Parker
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Jonathan,

When oil was $10/barrel the minimum wage was well under $1/hr.

The price of crude oil is highly volatile because of amplifications caused by the speculation market. In other words, when the huge school of profit-taking piranhas sees prices moving up, they all bet everything on it, and when they see prices moving down, they all take their money off the table. That is how you can have a barrel price of $145 one month and $30 the next.

Exploration outside of the US proceeds unabated with new and significant oil fields adding to reserves. Innovations in extraction technology are enabling producers to go back to "exhausted" fields and open them once more for production. Much of this has been enabled by the increase in crude oil prices over the past ten years. Add to that a market entry target of $40/barrel pricing for a profitable coal to liquid industry, less than that for methane to liquid. If we don't do it here in the US, someone else will do it and sell it to us or the Chinese and the Indians.

I don't see $100/barrel holding for very long, unless certain regions are taken out of production permanently, and that isn't likely. Blood for oil exists because there is too strong an incentive to produce oil and make money. There will always be temporary interruptions as one group supplants another in the role of petty dictator.

The market will always look to the least expensive option for meeting demand and fossil fuel is likely going to fit that niche for a long, long time.

I found this reference on what a barrel of crude oil makes:

"Today, the most common products derived from oil are found in the energy sector: gasoline, heating oil, aviation fuels and diesel fuel. Oil is also the key ingredient in tens of thousands of consumer goods, including ink, plastic, dishwashing liquids, crayons, eyeglasses, deodorants, tires, ammonia, and heart valves. Each 42-gallon barrel of oil typically yields these refined products (percent of barrel)[i]:

44.2% gasoline for use in automobiles
27.8% heating oil and diesel fuels
22.2% other products, including those derived from petroleum for the manufacturing of chemicals, synthetic rubber, and plastics.
9.6% jet fuel
2.7% asphalt

Included is a processing gain of over 5 percent or 2.68 gallons. Thus, a 42-gallon barrel of crude oil in actuality yields 44.68 gallons of refined products." copied from <http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/energy-overview/fossil-fuels/>

Assuming CAGW is true, according to the models we have already passed the tipping point and the best we can do is to prepare ourselves for change. It makes no sense to burden our economies with ridiculous restrictions and taxes when we can do the most good by building our economies to pay for any needed adaptations.

I am not a Pave the Earther, but I was raised to understand that the gold standard for clean combustion was CO2 and water vapor. Under the current dogma, both of those are the most evil of villains. I am old enough to have observed the genesis of this current movement and have researched it thoroughly. I am just not buying into it. I understand and respect your concern about CAGW. I cannot force myself to be a true believer and I hope that you respect that.
 
Jonathan Fuller
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Daniel, Wow that was a very well written rant. obviously you have strong feelings on this subject and I apologize if my remarks came across as snarky. I did not intend snark. I too have strong feelings about these things. I will agree that there are no absolute scientific answers on the climate change issue. However given the leaning of the evidence at this point I think it makes sense to try to reduce the amounts of these chemicals we are releasing into the atmosphere. I was raised in a very rural area and am aware of what it means to make a living from very little. I will say that in my mere 36 years of life I have never heard any one who considers themselves an environmentalist be a proponent of nuclear energy.

I don't know what to make of your breeder comments. are you a follower of one or the other of the voluntary human extinction movements?

I agree that much of our tax money is used in inappropriate ways, however I also believe that if we are to live in a cooperative society we need to all contribute and, unless we (the nation/world) are willing to sit down and hammer out a clear cut barter system of taxation what we have now will have to work. with tweaks of course. when it comes to carbon tax affecting the price of food, I think that what it is intended to do (I am aware that intent and reality rarely coincide) is to help reflect the true price of an apple grown in New Zealand and sold in New York. If you are concerned with how it might turn out then it is time to take (non-violent) political action.

I have voted in every election that was available to me since my 18th birthday by the way. I was raised by very politically aware (rural) folks. I also try very hard to 'save the world patch by patch' this is not solely the domain of the old, rural or non-breeder. (okay that might be a little snarky, I apologize in advance)

My beer I make myself from the most local sources of ingredients I can lay hands on. 99% organic as well. (I also don't wear latex condoms) and I certainly don't 'believe what I am told'. The fact that someone does not agree with your perspective does not automatically mean that they do not think for themselves.


Andrew,

Thanks for the breakdown of the crude oil usage, I was way off on that.

the minimum wage in 1986 was 3.35 adjusted to 1996 dollars in comparison with 2007 : 1986 = 4.80, 2007 = 4.41. I understand that the market controls the price of commodities. however a 10 fold increase in per barrel in 25 years is significant. if you look historically you will see that the price was fairly stable until the OPEC 'crisis' in the early 70's. it dropped back down right around 1986 and has steadily risen since. sure it fluctuates but always in a net upward direction. even when adjusted for inflation.




any who, how 'bout that Tesla Roadster huh? not very frugal but it's pretty.
 
Bakari Kafele
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paul wheaton wrote:

Next, I'm kinda curious: would it not be possible to have a MUCH smaller engine and get far superior mileage?



Hi all!

I am the guy in that first video. In answer to your question: absolutely!
All of the same principals apply to smaller vehicles. For the best example, google "aerocivic"


It is a regular old Honda civic that has been modded to get 100mpg.

The reason I have such a big truck is I use it to haul the trailer I live in, which is 7500 lbs, as well as moving entire 1 bedroom apts (furniture and all) and 3 ton loads of soil or concrete.
Instead of comparing my truck to a compact truck, and considering it big, it makes more sense to compare it to a big F-450 flat bed or box truck, and considering it small.

The important thing is to use the smallest vehicle that meets your needs, and then get the most possible mileage out of that vehicle.





Oh, and its funny that yall tangented into climate change, because my essay on the lack of data confirming anthropogenic climate change, and how we need to start using less energy and producing less pollution anyway was what originally caught the attention of an editor of Faircompanies.com, who asked me to blog for their site, and eventually did 2 video interviews with me, the second of which is the one that inspired this thread! It all comes full circle.
So, you might be interested in reading the essay that got us here, on the exact topic you are now debating:
http://biodieselhauling.blogspot.com/2012/03/global-warming-vs-fascism-or-why-nasa.html
 
Bakari Kafele
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Andy Commons wrote:I think these are great ideas, and improving gas mileage is a noble cause, but I'm a bit nervous about the guy coasting down the road in neutral with his engine off.
I was taught to drive with the car in gear (the proper gear for my speed if a stick) so that I would be able to react quickly to get out of the way of danger.

My life was probably saved in one case, where a drunk driver was heading right for me, but I was able to accelerate beyond the path of his car. He narrowly missed hitting me and then flew off the road in a nasty crash. Had I been in neutral, coasting, I might not be here to type this today.

Driving 55 or 60 vs 75 or 80 is certainly a good idea, but thinking it's OK to be putting along I-5 at 45 when those around you are going 80 is pretty dangerous too. We have to consider the whole picture.

Didn't myth busters do a segment on driving with the windows down vs. running the AC?


I have a 5500lb truck with 170HP (probably less - it got 170 from the factory, but it is 30 years old now). I am not going to out accelerate anything, ever. And, your anecdote not withstanding, the reality is that people accelerate into trouble many times more often than the accelerate out of it. This is why sportscars and motorcycles, despite better handling, better braking, and better acceleration, have higher accident rates than station wagons and minivans.

The idea that you should keep up with traffic is common, but it is false.
I wrote a whole blog about speed, and its relation to traffic safety: http://biodieselhauling.blogspot.com/2012/03/slow-down-my-philosophy-for-life-also.html
I quote references from actual studies. Here is one: "risk of involvement in a casualty crash, relative to the risk for a car traveling at 60 km/h, increased at an exponential rate for free traveling speeds above 60 km/h [37mph]"**
People are always focused on crash tests and buying heavy cars because they are supposedly safer, but highway speed is literally exponentially more important than weight in terms of both likelyhood of a crash and impact force should one occur.

Myth busters did compare driving windows down to A/C. But its a moot point as to which one is better, because I do neither. I have no A/C (never did, but if I would have taken it out anyway if I did) and I keep the windows up at all times on the highway. I think we as a culture are too focused on being comfortable all the time. Not only does it waste energy, but it makes us weak and lazy humans.

 
Bakari Kafele
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Andrew Parker wrote:Hypermiling wouldn't work if everyone was doing it. There would be no traffic flow. Still he is within his rights as long as he remains above 45 mph, but they could cite him for repeatedly speeding up and slowing down (driving erratically), and I think that it is illegal in some jurisdictions to coast like that (It was called Mexican overdrive, when I was a young man. Sorry, not very PC.) My brother used to do it on rural highways, but he didn't do it too often on the freeway in the city.


I can see why you might think so, but good hypermiling actually improves traffic flow.

Here is a perfect example: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1550345/breaking_up_a_traffic_jam/

The video you saw of me is just one sample of one technique at one time. It was a situation where I was in the slow lane of a 4-5 lane highway with light traffic.
In heavy traffic I do exactly the same as the guy in the video I just linked does - which means for everyone behind me, the traffic flow is actually better, and everyone gets better mileage than they would if I wasn't there.

 
Bakari Kafele
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Daniel Morse wrote:My GEO Metro got 55 MPG. The 93 GEO Metro convertible got 40 MPG. I had air cond, a rag top and looked cool. Nothing better than a big hairy scary guy in a Barbie Car, lol. The Hybrid Cars are a joke. They MAKE cars get lousy mileage. My 94 Grand Am got 36 MPG very often. They site EPA and all that crap. Its bull. Its a game to get every cent and laugh at us, the consumer. There is and will be plenty of energy. Its all about max profits and control.


I made the same point in my saving energy instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/Not-your-average-save-energy-advice-use-less-en/ (see step 9)

But I don't think it is the fault of the automakers alone. The Geo stopped being produced because as gas prices dropped in the 90s, people stopped buying it. The Prius won over the original Insight (which got twice the mileage and cost half as much) because American consumers wanted something large and powerful. The automakers don't drive SUV sales, consumer choices do. If we showed we cared more about mileage than about acceleration and size, the automakers would respond. Because, as you say, its about profit.
 
Bakari Kafele
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Jonathan Fuller wrote:
I think, at least when it comes to vehicles, the goal of more efficiency is less about making the energy go further and more about reducing the insane amounts of co2 being released into the atmosphere.


As long as we are using any fuel based energy source, those are both the same thing.
Pollution controls do not reduce CO2. They can't. Combustion is the processes of turning some form of hydrocarbon into CO2 and water, with a release of energy as a result. That is true for gasoline, natural gas, even biodiesel.
A ULEV hybrid that get 40mpg puts out more carbon per mile than a '90 Metro that gets 50mpg
The only way to get less co2 is to make the vehicle go further on a given amount of fuel.

However, we have a finite supply of petroleum in the world, and NOx, CO, soot, and all the other pollutants in exhaust are problems in their own right, so regardless of whether CO2 is contributing to climate change, we still need to change our lifestyles.
 
Jonathan Fuller
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Bakari Kafele wrote:
Jonathan Fuller wrote:
I think, at least when it comes to vehicles, the goal of more efficiency is less about making the energy go further and more about reducing the insane amounts of co2 being released into the atmosphere.


As long as we are using any fuel based energy source, those are both the same thing.
Pollution controls do not reduce CO2. They can't. Combustion is the processes of turning some form of hydrocarbon into CO2 and water, with a release of energy as a result. That is true for gasoline, natural gas, even biodiesel.
A ULEV hybrid that get 40mpg puts out more carbon per mile than a '90 Metro that gets 50mpg
The only way to get less co2 is to make the vehicle go further on a given amount of fuel.

However, we have a finite supply of petroleum in the world, and NOx, CO, soot, and all the other pollutants in exhaust are problems in their own right, so regardless of whether CO2 is contributing to climate change, we still need to change our lifestyles.


That's why bio fuel is so important. By taking fossil carbon out of the equation the net carbon release is 0 or nearly because all the co2 releases was just taken up in the last few years from the atmosphere anyway. either by a plant that made it into oil or a microorganism that did likewise. soot, CO etc are still an issue which is where pollution controls come into play.
 
d tei
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.

So, you want to learn how to improve vehicle fuel mileage...

Then this is where you need to go...

http://ecomodder.com/

http://ecomodder.com/forum/

>
 
Bakari Kafele
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greg patrick wrote:
But what about some other options? We bike commute, combine trips, work close to home, etc. to good effect.


I couldn't agree more! I did mention in the video that bikes are still better.

I worked for 6 years (until last year when I joined the Coast Guard) at a community bike shop that offers free valet parking to bike commuters in order to facilitate more people riding.
I used to do low cost bike repairs at a local farmer's market. I work and volunteer for the local bike coalition. I drive the truck exclusively for work, and use bicycle and public transport for my own personal transportation.

But I realize that the entire country is not going to give up petrol powered ICE cars anytime soon, so as long as people are going to drive, I hope they do it as efficiently as possible.
 
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I wanna hear more about the aerocivic!

Is the shape the only thing that changed?

 
tel jetson
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just watched Bakari's video. good stuff. after I finally destroyed my grandpa's old pick-em-up truck, we got a truck very similar to Bakari's.

I, too, prefer to ride my bike, but moving big loads of lumber, rock, or wood chips around just isn't going to happen with my bike trailer. trying to work toward using the truck less and eventually not at all. in the mean time, I'll certainly be looking into the tricks Bakari used and some others. I've got access to biodiesel for rather less than retail prices, which is nice, but I'm certainly still motivated to save fuel.

I'm curious about potential wear on the engine, though. I'm convinced that starting and stopping the engine saves fuel, but does it accelerate engine wear? I really have no idea about this. in addition to wanting to increasing fuel economy, I'm also looking into ways to make the engine last longer since a new engine is expensive and involves a considerable amount of embodied energy. I'm looking at installing a 12-volt oil pump to pressurize the oil system before it's started, a bypass oil filter, and an engine oil centrifuge. I'm not sure I'll do all or any of those, but they all seem like good ways to extend the life of an engine. I'll certainly be switching to a good quality synthetic engine oil, too, which should help fuel economy a bit and slow wear.
 
Bakari Kafele
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tel jetson wrote:just watched Bakari's video. good stuff. after I finally destroyed my grandpa's old pick-em-up truck, we got a truck very similar to Bakari's.

I, too, prefer to ride my bike, but moving big loads of lumber, rock, or wood chips around just isn't going to happen with my bike trailer. trying to work toward using the truck less and eventually not at all. in the mean time, I'll certainly be looking into the tricks Bakari used and some others. I've got access to biodiesel for rather less than retail prices, which is nice, but I'm certainly still motivated to save fuel.

I'm curious about potential wear on the engine, though. I'm convinced that starting and stopping the engine saves fuel, but does it accelerate engine wear? I really have no idea about this. in addition to wanting to increasing fuel economy, I'm also looking into ways to make the engine last longer since a new engine is expensive and involves a considerable amount of embodied energy. I'm looking at installing a 12-volt oil pump to pressurize the oil system before it's started, a bypass oil filter, and an engine oil centrifuge. I'm not sure I'll do all or any of those, but they all seem like good ways to extend the life of an engine. I'll certainly be switching to a good quality synthetic engine oil, too, which should help fuel economy a bit and slow wear.


That is the best question anyone has asked so far.
And the answers is - I don't think anyone knows! There is a whole community of ecomodders (ecomodder.com), but its only existed a few years. I believe some people started developing similar techniques back during the US oil embargo, but basically everyone stopped when gas prices dropped again. So no one has done it long enough for it to wear out an engine. Since a decent, well taken care of engine can last 20 or 30 years, if EOC (engine off coasting) caused an additional 5% wear, it could be well over a decade before it manifested.

The first start in the morning causes considerably more wear than idling, but once the engine is warm and the oil is distributed, starting causes less. But how much less? Only time well tell...
On the plus side, if one saves $10,000 in fuel over a decade, the easily pays the cost of an engine rebuild (several times over), and an engine rebuild requires considerably less embodied energy than scrapping it and buying a new one would, but it is pretty much a- good as new performance wise.

All other common questions and criticisms of these methods are addressed on my latest blog post: http://biodieselhauling.blogspot.com/2012/03/mad-max-hypermiler-questions-and.html

Oh, and for more on Aerocivic, the website is http://www.aerocivic.com/
 
tel jetson
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Bakari Kafele wrote:
The first start in the morning causes considerably more wear than idling, but once the engine is warm and the oil is distributed, starting causes less.


this is why I'm looking into a 12-volt oil pump to pre-oil the engine. with your setup, you could use a 120-volt pump plugged into an outlet at home for the first start in the morning. there are also kits that involve a small tank to store oil pressure that releases back into the engine at startup.
 
tel jetson
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is it a 6.9-liter Navistar you've got under the hood?
 
paul wheaton
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So with the aerocivic:

Started off averaging in the mid 40s. So I'm gonna just say 45.

Then, with hypermiling, you got it into the high 50s - so I'm gonna say 58.

And then there are the modifications to the shape. And the modifications to the engine. And at 55, you get better than 100mph.

So I'm gonna guess that before the engine change, you got it up to 94. And after the engine change you got it about 102.

Is that about right?

 
Bakari Kafele
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tel jetson wrote:
Bakari Kafele wrote:
The first start in the morning causes considerably more wear than idling, but once the engine is warm and the oil is distributed, starting causes less.


this is why I'm looking into a 12-volt oil pump to pre-oil the engine. with your setup, you could use a 120-volt pump plugged into an outlet at home for the first start in the morning. there are also kits that involve a small tank to store oil pressure that releases back into the engine at startup.


I forgot about that part.
I looked into a system that would store oil pressure too, for the same reason, but the only ones I found I decided were too expensive.

Keep me posted on anything you learn


tel jetson wrote:is it a 6.9-liter Navistar you've got under the hood?


I think so... Its the 6.9 International Harvester - which later changed their name to Navistar (?)
 
tel jetson
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Bakari Kafele wrote:
tel jetson wrote:is it a 6.9-liter Navistar you've got under the hood?


I think so... Its the 6.9 International Harvester - which later changed their name to Navistar (?)


that's the one. I've got the same thing. at some point, I might consider a turbocharger. they're expensive, but one never knows what might show up for cheap on craigslist or the wrecking yard.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
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