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Underbody braces, turbos and more!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:20 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Lexington South Carolina
Well I’m sure you’ve seen foundation vents on houses. This is just like it. Except it blocks off that big gapping hole in the front grill & hopefully will increase the MPG.It sure does help bring the temp up quicker. It acts like it has a 195-degree thermostat with the vent open. 5-10 degrees warmer than without the cover, when open. What lead to this was winter. I had been toying with this idea for a while from my diesel mechanic days. Some of the tractors used a vacuum shutter system on the radiators to keep engine temp up. They rattled like crazy when idling. So my shutter system was a piece of cardboard in front of the radiator on those cold mornings so the engine temp would get up to 190. (Sunpro gauges) It worked fine until quitting time, when the temp is now up to 75 or 80. Doh! Lets pull off & take it out or blast the heater to keep the temp down.
A friend of mine at a fabrication shop took about 15 minutes to load my template into his CAD program, load it into the computer & cut some scrap aluminum into the vent cover & inner door. He gave me some scraps, which I fabricated the aluminum brackets with. I purchase a 5-foot long choke cable (which was barely long enough) that slides the inner cover open or close. The inner door slides directly over the back of the front cover so anodizing would be a waste of money as the inner door is already scratched after several openings & closings. I painted the inner door with light coat & used truck bed spray on the outer front cover to try to prevent scratches & dings from road debris.
I haven’t run through a tank of gas yet to see if any increase on MPG yet. I would expect more of an increase on highway than in town. Even with a small increase in MPG I’m still pleased with it for the decreased heating time in the mornings. It has got to be saving some gas as the CTS & IAT gets up to temp quicker the ECM will be setting a leaner fuel mixture. And I do have a warm air intake that I copied from one of the guys here on the forum. Snorkel points at the battery with a downspout at the back of the radiator. The engine bay temp is 15 to 25 degrees warmer. My $8.00 Radio Shack indoor/outdoor thermometer with the 6-foot cord is my witness. Nothing but the best here.hahahaha
It does cut down on some road/wind noise also. I can hear the rattling of my tired lifters & squeaky timing belt tensioner a lot better now. That will soon be upgraded to a “new” complete top end. The top end is complete & sitting on the workbench. Had most of the headwork, porting & polishing done locally by a retired funny car mechanic. 3 Tech (Mike Cove) has supplied the economy cam. Thanks Mike. Calico Coating (Denver N.C.) ceramic coated the ported & polished exhaust manifold. Hoping to break into the 60MPG club as my Last 800 mile trip was 50.1 going & 50.2 returning.


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File comment: Foundation Vent
car 006.jpg
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File comment: Homegrown Brackets
front.JPG
front.JPG [ 246.26 KIB | Viewed 1103 times ]
File comment: Finished product. Ahhhh Heat
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car 022.jpg [ 344.81 KIB | Viewed 1106 times ]

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:36 am 
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abby normal
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Location: NorCal, USA
Nice work.. :)

Also read this thread on a WTS mod:

viewtopic.php?f=34&t=20537&hilit=wts+mod

Also consider 'vert (plastic) headlights. :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 4:52 pm
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Location: Eastern Ontario
Any updates?

I like it.

An adjustable grille block (that isn't black duct tape :-P ) is now on my to-do list.

I'm already down to about 5x6 inches as the permanent opening, summer & winter. That has worked for me because the car isn't driven for extended periods at high loads (eg. up mountains, weighed down, or at high speeds). YMMV.

Thanks for the inspiration.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:38 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:06 pm
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Location: Atlanta GA 30052
good system! keep us updated.

i covered most of the hole in August (95F) with cardboard, thinking i can quickly open it up if needed. but the temp gauge stayed at 1/2 so when the cardboard was worn out i made an AL copy. open to about 5x6 inches. works fine. pics in my gallery. i made other changes on that tank of gas so i dont know how much it helps MPG. someday i may remove the 4 screws that secure it and see. :D

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daily driver: red 1991 Metro 3cyl 5sp, roof rack, 8 degree advance,
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completed frame up restoration: black 1994 Swift GT 5sp -- like new ! 45mpg


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:20 pm
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Location: Lexington South Carolina
Updates on the vent.........kind of. It's become part of my daily routine.If it's below 50 degrees, make sure the choke cable is pulled out to close the grill. Temp comes up much quicker now than with the grill opening suxing air.Shortly after I installed my "Vent" I changed over to non ethanol gas(which I posted) & between the gas change,vent,heating the IAT & engine quicker, I have increased my MPG even with a drop in temperatures after the MOD. I kind of think the non ethanol gas has more to do with the MPG than the vent. 90% of my driving is in town & I dont know if the vent helps that much aerodynamicly.I would expect more on the highway than in town,but it could be getting a 1/4 or 1/2 mpg more. Have'nt had the old girl on any highway trips lately.
With the vent open all the way(above 60 degrees) my sunpro gauge reads 195. Used to be 190. I even put a piece of foam rubber between the hood & the bumper to totally block all
the air. Really cold morning (22) for S.C..(I'd die if I was in Canada) All the air the radiator needs can come in thru the lower grill. It will be interesting to see what happens when temps get back to 80s & 90s. Hoping it can stay on all year long.But it has 6 selftapping screws holding it on. Take about 2 mins to take it off if needed.
It's 8 miles to my work( 12-15Mins) Never over 45 MPH.I have left the vent open all the way to work.The thermostat never even opened. Stayed below 190. Next day,same temps,Closed the vent. 5 to 6 miles down the road, thermostat drops from 200 to 160. First cycle of the day. If it's getting warmer quicker, It's got to be saving some gas. Heats quicker too. With gas @ $1.38 gallon now I might just put one of 3 techs big nasty cams in it. Gas is gonna stay cheap forever,RIGHT? As soon as the media starts reporting the ecomony is "getting back on track",the gas prices will start climbing like a few months ago. I LIKE BREAKING THOSE EPA MILEAGE RATINGS!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:05 am 
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Location: Eastern Ontario
vance wrote:
I have left the vent open all the way to work.The thermostat never even opened. Stayed below 190. Next day,same temps,Closed the vent. 5 to 6 miles down the road, thermostat drops from 200 to 160. First cycle of the day. If it's getting warmer quicker, It's got to be saving some gas.


Definitely.

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(from: Mini-experiment: cold start fuel consumption and warm-up time)

Quote:
It's 8 miles to my work( 12-15Mins) Never over 45 MPH.


That's pretty much ideal for a high MPG commute (the low speeds). I had a quick look back through your posts but didn't see what mileage you are getting. Just curious.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:20 pm
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Location: Lexington South Carolina
Hey GEOMETRO, sorry, I saw the post a while back, but been busy.I keep a detailed log (last 2 years, 54 fill ups) MY last 7 fillups/top offs , 44.4mpg, 45.4, 43.7, foundation vent & non ethanol gas 46.5, 44.1, 46.4, 45.0. Temp was actually colder the last 3 fill ups. My other post on "fuel for thought" relays my belief that the gas could be a factor as well as the vent. Still have'nt been on any highway adventures. All these MPGs are in town with a mix of highway.70/30. Waiting for the holidaze to get over & a weekend off work to install my completed head with the 3 tech economy cam for further testing. Hope everyone has a great holiday.[img]%20[/img]

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:54 am 
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Location: Atlanta GA 30052
vance wrote:
MY last 7 fillups/top offs , 44.4mpg, 45.4, 43.7, foundation vent & non ethanol gas 46.5, 44.1, 46.4, 45.0. ... my belief that the gas could be a factor

Since in November my mpg has dropped over 10 mpg. the only change can be the gas.

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looking for:
the time i mispent in my youth

daily driver: red 1991 Metro 3cyl 5sp, roof rack, 8 degree advance,
got 61 mpg combined on 14" tires but i prefer 12"

completed frame up restoration: black 1994 Swift GT 5sp -- like new ! 45mpg


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 3:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 4:52 pm
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Location: Eastern Ontario
Thanks for the update, vance.

It's not just the fuel chemistry that drags down winter mileage. There are a bunch of reasons from longer warm-up times, to increased rolling & aerodynamic resistance, higher electrical loads and others: http://metrompg.com/posts/winter-mpg.htm

I want Santa to bring warmer weather!

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:50 pm 
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Location: Atlanta GA 30052
geometro wrote:
It's not just the fuel chemistry that drags down winter mileage. There are a bunch of reasons from longer warm-up times, to increased rolling & aerodynamic resistance, higher electrical loads and others: http://metrompg.com/posts/winter-mpg.htm

Of the 9 reasons, most dont fit my situation. November was slightly cooler than Oct. but daytime temps were 65ish. Tire pressures within 5%, no lights, no fan, no long warm up, no extra idling, etc. So the major reason for lower mpg must be the ...
"7. Weaker gasoline
Gasoline doesn't vaporize readily at very cold temperatures. So oil companies formulate fuel differently for cold-weather markets in the winter. Unfortunately, the changes that provide better cold vaporization characteristics also result in less available energy for combustion. You won't get as far on a liter of winter gas as you will on a liter of summer gas. "

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looking for:
the time i mispent in my youth

daily driver: red 1991 Metro 3cyl 5sp, roof rack, 8 degree advance,
got 61 mpg combined on 14" tires but i prefer 12"

completed frame up restoration: black 1994 Swift GT 5sp -- like new ! 45mpg


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