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#1 Old 08-27-2012, 02:26 AM
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Eco Modding

So, now that I'm pretty much done with mechanical and lighting upgrades to my Altima I've looked at what I can do to make it better for the remaining time it will be my DD. I need her to last me at least a few more years and like everyone else I'd like to spend as little money as possible in that time.

So for the past few days I've been looking at the so called Eco Modding side of things. Eco Modding is where you purposely modify your car with the intent of increasing your MPG. A few of these we already do. Those are lowering the vehicle, adding a lip kit, and adding window visors.

I don't plan on radically changing the aesthetic of my car as some on the Eco side of things have done. Nor do I plan on deleting some of the "luxury" components such as power steering and air conditioning. But what I do plan on doing is adding a belly pan under the car. I'm undecided as to whether it would be front and rear, or the entire underside. I am also looking at at least a partial grille block for the upper grille and a complete block for the lower grille. The last thing I'm looking at which I had completely discounted until I saw a set that looked decent was rear wheel skirts.

Here is where I've been reading up on these sort of modifications.
Fuel Economy, Hypermiling, EcoModding News and Forum - EcoModder.com

Link to proposed underbelly.
under belly pan for 02 Q45 - Fuel Economy, Hypermiling, EcoModding News and Forum - EcoModder.com

Grille block.
blocked grille tonite... - Fuel Economy, Hypermiling, EcoModding News and Forum - EcoModder.com

Rear skirts.
skirts on the Beast.... - Fuel Economy, Hypermiling, EcoModding News and Forum - EcoModder.com

The car that I've linked to in all 3 of those is an 02 Q45. The EPA HWY MPG is a measily 22 MPG. With all 3 of those mods in place on a road trip from Sacramento to Dallas, (1700 miles) the owner managed almost 31 MPG. That's an increase of 9 MPG or ~41% with very little money spent.

Thoughts?


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Originally Posted by cthunder
The more you mod your car the moodier it gets.
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#2 Old 08-27-2012, 04:53 AM
Some assembly REQUIRED!
 
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u could always drive a prius....just saying



bout that fwd ka life
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#3 Old 08-27-2012, 05:08 AM
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MPG = long hair don't care. Red and maybe Eclyspe had a good thread about this awhile back. The underbody I have wanted to do for awhile along with a rear diffusser or rear spats. As far as the front my intercooler works better then a grille block imo. Sometimes better eco can result in making more effiecent power too.
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#4 Old 08-27-2012, 11:53 PM
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With my 4.08 gearing and mismatched TCU, I'm barely getting 24mpg hwy running 72-75mph. Or in other words, about 3mpg better than in the city. Time to sell or swap lol
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#5 Old 08-28-2012, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninety9gle View Post
u could always drive a prius....just saying


Like Phil said, eco can mean more efficient power.

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Originally Posted by itwillrun View Post
MPG = long hair don't care. Red and maybe Eclyspe had a good thread about this awhile back. The underbody I have wanted to do for awhile along with a rear diffusser or rear spats. As far as the front my intercooler works better then a grille block imo. Sometimes better eco can result in making more effiecent power too.
I'll have to try and find those threads.

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Originally Posted by niceguy View Post
With my 4.08 gearing and mismatched TCU, I'm barely getting 24mpg hwy running 72-75mph. Or in other words, about 3mpg better than in the city. Time to sell or swap lol
Lol, my MPG is as expected. I just wanna try and get more out of her.

This is what I'm thinking of for the front under belly. I'd like to have it gray or black though.





I also wouldn't have it so far forward. I'd like to keep it behind the little bumps on the bottom of the 00-01 bumpers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cthunder
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#6 Old 08-28-2012, 04:40 AM
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Well, I've been doing some more digging over on Eco Modder. Last night I was looking at lexan prices as well as FRP (Fiber Reinforced Plastic) sheets to start this whole process with. I came to the conclusion that lexan was a bit pricey for what I wanted and FRP would not be useable for the grille areas. So after some digging I found a suitable replacement. WalMart sells poster frames with plastic inserts. Apparently the plastic is somewhat flexible as well and comes with a protective film for both sides of it. Sometime this week I'll have to go on over there and see what they have that I could use.

The other thing I've been doing some reading on is the grille block itself. Last night I said I wanted to block the lower grille entirely and do a partial block on the upper. Well I think I'm going to reverse that train of thought and block the entire upper grille and leave the lower grille open. Reason being airflow flowing into the lower area will be pushed through the radiator and the entire engine bay allowing a decent amount of cooling as opposed to the upper grille where it would just flow over the top of the engine bay, flowing over the header, downpipe, radiator, and intake piping.

I can use the mesh I bought last year for my grille as a template for the two halves I'll need to drill holes in the grille block and then mount the mesh over the plastic as well. But to me that should help hide the grille block and keep it looking less tacky. I won't actually start this test until I run a tank through to get my current MPG so I'll have some sort of a baseline to go from.


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The more you mod your car the moodier it gets.
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#7 Old 08-28-2012, 06:07 PM
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Fyi that cooling over the top is important, and Lexan is highly unnecessary unless your hitting nascar soon.
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#8 Old 08-29-2012, 12:12 AM
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Fyi that cooling over the top is important, and Lexan is highly unnecessary unless your hitting nascar soon.
Mmmm, I was looking for clear plastic sheets and that's what came up in my search on Home Depot's site. I'm liking the poster frame idea much much better.


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#9 Old 08-29-2012, 12:52 AM
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Choroplast (corrugated plastic) is the popular choice among most Eco Modder guys - it's cheap, flexible, easy to cut and somewhat rugged.

I did the upper grill block on my Sentra, it wasn't too bad, it helped a little at highway speeds. Lots of guys do aero mods, but aero really only helps at highway speeds (50+). There's lots of little mods to do, like inflating your tires to their maximum psi, leaning out your air/fuel ratio (or running a WAI instead of a CAI since it basically leans out your AFR in a round-about way) and of course lightening the car as much as possible (take out your spare tire and tools and other shit when you're driving around the city).

The easiest thing you can do though is modify your driving habit. I'm currently driving a car rated at 18mpg getting 24+ solely on driving habit.
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#10 Old 08-29-2012, 01:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Lion View Post
Choroplast (corrugated plastic) is the popular choice among most Eco Modder guys - it's cheap, flexible, easy to cut and somewhat rugged.

I did the upper grill block on my Sentra, it wasn't too bad, it helped a little at highway speeds. Lots of guys do aero mods, but aero really only helps at highway speeds (50+). There's lots of little mods to do, like inflating your tires to their maximum psi, leaning out your air/fuel ratio (or running a WAI instead of a CAI since it basically leans out your AFR in a round-about way) and of course lightening the car as much as possible (take out your spare tire and tools and other shit when you're driving around the city).

The easiest thing you can do though is modify your driving habit. I'm currently driving a car rated at 18mpg getting 24+ solely on driving habit.
Mmmm, I haven't found any local sign shops that sell choroplast sheets yet. And the FRP sheets are like ~$30. My OE wheel liners are still fully intact so I just need to worry about making a functional and semi aesthetically pleasing under pan for the front and rear.

Once I get a baseline with all these new mods installed, (rear disc, your bushings/motor mounts, 5-lug, and new wheels/tires) I'll start this project. I usually run my tires at 40 PSI and I try and keep the trash in my car to a minimum. I also recently removed the jack and spare since I had a leak in the trunk, which is now fixed, but the spare is useless since it's 4 lug.

I already try and keep the RPM's around 2000-2500 when accelerating around town to keep my exhaust down and to try and help my mileage a bit. What sucks is there's really no middle ground here for speed limits. I'm either driving through heavily patrolled residential areas or I'm driving on 40+ multi-lane roads.

The EPA calls for 20/28 and 23 mixed for the 01 which is probably due to the shorter gearing in the 00-01's. I'm hoping to bump that to mid to high 20's for city and mid 30's for highway. Maybe a bit unrealistic but we've all gotta have goals in mind.

I also plan on starting to add the 2 stroke marine oil consistently again. I used to do it but never kept track of the results. For those who have no clue what I'm talking about wait for my next reply. I've gotta dig up a few threads on the subject.

I also want to get my E-Mance harness converted over to a 95 pinout at some point and run a tuned ECU finally. There's gotta be some power and mileage to be gained with an N/A tune. I also need to check my timing and advance it/run premium in the mean time. I also need to pick up a proper sized grommet and actually plug the IAT sensor into my CAI. As it sits right now it's just hanging there.

Lastly, for shits and giggles do you happen to have any pics of the Sentra with the grille block?


Quote:
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#11 Old 08-29-2012, 01:34 AM
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I ran Marine Oil as an additive a while ago to help my KA run better and quieter. For one reason or another I stopped and forgot about it. Now with these ideas stirring in my head again I want to start it again and actually monitor it. For those with no clue what I'm talking about be ready to read some lengthy threads.

OG thread here,
http://www.nissanclub.com/forums/eng...tic-world.html

Maxima.Org link,
Best Additive for Your Car? Pennzoil Marine 2 Stroke Oil - Maxima Forums

Where this all originated from.

Been testing

The ratio is 1oz of Pennzoil Marine 2 Stroke Oil or any other Marine oil with the necessary additives to 5 gallons of gas. You don't add it based on how much the tank holds, you add it based on how much you fill up at that particular time. Unfortunately you need to run this stuff through a few tanks to start seeing any benefits from it. It's also suggested that you keep some sort of small pre-measured amount handy. So for us 1-2g's 3-4oz is plenty to have on hand.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cthunder
The more you mod your car the moodier it gets.
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#12 Old 08-29-2012, 03:05 AM
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How well does the catalytic converter hold up to that, long term? I know a lot of rotaries do some (intentional) oil/fuel mixing, but their emissions are expected to be laughably high even with cats.

My highway mileage is pretty impressive - I usually manage anywhere from 29-34 on an all-highway tank, with the a/c on and the cruise around 70. My city mileage is horrible though. That's obviously with a 5 speed though. Biggest single difference I've seen has come from actually keeping the tires inflated properly instead of waiting until "ehh.. that looks a bit low" (then finding out it's sitting at 10 psi). I've yet to see a tire that held 100% of its air long term if the car actually gets driven regularly.

Last edited by lifeofbean; 08-29-2012 at 03:08 AM.
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#13 Old 08-29-2012, 03:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeofbean View Post
How well does the catalytic converter hold up to that, long term? I know a lot of rotaries do some (intentional) oil/fuel mixing, but their emissions are expected to be laughably high even with cats.

My highway mileage is pretty impressive - I usually manage anywhere from 29-34 on an all-highway tank, with the a/c on and the cruise around 70. My city mileage is horrible though. That's obviously with a 5 speed though. Biggest single difference I've seen has come from actually keeping the tires inflated properly instead of waiting until "ehh.. that looks a bit low" (then finding out it's sitting at 10 psi). I've yet to see a tire that held 100% of its air long term if the car actually gets driven regularly.
IIRC, if you go higher than the recommended concentration your performance will suffer in turn harming the catalytic converter. But if you keep it at the 1oz/5gallon ratio there's no long term issues associated with the cat. In fact I'd think the cat would be in better shape since you're getting a better burn on the fuel you're using.


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#14 Old 08-29-2012, 03:23 AM
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I'll admit now, I'm no mechanic. But I would think it could also help with ring life too. But I've never torn into a 2 stroke engine.

It'd still be interesting to see what kind of stuff is actually coming out of the exhaust though.

... what? I'm a stats whore.
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#15 Old 08-29-2012, 03:32 AM
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Originally Posted by lifeofbean View Post
I'll admit now, I'm no mechanic. But I would think it could also help with ring life too. But I've never torn into a 2 stroke engine.

It'd still be interesting to see what kind of stuff is actually coming out of the exhaust though.

... what? I'm a stats whore.
Lol, unfortunately I have no way to test that.

Although for what it's worth I think someone in the original LS thread did an oil analysis after running this stuff. I haven't looked at the results for it but I'm pretty sure I read that somewhere.


Quote:
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