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Old 01-23-2014, 02:27 PM   #1
DrunkTruck
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Default Impreza Eco Mod Build

I scooped up a 93 Impreza sedan, AWD 5 speed for next to nothing. I replaced the fuel pump with a unit out of a 2005 legacy with 50k miles for $30 and have a good working car. It has 274,000 miles.

I'm going to replace the front axles (boots are worn but CV joint isn't clicking yet), replace the timing belt.

And while I'm at it, delete the AC and PS. Living in Colorado I get the opportunity to coast down lots of hills with the car completely off (key in "on" position so steering doesn't lock). I think it feels fine without PS.

I also want to lighten the front and rear bumper supports. Have not pulled the covers off yet to see what I'm up against but I'm thinking of replacing it with tube frame.

Smaller, lighter wheels I'll keep an eye out for.

I'm keeping the alternator for now until I get a proper solar system setup.

Any other eco mods I am missing?
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:14 PM   #2
BrockP
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I agree, power steering is unnecessary. I've gone without it for 5 years. I put a little Lucas in the rack before sealing it to keep it lubricated, but not sure if that's necessary (or even a good idea).

Regarding the bumpers:
A lot of weight can be removed from the bumpers using a cutting wheel (or similar). I got 21 lb out of the rear bumper. The front bumper has less weight, 10-15 lb can be removed IIRC. Not sure how comfortable I would be commuting in the car with gutted bumpers though. Tube frame would be safer.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:24 AM   #3
Cathexis
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Location: Ashland, VA
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Turning the car off is a very dangerous thing to do, especially on a hill. You lose your brake booster. Modern cars, especially manuals use no fuel when left in gear and coasting. You can actually feel this happening. Much easier to see it happen with a wideband gauge, but you can feel it none the less if you are in tune with your car. This holds true on flats as well as hills.
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:26 AM   #4
DrunkTruck
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Thanks for the feedback Brock and Cathexis.

I read already the bumpers were really heavy so I'm looking forward to taking a look at what can be shaved off without danger. Tube frame is dependant on me brushing up my welding skills. Part of my project is to see how little money can be spent on the vehicle as well

Cathexis - Yes you do lose vacuum to the brake booster. Actually, you will still have vacuum for two or three pedal presses after you turn off the car. After that you just have to increase leg muscle. I can still lock up the brakes with no booster but yes you have to press hard. I don't feel danger from this at all.

I do know modern cars cut fuel when in gear and coasting, but this isn't exactly modern. Can you confirm a 93 impreza does this?

Just good info to know and where applicable I do keep it on and coasting in gear. However, for my particular commute, I go down a long hill from my house, up a hill, and down a another decently long down hill, if i leave it in gear the engine drag is enough to not hit the critical speed I need to crest the uphill portion. I need to carry 75 MPH depending on wind in order to crest at 60 mph and not piss off other motorists. You could leave it in gear and pad the throttle to reduce the engine drag, but then you are using fuel to reach what would essentially be using the same fuel as idling. The goal is to reduce fuel consumption.

I will try something though. i'll do it my way on this tank of gas and then I'll do it in gear, car on, and padding the throttle as needed to maintain the same speed as if I was coasting in neutral, and see if there is any difference.
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:51 AM   #5
Caocao
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Are you going to be able to put it on the road and insure your vehicle? I'd be worried that if you had an accident they would cover you with all those mods?
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:38 AM   #6
DrunkTruck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caocao View Post
Are you going to be able to put it on the road and insure your vehicle? I'd be worried that if you had an accident they would cover you with all those mods?

Well there is nothing against driving without Air Conditioning nor Power Steering but the bumpers would be the only questionable safety item so I will have to look into that part. I know lots of people have switched over to the JDM bumpers as they are lighter. The bumper is so heavy due to legislation requiringe 5 mph crash standards.

If I were to hit someone I would think I'd do even LESS damage to the other vehicle with less weight = less energy.But if someone crashes into me, the crumple zones will still be in effect. Should be fine. If someone crashes into me and i don't get paid on my couple hundred dollar car then oh well.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:32 AM   #7
DrunkTruck
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Have not started any eco mods YET. But I did run through 3/4 tank of gas and calculated mileage - netted 30.45 mpg and that includes driving in mountain snow. Not bad.

I just found these wheels and snow tires for $180... looks agro



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Old 02-04-2014, 11:17 AM   #8
Commander Keen
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Getting rid of the alternator is a bad idea. Even if somehow it doesn't strand you, you'll be going through batteries at a rate that will cancel out your fuel savings.
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:28 AM   #9
DrunkTruck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander Keen View Post
Getting rid of the alternator is a bad idea. Even if somehow it doesn't strand you, you'll be going through batteries at a rate that will cancel out your fuel savings.
I agree. That is the extreme end of the spectrum that I may or may not visit.

It can be done if the driving style let's it. For instance if you only use your car once a week for less than 2 hour trips. A solar charging system helps it last longer and of course you are on a trickle charger when not driving it.

I wouldn't have brought it up if it hasn't already been done. Ecommoders are a crazy bunch!
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