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40 Miles per gallon with ol Gl wagon


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#1 roadsubiedog

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 11:59 AM

I have an old 84 gl wagon with 297,000 miles on it. We commute 45 miles each way to work and I never really payed attention to gas mileage which averaged 25-28 mpg until the prices skyrocketed.

After doing some research I started keeping accurate records.

First tankful not doing anything I got 24 mpg.

Added some drygas to next tank to dissolve water.

Got 28 mpg with that tank.

Removed roof racks and slowed down from 70 to 65.

Got 33 mpg with the next tank.

Put 40 psi in tires instead of usual 35 and slowed down from 65 to 60mph.

acheived 37 mpg on the next tank.

Installed K and N air filter and slowed from 60 to 55mph.

Achieved 40 miles per gallon !

It's staying at around 39-40 mpg now. And driving 55 mph really does not take much longer even on a 45 mile trip.....maybe 5-7 minutes and I am more relaxed when I get to work and enjoy listening to my tapes more.

The only problem is people tailgaiting me and giving me the finger when they pass even though it is a two lane interstate highway.

I just move my mirror and don't look at them as they pass.

Just wanted to share this info. The only way I think I can get more than 40 mpg is maybe put a sail on top of the Subie when the wind is going my way!

Road Dog

#2 scrap487

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 12:03 PM

cool... is that 4wd or 2wd?

#3 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 12:14 PM

Are you running a weber? Just curious as I've never seen a kidney bean shaped K&N... or have your rigged up something else for the old Hitachi?

I totally agree on the slowing down thing - I've been using the cruise on my sedan, and I get the finger a lot too. The other day I got passed by a very angry lancer - he got pulled over about 2 miles later by an unmarked police Dodge Charger! Didn't know they had those here yet. I laughed as now that I have slowed down all my tickets have dropped off my insurance :).

The tire pressure thing is a excelent one as well - I've been upping mine - mostly in the front as the engine weight seems to be too much for 32 PSI. First I went to 35, but now I'm thinking more. I intend to do a contact patch test with some latex paint but haven't got around it. I think about 38 - 40 is about right for the front of an EA81. I seem to get a lot less wear, and much easier steering from it as well. Just going from 32 to 35 got me up from 27 MPG to almost 30.

Also thinking about pulling off my tailgate on the Brat for a while - at least on long trips. Better vision that way too.

Being that my Brat is street only, I'm going to take the "rake" out of the suspension by clocking the torsion bar down, and then adjusting the nut for more height till I get it level. I've got the thing all the way down, and it still sits high in the back. Hugging the ground will help increase mileage too. A front air dam would be sweet, but near impossible to find anymore. They did make them for EA81's back in the day.

I'm amazed that you got 40 - that's really increddible - I'm going to work on getting there.

GD

#4 VaporTrail

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 12:18 PM

http://motors.search...ntrypageZsearch

#5 nvexplorer

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 12:23 PM

My 93 Loyale gets 40mpg every time I take it south of Carson City and back. Don't know exactly what it is about that area but every time I fill up in Carson, drive around, come back and fill up again and its always 40mpg. THen I come back to Reno and its back to 25-30 mpg.

#6 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 12:23 PM

http://motors.search...ntrypageZsearch


Neato - thanks Mick!

(No - I haven't forgot about the valve! :))

GD

#7 roadsubiedog

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 01:05 PM

cool... is that 4wd or 2wd?


It's a 4wd.

And I got the K and N kidney shaped at NAPA. It was around $50 but it will pay for itself and you can renew it.

Another thing I forgot to mention is that I really try to anticipate starts and stops at red lights etc. so that I try to avoid complete stops. Most of you gas consumption is used on starting from a dead stop.

Part of it is money but mostly it is fun trying to squeeze out every mpg.

Before I smog it ( California ) I put that "Pass Smog " stuff in it which usually helps the mpg. The instructions say you can use this stuff about 4 times a year, but I don't think I can do any better than 40mpg.

The Subaru tech at the dealership was pretty impressed. So was the smog shop. They couldn't believe how clean the emissions were for a 300,000 mile car.

Like I mentioned, 90 % of my driving is Freeway and I change the oil religiously every 3-4000 miles. I am not a mechanic but several mechanics at my workplace said this was the one major thing to prolong the engine.

Road Dog

#8 subieman

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 04:56 PM

Dang, I'm lucky if I get 24mpg running around reno. I do climb a lot of hills on my way home all the way to Cold Springs. I drive the speed limit, maybe 5 over sometimes. I run a K&N also. I just did a tune up and it seems to be running better, I hope to get it up around 30. I think I'm gonna run SPFI on it next. I'm sure that will put it over 30 for sure!

#9 jeffast

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 06:33 PM

wow i get around 22 to the gallon but that is in an xt-6 with a k/n, using 6500 as my shift point for first and second with mixed city and freeway
i might have to take a second look at getting a wqagon thats awsome

#10 SakoTGrimes

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 07:12 PM

Also thinking about pulling off my tailgate on the Brat for a while - at least on long trips. Better vision that way too.
GD


On Mythbusters they took 2 new identical Ford F-150s and drove them the same distance, one with the tailgate down. That one ran out of gas first, the reason being that with the gate up it keeps a circle of air flowing in the bed and causing less drag. Truck makers design it that way, not so sure about Brats though.

#11 bgd73

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 08:01 PM

40 is no surprise except for its doing at 297k miles! Does gl have power steering? I had DL carbed manual everything 4wd that hit sprites of over 50. Highway trips at 70 was in the 40's and at its worst was winter in the mid 30's. I bet I won't see anything like that 4wd combo again....shamefully :-\
Even my 2wd loyale SPFI 5spd doesnt even come close to the jaw dropping DL, I can't quite figure it out, unless the a/c compressor and power steering would have to disappear.

#12 DaveT

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 08:23 PM

I only manage about 21MPG. 65 on the highway, 5 over other speed limits. Heavy on the gas, but I do roll to stops. 4 different EA82 AT 4x4 wagons, 1 carbed, 3 SPFI.

#13 jonas

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 09:55 PM

On Mythbusters they took 2 new identical Ford F-150s and drove them the same distance, one with the tailgate down. That one ran out of gas first, the reason being that with the gate up it keeps a circle of air flowing in the bed and causing less drag. Truck makers design it that way, not so sure about Brats though.

true. i saw that episode. again not sure about the brat tho. such a small bed may not make any real difference either way. thought about doing that to my brat till i saw that show. i also have an '84 gl wagon w/200k. sounds like a fun experiment! i'll start keeping accurate records and see what happens. i also have a 45/50 mile commute to work, mostly freeway so this should be fun!

#14 torxxx

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 10:38 PM

40 mpg.... never happen in my car. well maybe if i drove it like a grandma, but what fun is that. :burnout::burnout:

#15 roadsubiedog

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Posted 20 May 2006 - 01:00 PM

40 is no surprise except for its doing at 297k miles! Does gl have power steering? I had DL carbed manual everything 4wd that hit sprites of over 50. Highway trips at 70 was in the 40's and at its worst was winter in the mid 30's. I bet I won't see anything like that 4wd combo again....shamefully :-\
Even my 2wd loyale SPFI 5spd doesnt even come close to the jaw dropping DL, I can't quite figure it out, unless the a/c compressor and power steering would have to disappear.


My Gl does not have power steering or a/c. Maybe your dl had the right gearing.

before I rode my Harley all over the country I changed the transmission sproket so I could go faster without straining the motor so much. I didn't care about the mpg but I could run 80 all day as the motor purred.

I also found out that gasoline is real different with every brand. I usually get my gas at Arco and get the best results. An off brand station is usually worse. Maybe they allow too much water in their gas.

My front axles are clicking and I was wondering if that causes more resistance? They have been clicking for quite awhile.

Also I think I need to look at the wheel bearings. I won't be satisfied until I get the optimum performance out of this vehicle.

I also have a 99 outback and routinely get 30 mpg at 65-70 mph. That's my next project.

RD

#16 baccaruda

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Posted 20 May 2006 - 03:04 PM

I applaud your results. You should put a sign in the back window that says "too slow for you = 40MPG for me!" I'll bet you still get "birdies" but you'll probably get some thumbs-ups to offset them.

I have a host of upgrades planned for my Brat to improve the fuel economy:
  • Tornado air cleaner thingee
  • Magnets all over the gas tank, fuel filter, exhaust pipes, driveshafts and axles, to.. uhh, keep the ionic alignment of the fuel molecules in physio-spiritual harmony with the gas mileage fairies.
  • Cross-drilled fuel lines for a cooler fuel circuit. Everyone knows that excess heat = wasted exothermic potential.
  • Helium in the tires, 45psi. Gonna carry a few extra spare tires filled with same for more "lift"
  • Speaking of lift, I'm adding a Red Baron spoiler to the top of the bed canopy, to reduce drag and to make the back of the car weigh less. Might put one on the hood too.
  • Keep the car washed, waxed, and for extra aerodynamic "lube," Vaseline'd. Except the door handles because I'd look silly if I couldn't even get into my own car.
  • Pay a little "extra" on my monthly physics bill, "just in case."
  • Upgrade to XT/vortex front bumper, fenders, and hood for more aerodynamic street cred. Plus nobody's ever done this with a Brat before AFAIK.
  • Chrome plate the entire car to reflect more energy-robbing heat away
I'll let you all know how this stuff works out.

#17 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 20 May 2006 - 03:21 PM

Thats some impressive MPG you got there. My '84 GL Wagon once got almost 60 miles to the gallon. BUt that was on a road trip from Ashland Oregon to Weed CA. I was following my buddy and he was following big-rigs the entire time. I think the wind draft helped alittle, cause after we left Weed my MPG dropped back down to the 30's.

Im gonna be driving my new '84 GL Hatch from Sac to Reno today, and I think im going to log my miles and calculate my MPG. We'll see what i come up with.


-Brian

#18 roadsubiedog

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Posted 20 May 2006 - 07:27 PM

I applaud your results. You should put a sign in the back window that says "too slow for you = 40MPG for me!" I'll bet you still get "birdies" but you'll probably get some thumbs-ups to offset them.

I have a host of upgrades planned for my Brat to improve the fuel economy:

  • Tornado air cleaner thingee
  • Magnets all over the gas tank, fuel filter, exhaust pipes, driveshafts and axles, to.. uhh, keep the ionic alignment of the fuel molecules in physio-spiritual harmony with the gas mileage fairies.
  • Cross-drilled fuel lines for a cooler fuel circuit. Everyone knows that excess heat = wasted exothermic potential.
  • Helium in the tires, 45psi. Gonna carry a few extra spare tires filled with same for more "lift"
  • Speaking of lift, I'm adding a Red Baron spoiler to the top of the bed canopy, to reduce drag and to make the back of the car weigh less. Might put one on the hood too.
  • Keep the car washed, waxed, and for extra aerodynamic "lube," Vaseline'd. Except the door handles because I'd look silly if I couldn't even get into my own car.
  • Pay a little "extra" on my monthly physics bill, "just in case."
  • Upgrade to XT/vortex front bumper, fenders, and hood for more aerodynamic street cred. Plus nobody's ever done this with a Brat before AFAIK.
  • Chrome plate the entire car to reflect more energy-robbing heat away
I'll let you all know how this stuff works out.


Funny you should mention the sign. I did have a sign in the back window that said "Experimental 100 mpg vehicle" .

I didn't get a finger , horn, or cut off during the whole 2 weeks. I took it off and the next day I got cut off.

Hopefully someone will hit me. I've got uninsured motorist protection.

I don't understand why people get so mad. It's a two lane interstate highway and they can easily go around. I've seen people tailgate me for a couple miles with no one else around. Then they pass and give me the finger. Like f/u for inconvience , I quess.

In my work ( commercial truck driver ) I see a lot of road rage.

I want to make a bumper sticker that says something like; " You should of left before me, a** hole."

RD

#19 roadsubiedog

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Posted 20 May 2006 - 07:28 PM

Thats some impressive MPG you got there. My '84 GL Wagon once got almost 60 miles to the gallon. BUt that was on a road trip from Ashland Oregon to Weed CA. I was following my buddy and he was following big-rigs the entire time. I think the wind draft helped alittle, cause after we left Weed my MPG dropped back down to the 30's.

Im gonna be driving my new '84 GL Hatch from Sac to Reno today, and I think im going to log my miles and calculate my MPG. We'll see what i come up with.


-Brian


That's mostly uphill:brow:

#20 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 21 May 2006 - 10:21 PM

Yeah i didnt track my milage on this trip. My PDA was dead, and it has the software I use. I was lead-foot the entire way so i doubt it would have mattered.

On the way home, i had an additional 50lbs on the bumper (installed my brushguard when i was in Reno) and also installed my roof rack so im sure there was more drag.

-Brian

#21 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 21 May 2006 - 10:54 PM

Easy way to keep the tailgaters at bay:

In town - large hastily scrawled note in the window: "Learning to drive clutch - stay back!"

On the freeway - just scoot way down in your seat or lean over to the passenger side like you are looking for something on the floor - swerve slowly into the breakdown lane and then jerk back into your lane violently - then repete this process with the lane next to you, or into the gravel, etc. They won't be mad - they will think you are nuts and either drop way back or pass you.

Yes - I know I'm insane. How many of you have rammed someone on the freeway (on purpose) with your lifted ru? :lol:

GD

#22 jeffast

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Posted 21 May 2006 - 11:40 PM

never with the ru but i tried to run over a saab in my chevrolet once

#23 ShawnW

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 09:56 PM

40 mpg.... never happen in my car. well maybe if i drove it like a grandma, but what fun is that. :burnout::burnout:


He's saying he thinks its a fun challenge to see how many MPG he can achieve.

#24 DaveT

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 10:10 PM

Easy way to keep the tailgaters at bay:


Back in my younger crazier days. I had a 76 4WD 4spd wagon. On the rural roads back & forth to work, I would usually be at about 10 over the speed limit at like 40MPH. And surprisingly often, some @#$ would be glued to my bumper. A quick downshift from 4th to 3rd dropped about 10MPH really quick.

Results:

At least once, I got someone to lock u'm up.
If the tailgater stayed there, it was 90% a young woman.
If the tailgater zipped around me, 90% it was a guy.
Once, miles later, down the road, I saw the guy apparently writing down my tag number. - never heard anything about it.

NOTE - I do not recomend this practice! I just find a safe place to pull over & let them by.

#25 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 10:43 PM

I swear one of these days when I have an expendable car (it's bound to occur at some point - jeez I get subaru's like crazy), I know it's going to happen. The right time - the right day - maybe I'm not terribly interested in showup up for work on time or whatever. Someone is going to eat a subaru. I'm just going to lock em up with them riding 8 feet off my bumper and let the car go to the crusher. I'm an upstanding citizen, member of the national guard, and I've NEVER had an accident. I'll tell all about the puppies that were in the road in front of me..... oh it will be an awesome day fo-sho. And being an expendable car I'll ask for an unreasonable amount from the insurance, claim injuries - oh joyus day indeed! If I only cure one idiot of tailgating, then I will have contributed a little. I'll try to make sure it's one of those $50k SUV's. My little Subaru will total it. hehehehe.

Oh yeah - and I won't lock em up till I see them turn their head to the side to make sure their reaction time is less.

GD




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