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Sporkman
January 17th, 2008, 06:46 PM
http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/environment/2008-01-16-improving-engines_N.htm?csp=34


Car engines squeeze power out of every drop of gas

By Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY

DETROIT — Looking to cut gasoline consumption by up to 20%, automakers aren't just rolling out pricey diesel-powered models or gas-electric hybrids.

General Motors (GM) , Ford Motor (F) and others are launching big initiatives to get more mileage out of what they sell now: tweaking internal-combustion engines with turbochargers and a technology called gasoline direct injection. The goal is to make fuel-stingy small engines perform like big ones.

"There is still a lot left in those engines," says Daniel Hancock, vice president of GM Powertrain. "It's the near-term way to improve fuel economy."

Direct injection makes fuel burning more efficient by squirting it straight into combustion chambers instead of mixing it with air in an intake port. Turbos, tiny windmills spun by otherwise wasted exhaust, run compressors that blast air into intakes to mix with fuel.

Best for car buyers, vehicles with the modified engines cost thousands less than hybrids or the coming wave of clean diesels. Leading the way:

•Ford Motor. The automaker just announced EcoBoost, an initiative to use turbochargers and direct injection across the lineup to cut fuel consumption by up to 20% and limit greenhouse gas emissions.

"We are going to have 500,000 vehicles in the next five years that will have this enabling technology," said Ford CEO Alan Mulally in an interview at the North American International Auto Show.

EcoBoost will make its debut in the Lincoln MKS, on sale next year. Its twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 will have 340 horsepower, equivalent to a V-8. Ford also showed off the technology in its Explorer America concept vehicle at the show, which runs through Tuesday.

•GM. Hancock says that direct-injected, turbocharged engines will start sweeping through the automaker's lineup. It started with a 2-liter, 260-horsepower four-cylinder engine on the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky sports cars. The same engine is in the SS version of the Chevrolet HHR small sport utility that just went on sale. It will come to the Chevy Cobalt SS that hits showrooms in April.

•Mazda. The CX-7 crossover has the same 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with direct gasoline injection as the high-performance MazdaSpeed3. It provides as much power as the automaker's 3.7-liter V-6, which doesn't have the advanced features. The 2.3 is "considerably smaller and lighter, which allows it to be packaged in a smaller vehicle," spokesman Jeremy Barnes says. It was chosen for the CX-7 because the vehicle is meant to be small and nimble.

•Audi. A 2-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder with direct gasoline injection powers the A3 five-door hatchback, A4 sedan and TT sports car. "You feel the power of a V-6," Audi Chairman Rupert Stadler says.

Experts say that hopping up today's car engines with turbos and direct injection is a common-sense way to increase gas mileage. Hybrids typically deliver 30% in gasoline savings depending on the model, compared with the modified internal-combustion engine's 20%, says Brett Smith of the Center for Automotive Research. Adding direct injection and turbos to internal-combustion engines typically costs automakers about $1,000 per vehicle, compared with $3,000 for diesel engines and $4,000 for a gas-electric hybrid.

Ford estimates its EcoBoost system will pay for itself in gas savings in less than three years for drivers who log about 15,000 miles a year, compared with a seven-year payback for diesel engines and 11 to 12 years for hybrids, says Dan Kapp of Ford powertrain research.

But getting consumers to accept the new technology won't always be easy. Turbos have been around for years and were rejected by some drivers for their balky performance, dubbed turbo lag. The new ones, engineers say, are much improved.

Automakers' embrace of making small engines seem bigger for efficiency is a turnabout: In recent years, the trend to raise gas mileage has been toward making big engines seem smaller, such as cutting off use of cylinders not needed in low-demand situations.

Now, direct-injected engines with turbos "is the technology that is coming on big," Smith says.

tgalati4
January 17th, 2008, 07:58 PM
Mileage is great until the turbo fries. Many consumers have been burned in the past. It's interesting to see how US auto manufacturers are looking for the quick fix.

prizrak
January 17th, 2008, 08:36 PM
As tgalati4 put it the worst thing about the turbo is that it burns out quickly. About 80,000 miles is an average life span of a turbo. Also while the turbo's are great for producing huge power out of tiny engines they are not that economical. I drive a 1.8T A4 and I get decent mileage up until the turbo starts boosting, at which point I get half of what I would normally get at best.

daverich
January 17th, 2008, 08:47 PM
why oh why oh why do the americans have to have such bloody huge engines anyway?

I've got a 1.9 turbo diesel which gives around 115bhp.

THAT IS PLENTY ENOUGH!

Kind regards

Dave Rich

mips
January 17th, 2008, 10:02 PM
Direct Injection is not really new, same goes for turbos.

Turbos generate more heat, don't last long, are expensive to replace, bad for engine life.

Why do people need V8's anyway ?

SZF2001
January 17th, 2008, 10:06 PM
why oh why oh why do the americans have to have such bloody huge engines anyway?

I've got a 1.9 turbo diesel which gives around 115bhp.

THAT IS PLENTY ENOUGH!

Kind regards

Dave Rich

Please help me move out of this country.

Also, size is for compensating for something. I don't know what, but it's damn well annoying.

prizrak
January 18th, 2008, 12:29 AM
why oh why oh why do the americans have to have such bloody huge engines anyway?

I've got a 1.9 turbo diesel which gives around 115bhp.

THAT IS PLENTY ENOUGH!

Kind regards

Dave Rich

115 isn't enough I got 170 and it's not enough :) (Despite pretty good performance)

Direct Injection is not really new, same goes for turbos.

Turbos generate more heat, don't last long, are expensive to replace, bad for engine life.

Why do people need V8's anyway ?
Yep on both #1 and 2.
V8's are totally pointless, they weigh too much and the power they produce is largely unusable in most situations. V6's are the best IMO, they can be either turbo'ed or supercharged and even the N/A ones make good power. They are also compact and light enough.

SolusNunquam
January 18th, 2008, 12:42 AM
lol @ me with my 3.7 V6, gas sucks.

DeusEx
January 18th, 2008, 12:48 AM
woowwwwww!! US of A is discovering 'new' technology!

My old car drove 18 km on 1L, (1.9 Turbo Diesel)
The 'advanced' technology used in this particular car stemms from 1995!

Still, the cars probably contribute least to national gas consumption.

bufsabre666
January 18th, 2008, 12:52 AM
even though i defend the asian cars when at work cause they have cut and dry part size so its easier to swap out

well i also have to defend the american cars, they are really nice and have alot of power, americans want a second home style car with alot of power, and i understand this, americans haul alot of things back and forth power comes in handy

but its a personal preference thing why do we have to make it about country? there have been american cars for ages getting 50mpg, its just its what the people want here so you never hear about them

SolusNunquam
January 18th, 2008, 01:18 AM
bufsabre666 has a point, i have a Jeep Liberty, got it mostly out of necessity, but that things can haul, great for my trips to florida :)

Pethegreat
January 18th, 2008, 01:48 AM
Why do people need V8's anyway ?
Some people have a real need for a V8. V8's offer low end tourque that no 6 or 4 cylinder will ever match. V8's are great for towing and hauling. You don't need a giant SUV or truck to drive to work every day though.


there have been american cars for ages getting 50mpg, its just its what the people want here so you never hear about them
People in the US want that feeling of power in a car over everything else. The Tiny cars that get 50mpg lack the power of larger cars. If people would drive a stick those cars would have no problem wih power. Americans love their automatic transmission.

I own a Chevy Aveo. It is the cheapest and smallest car for sale as of now in the US. I implied that I get the 5-speed transmision with it. I test drove an automatic version of the car, It was sluggish, which is why people hate small cars. I have no problem with power in my 5-speed model, and I get around 30mpg.

Many cars will get better milage with syntechic oil. Snythetic oil has better properties which will help your milage. I need to change the oil in my car, and I am going for the snythetic.

Tundro Walker
January 18th, 2008, 02:54 AM
American auto-manufacturers are first and fore-most a business. So, they want to put in the least amount of work to get back the most revenue. It's more cost-effective to keep tweaking ICE's than to try to invent hybrids, all-electrics, etc. It's like the difference between sanding off the rough-edges of furniture you already made vs. inventing all new furniture.

However, American alternative energy is back-asswards anyways. Brazil makes it work with ethanol, because they use sugar cane, which gets a bigger bang for your buck during conversion. America's using corn, which gets less bang for the buck when converted to ethanol. Plus, they've put tariffs on sugar cane imports to prevent it from out-competing corn. The whole point of going to ethanol was to have a low-cost alternative fuel. But with all the jacking around, ethanol ends up being more expensive to produce and less effective. Of course, big automotive and big oil companies probably have a lobbyists in Washington making sure this stays the case for a while... crazy. (PS: I'm American).

mips
January 18th, 2008, 12:49 PM
V8's are totally pointless, they weigh too much and the power they produce is largely unusable in most situations. V6's are the best IMO, they can be either turbo'ed or supercharged and even the N/A ones make good power. They are also compact and light enough.

Agreed.


Some people have a real need for a V8. V8's offer low end tourque that no 6 or 4 cylinder will ever match. V8's are great for towing and hauling. You don't need a giant SUV or truck to drive to work every day though.


I don't agree. I test drove both the 2.7l TDV6 Diesel & 4.4l V8 Petrol Land Rover Discovery. The 2.7l TDV6 performed much better than the V8 and it was a nicer drive. The V8 power felt like a stretchy eleastic band compared to the V6. The V6 also had more torque than the V8.

Yes, I know I'm comparing a diesel to a petrol engine. But the diesel, although only 2.7l, performed so well. Average fuel economy is 10.4 vs 15 (L/100km) so the diesel kicks but here. The diesel is also a lighter car which helps if you offroad. In its higest gear the V8 is 15km/h faster than the diesel but wtf drives at 195km/h in a SUV anyway, besides if you get stopped here you are going to get locked up anyway.

Maybe we should look at smaller better performing diesel engines than petrol V8 engines in future.

Are diesel powered cars big in the USA or not ?

bufsabre666
January 18th, 2008, 12:56 PM
the diesel car is ganna have the power advantage just on the nature of how the diesel engine compresses air so it doesnt need the spark

diesels are not popular in america, alot of states, new york, new hampshire, california, etc actually banned the sale of new ones some years back, cars that is trucks are still fine, so if you get a diesel over here you have to get it second hand or have it imported

mips
January 18th, 2008, 01:58 PM
diesels are not popular in america, alot of states, new york, new hampshire, california, etc actually banned the sale of new ones some years back, cars that is trucks are still fine, so if you get a diesel over here you have to get it second hand or have it imported

How many years back and why did they ban them?

Diesel is more environmentally friendly and also cheaper to manufacture.

bufsabre666
January 18th, 2008, 02:02 PM
i beileve my uncle said it was 99

i dont remember when it happend considering i was 10 in 99

prizrak
January 18th, 2008, 02:14 PM
How many years back and why did they ban them?

Diesel is more environmentally friendly and also cheaper to manufacture.

Biodiesel is eco friendly not regular diesel. Diesel is the fuel of the devil!!! (Jeremy Clarkson). Diesel engines are very interesting in the way they work, however I would prefer an ethanol burner any day, those things got power to spare.

mysticrider92
January 18th, 2008, 02:14 PM
How many years back and why did they ban them?

Diesel is more environmentally friendly and also cheaper to manufacture.

Diesel is expensive here, on average $0.30 more per gallon (than regular gas). I have seen a good many VW and Mercades diesel cars around here, which I guess people like because they last so long and get nearly 60 mpg.

I think V8 engines are disappearing anyway, they really have no use other than the muscle cars (so just for fun anyway). Most large trucks now use V10's or diesel since they have so much more power. Personally, I would be just as happy with a 3.4 liter flat six (since Porsche is one of the only makers of this type of engine). :)

mips
January 18th, 2008, 02:51 PM
Diesel is the fuel of the devil!!! (Jeremy Clarkson).

lol, speaking of Clarkson & diesel did you ever see that episode where he tried to get around Nürburgring in a Jaguar S-Type Diesel in under 10minutes? Afterwards that woman Sabine Schmidt took the same car made Clarkson look like a snail.

Video here:
http://www.topgearvideo.com/comedy/jaguar-diesel-nurburgring.html

.

mips
January 18th, 2008, 02:53 PM
Personally, I would be just as happy with a 3.4 liter flat six (since Porsche is one of the only makers of this type of engine). :)

The flat four in the Subaru is also a very nice engine ;)

hkgonra
January 18th, 2008, 04:26 PM
I don't know about you mips but I can't afford a land rover.

Try hauling 6 people a pickup bed full of luggage and a boat through the mountains on vacation with a v-6 , been there , done that , almost died.
I'll keep my V-8.

prizrak
January 19th, 2008, 04:42 PM
lol, speaking of Clarkson & diesel did you ever see that episode where he tried to get around Nürburgring in a Jaguar S-Type Diesel in under 10minutes? Afterwards that woman Sabine Schmidt took the same car made Clarkson look like a snail.

Video here:
http://www.topgearvideo.com/comedy/jaguar-diesel-nurburgring.html

.

Yep, Sabine is absolutely insane :)

Try hauling 6 people a pickup bed full of luggage and a boat through the mountains on vacation with a v-6 , been there , done that , almost died.
I'll keep my V-8.
You can thank the US auto industry for that. If you had a diesel you would have been fine.

regomodo
January 19th, 2008, 04:53 PM
why not just cut weight so you don't need a f**koff sized over-engineered engine?

Whiffle
January 19th, 2008, 04:56 PM
You can thank the US auto industry for that. If you had a diesel you would have been fine.

Give it a couple of years, GM and Ford working on offering diesels in their 1/2 ton trucks. Wee! I don't think its so much a problem of them wanting to sell V8s as a government issue really. But whatever.

Whiffle
January 19th, 2008, 04:57 PM
why not just cut weight so you don't need a f**koff sized over-engineered engine?

All 6 people can only bring a spare pair of underwear, and we have to use an inflatable boat...

mips
January 19th, 2008, 05:00 PM
Yep, Sabine is absolutely insane :)

If you had a diesel you would have been fine.

If you want to haul stuff a diesel is definately the thing to have. Might be the reason they use them in trucks and stuff :)

hkgonra
January 19th, 2008, 06:17 PM
If you want to haul stuff a diesel is definately the thing to have. Might be the reason they use them in trucks and stuff :)
Hydrogen might be better too but it is kinda tough to fill the tank. ;)

My point is that I have at least 30 gas stations within a 10 minute drive from my home.
The only gas station I know that has diesel is 25-30 minutes from my house.

I live, work, shop and pretty much everything else in my daily life within a 10 minute drive from my house.
A diesel is just not practical for me.

jeffus_il
January 19th, 2008, 06:25 PM
Every attempt to make cars cleaner and more environmentally friendly is futile, it's like taking aspirin for cancer. People need to stop driving cars, thats it, Only use of public transport will ease the problem. Even if they manage to find the perfectly clean engine, we will suffer some form of heat pollution, "there is no free ride". Within ten to twenty years billions of Indians and Chinese will start driving their own private cars, the economic boom there will enable this, we will have to buy bottled air and wear spacesuits.

Pethegreat
January 19th, 2008, 06:55 PM
The diesel is also a lighter car which helps if you offroad
A diesel engine needs to be heavier to better take the incresed compression. I work at an industrial engine warehouse. You can get a 10hp(7kw) gas engine for around $600. A diesel model of the same power will be around $1000.


People need to stop driving cars, thats it, Only use of public transport will ease the problem.
The nearest bus stop is 5 miles away for me. The nearest train station is 30 miles away. I can choose to risk my life and ride a bike(motorists are inconsiderate of bikes). It will never be feisable to run a bus out to where I live. People will always need a car if they don't live in a city.


why not just cut weight so you don't need a f**koff sized over-engineered engine?
I would love to have a small 200cc Honda motorcycle for daily driving. Now my 2500lb(1100kg) aveo is just hauling me and its self around. A small motorcycle is only 300lb(75kg). I don't have one due to family issues. They say there are not safe. They say you can't haul stuff in them or drive them in the winter.

mips
January 19th, 2008, 09:36 PM
A diesel engine needs to be heavier to better take the incresed compression. I work at an industrial engine warehouse. You can get a 10hp(7kw) gas engine for around $600. A diesel model of the same power will be around $1000.


I was comparing the diesel & petrol Discovery models, the diesel is lighter in this case.

mips
January 19th, 2008, 09:39 PM
My point is that I have at least 30 gas stations within a 10 minute drive from my home.
The only gas station I know that has diesel is 25-30 minutes from my house.


Then I feel sorry for those people with pickups & trucks. This is beginning to sound like some conspiracy ;)

Every single petrol station in this 3rd world country I live in has diesel pumps, not as many as petrol but they are there.

mips
January 19th, 2008, 09:41 PM
The nearest bus stop is 5 miles away for me. The nearest train station is 30 miles away. I can choose to risk my life and ride a bike(motorists are inconsiderate of bikes). It will never be feisable to run a bus out to where I live. People will always need a car if they don't live in a city.


We have the same problem over here. The europeans forget they have a very good public transport system. Everything is also more built up and closer together there.

popch
January 19th, 2008, 09:51 PM
(...) The europeans forget they have a very good public transport system. Everything is also more built up and closer together there.

It would be false to say that the europeans have more choice because of their more effective public transportation and the higher concentration of dwellings.

The public transportation and the distribution of dwellings is also a consequence of the decisions by many people to use less energy and personal time for transportation to and from work.

Therefore, many europeans do not 'forget' that. What they forget is that many people in other countries have value systems which make it unthinkable for them to improve their transportation systems and needs. In other words, many of them actually want to traverse great distances in their daily lives and to use the least efficient methods for doing that.

johndc
January 19th, 2008, 10:41 PM
I would be just as happy with a 3.4 liter flat six (since Porsche is one of the only makers of this type of engine). :)

My father's Subaru Outback VDC has a 3.0 flat six (called an H-6), which is plenty powerful and handles better than anything.

My subaru flat-4 has a good deal of power as well, owing to it's 2.5 litre size. Not to mention the acceleration boost you get from driving the rear wheels.

prizrak
January 20th, 2008, 02:18 AM
Every attempt to make cars cleaner and more environmentally friendly is futile, it's like taking aspirin for cancer. People need to stop driving cars, thats it, Only use of public transport will ease the problem. Even if they manage to find the perfectly clean engine, we will suffer some form of heat pollution, "there is no free ride". Within ten to twenty years billions of Indians and Chinese will start driving their own private cars, the economic boom there will enable this, we will have to buy bottled air and wear spacesuits.

Do you think public transport generates power out of thin air? No! The electric based ones are using power derived mostly from coal burning power plants. ICE based public transport polutes just about as much as driving cars does.

On top of it all there are many issues with a public transport system. For one it is public, that means it runs on its own schedule and HAS to accomodate a large amount of people. Meaning that if you don't live in a densely populated area no one is going to run a bus/train line to you.

I will give you an example of my own commute. As I live in NYC the train is my main mode of transportation to/from work. Right now I have to be at work at 7:30am which means that I wake up at 6:10, take a shower and am out of the house by 6:35. I board a 6:40am train that gets me to the station at 7:23am, which gives me 7 minutes to walk to the office. As it is a few blocks of walking with traffic lights I usually make it exactly at 7:30am.

One of these days I had to be at the office at 6:30am. I showed up at the train station at 5:30am and my fair card expired. I attempted to buy one from a vending machine but it did not take cards. The station attendant does not take credit cards either. As I had no cash on me at the time he didn't let me in (despite it clearly being the MTA's fault). So I went back to my house, got in my car and went to work. I left my driveway around 5:40am and was at the office by 6:00am. It took me 20 minutes to drive from my house to the office.

Now I am covering for a co worker who is out for a few weeks so I will be doing a midnight - 8:00am overnight shift for the next couple of weeks. At that time the train runs every half hour and it only goes local, which means that normal 45 minute train ride turns into over and hour, and that is just on the train itself not counting the walking and the waiting. There are also of course possibility of service interruption as alot of track work is being done overnight.

That is without taking into account the fact that my car is loads more comfortable than the train and that I parked right outside of the office so I didn't need to walk at all. (It gets pretty cold). Now take into account the fact that the train is not always on time, there are delays, interruptions, breakages on the line. To add insult to injury this train is elevated for about half of the journey and the heat is almost never on (it was on twice in the past 4 months of being cold).

Also take into the account the fact that you cannot carry alot of bags and luggage with you (in fact it is illegal to have anything larger than a backpack on NYC subway, it's not enforced but the law is there). There is also having to deal with people that you might not necessarily want to deal with and even outside of rush hour PS is pretty crowded.

To make matters worse running public transport "after hours" is more environmentally damaging than driving. A bus puts out alot more pollution than an average car and at 2am you won't see a bus full of people it will be one or two late birds.

People need to stop singling cars out for environmental issues. There are many other factors that pollute. Factories and power plants put out more pollution than cars. There are also other vehicles such as sea ships and airplanes that produce the same type of pollution as cars do. That's not even taking into account the fact that just about every house has at least one boiler (in my building each apartment gets its' own boiler) that also pollute the atmosphere. Hell even something as common place as restaurants contribute to pollution, with their grills and deep fryers. That is not to mention all the pollution produced by things we throw away. Getting rid of personal transportation is not a solution making it cleaner and more efficient is.

My subaru flat-4 has a good deal of power as well, owing to it's 2.5 litre size. Not to mention the acceleration boost you get from driving the rear wheels.
If my memory serves me right all Subaru's are AWD.

jeffc313
January 20th, 2008, 03:22 AM
As tgalati4 put it the worst thing about the turbo is that it burns out quickly. About 80,000 miles is an average life span of a turbo. Also while the turbo's are great for producing huge power out of tiny engines they are not that economical. I drive a 1.8T A4 and I get decent mileage up until the turbo starts boosting, at which point I get half of what I would normally get at best.

I've noticed the same thing out of my 2.0L SAAB 900

prizrak
January 20th, 2008, 04:47 AM
I've noticed the same thing out of my 2.0L SAAB 900

I don't remember if that one is a 2WD or AWD. Mine is worsened by the all time AWD system :(

Pethegreat
January 20th, 2008, 05:00 AM
So I went back to my house, got in my car and went to work. I left my driveway around 5:40am and was at the office by 6:00am. It took me 20 minutes to drive from my house to the office.
I would think you would be stuck in traffic.



Every single petrol station in this 3rd world country I live in has diesel pumps, not as many as petrol but they are there.
Diesel engines are extremly reliable. They don't need spark plugs or a fancy ingition system. All you need are glow plugs to start it up. When you are away from an easy source of parts, you want a relaible engine.

Turbos have a serious problem with power distrobution. Drivers can be caught off gaurd by when the turbo comes up and boosts the power. Many of Porshe's turbo models were dangerous to drive due to that fact.

HermanAB
January 20th, 2008, 05:31 AM
On the "why huge engines in America" story:
Much of North America is very high above sea level. Big engines help with performance in thin Alpine air. These big engines are low pressure and run on el-cheapo low octane petrol. I can literally put anything that can burn into my chevvy and she won't splutter.

Another thing to bear in mind is that the distances between any two places in North America is huge compared to Europe. Many people need vehicles than can comfortably cruise several hundred kilometers on a daily basis. Cars are literally competing with aircraft here.

The roads, being so long, are in terrible shape compared to Europe, since there is only so money going around for maintenance. Road surfaces are extremely uneven. Small cars in this situation just don't work well, since they bounce around like crazy. The result is that the most popular vehicles in North America are pickup trucks and those are also huge by European standards. A SUV is basically a pickup truck with 4 doors and that is why they became popular.

Winter is something special as well. Notably in the northern states and Canada. Driving on a winter road in a city suburb is somewhat similar to driving on a bad farm dirt track, but actually much worse. People get stuck in shopping mall parking lots. You can get stuck in your own driveway if you are not careful. A low slung little European Dinky Toy just won't work for me, since it will get hung up on the ice ridges in the street in front of my house. Some people have Winter and Summer cars, but I don't have that kind of money. Another plus for a big engine is that the inefficiency means lots of hot air to keep you warm, while it may be sudden death from a heart attack at minus 35 outside the car.

Finally, when comparing American 'mileage' to European, bear in mind that the US gallon is only about 3.5 litres, while the old European gallon is about 4.5 litres. The result is that US mileage always sounds very bad compared to Europe. In reality it is the same.

Cheers,

H.

johndc
January 20th, 2008, 06:22 AM
If my memory serves me right all Subaru's are AWD.

They are indeed. I was referring to the difference between FWD and AWD. The acceleration is quicker with AWD because the rear wheels are also being driven.


On the "why huge engines in America" story:
Much of North America is very high above sea level. Big engines help with performance in thin Alpine air

North America (like most of the northern hemisphere) is mostly above sea level, but I would for the most part not consider it "Alpine" in magnitude.

Consider the following:

1) the bulk of the population lives in the eastern third of the continent.

2) the highest peak in the eastern third of the United States (Mt. Mitchell, in the Blue Ridge mountains) is only 6700 ft.

3) Mont Blanc is 15,700 feet; Grauspitze is 8500 feet.

4) the Blue Ridge mountains are in the more sparsely populated southeastern United States.

5) the highest population density in North America is in the New York City metropolitan area.

6) The highest point in this area is the aptly-named High Point (1800 feet). The island of Manhattan is only 100-feet above sea level.

So for most of us there's no real reason to need an oversized V-8. Except for the fact that without the V-8, that 3.5-ton Lincoln Navigator you just bought would be unable to get out of it's own way.

prizrak
January 20th, 2008, 06:46 AM
I would think you would be stuck in traffic.

Not that early in the morning.

Turbos have a serious problem with power distrobution. Drivers can be caught off gaurd by when the turbo comes up and boosts the power. Many of Porshe's turbo models were dangerous to drive due to that fact.
Turbo's tend to spool at certain RPM's, which is fairly reliable. Porsche's were dangerous to drive because the engine on them was over the rear wheels, which made them very tail heavy and prone to oversteer.
They are indeed. I was referring to the difference between FWD and AWD. The acceleration is quicker with AWD because the rear wheels are also being driven.
Don't get me started on the FWD, I absolutely hate that layout and would gladly go back in time and kill the designer.

mips
January 20th, 2008, 01:20 PM
Therefore, many europeans do not 'forget' that. What they forget is that many people in other countries have value systems which make it unthinkable for them to improve their transportation systems and needs. In other words, many of them actually want to traverse great distances in their daily lives and to use the least efficient methods for doing that.

I don't really buy that. Some countries like ours could probably not afford to roll out a public transport system like europe.

Secondly I know very few people that like driving 50-100km to work and back everyday and get stuck in traffic jams and waste hours of their non-working day where they could have been doing something else. I for one used to travel 90km everyday, get stuck in traffic and I hated every single minute of it and everyone I knew did not like it. I think your assumption on this is way of the mark.

mips
January 20th, 2008, 01:24 PM
On the "why huge engines in America" story:
Much of North America is very high above sea level. Big engines help with performance in thin Alpine air. These big engines are low pressure and run on el-cheapo low octane petrol. I can literally put anything that can burn into my chevvy and she won't splutter.

Another thing to bear in mind is that the distances between any two places in North America is huge compared to Europe. Many people need vehicles than can comfortably cruise several hundred kilometers on a daily basis. Cars are literally competing with aircraft here.

Finally, when comparing American 'mileage' to European, bear in mind that the US gallon is only about 3.5 litres, while the old European gallon is about 4.5 litres. The result is that US mileage always sounds very bad compared to Europe. In reality it is the same.



Superchargers/compressors (not turbos) would make smaller engines more efficient and better performing at high altitude than any normally aspirated engine.

Europeans don't use gallons/miles (Except the brits/uk) so I don't really see the relevance here. Mainland europe moved onto the metric system many years ago.

mips
January 20th, 2008, 01:27 PM
Not that early in the morning.

Turbo's tend to spool at certain RPM's, which is fairly reliable. Porsche's were dangerous to drive because the engine on them was over the rear wheels, which made them very tail heavy and prone to oversteer.


Yeah, if you werent carefull the tail could pass you :)

In those days there was also a lot more boost lag which is not so cool as it sometimes kicked in when you werent expecting it.

AbredPeytr
January 20th, 2008, 01:51 PM
why oh why oh why do the americans have to have such bloody huge engines anyway?

I've got a 1.9 turbo diesel which gives around 115bhp.

THAT IS PLENTY ENOUGH!

Kind regards

Dave Rich

Because they're driving SUVs (e.g. Hummer) that weigh as much as a tank and don't want to drive diesel because of the still perceived image from the 70s that diesel engines are low performers.

The better question is, why do Americans feel the need to drive "off road" vehicles that never go off road (unless you consider hitting a puddle during a rain storm off road).

I think we need to pay for gas like we pay for water. You pay for what comes in and also a sewage fee for what goes out. Pollution from automobiles is as bad or worse as sewage.

Also, end tax breaks to oil companies. I'm tired of giving them money (twice if you think about it), hearing them whine about not having enough money to pay for exploration and development AND then report multi-billion $ profits for the year.

AbredPeytr
January 20th, 2008, 01:53 PM
So for most of us there's no real reason to need an oversized V-8. Except for the fact that without the V-8, that 3.5-ton Lincoln Navigator you just bought would be unable to get out of it's own way.

And these are driven my little old ladies who typicall drive 20 miles per hour below the speed limit :-) I've seen gold carts pass them.

prizrak
January 20th, 2008, 04:10 PM
I don't really buy that. Some countries like ours could probably not afford to roll out a public transport system like europe.

Secondly I know very few people that like driving 50-100km to work and back everyday and get stuck in traffic jams and waste hours of their non-working day where they could have been doing something else. I for one used to travel 90km everyday, get stuck in traffic and I hated every single minute of it and everyone I knew did not like it. I think your assumption on this is way of the mark.

I second that, if it would take me more than 20-30 minutes to drive to work and I would have to deal with traffic I would absolutely hate that. The one great advantage of trains/buses is that even if it takes longer you can do things during your commute, while in a car you have to drive yourself.

The main public trans problem in places like NYC is that it is hugely overpopulated and the transit system cannot keep up with the demand.

Superchargers/compressors (not turbos) would make smaller engines more efficient and better performing at high altitude than any normally aspirated engine.
Superchargers aren't all that efficient because they are driven by the car's engine. Depending on the type and the output of a supercharger you might need a V8 just to drive the belt. What I want to know is why no one uses electrical superchargers, they can provide the same (if not greater) compression and run off of the electricity produced by the car's generator. Additional benefit of an electric supercharger would be an ability to quickly turn it on and off as necessary.

HermanAB
January 20th, 2008, 06:59 PM
"why do Americans feel the need to drive "off road" vehicles that never go off road"

You haven't seen the roads around here in winter have you? Some people have winter and summer cars, but most cannot afford the luxury. Where I live, suburban roads do not get plowed. They resemble the worst farm dirt roads after a while and cars can and do get hung up on the ridges. So for a goodly part of the year, off-road vehicles do a lot of 4x4 driving in the suburbs on supposed paved roads - well the paving is down there somewhere, but generally not at the level where you are driving.

Lem
January 20th, 2008, 07:40 PM
I don't get the US obsession with engine size either. The same goes for New Zealand - possibly the most environmentally aware country I've ever been to, yet everyone drives 4.0 cars, why? (That said, the NZ'ers are importing more japanese and euro cars than before)
As for reliability and cold/off road use - this doesn't seem to bother than scandinvians who travel vast distances on poor roads in freezing temperatures in often fairly standard european cars.
The engines in european/japanese cars are vastly better engineered than those stateside. You'd expect around 300bhp from a normally aspirated 3.6V6 over here and the diesel technology is coming on leaps and bounds - just look at the V12TDi Audi R8!

And another thing.. US 'green' car of the year. A 6.0l SUV.. but it's a hybrid! Oooh.. that'll be 21mpg then.

Whiffle
January 20th, 2008, 07:46 PM
Superchargers aren't all that efficient because they are driven by the car's engine. Depending on the type and the output of a supercharger you might need a V8 just to drive the belt. What I want to know is why no one uses electrical superchargers, they can provide the same (if not greater) compression and run off of the electricity produced by the car's generator. Additional benefit of an electric supercharger would be an ability to quickly turn it on and off as necessary.


Electric superchargers are still being driven by the cars engine, you've just added the conversion from mechanical to electrical and then electrical to mechanical energy in between, which will make them less efficient than belt driven.

prizrak
January 20th, 2008, 07:56 PM
Electric superchargers are still being driven by the cars engine, you've just added the conversion from mechanical to electrical and then electrical to mechanical energy in between, which will make them less efficient than belt driven.
The engine drives a generator anyway regardless of the power consumption so an electric supercharger would not be using any extra engine power. Also if you are into modifying cars the first thing that EVERYONE advises is that you change your belt driven cooling fan for an electric one as it uses much less engine power.

Anyone who drives a car with an AC system will tell you that as soon as you turn the AC on you lose power noticeably. That is due to the engine driving the AC pump with the accessory belt.

Whiffle
January 20th, 2008, 08:03 PM
The engine drives a generator anyway regardless of the power consumption so an electric supercharger would not be using any extra engine power. Also if you are into modifying cars the first thing that EVERYONE advises is that you change your belt driven cooling fan for an electric one as it uses much less engine power.

Anyone who drives a car with an AC system will tell you that as soon as you turn the AC on you lose power noticeably. That is due to the engine driving the AC pump with the accessory belt.

You're confusing different things here.

A supercharger requires power, no matter what you're doing with it, or how you're driving it. If you run it with a belt, you're giving it power directly off the engine. If you run it electrically, you have to run the alternator, which converts the energy into electrical energy, send it over some wires, and then spin a motor which converts it back into mechanical energy. Its 6 one way and half a dozen the other, you're still sending power to the supercharger, except electrically is less efficient because you have to convert it from one form of energy to another, twice.

Yes, electric fans are one of the first mods, but not because its being driven by the engine. The nature of a mechanical fan clutch is that the fan some spins ALL the time, even when it doesn't need to. When the temperature is such that the clutch locks up, then the fan spins much more. But, it is still consuming energy even when it doesn't need to. Thats why people put electric fans on, they're less efficient when they're running, but because you can turn them completely off unlike a mechanical fan clutch, they're more suited to the situation.

Yeah, the AC uses power. It would use just as much if it were electrically driven, maybe even a little more due to the efficiency losses in conversion.

There is a reason that all these accessories aren't run electrically in the first place, its more efficient to do it with a belt. It also requires a much smaller alternator.

FrankVdb
January 20th, 2008, 11:03 PM
Fact is, diesel engines are much more efficient than petrol cars. Because of that, they consume much less fuel and they provide much more torque than petrol engines of the same size.

The backdraw is: they emit a lot of fine dust particles, which is bad if you're an asthma patient.

When talking to US people I have noticed that they are very biassed towards diesel engines. Of course they don't know Audi won the 24 hour Le Mans car race with a diesel powered engine.

Whiffle
January 20th, 2008, 11:45 PM
When talking to US people I have noticed that they are very biassed towards diesel engines. Of course they don't know Audi won the 24 hour Le Mans car race with a diesel powered engine.


Actually, i DO know that. Sheesh. You'd think that every one else thinks americans live under rocks or something.

I'd love to have a diesel in my vehicle. I can't even buy one here from companies that offer them in other countries. I think the gov is starting to see the light and change the regulations though, so hopefully we'll be able to get more diesel vehicles here in a few years.

johndc
January 21st, 2008, 12:34 AM
And these are driven my little old ladies who typicall drive 20 miles per hour below the speed limit :-) I've seen gold carts pass them.

No. Most SUV's are (seemingly) operated by soccer moms who drive recklessly while talking on their cell phones to other soccer moms who are also driving recklessly.

Pethegreat
January 21st, 2008, 01:50 AM
And another thing.. US 'green' car of the year. A 6.0l SUV.. but it's a hybrid! Oooh.. that'll be 21mpg then.
It shows that you can have a hybird with some power unlike the prius and other japanese hybrids. The hybrid system boosted city milage by about 10mpg. It is a case of having your cake(SUV) and eating it too(being able to buy gas for it). The next logical step is to put the system in a truck.


No. Most SUV's are (seemingly) operated by soccer moms who drive recklessly while talking on their cell phones to other soccer moms who are also driving recklessly.
The infestation of the US by these people is sickening.


As for reliability and cold/off road use - this doesn't seem to bother than scandinvians who travel vast distances on poor roads in freezing temperatures in often fairly standard european cars.
The cars they drive are not as small as the smart car or other subcompacts.


Don't get me started on the FWD, I absolutely hate that layout and would gladly go back in time and kill the designer.
I love FWD in the snow. I don't get stuck since i have all the weight over the drive wheels.

prizrak
January 21st, 2008, 04:59 AM
A supercharger requires power, no matter what you're doing with it, or how you're driving it. If you run it with a belt, you're giving it power directly off the engine. If you run it electrically, you have to run the alternator, which converts the energy into electrical energy, send it over some wires, and then spin a motor which converts it back into mechanical energy. Its 6 one way and half a dozen the other, you're still sending power to the supercharger, except electrically is less efficient because you have to convert it from one form of energy to another, twice.

Yes, electric fans are one of the first mods, but not because its being driven by the engine. The nature of a mechanical fan clutch is that the fan some spins ALL the time, even when it doesn't need to. When the temperature is such that the clutch locks up, then the fan spins much more. But, it is still consuming energy even when it doesn't need to. Thats why people put electric fans on, they're less efficient when they're running, but because you can turn them completely off unlike a mechanical fan clutch, they're more suited to the situation.

Yeah, the AC uses power. It would use just as much if it were electrically driven, maybe even a little more due to the efficiency losses in conversion.

There is a reason that all these accessories aren't run electrically in the first place, its more efficient to do it with a belt. It also requires a much smaller alternator.
I don't think you are right here, the car is making electric power anytime the engine is running. If the car is using all of that power than yes electric superchargers and accessories make very little point. If, however, it is not using all the power being produced, which I'm pretty sure is the case, it makes sense to drive things off of the electrical system rather than mechanical.

If the electric fans were less efficient than mechanical fans then I would experience power loss any time the fan is running, which I do not. This would suggest that the power is being produced but not used. Another thing to consider is that electric motors are alot faster and more efficient than a mechanical linkage. For instance a supercharger that is hooked up to the engine via a belt will have to be geared to turn faster than the engine. An electric motor can turn at top speed regardless of the engine speed and also is capable of much higher speeds than any mechanically linked system.

Another thing to consider is that mechanical linking is easier to do than electric linking. With anything electric we are talking extra electronics to control power distribution, extra wiring to get that power where it needs to be and more motors to drive all of that. Even then alot of newer cars are moving towards electrical systems rather than mechanical. For instance an A/C in my car can be on when the engine is off, this suggests that there is some sort of an electrical system involved in driving the pump and fans. I also don't feel any noticeable drop in perfomance when using the A/C in the A4. I did notice quite a bit of performance drop when I used to drive a Century.

Either way I am more of a turbo guy than a supercharger guy. Turbo's are capable of alot more compression and are also quite a bit more efficient in using engine power as they are spun by the exhaust gases that are alwasy flowing regardless of how the car is set up. The only problem with turbo's is the fact that a slow turning engine like a V8 will take a while to spool them. There are quite a few technologies to combat that, ranging from twin turbo systems to Porsche's adaptive geometry turbo's that can change the size of the opening to create more back pressure to spool as early as 1,800 RPM.

I love FWD in the snow. I don't get stuck since I have all the weight over the drive wheels.
In my experience the main and biggest difference in not getting stuck is the ability of the driver. A friend of mine drove a Mustang quite a bit in the snow in Rochester (long and cold winters) and had no trouble. I have seen people in AWD cars having trouble getting out of parking spots here in NYC. I myself was more or less OK with a FWD (Buick), however I did get somewhat stuck before. Another friend of mine was getting stuck all the time in his FWD Scion that was quite a bit lighter than the Buick that I had no trouble with. Bottom line is that driving ability makes the biggest difference.

However when we are talking about traction the best traction will be had by an AWD vehicle regardless of conditions. FWD is great for every day applications as they are cheap to build, maintain and run and are easy to drive for the average consumer. As a performance driver, I absolutely hate any FWD vehicle as they can only handle a limited amount of power, prone to understeer, and put way too much stress on the front tires. While AWD's are also prone to understeer it is much easier to control understeer using mechanical and electronic means as well as driver's ability. Basically FWD sucks :)

Sporkman
January 21st, 2008, 04:11 PM
However when we are talking about traction the best traction will be had by an AWD vehicle regardless of conditions. FWD is great for every day applications as they are cheap to build, maintain and run and are easy to drive for the average consumer. As a performance driver, I absolutely hate any FWD vehicle as they can only handle a limited amount of power, prone to understeer, and put way too much stress on the front tires. While AWD's are also prone to understeer it is much easier to control understeer using mechanical and electronic means as well as driver's ability. Basically FWD sucks :)

So FWD is like the Celeron...

regomodo
January 21st, 2008, 04:23 PM
I love FWD in the snow. I don't get stuck since i have all the weight over the drive wheels.

My maths and physics may be a little rusty but as far as i remember pushing at an object is better than pulling if the force applied is at an angle (for push, force down to the object). In FWD when torque is applied the weight is shifted to the rear of the car thus not over the front wheels. You'll notice the bonnet rise.
In RWD the torque causes the bonnet to rise (if going forwards) shifting the weight to the back therefore over the rear wheels more.

Of course i may be wrong which is why i did a masters in Elec Eng instead of Mech

prizrak
January 21st, 2008, 05:06 PM
So FWD is like the Celeron...
ROFL

My maths and physics may be a little rusty but as far as i remember pushing at an object is better than pulling if the force applied is at an angle (for push, force down to the object). In FWD when torque is applied the weight is shifted to the rear of the car thus not over the front wheels. You'll notice the bonnet rise.
In RWD the torque causes the bonnet to rise (if going forwards) shifting the weight to the back therefore over the rear wheels more.

Of course i may be wrong which is why i did a masters in Elec Eng instead of Mech

The weight does shift backwards when accelerating, however pulling on a slippery surface is better than pushing. Reason for this is that when you are accelerating rotating tires have less traction than stationary tires and that makes the rear swing out. You can see that with high powered RWD even in the dry.

Weight shift is also a tricky beast, no matter how much weight transfer you are doing the engine is still the heaviest part of the car and it is still on the front tires (unless we are talking midships and rear engined cars like Porsche's). There is also suspension set up that can change your weight transfer. Most sports tuned cars have very hard suspension setup making weight transfer minimal.

mips
January 21st, 2008, 05:51 PM
You're confusing different things here.

A supercharger requires power, no matter what you're doing with it, or how you're driving it. If you run it with a belt, you're giving it power directly off the engine. If you run it electrically, you have to run the alternator, which converts the energy into electrical energy, send it over some wires, and then spin a motor which converts it back into mechanical energy. Its 6 one way and half a dozen the other, you're still sending power to the supercharger, except electrically is less efficient because you have to convert it from one form of energy to another, twice.


My understanding is the alternator runs permanently while the engine is running. It has no clutch to disengage it. So if it is going to run permanently then you might as well use it to power another electrical device. So how does it rob more power from the engine if it is already running and you want to supply power to another device?

popch
January 21st, 2008, 07:07 PM
My understanding is the alternator runs permanently while the engine is running. It has no clutch to disengage it. So if it is going to run permanently then you might as well use it to power another electrical device. So how does it rob more power from the engine if it is already running and you want to supply power to another device?

Cranking a generator (of electrical power) uses some energy even when there is no load on it, i.e. no device using the energy offered by the generator.

As soon as you apply a load (connect a light bulb, a toaster or motor to the generator), the generator uses the energy drawn by the load in addition to the energy it used when empty.

You can easily test this by manually cranking a generator (such as the one often found on bicycles used to drive the lamp). Cranking becomes much more harder when the power is being consumed.

It is much the same as a motor car: the engine consumes more fuel at the same rpm when climbing uphill while hauling heavy loads than when coasting down hill.

Whiffle
January 21st, 2008, 07:25 PM
My understanding is the alternator runs permanently while the engine is running. It has no clutch to disengage it. So if it is going to run permanently then you might as well use it to power another electrical device. So how does it rob more power from the engine if it is already running and you want to supply power to another device?


Alternators run all the time, but they aren't putting out their full power all the time. If they were, your battery would probably boil and burst, as the energy has to go somewhere. (this happens when the alternator regulator fails) They only produce as much electricity as is needed. The higher the electrical load, the harder it is to turn the alternator, the more power it takes off of the engine.

In addition, I'll give you a little math on the inpracticality of electric superchargers. According to this site:
http://www.aa1car.com/library/supercharge.htm
It takes about 50-60 hp to run an OEM belt driven supercharger at full throttle. 50 hp is equivalent to 37,284.9 watts. Now, in order to transmit that much power on a 12 volt electical system, you'd need (according to the equation Power=Current*Voltage) an electrical current of 3,107 amps, the wiring to handle it, and an alternator big enough to provide that kind of power (the alternator on my truck is 130 amps...). Thats why nobody uses electric superchargers, its nearly impossible to run one big enough to be as effective as a belt driven one.

On turbos being more efficient, maybe maybe not. Exhaust gases are pushed out of the cylinders by the pistons, which are connected to the crankshaft, the harder it is to push the exhaust out, the more energy is robbed from the engine. Thats why people put free flowing exhausts on. One thing for certain is that they make their power in a different range than a supercharger. Its personal preference as far as I'm concerned.

mips
January 21st, 2008, 07:31 PM
Cranking a generator (of electrical power) uses some energy even when there is no load on it, i.e. no device using the energy offered by the generator.

As soon as you apply a load (connect a light bulb, a toaster or motor to the generator), the generator uses the energy drawn by the load in addition to the energy it used when empty.

You can easily test this by manually cranking a generator (such as the one often found on bicycles used to drive the lamp). Cranking becomes much more harder when the power is being consumed.

It is much the same as a motor car: the engine consumes more fuel at the same rpm when climbing uphill while hauling heavy loads than when coasting down hill.

I don't get it yet.

How does the alternators physical load on the engine change? The alternator is a free spinning device with certain losses due to bearings etc which basically stays constant throught the engines rpm range. Does the alternator have feedback to the cars ecu so it can tell the engine to rev higher when it needs to generate more power?

Why do you guys call it a generator (which is DC) when you are actually referring to something genrating AC power?

Whiffle
January 21st, 2008, 07:44 PM
An alternator is a free spinning device when it has no load, but when you put a load on it, it becomes harder to turn, its physics. When you spin the magnetic core of an alternator, it induces a current in the coils surrounding it. This is what produces the electrical power. In addition, the current in the coils also create their own magnetic field, which pushes back on the rotating core, making it harder to turn. The higher the current being generated, the stronger the magnetic field, and the more power it takes to turn.

mips
January 21st, 2008, 07:53 PM
An alternator is a free spinning device when it has no load, but when you put a load on it, it becomes harder to turn, its physics. When you spin the magnetic core of an alternator, it induces a current in the coils surrounding it. This is what produces the electrical power. In addition, the current in the coils also create their own magnetic field, which pushes back on the rotating core, making it harder to turn. The higher the current being generated, the stronger the magnetic field, and the more power it takes to turn.

Thank you, now I get it. When I read this I had flashbacks of my "Electrical Machines II" course/class and it all makes sense now.

azimuth
January 21st, 2008, 08:55 PM
Regenerative braking on electric cars is a good example of the resistence to rotational motion of generators and alternators. The electric motors in the drive train are capable of being used as generators to convert the forward motion of the car back into electricity to charge the batteries. The more charging load on the motor/generator, the harder it is for the wheels to turn and the faster the car stops.

prizrak
January 21st, 2008, 11:09 PM
An alternator is a free spinning device when it has no load, but when you put a load on it, it becomes harder to turn, its physics. When you spin the magnetic core of an alternator, it induces a current in the coils surrounding it. This is what produces the electrical power. In addition, the current in the coils also create their own magnetic field, which pushes back on the rotating core, making it harder to turn. The higher the current being generated, the stronger the magnetic field, and the more power it takes to turn.

Ahh thanks for the explanation, I was operating under the wrong assumption that power output is constant (couldn't figure our where extra power went either). Then yes it makes sense to have a belt driven supercharger.

NJC
January 22nd, 2008, 01:02 AM
As tgalati4 put it the worst thing about the turbo is that it burns out quickly. About 80,000 miles is an average life span of a turbo.

Please support this assertion - I doubt it's true now. I drive a 1989 Volvo 740 turbo (original) and @ 140K miles, it has no impending sign of turbo death.

prizrak
January 22nd, 2008, 12:14 PM
Please support this assertion - I doubt it's true now. I drive a 1989 Volvo 740 turbo (original) and @ 140K miles, it has no impending sign of turbo death.

Every car forum I have ever been to, and every tuner out there says the same thing. I would assume that your driving habbits would make a difference but I hear from just about anyone who deals with turbo's that 80K is when you should at least rebuild the turbo if not out right swap it.

Whiffle
January 22nd, 2008, 02:11 PM
Must not include diesels then. If you treat the turbo nicely (ie, let it cool down before shutting down the engine), its not even worth worrying about. My dads cummins has 80k on it now...not even thinking about replacing the turbo.

prizrak
January 22nd, 2008, 02:30 PM
Must not include diesels then. If you treat the turbo nicely (ie, let it cool down before shutting down the engine), its not even worth worrying about. My dads cummins has 80k on it now...not even thinking about replacing the turbo.
Diesel turbos are somewhat different from gas turbo's, AFAIK they are slower spinning than gasoline engine turbine's. Also very few people would drive a diesel in a performance way (not counting Audi's TDi racers), while gasoline cars equiped with turbo's are almost universally used for nothing but performance driving.

For instance in normal daily driving I don't even get to turbo range most of the time. (It spools up at about 2,800 I generally shift up at 2,500)

NJC
January 22nd, 2008, 09:29 PM
Every car forum I have ever been to, and every tuner out there says the same thing. I would assume that your driving habbits would make a difference but I hear from just about anyone who deals with turbo's that 80K is when you should at least rebuild the turbo if not out right swap it.

Well, the Volvo forum I belong to is probably mostly older folks who go easy on their turbos ... but if I heard of someone killing a Volvo turbo (later model that's both oil/water cooled) at only 80K, I'd assume they rarely changed their oil or used a poor quality brand. Then again, my opinion is speculation and perception - nothing statistically significant.

ODF
January 22nd, 2008, 10:00 PM
why oh why oh why do the americans have to have such bloody huge engines anyway?

I've got a 1.9 turbo diesel which gives around 115bhp.

THAT IS PLENTY ENOUGH!

Kind regards

Dave Rich

I used to have a 1992 golf with a VR6 engin swap and I still think it wasn't enough. I still want a 300-400whp car that weight about 2500lbs.

I'm the kind of dude that bring his car to the track so It's always a matter of what you do with the car.

On the road It's also pleasant to have possibilities when time needs it.

ODF
January 22nd, 2008, 10:03 PM
Basically FWD sucks :)

Well, hehe ... FWD cars are able to do 6.XX on the 1/4 mile wich isn't bad since it's a traction thing =)

I aslo did 13.7@97 mph with a 1992 golf with a OBD1 Vr6 swap.

But the next Golf mk2 golf is going to be AWD because its fun. =)

DrMega
January 22nd, 2008, 10:23 PM
why oh why oh why do the americans have to have such bloody huge engines anyway?

I've got a 1.9 turbo diesel which gives around 115bhp.

THAT IS PLENTY ENOUGH!

Kind regards

Dave Rich

Absolutely right. My car is 15 year old, and has a bog standard 1.8 litre 8 valve straight four, not unlike any number of mass produced engines, I get about 35miles to the gallon, performance is OK, and its a real work horse.

Obviously engine design plays a major role in fuel economy, but perhaps more important is the weight of the vehicle (power to weight ratio), but even more than that, its how you drive it.

Here's a little bit of math for our American buddies:

If your car weighs in at 2 tonnes, and has 200bhp, and my car weighs in at 0.75 tonnes and has a measly 90bhp, you get 100bhp per tonne, I get 120bhp per tonne, so my poky little engine gives me greater acceleration for a less than half the energy (and therefore fuel).

red_five
January 22nd, 2008, 11:49 PM
Of course, what actually gets your car started from zero is torque, not HP. The more torque, the better the car is off the line, regardless of the horsepower. That's why Dodge Rams with the Cummins can pull a building behind them, even though they make just over 300HP: they make nearly double that number in foot-pounds of torque. Torque pulls the weight; horsepower keeps the weight moving.

Adding turbos to small engines will actually increase fuel consumption, as several have already mentioned. Turbochargers and superchargers shove more air into the cylinder, but this action off-balances the optimal air-to-fuel ratio, which is 14.7:1 air:fuel. When you upset the ratio, the engine computer compensates by increasing fuel flow into the cylinder. Ergo, higher fuel consumption and lower gas mileage. It's better to make the engine slightly more powerful than necessary for the size of the car, without augmenting the airflow, then maximize the fuel efficiency of the engine. For instance, Nissan uses the same 3.5L V6 engine in several models, including the Maxima, Altima, 350Z, and even the Frontier and Xterra. They do add a supercharger for some variants of the Frontier and Xterra, but the rest are naturally-aspirated, and the version in the 350Z makes over 300HP. The least powerful version makes 235HP. I'm willing to bet that the fuel efficiency improves a little as the power and torque increase.

prizrak
January 23rd, 2008, 01:59 AM
Well, hehe ... FWD cars are able to do 6.XX on the 1/4 mile wich isn't bad since it's a traction thing =)

I aslo did 13.7@97 mph with a 1992 golf with a OBD1 Vr6 swap.

But the next Golf mk2 golf is going to be AWD because its fun. =)

I am not all that impressed with any kind of a 1/4 mile performance. It's very easy to set up any car to run it fast. Hell they got rocket powered dragsters that don't have any driving wheels :)

Basically FWD has the same drawbacks as AWD minus all the benefits. They also have an additional drawback of putting alot more stress on the front tires when we are dealing with perfomance applications. To add to that is the fact that an FWD can only handle about 200whp after that torque steer and massive understeer offset any possible performance gain from a more powerful engine.

As I told my friend before, RWD is the easiest to recover in when you get to the limit, FWD is the great for non racing applications and AWD has a higher limit than either of the two. The drawback with an AWD of course is that when it does let go it requires a very skillful driver to recover.

prizrak
January 23rd, 2008, 02:01 AM
Of course, what actually gets your car started from zero is torque, not HP. The more torque, the better the car is off the line, regardless of the horsepower. That's why Dodge Rams with the Cummins can pull a building behind them, even though they make just over 300HP: they make nearly double that number in foot-pounds of torque. Torque pulls the weight; horsepower keeps the weight moving.

Adding turbos to small engines will actually increase fuel consumption, as several have already mentioned. Turbochargers and superchargers shove more air into the cylinder, but this action off-balances the optimal air-to-fuel ratio, which is 14.7:1 air:fuel. When you upset the ratio, the engine computer compensates by increasing fuel flow into the cylinder. Ergo, higher fuel consumption and lower gas mileage. It's better to make the engine slightly more powerful than necessary for the size of the car, without augmenting the airflow, then maximize the fuel efficiency of the engine. For instance, Nissan uses the same 3.5L V6 engine in several models, including the Maxima, Altima, 350Z, and even the Frontier and Xterra. They do add a supercharger for some variants of the Frontier and Xterra, but the rest are naturally-aspirated, and the version in the 350Z makes over 300HP. The least powerful version makes 235HP. I'm willing to bet that the fuel efficiency improves a little as the power and torque increase.
And yet the 350z is slower than a twin turbo 300zx despite both making 300bhp. Another thing that turbo's add is massive torque, just about any turbo charged engine has close to 1:1 torque:power figures.

DeusEx
January 31st, 2008, 10:40 AM
Turbos have a serious problem with power distrobution. Drivers can be caught off gaurd by when the turbo comes up and boosts the power. Many of Porshe's turbo models were dangerous to drive due to that fact.

Just a question: have you ever driven turbo? I wouldn't exactly call the turbo-gap 'dangerous'. Rather call it 'splendid'!

But indeed, you'll need a turbo revision every so much time. Quite expensive too.

PartisanEntity
January 31st, 2008, 11:40 AM
A big round of applause to our American friends for having found the year 1999 =D>

wahr
January 31st, 2008, 01:48 PM
I don't know about you mips but I can't afford a land rover.

Try hauling 6 people a pickup bed full of luggage and a boat through the mountains on vacation with a v-6 , been there , done that , almost died.
I'll keep my V-8.

that's a vacation, you should keep something like a mini for everyday use (seats 4 OR holds basic cargo, but not both), then rent when you go on vacation/have that big sofa to move/etc.

Me, I'm stuck with my '96 taurus. It's a boat, it's 3.0 liter engine puts out the same hp as the 2.0 in my mother's elantra, and as a recent graduate with 5 figure debts I can't afford a more economical replacement.

Other things that should be happening are the adoption of lighter, more durable twheels (http://www.gizmag.com/go/3603/), the reduction in physical footprint of sports cars (0 to 60 in 4 seconds doesnt require more than 3 cylinders if you make the car small enough), and, especially in the US, the limitation of suburban sprawl (people who work in NYC come from as far away as central PA when with proper "encouragement" excellent housing at the same price would be available within an hour of their office.. think habitat)

my student debts are utterly crushing, but if I can I will try to take advantage of this sluggishness on their part.

RebounD11
January 31st, 2008, 03:00 PM
Why doesn't the world wake up. Use electric cars or water powered. Petrol prices are going up, and I totally hate the way countries with huge oil supplies control the world.

Besides there are tons of advantages, most importantly: no pollution, better efficiency (try an electric car - the moment you stepped on the acceleration your wheels get the full power of the engine) and cheaper fuel.

wahr
January 31st, 2008, 03:15 PM
the limitations on a purely charged car are pretty hefty, at least for most americans, who have an average commute of 60 miles plus any errands run during the day, and current battery technology does not allow a swift charge

People in europe don't really understand the concept of american suburbia in this regard.

Electric is not pollution free, though I do agree it's a far greater improvement at least in that regard over individual petrol engines.

I think the real breakthrough in that regard will be when the current research into high retention capacitors come to fruition. Such capacitors charge as quickly as a tank fills, and they hold that charge reliably, at least in the lab.


As far as waking up is concerned, there are two things which can be done today which are not.
Cars should be made considerably smaller and lighter. It's possible with today's technology to attain 200 mpg, and theyre not doing it.
Sports cars could be the size of a desk (and such a profile would increase the perceived speed and the thrill of the drive).
The form factor of a family car should be minimal, with the capacity for passengers OR freight, and the few occasions which require more can be satisfied with a rental.

It's not as if performance has to take the hit either. A smaller form factor means less power is required to move the car; the thrill of the drive wont fade.

hkgonra
January 31st, 2008, 04:07 PM
that's a vacation, you should keep something like a mini for everyday use (seats 4 OR holds basic cargo, but not both), then rent when you go on vacation/have that big sofa to move/etc.

Me, I'm stuck with my '96 taurus. It's a boat, it's 3.0 liter engine puts out the same hp as the 2.0 in my mother's elantra, and as a recent graduate with 5 figure debts I can't afford a more economical replacement.

Other things that should be happening are the adoption of lighter, more durable twheels (http://www.gizmag.com/go/3603/), the reduction in physical footprint of sports cars (0 to 60 in 4 seconds doesnt require more than 3 cylinders if you make the car small enough), and, especially in the US, the limitation of suburban sprawl (people who work in NYC come from as far away as central PA when with proper "encouragement" excellent housing at the same price would be available within an hour of their office.. think habitat)

my student debts are utterly crushing, but if I can I will try to take advantage of this sluggishness on their part.


Ok, how am I going to cram 2-4 teenage boys in football gear in a mini 4-5 days a week ? Plus the weekends when I have them plus my wife and my other kids ? I guess I could rent a truck from July - November ?

popch
January 31st, 2008, 04:45 PM
Ok, how am I going to cram 2-4 teenage boys in football gear in a mini 4-5 days a week ? Plus the weekends when I have them plus my wife and my other kids ? I guess I could rent a truck from July - November ?

Have them change their sports. Billiards, for instance, or chess require much less cumbersome outfits.

The argument to buy smaller cars applies to people who routinely under-use the available capacity.

It's actually a similar discussion as the discussions about optimal sizes for IT departments about twenty years ago. The trend was called at first 'downsizing' until someone brought up arguments similar to yours. The industry then agreed to call it 'rightsizing' which is an ugly word but a reasonable concept.

bufsabre666
January 31st, 2008, 04:48 PM
anyone else here walk or ride bikes? show of hands? anything?

popch
January 31st, 2008, 05:19 PM
anyone else here walk or ride bikes? show of hands? anything?

Yes, of course. I walk, ride tram and bus. Don't bike because motorists make the roads too dangerous. I also took care to choose my dwellings within reasonable distance of my place of work or public transportation.

hkgonra
January 31st, 2008, 05:21 PM
Have them change their sports. Billiards, for instance, or chess require much less cumbersome outfits.

The argument to buy smaller cars applies to people who routinely under-use the available capacity.

It's actually a similar discussion as the discussions about optimal sizes for IT departments about twenty years ago. The trend was called at first 'downsizing' until someone brought up arguments similar to yours. The industry then agreed to call it 'rightsizing' which is an ugly word but a reasonable concept.


I fully admit that I under-use my capacity on a regular basis every day on my way to and from work. But I also need that capacity at least once a week all year long and almost once every day for about half the year which makes renting a truck pretty impractical. I also have four teenagers right now which I imagine puts me in a less than average category.

Lucky for me I only live 4 miles from work.

PartisanEntity
January 31st, 2008, 05:25 PM
anyone else here walk or ride bikes? show of hands? anything?

Yes of course, in the summer I often walk to work, takes 15-20 mins (2-3 subway stops). Regardless of weather, I walk to the college, 10 mins max. as well.

In order to shop for food and clothing I walk as well, all within walking distance.

aaaantoine
January 31st, 2008, 06:08 PM
Cars should be made considerably smaller and lighter. It's possible with today's technology to attain 200 mpg, and theyre not doing it.

Do you have proof of this? We could probably reach 200 mpg by stripping all the safety and comfort equipment from a Toyota Yaris, changing the frame to all aluminum, putting on 10" wheels, and making it a plug-in direct-injection biodiesel-electric hybrid. However, Federal regulations prohibit the stripping of safety equipment, and all but the wheel size reduction will cost quite a bit of money.


Sports cars could be the size of a desk (and such a profile would increase the perceived speed and the thrill of the drive).

A lot of sports cars are pretty small already. Shrinking them would require the aforementioned illegal stripping of mandatory safety equipment. The Smart ForTwo had to be redesigned for the US markets because of safety equipment.

Why so much emphasis on safety? Well for one thing, we share the roads with the likes of these:

http://www.bikefriday.com/sites/default/files/images/4750.jpg

If I recall correctly, trucks like these don't fit all that well on European roadways, and therefore are not used. They are quite capable of doing things like this to cars:

http://www.atlantainjurylawblog.com/honda%20rear%20ended%20by%20tractor%20trailer.jpg


The form factor of a family car should be minimal, with the capacity for passengers OR freight, and the few occasions which require more can be satisfied with a rental.

I agree. You shouldn't commute to work in a Suburban unless you have between 5 and 7 additional passengers, but people do it anyway because they can. People that do this, meanwhile, would pay less by purchasing a Mini, or a used Geo Metro.

I have a wife and kid and currently drive a Chevy Cobalt, with no plans to switch to anything larger. I'd get something even smaller if A: It looked good, B: was reasonably safe, and C: could fit five passengers comfortably.

mips
January 31st, 2008, 07:22 PM
I'm actually getting myself an old 60's Vespa Super 125cc to run around the village soon. They get about 2.1l/100km which is great.

The main reason I'm getting one is that I like them and want to restore it. I would prefer a 200cc Lambretta but they are as scares as hens teath.

RebounD11
January 31st, 2008, 08:20 PM
I currently drive a Ford Focus , 2001 model with 1.8 TDDi engine. It's really economic ... only uses about 5 litters of diesel for 100 km (in town) and even less on the open road. I only use it however when I need to carry large stuff or heavier than usual stuff for long distances (like going to a hypermarket once a week) or for visiting my parents (180 km away) and sometimes for driving myself and 4 other friends to basketball practice (I'm 1.87m tall and weigh 95 kg, and I'm the smallest so just picture the crowd in that car :D).

Anyway I walk everywhere if it's closer than 6 miles (sometimes even further) or skate if the sidewalk is ok all the way.

mips
January 31st, 2008, 10:54 PM
If I recall correctly, trucks like these don't fit all that well on European roadways, and therefore are not used. They are quite capable of doing things like this to cars:.

I often wondered whether the trucks we have here are the same size as the ones in the states, kinda hard to tell from tv.

The only US trucks I know of in SA are Peterbilt and they don't seem bigger than their european cousins like Volvo etc. Or am I wrong?

prizrak
February 1st, 2008, 12:12 AM
anyone else here walk or ride bikes? show of hands? anything?
Pfft..... I wouldn't even walk to the bathroom if I could. And biking? Better hope I'm not on the road when you do it, or get the hell out of the way QUICKLY. I absolutely hate bikes on city streets, you can't see them half the time, you don't expect them most of the times (for instance on a one way single lane I KNOW there are no other cars next to me, not so with bikes), and most people who do bike don't stop for red lights....

I often wondered whether the trucks we have here are the same size as the ones in the states, kinda hard to tell from tv.

The only US trucks I know of in SA are Peterbilt and they don't seem bigger than their european cousins like Volvo etc. Or am I wrong?

European trucks are quite a bit smaller than US 18 wheelers. Those Volvo's and DAF's you see on the roads are bout the size of smaller Peterbuilts here that are basically used over short distances. The really big trucks here are the Semi's that haul trailers and these things are scary. I drive a sedan and it's not even half as tall, this is not counting the semi's that haul TWO trailers (not uncommon) at a time.