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Old 12-25-2012, 06:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Same return trip today, similar conditions, full lower grille block and snorkel back on. Again averaging about 52 mpg or maybe even slightly better, the display shows litre per 100 km: 4.5 so it is 12 times as crude as a mpg readout

It is safe to say that under these conditions a snorkel delete is just about as effective as a full grille block.
I think they should not be combined (an air intake temp regulator would then be needed) so I stay to the latter option, which seems safer.
You say it is better to leave the grille partly unblocked; do you mean like just the part above the bumper or that and a bit of the lower grille?

Have to add that testing was not ideal due to the effect of sidewind.

What I noted about sidewind and vehicle stability;
Most of the time the sidewind does not affect handling at all, but with a strong wind coming from about 45 degrees behind (!) that produces a stream of erratic jerks to the body. Not enough to make the car change course, but clearly distinguishable nonetheless. FC drops somewhat when that happens; the aerodynamic properties take a blow too.
On the whole sidewind seems bad for economy; when the motorway swung round an made me face the wind head-on the FC got better!

This may be due to the design of the rear bumper. Its sides and rear join at a rounded edge.
When the airflow along its sides is laminar it will curve around that edge due to the Coanda effect; that will reduce the wake but also create a vacuum at the edges, pulling hard on the bumper.
It may even produce a vortex roll like a horizontal tornado behind your car which low pressure center will again pull the car back (this often happens behind trucks hit by sidewind).
But the side airflow will not be laminar at all times. Straight against the wind it will be disturbed by the wheel wells and the gaps between the body panels; the induced turbulence will carry on and disrupt the Coanda effect at the back of the bumper.
Only a strong sidewind will iron out those turbulences to produce laminar flow at the back.
Problems arise mainly when the sidewind is just about strong enough to do that. The airflow keeps interchanging between laminar flow and turbulence so the Coanda effect will bump in and out.

I expect breaking the Coanda effect on the bumper to bring improvement on handling and MPG.
Deleting the bumper is one way to make that happen (I know someone who did ).
Another way is reshaping the bumper. Some cars, like the Prius III, have sharp edges at the back. To do that on the existing bumper seems a bit crude, and might even hurt the safety of other road users bumping into you.
Attaching a tiny 1 millimeter (1/24 inch) thick strip just at the point where the curve starts to induce turbulence would also do the trick. At the Nagano 1998 winter Olympics the Dutch speed skating team used those on their suits on top of their head and running down their legs and brought home some gold medals.
Nowadays the strips are gone at the ice rink; the suits use a mixture of very slippery and very rough patches, like shark skin. So maybe just sanding the bumper with the coarsest sanding paper you can find is best. Wont get that plan past my wife, I fear

(You might need to move parts of this to a new thread, if you think it is worthwhile)
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Last edited by RedDevil; 12-25-2012 at 06:40 PM. Reason: fat fingers etc.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:05 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I find the grill block aids in acceleration in the 50-70mph range inaddition to all the other stuff they assist in.

Yes, removing the rear bumper does help, I gained 2-3 mpg and turned a lot of heads.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:52 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Maybe the optimal intake temp depends on the engine temp. As the engine heats up the air needs to be cooler. When I start constructing and testing my regulated intake I will try to take that into account.
It would explain why the effect of removing the snorkel only works on shorter trips.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Now that I have been driving without my phev kit Ive notice the little engine has a lot of BALLS to it when its cold and driven agressively. Once it starts to warm up it wimps out, retards the timing, etc.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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What is the air intake temp like when it wimps out?
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:33 PM   #16 (permalink)
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116F or so its a dog timing is retarded to -11 degrees.
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:20 AM   #17 (permalink)
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116! No wonder.
Did that help mpg, like when just touching the right pedal? Or is it just bad overall?
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:24 PM   #18 (permalink)
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It was just a dog altogether. I think the only real way to get cold air to the air intake is to go down to the belly pan and make a hole or install a small vent in the hood. They got the front end of this car sealed up well.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:55 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I wonder if it is possible to let the intake draw air ahead of the AC radiator. That would have the effect of a lukewarm air intake (assuming 7/8 lower grill block) until the vents kick in and draw more cool air in (can't get to my car right now to have a look). Generally speaking, the hotter the engine gets the cooler the intake air would be.
If that could work my original plan for regulating the intake air temp may just be unnecessary.

Nice twist in this setup would be to make the radiator fans work regardless of temperature when at full throttle, ensuring a steady flow of cold air when the engine needs it most.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:24 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I am coming to the conclusion that the i-Dsi is making it possible to burn cheap gas on a high compression engine and its just better over all to run preminum fuel or pull out all the old hot rodder tricks to avoid knock. You know, colder t stat, colder plugs, water wetter vs antifreeze and such.

Ive hit 100 mpg, now I am going for over all performance without boosting.

We do have a 160 degree t stat, but else where I read its a 2 stage that keeps the water circulating the head, then the head and block til it reaches a second temp then it goes out to the radiator.

I do know a nice romp from 20-50mph can result in a nice blast of heat from the heater.
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