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Old 09-12-2012, 05:34 PM
Dennis W. Parks
 
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Gas sipping hot rod

I would like to build a '33 Ford three window coupe as a commuter car. My daily commute is about 30 miles each way, with a fair amount of stop lights along the way. I currently have a 2008 Chevy Silverado extended cab that realistically gets around 15 mpg. I don't want to get rid of it, because I do pull a trailer on occasion, but I'd like something with better gas mileage. I'm thinking that 30-40 mpg is attainable.

I basically know what the coupe would look like, but would like your input on what drivetrain to use to get the best mileage. Would like to be able to take it on some long distance trips as well, but am concerned with it being primarily a commuter vehicle.

What are your thoughts and why?

Thanks for your input,

Dennis W. Parks
Author of automotive how-to books

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Old 09-12-2012, 06:00 PM
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For economy as well as something a bit different, how about the Chevy Atlas family of inlines? Available in 4,5, and 6 cylinder versions. Modern design. Support is available for swaps.
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:01 PM
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Dennis welcome to the forum. If I were building a commuter, I'de go with an new LS motor with a 4l60e Trans and a Ford 9" rear. With the right rear gear you should be able to get minimum of 20mpg and still have gobs of power as a Hot Rod should when you want it. If super mileage is you cup of tea, one of the VW Jetta TDI turbo diesel 4 cylinders would work.

Keith
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:07 PM
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I concur with Keith's reply that would be a great highway cruiser.

Vince
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:16 PM
Dennis W. Parks
 
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What are the Atlas engines found in? Are those in the Colorado and HHR? What else? For this application, which would you suggest, the four banger or six cylinder? Which transmission and which rear axle?

I could go with an LS engine, and certainly don't mind doing that, but that has pretty much been done to death. I could spend significantly less and get 20 mpg out of my lowered Silverado.

Thanks again for your input.

Dennis
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:56 PM
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If you want better gas mileage you need to spend some time over at the ecomodder forum. 100+ Hypermiling / ecodriving tips & tactics for better mpg - EcoModder.com These guys are SERIOUS about gas mileage and with their help I gained 20% mileage on my Ford Taurus, we are talking very simple driving techniques was most of it. There is WAY more to it than what we all think we know about good fuel economy, I was very surprised about about a lot of it. But honestly, these guys do some stuff that will blow you away. Check them out.

Brian
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:15 PM
Dennis W. Parks
 
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A quick look revealed some interesting ideas. Thanks!!!

Dennis
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:47 PM
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How bout a 2.2 ecotech GM that is turbocharged? Like the one in the pontiac solstice.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:05 PM
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If it were my car and I wanted to build a gas sipper with some kick, I'd probably look into finding a 2.3L turbo (Lima OHC) out of the Thunderbird Turbo Coupe/Mustang SVO/Merkur Xr4ti.

Good economy, it's a ford motor, computer controlled fuel injection, small displacement, it would stand out among the many sbc-powered cars, and they make great power with little work. Keep your foot out of it and you'd get great mileage.

If I could afford to throw away a few mpg, there's the supercharged 3.8L Essex out of the Thunderbird Supercoupe/ Cougar XR-7. It made mountains of torque from the factory. Another Ford motor too, and you'd be really different.

Both these engines can be found in cars with three pedals if that's your thing.

A member on here (I believe it was ramzoom) made a rambler with a eaton M90 superchaged Olds Quad-4 motor. The quad-fours were healthy motors naturally aspirated for their time, so I can imagine his creation ran like a you-know-what. I believe he mentioned his mpg figures in his build thread. Might want to do a search.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:09 PM
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I retract my earlier suggestion. I like Valkyries suggestion WAY better.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:39 PM
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What is the budget, both time and money, for the project? Also, what is the weight of the car?
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:06 PM
Dennis W. Parks
 
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Well, right now there is no budget per se. I'm trying to figure out what would be the best way to reach my target, determine what that might cost, and then go from there. As far as time, there is no set time frame, but sooner would be better than later unless the price of gasoline drops drastically. I don't recall how much a '33 Ford coupe weighs, but I suspect it would be compable to most anything else that might be considered a commuter car.

I was thinking of using a turbocharged four banger (perhaps Pontiac Solstice) or a V6 (Camaro, S10); a five or six speed tranny, and a quickchange rear or Ford 8 inch rear. Gears to be determined later.

Last edited by WriterDennis; 09-12-2012 at 09:07 PM. Reason: correct a typo
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LATECH View Post
How bout a 2.2 ecotech GM that is turbocharged? Like the one in the pontiac solstice.

this is also my suggestion , the supercharged versions can make 300 hp easy and are dead reliable. swpa the supercharger for a turbo and they can make tons more power

we have a guy on tgo puttin one into a 3rd generation f-body but at 3,400 pounds the car may be a lil heavy for that motor to push around at low rpm/off boost
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by WriterDennis View Post

I was thinking of using a turbocharged four banger (perhaps Pontiac Solstice) or a V6 (Camaro, S10); a five or six speed tranny, and a quickchange rear or Ford 8 inch rear. Gears to be determined later.
the 3.1/3.4 60 degree v6 camaro/s10 engine is a great choice, take a stock shortblock open up the top ring gap and install a delta 260 grind cam and do some home porting of the cyl heads.and assemble with a t3/t4 50mm hybrid turbo. at 12-15 psi of boost the engine will produce around 330hp and well over 450ftlbs

this is very common to be done among us 3rd generation v6 camaro guys

out of the box gm rates the 60* engine for 400hp and 7k rpms we have pushed these lil engines well past that with no issues

if u would like more info on these engines or modifying them, or just to read some build threads from myself or others who have turbocharged them let me know and i will post up some links for u to check out

the downside to the v6 is that it is a 60* engine so without an adapter plate for the trans u have 3 choices , 60* 700r4 ,200c 3 speed , and also the t5 5 speed

speedway motors sells an adapter plate for 55$'s that allows u to bolt on any standard gm trans, the only thing is if its an auto trans u have to use a converter that is 10inches or smaller ,typically not a big deal for most ppl

edit

my buddies car with the 3.1 and turbo gets around 27mpg highway, he is also still in the tunning stages and runs it a little rich ( 34xx pounds)
my 89 camaro with the 3.1 and a 60mm turbo averages about 31/32mpg on the highway if i drive it smart, start laying into the gas though and mileage will drop very very fast (32xx pounds)
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:23 PM
Dennis W. Parks
 
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Some links to similar engine builds would be great!!! Thanks!!!

Dennis
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