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auto enthusaists hack Toyota Prius, get 250 MPG

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  • #61
    the acetone info page (which was indeed down when CotMan mentioned that earlier but which seems to be up now) mentions a few things in addition to breaking up fuel surface tension that drivers can do to their engines in order to increase efficiency. one thing mentioned that i had not heard of before are NGK spark plugs. some google searching yields a hell of a lot of pages where i can buy such plugs, but most do not have a decent summary of what they are. from what i can tell on vendor pages, it looks like these are the plugs where the electrode has a two-pronged V-shape. is that all there is to it? are NGK plugs something more than that? how much of a difference do they really make in an engine?

    (bonus points for our experts if they wanna tackle the issue of synthetic oil for me. way back when my GMC pushed past 100,000 miles i switched to fully-synthetic oil. am i making a difference in the vehicle's performance and longevity or am i throwing away money? would a blended oil be just as good? i run the truck pretty hard and want to have it for as long as possible.)
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor

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    • #62
      i did the acetone routine in my GMC (1 ounce per 5 gal. of fuel) and the difference was immediate and astounding. idle is unbelievably smoother and (eventhough it should have little to do with this) the automatic tranny makes shifts with greater precision and less horsepower hiccup. on the weekends i do a lot of driving and my truck usually eats a lot of gas since i'm hauling gear and people all over the place. so far, i've driven in and out of philly like three times since gassing up on friday... each time transporting huge, heavy boxes and numerous people. my needle is still floating around the "F" marker on the gas gauge. that is unprecidented for me.

      i plan to do the acetone number in my g/f's car, as well. (a '94 ford probe that we got from a relative as a spare vehicle. it's never run outstandingly well and i'm eager to see what improvement it shows.)

      on a totally different note...

      well, maybe not totally different since this involves engine efficiency, too... anyone see this Montreal Gazette article that was posted on Fark today? it's about a simple, relatively cheap electrolysis module that makes hydrogen gas from distilled water and injects the gas it into the combustion chamber, thus upping a vehicle's efficiency greatly with limited alteration of the engine and no changes to the drivetrain.

      functional or fantasy? skroo and others with great auto-fu... i beseech your wisdom and insight.
      "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
      - Trent Reznor

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      • #63
        Originally posted by Deviant Ollam
        one thing mentioned that i had not heard of before are NGK spark plugs. some google searching yields a hell of a lot of pages where i can buy such plugs, but most do not have a decent summary of what they are. from what i can tell on vendor pages, it looks like these are the plugs where the electrode has a two-pronged V-shape. is that all there is to it? are NGK plugs something more than that? how much of a difference do they really make in an engine?
        There're a few spark plug manufacturers out there making plugs with more than one electrode - NGK, Champion, and Bosch all have their own. One important thing to remember is that in 99.9999999% of cases the spark will only ground to one of the electrodes, not two or more. However, as these plugs are generally made of materials that conduct, resist, and/or insulate better than the 99c standard plugs, you may (or may not) notice a difference.

        anyone see this Montreal Gazette article that was posted on Fark today? it's about a simple, relatively cheap electrolysis module that makes hydrogen gas from distilled water and injects the gas it into the combustion chamber, thus upping a vehicle's efficiency greatly with limited alteration of the engine and no changes to the drivetrain.
        Hm, interesting article. Before going any further, though, I really should point out that this isn't something I'm really all that clued-in about - I've known about propane injection in diesels for some time, but have never heard of using hydrogen in one, and quite frankly putting hydrogen under that kind of pressure worries me from the standpoint of exploding the engine unless it's seriously reinforced to cope. Hydrogen in gas engines has been a brass ring for some years now, so it'll be interesting to see how this works out.

        My gut feeling is that while this is a good proof-of-concept (assuming it works as stated in the article), the price means that on an economic level it's really only suitable for fleet use. Using their stated economy improvement of 10%, at current gas prices this would save me around $10/week. Given that the unit itself would cost around CDN$7500 (about US$6400 at today's rate), that's 640 weeks or 12.3 years to recoup the cost in a passenger vehicle averaging 15mpg and doing around 25000 miles per year. I don't plan on still having my Jeep when it's 17 years old :)

        Now, if this were used as the main fuel-generating catalyst for mass-produced (Otto-cycle or otherwise) engines specifically designed to run on hydrogen then it'd be an entirely different proposition. Certainly the lower emissions from the gas/hydrogen mix are a plus, but, again, ultimately economics will dictate whether or not people actually start using this technology.
        Last edited by skroo; September 19, 2005, 12:21.

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