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Fuels and Alternative Fuels

Ethanol Gas - Florida Update


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  #21  
Old 07-11-2013, 05:39:56 PM
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Default Re: Ethanol Gas - Florida Update

Even with all the grief I give Bill, (on his ethanol rants) I don't doubt that he calculated it right.

And while I agree with you that many of those stories about 200mpg carburators may be just that.... Stories, I do believe it Very Possible to have a vehicle built with everything perfectly matched to pull down some impressive numbers depending on how they are driven.

While it was no where near the numbers Bill managed with his 04 Malibu, back in the early 80s I pulled the little 350 engine out of my 69 Firebird and replaced it with a built up 462 (455 .030 over) with a good torquer cam and with my 2.56:1 rear end gear I raised it from 11mpg to 14mpg with that engine that was roughly 1/3rd larger than stock. That's a 27% increase in mpg with a 32% larger engine because it had power to spare and didn't have to work as hard to move the car. And in those days, most of my driving was stop light to stop light racing and hard driving with no concern for gas milage, so that 14mpg looked good at the time. IF I took it easy or had ever taken it on a long Interstate trip with no in town driving, I would have gotten a lot higher than that. Now days they keep putting smaller and smaller engines in heavier cars and if they manage to get out of their own way, they burn more gas than if they put a slightly larger engine in the same car because you always have to have your foot on the gas just to keep it moving.

Even if the engines were the same size, Bills 04 may have had different cam timing that gave it more low end torque giving it better performance at less throttle opening, along with several other minor differences.

There are people out there called 'hyper-milers' that do all kinds of tricks to their cars including taping over all of the body seams and around the headlights and hood gaps to reduce air drag and over inflating the tires for less rolling resistance with some of them pulling down 80mpg with cars that normally get in the upper 20s to mid 30s range, so Yes it can be done.

What I did with my Firebird.... if I had rebuilt the smaller 350 the same way I built the 462, building it for low end torque, I might have gained similar results to Bills amazing numbers. Or I could have gotten stupid and thrown in a set of 4.11:1 gears and dropped it to 6mpg

Last edited by OTTO-Sawyer; 07-11-2013 at 06:21:39 PM.
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  #22  
Old 07-11-2013, 10:27:37 PM
sprkplug sprkplug is offline
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Default Re: Ethanol Gas - Florida Update

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Originally Posted by OTTO-Sawyer View Post
Even with all the grief I give Bill, (on his ethanol rants) I don't doubt that he calculated it right.





Even if the engines were the same size, Bills 04 may have had different cam timing that gave it more low end torque giving it better performance at less throttle opening, along with several other minor differences.But now you're the one comparing apples to oranges......this test has to be performed on two completely identical vehicles to have your "fluke", or perfectly asembled vehicle theory be valid...and that would have to be one heck of a difference in cam timing....far more than what I reckon assembly line techniques would allow for.

There are people out there called 'hyper-milers' that do all kinds of tricks to their cars including taping over all of the body seams and around the headlights and hood gaps to reduce air drag and over inflating the tires for less rolling resistance with some of them pulling down 80mpg with cars that normally get in the upper 20s to mid 30s range, so Yes it can be done.

Sure, it can be done.....But those aren't factory supplied enhancements either.

What I did with my Firebird.... if I had rebuilt the smaller 350 the same way I built the 462, building it for low end torque, I might have gained similar results to Bills amazing numbers. Or I could have gotten stupid and thrown in a set of 4.11:1 gears and dropped it to 6mpg
But, we're talking about Bill's car....and he didn't mention if he had modified it from it's factory configuration or not.

This is why I didn't try to explain Bill's remarkable claims. You are taking his statement at face value, and are attempting to find a mechanical reason to explain it. Before I get to that stage, I want to make sure that his vehicle did indeed achieve those amazing results, that it was identical in every way to the car that the factory based their mileage data on, and that the test parameters were the same for the factory, and Bill's efforts....otherwise, there's no way to prove, or corroborate Bill's story. We are forced to rely on Bill's testimony only.....and while that's fine for us here "chewing the fat", it won't work in a real world, accurate comparison. Bill's results must be verified, and duplicated to ensure that his part of the equation was performed correctly.....then we can look for the reason why.

Where it stands now, I can provide more evidence for the existence of sasquatch than I can for this topic.

And again, I mean no disrespect to Bill...I don't know how to make my point without it sounding like I'm calling him on it, but that is absolutely not my intent.....I don't believe for one moment that Bill has made this up, or is out to deceive anyone. I just know how easy it is to make a miscalculation or omission SOMEWHERE, that skews the results.

And what about the factory supposedly building in lower mileage.....Otto you didn't give your take on why they would do such a thing?
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:36:37 PM
Bill Sherlock Bill Sherlock is offline
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Default Re: Ethanol Gas - Florida Update

Are you guys forgetting my mileage is calculated on Imperial gallons v/s US gallons? If you take EPA rating of 31 MP US gallon and add 25% to adjust for the larger gallon, the mileage goes up to 38.75 MPG. That's in the ball park for our 2004 Malibu.

Whenever I have the speedometer set on kilometers, I convert to miles and also convert liters to Imperial gallons and calculate MPG from there. I then check my figures a second time and can safely say they are correct.

Bill
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:45:27 AM
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Default Re: Ethanol Gas - Florida Update

Thanks Bill. That's the "something else at work" that I spoke of in post #17. I was wondering if Otto would catch it. That's also why I was adamant about not calling you out, and why I posted this paragraph:

And again, I mean no disrespect to Bill...I don't know how to make my point without it sounding like I'm calling him on it, but that is absolutely not my intent.....I don't believe for one moment that Bill has made this up, or is out to deceive anyone. I just know how easy it is to make a miscalculation or omission SOMEWHERE, that skews the results.
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:18:34 PM
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Default Re: Ethanol Gas - Florida Update

Making that 25% adjustment from 26mpg (mixed driving rated at 21/31) comes out to 32.5mpg mixed compared with his 42 mixed (Bills 41-43 average claimed) which drops that (incorrectly calculated by me) 62% increase down to a 30% increase, but then using that same 25% adjustment, it also means that his 2011 is getting 18.5% Lower than it's rated at.

That 30% increase is actually right in line with my own 27% increase by building an engine with more low end torque, better suited for the vehicle gearing and body weight. Though if you read what I wrote previously, I wasn't attributing all of Bills increase to the engine alone, (even though mine was in that example with my Firebird). I attributed his to a combination of the engine, the brakes, the wheel alignment, and any other number of variables, like computer settings, transmission shift points, maybe even different tires with less rolling resistance. And I never said that he did any of those 'hypermiler' tricks. His mileage is Not Unheard of with a bone-stock off the showroom vehicle. It's pretty damn good, but still very easily explainable without thinking it must be some kind of voodoo magic or something that can't be explained by a simple understanding of how things are made.

That 18.5% loss in mileage on his 2011 (refigured for Imperial gallons) is also not unheard of with the production line tolerances and other variables when assembling a vehicle.

There are thousands of parts that go in to a vehicle, and every one of them has a tolerance allowance.



You can have cylinder head castings with slightly larger or smaller chambers in them, the piston deck heights have tolerances in them, the connecting rods have tolerances, the crankshafts have tolerances, the camshafts have tolerance along with the rocker arm ratio tolerance, all of which can go to together in any number of combinations. Match a small chamber head with a lower deck height piston or a larger chamber head with a higher deck height piston and you will have the same compression ratio. Mix a smaller chamber head with a higher deck height piston and you have a higher compression ratio while a larger chamber and lower deck height will give a lower compression ratio. Higher compression versus lower compression affects the power output. Then you mix in the camshaft and rocker arm ratios and you can raise or lower the power again with Either combination, either cancelling out the gain made or lost, or making an even bigger difference. Same goes for ignition timing, air/fuel mixture, brake drag, wheel alignment, and a hundred other variables with All Of Them either helping or hurting the overall performance, or cancelling each other out and having the 'average' EPA rated performance.


The EPA ratings are an average of several cars tested and the majority of vehicles will fall somewhere within that average. Bill has had Both Extremes Outside of the averages, both of which are easily explained by knowing about tolerances and tolerance stack-ups. For those of you (sprplug) (since you're so adamant about calling me out while not calling out Bill) that don't understand that. I'll try to make it simple for you.


Say you have Twelve 1 inch blocks, each with a tolerance of +/-.010

They could all be made perfect at 1 inch and add up to 12 inches even.

You could have 6 of them at +.010 and 6 of them at -.010 and still add up to 12 inches even with the tolerance stack-up.

Or you could have all 12 of them made at -.010 and add up to 11.880 or .120 short (almost an 1/8 of an inch)

Or you could have all 12 of them made at +.010 and add up to 12.120 or almost 12 & 1/8 inches.

That's Up To .240 or almost a 1/4 inch difference in the stack up of two sets of twelve 1 inch blocks with +/-.010 tolerance.

But either extreme would be 'Out Of The Normal' because the vast majority would have a combination of big & little blocks. Most of them would likely be made to the 'mean' (or tighter normal operating tolerance, say in this example +/-.005) and would fall between 11.940 and 12.060 or within 1/8 inch of each other at either extreme with most of the finished stack-ups being nearer the middle with +'s & -'s cancelling each other out.

That's just how Mass Production Works. Been There, Done That, seen it first hand. There's nothing magical about it.


The same thing happens in automobile manufacturing only with tighter tolerances, but a lot more of them to stack up. Most of them will get a mixture of larger and smaller parts and everything averages out, but there are some that end up coming up short and some that go to the other extreme.

Of course there is also an Overall tolerance on the more critical parts and a good engineer wouldn't issue prints to the shop floor with tolerances that can stack up more or less than the overall tolerance, but I have seen it happen personally in my 27 years of factory work. Some of them, I got them to tighten up the tolerance on, and others they didn't want to figuring any bad parts would get caught at the final assembly or could be reworked if needed if they didn't get matched up with a part made to the other extreme limit to balance out.

Needless to say, bad parts do get out the door, because there are factory workers that run parts way beyond the allowable tolerances (that often get caught but sometimes get by the Inspection samples, and managed to get matched up with other parts that maybe kept the overall stackup tolerance in) or we would Never hear about factory recalls on things that weren't made right. In the case of a car getting 'too good' of mileage..... No one's going to complain about that and take their car back to the dealership to be 'fixed'.

In the end, it is as they say..... Your Mileage May Vary !

Last edited by OTTO-Sawyer; 07-12-2013 at 02:27:39 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:20:34 PM
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Default Re: Ethanol Gas - Florida Update

No need to make it simple....Before I got into my present line of work, I spent years in a factory...although my time was spent on the line, down on the production floor. I am quite familiar with tolerance stack up, and the problems, or improvements, it may cause in the finished product. I'm not disputing that fact, just wondering how some could be looking for a tolerance stack up of a mechanical nature that would explain a supposed 62% increase in mileage.....without considering a more plausible explanation first.

That's the angle I'm looking at...."the simplest explanation is usually the correct one".....in this case, it boils down to incorrect math....no magic here either I'm afraid.

We all make mistakes, fortunately this one is irrelevant and does no harm. I hope the next one I make is of the same caliber.....but probably not!

Have a good weekend Otto!
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:28:10 PM
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Default Re: Ethanol Gas - Florida Update

[QUOTE=OTTO-Sawyer;932907]..
The EPA ratings are an average of several cars tested

Nope - manufacturer tests a prototype, which according to August issue of Consumer reports is optimized for the test. Copyrighted, so have to paraphrase: For EPA tests, car manufacturers take advantage of all variables that will improve the results. FYI- EPA checks about 10-15 % of the tests. Remember, the manufacturer is testing a "pre-production prototype", which can vary significantly from production vehicles

Google:
How Vehicles Are Tested
Fuel economy is measured under controlled conditions in a laboratory using a standardized test procedure specified by federal law. Manufacturers test their own vehicles—usually pre-production prototypes—and report the results to EPA. EPA reviews the results and confirms about 10-15 percent of them through their own tests at the National Vehicles and Fuel Emissions Laboratory.

MPG with Laboratory Tests

Photo: Car on dynamometer
In the laboratory, the vehicle's drive wheels are placed on a machine called a dynamometer that simulates the driving environment—much like an exercise bike simulates cycling.

The energy required to move the rollers can be adjusted to account for wind resistance and the vehicle's weight.
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  #28  
Old 07-12-2013, 04:12:14 PM
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Default Re: Ethanol Gas - Florida Update

[QUOTE=Power;932924]
Quote:
Originally Posted by OTTO-Sawyer View Post
..
The EPA ratings are an average of several cars tested

Nope - manufacturer tests a prototype, which according to August issue of Consumer reports is optimized for the test. Copyrighted, so have to paraphrase: For EPA tests, car manufacturers take advantage of all variables that will improve the results. FYI- EPA checks about 10-15 % of the tests. Remember, the manufacturer is testing a "pre-production prototype", which can vary significantly from production vehicles
Looks like I stand corrected on that part.

I knew they were tested under controlled conditions, but I thought the EPA ran their own tests on cars picked at random. Though I guess in many cases, it would be on pre-production models so they can get the window stickers on the new models as they come out.

That part though about the factories taking advantage of all the variables, I'm guessing that is making sure that all the parts going in to the 'test vehicles' were run to split or 'mean' tolerances. (I've been involved in a few 'prototype runs', making everything to split dimensions, which I usually did even on production runs while my co-workers used all the tolerance the could and then some.) The variables I mentioned earlier can still stack up to give better (or worse) performance OR better mileage. Sometimes performance and mileage can come at the same time, but in the case of undersized engines in full sized cars, you usually end up sacrificing one for the other and they aim for a compromise trying to achieve both to cover a wider market.

Different subject, but another case of compromising is automatic transmission shift points and firmness. Ideally, for maximum performance and mileage, you would want the trans to shift imediately from one gear to the next, but Grandma's and mothers driving to the grocerie store don't want to get snapped back in the seat or even feel a light jolt every time it shifts gears like a young hot rodder does, so they design them with overlap between the gears so when they shift it will engage 2nd before letting go of 1st, and then engage 3rd before letting go of 2nd, making for a smoother shift. That costs performance AND gas mileage, but with older people making up the majority of the market they do that to keep them happy with a smooth shifting car. Some of the newer cars now with electronic controls on everything have a switch you can flip to change from a smooth shift to a firmer one.
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:58:58 PM
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Default Re: Ethanol Gas - Florida Update

Throwing the epa in doesn't have anything to do with what ever is going on with Bill. I know people who get better then the epa average. Just like some don't. All depends how one drives. But nothing like what Bill is saying. Changing tire size will give you wrong MPG. Bob
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Old 07-12-2013, 06:04:07 PM
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Default Re: Ethanol Gas - Florida Update

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Throwing the epa in doesn't have anything to do with what ever is going on with Bill. I know people who get better then the epa average. Just like some don't. All depends how one drives. But nothing like what Bill is saying. Changing tire size will give you wrong MPG. Bob

No, it does not, but you made a statement I knew to be inaccurate. Otto, the EPA thing and their flawed, inaccurate testing process is an issue beyond this thread. IMHO one of the bigger issues is testing a stationary vehicle on a dyno. That test does not account for real world air resistance, undercarriage and non driving wheel drag...... etc.

I look at Consumer Reports results - they test purchased, off the lot vehicles on a track and public roads for real world MPG.
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:30:14 PM
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Default Re: Ethanol Gas - Florida Update

I use sure-gas.org to find ethanol free gasoline. Sent from my stupid iPhone.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:31:49 AM
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Default Re: Ethanol Gas - Florida Update

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Originally Posted by Power View Post

No, it does not, but you made a statement I knew to be inaccurate. Otto, the EPA thing and their flawed, inaccurate testing process is an issue beyond this thread. IMHO one of the bigger issues is testing a stationary vehicle on a dyno. That test does not account for real world air resistance, undercarriage and non driving wheel drag...... etc.

I look at Consumer Reports results - they test purchased, off the lot vehicles on a track and public roads for real world MPG.
WHAT did I say that was inaccurate? EPA is only a base line for manufactures' and the govt. so they know what their corp. average's are nothing more. As in any scientific project you have to have a controlled environment. If they went by real world no one would know as between drivers, traffic, climate, altitude, fuel, ect! Bob
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Old 07-13-2013, 10:33:32 AM
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Default Re: Ethanol Gas - Florida Update

"Changing tire size will give you wrong MPG. Bob"

I believe this is what Power was referring to. Changing tire size might result in a change in MPG but unless the change was drastic, doubt if it would really be noticeable.

Bill
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Old 07-13-2013, 06:02:10 PM
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Default Re: Ethanol Gas - Florida Update

Wrong info. in wrong info. out! Bob
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:54:45 AM
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Default Re: Ethanol Gas - Florida Update

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Originally Posted by Fred Van Hook View Post
I use sure-gas.org to find ethanol free gasoline. Sent from my stupid iPhone.
My local fuel distributor has big ads in the paper for "real 100% gasoline", they are selling a lot of it. (my iPhone is nearly as good as 2 tin cans and a string, can I use your signature?)
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