Interesting statistic

Heard on the radio this morning that the average fuel economy for all
North America is the same as for the Ford model T (A?) in 1929. This
is because of the large engines in many of our vehicles. Of course,
the HP output of the Ford engines was way less than a comparable
displacement today. Just interesting.
ERS
Reply to
Eric R Snow
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Wouldn't "fuel economy" have to do with number of miles/gallon? If so (and I would assume so) then what does the size of engine vs. HP have to do with it?
Regards,
Robin
Reply to
Robin S.
My take on this Eric, is that someone is in cahoots with someone.... Years ago Chevy had a little 283 V8 (Ford's was 289), and that 283 in a Chevy Impala (fairly heavy) with a standard old Powerglide (2 speed) tranny would get you about 23 MPG. Not uncommon. However, take the newer vehicles - a LOT lighter, computer controlled, fuel injection yada, yada, yada, and you get about 13 to 15. As much as I dislike foreign vehicles - Dad had an old Honda that would consistantly get 48 to 50 MPG and that was with him pushing it pretty hard on the interstate AND it had well over 130,000 miles on it. So, what gives? Could it be that the american oil companies are giving a kickback to the american auto manufacturers to make vehicles that DON'T get very good gas mileage to further their sales??? We all know that high gas mileage is obtainable - it's just that they won't give it to us....sigh.... Ken.
Reply to
Ken Sterling
I seriously think the issue is that Americans like their big heavy vehicles.
Automakers follow consumer demand. If people start buying domestic vehicles because they are fuel efficient, the makers will respond. Currently, I don't think domestic buyers care, on the whole
Look at Ford's current SUV lineup: Escape, Explorer Sport Trac, Explorer, Expedition, Excursion.
As OEMs respond to these demands, suppliers respond to. I can tell you that suppliers ARE responding to the SUV craze.
Regards,
Robin
Reply to
Robin S.
I don't know, but any Carb V-8 that I owned didn't get near 20 MPG more like 10 to 15 MPG. Cars today are not much lighter than cars from years back per size, many just seam lighter. If you look at the specs for weight many mid sized cars are over 3000 pounds (may sable is 3500 pounds), SUVs are up into the 6000 pound area (my F150 is over 4300 pounds). Sure you can show a big old Chrysler or caddy that was a beast but they are light compared to a hummer. Cars today are stronger, safer, drive far better and last many more miles. My sable has a 200 HP 24 valve V-6 that has more guts than almost any car I have ever owned and it gets over 20 MPG every time I fill up.
Reply to
Wayne
Robin,
I like my golf cart WAY more than I like my SUV !!!
Mee thinks *YOU* got us mericans all wrong.
YOU been watching all that stuff on teevee that Hollyweird puts out havent you ???
Durned you cannooks anyways !!!
Reply to
PrecisionMachinisT
We all know that high gas
Customers get what they pay for. Things that increase fuel usage are: Speed Weight 4X4 A/con Frontal area Things that reduce fuel usage are the opposite of these. Small economical cars use less fuel. We have cars like the Honda here in UK but many folks still buy cars with things from the list above even when they don't need them. 4X4 is a classic case. The number of 4X4's that only go shopping is stupid. If fuel economy was an issue, the manufacturers would respond to sell more cars. Bottom line is that most new car buyers don't care. If they can afford the big new car, they can afford the fuel. Comparison with the model T: No heater or A/con slow uncomfortable brakes don't work reliability is terrible lets rain in needs servicing every 1000(?) miles needs new engine every 30,000 miles etc
John
Reply to
John Manders
Maybe on a Shell Economy run, ie with the tires pumped up to 60 PSI, driven with a raw egg taped to the accelerator, and coasting down hill with the engine off.
In the *real* world, they got about 14 MPG if you drove them easy. A friend of mine and I both bought new 1967 Impalas. His had the standard Powerglide, I special ordered mine with the Turbohydro 350 (then normally only available behind the big block engines). He got 12 to 14 MPG, I got 16 to 18 MPG with the 3 speed, both with careful driving. Driven normally, we each got about 2 MPG less (and I beat him by almost a full 2 seconds in the quarter mile, that extra gear made a hell of a difference). Neither of us even approached 23 MPG.
My current "full size" car is a 1997 Dodge Intrepid. It has the 3.5L 24 valve high performance V6 with a 4 speed auto transaxle with lock up torque converter. I routinely get 27 MPG highway, 22 to 24 around town. While shorter than the old Impalas, it is very little lighter (curb weight 3500 pounds as opposed to 3800 for the 1967 Impala). It is as peppy, if not a bit more so, and handles much better than the old Impala. Starts right up and is immediately ready to drive on cold mornings too.
Even my boxy Jeep Cherokee Sport with the 4.0L straight 6 gets 22 MPG. It has the aerodynamics of a brick. Now it is true that the land yacht class SUVs don't do that well. The Chevy Subdivision and the Ford Excursion boat get 12 to 14 MPG, driven carefully. But you're talking about huge boxes with curb weights well in excess of 6500 pounds. Look at an equivalently big old truck, like my 1978 F350 dually. That struggles to get 6 MPG from its 400 CI V8 with 4 speed manual tranny.
Original little Civic? I got 38 MPG driving one of those normally (which I rarely did). Playing boy racer, MPG dropped into the high 20s. If your dad was getting 50 MPG, he drove Shell Economy run style, or his MPG reports were fish stories.
High MPG (approx 50) *is* available, if you want to drive like a little old lady in a tiny shitbox car. Most people don't. (I don't have much use for a car that, when you tromp it on a freeway on ramp, turns around and asks, "Who me, go now?")
If you compare *equivalent* cars and light trucks of the 60s and 70s to today's cars and trucks, both driven normally, you'll find fairly dramatic improvements in MPG, 50-100% better for cars, and 20-40% better for light trucks. Engine displacements are down from the old days, but hp and driveability are up thanks to fuel injection and computer drivetrain management.
What has kept our fleet average fuel economy from growing a lot more is the switch in driver preference from cars to light trucks and SUVs (over 50% of sales are now light trucks or SUVs). Even though the MPG of those is better than equivalent old light trucks, it is still far less than the improved MPG of today's cars.
I call this switch the Vista Cruiser syndrome. Since no one makes a decent full size station wagon anymore, people have gone with SUVs or Club Cab pickups instead. The aerodynamics of the latter frankly suck, so there's no way they're going to give you dramatic MPG improvements.
BTW, the reason no one makes station wagons anymore is that they get counted with cars in the federal CAFE standards. Trucks over 6500 pounds don't. So to meet federally mandated fleet CAFE standards, the manufacturers dropped the station wagon and replaced it with the SUV. That way the relatively low MPG station wagon didn't suck down their average, and people could still get the size vehicle they wanted, though it looked like a truck instead of a car, and got even less MPG than the station wagon because of the poorer aerodynamics. Another case where do gooder government meddling in the marketplace has unintended consequences.
Gary
Reply to
Gary Coffman
Well, a small car with a small engine might get 40 MPG. This same car with large engine would get maybe 30 MPG. Now, the old engines had maybe 20 hp but went slow and got a certain mileage. Today, a car with three times the hp might get the same mpg. So even though the MPG is the same it is not really apples to apples because the newer car gets more hp per gallon. ERS
Reply to
Eric R Snow
Don't forget however, it can be serviced with a minimum of hand tools. My landlord owns several model T's and drives them regularly. There's a doctor in town too that drives a T pickup to his office that looks like it came straight out of Beverly Hillbillies. 80 years from how I don't think too many Hummers are going to be around, but somewhere, someone will probably still be driving a T.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Anderson
|| ||High MPG (approx 50) *is* available, if you want to drive like a little old ||lady in a tiny shitbox car. Most people don't. (I don't have much use for ||a car that, when you tromp it on a freeway on ramp, turns around and ||asks, "Who me, go now?")
I hear you on that. My fleet is large and varied, but I get a perverse pleasure out of driving my '90 CRX HF econobox. 67 HP, gear ratios a block apart. under 2000-lbs. To make rapid progress, you have to drive very far ahead to keep your momentum up. And don't ring up the engine room looking for a shot of acceleration, 'cause nobody's home ;)
Rex B
1996 F350 crew cab 1994 F150 4x4 1990 CRX HF 1985 RX7 SCCA race car 1987 Jetta 16V SCCA race Car 1988 Swift SE3 FC race car and then there's the wifes cars.... Rex in Fort Worth
Reply to
Rex B
Looking out in my garage and driveway, I notice the gasoline cars are sitting, and all the diesels are gone. My family members have suddenly decided the '79 Rabbit diesel (50 mpg highway, no problem), '86 Isuzu P'up turbodiesel (34 mpg city, highway, loaded, unloaded, towing, doesn't matter), and various Mercedes turbodiesels (22-30 mpg) are de rigeur. Especially since their diet is mostly 64 cents/gal biodiesel.
The Rabbit is much quicker than CRx HF, I think. The Isuzu is as strong as any mini-truck of that vintage. The Mercedes diesels have acceptable performance, with their weight taken into account.
I doubt I'll ever buy another gasser.
Dale Scroggins
Reply to
Dale Scroggins
Ken Sterling wrote in news:c5072d3ae892611b3532a8059bd230d2 @news.teranews.com:
Two notable differences between the "good old days" and now: 1) when those 283's and 289's were around you couldn't see two miles from the smog. Hell, my mom recalls days in LA when I was a baby when she couldn't see TWO BLOCKS! The new cars are much, much cleaner; 2) I sure would rather have a head-on collision in my new car, with air bags preventing me from hitting the plastic, padded dash, instead of the Impala, with no air bags and heavy, metal dash.
The radios are better now, too.
Reply to
Hitch
And the mileage on those old cars just gets better and better. Try getting one of those old engines to get that kind of mileage now. Can't do it. It must be all the clean air. Way back when the mileage was so good because of all the un-burnt hydrocarbons in the air. Almost purplepetular motion! ERS
Reply to
Eric R Snow
I've always wanted to stick a rabbit diesel in a seracco sp. Kinda like having your cake and eating it also. Problem is that I need a truck and really worried about building my next one with the 500 ci. engine that I'm planning on using. I was going to go with a diesel , but didn't want the racket. I should sell it and go back to diesel , hey I kinda like the truck rumbling while I'm sleeping , except maybe the white line fever dreams with sound effects.
With my '70 MGB it would get 11mpg to 27 mpg.
Reply to
Sunworshiper
May have something to do with the quality of the gasoline also. I remember back on the farm, we used to buy bulk gas for the tractors. BRIGHT PINK and an odor that would knock you off your feet. Used to use about a quart to start a HUGE bonfire, trailing the gas back about 75' or so for safety.... light the trail and kaboom - the fire was burning with a vengence..,.. no so nowadays... the gas has no punch. Sure, they may say the octane ratings are higher/same/better or whatever, but the methods of obtaining those numbers may have changed. I am a little skeptical (make that a lot skeptical) of the oil companies and their games. I heard a number of years ago that Exxon made something like 43 billion dollars clear profit in the first quarter of that year..... staggering..... Ken
Reply to
Ken Sterling
The color was a result of the dye put in farm equipment gas for tax purposes. Farm gas isn't subject to federal road tax. The dye is so tax enforcement agents can check the tanks of your road vehicles to make sure you aren't using the non-taxed gas on the road. The odor you recall was tetraethyl lead and other additives which were added to gas to raise its octane rating.
Actually, today it burns faster, but *sane* people don't start bonfires with gasoline. That's what diesel is for.
The octane rating of today's gasoline is lower. That's because the tetraethyl lead and other additives were removed by EPA order. However, lower octane means faster burning. The additives were put in gas in the first place to *slow down* combustion, ie to prevent pinging in high compression engines. Removing them lets the gas burn quicker and hotter. Automakers had to lower the compression ratios of their engines in order to burn this "hotter" gasoline.
That $43 billion clear profit figure seems high, even for Exxon-Mobil. That might have been their *gross* rather than their net profit.
Lets see, fourth quarter 2003 figures were just released by Exxon-Mobil, $6.65 billion, up from $4.09 billion fourth quarter of 2002. That includes all their businesses, not just oil. For oil, the figure is $4.42 billion, up from $3.79 billion a year ago. Ah, here's the figure you heard. Quarterly revenue was $66 billion, up from $56.2 billion a year ago. That's gross revenue, not profit.
What's staggering is that the US consumes 277.5 *billion* gallons of gasoline a year. At $1.75 a gallon, that's a *lot* of money to be shared between a relatively few companies. But the government gets a big chunk of that as tax (18 cents federal, and a more or less similar amount, varies by state, of state tax, plus state and local sales taxes), the producers get about 75 cents, the refiners and distributors get about 30 cents, and the retailer gets between 3 and 5 cents.
Gary
Reply to
Gary Coffman
If for no other reason than it could actually run on low-octane, low quality gas that'd give the others fits...
--Glenn Lyford
Reply to
Glenn Lyford
Higher Octane allows for higher compression thus more power, the octane itself does not make gas more powerful. The higher the octane, the LESS likely the gas will pre detonate, or it can be said higher octane is more stable. If your car doesn't ping or have other problems running a lower octane you will waste you money putting in a higher octane.
Reply to
Wayne
Octane ratings are certainly down since TEL went away, but most modern engines can still have high compression because a number of changes that have gone on over the years.
Combustion chamber shape is one of the biggest - by using squish bands (narrow volumes above the piston at TDC) to increase the surface area presented to the compressed charge and to improve charge mixing as the piston comes up, allows higher compression on lower octane fuel.
The change to four-valve heads with a centrally located plug is another. The mix ignites in the center and only has to burn half as far before detonating, compared to a two valve head with a plug offset way over on one side.
Some manufacturers are even resorting to dual-plugging. This means the mix is lit off in two spots and goes a long way to reducing detonation. The other advantage from this is reduced advance and increased hp output.
Jim
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Reply to
jim rozen

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