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[ale] Ot: Geek Squad

I used to drive a Chevy LUV 4x4 (Isuzu P'UP) with a 2.2 4cyl diesel that 
only made 50hp when new.  I'm sure it was down a few ponies with 200k + 
miles.  Got between 40-50 mpg.  Sure, it would barely run 65 mph, but I 
have a lot of patience when money is involved. :)  If I ever find one 
that hasn't rusted into oblivion, I will snap it up (my last one was so 
rusty it literally broke in half on an overpass).  The only time the 
lack of acceleration is a problem for me is merging from entrance ramps 
and even then I'll just borrow the shoulder if I need a little more room.

The best way to acheive better efficiency in internal-combustion engines 
is with long strokes, compact combustion chambers, high compression 
ratios and relatively low-speed operation.  This makes Diesels ideal.  
Now, add a turbo and you get the bonus of being able to adjust the power 
output as needed without any appreciable economy loss.  No need for a 
second turbo, just size the single turbo appropriately and let the 
wastegate handle the rest.

I favor a minimalist approach for my machines though it is difficult to 
find others with a similar opinion.  I can see the writing on the wall 
when "economy" cars cost 15k and up and get worse fuel ecomomy than ever.

Anyway, that's the end of my ex auto mechanic rant.  I'll be quiet now.

Warren Myers wrote:

> Well, we've also tromped on the idea of getting cars with 50hp and 
> 0-60 times of 20 seconds. The Smart car achieves its stellar mileage 
> with a teeny engine, and really low acceleration times.
> The cool thing to do to one, in my mind, would be to strap a second 
> turbo on the top and see if we can't get more horses out ot it. OTOH, 
> for in-city driving, and low-traffic highway driving, the low 
> acceleration times isn't a big deal. It's just the constant 
> get-on/get-off driving of commuting on short highway stretches where 
> it would suck.
> On 8/17/05, *Matt Magee* <mattslistmail at earthlink.net 
> <mailto:mattslistmail at earthlink.net>> wrote:
>     I still find it interesting that in the early 90's you could buy at
>     least three cars that acheived around 60 mpg (Civic VX, CRX HF and the
>     Metro XFI).  Now to get 60 mpg, the best we can get is the smart,
>     which
>     is far smaller and not really inexpensive either.
>     Is this the best the world's engineers can do?
>     Grant Robertson wrote:
>     >I so wish the smart would come to the US.. They're becoming kinda
>     >popular in Canada. Neat little buggers, and suprisingly roomy.
>     >
>     >-G
>     >
>     >
>     >On 8/16/05, James P. Kinney III <jkinney at localnetsolutions.com
>     <mailto:jkinney at localnetsolutions.com>> wrote:
>     >
>     >
>     >>I'm partial to
>     >> http://www.zapworld.com/cars/smartCar.asp
>     >>for geek-fleet cars.
>     >>
>     >>
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