Creating a myth: Another fuel saving device - Scion xB Forum
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post #1 of 47 Old 12-16-2011, 02:12 AM Thread Starter
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Creating a myth: Another fuel saving device

We all have heard about the fuel line magnets, turbonators, throttle body spacers, hydrogen generators and miracle additives designed to make our cars more fuel efficient. They all come with claims of success and explanations of how and why they do what they do. Sometimes they even come with the test data. So here is another one:



Looking at the stock xB intake duct always made me wonder if having two 90 degree bends can somehow have a negative effect on the engine's efficiency:



Without going too deep into the science of things let me just say this: I wanted to straighten the airflow into the manifold:



The throttle body insert is made out of thin aluminum plate. I tried to make sure its edges cause as little resistance as possible:





Was it wrong for me to even try? After driving through two tanks of gas with it installed I saw the best gas mileage that my 2006 xB with automatic transmission and 80K miles on the odometer has ever shown: above 35 miles per gallon. That's about 2 MPG gain. I must say that I really wanted to see some gains so I did slow down on the freeway and didn't go above 70 MPH. But half of the driving I do is in the city anyway. And isn't sticking a piece of metal into the air duct supposed to make things worse?
So it was time to do some testing. I did few runs on a dynamometer:



And shots of my Scangauge without the fin installed:



And with it. Only a minute apart:



I did about 8 runs under different loads. Sometimes there was no difference for the better and sometimes there was. It never registered drop in MPG and under lighter loads almost always showed 1–3 MPG increase.
Is this a miracle?


Last edited by PCH; 12-16-2011 at 07:15 PM.
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post #2 of 47 Old 12-16-2011, 06:00 AM
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Re: Creating a myth: Another fuel saving device

Victor, lighter load does improve mpg in an inversely proportional relationship.

So, you need to minimize variables and explain your testing. What changed between the SG photo 1 and SG photo 2? Did you replace the metal TBI with the plexiglass one? What part does the dynomometer play in this? It's common to see a 2% LOD variation during driving.

I presume your intention was to compare just the stock rubber tubing against your straight pipe. So show us the upstream CAI, air filter, etc. on both setups.

Then show me the TBI installed in both setups, and explain why you've added this second variable.

Tell us what the dyno setup was for the SG photo runs. What was your goal? To keep the dyno load the same during the two SG photos? Was it the same?

---------- Post added 12-16-2011 at 04:03 AM ----------

Bottom line: lighter load = better mpg. Did your pipe change allow you to achieve lighter load? How did your testing setup prove/show that?

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? George Carlin
49.2 mpg avg over 58,800 miles. 176% of '08 EPA
Best flat drive 94.5 mpg for 10.1 mi
Longest tank 1033 km (642 mi) on 10.56 gal = 60.8 mpg
Boycotting Exxon/Mobil since 1989, BP/ARCO/Amoco since 2010

See my cross-country trip report here, & my 1000 km tank here.
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post #3 of 47 Old 12-16-2011, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Creating a myth: Another fuel saving device

The short ram intake was not used in any of the tests I've done here. It was all done on a completely stock motor.
I used the dynamometer to simulate driving load (1%, 2% incline, etc) and noted Load and MPG readings on the Scangauge at the same speeds with and without the fin installed. It only takes a minute to put it in so all the runs are done back to back within a few minutes of each other.

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post #4 of 47 Old 12-16-2011, 04:01 PM
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Re: Creating a myth: Another fuel saving device

Victor what do you normally get for fuel economy? I typically get 35mpg with an injen SRI, NGK iridium's, on 87


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post #5 of 47 Old 12-16-2011, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Creating a myth: Another fuel saving device

3132. I always calculate it after fill ups. BTW it's an auto.

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post #6 of 47 Old 12-16-2011, 04:58 PM
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Re: Creating a myth: Another fuel saving device

mine too . . .I follow mine via scangauge but I always divide the amount of miles by the amount of gas I used to fill up (to when the clicks open.


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post #7 of 47 Old 12-16-2011, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Creating a myth: Another fuel saving device

Don't you have shorter than stock tires?

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post #8 of 47 Old 12-16-2011, 05:26 PM
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Re: Creating a myth: Another fuel saving device

185 60 r14

---------- Post added 12-16-2011 at 06:28 PM ----------

but I have also made it from blasdell NY to Cincinnati OH on one tank of gas on stock tire size.


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post #9 of 47 Old 12-16-2011, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Creating a myth: Another fuel saving device

So they roll 3 inches less on each revolution compared to stock 185 60 r15, right? Wouldn't that make your ODO count more than you've actually traveled?

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post #10 of 47 Old 12-16-2011, 06:32 PM
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Re: Creating a myth: Another fuel saving device

^^^this my tires are an inch taller and cause the odo to say i didnt go as far as i did, so when i check my mpg it is 28-30

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post #11 of 47 Old 12-16-2011, 06:47 PM
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Re: Creating a myth: Another fuel saving device

well you don't need my affirmation to tell you your math is correct, all I can say is it fits my lifestyle and I don't fill up more than twice a month


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post #12 of 47 Old 12-16-2011, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Creating a myth: Another fuel saving device

Same here. I've always been happy with what i was getting out of a tank. And this mod was more about just seeing any difference than chasing any specific number.

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post #13 of 47 Old 12-16-2011, 07:00 PM
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Re: Creating a myth: Another fuel saving device

but i haven't actually run a tank with the 185 60 R14's I was running the stock sizes for the last couple of tanks and wasn't disappointed with the outcome.

I typically drive pretty slow though, never more than 60 unless it's necessary so I watch a lot of cars pass me.

I guess I should be observing worse fuel economy but I never really did this summer running 195 50 R15's


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post #14 of 47 Old 12-16-2011, 09:36 PM
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Re: Creating a myth: Another fuel saving device

So, you're claiming the insertion of a tapered aluminum TBI improves fuel economy 1-2 mpg. Wow!

---------- Post added 12-16-2011 at 08:08 PM ----------

My immediate question is "why?" Why would this work? You started by talking about straightening out two 90 degree curves, teased us with the SRI, then threw in the TBI. We're lacking the theory and hypothesis, and are left with the testing results.

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? George Carlin
49.2 mpg avg over 58,800 miles. 176% of '08 EPA
Best flat drive 94.5 mpg for 10.1 mi
Longest tank 1033 km (642 mi) on 10.56 gal = 60.8 mpg
Boycotting Exxon/Mobil since 1989, BP/ARCO/Amoco since 2010

See my cross-country trip report here, & my 1000 km tank here.
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post #15 of 47 Old 12-16-2011, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Creating a myth: Another fuel saving device

I showed a piece of aluminum and some data. Do you think they are somehow related?
By the way i never even mentioned SRI

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post #16 of 47 Old 12-16-2011, 10:48 PM
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Re: Creating a myth: Another fuel saving device

Yea I have an Sri but that's because my research has lead my to believe it would improve my fuel econ


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post #17 of 47 Old 12-16-2011, 11:11 PM
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Re: Creating a myth: Another fuel saving device

PCH and Lifex,

You two are teases.

No, there is no relationship between the aluminum strip and fuel economy, unless you show one. Ditto for SRIs & FE.

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? George Carlin
49.2 mpg avg over 58,800 miles. 176% of '08 EPA
Best flat drive 94.5 mpg for 10.1 mi
Longest tank 1033 km (642 mi) on 10.56 gal = 60.8 mpg
Boycotting Exxon/Mobil since 1989, BP/ARCO/Amoco since 2010

See my cross-country trip report here, & my 1000 km tank here.
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post #18 of 47 Old 12-16-2011, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Creating a myth: Another fuel saving device

I had SRI but it's off for now - don't want to have it on during the rain season. And while it's off I wanted to experiment with stock setup.
So i install this fin and notice better gas mileage. I gather some very basic data with and without the fin and kind of see that at certain conditions it may be making the difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BestmpgxB View Post
My immediate question is "why?" Why would this work? We're lacking the theory
I don't have the means to measure what I'm thinking may make it work. It's a vague idea: two consecutive 90 degree turns may make the flow less laminar. That disturbance can continue into the plenum and have unwanted effect on the cylinder filling, for example. I can't get cylinder balance data. So for now I will continue running it and test it occasionally by checking the readings on the Scangauge.
Intake fins are nothing new BTW.

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post #19 of 47 Old 12-17-2011, 05:56 PM
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Re: Creating a myth: Another fuel saving device

whatever you say slowpoke.


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post #20 of 47 Old 01-17-2012, 10:26 PM
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Re: Creating a myth: Another fuel saving device

Is that the same as the suction fan thing I see on ebay?
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