Should I trade in my Tacoma?

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing.
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Re: Should I trade in my Tacoma?

Postby Tortoise1 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:29 pm

Alpine wrote:
TallGrass wrote:You could explore "hypermiling" with your Tacoma such as .... seeing if they make a taller rear end (gear ratio),

Primarily, the idea that engines (actually not only the engine but the entire drivetrain and even the overall vehicle itself) are tuned as a system - generally to make best use of the engines torque curve. So that if you changed the gearing to a numerically lower number it is possible that the engine is actually becoming less efficient and instead using more gasoline rather than less?

Maybe the idea of a re-gearing would work, but only as long as if it didn't push the engine too far outside its torque band.

Rear axle ratios are a trade-off - shorter ratios, that is higher numbers, are faster off the line, tow more, have more engine RPMs and wear, and have less (stick shift) clutch wear on take-off. Taller ratios, lower numbers, reduce engine wear, are slower off the line, tow less, have more clutch wear on take-off, and almost always get better mileage. I've seen a linear ratio from a rear axle change - 20 percent higher ratio (lower number) equal 20 percent better fuel economy.

Surprisingly most manufacturers are still gearing stick shifts for off the line performance rather than optimal gas mileage. They still seem to think all stick shift people are hot-rodders looking for off the line performance. That's likely to change as it gets harder to meet the fuel economy standards. The other thing they've screwed up is that six is too many gears for optimal fuel economy. If you want improve stick shift fuel economy, skip gears. Fewer wider spaced gears is more fuel efficient with a stick, the opposite of an automatic.
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Re: Should I trade in my Tacoma?

Postby FireOnTheMountain » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:00 am

This is awesome people! I have read all your responses and love the interest/enthusiasm about the subject.

bergsteigen wrote:Keep your Tacoma! I love mine ('02), and will keep it till it dies.

lordhelmut wrote:this is nonsense, enjoy your Taco!

Don't get me wrong, I love my Tacoma to pieces and even feel guilty for thinking of getting rid of it. Up to this point I have justified my owning of the car by only driving it on the weekends. Every other time I can be found on an RTD bus or more likely my badass Linus cruiser bike.

Again, most of you seem to believe driving an extremely dependable car with not the best mpg is still better than buying a new car that gets 12mpg more (i.e. the impreza or golf). I have never really wanted a Prius as I understand the possible detriment to the enviro (not trying to hate on Prius owners, just my opinion!)

climbingaggie03 wrote:I know this is kind of out of left field, but have you considered a motorcycle?

I have pondered a motorcycle in fact! Perhaps one day I will seriously consider it but as for now I am getting by with the bike.

I also like how some of you have offered others means of helping the environment. Driving frugally, reducing the amount of things you consume and reusing stuff are all wonderful ways to help the environment.

If we just put a little thought into items we can reuse and items we don't need (take out boxes, plastic shopping bags with 1 item in them), we (and the polar bears) will all be better off. :-D
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Re: Should I trade in my Tacoma?

Postby SeracZack » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:12 am

Tortoise1 wrote:If you want improve stick shift fuel economy, skip gears. Fewer wider spaced gears is more fuel efficient with a stick, the opposite of an automatic.


Somehow it doesn't make sense to me that dropping the engine RPM so low in-between shifts would increase fuel mileage. My typical RPM drop between shifts is 800 (IIRC), so by increasing that drop to 1600 RPM on my engine would make the engine lug too much and I would have to press down on the accelerator even more to continue accelerating. Thus bringing the engine out of its efficiency zone, and burning more fuel.
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Re: Should I trade in my Tacoma?

Postby GeezerClimber » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:36 am

Having perfect fuel/air ratios makes for more power, more efficiency and less emissions. Lean burns increase NOx emissions, rich increases COs and CHs. The main reason motors are much more powerful, efficient and cleaner today than ever is modern engine management (aka computers) control fuel flow and ignition timing more precisely than ever. In the early 80s, the only way they could reduce emissions was reducing compression, delay ignition timing and running relatively lean. These motors produced very poor power and were not all that efficient and just clean enough to pass emissions. Beginning in the mid 80s, computers were used to improve motor performance in every way and has been continually refined and improved to this day. This is why you can now buy a 600hp Corvette and still get over 20mpg on the highway.

IC motors are at their most efficient when used at maximum power and rpm but this is not practical for everyday use or durability. This is why cylinder deactivation is becoming popular on V8s. A smaller motor working harder is more efficient than a large one not working hard. Engineers use various parameters to develop torque curves for the real world balancing power, efficiency and intended purpose. For instance, in NASCAR, they use large motors developing about 900hp at 9000 rpm. Running wide open at 200mph+, they get over 5mpg. I have taken street cars with relatively efficient small motors to road race tracks where there is a lot of accelerating and decelerating and gotten only 5-6 mpg without ever going over about 125mph. The NASCAR motor would be pretty much useless in real life though because of the way it is tuned.

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Re: Should I trade in my Tacoma?

Postby coclimbguy79 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:13 pm

I have a newer impreza hatchback with 6 speed cvt. It feels as roomy as a small suv, and I don't think there would be any issue for a 6' or under person sleeping in the back with folded seats. Ground clearance is just under 6", but I don't know of another compact with above 6" (with the exception of the suzuki sx4). Averages 30-32 with city driving and will get high 30s (and possibly over 40) with highway driving.

The crosstrek has almost 9" of ground clearance, but is basically the same car, same engine with more weight. I wouldn't consider the boxer engine high performance on the standard impreza and it would be pretty weak on the crosstrek (which reviews seem to confirm). But I suppose if you want very good gas mileage and good ground clearance, you have to make a sacrifice somewhere. I'm sure there's better crossovers as far as performance, but there might be a sacrifice with ground clearance and gas mileage there.

I drove my impreza to the Leavick site about a month ago, and it did great in that the snow.

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