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Hello fellow members

First and foremost; i apologize for this being my fist post and already asking for your wise and valued contributions. Also would like to apologize if i offend anyone.

I failed to locate an introductions section on the forum, thus i will start off with introducing myself.

My name is Giray.
Im a 4th year University graduate from Windsor Ontario Canada, (Neighboring the Detroit Michigan). I am personally involved in tuning regular combustion engines in attempts to achieve high power levels. Needless to say when operating under normal conditions i always achieve better gas mileage than the factory OEM disclaimers. Willing to entertain any questions on this matter ;)

As the tittle says:

I am currently writing a thesis paper for a MBA class called: Automotive Marketing.
Part of my thesis is to look into the aftermarket fuel vehicle conversions market. I have been doing a lot of technical research, however i felt it would make more sense to reach out to the end users of the fast growing niche market. Coming from a car enthusiasts group i feel the information i am hoping to attain here is far more valuable and realistic than the technical portion of the research.

Some questions are as follows?
You may not want to answer some questions as i acknowledge that some questions are on the personal level. Questions might be too broad or vague, in either case feel free to correct and elaborate on please.


  1. What is the main motive behind the conversion?
  2. Do you use your conversion as a daily driver or do you have a secondary vehicle at hand?
  3. Main usage of the converted vehicle?
  4. What are some main conversion components?
  5. What is the average price range to complete a conversion for a daily driven vehicle?
  6. Considering the conversion has been done right, What would be the average maintenance cost per year? (Does not include tires, brakes, and any other non conversion related parts.)
  7. Do you feel that there is readily available aftermarket parts for your conversion?
  8. Do you believe the government is as encouraging as you would like, if No on what aspects can government increase their involvement. (Eg; tax reductions on parts purchases, insurance reductions, increase in research in development programs, government incentives and etc..)
  9. In 10 years: Where do you see the Electric vehicles compared Combustion.
Once again I'd like to thank you in advance for your contributions. Looking forward to being part of the forum

Regards
 

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Welcome Giray,

I may do your survey... but first a couple questions... if I may.

My name is Giray.
Im a 4th year University graduate from Windsor Ontario Canada, (Neighboring the Detroit Michigan). I am personally involved in tuning regular combustion engines in attempts to achieve high power levels. Needless to say when operating under normal conditions i always achieve better gas mileage than the factory OEM disclaimers. Willing to entertain any questions on this matter ;)
I must say, your tuning deserves some explanations...you may be the only person to easily attain OEM spec'd fuel economy #'s. I've blown my tires up till they are ready to burst and coasting down hill with a tail wind gets me close... :rolleyes::D


As the tittle says:

I am currently writing a thesis paper for a MBA class called: Automotive Marketing.
Part of my thesis is to look into the aftermarket fuel vehicle conversions market. I have been doing a lot of technical research, however i felt it would make more sense to reach out to the end users of the fast growing niche market. Coming from a car enthusiasts group i feel the information i am hoping to attain here is far more valuable and realistic than the technical portion of the research.
What exactly is an "aftermarket fuel vehicle conversion"... I mean, I understand all of the words.... individually... but aren't all vehicles run by some type of "fuel"?... so, any conversion to any other than OEM fuel?

Some questions are as follows?
You may not want to answer some questions as i acknowledge that some questions are on the personal level. Questions might be too broad or vague, in either case feel free to correct and elaborate on please.


  1. What is the main motive behind the conversion?
  2. Do you use your conversion as a daily driver or do you have a secondary vehicle at hand?
  3. Main usage of the converted vehicle?
  4. What are some main conversion components?
  5. What is the average price range to complete a conversion for a daily driven vehicle?
  6. Considering the conversion has been done right, What would be the average maintenance cost per year? (Does not include tires, brakes, and any other non conversion related parts.)
  7. Do you feel that there is readily available aftermarket parts for your conversion?
  8. Do you believe the government is as encouraging as you would like, if No on what aspects can government increase their involvement. (Eg; tax reductions on parts purchases, insurance reductions, increase in research in development programs, government incentives and etc..)
  9. In 10 years: Where do you see the Electric vehicles compared Combustion.
Once again I'd like to thank you in advance for your contributions. Looking forward to being part of the forum

Regards
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Welcome Giray,

I may do your survey... but first a couple questions... if I may.


I must say, your tuning deserves some explanations...you may be the only person to easily attain OEM spec'd fuel economy #'s. I've blown my tires up till they are ready to burst and coasting down hill with a tail wind gets me close... :rolleyes::D
Im more than glad to answer this question. Hope its not too technical:
Main idea behind having good fuel economy is to run your engine lean when the engine is not under load. Along with timing and air fuel ratio adjustments your main goal should be to get the injector duty cycle as low as possible. Depending on the engine and the timing values a regular car only sees 15-30% injector duty cycle. And when you go lean, meaning: more air than fuel you get better gas mileage. Along with the tune, high quality oil, bigger oil pump, regularly cleaned intake, and a little bit of methanol in the gas tank also increase the gas mileage.



[quoteWhat exactly is an "aftermarket fuel vehicle conversion"... I mean, I understand all of the words.... individually... but aren't all vehicles run by some type of "fuel"?... so, any conversion to any other than OEM fuel?[/quote]

Im sorry my bad i meant "Aftermarket Alternative Fuel Vehicle Conversions".. Too many things going on at once, mind thinks faster than body can react :D

Hope this shed some light on your questions
 

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This thread is likely in the wrong location...moderator, please take a look.

Im more than glad to answer this question. Hope its not too technical:
Main idea behind having good fuel economy is to run your engine lean when the engine is not under load. Along with timing and air fuel ratio adjustments your main goal should be to get the injector duty cycle as low as possible. Depending on the engine and the timing values a regular car only sees 15-30% injector duty cycle. And when you go lean, meaning: more air than fuel you get better gas mileage. Along with the tune, high quality oil, bigger oil pump, regularly cleaned intake, and a little bit of methanol in the gas tank also increase the gas mileage.
hmmm I think I can understand that. so, these guys at GM and Ford etc... do some of what you do, get these "unobtainalbe" economy numbers...and then just before they ship the car....they changeitallback real fast... ?? :D So, why don't our cars come this way? (BTW methanol is not the best for an ICE long term...)
Sorry I couldn't help myself...


[quoteWhat exactly is an "aftermarket fuel vehicle conversion"... I mean, I understand all of the words.... individually... but aren't all vehicles run by some type of "fuel"?... so, any conversion to any other than OEM fuel?
Im sorry my bad i meant "Aftermarket Alternative Fuel Vehicle Conversions".. Too many things going on at once, mind thinks faster than body can react :D

Hope this shed some light on your questions[/quote]

Yup, much easier to understand.


  1. What is the main motive behind the conversion?
    To show ppl that it isn't rocket science and to get folks excited about doing it. To be part of a movement away from fossil fuels. To lead by example (for my children) To help educate others (elementary schools). For personal accomplishment also.
  2. Do you use your conversion as a daily driver or do you have a secondary vehicle at hand? Both.
  3. Main usage of the converted vehicle? Running kids to sports, errands etc. short range use. (longer range next year = lithium.)
  4. What are some main conversion components? Electric motor, motor controller, battery, battery charger.
  5. What is the average price range to complete a conversion for a daily driven vehicle? This is wide open. You need to narrow this down a little. There are so many ways to go. Take a look in the "Garage" and you can figure it out yourself.
  6. Considering the conversion has been done right, What would be the average maintenance cost per year? (Does not include tires, brakes, and any other non conversion related parts.) ..... Based on your criteria, I can't think of anything.
  7. Do you feel that there is readily available aftermarket parts for your conversion? "readily available" may be a bit of a stretch...but pretty much u can get what you need.
  8. Do you believe the government is as encouraging as you would like, if No on what aspects can government increase their involvement. (Eg; tax reductions on parts purchases, insurance reductions, increase in research in development programs, government incentives and etc..)No. All of the above. They need an education. Problem with insurance is they have no clue what the conversion is all about. Government will have to be pushed. Gasoline generates huge tax income. What will replace it? Eventually, electric vehicles will dominate for commuting.
  9. In 10 years: Where do you see the Electric vehicles compared Combustion. I would like to see it take a stronger hold...but I'm pretty sure it will be a slow road. 10 years will show some significant changes though. Finally, the car companies are coming with some better options. Will we see one out of 2 or 3 cars in every driveway electric? Not likely... but you will see a lot of them on the road. In 10 years, ppl won't think it is rocket science anymore.... our younger generation just thinks the next "magic development" in everything is just around the corner. (this is good for development) Us "older" folks are still amazed by all the little inventions. :) It's all about the "battery" (or perhaps other storage....or maybe no storage at all...but still electric) development now... and we see a lot of activity here.
Another area of interest in alternative conversions is smaller trucks (and even more cars for that matter) available in small displacement diesel option (like Europe). This apparently has a lot to do with non-technical issues.
 

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Hi

I am personally involved in tuning regular combustion engines in attempts to achieve high power levels. Needless to say when operating under normal conditions i always achieve better gas mileage than the factory OEM disclaimers. Willing to entertain any questions on this matter

I would expect you to
You are tuning a individual engines,
Not making up a recipe to set tens of thousands of engines

you don't have to meet emissions and life requirements.

The factory engineers are quoting actual numbers derived from proper statistical testing on accurate machinery

Have you got a $50,000,000 emissions tunnel for your tests?

Are you testing statistically significant numbers of engines across their entire operating zones using the entire range of legally available fuels?

What effect has the leaner running on peak cylinder pressures and on ring lubrication? - especially after 150,000 miles running?
 

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ok,I'll bite, just because I am killing ten minutes waiting for washer to finish a load...


What is the main motive behind the conversion?
to personally reduce my carbon footprint, AND demonstrate that electric cars re a suitable solution for daily in-town transportation for the average family. I have installed grid-tied PV to offset my house AND car 100%.

Do you use your conversion as a daily driver or do you have a secondary vehicle at hand?
Main usage of the converted vehicle?
this is not a well written question... I do use my EV as a daily driver, but i also do have a ICE mini-van for trips, occasions where I transport 7 kids to after-school, etc.


What are some main conversion components?
main functional components (being the major expenses) are:
motor, controller, batteries, charger, dc-dc converter

What is the average price range to complete a conversion for a daily driven vehicle?
X for the donor vehicle, about $6k for components, 150 hours of labor, and between $1500-10000 worth of batteries depending on capacity and chemistry. Average for a 40-50 mile range 10-year/100k mile Lithium battery pack would be around $5000.

Considering the conversion has been done right, What would be the average maintenance cost per year? (Does not include tires, brakes, and any other non conversion related parts.)
pretty much zero... maybe an annual inspection/re-balance of battery cell charge if needed. Brushes in DC motors would probably last 60k miles and cost about $40. amortization of the batteries is the main 'consumable'.

Do you feel that there is readily available aftermarket parts for your conversion?
yes. major components are easy to find. batteries are a little harder since they are imported from China, and don't have enough volume to establish good supply channels yet.

Do you believe the government is as encouraging as you would like, if No on what aspects can government increase their involvement. (Eg; tax reductions on parts purchases, insurance reductions, increase in research in development programs, government incentives and etc..)
for the DIY person, it would be NICE to get some additional tax incentives, but this would also mean the implementation of guidelines and inspection by MVD to verify conversions are safe and actually converted.

In 10 years: Where do you see the Electric vehicles compared Combustion.
I would guess electric will be a much larger percentage of the in-town sub-100 mile range vehicle choice as range expectations come down to match technology. Numbers will also be gated a little by the need to bring distributed power generation from wind/solar online to prevent grid overloads. I think long-haul transportation, trains, and plane will move toward bio fuels and remain 'combustion' based. i.e. oil-algae refined to diesel and jet fuel.
 

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1. To have a vehicle to drive to work that didn't require gasoline. Specifically, I didn't want my expenses every month to be so strongly dependent on the price of gasoline.
2. Daily driver, but other vehicles are available.
3. To commute to work and basic errands around town.
4. Motor, controller, contactor, batteries, chargers, cables, gauges
5. Average is probably near $12,000- I hear that number thrown around a lot.
6. $0
7. Yes
8. No. The best way to deal with this would be to have electric vehicles have free registration, given what a small percentage of vehicles are (and will be) electric. This would never happen as it is a State issue rather than Federal. The California Air Resouces Board (CARB) mandate was the best piece of legislation of the last 20 years, but the likelihood of something similar is nil.
9. Nowhere. I don't see electric vehicles ever becoming a significant percentage of vehicles on the road, even if more become available.
 

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hmmm I think I can understand that. so, these guys at GM and Ford etc... do some of what you do, get these "unobtainalbe" economy numbers...and then just before they ship the car....they changeitallback real fast... ?? :D So, why don't our cars come this way? (BTW methanol is not the best for an ICE long term...)
Sorry I couldn't help myself...
Thank you very much for your reply..

You raised a really good point.. I actually wanted to comment on it but i didnt want to be too technical.

Yes the big companies are starting off with the exact same idea as mine however where i differ from the manufacturers is the warranty issue.
 

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Hi

I am personally involved in tuning regular combustion engines in attempts to achieve high power levels. Needless to say when operating under normal conditions i always achieve better gas mileage than the factory OEM disclaimers. Willing to entertain any questions on this matter

I would expect you to
You are tuning a individual engines,
Not making up a recipe to set tens of thousands of engines

you don't have to meet emissions and life requirements.

The factory engineers are quoting actual numbers derived from proper statistical testing on accurate machinery

Have you got a $50,000,000 emissions tunnel for your tests?

Are you testing statistically significant numbers of engines across their entire operating zones using the entire range of legally available fuels?

What effect has the leaner running on peak cylinder pressures and on ring lubrication? - especially after 150,000 miles running?
Hello

Tuning a single engine or tuning a mass number of engines does not really make a big difference since what you are tuning is the ecu of the vehicle.

I do have to meet emission and real life standards as running two cats on my exhaust setup and i have to put my car through a emissions test every two years.

No i dont have a $50 000 to spend on machinery that tells me my exact emissions numbers. However as outlined above i take my car through government approved testing equipment that is supposed to show accurate readings.

As i stated on my original post i am getting better mileage when the engine is not under load. Meaning no turbo usage. As for lubrication: its a very crucial aspect in fuel consumption. A good oil DOES get you higher gas mileage. I personally notice a significant difference on engine noise prior and after an oil change.

Also yes i get better gas mileage than the engineers that work for the big companies why:

Because i dont have to worry about providing 60 000 miles of guarantee coverage
Because on some engines i upgrade the internal parts. I get the pistons sleeved and powder coated which dramatically reduces friction
Because i dont need to worry about the profit margin on each engine i build.

In a nut shell i these are main reasons why i get better gas mileage than the EOM auto producers (Obviously not all of them)
 

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1. What is the main motive behind the conversion?
To build a different custom vehicle. I first saw an EV as a child and was fascinated. 25 years later I decided to try it myself.
2. Do you use your conversion as a daily driver or do you have a secondary vehicle at hand?
There is a secondary vehicle at hand. Actually, it would be more accurate to consider the Toyota Yaris a primary vehicle.
3. Main usage of the converted vehicle?
Pleasure, because I get a big grin every time I drive it. :D
4. What are some main conversion components?
Motor, controller, charger, and battery pack. The adapter to install the motor in the car is also a major part of any conversion but can take different forms.
5. What is the average price range to complete a conversion for a daily driven vehicle?
I'm married, I'm not silly enough to keep the receipts around. :eek:
6. Considering the conversion has been done right, What would be the average maintenance cost per year? (Does not include tires, brakes, and any other non conversion related parts.)
Mostly just battery depreciation. Depending on the pack and the annual miles it may need replacement every year, or every 10 years. The price of the pack can vary widely from less than $1000 to more than $10,000.
7. Do you feel that there is readily available aftermarket parts for your conversion?
Yes, there are a number of parts houses specializing in components needed for building an electric vehicle.
8. Do you believe the government is as encouraging as you would like, if No on what aspects can government increase their involvement. (Eg; tax reductions on parts purchases, insurance reductions, increase in research in development programs, government incentives and etc..)
I think they are doing as much as can be realistically expected. Good ideas generally only need a little encouragement to generate exposure. With that they will take off on their own.
9. In 10 years: Where do you see the Electric vehicles compared Combustion.
I think they will be a slowly growing presence in the USA market. Perhaps 5% of vehicle sales will be EVs, including freeway capable cars, Neighborhood Electric Vehicles and on-road commercial vehicles. I wish it would be more as I feel our current dependence on foreign oil compromises national and economic security.
 

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My answers:

  1. What is the main motive behind the conversion? Tired of bending over every week for Exxon.
  2. Do you use your conversion as a daily driver or do you have a secondary vehicle at hand? Daily driver, also have minivan and use when more cargo space is needed
  3. Main usage of the converted vehicle? Drive to work, errands
  4. What are some main conversion components? motor, controller, batteries
  5. What is the average price range to complete a conversion for a daily driven vehicle? Mine was 5-6K
  6. Considering the conversion has been done right, What would be the average maintenance cost per year? (Does not include tires, brakes, and any other non conversion related parts.) $300 (batteries need replacing)
  7. Do you feel that there is readily available aftermarket parts for your conversion? Yes
  8. Do you believe the government is as encouraging as you would like, if No on what aspects can government increase their involvement. (Eg; tax reductions on parts purchases, insurance reductions, increase in research in development programs, government incentives and etc..) No, should provide equal incentives for conversions as for buying new. Help the lil people, not just the big fatties.
  9. In 10 years: Where do you see the Electric vehicles compared Combustion. Depends entirely on the OIL ogilopoly. If they decide to let prices over $4 again electrics will make fast growth. If not, it'll stick with conversionists and prius types will get Volts/Leafs.
 

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Hi Ufo

Tuning a single engine or tuning a mass number of engines does not really make a big difference since what you are tuning is the ecu of the vehicle.

Utter cobblers -
With an individual engine you can set exactly what that individual engine needs after bedding-in- in mass production you have got to develop a recipe that will cover all of the engines - with all of their variability


I do have to meet emission and real life standards as running two cats on my exhaust setup and i have to put my car through a emissions test every two years.

The emissions test that is done every two years is a faint shadow of the emissions that have to be met to certify the engine - the levels are massively relaxed

No i dont have a $50 000 to spend on machinery that tells me my exact emissions numbers. However as outlined above i take my car through government approved testing equipment that is supposed to show accurate readings.

$50,000 would not buy one test - a full emmissions facility is more like $ 50,000,000!!!

The equipment that is used for emissions testing for inspection is an order of magnitude less accurate than that required to actually test an engine,
Its the difference between looking at the smoke out of a diesel and actually measuring it!

i am getting better mileage when the engine is not under load?????

When the engine is not under load the mileage is ZERO Mpg????

A good oil DOES get you higher gas mileage.

I remember a meeting with a senior Shell engineering team (it was about a restricted racing formula) when the chief engineer offered to drink the oil if I could actually measure an improvement by changing the oil (he said he would drink the oil and eat the engine)

There are things that can be done to improve efficiency - an individual engine set-up is one main thing - BUT without a lot of equipment and dozens of tests you would not be able to convince/show me that you had made an actual improvement!

Improving the performance by increasing the cylinder pressure will almost certainly increase the NOX levels

Because i dont have to worry about providing 60 000 miles of guarantee coverage

A manufacturer has to show not only that his engines will last past 60,000 - but that at 100,000 miles they will still pass the emissions standard (not the inspection - the proper test)

Because on some engines i upgrade the internal parts. I get the pistons sleeved and powder coated which dramatically reduces friction
Because i dont need to worry about the profit margin on each engine i build.


While this is true - you also don't have the ability to manufacture the parts as well, at Cummins we would use (scrap off) 40 or 50 engine blocks in setting the bore hones to give exactly the correct geometry and surface profile, its simply not possible to machine to these numbers on a one off basis

Powder coating the pistons will make a big mess - ceramic coating can help in certain circumstances

Trying not to be tooooo negative but I know how much work is done in developing an engine and how much measuring equipment is required to monitor the performance.

I also know most performance engineers would happily sell their grandmothers for an extra 2%
 
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