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Old 06-05-2020, 04:38 PM   #1
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1975 Argosy 454

Hi guys, I know the gas mileage has been beat to death but I wanted to let folks know that I got 12.14 mpg on a 170 mile trip yesterday from Gardnerville
NV to Yerington to Mound House and back to Yerington. I traveled at 60 to 75 and its not flat. Between 4 and 5000' elevation. Not bad for the old girl.
MDS throtle body injectors and a gear vendors over drive. What a difference these make. Also fresh valve job.
However the tires are 10 years old (look great) so tomorrow new Firestone 9:50 X 16.5 R.
btw the high elevation probably has less wind resistance. Maybe one of you engineers can comment.
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Old 06-16-2020, 07:54 AM   #2
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Hi guys, I know the gas mileage has been beat to death but I wanted to let folks know that I got 12.14 mpg on a 170 mile trip yesterday from Gardnerville
NV to Yerington to Mound House and back to Yerington. I traveled at 60 to 75 and its not flat. Between 4 and 5000' elevation. Not bad for the old girl.
MDS throtle body injectors and a gear vendors over drive. What a difference these make. Also fresh valve job.
However the tires are 10 years old (look great) so tomorrow new Firestone 9:50 X 16.5 R.
btw the high elevation probably has less wind resistance. Maybe one of you engineers can comment.
There's no doubt a TBI upgrade for these rigs is a fantastic change. 12.14 is great mileage
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Old 06-16-2020, 11:07 AM   #3
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Sounds great. I get pretty good fuel economy in Europe. If I am travelliing long distances at 60, I can get roughly 15 mpg. That's UK Gallons though, which are 1.2 times US. I've got the 4L80E, TBI with overdrive. 250 with shortwheel base. I think that is OK, although i still want to implement the IMPCO LPG/Propane change from Nashfuel. Propane is 50% of the cost in most European countries which will make a significant difference to outgoings. I could have easily paid back the implementation costs if I had made that change back in 2007.....
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Old 06-16-2020, 02:41 PM   #4
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Sounds great. I get pretty good fuel economy in Europe. If I am travelliing long distances at 60, I can get roughly 15 mpg. That's UK Gallons though, which are 1.2 times US. I've got the 4L80E, TBI with overdrive. 250 with shortwheel base. I think that is OK, although i still want to implement the IMPCO LPG/Propane change from Nashfuel. Propane is 50% of the cost in most European countries which will make a significant difference to outgoings. I could have easily paid back the implementation costs if I had made that change back in 2007.....
I still owe Steve Griffiths, at Anglo American Autocare a call to restart Bella's planned LPG conversion, Nick.

I put it on hold whilst the guys at Electric Classic Cars worked up the quote for an EV conversion....that was going well until I said I needed 300mile range and the estimate jumped from $40K to $120K.

Makes the $6K LPG conversion seem cheap!!!!!

Should we see if he will do a reduced price for a pair?????
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Old 06-17-2020, 05:14 AM   #5
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I still owe Steve Griffiths, at Anglo American Autocare a call to restart Bella's planned LPG conversion, Nick.

I put it on hold whilst the guys at Electric Classic Cars worked up the quote for an EV conversion....that was going well until I said I needed 300mile range and the estimate jumped from $40K to $120K.

Makes the $6K LPG conversion seem cheap!!!!!

Should we see if he will do a reduced price for a pair?????
What was the range with the $40k price tag?
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Old 06-17-2020, 05:39 AM   #6
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What was the range with the $40k price tag?
Good question Brad, but difficult the answer.

$40K included installing a bank of LG Chem batteries in the engine bay, and giving just under 40kWh, with Bella's weight this would mean around 70-90miles.

Trouble is the batteries have to power their own weight as well as Bella's so there is a exponential curve, add more batteries, requires more power to carry the batteries, and you soon run out of room to locate the batteries, as well as needing to re-work the suspension to carry the weight.

Around town (even powering delivery vans/buses) EV is capable, on a long drive, forget it.

Perfect example is the NV200 I just bought - 600miles on a tank of diesel vs 170miles on a full charge for the e-NV200.

EV (even battery + capacitor) for city cars, or even collector cars which just get used for cruise night, works. As a useful form of transport? Let's see what happens when the Tesla semi based motorhomes start to be spec'ed out, but at the moment I think you need to look towards a 'diesel electric' solution, with the capability to charge the EV system.
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Old 06-17-2020, 01:59 PM   #7
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So the $40k would more or less get you from charging station to charging station!

What we need is for someone to develop a Mr. Fusion. That would solve the problem for good
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Old 06-28-2020, 11:39 AM   #8
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I am up for a quote on doing both of them Martin
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Old 07-08-2020, 11:45 AM   #9
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What we need is for someone to develop a Mr. Fusion. That would solve the problem for good

I have a slightly used Mr. Fusion that I bought off a crazy old guy with long white hair back in the 90's, but I've never been able to get it to work. You're more than welcome to take a crack at it if you're ever out here in Denver!
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Old 09-03-2020, 04:32 PM   #10
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That's twice as much as I got out of my 20' er with a 454 turbo 400. Do GearVendors man that big of a difference?
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Old 09-03-2020, 07:29 PM   #11
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That's twice as much as I got out of my 20' er with a 454 turbo 400. Do GearVendors man that big of a difference?
The GearVendors gives a 20% or so overdrive which means, if you regularly drive on highways, will give you around 20% better mileage. The bigger benefit to me of the GV is the massively reduced engine noise at highway speeds making it a much nicer experience.

The OP fitted TPI+overdrive to get the mileage improvement.
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Old 09-04-2020, 01:59 AM   #12
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You have the right idea Martin but it's not that simple. You are pushing an aluminum box weighing X through a wall of air at X mph. This requires an amount of work, power, that does not change with the gear change. The power/efficiency range of the engine does change with the rpm change. A high power engine not working very hard can benefit more economy wise than a lower power engine that is already working near it's power limit.

The Isuzu in my 280 didn't gain much economy wise with the Gear Vendor but the noise reduction is wonderful. The 454 in the 20' Argosy should gain some economy with the Gear Vendor but 20% may be a bit optimistic. Again the noise reduction is wonderful.
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Old 09-04-2020, 08:02 AM   #13
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You have the right idea Martin but it's not that simple. You are pushing an aluminum box weighing X through a wall of air at X mph. This requires an amount of work, power, that does not change with the gear change. The power/efficiency range of the engine does change with the rpm change. A high power engine not working very hard can benefit more economy wise than a lower power engine that is already working near it's power limit.

The Isuzu in my 280 didn't gain much economy wise with the Gear Vendor but the noise reduction is wonderful. The 454 in the 20' Argosy should gain some economy with the Gear Vendor but 20% may be a bit optimistic. Again the noise reduction is wonderful.
I did get that 20% with Bella, and she only has the 350 small block. I guess on the little motorhome (pulling 7000lb) we are nowhere near power limited and so I basically, I can go approx 20% further for the same amount of fuel -you certainly could not get more than the increase in drive ratio!

Interesting (and sort of related) I recently increased the size of the wheels on my NV200 micro-camper and so wasn't surprised mpg appeared to drop by 10%, when actually it is just I travel 10% further for the registered distance which makes it look like I use more diesel when actually it is I drive further for the same'distance'.
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Old 09-04-2020, 10:34 AM   #14
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That's kind of what I'm saying Martin. The wheel change on your micro camper didn't give you a 10% gain or a 10% indicated loss but stayed the same when odometer accuracy is added to the calculation.

How efficient the rig is prior to the Gear Vendor addition and the accuracy of measuring the mpg all enters the equation. I just don't want to get up false hopes and disappointment when someone drops $4000 + or- for a Gear Vendor installation and doesn't see a 20% gain. It's just not a guaranteed given.
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Old 09-05-2020, 09:39 AM   #15
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I did get that 20% with Bella, and she only has the 350 small block. I guess on the little motorhome (pulling 7000lb) we are nowhere near power limited and so I basically, I can go approx 20% further for the same amount of fuel -you certainly could not get more than the increase in drive ratio!

Interesting (and sort of related) I recently increased the size of the wheels on my NV200 micro-camper and so wasn't surprised mpg appeared to drop by 10%, when actually it is just I travel 10% further for the registered distance which makes it look like I use more diesel when actually it is I drive further for the same'distance'.
In my 75 Argosy 26 with 454 I added MSD TBI and gearvenders and mileage went from 7/8 mpg to 12/13mpg....on flat highway the GV really helps mileage.
The TBI balances air fuel mixture at higher altitude. So it doesn't run rich wasting fuel.
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