CleanMPG members are about to embark to the Tour De Sol 2006 ... Beware lots of pics

Discussion in 'Events and Gatherings' started by xcel, May 8, 2006.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    ___What is the Tour Del Sol?

    18th Annual Tour de Sol: May 10–14, 2006 in Saratoga Spa State Park, NY.

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    ___We will be updating the thread as the test drives are completed and then live once we begin the drive across the country. The scoring for the competition is 30% weighted on the cross country drive so we cannot rest on our laurels for even a second! The launch will begin after a topped off fill from the Shell station on the corner of Rt. 113 and Rt. 53 in Braidwood, IL. on early Wednesday morning - May 10th.

    ___And now the particulars of the Tour … I want to give my sincere thanks to Bradlee Fons of the Milwaukee Hybrid Group for loaning us his automobile. We had planned on taking Dan’s Prius II but when it was discovered the 200 mile challenge was at speeds > 40 mph, we knew we needed an Insight. A few calls to Eric Powers and Bradlee and the trade was set. I think I got the better end of the deal with the Insight as Bradlee, his wife, and Justin are stuck with the semi-lux Accord. I hope they use all the power equipment and NAVI features to their hearts content all the while we are battling the iFCD in their #1 Insight (they have 2 and a Prius II on top of that!) while heading over 1,000 miles almost due east to the event.

    ___I picked up Bradlee’s Insight 5-speed just this afternoon for the first of many short drives before Dan Kroushl (Krousdb) and I head out to Saratoga Springs Spa, NY. Bradlee’s Insight is named NFREinbach and her First Drive under my tutelage turned out pretty decent. His Insight is currently setup with a WAI and radiator block. I still have to receive the entire rule set but from what Dan and I have read so far, both mods are allowed to be installed legally while still qualifying in the non-modded Insight and std. hybrid category. Bradlee’s Bridgestone RE92’s are still at 46/48 and our max limit is 44 cold so I will have to drop those back a bit before we actually launch. A small negative is that his Insight’s RE92’s have less then 200 miles on them :( This one item is probably going to hurt Dan and I the worst as the week progresses. Any temps < 65, rain, or strong head and/or side winds will hurt even worse so we are simply going to have to roll with whatever nature throws our way.

    ___And onto the First Drive. I pulled out of Bradlee’s drive just North West of Milwaukee with Trip A and B reset. She allowed me a 92.8 mpg showing at the 10 mile mark, 100.3 at the 14.4 mile mark, and I saw a high of 104.x at the ~ 25 mile mark. Winds were a steady to gusting 10 - 15 mph from the rear to direct side for the first 20 miles, 10 - 15 mph straight down the windscreen for the next 20 miles, 15 - 20 mph straight down the windscreen for the next 10 miles, and then back down to 5 - 15 mph straight down the windscreen for the last 17.7 miles. Temps ranged from 68 - 72 degrees F for this first drive before launch. How did she end up with the new RE92’s and the stronger then what I had hoped for headwinds? A nice 102.2 mpg after 67.7 miles! I cannot complain about that First Drive under those conditions and I can only hope this is a good sign of things to come.

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    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2006
  2. philmcneal

    philmcneal Has it been 10 years? Wow

    Re: CleanMPG members are about to embark to the Tour Del Sol 2006!

    i wish you can stick a camera in your Heads Up Display for a segment so i can watch your acceleration pattern.

    Good luck to the both of you! Be sure to list your strats and other members who uses something we haven't learned? I wish there was a spectator fliming the whole thing, that would be awesome.
     
  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Re: Tour Del Sol 2006 - Test Day #2 ...

    Hi All:

    Test Day #2

    ___Although not a great run by any means, we found out some things just before she received her new Oil fill as well as after … I won’t tell you where the RE92’s pressure’s actually were but let’s just say they were far beyond anything anyone in this group including me has ever tried. Bradlee and I had a good laugh after that one as his tire installer must have read the gauge wrong by at least 100% :D They are now back down to 44#’s so as to meet the maximum requirement of the Tour Del Sol rule committee.

    ___Ok, tires are out of the way, what else?

    ___Next … Our pre-challenge packet did not arrive in the mail today for both the Monte Carlo-style Rally & Fuel Efficiency Competition. Dan and I are still at a loss as to the 200 mile challenge route and roads as well as the particulars of what needs to be completed at the starting point for the trip out and the 200 mile challenge. With that, Nancy Hazard (NESEA – Tour Del Sol coordinator) did contact me so that we will receive the documentation electronically via E-Mail. I hope it is in my In-Box right now in fact ;) She also passed on the technical director’s name (Jim Dunn) who overseas the Tour Del Sol rules committee I belive. Because Bradlee’s Insight is equipped with a WAI, I asked Jim if it was OK to leave it installed given it is a simple pipe to draw air from the rear of the block near the CAT vs. the front of it. This was not considered an overt mod so it was allowed. Any type of secondary/tertiary propulsion and/or control of that propulsion is what sets the flags so we are ok with Bradlee’s setup as is. One more issue knocked out of the way …

    ___Jim Dunn also owns an Insight and was a little surprised when he asked about where our final fill will be thinking we would fill up in Pittsburgh and our FE numbers would be based off that final and shorter segment? I said we were planning on leaving with her topped off out of North Central Illinois and arriving into Saratoga Springs NY. on the same tank as its only about 1,000 miles. He didn’t know what to say after that one ;) I placed a lot of undue pressure on Dan and I knowing we will need at least a 90 mpg average to hit that goal. With yesterday and today’s test runs, I think we have a good shot at it anyway?

    ___And the bigger issue we are/were busy working through today … If you look at the gauge cluster pic of yesterday’s test drive, take notice of the SoC (far right lit meter). What I was seeing over that lengthy segment was the SoC stuck at ~ 13 of 20 bars for almost the entire drive. Fluctuations of 1 bar + or – was all she was allowing. This is not normal SoC behavior for an Insight while running a mostly highway distant segment in my experience. My own Insight used to run 19 of 20 bars about 99% of the time and would climb back to 19 of 20 with as little as a 1 - 1.5 mile highway segment from let us say 17 or 18 bars if there was a bit more around town driving involved before I shut her down the previous night. 13 of 20 bars was totally normal to Bradlee because he has never seen anything different in fact. With this oddity, I felt it was in all of our best interest to have the Battery checked while at the Honda dealership while she was receiving her Mobil1 0W-20 oil change. The tech discovered that the small OEM 12 V is in definite need of replacement on Voltage alone. Oh boy? All Honda dealerships replace the Insight’s very lightweight OEM unit with a std. Civic battery that weighs more then double and is hugely oversized in Cap and Current capability. I asked both Dan and Tom to call a few local Honda dealerships in their locale to see if one might have the small OEM battery rather then the large Civic one. So far, no luck :( So all is not lost however as I may just pick up one of the oversized $81.00 Civic Batteries anyway. With that, I thought I would cycle the 144 and 12 V Pack to see if any memory could be removed. Believe me, I was grasping at straws. What I did was jack the Insight up to 65 and 70 + mph for about 20 miles all the while getting slammed by a 15 + mph headwind. I drafted where I could to help slow the FCD’s descent but it was indeed a painful experience. I took the SoC down to ½ to see forced charging begin all the while running the stereo w/ a CD at a higher volume, fan at max, interior light’s on, exterior light’s on, and my PDA based GPS drawing from the small 12V accessory socket. The FE sucked as she was sitting at just 69.x after that first 20 miles but I was desperate for a solution … And being on the phone most of the afternoon trying to come up with a 12V OEM made me leave about 15 minutes later then I had planned ;) In any case, after that SoC run down and with 2 or 3 regen cycles while slowing for slower moving traffic, her SoC finally started to rise and rise it did! She came up to 20 of 20 bars in fact! Insight’s do not normally run at 20 of 20 for a number of reasons … She stayed at 20 of 20 for the next 25 or so miles until I hit one of the daily Chicago 15 + mile traffic tie-ups. I hit my halfway point at the I-294 and I-55 Interchange sitting at 92.3 mpg. Not bad considering the higher speeds to begin with but the 15 mile crawler was going to be a challenge. Because we cannot use a FAS during the Tour Del Sol, I was practicing bringing her into AS at 19 mph or below whenever it was required. It was required a lot since it took me over 50 minutes to clear those 15 miles … When she would not drop out in AS, I did force it (6X’s by me count) because I do not believe in wasting fuel and I hope we will not run into this kind of traffic nightmare during the run across the country nor in the 200 mile challenge? 6X’s in dead slow traffic was probably worth an extra .5 - 1 mpg. I finally cleared the nightmare with 19 of 20 bars and with her sitting at 93.0 mpg’s. The head wind was getting stronger the closer I was to work so I took my warm up route only from the opposite direction. She was sitting in the high 95’s when I felt it necessary to take refuge on the frontage roads from the stronger gusts. I traveled the frontage roads in the 25 – 35 mph range which helped deal with the wind but the stop/starts every 2 miles or so took another bar off the SoC by the time I arrived at work. 18 of 20 is a lot better then 13 of 20 so let us hope she will pick up that single tick tomorrow morning as I hit the highway on the way home?

    ___Temperatures ran from ~ 67 - 70 degrees w/ 10 to as high as 20 mph headwinds the entire way. The result was not a great segment by any means but I thought it was pretty good given the circumstances. In fact, I am beginning to think Bradlee’s Insight 5-speed may have an edge over and above my old one? It will be interesting to see how she performs when I finally see a tailwind with the adequate temps? This should be tomorrow morning barring the rain that is also expected :(

    ___Sorry about the pic below but that is about the best my Cel phone could produce tonight at 2X digital zoom.

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    ___Phil, I doubt you would get anything out of seeing the Insight in action given she is a totally different animal then any non-hybrid you or I would drive by a fair margin. You really do drive Insight’s differently and I cannot think of anything but another hybrid that any of these techniques would help that much? DWL inside of Lean burn is where the Insight lives and dies and there really is nothing else quite like it ;)

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2006
  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Re: CleanMPG members are about to embark to the Tour Del Sol 2006 ...

    Hi All:

    ___Weather conditions for the drive out courtesy of Dan. Not a good omen with light to moderate head winds all the way to PA. Not that this wasn’t entirely unexpected so we will just have to deal with it :( At least we should miss the rain and the temps are better then what I have driven in all week from about 12:00 noon on tomorrow.

    Weather for Braidwood
    6AM, rain, 57F, E2
    7AM, Mostly Cloudy, 58F, ENE2
    8AM, Mostly Cloudy, 60F, ENE3
    9AM, Cloufy, 61F, ENE3

    Weather for South Bend
    9AM, Rain, 59F, SE4
    10AM, Cloudy, 60F, SE5
    11AM, Cloudy, 63F, SE6
    12PM, Cloudy, 65F, SE5

    Weather for Toledo
    11AM, Cloudy, 66F, SE8
    12PM, Cloudy, 68F, SE9
    1PM, Cloudy, 68F, ESE10
    2PM, Cloudy, 68F, ESE10

    Weather for Cleveland
    1PM, Mostly Cloudy, 75F, SE13
    2PM, Mostly Cloudy, 75F, SE14
    3PM, Mostly Cloudy, 75F, SE15
    4PM, Rain, 74F, SE15

    Weather for Youngstown
    3PM, Mostly Cloudy, 74F, SE10
    4PM, Mostly Cloudy, 76F, SE11
    5PM, Mostly Cloudy, 75F, SE12
    6PM, Mostly Cloudy ,75F, SE13

    Weather for Wexford
    5PM, Mostly Cloudy, 73F, SE10
    6PM, Mostly Cloudy, 74F, SE11
    7PM, Cloudy, 73F, ESE13
    8PM, Rain,70F, ESE9

    ___Test Day #3 and I received that tail wind … I will post more this evening as I was stuck in a 1 hour - 4 mile back up which took her down from 102.2 to 97.5 mpg at the 52 mile point before the climb back over the last 47 miles.

    [​IMG]

    ___The Tour Del Sol coordinator, Nancy Hazard sent us all the documentation so that is the last thing we needed …

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2006
  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Re: CleanMPG members are about to embark to the Tour Del Sol 2006 ...

    Hi All:

    ___A little about the traffic in and around Chicago the last few days :(

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    ___The pic above is of the 4 + mile - 1 hour back up at the I-55/I-294 Interchange just West of Chicago yesterday morning. That was nothing compared to last night. I will only mention it took over 3.75 hours to get to work and the segment was a paltry 91.1 mpg. I can only hope we do not run into that kind of nightmare today when it really counts ...

    ___I will be heading to the local Shell and attempt to get the attendant to sign some of the Tour Del Sol paperwork and then we will be ready for departure. Let’s hope for an 09:30 launch or thereabouts. I will be E-Mailing Tom pics from the Cel phone as the day progresses …

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne
     
  6. gonavy

    gonavy Well-Known Member

    Re: CleanMPG members are about to embark to the Tour Del Sol 2006 ...

    I notice Wayne is in the LEFT LANE!

    Of course, it becomes irrelevant as speed -->0mph.

    But still, a hybrid in the left lane: brain...about to...explode...
    :)
     
  7. tbaleno

    tbaleno Well-Known Member

    Re: CleanMPG members are about to embark to the Tour Del Sol 2006 ...

    Just got this in from wayne. This is the first picture from the commute from IL to NY for the Tour Del Sol. Wayne pumped in 12.431 gallons which he expect to easily be enough to get half way accross the country ;)

    He said that getting the paperwork signed by a gas attendant was quite difficult and he had to go to several gas stations. Finaly he ended back up at the original gas station and they had a shift change or something and the new person was willing to help them out by doing the stuff that needed to be done (check the tire pressures and make sure the trip odometers were reset, etc) and signing the form. I think Wayne needs to do something nice for this attentdant when he gets back to IL ;)

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    Last edited: May 10, 2006
  8. Sledge

    Sledge I like owls with captions

    Re: CleanMPG members are about to embark to the Tour Del Sol 2006 ...

    You'd be going insane if you saw my trip back last weekend. I was *passing* people on two lane roads. And I still got 55.7 MPG on that tank. Eat watts, slowpoke! :D
     
  9. tbaleno

    tbaleno Well-Known Member

    Re: CleanMPG members are about to embark to the Tour Del Sol 2006 ... Beware lots of pics

    Another picture just came in. Looks like its going to be a "fun" ride.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. tbaleno

    tbaleno Well-Known Member

    Re: CleanMPG members are about to embark to the Tour Del Sol 2006 ... Beware lots of pics

    I just got off the phone with wayne. It looks like it will be about 2 miles to the indiana border and hopefuly freedom from the stop and go he has been facing. The milage seems to be okay at over 100mpg.

    He is going to try to do hourly pictures.
     
  11. tbaleno

    tbaleno Well-Known Member

    Re: CleanMPG members are about to embark to the Tour Del Sol 2006 ... Beware lots of pics

    Lets hope he can pick it up from here.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. tbaleno

    tbaleno Well-Known Member

    Re: CleanMPG members are about to embark to the Tour Del Sol 2006 ... Beware lots of pics

    Good news or bad news, you make the call ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Sledge

    Sledge I like owls with captions

    Re: CleanMPG members are about to embark to the Tour Del Sol 2006 ... Beware lots of pics

    Does Wayne smoke? It's very cloudy inside that car :D :D
     
  14. tbaleno

    tbaleno Well-Known Member

    Re: CleanMPG members are about to embark to the Tour Del Sol 2006 ... Beware lots of pics

    Its over cast and the picture is from a cell phone
     
  15. Sledge

    Sledge I like owls with captions

    Re: CleanMPG members are about to embark to the Tour Del Sol 2006 ... Beware lots of pics

    There must be a weather front inside the car then :D
     
  16. tbaleno

    tbaleno Well-Known Member

    Re: CleanMPG members are about to embark to the Tour Del Sol 2006 ... Beware lots of pics

    100 Miles out and still doing okay. Probably suffering with a headwind.
    Not the best day in the world to be doing this sort of stuff. But at least its not the middle of winter with snow falling ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  17. tbaleno

    tbaleno Well-Known Member

    Re: CleanMPG members are about to embark to the Tour Del Sol 2006 ... Beware lots of pics

    Rain!

    [​IMG]

    Err. I mean RAIN!!!!!

    [​IMG]

    It's been tough going but the numbers are still okay.

    I hear the rain is pretty much over and in a few hours he may be getting a slight tail wind if I am interpreting weather.com right.
     
  18. ericbecky

    ericbecky Member

    Re: CleanMPG members are about to embark to the Tour Del Sol 2006 ... Beware lots of pics

    Be glad you guys got out of the Illinois region today.
    Chiago's forecast sounds similar to Madison, Wisconsin's.

    Chicago forcast for Thursday:
    Rain and wind. High near 55F. Winds WNW at 25 to 40 mph. Chance of rain 80%. Rainfall possibly over one inch. Winds could occasionally gust over 50 mph.
    You wouldn't have done well in those conditions.
     
  19. tbaleno

    tbaleno Well-Known Member

    Re: CleanMPG members are about to embark to the Tour Del Sol 2006 ... Beware lots of pics

    wouldn't the wnw winds be a tail wind?
     
  20. ericbecky

    ericbecky Member

    Re: CleanMPG members are about to embark to the Tour Del Sol 2006 ... Beware lots of pics

    Hey ,yeah. You're right.
    Hmmmm. That would've been interesting. Tail wind with lots of rain. Would they have canceled each other out? We'll never know.
     

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