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Long Scenic Drive in my '88 at 35+ mpg by ekinodum
Started on: 05-30-2010 06:27 PM
Replies: 6
Last post by: ekinodum on 05-30-2010 10:47 PM
ekinodum
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Report this Post05-30-2010 06:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ekinodumSend a Private Message to ekinodumDirect Link to This Post
Just returned from a 10-day trip in my '88 duke, purchased on Ebay a few months ago.
I started out a little annoyed by the twitchiness of the steering, but finally settled in and accommodated myself to the car as it is, and had a great drive- hit 8 western states and put on 3502 miles. Averaged a little less than 36 mpg- my best leg was over 38 mpg (at altitude in Idaho), my worst was 33 mpg, lost in traffic in Seattle. A pretty fair test, I think.
The best part of the drive was the Salmon River Scenic Bypass in Idaho- over a 150 mile stretch I only saw about 30 cars on the road, only two of them going my direction and well behind me. In 3502 miles I did not see another Fiero, although I was looking for them.
I need to work on the suspension, it needs some replacement mounts and maybe some suspension work, but I have done nothing to the car since I bought it other than to wash it, so I am really pleased.
Something I noticed on the drive is that the rear wheels appear to have a negative camber, as though the car is designed to squat down in the rear more. Are they supposed to do that? Or is it actually broken and I need to repair something else? I don't see this on my '87, and honestly, the '87 steers and tracks better than the '88. I'm hoping this will change when I do some maintenance, but it is not really bad at all. (the '87 is not currently legal to drive- another long story)
One of the tires is apparently not very round, so I got some vibrations around 78 mph that made it objectionable when I was driving down I15 south of Salt Lake City in the 80 mph zone, and my foot was aching anyway trying to hold the pedal down, so I gave up and let the semi trucks pass me along that road, but in general the driving "sweet spot" (for me in this car, anyway) was around 72 mph.
The duke is a little underpowered for me going over grades and on heavily trafficked highways, so I went the back ways when I could and lived with the grades. I'm thinking about getting a 6 cylinder (Formula) next, but I REALLY like getting 35 mpg.
I'm not ready to do any engine swapping, as I am in California (too much paperwork) and I'm pretty pleased with the car as it stands, but I'm curious- what do youse guys with the '88 Formulas and the 3800 engine swaps get for mileage really?
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Fiero84Freak
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Report this Post05-30-2010 06:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero84FreakClick Here to Email Fiero84FreakSend a Private Message to Fiero84FreakDirect Link to This Post
My '88 Formula gets around 17-18 mpg in the city, and maybe 25=26 on the highway, but it's a three speed auto. I at one point owned an '87 duke with the five speed and I was able to literally go two tanks over what I can get on my Formula.

You'll actually get better mileage out of a 3800. Even supercharged guys are putting out better mileage numbers than the stock L44 V6
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ekinodum
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Report this Post05-30-2010 07:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ekinodumSend a Private Message to ekinodumDirect Link to This Post
Mine is a 5-speed, and I was driving fairly conservatively for a long distance. I was thinking that a 'modern' 6 cylinder should be able to match 35 mpg, and a 'modern' 4 cylinder should be able to beat it. Since I seem to be satisfied with driving at 75 mph, I really only need a car that will do 80 or 90 (in a pinch) but I would really like to be able to do 70 over some of the grades that were kicking my butt in Idaho at 55 mph, so I guess I want more torque.
My sister is driving a 1998 Ford Escort which gets 36 mpg and has lots more torque than my Fiero. Seems to me that GM was competing against the Escort in '98, so they probably had something similar.
I'm not sure about a 6-cylinder, it's already tough enough to reach into the engine compartment with a 4-cylinder. So if I was looking for the perfect swap candidate, I think it would be a late-model 4 cylinder something or other.
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MadDanceSkillz
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Report this Post05-30-2010 08:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MadDanceSkillzClick Here to Email MadDanceSkillzSend a Private Message to MadDanceSkillzDirect Link to This Post
My 3.4l pushrod gets over 35mpg if I drive all highway, and around 27 mixed if I beat the living hell out of it. Someone told me the 3.4's do well on the highway because cruising RPM is close to the engine's TQ peak, but I don't know enough on the topic to say any more without sounding stupid. Best MPG out of it so far was 321 miles out of one tank (1986 fuel tank) and it was not quite empty when I filled it obviously. I've had several people tell me flat-out they don't believe me when I've referenced my MPG, but a few guys around here can confirm it actually gets what I say it does.

It's modified pretty significantly in every area, so maybe that is part of it.

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katatak
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Report this Post05-30-2010 10:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for katatakSend a Private Message to katatakDirect Link to This Post
3 weeks ago I drove my 88 Formula (V6 5 spd) about 1500 miles round trip. The majority of the driving - 1000 miles - was interstate @ 80 MPH. The other 500 or so were twisties and sprtired driving. I averaged over the entire trip 27 plus. On one 120 mile run between gas stops, I got 31.3.

My 100% stock 88 Formula resting near a tree with some Texas Kangaroos!


My fellow El Pasoan - Frizlefrak's all Stock 87 GT and My Formula at Stonehenge in Texas!


I really enjoy taking long trips in the Fiero.

[This message has been edited by katatak (edited 05-30-2010).]

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Tony Kania
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Report this Post05-30-2010 10:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Tony KaniaSend a Private Message to Tony KaniaDirect Link to This Post
And you didn't look up the Inland Northwest Fiero folks? Geez!

Isn't northern Idaho a great place to let your car loose? Some great drives up here. I will have to check out the road that you traveled. Cool story.
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ekinodum
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Report this Post05-30-2010 10:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ekinodumSend a Private Message to ekinodumDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Tony Kania:

And you didn't look up the Inland Northwest Fiero folks? Geez!



I spent a day and a half in Spokane looking for you guys but did not see any Fieros anywhere on the road. Probably at home repairing things is my guess- not a problem for me as I decided to drizzle oil on my failing alternator shaft instead of stopping to fix it.
Idaho was lovely, I have driven through before but this time decided to set my GPS on the "avoid freeways" setting. Quite a a few driving adventures resulted from that decision; I recommend that if you have the time.
Met a man in a bar in Salmon, Idaho, who was familiar with my hometown. He had seen it and admired it in 1982 when he was driving through as a passenger in a prison bus.
Heh.

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