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Thread: My MPG Journey

  1. #1
    DX User soonerck's Avatar
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    My MPG Journey

    I am starting off with a base MPG of 20.5 I assume I can only go up from here. Nothing was done to the car prior to the first fill up so the 20.5 is where the car had settled to from the two previous owners. 103xxx, miles on the car.
    1985 Honda Accord SE-i
    AKA: Brown Betty
    1981 Accord Hatch
    Long gone (sister totaled)
    1996 Accord
    Long gone (sold to sister-in-law, then totaled)



  2. #2
    DX User soonerck's Avatar
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    Re: My MPG Journey

    The first thing I'm trying is BG 44k into a fresh tank of 100% gas. (no ethanol) Also, I took the advice of another poster and inflated the tires 5lbs over recommendation. I checked the air cleaner and it was practically new.


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    1985 Honda Accord SE-i
    AKA: Brown Betty
    1981 Accord Hatch
    Long gone (sister totaled)
    1996 Accord
    Long gone (sold to sister-in-law, then totaled)

  3. #3
    DX User soonerck's Avatar
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    Re: My MPG Journey

    Next, a tune up.



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    1985 Honda Accord SE-i
    AKA: Brown Betty
    1981 Accord Hatch
    Long gone (sister totaled)
    1996 Accord
    Long gone (sold to sister-in-law, then totaled)

  4. #4
    DX User soonerck's Avatar
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    Re: My MPG Journey

    Check this out! Original wires and plugs from 1985! The plug's node was worn way down! Actually the wires are from 1984!



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    This alone should improve things greatly.
    1985 Honda Accord SE-i
    AKA: Brown Betty
    1981 Accord Hatch
    Long gone (sister totaled)
    1996 Accord
    Long gone (sold to sister-in-law, then totaled)

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up Re: My MPG Journey

    man i was in ur same spot looking for a tune up and better mpg. I was running 89 octane from speedway NKG plugs and off brand wires. Then i decided to run E3 plugs 8mm wires 89 octane Shell gas and add a short ram intake. Lets just say for a 89 accord with 303xxx miles i went from 25 mpg to an easy 38 mpg but with my heavy right foot its getting around 32 mpg. So im getting roughly 400 to 450 miles a tank.

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    LX User 1813mdw's Avatar
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    Re: My MPG Journey

    do you have to get smog tested in your state; if not a hollowed cat or a straight pipe in its place will help. anything that will help unrestrict your engines breathing will net you better mpg. you could get headers and full exhaust but it would kind of delete the purpose of saving money

  7. #7
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    Re: My MPG Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by 1813mdw View Post
    do you have to get smog tested in your state; if not a hollowed cat or a straight pipe in its place will help. anything that will help unrestrict your engines breathing will net you better mpg. you could get headers and full exhaust but it would kind of delete the purpose of saving money
    yea i forgot to add that in my response lol... i just ran 2 in pipe from the heads back replaced the cat and res with a thrush glass pack and added a 3a performance muffler it sounds really mean and deep not loud at all...

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    Re: My MPG Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by 89accordlxigentyers View Post
    man i was in ur same spot looking for a tune up and better mpg. I was running 89 octane from speedway NKG plugs and off brand wires. Then i decided to run E3 plugs 8mm wires 89 octane Shell gas and add a short ram intake. Lets just say for a 89 accord with 303xxx miles i went from 25 mpg to an easy 38 mpg but with my heavy right foot its getting around 32 mpg. So im getting roughly 400 to 450 miles a tank.
    What's the part # for the E3 plugs? Thanks
    1986 Accord Lxi- Auto,Blue,155k

  9. #9
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    Thumbs up Re: My MPG Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by 86-lxi View Post
    What's the part # for the E3 plugs? Thanks
    Just depends on the motor if ur running the A20A3 motor the part number is E3.46... They are a no gap plug which means you dont gap them there pre gapped... i love them added about 2-5 mpg and about 5 hp... you will notice the difference really quick...

  10. #10
    DX User soonerck's Avatar
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    Re: My MPG Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by 89accordlxigentyers View Post
    man i was in ur same spot looking for a tune up and better mpg. I was running 89 octane from speedway NKG plugs and off brand wires. Then i decided to run E3 plugs 8mm wires 89 octane Shell gas and add a short ram intake. Lets just say for a 89 accord with 303xxx miles i went from 25 mpg to an easy 38 mpg but with my heavy right foot its getting around 32 mpg. So im getting roughly 400 to 450 miles a tank.
    Ok, so now you're my hero. Oklahoma doesn't have smog testing, so a straight pipe or internal catechtomy are soon to follow. I have plans for the short ram, but I don't want to actually alter anything in the original intake system. I want to be able to put it away for keeps. (nostalgia I guess) Is there a thread for these SE-i's in the CAI catagory? I haven't been able to find one. I've seen pics, but I'm hoping for a step by step procedure. (I'm new at all this)
    1985 Honda Accord SE-i
    AKA: Brown Betty
    1981 Accord Hatch
    Long gone (sister totaled)
    1996 Accord
    Long gone (sold to sister-in-law, then totaled)

  11. #11
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    Re: My MPG Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by soonerck View Post
    Ok, so now you're my hero. Oklahoma doesn't have smog testing, so a straight pipe or internal catechtomy are soon to follow. I have plans for the short ram, but I don't want to actually alter anything in the original intake system. I want to be able to put it away for keeps. (nostalgia I guess) Is there a thread for these SE-i's in the CAI catagory? I haven't been able to find one. I've seen pics, but I'm hoping for a step by step procedure. (I'm new at all this)
    if you look at my profile pic you will see that i have the filter right on the intake (Orange Filter) and another filter on the hose going to the Valve Cover (Blue Filter)... As for the exhaust its been on for about a week now and all the glass has almost burnt out and sounding really nice i just had a db test on it and i was at 78 db's and the max here in my town is 79 db. Im thinking about pulling the motor and trans doing complete rebulds and boring 30 over cam it and get some nice headers and a dc exhaust. for now it was just a quick fix cause my cuz is a cop here in town and said the lxi was wayyyyyy to loud. Good luck on ur car man let me know how it goes...

  12. #12
    DX User soonerck's Avatar
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    Re: My MPG Journey

    When putting on the new set of plug wires I realized they wouldn't reach. I ordered another pair and they were even shorter! So after further inspection, and some consultation from the NAPA guy, I've decided to continue using the original wires. There is no cracking, therefore no arcing, and the seal around each elbow is still good. New plugs, rotor, cap, but old wires. What do guys think about 26 year old wires that are in excellent shape?
    Last edited by soonerck; 03-04-2011 at 03:23 PM. Reason: Grammar
    1985 Honda Accord SE-i
    AKA: Brown Betty
    1981 Accord Hatch
    Long gone (sister totaled)
    1996 Accord
    Long gone (sold to sister-in-law, then totaled)

  13. #13
    3Geez Veteran MessyHonda's Avatar
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    Re: My MPG Journey

    custom make your wires...i bought a set off 2ndgenguy he bought a v8 kit that you can cut to size

    1989 Honda Accord LX-i
    B18c1 swap since 7/2011
    175whp and 132tq
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    Re: My MPG Journey

    Soonerck i personally dont like dealing with NAPA im an advance type of guy... if you have to go to jegs or summit racing . com to get some new wires. Advance always carries everything for my car and if i cant get it from them ill get it off ebay or craigslist....

  15. #15
    DX User soonerck's Avatar
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    Re: My MPG Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by 89accordlxigentyers View Post
    Soonerck i personally dont like dealing with NAPA im an advance type of guy... if you have to go to jegs or summit racing . com to get some new wires. Advance always carries everything for my car and if i cant get it from them ill get it off ebay or craigslist....
    Yeah, I'm not crazy about them either. We have an account with them so it make it easy and cheap. But in the future I think I'm going to try Advance or Car Quest. I've had good results with Car Quest.
    1985 Honda Accord SE-i
    AKA: Brown Betty
    1981 Accord Hatch
    Long gone (sister totaled)
    1996 Accord
    Long gone (sold to sister-in-law, then totaled)

  16. #16
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    Re: My MPG Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by soonerck View Post
    Yeah, I'm not crazy about them either. We have an account with them so it make it easy and cheap. But in the future I think I'm going to try Advance or Car Quest. I've had good results with Car Quest.
    well we have advance autozone and napa around here... there about 2 weeks ago i was going into advance for 3 weeks straight everyday. they ended up giving me like a 25% discount on anything else i buy in there cause if they dont have it ill drive to the nearest advance around. so fyi if you keep going back to them they will hook ur ass up with no problem lol..

  17. #17
    DX User soonerck's Avatar
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    Re: My MPG Journey

    Update: I'm half way through the 2nd tank and it looks like I'm getting about 25-26 miles to the gallon on average. Good, but not great. Since this tank contains the BG I'm hoping that as it continues to run through it will finish cleaning things out and improve mileage even more. However, to get to 30 or even 35 mpg's, it looks like more tweaking and modding is in order. Next up: removing the CAT. Then perhaps a CAI. If that doesnt do the trick I might need to start looking internally, or at the brake system (which needs replacing soon anyway). Probably both.

    Question: Am I being realistic to expect 35 mpg's out of this thing?
    Last edited by soonerck; 03-08-2011 at 11:45 AM.
    1985 Honda Accord SE-i
    AKA: Brown Betty
    1981 Accord Hatch
    Long gone (sister totaled)
    1996 Accord
    Long gone (sold to sister-in-law, then totaled)

  18. #18
    LX User 1813mdw's Avatar
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    Re: My MPG Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by soonerck View Post
    Update: I'm half way through the 2nd tank and it looks like I'm getting about 25-26 miles to the gallon on average. Good, but not great. Since this tank contains the BG I'm hoping that as it continues to run through it will finish cleaning things out and improve mileage even more. However, to get to 30 or even 35 mpg's, it looks like more tweaking and modding is in order. Next up: removing the CAT. Then perhaps a CAI. If that doesnt do the trick I might need to start looking internally, or at the brake system (which needs replacing soon anyway). Probably both.

    Question: Am I being realistic to expect 35 mpg's out of this thing?
    what do you mean by the brakes? i know you could easily get to 35mpg on the highway but i'm not sure in the city. do a google search of the word "hypermiling" you'll get alot of ideas

  19. #19
    DX User soonerck's Avatar
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    Re: My MPG Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by 1813mdw View Post
    what do you mean by the brakes? i know you could easily get to 35mpg on the highway but i'm not sure in the city. do a google search of the word "hypermiling" you'll get alot of ideas
    Sometimes (rarely) the brake caliper doesn't fully release from the rotor (or springs worn in the drum) and you get a continued pinch or rub, thereby working against forward momentum. I have planned all along to replace calipers, rotors, and pads. Eventually I'd like to mod the rear to disk as well. I doubt this is a cause of poor mpg's, but since it's a 26 year old car I'll just chalk it up as routine maintenance.
    1985 Honda Accord SE-i
    AKA: Brown Betty
    1981 Accord Hatch
    Long gone (sister totaled)
    1996 Accord
    Long gone (sold to sister-in-law, then totaled)

  20. #20

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: My MPG Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by soonerck View Post
    I'm getting about 25-26 miles to the gallon on average.
    I wouldn't expect a whole lot more than that. I had a '76 Accord, '82 Accord, '93 Accord and now an '89 Accord. The '89 3g is the only car that has consistently got better than 30. The transmissions are usually geared too low.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 220k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

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  21. #21
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    Re: My MPG Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Snooz View Post
    I wouldn't expect a whole lot more than that. I had a '76 Accord, '82 Accord, '93 Accord and now an '89 Accord. The '89 3g is the only car that has consistently got better than 30. The transmissions are usually geared too low.
    Second that Snooz.... Running 4th gear at 70 mph and hitting 3 grand... I wish i had a manny instead of my granny auto lol....

  22. #22
    DX User soonerck's Avatar
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    Re: My MPG Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Snooz View Post
    I wouldn't expect a whole lot more than that. I had a '76 Accord, '82 Accord, '93 Accord and now an '89 Accord. The '89 3g is the only car that has consistently got better than 30. The transmissions are usually geared too low.
    Well that really sucks to hear. My whole goal was to get a 35 mpg Accord. My 81 hatch used to sip the gas. I wound up with a very mint SEi, but that wasn't my intended goal. If this is the best I can expect out of it, I might start considering other options.
    1985 Honda Accord SE-i
    AKA: Brown Betty
    1981 Accord Hatch
    Long gone (sister totaled)
    1996 Accord
    Long gone (sold to sister-in-law, then totaled)

  23. #23
    DX User soonerck's Avatar
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    Re: My MPG Journey

    Ok, so here's my dilemma... I happened upon this fantastic find (my 85 SE-i). I recognize now how very rare they are, especially in this condition. However, this wasn't really what I was looking for. I was hoping for a 1st or 2nd gen, carbureted Accord Sedan that gets 30-35 mpg's. I assumed that meant a 5 speed, but now I am learning that my expectations might not be realistic. I need a sedan, so the CRX hf is out of the question, but a civic sedan would work. What are my options? Which of the first 3 generations of Hondas (Accord or Civic) fit the criteria? I love my SE-i except for the 22 mpgs. I don't want to do a lot of modding to it for fear of ruining it's value as a neatly preserved rare specimen. Should I sell it, or keep it and live with less than stellar mileage. Any thoughts out there?
    1985 Honda Accord SE-i
    AKA: Brown Betty
    1981 Accord Hatch
    Long gone (sister totaled)
    1996 Accord
    Long gone (sold to sister-in-law, then totaled)

  24. #24

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: My MPG Journey

    Put it on dubs.



    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 220k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

    Shop manual downloads available here: CLICK TO VIEW

  25. #25
    DX User soonerck's Avatar
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    Re: My MPG Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Snooz View Post
    Put it on dubs.



    I'm not sure what that means? Dubs? Are we talking wheels?
    1985 Honda Accord SE-i
    AKA: Brown Betty
    1981 Accord Hatch
    Long gone (sister totaled)
    1996 Accord
    Long gone (sold to sister-in-law, then totaled)

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