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Bill Dog's Journal: my car's too loud 13

Journal by Bill Dog

On the plus side, I learned to drive a manual transmission in this car, 6 years ago next week. It was great for that, as you could always hear where the revs were at. (Not to mention it has the power to start from a stop, up an incline, in 3rd gear. For those beginner's moments of confusion. (Of which I had all too many.) Very forgiving/hard to stall.) In fact, I test drove a manual Corvette at one of those GM events when they came to town, the only other manual I've tried since learning, and it was eerie as I couldn't hear anything, so I just shifted after what seemed like reasonable pauses. But it was like driving deaf.

Another plus is that my car was cheap and is light, probably partly because they saved money by not bothering with putting any sound-deadening material in the car. Listed as 3273 lbs, which isn't bad. Especially compared to the current version, at 3450.

But there's a downside. Frequently I get a fit of "irrational exuberance", and let it out a little. Torque feels good. But my car's so loud (note: completely stock exhaust, in fine repair) people around me get the wrong impression, I think.

Last night I went ripping up a hill, speed limit 45, so I ended my rapid rise in velocity at 50, 5 mph over the limit as I always drive. So some dork/dorkette in some, I don't know, Scion Celica or something, is coming up in my rear view mirror, and goes whizzing by at maybe 65 mph. Not on a freeway, but in a residential neighborhood. Ya, like the guy in the Mustang GT is going to be impressed with your little 4-cylinder impression of "shock and awe".

I'm not racing anyone, I don't race anyone, I'm 41 years old, no tickets since 1993, no accidents since a teenager. I'm not challenging anyone, I'm not showing off, I'm just having a little fun in my own damn car. But it's loud enough, that if someone is next to me, they interpret it as flaunting.

The next one is going to be a quiet vehicle. If I can afford it at the time, it'll be something like the link on my info page. Optional starting for the MY '08 is the Dual Mode Performance Exhaust, for $1195. LOL. Quiet and reserved at normal driving speeds, but something flips and it opens up at higher revs for a bigger sound. And a whole whopping 6 more hp over the std exhaust. Whoopdeedo. No thanks. I think only the rich kid contingent will be springing for that option.

But any other car will take some getting used to. Then again, maybe that's the case anyways with stick shifts? (Different clutch feels, etc.?)

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my car's too loud

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  • My first stick was an '86 blazer, and not the little s10. I think my father still has neck pains trying to teach me to drive. It took me a couple days to get it smooth enough that a passenger would not get whiplash, but once I got the hang of it I was pretty smooth with that car. I think the added weight of the vehicle helped make it a smoother ride if I was feeling fiesty. It was a 4 speed (L, 1, 2, 3) where 3rd was from anywhere from 35-95. I could start off in 2nd and still get the tires squawking wh
    • I only drive sticks most of the time. My wife only drives automatics. This creates an interesting difference. My current car, a 1999 Ford Escort with the 2 liter engine, has enough overlap in the gears that I really only need 1st, 3rd, and 5th- and 5th is an overdrive gear which really saves on the gas mileage.
    • by Bill Dog (726542)
      I think my father still has neck pains trying to teach me to drive.

      Heh, I still create that whiplash effect. Esp. 1st to 2nd. Maybe because it's somewhat of a light car and the inertia hasn't built up yet like it has when moving among the higher gears. I've given up hope of ever being able to drive one of these things smoothly. Coordination is not one of my gifts.
  • Too bad you're not in the correct caste to do this, but perhaps you really need to check out the Tesla Roadster* [teslamotors.com]. Can't beat that 0-60 time with any old-fashioned ICE.

    --------

    Note- downside is that they've decided to delay shipping another year, as advances in Li-Ion batteries they were expecting failed to materialize, limiting them to 150 miles on an 8 hour charge in testing, instead of the 400 miles they were expecting.
    • by Bill Dog (726542)
      From their web site: "100% Torque, 100% of the Time"! They're a little dishonest, tho -- they're comparing theirs to a "4-Cylinder High-Performance Engine" (cough-oxy-cough-moron) torque curve. "This is the precise opposite of what you experience with a gasoline engine, which has very little torque at a low rpm..." Well, it depends on what you build and how you build it. My inexpensive car, generates a peak torque of 302 lb-ft at 4000 rpm. The Corvette from a few years ago at least was generating 300 ft-lb
      • How many ft-lbs of torque does your gasoline engine produce at 1 RPM? That's the real question when comparing gas to electric. Well, that, and with a good electric design, you can dump the transmission altogether, so once these things start being mass produced, they'll get cheaper...
        • by Bill Dog (726542)
          ...at 1 RPM?

          My car idles at about 700-800 rpm, and due probably to the somewhat high-ratio rear-end gearing I have to pre-rev it a little to align the engine speed with how fast 1st gear wants to turn when the car is just starting off. So anything below 1000 rpm I don't care about. I don't need torque at theoretically infinitesimal rpms. You need torque in your normal driving range. Which is why small engines are so unpleasant (and so fuel economical) -- they generate their power outside (above) the rev ban
          • My car idles at about 700-800 rpm, and due probably to the somewhat high-ratio rear-end gearing I have to pre-rev it a little to align the engine speed with how fast 1st gear wants to turn when the car is just starting off. So anything below 1000 rpm I don't care about. I don't need torque at theoretically infinitesimal rpms. You need torque in your normal driving range. Which is why small engines are so unpleasant (and so fuel economical) -- they generate their power outside (above) the rev band where one
            • by Bill Dog (726542)
              ...direct 1:1 engine to drive wheel ratio.

              Depends on what turns out to be an acceptablly efficient and reliable electric motor for cars. If it turns out that it is more like a desktop fan (high rpm) than a ceiling fan (much lower rpm), then we will need gearing. And maybe more than one.

              ... I suspect that would be done in software, rather than hardware-

              Torque is a force. And if this force is constant beginning at 1 rpm, how do you lessen this in software? Some kind of torque limiter, like a slipping
              • What size electric motors do you think they'd have to be to have 4 of them be able to start and comfortably cruise say a 2000 lb with human and other cargo vehicle, including the weight of themselves, with a direct 1:1 connection each to its wheel?

                Goodyear seems to think about the size of the wheel itself- they sell a "inverse" wheel motor complete with brake, motor, and tire that is used in Europe on hybrid city bus designs right now.

                What size electric motor puts out, for example, 300 lb-ft of torque?
  • I once had a job cleaning rental cars and got to try a large variety of mostly manual transmissons and models. The rental cars at the airport had to be driven a few kilometers to the gas station to be cleaned, washed and topped up, to be ready for the next customer.

    These cars, though all were recent models having gone less than 15000 km, were nearly all different in the way they behaved and had to be treated on starting. The force on the gas pedal that would over-rev one car would stall another; I recall

    • by Bill Dog (726542)
      The force on the gas pedal that would over-rev one car would stall another;...

      Interesting. I've also heard that clutch pedal travel, and where in the travel it engages, differs amongst cars. On mine, it seems like an awfully long distance (within only a tiny bit of which the interesting thing happens), and actually where the point of interest happens seems to drift, if I'm not just crazy. Sometimes it's waaaay up near the beginning of the pedal's travel to the floor. Which I find awkward.
      • by Ashtead (654610)

        The variation I've experienced comes from the wear on the clutch. In general, when the clutch is new (as was the case for the rental cars), the clutch pedal engages near the bottom of its travel. As the discs wear, the "point of engagement" slowly moves upwards. On the previous car, I remember this was a noticable change when the clutch had been replaced -- over the course of 150000 kms, that gradual upwards movement is hardly noticed.

        The linkage between the pedal and the mechanism can be hydraulic or me

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