Going Green

If you could save allot of money buy converting your car or a classic car like a 1957 Chevy or a Corvette would you? Or would you just like to have the next big thing out there that the big three want to push on you?

No, you will not save any money painting your '57 Chevy green.

The problem is, you can’t cost-effectively convert an older car to a greener power source. It can be done, but will be pricey with the required fabricating and modification of the drivetrain to a different power source or fuel source. What kind of ‘green’ conversion were you alluding too?

“Allot” of money? How much is allot? And what are we talking about converting to?

I could save a lot of money by converting my cars into cash, by selling them, but then how would I get to work?

Imagine your car’s weight in fuel. That’s about how much energy it takes to turn raw materials into a new car. So, keeping a car that already exists running is a lot greener than you think. It’s not just the car’s tailpipe that pollutes and it’s not just the car’s engine that consumes energy.

Does anyone remember replica kit cars based on the VW air-cooled beetle? They were pieces of junk worth even less than the old beetles sacrificed to make them. Converting a collectible classic or antique to a “green” power train would be even worse since it would ruin an otherwise valuable car. If you really want to go “green”, sell the classic or antique to someone who will keep it for a Sunday afternoon toy. Use the proceeds to buy a modern car that gets good gas mileage.

How is the “next big thing out there the big three want to push on you” any different than a Toyota Tundra, 4Runner, Nissan Armada, or a Honda Ridgeline with a GVWR of over 3 tons?

I would not convert a complete, original, numbers matching classic vehicle but would consider modifications to a non-numbers matching; as in aftermarket fuel injection, Gear Vendors overdrive unit, etc.

For what it’s worth I had a 1959 Corvette, 283/4 speed with a 4:11 Posi rear and that car would get 21 MPG at a 70 MPH cruise. Not too shabby for a “relic” with no electronics.
With the car today, I would probably install another gearset in the rear end (probably 3.08s) and there’s no doubt in my mind the car would easily exceed 25 MPG with that ratio.

You can convert it with a Alcohol system from Brazil for less the $600 to run on Alcohol and you can dirve it for free.

Well not all that easy. Alcohol is not free. While in Brazil they have a lot of farm land suitable for growing the crops they use for inexpensive Alcohol production, most of the world does not have that land. In the US we grow corn. Corn is not the best crop for that use and even with the small percentage we are turning to alcohol here, it is spiking the cost of corn. Corn feeds cattle so the price of your hamburger is also going up as well as cornflakes and other farm products that use to be grown on land now being used for corn. All all that up and it is more expensive not cheaper.

I would be very interested in knowing how one can obtain alcohol “for free”.

Yes, a home distillery could be used to produce alcohol to power your car, but unless you could obtain the raw materials (and the fuel to power the distillery) without cost, I just don’t see how one could obtain alcohol free-of-charge. And, the amount of alcohol produced by a home distillery would certainly not allow you to drive very far.

I’m sorry, but there is a lot of illogic in your post, just like in your post regarding new cars that “fall apart by 100k”. Where do you get these ideas from?

Yeah, it continues to amaze me how much better fuel economy hasn’t gotten. My '66 Chevy 3/4 ton pickup got 17 mpg. A new Chevy 3/4 ton pickup? Under 14 mpg. My '84 corvette got 25 mpg. A new one? 'Bout the same. '87 Ford Escrt hatchback got over 35 mpg. New sub-compact car? 35mpg if you’re lucky.

Anyway, all that aside, there aren’t any truly cost-effective “green” conversions. If you’re doing it to save money, you’re better off sticking with whatever you’ve got. You won’t recoup the initial costs in the long run unless gas goes up to European prices or you drive 500,000 miles. But “going green” for the environmental impact is possible. Alcohol burns with far fewer emissions (and for the time being lets ignore the pollution used to grow the crop to make the alcohol).

but, then again, if you were considering “going green” for the environmental impact you wouldn’t be asking if it could save you “allot” of money :slight_smile:

If I could save a lot of money by converting my car I would. But I can’t. So I won’t.

I don’t have a classic. If I did the drum brakes and the handling would be horrible anyway, so there’d be no point.

I don’t buy from the big three.

I don’t buy from the big three.

Sure you do, MB. You bought a Scion, made by Toyota. Toyota passed Chrysler in sales long ago. ;0)

Corn is the worse crop for alcohol fuel and the oil companys know this that is why they lead everyone the believe this. The truth is alcohol can be grown and gotten from wild brush and plases where we can’t grow food.

Very true just one of the points I’m tring to get across.

To start with there are in most countrys government kick backs and discounts for EV car owners totaling over $10,000 in the first year alone. Then theres the gas, oil changes, tune ups, the list go’s on and the cash saved adds up fast$$$!!

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) published a paper on the Total Life Cycle energy consumption of the average car. A mid size car with a standard engine took 15% of its life cycle energy budget for manufacturing, counting all the costs to make the steel, plastic, etc in the first place. The other 85% was for FUEL and making the parts for repairs and maintenance

So, yes you save a maximum of of 15% if you could get the old car to use as little energy as an equivalent new car. This is extemely difficult since old cars are much heavier and their engines are much less efficient.

For instance, my 1965 Dodge Dart averaged only 16 mpg highway. My 2007 Corolla with the same interior space, trunk size and about the same performance averages 33 mpg, or twice as good. So why would you use twice the energy to get the old car top go further to save 15% in energy building a new car???

Last year I scrapped the perfectly functioning old style furnace in my house. The new one is 96% efficient, while the old one was lucky to get 65%.

I trust you follow the arithmetic; if you can’t I suggest you get help with your next posts, since your other posts make me suspicious you have been smoking something other than tobacco.

Good reply Kendall; unfortunely, common sense and facts are so much more boring than wishful thinking. An econobox with a 5 speed stick shift and no A/C is much greener than a “Classic” running on alcohol made from a cereal crop. Chemical engineers call this “energy balance” and it has to be done over the complete life cylce of the car.

Howver, as a person ready to retire soon, I strongly support seniors who own old cars and can’t affords new one, even if moving up would be good for the environment.

Yeah, it continues to amaze me how much better fuel economy hasn’t gotten.

I TOTALLY DISAGREE with you on that…Comparable size AND WEIGHT cars these days get 20-30% BETTER gas mileage then they did in the 60’s and 70’s…Far safer and far less polluting.

If you could save allot of money buy converting your car or a classic car like a 1957 Chevy or a Corvette would you?

You’re going to say that you’ve done it and know how to right???