Slowly turning my LTZ into an Eco
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Thread: Slowly turning my LTZ into an Eco

  1. #1
    Epic Beard Man Sunline Fan's Avatar
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    Slowly turning my LTZ into an Eco

    I always admired the technology behind the Eco trim and wanted one, but the goodies on the LTZ won out over Eco (particularly leather). After a recent discussion with obermd about Eco shutters being closed in the winter, I decided to try a little experiment- if the Eco can have the lower grill closed off in the winter, why can't an RS bumper?

    I knew just the material sitting around the garage to accomplish my goal. It already had a few holes in it, and it was the perfect width. It was mudflap material, from a full width mudflap on a motorhome that had to be trimmed to avoid it touching the ground. I cut a piece off that's the width of the grill opening.

    Short of dropping the entire bumper, there's no easy way to get up behind the grill area. There's a trim panel that screws to the bottom of the bumper in multiple places that completely covers the area. So, air can go into the grill area and can only go through/around the radiators. I did find a small gap off on the right side that allowed me to fish the stuff up there.

    I don't have many pictures because most I had to do just by feeling and out of clear view. Three holes were in view of the grill, which was perfect to secure the cover in place, so I didn't have to drill any new.

    Through working with a few tools to hold it up in place, I put some large lag bolts through the grill and into the holes in the plastic piece. I had a bunch of plastic washers that I put on the bolts to prevent rust/scratches to the grill. They are actually doubled up since they are quite thin. I painted the bolts with some leftover black touch up paint from the old Excursion so that they won't rust so bad. This should be more durable and much thicker than paint marker paint.

    I went for a drive (and got on it) once I finished. It seemed to come up to 130 or so in about the same time/distance as normal. I never reached 200 though, but I did get to 197.

    I have the Scangauge and will watch the temps tomorrow morning like usual. I can always take this off/let it lay down in there if I have to. But with a 15 degree morning expected, I doubt that'll happen.

    My goal with this? Fuel economy would be great, but I'm not really expecting much if anything. If it helps the Cruze maintain engine temp in the cold temps, then that's a plus. I'm just interested to see what will happen with it, but I don't have high expectations.

    Yes, it will probably come off when spring/warmer weather arrives, assuming all goes well now.

    A little blurry, but this is how well it is sealed underneath:



    Overall look- quite subtle, only the bolts show. It's only bolted at the top, so I suppose air could push it out of the way on the bottom. It's open a little on top of the cover too. The screws should blend in when the Cruze is dirty with road salt:



    Close up:

    chevycruze2012 likes this.
    Jon-
    "You say the strangest things" -jblackburn
    2012 Cruze LTZ RS 1.4L 6A, Autumn Metallic with Cocoa/Light Neutral, Built 2/23/2012 at Lordstown 19078!
    Trifecta, shiny Injen, Forge Atmo BOV, Collins Big 3, Homelink, RS/Turbo badges, Husky Liners, Curt hitch, LTZ Grill, Korean sunglasses holder, ZZP gauge pod
    2005 Ford Excursion Limited V10, soon to be 7.3 PSD. 2007 Sunline Solaris T-286SR.
    Pure Michigan Cruzers



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  3. #2
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    XtremeRevolution's Avatar
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    Not bad! That should improve fuel economy by keeping the engine bay a tad bit warmer, and by reducing aerodynamic drag. Nice work!
    Sunline Fan likes this.
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  4. #3
    Epic Beard Man Sunline Fan's Avatar
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    Some additional details worth noting:

    I filled up Tuesday evening, then went to work and back today. Currently 43 miles on this tank, with a DIC average of 30.4ish mpg. Tires are at 42 all the way around. My tanks lately have all averaged around 30 with the cold weather, as noted on my Fuelly. The DIC number has been between 30 and 32 over the last few tanks, which is between 4 and 9% high.

    Forecast is expected to be pretty steady temp and weather wise over the next few days. Now I just need to keep my foot out of the turbo...
    Jon-
    "You say the strangest things" -jblackburn
    2012 Cruze LTZ RS 1.4L 6A, Autumn Metallic with Cocoa/Light Neutral, Built 2/23/2012 at Lordstown 19078!
    Trifecta, shiny Injen, Forge Atmo BOV, Collins Big 3, Homelink, RS/Turbo badges, Husky Liners, Curt hitch, LTZ Grill, Korean sunglasses holder, ZZP gauge pod
    2005 Ford Excursion Limited V10, soon to be 7.3 PSD. 2007 Sunline Solaris T-286SR.
    Pure Michigan Cruzers



  5. #4
    Autocross Champion NYCruze2012's Avatar
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    Wow nice job! All you need to do is get you a set of Eco rims and you're all set!

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  6. #5
    5th Gear silverls's Avatar
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    Just for sake of argument have you looked into the cost of an eco bumper cover? If you see real results from this in efficiency and engine temps then perhaps trading out wouldnt be a bad investment. Be careful though. I know my shutters on the eco are not always closed, even in the winter. Watch those temps on warmer days.

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  7. #6
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    I like! Nice old-school trick there!
    2012 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
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  8. #7
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    On warm winter days my shutters will open. It hasn't been above freezing here in Denver for the past week and I don't think they've been open even once during this time. Sunline - put your car on a lift and see if you have the connection points for the ECO belly panels (I remember someone saying it's 10 points per pan). They will protect the underside of your car and help your highway MPG year round. Also, take a look at the tires on a Prius or ECO and just in front of each tire you'll see a small (about one inch) air deflector. Almost all high MPG cars have these air deflectors in front of each tire. I'm not sure, but I suspect they reduce turbulence around the tire, which results in less aerodynamic drag there. These under-car mods won't impact your ground clearance.

    Stacy - can you feed back to GM that these three items - lower grill shutters, belly panels, and tire air deflectors should be on ALL GM cars and trucks. They're relatively cheap modifications, especially the belly panels and wheel well air deflectors, and are probably worth 3-5 MPG on each car, especially on the highway. As many people as I see on 55+ MPH roads every day a 3-5 MPG improvement would save a lot of oil in this country.
    spaycace and mabzmuzik like this.

    2012 ECO MT - Black Granite/Cloth; 814 mile range; Bluetooth Stereo AUX; OEM Fogs w/Chrome Covers; GM Spare tire; VG Shark Fin
    2010 Mit Lancer GT MT (traded for ECO @31K miles)
    2002 Pont Montana AWD (traded for 2012 LS @182K miles)
    1990 Pont Transport (traded for Montana @240K miles)
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  9. #8
    Epic Beard Man Sunline Fan's Avatar
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    Well, here's a quick update from this morning. I was watching the coolant temps like a hawk. It took about the same amount of time to warm up as usual. It only got to about 170 by the time I got to the highway. Once on, I did see the usual 222, but once it got there, the thermostat worked as it should and it quickly cooled to 218 and then 216. I did see 225 at one point starting up from a light just after I got off the highway, but it too came down to almost 200 after I let off and was just coasting.

    DIC mpg went from the 30.4 last night to 31.6 today. I can't say the drive was much out of the ordinary, and temps ranged from 18 to 20 degrees according to the incoming air sensor readout on the dash. I didn't notice much of a difference on the instant mileage readout this morning, so it's hard to say if there was much of a difference.

    obermd- I do have the little tire deflectors on mine that stick down about an inch or so in front of the front tires. I don't know if they're the same as the ECO ones or not though- I'll get a pic later. I agree on the underbody panels. I don't have access to a lift, but I will try to look under there sometime to see if I see the mounting points.

    Why do I see an ECO trunk badge in my future...
    Jon-
    "You say the strangest things" -jblackburn
    2012 Cruze LTZ RS 1.4L 6A, Autumn Metallic with Cocoa/Light Neutral, Built 2/23/2012 at Lordstown 19078!
    Trifecta, shiny Injen, Forge Atmo BOV, Collins Big 3, Homelink, RS/Turbo badges, Husky Liners, Curt hitch, LTZ Grill, Korean sunglasses holder, ZZP gauge pod
    2005 Ford Excursion Limited V10, soon to be 7.3 PSD. 2007 Sunline Solaris T-286SR.
    Pure Michigan Cruzers



  10. #9
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    It really would be nice for GM to realize that the ECO trim needs the upgraded interior options you can get with the LTZ and/or RS packages. I'm hoping the era of "ECO" trims is short lived as car manufacturers realize that a lot of the "ECO" features will help their entire lineups.
    spacedout and jblackburn like this.

    2012 ECO MT - Black Granite/Cloth; 814 mile range; Bluetooth Stereo AUX; OEM Fogs w/Chrome Covers; GM Spare tire; VG Shark Fin
    2010 Mit Lancer GT MT (traded for ECO @31K miles)
    2002 Pont Montana AWD (traded for 2012 LS @182K miles)
    1990 Pont Transport (traded for Montana @240K miles)
    1986 Fiero GT MT (traded for Transport)
    1985 Fiero 2M4 MT (traded for Fiero GT @8K miles)

  11. #10
    Epic Beard Man Sunline Fan's Avatar
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    ImageUploadedByAG Free1357234981.117215.jpg

    I snuck out at the beginning of lunch to get a pic of the tire deflector...


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    Jon-
    "You say the strangest things" -jblackburn
    2012 Cruze LTZ RS 1.4L 6A, Autumn Metallic with Cocoa/Light Neutral, Built 2/23/2012 at Lordstown 19078!
    Trifecta, shiny Injen, Forge Atmo BOV, Collins Big 3, Homelink, RS/Turbo badges, Husky Liners, Curt hitch, LTZ Grill, Korean sunglasses holder, ZZP gauge pod
    2005 Ford Excursion Limited V10, soon to be 7.3 PSD. 2007 Sunline Solaris T-286SR.
    Pure Michigan Cruzers



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