100 MPG

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A searchable index for the MAX Updates posts, and a few more thoughts on the Progressive Automotive X Prize.
A big crowd likes MAXine better than MAX, and I’ll see you soon, at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wash.
The first civilian-built MAXes are nearing completion, and here are a couple of them that are rolling under their own power.
The second attempt at weatherproofing MAX involves a convertible top which flips open to get in or out of the cockpit. Not perfect, but not bad.
MAX finally got a deer deflector, after three years of writing about how much it needs one. It'll give a bit of extra rollover protection, too.
Does 100 mpg fuel economy justify cross-country recreational travel? Maybe so and maybe not, but I need to be careful—increasing fuel efficiency can increase fuel consumption if you increase your driving, too.
An introduction to DraftSight, Dassault Systèmes' 2D CAD software. It's professional quality and it's free, and Jack is converting all the MAX fabrication drawings to DraftSight .dmg documents.
MAX gets a temporary mash-up of old and new style body parts (the new nose is at the fiberglassers' having a mold made so we can make more of them) to get road-legal for a trip to Canada.
Jack has dismantled MAX's body and is making molds from the body parts, so other MAX-like car builders won't have to duplicate his work.
How much power and performance does a car need for a guy to get a gal's attention? According to MAX fans, not very much.
The tail end of MAX's bellypan (diffuser) gets tuft tested, and the attached video shows the results. This was the finishing touch that got MAX its 100 miles per gallon on the highway.
Why pre-1960 race cars were more efficient than post-1960 race cars, and thus a better example for high efficiency highway cars.
Conversion kit install to convert a hybrid vehicle into a plug-in electric and improve your gas mileage by 25%.
To improve MAX's versatility, the passenger seat is removable, which converts MAX from a couple carrier to a cargo carrier.
A video demonstration of MAX's windscreen, which deflects air around the driver's face with minimal aerodynamic drag.
MAX at its first autocross. Hey, it's a sports car, right?
A car's electrical consumption adds to its fuel consumption. For MAX, turning off the headlights improves fuel economy by roughly 4 mpg.
A surprising benefit of MAX's streamlining is the increased luggage space.
In my 7,500-plus mile adventure in MAX this summer, one lesson really stands out: Haste Makes Waste.
The "High Mileage Car Show" at the latest Mother Earth News Fair, and the pleasure of driving a fuel efficient car.
MAX gets a lightweight belly pan under the engine, to further reduce aerodynamic drag.
Jack took MAX to a local car show and found that even if they're not looking for high mileage, folks think MAX is cool.
On a summertime cross country trip from Oregon to Ohio, I restricted MAX's radiator inlet air a little at a time, demonstrating that very little inlet area (28 square inches) provides sufficient air for cooling.
MAX ran with the motorcycles in the Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge, with surprisingly high marks--127 miles per gallon. Surprising to the author, at least.
We're cleaning up the details on MAX. One of the finishing touches is clear streamlined headlight covers, and here's how I made them.
MAX got a smog test at an Oregon DEQ Vehicle Testing Station, and passed with high marks.
MAX got some new lager diameter wheels. They should do the job and the price was right, and as a bonus, they look terrific.
MAX has very low rolling resistance, as demonstrated by this three year old kid pushing it around the building.
Learning from experience, I've put some impact-resistant structure on the back of MAX.
By making a pattern and a mold, we can now reproduce rear fenders as needed.
Some burglar wanted my Millermatic 180 more than I did, I guess. Here's why I liked it and why I'm going to get another one.
Using MAX to test a tubing streamlining material, resulted in a significant reduction in drag.
Engine efficiency depends on rpm (among other things) and slower isn't always better. More wisdom from the Honey Bear.
MAX got a new set of high efficiency Goodyear tires, and a second set of wheels so we can do comparison testing. Will the difference be detectable to our low budget testing technology?
Hybrid cars save fuel by shutting the engine off at idle (among other things). Does MAX burn enough fuel at idle to be worth the effort? Our honey bear can tell us.
Volkswagon's high mileage (1 liter of fuel per 100 kilometers) car is getting closer to production. Expect to see 100 of these available to the public in 2013.
Technology marches on. It comes at a price, but a FloScan fuel consumption and mileage meter could give me instant feedback on MAX's fuel efficiency.
MAX gets a low cost, high accuracy, and none too attractive fuel gauge. Two out of three ain't bad.
MAX gets a couple of cheap and easy thermoformed headlight protectors, to keep light from getting out and rocks from getting in.
We're looking at a handful of low cost improvements, and since MAX is undergoing repairs at the moment, this is a good time to make them.
A treatise on the difference between a gasoline engine throttle and a diesel "throttle," what that means for MAX, and how the difference was overcome.
An after-the-fact analysis of MAX's accident on the way to the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair, and the dangers of "getthereitis."
So here you have it: MAX with a crumpled rear fender, crumpled trunk section, a turn signal bashed out, a door knocked loose, and a flat tire. It's fully reparable, but not today, and not in time to drive to the MEN Fair.
En route to the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, Jack listens all too well to GPS and ends up on dirt roads in the Oregon Outback.
MAX is getting prepped for paint, and all the essential bodywork is done for the new, streamlined roadster body.
Craig Henderson and his Avion high mileage sports car went from Canada to Mexico at 119.1 MPG. He plans to produce Avion kits.
MAX is back at the shop, awaiting diagnosis and correction of an overheating problem, plus some additional body work before its next venture.
Jack missed Rally Green and MAX has a mysterious overheating problem.
The clock is ticking and I've been taking some shortcuts on getting MAX ready for Rally Green ... and some have turned into long cuts. I need to work smarter, not faster.
In the interest of making MAX a smidgeon safer, I've added side bumpers to the passenger compartment. Here's why I made them this way.
Results of the long-awaited cooling system test, which shows how little air MAX needs through the radiator.
The Rally Green starting flag drops in Knoxville Iowa, Sunday August 15, beginning a cross country fuel economy rally ending in San Francisco the folowing Saturday. MAX will be there and going for the gold.
A primer on fiberglass mold making and molding fiberglass parts, using MAX's nose parts (hood and bubble) as examples.
There's a new automotive fuel efficiency contest coming up -- the Rally Green -- and now MAX has a tachometer, a digital wonder called a Tiny Tach.
More progress on MAX's streamlined body, using a laser to make curved body parts fit on a flat frame.
MAX's bodywork continues, as Jack modifies the race car nose to fit over the Kubota engine.
We're modifying the Lola race car's nose to fit MAX's chassis. The first step is cutting the nose down the middle so we can move the fenders apart a few more inches, which will let us steer enough for parking and other normal street activities.
Is MAX an actual modern-day vehicle, or just a high school shop class experiment? In this update, Jack answers sharp questions from an automotive engineer.
At the time, it seemed like a clear car was a good idea.
A reader recently raised concerns that MAX is illegal in Uncle Sam's eyes. Here's the skinny.
In which Jack departs a little from his fashion sense and MAX gets new racing seats. But not just any racing seats: safer seats with real head restraints.
Could MAX pass federal safety standards for mass-produced cars? Nope. Should that matter?
I hate to say it — because electric cars may be the salvation of transportation someday — but much of the current hype around electric cars is smoke and mirrors. 
This potential body style looks hard to beat, in more ways than just physically. What do you think?
Jack explores how to test how body changes affect aerodynamics, and looks for inspiration from Wonder Woman.
All computer data for MAX has been stolen. What next?
In the continuing pursuit of better aerodynamics, Jack takes a closer look at the design of MAX’s nose.
We're excited for the second annual Escape from Berkeley rally. Last year, MAX won the inaugural event from Berkeley to Las Vegas. This year, it's a run for the Mexican border!
MAX needs an aerodynamic and easy-to-assemble roof. Plus it needs to look cool, be cheap, cost little, have a simple design and be reliable. No problem, right? So, do you have any ideas?
MAX Puts the “Ex” in X Prize
Everyone should have a 100-mpg car, and know how to drive a manual transmission. MAX comes to the rescue on both ends.
Perhaps if we had just listened to the deer all along, we never would've ended up in this gas guzzling mess.
Considering deer, it’s time for a roll bar.
In the pursuit of 100 mpg, cardboard is a nice medium for conceptualizing design features, but it has its limitations.
Thoughts on the potentially fuzzy math of mpg calculations.
One would think a car wouldn't need a mechanical inspection at 5,000 miles. But when you're building a 100-mpg car from scratch, and the builder is meticulous, it's wise to look for problems even when there are no signs of problems.  
MAX needs 25 percent more horsepower to get from zero to 60 mph in less than 18 seconds. Got any suggestions?
MAX is well on its way to 100 mpg, if the lessons from these 100+ mpg motorcyles are any indication.
MAX's aerodynamic makeover is underway with a new fender design.
From the Science Channel, watch the Brink TV show's spotlight on MAX and its victory in the Escape from Berkeley race.
Sequestered indoors, Jack goes to work on streamlining MAX's body.
Could MAX be the perfect car for driver's ed?
Jack gets a wallop of motivation for a fully enclosed cabin, and looks ahead to a future with inquisitive grandchildren.
MAX turns heads and makes an impression at The EG, aka the Entertainment Gathering.
MAX needs a roof, stat.
It's time to calculate MAX's aerodynamic drag. Enter champagne science on a beer budget!
Brink TV show seeks "low-budget mad scientist." Jack and his MAX project fit the bill!
It's the age-old tug of war between good looks and streamlined, aerodynamic design. 
MAX debuts by taking the checkered flag of the 800+ mile, no gasoline consumed, Escape from Berkeley race.
MAX wins the Escape from Berkeley race!!
MAX is encountering robust competition at Escape from Berkeley
MAX is hitting 60 mpg. That's better than a Prius, and before we get serious about streamlining.
What does MAX have in common with and old action, adventure, paranoia, social commentary BBC TV series of the '60s?
Make the winning suggestion for the next X PRIZE and win $25,000.
MAX will enter a race, uhhhh we mean event, and will run on veggie oil.
The fine art of automotive design, especially high-mpg design.
MAX version 2.0 is about to start moving. This may come as a surprise, but Jack is going to try it with biodiesel.
MAX version 2.0 is underway.
MAX is back from the dead after its infamous wreck. So why is the frame gray?
MAX has a three-wheeled distant cousin that's a diesel-electric hybrid.
Breaking News: MAX Totaled
MAX gets a small favor from high-end luxury sports cars.
Conservation over corn.
Is the glass half empty? Half full? Or is there just too much glass? I'm designing MAX to be just the right amount of "glass" for the vast majority of our driving. Here's to efficiency.
We're at work on a 100-mpg DIY car! Come meet MAX and take a seat for what will be a long, but fun, journey.

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