Cruising speed for '97 petrol Boxer Symphony?

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Cruising speed for '97 petrol Boxer Symphony?

Post by nortybleepers on Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:27 pm

Just had a couple of trips in this vehicle, it's great when it's static but when driving it I'm not sure how fast I should go. There is not much feedback from the engine, it slowly increases speed and appears to do about 70mph on the flat but I don't want to hammer it. Going uphill affects it rather a lot, I find myself in the crawler lane with the heavy lorries and using first gear when climbing steep hills on B roads. Is this normal? Is there something I can do to pep up the engine a bit? I tried driving from Gloucester to London at 55mph but kept dozing off!
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Re: Cruising speed for '97 petrol Boxer Symphony?

Post by -mojo- on Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:15 pm

A lot depends on what's important to you. Do you value getting somewhere fast, or would you rather save money by using less petrol?

Generally, because vans are quite slab-fronted, the afffect of speed on MPG is quite large. Very roughly, you should expect to get maybe 20% worse MPG traveling at 70MPH than at 60MPH, though it depends on a lot of factors (for example the effect is much less pronounced on vehicles with 6- and 7-speed gearboxes). But that may not be important to you.

In terms of capability, a Boxer should be able to sit at 70MPH on the motorway with no problem at all, and as long as it's well maintained that should cause it no problems at all.

It's impossible to say whether performance is Ok because we don't know how steep the hills are that you refer to, but if it's behaving sluggishly, the first thing to ask is whether it has been serviced recently. For example, have the air and fuel filters been replaced according to service schedule?
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Re: Cruising speed for '97 petrol Boxer Symphony?

Post by nortybleepers on Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:26 pm

Thanks Mojo. Philosophically I'm happy taking my time, unless I have to be somewhere! It only has a five speed box so looks like I'll have to keep an eye on petrol consumption at higher speeds. It's reassuring to know that I can use the thing at 70mph without hurting it and looking at the very limited service history that came with the vehicle it looks like it's been over a year since a service. So maybe i will have the engine looked at, hold off judgement until then.
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Re: Cruising speed for '97 petrol Boxer Symphony?

Post by -mojo- on Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:47 pm

I guess it depends what they changed during the service. My VW is four years old with full dealer service and it would not yet have had an air filter change if I hadn't done it myself! Same with the fuel filter - though I have not yet changed that.

Although my van has a 7-speed box and would comfortably cruise at way above the UK speed limit, my favourite cruising speed on long drives is in the range 60-65 MPH, because it's fast enough to keep clear of the HGVs, but not so fast that it really canes the MPG.
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Re: Cruising speed for '97 petrol Boxer Symphony?

Post by Paulmold on Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:49 pm

When I had a petrol Symphony top speed was about 65 and sounded as if I was thrashing it. I felt comfortable cruising at 55.

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Re: Cruising speed for '97 petrol Boxer Symphony?

Post by nortybleepers on Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:51 pm

Hi Paulmold - that sounds about right! I think 55 is a sensible speed but it does limit the practical range for a weekend trip.
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Re: Cruising speed for '97 petrol Boxer Symphony?

Post by -mojo- on Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:01 pm

Paulmold wrote:When I had a petrol Symphony top speed was about 65 and sounded as if I was thrashing it. I felt comfortable cruising at 55.

Hmmm... perhaps I'm wrong about that then! I confess I've only driven a 5-speed Boxer of that age a couple of times and I don't recall it being that slow, but both times it was a hire van, so I was probably unknowingly in "don't care as it's not my van" mode!

It ~might~ also depend on whether you've had a history of driving petrol vans or not. Prior to the last van all of mine have been petrol so I'm used to comparatively high revs all the time on the motorway. When I first moved to a diesel van it took ages to get used to the low revs and early (by comparison) gearchanges.
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Re: Cruising speed for '97 petrol Boxer Symphony?

Post by boxerman on Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:13 pm

I've said this before, but comparing my '95 Boxer's performance and economy to Paul's later one, they must have altered the fuelling on later models to improve economy.
Mine will cruise happily at 60, and go up to over 80 but 'about town' or high speed only does around 18 mpg {or 25 on a long run @ 55- 60] whereas Paul got 25 or so all the time.

Mine does not like hills either, I've been down to first several times in the last week or so.

Frank
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Re: Cruising speed for '97 petrol Boxer Symphony?

Post by Paulmold on Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:15 pm

Nortybleepers - you haven't got my old van have you? R***NNN.

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Re: Cruising speed for '97 petrol Boxer Symphony?

Post by nortybleepers on Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:09 pm

Ha! Paulmold- not unless someone has changed the plates - mines P reg.
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Re: Cruising speed for '97 petrol Boxer Symphony?

Post by nortybleepers on Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:11 pm

Hi Boxerman - I think the economy on mine is ok, I haven't checked it formally but we took a w124 merc with a 3 litre engine and it seemed to do as well if not better than that.
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Re: Cruising speed for '97 petrol Boxer Symphony?

Post by MartynD on Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:19 pm

I have a 99 2.5 diesel and have wondered how it would compare with the petrol engine. 
For comparison, the 2.5 diesel sits at 60ish on the motorway and does 25-30 mpg overall.
On the steep hills it can need a 2nd gear crawl but, being diesel, tends to have plenty of grunt at the lower revs.
But I wish it had a 6th gear! (oh, and air conditioning etc.)
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Re: Cruising speed for '97 petrol Boxer Symphony?

Post by Robbit M on Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:12 pm

Hi there. Interesting question ! I have a 1999 2.0 Petrol engine Symbol and find that 55 is a reasonable top speed. Yes, climbing hills is a problem but not surprisingly in a heavy "vintage" van I guess. Just had the head gasket done on mine and it has made some difference to performance - but at a price.

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Re: Cruising speed for '97 petrol Boxer Symphony?

Post by boxerman on Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:22 pm

Just got back from our whistle stop tour of the Highlands last night. Because Mike has to get back to work, we did the journey from Culloden to Preston in one hop [with a couple of breaks] - about 340 miles.
Mainly cruising at 60 but taking it up to 70+ for overtaking.

Frank
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Re: Cruising speed for '97 petrol Boxer Symphony?

Post by nortybleepers on Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:32 pm

Daredevil! smile!
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Re: Cruising speed for '97 petrol Boxer Symphony?

Post by nortybleepers on Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:34 pm

Out of interest what was the price Robbit M?
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Re: Cruising speed for '97 petrol Boxer Symphony?

Post by JandL on Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:46 pm

Only had our 2.0l petrol Boxer since July - happy at 55-60, will go quicker for overtaking, lots of changing down on inclines.

Where possible have decided to avoid motorways and take a more relaxed route, chilling is the key.

Fuel consumption - always think "it is what it is" and fill the van up when it needs filling up
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Re: Cruising speed for '97 petrol Boxer Symphony?

Post by boxerman on Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:20 pm

I avoid motorways where possible 'cos they are boring. The A6 is much nicer to drive along than the M6 for instance, but if you need to get from A to B in the shortest time, or avoid going through towns and cities then there isn't much choice shrugg
Like you, when it needs fuel, I just put it in, no point in getting upset about it. BUT I like to know how far I can get with the fuel in the tank so that I can avoid filling up at the motorway services rip-off prices.

Frank
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Re: Cruising speed for '97 petrol Boxer Symphony?

Post by JandL on Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:11 pm

Frank

Have to agree about the M6, I avoid - in car tend to use A1 to get up north, with van not sure how to get to lakes on a nice route. And about motorway rip-off prices - don't get me started, fill up van and plan petrol stops.

John
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Re: Cruising speed for '97 petrol Boxer Symphony?

Post by Paulmold on Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:30 pm

Our Sat Nav is always set to avoid motorways. One day this year, Carol was sitting with map on lap and following progress that the Sat Nav was taking. She thought it was a really long way round and said if we just nip onto the motorway for one junction we could save a good 20 miles, so we did. An hour and a half later we still hadn't travelled 6 miles to that junction.

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