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Gas Saving Gizmos & Gadgets

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Comments

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    ...the only difference is the purity level, and you can find 95% pure (or more) just as easily at AutoZone as you can at a beauty supply shop (it's just waaay cheaper at AutoZone).

    That said, I have a few comments about the Acetone scam:

    1) Acetone has been scientifically tested as a gasoline additive since at least the 1930s, and never once has it ever done anything but reduce fuel economy in any published study.

    2) Mythbusters, Snopes, et-al. have tested this stuff repeatedly, and so far at least, the best and most optimistic test shows a zero increase in fuel economy (all of the rest showed a decrease).

    3) Tests by individuals are statistically irrelevant and usually fraught with errors. The fact is that it is very difficult to control your driving and the environment to any acceptable degree, and there is absolutely no way you can "test" acetone and then say, "See, it works."

    4) With point #3 in mind, there were a bunch of Acetone advocates populating this board back in 2005, and they were claiming "at least 35% fuel economy gains" from using ~3oz per 10 gallons of gasoline. I didn't believe a word of it, however, to quiet their protests of, "How are you going to know if you don't try it?", I tried it. At the time I had a very consistent 55 mile commute (each way) that was Cruise Control for all but 3 miles, and my fuel economy in the old car that I was driving was a pretty consistent 22.5 mpg. I ran ten consecutive tanks with the acetone additive, and not even one of the tanks made it as high as 22.0 mpg (two tanks made it to 21.2, and the low tank was 19.7). So much for "at least a 35% gain".

    Long story short, it is quite certain that folks who get better mileage do so because they are conscious of how they're driving and keep a smoother throttle. Had they done the same thing with regular pump gas, they would most likely have gotten as good as or better mileage.

    The good news was that after I posted my results, the Acetone advocates left us alone here and went somewhere to make their pie in the sky claims.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • vpitmanvpitman Posts: 2
    Finger nail polish remover is usually around 40-50% acetone, the rest is a combination of other goo that will do your car no good (skin softener and fragrance? on injectors? Really?). Some new types don't have any acetone at all in them. Now, I know finger nail polish remover is fine for cleaning surfaces before putting on silicone, but I don't think you're looking to do that...
    I haven't read up this, but I would think you're looking for 100% pure acetone from Home Depot, Lowe's, a hardware or paint supply store. I'm dubious, but I AM curious how it goes.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    FWIW, if anybody really wants to give Acetone a try, I have a bit over three-quarters of a gallon of 100% Acetone that I'll give away for free to the first person who wants it. I live about 30 miles north of Boston, PM me if you're interested.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary says, "And be careful with that stuff. I would not try it in any car under warranty. It could void it. "

    How, praytell, would the carmaker know a person used acetone in their tank to the point where they would have enough evidence to void a warranty?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    How, praytell, would the carmaker know a person used acetone in their tank to the point where they would have enough evidence to void a warranty?

    If the seals go or if there is tank and fuel system corrosion, then it's pretty easy to tell if some form of an additive has been used.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Understood.

    But how would they know the OWNER had done anything wrong themselves to cause the problem? Why not just blame it on bad gas, etc? Deny Deny Deny.

    Unless they have a video of you adding acetone to your tank, I'm thinking any law school grad could argue your case for you in small claims court.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    It's highly unlikely that any one tank of gasoline, even if it's "bad gas" would cause that kind of damage, and if it did, then there would be LOTS of folks with the problem making the source of the bad gas easy to pinpoint.

    Said another way, the kind of damage I'm talking about is the result of prolonged exposure to a solvent that the fuel system wasn't designed to accomodate. That said, in an effort to silence the very vocal acetone advocates populating this board a couple of years ago, I tried it in an old beater for ten consecutive tanks. I've since driven that car nearly 60,000 miles since I last put acetone in the tank, and so far at least, I've yet to have any fuel system issues. I'm not so confident that would be the case if I had continued using it.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    We're not opposed. I was just asking because Gary had pointed out that using acetone might somehow void a warranty and I think that is not likely.

    Most warranties expire around 36K, so I don't think using acetone in every tank for the first 36K miles would break anything before the warranty expired.

    Now if you have one of those "high dollar" 100K warranties like the ones I like to buy, then you might have a concern.

    But not for the run-of-the-mill 36K basic warranty.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    These folks are advertising in the USA Today today.

    121 mpg in a normal gasoline car

    Can you imagine what being able to burn all the gasoline in your engine would mean to fuel savings? Here’s what our scientific testing has shown: In one test at our Research Facility, we got 9X the fuel efficiency from a gas guzzling 318 V-8 Chrysler engine. We ran a 318 V-8 Chrysler engine on a brand new state of the art dynamometer (the same testing equipment that Detroit uses) at 3,000 rpms under a 50% load for an hour. This test condition approximated an 8 cylinder van with a 318 engine, traveling up a 30 degree incline for one hour, at 65 miles per hour. Before the PICC modification, the engine used 18 pounds of fuel. At an average weight of 6.15 pounds per gallon for gasoline, that would equal 2.93 gallons of fuel. Converting that into miles per gallon, it got around 22 mpg.

    The researchers then switched the fuel injection process to the PICC Modification and ran the engine under the exact same conditions for another hour. Now, the engine used only 2 pounds of fuel instead of 18 — an increase in efficiency of 9x. In other words, the vehicle traveling at 65 mph up a 30 degree incline for an hour would have obtained almost 200 mpg! When they shut off the engine, the researchers reported that it coasted on the plasma for another two minutes.
    What Does This Mean To You?

    This test with a 318 V-8 gas guzzling engine is just the first big V-8 engine that we ran under scientific conditions at our Research Facility. We believe based on results like these that our plasma could revolutionize fuel economy for ALL vehicles — including SUVs and Pickups — that should easily get better than 100 miles per gallon with the PICC. To be able to modify SUVs of any size to get 100 mpg minimal fuel economy will revolutionize the auto industry!


    Sounds to me like another "big ole scam."
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Another Dennis Lee product.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    Unless they have a video of you adding acetone to your tank, I'm thinking any law school grad could argue your case for you in small claims court.

    If you got the money to take on Toyota in court, why would you worry about saving a few ounces of gas using acetone? Using biodiesel can void your warranty if it can be determined you used a poor batch and it caused some problem in the engine.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    Also known as Jeff Otto. He likes to recruit MLM members in churches. They have a built in audience to sell to. I know that is how my folks got sucked in. Hard to believe a Christian would cheat you. They need to read about the money changers in the temple. Things never change.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    You are joking, right?

    People with money are some of the tightest tightwads around !!! Just 'cause you have it don't mean you want to waste it.

    For people who EARNED their wealth, after having a taste of the good life, they know that money don't grow on trees and every penny counts for something.

    I've yet in my life heard about anyone using acetone to the extent that it ruins their fuel system, so at this point, it's all just fantasy anyway.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    I am trying to figure out what your point is. DO you think using acetone is a smart thing or a dumb thing? Do you think trying to beat an automaker in court is a wise use of hard earned money? When we considered buying a diesel for Hawaii and running on B100 I contacted the dealers and the biodiesel company. VW & MB both have a policy of allowing B5 to be used in their vehicles. There is still a concern if for some unforeseen reason the engine was damaged, would running biodiesel void the warranty. I would probably take the chance with that as it is a recognized great fuel. I would never dump acetone in my cars gas tank. That is some nasty stuff and I am sure you would be breaking some kind of EPA regulation using it for other than it is sold for.

    Acetone

    A colorless liquid. Flash point 165°F. Lethal by inhalation and highly toxic or lethal by skin absorption. Density 7.8 lb / gal (less dense than water). Vapors heavier than air. Produces toxic oxides of nitrogen during combustion. (NOAA Reactivity 2007)

    So if you want to run it in your car you will be adding NoX to the air you breathe.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I think it's a risky thing to do - but if it can save a person hundreds of dollars a year on gas, they will do it.

    And I don't think any warranty EVER will get denied because of using acetone, because I don't think anyone will ever use it enough to damage their internals.

    On fighting 'Yota in court: If I knew 'Yota could not PROVE I damaged my car, and they were refusing to fix it based on an assumption, and that repair was going to cost me $5,000, and I still owed $20,000 on it and wanted to keep the car, then YES I might decide to take them to small claims court.

    Is that decision right for every situation? Of course not. But if you are the kind of person who wants to use acetone in your car (I tried it in my HCH with underwhelming results) then I don't think worrying about a denied warranty needs to come into play.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    For various reasons, Acetone has been scientifically tested as a fuel additive since at least the 1930s, and it has never once yielded any positive results with regards to BSFC. With that in mind, acetone use has been relegated to a religious thing, some believe and loudly profess that belief, some do not and aren't shy about saying so, and everybody else sits on the sidelines and scratches their collective heads wondering what all the fuss is about.

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,280
    Well there's an award for everything now. So why not one for the gas savers?

    Just Ask Dub Schwartz! and you'll get an answer. :P

    Edmunds Moderator

    Silver 2012 Nissan Versa Hatchback & White 2019 Nissan Rogue S

    Need some roadside assistance? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

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  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,280
    Not really a gizmo or gadget, but a FL couple were sentenced in a biodiesel scheme that bilked investors out of $21 million.

    Don't Be A Sucker

    Edmunds Moderator

    Silver 2012 Nissan Versa Hatchback & White 2019 Nissan Rogue S

    Need some roadside assistance? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Just purchased or leased a vehicle? Write your own vehicle review

  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    It never ceases to amaze me in this day of information, how many people are so uninformed. What is amazing in this scam is the time frame. Nine years ago fuel was dirt cheap. Probably caught a lot of greenie types thinking they would save the planet. Get rich quick schemes take advantage of humans that are all greedy from birth.
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    I would like to have the $$$$ the guy made on selling the litle magnet thingies that attached over your fuel ine to take out the whatevers and give you better mileage.
  • texasestexases Posts: 8,938
    Well, there's a sucker born every minute, as shown in today's Dilbert strip:
    Wanna make a million?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,203
    Hmmm... sounds an awful lot like those stupid little fuel line magnets they have been selling for years that "rearrange the fuel molecules for better burning."

    '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 49-car history and counting!

  • texasestexases Posts: 8,938
    I came across this a couple of days ago, and I emailed the Temple U. prof. to make sure it was legit. It is, he did the work, the report is here (and the report makes reasonable technical sense (a first!), assuming the data's correct): Temple U Report

    That said, the device appears to be best suited for diesels, no gas-engine data present. I also wonder why, instead of a '6 month road test', they don't put it through the EPA mpg test. Finally, I am VERY concerned about the company the professor hooked up with - they sell a number of USELESS "gas-saving" gadgets. Not a good sign. :sick:
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    There's not enough chrome on the gizmo either, but maybe later versions will fix that. :P

    Someone noted over in the blog comments that the good professor may have changed his driving habits and that accounts for some of the mpg increase.

    I bet I could sneak one of these miracle cures on my wife's minivan without telling her, and the mpg wouldn't change a bit.
  • texasestexases Posts: 8,938
    sounds an awful lot like those stupid little fuel line magnets they have been selling for years that "rearrange the fuel molecules for better burning."

    That's what I thought when I first read about it, but turns out it puts a BIG electric field (1000 volts/mm) across the fuel. Say the electrodes are an inch apart, that 25KV :surprise: Not something you just hook up to the battery...
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,203
    Not something you just hook up to the battery

    Its not? So how did they power it?
    I quickly scanned the study report and didn't see that info. (?)

    '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 49-car history and counting!

  • texasestexases Posts: 8,938
    You'd need a transformer to get 25 KV, could be done, just not like the mason jar and two wires the HHO guys tout. And yes, I didn't see much regarding actually doing it. Wonder what it'd cost? Also odd the only gasoline spray test was with 20% ethanol, not even available. Makes you think they tried regular gas, saw no effect.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    image
    See more Car Pictures at CarSpace.com


    The news from Popular Science back in 1952 that is.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    And I'm not slamming Lawrence Welk.

    "Real-world testing by Consumer Reports showed the best-selling plug-in conversion kit for the Toyota Prius did not come close to meeting its manufacturer's fuel-economy claim of a possible 100+ miles per gallon, the magazine says in its February issue."

    Consumer Reports: Prius Plug-In Kit Gets Nowhere Near Maker's 100+ MPG Claim (Green Car Advisor)
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    That is the brand of battery that burnt up a Prius last summer...The company has several of the conversions. They parked them all till it can be determined what happened. I still think Li-Ion batteries are years away from practical EV usage.

    The first known instance of a plug-in hybrid car going up in flames occurred on June 7 in Columbia, South Carolina to a 2008 Prius that had been converted to plug-in capability for the Central Electric Power Cooperative. The conversion was performed with a Hybrids-Plus PHEV15 conversion kit that uses an A123 Systems lithium ion battery pack. The incident is still under investigation by Phoenix, Arizona-based Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation. Initial information indicates the fire may have been triggered by something related to the on-board battery charger and the car had previously experienced some mechanical issues related to that.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    gary says, I still think Li-Ion batteries are years away from practical EV usage.

    GM and Toyota will beg to differ.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    Which model of GM or Toyota is on the showroom floor using Li-Ion batteries? GM has still not announced who will build the battery for the Volt. Panasonic is trying to buy Sanyo for their Li-Ion technology. I will believe it when I see it from GM or Toyota. They all know that longevity is the big issue they will have to face even if they feel the batteries are safe. Even NiMH has a way to go before it proves its longevity. Just five years on the oldest 2nd generation Prius. The first Prius had a battery recall. So we do not know how old they are. There was so few sold that it is insignificant compared to the current Prius design.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    Proponents of a healthy electric vehicle industry in the U.S. have questioned the wisdom of developing vehicles that can help free the country form its dependence on foreign oil only to replace it with dependence on foreign-made batteries.

    That was my complaint about the CFL mandate. It is just like our Congress to mandate EV cars and the only source would be outside the US, or regulations that would not allow some parts to be built in the USA.

    If we fund the development of batteries, do the tax payers share in the profits from those developments? We funded the NiMH battery development and I do not know of any profits we have shared it.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary says, "Even NiMH has a way to go before it proves its longevity."

    Hold on Pardner -

    We've seen no major problems with the First Gen Prius batteries. The Gen 1 Prius battery electrolyte discharge problem, which Toyota addressed with “service campaign” was merely to reseal the positive battery terminals.

    The recall for the early 2004 and 2005 Prius was not directly "battery" related:

    Toyota announced yesterday that they have recalled 75,000 Prius Hybrids because their engines can stall due to an electrical problem. The cars involved are some 2004 and early model 2005's. Toyota's spokesman Xavier Dominicis said they started investigating when about 68 reports came through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Toyota's says it will voluntarily recall the cars and repair them for free and Dominicis stressed that "the defect isn't related to the Prius's gas-electric hybrid system and could happen in any vehicle." It's not a safety recall. NHTSA has dropped the investigation. Toyota is calling the dealer fix a special service campaign, which involves reprogramming an ECU that, under a rare combination of circumstances, had been causing the Prius's gas engine to stall. The Hybrid Synergy Drive's battery still has enough juice to get the car well off the road, and you can go up to a mile on battery power alone

    There are no widespread failures of any generation of Prius battery. And the oldest ones are going on 11 years old now.

    Sure, there have been some failures, but not at alarming rates.

    Look, we all know that batteries will always eventually fail. But to call the failures a major criticism of the hybrid technology and a reason it is a failed technology is just pushing it a little too far.

    It's about time you give up the sad old misplaced criticism of the Prius batteries, Gary. Father Time is about to start making your argument look KINDA silly.........
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    There are no widespread failures of any generation of Prius battery. And the oldest ones are going on 11 years old now.

    Not sure from where you get your statistics. We have not reached 9 years on the first gen Prius that had the batteries recalled. You do not have any statistics on how many of those batteries were replaced. I doubt Toyota would ever give that information to the public. The current Prius is barely 5 years old. Toyota will probably luck out as most people that buy them are high mileage drivers. The ones I will be watching are those that only put 10k miles per year or less. They will stretch the EPA/CARB warranty to the max. So father time has another 5 years to go.

    Along those lines. I would be real skeptical buying a Prius that has sat for 3-4 months before it gets sold. If they are not keeping those traction batteries charged they will fail prematurely. Sitting out at -10 degrees in the NE that time will be much shorter before failure. A discharged battery that gets frozen is toast.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Let's move this to this board, where it's more appropriate:

    Hyb Bat
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    So much for this loser ripping people off more:

    FTC gets sales ban on mileage booster

    The Federal Trade Commission won a court order temporarily barring a New Jersey company from making false claims about a device that it touts as boosting automobile gas mileage by as much as 300 percent.

    Dennis Lee is a convicted felon who has been selling a device known as the Hydro-Assist Fuel Cell for $1,000, claiming it will "turn any vehicle into a hybrid," according to the FTC complaint filed in federal court in Newark, N.J. Lee's companies, Dutchman Enterprises LLC and United Community Services of America Inc., also are named as defendants.

    The FTC said Lee and his companies made false claims that "violate basic scientific laws and well-established physical principles."

    U.S. District Judge Faith Hochberg granted the FTC's request on Jan. 14 for a temporary restraining order and a freeze on the companies' assets. The agency is seeking a permanent ban on the false advertisements as well as customer reimbursements. Hochberg initially sealed the case before making it public on Jan. 29.

    Lee's companies began making false claims last year, such as boosting gas mileage on a 2007 Honda Civic from 35 miles per gallon to 85 miles, a
    nd on a 2006 Mazda from 33 miles to 121 miles, according to the complaint.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Temporary ban?

    Where's the criminal action for this one?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    My guess would be that this is step one of a multi-part process in which criminal charges are one of the eventual pieces of the process.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    The sad part is there are desperate people that buy into these Ponzi schemes every day. They really go a foot hold when gas hit $4.50 per gallon. Another good reason to try and keep gas at a stable reasonable price. To discourage con men from preying on little minds.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    There's nothing "Ponzi scheme" about what those idiots from New Jersery were selling, it was simply a scam to exchange a worthless product for your hard earned money.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    I think it was also Multi level marketing. Which is referred to as a Ponzi scheme. Plus the fact that it is a worthless scam.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    To give you an idea how difficult it is to convince a " believer" that what he believes is false, with regards to these "water for gas" scams-----I was arguing with a guy (offline) about how this "HHO" generator "defies the laws of physics".

    To which he replied: "Aha! Yes, it defies the laws of physics as we presently understand them!

    To which I replied that "if something defies all known laws of science and nature, we call that by definition a 'miracle', so I'm wondering if I could bring my ailing mother to your HHO generator to be cured"?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    To which he replied: "Aha! Yes, it defies the laws of physics as we presently understand them!"

    Ahhh, yet another fine example of a non-scientifically trained mind. :)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    He thinks electricity and gravity are something like phlogiston and the 4 humors and that MRIs are like leech bleeding I guess.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,203
    OK, I thought maybe this would fall into this category and wanted to get some input from some of you engineering-types. Besides, its been dead here.

    Saw an ad for a lightweight pulley set for an engine. Now, of course, this idea has been around for a long time, but I gotta wonder what the gains are here. This particular set claims, although all stock sized, they are a total of 5 pounds lighter than stock, netting a total of 11 hp and 6 lbs-ft (amazing how all bolt-ons seem to add ~10 hp). I figure this MUST save fuel, too. ;)

    So... it just had me thinking. How does shaving weight off the pulleys add power? I mean, sure, its less for the engine to rotate, but 5 lbs? The engine is being asked to accelerate and maintain speed of 3500 lbs. Even if we multiply that 5 by the final drive ratio, we're still talking next to nothing in comparison to the whole picture. So what is it I'm failing to understand?

    '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 49-car history and counting!

  • texasestexases Posts: 8,938
    You haven't missed a thing. I also don't understand the hp claim. At a steady rpm the engine's hp output should not be affected by a little extra rotating weight. It would make the engine a little quicker to rev, like a lighter flywheel, but changing flywheel weight doesn't change hp. It might make a very slight increase in mpgs, because you don't have to rev up as much weight, like having lighter wheels and tires, but it can't be much, hardly measurable, I'd think.

    And yes, it's amazing what $2/gallon gas does to scammers. Some of you might be amused by the blog storm created by a poorly-researched article in the Dallas Morning News: Scammer dupes a reporter

    As part of that discussion I came up with these warning signs that you might be dealing with a scammer:

    1. The claims, if true, would change the auto industry as we know it.
    2. The claims as presented ignore basic scientific principles (pass them by a physics teacher at a nearby university or high school to check).
    3. When those issues are noted, the inventor claims that the real reason it works is secret.
    4. The inventor claims to have applied for, but not received, a patent (anyone can do that).
    5. The inventor claims to be in negotiations with a major automaker, investors, or both, with no documentation.
    6. When pressed, the inventor likens himself to the Wright brothers or Edison, saying 'people doubted them, too.'
    7. When further pressed, the inventor (or his wife, defender, or supposed stranger, there's no way to tell in cyberspace) states that the folks asking the reasonable questions are ignorant naysayers.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    I agree with both of your comments; the benefits would be limited to a momentary improvement during acceleration; which would work out to be hardly measurable in real world driving.

    But this change would also have a downside; anything you do to reduce the inertia of the engine's rotating mass will result in a loss of idle smoothness, as well as making it somewhat more difficult to start from a standstill with a manual transmission. That is why engine manufacturers use heavy flywheels on engines which have a small number of cylinders (and also on engines which are cammed for high rpm power; when the engine's low speed responsiveness has been sacrificed to achieve that power).

    There was a very successful drag racer who improved his quarter mile times by installing a heavier flywheel on his engine. This worked particularly well in that venue; because drag racing performance is very dependent on how fast you can start off from the line. Since these vehicles are permitted to rev the engine to a high speed in neutral before engaging the clutch; is is not as important to have instantaneous throttle response as it is to have the greatest possible amount of torque when the clutch is engaged.
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