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Thread: Looking for better fuel mileage

  1. #11
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    Myth Busters busted the tailgate theory. I know when I did it, I kept good notes and on a couple of trips from Ohio to Florida, I showed a small loss. I kept the tailgate on after that.

    You'd think the less weight alone would help, but you actually get more drag.

    Maloy

    Quote Originally Posted by glenwolde View Post
    The two biggest drags on pickups are the tailgate and the mirrors. During the "gas crises" back in the day everybody was swapping out the tailgate for those "soft" gates that look like nets. What's the differential gearing?

    My F350 dually gets 10.5 mpg....pulling a 16,000+ fifth wheel. I am happy with that.
    darbo and glenwolde like this.

  2. #12
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    I have a 2002 Tahoe with the 5.2 litre engine. Pulling my 3500 pound camper I get about 12 - 13mpg on the interstate.

    Around town if I take it easy I can get 14 on a good day.

    Big vehicles just burn more gas.

    You can pull the engine and put in a diesel. Friend of mine did this with his Suburban. Got better mileage
    but wasn't sure he would recoup the expense.

    All the Best,
    D. White
    TrucksNCoffee likes this.
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  3. #13
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    Do like Dodge, unhook 4 of the spark plugs.
    kschilk and DeltaBravoKS like this.

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  5. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ickthus View Post
    Do like Dodge, unhook 4 of the spark plugs.
    With some of my customers, I've found that releasing the parking brake will raise the mpg considerably.
    Ammo will get you through times of no money, better than money will get you through times of no ammo.

    Criminal's lives DON'T matter!



    I miss my 286.

    #Neverwarren

  6. #15
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    I could say that it has to do with the "Bowtie" emblem on the grill, seeing as how I am a Ford guy. But, truth be told, that's one fine looking truck.

    And sometimes it's not all about how inexpensive you live your life, but more about the class of life that you live. That my friend is one classy truck!!
    darbo and TrucksNCoffee like this.
    I have often heard that "Change is Good". If this is a fact, why does history tend to repeat itself so often. I'm guessing that it is so we can learn from our mistakes that change is good?

  7. #16
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    Nice truck. You might try one of the new electric pickups when they come out
    ​All you need for happiness is a good gun, a good horse, and a good wife.

    Texas friendly, spoken here.





  8. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenwolde View Post
    The two biggest drags on pickups are the tailgate and the mirrors. During the "gas crises" back in the day everybody was swapping out the tailgate for those "soft" gates that look like nets.
    Quote Originally Posted by maloy View Post
    Myth Busters busted the tailgate theory. I know when I did it, I kept good notes and on a couple of trips from Ohio to Florida, I showed a small loss. I kept the tailgate on after that.

    You'd think the less weight alone would help, but you actually get more drag.
    Exactly; it's all about drag. With a solid tailgate in the up position, a swirl of air forms in the bed and stays pretty stable. So the drag is happening around the rear window; specifically, the upper half. Drop the tailgate or put in a mesh, and the entire height of the bed and rear window are the drag-producing surface. A tonneau cover might help, but probably won't be noticeable.

    My pickup truck experience tells me an owner can't do a tenth of what the factory can do. The transmission is very important. My last older pickup was a 2500 Ram. Never broke 15, under any circumstances. Our '13 Expedition gets about 18-19, and our '14 F150 gets about 20.

    You can make sure the tires are inflated properly (or a hair over), keep the fuel injectors as clean as possible, make sure the air filter stays clean, but all that probably won't get you more than 2mpg.
    "It is wonderful, in the event of a street fight, how few bullets seem to hit the men they are aimed at." Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail, Theodore Roosevelt, 1888

  9. #18
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    Not much help so far in the responses and I can't offer much either. Just maybe tape a raw egg to the gas pedal!
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  10. #19
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    If you drive in the mountains, your mileage will be higher.
    Last edited by kschilk; 06-08-2019 at 05:40 PM.
    Stroker, Ickthus, JimmyA and 2 others like this.
    Ammo will get you through times of no money, better than money will get you through times of no ammo.

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    I miss my 286.

    #Neverwarren

  11. #20
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    Three questions:

    - How much are you willing to spend?
    - What type of improvements are you looking at?
    - How much towing do you do?

    If you are primarily using to tow a travel trailer or other box trailer, one of the best things to do is to get a canopy/topper/cab high bed covering that beings the cab roof line back to the tailgate when towing. This will get you 1 to 2 MPG when towing. Proven long ago by Trailer Life magazine in the 1970's.

    If you are primarily just using it as a daily drive without towing, I would recommend getting a tonneau cover for the bed. I have seen some improvement with using these on my various pickups over the years.

    One free piece of advise I will recommend is watch how much pressure your right foot is placing on that far right pedal, and how quickly it releases from the right pedal. Also, how quickly you go from cruise to braking has a lot to do with your gas mileage. The Smith System used by over the road truck drivers works wonders in passenger vehicles also.

    Do an engine condition check: Start with a simple five cycle compression check. It this checks out, then you are fine to go. If there are problems, this would explain the mileage problem.

    Other things to look at: How fresh are those spark plugs and wires? How clean is that air filter?


    Now for the expensive things:

    Gears and gearing - There is a formula for figuring out the proper rear gear based on tire diameter, speed, and RPM. What you want to do is to try to keep the engine in its 'most economical area', which with a 350's 3.48 inch stroke would be around 2070 RPM (7200/3.4. An internal combustion engine seems to run best with a piston velocity of 1200 FPS, or 14,400 inches per second. Divide by 2 for a four stroke engine, and you get the 7200.

    Convert to 'real' fuel injection - Holley, as well as others, offer a true fuel injection conversion for these vehicles, as well as any classic vehicle. Problem is the cost of the unit and the man hours spent to install it. Not exactly cheap.

    Exhaust work - The stock manifolds on those year trucks are pitiful for exhaust flow. A good shorty style header does wonders for these engines. Also, freer flowing catalytic converters and muffler will really wake this old beast up. I highly recommend this as a good thing to do.

    Other than that, remember you are pushing around 5000 to 6000 pounds of steel, it is going to take energy to get it up and moving.
    TrucksNCoffee likes this.
    Desperado's Big Bang Theory:
    The theory that a "big bang" from a handgun, along with a perpetrator receiving a gunshot wound, is the best way to end violent personal or property crimes.

 

 
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