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Old 06-08-2012, 01:49 PM
richarddhoward richarddhoward is offline
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Default MPG Know all...maybe sticky?

This is the thread to end all threads on MPG....if your friends can't find it, tell them they are lacking in their skills...and that it's time for them to use the search function!

I see time and time again, "How do I get more mpg out of my Ranger", well stop searching because here is the best thing you are going to find on this site.

First and foremost...we are all driving trucks....if you want a gas mileage truck...get the 4 cylinder, and 5 speed (or 4 speed depending on year). There is no way to make awesome mpg out of a truck. I've owned several trucks of all makes and models, they are not efficient on fuel, they are designed to work, and the best I have seen in my trucks is in my 4 cylinder GMC that got an average of 25-27 with a best of 28.6 mpg, and a friends Ranger 4 cylinder that got about 26 mpg. If you are looking for 40 mpg's go buy a Ford Focus, a Honda, a Toyota...in essence a car. But if you are on a limited budget the 4 cylinders in these trucks can deliver a solid 25-27, and occasionally see 30 mpg. I have seen 23 mpg out of my Ranger with the 4.0, but don't expect that. And the 3.0...well it just doesn't do a good job for most of us. There are a few people that have gotten good mileage out of them, but what it seems to do is offer the power of the 4 cylinder, and the economy of the 4.0 in most cases.

First step in good mileage...do the maintenance.

Change the differential fluids, change the ATF (if applicable), and change the engine oil when the OEM specs say too. I run a fully synthetic fluid in everything...ATF, diff oil, and engine. It lasts longer, and does a good job of cleaning things. There is nothing wrong with a good name brand oil that is mineral oil...IE regular dinosaur made oil. But synthetics to me offer more protection, and longer change intervals, which off sets the more expensive price of a synthetic over a mineral oil. The other part of maintenance...timing chains, tire rotation, seals, filters etc. Keeping the engine running in tip top form saves your engine from having to work harder. This means better mileage. A lot of these maintenance items can be done in your driveway, over a weekend, so there is no reason to skimp on it. GO OUT AND DO IT! Now things like changing the timing chain are more involved, so you may want to save up and have it done at a professional shop. But if you are mechanically inclined, and you have a good tool set, I'd say easily you can tackle this change no problem. Picking up a factory service manual can help you out a lot, as I have found that Haynes and Chilton manuals, while good for little things, suck as service guides when doing major services. I got my OEM manuals on Ebay for about 90 dollars shipped, but I now have a complete set of manuals that tell me how to do every major service I could ever need to do.

Second thing for mileage...tire and wheel choice.

First and foremost...keep the tires you have on your vehicle properly inflated, stick with a tire size that is noted on your door panel, and what Ford has said to run them at. If you are lifted...don't expect good mileage, but keep the tires as close to a factory pressure as you can. The other thing with tires, be realistic with tire choice. Do you need mud terrains on your 4wd that sees dirt once every 3 months? Probably not, so go for a light all-terrain tire, with a smoother tread, that is more biased towards road driving. This cuts down on drivetrain friction, and reduces engine strain...saving you money. I saw my best mileage in my truck with Wrangler RT/S tires, in a 265/70R15. While not a stock tire size, Stocks are 235s, the tire was a road based all terrain, that managed to get me through most anything I could throw at it, and were made for highway travel. As for wheels, wheels are unsprung weight, meaning they are not held up by the vehicle suspension to put it simply. They are a drain on your engine trying to rotate. So if you are going to switch wheels and tires on your truck for something cool, keep the weight in mind. More weight equals more friction on the truck when it is trying to start, stop, and drive down the road, putting more strain on the engine, causing you to use more fuel.

Third - Modifications.

If you can, mod your truck, it makes you more involved in the truck, but keep these in mind...Engines need to breath to be efficient. Don't remove your catalytic converter on newer models, as the computer will show a fault, and can cause it to go into a default setting, because it can't read the air/fuel mixture right, and it will automatically start dumping more fuel into the engine to protect the engine. Older non-computer controlled trucks, this isn't much of an issue, but for emissions laws, you may want to leave them on. Catalytic converters are not restrictive, so don't remove them thinking it will gain you anything. It won't, and I've seen it time and time again. But they do wear out over time, and gum up with stuff, so they do need to be replaced after a certain amount of time.

Cold air intakes (CAI) are a good option for your truck, unfortunately most CAI's sold for our trucks are not true CAI's, as they do not block all the engine heat from entering the intake air. There are ways to make these work, but it may take more time than it is worth. I run a K&N filter in my stock airbox, and it seems to do just fine. I don't see any need to change it at this moment, but I will be looking at the FIPK II kit from K&N eventually, and I'll report back to you on this when I get it.

Exhaust, so you got more air into your engine, now you need to get it out. You can have a custom system built or go for a pre-made kit, and there are plenty of them out there. Search youtube to see about the sound you want, and then go from there.

Weight, so you just added a killer sound system, but the box weighs 120 lbs, the new speakers added another 10, and then you added storage bins, a truck box full of your school crap that you haven't touched, and carry around your bicycle...but do you need it? The lighter you make your truck, the less your engine has to push...and the less your engine has to work. So do you need two subs with custom box that weighs 120 lbs? I don't so I have never done it. Remove all that extra weight, it'll clean up your truck, and cause your mileage to go up. Maybe not a hell of a lot, but it adds up.

Wheels and tires play in here as well. I know you want the cool look of those wider wheels and new taller tires, but the weight there, or the size of the tire can adversely affect your mileage as well, the wider the tire, the more friction at the ground and to the engine and transmission. So when changing wheels and tires, consider size.

Body panels and bumpers. These vehicles are built from factory to be efficient. I lost 1.5 mpg when I changed my stock front bumper to my Bull bar, for me, I don't care. But thing ahead on that before you do it. I put a bull bar on, and it created more things for air to hit and act as a dam, rather then the stock bumper with allowed the air to curl around the truck.

Lift...do I even need to say it...don't lift if you want fuel efficient. I know some of us are getting decent mileage from lifted trucks, but for the most part lifting a truck will not gain you anything as far as mileage.

Lowering...when done right, lowering a truck can make the air pass over it more easily. So this is a decent idea to gain mileage, I have several friends with lowered trucks that have seen increases of 1-3 mpg (claimed, I have not seen factual evidence from any of them, but I do trust them, and so I have cited it here) in their day to day driving.

Gears...gearing can make all the difference. Especially lifted. Going with a lower gearing (numerically higher number IE 3.73's vs 3.23's) when lifted will help your engine get back to it's power band, allowing it to use the power it is given more efficiently. This will help your engine run with less stress and do what it needs to easier. Now if you are lowered, regearing to a taller gear, (numerically lower) can lose some power off the line, but if you drive freeway a lot, can allow you to drop engine RPM, and save fuel. There is a gear guide here on the forum, use it to calculate the gearing number need vs tire size you are running.

Canopies and tonneau's: I have a canopy on my truck, and with it I saw 1 mpg boost in economy. Check out youtube and search, there have been a few companies and scientists that have done studies on this, so it is proven on top of my voucher. While yes you gain a little weight, my canopy added about 120 lbs to my truck, just judging by lifting, but it allows air to more easily slip over the truck allowing less friction through the air, improving mileage. I have a cab height canopy, I do NOT know if this applies to canopies that have a step up in the back, or the taller then cab height models.

Tuners - I know of none that work on our trucks to gain us mileage...so if you know of one, let me know. But good luck. Just drive on brothers. there isn't much I can help you on here.

Throttle body spacers - better for carburetors, they show no, again...NO real improvement for those with fuel injection that I have ever seen, save your money, buy a new cd player.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaron_ariens View Post
I think Henry just shit himself
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radness View Post
Its kind of like that carnival game "Whack A Mole" but with guns! Haha
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  #2  
Old 06-08-2012, 01:50 PM
richarddhoward richarddhoward is offline
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Default Re: MPG Know all...maybe sticky?

Fourth - Driving style

This is the single biggest contributor to your mpg. If you drive like a race car driver...your mileage will suffer. If you drive like your grandmother, you will do far better. Accelerate smoothly from a stop or even while moving, don't punch it. Hang in the right lane, doing 55-65 mpg will net you the best mpg, as that is what most manufacturer's set their trucks up for. Brake slowly and easily as well. This will also save you on maintenance and wear and tear. Look far ahead in traffic, and gauge what they are doing, as this can help you from having to slam on your brakes. Don't burn out every where you go, and four wheeling...forget your mpg then.



So hopefully this will help cover the basics of MPG's so we don't have 50 million more of the same thread. feel free to contribute or argue against my points as needed. I am not the know-all-end-all knowledge of mpg. These are just what i have learned along the way with my diesel degree and 13 plus years of helping build, maintain, and fixing vehicles. If you have a product that seems to work on your vehicle to gain mileage, add it here, and I will be adding more as I know more about getting mpg. So drive on, and I'll see you on the road. At least until the needle on my life's fuel gauge hits E.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaron_ariens View Post
I think Henry just shit himself
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radness View Post
Its kind of like that carnival game "Whack A Mole" but with guns! Haha
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  #3  
Old 06-08-2012, 02:02 PM
Stinkbaitj Stinkbaitj is offline
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Thanks man.... I am getting tired of seing mpg post lmao.

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Old 06-08-2012, 02:07 PM
richarddhoward richarddhoward is offline
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Default Re: MPG Know all...maybe sticky?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinkbaitj View Post
Thanks man.... I am getting tired of seing mpg post lmao.

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Lol me too!
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Truck built in loving memory of Norm Howard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaron_ariens View Post
I think Henry just shit himself
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radness View Post
Its kind of like that carnival game "Whack A Mole" but with guns! Haha
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  #5  
Old 06-08-2012, 02:21 PM
FFparker FFparker is offline
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Tldr
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:22 PM
bigfisher bigfisher is offline
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Default Re: MPG Know all...maybe sticky?

MAKE THIS A STICKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Im gonna tell Redneckstone. Idk if he can do it but its worth a shot.
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:32 PM
richarddhoward richarddhoward is offline
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Default Re: MPG Know all...maybe sticky?

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Truck built in loving memory of Norm Howard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaron_ariens View Post
I think Henry just shit himself
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radness View Post
Its kind of like that carnival game "Whack A Mole" but with guns! Haha
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:46 PM
SR2K SR2K is offline
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Default Re: MPG Know all...maybe sticky?

Great Information, I've heard of people getting an extra 1-2mpgs with a superchips tuner set to economy.
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:46 PM
StockBlueFord StockBlueFord is offline
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Default Re: MPG Know all...maybe sticky?

This could be good. i disagree on the CAI but i'm tired of fighting it.

People want to mod their trucks and that's the easiest thing to do so I guess I should let them without any fuss.

Also maybe you should post the mythbusters video instead of the SnugTop one. That way people can't say, "Well SnugTop is obviously gonna say it helps because they wanna sell more snugtops".

I would be one of those people

Other than that this is a great writeup and should definitely be a sticky in ALL the engine and general sections, seeing as how FNGs don't know how to post worth a damn.
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:56 PM
richarddhoward richarddhoward is offline
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Default Re: MPG Know all...maybe sticky?


here is the one I found. I own a Snugtop, and I have seen others do the test as well, but they were not on youtube, so although Snugtop is doing this partly to sell you a product, I do not think that was the entire case. I know the Snugtop works, so I figure that cancels it out lol

What do you not agree with on the CAI? I think they work...but I am tired of arguing it as well. So I was aiming for more middle of the road answer so that all were ok with it. I have installed on several models of car and truck CAI's, and have seen some work, and some suck. But in general I agree with them.

----------


Also, I forgot about this one...Don't be stupid, put your tailgate up. You look stupid with it down.
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Truck built in loving memory of Norm Howard
Outcast Racing
PNW Crew!!!
Afterhours Clan!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaron_ariens View Post
I think Henry just shit himself
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radness View Post
Its kind of like that carnival game "Whack A Mole" but with guns! Haha
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  #11  
Old 06-08-2012, 03:21 PM
StockBlueFord StockBlueFord is offline
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Default Re: MPG Know all...maybe sticky?

Quote:
Originally Posted by richarddhoward View Post
What do you not agree with on the CAI? I think they work...but I am tired of arguing it as well. So I was aiming for more middle of the road answer so that all were ok with it. I have installed on several models of car and truck CAI's, and have seen some work, and some suck. But in general I agree with them.

Don't be stupid, put your tailgate up. You look stupid with it down.
x2 on the tailgate. Looks silly indeed. If im gonna look silly ill get a teardrop snugtop and actually get some gains.

Two things

1. The CAI doesn't actually bring in cold air, at least the ones that are currently on the market as a bolt in. A true CAI would be sticking out of the hood and incredibly close to the throttle body so that the heat transfer through the intake pipe would be as slight as possible. This is kind of the same idea as a ram air intake on older muscle cars.
The air it brings in (on current bolt ons) is just as hot (or cold) as the stock equipment because It's inside a very hot engine compartment and it has about 2 feet to travel before it even reaches the intake plenum.

2. When air is colder, it is more dense. Therefore the computer will read that via the MAF and IAT and allow the injectors to give the engine more fuel in order to keep the air to fuel ratio as close as possible to stoichiometric. When you use more fuel you get more power, but less MPG.

So I suppose my problem is not the fact that people put them on, but rather that they put them on calling them Cold Air intakes when in reality they are just air intakes with a fancy cone filters and actually believe it is helping them get better MPG than stock.

Don't even get me started on K&N
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and yeah, you wanna spend dat moneh on dat pusseh!
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:31 PM
FireRanger FireRanger is offline
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Default Re: MPG Know all...maybe sticky?

None of this makes any mention that any modification or tuner that adds some fraction of an MPG will costs about 20x more than the money you save at the pump. Meaning, you've netted a loss, not a gain.
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:34 PM
richarddhoward richarddhoward is offline
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Default Re: MPG Know all...maybe sticky?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StockBlueFord View Post
x2 on the tailgate. Looks silly indeed. If im gonna look silly ill get a teardrop snugtop and actually get some gains.

Two things

1. The CAI doesn't actually bring in cold air, at least the ones that are currently on the market as a bolt in. A true CAI would be sticking out of the hood and incredibly close to the throttle body so that the heat transfer through the intake pipe would be as slight as possible. This is kind of the same idea as a ram air intake on older muscle cars.
The air it brings in (on current bolt ons) is just as hot (or cold) as the stock equipment because It's inside a very hot engine compartment and it has about 2 feet to travel before it even reaches the intake plenum.

2. When air is colder, it is more dense. Therefore the computer will read that via the MAF and IAT and allow the injectors to give the engine more fuel in order to keep the air to fuel ratio as close as possible to stoichiometric. When you use more fuel you get more power, but less MPG.

So I suppose my problem is not the fact that people put them on, but rather that they put them on calling them Cold Air intakes when in reality they are just air intakes with a fancy cone filters and actually believe it is helping them get better MPG than stock.

Don't even get me started on K&N
Fair point. Let the general public decide. I use K&N as well, and I like them. I have used them on varying applications with great success. But that is my experience. I can argue some of those points as well, but I have also seen the arguments against them. I won't fight you on it, just remember though, "to each their own".

To the point on cold air...colder air is more dense, requiring more fuel, this is correct, but there is a certain temperature needed on everything to make it efficient. Your engine also has to be within a certain range, before the engine at what is called it's heat efficiency. So if the engine is running hot, the cold air can make a positive influence in mileage by bringing the vehicle down in temperature and causing the engine to run in that set temperature range. I have a ram air hood on my GMC, and it dropped the engine temp 15 degrees, and the intake temp as well. But I gained almost 2 mpg average just changing the hood and intake on the truck.

----------

Fireranger...fair point. I didn't think of that one!

Also, you need to check costs of anything you are doing to how much mileage you might gain. Spending 400 bucks to save .5 mpg....unless you drive 100,000 miles a year...that really doesn't pay off. (I did not run the numbers on that, I was using an example)
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Truck built in loving memory of Norm Howard
Outcast Racing
PNW Crew!!!
Afterhours Clan!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaron_ariens View Post
I think Henry just shit himself
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radness View Post
Its kind of like that carnival game "Whack A Mole" but with guns! Haha
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  #14  
Old 06-08-2012, 03:42 PM
pooleo pooleo is offline
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Default Re: MPG Know all...maybe sticky?

I would like to add. In my personal experience. Removing the cats has no effect with o2 sensors. All they do is read oxygen. They will still function with cat there or not. I am currently running my truck with no cats. The plugs are burning fine and there are no codes thrown.
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:47 PM
StockBlueFord StockBlueFord is offline
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Default Re: MPG Know all...maybe sticky?

Quote:
Originally Posted by richarddhoward View Post
I won't fight you on it, just remember though, "to each their own".
I won't either, or at least i'll try not to haha. To each his own indeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by richarddhoward View Post

To the point on cold air...colder air is more dense, requiring more fuel, this is correct, but there is a certain temperature needed on everything to make it efficient. Your engine also has to be within a certain range, before the engine at what is called it's heat efficiency. So if the engine is running hot, the cold air can make a positive influence in mileage by bringing the vehicle down in temperature and causing the engine to run in that set temperature range. I have a ram air hood on my GMC, and it dropped the engine temp 15 degrees, and the intake temp as well. But I gained almost 2 mpg average just changing the hood and intake on the truck.
I guess the terms we use and outcomes we want are important to clarify.

Efficient. What does that mean?

does it mean a complete burn of the fuel within the combustion chamber?

does it mean a ratio close to 1 as far as the amount of energy going into the engine/the amount of energy we are getting out of the engine? (power in/power out)

Does it mean traveling further on a gallon of gas?

Maybe it refers to what Fireranger was talking about with the amount of money we spend on mods designed for increased MPG compared to the amount of fuel cost savings we actually incur.
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and yeah, you wanna spend dat moneh on dat pusseh!
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