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About 32mpg ...

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lasitter
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About 32mpg ...

Post #1 by lasitter » Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:34 pm

http://fordsix.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=66029

I couldn't believe it had been over four years since I'd driven the "big flatter" mpg loop and posted updated fuel economy numbers, so on Saturday I was finally able to take a half day off and do this to reflect my latest tinkering.

Four years ago I reported up to 30.8 mpg after a series of mods. Since then I had lamented about poor fuel economy on hilly roads out here in western Mass in winter (cold weather, blustery) driving conditions.

When I went out in August of 2011, I was on summer blend fuel, the air was nice and warm, the spare was in the bed of the truck, I had no traffic jam to deal with and I had shut off the engine at stops to reduce idling time. I also benefited from a strong "corridor effect" with lots of cars driving past me due to time of day / heavier traffic.

When I left for Providence, RI on Saturday it was 51-55 degrees most of the way with significant patches of dense fog. It was still pretty foggy and 60ish for the journey. I also can't say how much summer blend I had for the trip. The spare was mounted underneath, and there was very little traffic / no corridor effect compared to the previous trip. I never shut off the engine this time for idling, and had to deal with a significant segment of stop and roll on the way back due to a double lane drop.

I averaged 31.7 mpg for 104.7 miles. Here are the additional mods which were either neutral or hopefully favorable for fuel consumption since that time.

Isky 331-M Cam
2.47:1 isotropic finished ring and pinion
4xhole / pintle 15lb injectors vs stock
Eaton Posi Limited Slip Differential
Splitfire vs side-gapped NGK plugs

More than anything else I think higher temperatures would have helped a bit more. The other day here I was driving around when it was 100 degrees on the interstate, and the trip computer was indicating excellent fuel economy, even with the truck buttoned up and running the AC.

I thought the 15lb injectors with more holes might promote finer atomization and a slightly better burn. The consensus was that the MAF would be able to adjust for a 1lb difference in fuel capability.

I knew that the Eaton Posi would make this more of a working truck, and hoped that the effect on fuel economy would be neutral or minimal.

I didn't expect that the Splitfire plugs would offer any improvement over side-gapping, but didn't see them hurting much either, and thought they'd last longer. They also have the benefit of being the easiest mod to reverse / test.

I've also ordered (not yet received / installed) a wheel & tire combo that is lighter (but carries the same load) compared to my current wheels and tires. Initially they might offer no improvement due to taller tread depth, but over time that should change as tread wears away.

Rusty_Old_F250
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Re: About 32mpg ...

Post #2 by Rusty_Old_F250 » Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:47 pm

Thats not bad mileage, no matter what you drive, but especially an f150! I had to look up the isotropic finish, that sounds interesting. How many mpg was that worth by itself?

Sam

lasitter
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Re: About 32mpg ...

Post #3 by lasitter » Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:31 pm

Rusty_Old_F250 wrote:Thats not bad mileage, no matter what you drive, but especially an f150! I had to look up the isotropic finish, that sounds interesting. How many mpg was that worth by itself?

In my case, very little. It's the kind of exotic thing you do on drag racers that make enormous horsepower and realize an extra 15-20 hp as a result.

But it's also the kind of thing you get a chance to do once without it costing a fortune. I got it done a few years back for something like $150, then waited a couple of years before having the gears installed at the same time as the Eaton Posi.

Waiting to do it after you've installed the gear (remove & reinstall) is much more expensive. It might be good for something like 1/10th of an MPG, but I'll never know.

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bubba22349
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Re: About 32mpg ...

Post #4 by bubba22349 » Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:35 pm

:beer: All an all that is really great MPG for a pickup truck and 10 MPG better then I ever did with my 94 F150 Shortbed. :hmmm: but aren't you giving up a little with the spare mounted under the truck or did you build an Aero type cover for it? I have been wondering about building a front belly pan or any other ways to help clean up the air turbulence under a truck. :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

lasitter
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Re: About 32mpg ...

Post #5 by lasitter » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:23 pm

bubba22349 wrote::hmmm: aren't you giving up a little with the spare mounted under the truck or did you build an Aero cover for it?


I guess I'd be interested in a concept for an Aero cover for the spare mounted underneath. Since one of my requirements / interests is avoiding doing things that make it "less of a working truck", I felt I should move it back under the truck so someone could still put a stack of plywood / gypsum wallboard in the 8' bed. The long bed is sort of one of my definitions of what a "real" truck is. Apologies to all crew cab lovers ...

In spite of some of the more dubious mods (2.47:1), this truck can still accomplish quite a lot of work ...

Image

Some guys used the truck to haul off a small pond formed from landscaping block. This was when it was less than half full of landscaping block. When full it looked like the truck was going to do a wheelie, and still, taking it nice and easy the truck hauled the load over 80 miles.

Since then I've installed 2500lb helper springs, so it will ride better just in case the need arises in the future.

bubba22349 wrote:I have been wondering about building a belly pan to help clean up the air turbulence under a truck..

Me too. I've been interested in plans for doing an undertray with coroplast or some other appropriate product.

Image

If you look closely, you can see that I have an extended air dam on the front of the vehicle. What you probably can't see is that it is made from very large / stiff bristles.

I've also considered making skirts out of this sort of material. I like it because while it deflects the air, you could drive on a job site and it would easily yield to obstacles like rocks, and then recover without damage.

Others have done this sort of thing with stiffer materials, but there is always a big problem when you pass over a parking curb when it comes time to back away.

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Re: About 32mpg ...

Post #6 by lasitter » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:39 pm

Just for completeness, previous mods not mentioned included ...

ATX Mojave wheels
761138688668 (UPC)
ATX AX39815885 15x8 29.9lbs -19mm 139.7
(w/Kumho Solus KR21 235/75R15, saving weight on the corners)

K & N Low restriction air filter
NGK 4652 NGK Spark Plug WR41 (then side gapped, replace by Splitfire)
Timing advanced to 12 (currently pending a re-check after cam-swap)

Ignition mods ...

Mallory HyFire 6a,
ACCEL Super Stock Coil,
Taylor 8mm Wires,
EFI plugs

PN 6200 6A ignition control
PN 8227 Blaster TFI coil
PN 8874 Harness

Tonneau cover

Replaced rear bumper

Installed / Extended Front air dam

3.8L Taurus electric fan

Meziere 336S electric water pump

Delta Current Controls Fan/Pump Controller

Custom Mandrel bent exhaust, including ...
Flowmaster Series 50 8430502 (3" inlet, 2.5 outlet)
Magnaflow Heavy Metal Cat (99439HM) (3" inlet and outlet) UPC: 841380031730

FYI: The driveline place got the PSOM recalibration perfect. The distance change of .2 mile over previous completely consistent with four years of tread wearing away ...

And: This is all just trick-your-truck fun / bragging rights. It would never make any economic sense.

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bubba22349
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Re: About 32mpg ...

Post #7 by bubba22349 » Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:20 pm

Yes for sure if a truck can't be used for hard work then its not of much value and you could just use a car. I am thinking that if you could find an old Continental tire cover that it would work for an underneath spare cover or you could also make something out of fiberglass, plywood, sheet alum or a combo of them too, maybe with a pointed flare at the front end. Continental kit tire cover like this in bottom center picture of this link. http://car-from-uk.com/sale.php?id=60007

Though when you think about it maybe just a Vinyl spare tire cover like is used on Jeeps or SUV would be of some help for the air to side over it too. On a belly pan if it was to go back as far as of engines bell or end of trans might be enough to make a good difference. Like your front air dam brush :thumbup: probably dose a real good job too. My truck looks a lot like yours though it's a 94 F150 Reg cab short bed, has a 5 speed trans the rear springs are a joke it won't haul very much weight. :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

clintonvillian
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Re: About 32mpg ...

Post #8 by clintonvillian » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:50 am

Any pictures of the water pump setup, belt routing, etc........

lasitter
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Re: About 32mpg ...

Post #9 by lasitter » Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:22 pm

clintonvillian wrote:Any pictures of the water pump setup, belt routing, etc........

I'll have to work on that. Right now the truck's in the shop to get the timing verified / set and a couple of other minor things ...

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Re: About 32mpg ...

Post #10 by 1986F150six » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:29 am

lasitter,

This is great information and very informative!

What was your source for the large/stiff bristle air dam material?

What air pressure did you run in your tires when going for maximum gas mileage?

Thanks and keep reporting on your progress! :thumbup:

lasitter
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Re: About 32mpg ...

Post #11 by lasitter » Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:31 pm

1986F150six wrote:This is great information and very informative!

A result of five years of research with help from people like posters on this forum!
1986F150six wrote:What was your source for the large/stiff bristle air dam material?

http://industrial-brush.com/ap_RV_trk.html
1986F150six wrote:What air pressure did you run in your tires when going for maximum gas mileage?

So far it's been the max sidewall PSI for the tire, and then a little ...
1986F150six wrote:Thanks and keep reporting on your progress! :thumbup:

Thanks. This is all just one big experiment, and it has been very entertaining for me. Things like running tires at max inflation are not the best for ride comfort and tire life expectancy, and make no sense within the context of $2 per gallon gas, but are relevant to figuring out what the theoretical max fuel economy might be for a "daily driver" big six configuration.

One other thing I'm thinking of for an aero-mod is going to a 215/75R15 as an underneath mount spare. It would also be lighter.

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Re: About 32mpg ...

Post #12 by 1986F150six » Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:45 pm

My 1986 F150 originally was and still is fitted with 215/75 X 15 tires. If you do mount a smaller tire as the spare, this might cause problems if your differential is LS.

I, too, run @ [sidewall] maximum air pressure, but on the Michelin LTX M/S, that is only 35 PSI.

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Re: About 32mpg ...

Post #13 by arse_sidewards » Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:55 pm

Have you done a full length belly tray yet?

Since you're 2wd you can do a full length belly tray easily.
1994 F150 4x4 8ft, engine is basically stock.

66" leafs, extended radius arms, lockers in both ends, nothing special.

lasitter
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Re: About 32mpg ...

Post #14 by lasitter » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:27 pm

1986F150six wrote:My 1986 F150 originally was and still is fitted with 215/75 X 15 tires. If you do mount a smaller tire as the spare, this might cause problems if your differential is LS.

I'll have to check this out further. I was hoping that the 215/75R15 might have a similar number of revs per mile, but that may not be the case ...

lasitter
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Re: About 32mpg ...

Post #15 by lasitter » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:40 pm

1986F150six: The lighter duty tires, as you suggested, have a dramatically different number of revs per mile. I'd have to find some 15x139mm limited duty spare for this I suppose ...

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Re: About 32mpg ...

Post #16 by ToddT58 » Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:42 pm

Can you share any tips on what gained what kind of mpg improvements? My '95 F-150, 4.9 with the Mazda 5-speed and a 2.72 rear end is my test mule. My brother let it get hot so I'm planning a special rebuild with the help of a local race shop. I'm into all sorts of renewable energy, including ethanol and wood gasification. By the way, I detest our forced use of E10. It is the worst of both worlds.

Everyone in the green energy crowd agrees that to optimize an engine for ethanol, you should bump the compression and advance the timing. Same for woodgas.

Reading on ecomodder.com has good reports on the electric fan. What about the electric water pump? How much did it help?

By the way, this is what I got into back in college with my Ford van. The gas crunch of '79 had me figuring out what it would cost to add an intake, small 4bbl and headers... and how many miles it would take to pay for the upgrades with increased mpg. Back then as now, I work on a 36 month payback.

Most of the 350,000 miles on my '02 F250 with a 7.3 Powerstroke were running on used cooking oil or biodiesel.

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Re: About 32mpg ...

Post #17 by arse_sidewards » Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:50 am

I can see an electric pump having a large impact because any time the thermostat isn't close to fully open not only do you not need a fan moving air over the radiator, there's also no need to use energy to move a large volume of coolant through the radiator.

Back when I had a temp gauge in the upper radiator hose I'd be able to see the thermostat open and close when cruising in 4th on a 60-deg day even when I wasn't running a fan. This tells me that there's a lot to be gained by moving less coolant around.

In my experience, below freezing it's only necessary to have a fan if you intend on idling a lot. I can go through the drive through without getting warm enough to idle faster (EEC-IV will high-idle to move more air with the fan above 210 degrees or so). The 11" fan pulley off a compressor without a fan shroud is an enough to not overheat at idle in 80ish temps, it'll start getting warm in stop and go traffic though. I run a 205 thermostat for what it's worth.

I think there's a lot to be gained from moving less coolant around in situations when you don't need to. Personally I'd prefer some sort of thermostatic or electric clutch on the water pump pulley but an electric pump is a fairly practical option. I don't know any manufacturer other than BMW that uses on though.

I'd try an electric pump off a BMW because I don't like running aftermarket stuff because I can't get it from or replace it with stuff from an auto parts store. Since it's a BMW part ($$) and has a less than stellar reliability reputation it's not something I'm currently pursuing. I'm unaware of how much it flows but there's no reason I couldn't run a pair in parallel.


Lasitter, why haven't you swapped to manual or electric over hydraulic power steering yet?


ToddT58 wrote:Can you share any tips on what gained what kind of mpg improvements? My '95 F-150, 4.9 with the Mazda 5-speed and a 2.72 rear end is my test mule. My brother let it get hot so I'm planning a special rebuild with the help of a local race shop. I'm into all sorts of renewable energy, including ethanol and wood gasification. By the way, I detest our forced use of E10. It is the worst of both worlds.

Everyone in the green energy crowd agrees that to optimize an engine for ethanol, you should bump the compression and advance the timing. Same for woodgas.

Reading on ecomodder.com has good reports on the electric fan. What about the electric water pump? How much did it help?

By the way, this is what I got into back in college with my Ford van. The gas crunch of '79 had me figuring out what it would cost to add an intake, small 4bbl and headers... and how many miles it would take to pay for the upgrades with increased mpg. Back then as now, I work on a 36 month payback.

Most of the 350,000 miles on my '02 F250 with a 7.3 Powerstroke were running on used cooking oil or biodiesel.


On a similar note I've always thought about getting a naturally aspirated multifuel engine on the principal that even if it gets horrible fuel economy and power for it's size it'll still cost pennies to operate if I'm dumping in whatever oily substance I have on hand and doing preventative maintenance on the fuel system.
1994 F150 4x4 8ft, engine is basically stock.

66" leafs, extended radius arms, lockers in both ends, nothing special.

lasitter
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Re: About 32mpg ...

Post #18 by lasitter » Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:31 pm

bubba22349: I've spent some time underneath the truck and I think some kind of belly pan / undertray fashioned from Coroplast would be possible. And I'm pretty sure it would make a difference.

ToddT58: I regret that I didn't have the time, money or patience to test the modifications out one at a time, so as to isolate the effectiveness of each mod. I tended to do things in batches. The aero mods were likely the easiest and least expensive ... like much less drag from the rear bumper when I replaced it with a 4x4". The tonneau cover made 1.5 to 2mpg for sure. The air dam deflector may add 1mpg.

The electric water pump was more about horsepower than fuel economy, but because of how I did it, fuel economy probably improved some too. I had the shop flatten half the impeller blades on the stock pump, so that it moved less water by default. Since the electric water pump is always pumping at 50 percent as a baseline, it is probably just pushing the water thru the mechanical water pump anyway.

At higher RPM the losses to standard water pumps and fans can go way up, and I can definitely tell that I have more HP than before.

One of the things I want to play with at some point is the controller for the fan and electric water pump. I can set the temperature at which they ramp up independently of the thermostat. My guess is that I could save more gas by having them kick in after the thermostat was fully open, so the pumps wouldn't be pushing / pulling against a closed thermostat.

I have confirmed (by accident) recently that retarded timing is very bad for fuel economy. The previous place that set it had put it at six BTC and the fuel economy tanked. So now it's back as high as I can get it without the idle getting too rough and I'm pretty sure my economy is back.

The lower restriction exhaust also helped a little. Can't say how much, but I think it would be a measurable amount for sure.

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Re: About 32mpg ...

Post #19 by ToddT58 » Sat Nov 07, 2015 6:33 pm

Thanks for the update, I'd never thought about the back bumper being such a problem but it makes sense. Your use of the stiff bristle brush is a new one for me. No problem scraping curbs or going over speed bumps like an extended valance would create. Yours is a '96, right? That means OBD-2, correct?

I had never thought about the weight of the wheels, either. I can see the use of skinny tires for less rolling resistance. But it makes sense that the weight of that rotating mass would have an impact.

How difficult was the rear end ratio change? My 2.75 is already so high that I think I'll stick with that. 65mph is about 1650rpm in 5th.

lasitter
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Re: About 32mpg ...

Post #20 by lasitter » Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:41 am

ToddT58: You can see how far down in the air flow the original hangs:
Image
Compared to the wooden bumper ...
Image
Of course, after ditching the bumper pull I loaded up with a class five hitch, which creates its own drag, but at least I get more of a working truck back in exchange for that ...
About the 1996 MY: I wanted it because it was arguably the best in its time period. It has these distinctive advantages / features ...

    Last year you could get the big six.

    Last available year for 9th Gen styling.

    First year of OBD-II / OBD2 / EEC-V

    First year of SEFI / SFI sequential fuel injection vs batch fire MFC / multiport.

    First year of MAF

Lesser points (?)

    1996 300 has no cam sensor or crank trigger. PIP sensor in the distributor for firing order. Sensor on dampner is misfire sensor, not a a crank trigger.

    There is no collector on a '96. The separate downpipes run all the way to the stock front cat which is a 2-in 1-out. (per SR)

    The 1996 has different frame ends / crumple zones (look like crinkle-cut fries).

There's probably something else but this is all I have for now.

About the bristles: If I had it to do again, I would trim them a bit more at the left and right edges. If you make an extreme turn and drive up on a curb, they can catch. Nothing that taking off another inch or so couldn't fix ...

Tires / wheels: I think reducing the combined weight as much as possible probably has more benefit than so called "low rolling resistance" tires, though I have just bought some of those. We won't really know the benefit of LRR tires until tire makers are forced to publish the CRR for every configuration of an LRR offering.

The ring and pinion gear: Stick with what you got, which is likely a 2.73:1. It will be a while before I can find a nice flat spot for more extensive testing to see whether the longer gear I have helps at all.

I suspect that on long, flat, straight stretches without a headwind it will make one mpg difference. But the moment you have wind or hills and have to open the throttle to overcome the longer gear, I'm really not sure you're better off than the 2.73:1. I'll have to do more testing next summer to see.

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Re: About 32mpg ...

Post #21 by tom954x4 » Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:02 pm

Hi lasitter. Stunning fuel economy numbers. Great work and thanks for sharing.

Are you using any additives in the oil or fuel?

I came across this DOE study on friction modifiers for lubricating oil using nano boron technology

http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014 ... 2014_o.pdf

and so had to try a product using this stuff, AR9100 from Archoil. I just put it in all of my vehicles and so far things are looking good and I am seeing a noticeable bump in fuel economy in my cars (VW diesels). My F-150 truck is running butter smooth but have not driven it enough to do an mpg test.

Check it out and if you try it I would love to see what it does for your mileage.
1995 F-150 XL, 300-6, 4x4, ex-cab, sb, 3.08 5-speed, 2 1/2 in. exhaust w/flowmaster 50, MSDignition failed with no warning, now out, canopy, 179,000 + miles. Gone but not forgotten 1965 F-100 240 3spd lwb "the green hornet"; 1960 F-250 4x4, 223 six, 4sp with wrap-around rear window, two-tone paint, overhead camper.
Tow vehicle: 2012 F-250 4x4 6.7 diesel XLT s/c lwb

lasitter
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Re: About 32mpg ...

Post #22 by lasitter » Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:34 pm

tom954x4 wrote:Great work and thanks for sharing.

Thank you!
tom954x4 wrote:Are you using any additives in the oil or fuel?

I used a good bit of Sea Foam when I first got the truck, and it's probably time for more.

I've seen it reported that very small amounts (1/2 ounce per tank, occasionally) of acetone can also help.

tom954x4 wrote:I came across this DOE study on friction modifiers for lubricating oil using nano boron technology

http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014 ... 2014_o.pdf

I look forward to spending some time with this ...

tom954x4 wrote:and so had to try a product using this stuff, AR9100 from Archoil. I just put it in all of my vehicles and so far things are looking good and I am seeing a noticeable bump in fuel economy in my cars (VW diesels).

Very interesting. Looks like something I'll need to research.

Thanks for the info.

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Re: About 32mpg ...

Post #23 by arse_sidewards » Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:53 pm

95 had EEC-IV and MAF in trucks intended for sale in Commiefornia, Mass and maybe a few other states.

92+ had the frame rail crumple zones.

Acetone will knock all the sediment off everything and clog your fuel filter quickly.
1994 F150 4x4 8ft, engine is basically stock.

66" leafs, extended radius arms, lockers in both ends, nothing special.

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Re: About 32mpg ...

Post #24 by mutt » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:17 am

Been away a while. The 32MPG caught my eye, the 2.47 rear helps, and the FI. my last run out to Montana from Toronto aboard the mighty '81 Ekonokrate: 1.21 Motorcraft , 2inHg power valve, iffy manifold, port matched, head work, chev rockers, cam "straight up- " 3.80 limited slip, FI headers, not hauling 2 HD's this time had me nipping 19+ mpg nights as i keep it around 55 at night. It hits the low 17's at 65-70. Thats with tall -( look like 8 ply bias truck tires, not low profile)-yokohama tires , 4sp w/OD. Corrected speedo. Used a quart of oil out & back, too.
We've had a few adventures and repairs.
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