Hello all. After reading through numerous threads on ecomodder ive decided to journal out my endeavors.
I plan to get about 20 (maybe more) out of my 1999 ram 3500 v10 4x4 auto.
So far after reading on all the big custom truck forums they all say you cant get no more than 10 mpg out of what i am driving. Then again they're most likely deep southerners who belive open tailgates improve aero qualities.
Ive been doing alot of research on aerodynamics. Used a few cheesy free apps to cfd some ideas. And done alot of sitting besides imagining the airflow. As well as researching when i have the time to.
Anyway. For a plan of attack.
Again im dealing with a '99 ram 3500 v10. 488 cubes of double wide pulling torque, An aweful ride when unloaded, decently quiet on the highway and an automatic transmission sutable only for the cheapest pre modern era econo cars.
In short, i hate it. But at the same time i love it to death. Or at least love the ideas i have for it. Because its either spend $20,000 for a used diesel thats been chipped out or spend $10,000 make what i have now do as good or better than the diesel varient.
Ive been wanting a truck for a long time. Ive owned plenty of 40+Mpg econoboxes, but they cant haul what makes me money.
So im planning an aero shell. With extenable boat tail for longer trips. All with the ability to angle up to a full shell and or easy removal.
Smooth underbelly, wheel skirts and something of a front air dam.
Manual transmission swap. When i have the funds ill start scouting junkyards to find either the 5 or 6 speed that was offered behind the v10's and cummins. And rebuild it for reliability sake.
Change all fluids to thinnest possible synthetic. I havent changed them all since i bought the truck so that needs to happen anyway.
Lower the suspension, and sooner or later convert to air. As it sits i can drop about an inch up front and 4.5" round back. Thats to keep it level as well as allow suspension clearence for ride quality. And for running air springs all the way around. I would like to have the ability to change ride height on the fly so i can drop it down more on the highway, when bumps are minimal. As well as better handle any load put in the back.
Im probably not going to go full blast with the aero work as i still need it to be a truck. I live in a camper and need to be able to move it around when needed (although as little as possible. (Also an eco adventure)). And i frequently do welding work and need to fit a lincoln sa200 in the back. I take it out when i know im not going to need it for a while as it with all the gear adds around 3000 lbs to the back.
Ive also been toying with the idea of turning it into a homebrew hybrid. My thoughts are to get a 50 hp electric motor, appropiate controller and decent amount of battery to cruise 50 miles on a charge. If even possible. With regen braking and a manual transmission i think that alone could massively improve efficiency. To do it i would put the electric motor just behind and to the side of the transmission/transfercase. The driveshaft is a two piece unit, meaning halfof the shaft stays at the same angle all the time. I think i could do a belt drive to that to drive the wheels. Ive also had thoughts of raiding a prius and somehow jamming that in to drive the back, and convert the v10 to drive the front. But thats just silly.
Anyway. Like i said. I want to record everything i do to this truck somewhere and figured this was the place to do it. You guys can chime in on what works. What doesnt. Call out my bs. Whatever.
Ill add some pictures as soon as i can. I want to be as detailed as possible for anyone else thinking about doing the same to there cars.