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Old 01-18-2010, 12:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 553

Little Blue - '98 Ford Escort ZX2 Cool
Team ZX2
90 day: 44.75 mpg (US)

Big Red - '00 Ford Excursion XLT
90 day: 15.53 mpg (US)
Thanks: 5
Thanked 45 Times in 29 Posts
There are a couple of us ZX2 guys here. You can swap in the Escort Sedan 5th gear to bring you highway rpms down a little lower, search for the swap instructions. I am ATX so I don't suffer from the excessively high highway rpms.
The ZX2 is a very capable mpg car, check my gas logs. In pure highway driving I expect more than a 50mpg average and 30+mpg in the city. On my typical commute to work I expect 43mpg. I started out in the 28mpg range with my car also.

For mods, I'd suggest a grill block to close off 80% of your lower grill. A Home Depot 5" lawn edging front air dam under the bumper and some rear wheel skirts to round out the aero package. I'd estimate those mods have benefited me by about 4 mpg on my commute.
Under the hood I wouldn't worry to much about performance mods. Just toss the stock cold air intake, it's drawing from behind the fender. Cut off your snorkle and tape up that fender hole so you can pull in underhood air that will be warmer than ambient. It would be good to try and get warmer air, in the 120-140 range would be best if you can find a way. Pull the plug on your knock sensor, do it right now and enjoy, it's free, safe and easy, again see TeamZX2 for instructions. A scangauge will pay for itself, buy one and enjoy the ride.

Edit: Oh yea, slow down!!!! I average 50mph on the highway, it is a great benefit. Just do this safely.

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