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Old 12-22-2012, 10:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
4ringcircus's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 31

Ford Ranger - '97 Ford Ranger XLT 4x4
90 day: 21.28 mpg (US)
Thanks: 2
Thanked 18 Times in 1 Post
Project: 25mpg 4x4 4.0L 1997 Ford Ranger

Hey fellow Ecomodders.
So for the past three years I've had a goal to hit 25mpg's in my Ford Ranger. I'm getting close...ish.

So this first post is about the truck. It's a 1997 ohv 4x4 4.0L V6 with a 5spd manual and 4.10 gears. I bought it in 2003 with only 45K on the odometer. It has Ford's old Twin Traction Beam 4x4 system, which was the first independent 4x4 front suspension. It's nearly indestructible, but in my research I've found that it weighs 200lbs more than an A-arm 4x4 suspension! I've had it weighed several times during runs to the quarry and the dump. It weighs in at 4005lbs without the topper. The topper is fiberglass and weighs 180lbs.... I took it off years ago as it gets much better city mileage without the extra weight.

The EPA on the truck was 15city/19hwy mpgs, so my goal of 25mpg is fairly ambitious. I've calculated every tank on this truck since I bought it. My mileage prior to ecomodding averaged 18.5 mpg's. Worst mileage was 14.0 on a cross country road trip from Minnesota to Montana; averaging 80mph, the old OHV doesn't breath well above 2750rpm and mileage plummets. The topper was on, helping aerodynamics, but that was more than offset by the extra weight of my xwife, dog, and 300lbs of gear. Best mileage was 21.75 on a 220 mile road trip heading east across Wisconsin. It was a warm summer day, with a small tail wind, cruise control set at 65mpg, and the topper on. That was the only time I broke 21 in five years of driving prior to ecomodding, so I'm left to conclude that the tank didn't fill all the way thus throwing my calculations.

Finally, I live in Minnesota, and the Winter impacts my mileage. The block is cast iron and takes a great deal of fuel to heat up to operating temp. While I averaged 18.5 in the summer, the winter average was about 16.5. I drove the back roads 6.7 miles each way to work, averaging about 30mph.

Here she is.... the Danger Ranger!

Last edited by 4ringcircus; 01-01-2013 at 11:16 AM..
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