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Old 03-02-2013, 01:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: United States
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Thumbs up Hello from New Olreans, LA

Hi all,

So - been lurking around here for awhile figured time to start posting.

I drive a brick. More specifically, a heavily modified 2007 Nissan Xterra.

I know I'm never going to get good mileage out of this thing - which is fine, since I work from home and it's a hobby vehicle. I do tend to do rather long, adventurous road trips though which often involve a lot of freeway driving before getting offroad.

I'm looking for some tips to improve MPG - I know weight is a huge issue, and my Xterra is a chunky-monkey. I've got aftermarket steel front and rear bumpers, and a steel roofrack. These are needed based on the expedition style trips I do. That being said, I try to reduce weight elsewhere.

For example, when on a long trip, I'll remove the rear seats (super easy to do in the Xterra).

My X is also a 6 speed manual transmission which gives me good control of the engine.

I average around 16 MPG in the city (which is what it's rated for) and around 19 MPG highway - I've gotten 23 MPG highway before, and it's EPA rating is 21 MPG highway - So I've got room for improvement there.

I'm thinking first thing I'm going to tackle are aerodynamics - My aftermarket front bumper created a number of big gaps in the front of the vehicle, which I'm going to try sealing up.

I'm also thinking weather stripping around the hood.

Here's a few shots: (forum won't let me post photos yet, here are links, replace hxxp with http. When I hit the 5 post mark I'll fix them)

A couple notes about those photos:

1 - You should be able to pretty clearly see those gaps the front bumper creates. Going to try and tackle those this weekend. I also have leftover black RTV sealant I'm going to use around the headlights.

2 - The antennas - the one on the drivers side is for an amateur radio setup I've got, and it's not there 99% of the time - I was just playing with the radio that day. Also the regular antenna on the passenger side has been replaced with a much shorter "stubby" antenna.

3 - The holes in the back quarter panels - Beer holders! I have to finish them still, and I'm going to put a hinged cap on them so it stays streamlined.

Any and all suggestions are welcome - I know it's like I'm trying to have my cake and eat it too, but hey - I just love working on my Xterra (as you can probably tell) and anything I can do to help regain a few of those lost MPG's would be great.


2007 Nissan Xterra OffRoad
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