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Old 03-02-2013, 06:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
It's all about Diesel
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Originally Posted by xterracanuck View Post
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.
One of the good features regarding a body-on-frame vehicle is the ability to mess with body panels more easily, replacing some with custom ones made out of aluminium or fiberglass. It's not so hard to make a lighter set of doors, rear hatch, front fenders and hood, and even replace some parts of the floor with diamond-plate aluminium

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.
You could consider to get a custom single-piece front clip, with integrated hood, fenders and grille. Could even try some aerodynamic designs for the grille, which you could get inspiration from the Volkswagen's Bluemotion range
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