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Old 08-06-2008, 06:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
Big Dave
Master EcoModder
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Steppes of Central Indiana
Posts: 1,319

The Red Baron - '00 Ford F-350 XLT
90 day: 27.99 mpg (US)

Impala Phase Zero - '96 Chevrolet Impala SS
90 day: 21.03 mpg (US)
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A Pickup Truck Project

I’ve had a lot of success ecomodding my F-350 but my truck has a really exotic configuration these days: 4x2, stick shift. Maybe one in ten thousand pickup trucks fits this once-basic description. Most diesel pickups in this class are automatics and 4x4s, about evenly split between cab-and-a-half and crew cab bodies. A lot of what I’ve done is not applicable

I have put out a call on various pickup sites for somebody else (I have my own money and time pit, thank you) to ecomod a 4x4 automatic diesel pickup. In order to get the idea over I have posted my suggested project. This was written for a Ford truck site but the principles apply.

“Here is my suggestion, not meant to stifle anybodies creativity, but just something to describe the project.

Start with a bone stock 4x4 Super Cab or Crew Cab single rear wheel long bed pickup with a automatic transmission. It probably has 3.73 gears. These are very common truck configurations. Pre-2000 trucks might be better as they start out with single-shot injectors although a later model tranny may be better. Pay your money and take your chances.

For now, say the money limit is $8,000 over and above the cost of the truck. Maybe we can agree on a different number, but for now…

My initial thoughts for mods:

Gear Vendor Overdrive: $4,000 installed. Gives you the equivalent of 2.68:1 gears on demand. Good for 3 MPG.

Transmission Mods: $1,500 installed. Needed to tolerate the stress of prolonged low RPM (1,450 RPM @ 70 MPH) driving and to allow extensive on-demand coasting.

Soft flat tonneau. $500. Cleans up the aerodynamics a lot but is very flexible for bed loads. Good for 1.5 MPG unless you drive exclusively in the city.

Stock wheels with Mooneye covers. $100
BFG LongTrail Tires 245-75 aired up to sidewall max rating $1,200 BFG Long Trails are the lowest rolling resistance tires I know of in this size range.
Re-align front end to zero camber and toe-in. $100

Shorty air dam (to bottom of front axle pumpkin. $50

Pyrometer and AIC. $300 Helps adjust the nut behind the wheel.

Adjusting driving style. Free and priceless.

There you go, boys. $7,750 total. My guess is this truck will show a 5-6 MPG improvement over bone stock but is still perfectly usable for hauling (you may have to roll up the tonneau for the four-wheeler) and towing (shut off the GV on steep hills) operations. You still have the four-wheel drive when you want it. The truck has not been lowered. It will look fairly stock to the casual observer. The Mooneyes are a giveaway, but nothing else really shows. A 5 MPG improvement puts most trucks as described into the 20 MPG range.

My cost estimates may be off but I doubt if by too much.”

What do you guys think?

2000 Ford F-350 SC 4x2 6 Speed Manual
4" Slam
3.08:1 gears and Gear Vendor Overdrive
Rubber Conveyor Belt Air Dam
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