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Old 12-08-2019, 04:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 2,442

2004 CTD - '04 DODGE RAM 2500 SLT
Team Cummins
90 day: 19.36 mpg (US)
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Thanked 731 Times in 553 Posts
Four days of round-trip commute.

The real question is ANNUAL MILES

Of which:

1). What is annual average MPH?
2). What is annual fuel consumed?

That’s where answers are needed. Records.

Spending to save only works when one has exactitude.

320-miles of commute plus another forty for all errands, etc.
Call it 19,000-miles per year. Zero idle time.
1,188-gallons fuel.

Syracuse Average this week is $2.60. ($3088)

Ten years is $31,000

Economy is better understood as longevity plus reliability. A temp/humidity-controlled insulated garage benefits any vehicle choice.

Fuel mileage, like tire and brake life, are only indicators. Not central, but marginal.

Thus, past best storage (as all but a few hours are spent at rest), spending to save is with tire choice.

To get to small potatoes (like a tuner), investing in pre-heating engine oil & coolant is indicated next. Year-round. Cheaper still are grille blocks (upper only for mild; full for below 31F only (thermostat should never open prematurely due to reduced cooling).

The longer term is with shock absorbers (higher than base Bilstein or FOX; remote reservoir; need best control of body & springs); new cab & bed bushings; new tie rods; poly anti-roll bar bushings; etc.

Brakes should operate as new. No exception.

Steering requires ZERO play. Align for best wheel return plus lowest wear.

All maintenance time/miles intervals reduced 10% with nothing skipped.

New factory parts only. Never rebuilt.

All lamps replaced every three years maximum. New headlight housings if at all faded.

Rebuild the drivers seat.

This is how to spend to save: Storage. Pre-heat. Brakes, Tires, Steering as new.
Posture, vision, and control as new OR BETTER.

The number of times one changes from steady-state is first. Second (and where most fail) is the DEGREE & DURATION of driver input necessary. What’s necessary is emotional in effect (lazy Americans can’t distinguish desire from necessity), so exert discipline. Fewest. Shortest. And won’t be ever be at upper posted limit. It’ll be about never stopping or idling, first.

But before that: records of every gallon (FUELLY). Average MPH (engine hour meter).

The feedback needed en route is with an ULTRAGAUGE. Or, the old dashtop trio of engine vacuum, tachometer and fuel flow meter gauges.

Set cruise control at 58-mph for commute. Never more. Leave earlier. Arrive earlier and enjoy the empty moments acquired.

Get that AVERAGE MPH as high as possible. Should be NEXT TO NO DIFFERENCE between city and rural Interstate in MPG.

If my highway is 24 and city is 21, so can you (achieve close figures).

Cummins engineer DIESEL DAVE was the pickup MPG champ. 47+. That’s more than twice mine. But mine was 1.5-times the owner average. (How many engine starts per week? Record. How many accel/decel events per day? Record. How many non-work related trips per week? Record).

Dave did his by getting everything done in a warmed-up vehicle. That’s in excess of fifty miles summertime for tires to come to equalization.

It’s the operator. So long as the vehicle is far better than you can utilize, a magic rifle scope won’t give you 1-MOA at 400-yards. Jewel the bolt, bed the barrel, crown the muzzle, install a Geisselle trigger, fix the LOP. All operator problems for this analogy.

Still want to spend to save?

1). Plywood tonneau half the distance from tailgate to cab. Then on to cab roof wing.

2). Seal bed/cab gap. Seal gap between tires and body (see PETERBILT EPIQ 579). Convex wheel covers (see FLOW BELOW).

3). Research using expanded metal as bellypan. I’d try fabric over it as well.


Last edited by slowmover; 12-08-2019 at 05:04 PM..
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