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Old 01-09-2020, 11:17 AM   #30 (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)
Thanks: 1,422
Thanked 731 Times in 553 Posts
Mine was “optimized” before the dealers lot (ha!).

The biggest differences between your modded and my stock trucks:

1). IFS, plus rack & pinion steering as it’s 2WD vs 4.

2). Lower ride height plus weight within 40-lbs each corner (50/50 weight balance).

3). Suspension upgraded for handling (larger anti-roll bar front and altogether new at rear) (No tail-out. Yours does. Load the bed and see for yourself. Even with more power you couldn’t keep up with me if I decided to leave. Mine needs LESS EFFORT per design, first; improved handling, second; far better tires, third).

4). Highway-only tires (where yours always loses 2+).

What’s less desirable for MPG on mine is a bed-height topper for the 8’ bed.
And that I outweigh you by 1,000-lbs. (15%).

My dead-certain, just leave-it-on-cruise planning MPG is 24 (25 actual). Ranges to 27-mpg over same conditions.

If I drop it to 54-mph I break 30-mpg with ease (showing 33 which is 31.5).

I’ve spent nothing on the drivetrain past maintenance.

I’d recommend you drop down to 58/9-mph. Try a run after a fuel top-off (auto stop) and a Cat Scale weigh. Out 100-miles and back to same pump. Get 50-70 miles warmup done before fuel/weigh. It’s the right baseline number as aero has taken over at 60. Get wind resistance pushed aside as it’s never the same.

Over a 250k range, with $3 diesel, I’m $9,000 ahead in fuel savings versus someone 4-mpg less in annual average MPG than me (and who is himself above average). I’m on tire set number two, battery set number two, one brake pad change, original clutch, ball joints, tie rods, etc. $500 otherwise in repairs at 16-years.

It’s the overall savings. Not just fuel.

Depreciation is now $4k in 12-years based on current ads and condition.


I could walk away now and the vehicle cost was free past fuel + insurance, etc.

I know you’re aiming that word at EEC, but I only drive 5-6k miles annually. An improved FE profile won’t really matter. The truck has always bee n grossly overpowered for my needs; solo at 8k, towing at 18k. (I used to hitch up to trailers that — alone — weighed 22k when running hotshot in another man’s truck. Didn’t lack then either).

I haven’t ruled it out . . . but improving ONLY steady-state highway MPG means a trade-off elsewhere. I can do 21-mpg around town as it is

I believe a conveyor belt front air-dam and side-skirts will take care of that. And until that test is administered, there’s NO point to changing engine timing and fuel delivery.

Getting the driver out of the equation remains the most difficult task at EM forum. Inordinate belief in “skill when it’s really the vehicle. Inadequate testing.

Now, all that out of the way, I’m on the same page as you. For me the fun will be once I’m retired. Maybe before then. Because I want to get my TRAILERING average up to the 18-mpg others with Third Gen see while solo. 17 I’ve hit. Just not consistent my. It’s more the trailer at this point.

As the RV’ers eyes pop out already with my 15-mpg AVERAGE pulling a 35’ travel trailer, ha!

Last edited by slowmover; 01-09-2020 at 11:31 AM..
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