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Old 03-10-2012, 04:12 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
Best spec is obviously:

I'd say those will pay for the change made. As to those who demand 4WD there isn't going to be a reasonable FE commensurate with on-road requirements.

It's all a balancing act between weight, complexity and ROI. So truck spec matters most in making the most, IMO.
.
Yes, one doesn't need 4x often, and when I bought 94 3/4 I went back to 2wd lim slp. But I searched it out when shopping for the 1 ton for one reason... getting a 8500# boat and trailer up the ramp when pulling out of the lake. The first time with the 94 3/4 360 auto... 98% throttle hadn't moved it... at 100% she just barely started to inch forward. In addition I had placed about 1500 lbs of fire wood in the bed because this sail boat ramp starts out normal, but about half way in they go steep and deep by design... (these boats draft 7 ft some of em). On a solid frame triple when the front axle comes back over the hump coming back out, the back two axles are still on the steep and it will actually take weight off the tongue... many big 2wd get hung there... and just spin on the dry even. I've watched it. So I weighted it. I got it out that first year as I had the traction, but not the gearing or power. And that torque converter wouldn't have held that long without cooking. The next season we took Melanie's Bronco too and chained up to the front of the 94 to assist. If I'd had 4x low range... wouldn't have had any issue. So the 4x4 has to stay. Triples tow better, but tandem would be better at the ramps.

Thanks for your insights.. I looked at Deisel Dave's in the listing. He's done quite a bit. I'm real leery of blocking flow through the radiator though. One of the reasons I get the 300k longevity on heads and blocks is they've NEVER been run hot... even a little. I got in the habit of auto scanning gauges every minute or so a long time ago. If she's start to heat off the thermostat setting... I'll know it almost immediately and take steps. The 94 has trouble in the summer heat and especially the desert 110 and even light towing... 220 all the way across w/o the AC when I came back from working out west this past summer... couldn't even think of running the AC. Chrysler didn't endow it with any extra capacity that's for sure. Made me a little nervous running across 10 in southern TX's... long hot grades. I have a 195 thermo in it, which gives a little buffer for short hills and towing around here... but the desert heat and its heat off the pavement is something else! Still couldn't get below 220 even at 45 mph on that 50 mile long (or whatever it is) upgrade before the pass. Chrysler says the fan clutch is set for 220 but I've never heard it or the new one come on... I tried to get a 200 or 210... but they didn't make one.

Thanks again... Dave

[Oh eco'rs the speed limit there is 80 or 85 BTW. When it wasn't too hot I ran 75 to 80 out there and was in danger of getting run over on I25 almost anywhere except right in Albuquerque. I was passed by a big SUV and a 35 some foot triple axle travel trailer like I was going backwards one time... I was at 85... he had to be 110 or 115... just blew by me. Just the way it is there (I25 just south of Colorado somewhere). He's likely moaning over fuel prices too now I suppose though.]

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Old 03-10-2012, 04:37 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
If you look at semi-trucks you will notice that they are moving to single instead of dual wheels per axle, this is for fuel savings, apparently a single wide tire is more efficient, at the same time I think you can get small size heavy truck tires that run at 100-120psi and have a much longer wear life then your current tires, they also have a lower rolling resistance and are designed for a heavier load so switching to a single rear on either side would still allow you to haul your 2000+ pounds in the bed of the truck and get rid of the fender flairs.
Think those flairs have that much drag? The look pretty streamlined to me. Yes I notice the trend to singles on the semis too... and as an ex driver I'm not sure I'd like them... seems they narrow the track width... and as one who came within a baby's hairs width of going over due to an idiot that loaded it (it was a drop and hook, I hadn't loaded it... I wouldn't have). When I lived through it and the discovery of 51,000 lbs of 7.5 ft diam rolls of paper that were NOT cradled!!!! Damn near killed me due to someone else's stupidity. The kid pulled it 1/2 way from MNSP to Rawlins WY, where I hooked on to it. At first I though the rocking was due to a 45 footer we had that was air ride. It wasn't.. it was the springed 45. During the 1st 1000 miles he pulled it, the 3 corner blocks they set on one side of the roll as they staggered them back through the trailer, had loosened and backed away... allowing the rolls to roll back and forth sideways. John had also stacked tail freight on the back only 2 inches from the door and clear to the ceiling. No way to see when I hooked up, as unless its a sealed load, I always look now and then even when I'm the one who loaded it. When I simply crested the crown in the road on 80 just past the tunnel at Green River... they all lined up just right and she just about went over... leaned that trailer 30 degrees (no exaggeration) likely light under the light side tandems, twisting the tractor frame... and bowing the trailer's 8 ft high side panel 6" or 8" out top to bottom. If it hadn't been a plywood/fiberglass single wall laminate sheet side wall, it would have broke through on a normal alum skin wall. I came within a hairs width of yanking her to the right just as hard as I could to force her to lay over on the pavement and not pivot over the guardrail as I had walked with it to within an inch of the rail keep it vertical or as close as I could. Not sure single tire would have had the stance needed and I'd have been dead. If your familiar with that stretch of road... its rock wall cuts or 1000 ft deep ravines... would have had to pick me up with stick and a spoon. At the bottom of the first sister there is a small truck stop (or was then anyway) and I had a flatbed back up to the doors so I could clear the tail freight and see what was going on. Mixed feelings on singles on semis.

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Old 03-10-2012, 05:22 PM   #23 (permalink)
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A few thoughts:

On batteries, you will consume about 500 Wh/mile, based on your 16 mpg. A 30kWh LiFePO4 pack would easily fit in your truck, giving you (using 80% of the pack) 48 miles range. LiFePO4 is one of the cheapest long term alternatives for batteries, at about $400/kWh*.

You'll get about 2000 80% cycles (vs 300 for lead acid). If you can find deep cycle lead acid for really cheap, they can be economical, but you'd have to replace them often.

The simplest possible hybrid would be charged at home, run to 20% SOC, then driven on diesel the rest of the way. Electricity is much cheaper than diesel fuel, so you'd be money ahead, if you can deal with amortizing the battery cost.

Based on your existing mpg, you are using about 30,000 watts (40 hp) continuously. Your generator could supply a good portion of that, and at pretty good efficiency, probably. To know whether this smaller but less sophisticated engine (than your Cummins) would provide 30,000 watts more efficiently than the Cummins would require some testing or digging around for BSFC charts for each. Ordinarily you'd expect that the smaller engine, being more heavily loaded would be more efficient. But a lot of small industrial diesels are not all that great, compared to a modern Cummins.

If you search the web, you can probably find a bsfc chart fort he generator engine (or at least a full load fuel consumption rating -- which for the generator is close enough, because you'd be running it at full load.

For the truck, if you can't find a bsfc chart (which will tell you what the consumption per hp-hour is at any load) you can ask around here, or you can scale the chart for a VW TDI and not be too far off. The specific consumption for the TDI at 12 hp is probably not too far from the specific consumption of the Cummins at 40 hp.

If I were going to guess, I'd say the Cummins (at this low load) would consume 330 grams/kWh, and the generator (at its high load) would consume 220.

Of course, you can avoid all the math just by throwing the generator on the back of the truck and trying it out.

* Not knowing the condition of your heart, I did not multiply that out for a 30kWh pack.
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Old 03-10-2012, 05:45 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I did...

* Not knowing the condition of your heart, I did not multiply that out for a 30kWh pack.

when I read it... 12k for bats is a bit defeating.... hummm.

Interesting... that's the kind of data I was looking for...

Thanks....
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:04 PM   #25 (permalink)
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performance and eco chips

Some of the aftermarket performance chips for the Cummins cite 22 mpg... but leaning that far out makes me nervous.

Has anyone researched this?

Oh, someone asked about intercooling... its not from the factory... straight into the manifold. I think there are kits... but they were set up for the super performance some of the pullers wanted if I remember right. The idea is cool air is more dense and more O2 gets into the cylinder.

Thanks in advance...
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:34 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Smarty Jr. tuner has a strong consensus on some of the forums. But auto trans doesn't live long with one (any of them). Find out the near-stock spec settings for best mpg change. But it's still a $600 cost to re-coup, and maybe 1-2 mpg average mpg improvement (which is what counts). Cam changes, different injector nozzles, etc, all are expensive and with low average mpg changes. Added together one could see 3-4 mpg for several thousand in initial expense. But as there is no free lunch, other components may wear faster (killing the overall economy).

Be a good idea to weigh your tow rig. A boat trailer is set up with 5-9% tongue weight (unlike other trailers at 12-15%). If, indeed, your boat/trailer weigh 9k, then the TW would be on the order of 450 to 800-lbs. DODGE requires a weight distributing hitch with TW of 350-lbs on up. (Remember that this is a static measurement, a fraction, of dynamic forces acting againt the truck going down the road). Both Equalizer and Reese make surge brake compatible WDH's, and the restoration of solo braking & handling dynamics make them worthwhile. Same for mpg, tire wear and brake life. Payload capacity is not at all the same as tow capacity.

Weigh it and find out. Truck solo, and truck/trailer hooked; separate numbers for truck FA and RA, then for boat trailer axle set. (A separate TW would be good as well). Might be a way to an SRW truck if enough can be transferred back onto trailer axle set (a few hundred pounds of leverage can go a long way to not being hung).

The likely TW would mean about 150 to 300-lbs onto the boat trailer axle set with a WDH. This is covered on a couple of boat forums in their trailering sub-forums, meaning it would be good to ask. The weight of the boat/trailer is otherwise within the range capable of a 1/2T truck. So maybe someone has already done this work ahead of you.

Boat trailers are adjustable to some degree, so it may be that moving the bunks would also help.

IOW, go at the problem from all the other angles as well.
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:49 PM   #27 (permalink)
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trailers and towing

Thank you and I appreciate your effort, I really do, but a lot of the published stuff is borderline at best in my experienced opinion. This is something I really do know about.

I've been towing trailers of all types for 45 years. The boat trailer is a pull behind on a 2 5/16 10,000 lb socket, 10,000 lb ball and a 14,000 lb receiver hitch if on the 1 ton, 10,000 lb if on the 3/4. Tongue weight is about 800 to a 1000 based on the drop when hitched to the 3/4 ton (I've been towing with that truck for 17 years, so I know what it takes to drop 1 1/2" on the frame at the bumper (on that truck BTW, not necessarily yours).

I built the trailer. Its a 6" C channel frame at 32 ft each side if include the wrapped in 7 ft tongue. The C Channel butt joint is dove tailed 24" and welded on all sides... actually all the welds everywhere are 360 and duble sided. There are also stiffeners on the top of the 6"C channel on each side (25ft) with 2"x1/2" strap suspended over 3 inch high 2x2 1/8" wall risers every 16" . These were welded on the ends and then tensioned with the spacers before welding. Cross members are 3" C channel every 16", sliding triple sub frame sits under the 6" Cs with mount holes every 6", for a total adjustment travel of about 6 feet. Bow pole is 4x4 1/4 wall tied into the tongue's frame system.

Both the 14000 and the 10000 hitches have higher than typical dead weight capacity (tongue) at 1500 and 1200 respectively. I got rid of the light duty 7500 lb factory hitches a long time ago, and the very first thing I did on the 1 ton when I got it home was buy the 14000 lb hitch and replace its factory light duty 7500. Even the 3/4 was a heavy 3/4 with almost a 1 ton rear end and springs (8800 lb gross as compared to 7500 gross for the typical 3/4, as a matter of fact I have to go to a 93 1 ton parts book for its rear end and spring parts as this axle is not list in the 94 book).

All of my tandems or triples are running e brakes on all axles and a fully adjustable automatic controller that's over-ridable with a hand lever when wanted/needed. I always wire in a switch on one axle so I can disconnect it if by chance I get into winter road conditions... and then its just long enough to get somewhere and park. These aren't semis.

As yet I haven't pulled the boat with the 1 ton yet, but its pulled the 9000 lb stock trailer and the 12k flatbed fully loaded as if they weren't there (compared to the gas 3/4). There is NO WAY I'd recommend 9000 lbs behind a typical soft tired 1/2 ton... be all over the road and a real ***** to handle especially down long grades with 1/2 ton brakes and such light tongue weights it would have to have. Dangerous sway and bounce/rock conditions can setup that you may not recover from! I've seen it get away from several 1/2 ton based SUVs that are pulling more than they are really designed for but the book said they were. One was friends at the lake... totaled both, and almost killed them even with the so called anti-sway and load leveling bars. They help on level interstate but not hills, long downgrades, and curves. Don't tow heavy on any balloony over-sized low pressure Load range C radial tire... you can easily have 2" of side travel simply due to side wall flex. Load range D or Es or don't tow.

THIS IS Important! A half ton is really just a car with a pickup bed in a lot of ways. Same with the SUVs. A lot of people get away with over loaded 1/2 tons... but many do not! Even a light 7500 typical factory utility (like a car hauler, or 16ft inside the tires flatbed) may be too much depending on your tire type... and NEVER on a 3500 or 5000 lb bumper hitch like so many do! I just couldn't believe how badly some of the 7500 lb units were built when I went looking! Wouldn't have one, so I built my own 12000 lb capacity over the tires flatbed with the features I wanted and basically emulated a commercial semi flatbed, just smaller... in fact the side rails can use the same strap winches. Its hauled as much as 15000 and never once have I had issues with it. Weighs in at 2700 empty... but that's what it takes. The boat trailer weighs in a 2500 lbs empty... but has a 13,500 lb capacity. This boat is light for it. I designed it to go up to a 32 foot, 10 ft beam 11,000 lb boat. I could care less if it needs a wide load permit, it'll have one if I need it.

Please take a lot of what those published recommendations say with a few grains of salt... they are for the ideal condition that only rarely exists.

Thanks... Dave.
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:54 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Think those flairs have that much drag? The look pretty streamlined to me.
It's not so much the flairs themselves, as what they do to the air behind them. For minimum air resistance, you want a teardrop shape (which means that what you do at the front of the vehicle is much less important than the rear. The dually fender flares widen out the body just when you should want it to taper inwards.

I'd suggest going to the areodynamics section, and looking at what people have done with pickup shells, and why.

Quote:
Maybe I'll get a small 4 banger convertible sports car... bI've had heavy metal for so long... just the lightness of the suspension and brake systems in these itty bitty cars make me nervous... there is just is nothing there... itty bitty everything! One run into the ditch and out to avoid some idiot...will kill it.
I'm here as living proof that it isn't likely to kill you. Been driving the smallest cars I could find since the early '70s (the Austin-Healey Sprite) up to today in the Honda Insight, and am still walking around. In fact, barring one deer (which was tossed onto my hood after being hit by an SUV going the other way), the only damage to any car I've driven happened when I was stopped, and some other idiot rear-ended me.

But I suppose I can sort of understand your feelings, 'cause when I have to ride in (or worse, drive) someone's SUV or big pickup, I feel really insecure being way up in the air like that in a vehicle that handles like a waterbed. It's like sitting on a wobbly barstool after 3 or 4 drinks...
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:38 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Maybe I'll get a small 4 banger convertible sports car... but they get three prices for these too... at least then when it kills me because of some idiot I went out in style. I have a mint 85 Suzuki 700 Madura... but its dry warm days only and I am only a 2 wheel a little spooked rookie yet. A dog or a deer (which are everywhere here) will kill you, not to mention idiots that don't look. Something to be said for weighing 7k. I've had heavy metal for so long... just the lightness of the suspension and brake systems in these itty bitty cars make me nervous... there is just is nothing there... itty bitty everything! One run into the ditch and out to avoid some idiot...will kill it.
Safety and comfort are very subjective, but modern passenger vehicles have never been safer. The argument that one needs to drive a bigger vehicle than anyone else for safety reasons, bothers me. Usually the person that feels they need extra safety is a bad driver (not implying you are) and they put others at greater risk by hurling extra mass down the freeway. Everyone trying to drive bigger cars than everyone else is a rat race that nobody wins.

Quote:
Will see if I go to single tire. For towing fifthwheel or gooseneck the dually is better depending on the tongue load.I like the dually, but running empty it has too little wt per square inch of contact area on wet pavement...
You have more experience hauling than me, but I'd think a 3/4 single would easily handle the load, and provide a better ride the other 99% of the time you aren't hauling. With a low-range gearbox, pulling up ramps without burning the torque converter should be a piece of cake.

Quote:
I've been babying the 3/4 all week... doing various hypermile things... 62 on a four lane with zero traffic!!!(aghh!!!), 1/2 mile to accel to 60 (Geeez!)... letting it pull down to 35 on the hills (dbl geez!)... but it looks like all I'll gain is 30 miles on the tank full (about 28 gal on typical fill up), that $8 worth... not sure its worth it the aggravation factor.
I don't think slow acceleration or slow hill climbing saves much fuel, if any. Engines are efficient when run at higher loads and inefficient when running lower loads. I've found it to be quite efficient to accelerate and climb hills at 80% throttle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dem45133 View Post
Some of the aftermarket performance chips for the Cummins cite 22 mpg... but leaning that far out makes me nervous.

Has anyone researched this?

Oh, someone asked about intercooling... its not from the factory... straight into the manifold. I think there are kits... but they were set up for the super performance some of the pullers wanted if I remember right. The idea is cool air is more dense and more O2 gets into the cylinder.
You can't lean out a diesel engine because it is already fully lean. It pulls in more O2 than necessary for complete combustion. I don't know what these chips do to increase FE, but I would be curious. I run an Edge Juice With Attitude, but didn't track MPGs back when I fitted it to the truck. Mostly I wanted the gauges it offered because I was loosing low pressure fuel pumps all the time.

The Dodge/Cummins comes intercooled from the factory.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:49 AM   #30 (permalink)
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I don't think slow acceleration or slow hill climbing saves much fuel, if any. Engines are efficient when run at higher loads and inefficient when running lower loads. I've found it to be quite efficient to accelerate and climb hills at 80% throttle.
YESSS! Oh good... much more of that and my wife would be taking me to a room with rubber walls...


Last edited by dem45133; 03-11-2012 at 11:01 AM..
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