Go Back   EcoModder Forum > Introductions
Register Now
 Register Now

Reply  Post New Thread
Submit Tools LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 10-15-2009, 07:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Vancouver Island
Posts: 12

The Beast - '97 Ford F-350 XL
90 day: 12.49 mpg (US)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
11 mpg to 15 mpg is it possible mostly on driving style and small mods?

My rapidly growing family forced me to get a new vehicle and since I can/do use a pick up truck my hunt was on for a crewcab truck that I could afford. Jump ahead 3 months and I got a great deal on my new truck. A 1997 F-350 crew cab long box 4x4 5.8L with the automatic with overdrive. I didn't really want the long box or the 1 ton but the price was right and older crewcabs that aren't rat beat are not common around here.

Here's what it looked like when I first got it.

Anyways I filled both tanks up before driving home the first time (19 gallons/72 liters front, 18.2 gallons/69 liters rear)
Since getting it home I removed that spare from the front and put it in the bed. I also threw the original under inflated bald mud tires away and got 4 new good year wrangler Silent armor tires. They are a semi aggressive All terrain which should be good in the snow and occasional offroad that the truck will see. I know they are not a good choice for mileage but at least they aren't swampers.

I decided to drain the front tank before switching to the rear and had gone 220 miles/355 km when I switched tanks which gives me about 11 mpg.

I'm aware that the truck is a beast but I'm not hoping for miracles so I'd like to get to 13 mpg. 15 would be awesome.

I figure that driving style can get me part of the way so I've ordered a scangauge that should be here next week. My old truck had a 1.6 L engine and as a stick so driving it efficiently could be very different then the new truck.

I'm slowly doing the basic maintenance to make sure the engine is running well

I'm going to put a canopy on the truck and I'm aware that it will probably make the mileage worse. I was reading bondo's thread about his aero cap but he's not going to be making one for my truck anytime soon and based on the prices I saw in the thread it would cost almost what I paid for the truck so it's out of the question.

So I'm wondering what everyone recommends? I see someone on here has slammed and re geared a F-350 to get close to 30 mpg but I think he has a diesel?

  Reply With Quote
Alt Today
Popular topics

Other popular topics in this forum...

Old 10-15-2009, 08:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
...beats walking...
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: .
Posts: 6,190
Thanks: 179
Thanked 1,522 Times in 1,123 Posts
...get something like a ScanGauge II to "tell" you what MPG is happening in realtime, and YES, you should be able to go from 11 to 15 mpg...but not at a lead-foot speed!
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2009, 09:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,927
Thanks: 877
Thanked 2,020 Times in 1,303 Posts
I always though it would be neat to make a jon boat that doubled as a cap, with the bow to the rear.

  Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2009, 11:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
Moderate your Moderation.
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Troy, Pa.
Posts: 8,919

Pasta - '96 Volkswagen Passat TDi
90 day: 45.22 mpg (US)
Thanks: 1,369
Thanked 430 Times in 353 Posts
Yeah, you can get 15 out of that, but it's going to take time, patience, and re-learning how to drive, if you plan to keep doing it w/ that automatic.

If you're got a u-pullit yard near you, you can probably get a 5 speed OD swap for less than $200, buy a new clutch for $100 or so, and you're good to go. It'd probably be the first thing I'd do. Beyond that, see if you can find yourself a 6.9 or a 7.3, preferably Turbo. They can both be installed as standalone engines, with no real work necessary to the truck, other than installing and changing fuel systems.

I usually see these engines on craigslist for ~$500 or less, often in good running condition, and parts for them are cheap.

Another great option would be a 6BT Cummins. You can see where this is going.
"ʞɐǝɹɟ ɐ ǝɹ,noʎ uǝɥʍ 'ʇı ʇ,usı 'ʎlǝuol s,ʇı"

  Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2009, 12:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Madison AL
Posts: 1,123

The Geo - '93 Geo Metro
Team Metro
90 day: 45.16 mpg (US)
Thanks: 30
Thanked 40 Times in 37 Posts
Oh it hurts me to see people buy vehicles like that. (Getting a "good" deal on them) I really think with a truck or a large vehicle that you are better of adjusting the "nut", and doing a few aeromods. I don't think you want to swap engines (if you don't want to get a cap) but if you do Christ is right.

bed cover
passenger mirror delete
driver mirror smaller
grille block
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2009, 12:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
Frank Lee's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: up north
Posts: 12,761

Blue - '93 Ford Tempo
Last 3: 27.29 mpg (US)

F150 - '94 Ford F150 XLT 4x4
90 day: 18.5 mpg (US)

Sport Coupe - '92 Ford Tempo GL
Last 3: 69.62 mpg (US)

ShWing! - '82 honda gold wing Interstate
90 day: 33.65 mpg (US)

Moon Unit - '98 Mercury Sable LX Wagon
90 day: 21.24 mpg (US)
Thanks: 1,585
Thanked 3,548 Times in 2,215 Posts
I could drive a Hummer around all day

then come home and pour a gallon of gas on the ground and light it (or not)

crank up the furnace with all the windows open

and still have less of a carbon footprint

due to keeping it sleeved.

  Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2009, 12:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Vancouver Island
Posts: 12

The Beast - '97 Ford F-350 XL
90 day: 12.49 mpg (US)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Well this is my daily driver but since I'm a stay at home dad my daily driving doesn't add up to 400 miles a month. We use my wife's car for pretty much everything when she's home and it gets far far better mileage. It however isn't going to pull a travel trailer or haul a cord of firewood or a bed full of manure home.

So yes it's an environment destroying truck. At least I use it to do things that require a truck.

Scangauge ii should arrive next wednesday if the post office tracking is to be believed. I started reading the manual. My only real concern is getting it calibrated. I'll have to do a bunch of small fill ups for awhile so that it doesn't take me 6 months to get it dialed in. I'm currently filling up every month and a half or so.

an engine swap is unlikely any time soon. Diesel engines up here cost a lot even when very used. There was a 7.4 with 350,000 km on it listed for $2000 about a month ago. It was pulled from the truck so you couldn't even hear it running. Also diesel is just a bit cheaper then gas, roughly 4% right now. So I seriously doubt I'd ever recoup the cost with the swap. The 5spd with overdrive swap could be more promising dollar wise. I'm not too sure how difficult the actual swap would be though although I've pulled an engine and successfully put it back before so it's probably within my skill range.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2009, 01:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
Ol' Skooler
jcp123's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Tyler, TX
Posts: 1,176

Beater Echo - '00 Toyota Echo
90 day: 42.67 mpg (US)

Hondizzle - '97 Honda Civic DX
Team Honda
90 day: 46.55 mpg (US)
Thanks: 66
Thanked 197 Times in 168 Posts
Well I think 15 is possible, but it'll take some serious work. Back in the very early days of my questing for gas mileage, I had a '92 Bronco (same bodystyle generation) with a stock 302 and automatic and averaged around 13,3 in mixed driving, 18+ on the highway. Yours has the advantage, I believe, of sequential fuel injection vs. batch fire on my older 302, and I think they had roller cams in the 351's by then which my 302 also didn't have. Plus you have have a mass air system versus my speed-density EFI, so you have three advantages right there if I'm right on the roller cams.

I am a little jealous, that was one of my favourite truck bodystyles with a crew cab and a 351...it's a nice combo. I had a chance to buy a similar truck with a 460 but I'm glad I passed on it. Also had the chance to buy a '95 Eddie Bauer F150 with a 300 straight six and 5-speed, I regret passing on it. 5-speed would be nice though the 5-speed Ford trucks that got EPA mileage ratings got lower mileage, so I don't know if the final drive gearing is less advantageous on the manuals.

'97 Honda Civic DX Coupe 5MT
'00 Echo - dead 2/17
'14 Chrysler Town + Country - the better half's car
'67 Mustang Convertible - gone 1/17

Last edited by jcp123; 10-16-2009 at 02:08 AM..
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2009, 10:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
Batman Junior
MetroMPG's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 22,274

Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 52.07 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 70.75 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,810
Thanked 6,689 Times in 3,467 Posts
I have so little experience driving trucks like this, I can't honestly say if that's a realistic goal.

But the ScanGauge purchase was definitely the right first step. With the amount of fuel this thing will burn in a year, it'll more than pay for itself!

Weight reduction tip: don't fill both tanks if you don't have to.
Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
Mitsu mods: Oops, I did it again! Bought another cheap, 3-cylinder Mirage. Mods in progress...
Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown

has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2009, 01:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Central PA
Posts: 90

Draco - '89 Ford F150 ext cab shrt bed XLT Lariat
90 day: 16.45 mpg (US)
Thanks: 12
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Not sure what kind of driving you do. but I was getting around 12 in town with my 89 F150 2wd 4.9 5 spd. I'm up to 25 average in town and just got 30+ on a long trip mostly rural road mixed with some highway.

  Reply With Quote
Reply  Post New Thread

Thread Tools

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.5.2
All content copyright EcoModder.com