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Old 03-21-2013, 09:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1999 Ford Ranger

Time to mod my 1999 Ford Ranger. It was a former fleet vehicle for a muffler shop with a 2.5L 4cyl engine, auto transmission, and no A/C. It's a perfect candidate for mods due to the dents and dings in the bodywork, so I don't mind drilling a few holes here and there. I have an ultra gauge and unmodified I get about 24 mpg on my commute in warm weather, and 21 in the Ohio winter. My goal is to reach 30 mpg on a regular basis.

I use this truck to haul an occasional load of firewood or livestock feed so an aerocap is out.

So far I've built a half bed cover and grill block. The half bed cover is attached with three wingnuts and removes in a minute or so. I also stuffed pipe insulation in the gap under the hood and under the signal lights.

I installed the grill block this weekend and made my first commute with it yesterday. 24 mpg on the way to work at less than 20 degrees F, and 25.1 mpg on the way home at near 40 degrees F. One trip doesn't prove much, but that cold weather trip was better than my warm weather trips before.

I removed the mudflaps tonight and will see what happens tomorrow.

Next up is to put a small wing on the back of the cab. Any suggestions on the width and angle would be appreciated. I'm thinking something that extends 12-16 back from the cab at a 15 degree angle might do the trick. Advice?

Thanks.






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Old 03-22-2013, 11:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice going. You're already on your way, modding and improving your results.

After looking up EPA mpg estimates for all the small pickups i could find I found the Ranger/Mazda ones offered the best basic mpg.

Anyway I like the partial roof extension idea. I did one on my Civic with good results. See this thread for videos and notes:
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...ion-23319.html

Here's the video:
http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=wQuqe...%3DwQuqejBVn6U

I expect your cab roof is slightly domed, rounded. Getting a smooth transition to an extension requires some craftsmanship. Or just attach it to cab's exterior rear wall as high up as you can and hope for the best, if done that way you could hinge it. Side panels will be good supports.

I think 15 degrees down slope might be a hair too steep. Do a search on "degrees" in the aerodynamics subforum and you should find plenty posts. Anything from "aerohead" aka Phil Knox deserves your close attention.

How about a full aero cap made of flat panels? Slit it lengthwise into 3-4 pieces. Stow it in bed for large loads. However would probably require tailgate down when stowed in the bed I think.
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Last edited by brucepick; 03-22-2013 at 07:50 PM..
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce View Post
It's a perfect candidate for mods due to the dents and dings in the bodywork, so I don't mind drilling a few holes here and there.
So you could eventually replace some body panels with fiberglass for weight-savings. Getting a single-piece front clip would also be a good option, since there would be less gaps between panels to prejudice the aerodynamics
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucepick View Post

Anyway I like the partial roof extension idea. I did one on my Civic with good results. See this thread for videos and notes:
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...ion-23319.html

I expect your cab roof is slightly domed, rounded. Getting a smooth transition to an extension requires some craftsmanship. Or just attach it to cab's exterior rear wall as high up as you can and hope for the best, if done that way you could hinge it. Side panels will be good supports.

I think 15 degrees down slope might be a hair too steep. Do a search on "degrees" in the aerodynamics subforum and you should find plenty posts. Anything from "aerohead" aka Phil Knox deserves your close attention.

How about a full aero cap made of flat panels? Slit it lengthwise into 3-4 pieces. Stow it in bed for large loads. However would probably require tailgate down when stowed in the bed I think.
Thanks for the link to your thread and info. I pulled the 15 degrees from memory, but didn't know if it was dependent on other factors such as my wing width and/or drop distance to my bed cover. Obviously I have to do a bunch of research.

I've been thinking about how to make a smooth transition to the wing, and bolting to the back of my cab seems like a good idea.

No go on the aero cap. I need to be able to reach over the side of my bed and can't take the time to remove an aero cap. Besides, I hate driving a truck with a cap because of the loss of visibility.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
So you could eventually replace some body panels with fiberglass for weight-savings. Getting a single-piece front clip would also be a good option, since there would be less gaps between panels to prejudice the aerodynamics
Actually, the front is in great shape. I also wouldn't spend the money. I'm trying to do this with scrap materials.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Pretty good mpg with the auto, my 88 gets around 26 27 I took a sheet of plywood and covered the last four feet or the bed letting it hang over maybe 4 inches the tailgate area, seemed to give me a full 1 mpg with just the cover, i recommend going to the redline lightweight shockproof gear oil for the rear diff, maybe a full mpg there, plus gear will last forever, or near as you can get, summit has it , definitely noticeable power increase, also make sure the brake shoes are properly set up with lube on the rubbing points of the backing plate, , they can stick a bit looks good though nice job on the front.
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'd try to get rid of the auto trans - that would definitely give you a huge improvement.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'd try to get rid of the auto trans - that would definitely give you a huge improvement.
I'll second on that. You'll have weight savings, and getting rid of internal slip losses at the transmission and its coupling to the engine...
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'll third that, except then my wife and daughters couldn't drive it.

Thanks, radioranger, for the tip on the diff fluid and rear brakes. My ranger only has 50k miles, but at 14 years old it would likely be a good idea to change the oil.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Is your hood aluminium? I know the 01-03 rangers were and I believe they're a direct swap. Could have a little weight savings there. Also, what axle ratio do you have? My 94 has 3.45's which are the highest you could get in 94.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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love rangers! owned 3 so far and just sold my 4.0 splash 5 speed single cab..

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