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BigTruck 08-08-2009 12:30 AM

Big Improvement in Ford F-250 with manual and 7.5l
I ran a quick check of my mpg before I started and it was 11.2 mpg. I read some of the posts and articles on this site and here are the things I did:

1) slow down...instead of 50 mph in a 45-zone, I drove 40. Instead of 72 mph in a 65-zone, I drove 60. Instead of full throttle acceleration I did the 1/2 to 3/4 throttle.

2) Instead of running the gears from 2nd thru 5th, I started skipping a gear when I could. Start in 2nd, rev the engine to about 3,100 rpm and shift to 4th. Same with 3rd to 5th.

So, after these two simple changes my mileage went to 13.6 mpg. I had a lot of town driving and I pulled a horse trailer in town for a little bit, too. Not much I thought...only 2.4 mpg. But, the percentage changed my mind...21.4%!!!!

Amazing how a few simple changes can make a huge difference.

Next thing on the agenda: I aired my tires up to the max tire rating on the sidewall. And, when I do my daily commute of 30 miles on the highway, I'm going to fold my mirrors in and open my tailgate...(JUST KIDDING!). I also will probably remove my windshield wiper arms for a couple of tanks just to see if it makes any difference.

After this test, I hope to have some time to actually mod my truck a little:

a) Build a tonneau cover that covers the back 60% of my bed.
b) Fabricate an air dam for the front bumper
c) Fabricate a sail for the rear of the cab
d) Fill in the gaps in the front of the truck and the sides that could create drag
e) fabricate improved wheel fairings that improve air flow
f) fabricate a more aerodynamic bumper for the front and rear. It seems there are a lot of places to create drag.
g) Fabricate belly pan systems to channel air flow better under the truck.

This is exciting stuff...i must be a nerd. Any tips or links would be greatly appreciated...

Thanks for all the good tips so far...

1995 Ford F-250 HD 4x4
7.5l (460 cu)
Manual transmission

Frank Lee 08-08-2009 12:35 AM

Can you commute in something else?

MadisonMPG 08-08-2009 03:05 AM


Originally Posted by Frank Lee (Post 120204)
Can you commute in something else?


I bought my Geo to commute, it was 600 bucks, but worth every penny.

BigTruck 08-08-2009 10:11 AM

Yea, I was so excited I forgot I had another bullet point:

g) buy a car that gets better mpg.

I'd like to look into the VW TDI vehicles...those sound like the wave....

Thanks for the replies....

SVOboy 08-08-2009 10:49 AM

For me, it is often more exciting to hear these stories about trucks, because it is good to know people care :)

I would echo their ideas of simply shelling out for a more efficient vehicle, but I know many can't afford to insure and keep two vehicles (I can't), so I encourage you to keep up the good work with your truck.

Frank Lee 08-08-2009 04:11 PM

Dang it, run the numbers before saying that.

Every time I've done it, the lil car pays for itself, sometimes in a just a matter of months.

Obviously someone can bust their hump trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear ie: you can turn that thing inside out and backwards trying to re-engineer it and if you break 18 that's nothing short of a miracle. Or you can get something that doubles or triples that efficiency and it's ready-made; the factory spent the millions of dollars and man-hours for you.

IF your thing is the fuel saved it is possible a new car would fit the bill.

IF your thing is money saved along with fuel savings there are plenty of older economical cars to choose from. Some may fall into the beater category but if it's job is commuting then so what.

MadisonMPG 08-08-2009 06:27 PM

I think a new car would take forever to pay for itself with that amount of commute. I good used car would take far less time to pay for.

SentraSE-R 08-09-2009 05:47 PM

+1. Get a used econobox beater, like a 15 year old Hyundai Elantra for $700. You can pay for the whole car with the first year's fuel difference between it and the Ford.

rainyday 08-21-2009 10:38 AM

I'm guessing that you drive a truck because you need to? Either way, I think having two cars is a little extreme... Having to drive a truck isn't a bad thing.

Ryanrpm 09-07-2009 01:57 AM

Nice improvement from driving tips alone. I'm in a similar boat...trying to get better FE in my Tundra. It's an '05, 4.7L...and I average 16.5 city, and about 20 hiway.

A few improvements I've done, that might work for you, are:

Lighter weight engine oil. Mine calls for 5w-30, I used 0w-30.
Spark plug modification. Drill a 1/16" hole in the ground strap and index them.
Increased tire pressure. My max is 35psi, I have them at 45psi. Tires are heavily overrated in this area. They can handle 60psi no problem.
Installed an Aquatune. Still getting it dialed in...but hoping for 25% improvement from that alone....

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