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Old 03-11-2019, 12:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ecomodding a 94 F150

Hey all,

I have some plans to ecomod my pickup this summer.

As it stands the biggest things I want to do are:
1. Built an aerocap, mine will have a roll-up tonneau cover and extend to the end of the lowered tailgate. I use the pickup to haul tall things quite often.

2. Change tires (currently has 31x10.50-15, they were on it when I bought it.) Stock size is 235/75/15. My question here is can I run a small skinny tire in the front (was thinking 205/70/15) and a normal size tire in the rear to get the load rating I need for the bed. The caveat here is I would NOT use the 4WD with this tire setup as I fully understand the disaster that would ensue.

3. Remove the front lift kit (again was there when I bought it.) I can't do this until I put smaller tires on the front as there are rub points caused by the big meats that are on there now.

I have a small V8 gasser in it (5.0), and I have a 3.55 rear end. I can't really go for a taller rear differential with the types of pulling I do with this pickup. My main goal is just to gain a little bit of economy, I don't expect miracles out of this thing. As it stands I can expect about 14-15 MPG empty and 8 when pulling my camper which is ~5k lbs.

Any thoughts, input or DON'T DO THAT YOU'LL KILL YOURSELF are welcomed.

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Old 03-11-2019, 01:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Are you sure you want to make the 4wd unusable in your pickup while living in ND? Nothing is worse in the snow than a 2wd pickup. Except maybe a mustang.
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Old 03-11-2019, 01:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylor95 View Post
Are you sure you want to make the 4wd unusable in your pickup while living in ND? Nothing is worse in the snow than a 2wd pickup. Except maybe a mustang.
Ok, to clarify this will only be a summer setup. I would be buying a pair of junkyard rims to put the same size tire as the rear on for winter. This rig's winter use is fully comprised of "It's deep enough that I NEED 4WD," but it doesn't get used much in the winter.

Fun fact: I work with a guy who owns only a mustang, and commutes 40 some miles every day, but almost never misses work.
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Old 03-11-2019, 02:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm just throwing this out there, but I'm of the opinion that northern drivers, what with actually seeing the stuff more than once per winter and getting some mileage in, know how to handle snow. At least, they are nowhere near as flat-out insane as Tennesseans.

And also in the Dakotas, there's probably more than one snow plow per road district, and more than one guy who knows how to use them.

Aero. Trucks are aero disasters so anything you can do is going to be good - your aerocap is going to yield gigantic dividends.

An air dam, as deep as you feel you can get away with, will be good for you too. Also consider adding side skirts. The underside of your truck has as much topography as the Grand Canyon, so if you can keep the wind out of there that's to your advantage.

Lockout hubs for your front end will eliminate the parasitic drag of your front wheels spinning your front driveline when you're in 4x2 mode.

Slow down! That's assuming you haven't already. Aerodynamic drag goes up with the cube of the velocity, so going twice as fast takes eight times as much power. Slowing down even a little can yield big savings, especially with a vehicle as aerodynamically noisy as a pickup.
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Old 03-11-2019, 04:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elhigh View Post
I'm just throwing this out there, but I'm of the opinion that northern drivers, what with actually seeing the stuff more than once per winter and getting some mileage in, know how to handle snow. At least, they are nowhere near as flat-out insane as Tennesseans.

And also in the Dakotas, there's probably more than one snow plow per road district, and more than one guy who knows how to use them.

Aero. Trucks are aero disasters so anything you can do is going to be good - your aerocap is going to yield gigantic dividends.

An air dam, as deep as you feel you can get away with, will be good for you too. Also consider adding side skirts. The underside of your truck has as much topography as the Grand Canyon, so if you can keep the wind out of there that's to your advantage.

Lockout hubs for your front end will eliminate the parasitic drag of your front wheels spinning your front driveline when you're in 4x2 mode.

Slow down! That's assuming you haven't already. Aerodynamic drag goes up with the cube of the velocity, so going twice as fast takes eight times as much power. Slowing down even a little can yield big savings, especially with a vehicle as aerodynamically noisy as a pickup.
Love some of your word choices here.

I go pretty slow loaded, usually never breaking 50 mph except when going down large hills. An air dam and side skirts good ideas, thanks. I'll make them detachable so I can still have my ground clearance for winter. I already have manual lockouts so check that off the list.

As I said above the winter use of this pickup is limited to when the snow comes over the hood of my car, but yes I do know how to handle snow (spent quite a few years using a 4X2 pickup full time.)

Ironically however, the city I live in has only one snow plow (despite a 7,000 person population) because the only guy who knows how to run it refuses to teach anyone else because he wants the overtime. As a result all the parking lots and private roads in town are clear in less than 2 hours when the snow stops, city streets other than the emergency routes might get plowed a week later, by which point it's all smashed to ice anyway.
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Old 03-11-2019, 04:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elhigh View Post
Power required to overcome aerodynamic drag goes up with the cube of the velocity, so going twice as fast takes eight times as much power. Slowing down even a little can yield big savings, especially with a vehicle as aerodynamically noisy as a pickup.
FTFY. The drag force itself varies with the square of velocity.
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah, I live near you and have a '94 F150 4x4 5.0 E4OD. I usually go about 50 mph too. I can just break 20 mpg on the best of days but as you can see 18 isn't out of the question.

The way you described your aerocap strikes me as something that won't work as well as those we've seen done. You are either starting at box height aft of the cab and sloping down under the box rails to the lowered gate or you are starting at roof height and sloping down to the lowered gate, neither of which promotes attached flow. At best it is "stuffing the vortex" but for pickups the vortex is said to be good. Or, you are following the box rails like a regular tonneau all the way to the back then dropping down to the lowered gate which again, I don't see being any more effective than a regular tonneau.

I wouldn't piddle with different sized tires. You never know when you might want that 4x4 outside of winter snow. I suspect a small front tire gain, if any, wouldn't be detectable with tank-to-tank measurements.
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Old 03-11-2019, 06:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
Yeah, I live near you and have a '94 F150 4x4 5.0 E4OD. I usually go about 50 mph too. I can just break 20 mpg on the best of days but as you can see 18 isn't out of the question.

The way you described your aerocap strikes me as something that won't work as well as those we've seen done. You are either starting at box height aft of the cab and sloping down under the box rails to the lowered gate or you are starting at roof height and sloping down to the lowered gate, neither of which promotes attached flow. At best it is "stuffing the vortex" but for pickups the vortex is said to be good. Or, you are following the box rails like a regular tonneau all the way to the back then dropping down to the lowered gate which again, I don't see being any more effective than a regular tonneau.

I wouldn't piddle with different sized tires. You never know when you might want that 4x4 outside of winter snow. I suspect a small front tire gain, if any, wouldn't be detectable with tank-to-tank measurements.
After a little thinking I realized such a cap wouldn't work as my tailgate strikes the jack on my camper at about half open, so it would have to be from cab height at front to bed rail at rear.

I do have a small advantage in that I have the ZF 5-speed instead of the e4od
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I used to own a 95. I had the 300 inline 6, 2wd, was a great motor. It was very easy to average ~17-19mpg in mixed driving, and would deliver around 20 on the highway with a really unaerodynamic cap. This was before I found Ecomodder.




My thoughts: a cab kamm-back or spoiler plus partial bed cover could help when empty. Pump the tires up a bit. Add an adjustable grille block (so you can cover maybe 50% when empty). What mine was in want of for MPG was taller gearing and to slow down.
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
I used to own a 95. I had the 300 inline 6, 2wd, was a great motor. It was very easy to average ~17-19mpg in mixed driving, and would deliver around 20 on the highway with a really unaerodynamic cap. This was before I found Ecomodder.




My thoughts: a cab kamm-back or spoiler plus partial bed cover could help when empty. Pump the tires up a bit. Add an adjustable grille block (so you can cover maybe 50% when empty). What mine was in want of for MPG was taller gearing and to slow down.
Gotta love a 300 for rugged reliability.

explain the partial bed cover idea if you don't mind? Do you think that would do better than the full bed cover that slopes from cab height to rail height? Keep in mind I need to be able to use the bed fully often and as easily as possible.

As for you getting better mileage I'm not surprised. I think it looked like yours was a 2WD, and the 300 is inherently more efficient than the 302. Mine's also an extended cab, and with the front lift kit and huge stupid tires it's a recipe for bad fuel economy.

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