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Whitetail Ranger 04-17-2014 10:33 AM

How to get the best mpg out of a 99 4 speed auto v6 Ford Ranger
 
Hi everyone..I'm new here. I firgured id start a thread about how to get the best mpg out of my ford ranger. Its a 4x4 4 speed automatic with the 3.0 v6. Most of what always challenges me is the method of acceleration to use..On my best day Ive actually gotten 26 mpg on a long flat stretch at 45mph. I know i cant get that consistently but id like to average 22 to 23 mpg more often. Here in Pa there's lots of hills and traffic lights that ruin everything. Ive seen so suggestions on how to drive before but mostly it regards manual trans. Id like to make the most of what i got out of my auto. : 3 thanks

ecoTex 04-29-2014 02:18 PM

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...tml#post379028

Welcome! have you checked this out? I have a 94 mazda b2300 (ranger clone) that I would like to Ecomod, but it is way down on the list...because I'm married.

ecomodded 04-29-2014 06:14 PM

I had a 05 ranger with the 3.0L Vulcan motor and 6 speed automatic, it was a thirsty low hp motor , geared high it sucked gas equally bad in all gears, Owners with 4L were getting better mileage.
But there are a few tricks

A. raise your tire pressure to max sidewall psi
B. don't idle it to warm it up, put your seat belt on then start it then drive off & do not sit and idle when parked waiting for someone.
C. look ahead for traffic lights and coast to red lights in the process wasting a bit of time, it may turn green before you have to stop.

You can buy a programmer to reprogram the shift points to shift into the next gear at a lower rpm then Ford has set them at.
They also have a programmer that can change the motors fueling and timing parameters to be more fuel efficient.


A good programmer for your truck to do the economy and shift points may cost between $350 and $500 , check for good reviews on the forums.

I Imagine you could pay most shops to change your transmission shift points for about $80

Daox 04-30-2014 01:07 PM

Welcome to the site!

To add to what ecomodded said, and from my driving an automatic trans vehicle, one of the most important things is to get that torque converter locked up as much as possible. You don't want the slush box stealing your efficiency, and it does... like crazy. So, figure out under what circumstances that thing locks up and drive under those circumstances as much as possible. Or, consider installing a torque converter lockup switch. There are a few guys on the forum who have done this.

Whitetail Ranger 06-10-2014 01:38 PM

Thanks for all the comments so far guys. : 3 And yea my torque converter locks up at a minimum of 40 mph. The tires i have on the truck are not stock. The ones on there are 265/75/r15s. Stock would be 235/75/r15. The bigger ones help for cruising and i keep the psi on them high already. But i try to keep them to a reasonable point so i dont kill the life of the tire and exessively wear suspension components. Like upper control are bushings and stuff. Stock would have been 30psi in the front and 35psi in the back. But i run 35 psi in the front and 40 psi in the back with these bigger tires. Used to run 40 psi on all fours but was concerned about tire wear and damage to the front ones so i put them at 35. I had rotated the tires once and needed them all rebalanced too. Ive tried different accleration types but results differed every time. Ive gotten as high as 26 and as low as 17. I have a ecometer mpg gauge and i took the air silencer out of my airbox which helps a bit. Also added and air dam. actually 2 of them..If i can figure out how to upload pics of them to this site i will. I also though of buying a super chips tuner at Pep boys one time and it was like 300.00. Im wondering if the cost of it for the fuel savings will be justified and pay for itself in the close future.

Smurf 06-10-2014 01:49 PM

Welcome to the site. Once you have five posts, you can post images. Either post a few "junk" posts to get to five, or just post the URL and one of us will gladly put the image in for you.

One thing I've noticed with my 4.3L auto S10 (two wheel drive though) is to get it to shift, then barely hold the throttle enough to keep it there. On my commute, it's 25MPH, 35MPH, then 45MPH. My truck shifts to 3rd at 27MPH, and 4th at 46MPH. On the way home, the 45MPH section is slightly downhill, and traffic does 50MPH there, so I get it into 4th and let off the gas completely, coasts the entire 1/2-3/4 of a mile to the light.

If you can feel yourself pressed into the seat on acceleration, you're wasting gas. If you can feel yourself pressed against your seatbelt on deceleration, you're wasting gas.

ecomodded 06-10-2014 01:51 PM

It would pay for itself if you kept the truck long enough / 5 years or so is my fancy estimate.

If it saved you 3 mpg ( with shift points and economy tune ) x that by 5 years of your mileage and divide it against your mpg

It might pay for itself in 1-2 years ..

Whitetail Ranger 06-10-2014 02:22 PM

Okies and coolies. : 3 Ok..so if i save some extra money i may get the tuner. I would however hope the tuning that gets done to it doesnt hurt the reliability of the engine. I know that the 3.0 is known to be very durable so anything that's gonna put extra pressure on it or any drive line components could not help it too much.

Varn 06-10-2014 02:27 PM

welcome
Not sure how you are reading miles. Bigger tires roll further than smaller ones.

There is a list of things you can do on this site.

Whitetail Ranger 06-10-2014 02:29 PM

To respond to what you said smurf yea ive done that tactic too. It can work. I drive and hour away to and from my work. Coming across traffic lights and people making turns and others driving slow and tractor trailers mess everything up after i get to my sweet cruising speed. Sadly where i have to drive most of it doesn't contain highways with passing lanes so avoiding these obstructions doesn't workout very well. To respond to what ecomodded said yes i do plan on keeping the truck until it dies. And then who knows...Maybe even put a new motor in it at that point. So the tuner may actually justify its self as well as much as i drive. I just want to make sure the truck stays in the good sense of drive ability, durability, and emissions i guess.

Whitetail Ranger 06-10-2014 02:31 PM

Oh and fuel economy of course. XD

Whitetail Ranger 06-10-2014 02:42 PM

Also i bought this truck with a three inch body lift kit on it but id rather not try and de modify it. It may be more work than what is necessary to deal with. Plus i get the added benefit of accessing things i can work on that you couldn't normally get to like the top of the fuel pump and the top bolts of the transmission bell housing. It makes working on certain thing underneath the truck that much easier. : 3

ecomodded 06-10-2014 04:32 PM

Sounds like you would would do well with a Belly pan ( who wouldn't ) and or a somewhat lower front spoiler to help keep some of the obtrusive under body components out of the wind.


3 is my guess , I would go on a Ranger website and see what others are finding and what tuners are Good / safe for them.

Whitetail Ranger 06-10-2014 04:40 PM

Well like i said i do have two are damns installed..Now i just need to post the pics of them to give everyone an idea what they look like. Just as an opinion..Do you think 40psi is too high for the front tires..I already know the ride quality it has and when the air expands when its hot the tires show from the dirt on them that you can actualy see how much the contact the tire has on the road as the edges are clean and not touching...This is when they are set to 40 psi cold and then driven on. They go up to like 46 or 47 psi hot.

ecomodded 06-10-2014 04:56 PM

I used high psi in My ranger and it improved the rolling resistance dramatically , I had 31" tires on it , but never noticed what you described , What psi are the tires rated for ? I think its better to sacrifice some tire longevity and have increased mpg then lower psi and lower mpg and somewhat longer tire life.

My Beetle is wearing its tires even @ 50 psi

Whitetail Ranger 06-10-2014 05:06 PM

Im running Good Year Wrangler Authority which i do believe are 31s. Stock would have been 28.They are rated at the max sidewall psi of 50. They are a LT (Light Truck Tire) All Terrain type. And id say they have a decently stiff sidewall to begin with. I had a leak on one of the old tires it used to have on it of the same size called Wildcats All Terrain. The one leaked so bad from a huge roofing nail i went to 0psi over night and the sidewall of the tire still held it up considerably. You could only tell by a little bit that it seemed low. lol So i'm thinking the tires i have on now have an equally stiff sidewall. But its probably besides the point. Yes the sidewall of the tire say 50 psi max. I also don't want to reduce my braking distance too much neither.

Whitetail Ranger 06-10-2014 05:47 PM

By the way yea i agree the rolling resistance is reduced dramatically with high psi. Just 5 pounds difference is huge. Ive tried running them at factory psi specs with these tires that are on now and trust me...Bllllahhh.. The truck runs like a slug up shifting and downshifting in and out of torque converter lockup and the engine pinging at low rpm and extreme high load and FE drops like crazy. Ive owned this truck since 2011 now and know what it likes and what it doesn't like so factory psi for these tires are out. They have too much rolling resistance for that. But i do know running them high along side of taking the air silencer out of my air box made my truck feel like it had like 30 lbs more torque. : 3 Less energy wasted.

mikeyjd 06-10-2014 09:06 PM

try running max sidewall
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Whitetail Ranger (Post 428967)
By the way yea i agree the rolling resistance is reduced dramatically with high psi. Just 5 pounds difference is huge. Ive tried running them at factory psi specs with these tires that are on now and trust me...Bllllahhh.. The truck runs like a slug up shifting and downshifting in and out of torque converter lockup and the engine pinging at low rpm and extreme high load and FE drops like crazy. Ive owned this truck since 2011 now and know what it likes and what it doesn't like so factory psi for these tires are out. They have too much rolling resistance for that. But i do know running them high along side of taking the air silencer out of my air box made my truck feel like it had like 30 lbs more torque. : 3 Less energy wasted.

Once you try it, I doubt you will go back ;)

Whitetail Ranger 06-10-2014 09:30 PM

Lol I know right? even as it is now id hate to go backwards...I am progressing with the truck making it more efficient. A few aero mods may be next but nothing extreme or illegal. I thought of a belly pan but there's a lot of stuff that id have to work around and it wouldn't be easy. I used to drive my old 89 Ford Ranger with stock tires and i never knew any better when i was young about tire pressure so id pump them up to the max sidewall pressure which was 44 psi. Not only did they wear out the center tread really fast on my Timberline tires but i think it was the cause of my worn out ball joint on the passenger side. The thing got great gas mileage though and rolled like crazy. But not good running 44 psi on 215/75/r15 tires.

Whitetail Ranger 06-10-2014 11:04 PM

My air dam mod
 
1 Attachment(s)
If you look underneath my bumper you will see the valance that i put on from a 91 chevy s10 in addition to some garden edging underneath it. :)

Whitetail Ranger 06-10-2014 11:05 PM

The pic is a bit small but i wanted to make sure it be small enough to upload.

ecomodded 06-11-2014 02:54 AM

That's a good Hack , I would not bother with a belly pan after seeing the truck , I can't see in the photo , is there a scrape plate on it, that slopes down over the oil pan ?
Also is the spoiler as low as the axle ? or can it / could it or would it be be too obtrusive on the trucks clearance requirements.

Whitetail Ranger 06-11-2014 10:00 AM

The air dams especially the garden edging comes down to the point where its just about level with the front Axel. Because of the body lift configuration i wouldn't loose anymore ground clearance with them on or off since all the suspension components are in the same placement in height. The only thing that lifts the truck higher over all is the bigger tires which is like maybe an inch if that. And no this specific ranger doesn't have a skid plate over the oil pan. Ive seen some rangers in this year that had them but not a lot of them. Thought about getting one.

elhigh 06-11-2014 10:24 AM

Hi,
Getting into the middle 20s with that rig is actually pretty good, so I'd say you're on the right path.

Anything you can do to encourage top gear earlier is good, and torque converter lockup is good. There have been a few threads talking about forcing TC lockup, look for Orange4Boy's "Freezing the Slushbox" for lots of good info on forcing lockup on his Previa. It won't be a 1:1 translation for you but there should be good info to help point your way.

Whitetail Ranger 06-11-2014 10:26 AM

Also notice the garden edging isn't as long as the other valance due to wheel clearance when the wheels are turned left or right. This whole valance style inspired me to do this after seeing the new 2012-2014 Ford F150's valance styles. : 3

Whitetail Ranger 06-11-2014 10:39 AM

And yes elhigh mine would be locked up in overdrive. But some people advised against this but i did think of installing a TC lockup switch. Right now what sometimes i do is if i drive like say 30 to 35 mph ill turn overdrive off and the torque converter with lockup in third. Forth being overdrive. And when i accelerate gently in that lockup to 40 or 45 mph if the speed limit gets higher i'll turn overdrive on and then it jumps from third to forth and either stays locked up the whole time or it will unlock then shift to fourth and then lockup. Ive seen a video of someone that installed a torque converter lockup switch as it locked up second and third. As they accelerated moderately hard it shifted hard as to the fact it was suffering shift shock which can snap input shafts. I think a torque converter lockup switch can work if its done with care and at least done when cruising most of the time. I know manuals wouldn't suffer shift shock cause engine power has to be disengaged when shifting vs auto don't and the toque converter sort of dampens that shift shocking effect through the fluid when its unlocked.

Whitetail Ranger 06-15-2014 07:21 PM

Sorry..Uh did i shut down the momentum or something..Not getting any responses back from my last comment. By the way once these Good Year wrangler tires finally wear out ill be looking for a lower rolling resistance tire with a finer tread on it....Listening to these things i have one now going wubwubwubwub gets pretty old and i can only imaging how much frictional resistance that may have.

ecomodded 06-15-2014 07:52 PM

I think you might be able to change the torque lock up settings threw the ecu or the transmissions ecu. Its a guess , since you can change what rpm the gears change at you *might* be able to change when lock up occurs. These ecu driven cars are nice to tune , you change a few settings instead of turning a few screws or bolts in most cases.

Whitetail Ranger 06-15-2014 09:07 PM

Hmmm..Maybe....One friend i live with who works at an auto shop had suggested that i could possibly intentionally miss aline the lick down linkage to make it up shift sooner. But that may cause problems when i need to call for power and it up shifts way too soon.

ecomodded 06-15-2014 09:54 PM

You could buy (there might be a free bootleg one) a ECU tuner program to use with a laptop so you can do the changes to the up shift yourself.

I know this to be true with my '05 Ranger , I do not know about your '01, One of the Ranger forums will have the information on your '01 Ranger

Whitetail Ranger 06-15-2014 11:34 PM

My Rangers a 99 But i suppose there not too much difference there..same body styles and such. I got to see what will happen after things settle down. Vacation will be here soon and ill be busy. Need to accumulate extra money for that.

ecomodded 06-16-2014 12:26 AM

eBay has some cheap obd2 cable interfaces that plug into the cars ecu , threw the obd2 port and into the computer threw usb. There are many free programs and you should be able to find a fully featured free program, most of the free ones are crippled but not all.

I have the interface cable and the free edition of Vagcom on my laptop and another cd full of tuner files that work with most obd2 vehicles.

Whitetail Ranger 06-16-2014 01:07 AM

okies.

ecomodded 06-16-2014 01:30 PM

You can also do a complete re-tune of your truck with a full featured obd2 program.

Economy tune , sport tune transmission tune, you can turn off the seat belt warning buzzer with it, turn off daytime running lights the list literally goes on and on - and on.
VW/ Audi's use Vag-Com which cost $250 and is Completely full featured.

Whitetail Ranger 06-17-2014 09:11 PM

Yus i see..So thinking solely on transmission shift points ive seen many many forums on a topic of acceleration that makes the proposition of either shift at lower rpms with more throttle or shift at higher rpms with less throttle. Sometimes the pumping losses and BSFC and thermal dynamic efficiency debate doesn't make sense to me since we really cant be comparing gas engines with diesels since they operate in different ways. And i know my engine makes its peak torque at 3500 rpms and its an over square engine with the cam that's matched to it..Ya know this is a stock engine. Since the power is really made higher in the rpm then isn't it inefficient to try to accelerate at lower rpm with this motor? Its not made to loaf around town at low rpm levels when getting up to speed. Then ive heard others talk about accelerating at engines "peak torque" with lots of throttle and low rpm which doesn't make sense unless you have an engine that's more under square or mechanically tuned that way by camshaft configurations and stuff..I know this is mostly talked about for manuals transmissions but i think it can be brought up for autos too. I brought it up cause with my engine being the way it is then isn't the transmission shift points from the factory already correct for both fuel economy and power? seems like shifting lower than 3000 rpm or even lower than 2500 rpm wont do the job i want for lowering fuel consumption.

Whitetail Ranger 06-17-2014 09:26 PM

Its a bit clouded on my results on my truck for fuel economy too..Ive accelerated and had it shift at 2500 rpms before and ive had it shift at 3000 rpms before and both at certain times have got me good fuel economy and they have also gotten me bad fuel economy. But i do know at 3000 rpm i use less throttle as opposed to 2500 with more throttle. The torque converter really makes it hard to tell how well i'm managing the power from the engine to the drive line efficiently. So from day to day i constantly find myself always re correcting my rpm shift point habits as well as throttle habits and sometime each of these tactics work for better mpg and then sometimes they wont.

Here are the tactics i used:

shift point: 2500 rpm using small amount of throttle

shift point: 2500 rpm using a lot of throttle

shift point 3000 rpm using small amount of throttle

shift point 3000 rpm using a lot of throttle

And in the mist of this i also try to determine with its just more efficient to accelerate briskly up to speed or as slow as possible. I'm sorry if you heard these debates before but id thought that my situation might have some differences to it than most.

ecomodded 06-18-2014 01:10 AM

From what I have read and gleamed it should best to accelerate somewhat quickly , using more engine load / throttle.
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My thought on it is you don't have to press the throttle near the floor , instead press it far enough that the truck will use the gas to accelerates with, don't over press it , for little to no result.
keeping the gas flow in sync with the 'pick 'up' of the motor.

Also you are going to want to hit a rpm that induces your gear change, so if you change gears at 2300rpm you'll want make that your goal, and not race on past it.

*Get road tires on rims*, and swap to off road tires when your going off road

Changing to road tires should save at least 5 MPG and would extend their life for years and years. I have to suggest the tire change as it will save you a fair amount of gas..

ecomodded 06-18-2014 01:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Whitetail Ranger (Post 430294)
Yus i see..So thinking solely on transmission shift points ive seen many many forums on a topic of acceleration that makes the proposition of either shift at lower rpms with more throttle or shift at higher rpms with less throttle. Sometimes the pumping losses and BSFC and thermal dynamic efficiency debate doesn't make sense to me since we really cant be comparing gas engines with diesels since they operate in different ways. And i know my engine makes its peak torque at 3500 rpms and its an over square engine with the cam that's matched to it..Ya know this is a stock engine. Since the power is really made higher in the rpm then isn't it inefficient to try to accelerate at lower rpm with this motor? Its not made to loaf around town at low rpm levels when getting up to speed. Then ive heard others talk about accelerating at engines "peak torque" with lots of throttle and low rpm which doesn't make sense unless you have an engine that's more under square or mechanically tuned that way by camshaft configurations and stuff..I know this is mostly talked about for manuals transmissions but i think it can be brought up for autos too. I brought it up cause with my engine being the way it is then isn't the transmission shift points from the factory already correct for both fuel economy and power? seems like shifting lower than 3000 rpm or even lower than 2500 rpm wont do the job i want for lowering fuel consumption.

You may make peak torque at 3500 but that is going to consume more gas then 2500 rpm .

I found that Ford did not tune the motor or transmission for economy or much performance. I'm embarrassed to say what mileage i got as it was only 21 mpg :eek: driving with abandonment,as I did in that truck with max sidewall psi ..
I had a Geo metro convertible just before that truck ,I was throttle happy with the Ranger doing rapid starts and 120kmh on the hwy , looking back.. That did not give me a great mpg figure , food for thought.
The Vulcan motor is a thirsty low hp motor, durable for sure but not a most eco friendly motor.

Whitetail Ranger 06-18-2014 10:27 AM

I agree on the tire change and i will keep on trying to shift the truck at 2500 rpms then for fuel economy. But my tires being taller must really be helping me. lol Since ive gotten more than 21 mpg on multiple occasions but id like to make it easier..I will look into getting a tuner for my truck but that will be near the end of summer. I would like to use some of my money for vacation stuff. : 3

ecomodded 06-18-2014 01:44 PM

Vacation's are the best , car parts are much less relaxing..

I never had a tuner , laptop or inline with the ranger , I have just read all about it..and kept driving getting poor gas mileage. Then I sold it & got rid of my lift kit 4x4 Cherokee and picked up my dream economy car with half the profits , a vw TDI , although be it in the form of a New Beetle.. a Odd looking car even by my standards..



The below link is from 'nathon01xl' ranger build thread

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...log-26317.html


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