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Old 10-07-2008, 05:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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[SOLD] Highway Warrior - '00 Mazda Protege LX 1.6L Manual
90 day: 35.93 mpg (US)

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Hypermiling in an I4 Ranger?

Hey all,

I've been in the market for a hypermile-mobile for a couple months and still haven't bought anything. I can't seem to find a Metro, Sentra, Escort, Saturn SL, or Protege in my area for under $2.5k that doesn't need serious work. However, my market (central IL) is littered with Ford Rangers, many of which have I4 engines and manual transmissions.

Not many ecomodder garage members have Rangers, but the guys over at cleanmpg.com are routinely getting 40 or more mpg in highway driving with their gutless I4 manual rangers. Rangers seem to be overlooked amid inflated used compact car prices, though they seem to have nearly as good fuel economy numbers.

Does anyone have any experience or opinions about the Ranger? I'm going across town to look at a '98 Ranger 2.5L manual tomorrow.

-1337

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Old 10-07-2008, 05:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Josie - '87 Toyota Pickup
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Maybe not that many ecomodders are running Rangers, but a lot of us are running pickups and you'll notice we tend to do okay. I've knocked on the 40mpg door once. Add an aero cap and some wheel skirts and you should see some awesome results, and still be able to tote home lumber for weekend projects you can afford now that you aren't burning all your cash on gas.
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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[SOLD] Highway Warrior - '00 Mazda Protege LX 1.6L Manual
90 day: 35.93 mpg (US)

Basic Miata - '06 Mazda Miata Touring
90 day: 30.93 mpg (US)
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@elhigh

Thanks for the advice. I just looked at the fuel log on your toyota...looks like you're doing 35 mpg in mixed driving, and you nearly hit 40 with mostly highway. I plan on doing about 95% highway--lots of weekend road trips, and I always ride my bike in town. I can't remember the last time I drove my car in town. Anyway, with all highway, I think I can top 40 in an I4 compact truck.

If this Ranger has no mechanical problems and I can snag it for under $2500, I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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About the most important thing I've learned is to slow down. Leave ten minutes earlier and drive five miles slower. These trucks aren't sleek by any stretch of the imagination, and slowing down give the air more time to move out of the way.

Good luck, bro...I'll be watching.
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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[SOLD] Highway Warrior - '00 Mazda Protege LX 1.6L Manual
90 day: 35.93 mpg (US)

Basic Miata - '06 Mazda Miata Touring
90 day: 30.93 mpg (US)
Thanks: 55
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Yeah, on an empty highway, speed is a huge factor in MPG. In my c-class, I used to just set the cruise to 80 and chill out to get about 27mpg. After raising the tires 10psi and slowing down to 65-68, I moved up to 32mpg.

For my long trips, leaving 10 minutes early won't do much. I do 1200mile round trip weekend business trips 1-2 times per month, so 60mph gives me 20 hours of driving vs 16 hours at 75mph. 4 hours is a big chunk of time...I think I'll compromise with 68-70 mph on these trips. Luckily, long trips with no city driving allow me to find a pretty direct correlation between speed and FE.
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Old 10-07-2008, 07:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i do my best in my truck. but over 60-65 kill my fe, too much low end maybe?
low 30 is easy to do in a 2wd.
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Last edited by taco; 10-07-2008 at 11:24 PM..
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Old 10-07-2008, 08:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've been getting about 31 mpg lately in my only slightly modified Chevy S10 4-banger. Almost the exact same thing as a Ford Ranger.

Last time I talked to Wayne Gerdes (of CleanMPG.com) he said he was getting 42 mpg out of his Ranger - but that guy is a heck'uv'a hypermiler.

You should have NO PROBLEM getting some decent miles out of a Ranger.
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Danger Ranger - '01 Ford Ranger Edge 4x4
90 day: 14.52 mpg (US)

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90 day: 21.92 mpg (US)

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block the grill, cover or aerocap the bed, put the mud flaps on the front of the wheels, lower it, or maybe a belly pan? Mine is a 4x4, with the 4.0L, and an auto. It's lifted, with mud tires, burns oil like crazy, and i've tip-toed at 20 all highway. mostly in the 17~19 range. with a lower, lighter truck, you can definitely do better then me. I'd say 25-30mpg all highway in stock form, just driving normal.
Oh if you need any Ranger help, ask me, I tend to know stuff.
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Old 10-08-2008, 02:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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4 banger rangers rock. The lima engine is a tank.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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PaleCivic (retired) - '96 Honda Civic DX Sedan
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In a controlled competition setting, I got 52 mpg out of a Ranger. (1996 2.3L Manual ext-cab) Ken, the owner, then went and got 57 over the same route. He's averaging 35 in it over the last 25,000 miles.

Pulse and Glide works well, as well as keeping the speed low. When you go too fast, aerodynamics are killer, as well as the high rpm.

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Last edited by PaleMelanesian; 10-08-2008 at 11:20 AM..
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