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Old 06-24-2008, 09:59 AM   #11 (permalink)
'07 Saab 9-3 Sedan 2.0T S
 
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Some more ideas:

Remove trailer hitch

Remove passenger side mirror.

Remove rear seat (you can't get back there in the 2 door explorer anyway!).

Convert to 2WD (remove the transfer case, axles, etc.)

Investigate if there is a lower final drive available (4.10 is really high!)

Consider going to 0W20 synthetic. The new Ford's use it.

Cold air intake? Dual exhaust? Headers? I have no idea if these are available for your ride.

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Old 06-24-2008, 10:04 AM   #12 (permalink)
'07 Saab 9-3 Sedan 2.0T S
 
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Got another rather radical idea...

I bet that you could remove the rear bumber, no problem.

Investigate if there are any skid plates that could be removed as well.
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:08 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Pull the crossbars on that roofrack.
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:13 AM   #14 (permalink)
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You are doing well for city driving. I know some cars will give about double the mileage for highway driving compared to city driving. Of course, there is a wide range of conditions in city driving.

I would suggest first that you try letting your engine breath hot air from around the engine. This might mean disconnecting an air intake hose and stuffing a rag into it so it doesn't bring cool air into the engine compartment.

If your ignition timing is adjustable you could try advancing it a little. Don't overdo it or you could get knocking.

I've had good results when retarding the camshaft a few degrees. The torque goes down but MPG goes up. The distributor has to be readjusted to avoid retarding the ignition timing too. If your engine already has variable valve timing this tip might not help.

To get a really big improvement you could try something like the old Crower Mileage System (CMS). The plan is to raise the compression ratio to about 14:1 (by installing different pistons) and install a camshaft that closes the intake valves about 40 degrees later than normal. The result is a reduction in pumping losses and an increase in expansion ratio. Crower doesn't sell this camshaft anymore but I noticed that some companies such as Isky Racing Cams have camshafts for turbocharged engines which have a longer duration for the intake valve. Isky calls theirs "Turbocycle". You can also order a custom made camshaft. There could be a problem of complying with emission regulations if you do engine modifications. Of course this kind of thing gets expensive.

Your wheels look big and heavy. Maybe you can get some wheels from the junkyard which aren't so wide. If you keep the same diameter tires then the speedometer will still be accurate. Alternatively, you could look for narrower tires that fit on your original rims. A less aggressive tread should reduce rolling resistance and wind resistance.

I doubt you would gain much from very high tire pressures and it would give you a rough ride and extra stress on the suspension. I would also be concerned that a tire might explode while you are filling it if it is getting weak. I think the main problems are that your engine is large and you have a heavy vehicle. The large engine will consume extra fuel at light loads and the high weight will require extra horsepower when accellerating and climbing hills.

I suggest that you keep a bicycle in the truck and use it for short trips when you don't need to carry much. Keep it hidden under a blanket so it doesn't get stolen.
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:34 AM   #15 (permalink)
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how far is your city driving, can you use a bike?
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:21 PM   #16 (permalink)
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All very good suggestions guys, I appreciate your help a lot.

Roof rack and step bars have been removed.

Grill block I have considered, but it does get pretty warm here and the explorer usually comes to operating temperature very quickly. Maybe if I get a scan gauge to monitor the rad temp, I'll go ahead with this one.

Scan gauge, by the way, it's interesting that you said that one of those could get me to my target Lazarus. Does the scangauge actually alter the ECU for mpg? Or are you just talking about monitoring my driving habits?

Removing the rear seat is unfortunately not an option because I sometimes have three passengers. Removing the transfer case and converting to 2wd is also not an option because of six foot snow drifts in the winter (stupid canada). Can't remove hitches, bumpers, etc. because this is essentially a work vehicle and needs to be prepared to tow.

Sidewall pressure for my tires is 40lbs so I will add another 5lbs to them. Skinny/LRR tires would require new rims ($$$) and decrease the GVWR payload.

The computer on this truck is quite *****y and there is already a valve tick so I don't want to play around with timing. Overhauling cam/pistons is definitely out of budget. The air box however does pull in warm air.

The reason why I need the truck is because I deliver building materials to contractors. This is why towing and payload capacity need to remain unchanged. I don't have a bike but for personal trips we use the wife's 1.5L hyundai accent which gets 35 mpg in the city.
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:32 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st8ic View Post

GScan gauge, by the way, it's interesting that you said that one of those could get me to my target Lazarus. Does the scangauge actually alter the ECU for mpg? Or are you just talking about monitoring my driving habits?
No it does nothing except give you instanteous feed back. So it would be finding the driving habit (acceleration rates, speeds, shift points etc) and routes that produce the best results and then changing your driving habits. Tank to tank test is not very accurate.
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Old 06-24-2008, 02:49 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Switch to an electric fan setup. Google taraus fan and see what people are doing. It did help my Suburban..
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:34 PM   #19 (permalink)
'07 Saab 9-3 Sedan 2.0T S
 
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Well, at least you're using your SUV for its intended purpose: towing, hauling, driving in the snow, etc.

I had a 2001 4 door Chevy Blazer. It was 2wd. It actually got pretty excellent highway mileage. 22 or 23, once I got that roof rack off, got rid of the hitch, folded back the passeger side mirror, etc. But I wasn't really using it for its intended purpose, so I traded it in and got the Saab.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:03 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I've got a 2000 XLT with the 4.0 OHV. Mine is 2wd, which helps, but with an auto trans, which does not. My lifetime mileage on the truck is ~19 mpg. My last tank netted me 22.3 mpg. Thats on a 65/35 mix of hwy/cty and a lot of A/C use. To date I have removed the roof rack, both exterior mirrors (have a small blind spot mirror inside drivers side), FM antenna (have Sirius radio), windshield wipers (using Rain-X, but I leave them in the car in case of emergency), and a partial grill block. Doing some shifting into neutral and slow acceleration, but I can't do much without a manual trans.

Looking for some underbody airflow work next.

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