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Old 09-05-2019, 03:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Disk brakes are a significant liability, as they tend to always be dragging, unlike actually retracting like drum brakes....... they are great for stopping power and wet operation, terrible for economy. Changing out to the older drum brake system should offer some benefit in economy.

I don't believe that electric waterpumps offer a significant benefit.... You are losing energy in generating the electricity, and again in running a motor. Unless you are starting out with a lot of extra battery power on your trips, or charging via an exhaust turbine or some such, there would seem to be very little gain to be had here.
Water pumps are centrifugal pumps, not constant displacement pumps. With centrifugal pumps, restricting flow either on suction or somewhere else, reduces horsepower draw. Flow is the biggest factor in horsepower consumption by these pumps. Pressure * flow / 1710 = horsepower. When you block the output, the flow drops drastically, and the pressure rises only slightly. Thermostats work fairly well to regulate flow for cooling needs.
Power steering and Alternator are two of the higher demand systems, as is the lubricant pump in the engine........ which would be difficult to alter. Unfortunately the stock steering unit is geared so high that steering it without power is a bear. My 1960 Ford F100 4x4 has manual steering with about a 6:1 ratio compared to about 2.5:1 on your newer Ford, and is easy to steer manually. There are manual "armstrong" steering units on older 2wd pickups that you might adapt.... late '60's early '70's. This is significant enough that new cars are starting to come out with electric steering assist......... a superb idea.
Alternators are wonderful devices....... small and powerful, but they are not efficient, and draw a lot of horsepower. I've often wondered how long it will be before someone comes out with a charging system that uses intake air or exhaust to charge......... We have to restrict the intake and create vacuum by throttling the engine, to keep it under control. That's like putting your hand over someone's mouth and nose and forcing them to suck air.... a dead loss. This energy could be used to generate power... but nobody does it.
I hear people claim that headers and low restriction intakes gain mileage...... THEY DO NOT.....at least on fuel injected cars. We are choking the engine down anyway, and these things only make a difference at full throttle. In truth it really doesn't matter weather the aircleaner or the throttle is choking off air to the engine........ something has to. Likewise the exhaust... though there are some liabilities there.

1: Preheat your engine with a block heater
2: Install an electric fan
3: Get several large batteries, (golf cart) and put a switch on your alternator field wire.......
stop it from charging. Charge from the grid or solar when at home.
4: Convert to old school manual steering
5: Backdate to drum brakes
6: Convert to synthetic lubricants all through the system including grease, transmission o
oil and engine oil.
7: Drive for efficiency........ let the pickup slow down climbing hills, and coast going down
Use pulse and glide when possible using neutral. Drive as if you had no brakes at all,
planning far ahead for stops or slowing, coasting rather than braking.

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Old 09-05-2019, 03:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Good points, but drum brakes aren't going to help much. What does it save, a couple watts each wheel? I've not seen it measured, but it can't be much, and they make aftermarket springs to retract the pads.
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Old 09-05-2019, 03:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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For get about hydrogen.

Yeah I added retract springs to my disk brakes on my leaf.
They cut down on brake drag, use 2 or 3 springs if needed.

If you have a thermostatic air intake good.
Install a wide band oxygen sensor and meter and get a edelbrock 4 barrel carb of the appropriate size for you engine.
Use the wide band 02 to tune the carb for a good idle, lean cruise and fuel dump at wide open throttle.
I was able to get my 1985 7.4L suburban up to 16 to 18 mpg on the highway.
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Old 09-05-2019, 04:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The next thing I want to do is to add an electric assist motor - this is where things get tricky for me as I've never done anything like this before... Motor, controller, inverter advice is all welcome here as well anyone with thoughts on how effective my plan really will be. I'm open to any better ideas too.
Mild Hybrid.


A 20hp altermotor on a serpentine belt drive (with a big battery pack but only 115v) would be the least work and get you grid charging, regen and a decent power boost.
Mostly I am working on this truck as a tax deduction - officially the farm pays most of my expenses so come tax time I don't have many deductions. This is "officially" a work truck lol.
Sounds like a license to spend money on it to me. Replace the bed with a teardop trailer shell with camper jacks.

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Old 09-05-2019, 05:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
For get about hydrogen.
Seconded. The hydrogen generator stuff is pure snake oil. There's no such thing as free energy.
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Old 09-05-2019, 07:25 PM   #16 (permalink)
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A few ideas:

Light truck tires rated at 60 psi or more. I put Hankook ATM tires.
They roll good and have great traction.

Weird body like this.

And most importantly, don't drive it much.
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Old 09-05-2019, 08:35 PM   #17 (permalink)
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As has been pointed out the limited miles driven means the truck doesn't consume very much and therefore also doesn't benefit much from modifications for economy. The more you drive the more efficiency counts. I would not add a hybrid system or HHO. The hybrid will never show payback and the HHO will never show any benefit.

To get a return on your investment you'll need to be conservative and judicious. Make sure the engine runs just as well as it possibly can. Changing the ignition advance curve on smog-era can often show power and economy increases. Make sure all the wheels are pointing in the right direction with a careful alignment. Depending upon the rear axle ratio you can probably installed a used 3rd member or axle assembly to reduce engine RPM and increase fuel economy, but you'll have to shop carefully to ever see the money returned. If you're in need of new tires you can also reduce engine speed with taller tires.

But better by far than an F150 is a smaller pickup if it meets your needs.
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:01 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Wow... taking me back a decade or four. In '79, I had a Ford van with a 302. It was a year of a gas crisis and I started running the numbers. In the end, I figured I could increase my economy enough to justify a few engine mods with a three year payback. And sure enough, the calculations were right. Now, remember this was in '79 when our only source of information was magazines and friends.

The end result was a much better fuel economy plus the power to pass a car when I needed it. Lots more fun to drive. Then again, I also added sway bars and KYB shocks.

I added an Edelbrock SP2P manifold (designed more for economy than max hp), a Carter 625cfm 4bbl carb with vacuum secondaries an headers. My economy went from 12 to 14. The biggest addition was a vacuum gauge. I drove with an eye for max vacuum. I also added an electric fan.

Good luck! Sounds like a fun project.
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Old 09-06-2019, 10:12 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Third the opinion of not bothering with hydrogen. The short of it is that producing hydrogen is a lossy process. You have to burn more gasoline to make the hydrogen, and the energy you get out of feeding that hydrogen back into the engine doesn't make up for the extra fuel needed. Plus to make any significant amount (not just a fraction of a percent) you'd need a monstrous alternator.

Making the hydrogen with grid power, pressurizing it and storing it in tanks which you then load into the truck are more likely to have close to zero return, rather than a large negative return.

Depending on the drive cycle, a plug in hybrid conversion could have merit. I have tons of ideas on how to do this, but most won't be cheap.
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Old 09-06-2019, 10:21 AM   #20 (permalink)
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"I added an Edelbrock SP2P manifold (designed more for economy than max hp), a Carter 625cfm 4bbl carb with vacuum secondary" Todd is correct. Get a 4 bbl carburetor with a spread bore, another words small primary and large secondary that is vacuum operated. advance your timing until it pings but no detonation. Get an intake manafold from a junk 302 with the right carb. and use the original air cleaner with the preheater. it will put warm air into the carb. I got similar results with a 1980 Chevy van, engine rebuilt with a towing cam and transmission with a shift kit set for towing. it went from 14 mpg to 16 and more horsepower. I also removed the pollution controls and used an O2 sensor and gauge to tune the carburetor. Do not waste your time with HHO. it is worthless. I tried on a mercury sable with two trolling motor batteries and it was NO DIFFERENCE. if you come across $15K you can buy this, AC Electric Drive Systems and the batteries, etc. and have a machinist make an adapter for the front of your engine (double roller 50# chain?) to the ac-50 motor. (I used the ac-20 on my electric motorcycle) A tax deduction and when you junk the truck years down the road just unbolt the electrics and use for another vehicle.

Last edited by enator; 09-06-2019 at 10:27 AM..
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