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tr0n 05-21-2009 12:41 PM

Muscle Car MPG?
Long time lurker here. I've recently picked up a 72 Ford Maverick w/the inline six 200cid "indestructible" engine. I'm wondering if anyone else here has gone through the motions of making their own older classic car more fuel efficient and what kinds of things I can do to improve mine?

I've thought about converting to fuel injection, but I really want to keep it as original and cheap as possible at the moment. Any thoughts?


dcb 05-21-2009 01:25 PM

You might be able to swap in a stick shift and clutch pedal for a few hundred too, and get lower ratio rear end gears. Add a kill switch, pump up the tires, and work on your technique.

Follow the gear change with some aero if you are up for max benefit per $, but then it might not look to stock though.

dcb 05-21-2009 01:40 PM

This would be a good donor for a manual trans swap, though might want to save up for more speeds eventually:
1972 Ford Maverick w rebuilt inline engine 72 parts :eBay Motors (item 200343053229 end time May-23-09 17:27:34 PDT)

Also if it has a lower rear end I would use that. Engine might even be better.

tr0n 05-21-2009 07:11 PM

The car I have has the manual three on the tree setup. No use in getting that rust bucket on ebay. It's in much worse shape than mine. I was looking for some pointers on what to do with the carb or maybe an engine swap? I'm looking at putting on an aluminum head... More?

dcb 05-21-2009 07:25 PM

Sweet! I was just suggesting use the parts off the $300 bucket to swap to manual, but you already have most of the parts You might look into EOC (on an empty road for starters). Mind if you have power brakes or steering that they get a lot harder to use when the engine stops. But I wouldn't be suprised if you could approach 40mpg just by pumping up the tires and using techniques like EOC and DWL with a vacuum gauge.

frugal builder 05-21-2009 07:26 PM

There's an aluminum head for the 144- 200 cid sixes?

metromizer 05-21-2009 07:52 PM

Aftermarket EFI would be great, a 4 speed trans swap of rear gear swap too, but most people won't put in that amount of coin or effort, so...

I'd give it a high quality tune up, rebuild the distributor if it needs it (if you can find someone with a distributor machnie, to check the smoothness and advance curve for you, it would be money well spent) Also, find someone with an old Sunnen scope to fine tune the ignition and carburator for you. That is the way the older master mechanics would get those older points and carburator cars to purr like a kitten. Jetting those old carbs for optimum air/fuel ratio will almost always yeild better mpg, but don't confuse the term'jetting' with "hey, I'll just throw on a rebuilt carb from Pep Boys" because that won't do it for you. Jet it to where the plug insulators are light tan to almost white, and it will wake up and run better, use less fuel. Just stay on top of the tune. my 2cents

Ford Man 05-21-2009 08:51 PM

I haven't seen a Maverick in years, but I do remember the 200 CID 6 cylinder. My dad had a '68 Falcon with a 200 automatic and if I remember right it got low 20's in normal driving.

A four speed conversion would probably help you about as much as anything you could do for the cost involved unless of course it is in need of a tune up.

Frank Lee 05-22-2009 01:05 AM


Originally Posted by dcb (Post 105592)
But I wouldn't be suprised if you could approach 40mpg just by pumping up the tires and using techniques like EOC and DWL with a vacuum gauge.

I'd **** my pants if it got 40 no matter what.

Peter7307 05-22-2009 01:05 AM

Sort of related to some of the above and if the budget will go that far is getting the car dyno tested.

This will optimise the setting in as close as you can get to real road driving and a decent dyno operator will also be able spot things like a tight wheel bearing or a slipping clutch which may be hard to identify in daily driving.

Other thoughts are to find a performance based board for you car and see what the options are in that direction then take what you need for upping the FE.
A lot of the higher performance mods can be usefully translated over to giving better FE.

Welcome to the place as well and long may you six run.

Cheers , Pete.

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