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Old 10-05-2011, 12:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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My project references Phil ...

I don't have enough posting credits to directly contact PK and ask his permission or warn him, but I mention his name (kindly) in conjunction with a project I've been brewing up for some time:

The system's not letting me post links or images either because I've only posted four times not five.

This is crude, but he'll have to visit:

www ncdm dot com

To tell me if there's a problem.

I've also stolen and attributed one of his pictures.

Phil! If there are any hard feelings let me know!

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Old 10-05-2011, 12:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Now that I have my magic five let's see what happens:

Coast to Coast Fuel Economy Challenge
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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What kind of fuel economy are you getting now, using that truck under the conditions you've set out ?


Personally, I'd have some serious objections to driving 2356 miles as a fuel challenge.
Sponsored or not.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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What kind of fuel economy are you getting now, using that truck under the conditions you've set out?
Under ideal conditions, up to 32mpg.
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Personally, I'd have some serious objections to driving 2356 miles as a fuel challenge.
Clearly, it's a stunt designed to capture the imagination.

If you just tell someone you're getting "xx.x" miles per gallon, their eyes glaze over. They hear numbers all the time in advertisements and the like.

The trip would represent a doubling of original real world highway fuel economy for this vehicle, and going coast to coast makes it dramatic.

Wayne G obviously recognized the same thing when he set out to do it with his Ford supplied Ecoboost F-150. He likes hypermiling and I like to combine that with a measure of ecomodding for even better results.

I also want people to know that they can get better fuel economy with what they're driving right now, versus Ford wanting you to run out and buy a new truck to get good fuel economy.

I'm hoping to wring even more miles per gallon out of the Red Sled in the future, perhaps even going from L.A. to New York. Maybe farther. It's all a matter of time and cash.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've got to agree with Euromodder, sounds like a phenominal waste of fuel.
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I can't understand why my MPG's are so low..........
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, I've done 2,360 mi in my truck with only one fill up (my last 2 tanks). However, I don't meet all of your guidelines:
1) My truck is a diesel
2) My truck is too new (2007)
3) My average speed is less than 55mph
4) My truck, as is, probably could meet the emissions specs from the 90's, but some of my mods may or may have altered it's ability to meet '07 specs, not that I'm admitting anything.

But I also had a few things working against me, most noteably the fact that most of those miles were 25 miles at a time (commuting), and I know I could do much, much better if I were driving without so much cold-engine time.

All that being said, welcome to Ecomodder! I look forward to seeing what comes of your project.
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Last edited by Diesel_Dave; 10-05-2011 at 01:41 PM..
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've got to agree with Euromodder, sounds like a phenominal waste of fuel.
The purpose of the trip is to motivate others to achieve savings on their own. If it succeeds at all it's worth the 80-gallon price of admission.

The cost is infinitesimal compared to that of the government's auto-stimulus CARS / clunker program at $3 billion.

Last edited by lasitter; 10-05-2011 at 12:52 PM.. Reason: Typos
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Well, I've done 2,360 mi in my truck will only one fill up (my last 2 tanks).
As you know, diesels are incredibly efficient and would probably win any contest in sight. Because of that, and because of their relative small numbers compared to gasoline powered trucks, I think they should have a separate competitive category.

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2) My truck is too new (2007)
New(er) trucks automatically do better, of course. There are so many old trucks out there that they need special handicapping!

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3) My average speed is less than 55mph
Wayne did his trip under 50 I'm pretty sure. The national speed limit was once 55mph, and people are going so much faster than that on the interstates today that I thought I had to go with 55 for it to be meaningful.

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4) My truck, as is, probably could meet the emissions specs from the 90's, but some of my mods may or may have altered it's ability to meet '07 specs, not that I'm admitting anything.
Diesel particulate filters and urea injection systems are roundly hated by truckers. Some states which have no "non-attainment" areas do no emissions inspections at all. Others only inspect 1996 and newer with OBD-II. And then you have states like California ...

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But I also had a few things working against me, most noteably the fact that most of those miles were 25 miles at a time (commuting), and I know I could do much, much better if I were driving without so much cold-engine time.
My numbers are totally "warm cruise" numbers. When I'm driving the truck around town on my typical one to five mile stone-cold round trips, it sucks gas big time.

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All that being said, welcome to Ecomodder! I look forward to seeing what comes of your project.
Thank you! Maybe I won't find anyone that's interested, but I'm supposed to be talking / meeting with a local TV personality about it this week, so who knows.
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Just to get a perspective on things, we're talking about 2,356 mi on two 37.2 gal tanks. That equates to a 31.7 mpg average.

From my own experience with a modern diesel, I can tell you that you're really pushing things to go that far. I'm not saying it's impossible--just saying that it's going to be a real challenge (which is where the fun comes in of course!)

The way I see it you can divide all the tools available to reach your goal into the following categories:
1) Drivng mods
2) Engine efficiency mods
3) Aero mods
4) Reduced rolling resistance mods
5) Reduced accessory load mods
6) Gear train efficiency mods

1) Driving mods
This is probably where you can gain the most. You do have 2 things working against you. First, driving mods are easier when you're on familiar roads--over time you learn when to shift, what's around the next curve, how the different red lights are set up, etc. Second, 55 mph as an average speed is actually quite high. I think the average speed in the EPA highway drive cycle is about 45 mph (as I recall). In order to average 55 mph, you're going to have to spend quite a bit of time up at at least 65 mph--aero gets really significant when you get up that fast.

In keeping with your spirit of keeping low emissions, keep in mind that if you do pulse and glide either with engine off coasting or coasting in neutral, your catalytic converter will likely run at a relatively cold temperature where it functions very poorly. This doesn't affect your ability to pass an emissions test but would increase your actual emissions produced.

2) Engine efficiency mods
Ruling out things that either increase emissions or cost a significant amount, there's not much that can be done here. Maybe a different intake, better flowing exhaust, some low viscosity oil or something like that, but that won't buy very much FE.

3) Aero mods
There's quite a bit of benefit that can be had here (especially considering the high speeds). Grill block, belly pan, smooth wheel covers, and fender skirts can all give you some benefit. The biggest aero benefit on a pickup is what's over the bed, but it sounds like you've ruled that out. That's going to make life difficult. You might want to reconsider this. I know you're trying to preserve functionality of the truck, but I think there may be ways to have an aerocap of some kind that would be easily removable by one person (such as a cap in 3 sections or ribs covered by canvass).

4) Reduced rolling resistance mods
Tires are about all you got here. They'll buy you a little but not a ton. There's maybe a tiny bit as well from weight reduction as well, but there's not a whole lot of non-essential parts that you can take off the truck. And with the high speeds, the rolling resistance will play a lower role than aero.

5) Reduced accessory load mods
There might be a little to be gained here too. An electric fan comes to mind. With those high vehicle speeds, it will be off most of the time. Of course, you'll have to balance this with the grill block. You might be able to do some smart alternator switching, too.

6) Geartrain efficiency mods
There might be some gains here, of course these can get kind of pricey. You might be able to run a differnt tranny or differnt rear end gear that would lower your rpms some at cruise speed. Synthetic fluids might buy a tiny bit as well.


I'm sure I'm probably missing a few things, but that how I see things. I wish you all the best!

P.S. You'll find a few pickup haters on this site, but I think most folks will appreciate what you're trying to do.
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My version of energy storage is called "momentum".
My version of regenerative braking is called "bump starting".

1 Year Avg (Every Mile Traveled) = 47.8 mpg

BEST TANK: 2,009.6 mi on 35 gal (57.42 mpg): http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...5-a-26259.html


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Old 10-05-2011, 05:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Diesel_Dave View Post
Just to get a perspective on things, we're talking about 2,356 mi on two 37.2 gal tanks. That equates to a 31.7 mpg average.

From my own experience with a modern diesel, I can tell you that you're really pushing things to go that far. I'm not saying it's impossible--just saying that it's going to be a real challenge (which is where the fun comes in of course!)
Completely true! The accomplishment has to be unlikely if you want to have any suspense for the people that tune in to watch a broadcast, which is the ultimate goal.

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1) Driving mods
Most people underestimate the importance of these, but think about all that this might encompass. Driving under ideal conditions means ideal weather conditions, traffic conditions and with near perfect information. You never drive in the rain or into a heavy crosswind or headwind. You have the course completely mapped so that you know the location of every bump or patch of rough pavement in advance. That energy lost in the suspension can't move the vehicle down the road.

Having a lead vehicle a couple of exits ahead of you means you never get stuck in a pileup. You take an earlier exit and drive around it or park and wait for it to clear.

Temperature and humidity vary throughout the day, and if you know where your engine does best, then that's where you do most of your driving. You sacrifice driver / navigator comfort as needed or possible to avoid running the AC or traveling with windows down.

About speed: Driving 55 is harder than you think, because most people don't take into account the purposeful inaccuracy of the speedometer, which reads 1-3mph slow at 55mph. Automakers do that for liability purposes, but keep the odometer spot-on accurate.

I've used the GPS and determined that I have to drive at an indicated 57mph to run a true 55mph. You obviously have to avoid rush hour traffic if you want to keep your average speed close to your target speed.

One important driving technique I can't use is the "driving to load" technique, where you let the speed fall back going uphill to maintain fuel economy. When you're already traveling 10mph under the posted speed, its really hard to do that.

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1) Driving mods
The old EPA was 48 average with a top speed of 60. I know I won't attain an average speed of 55mph if that's pretty much my top speed, but that is much more realistic that driving 40-50mph as was the case for much of the other well publicized coast to coast new truck effort. If I can do this driving 55mph whenever I can, I'll be able to hold my head up.
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Originally Posted by Diesel_Dave View Post
In keeping with your spirit of keeping low emissions, keep in mind that if you do pulse and glide either with engine off coasting or coasting in neutral, your catalytic converter will likely run at a relatively cold temperature where it functions very poorly. This doesn't affect your ability to pass an emissions test but would increase your actual emissions produced.
Excellent point. I don't plan to do much of this because the wind resistance tends to brake the vehicle too much anyway. But if there were a long 2-3 degree downhill grade ...

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Originally Posted by Diesel_Dave View Post
2) Engine efficiency mods
When replacing my tampered exhaust / cat, I installed low restriction versions of each, along with a complete mandrel bent stainless system. It will last longer than the truck, and does help some. The MSD ignition, side gapped plugs and K&N filter have also helped a little.

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Originally Posted by Diesel_Dave View Post
3) Aero mods
I've been considering the partial grill block. I'd love to see some pictures of an undertray for a RWD pickup. With the driveshaft I'm having a hard time seeing it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel_Dave View Post
The biggest aero benefit on a pickup is what's over the bed
I have a Fulltilt tonneau, and I think the Aerolid is a great design for some, but it doesn't fit my image of a typical "working truck". When the design changes to what you've suggested, I think it would easily be worth 1-2mpg over a standard tonneau.

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4) Reduced rolling resistance mods
I've got mine rock hard already, and by selecting the wheels and tires carefully I knocked the weight down by 17 pounds per corner. I'm certain that has helped. As tread wear works its way down, there's less squirm and loss of energy there, so economy should go up. I really wished that LRR makers would just publish the CRR for a tire and be done with it. You're otherwise left with advertising claims that are hard to evaluate.

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Originally Posted by Diesel_Dave View Post
5) Reduced accessory load mods
I have the Ford Taurus 3.8L fan, along with a Meziere remote water pump. There are no direct bolt up replacement pumps for straight sixes (or maybe any sixes!) but there are very affordable ones for V-8s. The DC Controls unit by Brian Baskin does a great job of varying the speed of the pump and the fan separately as needed to accomplish the cooling. The remote pump works in conjunction with the stock pump to accomplish the coolant circulation, but we flattened some of the impellers so that the electric pump could do more of the work.

I can't tell you exactly what many of these mods did because I was fighting fuel leaks at the same time as making economy mods. I ended up replacing both fuel tanks and all the pump / sending unit stuff. I can't afford to go back and undo / redo everything to put a fine point on things, and don't have a dyno for the really precise BSFC stuff.

Other electric: I'd love to figure out how to delete the power steering unit and replace it with an electric pump one that I could switch on manually for around town driving ...

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Originally Posted by Diesel_Dave View Post
6) Geartrain efficiency mods
I have some plans next year for more in this area that I want to try for some longer trips.

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Originally Posted by Diesel_Dave View Post
P.S. You'll find a few pickup haters on this site
What kind of world would it be without them? Thanks for the kind words.

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