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Old 05-23-2008, 06:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bono, AR
Posts: 170

Daily Driver - '01 Ford Explorer Sport
90 day: 18.12 mpg (US)
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newbie with 2 SUV's

Hello everyone, I have been lurking around this site for awhile and figured I would post up. While my vehicles aren't the most efficient, and some of the mods I make hurt that even more, I'll try to make the most out of the style I prefer.

My daily driver is a 2wd 2001 Ford explorer sport. it has a small lift, and little bit bigger tires, but it is needed for fishing, camping, and other outdoor recreations that i enjoy. I'm only getting around 19 mpg right now, but i have increased to that from 16 just by changing my driving style. it needs a transmission rebuild (auto, unfortunately), that will help a lot. plus it has given me 105,000 faithful miles and its time to start replacing little things, like O2 sensors, EGR valve, etc....

my other suv is a 1984 Ford Bronco II 4x4. believe it or not, this little rig got 30 mpg stock. (it was my first rig back in high school). small v-6, stick shift, no a/c, no power options to weigh it down. right now it being transformed into a rig to fit my hobbies and drive in bad weather, so i can trade the explorer in for something more efficient for daily use.

right now my plan is to find a "fox body" (late 80's, early 90's) ford mustang convertible with a 4 cyl, 5 speed. i'm a big mustang fan, love convertibles, and like the small, boxy look. my DD commute is around 10 miles one-way, mostly 55 on highway, and a short stretch of in-town with a 45 mph speed limit. i figure i can pull good numbers out of a rig like this by stripping off as much unnecessary weight as possible. I'm used to bare-bones 4x4 trucks, so losing creature comforts is not a problem. i also like the fact that the large aftermarket racing scene for these vehicles means there is a vast selection of lightweight replacement parts. what makes them go faster will make me more efficient.


i like the long list of driving tips.

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Old 05-23-2008, 07:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hey Tony welcome to the community. What part of the country you located in? If you put that under your name it helps folks giving advise. Lastly when you get a chance fill out the garage it's an excellent tool for tracking what mods work and don't work. There are several 4x4's here that will chime in to help with your quest.
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Old 05-24-2008, 09:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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CM400E - '81 Honda CM400E
90 day: 58.68 mpg (US)

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Welcome to the site.

You definitly have the right idea with dumping one of the two gas hogs! Use the right tool for the job.
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Old 05-25-2008, 03:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Tony -

Welcome to EM! I seem to remember that the "Fox Body" is the drivetrain that the Ford engineers championed for years. Like you said, leveraging the after-market is the way to go.

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Old 05-27-2008, 09:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bono, AR
Posts: 170

Daily Driver - '01 Ford Explorer Sport
90 day: 18.12 mpg (US)
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thanks for the responses! I'll start on my profile and garage as i get a chance. i'm looking forward to the garage feature. right now i am tracking mileage, miles, cost of gas, type of driving, etc..., with an Excel file i made to do all the calculations for me.

the fox body idea will likely take a year or 2. right now i am working on getting the best mileage out of this explorer. when i get it ready, i'll give my explorer to my mother. right now she drives an '07 ford f150 supercrew 4x4 because she hauls a horse trailer, tractors, and other farm equipment.
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2008
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Daily Driver - '01 Ford Explorer Sport
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well, i've gone from 16 to almost 19 mpg just by changing driving habits. my check engine light is also on, for "egr flow excessive". replaced the egr valve, but that didn't help. theres some little sensor i'll replace next (can't think of the name right now). The gas station i get gas at (Sam's Club) now has "up to 10%" ethanol. i'm not really thrilled about it, but the gas has always been cheaper. now its around .17 a gallon cheaper (up from .11) than the rest of town (have to have a Sams Club membership to buy the gas) which probably has the same ethanol mix as well. and yes, it in a part of town where i run weekly errands, so i don't "lose" by driving to the cheaper prices.

however, i just did the best thing for mileage vs. cost. I cut my daily commute to 20 miles per day instead of 40 with some careful planning. My wife finally got her shift changed to be similar to mine (we work less than a mile apart). so now we can carpool. we decided to alternate weeks taking her car and my truck. she's got a new car, so i don't want to pile on miles by taking it all the time.

at current prices/mpg, my plan will reduce my monthly gas bill (work commuting) by approximately $150. almost $200 before, around $50 after. thats pretty darn good. her bill will also split in half, but she doesn't fill all the way up, so i'm not sure how much she spends.

Its an '08 pontiac G6 sedan. 3.5L auto. Fully loaded, and has its own 'scanguage'. i can keep the "instant mpg" between 35 and 40 on the highway, so thats a big plus.

I guess i should post some pics, huh?

my wife's g6


insurance paid for it after he other car (that we had just bought, less than 10,000 miles) was rear ended by a loser in a dodge dually that hit her going 70+ mph (in a 55) after she slowed down for a disabled car in the road. she was not seriously injured, regular doctor visits show no back/neck injury. flat road, daylight, bright red car, and he had nothing but lame excuses.







Heres my rig


and the camping/fishing project
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Last edited by Tony Raine; 06-05-2008 at 10:44 AM..
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Old 07-11-2008, 11:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2008
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Daily Driver - '01 Ford Explorer Sport
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had the transmission rebuilt in the explorer, filled the tires to 40 psi (sidewall says 50 max). lets see if mpg's get any better.
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Old 07-11-2008, 11:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Boise ID.
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The "S" - '00 Ford Escort SE
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Hi Tony

Im new here too and also have a couple of cars that i work on. I believe any time you can
increase your horsepower and then learn to keep your foot out of it you can increase your
mileage(basicallly make the engine run better, more efficiently than stock)

Im a believer in Full synthetic oils and fluids all the way around, after market air intakes and filters, lower restriction exhausts, harder tires, and better than stock spark plugs.

Im interested if others here feel the same way about these low cost mods.

Good luck
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Old 07-12-2008, 12:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
EcoModding Apprentice
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bono, AR
Posts: 170

Daily Driver - '01 Ford Explorer Sport
90 day: 18.12 mpg (US)
Thanks: 0
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yup, i run full synthetic (motorcraft), k&n air filter, flowmaster exhaust, e3 spark plugs, and thicker wires.

next set of tires wont be mud tires though.
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
EcoModding Apprentice
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bono, AR
Posts: 170

Daily Driver - '01 Ford Explorer Sport
90 day: 18.12 mpg (US)
Thanks: 0
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Send a message via Yahoo to Tony Raine
alright, after doing a LOT of research, i have decided to keep the explorer (at least for now). yeah, i'd be a lot better in the long run to get a gas sipper DD and sell the explorer, but i like the versatility. and its been a very reliable rig. plus i enjoy a challenge.

i just finished paying off a loan i had, so i got some monthly cash to spare. plus my savings from getting better mileage. so i am getting a list together of what i want to do to both vehicles, and just get a loan to do it all. trust me, its less than the price of a good used car.

by getting my bronco fixed, i can finally use it for my weekend camping/fishing excursions. that means the explorer can be retired from that.

heres the plan so far.
-remove lift, and lower another inch or 2
-put rims/mud tires on bronco (sell the other 2 full sets of mud tires/rims to recoup some of the cost)
-buy new rims/street tires for explorer (waiting for some deals on tirerack.com)
-start smoothing out the bottom. start from the front and work my way back.
-experiment with different grill blocks (removable for towing, its still got to be able to do that.)
-maybe a kammback, like a mini version of MetroMPG's

i have already removed the running boards and roof rack rails (roof rack never had cross-bars, so why keep the rails?) that shed about 100 pounds (those side steps are HEAVY)

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