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Old 01-08-2016, 06:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Putting my pig on a diet (FJ Cruiser)

Hello all,

Long time lurker. I enjoy reading the custom mods many members do. This is quite a community.

I am working on improving my MPG in my FJ Cruiser without any major mods.

I have had many great family adventures in this vehicle and don't plan on getting rid of it. It is a 6 speed manual, full time 4-wheel drive. The difficult challenges are the aerodynamics (the windshield is basically vertical with no slope/angle), the ride height and the weight. Three sins to fuel efficiency.

I have always tracked my fuel via a google spreadsheet. So, I should be able to accurately see any mpg improvements.

This morning I made the following changes:
1. Removed the roof rack - I usually need this for camping trip in Spring & Fall, not for winter. It is an aftermarket rack that is heavy and not aerodynamic.
2. Removed the factory nerf bars
3. Remove the spare tire - patch kit and inflator in lieu of.
4. Filled the tires to their max of 44psi.

Let's see what develops.

I have a front hitch and am semi-curious of attaching a removable aero front. This could improve the front grill and windshield aerodynamics.


Last edited by mmonce; 01-08-2016 at 06:23 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the site.

What kind of mileage are you currently getting the the FJ?
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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This should be interesting

Pulling the spare yanked an easy 30-40 pounds out of the car.

Tell us about your daily drives. How you're using the car informs what kind of mods will have the most immediate effect.
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Old 01-08-2016, 12:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
Welcome to the site.

What kind of mileage are you currently getting the the FJ?
I average 18 mpg with mixed (city/hwy) driving. I hope to get 20-22mpg.
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Old 01-08-2016, 12:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elhigh View Post
Pulling the spare yanked an easy 30-40 pounds out of the car.

Tell us about your daily drives. How you're using the car informs what kind of mods will have the most immediate effect.
I am going to weigh all parts I removed this morning.

My daily commute is usually 50% city/hwy with a short 15 mile commute.

My yearly family adventures have been 5,000 miles each the past couple of years. The FJ has a fairly small tank at 19 gallons considering the low mpg. I spend a fair amount of time refueling.
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That reminds me of the Xterra I had to drive for a while. The aero on pigs like these is so bad that you gain almost nothing from having a manual, as far as coasting goes.

Do what you can on aero and weight, pump up the tires, drive gently and cry anyway. EOC won't help you. Drafting is the only really helpful aeromod you can do, and that's only a once in a while thing. On the same road and conditions that I could run my 19 mpg Subaru at over 30 and my 29 mpg Fit at over 50, I couldn't even realistically think about getting 20 in my 15 mpg Xterra:



Your only real hope is to get an SG or UG and keep your speeds down.

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Old 01-08-2016, 03:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Taking off a big roof rack is usually good for 1 to 2 highway mpg.
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Old 01-09-2016, 08:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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For your commute, diet. Pare out every ounce you can. If you don't usually carry passengers and it isn't too big a hassle, removing seats may help you.

For your longer trips (5,000 miles? Seriously? Dang) you could consider fabbing up a sort of trailer tail to improve your vehicle's wake. It won't help you on your daily drives but at extended cruising speeds the savings would rack up pretty fast. If you don't pull a trailer on your long trips but have a hitch, you could make the trail on a frame that installed on the hitch receiver.

All blue sky ideas that are easy to talk about from my comfortable chair in front of the computer.
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Old 01-10-2016, 04:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Give a look at the Morelli design ideas and see if you could adapt them to your FJ. Might be interesting. Also, what did you have in mind to put on your front hitch point?
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Old 01-10-2016, 03:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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So I weighed to the accessories I removed earlier this week.

Spare tire - 65 lbs
Nerf bars - 22 lbs per pair
Roof rack - 55 lbs.

Based upon the high spare tire weight, I am going to investigate possible lighter rims/tires all around to reduce rotational weight.

Today, I blocked the front grilles and added a cordex skid plate under the rear cargo area.

I have been also doing some EOC. My goal is 25 mpg from my average of 18.

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