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Old 06-06-2008, 04:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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small pickup owner here...

Hi everyone,

I bought this truck last year because it, along with the clone ranger, has the best fuel economy and lowest emissions of any small truck. Its basically the same Duratec 16 valve four banger as the Mazda 5 and Mazda 6, or the optional engine on the Mazda 3.

I added a fiberglass canopy that added about 100 lbs in weight but probably helped with aerodynamics as it didn't seem to affect the fuel economy negatively. Then added a limited slip rear end that didn't seem to affect much either because it doesn't kick in until one wheel slips.

But then I got a flat with the crummy stock continetal tires on a logging road, and sold my old ones on craigslist and swapped them to a slightly larger and more aggressive tire (Dunlop RVXT LT M/S). With that I had great traction in snow but dropped about 4 mpgs (to about 25 mpgs).

The tire size only changed from 225/70/15 to 235/75/15, but it increased rolling mass and drag from the agressive treads. they are rated to 50 lbs and I filled them to that but no real difference.

So I'm thinking of swapping them to something more efficient than stock (rather than the other way around) but as you all know rolling resistance figures are hard to come by. I am considering the Kumho Solus because they have maybe 25% less weight per tire, less deep treads but long tread life (so probably a hard rubber compund) and what looks to be a low rolling resistance tread pattern with a few constant bands running around the tire, and going to a 215/75/15 for a narrower footprint. They also inflate to 44lbs.



I'm also considering the new BFG long trail T/A tour tires as they look to have a low rolling resistance and also inflate to 44 lbs, and because they have a reputation for being strong long lasting tires. But there is really little gains in weight and the treads are deeper and I guess that means more weight. they look about the same amount of aggressive... On the plus side they are supposed to have a very firm sidewall.



I am really stumped on this choice as I am lacking rolling resistance info... Anyone with any ideas or rules of thumb or experience? Anyone running either tire? Anyone have any better ideas?

By the way I see a little snow in the winter, like to go camping along logging roads here in BC, Canada occasionally... I need the clearance and gear carrying capacity of a pickup as I have a cabin in a very remote location and a dog and a canoe, etc. and I sold my metro (and am starting to really miss it!). Great site by the way--this is going to be the first of hopefully many mods to see what kind of mileage I can squeeze out of this truck!!

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance, Derek

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Old 06-08-2008, 01:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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yarii - '07 Toyota Yaris 4dr (auto)
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whew finally read it all, sorry I'm kinda sleepy so it seemed like a lot.

Ok..

1. Welcome to ecomodder! yeah its a great site, I'm a fan

2. I don't have either of those tires and not sure what i can offer, but I would say try searching (Google) for LRR data I know its hard but there is some out there (I heard out here in California it is supposed to be avail. for tires sold after July '08 so soon right(if thats the case I will post whatever I can this summer)

2a. Get one that's rated LRR, weighs the least and can be inflated the most, I personally think weight is most important

3. your on the right track with skinner tires

again welcome; glad you joined up Derek!
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome!

I have the 2002 Ford Ranger version of your truck.. If you have not already, sell your stock steel rims and get some lighter alloys, check www.craigslist.org

I was looking at the Solus, but couldn't get them as the Solus do not fit a 15x8 rim.. I am running Weld/Cragar Prostars and they weight approx 12lbs a rim, about 9lbs less per rim compared to stock..

I do not know much about LRR tires. But never buy 15x8 steel rims. They weigh about 28lbs each, a good 1-2 mpg loss city right there from stock.
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Old 06-08-2008, 03:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for all your replies.

Yeah, sorry for the long post! I can still buy the stock tires (Continental Contitrac) and they indeed had low rolling resistance, but they are known to have a short life and to be a crummy tire.

I have found some RR data out there, but not for these newer tires. The old BFG long trails have good RR numbers for a truck tire, but these Kumhos are about 25% lighter and so should be better (if all else is the same). But I can't find any RR info on them or the new long trail tours.

Hey FX2.3, looks like we have virtually the same truck! I got the optional aluminum rims so they should be lighter than the steelies, but don't know the weight of them. Probably not as good as yours. I saw your other post on that red aerodynamic truck and now it has me thinking about an airdam on the front. I'd like to find a better pic of that... The old school undersides of these trucks really are a dogs breakfast and I bet that an air dam would help, as would filling the lower bumper air intake hole in the front.

Last edited by 07b2300; 06-08-2008 at 03:26 PM..
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Old 06-08-2008, 04:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Here's a bigger pic of the SPAL Ranger after they updated it from the 01-03 front to the 04-05 front..
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Danger Ranger - '01 Ford Ranger Edge 4x4
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Yeah try blocking the grill off some like i did. I have a pic in FX2.3's post about his wheels. I have added another piece a couple days ago so now the whole center is blocked.
I'd say for the most part you could block off most of the upper, and all of the lower grill. I think we could cover alot of the bottom of the trucks too. not too much hangs below the frame rails[at least for you two 2wheelers]. Lower control arms can be covered on the bottom, and the stock skid plates for the front is actually a good aero design.

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