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Old 12-05-2019, 03:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Using tuners on pickup trucks

Have any of you with v8 pickups gotten better mileage with the use of a tuner? My vehicle needs kinda forced me into a 2008 f150 4x4. I used to average 28mpg throughout the year with my rwd ranger. With this f150 if I'm just commuting I'm averaging about 16mpg. Any off road use really drops it down. I was thinking about ordering something like a sct tuner with custom tunes for my truck like an economy and a towing tune. Can they really help economy at all? I can't really get any better with changing driving habits and mods really aren't feasible at this time. I'd like to get another ranger but don't have the room at the time.

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Old 12-05-2019, 03:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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How far is your commute roundtrip, and is it roughly 5 days per week? If you're lookin to save money, lets start with those figures.

Regarding tuners, I've anecdotally heard some people claim improved economy for electronic injection turbo diesel trucks, but I don't have personal experience. I imagine a gasser tune could see some improvement too, especially if emission stuff is ignored such as elimination of the rich/lean dance. My guess is the improvement in efficiency would never offset the cost of the tuner.
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Old 12-05-2019, 06:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I heard of someone getting 30 mpg from their explorer partly from the use of a tuner and 91 octane fuel. I think the biggest gain would come from advancing the timing and using premium fuel
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Old 12-05-2019, 06:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My understanding, there's a few percent to be had with slightly advancing ignition timing and maybe leaning out the AFR slightly. Advancing timing under full load will deliver both power and economy, but will be harder on rods, pins and bearings. Doing so at low load should be safe but increase NOx in the exhaust.

One does not need premium fuel to advance timing at part throttle, it's only at WOT that it makes any difference.
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Old 12-05-2019, 06:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My commute is 80 miles a day 4 days a week
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Old 12-05-2019, 07:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That's about 16,000 miles a year, in a 16 MPG truck, or 1000 gallons spent commuting. Perhaps $3,000 a year in fuel.

If you don't need the utility of the truck at work, it might make more financial sense to commute in a used car that is more fuel efficient. Plus, everything on a truck is more expensive such as tires, oil changes, etc.

I used to rack up a lot of miles on my truck back in the day, but that was when I had a source for $1/gallon fuel, and plenty of time to spend working on trucks. Now I only use it for truck stuff. Just moved a clothes washer yesterday.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I had my pcm tuned by Blackbear, but this wasnít specifically an eco tune. tune was also needed to enable pcm controlled cooling fans. I hadnít wanted to put a grill block in front of a fan clutch either. So within a couple tanks I added a 91 octane tune, partial grill block, swapped mechanical to electric fans, and Iím guessing I picked up .25 - .5 mpg with mixed, or more in town driving. Iím wondering if I might have picked up a bit more highway, but havenít had a good comparison yet. I donít use the vehicle to commute, so comparing tanks is tricky.

Picked up some power, guessing at least a sliver of efficiency from the tune alone, enabled the fans. But there was a happy surprise, maybe itís just how I drive it, but the biggest thing I noticed from the tune was drivability improvements. Feels like they replaced my lazy old transmission with one that is almost psychic.

I think a lot of peopleís first mod is some sort of grill block. Which should be possible for most conditions. My next thought is an airdam, but that would be dependent on your off-roading.

On my old 91 K1500 I figured up the fuel I saved slowing down worked out to about $5 saved per hour lost
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The tuners don't do much on gasoline engines.
On a half ton 4x4 you are probably fighting bad gearing, big aero dynamic foot print a big engine and a bunch of extra drive train losses.

Lean burn can give a 10% to 20% boost. At least that's what I was able to achieve with a carb. But implementation on newer fuel injection can be a little more difficult since about 99% of the truck tuner market is focused on more power.
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Old 12-06-2019, 03:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't have room for a car for commuting at the moment. I really needed a do it all vehicle which my truck covers everything. My off road stuff is corn fields in hunting season which tend to rip air dams right off.
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Old 12-06-2019, 12:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craveman85 View Post
My commute is 80 miles a day 4 days a week
With that many miles you would be well served with one of the 3.0 turbo diesel trucks. Ram has the oldest ones meaning they will be less expensive used but now all 3 make one.

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