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  #1  
Old 02-18-2006
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Mileage gains vs Performance

As some of you know, I recently did a few mods to my truck in the pursuit of better mileage AND better performance. I thought you guys might be interested in the results.

First, let me give a little background. My truck was basically stock, except for a Fram Air Hog filter, and the t-bars cranked 2". It had just over 72,000 miles, with about 50/50 highway/city driving. I've used Amoco/BP 89 octane 99% of the time, I usually run between 65-70 mph on the interstate, and overall drive fairly conservative. I usually average 13-15 mpg during the winter, and 15-17 mpg during the summer. The best I have EVER gotten was 18 mpg, and that was only once or twice during long distance trips.

I finally decided to put on a Roush cat-back dual exhaust, Bama X-cal 2 programmer, JBA wires, and Autolite Platinum plugs. I did a few other things too, but that is all that would affect performance (see my sig).

I opted to first try the 89 torque program from the Bama X-cal 2. So far, this is the only program I have tried, but remember, this a TORQUE program. I expect the performance programs to yield slightly better results.

Since the mods, I have run 10 tanks of 89 octane fuel, and driven my typical driving style. The first 3 tanks showed little to no improvement in mileage. I assume this is because the computer had to "relearn" my driving style & habits after the reprogram. The truck definitely had more "umph" in both the low & high rpms. Even if mileage had not improved, I would have been very happy with the results. Through the 4-7 tanks, I noticed mileage steadily improving, with it stabilizing for tank 7,8,9, & 10. My winter mileage stabilized and has been consistent in the 16.7- 17.5 mpg range.

I even towed a friend's 20' camper back from Raleigh (he broke down, so I went down to bring his camper back) and averaged 14.4 mpg with it in tow. I'm not sure the exact weight, but I figure it's atleast 2500-3000 lbs. Normally pulling loads of this size, I average 11-12 mpg. This trip was not included in my "testing", but thought it was worth mentioning.

While this may not seem like a lot to some, it is still a 2- 2 1/2 mpg increase over my norm. I know some people claim 20 mpg out of the 4.0L 4x4 trucks, but I honestly do not see how. My trucks mileage has been the same since it rolled off the lot. Like I said, I expect the the 89 performance & 93 performance to yield slightly better results, and with summer approaching (& summer fuel), I hope to be in the 19 mpg area.

I'm still debating whether to add an e-fan. I'm sure it will probably help a little, but if I do add it, I'll have to upgrade my alternator as well. I'm not sure if the added expense is worth the minimal gains. I'll let you guys know what I decide later.
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Old 02-18-2006
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The e-fan does help with MPG's, and a little with power. I have it done and I reccommend it! But if you do have to get another alternator to handle the fan draw that might not pay off.
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Old 02-18-2006
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The 4.0's are holding their voltage very well. We have similar trucks, the only difference being I have a manual. All stock I was in the 16-17 range. After doing the combo crank, water pump, alt pulley I am solid 18-19.

After a few tanks of that combo I installed all of these at the same time: Black Magic e-fan, thunderbolt exhaust, [email protected] Intake. My mileage didn't change after that. I get anywhere from mid 18's to low 19's. I am sure the e-fan is gaining what the other mods is losing so it became a wash from a mileage point of view.

On the charging. I went overboard to prove a point. Listen carefully about my set up. I have underdrive crank (slows the alternator). I have underdrive alternator pulley (slows the alternator). I have my e-fan slightly unfinished. It is hooked to the battery and to a temp sensor. There is no on-off switch yet. This means I turn the truck off and the fan stays on for 10-15 minutes while the truck is off. All this together is unheard of but it is holding up fine. Like I said, I did it just to show it can be done. It is the stock battery.

So you basically have 2 areas to go to for extra mpg. Underdrive or install an e-fan or both. The crank would be the less noisy of the two.
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Old 02-18-2006
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E-fan

Ive heard of everyone talking about an e-fan. Did you have it installed or did it yourself and was it difficult? And was it a big difference or not? By the way Im one of those 4.0 guys 4wd guys through a 03 edge(37k). All I have done so far is k&n stock replacement filter and im getting 20 hwy and 17 city, Im getting ready to move about 4000 miles via driving so Im trying to explore ways to get better fuel economy.
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Old 02-18-2006
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I did it myself. It was the black magic which mounts to the radiator itself. It took one to two hours but I haven't hooked up all the wires yet. I just got it operational.
There are others that mount through the radiator. With the "through mount" I am pretty sure you have to remove or at least move the radiator because you have to basically clamp it through the fins. You will have to gain access to the other side. I didn't have to do this. It shouldn't add much more time to the overall install. The toughest part is trying to remove the fan without the right tools. That could cause a lot of frustration. Once you get the fan off it is a piece of cake. I did a write up on the pullley install which shows the fan removal. You can take a look here at the third pic:
http://underdog-performance.com/id97.html

Use the right tool and it's a piece of cake.
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  #6  
Old 02-18-2006
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There's ANOTHER one claiming 20+ mpg with a 4.0 4x4 !!!!! How the hell is that possible ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
The gearing MUST be different !!!!!!!!!

Granite,

The 16" Black Magic is the fan I'm considering. I'll probably wire it to run automatically with the a/c, BUT I'll probably also install an override switch to turn it off on the highway if I want.

If I'm careful, I could probably get by without the alternator for a while by watching accessory use and keeping the stereo down. I've noticed that if I turn up the stereo, the volt gauge does a little dance. If I turn it up with lights, a/c, etc on, then the gauge does a DEEP drop.

Also, if money permits, sometime this year I'd like to install a Bull Bar and a set of 100wt KC's. I KNOW there is no way the stock alternator can handle all that, especially if I put an underdrive pulley on it.

For close to $400, I'm no really sure if the underdrive pulley kit is worth it (for my application). If anything, I might need to keep the stock alternator pulley, or possibly even use the overdrive pulley??? How about the water pump pulley? Is it worth changing to an underdrive if you remove the stock fan?

Opinions??
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Old 02-18-2006
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keep it at 2500 rpm and you'll probably get the 20mpg. I won't cause I won't haha.

#1 don't fret the alternator. $35 for a new alt pulley and that problem is solved. The problem you are having is at idle only. I heard people recommend setting the idle a little higher to keep the voltage up also. With the Bama you should be able to do that on your own. That would cost nothing for you. Too many people overthink this part with either an e-fan or underdrive crank.

My thought on the water pump pulley is simple, Use it with an overdrive alternator pulley. What little HP is gained with the water pump will be offset by what little hp is lost by overdriving the alternator. I see it as a trade. You get to underdrive the crank without sacrificing voltage. For those wanting max HP and are looking at every thing possible, underdrive both of them. I made a design change from what I am running in that the water pump is going to be aluminum. The lighter weight will improve performance slightly. As I said, these two things are minor in the big scheme of things.

There's a Black Magic Clone for about $120 available from Summit. I would have to search around to find it. It has everything including the relays/temp sensor. That's a very good value for a complete fan kit.
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Old 02-18-2006
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Ive got 4.10 with the 8.8 rear end and Limited Slip, dont know if that helps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tekrsq
There's ANOTHER one claiming 20+ mpg with a 4.0 4x4 !!!!! How the hell is that possible ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
The gearing MUST be different !!!!!!!!!

Granite,

The 16" Black Magic is the fan I'm considering. I'll probably wire it to run automatically with the a/c, BUT I'll probably also install an override switch to turn it off on the highway if I want.

If I'm careful, I could probably get by without the alternator for a while by watching accessory use and keeping the stereo down. I've noticed that if I turn up the stereo, the volt gauge does a little dance. If I turn it up with lights, a/c, etc on, then the gauge does a DEEP drop.

Also, if money permits, sometime this year I'd like to install a Bull Bar and a set of 100wt KC's. I KNOW there is no way the stock alternator can handle all that, especially if I put an underdrive pulley on it.

For close to $400, I'm no really sure if the underdrive pulley kit is worth it (for my application). If anything, I might need to keep the stock alternator pulley, or possibly even use the overdrive pulley??? How about the water pump pulley? Is it worth changing to an underdrive if you remove the stock fan?

Opinions??
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  #9  
Old 02-19-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dtapes
Ive got 4.10 with the 8.8 rear end and Limited Slip, dont know if that helps.
I hate you.....
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Old 02-19-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graniteguy
keep it at 2500 rpm and you'll probably get the 20mpg. I won't cause I won't haha.
At 70 mph, I'm running 24-2500 rpm. That's the most I usually run. RARELY am I above that because the mileage does a serious drop. And like I said before, I'm not hard off the line either, so I don't see how the 20+ mpg people are driving THAT much better than I am.

I have several friends with Rangers. One has a truck identical to mine except he is 2wd. He has averaged 24-26 mpg since it was new. Another one has an 02, 4.0, 4x4 with 31's on it. He was getting in the 20 mg range until he put the 31's on. Now he's getting in the 16-18 mpg range. He's the exception and we have hated him for it, lol. Everyone else I know with comparable trucks to me has been getting the same mileage I was.

Regardless, I'm happy with the improvements so far. I just don't want to end up with $1000+ just for 2 or 3 mpg. That'll take a while to pay for itself, lol.
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Old 02-22-2006
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I have to add. An hour ago I found that the metal tube that connects to the air intake hose about halfway was disconnected. I cringe to think of the dirty salty alaskan air that got through:( I dont know if it has been that way for a while or not, but its a very small hole. Needless to say I fixed it.

While were on the subject and youve done a lot of performance mods...Do you have any input on the throttle spacers? Im thinkin bout it. Its said to be easy and looks accordingly, but what is with the cruise control spacer and extra crap that comes with it? Im doing long distance driving so every little bit helps on gas, plus its an excuse for the wife so I can buy performance stuff :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tekrsq
At 70 mph, I'm running 24-2500 rpm. That's the most I usually run. RARELY am I above that because the mileage does a serious drop. And like I said before, I'm not hard off the line either, so I don't see how the 20+ mpg people are driving THAT much better than I am.

No wonder you get bad gas mileage, keep it 60 and under- except when havin fun of course

I have several friends with Rangers. One has a truck identical to mine except he is 2wd. He has averaged 24-26 mpg since it was new. Another one has an 02, 4.0, 4x4 with 31's on it. He was getting in the 20 mg range until he put the 31's on. Now he's getting in the 16-18 mpg range. He's the exception and we have hated him for it, lol. Everyone else I know with comparable trucks to me has been getting the same mileage I was.

Regardless, I'm happy with the improvements so far. I just don't want to end up with $1000+ just for 2 or 3 mpg. That'll take a while to pay for itself, lol.
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Old 02-22-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dtapes
Do you have any input on the throttle spacers? Im thinkin bout it. Its said to be easy and looks accordingly, but what is with the cruise control spacer and extra crap that comes with it? Im doing long distance driving so every little bit helps on gas, plus its an excuse for the wife so I can buy performance stuff :)
The throttle body spacer is pure BS. If you read the blurb, they usually claim that the extra distance promotes better mixing of air and fuel. Some even have spiral flutes machined in them that are supposed to heighten the effect.

How in the world can it improve mixing of fuel and air when there is no fuel present?? There is nothing but air going through the throttle body. Fuel gets injected just before intake valve, about a foot after the throttle body and after going through a plenum and changing directions several times. All this crap about turbulence and mixture tumbling is just that.

The EPA and other labs have tested many "fuel saving" devices and found almost every one totally worthless. At best they do nothing. Some actually reduce power and fuel economy and/or increase tailpipe emissions.

So forget about throttle body spacers, Tornados, Turbonators, Vortex Swirlers, fuel line magnets and the like. If an automotive engineer could add a simple device and improve fuel ecomomy by even 2 tenths of an MPG, management would be running naked in the aisles. Even the most diligent consumers would be hard pressed to notice that kind of an improvement. And yet, these scam artists continue to promise a 10/20/30% increase in power and/or economy.

Maintain your vehicle, slow down, and remove excess weight for the easy improvements. If you are looking for worthwhile mods, invest in something that reduces parasitic losses like an E-fan or an underdrive pulley. If you drive mostly highway, a hard tonneau might buy you an MPG or two. (In the city, the repeated acceleration of the additional weight will negate any aero improvement.)

Here's some good reading that shows these "magic" devices to be either worthless or actually detrimental to power and economy.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/auto...tml?page=1&c=y

http://autorepair.about.com/cs/gener...a022203a_3.htm

Last edited by V8 Level II; 02-22-2006 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 02-22-2006
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Thanks ten times over man! I just read the same in ford trucks forum saying the same, and im glad to hear renforcement.
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  #14  
Old 02-23-2006
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Bob's the man !!!!!!
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