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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-06-2014, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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First step in better MPG

ScanGauge II - Scan Gauge OBD II Scanner - OBD2 Scan Gauge

with the coupon, $135 shipped free, no tax

BEFORE I start modifying anything, figure I better get a good baseline that I can track/watch daily! It's a 4.7 4x4 DC, btw

I've already done most of the general maintenance stuff (plugs really the only one that could help, and diff/tcase fluids), which did not affect the mileage much..
Ill clean the throttle body and all next.
I've been using the calculator for the last 8 or so fill ups since I've had the truck (bought in Jan) and in the city 14.2 MPG (322 mi or so avg on ~22 gal avg).

I recently took a trip to Daytona (~250 mi round trip) after the plugs and put some Lucas injector cleaner in there thinking that would change the MPG, but only up to 14.5 (there was ~80 mi of city driving on that tank).

Questions:
Should I go with the recommended tire PSI (29 front/32 back on my DC), or bump them all up to 40ish?? I think they were set around 34 or so on the trip.

And after I get the SG installed and watch my driving habits, etc, I'm guessing intake and exhaust will be my next focus in terms of MPG's??

Thanks to all the great info on this site

~Doc

2011 SR5 Sequoia 4x4, 275/65/20 Nitto G2 on stockers, Bilstein 5100 x4 and 1.5" spacers over the rear coils, and more coming
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-06-2014, 10:52 AM
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Re: First step in better MPG

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocShock View Post

Questions:
Should I go with the recommended tire PSI (29 front/32 back on my DC), or bump them all up to 40ish?? I think they were set around 34 or so on the trip.

~Doc
I've experimented with tire pressures on many of my vehicles and I noticed several things....

When increasing Tire Pressures drastically(40-50 PSI)
PRO - Better Fuel Economy
- Better(crisper?) steering reaction
- Less Tire Noise

CON - Less traction(Braking requires traction)
- Stiffer ride/more pronounced bumps,RR tracks, potholes etc.
- Shorter tire life/uneven tire wear
- Increased wear on other components(Hard to quantify, but across three vehicles I had more problems while having overfilled tires.......My reasoning is probably that the tires are a major factor in the stiffness of your suspension, and most vehicle components don;t like harsh bumping)

In the end, after I had my children, I could no longer come close to justifying the loss of braking traction to save some MPG, and I also found that if you put money into good tires, it's not worth overinflating due to the shortened life of tires clawing back that small savings.

The situation where it made sense for me was my long 86km per day drive to work on highways with no traffic, and el-cheapo tires on my vehicle.


Not that my 2 cents is worth much(we don't use pennies in Canada anymore), if you want an increase in fuel economy, I would recommend purchasing very good tires with low rolling resistance(I'm a michelin fan, think green X).
Along with that, my best fuel saver mods are:
-Clean out the box or trunk to remove excess weight, every pound counts.
-Clean out your throttle body and butterfly valve
-Purchase a small fire rated insulation blanket and wrap your air intake tube, keeping the air as cold as possible from the filter to the engine
-Use a higher flow air filter (comes with MAJOR downsides, but will increase your fuel economy)(I personally use factory)
-At the next Oil Change, ensure you are using a high quality SYNTHETIC oil that is viscosity rated appropriately for your predicted temeratures

THE ABSOLUTE BIGGEST ONE>>>>> Accelerate from a full stop like their is a child walking in front of your truck, and set your cruise control at the slowest safe speed you can go, and NEVER EVER let it idle in a parking spot for more than what is necessary to warm your engine(about 1 minute). You'll be amazed at the difference in fuel economy when you do this! I experimented in hyper-miling when I had a very old Nissan King cab pickup, and I managed to increase my fuel economy about 20% based on different driving habits.


Best of luck, hope any of this helps!
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-06-2014, 11:52 AM
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Re: First step in better MPG

Set your tire pressure like this. Start with pressure too high, it's easier to remove air...inflate to about 35psi. You'll end up somewhere around 28-32 in front, and 2-4psi less in the rear with an empty bed.

Grab a piece of chalk. Rub it across the full width of thread, for about a six inch arc around the tire, on all four tires. Pull the truck backward about ten feet, then forward to where you started, and look at the chalk marks. If chalk is rubbed off in the center but not on the edges, pressure is still too high...re-chalk, move the truck around, check again. Continue to drop pressure until you see good contact across roughly the entire width of the tread. There will def be exceptions for bias ply tires, mud tires, tires with aggressive shoulder lugs, etc, but for most tires, you're looking for contact across the face of the tread.

Go drive normally for five minutes. Jump out and put a hand on the sidewall, if it's warm (or especially if it's hot!), check pressure (more on that in a minute). If it's still relatively cool, keep driving another ten minutes, get on the highway, drive around town, whatever. Check sidewall heat again, and pressure whether it's warm or not.

If the hot pressure is more than 10% greater than the cold pressure, add two pounds and repeat.

The chalk test ensures a good contact patch, best traction and treadlife. The heat/pressure test is a sanity check for proper inflation, too little pressure means heat builds in the sidewalls as they flex and eventually destroys the tire. You need to do both, the first as a starting point and the second to establish a working pressure for *your* truck, and I do mean that personally, you and I have different builds, chassis, loads, but we will use the same steps to establish the proper tire pressure.

I don't worry about side to side differences, I just set them the same on each axle. Early models stated 26psi front/45 psi rear, don't believe it, it handles poorly and wears the tires prematurely. Only increase pressure that high in the rear with a load.

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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-06-2014, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First step in better MPG

Good info, thanks..
I assume you repeat the chalk test every X,000 miles as the tread wears, etc?
I am excited to get the ScanGauge...that will let me really test all the little things I am planning on doing.. I want to get this thing as efficient as I can before I start making it inefficient, LOL

I just got done cleaning the MAF and TB.. MAF looked brand new, TB was filthy... I took it off the truck completely so I could really clean it good, but gently.
Also checked the PCV valve, not too bad, went ahead and cleaned it with a little of the TB spray, will change the oil soon, and probably just go ahead and get a new PCV (forgot when I was getting the MAF and TB spray form NapAutoBoys)

Anyhow, the severe weather moved in (read: helluva rain), so I only got to leave the BATT unhooked for 30 min or so before I had to move the truck outta the garage.

That damn tire pressure light tho.. tried every trick and no bien.. oh well, I will live with it for a year or so until I move up to my next set of rims (decided NOT to change tires for now 265/65 R17 - they have good tread left)..After I level her out (still undecided on spending the extra coin on a good set of coilovers vs going the cheaper billy route), I will just use what I have until they NEED replacing. BTW, my brother is in the FL swamp/mud DAILY for work (hog eradication), and he just went with the BFG Rugged Terrain and he LOVES them (both on the highway and in the swamp), so that may be what I go with when the time comes..

Thanks,
~Doc

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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 11:23 AM
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Re: First step in better MPG

If your chalk/heat test was done correctly, and the alignment is correct, you won't need to re-run the tests. Write the numbers down somewhere, and if you load up, take a minute to test again, and reset pressure when you unload, if you're doing more than a quick hardware store run.

In almost ten years, I set it once and let it be, never even rotated the tires--never needed to. 315/75R16 BFG AT/KO, aligned based on DJ's recommendations, and with pressure set appropriate to my truck.

My recommendations aside, BFG also rates the AT/KO higher than the Rugged Terrain and Rugged Trail. I got 60k out of mine, and they spent their last 10k or so being driven on the highway to the dirt, flogged, then driven home, and I sold them to a buddy for 100$ with 1/4" of tread left on them. Good tires, considering buying again.

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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-14-2014, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First step in better MPG

Man, this thing is awesome!! Unlike most stock MPG computers, you can watch 4 different parameters at once. So far into my first fillup I am averaging 17.5 MPGs!! It's neat to watch all the different gauges.

Glad I found this site, and glad I got this invaluable tool!

Mounted it on my steering column (nothing fancy) just so I could watch it consistently..it's amazing how changing your pedal habits can make a dramatic increase in your efficiency!

~Doc

2011 SR5 Sequoia 4x4, 275/65/20 Nitto G2 on stockers, Bilstein 5100 x4 and 1.5" spacers over the rear coils, and more coming
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-15-2014, 09:53 AM
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Re: First step in better MPG

You'll start playing games with it sooner or later.

MPG/AVG game- This helps you save gas. Put the real time MPG on the top and the AVG on the bottom, as you drive try to keep the MPG close to or lower than the AVG and watch the AVG go up.

GPH game- use the GPM to try and keep your cost of driving down, similar to the above but shows you what driving costs.

HPR game- Not going to save any gas, and it probably isn't very accurate, but who doesn't like seeing how much horsepower you have? I run my motor hard on freeway on ramps (preferably flat ones in times with no traffic) as an acceleration test to see how much HPR I can hit. My best is 267, you've been challenged.

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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 08:58 AM
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Re: First step in better MPG

Just realized I backwardsed (mmhmm, new word) the mpg/avg game, by "keep the mpg close to or lower than", I meant keep the mpg number higher than the avg.

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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First step in better MPG

Quote:
Originally Posted by tundrunk View Post
You'll start playing games with it sooner or later.

MPG/AVG game- This helps you save gas. Put the real time MPG on the top and the AVG on the bottom, as you drive try to keep the MPG close to or lower than the AVG and watch the AVG go up.

GPH game- use the GPM to try and keep your cost of driving down, similar to the above but shows you what driving costs.

HPR game- Not going to save any gas, and it probably isn't very accurate, but who doesn't like seeing how much horsepower you have? I run my motor hard on freeway on ramps (preferably flat ones in times with no traffic) as an acceleration test to see how much HPR I can hit. My best is 267, you've been challenged.
Challenge accepted! Got her up to 312 today, flat road, ac off... who knows how accurate, but still kinda fun to watch..DEFINITELY not good for the MPG average, LOL

But ya, totally been watching the instant MPG and average.. so far 100 miles into my tank and I am averaging 17.4. I've pretty much been watching the fIA, which is pretty consistently 5-9 degrees higher than external temp; the TPC which is gonna drive my OCD side bonkers... now I know how much it cost me to go to/from work and to make those lunch runs, etc, LOL. When I brought a 12 pack over to my buddies last night, I let him know the beer was $12, but it cost me $5 more to get it and to his house, LOL.
It's a pretty neat gadget, and I am having a blast with it.
Even got the wife convinced it was a 'must have'... she was shocked I've got the average up to over 17 from 14.2 (only other thing I've done other than the scan gauge/altered driving habits was general maintenance stuff)

Next thing on the list: center carrier bearing (the rubber donut is pretty sloppy around the bearing, and over 20 mph with the back window down I've got a squeal/whine happening, even with greasing around where the donut meets the bearing - I hope this is all it is)

EDIT: that HP was already moving onto an on-ramp, not from a dead stop

2011 SR5 Sequoia 4x4, 275/65/20 Nitto G2 on stockers, Bilstein 5100 x4 and 1.5" spacers over the rear coils, and more coming
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-20-2014, 03:49 PM
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Re: First step in better MPG

Be careful, before you know it you'll be removing your back seats, carpets and side mirrors
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 07:16 AM
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Re: First step in better MPG

Ran back up from Evansville to Indianapolis. Only averaged 19.5 MPG per the Scanguage.

355,164 miles on the odometer [come see me when you get that on your ford]



2004 Tundra Double Cab Limited Edition 4.7 liter V8, four speed automatic, four wheel drive, testing platform for fuel economy, Ultragauge, Long Tubes with x-pipe and true duals,stock intake, Mobile 1 in the engine, NAPA oil filter, NAPA [COLOR=Black]in the differentials. 3:91 gears in the front and rear [SIZE=2]differentials, Cooper Discover ATP tires


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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 08:26 AM
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Re: First step in better MPG

On the way to Vegas, we managed to get 374 miles to the tank, it was on an 01 sequoia with no traffic this was like 4 years ago but we could probably get better in the same conditions now that I have done some modifications.


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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-23-2014, 06:26 AM
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Re: First step in better MPG

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On the way to Vegas, we managed to get 374 miles to the tank, it was on an 01 sequoia with no traffic this was like 4 years ago but we could probably get better in the same conditions now that I have done some modifications.


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So you ran the tank dry?

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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-23-2014, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Re: First step in better MPG

Ok, so onto my 2nd tank with the scan gauge. Got it calibrated (I hope!). It was about 3 gallons off. So on the tank averaged about 15 vs the 17 I thought I was getting. But made a couple 50 mile trips and was able to avg 19 w it calibrated. Will see what this tank brings before I start modifying things (aside from driving habits)

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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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Re: First step in better MPG

At about 1/4 tank on my second tank since the scangauge. Averaging 16.7 since I calibrated it after the first tank (I've got about 330 miles on this tank so far)
Excited to empty it and see how accurate the re-fill is (I used the same pump both fillups)
All I can attribute the increase to is changing how I drive by watching the SG. (I did change plugs, new stock filter and cleaned MAF and throttle body, but this did not do much in terms of increasing mileage significantly)

2011 SR5 Sequoia 4x4, 275/65/20 Nitto G2 on stockers, Bilstein 5100 x4 and 1.5" spacers over the rear coils, and more coming
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