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Old 03-05-2006, 03:13 PM   #1
whynotthinkwhynot
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D20 Fuel Economy Tests in progress

I'm testing for improving fuel economy on a basically stock D20 MTX. I've gotten my paw-pawish driving techniques down to a science, and will do my best to maintain similar driving throughout the tests except where indicated. I began my testing by testing different fuel sellers, but I'm not going to list that because it's best done in person by anyone interested in better economy. The reason is: different stations have different aged tanks under the ground, and even the same name fuel seller might be getting fuel from a different refinery depending on location. I have noticed a solid 3 mpg difference between different fuel brands- so even if there's a 10 difference it's more economical to run a "good" fuel: +3mpg@ 10 gallons=+30 miles= @$2.

It's all pennies, but people will drive across the street through rush hour traffic for 5 per gallon (50 @ 10 gallons).

Paw-Paw driving technique: Attention to gas pedal pressure is most important, as it will be more economical to stay in a lower gear longer when going uphill. Shift out of first as soon as possible @ 5-15 mph, 3rd @25-30 mph, 4th @35-40mph, 5th as soon as stable speed is reached, no less than 45-50 mph. My ability to shift into top gear at low speeds without bogging the engine down to where speed decreased or where more pedal pressure was needed increased a lot after re-flashing the ECM with my SCT. Of course, I don't always drive like a paw-paw because that might cause me to be in an accident, but I try not to visit WOT while doing these tests because the computer will literally dump fuel and allow the O2 sensor to clean up the engine's act from the back end. It's also a good idea to figure out what pedal pressure is most effective at X speed in X gear so as not to be giving the motor more gas than is effective.

Mods: Cone filter on MAF tube replacing stock filter, SCT. After I finish 2 tanks with each grade, I'll consider going back to the stock filter in the interests of science (time will tell if I'm too lazy).

87 mpg= 29-30 mixed driving/ 33 hwy (26-28 driving like Mario Andretti)
87 Tuned= 32-33 mixed driving/ no long trips yet

Today I'm switching to high grade fuel to see if there's a $ per mile difference between fuel grades. I'll also be changing my tune from 87 to 91. The tunes I have are for 87, 91, and 93. The most common mid-grade is 89 here, so my tests on 89 will be done with the 91 tune first, then back to the 87 tune.

I'll give more information on the next post like miles driven, gallons used, $'s/mile, etc and I'll be sure to post hwy mileage if I make any long trips- which will be sometime in the next month. I'm also going to pop off the valve cover and retard the cam profile while increasing lobe spread to see if that improves fuel economy after I complete these tests.


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Old 03-05-2006, 04:01 PM   #2
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How the hell have you gotten 30mpg mixed? I get 25 driving really slow..
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Old 03-05-2006, 05:25 PM   #3
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I've been even more "paw-pawish" (???) with the throttle, and have found that speed is a big factor. I added 3psi to the tire pressure (any more and handling/ride are adversely affected) and IF I can keep the speeds below 60 (it's tough!) I've gotten a one time best of 37, and averaged 35 (90% highway driving). 65 is 34, 70 is 32mpg ave. I have not gotten below 32, even the past three tanks were I've kept the speed down, but changed to a more aggressive throttle positioning technique ( ).

Watch changing the tire pressure though, your speeedometer is no longer calibrated the same. I have to multiply everything by 1.02 since I've showing .2 miles slow on a 10 mile test.

I'm running an MBRP exhaust and nothing else. Once I have my SCT Tuning package (one week!!) I'll start building an MPG profile.

There was 0MPG difference between 87 and 89 octane on the factory ECU program, I'm going to try 91 the next 3 tanks.
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Old 03-05-2006, 05:30 PM   #4
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I'd rather drive like Mario Andretti and get 26 - 28, mpg then to drive slower than my dead grandmother. But then again, I am coming from a Ranger where at best I could milk it and get 17 mpg at best.
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Old 03-05-2006, 05:37 PM   #5
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I was getting 20 out of my 3.0L Ranger with a Whipplecharger!

I drive pretty hard on the weekends, it's just during the week on my 165 mile (round trip) commute, and when I have to drive for work (300 miles a day, once or twice a week). Since I'm on the clock, and they are paying my $.45 a mile, I'll take my time .

Algorhythm: Are you 5speed or Auto?
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Old 03-05-2006, 07:11 PM   #6
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Thanks, Whynot!

I'll look to learn from the results of your testing.

BTW, who's tunes are you running?
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Old 03-05-2006, 07:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Algorhythm
How the hell have you gotten 30mpg mixed? I get 25 driving really slow..
Maybe you're driving too slow. Back in the 60's when neither of us was alive, Mobil used to have a competition between manufacturers to see which one got the best fuel economy- most efficent in their terms. I read an article about Chrysler engineers on that project who- instead of coercing Mobil's reps to pick a specially made car with tall gears- experimented and found out that their cars, with their powerful motors and light bodies, got better fuel economy by quickly accelerating to the speed limit.

A lot also depends on elevation, so I'll post Memphis elevations and relative temperatures during the time of the tests according to weather.com.

Fredness: I didn't really expect there to be a difference between 89 and 87, but it just seemed scientific to properly test. I expect more out of the higher octane fuels after I adjust the cams. Feel free to add your results here, and anyone else can add also!! Maybe we can help some of these guys like Algo figure out how to improve their mileage.

I'm going to drop my shift mph points because I noticed things were a bit different today than I'd remembered. Also, I keep the car at the speed limit in town, and +5mph on the highway so I don't get run over. I don't linger in blind spots, and I'm not going to slow down on entrance ramps unless there's no opening. Racing is for the track, but I can pratice speed shifting while doing this test
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Old 03-05-2006, 08:46 PM   #8
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I shift at (approx.)
1-2: 10
2-3: 20
3-4: 30
4-5: 35-38

for city driving.
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Old 03-05-2006, 08:47 PM   #9
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Algorhythm: Are you 5speed or Auto?
5spd
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Old 03-05-2006, 09:22 PM   #10
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Whynot,

Who's tunes are you using?
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