View Full Version : Truck mods for better fuel economy?

03-27-2008, 08:38 PM
Guys as I mentioned in another post I just upgraded my truck from an 04 Ranger 3.0L auto trans. to an 05' F150 supercab xlt with the 5.4L triton. It tows better & will haul much more & I know that generally big truck means less mileage but when towing with the ranger I would get 9-10 mpg cause the truck was killing itself to haul the load. The new truck doesn't know the load is there. I expected my mileage to go down with the new truck under normal driving conditions but thought it might actually get better mileage while towing the trailer (which it does but only by about 2 mpg).

I am contemplating some modifications to help the truck get better mileage. Possibly a tuner, &/or performance chip, a cold air intake/K&N filter, a vortex intake circulator.... etc.
Anybody played with these on their trucks? I'm not really looking to boost 0-60 times but to boost the F to E times ya know? http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

ProCut TM
03-28-2008, 11:02 PM
I would advise the tuner for the truck I have used them with good results. My experience with 6cyl has not been great for fuel economy. You will love that 5.4 triton it is a great engine.

keep the oil changed and the air filter clean a it should give you no troubles. I recommend Mobil 1 5w-20 (6 qts) and a pure one filter by Purolater I can get you the part number if you need it the carry it at advanced auto. no one beat wal-mart for the price of the oil though.

Fernando's CleanCut!
03-29-2008, 01:04 AM
Hi Chuck.
Well if you thinking of SAVING gas, theres really not that much out there, I mean your truck will not run a 100mpg!
I belive this works like "more gas = more power". the Cold Air intake will give the engine more air (more hpwer), but saving about a 10% on gas, the trick here is that when the car is in a complete stop, the acceleration is less restricted, so the air intake makes it easier. About the SuperChip I heard it runs around $200-$300 (do you really need it?), wich this will give about 30% more horse power to the engine.
With a set up of a new Cold Air Intake you will need a new exhaust cuz more air is going into the engine so the same pressure has to come out... and if you want to go all the way, new headers, new cam gears, pullies, High-Flow catalyst, supercharged LOL! you will have a RACING TRUCK!

I sent you an e-mail of some tips on Saving gas. But with a clean Air intake, regular oil change, and adding FUEL INJECTOR Cleaners you will be ok. besides we deduct all this money on our taxes ;)
Good luck.

ok, heres MY question "Have you heard about Pimped out MOWER?".... I'm still looking for this to come out. Zero turn with an Air Intake? supercharged? hehe.

03-29-2008, 10:26 AM
Pro cuts, Thanks for the reply, yeah I run synthetic in all my vehicles, I've contemplated running it in my mower though I'm not sure how much it might help. The oil in these mowers just gets dirty & needs to be changed long before theviscosity breaks down so you would just have expensive dirty oil right?

Fernando, thanks for the tips, I know a guy who has an 06 with the 5.4L & was getting 13mpg in town & about 16 highway. he said he put a $300 chip in it, set it on an economy mode & now gets 15-16 mpg in town & up to 26mpg highway. That would be huge! I've been trying to get back n touch with him to find out which brand & model chip he's using.

03-30-2008, 09:28 AM

Andrew's Lawn Care
03-31-2008, 07:48 PM
Well I was reading some on here and it seems that everyone is driving Ford http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif . Well I just bought a 04 Silverado with a 6.0L does anyone know how to get better milage out of that? Oh and there is a pic of my truck in show off your stuff form, in the topic Growth of Your Service.

04-02-2008, 04:54 PM
Well my old truck (the ranger mentioned above) got an average 9-10 miles per gal. towing the trailer.

My new truck has been sucking down the fuel! I gased it up today. 8.77 mpg uuuuggggggh.

So today I bought an SCT tunner/programer & set the truck on an economy setting & changed it to shift a little different.

I'm hoping that will help. I am also looking into a cold air intake / Air filter.

04-02-2008, 05:03 PM
On a side note.... This thing hauls & holds a heck of a lot more than the old truck. I went to the landfill today & the truck was full but I could have fit a bunch more brush on it If I had to. I had 600 lbs of stuff in it! The most I ever had in the ranger was almost 500 lbs & I thought the truck was going to die that time..... The suspension in the F150 didn't even squat down at all today.

Also I got pulled over yesterday for havng "an unsecured load" I had tie straps holding the brush down but aparently that isn't enough You gotta have a tarp type cover on it. So I'm going to engineer a tarp holder/roller retractor to fit on my truck (kinda like you see on big dump trucks). I wnet to tractor supply yesterday & picked up some assorted stuff to start building it. Anybody ever built one before?

04-02-2008, 05:56 PM
I am looking forwards to seeing what you create.

I am not sure of the exact design concept you have in your mind but I found this one online and thought it was a neat concept that might help you.

Andrew's Lawn Care
04-02-2008, 07:02 PM
Well Chuck I hear you on that 8.77 im driving the silverado with a 6.0L and I am expecting to get about that too, if not a little lower. I'm still tring to find something that I can do to get a little better milage with out paying a lot for it.

Andrew's Lawn Care
04-02-2008, 08:04 PM
Quote[/b] (makbootzy @ Mar. 30 2008,9:28)]http://www.tornadoair.com/HowItWorks.php
Hey Rick I was wondering how much you know about this product? I have seen them around for a while but I don't know if it acutally works and is worth the money. Please let me know.

04-02-2008, 10:49 PM
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ April 02 2008,5:56)]I am looking forwards to seeing what you create.

I've built some bed rail extensions (fences, just like I had on my old truck) At the top/front of those I plan to build a crank-roll up system more like this.


So I can just roll it out, strap it down & go, roll it up, & empty the truck..... & when not in use the tarp will stay rolled up & outta my way. I bought the supplies to do it yesterday & more little bolts n' stuff I needed today. I'll post pics as soon as I can.

04-02-2008, 10:53 PM
Quote[/b] (Andrew's Lawn Care @ April 02 2008,7:02)]Well Chuck I hear you on that 8.77 im driving the silverado with a 6.0L and I am expecting to get about that too, if not a little lower. I'm still tring to find something that I can do to get a little better milage with out paying a lot for it.
Andrew , I'll keep you posted If the tunner helps or not, I know they have them for chevy's too.

I don't know if those tornados work....?

04-03-2008, 10:54 AM
Here is the tarp kit you were talking about.

04-03-2008, 05:09 PM
Update, I fuel up today after using only a quarter of a tank to check my mileage. I fuel up a couple days ago & drove about 10 miles prior to retuning the engine. So to re-word it Today I had 73.5 miles (about 10 of which were pre-adjustment miles) It took 7 gallons to fill.... = 10.5 mpg Almost a 2 mpg difference from just the tuning. probably more cause that 10 miles would have thrown this off a bit.

So to do the math:
If I drove say 12k this year @ 8.77 mpg I'd use 1368 gallons
Now-12,000 miles @ 10.5 mpg I'd use 1143 gallons.

A difference of 225 gallons! & at say $3.40 a gallon
thats $765 in savings in the 1st year for a tuner that lists at about $300 bucks. So It pays for itself pretty #### quick!

I'll keep you posted on any other advancements I find.

S.P.Martin Lawn Care
04-11-2008, 10:11 PM
My truck is an 04 F-150 crewcab w/tow package that includes 3.73 gears.

MPG was not that great. First cross country towing with about a 4K load netted about 14.5 at highway speeds. City driving about 13.5 w/o towing, highway around 19.

Installed a K&N and picked up about 1.2 mpg, mostly at lower speeds. You need to clean it every 15K miles or so.

Smoked the trans this January towing a load to MN. Broke down close enough to home I made it to the dealer. Lost 3rd and 4th gears. Replaced trans under warranty, thank god...

Bought a Superchips tuner w/intention of improving trans life and mpg improvement. Love the way the trans now shifts. First trip was to NJ w/safe tow program, 87 octane, running empty. MPG went down by about 2 mpg compared to stock. Not pleased.

Just got back three days ago from MN. Decided to run the performance tune to see how that would work, needed 91 or better octane. MPG was down about 2 mph compared to stock. Even more pissed off, 91 or higher not cheap...But it did flatten the hills far better than stock w/o unlocking 4th. In fact it ran better than it ever did under those conditions, power wise.

I did notice that once I got out of colder temps of MN and WI, and into the 60 plus temps in IL and OH, mpg shot up to 21.5 from 17.8, all at 65 on cruise control. Once I got into the colder temps of New England again, back to 17.8 or worse.

I'm thinking that Superchips did all their tuning in warm weather only, like Florida where they are located. I'll be sending them an e-mail to see what can be done or I'll ask for my money back.

Next step is a cat back exhaust system which should net an improvement in mpg. Will let you know...

04-11-2008, 11:04 PM
Quote[/b] (Andrew's Lawn Care @ April 02 2008,6:04)]Quote[/b] (makbootzy @ Mar. 30 2008,9:28)]http://www.tornadoair.com/HowItWorks.php
Hey Rick I was wondering how much you know about this product? I have seen them around for a while but I don't know if it acutally works and is worth the money. Please let me know.
I have never used one but have seen them on Power Block and they do the same as throttle body spacers.

05-19-2008, 11:10 AM
*Here's a pc or two of the tarp roller I made. *I need to take a picure of it rolled up so you can better see the design but there is a eye bolt connected to the roller mechanism that sticks out through a hole in the right side of the truck (through the rails I made). *Then there is a handle attached to the eye bolt to funtion as a crank to roll the tarp up.

I had almost 700 lbs of oak in there!

05-19-2008, 11:11 AM
Another shot

05-19-2008, 11:39 AM
Oh that is awesome! Good job! Yes I'd love to see some more closeup pics on how it works!

Andrew's Lawn Care
05-24-2008, 01:23 PM
Just checking in to see how everyone is doing with gas and to see what the SuperChip/Tornados have done for eveyone. Let me know.

05-25-2008, 09:17 AM
Quote[/b] (Andrew's Lawn Care @ May 24 2008,2:23)]Just checking in to see how everyone is doing with gas and to see what the SuperChip/Tornados have done for eveyone. Let me know.
Well, I got a programmer as I mentioned earlier in this post & set the truck on economy mode..... Works fine around town & saves about 2 mpg. Though I went to get on the highway, came up the entrance ramp at about 50 & then kicked it in the utt to get up to 70mph & the truck fell on it's face. As though the transmission just let go. Trying to accelerate normally I could get it to a top speed of about 58 mph. I found only if I babied it up a bit at a time I could get going faster.... It drove me crazy for day trying to figure out what the #### was going on. Then it hit me, Under load & accelerating the engine is simply wanting more & more fuel, & because I had it set on economy the pcm (powertrain control module) wasn't allowing the fuel pump to send it. So restored all my settings back to factory & the truck is fine now but I'm back to sucking down the moo juice. Currently about $300 wk bettween truck, mowers & equipment.

All Aspects Landscaping
05-25-2008, 11:07 AM
i heard if you cut off your finger using the hedge trimmers, that will make you more aerodynamic , in addition to the lower weight, you should sure be able to produce about 35-40 mpg minimum. Combine that with the high stress of a holiday weekend and not being able to pick up anything, plus the amount of blood you lose, you should be in great shape for a great holiday weekend!!

05-25-2008, 12:19 PM
How you feelin' man?

I'll betcha typing is a PIA now huh?
Can't get to those 3,4,e,d,x, & c keys without hurting your nub right? http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/pointlaugh.gif

Did you actually cut it off? or just cut it dude?

Either way I'm sure it hurt like ####. I joke but I do hope you get better or you'll have to change your company name to
All Asp ts lan s aping (the letters you can no longer type) lol

I say give me a call sometime but you can't let your fingers do the walkin' anymore.....

do they make prosthetic f*** you fingers?

Ok I'll stop. Hope it made you smile though.

All Aspects Landscaping
05-25-2008, 12:33 PM
you really made me laugh about the letters I cant type!!! I got a huge bandage on my left middle finger, so telling people that they are #1 is fun right now... I went to the ER for a checkup today (Docs office closed) and this dude ripped the "artificial blood clotting material" off!!! started bleeding a little... but in my pain, i managed to get a picture of it. Ill post later... gotta go sit by the pool and take a some oxycodin... Thanks for the laugh!! and yes.... it hurt like a mother ****er!!!

Not the tip, more like Im missing a fingerprint!! I could probably rob a bank and get away with it!!! lol

enjoy the holiday guys!!!

05-25-2008, 06:55 PM
cool deal, That's the reaction I was goin' for!

I was trying to think of something else smart assed you could rename the company too like "One Bird Mowing" or "2 green thumbs (& 7 other fingers)" but I wanted to stay away from those letters & couldn't think of anything that would work.

05-25-2008, 07:06 PM
Got it! "NUBS MOWING" http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

All Aspects Landscaping
05-25-2008, 08:08 PM

05-26-2008, 12:19 AM
my little brother crushed his fingers. has half of his pinky and half of his forth finger. I call him stubs

05-26-2008, 06:31 AM
See that's pretty funny, I'm sure he doesn't take offence to it right? I wouldn't I suppose...? I mean what can ya do, stuff happens.

Welcome to the forum Comanche.

All Aspects Landscaping
05-26-2008, 08:26 AM
im gonna try to get some pics up tonite!!

i saw it yesterday and its nasty!!

05-26-2008, 09:36 AM
No he cool with it. Hes the one who actually started joking about it first so it just caught on. I think when somethin happens like what happened to you you have to look beyond the bad and focus on the possitive things in life. Ill help get you through the oh man cant hit that key.

All Aspects Landscaping
05-26-2008, 10:56 AM
ah man...thanks... but not much can break my spirit or determination.... went out and ran/walked 5 miles today... looked kinda funny holding my finger above my heart!! Gonna try to run the philly marathon and quite possibly the Mens Health Urbanathon in NYC. We'll see how training goes and how much time I have...

But funny part... i went back to work friday, on perkisets (sp?) and I was running around giving my mexican employees the finger (hurt my left middle finger).... I was like "high"... i never did a drug in my life... it was pretty funny...

It sucks cause im not really stumpy... its more like skinny middle finger?!? Maybe my wife can find something creative to do with it?? maybe this could be a good thing!!! lol

BTW - anyone else sick of the spam and #### links that come up every weekend??

05-27-2008, 12:15 AM

Way to think positive man. Cool!