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MAB3L, the most reasonable truck on the road!


bhgl

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Lefty

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I rather like 1.8:1 Roller rockers from Tom Morana, http://www.moranav6racing.com/category.html?CategoryID=36
All except he wants $475.00 for them. He claims a gain of about 18 hp. No doubt it's a gain of MPG too, if you can resist the urge to go light on the gas.

They are kind of pricey though
 

stmitch

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The typical recipe for mpg in the 3.0 is e-fan and underdrive pulley combination. This will also free up some hp by reducing parasitic load on the engine. It's an all around win.

If you haven't done the throttle cable zip tie mod, that's probably worth checking too as you may not be getting as much throttle movement as you're commanding.

The Vulcan has a tendency to ping, even in stock form. Higher compression, and/or less fuel will only exacerbate that tendency. It can be overcome, but that takes lots of time and some money to retune at a minimum, and may include changes to hardware as well.

You can go crazy with time/money working to nibble away at mechanical efficiency gains, or you can work on aero, which is often cheaper and more effective at improving highway fuel economy:


That's more aggressive aero modding than you're considering, and that truck had the Duratec 2.3/manual combo which has a much higher baseline of efficiency than the Vulcan/Auto that you're saddled with, but it goes to show what is at least possible with aerodynamic changes rather than mechanical.

For a discretely modified, slippery Ranger that still has utility I'd focus on a grille block and underbody tray. Even better if it's lowered. Add the efan and underdrive pulley and you'd probably be somewhere in the 24-26mpg range on the highway if you're driving reasonable speeds.
 

bhgl

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Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
The typical recipe for mpg in the 3.0 is e-fan and underdrive pulley combination. This will also free up some hp by reducing parasitic load on the engine. It's an all around win.

If you haven't done the throttle cable zip tie mod, that's probably worth checking too as you may not be getting as much throttle movement as you're commanding.

The Vulcan has a tendency to ping, even in stock form. Higher compression, and/or less fuel will only exacerbate that tendency. It can be overcome, but that takes lots of time and some money to retune at a minimum, and may include changes to hardware as well.

You can go crazy with time/money working to nibble away at mechanical efficiency gains, or you can work on aero, which is often cheaper and more effective at improving highway fuel economy:


That's more aggressive aero modding than you're considering, and that truck had the Duratec 2.3/manual combo which has a much higher baseline of efficiency than the Vulcan/Auto that you're saddled with, but it goes to show what is at least possible with aerodynamic changes rather than mechanical.

For a discretely modified, slippery Ranger that still has utility I'd focus on a grille block and underbody tray. Even better if it's lowered. Add the efan and underdrive pulley and you'd probably be somewhere in the 24-26mpg range on the highway if you're driving reasonable speeds.
E-Fan is actually being installed tonight! I planned out most of the wiring last night just to make sure I can get it done all at once. Aero is in the works, just waiting for the time and $$$, and the same situation for lowering.

The folks on the ecomodder forum are a huge inspiration for what ought to be done to make this truck more efficient.

I am worried about the reliability of the engine in general following a tune + other mods, but I think with a full custom tune done by a professional even in stock format this truck could see some benefit. I've got some ideas in the works for supporting mods that should probably be done before I get to a tune.

If at least some amount of fuel can be trimmed out of the lower end it'd go a long way to improve efficiency.

I'm trying to be holistic in my approach to efficiency on this truck, while still maintaining reasonable utility and reliability. That means that if one mod like aero would net me a bigger benefit than let's say an upgraded intake, I'm still going to do both. Just a matter of time as always.
 

bhgl

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2WD
I rather like 1.8:1 Roller rockers from Tom Morana, http://www.moranav6racing.com/category.html?CategoryID=36
All except he wants $475.00 for them. He claims a gain of about 18 hp. No doubt it's a gain of MPG too, if you can resist the urge to go light on the gas.

They are kind of pricey though
I don't know how much those rockers would ultimately help in my quest for fuel economy to be honest. Yes more air more good, but without a tune the computer's going to dump the same amount of fuel, just burn it a bit more efficiently.
 

Lefty

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I don't know how much those rockers would ultimately help in my quest for fuel economy to be honest. Yes more air more good, but without a tune the computer's going to dump the same amount of fuel, just burn it a bit more efficiently.
I'm not sure either, but they lift the valves higher than stock and allow the engine to "breathe" easier. If you were looking for more HP, you could also install a larger 60 mm throttle body.

If you were only concerned about economy, you could retain the stock size. In this case the real advantage is that roller rockers generate less friction. Better breathing would also allow the engine to run better at lower RPM which would, in turn save on gas. How much, we don't really know. Tommy Morana is more concerned about racing.

The real downside is the $475.00 initial cost plus a half a day's work. It might take a long time to recover the cost.
 

Lefty

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Then again, if you want mileage, drive this. It gets about 45MPG depending on my cruising speed. It parks on a dime too.
fiat.jpg


In truth it gets about 26-28 MPG in the city where I drive.

I have the Ranger for other reasons. One is to haul stuff like 2x4s, bricks, gravel, etc. Another is for increased traction in the winter and the rain. It's got big all terrain tires and a limited slip differential. Mileage is good too. I get 20-21 city. It's not much worse than the Fiat. My point? While mileage is a factor, traction and/or safety is far more important.

By all means, feel free to improve on economy, Keep us posted.
 

Lefty

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The typical recipe for mpg in the 3.0 is e-fan and underdrive pulley combination. This will also free up some hp by reducing parasitic load on the engine. It's an all around win.

If you haven't done the throttle cable zip tie mod, that's probably worth checking too as you may not be getting as much throttle movement as you're commanding.

The Vulcan has a tendency to ping, even in stock form. Higher compression, and/or less fuel will only exacerbate that tendency. It can be overcome, but that takes lots of time and some money to retune at a minimum, and may include changes to hardware as well.

You can go crazy with time/money working to nibble away at mechanical efficiency gains, or you can work on aero, which is often cheaper and more effective at improving highway fuel economy:


That's more aggressive aero modding than you're considering, and that truck had the Duratec 2.3/manual combo which has a much higher baseline of efficiency than the Vulcan/Auto that you're saddled with, but it goes to show what is at least possible with aerodynamic changes rather than mechanical.

For a discretely modified, slippery Ranger that still has utility I'd focus on a grille block and underbody tray. Even better if it's lowered. Add the efan and underdrive pulley and you'd probably be somewhere in the 24-26mpg range on the highway if you're driving reasonable speeds.
I'm curious. Would you have a photo example of a grille block or an underbody tray?
 

bhgl

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Mazda B3000
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Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Then again, if you want mileage, drive this. It gets about 45MPG depending on my cruising speed. It parks on a dime too. View attachment 110013

In truth it gets about 26-28 MPG in the city where I drive.

I have the Ranger for other reasons. One is to haul stuff like 2x4s, bricks, gravel, etc. Another is for increased traction in the winter and the rain. It's got big all terrain tires and a limited slip differential. Mileage is good too. I get 20-21 city. It's not much worse than the Fiat. My point? While mileage is a factor, traction and/or safety is far more important.

By all means, feel free to improve on economy, Keep us posted.
I've got an 05 Toyota Corolla for most of the driving I do around town and other trips, it's reasonable on gas and certainly better than the truck.

The truck is mostly a project, but getting better fuel economy means my vacations cost less, and I get to my destination sooner. I do long-distance road trips mostly and car camp on my way to the destination, it's almost perfect for that application the only exception being the fuel economy.

As for grill blocks here's an example:

1713984570000.png


It's mostly done to reduce drag, some folks also do it to raise engine temps. Folks with diesels or heavy duty trucks do it in the winter as well to keep their engines warm in cold conditions which helps with fuel economy and performance.

Most modern vehicles are overcooled, especially on the highway, and that's why you can get away with blocking so much of the grill. You still have to be mindful of your temps but in general it won't cause any issues.

As for undertrays

1713984691362.png


This has been a thing on racecars forever, but effectively it smooths airflow underneath the vehicle improving handling and reducing drag.

The underside of cars, trucks in particular are awful for aero, so even modern efficient cars and EVs in particular will have fully smooth underbodies:

1713984813228.png


I'm planning on doing some aero work like the above to the truck eventually since it's part of the puzzle, but I need the time and $$ first.
 

Lefty

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I've got an 05 Toyota Corolla for most of the driving I do around town and other trips, it's reasonable on gas and certainly better than the truck.

The truck is mostly a project, but getting better fuel economy means my vacations cost less, and I get to my destination sooner. I do long-distance road trips mostly and car camp on my way to the destination, it's almost perfect for that application the only exception being the fuel economy.

As for grill blocks here's an example:

View attachment 110014

It's mostly done to reduce drag, some folks also do it to raise engine temps. Folks with diesels or heavy duty trucks do it in the winter as well to keep their engines warm in cold conditions which helps with fuel economy and performance.

Most modern vehicles are overcooled, especially on the highway, and that's why you can get away with blocking so much of the grill. You still have to be mindful of your temps but in general it won't cause any issues.

As for undertrays

View attachment 110015

This has been a thing on racecars forever, but effectively it smooths airflow underneath the vehicle improving handling and reducing drag.

The underside of cars, trucks in particular are awful for aero, so even modern efficient cars and EVs in particular will have fully smooth underbodies:

View attachment 110016

I'm planning on doing some aero work like the above to the truck eventually since it's part of the puzzle, but I need the time and $$ first.
 

Lefty

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Very cool! I wish there was some sort of kit like that for the Ranger.
 

bhgl

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Very cool! I wish there was some sort of kit like that for the Ranger.
Who knows! Wouldn't be the hardest thing in the world to 3d model and get sheet aluminum cut to shape. Only question is the economics of it all since most folks aren't looking for sport-truck type parts for the ranger in particular, there are already a wide assortment of skid/underplates, but they're usually steel and heavy duty, high in weight and usually not very aerodynamic.
 

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I have quite the assortment of aluminum signs I've acquired thru the years. I might repurposed them... Lol.
Wish I had one that said;
Flip
Over
Read
Directions...
Would have been great for my truck in the avatar pic...
 

bhgl

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Northern Ontario, Canada
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Automatic
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2WD
I have quite the assortment of aluminum signs I've acquired thru the years. I might repurposed them... Lol.
Wish I had one that said;
Flip
Over
Read
Directions...
Would have been great for my truck in the avatar pic...
Honestly.. old aluminum signs is a pretty solid source for an undertray now that you mention it.
 

stmitch

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Honestly.. old aluminum signs is a pretty solid source for an undertray now that you mention it.
Lots of the Ecomodder guys use coroplast as it's cheaper, lighter, and can be shaped/installed more quickly than other materials.

It's election season down here in the States, and an intrepid individual could probably source big sheets of it from campaigns for nothing.

You can also buy large sheets of it from sign shops or on this here interweb.
 

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