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Again... Another dead horse beat


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#1 SearsYellow OFFLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2015 - 08:33 AM

I have a 1997 Ford F350 XL crew cab and I am trying to improve the MPG's. I know a lot of people say "good luck with that". It has the 5.8 Liter 351. I haven't done anything to do it yet. I was thinking of buying a less restrictive air filter, changing plug wires and spark plugs. What else do you think would help? It gets pretty good gas mileage now considering it has the 5.8. 10 highway 14 city. It has 126,000 miles.  I do believe it has a 4.10 gear in the rear end (truthfully idk but I'm guessing). I am not sure if they even ran a 4.10 gear in the 1997 trucks. I know it's crazy it gets better gas mileage in the city but that's something I'm trying to understand. As long as I am cruising around going 45-55 mpg I am getting my best gas mileage. 65+ I might as well put a hole in the gas tank.

 

The only reason I bought this truck was to use with my Lawn Care business. Naturally in business sense the less money I spend the more I make. That's one place I am trying to cut corners. It's possible if I mow all of my yards I could travel 120+ in a day. Yes, I agree that's way to far apart. The two that are the farthest apart live in Ritzy neighborhoods so I am hoping to pick up a few yards to make It worth my time. Anything will help. Thanks!


Edited by SearsYellow, August 28, 2015 - 08:36 AM.

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#2 jabelman OFFLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2015 - 08:57 AM

Yes good luck with that one. Fords a pretty responsive to a cold air intake. Keep good tire inflation. Drive it like an old lady.
Besides that gas us cheap now 1.99 gal in nj

Edited by jabelman, August 28, 2015 - 08:57 AM.


#3 petrj6 ONLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2015 - 09:05 AM

If you arent afraid to spend alittle money than go with headman headers and an open axaust, just don't go crazy and make it super loud. That with a cold air intake should help lots!! Taller narrower tires will help as well.

#4 New.Canadian.DB.Owner ONLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2015 - 02:39 PM

...  Naturally in business sense the less money I spend the more I make. That's one place I am trying to cut corners. ...

Not to hijack your thread, but that is just dead wrong.  You can not cut your way to profit.  Every dollar you cut off a corner will cost you time & business.  I can't count the number of restaurants I have gone to over the years that are incredible on day one, okay a month later, and then out of business in 6.  I went to one that was using ketchup as tomato sauce in it's spaghetti because it was cheaper.

 

In the end, you will spend more on gas & maintenance than you will on payments for a new vehicle.  Plus, the new vehicle will look like you are professional & going to still be in business in a week.  


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#5 toomanytoys84 ONLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2015 - 03:38 PM

About all you can do imo.

Is

A full tune up. Good filter. New plugs wires oil change your gear lubes to synthetics.

Run the lightest highway tire you can find. Heavy Aggressive tires Rob mpg.

Drive like grandma on her way to church. Keep rpms below 2k. Short shift if a standard.

If indeed it has 4.10s regear get to a 3.73 but cost vs gains? Probably not worth it.

Any fuel mileage boosting products are gimmicks.

Do you really need a 1 ton truck to haul lawn equipment on? Every lawn care business I see has a regular cab 1/2 ton truck pulling a big trailer with 2 tractors and all the goodies to take care of lawn.

I'd say everything you are hauling you aren't anywhere near the towing capacity of a 1/2 ton. Properly set up half tons are rated at 8000 to 10000.

Edited by toomanytoys84, August 28, 2015 - 03:47 PM.

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#6 backyardtinker OFFLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2015 - 07:16 PM

If you plan on keeping the truck, I second the notion of the tallest,narrowest and hardest compound tires you can find. If a tune up is in order, try using the E3 spark plugs, you can look them up on line. May give a small percentage improvement through more complete combustion. Depending on how much you want to spend, you could always change rear axle ratio to a slightly less aggressive profile and install an appropriate RV torque cam. Then there is always a water/methanol injection system......

  as a practical thing though, improving your driving habits can yield pretty decent results. I experimented over the past year as my car has one of those fuel calculator displays in it that shows real time instant fuel mileage, avg. mileage, etc. and i have found that accelerating up to the desired cruising speed quickly actually has a positive impact on fuel milage. It sounds counter intuitive, but here is why. Fuel milage is largely affected by time in the throttle under load. Less time under load and more time spent at slight throttle angles or coasting equals better MPG. Very simple. When I accelerate up to speed quickly, I count 1,2,3,4,5 or what have you, depending on desired speed,etc. Then I coast........1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10, 11,12,13,14,15,16,etc. Usually, I get a minimum of 2x's or more time-off-throttle, or at slight throttle light load, compared to very short bursts of throttle to maintain speed where desired. It's hugely a matter of time/throttle angle and RPM. less time on throttle, smaller throttle angles while cruising, less RPM everywhere possible. Wont cost you a penny to try and should yield noticeable results. If your truck does not coast well,( my car LOVES to coast ) then make sure your brake callipers are completely free, brakes properly adjusted, wheel bearings all good etc. The synthetics for oil is a good suggestion too. The harder durometer tires will offer the least rolling resistance. All of the advice offered by others here is good advice as well so you have a lot of things to think about but that means lots of opportunity to improve your situation.


Edited by backyardtinker, August 28, 2015 - 07:19 PM.


#7 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2015 - 08:35 PM

Unless you have a NEED for that size truck besides your lawn care get rid of it.  Like tomanytoys84 said, any half ton worth it's salt will haul all the lawn equipment you need with no problem and at a lot less cost.  Driving habits have a lot to do with gas mileage, brakes and other maintenance.  Learn easy starts and roll up to the stop sign and only use the brakes for the final stop.  Way to many people, especially the younger generation, think they have to get up to 60 as fast as they can and when they see a stop sign the keep their foot in it till the last second and then brake hard to get slowed in time, maybe stopped.  That kills gas mileage and hard on brakes and everything else too.  Take a long hard look at your driving habits and I bet you can improve your gas mileage by a couple 3 or so.   My opinion entirely.


Edited by chieffan, August 28, 2015 - 08:36 PM.


#8 shorty ONLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2015 - 08:49 PM

From my experiance of pulling trailers. I think that with pulling a daily load like that, a half ton would be wore out in no time. In my opinion, they just are not built to handle the stress of  a load every day. For every once in a while hauling a trailer. they are fine. A lot of the local landscapers are getting bigger trucks, like 450 and 550. The daily wear and tear makes it worth investing in a heavier truck.



#9 UncleWillie ONLINE  

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Posted August 28, 2015 - 08:51 PM

Not to hijack your thread, but that is just dead wrong.  You can not cut your way to profit.  Every dollar you cut off a corner will cost you time & business.  I can't count the number of restaurants I have gone to over the years that are incredible on day one, okay a month later, and then out of business in 6.  I went to one that was using ketchup as tomato sauce in it's spaghetti because it was cheaper.

 

In the end, you will spend more on gas & maintenance than you will on payments for a new vehicle.  Plus, the new vehicle will look like you are professional & going to still be in business in a week.  

If a guy wanted to mow my yard and showed up in a new vehicle I would think he was asking too much.

 

 

A good set of thinner tires will do wonders as they have less rolling resistance. Consider changing all fluids over to synthetic - heat is the enemy of good mileage.  A cold air intake will help a little bit. Higher gearing will be a major plus. Having a tune done of the computer will help.

 

That being said the money you put into better fuel mileage will probably never be recouped. Every change is such a tiny amount that you would have to drive it for a couple hundred years to make anything back.


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#10 SearsYellow OFFLINE  

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Posted August 29, 2015 - 07:00 AM

Not to hijack your thread, but that is just dead wrong. You can not cut your way to profit. Every dollar you cut off a corner will cost you time & business. I can't count the number of restaurants I have gone to over the years that are incredible on day one, okay a month later, and then out of business in 6. I went to one that was using ketchup as tomato sauce in it's spaghetti because it was cheaper.

In the end, you will spend more on gas & maintenance than you will on payments for a new vehicle. Plus, the new vehicle will look like you are professional & going to still be in business in a week.

I have to say that I've always wanted one of these trucks. Square Body 350. I got the truck for one, I love the body style. 2. It will pull anything I put behind it (when it comes to lawn care). I'm hoping oneday I'll be pulling a tandem trailer with a couple of zero turns, 2 walk behinds, 4 weedeaters, 2 backpack blower and other hand tool rakes shovels etc. All in all about 4000-5000 lbs. Probably close to 6k if I count the trailer too.
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#11 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted August 29, 2015 - 07:13 AM

I Iove our 250 super duty with one exception.
The mileage.

A big part of it has been the brakes tend to hang a little since new. The dealer has done what they're supposed to, but the tolerances are to tight on the slides on these vehicles and they will hang with road dirt, debris, etc...
The mechanic said the best kept secret at ford is that they are supposed to grease them every time they're serviced.

We don't drive it much, but it will pull a house at 10mpg
I did put in a K&N filter a few years back, no difference except my wallet was lighter.

#12 New.Canadian.DB.Owner ONLINE  

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Posted August 29, 2015 - 10:00 AM

If a guy wanted to mow my yard and showed up in a new vehicle I would think he was asking too much.

 

 

...

 

If I hired a guy to mow my lawn & he called me every other week to say he couldn't make it because his truck was in the shop, I would be p!ssed.  I would rather a guy made a buck and came when he promised.  If no one makes a buck, the economy falters.  Oh, wait, it is faltering because everyone wants to buy Chinese crap at the Dollar Store instead of Made in North America quality items that create jobs, so no one has a job to buy quality products, like a new truck. 



#13 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted August 29, 2015 - 11:35 AM

Ok, I am on my phone and not where I can get to my iPad to write a lengthy reply that combines wit, tact, and wisdom to get the thread back to the original question.

So, I will have to just be satisfied with typing on my little itty bitty screen...
Lets get back on topic.
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#14 toomanytoys84 ONLINE  

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Posted August 29, 2015 - 03:45 PM

I did put in a K&N filter a few years back, no difference except my wallet was lighter.

Like I said that stuff is a gimmick. If these fuel saver things worked they would be factory. Especially today since its a big mpg challenge.

Do some reading on that k and n filter before you keep it long term. People trash them on the internet saying they don't filter as well as an OEM style filter.

http://www.nicoclub....oem-filter.html

Pretty in-depth test and review on filters. Not some guy in his back yard.

My uncle is a sucker. He has bought everything from special spark plugs to that turbo fan that goes in your intake tube to get more fuel economy. Then he complains when they don't work.

Edited by toomanytoys84, August 29, 2015 - 03:46 PM.

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#15 SearsYellow OFFLINE  

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Posted August 29, 2015 - 09:51 PM

This truck is very reliable. It has 126,000 miles on it and it doesn't use drop of oil. The past 2 months I've had this truck I have put over 1000+ miles on it. Never hiccuped or stuttered. I am very happy with this truck. When I was 17 years old this fella in the fire department had the two door version of the truck. I would always gaze in awe at it whenever he used to pull in the parking lot. 16 years later I finally have one of my own. It's a good feeling.


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