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Old 01-05-2010, 10:33 AM   #1
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Greetings from an Island in the Pacific!

Well technically Vancouver Island BC is in the Pacific and ?hello from the mid North? just doesn?t have the same ring.
I recently had to make a switch from my Ford Ranger to a big gas guzzling F-150 4x4. Even worse it?s a 5.4L v8. So it really isn?t rated for decent fuel mileage at all. But I?m a fishing guide and need the 4x4 and the extra space to lug people and gear around as well our soon to arrive little one couldn?t fit in the bucket seats in the back of the Ranger. Since finances were tight and my window for vehicle replacement was short I scooped this F-150 for a decent deal, only to find it really isn?t all that great on gas.
Been scouring the internet looking for ways (beyond driving habits) that might help save a dollar or two here and there and I stumbled across this site.
My guess is you?ll see me snooping around and asking the odd noob questions here and there. I should be getting the scanguage within a few weeks and then I can keep better track of mileage.

Current Vehicle specs are as follows:

2003 Ford F-150 XLT, 5.4L v8, auto 4x4 with extended cab and regular box.
It?s got just over 160K on it.
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:15 AM   #2
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Welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FordF150 View Post
Been scouring the internet looking for ways (beyond driving habits) that might help save a dollar or two here and there
Driving habits are most of what you can do to save money. There are a few modifications you can do that can pay for themselves, but if you're using the truck for your work as a fishing guide you won't be able to use the ugly ones. That leaves very few things you can do.

Your truck is approximately the Ford equivalent of my 2002 GMC. You can look at my gaslog (Bessy) to see what my fuel economy looks like with mostly driving habits adjusted.

I do run high pressure in my tires, which helps. I usually have Load Range E tires, which are rated for 80psi max. I run 80 front, 70 rear. I don't run 80 in the rear because handling (mainly when the road is wet) suffers above 70.

What is your axle ratio?
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:00 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forums.

A 5.4L V8 and 4x4 are all going to keep your mpg down.

Although I bet that is one heck of a work truck!
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:23 PM   #4
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Welcome-

The only time I object to people who drive SUVs, trucks, etc., is when they don't use them for their intended purpose. I know people who own pickups "just because" but never put stuff in the bed, I know people with SUVs who only carry their kids' soccer cleats in the back, and so on - those are the ones I object to. But if you USE your truck, then great!

The types of changes you'll want to make depend on your driving, whether it is highway or local. For local driving, aero mods won't have barely any effect but driving technique (things like slow acceleration or hitting your brakes early when you see a stoplight ahead) could pay big dividends. Of course some changes (warm-air intake) could help in either situation too.

Enjoy the board!

-Bob C.
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Old 01-05-2010, 01:03 PM   #5
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Thanks for the welcome. Well I don't have a truck "just because" and if I did have one for poops and giggles I'd get a smaller one that I could drive more.
I haul mostly fishing gear that isn't that heavy it just takes up space is wet & dirty and oftem REAL smelly. Also need the space up front for moving people.

Oh and ocasionally have to lug a trailer and boat around.

As for my axle ratio, I actually don't know. Where do I/how do I check?
And most of my driving is a combo of hwy, town and off road not necessarily in that order of use.

I do presently have smaller narrower tires on her they're LT 245 75r16 by V-Steel (came with the truck).
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Old 01-05-2010, 01:29 PM   #6
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245-75-16 is a normal size tire for a truck like that. That's the size that came stock on my truck.

I don't know where your option codes would be listed. There's probably a label somewhere. Normally it would be on the door jamb, but your extended cab truck probably has rearward-opening rear doors, right?
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Old 01-05-2010, 01:33 PM   #7
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Roger that I'll go take a look and see if I see any info on the the doors or hood
Just checked I didn't see it listed. Is it on the sticker with the tire inflation suggestions?
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Old 01-05-2010, 04:15 PM   #8
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Found something that might help:
http://www.fordf150.net/howto/decode.php
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Old 01-05-2010, 04:37 PM   #9
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Yup that did it:
Axle Codes (LS=Limited Slip)
B6 ? 3.73 LS
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Old 01-05-2010, 04:50 PM   #10
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Your truck is configured very similar to mine. I don't have the limited slip differential, though.

Be careful with the LSD. It's more susceptible to causing fishtailing on black ice or other slick surfaces because both rear wheels will spin, losing lateral traction as a result. Open differentials can do that too but are less likely to.
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