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Old 06-14-2008, 02:05 PM   #1
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Arrow Hello everyone...

Just stopping by to say hi... Mileage has always been an obsession of mine. My current daily driver is a 1998 GMC Sierra Extended cab 4x4. I usually get about 15 driving around town, and I have acheived as much as 30 mpg on the highway.

On my 1986 Chevy C10 pickup I replaced the stock 3 speed automatic with a 4 speed automatic overdrive when the tranny went. Same with my Buick. My first car, (Which I still own and drive) is a 1981 Buick Regal. I upgraded the tranny to a 4 speed electronic overdrive when the tranny went out years ago.

-Jay
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Old 06-14-2008, 04:08 PM   #2
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Welcome, Jay. Your driveway must look kinda like mine, I've got a 2002 Sierra 4x4 extended cab and a 1980 Lesabre.

How have you squeezed 30mpg out of the Sierra? That's nearly twice the EPA highway rating! I'm ecstatic that I've been managing >19mpg with 40% highway driving.

I'd like to eventually put a 4 speed auto in the Buick, but that's going to be a project for a whole other year...it needs a lot of work right now.
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Old 06-15-2008, 10:05 PM   #3
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Welcome, Jay. Your driveway must look kinda like mine, I've got a 2002 Sierra 4x4 extended cab and a 1980 Lesabre.

How have you squeezed 30mpg out of the Sierra? That's nearly twice the EPA highway rating! I'm ecstatic that I've been managing >19mpg with 40% highway driving.

I'd like to eventually put a 4 speed auto in the Buick, but that's going to be a project for a whole other year...it needs a lot of work right now.
I was driving down to Florida to visit my grandparents. I think I had the cruise set on 60 the whole way, and I drove through the night so I really didn't need the a/c. I also drafted off of trucks every chance I got. I only did it once... The interesting thing though is that my brother in law drove it on the way back because he rode with me (His flight was cancelled). The truck only got 16 with him driving. I think he had the cruise set on 85 or 90.

Converting an old Buick to an OD tranny is a tad bit tricky. If I remember correctly the Turbo 700R4 is not the same length as the Turbo 350 which is most likely in your LeSabre. You may have to go to a junkyard and get a driveshaft from something along the lines of an 86-91 Caprice. I think on my Buick we ended up using a driveshaft torn out of a junked 86 Grand National. You will also have to relocate the transmission crossmember. On my Buick I used the Metric 400 tranny as that is what was used on the Grand National. Since the GN was made from the same body and frame as my Regal the conversion parts were easy to find. The nice thing about it too is that since the GN is a turbo car, its tranny has a nice, low first gear. My Regal with the stock 3.8 V6 and a 2bbl carb can barely get out of its own way sometimes. The lower first gear helps it move off the line much better. Throw overdrive into the mix and it cruises much nicer at highway speeds. Be prepared, depending on what rear end you have in your car you may need to change the rear end as well to get the right FE and driveability combination.

I don't see many other full size 4wd trucks listed here... Are we a rare breed to try and get as much as we can out of these vehicles?

-Jay
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Old 06-16-2008, 11:13 AM   #4
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Yes, it does have the Turbo 350, I'm pretty sure. I looked at the pan and compared it to pictures I found online.

Part of the reason we're a rare breed here is that not very many people try to improve their mileage in such trucks. Another part is that sometime they get scared off when they post and get judged for driving something so big.
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Old 06-16-2008, 11:27 AM   #5
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Yes, it does have the Turbo 350, I'm pretty sure. I looked at the pan and compared it to pictures I found online.

Part of the reason we're a rare breed here is that not very many people try to improve their mileage in such trucks. Another part is that sometime they get scared off when they post and get judged for driving something so big.
LOL, well I'm 6'4" with long legs. There are very few small vehicles that I'm actually comfortable in. Also, I prefer RWD vehicles as they are easier to work on myself. Everything isn't shoehorned into a tiny engine bay.

-Jay
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Old 06-16-2008, 11:46 AM   #6
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LOL, well I'm 6'4" with long legs. There are very few small vehicles that I'm actually comfortable in. Also, I prefer RWD vehicles as they are easier to work on myself. Everything isn't shoehorned into a tiny engine bay.

-Jay
Is that an aftermarket mirror on the passenger side of your Buick, or is it just how the light hit it? Doesn't look right. Anyway I'm sure it rides like an overstuffed couch. Its a shame you didn't have the V-8 though. I think on that car you had the option of a 301ci Pontiac V-8 or a 350ci Oldsmobile V-8. I'm not sure if the 305ci Chevrolet V-8 was available. I had the 301 in the car I learned to drive on, a 1980 Pontiac Bonneville Safari wagon. Nice solid car that took the miles in stride. I think that car had 180,000 miles on it when Dad made the executive decision to get rid of it. Something about "My son isn't driving a 13 y/o station wagon with 180,000 miles on it. I think I usually got 16 mpg in it, and that was as a young driver that liked to go fast, and push that big block V-8 to its limits.

-Jay
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:37 PM   #7
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Comfort is the biggest factor for me when choosing a vehicle. No matter how much I like it, if my elbows are going to be bothered by a too close / too high window sill or my knees are going be bruised from a too close / too high center console, I'm going to hate it.

The passenger side mirror is a cheap aftermarket one, and it's really a worthless piece of crap. My grandfather put one on probably 25 years ago, and I replaced it with the updated version of the same model (which I found for $5 at WalMart). I'll eventually come up with a nice OE-style one when I actually begin to do body work. Before I start on that I have to start mechanical work...

It does ride like an overstuffed couch, I love it. Nothing better than a cloth bench seat and a column shifter with soft suspension, for comfort! The 4.1 V6 is fast enough for me in that car, I'm so comfy that I'm never in a hurry. If I do ever decide to put in a V8 it will probably get a common Chevy small block just because they're so common, very easy to get parts and information for any type of build.

With the tall gearing they can use, some of those big heavy V8 cars do pretty well, especially on the highway.
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:50 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
Comfort is the biggest factor for me when choosing a vehicle. No matter how much I like it, if my elbows are going to be bothered by a too close / too high window sill or my knees are going be bruised from a too close / too high center console, I'm going to hate it.

The passenger side mirror is a cheap aftermarket one, and it's really a worthless piece of crap. My grandfather put one on probably 25 years ago, and I replaced it with the updated version of the same model (which I found for $5 at WalMart). I'll eventually come up with a nice OE-style one when I actually begin to do body work. Before I start on that I have to start mechanical work...

It does ride like an overstuffed couch, I love it. Nothing better than a cloth bench seat and a column shifter with soft suspension, for comfort! The 4.1 V6 is fast enough for me in that car, I'm so comfy that I'm never in a hurry. If I do ever decide to put in a V8 it will probably get a common Chevy small block just because they're so common, very easy to get parts and information for any type of build.

With the tall gearing they can use, some of those big heavy V8 cars do pretty well, especially on the highway.

My great aunt had a 1988 Lincoln town car with a 302, and I used to get 27 highway in it with the a/c and cruise set at 70. My grandfather was also a big fan of the Mercury Grand Marquis. His cars always did high 20's/low 30's on the highway without any special driving techniques.


-Jay
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:57 PM   #9
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:07 PM   #10
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Thanks Aaron...

-Jay
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