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Old 09-10-2011, 09:55 AM   #1
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South Dakota

I might just be the antichrist to all of you......

Anyways, I drive a 92 Explorer 4wd... I love first generation explorers, do a bit off-road, drive South Dakota winters, and usually have three kids in the back of it, so you are just going to have to hate me, cause there aren't many other vehicles that suit my family. I ride my bicycle when I can, but as a single dad for a 2,5 and 8 year old, obviously I can't always do that.

Anyways, I love the truck, and I have been doing little bits here and there to get the fuel economy up (warm air intake, tune-up, e-fan, exhaust, etc). My best trip netted me 23.8 mpg over 110 miles according to the MPGuino, which seems to be fairly accurate. Fill up confirmed that number, but I usually average between 21 and 22 on the highway. In town sucks.

Moving along though. The 4 liter cologne V6 I have is obviously going to have its limitations. It is an inefficient engine, and it is big, sometimes overpowered for just regular cruising. Therefore my future plans for the truck involve a turbo-diesel swap, or, since my budget is always limited, a smaller gas engine with a turbocharger to make sure I have the power to motivate the truck when I need to get moving.

Oh well, just figured I would introduce myself since I have been reading this site for a couple years now and figured I would register yesterday so I could view things like attachments.
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Old 09-10-2011, 10:21 AM   #2
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Re: South Dakota

you might be surprised to hear that several of our members (and at least two of our moderators) have big trucks.

given your uses for it, it seems to work very well for you. there are smaller more efficient vehicles that could do the job but that could be said for anyone. I have a yaris that gets 41mpg but I could easily get a motorcycle that gets much better and usually it is just me in the vehicle.

I would say to air up your tires to max side wall. you would want to reduce that when you go off roading though. I actually have a lot of friends that were into that. one had a jeep rubicon unlimited (wrangler-X) that he put 38's on with a 4 inch lift and some other shiny bits. he spent a lot on that jeep and tore it up bad....several times.

if your goal is to increase fuel economy, it doesn't matter what you drive. we are just glad you are here. improve what you have first. past that is your decision.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:19 PM   #3
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Re: South Dakota

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Originally Posted by BEEF View Post
if your goal is to increase fuel economy, it doesn't matter what you drive. we are just glad you are here. improve what you have first. past that is your decision.
This. This is how we roll here. Sure, there are some people here who would judge you and maybe even hassle you for driving what they think is an excessive vehicle, but as a whole that's not what this site is about.

If your motivation is money then an engine swap won't pay for itself (unless your engine needs to be replaced anyway). Free/cheap DIY modifications (like increased tire pressure) and a variety of driving techniques will make the difference.

We have a member with a similar oldish Explorer, I think he's from Michigan, who may be able to provide some vehicle-specific advice.
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:20 PM   #4
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Re: South Dakota

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Originally Posted by FIND View Post
I might just be the antichrist to all of you......

Anyways, I drive a 92 Explorer 4wd... I love first generation explorers, do a bit off-road, drive South Dakota winters, and usually have three kids in the back of it, so you are just going to have to hate me, cause there aren't many other vehicles that suit my family. I ride my bicycle when I can, but as a single dad for a 2,5 and 8 year old, obviously I can't always do that.

Anyways, I love the truck, and I have been doing little bits here and there to get the fuel economy up (warm air intake, tune-up, e-fan, exhaust, etc). My best trip netted me 23.8 mpg over 110 miles according to the MPGuino, which seems to be fairly accurate. Fill up confirmed that number, but I usually average between 21 and 22 on the highway. In town sucks.

Moving along though. The 4 liter cologne V6 I have is obviously going to have its limitations. It is an inefficient engine, and it is big, sometimes overpowered for just regular cruising. Therefore my future plans for the truck involve a turbo-diesel swap, or, since my budget is always limited, a smaller gas engine with a turbocharger to make sure I have the power to motivate the truck when I need to get moving.

Oh well, just figured I would introduce myself since I have been reading this site for a couple years now and figured I would register yesterday so I could view things like attachments.
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Old 09-11-2011, 06:32 AM   #5
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Re: South Dakota

Nah, money isn't my motivation. I have already spent way more than I will recoup in costs in the next few years of driving. I'm just doing it for fun and to show it can be done. Plus, with a 20 year old vehicle, I am getting towards the point where longevity of parts like the engine and transmission are going to be an issue, so a refresh isn't going to hurt me in the long run. Cars are just my hobby, I usually spend way too much on it, but, I don't spend money on other things like cable TV, video games or other such things.

I've been using most hypermiling techniques for the last few years, tires are good and firm, fluids are all synthetic and lower viscosity than typical manufacturer recommendation, I bought a CAI for it, but vented warm air to it, there is a catback exhaust, electric fan, every filament in the car (except the headlights) have been switched to LED arrays, pulled out the factory stereo and amp to install an aftermarket bluetooth unit that consumes less power, and an MPGuino is in to keep track of fuel consumption. At this point, the next direction I can go is body modifications or engine swaps.
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:22 AM   #6
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Re: South Dakota

Hi and welcome! Improving the fuel efficiency of a gas guzzler is the best thing you can do if you are unable to replace the vehicle with a more efficient one. Just remember, any efforts you make to improve your fuel economy has a greater impact on reducing your use than whatever improvements people with efficient cars make. Getting a car to improve its efficiency from 40mpg average to 60mpg average saves less fuel than getting a vehicle's efficiency up from 16mpg average to 20mpg average. Think about it. If I drive 100 miles when I get 40mpg I will use 2.5 gallons of gas. If I improve my fuel efficiency to 60mpg and drive the same distance, I will use 1.67 gallons of gas. I save 0.83 gallons for the 100 mile trip. If I then drive 100 miles at 16mpg I will use 6.25 gallons of gas. If I drive the same distance but improve my efficiency to 20mpg I will use 5 gallons of gas. So I will save more gas going from 16 to 20mpg than I will save going from 40mpg to 60mpg. In other words, if you have to drive a truck, you should do everything you can to improve your efficiency, even if it means only improving your numbers by a few mpg, because that will have a bigger impact than major improvements made with an economy car.
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Old 09-14-2011, 02:45 PM   #7
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Re: South Dakota

welcome! no hard feelings about the "solar energy" debacle thread. given your vehicle choice and hobby, it seems as tho you're more conservative than i am, however.

i don't own anything w/ more than 4 cylinders(my wife does), but i understand the concept "paid for." best wishes in your journey of better fuel efficiency!
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Old 09-20-2011, 04:37 PM   #8
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Re: South Dakota

yeah sorry, no hard feelings. I am actually pretty conservative on a number of issues. I just hate when people mix politics and facts. I didn't mean to come off as anything other than that.
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