i have a 2002 2wd reg cab toyota tacoma 2.4 4 cylinder 5 speed pick up and i would like to get 35mpg. the stock epa was i believe 26 mpg highway. i have the tires inflated to 44 psi and i have the grill blocked off 90% . i also have a drop in k&n air filter on the truck and driving at 65mph with the tailgate down i am just cracking above 30 mpg (on a gps not the speedo) of straight highway driving. i would like to know what people think i should do to get my mpg up. i am not looking to spend lots of money to get 5 more miles per gallon. also the truck has 200,000 miles on it and it isnt the nicest truck and i would have no problem with modifying it.
i am thinking about an areo cap on the back from the back of the cab to the bottom of the bed with the tail gate removed so it makes the back more of a point. any thoughts on how many mpg i would see out of that? i dont really want to put a whole bunch of funny looking areo stuff on the truck if it is only going to give me 1 more mpg.
i am also thinking about a hot air intake.
how about taking off my ac belt for the winter? anyone have any experience with that?
i tried taking off my fan on the motor but the motor started creeping up in temp so i put it back on. an electric fan? anyone have any experience with that?
THere's a lot you can do depending on how detailed you want to get, but generally its a myth that trucks get better mileage with the tailgate down. Try some runs with the tailgate up, that should take you one step closer to your goal. For more ideas look at "The Beast" in my garage.
Aero cap: Read up on it, I think you want an 11? slope.
HAI: Go for it.
A/C belt: Your truck probably has a single serpentine belt. You could replace the whole thing with a shorter one that skips the A/C, but I'd just rig it to not run the A/C when running the defroster.
Electric fan: Common mod on GM full size trucks, but usually the people doing it aren't tracking MPG and are looking for horsepower. For the GM full size I think people are doing it with junkyard Ford Taurus electric fans.
Definately do it tailgate up. You are looking for no more than an 11 degree slope going down from the roof. Once the air is already flowing that way it will continue in that direction beyond the tailgate, kind of like a kamback. The whole notion that tailgate down is better was put in our minds by companies trying to sell us tailgate nets.
if i make the aeor cap with the tailgate up isnt there the same flat spot as behind the cab just a little smaller behind the tailgate? wouldnt it be better given the angle from the roof to the end of the bed is less than 11 degrees with the tailgate removed?
The flat spot behind the tailgate is there whether or not there's the flat spot behind the cab, so at least improving the one behind the cab is better than nothing at all. If you really wanted to, you could extend the cap past the rear of the vehicle.
You could also install a belly pan.
For driving style, you can do a whole lot of different things. Your manual transmission enables you to use even more techniques than an automatic would allow -- namely, you get real control of what gear you're in without gear choice being related to throttle usage, and you get to try engine-off coasting (advanced technique that I wouldn't recommend trying immediately, or ever depending on various factors).
I would recommend experimenting with shifting at different RPM and with using the throttle differently. In my manual transmission car, I am never light on the gas, and I'm 74.8% above the EPA rating. However, that doesn't mean that I go particularly fast. I shift very low, entering my next gear at almost idle, and I floor the gas pedal every time. Most vehicles can't use those extremes; you might need to enter your next gear at 1500rpm and use 75% of the gas pedal. Granted, that won't help you on the highway.
You might also experiment with coasting (engine-on) and Pulse & Glide.