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Old 06-01-2009, 07:42 PM   #1
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My new '88 Escort

Well I got my gas log started today on Lil Red. It's my latest '88 Escort purchase. It has 78K original miles with a 1.9L 3 speed automatic. First tank came in at 34.597 MPG and that was without the A/C working, but I fixed it today so I guess we'll see what that does to mileage. This one also has a 3 speed automatic instead of a 4 or 5 speed which isn't going to help mileage either. The old EPA estimate on it is 24 city, 30 highway, and 27 combined so it's doing much better than even the old EPA rating. New EPA rating is 21 city, 28 highway and 24 combined. First tank came in at 128.1% of old EPA rating and 144.1% of the new EPA rating. So far the only mod is LRR tires at 60 PSI. Next mod will probably be a warm air intake, because that made a huge difference on my other '88 Escort. I think this tank might have gotten either very near 35 or slightly better if I hadn't have had to let it sit and idle 15-20 minutes while charging the A/C. Haven't even started using the A/C yet and it's already costing me.

Some of you who drive automatics give me some advice on things to do that have helped your mileage. I haven't driven an automatic much at all in the past 16 years so all suggestions will be appreciated.
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Old 06-01-2009, 07:49 PM   #2
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the one thing that I have found is getting it up to speed pretty fast. give it 3/4 throttle or better to get it up to speed instead of babying it tends to yield me better mileage.

also, find the sweet spot where it goes into top gear and try to get it to that point.

would a 1988 vehicle have DFCO??
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by BEEF View Post
would a 1988 vehicle have DFCO??
We've had this discussion before. If I remember correctly it was determined that just about any computer controlled, fuel injected vehicle would have some form of DFCO on it.

-Jay
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:37 AM   #4
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"Some form of DFCO" could be as bad as (or worse than) my 2002 GMC's DFCO, which is useless for daily driving in rolling or flat terrain with its 8 second delay.

Ford Man, if you're getting 144% of new EPA on your first tank in your automatic, I don't think you need advice...I think you need to give some advice. I'm barely doing better than that with a modern manual using EOC and knowing its DFCO behavior with 22,000 miles of practice.

Is 60psi above the maximum for your tires?
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:31 AM   #5
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It does have DFCO, because I noticed the owners manual showing a fuse for it. About the only time I can use DFCO is when i"m planing to stop or slow down, otherwise I'm better off coasting in nuetral. The engine braking on this car is a killer, unlike the other '88 Escort I have that will coast great in gear. As far as getting 144% of new EPA these cars were far under rated by the EPA even by the old EPA standards. I didn't know exactly what an automatic would do, but thought it would be pretty good because I've been getting such good mileage on the '88 with the 4 speed. I've even tossed it around in my head to put a 4 speed in this one. If an automatic out of a newer Escort with O/D was a direct bolt up that's what it would get.
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:49 AM   #6
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A fuse for DFCO? Sounds like it might be easy to manually trigger...and ought to be very easy to monitor.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:16 AM   #7
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I don't know enough enough about electronics to know how to do any of that though. But, yes it has a fuse for it. I had often wondered if my old '88 had DFCO or not and recently I was checking the owners manual for the location of one of the fuses for something else and noticed it.
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