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What are best mods to improve MPG and Power

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  #1  
Old 01-30-2005, 11:29 PM
2shus 2shus is offline
 
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Default What are best mods to improve MPG and Power


I have a 1988 Dodge Ram 1/2 ton 4X4 with a 318 TBI. What mods can be done to improve MPG. It runs great but only gets about 9 MPG in town and barely 11 on the highway and is somewhat anemic compared to my 85 van with carb and 318. I am considering headers with duals and some sort of free flow air intake system. I have heard of some sort of spacer or riser for the throttle body, what about that? What other mods can I do to help and what if any components can or should be removed without affecting the computer system drastically. This is for a (1988) model. Also would going back to carb be a good option to help with MPG and maybe more power? My old 85 dodge van with carb gets 14 MPG on the highway. I realize the 4X4 cost some in mileage but feel their is room for some improvement. Also it does not have overdrive and that probably hurts me on the highway. Can any tranny mods be done resonably? Thanks.
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Old 02-02-2005, 05:27 AM
horatio102 horatio102 is offline
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Default RE: What are best mods to improve MPG and Power

Honestly I'm not familiar much with the TBI systems and how they respond to modifying stuff. I trust that you've done a tune up recently? Check plugs, wires, cap, rotor, etc. How old is the O2 sensor? Are the cats getting plugged up?

I'd start there first.

Then any time you can remove restrictions it'll improve the efficiency of the motor, so a better flowing filter, 1 5/8" into 2 1/2" collector headers with a Y into a single 3" with a non-restrictive muffler with high flow cats.

Fuel injection is nice for the cold mornings, but if you don't mind warming it up a bit first, and you don't have to deal with emissions, go ahead and swap it back to a carb setup. It's much cheaper and easier to make power with a carb than dinking around with a computer.
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Old 07-25-2009, 12:23 PM
Tinkertoys Tinkertoys is offline
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Working with the TBI system isn't as difficult as some think. I have the same truck/engine/drivetrain as yours. I installed Flowmaster full length headers with 2.5" couplers. 2.5" exhaust pipes from front to back with a pair of Flow Master high flow muffs (no cats). I moved the O2 sensor to the coupler on the pass side collector. Don't forget to plug the air pump holes in the heads, just below the exhaust ports!She sounds good and breaths a lot easier over the stock single 1.75" exhaust. The thing to watch when selecting headers is the clearance between the front runner and the vacc actuator on your front drivers side axel. I repacked my leaf springs for a 2" lift and that solved that problem.(and YES, you do have to re & re your starter to install the headers). I used an oversized K&N filter and built a ram air system. I moved my rad overflow bottle and punched a 4" hole through the front wall just behind the grill and beside the rad. It turned out pretty good and feeds the engine fresh cold air. Don't forget to put bug screen over the inlet. You have to disconnect the fuel tank vent line. If it's left venting into the air cleaner you'll end up pressurizing the tank. The /88 318's where over kill on the antipollution kling-on's. I tore ALL that crap off. The EGR was replaced with a flat plate and sealed with (O2 safe!) silicon sealer. I did the same with the 3 port plate on the front of the TBI. The 318's are hard on stock timing chains, replace your stock set with double roller chain set! Power tune your timing, stick with the same octane fuel and keep advancing the timing untill she starts to ping, then back it off a little. Tranny - Mine shifted like mush. I installed a B&M shift kit, she shifts harder and feels more positive. Instramentation - I installed a vacc gauge and tack to keep an eye on things. The vacc gauge shows you how far you've got your foot into it. These are just a few things I've done. I want to install a high rise intake man and while I'm at it, go with a new cam. Comp cam's has a nice "RV" cam but I'm not dropping $250 for one. After some research, I discovered that the stock cam out of a /93 318 will fit the /88 and is pretty close to an RV cam. Pick up a Hayn's book for your truck and keep notes in it. It's a bible with all the testing and building tips. After all this who-haw, I've tripled my gas mileage. I do a lot of long dis hwy running. When I first got mine, it sucked up 1/2 a tank, one way. Now she sips a 1/4 tank round trip!!! Hope this helps, oh, and don't forget, after every mod, no matter how small, reset your ECM!
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Old 07-25-2009, 02:55 PM
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getting some locking hubs for your truck would improve the gas milage. an rv cam wouldn't hurt plus it would make it sound better.
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Old 07-25-2009, 05:55 PM
nemesis_SS nemesis_SS is offline
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exhaust system is the best thing you can do. cat delete if possible.

you asked about throttle body spacer, ive seen them give 1 HP on the dyno, but for the price around here (80 bucks) it dont think itll pay for itself in gas mileage anytime soon.

the right intake manifold will help too, i think. ask around i think there is a cheap edelbrock one good for mileage
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Old 07-25-2009, 11:16 PM
moparborn moparborn is offline
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I agree,a tuneup is the first step,o2,fuel filter,these are two things that can really effect economy as well as plugs,wires,cap,rotor,air filter,clogged injectors.
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Old 07-26-2009, 04:34 AM
JackTheStripper5.9 JackTheStripper5.9 is offline
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Yes, start with your fuel injection system (o2, injectors, etc) and then make sure the engine is running good if you havn't worked on it in awhile (ie: plugs, wires, air filter, oil filter)

Upgrades can help give you more power and sometimes increase MPG. Any kind of upgraded intake would help as well as exhaust. Headers will give you a difference as well as some dual piping.

Manual locking hubs too. Hopefully you're lucky enough to have something with tires that aren't too huge. Big tires kill your mpg. Do the obvious and check your psi too. What kind of gearing you got?

There's also other ideas like aerodynamics. A bed cover is said to increase mpg. I also heard that taking the tailgate off does not help you and makes it worse. Weight reduction ... but that doesn't make too big of a difference with a truck this heavy. Just be happy with what you get. My IROC Camaro had a 350 in it and got about the same mpg yet the car is half the weight.

Just trying to shoot out all the options.
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Old 12-14-2009, 09:30 PM
jeffwpayne jeffwpayne is offline
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ill be lucky to get that 9city/11hway.... im getting a 95 2500 5.9 jacked up on 39's, wish i could gain mpg...lol
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Old 12-15-2009, 01:54 AM
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Find out what your axle gear ratios are to, if there high that can cost you in gas mileage depending on the size of your tires
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  #10  
Old 12-15-2009, 09:09 AM
aaron7 aaron7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinkertoys View Post
!
Sounds like you have a cool truck! Post some pics of that engine bay! haha
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:10 AM
jeffwpayne jeffwpayne is offline
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Originally Posted by ZackN920 View Post
Find out what your axle gear ratios are to, if there high that can cost you in gas mileage depending on the size of your tires
what gears shuold i run if i have 39'' tire's and if i put 37's on it after a few months will it still be alright w/ the same gearing
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:13 PM
AeSix AeSix is offline
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I've got a 93 318 Magnum, Auto trans and a 4.10 rear end...
I got quite a bit of an increase in fuel milage when I put 31s on the back.
I've been looking for some 32s, as I don't think there is enough width for the 33s I've been seeing.

$10 at walmart and you can probably get at least a small increase... bottle of fuel injector/carb cleaner (Super Tech, white bottle I think), new plugs... spend a bit of money on these. I've used several differant plugs in my engine (all matched set), the best I've used without spending $12 a plug were the Platinum +2 (at walmart for like $5-8 per 2.

I got some Denso Iridium plugs (for free from sparkplugs.com in a contest), and am getting the same mileage with 235s on the back of my truck as I was with 31s. That's about $100 for the set though.

Also, when I moved up north, I was starting to get worse MPG. It was suggested I disconnect the battery for half hour or so (I did it over night), to let the computer reset and reinitialize the sensor calibrations. I'm not sure if that's what it actually did, but I do know my MPG did go back up. Did the same when I came back south.

My engine seems to like about a 50/50 mix of regular gas and E85, or about E50. Power and MPG increase with it. I've never run it with straight E85. I found out by mistake (Never seen an E85 pump before, and had 10 gallons in it before I realised).

Ofcourse, follow the other tips, get it a nice tune up, buy good filters (expensive does not always mean /good/), and clean out the engine (combustion system, oil system and coolent system).

Also, an easy (but not best way) to clean out the cats, with some dawn dish soap and a garden hose. Park so you're pretty flat, maybe with the nose up a bit... but do NOT park with the exhaust tips higher than the mufflers/cats. Pour some soap (few drops) into the pipes, and hose it in and up. Don't use too much water or you could flood the engine with water. Let it drain and sit a little while. - and before anyone curses me, yes it works. Yes it will cause rust in your system, and yes you can end up with an engine rebuild if your stupid with the hose. Yes, it's really actually a bad idea. But so is marriage, and millions of people do that every year.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:34 PM
440ram 440ram is offline
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sorr yto say this but the best thing you can do to a dodge to get better mpg is to swap in an ls1 with a 6 speed tranny, you may get near 18-22 on the highway and have over 320 hp at the wheels. something a tradiational 318 and 360 can never acheive.
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:17 PM
AeSix AeSix is offline
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Originally Posted by 440ram View Post
sorr yto say this but the best thing you can do to a dodge to get better mpg is to swap in an ls1 with a 6 speed tranny, you may get near 18-22 on the highway and have over 320 hp at the wheels. something a tradiational 318 and 360 can never acheive.
Sorry, but my 93 Magnum was getting 22-23 mpg on the highway (gauged over a 1600 mile road trip) with new plugs, new oil, oil filter, air filter, injector cleaner run through it twice, 31s on the back, and about (guessing) 1500 - 2000lbs of cargo.It has an auto, push button overdrive transmission and 4.10 rear end. This was at speeds ranging from 55 to 90 and sometimes faster (oh, did I just incremenate myself? :P) I was using mid and high grade gasoline. This was also with a water pump that seized up about 4000 miles later, so...

But the prospect of swapping in an ls6 is... intriguing if not blasphemy
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Old 12-17-2009, 11:54 PM
440ram 440ram is offline
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Originally Posted by AeSix View Post
Sorry, but my 93 Magnum was getting 22-23 mpg on the highway (gauged over a 1600 mile road trip) with new plugs, new oil, oil filter, air filter, injector cleaner run through it twice, 31s on the back, and about (guessing) 1500 - 2000lbs of cargo.It has an auto, push button overdrive transmission and 4.10 rear end. This was at speeds ranging from 55 to 90 and sometimes faster (oh, did I just incremenate myself? :P) I was using mid and high grade gasoline. This was also with a water pump that seized up about 4000 miles later, so...

But the prospect of swapping in an ls6 is... intriguing if not blasphemy
20+ is hard to believe, but unfortunatly if you put that thing on a dyno you will be lucky to get over 190hp. An ls1 will easy get 20+ with over 300hp to the wheel.

Oh and going downhill figuring mpg doesn't count....You need to do a full tank average up and down hill, then it may be closer to 15 mph if you are lucky, not buying 22mpg+...LOL ur funny.
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:40 AM
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20mpg is not that hard for a 318 if you have the right parts under the hood. there is an H1 Hummer that get 55mpg.
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:23 AM
AeSix AeSix is offline
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a 1600 mile road trip don't count to figure MPG? go figure.

as for HP? I seen the thing pull about 2 tons of fencing at 45 mph before I bought it.
I don't care what the dyno says, the thing is a work horse and a half. It'll do anything I'll ever need it to, and then a whole lot more.

Last edited by AeSix; 12-18-2009 at 01:26 AM..
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:35 PM
440ram 440ram is offline
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Originally Posted by AeSix View Post
a 1600 mile road trip don't count to figure MPG? go figure.

as for HP? I seen the thing pull about 2 tons of fencing at 45 mph before I bought it.
I don't care what the dyno says, the thing is a work horse and a half. It'll do anything I'll ever need it to, and then a whole lot more.
I'm just sayin that your math is prolly off, or the speedometer is cutting you slack. As far a pulling 2 tons of fencing.....My 18 hp riding lawnmower can do that.

the origanal question was what are the best mods to improve mpg and power, and the best thing to do is simple swap in a motor..like the ls1.. and save weight, gain power, get better economy, and less breakdowns. technology is a heck of a thing and i'm sorry myself that the 318 suffers in this department.
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Old 12-19-2009, 12:29 AM
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hydrogen would be the best for power and mpg. the only thing is that you need to find someone that knows hydrogen or do some research. i have atempted to build a hydrogen systeman it work but i had difficulties sealing the container i used.
Quote:
"Think about it," Goodwin laughs. "A 5,000-pound vehicle that gets 60 miles to the gallon and will do zero to 60 in five seconds!"
While researching alternative fuels, he learned about the work of Uli Kruger, a German who has spent decades in Australia exploring techniques for blending fuels that normally don't mix. One of Kruger's systems induces hydrogen into the air intake of a diesel engine, producing a cascade of emissions-reducing and mileage-boosting effects. The hydrogen, ignited by the diesel combustion, burns extremely clean, producing only water as a by-product. It also displaces up to 50% of the diesel needed to fuel the car, effectively doubling the diesel's mileage and cutting emissions by at least half. Better yet, the water produced from the hydrogen combustion cools down the engine, so the diesel combustion generates fewer particulates--and thus fewer nitrogen-oxide emissions.
i tool these quotes from here http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/...tml?page=0%2C2
here is a coulpe of hydrogen systems and other things they can be used for.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ft3iPxaegho

www.youtube.com/watch?v=07tn7e8g0YI

Last edited by crazzywolfie; 12-19-2009 at 12:33 AM..
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Old 12-19-2009, 12:29 AM
 
 
 
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