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  #1  
Old 03-24-2005, 01:37 PM
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Default Gas Mileage Tips here!!

Greetings! With the rising gas prices going on now, and after several discussions, it looks like we need a good thread on mpg and how to get it!
I'll throw in a few basic tips to get started, and the first one is MAINTENANCE!!
I know, pretty obvious. But, back when I used to bracket race fairly often, I noticed that my cars would pick up some gas mileage , that is, when I didnt have my throttle foot stuck to the floor!!
You pick up a mpg here and a mpg there, and next thing you know you're talking some big savings!
A few things I would always check that you wouldnt necessarily think about concerning mpg are:
1. Wheel Bearings: Be sure they have fresh grease and aren't loose due to age and neglect. That would be fronts on RWD and rears on FWD. Besides increased rolling friction due to neglect, if loose enough the rotors can lean over and actually contact the brake pads slightly!
Definetly worth your time to have these maintained and properly adjusted, especially if not done in awhile.
2: Brakes: Similar situation as the wheel bearings, they can cause problems when neglected. Biggest thing is making sure your wheels spin free once the brakes are released. Possible causes for a sticking brake can include, stuck emergency brake cable or mechanism, adjustments set too tight, stuck or sticker brake caliper or wheel cylinder, blocked or defective brake hose, or blocked or kinked metal brake line. There are others, but these are the basics.
3: U-joints: It's a pain to get to but keeping these greased can have benefits, IF you have greaseable u-joints. On RWD all the power that goes to the wheels has to pass thru these points, so making sure they are in good shape can and lubed properly can remove a lil resistance from the drivetrain and may keep you from walking sometime.
Ok, that's just a few basic tips, all suggestions are appreciated.
It's gettin scary at those pumps, folks!!!
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2005, 01:43 PM
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Biggrin

Good suggestion there Sotga. I have a couple to add to the list.

You think if you subtract a 100lbs you'll gain a tenth at the strip? Think how much mpg you'll get by removing all the extra junk from your trunck and the 100 plus cd's from the golve box. Too big a tool box in the back. How many times you really break down and have what you need to fix it anyway? Just get the weight out. If your going to extremes, check out fiberglass parts.

Air your tires up for less rolling resistance. Have your front end aligned and check for worn bushings and tie rod ends. If your wheels are not traveling straight, your wasting fuel and wearing out your tires too.
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  #3  
Old 03-24-2005, 02:02 PM
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Cry yup, premium is 2.34 today

if your running an older car, timing and carburation are a must. be sure your timing is set perfect, and the carb is in good condition. a good runnig motor should have tan to dark brown spark plugs. also, a loose timing chain can cause bad economy.


exaust,.........for fuel economy, a big single system, or a X pipe system will perform the best, make sure you use quality mufflers like flowmasters!
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  #4  
Old 03-24-2005, 02:09 PM
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Biggrin

Another tip for better mpg, you'll have to get rid of that guzzling holley too. A thermoquad will get you a lot more mpg due to the smaller primaries. It will also get you better off the line throttle response requiring less throttle opening, therefore better mpg as well. Then when you need more power, well, you know how to kick the rear barrels open and empty your tank.
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  #5  
Old 03-24-2005, 02:22 PM
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Biggrin

Drive like there is an egg between your foot and the loud pedal.
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  #6  
Old 03-24-2005, 02:22 PM
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For all you fuel-injected guys, one thing I've noticed that makes a difference is keeping the throttle body clean. Get some cleaner, spray it in the butterfly(s), and wipe! For everyone, a clean air filter makes a world of difference as well. Also, make sure the various cables (throttle, etc) aren't sticking.

Dan
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  #7  
Old 03-24-2005, 02:39 PM
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Biggrin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick
Drive like there is an egg between your foot and the loud pedal.
A block of wood under the pedal so you can't get over 60 well help a lot too ... LOL!!
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  #8  
Old 03-24-2005, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwc43
A block of wood under the pedal so you can't get over 60 well help a lot too ... LOL!!
In which gear? LOL!!
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  #9  
Old 03-24-2005, 04:04 PM
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Biggrin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick
In which gear? LOL!!

Hopefully in O.D. ... LOL!!
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  #10  
Old 03-24-2005, 06:47 PM
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some driving tips here, instead of going balls to the wall all the way to the red light, and then hitting the brakes, try coasting, you save a lil fuel by using your momentum, not to mention your brakes. another thing, rpm has almost nothing to do with efficiency, it all has to do with vacuum, dont be afraid to drop it in a lower gear, other than run half throttle to climb a hill, you are getting better economy that way.
also (learned riving truck) let the road do the work whenever possible, if you accelerating down a hill, why get on the gas? if you going down a hill to climb another one, keep the throttle the same, pick up speed going down the hill, and roll up the othe side, using momentium as you friend!
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  #11  
Old 03-24-2005, 07:17 PM
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how so many ferget, but dont ferget the tuneup, dont wait till last minute, cleaner oil and plugs =better mpg...

mine goes down hill within the last 200 miles..always...
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  #12  
Old 03-25-2005, 08:37 PM
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Don't forget about the air conditioning? Turn that off on those comfortable days. It's amazing how many people will drive around with the windows up and AC cranked on a 70-75 degree day!

Those kinds of days are what open windows are made for!

-Gary
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  #13  
Old 03-26-2005, 12:09 AM
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Default How do you double your mileage?

Well, if you have an old lean burn system, get rid of it. Let me tell ya sometihng...(Fire man bill )

I have writin this out before and sent it along in PM's and E-mail. This is what I did to double my mileage from that crappy running lean burn. Your results may vary, but at least you'll gain some mpg's.

After I list what I did, I'll also included what could be better.

Starting from the top, on my 360 in a '79 Dodge Magnum, I got rid of the stock air cleaner. I used an older design 340 air cleaner. It has a trap door in the pan.
2* An open filter or the MoPar unsilenced unit will do nice.

A clean element. Don't wait until it's hard to see the sun. Toss it. Get a K&N or equal for the air cleaner housing.
2* A K&N extreme top will help out more.

Tune that carb. I tossed the 360's 2bbl. in favor of a Carter 625 carb. A T-Q will do better. WHY? The 2bbl is rated at a different presure drop than a 4bbl. 625 / 2 = 312. But it's less than that. The primarys are smaller than the secondarys even though its a spread bore.
2* The T-Q is around 200 cfm.

I swapped out the 2bbl for a 4bbl. , well that means the intake was also swapped. I used a factory cast iron unit.
2* You could do better with a aluminum unit.
Even the racier RPM will work. You should just be driving in the power RPM range of the intake. A Torquer II is fine. The open plenum moves air freely.

2* If your in need of head work, stainless steel valves work very well in letting the engine breath easier. Use with a braket valve job. (Remember, the easier it breath, the less it works, the less it works, the less fuel it needs.) Another thing about heads. You could mill the head a tad to up the comp ratio. With all things being equal, except the ratio, the 9.0-1 engine will make more power than a 8.0-1 engine. Since it's not really working any harder, the higher ratio creates more power on the same gas.
If you don't mind paying more for a gallon of gas, keep the increase small.
Or you'll be looking at the next octane rating higher.

On the Magnum, I stayed with the manifolds. I just upgraded for dual exhaust. A pipe @ 2-1/4, "H" pipe was used.
2* "X" would probably out power it.
Free flowing mufflers top it off. (At the time, I needed to run exhaust manifolds and cats.)
2* Headers will add power and mileage.
Just don't go crazy on pipe size.

Ignition. A swap of the lean burn unit, that does not have vaccum advance or mech advance. (Because the computer controls it. And once I removed my computer, miles fell like a rock, father than what I descibe below) To a junk yard unit and MSD 6 box and wires. Open that plug gap up per instructions and keep going till it misfires or power falls off.
This is a cheap easy way to upgrade massively for cheap.
2* I noticed that a Jacobs unit reallly kicked butt in my wifes Hyundia Excel. It was a 4cyl, 5 spd o.d. tranny. This little 4 door got 36 MPG's out the showroom floor. Looking for a bit more, I bit the bullet and purchased a Jacobs Pro Street unit. My mileage went to 40 mpg's.
The problem with this unit is that it is so powerful, it would eat plugs and distributor caps. Then again, the caps were crap with aluminum tips and such.
On your MoPar, make sure you get a good brass tip distrib cap.

I swapped out the regular fan for a viscous unit.
2* You can do better with an electric fan.

Make sure your rad. flows well and that thermo stat is opening. You can run a cooler temp unit.

Tranny, fresh fluid. (The pros say synth oils help.) I ran a cooler after the stock rads cooler. A simple sift kit helps life. Trannys like to run cool and shift fast. Not the opposite even though the factory does this for comfort.

Rear gears....A little expensive to change them, it dosen't quit pay off unless your ratio is really high. But you probably have 3.23's or lower.
A taller tire helps the Hwy. driving while a smaller one makes around ton city driving easier.
Make sure your tire pressures are where there supposed to be. No half flats.
I ran taller tires than what came with the car. No gear change. They were 2.76 gears.

These mods on my '79 Dodge Magnum got me from a scary 10 MPG's on the Hwy.
YES 10 big whoppin ones!
All the way to 20 MPGS on the Hwy at a reasonable cruise rate.

I never got to headers or a cam swap.
All the first suggestions were the ones I did to the car. Nothing else. The (2*) is an upgrade suggestion
No go reclaim whats yours!
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  #14  
Old 03-26-2005, 12:12 AM
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Oh, if your feeling down on power, A super charger uses no more gas than anyother engine UNTIL you hit the GO pedal and use the forced indution to require more gas.
Smae goes with nitrous.
No go lose what you got back.
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  #15  
Old 03-26-2005, 01:16 AM
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Default Okay, anti info...........

If your looking just for gas mileage,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, drum brakes are better, but trying to stop in a hurry is a heart attact.
Lean burn is a problem for most cars, but when my 78 Volare with 318 auto was new, just over 1500 miles, I got 26 mpg with the air on. Later it went out the window.
This only pinpoints the need to keep the engine tuned to what it wants.


Just thinking out loud.
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  #16  
Old 03-26-2005, 01:04 PM
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Just a note to let you all know I did a little post triming in here.
No problem, no harm, no foul, just trying to keep things more on the technical side instead of chitchat, I'll be deleting this post too as well, after awhile.
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  #17  
Old 03-30-2005, 03:50 AM
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also, a tight torque converter, and a shift kit can help gas mileage, a tranny wastes enough energy, without it slipping.

one more thing, if you have a truck, if you can, leave your tailgate down, it helps
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  #18  
Old 03-30-2005, 09:38 AM
PhilThePitcher PhilThePitcher is offline
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tarrbabe...just curious how do drum brakes affect milage? i have all four drums.
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:54 AM
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Biggrin

One of the easiest ways to decrease the amount of fuel used is to decrease the amount of miles driven.

Consolidate trips if you can and walk a little more.
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  #20  
Old 03-30-2005, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilThePitcher
tarrbabe...just curious how do drum brakes affect milage? i have all four drums.
drum brakes,when properly working, do not drag, discs however, use the discs do. the reason is drums are spring retracted, discs are disc retracted, so there always will be drag on a disc
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Old 03-30-2005, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dodgetkboy78
drum brakes,when properly working, do not drag, discs however, use the discs do. the reason is drums are spring retracted, discs are disc retracted, so there always will be drag on a disc
I don't agree, Phil. Drum brakes are adjusted till a slight drag is felt. Besides, unless the self adjuster mechanisms were removed, the brakes would remain snugged up. A trick of Super Stock drag racers back in the 60's was to remove the self adjusters and loosen the shoes up so they wouldn't drag. Of course, they lost half their pedal but it did help them go a little faster.
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  #22  
Old 03-30-2005, 01:21 PM
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well, dick, i dont agree drum brakes should not drag, a perfect adjustment you should "hear" it barely, everbody knows this. ever pushed a disc brake car by hand? and a drum? my sweptlines roll with ine finger on level ground. disc brakes drag, drums "shouldnt" unless they are too tight, or the drum is out of round
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Old 03-30-2005, 02:10 PM
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BS!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dodgetkboy78
well, dick, i dont agree drum brakes should not drag, a perfect adjustment you should "hear" it barely, everbody knows this. ever pushed a disc brake car by hand? and a drum? my sweptlines roll with ine finger on level ground. disc brakes drag, drums "shouldnt" unless they are too tight, or the drum is out of round
And the "hear" it, barely, as you point out is from the slight contact between the shoes and the drums. If there was no contact, you wouldn't hear anything. Warm them up and what do you have? A slight drag.
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  #24  
Old 03-30-2005, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick
Warm them up and what do you have? A slight drag.
I remember asking my Dad about this when he taught me how to adjust brakes.
I thought that the drag , besides hurting gas mileage, may eventually wear out the brake shoes. What he told me was the drum would expand once warmed up and that drag goes away, dependant on adjustment, naturally.
The adjustment is kind of a grey area, I know I kept the drag very slight on my old 72 Duster bracket racer, or on the rear brakes of any disk brake cars that I raced.
However on a customer's car, I always went by the book and gave them a bit more drag. Usually the wheel would spin 1 1/2 turns or less , free spinning would be too loose, while having to force it around by hand would be too tight.
The drag shouldn't be too much on a disk car either, if it is, you may have a sticking caliper or bad brake hose, time to dig deeper if so.
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Old 03-30-2005, 02:32 PM
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Biggrin

No one should have to guess to set there rear drums. You can buy a gauge at most any parts store or tool truck. It measures inside dia. of the drum and then you place it across the shoes and adjust them to touch the gauge.

Dick, on street stock dirt track cars the rules are restricting and they don't every give you all the safety pieces that you need, like adjustable brakes. Our car would push on entry if it had too much rear brakes.(I drive with the brakes, some do, some don't) So we have to back off the adjusters on the rear brakes as well. We also only used a LF brake. There was no caliper or rotor on the rf at all. Set up like this it will really set up a car for a corner.
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Old 03-30-2005, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick
And the "hear" it, barely, as you point out is from the slight contact between the shoes and the drums. If there was no contact, you wouldn't hear anything. Warm them up and what do you have? A slight drag.
unless the drum is out of round, it will go away
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  #27  
Old 03-31-2005, 11:55 AM
PhilThePitcher PhilThePitcher is offline
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wow. anyway gas went up near my house from $1.95 to $2.29 for regular 87.
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  #28  
Old 03-31-2005, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwc43
No one should have to guess to set there rear drums. You can buy a gauge at most any parts store or tool truck. It measures inside dia. of the drum and then you place it across the shoes and adjust them to touch the gauge.
That is all well and good on a setup with new drums, but if the drums have any miles on them, there is a wear band inside that is larger than the diameter at the edge. In order to get the drum on, in a case like that, the shoes would have to be backed off. So much for the gauge method.
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Old 03-31-2005, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick
That is all well and good on a setup with new drums, but if the drums have any miles on them, there is a wear band inside that is larger than the diameter at the edge. In order to get the drum on, in a case like that, the shoes would have to be backed off. So much for the gauge method.
Your supposed to turn that edge down when you do a brake job, ya know?? ... LOL!!
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Old 03-31-2005, 01:10 PM
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I thank Stoga for a sensible explanation about the old methods used in drum brake adjustment. I had forgotten about the spin-and-a-half method of setting a little drag on the brakes. As far as the drag being relieved as the drums warmed up, he points out that it is not an exacting science and one more or less click on the star wheel will make a difference. I feel that the shoes will also warm up and expand slightly, and if the drag is set a little on the heavy side, it probably won't be eliminated altogether.

As far as how others adjust their drum brakes for total "free-wheel", that may be OK on the race track, but it is not correct or safe on the street.
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