Ford ranger, 25 mpg?

Discussion in 'Fuel Economy' started by Tredeh, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. Tredeh

    Tredeh Member

    Hi everyone. I recently made an account but havent used it much. I made a post a while ago but I figured I would go more in depth.

    My truck is a 1996 ford ranger, 3.0 5 speed extended cab. It's got 3:45 gearing in the rear diff. In the past I've averaged a consistent 20 mpg. I havent been able to top of my tank for a while but since I got a new job recently I've been able too, and my last tank was just shy of 22 mpg! This is with no changes in driving, but I did use Techron fuel additive in it, to which I can attest it's the only additive I've seen work.

    So that got me thinking, if I was able to get 22 mpg with normal driving, do you think it would be possible to get 25 mpg? Never exceeding 50 mph and using pulse-and-glide?
     
  2. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    With a 5-speed and using pulse-and-glide, you could easily pass 25 mpg. I'd expect 30 is within reach (50% more mpg is doable with a manual).

    Your EPA rating is 17/23 mpg. That's pretty similar to my Odyssey's 16/23. I can get it to 30 mpg on the highway, but it's lower in town thanks to the automatic transmission. I expect your truck will be the opposite: worse on the highway (aerodynamics, gearing/rpm) but more capable in town.

    Short-shift to keep rpm low.
    LOTS of neutral time, little in-gear time.
    Shut off for any stops.
    Moderate gas pedal for accelerating (not floored but not light).
     
  3. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    I agree, 30 should be doable. My former brother in law had a 5 speed extended cab 4wd Ranger on oversize tires, and he regularly got 25 MPG on his commute to work. I would think 30 is possible for a 2wd with normal sized tires.
     
  4. Die2self

    Die2self Saving more by using less!

    we have had a few members here in the past that have had similar trucks and have been able to get it up over 30. Taliesin was up around 40 MPG.
     
  5. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    That was with the 2.3 engine, not the 3.0. Wayne as well, near 40 average in a 2.3.
     
  6. Tredeh

    Tredeh Member

    Thanks for the responses guys. I'm new to all of this so you'll have to bear with me. What exactly is short shifting? Is that like lugging the engine? Right now I shift at about 2,000 RPM and its just enough to avoid lugging.
    Also, it kind of seems like pulse-and-glide would be a little hard to do on the highway due to other vehicles. I've read about just keeping a fixed throttle position and losing speed uphill (and any downhill I just clutch it). Which is more effective?
     
  7. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Yes, you're doing what I would call "short shifting".

    Ah, traffic. That's the tricky one. Sometimes you can't do what you want to, to avoid being a bother to others. See if you have any alternate routes. I have a 4-lane I take instead of the straighter 2-lane, so I can do more of my techniques without blocking traffic.

    What rpm are you running at that steady highway speed? It may not be terrible if it's not too high. You're on the right track with idle coasting downhill and losing some speed uphill. If conditions don't allow p&g, that's the best you can do. But be sure to look for any minor up and downhills you can exploit. I used to think I had a flat route, but it really has lots of undulations.
     
  8. Tredeh

    Tredeh Member

    There's really only one road to use to get around here. You can find alternate routes but its all an extra 15+ miles to your commute. And my usual driving speeds (40-55ish mph) runs me at 15-1900 rpm
     
  9. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    That's when a Scangauge or similar FCD really comes in handy. It will TELL you when you are on the slightest of hills , either up or down.
     
  10. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Ok, you're doing pretty well with rpm. Just be on the lookout for any opportunity to use neutral / clutch, even for a few seconds at a time.
     
  11. Tredeh

    Tredeh Member


    Cool. I'm going to top my tank off tonight so we'll see in the next few days we'll see how I do. Any advice, general tips?
    Also, is engine breaking better or worse for mpgs?
     
  12. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Engine braking usually cuts off the fuel flow and lets the wheels drive the engine. It's useful for when you have to slow down. If you're not needing to slow down, you're better off preserving momentum by idling in neutral. Momentum is more valuable than the minimal idle fuel consumption.
     
  13. Tredeh

    Tredeh Member

    Thanks. So far it seems like it's mostly a matter of staying off the gas as much as I can.
     
  14. Tredeh

    Tredeh Member

    Topped my tank off today and averaged 22.5 mpg, so 25 isn't that distant. Picking up a camper shell in a few hours, it'll add about a hundred pounds but I've heard the aerodynamics make up for it big time.
     
  15. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    The back end aero of a pickup isn't as bad as you think. If you're going for mileage a hard tonneau cover is a better way to go.
     
  16. Tredeh

    Tredeh Member

    That's what I've heard. But I haul quite a bit so a camper shell is my best bet personally. It only weighs like 100 pounds at most so I doubt it will affect my MPGs more than a 10 year old riding in the bed would.
     
  17. psyshack

    psyshack He who posts articles

    You just have to load drive it and do the hi-def vision thing concerning traffic and timing.
     
  18. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Its not the weight of the campershell, its how it effects the aerodynamics of the rear of the truck.
     
  19. ateebtk

    ateebtk Active Member

    I'm a little bit confused. I saw mentions of keeping car in neutral as much as possible. I thought you get better mpg when you leave the car in gear (ie coasting to a redlight). Or does it depend on your specific vehicle? Can someone clear up my misconception?
     
  20. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Neutral vs drive is very dependent upon the vehicle, terrain, and what you're anticipating to do.

    I find for my vehicles that the idling fuel consumption is higher in Neutral than in drive.

    First off, ALWAYS be in drive when you're applying the brakes. If you're going downhill and gaining speed (beyond the speed limit), make sure you're in drive. If the incline is such that the vehicle starts engine braking , and losing speed then its better to be in Neutral and let it idle.
     

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