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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-01-2007, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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MPG Testing Rally

One of the problems with MPG is that there are no common parameters.

The quarter-mile is the quarter-mile regardless of vehicle.
The pulling sled is set by the first puller and then stays constant.

Many parameters affect MPG: Weight, air temp and humidity, filling technique, altitude, hills, speed, and road conditions.

What we lack is a agreed set of conditions. Geting everyone's conditions is Mission: Impossible, unless it is one in a single situation in a single time period.

This is why a MPG Road Run is the only really fair way to sort everyone out.

Here is my suggestion (stealing a lot from the bold Mobil Economy runs of the 50s and 60s.)

Pick a set course. The course needs to be at least 800 miles long. The longer the better. That averages out differences in filling techniques. The course should have varied terrain and roads - a mix of urban/suburban, two-land roads, Interstates, and maybe some dirt roads. The route is pre-run to do two things: Filter out construction zones and fix the overall mileage. the route should begin and end at roughly the same altitude to zero out the net effects of hills. Speed? To me there is only one fair speed: the posted limit minus two MPH. There would have to be a penalty for driving excessively below the limit.

Trucks would be ballasted to an agreed weight. Probably the GVWR of the lightest truck. Maybe you have different weight classes to accommodate smaller trucks and even Class Eights if they want.

A suggestion for a route: Sea-to-Shining Sea. Savannah to San Diego, Miami-to-Seattle (probably a bit long), NYC-to Frisco.

Yup. I'm talking a minimum of a week. Still shorter than a DHRA season. The prize: Unmitigated bragging rights - priceless.

The details are not set in stone. Whaddya think?

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 05:17 AM
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Re: MPG Testing Rally

I'm in if I can swing it, but a run down old US-80 from Sea to Shining Sea is probably a bit long. There and back... that's 5,000 miles! Not only is that far far more than I would think needed to get some accurate figures, but also it's far too expensive to buy that much fuel just to get bragging rights. I mean, if the average was 20mpg (way high IMHO), you're looking at buying 250 gallons. At $3 a gallon, that's $750, not counting meals, motel stays, the oil change you'll have to do, etc.

800 miles is a fair bit. Start in one central location, go to a distant location, and come back the next day. 400 miles is a good trip for a day and could have a nice get-together at the half-way mark.

Personally, I think it shouldn't be so much for bragging rights, but more to test possible MPG gains or losses. 400 miles there, make some change, 400 miles back. Leave a few vehicles without changes as your control group, and only make one or two changes on the others. Then you should have some hard data to backup MPG claims.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-03-2007, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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Re: MPG Testing Rally

I reckon I'll have to put up or shut up and do one of these runs solo to help folks get their hands around the idea.

If I could just get real life to quit messing with me...

2000 F-350 SC 4x2 6 speed
3.08 gears Gear Vendor Overdrive
Slammed 4"
Rugged Air Dam
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-03-2007, 04:36 AM
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Re: MPG Testing Rally

That be one heck of a road trip, but I think I did my fair share last year and now I look back wasted alot of money driving all over the place. but thats me but would love to know what you figure out at the end.

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