Welcome to the Nation, Adirondacker. You’ll find lots of good info and little BS.
Good fuel mileage is just like other performance. It is just another corner of the performance envelope. There is an old hot-rodders’ saying that goes something like: Speed is a matter of money. How fast do you want to go?” Fuel economy is the same way. There are some cheap things, but they are not as potent as the more expensive things.
Here’s some cheap stuff that works for everybody.
1. Air up your tires to the max on the sidewall. These trucks are very sensitive to tire inflation, particularly at lower speeds. I run 100 psi
in my E-rated Firebombs, but I don’t recommend that for any but the truly economy-crazed. Firebombs are better overinflated than underinflated but that may vary from brand to brand.
2. Run with your tailgate up. Running with it down makes a huge low-pressure area behind the cab that sucks you back. More on beds as you get into the stuff that costs money.
3. At all costs, keep your engine RPM below 2000. The 7.3 in particular sucks fuel above 2000 RPM. For a truck with 3.73 gears and OEM-size rubber that means 70 MPH.
4. Get a pyrometer and install it pre-turbo. Drive to keep EGT
below 600 degrees. This works, but will make acceleration a leisurely thing.
5. Get and install a 203 degree thermostat. Bob Riley’s Diesel Site sells one.
6. Disable your EBPV
. There is an electrical connector under your turbo. Disconnect it and tape both ends up. This gains you 2 MPG
in the winter but will require longer warm-up times.
7. Speaking of warm-ups: Don’t. Diesels idle so efficiently that they will simply not warm up without load. Once she has oil pressure (without it the engine won’t run) put it in gear and drive away easy.
8. If you get caught at a railroad crossing (like I seem to do all too often) or something similar where you won’t move for three or more minutes, shut ‘er down. Idling takes fuel.
9. In summer it is better to run with the AC
on than with the windows down at highway speeds. Below 35 MPH, open the windows and turn off the AC
, depending on conditions.
Tell us something about your rig and we can zero in other things we know works.
? Regular cab, SuperCab, or Crew Cab? Short or long bed?
Transmission: Automatic or manual?
Model Year of truck It matters
Tire size and make.
Axles and gearing.
What is the mission for your truck? Some guys seem to use them as junior tractors for trailers. Some tow intermittently. Some just haul bed loads. Some use them as overgrown grocery-getters. For years, I had a hard tonneau and joked about the truck being the world’s largest VW Jetta. If you don’t have a clue, admit it. Most of us started out clueless.
How much do you intend to drive this truck? I put down 2500 miles a month. That justifies a lot of mods.
Where do you intend to drive this truck? The handle would indicate upstate NY but handles can be deceiving.
I don’t know if this is your first diesel or just your first 7.3. Diesels are different and require different thinking.