…when you buy the truck. Either at the dealer or when you buy a used truck. We all sooner or later buy another truck. Here’s what to look for.
Some things improve MPG
and some things kill MPG
Like the Chinese restaurant, here’s a list. Pick and choose what you can handle.
: Big killer of MPG
and it forecloses some effective mods. Figure that half-ton of machinery costs you at least 2 MPG
vs a 4x2
Automatic transmission: Another big MPG-killer. It is good for 2 MPG
Dually: It will cost you 1 MPG
over a SRW
Crew Cab: It will cost you 0.75 MPG
vs a regular cab
Club Cab: It will cost you 0.5 MPG
vs a regular cab
Big tires: Anything over 235-85 or 265-75 will hurt. Figure 285s will cost you 1 MPG
305s will cost yet another 1 MPG
Lift: It will cost you 2 MPG
Gearing: Very strong effect on MPG
3.55s will get 1 MPG
better than 3.73s (all else equal)
3.73s will get 1 MPG
better than 4.10s
My 3.08s (not widely available) improved my economy by 3 MPG
over the stock 3.73s
An overdrive (US Gear or Gear Vendor) will improve most trucks by 2-3 MPG
Be very careful about re-gearing if you have an automatic
The 6.0 and 6.4 are somewhat less efficient due to EGR
and the filter thingy but I would expect a RC 4x2
six-speed SRW with stock tires and the stock 3.73 gears to get 19-20 MPG
right off the floor if driven normally.
All the stuff above adds up.
A CC 4x4
automatic dually with 305s and a lift and 4.10 gears should expect about 9-10 MPG
There is a certain variability to these things. YMMV.
To add insult to injury, the higher MPG
truck will probably set you back $10-12,000 less up front. Even with my exotic drivetrain and aero mods, my truck may be one of the ten lowest-cost trucks in the PowerStroke Nation.
All these numbers square with my experience and what I have found out talking to literally hundreds of guys plus some design engineers.
Its your money. You know what you want/need. Get what you will but those numbers outline the unmodded MPG
you can expect. The specification sheet if you are ordering a truck is a powerful tool.