Milage

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I have a 2000, 1500 extended cab truck with a 318 EFI automatic with overdrive. I would like to use my upcoming tax rebate to do some modifications to try to get better gas milage. With $600 in hand what
would be the best way to accomplish my goal? Headers? Is there an electronic modification I can make? I only get about 15 mpg no matter how conservative I drive. Phyloe
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No. What you have is all you will get. Save your money and buy a small car. Steve

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I was thinking use that $600 for gas. Pretty soon.. that will be the price of a fill-up.
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Trade it in and use the extra $600 for a down payment on a diesel and get 25 MPG
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a diesel is not a money saving vehicle anymore unless you are using it for towing heavy loads almost daily. first you figure in the extra 6k on your purchase price over a gas burner. then you figure in the extra cost to service. 12 quarts of rotella, fuel filter and such for every service is much more expensive than the service costs on a gas burner. then add in an extra 50 cents a gallon for fuel, this is going to stay that way due to the new low sulphur requirements, then the addition of a decent lubricant to the fuel to make up for the lack of sulphur. for daily driving a diesel is just not as good of a deal as it used to be even with the extra fuel mileage.
i have been considering a new truck. i did the math to see where the break even point on the diesel over gas burner would become advantagous. after figuring the additional cost of purchase, service and fuel compared to the little tad of extra fuel economy the calculator said that the diesel would not save me a dime until somewhere in the 250,000 to 300,000 mile range. that was compared to a 1500 with a 360. when i did the comparason to a dakota then the diesel was never going to catch up economically.
i have a 2500 4x4 diesel and when i filled it up last week it cost 140 dollars. of course it does get 19mpg on average. my wife drives this truck as her daily driver. i have a 1500 4x4 with a 360. at 285,000 miles on the clock it gets an average of 12 mpg. it is my personal daily driver. i use it for short to medium length trips. when i have a longer trip i have a 4x4 dakota with a magnum v-6. it gets 19 mpg just like the diesel does. but the gasoline costs much less and the service cost is less than half that of the 2500's.
on days where i am just taking myself somewhere i ride a motorcycle. my three harleys average over 40 mpg between them. sunday i had to drive 80 miles round trip to visit my mom for Easter. it would have cost me 16 bucks in the diesel, 23 bucks in the 1500, or 14 dollars in the dakota. i rode the harley and when i got back home it took 6.50 dollars worth of fuel to fill it up. the proper tool for the job... you don't use a slegde hammer for driving finish nails in trim. you don't necessarily need a cummins powered diesel for a passenger vehicle. michael
p.s. remember all this is coming from a guy who likes everything jumbo sized and my wife is worse than i am. she was a long haul trucker for over a decade and then spent about 5 years driving a tandom dump truck. she refuses to drive something small so i don't worry about the cost of keeping her in the cummins. if economy was a primary issue she would be in a v-6 dakota.
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Nunya, I think you got your math wrong. There is absolutely no way in hell that I will EVER own another gasoline driven vehicle. Fuel economy is one of the lowest elements of the "Total Cost of Ownership" (TCO). I do agree that using a 3.5 ton truck to get groceries is improper use of the vehicle. That's not my point. The fact that US auto makers are not offereing 2 & 3 Liter diesels is the problem. The Europeans have it correct. On another point, sulpher in the fuel does not help an engine and it is not a lubricant. Sulpher in all oil is the main contributer to the formulation of sulpheric acid, which accumulates in the lube oil because of water condensation that occurs every time the engine crosses the dew point. This is what corrodes the oil. There are far more diesels in use in Europe and the fuel there has been sulpher free for a very long time with absolutely no ill effects. The small diesel vehicle in Europe consistantly see mileage like 60 MPG regularly. Remember, engine wear goes up with engine speed. Diesels have no air control and make their power at lower engine speeds saving significant wear over the gasoline driven couterparts. The run onto diesels in Europe has been so profound that the governments in Europe have lost serious revenue as fuel is severly taxed to the point that the road tax and duties on diesels and diesel fuel have been drastically increased to compensate. Please also note that diesel has 25% more latent energy by volume over gasoline and if the fuel is ONLY $.50 more per gallon, you are still getting a super deal. After all, you pay by volume, not weight. Steve

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<snip> the OP i was responding to was specifically about the fuel economy of dodge trucks. there were no references to european diesel cars. i usually spend a month in europe every year. it always astounds me how efficient our rental cars are. i usually rent opal turbo diesels. the last car i rented over there averaged about 55 mpg on diesel. it was as fast as a scalded cat and much more ergonomic than any american car i have ever driven. if it was available here in the u.s. i would probably purchase one. i will agree that diesel has much more potential than gasoline. but in american made full size trucks the numbers i quoted are correct. you cannot compare a european diesels stats to a 3/4 ton 4x4 truck with a cummins. since this is a dodge truck forum i have to work under the theory that we are discussing dodge trucks. and for overall cost of ownership the gas burner is cheaper for the first quarter million miles. after that the diesel becomes more cost effient due to the durability of the truck. heavier duty components combined with a slight increase in mileage eventually win out but it is it is a long time before that point is reached. michael
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<snip>
>overall cost of ownership the gas

Let's get real for a minute with cost.. Your going to get 1/4 million miles out of a gas truck? If so, you'll be replacing some serious components imo, that you won't be in a Cummins. I don't think that has been factored in as yet.
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Roy wrote:

He said "i have a 1500 4x4 with a 360. at 285,000 miles on the clock it gets an average of 12 mpg."

"service is the key to vehicle longevity. i have five trucks. one with ~290k, one with ~280k, one with 277k, one with ~220k and the "new" one has ~150k." http://groups.google.co.in/group/alt.autos.dodge.trucks/msg/981a21075ddfff39
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<snip>
i have a 97 4x4 1500 with a 360 that has ~285,000 miles on the odo. the only major component that has been replaced is the transmission at 215k. i believe that i killed the tranny by towing a 28 ft camper and a dual axle trailer with my tractor on a regualar basis without locking out the overdrive. it is still a daily driver.
i have a 91 dakota with ~277,000 miles on the odo and it has had no major service. oil changes and brakes are all its ever had. i have a 93 dakota with ~225,000 miles on the clock and it has had one clutch and nothing but normal service other than that. my dad has a 98 dakota with ~330,000 miles and nothing but brakes and oil changes.
don't tell me that you can't get a quarter million reliable miles out of a gas burning truck. all these trucks are fleet trucks that work and haul loads for a living. with some semblance of regular service a truck will last for a long time. the dak's get an oil change every 5k with castrol 20/50 conventional oil. the 1500 only gets the oil changed every 10k with royal purple 20/50 synthetic. every one of these trucks are on their original ball joints and other suspension parts except for shocks. we take the time to actually grease the fittings when we service them.
i burn premium gas in all of these trucks and clean the fuel system with a 3M fuel injector kit every 50k. i use nothing but bosh platinum plugs that get replaced every 50k. all the trucks use k&n air and oil filters. they all use synthetic gear oil in the differentials. a little decent service and quality materials goes a long way toward durability.
my 3/4 ton 4x4 with a cummins has ~170,000 miles on it and is on its third lift pump. the price of doing a brake job on it is about 60% more than my 1500 gas burner. the proper load rated tires cost more, the price of servicing it costs double that of the gas burners and the fuel cost another 50 cents a gallon. i know that it costs more per mile to own and operate the diesel.
if you wanna see cost of ownership you should keep up with the service costs on my gm topkick with a 3116 caterpillar. just changing the fluids and filters on the cat and the allison auto requires a vist to the bank. of course this truck would eat your lunch if you tried to operate it with a big gas burning engine.
the bottom line is that at the rate most people trade their trucks compared to the mileage on the clock when they trade them a gas burner is cheaper to own in the long run. the only caveat to this is if your trucks are regularly pulling a goose neck trailer with 10,000 plus pound loads. for this heavy duty service a diesel is the only way to go. michael
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<snip>
i just did some math. on our four gas burning trucks the average mileage at present is ~279,000 miles per truck. out of these four trucks the only "major" service has been one automatic transmission and one clutch. hmmm, i guess gas burners really don't have any durability... ;-) michael
p.s. my 72 dodge dart has over 200k and i noticed it has finally developed a pretty bad oil leak. i wonder if i can get it classified as a lemon and make the moco fix it or give me a refund...
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Any of you folks that can get a gas job to perform the same tasks as a Cummins day in day out for !/4 million miles without some serious repairs I'd like to hear about.
How about a 2500 or 3500 Cummins and a gas job and then go hot shot it. Give me a shout at 1/4 million miles and let me know what your expenses's are. HTF do you compare a dodge dart to a Cummins????<G>
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<snip>
i will agree that for super heavy duty service that my gas burners will not keep up with my cummins. but how many folks actually use their diesels for real work. 90% of the ones i see on the road are just like my wife's. nothing but oversized passenger vehicles. with the service i get out of my other trucks i expect her's to last near about forever.
but since the topic had morphed into an economy idea, i was just pointing out that buying a diesel thinking that the extra fuel mileage was going to save you money is mostly a myth when you figure in *all* of the costs. like i said before, if you are hauling a backhoe on a goose neck trailer every day or pulling a 36' fifth wheel camper full time the gas burner will not keep up.
how do i compare the dart to the cummins? just throwing in how many miles it has and it is still running. of course the oil leaks that are sprouting are due to low manifold vacuum. i am going to have to tear it down and rebuild it before long. of course i have just been waiting for an excuse to tear into the dart. i am going to build it into a screamer.
here are a few photos of the little dart:
http://www.coolclimbing.com/dodgedart_mine.htm
i am going to put a mopar 390 hp/360 ci crate engine in it and i have a NOS 727 auto to shoehorn into it. i also have a posi traction dana 60 to go under the rear. this should make the car a blast to drive.
if any of ya'll need a good 727 auto i found five NOS mopar units in the storage building of a local dodge dealer. i am going to keep two of them and sell the other three. i also have two 292 hemis and a 354 hemi to sell off. i thought about putting one of the hemis in the dart but the 360 crate engine is just too easy. michael
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Very true.

I was pointing out that the 1/4 million miles with like trucks one Cummins and one gas,you'd be ahead in the expense column with the Cummins if both were worked.

The Dart is nice. I think were it mine and I were younger I'd opt for the hemi, keeping all the original stuff. You might be in good shape with the 727's if you can read the numbers and they are old enough so sombody that is doing a number's matching can use one. E bay one and see how it goes.
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<snip>
my concern about the hemi in the dart is weight. i would have to start swapping front suspension components and the price to build a hemi properly is scary. also there would be a bunch of fabricating to get the air conditioning stuff to mount up and all. the 318 to 360 swap should be fairly straight forward and 390 hp in a car the weight of the dart should be plenty of fun.
while i am going to sell my two 291 hemis and the 354, i am keeping a 331 and a 392 for some sort of future project. probably an e body car. somehow i came across a bunch of chrysler stuff a couple of years ago and couldn't resist buying it all. now i have a bunch of stuff and not much budget left to put it all together. between the tractor, motorcycle and car projects i am currently running way low on my toy budget. michael
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I guy that was on her Redneck from Hell has a drag car with a hemi. He may be interested. I lost his addy when I moved but a couple of folks here may be able to reach out to him. Mac? Rabbit? you guys able to reach Red? If so please shoot me his addy.
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It's possible that since AOL didn't allow munging of address's that he may have blocked all mail to that account or white-listed it.
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I think that's his email, I'll give it a shot. Thanks man.
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But you are forgetting a key issue as well and that is time. Sure, the Cummins can run for a long time before it needs any real work but how about the rest of the truck? My truck is now 11 years old and still only has 118,000 miles on it and for a while, I was driving it 80 miles a day just to get to work. Now if it gets 10,000 a year, that is a lot. To get it to 250,000 would probably take me another 15 years and Cummins or not, what shape do you really think that truck will be in at 26 years old?
--
If at first you don't succeed, you're not cut out for skydiving



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<snip>

according to how you treat it... when we buy a truck the first thing we do is put seat covers on it. there have been times where finding seat covers to fit a new body style has been a challenge but we manage. the drivers side seat cover starts to wear on the left side from entering and exiting the truck. when the wear starts to show we switch the passenger and drivers seat covers from side to side. when the seat covers eventually wear beyond repair we replace them.
second thing we do is put those huge rubber floor mats in the floor boards. then we tint the windows to keep the u.v. from beating up on the interior as bad. when a truck is going to be parked for an extended time we put a sun block hickeymadoo in the front windshield. i have one truck that is 15 years old in which the interior looks almost as good as new. the interior on my 97 still looks good.
we keep up with regular maintenance using quality materials. when we have to swap a part we use moco original parts. the trucks get washed occasionally and they seem to stay looking good. my 93 dak has a paint issue and we will be painting it before long and it will look as good as new again.
here is how the life of a truck works around here. i buy a new truck and give it to the wife for making deliveries, pick ups and general transportation. after about 5 to 7 years i buy her a new truck and that truck passes to me for a daily driver and work truck. i drive it for another 5 to 7 years and we repeat the process. the 10 to 14 year old truck then gets passed down to one of the workers here at the shop. it sees service 1 to 3 days per week until it gets rolled down the line when my wife and i do another rotation.
so as the truck gets older it sees less frequent driving but still sees regular use and service. we keep them in the fleet until they are about 22 to 25 years old. then they get rolled off to farm duty hauling fertilizer, firewood and taking real abusive treatment until they die a natural death. of course the the 84 mitsubishi built dodge is sitting in the woods behind the barn and i bet with a set of jumper cables to get it started, it would get you where you needed to go and back. of course this truck looks pretty rough after living in a pine thicket for the past 8 or 10 years. if it was a diesel i bet it would look just as bad. michael
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