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-   -   Improving Fuel Economy (

jfox 04-09-2013 08:33 AM

Improving Fuel Economy
I'm sure most of you laughed at that title, as I did myself as I wrote it! I mean, who buys a truck to have superior fuel mileage?! haha

I recently purchased an '06 MegaCab with the 5.7L V8 Hemi, and yes I know, these trucks are less than par in their fuel economy. That said, I know what I have.. a pig! I purchased this truck for a few of reasons...

-I needed 4x4 to get up and down the huge hill I live on in sloppy/snowy weather, and borrowing a truck from someone else is always a hassle.
-I needed a truck to tow my trailer/horses where ever I wanted and when I wanted. (next upgrade is a newer trailer!)
-I didn't want a total dog
-The price was "decent" for the year/mileage/etc.

Knowing what I was getting myself into- I test drove the truck, fell in love with the power it had, and we seemed to "click". [I've always been a dodge fan, my family's had a dodge since 1998 and they all love them.]

Now, I am wondering what mods other Hemi owners have done to increase the fuel economy. This truck averages 14hwy at 70mph and 10 around town. I honestly need a little better mileage as I'll be using it to commute to/from school on nasty days- which is a good 90 mile round trip. *gag* (I'm not sure a diesel is much better, and that's what I originally wanted.)

My "daily driver" is an 01 PT Cruiser, and even though it's front wheel drive, it just can't make it up my "hill side" drive in iffy conditions- and I refuse to leave it where my horses or a passerby could damage it...

Here is a pic of my truck from the day I test drove it:

***Edited to add that this truck currently has a K&N washable air filter on it...***

05cr125r 04-09-2013 08:41 AM

i honestly cant think of much that would be significant.....but do get a little better when feathering the gas pedal

snrusnak 04-09-2013 09:28 AM

the best bang/buck would be a tuner. You'd probably like the superchips flashpaq and can purchase the advanced transmission tuning, for towing.

Divi 04-09-2013 10:25 AM

buy a prius as a daily driver. or even better a checy volt i hear those a pretty cool.

snrusnak 04-09-2013 10:41 AM

Prius is a waste of money. Will take ~10 years to payoff in gas savings the inflated price for the car, if it lasts that long.

dodge man 04-09-2013 11:21 AM

To be honest, there isn't much you can do. A tuner might help a very small amount, but in my opinion, almost no gain. The tuner is more of a power gain, but not so much for mileage. You can lower it, but more of a street tire on it, but then that kind of ruins the reason you got the truck.

I own a diesel, and if you had a diesel, you could expect maybe 14 mpg in town and 17 on the highway. You hear a lot of stories about people pulling down 20 mpg with a diesel, and it is possible, but not on a regular basis.

If your really serious about improving your fuel mileage, do a google search on "hypermilling". Its techniques you can use to improve your mileage. People using extreme hypermilling can get crazy good mileage, but its no fun to drive that way.

battlerattle 04-09-2013 12:58 PM

Drop the front unit bearings and go to spindles with selectable hubs. Its not cheap but will net you 2-3 mpg highway. If you keep the truck over time it will pay for itself.

DrivingZiggy 04-09-2013 01:16 PM

We bought our truck for "Hot Shot" work in the oilfield. They call, we have to get out on the road immediately to bring their much needed stuff to the rig or to the dock. We got a 2012 1500 BigHorn.

So far, we've actually picked up 1 whole mpg by switching to synthetic oil. Now, I don't know if that would be cost effective for you, but it is for us because we're putting 5,000 to 8000 miles per month on the truck. So at the factory recommended 8,000 mile oil change interval it is more than paying for itself. We could probably go longer intervals, but while the truck is still under warranty we want to protect ourselves should anything happen.

There are lots of guys on here putting programmers on, but not a one of them can give us any real world fuel mileage info because they're so busy keeping the pedal to the metal, enjoying the extra power. I sure hope some of them calm the heck down and let us know if there's been any fuel savings...

dodge man 04-09-2013 01:48 PM

The problem with a tuner is it doesn't change much in the fuel or ignition curves at low throttle settings, such as just cruising down the road. At least thats my understanding of how they work.

snrusnak 04-09-2013 11:43 PM

As far as the programmer, I definitely gained mpg. Although it is slight, the programmer was only ~$300 and since I plan to keep my truck for 10-20 years it'll certainly pay for itself(plus the extra power is nice). I would say I got roughly 1mpg better city. Highway didn't really change(not that I can tell anyway).

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