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  #1  
Old 09-09-2011, 08:23 AM
gandalfthewhte86 gandalfthewhte86 is offline
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Default Terrible MPG! I need help/advice

I just recently bought my 2004 Ram 1500 SLT 4.7 V8 Quad Cab Short Box. From the research that I've done I was under the impression that I should get between 17-19+ MPG on the Highway. So for the first weeks I had the truck I drove it to work which is about 50 miles of which about 35-40 miles is highway. Set the cruise at 65 and went. After a few fill-ups I'm only averaging about 13.5 - 14.5 mpg. So I replaced all 8 of my spark plugs (put on those E3's) and replaced the air filter to the Cold Air Intake that was on there already. So after that change I was expecting either my MPG's to stay the same or to actually get a bit of a bump well they stayed about the same or maybe a little bit lower. The only other thing I can think of that would be having an impact is the tires which are 305/65 R17 ProComp Xtreme A/T's.

Any ideas as to what could be the culprit. What do some of you get MPG wise if you are on the highway.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:01 AM
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Tires shouldn't have much affect....maybe 1 mpg or so at most. My dad has an 05 4.7L single cab long bed and gets 17mpg no matter what. You should get about the same. I would suggest going to an oem type plug, the marketing of some other plugs is great but I have had poor running and mpg experiences when trying out some of them. I know that sucks to hear because you just spent the money on them....but I would go to a new oem (properly gapped) plug. Also check plug wire to make sure they are in good condition. You said you changed air filter and intake (make sure it is not drawing in hot air from under the hood in the engine bay....stock intake draws air from the fender well...its cooler there). Also how many miles do you have? The mechanical fan clutch could be bad....this could result in a few mpg loss. I'm honestly not sure how to check it though but you can probably find out on google. From there I'd go to fresh oil, fresh trans fluid, fresh differential fluid, and new/newly packed wheel bearings. Any check engine lights?
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:18 AM
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I had the 4.7 in my previous truck and did see a drop in MPG with the wider tires, more rolling resistance, and the other issues to look at are your rear end gearing. It might have been changed by the previous owner. I had the 3.55 gears on mine and with the wider tires and CAI averaged 17 mpg with a best all highway miles of 19 or so. Thankfully the new Hemi with it's MDS helps see better than that.

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Last edited by RedRam10; 09-09-2011 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:19 AM
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Granted I have the hemi as opposed to the 4.7 but I usually average worse gas mileage when I use cruise control. Other factors may include the amount and grade of hills on your highway drive. I have experienced 20 mpg on flat highways and 15 on hilly highways averaging the same speed. I also have not done proper research before replying but how much of a size difference is there between your stock tires and the tires on there now? Although it shouldn't make a dramatic difference tires can change your fuel economy. Taller tires ultimately reduce your gearing ratio which may cause your truck to downshift more while going uphill, heavier tires add more weight to pull, shorter tires increase your rpm, wider tires usually add weight and increase friction on the pavement.
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:06 AM
gandalfthewhte86 gandalfthewhte86 is offline
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The truck has 115k on the clock. My typical highway drive is mostly flat. A few small grades here and there. I guess from what I'm reading 13-14 mpg is atypical and something could be faulty with the truck. I can definitely try OEM spark plugs but I do notice that with the E3 spark plugs that my Idle RPM dropped about 200 RPM's and that my truck doesn't need to downshift as much (1 gear vs. 2 as before) on certain grades.

As far as the CAI goes I don't believe that it is a setup specifically for the Dodge Ram it appears as thought it may just be a generic CAI which could be contributing slightly to my issue as the air filter is sitting over by where the stock air box would be but it isn't drawing in air from the fender well.
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
As far as the CAI goes I don't believe that it is a setup specifically for the Dodge Ram it appears as thought it may just be a generic CAI which could be contributing slightly to my issue as the air filter is sitting over by where the stock air box would be but it isn't drawing in air from the fender well.
I'd start with correcting this problem. Need to draw air from a cooler place....or you could swap back to the stock airbox. Try this and try checking the mechanical fan (should be able to figure out how to check it somehow for free).
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:11 AM
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Not picking on you but this is a perfect example of how some people spend money on a "cold air intake" and it actually hurts their performance/mpg....it is really a "hot air intake" compared to the stock one lol.
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:33 PM
gandalfthewhte86 gandalfthewhte86 is offline
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Yeah I bought the truck a couple weeks ago and haven't had the time or the money to either buy a new CAI or replace with stock. I only put on a new air filter because the old one was really bad.
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:41 PM
gandalfthewhte86 gandalfthewhte86 is offline
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Can anyone recommend a good CAI? I was looking and K&N's website but they seem to be very similar to what I have installed minus the bracket by the filter which may block some of the heat but certainly not all.
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Can anyone recommend a good CAI? I was looking and K&N's website but they seem to be very similar to what I have installed minus the bracket by the filter which may block some of the heat but certainly not all.
To be honest I would use what you have but just make up a heat shield for it. Can you post a pic of what you have currently? It wouldn't be worth the money to get another one. I've made heat shields out of thin aluminum sheet that you can buy at local hardware stores or home improvement stores cheap, and just used tin snips to cut, and a T square or similar to make nice bends. Cheap, and it works decent. Then just run some sort of weatherstripping on the edges. It doesn't need to be perfectly sealed, but the better sealed it is the better it will perform. If you want a new CAI I'd look at getting an airraid (either the full $ kit or the jr. kit), volant, or afe.
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