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I have the chance to trade my '98 Dakota with a 3.9 V6 for a '97 Ram 2500 with the 5.9 V8. I'm in college and live 4 hours from where I'm going to school so gas mileage is pretty important. Whats my best option for increasing the fuel economy? Is there a chip or tuner that would boost my MPG that anyone would reccomend?
 

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If your concern is fuel mileage than the 5.9 is not for you. Mine gets around 12 to 13mpg downhill. Driving that far with gallon of gas 4 dollar ish these days. I'm driving a 04 grand cherokee with the 4.7 to work 112 miles round trip everyday and spend 100 bucks a week in fuel. It's getting old real fast.what does your 6 cylinder get for mpg?
 

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Now I can say that my 99 5.9 is getting about 15-17 I am using a stock setup on tires but do have a mud terrain tire. I keep them aired and put in a open air filter I would recommend a CAI instead also I lost the mechanical fan for an electric one on the cooling system thats when I saw the big jump in fuel savings. Oh I also have a high flow exhaust. But the 5.9 is not a gas saver motor at all
 

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Keep the Dakota, it's lighter and the 3.9 isn't bad on gas.
 

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I agree with the others. The 5.9 is a very thirsty motor. I'm strongly considering getting rid of mine. Take the good advice of the other forum members.
 

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the gas milage in the truck is what it is its a 360 block its never been good on gas and never will its built for work and pulling not for fuel economy thus said i get 15 on the highway on a good day lol the gas prices are really starten to irritate the hell outta me cause i love my ram but not the gas prices if only they where back at $3.00 or even $2.50 a gallon not $4.00
 

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I don't believe you're ever going to get any kind of mileage out of a 5.9 and even 16mpg averages are skeptical...remember these trucks were built when gas was 1.68 a gallon!
That being said, I would recommend a tuner to maximise your fuel delivery and ignition advance. Don't lift the truck, keep the bed empty after hauling loads and run a low resistance tire. Keep your front end aligned, and while bolt on mods like fans, exhaust, or air intakes might help, nothings really going to change until you retune or put your truck on a diet.
 

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I don't believe you're ever going to get any kind of mileage out of a 5.9 and even 16mpg averages are skeptical...remember these trucks were built when gas was 1.68 a gallon!
Very true but a whopper combo with cheese was only $2.85 then too.... my point is inflation has changed the value of a dollar and we all make more $$ because of it these days so that $1.68 was more like $3.25 back then...

I totally agree though...I get 12mpg with 3" lift 35" tires and 4.56 gears to correct for those tires... not to stereo type but younger drivers often drive more aggressively so its not uncommon for those drivers to cry about 8-9 mpg with 5.2 or 5.9Ls on forums like these..(blown plenums and improper tire/gear ratios dont help)
You seem very conscious of this though.
 

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Very true but a whopper combo with cheese was only $2.85 then too.... my point is inflation has changed the value of a dollar and we all make more $$ because of it these days so that $1.68 was more like $3.25 back then...

I totally agree though...I get 12mpg with 3" lift 35" tires and 4.56 gears to correct for those tires... not to stereo type but younger drivers often drive more aggressively so its not uncommon for those drivers to cry about 8-9 mpg with 5.2 or 5.9Ls on forums like these..(blown plenums and improper tire/gear ratios dont help)
You seem very conscious of this though.
As far as income, maybe yours has....but in my field it has declined severly. I'm lucky to have a job...for now! And the OP is college student.
Stay with the Dakota, graduate, get a good job in your field and in a couple years by a nice truck.
 

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As far as income, maybe yours has....but in my field it has declined severly. I'm lucky to have a job...for now! And the OP is college student.
Stay with the Dakota, graduate, get a good job in your field and in a couple years by a nice truck.
well even if the op makes minimum wage that has increased since then... the value of a dollar is much less due to inflation regardless of if you even have a job...that was my point.... and if your making less now at your career than you were over 10 years ago a career change might be something to think about...
 

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well even if the op makes minimum wage that has increased since then... the value of a dollar is much less due to inflation regardless of if you even have a job...that was my point.... and if your making less now at your career than you were over 10 years ago a career change might be something to think about...

Sir, you are such a genuis I don't even know why you're here. At my age going back to school and retooling for a new "career" when I'm almost to social security is waste of my money. Better to reel in the expenses.

But back on topic,,,If the OP can even have a vehicle at school, one that is reliable, sips fuel, takes up as little space as possible is far more viable whether he makes minimum wage or twice that. Unless someone else is footing the bills.
He should be so lucky...cars on campuses were reserved for upper classmen, jocks or spoiled rich kids in my time.
 

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I suggest getting putting a cold air intake on it, exhaust, and a programmer. Also getting the truck freshly tuned will help tremendously. But with my 5.9L i am lucky to get 9 mpg with the wind down hill. Get some people to car pool and pitch in for gas is your best bet!
 

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Make sure you don't get 4.10's. Get one with 3.55's.
 

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That is an up hill battle, too often attemtped and failed by many; the best I have ever got out of my 01 5.9 4x4 is 16.3. That was on the flat straight stretch of I-5 going through the farm lands of central California at a conservative 60 mph. I run a CAI and a flowmaster supper 44 series exhaust with the electric fan. I have recently tuned mine with an SCT from hemifever and enjoy the results. Bottom line, the truck is heavy and the engine is thirsty. Keep your dak, 6 cylinders will use less fuel than 8 cylinders any day.
 

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As far as income, maybe yours has....but in my field it has declined severely. I'm lucky to have a job...for now!
I'm with you on that! I made more money in 1988 than I do now. No hope for improvement and lucky the paychecks don't bounce! Standard of living on a steady decline with each price increase of food, fuel, housing, tolls, parking, medical insurance, auto repairs, etc., etc. Have looked into career change, but haven't found anything where entry level after schooling would be even close to where I am in my 33 year stagnating career. It's beyond discouraging.
Prices of everything keep going up and the average person's income is not even close to keeping up.

As for the OP's question, I've gotten up to 20 mpg on the highway(with the 5.9L) - but I don't drive 75-80 in a 65 zone like a lot of folks do. A big reckless driving ticket back in '04 cured me of that. I stick close to the speed limit, and find that at 60 I get the best mileage. Cutting the speed really helps the mileage. I have a K&N element in the air cleaner, stock tires, 3.92 rear end, keep tires inflated slightly on the hard side. I'd imagine a bed cover of some sort would decrease drag a bit, but don't know if it would make a difference in fuel economy or not. I average about 16 mpg, with a 25%/75% mix of city/highway miles.
 

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I have gotten 13 MPG- all highway, cruise control set at 65. I average 9 MPG driving around town. Just running a cold air intake. The 5.9 is a solid motor,, Small block, push rod, V8. Fuel efficient?? Not even close
 

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Most I have gotten was 14. Flat ground and using my foot at 60 MPH. I feel the cruise control is too aggressive on these trucks for fuel economy if you are on any sort of grade.

I'm getting a cold air intake and hope for 1 MPG gain. Screw power at this point, I just want to drive my truck for fun and not have to park it when I don't have gas money.
 

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I have the chance to trade my '98 Dakota with a 3.9 V6 for a '97 Ram 2500 with the 5.9 V8. I'm in college and live 4 hours from where I'm going to school so gas mileage is pretty important. Whats my best option for increasing the fuel economy? Is there a chip or tuner that would boost my MPG that anyone would reccomend?

Keep the Dakota. Out on the big road, if you're driving reasonable, you should be getting at least 20 mpg. Unless you're pulling a heavy trailer, you probably don't need the bigger truck/engine. Any improvement in quickness, in a bigger/heavier truck is more than offset by poorer fuel mileage. I don't think there's much you can do to improve mileage--and even with the Dakota, the best fuel saving accessory is a lighter right foot. Even with your V6, you can improve performance by comprehensive maintenance--particularly keeping the ignition up to spec.

I'm driving a very high mileage (230K) Dakota 5.2 4x4 and on long trips, it gets mileage in the 19 mpg range--better than I expected when I got it by about 5 mpg. I've seen 5.9's for sale which apparently would shoehorn right in, when/if I replace the (not tired!) engine I'll probably stay with the small dp V8. I love my smaller truck, and it truly can do all I need it to.:smiley_thumbs_up:

I know aesthetics, especially for a younger guy, are important. If you figure out what you're spending per mile (even at todays lower fuel prices) you may decide it's possible to put some shine on the smaller truck (paint as needed, interior upgrades) with the money you save.
 
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