Best Cheap ways to break 20 MPG with a Powerstroke Van? - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
E-Series Vans Technical discussion of topics related to vans powered by any of the Navistar engines. This covers a broad number of years, but there isn't enough demand to split it any further.

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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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Best Cheap ways to break 20 MPG with a Powerstroke Van?

I've been routinely getting 18MPG with my 95 E350. I hear stories of people getting 20 and 21 MPG with these things. What are some things I can do to help this along?

-Ford E350 PSD 1995 --- 500k+ Upgrades-DIY Push Button Manual Shifting E4OD Computer-Stancor Glow Plug Relay-DIY Stage 1 Injectors-Cat Out-Bigger Rear Tires-DIY SD Electric Fuel Pump system
-98 Taurus 3.0 OHV --- 200k+ New H.Gaskets
-MB 300d Turbo Diesel(s): 1980, 84(x2),85, and 87 Fast, nice to work on, great machines. All outgrown and Sold
-GMC Suburban 6.2 Detroit - Slow. Reliable. Sold.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 08:52 AM
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I've got a 96 7.3 van, I can get 21mpg if it's not loaded down, and the cruise is set on 65mph. (and if it's not fighting a headwind) But I like to cruise about 75-80mph so I don't see 21 to much.()
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 09:21 AM
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Depending on which Rear end you have...a 3:55 for example. At 1850 rpm, you'll 20+ mpg.
Like the Man above said, Head Wind, or Heavy Foot...FORGET ABOUT IT!!

2003, E-350, XLT, Chateau, 7-Pass. Club Wagan, 7.3L PSD, 3:55 LS Rear, SuperChips, Wix Air Filter, Fleetguard LF-9027 Bypass Oil filter, Sirius Satellite Radio, Garmin GPS, SuperCrewzer, AutoMeter (Pyro. Trans. Boost)Gauges, 4" Diamond Eye Turbo Back Exhaust, Sonnax valve & Tricululator springs, PML Alum. Tran's Oil Pan, Tru-Cool 4739 Tran's Cooler, ScanGuage Monitor, DAHL 100 Fuel Filter, "FilterMAG. "Last of the 7.3's".
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 09:21 AM
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What Curt said. Slow down to 65 or under and use of the CC is the only way I consistently see 20/21/22. Mostly hit the 18 like you do which is not bad considering you are driving a vehicle with the aerodynamics of a brick. The other method is to plan all your drives so that you have a stiff tail wind...

Dave
2003 E350 Chateau, last of the 7.3 Turbos

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 10:50 AM
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20mpg I know I have NEVER got even close to it. Maybe 18mpg driving nice

Dont you love those craiglist listings where people boast that their 85 F-350 gets 25mpg's and other over the top Fiction.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 11:13 AM
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CC is the key to breaking 20mpg and taking it easy getting to speed then not speeding.

Name: Rob.
Current:
2001 E350 EB HT PSD w/ a bunch of stuff.
Had three other E350s...
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 11:47 AM
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Get another E350 van and a tow bar. Drive them both and divide the gallons consumed by 2 before calculating mileage.

The fundamental problem is that a 7.3-liter engine is a lot bigger then necessary. For example:
Sprinter van: 11,000 GVWR, 5,000-pound payload, 188-Hp, 3.0-liter engine
Isuzu Reach van: 12,000 GVWR, 3.0-liter engine
OTR tractor-trailer: 80,000 GVWR, 300-400 Hp, 9-15 liter engine.
If mileage is the priority, either swap engines or swap vans. (and sell it to someone with a heavy trailer who actually needs all that power)

Synthetic oil in the transmission and rear end will improve mileage by 0.5-1 mi/gal. Synthetic oil in the engine will, too, but oil changes will probably be more money than fuel savings.

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Douglas Campbell, P.E.

1986 Isuzu P'up, 177,673.8 miles.
- Hella headlights (highly recommended)
- DOT C-2 back end (also recommended)
- R-12 air conditioner converted to R-406a. Saved ozone and money
- 4.1:1 final drive converted to 3.4:1. Quieter, better mileage but it's a good thing I live in the flat Midwest.
- 9/22/2007, age 21: Still running well when reluctantly sent away for reincarnation, due to body & frame rust.
- Never did get around to converting it to french-fry oil, which is why I originally stumbled upon this site.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 12:10 PM
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Avoid hills, only drive on level roads. Keep a constant speed. Slow down, 55-60. Stay out of town, don't stop; getting up to speed takes fuel. Double check tire pressure, set it on the high side. 203 thermostat. Windows closed, AC off.

Mike

04 E-350 Ext. 6.0L PSD 4.10LS 9700# w/driver
D70 Full floating rear axle from a cutaway van
Sportsmobile camper conversion w/penthouse top
140A Alternator. 125W solar panel. Sportsmobile off-road trailer.
115615 miles. 16.65 mpg average
From Cal to Alaska, Key West, Labrador/Newfoundland and points in between
Salem Kroger coil spring 4wd conversion - 4" lift
05 F350 front axle and aluminum wheels 275/70-18 tires.
46 Gal tank - harpooned pump vent tube.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeL46 View Post
Avoid hills, only drive on level roads. Keep a constant speed. Slow down, 55-60. Stay out of town, don't stop; getting up to speed takes fuel. Double check tire pressure, set it on the high side. 203 thermostat. Windows closed, AC off.

Mike
Don't ask me why cause I don't have an answer, my van gets the SAME mileage with a/c on or off. I've even pulled the wire so the compressor can't engage. Same mileage. I call it a blessing in disguise cuz I like the a/c ON.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 06:13 PM
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I once with nearly a total tank used in Hwy driving saw 22.7mpg (60mph and un loaded.)

But with the 4.10 in my van there is not much that can be done for gas mileage.

With normal city hwy driving and being nice to the van I see 19ish (+/- 0.5) every time I fill. I check with good old fashion log book and calculator.


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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-30-2011, 10:12 AM
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The fundamental problem is that a 7.3-liter engine is a lot bigger then necessary. For example:
For example, you used a bunch of way more fancy high-tech engines. The 7.3 liters are necessary if you want to get some power from an IDI. I love my 3 liter Mercedes IDI, but it has like 120HP and 170ft-lb. In order to get the 3750 lb car to move around properly it's geared super low. Top speed is about 100 mph, making it by far the slowest W126. I can beat lots of smaller cars with more horsepower off the line, because I make torque right away... we all know the story. Meanwhile a VW TDI just over 2 liters makes more power AND torque... That's progress, baby.

1992 F250 XLT 4x4 Super Cab 7.3 IDI E40D 3.55 ATS 088 4"R.C 360k
1982 MBZ 300SD W126 California model w/Sunroof, no EGR
1997 Audi A8 Quattro 225k Warm/Cold packages
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-30-2011, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by 777funk View Post
I've been routinely getting 18MPG with my 95 E350. I hear stories of people getting 20 and 21 MPG with these things. What are some things I can do to help this along?
Cut off the fuel supply to two injectors and remove those two pistons.

2005 E350 Standard Cargo Van, 6.0 PSD, 4.10 L.S., Quigley 4X4 New on 11-18-05
(seems to manufacture oil...)
Warranty Turbo 7-07 22,000 miles, Warranty A/C compressor 10-07 25000 miles

2003 E350 Extended Cargo Van, 7.3 PSD, 3.55, Quigley 4X4 New on 2-1-04

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Transfer Flow 46 Gal*Delaminated*Replaced 8-06 UNDER WARRANTY
BTS Tranny 9-29-07 @55,000 miles, Aluminess Bumpers, Mile Marker 12,000 pound hydraulic winch

2001 F250 1-16-16 eBay purchase 73,646 miles

2000 F250 ...... just cuz people are dumping them for the fuel bill. Got mine on ebay for $8749 with 116K on the clock.
1-1-09 BTS Tranny, 500+ HP at the rear wheel
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-31-2011, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by drinkypoo View Post
For example, you used a bunch of way more fancy high-tech engines. The 7.3 liters are necessary if you want to get some power from an IDI. I love my 3 liter Mercedes IDI, but it has like 120HP and 170ft-lb. In order to get the 3750 lb car to move around properly it's geared super low. Top speed is about 100 mph, making it by far the slowest W126. I can beat lots of smaller cars with more horsepower off the line, because I make torque right away... we all know the story. Meanwhile a VW TDI just over 2 liters makes more power AND torque... That's progress, baby.
also love this car, but another 60+ HP would be real nice. i've gotten mine over 100 mph on a slight incline in the mountains though... kept up with a newer Audi and VW for quite some time.

I've gotten as high as 22.9 MPG in one of my old vans. It's all about all highway and all slow. lots of tricks to ween this baby off the jungle juice a little, but it's still a big heavy beast and the 7.3 PSD is probably the most efficient we've ever seen in a van of it's style.

1999 E450 Goshen Coach 20 passenger bus, 7.3 PSD, 4.10 rear, 599,000+ KM's. touring machine!

1998 E350 Club Wagon XLT 12 passenger extended, 7.3 PSD, 3.55 rear, 381,000+ KM's. Parts van.

1996 E350 Club Wagon XLT 12 passenger, 7.3 PSD, 3.55 rear, K&N air, Eagle Alloys, Super Duty Telescoping Tow Mirrors, Fumoto Oil Drainvalve, TomTom Go720 GPS; otherwise dead stock. 236,000+ miles. - RIP

1981 Mercedes 300SD - 287,000+ KM's, 16" ASA wheels, Euro lights, late 80's leather interior, etc. Future biodiesel beauty.

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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 07:59 AM
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For example, you used a bunch of way more fancy high-tech engines. The 7.3 liters are necessary ... my 3 liter Mercedes ... has ... 120HP ... Top speed is about 100 mph, making it by far the slowest W126. ...
The question was fuel economy, not power, and one of the reasons for the low fuel economy is the internal friction of such a big engine.

And we're back to the timeless question: How much power is really necessary?

Your Benz can achieve 100 mi/hr, which is 30% more than what's reasonable & legal where you live, yet it sounds like you're apologizing for it. I say a 30% margin is more than adequate.

There's no free lunch. If you want fuel economy, you have to opt out of the horsepower wars. There's no reason a full-size van needs to be capable of 100 mi/hr.

-
Douglas Campbell, P.E.

1986 Isuzu P'up, 177,673.8 miles.
- Hella headlights (highly recommended)
- DOT C-2 back end (also recommended)
- R-12 air conditioner converted to R-406a. Saved ozone and money
- 4.1:1 final drive converted to 3.4:1. Quieter, better mileage but it's a good thing I live in the flat Midwest.
- 9/22/2007, age 21: Still running well when reluctantly sent away for reincarnation, due to body & frame rust.
- Never did get around to converting it to french-fry oil, which is why I originally stumbled upon this site.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by drcampbell View Post
The question was fuel economy, not power, and one of the reasons for the low fuel economy is the internal friction of such a big engine.

And we're back to the timeless question: How much power is really necessary?

Your Benz can achieve 100 mi/hr, which is 30% more than what's reasonable & legal where you live, yet it sounds like you're apologizing for it. I say a 30% margin is more than adequate.

There's no free lunch. If you want fuel economy, you have to opt out of the horsepower wars. There's no reason a full-size van needs to be capable of 100 mi/hr.
The reason that I have my van is not because of speed, but rather because it can carry a load inside of 3000 lbs.. yes I know that is over the ton, but it is in the middle of the van and between the front and rear axle lines and it works.. not for long runs between shop and job site it works.

2000 E350 7.3PSD, Hellwig Stablizer bar, 1.5"spacers from old Correct track OR,140 Lightforce with covers, 5x7 LED's From Truck-lite, extras in the bumper. 4"Aero Turbin and 4" all the way back. 1705 program, Scangauge II,265/75/16E, My Photos
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