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Better gas mileage?

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by cward05, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. cward05

    cward05 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 113

    Hello everyone, I have an 83 chevy k10 pickup...my quesiton is, is there anything I can do that is relatively inexpensive in order to increase gas mileage? I am currently running 87 octane (lowest grade here in my part of ct). I have only changed my air filter...and run in 2WD if it is not snowing, anythinng else I can do? Thanks.
     
  2. William B.

    William B. Senior Member
    from S.E. IA
    Messages: 978

    How are the plugs, wires, cap, fuel filter, stuff like that. Has it been awhile since the carb was rebuilt or gone through. Also are you running a cat converter. If those get pluged they can hurt the milage some.

    William
     
  3. joe_padavano

    joe_padavano Member
    Messages: 68

    Unfortunately you didn't provide any info as to your truck's engine, carb, trans, tire size, axle ratio, etc, which would help in providing info. The reality is, however, that these trucks are basically a very heavy barn door and improvements, especially inexpensive ones, will only provide very small improvements. By the way, if you're using the truck's odometer to calculate gse mileage, are you sure it's accurate?

    You're correct to use the lowest octane gas that the truck will run on. Higher octane is harder to burn and will slightly lower mileage.

    I'll assume that your truck's drivetrain is in good condition. If the engine is worn or the trans is slipping, you'll need to make the necessary mechanical fixes before trying any mileage improvements. Next, be sure the engine is tuned up, carb is to spec, fluids are changed, plug wires are in good shape, etc. Make sure your rear brakes are adjusted properly and not dragging excessively. The front disc brakes will drag somewhat by design but be sure you don't have a sticking caliper that can create excessive drag. Be sure your front end alignment is correct since excessive toe-in or toe-out can scrub off gas mileage in addition to tire life.

    Be sure to keep your tires properly inflated. This is one area most folks neglect and it can make a 3% or so difference in gas mileage for free (not to mention reducing the risk of a rollover accident). In fact, keep the tires inflated to the high side of the spec. Install the correct 190 deg thermostat if necessary. Running a lower temp thermostat can result in incomplete fuel atomization in the intake manifold, meaning lower mileage. You can try advancing the timing slightly, which will improve mileage so long as you don't advance it to the point of causing knocking. This will also increase your NOX emissions, so if your trunk must be emissions tested you'll need to reset the timing before testing.

    If you don't have manual locking front hubs, you may want to get them and keep them unlocked unless you need 4WD. Empty the truck of all unnecessary crap when driving to keep weight to a minimum. Driving with the tailgate lowered or removed will also help with aerodynamic drag if you don't have a tonneau cover or a shell on the truck.

    Ultimately the single greatest thing you can do is free and it's called driving style. Driving smoothly will do wonders for mileage. You can help yourself by installing an inexpensive vacuum gauge and driving so that you keep the engine vacuum level maximized.
     
  4. joe_padavano

    joe_padavano Member
    Messages: 68

    Oxygenated fuel

    One more thing to consider is whether or not your area mandates the use of oxygenated gasoline. This is usually used in the winter months in an attempt to reduce emissions. Unfortunately since the fuel has less energy content per gallon, it also reduces gas mileage by 5-10%. It will usually say on the pumps whether the fuel is oxygenated or not.
     
  5. cward05

    cward05 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 113

    Thanks a lot Joe...your advice sounds very wise...I have had a tune up recently, and the cap, spark plugs, and oil have all been changed. The truck does not have cat converters and the engine is either a 305 or 350...different info from different people so I still don't know what it is lol. It is a 4 speed manual with a low granny gear and it has manual locking hubs. I do drive with the tailgate down and do not keep unncessary stuff in the bed as well...And I know this sounds stupid, but how do you calculate gas mileage from the odometer without using the whole tank? I just know it doesn't have great mileage because if I drive for a while, I can actually see the gauge go down quite a bit (prob not the most scientific method)...thanks for the advice.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2005