Last post on May 20, 2002 at 9:04 AM
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Dodge Ram Pickup 1500, Engine, Truck
#1 of 9 Fuel Economy, etc.
May 15, 2002 (10:05 pm)
Just purchased a Graphite 2002 RAM SLT 1500 with the 360, 20" tires and 392 rear end.
Got 13.5 MPG (based on 4.5L gallon) with 60% HWY and 40% City on the first tank.
Now am averaging just 8.5MPG 100% City on the second tank so far.
I am considering the following steps to improve mileage:
1) Add a K&N Air Filter in about a month when available. (Has anyone with this engine had good results with a K&N?)
2) A Tornado Fuel Saver - but not yet available.
3) A cover for the box.
4) Switch to M1 synthetic. How many miles should I wait until I make the switch? I have seen anywhere from 5K to 15K miles.
5) Just wait for it to "break-in".
What should I expect from this engine and which steps would yield the most improvement? From what I have read - the 5.9l is not much worse on fuel than the 4.7L.
Luckily, I really enjoy driving it, it looks really sharp, and I am pretty sure I will be able to tow anything.
Any ideas or feedback would be much appreciated.
May 15, 2002 (10:58 pm)
Congrats on the new truck. First off, your mileage will probably improve a little as the engine breaks in, so don't get too disgusted if your mileage is low and fluctuates some for the first several tanks of gas.
Secondly, the 5.9L is not well known for it's fuel efficiency. That combined with the 20" wheels will probably make it tough to get much more than 13mpg no matter what you do.
I'll let someone else talk about the new intake and exhaust but you can probably save yourself some $$ and just skip the Tornado device. I don't have one but from what I've seen and heard from other's experience it does not work anywhere near as well as expected.
Although your mileage won't be stellar you did get an engine which is well-built and dependable and is probably one of the best engines for towing available in a 1/2 ton truck, in my opinion.
#3 of 9 I figured so...
May 16, 2002 (6:46 am)
Well, I guess I can live with that. I already get 14-17 on the HWY. The K&N should help that 1-2 (My 98 3.0L Caravan went from 21 to 23 average with better power).
My 2001 Grand Caravan Sport averaged anywhere from 15-19 MPG per tank. At 26K KM- the rack was shot ($1500+ - and may not be covered a second time because "We must have abused it". The dealer called me 2 days later - and sheepishly informed me that the part is at least 6 weeks backordered. I guess I am not the only lucky lemon owner. On the last day before trade-in I noticed lifter noise and my buddy picked out a squeak in the belt system.
Basically - I did buy for reliability - and will buy a beater 4-banger to average up my MPG in the City.
#4 of 9 mileage
May 16, 2002 (11:53 am)
The K&N will do minimal, certainly less than 1MPG. I noticed no increase in mileage with the K&N. A camper style topper will decrease mileage. The tooneau will improve mileage maybe 1MPG. The soft tonneau will do better in this area than a fiberglass one due to the extra weight. Keep the weight down and a light foot on the gas pedal. Never got a reading after changing to M1, but I do believe that it's worth it considering the added engine protection a nd increase in miles between oil changes.
May 16, 2002 (11:54 am)
Mobil one didnt change my mpg. I recently added a soft tonneau cover to my silverado and noticed (at least this past weekend on a 500mile trip) my mpg to rise 2-3mpg.
#6 of 9 I've used K & Ns
May 17, 2002 (5:19 am)
and 2 soft/2 hard covers over the past 14 yrs and six trucks and can't say as I've noticed any significant increase in mileage from them. Best advice for increased mpg? Smaller vehicle with smaller engine! Or put in a 2 spd. rear or overdrive unit of some sort. NOTHING you do will pay for itself in mpg increase unless you drive a million miles or so.
May 17, 2002 (10:43 am)
Check the air pressure in your tires. I have a 2001 1/2 ton with the 360 and I boosted my tire pressure up to the max as printed on the tire and I gained 2 mpg.
May 18, 2002 (9:18 pm)
The pressure was 38 - increased to 42 (Max is 44).
Went on a hwy trip today - 16-17 mpg with the wind - 13-14 against the wind at 62MPH. This is based on a 3.8L gallon. Add 20% - 15.6 to 20.4 per 4.5L gallon.
This is really not bad as my average for the day was about 20L/100km (some city as well). My Minivan never got much better than 15L/100km(500km per 75L) or 22MP imp gallon on a tank.
Start and stop city driving is a killer - 10.5 miles per imp gallon.
I will order a Lund(are these any good?) tonneau cover next week - I am sure this would have helped today against the wind.
Break-in should help - as well as a K&N. It seems this engine is out of breath off the line - needs more CFM.
I do not regret the 5.9L vs. the 4.7L.
#9 of 9 Lunds are good.
May 20, 2002 (9:04 am)
I think the best-fitting covers I've seen on most any vehicle are Snug-top. Not cheap, but I don't know what a Lund costs.