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What have you done to cope with high energy costs?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by sylvestermcmonkey, May 30, 2008.

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  1. tinkabranc

    tinkabranc Minister of Fire

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    South Coast MA
    A couple of years ago, my neighbor wasted no time ribbing me
    any chance he could because my SUV is a 4cyl, 5-speed with
    front wheel drive. Pretty peppy for a 4banger.

    Note: He has two chevy Tahoes.

    Well..Who is laughing now?...now its my turn to return the favor.
    My truck gets about 25mpg while his gets MAYBE 18mpg

    EDIT: I know where there are two chevy Tahoes for sale if anyone
    is interested... ;-)

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  2. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    tink, I got the same treatment from a friend 3 years ago when I sold my F150 and ordered a new Ford Ranger with 7 foot bed, HD load package, 4cyl/5 spd, and put a header on it. The 7 ft bed gives me 90% of the capacity the F150 had. That same year he bought a new 2005 Dodge dually, hemi V8, auto tranny 11mpg monster. I told him he would soon regret it - he communtes 26 miles each way to work in it. He laughed. Stupid. Now he can't believe the mileage I'm getting.

    I filled up yesterday - 318.5 miles on 10.38 ga = 30.68 mpg! That's 35% hwy, 65% city driving, the highway trip was with a 650 lb. load.

    Show me another truck that will carry 1/3+ cord of wood and give 30mpg+ doing it!

    PS - the Ranger is being discontinued this year by Ford... idiots! Order one now while you can. It's the greenest truck on the planet, and very well built.
  3. WoodMann

    WoodMann Minister of Fire

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    Beg to differ there on the airfilter, Craig. Remember when I wanted to throw my Siera into the sea? That was when I hadda dirty airfilter and my mileage was suffering as a result. Yes, I can attest- I cleaned the air filter one day, just for kicks, it's a FRAM Air Hog- and it didn't look that dirty really. Immediately after cleaning the truck didn't drive any differently but as the days went on there was a noticeable difference. Yeah- I am still thinkin' a little about shoe- horning a V8 into that Sonoma........
  4. Telco

    Telco New Member

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    Okiehomey
    Webmaster - I didn't start that last one, just defended myself :)

    I'm not familiar with the HP Tuners, I use EFI Live myself. Just with programming on EFI Live though, I was able to net a 5MPG increase on my dad's 2000 Silverado 5.3L by bumping up the timing tables a bit, and lowering the set points on the front O2 sensors a bit. I also tweaked the shifting to lower the shift RPMs under low end throttle. On the other hand, when you are into it it'll downshift from 4th to 2nd at 80MPH and flat out flies now. The main thing on adjusting the O2 sensors is the computer will interpret what it sees to lean it out, because it'll think that 14.7 is supposed to be at a lower voltage, so you've also got to turn off the option that lets the computer use the O2 sensors to manage the fuel/air mix under WOT. I spent several months trying to chase down WOT knock because of this. At any rate, when I picked the truck up (my dad was kind enough to loan me the truck for about 6 months while I worked on my own) it got 19MPG on the highway, strict 70MPH driving with no WOTs, to almost 24MPG running 75MPH with several WOT runs. What's bad here is I discovered the WOT O2 usage on the last day of tuning, and the quick tune I threw in right before taking the truck home netted this mileage for me, with NO KNOCK. I will admit though, I learned so much more trying to eliminate the knocking with that field checked, that I'd not have learned if I'd found it first. I may not have gotten the results I did without working through that frustration.

    Were I to own the truck myself, the truck (with a 5.3L auto) would be getting long tube headers with a true dual 2.25 inch pipe exhaust, with a crossover pipe, a set of electric fans, and a tonneau cover. I figure that if I could get my dad to do these three things, he'd be able to see 30MPG out of his truck on the highway. I've installed the electrics on two different vehicles, saw a 2MPG increase on one and a 5MPG increase on the other, and tonneaus are supposed to be good for a mile or two per gallon. I think that were he to make these changes, I could then tweak the program to take the changes into account, 30MPG would be an easy target to hit.
  5. modemgirl

    modemgirl New Member

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    Craig,
    I have read about having the windows down giving more drag. I put my windows down about a quarter of the way and cracked the back windows ( this prevents a lot of wind drag) when I'm on the highway and I have the windows down all the way when I'm in city driving. I tested the mpg on the highway using both methods and I got better mpg not using the AC ( I did this on flat road surface, same conditions, same speed). I will keep testing and checking the use of AC and let you know more later. I agree with you about using cruise control on flat surface roads. I did find when I used cruise control going down hills it prevented better mileage. I can really get awesome mileage when coasting on any slope, or even just coasting to a traffic light or stop sign. I was amazed at how good you can get under those conditions. I'm sure if everyone changed their driving habits we would really save a ton on oil. I didn't find that changing those few driving habits was a big deal to me. I actually found driving easier I didn't need to brake as much . I'm going to let my GMC dealer know and show them my average mpg when I go there next month for service, hopefully I can get my average mpg up to 30 by then. About the air filter change, I did read and saw it on the news about changing your air filter often for better gas mileage. I was wondering if this was really not necessary, so do you think I really don't need to do this? Thanks for your input on my post.
    I will let you know my progress on my mpg. My goal is to get 30 mpg! :)
    Krissy
  6. WoodMann

    WoodMann Minister of Fire

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    Hey Telco- thanks for the input. I'm planning on going e-fans, infact I have'em sitting on the bench in the garage, they're off a Camaro. BTW- my truck is a 4x4- but all things considered I'm very very pleased with the mileae I'm getting. I know my tires are too big; 275/70R16, stockers were 245/75R16. I'm thinking 265/70R16, they're just as tall as the 245's and about an inch wider for a meattier look, and, yeah- I'm still entertaining the drop...................

    Eidt; my best run was from Santa Fe, NM to Sayre, OK or a bit further on a tank of gas, with a 400lb ATV in the bed.............
  7. Telco

    Telco New Member

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    Consider 265/75R16s, they will fill the wheelwell better. With your programmer you can correct the tire size, and this will have the effect of lowering the rear end ratio without the 1600 dollar fee for replacing hard parts.
  8. WoodMann

    WoodMann Minister of Fire

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    At one time I did consider the 265/75R16's but they're even taller than the 275/70R16's. Who knows, I may even go back to the 245/75R16's for cost's sake..................

    Side note, I've also done 106mph at 2930rpm, 4th gear, yeah- I took the governor off.........
  9. sapratt

    sapratt Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    We paid off credit cards and canceled them all dropped kids life insurance pretty much quit going out to eat. We buy our meat in bulk from the meat market. We can't really get a smaller vehicle than a mini van have 4 kids. Wood stove will be installed this summer sometime. We are slowly cutting things to be able to pay bills. If the feds would allow us to drill for oil the price of oil would come down. They should do that at the same time looking into alternate energy. Then when technology allows then new enrgy to be cheap enough for everyone to afford switch.
    But you have to keep the enviromentist to stop blocking everything. When I say everything I mean drilling for now, The wind turbines that they say not to put up because it might the some animals. We have found a way to produce energy from the waves in the ocean but we can't do that either because it might hurt some animals. So its kind of frusterating if you think about it everything we could do we can't.
    Because someone is saying no.
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I'm on my second Ranger. The first was totally manual 4cyl, nothing on the engine except the fan and alternator. No power steering, nada. On a trip if you went easy on it, it would get a steady 33-34mpg with no mods. The one I have now has power steering so my wife can drive it, but it will flirt with 30 mpg pretty easily. Good trucks, made by Mazda aren't they?
  11. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    Is that with or without 4 WD? I never was a fan of it except with pickups which if you live in slop country like I do are about as useless as tits on a bull without it. Man, my old camaro's handled better than 2WD trucks on snow and thats not much to brag about.
  12. RedRanger

    RedRanger New Member

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    BG: I`m still loving my Mazda B2200 pickup. that I know for sure with the carb is still a mazda. and 30+ per gallon. I think maybe you have the scene backwards though, since 1994 I think the Mazda`s are just Ford Rangers in disguise? Perhaps, someone else can chime in.? PS: you wouldn`t believe how many guys have just walked right up to me and asked if I wanted to sell it!! I just say--"no way" until they start building them again, it`s irreplaceable..

    Which begs the question? nice little truck, great gas milage. very little problems. what the hell?? why not start reproducing them.?? Oh, yea, tried emailing Ford and Mazda, and yep, no response!!
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Could very well be I have it back-asswards. I remember them being related to the B2600? or something like that.
  14. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    Engine/drive train was Mazda-designed, but built by Ford in St. Paul, MN.
  15. Redox

    Redox Minister of Fire

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    Yes, they are built by Ford and sold as Mazda's. They once sold them with a Mitsubishi diesel, but not very many produced.

    Chris
  16. Ken45

    Ken45 Minister of Fire

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    Just like the U.S. Oh we also have crude oil but are unwilling to allow drilling for it.

    As for selling the car and buying something more "efficient", that may not be wise. We did that in 1980 and it was a mistake. The $30 or so we saved on gas was overwhelmed by what we added in car payments. Also, I'm not convinced that buying an "efficient" vehicle helps the environment. Building a new vehicle takes a LOT of energy and produces a lot of emissions and waste. Using what we have may be the better economical and environmental approach.

    What have we done to reduce costs? Less driving, eliminated any plans for a vacation or moderate distance trip. I also hold the speed down to the limit most of the time instead of 3-4 mph over the limit.

    Ken
  17. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    The little doodad that you plug into your 1996 or newer OBD2 equipped (just about every vehicle with a computer) is called a scan gauge. I bought one several months ago for aobut 160$. It gives instant mpg readings as well as many many other useful bits of information. Bloody great doodad.
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Tell that to the folks in North Dakota with hundreds of these going in.

    Attached Files:

  19. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    We've had thosands of these pumpers sitting dormant in our area for many,many years. Slather Azz land and well owners did't grease paint or maintain a thing for years because oil prices were so low. NOW oil is sky high and the pumpers,lines and tanks are seized up or rotted out from corrosion and non use. Their all crying the blues cause the wait list for a new pumper and service men to repair the pumpers and lines is longer than the equator. The old saying "an ounce of prevention" comes to mind.

    I have a wood customer that builds these pumpers and has an open order for as many as he can build. Has about 8-10 guys in his shop and is building and shipping 3 or 4/day for the last 2 years.It takes 30 cord/winter to heat his shop! And you guys thought you burned alot.
  20. Ken45

    Ken45 Minister of Fire

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    Oh there is a small amout of drilling going on, but we refuse to drill in our country like we want other countries to open the spigots in their countries. Meanwhile, we refuse to open up more of Alaska or the coastal areas? How about the ridiculous delays on shale oil?

    The speach below by Senator Hatch says a lot of things pretty plainly:

    http://hatch.senate.gov/public/inde...ease_id=79a0cca6-1b78-be3e-e0c9-d0cac3675d12/

    Ken
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Have you looked at the size and scale of the Bakken Reserve in the Dakotas? It's huge and they're installing drilling rigs at capacity right now. Drilling is happening big time there:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2004463348_dakotaoil07.html

    The drilling in the Gulf and Alaska are drops in the bucket comparatively and way more expensive. They are good poster children for politicians but in fact riskier propositions. Best to leave that for the next generation and for this generation to go on a diet.

    Same for gas in Wyoming. There are thousands of new wells put in the last decade. Environmentally a disaster, but hey, it's Cheney's home state right? Google the Jonah field to see what it looks like from space.

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  22. Turbozcs2003

    Turbozcs2003 New Member

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    Be Green

    So your saying the oil companies are pulling a scam??

    Lets call their card and allow them to drill. I am sure if there isnt much oil there they wont bother but something tells me that if they view it as profitable they will be there in force.

    Per not drilling, let us allow the Chinese and Cubans to steal all our oil off the coast of Florida.
  23. RedRanger

    RedRanger New Member

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    I will state this for the second time on this forum. two/thirds of all new refining capacity in the US is geared towards handling the tar sands. why would the big corps be doing that if drilling somewhere else is so much more profitable? Let me answer it for you. these big guys see the writing on the wall. tar sands more expensive, but reliable, equals more profits, and there is decades of it too boot!!

    You know the old saying-"a bird in the hand". :coolcheese: And you are gonna have to get used to paying for the (bird in the hand)!!
  24. Burn-1

    Burn-1 Feeling the Heat

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    Enough with the Chi-coms. That is a well discredited canard. If Dick Cheney's office apologized for it, I'm pretty sure it's a load of crap.

    There is no way to drill ourselves out of this crisis. Besides, there's all the oil we need under Gull Island. I saw it on Youtube
  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Er, no. I never said any such thing. Is Rush blabbing in the background on the radio?

    As for Cuban and Chinese drilling in the Gulf of Mexico... is this really an issue?
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