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Old 12-20-2010, 05:10 PM   #1
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Basic 4x4 question: mileage?

Not sure if this is the right place to ask this question since it doesn't directly apply to SMBs, but...

This weekend I was talking to a guy who is a serious skier by winter, climber/hiker by summer. He (and wife and two kids) are toying with the idea of getting a recent year (2005-2008) 24' Born Free motorhome on an E450 chassis, and having an aftermarket 4x4 conversion done (he's seen pictures of one on the internet, but no contact information for the owner.)

Here's the question: when a van is converted from 2WD to 4x4, how is the fuel economy affected? And does it depend on how it's done (Quigley vs, say, the guys in Portland)?

Thanks.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:01 PM   #2
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Re: Basic 4x4 question: mileage?

To my understanding, since the front axle is turning with rear axle = more gears turning = more gas to make the rig move. Add the bigger tires + lift (more wind drag underneath)+ added weight of the 4x4 parts will decrease the MPG. That's my simple non mechanic profession theory........but of course, I can always be wrong.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:34 PM   #3
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Basic 4x4 question: mileage?

Mine went from about 16-20 (empty cargo van) to about 14ish.

Which company likely matters little. Bigger factors are how much lift (think wind resistance), tire size (think rolling resistance), gearing (will determine RPM at a given speed), and total weight added.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:44 PM   #4
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Re: Basic 4x4 question: mileage?

Thanks. I'll pass the information on. I had heard, somewhere long ago, that on an E350 the 4x4 conversion took a hit of about 2 mpg (gas). This seems to square with your replies.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:50 PM   #5
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Re: Basic 4x4 question: mileage?

My 2001 Quigley (5.4) got 13mpg on the hwy but after I put the Super Duty axles and 37's under it it went up to 15 do to the re-gearing.
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:20 PM   #6
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Re: Basic 4x4 question: mileage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jessenej

Which company likely matters little. Bigger factors are how much lift (think wind resistance), tire size (think rolling resistance), gearing (will determine RPM at a given speed), and total weight added.
x2. I'm pretty sure the added hardware alone makes for a negligible fuel penalty. But added height = added frontal area, and bigger tires = more drag. QuadVan has a 2" lift option (above 2wd) which also means stock tires, and I don't think there's much affect on the MPGs with that setup. Quigley only does a 4" setup.

Aftermarket bumpers also add wind drag.

For a motorhome, I think QuadVan is the only way to go, because Quigley installs a SRW axle up front, and uses SRW front wheel, even in Dually applications (this is a recent change.... was not always this way). Not only that, the front wheels are 17" even though the rear at 16". QuadVan installs a dually front axle, and sticks with the stock bolt pattern or converts the rear if you want the F-series bolt pattern. Either way QuadVan upgrades all wheels to 17" so they all match, and 2 spares are not needed.
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Old 12-21-2010, 01:06 AM   #7
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Re: Basic 4x4 question: mileage?

my 454ci quig gets 10-12 on 89 w/10%ethanol. it weighs 7000lbs so I think that's pretty good. on the way back from CO it got 13 with 87 (no ethanol) running 70+.
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:43 AM   #8
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Re: Basic 4x4 question: mileage?

We put 14,000 miles on our van (see signature) before converting it to 4wd. We took a 1mpg hit on the mileage. Would be alot more of a hit if we used 4wd very often. I suspect most of the loss of mileage is from the lift, a little from the increased weight. Weight went up about 600# on a 10,000# van that is only about 6% and likely a 1% or less loss of economy. But, the van is taller and the front bumper less aerodynamic.

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Old 12-21-2010, 07:50 PM   #9
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Re: Basic 4x4 question: mileage?

All very interesting. Thanks, and I'll pass it on.

My question now is, why would someone who is "just" a ski bum need 4WD? Assuming he stays on paved roads, and carries chains (or has studded tires), is 4WD a must? or just a want?

I tend to think of 4WD for being off road -- snowy or otherwise.
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Old 12-22-2010, 09:47 AM   #10
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Re: Basic 4x4 question: mileage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyDawg
My question now is, why would someone who is "just" a ski bum need 4WD?
See this thread: Moving to somewhere snowy - should I get 4 x 4?.

Brent
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