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Old 07-04-2012, 04:47 PM   #1
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A basic engine and mpg question

Hi --
I was asked the following question today, and I don't know the answer. Help!

My van has the 5.4L V8, and on a trip (mixed highway and not, flat and mountain) averages 16mpg. In town it gets more like 11-12mpg.

Question posed to me: would a Ford Expedition with the 5.4L v8 get about the same mileage? Or are factors like shape (aerodynamics) and weight as --or more -- important as the engine? (And of course, driving style is pretty important, too.)

The question was asked by someone who is thinking about buying an Expedition and was interested in "real world" mpg data.

Any thoughts/opinions?

Cheers,
GreyDawg
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:53 PM   #2
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Re: A basic engine and mpg question

Weight is very important for around town mileage. Aerodynamics are more important for highway mileage. Engine is less important.

- Generally, higher horsepower engines get lower mileage, although modern electronics have greatly changed this equation.

- Diesels get 10-20% better mileage

Our vans tend to be heavy (lousy around town mileage) and about as aerodynamic as a box (lousy highway mileage) and an Expedition slightly better in both conditions.

Mike
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:57 PM   #3
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Re: A basic engine and mpg question

What Mike said. My 2006 E350 RB 2WD gets 11-12mpg around town and short freeway runs. On longer freeway runs at 65mph the box shape doesn't cut through the air .. I also have a rooftop box which doesn't help mileage at all. It does seem to like 55mph but realistically I can't do that without incurring the wrath of everyone behind me. Its also heavy (about 6400-6500lbs) for a vehicle just to drive around. With stock 3.73 gears and standard 245/75-16 tires aired up to about 70psi I get what I get.
My 2008 Nissan Armada 4WD (somewhat similar to an Expedition in size, weight, motor) gets 17 on runs from SanJose to SanFrancisco and back. EPA ratings are 13/18, same as the Expedition. It has tow gears (3.23) stock is 2.93 and a 5speed auto and weighs about 5900lbs. If I spend too much time in the city and stop and go traffic the mpg will drop into the 13-14 range. Surpisingly it gets about 15-16 towing a 3500lb popup trailer.

Hope this helps™,
Ray
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:22 AM   #4
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Re: A basic engine and mpg question

Thanks! I'll pass the information along!

Cheers,
Meredith
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Old 07-12-2012, 04:42 PM   #5
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Re: A basic engine and mpg question

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyDawg
My van has the 5.4L V8, and on a trip (mixed highway and not, flat and mountain) averages 16mpg. In town it gets more like 11-12mpg.
I realize this doesn't answer your friend's question, but I just thought I'd mention that I, too, have the 5.4 V8 (1997 E-250 RB 2WD PH) and I also get 16 mpg on highway trips and 11-12 in town. Anyway, it was nice to see your stats.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:38 AM   #6
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Re: A basic engine and mpg question

Last tank hwy 16mpg. Last trip to Moab UT pulling trailer with Jeep, best 13mpg/ worst 9mpg. 2007 15 passenger converted to full camper, 265/75 R16. The 5.4 works great for me and what I am pulling.
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:26 PM   #7
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A basic engine and mpg question

I only get 15 at best with my 2wd 5.4, but I can't keep it under 75 as hard as I try so I think that's pretty good.
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:48 PM   #8
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Re: A basic engine and mpg question

I get 10mpg hwy towing 6x12 enclosed dirtbike trailer
96 Ford Club Wagon E150 2wd V8 5.8L 358K miles and still going strong
my kids can't wait to take it over
very basic home brew...
BUT THAT IS ONLY FOR TWO MORE WEEKS
THEN I GET MY OWN NEW SMB
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:43 PM   #9
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A basic engine and mpg question

Expeditions have a different, 3 valve 5.4L, which has higher HP &TQ ratings. Everything I've read about MPG comes down to rolling resistance being the biggest factor under about 55 MPH and wind resistance over 55 MPG.

So a brick driving 75 on Mud Terrains is about as bad as it's going to be.
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Old 07-28-2012, 06:17 PM   #10
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Re: A basic engine and mpg question

Regarding the subject of MPG, on my 1st-2-weeks-of-July loop from NV through ID, UT and MT, I decided that one of the things I really wanted to know was how much fuel I had at a given gauge reading. This is something I don't see anybody do with their off-road machines, but I'm pretty paranoid about running out of gas but also like to get far from gas stations, so I'm meticulous about keeping current fuel-use records. It provides a pretty good comfort margin to know how much fuel you really have based on the gauge reading.

So I built a sheet to prompt me to record gauge position as part of my fuel records. I also figured I might want to gather statistics on mileage under various conditions, using different octane fuels, etc, so I added an octane column and add notes regarding driving conditions.

For anybody that might find it useful, it's attached here as a pdf. The idea is that you fold it in half so it stores more conveniently in the cockpit. That's why there are headings mid-page as well as at the top.

I tried to attach it as an Excel file also but apparently that's not allowed. I fill mine in by hand in the truck and transcribe the numbers into the spreadsheet later. The MPG column does its own math of course, as do the average $/gal and average MPG cells at the top.

And FWIW I averaged 12.3 MPG on that trip.

Here are some gauge indication and fuel-needed correlations from my rig, a gasoline-powered 2008 E-350 with what I am pretty sure is a 35-gallon tank based on the cryptic entry in the owner's manual:
Gauge says Fuel needed
3/4 tank 6.5g
1/2 tank 13.4g
on red line of E 27.8g

For whatever reason I have not yet managed to buy fuel when I'm on 1/4 tank.

If I really have a 35 gallon tank, it means I have 7 actual gallons left in the tank when it's on the red "reserve" line. Then there's the difficult-and-possibly-undesirable-to-answer question regarding how much of that fuel is usable. Maybe there are 7 gallons left and maybe only 2 of it is usable. Who knows? I don't find anything published on the subject. And running the thing out of gas (which I will choose not to do, of course) seems like the only real way to answer the question.

If anybody has good information on usable-fuel, please share it.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf SMB gas records blank.pdf (4.3 KB, 9 views)
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