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Old 01-24-2013, 12:29 PM   #1
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Fuel tank capacity / distance between fill-ups

Hi everyone Ė

I have a 2010 E350 RB V10 engine SMB 4x4 with R50 pkg. I have about 17,000 miles on my van.

I ran out of gas on freeway less than a mile from gas station. 3A dumped 2 gallons into tank and I drove to the station to fill up.

So, after topping off to the max the gas tank took a total of 44.6 gallons. Not close enough to the 46 gal rating, IMO.

In city driving with little freeway I average less than 9 mpg. It varies from a low of 8 mpg to a high of 9.4 mpg.

In highway driving with little city I average about 11 mpg. It varies from a low of 9.8 mpg to a high of 12.5 mpg. The typical is 10.5 Ė 11 mpg.

In highway/off road combinations the typical is 10.5 Ė 11 mpg.

When the fuel warning light comes on there is about 17 gallons left in the tank.

In the city I now use 8 mpg so I donít run out again!!!

On the road I use 10 mpg to calculate how far I can go between fill-ups, knowing Iím probably better than that.

Hence, a 450 mile range is not that great. The up charge for the diesel over the V10 was $6000 in 2010.

It didnít make economic sense to buy the diesel for the way I use my SMB. I had other requirements too that the diesel didnít meet and the V10 did.


Iím wondering what driving range between fill-ups do others use for their V10 and diesel engines?



warholic
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:28 PM   #2
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Re: Fuel tank capacity / distance between fill-ups

Quote:
Originally Posted by warholic
Hi everyone Ė

I have a 2010 E350 RB V10 engine SMB 4x4 with R50 pkg. I have about 17,000 miles on my van.

I ran out of gas on freeway less than a mile from gas station. 3A dumped 2 gallons into tank and I drove to the station to fill up.

So, after topping off to the max the gas tank took a total of 44.6 gallons. Not close enough to the 46 gal rating, IMO.

In city driving with little freeway I average less than 9 mpg. It varies from a low of 8 mpg to a high of 9.4 mpg.

In highway driving with little city I average about 11 mpg. It varies from a low of 9.8 mpg to a high of 12.5 mpg. The typical is 10.5 Ė 11 mpg.

In highway/off road combinations the typical is 10.5 Ė 11 mpg.

When the fuel warning light comes on there is about 17 gallons left in the tank.

In the city I now use 8 mpg so I donít run out again!!!

On the road I use 10 mpg to calculate how far I can go between fill-ups, knowing Iím probably better than that.

Hence, a 450 mile range is not that great. The up charge for the diesel over the V10 was $6000 in 2010.

It didnít make economic sense to buy the diesel for the way I use my SMB. I had other requirements too that the diesel didnít meet and the V10 did.


Iím wondering what driving range between fill-ups do others use for their V10 and diesel engines?



warholic
Experience says that I can regularly get 515-550 miles before the low fuel light comes on. This is without any driving off road.

Max fillup was 39 gallons; but I had driven the van to about 600 miles before filling up. That had me pretty nervous, since running out with a diesel is bad news.

So my guess is that I've got about 10-12 gallons left when I get the light.

Filling up beyond 35-37 gallons is a PITA and takes forever because of how the tank is vented.

So my practical range with low or no stress is about 550 on road and quite a bit less if I'm off-road.

R
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:49 PM   #3
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Re: Fuel tank capacity / distance between fill-ups

Quote:
So, after topping off to the max the gas tank took a total of 44.6 gallons. Not close enough to the 46 gal rating, IMO.
44.6 gallons plus the 2 gallons AAA brought you is more than 46 gallons....
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:46 PM   #4
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Re: Fuel tank capacity / distance between fill-ups

First we cannot compare the diesel to the gas V-10. The diesel absolutely kills the V-10 gas motor in mileage.
Thus potentially MANY more miles per 46 gallon tank with the diesel.
My V-10 eats that darned gas too. Usually 10.0 mpg running empty on the level cruising (my van weighs 8600 lbs +-).
Worse, and I mean worse uphill towing, motorcycles inside etc. I've dropped into the 6's towing my 23' trailer. Yikes.

With that said, I am not the type of person to run a tank dry. I plan ahead. My low fuel light goes on at 300-350 miles depending on the fuel mileage I am getting at the time. Most always 10 gallons is in the tank at this time (gauge resting on E).
I always fill up by 350 miles and keep that safe cushion. I have pushed out to 400 miles and have roughly 5 gallons left at that time.
IMO anyone with the V-10 should figure 10 mpg when estimating for your next fuel stop.
Pushing out to 400 miles and having 5 gallons+- is cutting it close in the outback (or on a jammed up freeway!).
Bring extra fuel if you drive like that! Its just smart.

On a side note I changed to 4.56 gears over the summer, from the stock 4.10.
With my new 295 tires my van was either staying in 4th or going back & forth between 4th & 5th.
I thought I would gain power and fuel mileage... But I did not. Argh
The fuel mileage is still at 10 mpg or below.
On the plus side it now shifts into second much quicker on the street, stays in 5th waaay better and I get a better low range. It does not have to work so hard.
I could of (should of) even went to 4.88's and still had under 2500 rpm at 60+ mph.

4.10's are wrong with 33's (even 31's IMO) or bigger! They came with your van with 28" tires!
If the SMB's are coming with 305's and weigh 9000 + lbs, they should come with 4.88's.
In a V-10 you will not lose fuel mileage... because you will NEVER have it to start with.

I don't think the diesel motor is so sensitive to over gearing although the same rules apply.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:07 PM   #5
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Re: Fuel tank capacity / distance between fill-ups

carringb -

44.6 includes the 2 gallons from AAA
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:33 PM   #6
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Re: Fuel tank capacity / distance between fill-ups

I'm super conservative and only go about 200 miles between fill ups. I have a Quigley with a cut tank so instead of the OEM 33gal I have about 27-28gal. Figure about 10mpg (yeah, that V10 is a gas pig isn't it) leaves me with about 70-100 mile range before an empty tank.

So far I've not run the tank down far enough to trigger the low fuel light so I don't know first hand how many gallons would be remaining when the light comes on.

Hope this helpsô,
Ray
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:46 PM   #7
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Fuel tank capacity / distance between fill-ups

I have a 2009 6.0L SMB 4x4. I don't typically allow the tank to go below 1/2 for general preparedness reasons, but I have experimented.

Range on the highway is similar to the previous post. Here's what was interesting about pushing it (at least in the '09):

When the low fuel light came on, the factory computer said I had 50 miles to empty. Almost exactly 50 miles later, it read zero and went into a warning mode briefly cutting the fuel briefly on regular intervals (maybe once per mile?). Continued that way for about 5 miles to the next station and took about 44 gallons of fuel.

Point being that the '09 and newer models appear to have a pretty good warning system prior to running dry. Good for those of us with the 6.0L
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:27 PM   #8
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Re: Fuel tank capacity / distance between fill-ups

"Fuel tank capacity / distance between fill-ups"

Not enough / not far enough
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:54 PM   #9
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Re: Fuel tank capacity / distance between fill-ups

Man, I'm starting to like my 5.4 all of a sudden.

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Old 01-24-2013, 05:34 PM   #10
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Re: Fuel tank capacity / distance between fill-ups

I started this thread bec Iíve been wondering two things:

How do others handle the fuel tank reserve capacity issue when the warning light comes on?

Should I have gotten the diesel due solely to the increased driving range you get?


The problem is that the SMB has the 46 gallon tank but the fuel gauge is inaccurate bec itís calibrated for a 35 gal tank. And when the fuel warning light comes on (E on the gauge) there is still lots of fuel remaining.

Does anyone else have the same experience??

It sounds like TwoVans warning light is accurately calibrated to his 46 gal tank.

As I showed in my first email, the real capacity in my SMB fuel tank is about 44.6 gallons. Letís call it 45 gal for now. The OEM tank was 35 gal, and according to my local Ford Truck Center, the reserve capacity when the light comes on is 2 Ė 3 gal. But that is not documented on paper and is nowhere in the manual. I was thinking it might have been a 5 gal reserve, which more closely matched what I measured when I filled up as described below.

Anyway, when the warning light comes on, the calculations on paper say there is about 12 Ė 13 gallons remaining [45 - 35 + (2 or 3)]. I had said in my first email that there are about 17 gals remaining but that is wrong.

I should have said 15 gallons. I had determined this on road trips by filling up when the fuel warning light came on, and topping off. It consistently took about 31 Ė 33 gal to fill, depending on my highway mpg ... which was pretty consistent at 10 Ė 11 mpg.

I mistakenly thought I had a 47 gal tank, and I used 32 gal typical to arrive at 15 gallons remaining (47-32). So, I would use 10 mpg and thought I could safely go about another 150 miles, +- before needing to refuel.

However, bec the fuel warning light comes on when there is still about 1/3 of a tank remaining, the warning isnít actually very useful. Therefore, it is important to have a good sense of the MPG for the type of driving being done, so one can make good estimates of distance to empty.

So, my new estimate for highway driving or combined when the fuel warning light turns on:

45 Ė 32 = 13 gallons remaining ... and at 10 mpg I can go about 130 miles.

Pretty much I know I need to fill up within 100 miles to play it safe.


To summarize the conditions for the above MPG and fuel capacity:

2010 E350 RB SMB 4x4 V10 6.8L gas engine, 17000 miles on SMB
I donít tow anything, no roof rack (do have solar panel), no awnings or ladders, do have Aluminess rear and front with WARN winch
I drive 62 Ė 65 mph on level highways, 50 - 55 mph steeper grades

The 46 gal tank is actually 44.6 gal ... Round up to 45 gal
Highway driving typically averages 10.5 Ė 11.5 mpg ... USE 10 mpg for highway and combined
All city driving (rare, but helps approximate all off-road driving, also rare) typically averages 8.5 Ė 9 mpg ... USE 8 mpg


Range of diesel V. gas:
From researching the forum back in 2009 it seemed that 14 Ė 15 mpg was the best AVERAGE to expect from an SMB 4x4 diesel engine not towing anything.

Using 14 mpg and 45 gal capacity = 630 mile range. That is way better than 450 miles with my V10.


warholic
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