The goal of this project is to improve the fuel efficiency of my pickup. A lot. Here is a run down of the specs as of this morning:
- Year: 1998
- Make: Dodge
- Model: Ram 1500 Sport, 4X4
- Engine: 5.9 Liter V8, Fuel Injected.
- Transmission: 4 speed Automatic
- Mileage: About 135,000
- Current MPG at last check: 14.6 MPG (Mostly highway)
That visor/light bar looks really cool, but I am sure that it causes a little bit extra drag... (Bad)
LT 245/75R16 tires instead of P 245/75R16s. LT stands for Light Truck, which is a heavier duty tire than Passenger... I run these at 55PSI. Higher tire pressures mean less rolling resistance... (Good) While we are in the tire section, I would like to also point out that this is 4 wheel drive, which usually means decreased fuel efficiency vs. 2 wheel drive, because of the extra weight and mechanism to turn...
Here you can see an aftermarket throttle body spacer. This was installed on it when I bought the pickup, so I really don't know how much of a difference that makes. I was also told when I bought the pickup that the engine has a performance cam in it. Weather or not this is true, i really don't know...
Ok, now on to what I did today:
Here you can see it in the shop where I am working on it. :-)
First thing I did was to replace the thermostat, as I believe the old one was faulty... The engine seemed like it took a long time to warm up, and maybe even ran a bit too cool, so I decided to go ahead and change it out... Here is a picture of the old thermostat sitting on the box from the new one:
Next on the list was the Oxygen sensor, as the "Check Engine" light had come on a couple of days ago, and the code that the engine showed was related to the Oxygen sensor... I was going to pick up a new sensor when I was in town the other day, but then I found out that there are actually two of them, and I didn't know which one was bad... After a little checking, I found I needed the front one, so Dad picked up one for me in town today. Here is a picture of the old O2 sensor:
Now that the routine things were out of the way, I could get on to the actual modifications! The first thing I am going to try is a new set of spark plugs. But not just any plugs, these are called "Pulse Plugs", so named for the unique way they store the incoming electrical energy in a capacitor, then dump that energy across the spark gap in a much more powerful "Pulse." This is supposed to ignite the fuel/air mixture more completely, thus causing a more efficient burn... You can read more about Pulse Plugs at the manufacturer's website: http://www.pulstar.com/ You can also check out this page over at FreeEnergyNews: http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directory:Pulstar_Pulse_Plug
I am really expecting to see an improvement in horsepower and efficiency, partially because of the technology in the Pulse Plugs, and partially because the old plugs were in pretty bad shape. Here you can see one of the old plugs, which is pretty much corroded off!
Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the Pulse Plugs before I put them in, but here you can see the plastic cases they came in (I just put the old plugs in them as I switched them around):
You can also see a better picture of the ones I ordered over at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Pulstar-be1i-Iridium-Pulse-Spark/dp/B003MOA25O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=automotive&qid=1307506316&sr=1-1
That is all that I have done as of today. I have a couple of other things I would like to try as I get time and money, but I also would like to do things step by step in order to evaluate their effectiveness... I will be reporting back with my results from time to time, so check back often! I thought about starting a blog dedicated to this topic, but thought I would get more exposure by just writing on here... What do you think?
Best get to bed,