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solutions to increase mpg on 04 sport trac

kmartin

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Year, Model & Trim Level
2004 Ford Explorer Sport
Hi I am looking for cheap solutions to increase mpg on my 2004 Ford Explorer sport trac xlt premium. Granted, everything about this vehicle is working against me. It is a 4x4 with 4.10 differentials. What would work. These are some thoughts I came up with that I can do while i am doing normal maintenance.

1. Change tire size. Currently, I have P255/70R16 stock. That would be an expense I have anyways, but I couldn't find anything that would increase mpg. Of course going bigger won't help, but I thought that decreasing width and increase diameter would help, but couldn't find anything that do anything for you either.

2. Use synthetic oil. Change to synthetic when time comes for your service interval. Currently, the rear differential is the only thing that recommend a synthetic. But using synthetic usually doesn't improve mpg that much.

The things I would need to spend money on that are not maintenance.
1. A tuner. This vehicle runs the rpm rather high. Could you use a tuner to change that or else change settings to improve mpg? What a good one?I

2. Change the gearing. Obviously that an expensive one, that would need to get significantly better to justify the cost.

3. I heard the usual of bigger intakes and exhaust.

4. Any other idea?
 



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How about manual locking hubs for the front so the cv shafts aren't always rotating when not in 4wheel drive. I did this with my Infiniti qx-4 and it helped my mpg.
 






Very difficult to get substantial MPG gains, especially with city driving. I have a lowered ST with an open 3:73, Michelin Latitude Tours, SCT tuned, Zabteck throttle body, AFE Pro Dry-S, modified exhaust, etc. Driving conservatively with minimum weight and the A/C off I get no better than 14 city and 19 highway using E10 gas. I found the real mileage killer with these 4500 lb. bricks is acceleration from stops. I would be surprised if ANY Sport Trac could gain 3 MPG combined driving with any combination of mods.
 






I came across web site for GForce Chip ( $ 69.00). They advertize 10% in fuel efficiency, along with 30 HP increase and 30 LB-FT torque.
Anyone installed this chip ? Does it really work ?
 






You'll spend all that money on oil/tires/gears/tuner......... and maybe get 2-3 mpg. Or spend the same amount of money up front on a lightweight 4 cylinder car that gets double the mpgs easily without even trying.
 












You'll spend all that money on oil/tires/gears/tuner......... and maybe get 2-3 mpg. Or spend the same amount of money up front on a lightweight 4 cylinder car that gets double the mpgs easily without even trying.

Oil gets changed, tires wear out. So the reason I ask is because of that. So that be my question for advice on. Tuners can be had for a couple hundred dollars, but the question is it worth it? Gears, probably not worth it. What can I do with 4.10 rears? And one, I do not want to spend what I could get a lightweight 4 cylinder car for. Its not a vehicle I choose to buy, its one I got because the woman I choose to marry.
 






SCT XCal is great but wouldn't spend the money if mileage gains are your priority. The most I gained was 1 MPG with all my other mods in place. This was a three tank average using 87 economy, 87 octane, and 92 octane tunes on different fills driving identical routes and keeping below 2500 RPM. For me it was worth $400 for the firmer shifting and trouble code reader alone. Also forgot to mention my ST is rear wheel drive and use only full synthetic lubes except for Motorcraft Mercon V in the tranny.
 






Quote straight from warn 4x4 industries.

"Back in 1948, Arthur Warn developed the WARN locking hub so surplus WWII Jeeps, which had full-time four-wheel drive, could perform better on the pavement. These hubs allowed the vehicle's front wheels to be disconnected from the drivetrain. He advertised that the hubs would increase fuel economy, be incredibly durable, and were easy to install. More than 60 years later, this still applies to WARN 4WD Hubs.

Some four-wheel drive vehicles come with manual locking hubs. However, after time, they become worn and need replacing. Other four-wheel-drive vehicles have automatic locking hubs. And although auto hubs are convenient, they don't allow for a complete disconnect from the four-wheel-drive system. Axles, differentials, and driveshafts still turn, even in 2WD, which adds extra wear and tear on a vehicle and decreases fuel economy. When you switch to a manual WARN 4WD Hub, you have the ability to disconnect front wheels from the front drivetrain, increasing fuel economy, and decreasing drivetrain wear."

Has nobody looked into this yet. I just got my ST a couple months ago and this is one of the first things I will be changing out. But hey I am just a noob so what do I know.
PICT0004.jpg
 






Quote straight from warn 4x4 industries.

"Back in 1948, Arthur Warn developed the WARN locking hub so surplus WWII Jeeps, which had full-time four-wheel drive, could perform better on the pavement. These hubs allowed the vehicle's front wheels to be disconnected from the drivetrain. He advertised that the hubs would increase fuel economy, be incredibly durable, and were easy to install. More than 60 years later, this still applies to WARN 4WD Hubs.

Some four-wheel drive vehicles come with manual locking hubs. However, after time, they become worn and need replacing. Other four-wheel-drive vehicles have automatic locking hubs. And although auto hubs are convenient, they don't allow for a complete disconnect from the four-wheel-drive system. Axles, differentials, and driveshafts still turn, even in 2WD, which adds extra wear and tear on a vehicle and decreases fuel economy. When you switch to a manual WARN 4WD Hub, you have the ability to disconnect front wheels from the front drivetrain, increasing fuel economy, and decreasing drivetrain wear."

Has nobody looked into this yet. I just got my ST a couple months ago and this is one of the first things I will be changing out. But hey I am just a noob so what do I know.
PICT0004.jpg

so, are you trying to say that automatic locking hubs are just hubs that stay locked in all the time?
 






In a way yes. The vehicle is not locked into 4 wheel drive all the time or else it would be an all wheel drive vehicle. However, even in 2-wheel drive the front CV's and diff are always spinning when the front wheels are turning which just creates more resistance. They don't necessarily get any of the engine's power unless actually in 4 wheel drive. By "unlocking" the hubs, the engine would not have the extra resistance of having to turn all of the front driveline which in turn would mean less effort the engine needs to get this brick of a vehicle moving and more $$ in your pocket for gas over time. I think i netted about 2-3 mpg more with my warn hubs on the qx-4 which was substantial enough for me to give it a shot not to mention it was stronger and kept wear down on my front drivetrain.
 






In a way yes. The vehicle is not locked into 4 wheel drive all the time or else it would be an all wheel drive vehicle. However, even in 2-wheel drive the front CV's and diff are always spinning when the front wheels are turning which just creates more resistance. They don't necessarily get any of the engine's power unless actually in 4 wheel drive. By "unlocking" the hubs, the engine would not have the extra resistance of having to turn all of the front driveline which in turn would mean less effort the engine needs to get this brick of a vehicle moving and more $$ in your pocket for gas over time. I think i netted about 2-3 mpg more with my warn hubs on the qx-4 which was substantial enough for me to give it a shot not to mention it was stronger and kept wear down on my front drivetrain.

So basically I have been lied to and deceived by the auto industry that my automatic locking hubs are not unlocking when I disengage from 4wd. From what you tell me, they should have called it non-locking hubs. On the other hand, its a wonder they don't work on electronic locking hubs, if the auto industry needs to improve there average mpg.
 












If you install some locking hubs, then you can use the WARN hubs.

Newer vehicles like mine, you cannot install WARN hubs. So that is not an option for me.
 












I had warn premiums on my 2000 infiniti, which is essentially a rebadged nissan pathfinder with more gadgets and comforts inside. There has to be a way to convert a sport trac. I only researched it a little so far but it looks like slightly older ford models had non-live axles that can be interchangeable so we should be able to fit manual hubs on the front with a little modding.
 






better mpg & my '99 Eddie Bauer

I see that you have 16" rims; as do I. I switched from the standard size tires to LT235/85 R16 and keep them aired to about 75psi; 85psi is max. Then, I put in a K&N regular square/stock size air filter. Finally, I started driving like a grandpa. When I get on the highway, in the right lane, and set the cruise control to 63mph, the console readout is between 28-31mpg.

Why the odd speed? I got a ticket one night doing 50-55 on an out of town straight highway stretch. According to the dash, I was getting like 32.4mpg but even though it was Tuesday night at 11:30 with no other traffic either way, the cop said I was going too slow based on the new 70mph speed limit.

Know that a 2nd gen EX headlights are aimed at 160feet visibility and 300feet high beam visibility AND at 65mph it takes 350feet to stop on a flat straightaway taking in good road conditions and average experienced driver response time. - I think your Explorer is about the same
 






I see that you have 16" rims; as do I. I switched from the standard size tires to LT235/85 R16 and keep them aired to about 75psi; 85psi is max.
Not the best advice for daily driving, comfort, or tire wear. Check the door pillar sticker for optimal tire pressure, not
what's stamped on the sidewall. Most find between 32-35 PSI ideal. Your 1999 EB shows 255/70-16 as the stock size.
 






the difference of Passenger and LiteTruck tires

the factory stock size tires for Explorers are P-Passenger car type tires; comfort and traction. What many here are using 31's, 33's, 35's and so forth which are off road type tires and still around 35-ish psi. The LT tires such as the LT235/85 R16 tires are that like a utility truck would have. They have thicker sidewalls, usually thicker tread and none the less are made for drivin many miles haulin a lot of weight such as an electrical utility truck.

My max psi on my LT235/85R16's is 85 psi, and I run them between 50-75psi and get better gas mileage. I dont think that when you see folks here adding-a-leaf, tortion bar adjustments, and everything else, they're not really sticking with what's on the door sticker.
 



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