Wind Splitters/Boat Tails/Kammaback/Aerodynamic Mods for MPG? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Wind Splitters/Boat Tails/Kammaback/Aerodynamic Mods for MPG?

fr0st m0nkey

Well-Known Member
March 12, 2007
Reaction score
City, State
Stockton, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'04 XLT
Has anyone tried making any aerodynamic mods for our vehicles to gain mpg on long trips? It's a 4 hour drive to my family from my college and visits are expensive at 17mpg.

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I found this pic of a rear wing, but it's pretty hard to make a brick aerodynamic.

Or you could buy the one in the second picture. 17 isn't that bad tho' in winter.


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if he cant afford gas im sure he cant afford a 40k suv...... lol

Has anyone tried making any aerodynamic mods for our vehicles to gain mpg on long trips? It's a 4 hour drive to my family from my college and visits are expensive at 17mpg.

Do a search on here for "my quest for 30"'s Aldive's (RIP) thread.

He promoted removing the roof rack cross bars as one aerodynamic mod.

Most of his gains, however, came from the mods listed in his thread. To summarize what he recommended for most people:

40 PSI in the tires
Synthetic motor oil, transmission fluid, and axle gear oil
K&N or KKM intake (see stage II intake thread in the modified 2002-2005 forum)
Catback exhaust system
Remove roof rack
Underdrive pullies
Electric radiator fan

You could get all of the above for well under 1000 dollars. Eventually it could pay for itself.

Driving habits help also:
No race like starts
Windows up always - use AC in the summer
Keep top speed at or below 70 MPH

Go to ecomodder - plenty of aero mods there.

The speed factor plays a huge part. I averaged 20mpg driving all interstate from cincinnati to youngstown ohio over the weekend going 65-70mph with the cruise set, and staying behind semi trucks just far enough back that they could see me in the mirrors. driving back I caught a pack of cars travelling 75-80mph and rolled with them for about 120 miles, only got 16 or so mpg. looks like if I want to try to be economical its the slow lane for me... is where all the nuts about MPG people are..

There are people with skirts and boat tails and lots of other things.... Lots of good testing done there too.


Then again the best choice is not to purchase an SUV if your main concern is mileage. haha Unless you want a crossover SUV, then you might get better mpgs.

I drove from Indianapolis Indiana to Tampa Florida around 1000+ miles 4 times in a year and averaged 21 mpg (from my info center) cruise set the whole time other than the steep mountain grades in Chattanooga Tennessee... all of this with AWD V8 at 70+....... I think at 17mpg its time to look routine maintenance (correct me if you are up to date) I had really bad mileage until the fuel filter, I found out my 100k+ mountaineer had the factory fuel filter, I changed it and it was a whole new truck

I am thinking about a couple tasteful aero mods myself. The few I have been thinking of are:
-an upper grille block-off with button snaps so you could open a corner if its getting hot
-Disc wheel covers
-a boundary layer "trip wire" that helps optimize the wake behind the vehicle
-front under tray/skid plate
There is a possibility certain low profile roof racks do not hinder air flow over vehicle

I have a 4.0 2wd 5spd and I already get about 22-23 avg in the summer

My 1st aero mod I have done is lower the front end down by backing off the Torsion bar adjusting screws until the truck looks level, a very nice looks improvement I think- no more saggy butt look, also should mean less air cramming under vehicle