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Old 02-04-2012, 07:48 PM   #1
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Better fuel mileage

Been reading up on some of the programmers that claim to better the fuel mileage and increase horsepower. Anyone have any experiance with these?

Roger
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v-10
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:38 PM   #2
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No personal experience here. Even if they increased your fuel milage by 1 MPG you can buy a lot of fuel with the cost of what the programmer is. Unless you drive your motorhome 20,000 miles a year.

Best of luck with your research. If you flip through the threads here you will find discussion about this subject.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:51 PM   #3
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Diablo Powerpuck on my CAT C7

2 years ago I installed a Diablo Powerpuck in my 07 Journey with a 350hp CAT C7. I was looking for a bit more power when pulling the toad (07 Lincoln MKX). I was not disappointed. Not only can I select my power level but I increased my mileage at least 1.5 to 2.0 MPG. I now get 9 to 9.5mpg when towing. I was averaging 7 to 7.5 before the install.

I was as skeletal as anyone but thought what the heck. The hardest part was accessing the top of the engine. I had to remove the steps in the bedroom and a couple steel access panels. The powerpuck has a variable selector so I ran a cable all the way to the drivers panels. I have no regrets and would definitely install another one if I ever swap coaches.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:56 PM   #4
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2 years ago I installed a Diablo Powerpuck in my 07 Journey with a 350hp CAT C7. I was looking for a bit more power when pulling the toad (07 Lincoln MKX). I was not disappointed. Not only can I select my power level but I increased my mileage at least 1.5 to 2.0 MPG. I now get 9 to 9.5mpg when towing. I was averaging 7 to 7.5 before the install.

I was as skeletal as anyone but thought what the heck. The hardest part was accessing the top of the engine. I had to remove the steps in the bedroom and a couple steel access panels. The powerpuck has a variable selector so I ran a cable all the way to the drivers panels. I have no regrets and would definitely install another one if I ever swap coaches.
VERY impressive results!

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Old 02-04-2012, 10:22 PM   #5
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The only thing that ever improved my mileage was the addition of a vacuum gage. If you keep an eye on the gage, you will learn how to select gears and throttle position to give the best mileage.
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by shepserv View Post
Been reading up on some of the programmers that claim to better the fuel mileage and increase horsepower. Anyone have any experiance with these?

Roger
2012 Southwind 32v
v-10
I believe 5star tuning specializes in Ford chassis. Increases hp/torque... which might translate into a slight mpg improvement.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:58 AM   #7
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as stated b4

Slow down, hold the accelerator steady in all terrians, slow steady acceleration up to speed and read the TPS/MPG settings on a Scan Gauge II.
I get 9-9.5 mpg on a V-10
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:14 AM   #8
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I have modified several diesel and gas engines over the yaers with a lot of luck. *Kinda like a side hobby just because. *Be carful and make sure you have sufficient air flow so you don't cook your valves. *To do it right you wont get your money back in fuel savings. *I have increase as much as 3mpg. *But it takes a lot of mods and stress on the drive train to get there. But you can really improve performance with better air intakes, larger exhaust and upgraded cam. * *Just adding a chip will give you a little improvement. *I prefer the on demand adjustable units so you don't always have to run hot.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:07 AM   #9
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To play the Devil's Advocate here. Now just talking about BIG diesels such as Cummins, CAT and Detroit. If it was really possible to change and improve the MPG on these big diesels rigs then wouldn't the trucking industry have already done it? The trucking companies would have tested it and modified their whole fleet in a flash. Stop and think what would increasing MPG from 6 to 6.6 mpg would do for Werner or Yellow Freight or one of those other big companies. We are talking savings of millions a year in fuel. Cummins would have modified all their motors and would be telling the world that their motors get better MPG. UPS even computes how much fuel they can save by having their trucks only turn one direction. Small changes are big $$$$ for a company like UPS or FEDEX. They would install any true gas saving device on their vehicles

Now when I say improve MPG I am talking at steady throttle on a flat road. Now it is always possible to increase power on vehicles at Wide Open Throttle so you feel it when you accelarate but that is not how we drive a motorhome.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:15 AM   #10
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To play the Devil's Advocate here. Now just talking about BIG diesels such as Cummins, CAT and Detroit. If it was really possible to change and improve the MPG on these big diesels rigs then wouldn't the trucking industry have already done it? The trucking companies would have tested it and modified their whole fleet in a flash. Stop and think what would increasing MPG from 6 to 6.6 mpg would do for Werner or Yellow Freight or one of those other big companies. We are talking savings of millions a year in fuel. Cummins would have modified all their motors and would be telling the world that their motors get better MPG. UPS even computes how much fuel they can save by having their trucks only turn one direction. Small changes are big $$$$ for a company like UPS or FEDEX. They would install any true gas saving device on their vehicles

Now when I say improve MPG I am talking at steady throttle on a flat road. Now it is always possible to increase power on vehicles at Wide Open Throttle so you feel it when you accelarate but that is not how we drive a motorhome.
I agree. But you can improve milaged as well as power, but at what cost. The large trucking industry is not willing to pay the cost of grebuilding all the engines that wuld have a shortened life span. It is ok as a hobby but I prefer to keep my MH stock. For my fun toy trucks with lift kits and gearing for larger tires it is a risk I have taken.

For camping, I want to hedge my bets for reliability.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:28 AM   #11
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I have mentioed this before about having a friend who is an engineer in R&D deptment for a large diesel company. He says they are trying to come out with a new diesel motor that does not use an EGR system and can meet emissions and get better MPG but it is really hard. The Federal Govenment keeps changing the emissions requirements which is really hurting things. I have noticed that more and more trucking companies are putting those skirts on the lower sides of their trailers and spoilers on the back of the trailer to improve aerodynamics so some are trying. My guess is they are making a long term study to see if it is worth it. Like I said .5 MPG improvement is a lot of fuel savings over a million miles. Mercedes has come out with a new aerodynamic tractor/trailer combination in Europe that they say helps and it is being tested now. It gets rid of that gap between the tractor and the trailer and smoothes out the whole rig. It uses skirts over the tires like back in the fifties. It doesn't appear the the mh industry really cares much about MPG or they would come out with a better aerodynamic design. I bet none of them have designed a MH in a wind tunnel like the one here at Lockheed. Ford uses this wind tunnel as does NASCAR teams and John Force Racing. They also put 12 meter racing yacht hulls in it and test them. It is big and they make a lot of money from it.
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:00 AM   #12
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After many years of RVn, I have found that nothing you can do to your existing drive train is cost effective. What is effective is prudent use of the appendage on the accelerator. Reducing my speed to 55 MPH from 65 MPH, resulted in a dramatic increase from 7.5 MPG to 9.5 MPG. Cruising at an RPM that produces maximun torque is ideal. Unfortunately, in my case, that will not get me into 6th gear, so I have to increase the RPM a little.

Jim E
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Old 02-05-2012, 05:01 PM   #13
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Been reading up on some of the programmers that claim to better the fuel mileage and increase horsepower. Anyone have any experiance with these?

Roger
2012 Southwind 32v
v-10
Most of the commercially available 'engine tuners' do increase HP and torque. I have never heard anyone consistently report a significant increase in fuel mileage, whether gas or diesel, with these systems.

If you want increased torque and HP, then go for it. If you want increased mpg, then lighten up on the right foot and keep your speed down.

P.S. I agree with Mike Canter's observations above. If there was a secret recipe for increasing mileage, someone would be a billionare many times over by now.
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Old 02-05-2012, 05:14 PM   #14
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Most upgrades will help with the hp and power but as far as fuel mileage I haven't heard anyone boasting about that happening.
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