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Old 12-08-2013, 03:19 PM   #1
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Quick Help Needed: Ford 460 Idle Gas Usage and Escaping Winter

Short: What is the idle gas usage for a Ford 460?

Long: I'm in the frozen hinterlands with my 1990 Winnebago with Ford 460 engine. The bottom fell out of the temperatures and I couldn't get south before it happened. Looking at the forecast, we got close to a week more of sub zero temperatures.

Anyways, my motorhome wouldn't start when for several days now but I had the time today to actually work on it and after bringing in the batteries and charging them overnight(and warming them up.) It didn't start, wouldn't fire, just whir whir whit. I put on jumper cables from my car and ran the furnace for about an hour with the car cover in the cab off. After about 10 minutes of trying she barely turned over and is running right now.

It's too late in the day to head down south right now. We got just a bit more prep to do and we are doing it.....so right now the motorhome is idling. I know that long term idling is not good for the engine, but this is a one off. I'd like to run it all night so that there is no worries if it will start. It's -3F right now and tonight it's supposed to hit -20F. I know there is no way in hell that I can start it tomorrow morning. I thought about starting it every 2 hours but knowing how cold it can get, in two hours my car is like cold starting in this weather.

What say all of you?
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:27 PM   #2
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Sounds like if your going to leave in the morning you have no choice?
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:42 PM   #3
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What about a heater on tge grown under c engine combined with battery on charger?
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:59 PM   #4
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Thanks, I don't think I have another option. I did think about plugging in over the night and running the furnace all night. I have a full propane tank. That said I don't want to run into the same situation in the morning. It just starts hard.

I tried to find a magnetic oil pan heater but couldn't find one.

Before the motorhome was in outside storage so no option to plug it into anything. At least now it's outside my apartment on the street and I could buy a 100 foot extension cord and power it through the night. That said I'd prefer to just run it all night, not buy another 100 foot extension cord and know that there are no hassles in the morning.
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:07 PM   #5
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I have heard figures of about a gallon per hour idling. As cold as it is going to get, if you have the means to raise the idle to about 900-1000RPM it would be advantageous from an efficiency standpoint of the engine. the fuel usage will not be increased that much, but the engine will operate a better temperature.

I have heard figures of One hour of idling a gas vehicle is roughly equivalent to 50 miles of oil wear, so if your going to idle for 12-16 hours I think I would shorten my oil change interval by about a thousand miles. (cheaper prevention than cure).

Stay warm ,
Spence
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Old 12-09-2013, 03:42 AM   #6
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I decided to do the start it up every little bit method. I turned it off at 730pm, restarted it at 1030pm and ran it 1 hour. Just started it again at 330AM without a problem. I'll let it run an hour or so and then start it up for the trip at 7AM.

I really hate cold weather.
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Old 12-09-2013, 06:02 AM   #7
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Stop by and pick us up, I'll have ours ready on the KarKatty. where are we going?
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:21 AM   #8
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So did it start? Are we burning up the road?
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Old 12-10-2013, 05:15 AM   #9
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5:00 am Still ready too go... Where are you heading? Hope she starts and you have a good time in the warmth. We still have to wait about a month before we leave. I am sick of the cold weather already.
travel safe, Tim
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:35 PM   #10
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Made it down to southwestern NM 10 days ago but forgot to update this.

My idle usage was less than a gallon an hour. Gas mileage overall was 7.5 mpg overall. Accounting for idle time it was 8.5mpg. Not bad towing a car. We had stretches with 9.5+ mpg.

Spritz, got your message too late.
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