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Old 09-18-2011, 01:13 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by ljedik View Post
I'll admit, maybe my driving habits need to change.I was keeping a steady speed of 65........ Is there anything there I can do?
.......
Yes there is plenty you can do to save money. Ok first like some of the others said slow down. and second unless some has installed a high perfomance cars engine yours should not need higher octane gas. MH and pickups engines from 1979 are not high compression models and use regular octane gas.
Now as far as efficentcy goes there are many things you can do. First yes spark plugs and a tune up can do wonders especially if it has been a long time since one.It might have a timing chain that is getting old and therefore letting the ignition timing to back off slightly. (This happens long before a chain jumps time)
If you are really serious about getting max MPG take it to a good high performance cars shop they will know how to not drop power and get better MPG out of the vehicle. They can turn the timng up possiblity, maybe the carb needs a little attention or you might get some added mpg
by adding lower friction roller rock arms.
Make sure your CAt converter(if equipped) is not melting down inside and muffler is not rusting away inside and plugging up.
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:40 PM   #30
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Loys of good ideas so far. Something else I remembered about our old clunker which you might not have considered - sticking brakes.

A friend at Ford told me that on the E-series vans with the 460 with air injection (and I think the big-block GM has a similar issue) the exhaust manifolds get VERY hot - glowing red - when running at low speeds a wide throttle openings. This is exactly the situation climbing a grade with an RV.

On one of last trips with that rig, I got onto the flat after coming down from the Cascades and found that the maximim speed I could get was about 48 mph. I pulled over and did a walk around and could smell hot brakes, but it didn't register that was the problem.

After we got home, I jacked up the rear end and tried turning the rear duallies. I coud barely get them to move. I opened the hood and popped the top off the brake master cylinder. The normally pink fluid was a horrble dark brown and had viscosity like molasses in Anchorage in January.

The high under-hood temperature had boiled off the lighter, more volatile compounds in the fluid. After a brake application, this gunk, which had reached the back wheel brake cylinders was preventing the return springs from releasing the brakes. Fortunately, it hadn't reached the front calpers.

Replacing the master cylinder and the wheel cylinders and flushing out the lines with pressure solvents got it all cleaned up. We only took one short trip after that before we sold it and I didn't check the gas mileage. I did get a call from whoever bought it from the dealer who consigned it, complaining about only getting 8 mpg. He was surprised when I said that was 2 better than I ever got.
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:40 PM   #31
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I had a 2001 dodge with 5.9 (360 cu in) pulling a 19' travel trailer and only got 8 MPG. I now pull a 36' 5er that is more the double the wieght of the travel trailer with an 07 duramax 6.6L, getting 10 MPG.
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:22 PM   #32
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When I had my 1988 southwind with the 454, I drove with my shoes off, (a light foot on the gas feed) never drove over 52 MPH. I got 8 to 8.5 MPG.
Drove it 154,000 miles. ran like a top when I sold it.
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:40 PM   #33
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getting 5-6 gas mileage

One thing to be aware of - if by "the good stuff" you mean ethanol (with an 89 octane compared to normal 87), you'll get about a 10% drop in mileage with it.

We run the Ford V10 in our '01 Bounder 33R. I just calculate $1 per mile, round-trip, that's 50 cents a mile, each way. That's a rough $3.60 per gallon, and a rough 7-8 mpg. But it's simple to figure the costs that way.

So a 100 mile one way trip will cost us $100 to get there and back.

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Old 09-18-2011, 03:01 PM   #34
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Yes there is plenty you can do to save money. Ok first like some of the others said slow down. and second unless some has installed a high perfomance cars engine yours should not need higher octane gas. MH and pickups engines from 1979 are not high compression models and use regular octane gas.
Now as far as efficentcy goes there are many things you can do. First yes spark plugs and a tune up can do wonders especially if it has been a long time since one.It might have a timing chain that is getting old and therefore letting the ignition timing to back off slightly. (This happens long before a chain jumps time)
If you are really serious about getting max MPG take it to a good high performance cars shop they will know how to not drop power and get better MPG out of the vehicle. They can turn the timng up possiblity, maybe the carb needs a little attention or you might get some added mpg
by adding lower friction roller rock arms.
Make sure your CAt converter(if equipped) is not melting down inside and muffler is not rusting away inside and plugging up.
I would KEEP the stock rocker arms but NOT the ones from the factory engines, No muss or fuss just set them and forget them...

I've measured those stockers and the range is from 1.59 to 1.74 so by purchasing some good ones you can have the rocker ratios setup to forget about.....1.7 is the correct rocker ratio.

Carb "Guru's" are tuff to find so start looking for the good guy's like "Cliff Ruggles" who has a great forum (free) where questions can be ask.

Next I use "Sean Murphy" induction for rebuilds........Stage 3 rebuilds might be pricey BUT the price to pleasure ratio is very high...

Jim
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:03 PM   #35
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I used to drive from Tucson,Az. to Deming,N.M. That is I-10, 75 mph. I would have to fill up at Deming before i hit the back roads. When i slowed down to 55 I went from Tucson to El Peso, Tx. and had fuel left over! Speed is the best thing to do, and also a safer speed for the coach too! I know the truckers are doing 80 but they want to make it there way. We on the other hand are enjoying our trip. We have no "need to be there yesterday" issues when on the road. Why act like it?? The only mods i did to the engine was a new intake manifold new aftermarket carb. and Headers with duel exhaust. On the last engine i used roller rockers and roller lifters with the new cam i bought. I got almost the same millage but did have more power to pull the hills and mountains. I was getting over 10 mph with the slower speed over the high speed had only 5mph. The biggest bang for the buck, is put a egg between your big heavy foot and that pedal for the guzzler!
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:52 AM   #36
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I never could figue why anyone would spend thousands of dollars on their engines to get 1 MPG better fuil mileage; anyone stop to figure how long or how many miles you would have to drive to benefit from that 1 MPG increase.?
You get the most benefit by slowing down. and it's free.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:27 AM   #37
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Get a tune up, new plugs, wires and re-curve the distributor. I would also rebuild the carb because I'm sure you are losing gas there if it's that old. With all that said and done you will probably get 7.5 mpg.

My trick to getting 14 mpg was to sell the MH and buy a diesel/dually and a 5th wheel!
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:24 PM   #38
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I never could figue why anyone would spend thousands of dollars on their engines to get 1 MPG better fuil mileage; anyone stop to figure how long or how many miles you would have to drive to benefit from that 1 MPG increase.?
You get the most benefit by slowing down. and it's free.
How about an 4.5 MPG increase?
Would you spend that kind of money?????? I did and feel it's well worth it.
$3-400.00 should be the ignition cost IF you sent yours out, Exhaust system about $1200.00 completed by a very good muffler shop.

Now for the "Carb", Dig out all of the pertinet onformation (Vacuum) at ALL speeds including idle and the worst spark plug for them to checkout (rich/lean) and let them build you a nice bolt on stage 3 quad carb.......

Jim
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:16 PM   #39
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Hi Larry,

Don't give up all hope. You'll never even get 10 mpg but I think you can do better than 5.

Lets not forget everyone this is an older engine with a carburetor and it has probably never been touched.

Do your tune up first Larry but your number 1 suspect is that Quadrajet carburetor. They are notorious for developing internal leaks and a warped top casting. The internal leaks waste fuel (duh!) and the warped casting (the top section of the carb) causes a vacuum leak which leaves the jet needles pulled up and allowing full flow of fuel as though you had the throttle wide open. Its a double whammy of fuel wasting and lousy mileage.

Find an old dude who knows how to work on the Q-Jet carb and have him do the proper fixes and rebuild. Alternately, there are new Q-Jet replacements available but you might have to rejet for your engine as the generic replacements are usually jetted for a 350 not a 454.

Best of Luck!
Carburetor first. Mine had a stuck power valve & sunk floats. Find a guy that rebuilds the Qjet carbs. That is the best advise. Second, Check the distributor. If the mechanical weights move sluggishly or don't move at all that will trash fuel economy. Best thing would be to find someone like I did this spring and have them rebuid/recurve the distributor. Wow what a difference. Before the rebuild of the carb and distributor this spring I was getting at best 7-7.5 mpg now it is 8,75+ and I think I still can go a little more advanced on the timing. Look for posts by Jim Elliott, he's the man in the know!
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:08 PM   #40
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now on mpg there is more if im gone 9 days i sleep in my bed cook breakfast and dinner at rv i go with 4 or 5 kids 2 dogs so try to get a hotel for that by the 5th day leftovers come in that said im pushing 16,00o pulling a 2007 chevy 4 door truck a little under 8 mpg with jims mods now put foot in it its down while back from coast 75-80 with traffic 6 mpg
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:20 PM   #41
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Hi Larry,

Don't give up all hope. You'll never even get 10 mpg but I think you can do better than 5.

Lets not forget everyone this is an older engine with a carburetor and it has probably never been touched.

Do your tune up first Larry but your number 1 suspect is that Quadrajet carburetor. They are notorious for developing internal leaks and a warped top casting. The internal leaks waste fuel (duh!) and the warped casting (the top section of the carb) causes a vacuum leak which leaves the jet needles pulled up and allowing full flow of fuel as though you had the throttle wide open. Its a double whammy of fuel wasting and lousy mileage.

Find an old dude who knows how to work on the Q-Jet carb and have him do the proper fixes and rebuild. Alternately, there are new Q-Jet replacements available but you might have to rejet for your engine as the generic replacements are usually jetted for a 350 not a 454.

Best of Luck!
The carb earned it's nick name (Quadrajunk) for good reason!
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:53 PM   #42
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Here is one link to modifing the Qjet. Qjet Tips
there are more if you google 'Quadrajet modification'.
As the artlcle points out these are a complicated carb and not every 'old tech' cares to work on them. When you got it right, the customer would often times tell you how great the car ran and how much less gas it uses. I think we got 1.8 hr. to rebuild and you earned it. Royal pain in a$$
NAPA at one time stocked the secondary well plug kit and for sure you will need float if it is the orginal.
Be sure you get a carb specialist to do yours, don't buy a rebuilt from parts store no matter how cheap it is.


"The carb earned it's nick name (Quadrajunk) for good reason! "
I agree.

beagle
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