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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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Old 09-02-2013, 02:30 PM
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Fuel mileage for a 1993 f-250

Ok, been awhile since I posts but I'm looking for a bit of insight.
I have a 1993 ford f-250 supercab long bed. It's 4wd, 4-speed with OD, and has the 5.8L 351 Windsor v8. It has about a 135,000 miles on it.
I'm getting about 7MPG city 10HWY, with ethanol fuel. Is that normal? I know it got better before ethanol fuels but...

What I would like to know is what can I do to get better fuel mileage? It's costing me about $55 a week to go back and forth to work. Since I'm young it eats 1/3 or so of my pay.

I've heard that a new exhaust, air intake, premium spark plugs, etc etc can help. But how much and is it worth it? Are there other things I can do as well?

One other detail: this is really concerning to me... If you turn before you start moving, the truck will die or lurch like you're not working the clutch right. Is that normal or is something wrong? Anyone else have this problem?
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:35 PM
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@CollinHuber
An F-250 super cab with longbed is a big and heavy truck. The 351 isn't exactly a fuel saver. If you can get the fuel mileage up, I wouldn't hope for more than 13 MPG highway and maybe 9 in town.

A tune up will probably do you good. Replace spark plugs, cap/rotor, wires, air filter, fuel filter. Check your timing if you have a timing light. You can also try bumping your timing up slightly to improve fuel mileage and throttle response. If you have cat(s) in the exhaust make sure they're not plugged up making it harder for the engine to get rid of exhaust gasses.

As for your lurching when you turn the wheel, it sounds like your power steer in pump is dragging the engine down. How well does the engine idle (is it shaky or inconsistent), and at what RPM? Sounds like you either have a seriously low idle or sick engine.

The miles on your truck aren't extremely high, so unless you determine through a compression test or something that your engine is going downhill then a good tune-up may solve your issues.

Also, do you know what gear ratio you've got in your axles? This affects fuel mileage. A truck with 4.10s won't get the same highway MPGs as one with 3.73s, 3.55s or lower. Also, are you rolling stock size tires? If not, you can't go by your odometer to calculate fuel mileage, and if they're really big that could be part of your steering/engine lurch issue.
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:52 PM
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The engine idles fine, no inconsistencies, I want to say is about 800RPMS or so. Which seems fairly normal considering the only vehicle in the household that doesn't idle there is the brand new ford escape.

The power steering pump could be why....

I'm not sure the axels, I'll go see if I can find out. I think ford may be able to track everything down. My parents have no interest in cars so that info has been lost, but I do know they are a higher ratio I would think since they bought it for hunting and towing it should have the 3.73's (SRW).

It has stock tires on it, pretty much everything is stock from when it was bought.

I don't know about the timing light, I have yet to get my repair manual, where is it located?
I have it replace some dash parts as well, some of the plastic is cracked, one side of the seat has a broken cable etc etc. so I'll look around and see if I can find anymore helpful details.
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobby welder View Post
I have a 1993 ford f-250 supercab long bed. It's 4wd, 4-speed with OD, and has the 5.8L 351 Windsor v8.

What I would like to know is what can I do to get better fuel mileage? It's costing me about $55 a week to go back and forth to work. Since I'm young it eats 1/3 or so of my pay.
the only thing that would make a difference worthwhile is to sell the vehicle you cannot afford and buy one you can.
for simple commuting,you can't beat a little 4cyl car that gets well over 30mpg,no matter how hard you drive it.
sell the truck,buy a small car.this will be the only way you'll cut down on the big fuel bill.you might spend some time and money on the engine to help you pay 45-50 per week in fuel instead of 55 (take your final cost put into engine and figure out how many months it takes just to brake even) but if you want to drop that 55$ down to well under half that,a little car is what you need.

let me show you something;

you spend $55 per week @ 7 mpg and lets say gas is $3.61 per gallon.so this means your driving 107 miles per week.

if you sell your truck and buy a little 4 cyl car that gets 35 mpg (i have one of these myself) you'd be paying just $11 per week in fuel with all things equal to what your doing with the truck!
to drive it home further,that's $220 per month with the truck vs just $44 per month with the little car you could own instead.
$2,640 per yr in fuel with truck.
$528 per yr in fuel with car.
that's a lot more $ left in your pocket or to spend on more important things in life..........like girls.
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FORDF250HDXLT View Post
the only thing that would make a difference worthwhile is to sell the vehicle you cannot afford and buy one you can.
for simple commuting,you can't beat a little 4cyl car that gets well over 30mpg,no matter how hard you drive it.
sell the truck,buy a small car.this will be the only way you'll cut down on the big fuel bill.you might spend some time and money on the engine to help you pay 45-50 per week in fuel instead of 55 (take your final cost put into engine and figure out how many months it takes just to brake even) but if you want to drop that 55$ down to well under half that,a little car is what you need.

let me show you something;

you spend $55 per week @ 7 mpg and lets say gas is $3.61 per gallon.so this means your driving 107 miles per week.

if you sell your truck and buy a little 4 cyl car that gets 35 mpg (i have one of these myself) you'd be paying just $11 per week in fuel with all things equal to what your doing with the truck!
to drive it home further,that's $220 per month with the truck vs just $44 per month with the little car you could own instead.
$2,640 per yr in fuel with truck.
$528 per yr in fuel with car.
that's a lot more $ left in your pocket or to spend on more important things in life..........like girls.
My mother does have a small car that I learned to drive a stick shift in. One problem, I don't fit... I'm only 6'1" but my shoulders and feet make me into a giant. With tennis shoes there isn't enough room for me to work the petals without catching something. I learned a couple years back, before I hit a major growth spurt and my final one I think, I've looked at small cars and even auto's I can't drive. A small SUV yes but... Fuel...

I've looked into getting a motorcycle, and that I really like, fits, comfy, open, dangerous, and with the right bike I can get better than 30 mpg. I kinda want a 250-500cc bike, so 40-80mpg. But my parents won't sign off on the M.E. (Motorcycle Endorsement)

I need a truck anyhow, I work for a logging company part time, so certain days I need a truck (I'm compensated accordingly for that). I just can't find a halfway decent used small truck. A dodge Dakota or ford ranger would be nice. Toyotas t100 is pretty good too. The ford ranger from I think 2000-2005 has some kind of transmission problem, my uncle has one of them as apart of a company fleet, and all of them at about 150,000 miles have a problem.
Plus I'm a hobbyist metal worker.

Ironically, I've over booked myself. My only personal days are Sundays. I don't have time for girls... I have to volunteer, work 6 days a week, school (National Honor Society, American Chemical Society, Robotics club). All doing something for me
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:02 PM
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I have a 95 F250, 351/auto, 4x4, ext cab longbed. I replaced the engine a few years ago so it only has just under 6k on it. My tires are 285/75/16 AT and the gears are 3:55.

I get 9-10 in town and 15/16 highway. On a trip to NC from WV I averaged 17.

You could get an aftermarket exhaust installed if you want a nicer sound but don't expect much help. Anything you gain, if you gain anything, will quickly disappear when you start showing off that great new sound.

As mentioned above, do a tune up. Change the plugs, cap, rotor, etc. I put an MSD coil on mine, a good set of 8.8mm aftermarket wires, gapped the plugs open a little more (regular cheap copper motorcrafts) and advanced the timing a few degrees. I may have gained 1-1.5 mpg but it will take quite awhile before the cost of parts is replaced by any fuel savings. It just needed a tuneup and it does run a little better up and down the hills here.

Keep your foot off the floor, keep everything greased, check for stuck or dragging brakes, keep your tires inflated properly, change your air and fuel filter.

Don't waste money on the thousands of "fuel saving" gimmicks out there.

And about the "premium" spark plugs, I use the cheap copper plugs designed for the truck. I've had platinum plugs in it before and never noticed and better mileage or smoother running. I haven't tried E3s and don't know anyone that has in these trucks, but I'm sure someone here has.

Good luck with it. Maybe keep the truck and buy a small car for daily driving. I'm 6'4 and I drove an old Escort for years. They can be found for just a couple hundred dollars.
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:20 PM
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@CollinHuber
As Kevin just said, it's a good idea to check for your brakes sticking. I forgot about this in my earlier post, but I had this happen a little bit on my truck at one point on one of the drums. Chock the wheels and jack up the rear axle, then turn your wheels by hand. If you have brake(s) sticking, you'll feel and hear (rubbing noise) it when you try to spin the wheels by hand.

Unless you've got 3.55 gears like Kevin, you most likely won't see highway MPGs like his. If you have 3.73s, you may be able to get somewhere 14-15 steady highway driving if your engine is tuned up and in good condition. If you have 4.10s, highway MPGs will be a bit lower in the 12.5 - 14 range depending on speed and engine condition. No matter what your gearing, you should be able to make it get better fuel mileage than what you're getting currently. Knowing the gearing would be helpful to know what a good target MPG number would be. Look at the numbers on your door jamb and search around the forum, and I bet you'll find out what ratio you've got.
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:06 AM
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You can also look to see if your axel tag is still there. There is a small tag that is put on the rearend around the pumpkin that will have the gear ratio stamped in it. Sometimes these can wear off but Mine is still on my 93 F150 and I've taken it offroading alot. Chances are yours will still be there if it is the stock rearend. It looks almost like a metal dogtag just elongated and should be tack welded on the axel. It will have one of the above mentioned numbers (ratios) stamped on it.
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:52 PM
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I have a '95 and now a '96. Both get about the same mpg you do. Even with changing the plugs, wires, cap, fluids and filters you are only gonna gain 1 or 2 more mpg. I spend about $200 a week in fuel just for my '95, either you learn to live with it, or you get something you can afford. Save up some $$ and get a beater 4cyl and park your truck for a while if you want to keep it, then if you get a better paying job put the truck back on the road. If you're only making $150 a week, a truck isn't for you at the moment.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:51 PM
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It has the 3.73 rear end.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:30 AM
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@CollinHuber
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobby welder View Post
It has the 3.73 rear end.
That should be decent for fuel mileage. Not the best MPG ratio, but not bad.

Sometimes unusually bad fuel mileage can be a sign of a slipping clutch. Just another possibility.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobby welder View Post
It has the 3.73 rear end.
your sterling full floating 10.25 in '93 (2nd generation) came from ford with either 3.55 or 4.10 gearing.if you have 3.73 gearing,it's aftermarket.
if you don't suspect aftermarket gears in there,just check your door jam code again.
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:53 PM
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Hey everyone, so sorry this took so long. The door jam tag and axle tag are gone.

But, ford was able to track down the vin and give me some answers.

"ZF S5-42 5 speed manual transmission, has a 4.10 non-limited slip rear axle ratio and a 5.8L V8 gasoline engine."

What's interesting is that 5th is overdrive. So, I'm not sure the difference of the 4 speed with OD and the five speed. All I know is the log trucks I move have 18 speeds

So, if you have any advice on how to get better mileage. Or any of the other problems I've had, please post.

Thank you in advance,
HW
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:08 PM
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a ZF5 has 5 gears.4th gear is direct drive.a 1:1 ratio between engine and trans.5th gear is beyond this for increased fuel economy,known as over drive.
when people say they have a 4 speed with od,they are talking silly.they mean it has 4 normal gears and a 5th which is OD.
they should just say it has a 5 speed od trans.that says it clearly.it has 5 gears and the final gear is OD.

the first mod you should do would be to swap rear axles.ditch the 4.10 heavy tow gears for the more eco friendly 3.55.
for a direct swap axle,you'll be looking for '93-97 (making sure if '97,that it comes from the same body style.) if you source a sterling full float pre 93 it can still work with a little modifications,but it would be a less desirable axle,and there's no reason for you to settle for a pre '93 sterling in srw form.

keep an open mind about a small car to go with the truck,depending on how much you drive per year.
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:24 PM
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I'd go with the lesser axle ratio but that would be counter productive. Then the truck would be worthless to me, I need the ability to haul a loaded trailer for hunting, metal working, work (very rare), and to help out my buddies who go bogging. Granted I could go without the final reason as I always seem to have a clever solution for them...


I think it would be easier if I let things be. It's not killing me.
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:24 PM
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