Top 10 Ways to Save Fuel

Fuel-gauge II

By Bob Carpenter

When it comes to conserving fuel, the easiest thing to do is slow down. But that's not likely is it? You're reading this because you are a pickup truck enthusiast and you're, well, enthused about driving. We get it. You don't have to drive like a granny to save some money on fuel, though. Just realize that resistance goes up as the square of velocity. It gets harder and harder for your engine to increase the speed of your truck as you go faster. Realistically, there are significantly diminished returns after you hit 40 mph. So you might want to go the actual speed limit when it is 55 or 65 mph, especially if fuel prices continue to climb.

But, hey, we're not your mom, so here are 10 things you can do to save fuel that don't take the fun out of driving.


1. Anticipate Stop Signs and Lights

Slowing down far enough in advance that you can roll through the intersection just after it turns green is a lot less wasteful than sitting at the light. Of course, don't go crazy and run the red. Likewise, when you are on city streets and you know you have to stop in 100 yards for a stop sign there's no reason to lean on the throttle when you take off from the previous stop sign. Just roll off the line and mildly accelerate when you know you're going to be stopping again soon. You'll be surprised how far and how fast your truck will coast. Some people have found that they can increase their fuel mileage by as much as 50 percent by just doing this. Think of it as a game.

Stop sign takeoffs II

2. Pump Them Up

Keep your tires inflated properly. Yeah, yeah, you've no doubt read that a hundred times before, but there's a reason everyone tells you that. Proper inflation can mean as much as 3.3 percent in fuel savings according to the Department of Energy.


3. Don't Idle

Don't sit in a drive-through line if you are in a pickup with a gasoline engine; however, diesels don't use nearly as much fuel when idling. Either way, if you are idling for less than a minute it probably doesn't matter.


4. Get a Bigger Tank

Since you're driving a pickup truck you are lucky because you can add an aftermarket fuel tank to hold a whole lot more of the precious "go juice." When you find fuel at a particularly attractive price, buy a lot of it and save money over the course of the full tank.

Transfer_flow_auxiliary_fuel_tank+50_gallon_mid_ship_tank II

5. Use an App

There are apps that will help you find the cheapest fuel — it might be at Costco, a supermarket chain (if you belong to its loyalty club) or an independent station. Apps know where you are and where the cheapest fuel is. And here's a good tip: Don't buy fuel on Friday, Saturday or Sunday — that's when the prices are the highest. In fact, most stations raise their prices after 10 a.m. on Thursday in anticipation of weekend sales.


6. Keep the Tank Full

OK, some pundits say you should run around with the least amount of fuel possible so that you aren't carrying extra weight (gas weighs about 6 pounds per gallon while diesel is about 7 pounds per gallon), but we think that's dicey. Instead, we're more concerned about the evaporation and condensation that occurs in an "emptier" fuel tank. Keep it full and you won't have these problems. And park in the shade or in a garage to minimize any heat buildup.


7. Keep It Clean

A dirty air filter can cost you as much as 7 percent in your fuel mileage. Don't drive around dirty.


8. Follow the Blue Line

Use your GPS to find the quickest way around traffic or through busy towns and cities. Less traffic means less idling and better fuel economy.

Efficient routes II


9. Buy Gas Gift Cards

Places like and sometimes sell $100 gas gift cards for $95. That's like getting almost two gallons of fuel for free. If you don't like gift cards, then pay cash at stations that offer a cash discount.


10. Keep 'Em Closed

Keep your windows closed. The drag can cost you up to 10 percent in fuel efficiency, on the highway anyway. Around town you're better off turning off the air conditioning and opening the windows. photos by Bob Carpenter; manufacturer photos

Window buttons II




I felt the same way about the accessory fuel tanks. Do you think you can buy the hardware installed for less than a thousand dollars? Doubtful.

Can I guy a lot of gas for $1k ? Damn right, even at today's prices.

Even after the tank is installed my gas mileage will be the same. The convenience is cool, but I'm having a hard time understanding how that got on to a list of 10 ways to save fuel.

@Big Al

An engineer would combine customer input with physics, dynamic analysis and cost-benefit issues.

My own take is that I would lean toward the most VERSATILE approach, less on specialization.

Dodge Caravan VS Jeep Wrangler

The vast majority of buyers don't need the Jeep's functionality but they love the gritty romance of the Jeep name.

Caravan owners probably get weary of the stale mini-van image but they love the wide range of things that your average Caravan can do.

@Big Al

"Trying to align gearing and occasional use as which is the better vehicle is totally absurd."

Who was doing that?

"Why run a low set of gears if the 'average' use of the vehicle is one passenger and empty."

By the same token, why have 4x4 when it is mostly driven on the road. Why have 4 doors when it mostly has 1 person in it? Why have a 3.2L when a 2.2L would do for most or how the truck is being used? Why have a truck at all when a truck is not needed most of the time?

"When will people learn that gearing by manufacturers is setup for the most likely use of the vehicle."

That is exactly what I was saying. You choose the proper gearing for how you will use your truck and the fuel mileage you are wanting out of it. As with just about everything else, you cannot have your cake and eat it too. Usually taller gears(lower number) have less capabilities that shorter gears (higher number). For the F150 Ecoboost truck I was talking about the scale would look like this here based on the gear ratios offered.***I am just using the Ecoboost in this rant because it is what I have, but this applies for all truck brands and gear ratio options.****

Gear ratio/tow rating
3.15 / 8,500lbs---3.31 / 9,200lbs---3.55 / 9,700lbs---3.73 / 11,300lbs--4.10 / 11,300lbs
More FE / Less capability---------------------------------------------->More capability / Less FE

So, if you were looking for an Ecoboost that got the best fuel economy and did not need to tow that much then a 3.15 would be the right choice. If you are needing more capability for those few occasions or just want the taller gear(and promise not to b!tch about the FE) then a 3.73 might be for you. However, some idiots go out and buy a 3.73 not needing even close to it's capabilities and then b!tch about the fuel economy when a 3.31 or 3.15 would have fit their towing needs and fuel economy wants.

"Also, with the current move in turbo gas engines and diesels is the lower torque bands. This allows for taller gearing and better FE."

I was saying the same thing. This is where the fuel economy benefit of the Ecoboost comes in due to it's low end power. It does not need such a short gear to do the same work as most N/A V8 on the market. This allows you to get a taller gear for fuel economy while still being as capable at towing as the rest. This is the benefit of turbocharged engines with a lot of low end torque. However, most don't understand this concept and get shorter gear ratios thinking they need them since that is what they had in their last truck. They think that since their last truck requires a 3.73 gear ratio to tow 8,000lbs then this new Ecoboost does as well. No, that is not the case. A 3.15 Ecoboost is rated to tow that amount and will do the job just fine allowing you to get the better FE when not towing. As I said, most don't comprehend this which is why an Ecoboost was most commonly sold with a 3.73 when it first came out. In the following years the 3.55 became the most predominant gear sold and I have a feeling that it will be the 3.31 will be the most gear ratio sold once people finally realize what I have stated above.

That would mean that if you are fixated on weight to same MPG then you should see this....

You and TRX4 can have a great discussion in regards to gearing.

It isn't rocket science to realise that the lower you final drive to more torque will be delivered to the drive wheels.

I do know you will spruik on about all the different ratios in the warehouse where you work.

But the reality is the manufacturers build pickups to the match intended use.

If a 1/2 ton pickup is rated at 12 000lbs tow capacity do you think someone will buy a 1/2 ton pickup to continually tow 6 tons?

No. Because if that was the case why own a pickup? The owner wants occasional ability to tow that weight, so this must be taken into consideration.

You'd buy a MDT, with a diesel.

@Big Al

Actually Al, we had CAFE in the 80s too, and the 70s.

If regulation determined what's manufactured, everybody would be driving a Chevy Volt. Um?

Instead, the great May 2014 sales figures that American business media was crowing about last week were dominated by SUVs and Pickups.

Volts? Not so much.

Despite heavy subsidies the Volt did not inspire buyers. The Volt design is my favorite among that class (direct hybrid) but it could not stand on its own. It's simple and effective.

Pickups? Despite gas guzzler taxes, and high registration costs in most states trucks are high on everyone's list.

So, we disagree again.

This might come as surprise, but listen to the learnered.

You can talk all you want about gearing.

But look at design and engineering.

It a little more involved than just lowering gear ratios to tow more.

Look at what the engineer/designer must take into consideration when designing?

Google form, fit and function in engineering. Once you learn this basic concept you can get a better handle of what you are discussing.

If you want to learn I'll give you some information and ways to learn.

Here's a start.,_fit_and_function

Here's light reading.

Pickups are on page 110.

But, it is all interesting.

@Big Al

"I do know you will spruik on about all the different ratios in the warehouse where you work."

Sorry, to burst your bubble, but I don't work in a warehouse.

"But the reality is the manufacturers build pickups to the match intended use."

Uhm, you do know every make here offers different gear ratios for the sole purpose of matching the right gear for the intended use right? That is the whole purpose of so many gear options. Each one is made by the manufacturer and each one is made for an intended purpose and capability. The trick is to pick the right one that fits your own purpose.

Same goes for your BT-50 where there is a 3.55 or 3.73 rear gear option. The only odd thing about yours is that the rated capabilities do not change with each gear ratio like it does here.

"If a 1/2 ton pickup is rated at 12 000lbs tow capacity do you think someone will buy a 1/2 ton pickup to continually tow 6 tons?"

Half ton? Son, that term hasn't literally applied to trucks since the 1960s. Well....... maybe some Ram or Raptor models are still considered that literally. There is not governing body that says any truck manufacturer has to build an F150/1500 into what you deem what a "half ton" should be as long as it does not exceed the 8,500 GVRW rating. Ford can give the F150 just as strong as a frame or suspension as a "3/4 ton" and there is nothing anyone can do about it. The F150, 1500s, or Tundra is just a model in a vehicle line up just as the 3 Series is a model in the BMW line up. The term "half ton" is just as a wash as the terms "3/4 ton" and "1 ton". They are just a reference term people use when referring to a certain class of truck, but has no relevance to the truck's rated capabilities or components. It is just like how some of the V6 engines of today would blow the doors off some of the V8s of the muscle car era. It is not like you are going to tell someone that a V6 should have that much power because a V6 should only have 150hp. Things progress so get with the times or be left behind.

@Big Al

"It a little more involved than just lowering gear ratios to tow more."

I think you are confused. Lower number gear ratios tow less, NOT more. Lower(taller) gear ratios generally have better fuel economy than higher(shorter) gear ratios though. I made a simple chart above describing this. Aww, I made a small chart just for you and you didn't even take the time to look at it. I am hurt Al.

Gear ratio/tow rating
3.15 / 8,500lbs---3.31 / 9,200lbs---3.55 / 9,700lbs---3.73 / 11,300lbs--4.10 / 11,300lbs
More FE / Less capability-------------------------------------------->More capability / Less FE

Notice how the lower numbered (taller) gear ratio is rated to tow less than the higher numbered (shorter) gear ratios? Also notice which one gets better FE?

@Jeff S: I may be lucking up and getting my step-father's '94 Ranger (with only 30K miles on it). I will note that it is very likely one of Denver Mike's "strippers" simply because I know the guy who bought it is one of his stereotypes--unlike me. Then again, that means I should be able to make some significant changes in the cab to make it more comfortable--like a decent radio and throw in some upgrade components. Sure, it'll still be a 'stripper', but at 30K miles, it's probably worth more now than it was brand new.

Boy, it's pointless discussing with you.

Let alone trying to broaden your horizons.

Go back and finish your homework.

Your dad will be home from the 'gear' warehouse.

He'll fill you in about how his EcoBoost went today.

I sure wish Mark Williams would crack down on people using other users names.

Here's an example.

My BT50 has a rear diff ratio of 373.

The engine has a relatively narrow torque band.

The Ram EcoDiesel has a 355 assend and a 8spd.

With a much broader torque band.

They both would encounter very similar drag on the vehicles. The Ram is slipperier, but slightly larger.

The weights are very similar, give or take a poofteenth.

The EcoDiesel has 1/5 more torque and 1/5 more hp, But it tows 1 100 - 1 200lbs less than my vehicle.

Think about it.

So, it isn't as it all appears.

Now drop the assend ratio of the Ram by approx. 1/5 it can tow 9 200lbs.

Why is this so?

Look at this mathematically taking into account all of the variables that will impact the final outcome.

Is this viable? Why can a 20% reduction in gearing provide a 33% increase in load?

What variables are making this possible?

@papa jim
Yes we also had computers, but alas, times have changed.

This isn't the 80s and CAFE has changed. In the 80s CAFE protected full size vehicles, unlike now, with less protection.

Hence, aluminium pickups soon.

Here's a song for you, sort of suits your outlook ;)

The song is from an Aussie band called the Skyhooks. Check out where Kiss might have got their fashion from.

@ Big Al

Where are you getting your info?

Your 4-door 4x4 BT-50 is listed as having a curb weight of 4,627lbs(2,099kg) and a comparable Ram Ecodiesel 4-door 4x4 curb weight is 5,642lbs. That is hardly a "very similar" as you put it with a difference of over 1,000lbs.

Your 3.73 BT50 is rated to tow 7,716lbs(3,500kg) and a Ram Ecodiesel 4-door 4x4 tow rating is 7,650lbs (Whether it can tow that amount without having to go 45 mph is still yet to be determined though). Where you get that your BT50 is rated to tow 1,100-1,200lbs more is beyond me..

Also, the only Ram 1500 Ecodiesel 3.92 axle that is rated to tow 9,200lbs is a 2wd regular cab. The Ram SLT Ecodiesel 4-door 4x4 3.92 axle is rated at 8,650lbs. Again, whether it can pull that weight without having to drive up hills at 45mph is still yet to be determined.

Either your drunk of your arse or someone has hacked you name.

throw it all out about gear ratios and go with a CVT and you'll have an unlimited gear ratio and a more efficient way of transferring engine power to the drive wheels.

2015 will be the year the F-150 died, instead of Ford admitting the mistake they made with turbocharging to increase gas mileage they make it worse by going to a SMALLER eco-boost 2.7 engine and rapping it in an aluminum body nobody wants.
The 2.7 EB will be another failure cause it won't be efficient when you have to floor it just to go the speed limit, plus early engine failure cause the engine can't take that punishmnent.

@RoadWhale - I'm not saying you're not a new car buyer, just not a new small pickup buyer. Like most in the market for a small pickup to put into rotation as a 2nd or 3rd vehicle, you're not interested in new. Congrats on the '94 Ranger!

Problem is, small pickups rarely make the cut, as primary transportation and commuter cars.

Why do you talk $hit.

How much does a 2WD weigh?

Stop deflecting my question and answer it.

@ALL1 - It doesn't translate well. Trucks sold in OZ have extremely overrated towing and payload capacity. OZ lacks a USDOT equivalent and really leave it entirely up the OEM's sense of humor. f

@Big Al

A Ram 150 SLT Ecodiesel crew cab 2wd has a curb weight 5,378lbs which is still a bit more than 4,627lbs of your truck. Th e Ram 1500 3.55 in that configuration also has a tow rating of 7,950lbs which is also more than your 7,716lbs. The 3.73 in that configuration is 8,950lbs. Either way you put it, it is no where near the numbers you quoted.

Hell, even a regular cab Ram 1500 SLT Ecodiesel 2wd which is the lightest Ram you can get with an Ecodiesel weighs 5,088lbs which is still over 400lbs heavier than your truck. That same truck also has a tow rating of 8,200lbs with a 3.55 and 9,200lbs with a 3.92 rear axle ratio.

So does that answer your question? The one question I would like answered is how you as an "engineer" thought lower(taller) gear ratio made you tow more. Also, since the BT50 comes in two different gear ratios, a 3.55 and a 3.73, then why did you get a 3.73 if you don't tow that much and you main concern is fuel economy? Logical "engineer" thinking would go for the 3.55 if fuel economy was more of a concern over towing performance.

You seem to want to compare "trucks". Well compare them as trucks, stop try to compare like a car when it suite and a truck when it suits.

Like I stated in an earlier piece look at all the available data.

How much does my "truck" weigh fully laden?

How much does a 2WD or 4WD Ram weigh fully laden?

How much weight can a Ram tow and carry fully laden. As you pointed out let's look at the 355 assended Ram for starters.

Remember..........trucks, not cars.

Now that you are looking at this from a different perspective lets look at where my truck is positioned.

I would say it has moved up closer towards the 392 Ram even though I have a 373 assend.

The 355 is around 10% taller than the 392 yet the 392 can tow around 30% more.

Starting to see a picture develop here?

Its logarithmic. As the ratio becomes lower the increase in load increase at a greater rate than the decrease in final drive.

The actual final drive of the differential between my engine and the Ram should be approximately the same to do the same work. Why?

Because my engine characteristics allow for this because I have a full and flat torque band from 1 500rpm to around 2 600rpm. But the width of my torque band has little to do with the final drive, it has more to do with the actual transmission.

My engines torque comes on almost the same as the VM in the Ram. So under most normal conditions my engine will sit on roughly the same rpm's as the Ram at the same speeds with no real difference in overall performance.

So, the 8spd fitted to the Ram would do better in my truck because of the narrower torque band.

We haven't even taken into account the aerodynamic drag either.

Because of my narrower torque band and two relatively competitive engines the Ram is noticeably quicker in acceleration.

The wider torque band allow for the Ram engine to rev higher between gear changes, thus increasing torque to the wheels for a longer period of time.

This doesn't mean it will tow more, it will accelerate quicker.

"My parents garage?" Lolz

You can always tell how right you are by the number of insults you receive

@Big Al

"The 355 is around 10% taller than the 392 yet the 392 can tow around 30% more."

It can tow 30% more? Where the F are you getting your info? In every Ram configuration with an Ecodiesel, the 3.55 gear ratios tow exactly 1,000 lbs less than the 3.92 rear ratios are rated at. In a 4wd 4-door where the 3.55 is rated to tow 7,200 lbs, the 3.92 is rated for 8,200lbs. That is only a 14% difference at the most. In a 2wd regular cab long bed where the 3.55 is rated at 8,200lbs, the 3.92 is rated at 9,200 lbs. That is only about a 12% difference. Where you get this 30% difference is beyond me. The Internet says go home your drunk.

Anyways, back to what I originally stated in this article about gearing which is to pick the right rear gear for what you will be using your truck for. If you want that shorter more capable gear ratio then be prepared to pay for it in fuel. Don't over look some taller(smaller number) gear ratios with certain engines. While some engines do not do well with taller gear sets. Some engines are still more then capable for your needs with taller gear ratios and will make a big difference in fuel economy depending on the engine and gear set. You can also go too low for the engine too. Too low of a gear ratio for the engine and your needs can be just as bad if not worse than to short of a gear for you needs. Every engine has a sweet spot just as was mentioned in that Cummins article I posted where it talks about gearing.

There is one more big one not on this list, and that is to use your cruise control, ALL the time! while safe to do so, (not on ice and heavy rain, fog and you must use your own judgment), but when I hyper mile I always use my C/C, and here is how I do it, and get more mpg than the EPA tell me I will ALL the time! On every car or truck I own and or drive, I use the C/C, and on all of them first you get to 25mph which is the normal speed they all start to work, and then hit SET, then whenever I need to go faster, and on every vehicle I have owned or drive it seems when you hit the ACCEL button once ,every time the vehicle will go one mph faster, so lets say you set it at 30 mph, and the speed limit goes to 50 mph, all I do is hit the button 15 more times and the vehicle will accelerate at its most economical rate to 50 mph, and hold it there till I need to slow down, and just like going faster, the DECEL button on all makes on models works the same only in the other way and every time you hit it once the vehicle will slow down one mph, so if you need to get back down to say 35mph, I will hit the DECEL button 15 times, and the vehicle will slow down and the most economical rate back down to 35mph, I do this out of habit now, and I have still had no problems with any of my Cruise Control systems in any of my vehicles due to over use! and I always get better mileage than the sticker tells me I will, as a mater of fact I get 17-23 with my Z-71, and the very same with my F-150 Eco-Boost reg cab 4x4 8' bed HD payload package with the 3:73 gears! and with both of them while towing the Airstream I will normally get 15mpg! and with my new Charger Hemi AWD I get 17 city and on this last trip to the Beautiful State of Virginia I got 24 hyw! at 70-80 mph! using the C/C the same way!

@sandman4X4 - it all depends on where you drive. I get worse mpg with cruise control. It does not allow for building speed as one approaches a long hill, it also wants to apply gas pedal around sharper corners. It works fine of freeway where constant speeds are easily reached and maintained.
If traction is poor it can actually allow for wheelspin.

Your idea is a good one as it does force the driver to make very gradual and smooth changes in speed which is difficult to learn for most people.

I found adapting to hypermiling techniques was easy since most of the rules for inproving mpg are no different than driving on icy winter roads.


Although some that is a great idea for most, it may not be for those like Lou who continuously adapts his throttle to road conditions and upcoming obstacles. Those type of people tend to get better fuel while not using cruise control.

However, I am just like you and get better fuel mileage on the highway using cruise control. I have a tendency to want to hear my turbos in my truck spool up and will constantly give it light throttle to do so. The same with my Corvette I sold. I would regularly give it some light throttle cruising down the highway just to here the exhaust play it's sweet music. Cruise control keeps that in check, but I have to admit that I just love driving so I usually leave it off.

In town, it is a different story as I am very good at anticipating upcoming stops and try my best to not use my brakes as long as it is safe to do so. I tend to coast a lot if I see me having to stop up ahead. I find it funny how many people will keep accelerating towards a stop light up ahead, and then waist all that energy to stop at the last minute when it did not gain them any time. As soon as I see any red lights up ahead my foot immediately comes off the throttle to coast whether it be city or highway.

@Road Whale--Sounds like a good truck, not even broken in. I almost bought a Ranger new when I bought my S-10. The deal I got on my S=10 was too good to pass up.

Stop looking at just the towing. There is more than just towing involved.

I do believe my pickup has a GCM of over 13 200lbs.

Look at the GCMs as well as the tow capability. What are the GCMs of other vehicles?

Engine-drivetrain combinations is a little more complex than I think you can fathom.

Now look at more gears in a gearbox.

What is the purpose of more gears? Why are we moving to more gears? How does more gears impact the vehicle? When are more gears most effective?

Look at my last two sentences in my previous comment, then you'll see why a larger torque band really doesn't mean as much as some try to make out.

Simply put, the final drive governs the amount of torque driven to the wheels.

Final drive ratios aren't designed primarily for starting a vehicle off, but the actual cruise of the vehicle.

The transmissions provides sufficient torque at different speeds because of the lack of flexibility of an engine.

Flexibility isn't only regarding how much horsepower or torque an engine develops, but how well it delivers. That's why earlier turbo engine's had trouble being accepted. The technology to make for a flexible engine was very limited to just using a series of turbos that work at different engine rpm and exhaust flow efficiently. This was costly.

This day and age of improving FE we want engines to deliver enough TORQUE at much lower engine speeds to drive the wheels not as much horsepower (with less emphasis on horse power as it consumes energy). This is improving efficiency.

Having less gear ratios meant an engine would consume more fuel to do the same work as higher engine rpms was required to do the same work.

Now we can use more gears in a smaller and lower torque spread to move a vehicle more efficiently.

Hence, my argument regarding the reduced significance of a broad torque and power band. Under most other than hard acceleration a narrower torque and power band that my diesel has isn't perceptible under normal use. Also, the use of more gears in my drivetrain is more beneficial than the VM due to the characteristics of my engine under harder acceleration.

Google the energy required to move an object through the air.

See if you can find a graph illustrating the increase in energy usage as an increase in speed occurs. You will be very surprised.

Now let's look at the EcoBoost and see the difference between it and my Duratorque. What I'm about the write will be evident with the release of the Transit as it will run both of these engines.

The EcoBoost is a better option than a V8 if the engine is operated at a more efficient level.

Here are the characteristics of the EcoBoost.
*Large and broad spread of torque,
*High power output,
*High fuel usage,
*Engine weight comparable to Duratorque.

Now, when operating the EcoBoost the best way to drive is to 'short' shift as Lou stated he did with his courtesy vehicle he had recently.

What this does is use the available torque at low rpms to move the vehicle.

If you utilise the whole power band you will consume copious quantities of fuel. As can be read about in many RV sites.

This is where the EcoBoost FE horror stories are arrived at.

So, the disadvantage of the EcoBoost is very high fuel consumption at high power levels.

The advantage is relatively low fuel use at high torque, low power levels.

The Duratorque is a better option than the EcoBoost for work due to it's FE vs work.

Here are the characteristics of the Duratorque,
*High torque at low rpms,
*Low fuel consumption,
*Low power/torque at high rpms

When operating the Duratorque you really don't have much choice but to shift far shorter than the EcoBoost. The engine physically is unable to do otherwise.

Short shifting (2 500rpm max) the Duratorque will provide a better level of torque than the EcoBoost vs FE.

So, the disadvantage of the Duratorque is low horsepower at high rpms.

The advantage is caused by the disadvantage which is FE. The Duratorque will always have superior FE because it physically can't consume the same amount of fuel as the EcoBoost.

Another advantage is the better low end torque.

The EcoBoost will be a popular engine in the Transit due to pricing alone. But over a quick period of time if the vans are used mainly for work (delivery) the Duratorque will be of better value.

It will do the same amount of work as the EcoBoost.

I will just about put my balls on the fact that they will both run the same final drives and similar gearbox ratios.

The reason for this is both engines are similar in the delivery and amount of torque at lower rpms.

The EcoBoost advantage is it can rev higher, again meaning it will be able to deliver more torque to the drive wheels for longer period of time. A disadvantage of the EcoBoost, even at low rpm and high torque levels is it will use more fuel to generate the same torque as the Duratorque.

The EcoBoost will not necessarily be able to tow or move more weight, even with the same ratios, but it will accelerate faster as is the case with the VM diesel.

The same principles apply.

@Big Al, @All 1

Or, as previously stated, we can demand that public officials revise the current trends in energy policy and respect our wishes.

In this morning's news, a powerful Republican congressman in DC was voted out by a poorly funded challenger from his own party. The challenger asked voters to consider what they want in a government instead of just taking whatever Washington chooses to give.

It can be done.

@Big Al

"Stop looking at just the towing. There is more than just towing involved."

Well no sh!t Sherlock. Have you been reading what I have been posting about gearing? Apparently not... My last talk about towing was to CORRECT YOUR INCORRECT DATA that was this comment you posted....

"The 355 is around 10% taller than the 392 yet the 392 can tow around 30% more"

.......which was not true as I proved it wasn't. I then went back onto what I was initially talking about how gears effect capabilities and FE before you started in with your snooty "Again, alas, the talk of gear ratios!" comment. I still can't believe you as an engineer thought that lower had higher tow ratings. What kind of engineering degrees do they hand out over there? I mean, do they just hand American's engineering degrees when they get off the plane over there? Maybe I should go over there......On second thought, never mind because engineers over there probably don't even come close to what I make here.

"I do believe my pickup has a GCM of over 13 200lbs.

Look at the GCMs as well as the tow capability. What are the GCMs of other vehicles?"

We don't call it GCM over here. We call it GCWR(Gross Combined Weight Rating). As for your question, the GVWR of a Ram 1500s with Ecodiesels is 13,500 for all the 3.55 models and 14,500 for the 3.92 models. The GCWR(GCM) of your truck is 13,227lbs or 6,000kg for all cab configurations.

"Engine-drivetrain combinations is a little more complex than I think you can fathom.

Now look at more gears in a gearbox."

I don't think you quite understand what it is that I do for a living. I work for a Class 7 & 8 heavy duty truck supplier(ie. Kenworth, Peterbilt). We configure and spec out trucks for customers based on their needs or intended purpose. You see, even though most of these trucks look exactly the same on the outside, they are completely different in their specs and what they are configured for.

You have an array of different engine brand choices from Cummins, Cat, PACCAR, Detroit Diesel, and Mercedes to name a few. Each brand has different engine models and different power specs depending on the application.

Then there is the transmission. You have either manual or automatic. Your choices are mainly Eaton or Meritor(Rockwell) for manuals, and the addition of Allison for automatics.

After that you get to the axles. Again, Eaton and Meritor are the main suppliers. Both have a wide array of model choices from a DSP40 to an RS series. Each model has a plethora of gear choices that range from a 3.07:1 all the way up to a 7.83:1 rear ratio depending on the needs of the truck. The axles usually dictate the driveline type.

We then go to brakes. Eaton, Bendix, and Meritor are the major suppliers for those. Each truck has different braking systems, shoes, and friction material based on what the needs of the truck.

This is just a few of the major options of the trucks we configure and how we spec the trucks out will make a big impact on how they will perform at their intended function. Hell, I also haven't even touched into PTOs or body configurations which is a whole other animal in itself. Each customer has different demands for their truck so each truck is NOT the same. The basics of configuring a big truck for it's intended use also extends to light duties(what you refer to as 1/2 ton to 1 tons) in how they have different options to fit a need. Each manufacture has different engines to fit your needs/wants, some have different transmissions, and then there are the rear axles that play a big role in the capabilities of the truck along with the engine.

So yes I fathom it, but the real question is with you thinking a lower gear tow more and magically getting 30% out of 14% is do you fathom it? From what I gather, you have been weighed and measure, but have been found wanting......

"Posted by: Big Al from Oz | Jun 10, 2014 10:57:46 PM"

This whole spiel has nothing to do with WTF I was even talking about so you writing this book to change the subject to something I have stated multiple time of how your engine gets better FE, but mine has more power is irrelevant. How many times do I have to tell you this? Hopefully this will be the last time so here it goes....

I know your 3.2L diesel gets better FE then my Ecoboost. However the Ecoboost makes way more power. Even if the 3.2L Duratorque was available in F150s when I purchased my truck, I still would not have bought it. Why? It does not have what we call cojones (balls) for my taste. I will gladly pay the extra in fuel for the added power and ability to tow more when I need to. If I wanted no balls and goof FE then I would have bought a Prius, but that is not the case. However, I am glad you are finally getting around to understand that the 3.5L Ecoboost has way more power than your 3.2L, but you are still incorrect in your thinking that the 3.2L has more down low power than the 3.5L Ecoboost. This statement.......

"The reason for this is both engines are similar in the delivery and amount of torque at lower rpms" completely false. Based on Fords specs on the 3.2L, it gets it's 350lb-ft at 1,500rpm and tops out at that point. Well, based on the dyno chart of the 3.5L Ecoboost, it is at 370lb-ft at 1,500 rpm and is still going up from there. That is a 30lb-ft different at 1,500 rpm and an even bigger 70+lb-ft of torque difference at 2,500 rpm. Also, due to the how horsepower is equated by the amount of torque at a given rpm and the law of 5,250 the Ecoboost has more horsepower at those points too. So no, their power is not even close even at the 3.2L's peak either. I am happy for you that you get off to the FE you get, but I get off to the power I get out of my engine. Sure it burns through more old dinosaur remains than yours, but I wouldn't have it any other way if it meant me loosing my power. As with others and their engine of choice. That is the same with you, and why you picked the 3.2L over the 2.2L or a 4x4 over a 2wd....... There, I hope that was the last time i have to explain that although I doubt that did the trick.

Whew, that was a long one.....

Now for your big 2,000 page book Al. I can't wait to read this next novel and the totally off the topic of discussion things you put in it this time. I bet it will be all about how a diesel gets better FE and how the Ecoboost just sucks fuel has it is pulling away from the 3.2L Duratorque.

@oapa jim

Aye, it can be done and I am right there with them hoping it can.

Sorry, meant to say......

That is a *20*lb-ft difference at 1,500 rpm....

It has everything to do with what you don't know you are talking about.

It's physics it's unemotional.

You are attempting to make physics emotive.

But, what I like is you are reading and learning. But you are too stubborn to admit this.

Pride, or what you think is pride, is emotive.

It has everything to do with what you don't know you are talking about.

It's physics it's unemotional.

You are attempting to make physics emotive.

But, what I like is you are reading and learning. But you are too stubborn to admit this.

Pride, or what you think is pride, is emotive.

It has everything to do with what you don't know you are talking about.

It's physics it's unemotional.

You are attempting to make physics emotive.

But, what I like is you are reading and learning. But you are too stubborn to admit this.

Pride, or what you think is pride, is emotive.

@Big Al

This is typical Big Al that I have seen in both PUTC and TTAC blogs. He gets caught saying bullsh!t or wrong info. Then he tries to change the subject to distract others so he doesn't have to admit he was wrong because it is impossible for him to do due to psychological issues of needing to be right all the time......and I am the one being called stubborn? Right!!!!!

"The 355 is around 10% taller than the 392 yet the 392 can tow around 30% more.

Posted by: Big Al from Oz | Jun 10, 2014 11:11:57 AM"

Explain to me again how going from a 7,500lb tow rating with a 3.55 gear to 8,500lb with a 3.92 gear ratio is a 30% increase? This must be that weird "land of OZ" math some people are talking about. Hmm, and I am the one being lectured about physics?

Uh ho, I have a feeling that cry baby post you intentionally put in other articles where you write all our names and tell us to quit the crap so we can debate you on your terms. Never mind, too late......and I see you posted it not once, but twice.

Using a Venn diagram describe how a vehicle can change in vehicle design?

Do you understand the use of a Venn diagram?

This is basically how it all starts.

You must first know what is going to sell on the market.

Then you must try to design and engineer a product.

You can use a Venn diagram to pinpoint almost what is needed for a pickup in a particular market.

The intersection will be the most significant design features. The union will be more the associated attributes necessary for the vehicle, regulatory and engineering constraints.

So, you must be able to assess mathematically what is what, just like gearing.

Manufacturers will obviously provide a vehicle capable of towing whatever weights they advertise. They have to.

But how they go about it is by using formulae to determine what will sell the most.

You can see the subtle difference between manufacturers as they try and corner a specific set of attributes to promote their product. Towing is one of them for a pickup.

A classic example of finding a very marketable niche is the current Ram 1500. Is load capacity a strong point?

It isn't. Why? Because a larger tow limit makes the pickup appear to be better than increasing vehicle load. Increasing vehicle load will only give a harsher ride. Which isn't what the consumer wants. But they want to think they have the 'strongest' truck.

The reality is most will never tow to the stated capacity, the manufacturers realise this.

So, so long as the manufacturers can produce a truck that can tow what is advertised you will have different philosophies on what the manufacturers are slating towards the consumer.

Any numpty that's done 4th grade knows that a lower gear ratio provides more torque. This isn't rocket science.

But, knowing how an engine, transmission, diff affects the vehicle is a little more involved. You must be able to differentiate what physical changes in an engine has on the performance of a vehicle.

I will state you do have a rudimentary idea on what goes on. But I strongly suggest you go to school and complete a mechanics or engineering related course and change careers. You obviously have an interest in mechanics and physics.

Off roading traction comes into play with gear ratios. Drag racing is different again, not only setting up for your actual quarter mile, but also trying to factor in 15% wheel spin to gain the most acceleration.

I'm happy you are interested in gearing. If you have further questions regarding anything mechanical don't hesitate to ask me.

Thanks for you time.

@Big Al

Wow, it started with me talking about how different gear ratios effect a vehicles FE and capabilities and how people should match their truck with the right gear that suits their capability needs and fuel economy wants. And that if one wanted the best fuel economy from an Ecoboost, but didn't need to tow that much then the tallest gear ratios offered, the 3.15 and 3.31, would be ideal for them over the 3.55 and 3.73.

Then it went to how absurd you thought that was....

Then you changed it to the fit and function of engineering.....

Then it went to how pointless it was to argue with me.....

Then you started on the trail of comparing the Ecodiesel to your 3.2L diesel......

Then it was the Ecoboost versus your 3.2L.....

Then it went to physics.....

....and now you are talking about marketing and a bunch of other bullsh!t has nothing to do with anything.

Geez, how many times are you going to jump topics and how far off from what I originally stated are you going to go?


" But I strongly suggest you go to school and complete a mechanics or engineering related course and change careers.....If you have further questions regarding anything mechanical don't hesitate to ask me."

.....coming from a guy who thinks going from 7,500 to 8,500 is a 30% increase. Right?

Besides, mechanics and engineering doesn't pay enough, and I love waking up every morning doing what I do now.

@All 1

Every time I bitch-slap Big Al a bit, he goes radio-silent for a little while. Your last comment roughed him up a bit.

Let's see how long he can avoid commenting on this site before he develops a twitch!

@papa jim
Unfortunately I have to work.

I'm running late shift this week, so I can't comment when you want.

Don't worry in a couple of weeks I'll be enjoying the States.

I'll hit the car yards again and compare and take vehicles for a drive.

What I like about ALL1 he's sort of like a girl I once new. Always angry and never showing or knowing how to show appreciation when you helped her. But deep down inside I knew she respected what I was doing.

She came around to late and I'd gotten sick of her 'facade'.

@Big Al

There you go again making assumptions and thinking highly of yourself!

I mean, don't get me wrong, I give you more respect than those two short bus riding Ramtard club members, but don't overly flatter yourself. It is not by that much.

Most of that respect went away from the lack of testicular fortitude you show from not admitting you are wrong when you are. You like to point out others short comings, yet neglect to look at your own. Even more so you only think your opinion is valid and everyone else's as rubbish. Yet when you do post false information, you try to change topics so you don't have to say you were wrong because you lack the balley walleys to do so. Then there are those cry baby posts telling people to do things your way expecting that you can actually tell people what to do.

You must be bad at reading people if you honestly think I what you are doing to others. Although, I can't get on you too bad for not reading people right because I read you wrong too. I am kinda shocked you mention you date girls, I thought you swung the other way based on the personality of your posts.

I really do relish having debates with you.

I understand your young high school pride and your inability to 'publicly' show any weakness.

This is quite normal in many of the 'kids' I remediated at our college regarding mathematics and physics.

As I've stated I'm very happy to assist you and have you gain more knowledge on how and why the big bad world functions.

Like I've just shown you manufacturers don't just look at what ALL1 considers significant. There are so many variables you must factor in before proceeding with complex engineering problems.

I do like the EcoBoost, but like nearly everything we ecounter in life and make decisions on there is always a downside to any upside. It's called compromise, like an EcoBoost or diesel.

Don't hesitate to ask for more enlightenment when you feel your are challenged.

@Big Al

Does that head of your fill the whole Northern Territory. I heard of people being narcissistic, but you take the cake.

"Don't hesitate to ask for more enlightenment when you feel your are challenged."

Okay, I will ask this one again since you have failed to answer it oh enlightened one.

How is going from 7,500lbs to 8,500lbs a 30% increase?

Also, how is a 4,627lbs truck "very similar give or take a poofteenth"(<--your words, not mine) in weight to a 5,642lbs(4wd) truck or a 5,378lbs truck(2wd)?

Please Mr. Know-it-all, enlighten me on how you came up with these numbers?

I know it's hard for a "real man" like yourself to ask for help.

You don't really need to keep on with the façade;)

Oh, what's 7 500lbs that I discussed.

I was discussing 6 700lbs, but you do argue on miniscule semantics when you don't have a plausible argument.

This is the third time I'll tell you. My door is open for you young guys when you need some direction and guidance.

Just ask.

Now, now now Big Al, don't try to change the subject yet again. You said you would answer my questions so answer them.

Lets recap what you said to jog your memory, and then you answer them.

Question 1----------------------------------------------------------------------
When comparing specs of a Ram Ecodiesel 1500 to your truck, you said....... "The weights are very similar, give or take a poofteenth."

This is not the case as I told you because your trucks curb weight 4,627lbs while a comparable 4wd Ram Ecodiesel 1500 has a curb weight of 5,643lbs.

You then said........."How much does a 2WD weigh? Stop deflecting my question and answer it."

So I answered it (even though it is not comparable to your 4wd truck) with a rated curb weight of 5,378lbs which is still A LOT more than just a "poofteenth" from the 4,627lbs of your truck.

So how is a 4,624lbs truck very similar to a 5,378lb truck?

Question 2--------------------------------------------------------------------------

You also stated in the very post comparing the Ecodiesel to your truck......... "The EcoDiesel has 1/5 more torque and 1/5 more hp, But it tows 1 100 - 1 200lbs less than my vehicle."

This is also false as I pointed out that while your truck is rated to tow 7,716lbs, the Ram Ecodiesel is rated tow between 7,500-8,200lbs with a 3.55 gear ratio based on configuration and a 3.92 rear ratio is rated to tow between 8,500-8,200lbs based on configuration.

So how did you get to the conclusion that a Ram 1500 Ecodiesel 3.55 is rated to tow 1,100 to 1,200lbs less than your BT50?

Question 3--------------------------------------------------------------------

Lastly, you stated that....... "The 355 is around 10% taller than the 392 yet the 392 can tow around 30% more."

This is so far off it isn't even funny. At the most, the Ram 1500 Ecodiesel 3.92 rear ratio tows 14% more than the same configuration with the 3.55 rear ratio.

So what special math are you doing to figure that there is a 30% increase in tow rating between a 3.55 and a 3.92?


So come on Mr Know-it-all, Enlighten me like you said you would!!!!

-or are you just going to dodge the questions again because that would mean that your assumptions were WRONG!

Que me saying "That's what I thought" in 5.....4....3......


If these are trucks, what are the GCMs?

You want to compare cars when it suits and then as a truck to suit.

What is the GCM of the Ram with the 6 700lb tow limit?

What is the GCM of the Ram that can tow 9 200lbs?

Gross Combined Weight Ratings is 11,000 lb (5,000 kg) for all Ram 1500s with 3.21 axles; max 15,500 lb (7,000 kg) for 2WD Ram 1500 with long bed, 5.7L HEMI engine, and a 3.92 differential.

My 3.73 in my BT50 with it's 6 000kg GCM sits where?

So, graph this plus what you have with the Ram with the 355 assend and what do end up with??? ;)

This shows that even with the Hemi my diesel is comparable for diff ratios. Not bad, eh.

So much about your knowledge.

My BT50 is comparable to a HEMI for work.

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