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Ford engines with good gas mileage, what are you guys getting?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by tlmartin84, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. tlmartin84
    Joined: Jul 28, 2011
    Posts: 1,030

    from WV

    I'm still in the air over an engine for my f100. I want to do something a little different like and old Y block or a 300 six, thats the WANT. But the NEED is good fuel mileage as this will be a daily driver, I know fuel mileage and tradtional does not go hand in hand but if gas prices go to 5$ a gallon, a lot of cars are gonna be sitting parked in garages.

    I have considered a four banger but really don't want to go that route or to diesel.

    Goal is to build the truck light as possible, maybe do some sectioning and chopping to reduce resistance. I will gear it tall with some 3.27's and and around a .67 OD. Pretty much a typical mustang drivetrain.

    This part is O/T but several of my stang friends are getting 25mpg's out of their 4.6L. This is causing me to seriously think about going to a carb'd version of one these. Not to mention how much lighter the aluminum block is. Curb weight of a mustang and 56 f100 are close at around 3200.

    Any other suggestions or setups for mpg on ford engines???
  2. well my 79 econoline 100 (the very light duty) was getting around 20-22 a gallon with the 351w. I figure the 4barrel had small jets in it, but she didnt lack for power.
  3. Heo2
    Joined: Aug 9, 2011
    Posts: 660


    Much of the good milage on the 4.6
    is beacuse the fuelinjection
    with a carb you are not getting
    the same good fuelmilage
  4. Don't discount the original type 223, with some manifold/carb changes, fine tuning and proper gearing it could do very well. Don't over gear it (high) or it will be gutless, that goes for anything,

  5. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,729


    1968 F-100 390 V-8 with 390GT heads and exhaust, and Offy 2x4 with 2 genuine Carter 625 AFB's solid linkage. 4-speed manual transmission.

    Highway at 70 MPH - 22 MPG on gasoline, 18 MPG on corn squeezin's (E10). Less in town.

    Ford 300 CID six in E-150 van, with Offy 4-barrel intake, and genuine Carter 400 CFM AFB. 4-speed manual transmission.

    Highway at 70 MPH - 24 MPG on gasoline (sold this one prior to having to burn E-10). Again, less in town.

  6. tlmartin84
    Joined: Jul 28, 2011
    Posts: 1,030

    from WV

    I think a lot of guys here would argue this some. A lot of it depends on proper tuning. Plus I am hoping what I would give up with carb I would gain back opening the engine up as far a flow restrictions for emissions and the weight trade off are concerned.

    I'd love to have a 223, mine is busted and I would have to buy one. I am just a little iffy on how much longer parts will be available for these...
  7. I'll bet where you are you could scratch around and find a couple 223's for a C note,,,,,
  8. Yup, that's what I've got in my fullsize '61 Ford. Hopped up motor with Clay Smith 265 cam, 390 Holley on a Clifford manifold, Clifford tube headers and early Mallory ignition tuned by GMC Bubba (Jim Linder's shop). 3 speed with overdrive 4th and 3.08 rear. Consistently getting over 20 mpg. Going on 10,000 miles on the rebuild with nary a hiccup. Easy on the pocketbook.

    And in my shop sits a Y-block for this car, yet unbuilt. I can't bring myself to give up the inliner....
    BeardedHombre likes this.
  9. 45Shooter
    Joined: Feb 27, 2006
    Posts: 112


    1951 Ford truck with stock 289, C-4 tranny, and a 2.79 gear. It gets 22mpg on the road with the A/C on.
    1966 F100 with 240 6cyl, 3 speed and 3.70 gear. Gets 15mpg. Same truck, same motor but with a C-6 tranny and 3.00 gear, gets 17mpg. The 240 six is pretty much gutless at all speeds and rpms...but it runs forever, you can't kill the Ford 240 or 300.
  10. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,534


    My 300 with a 3 onthetree in my 79 f100 2wd got about 15 mpg,,now i got a 85 f150 300 4sp 4x4 and it only gets 10 mpg and these are the big imperial gallons..both are duraspark 11
  11. David Chandler
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,101

    David Chandler

    I had a 75 F100 long bed, with a 302 and a 3 on the tree. I got 20 consistantly on the highway, and 17 around town. It was stock, other than a 500 cfm Holley 2bbl, and spending some time with jetting and power valves.
  12. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,534


    i think i should seek professional help
  13. tommyd
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 11,960

    from South Indy

    What? prostate problems? Paging Dr. Fine!
  14. 6deuce32yblock
    Joined: Oct 26, 2007
    Posts: 134


    32 3 window cpe,6 2s, progressive linkage, 312y/block , clay smith cam, big heads, 5speed, 3.89 gears,old mallory dist.w/petronix module, 21 mpg on h/way all day ....on sorry corn squeeze fuel...................
  15. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 9,501

    from Phoenix,AZ

    Some us old Farts remember the Jimmy Carter "fuel crisis" years ago,during that time several Speed Equipment companies came out with intakes cams and carbs that would increase mileage and low end torque.Crower still has these cams available probably for your Ford consider using a 302 with the Crower mileage Cam, track down an Edelbrock Streetmaster intake use an Edelbrock 500 CFM or Holley 450 CFM carb and use the GT40P swirlport heads from an Explorer for ignition pickup this run a dual exhaust with 2" pipe and a balance tube and I can't see why highway mileage with an AOD overdrive would not be it the 25-27 MPG range.I did not mention headers due to the fact the GT40P heads create fit problems due to spark plug location so best to use the matching Explorer manifolds.
  16. tlmartin84
    Joined: Jul 28, 2011
    Posts: 1,030

    from WV

    So is the trick lots of torque at lower RPMs then???? Slowing the revs and firing is gonna kick the mpg's up right?
  17. shocker998md
    Joined: May 17, 2009
    Posts: 878


    If I could tune a carb half as good as you id be in buisness!!!!

    66 F100 daily driving by me or the ole lady. WORN OUT 352, petronix ignition, headers, isky 262 super cam, 2 1/4 duals, edelbrock performer intake manifold with a 600 edelbrock on top of it. C-6 with 3.55s out back turning 255/60/15s and I get 13-15 MPG going 55 MPH. Go any faster and the numbers DROP!

    If your looking for mpg id look at a 300 inline with an overdrive 5 speed behind it. That way you can have good gearing for intown, but on the highway the OD will drop the RPMS.

    Id look at what you can easily put an OD in and go with that, thats the ticket for MPG on the highway. If not play with gearing and tire sizing, but then you will have to compromise with in town driving.
  18. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,729


    Shocker - some time when you have some extra time; dig out the specifications Carter used on the AFB carbs they built specifically for the 352. Look at:

    (1) idle tubes
    (2) idle airbleed
    (3) idle bypass
    (4) metering rod profile
    (5) main metering jets
    (6) secondary starter circuit
    (8) primary and secondary airbleeds

    Now compare these to the specs on your clone.

    As another gentleman posts on another forum "engineers do things for a reason"!

    The 3.55's and the C-6 probably are not helping either. We picked up better than 2 MPG just replacing a C-6 with a 4-speed manual.

    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  19. Turbo Rocket
    Joined: Sep 14, 2010
    Posts: 74

    Turbo Rocket
    from Iowa

    1964 F100 with a 292 Y-block. Holley carb, otherwise stock with a T-5 trans. Not sure what rearend gear. I can get 21-22 running 72 mph on the interstate.
  20. 29tudor
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 303


    Y block with lots of carbs, 4 spdtop loader
  21. 23 Dodge, Ford 300 I 6 , 3+1 OD toploader. Average all around driving 26 MPG.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  22. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 31,262

    Jalopy Joker

    saw an ad today for a kit that converts your engine to run with water injection - problem solved -Ha! running OD trans with correct rear gears, etc sounds like a good way to go. search online: and click on calculators to help figure this out. sure this will not be the last post about getting better fuel economy with rising gas prices.
  23. 69f100
    Joined: Dec 3, 2009
    Posts: 734

    from So-Cal

    man this thread came at perfect time. looking at a 300 I6 powered pony because my mom wants a new car with good gas mileage. old car with good gas mileage is good enough haha. im going to give this a bump
  24. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,480

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin

    Some unbelievable gas mileages in this thread.:rolleyes:
    A couple I knew were looking at a used 79 Bronco with a 400M in 81. The seller told them he was getting 19 mpg. I told them it wouldn't get over 11mpg. They bought it anyway and it got 10 mpg. He put a Milemaker cam and a set of headers on it and improved to 10.5 mpg.

    Back in the days of the first oil crisis, everybody was selling something that would improve gas mileage and most of them didn't work. Hot Rod magazine took a Ford van and tried to improve the mileage by installing things like cams, headers, carbs, air filters, fuel regulators, exhaust systems. oils, fuel additives etc. The only thing that they found that made much difference was removing the outside mirrors.

    When the mileage ratings were mandated, automakers tried to improve mileage and probably tried all of the miracle cures. In the end they had to drop engine lines that used too much fuel. They used them longer in the trucks because trucks came under regulation later.

    I worked at a Ford dealership in the late 70s and we had a 78 Mercury Marquis that the owner was complaining about poor fuel mileage. We put the test bottle on it and it was getting 13 mpg at 55 mph as Ford claimed. Another customer recognized the Mercury and asked what it was in for. When we told him fuel mileage he said the owner told him it was getting 21 mpg.

    Today the automakers are obsessed with mileage so to find any bolt on mileage improver is even harder to believe.
  25. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 9,501

    from Phoenix,AZ

    There is also an old "handy hint" duct tape an egg under the gas pedal if you can make your rounds without breaking the egg you will gain better mileage.
  26. willowbilly3
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,356

    Member Emeritus
    from Sturgis

    My stock 98 4.6 Gran Marquis never averages less than 24 and has averaged over 31 on interstate but I suspect I had a slight tailwind that day. Still 28-29 hwy is what it runs with no wind.
  27. FrozenMerc
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 3,100


    It won't mater what engine you get, since all engines do the same thing, pump air in and out in order to facilitate the combustion of fuel. How efficiently they do it, is what determines your gas mileage. Here are a few simple rules to help out.

    1: Run as high of compression as you can. With an Otto cycle engine (spark ignition), NOTHING contributes more to the overall efficiency of an engine then the compression ratio.

    2: Camshaft, a profile that maximizes low end torque will help keep your rpms and gas consumption down.

    3: Air flow, make sure the heads, intake, and exhaust are working together in order to maximize air flow in and out of the engine. Good porting, gasket matching, etc can do a lot to bring the efficiency up.

    4: Timing, You are wasting fuel with the timing either to far advanced or retarded.

    5: Drivetrain, Manual transmissions are more efficient then autos. Use a 5 or 6 spd OD + a high rear end gear for best mileage.

    6: Weight, eliminate extra weight in your vehicle.

    7: Aerodynamics, a '56 F100 has none, so good luck. :D
  28. derbydad276
    Joined: May 29, 2011
    Posts: 1,336


    my 300 in my f100 gets around 18 city but is terrible on the highway because I have 3.73 gears and no overdrive
  29. Heo2
    Joined: Aug 9, 2011
    Posts: 660


    They can argue it all that they want but its an argument they
    could not win. The carb you can tune as god as a fuelinjection
    from idle to ful rpm are still not invented and probably will not
    bee.If carbs was the answer for low fuel consumption thats
    what all carmakers would install.

    My Galaxie wheight about 2 metric tons have 330 hp SAE net about
    250 DIN well tuned with new carb

    My Mercedes 500 wheights the same have 328 fuelinjected hp DIN
    and consume half the fuel with the same drivingstyle
    I cant get it to consume the same amount of fuel the Galaxie consume
    under normal driving even if i drive the Mercedes like i stole it
  30. Pops1532
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 544

    from Illinois

    How many miles do you drive a week? I know people that have bought $50,000 fuel efficient cars to save money on gas but they only drive 20 miles a week. You could spend a lot of money to save a couple of bucks on gas, and end up with a combination you're not happy driving.
    A 240 will give you good fuel economy if geared around 3:00 but the performance will suck. Gear it around 3:70 and it will be more drivable.
    You can make a 300 really run, but I've never seen one that gets decent mileage either stock or modified.
    4.6 while OT is a pretty good engine. You could expect 20+ mpg on the highway. Maybe 16 in town. Depends on what tranny you use and how you drive it. Expect less mileage if you carb it.
    If you get the urge to go with a 5.4, resist it. Poor performance and even worse economy.
    Build a 302 as described before. Put an AOD or a 5 speed behind it and you'll have a good combination of performance and mileage. Parts are everywhere for them too.
    You might want to consider a 351W with a 4 or 5 speed.
    Stay away from the manual 4 speed OD. They're junk.

    I doubt that $5 will cause a bunch of HAMB friendly rides to be relegated to the garage. Most will do without something else so they can enjoy their cars.
    The experts have told us gas will be $5 in the summer for several years now. That's so we won't complain as much when it "only" reaches $4.50.

    If you're really concerned about mileage sell the Effie and get a 60 Ranchero with a 144 six.

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