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Old 04-26-2006, 01:52 PM
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business use, powerstroke

ok..lets try this and see what sticks. I own a small, albeit growing, courier business in Pittsburgh. I'm currently driving a 97 E350/gas but have outgrown its cap. and am looking at an 03 E550 with a 7.3 powerstroke "navistar"...???
Question is, with the rapid increase in fuel costs now, what is involved in getting the right balance of power and fuel econ.? This is a cutaway van with a 20' box. I plan on extending the box over the cab to make for a bunk areaso that should cut down on the wind resist a bit. Admittedly, I know just enough about diesels to be dangerous. I read plenty on the advantages of chips etc, but what about the down sides to all this, and whast about all the other things needed in conjunction with chips. My main goal is to get max fuel econ with a reasonable amount of horses and torque. I'n notorious for ..shall we say adding a "few" pounds over stated GVWR. Also, notorious for sparse maintainence, which I know will HAVE to change. (I usually change oil just before it starts to jell) gas engines are tolerent to a point with this, diesels are not..that I understand. The vast majority of my runs are highway and speeds remain around 65 tops, but loads so far have been upwards of 7300lbs (15,800 gross in a 10,700 GVWR box van..and she rode sweet). Any and all suggestions and/or recommendations as to getting the best balance of power and fuel econ and I would be in your debt.
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Old 04-26-2006, 04:50 PM
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The best bet in my opinion would be a free flowing exhaust, a good intake or air filter, an economy programmer or chip, and to keep up on oil changes. I'd run a synthetic like amsoil or rotella synthetic. I'd keep the oil changes at 12-15k and filter the same. Every 15k would also be a fuel filter change. Make sure you run proper tire pressure and check regularly. Ge through and change your tranny fluid and keep with that every 20-30k depending on how hard you are on the truck. Put a synthetic in the rear differential. If your constantly running heavy loads consider an exhaust brake. That will help keep up the service brakes at the same time you'll be doing more coasting therefore being self-economical. Do some research, there are plenty of fuel saving things you can do to the truck and make as habits to keep your self economical. Also consider biodiesel, I don't know much about that, but from what I have read, it seems to be a good alternative. Some other members will most likely post other good ideas, so check back here and don't be afraid to ask.
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Old 04-26-2006, 04:53 PM
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Oh yeah and welcome to the forum!
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Old 04-26-2006, 05:13 PM
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there are differing opinions on oil change intervals....if it was my rig i wouldnt bother running sythetic....i would use conventional diesel 15-40 every 4k.....but that is a discussion for another topic.......

ive heard great things about the superchips tuner for fuel economy gains....and in the mild modes you really dont risk any damage that cant be prevented with normal maintanence......and without the maintanence....the problems would happen anyways.....so the tuner is pretty safe unless you start playing with the higher modes....thats when you need to do your research.....

and Rjacks.....all ford rear ends built after 1999 or so already have synthetic 15-40 in them. that is the factory fluid for them........Marc
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Old 04-26-2006, 05:50 PM
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Sorry Marc, I was unaware of that differential fact. I guess that more than solidifies my statement, just make sure you keep putting synthetic in. And as far as the oil, you're right Marc its a whole different topic as I have found no problems either way. I put 120K on my truck using Rotella 15w-40 for all that time every 3-5k. Now I use amsoil 15w-40 marine and diesel oil. The guy that gives me my info on it tells me I can run 25k on an oil change, but since I hot rod a bit he said stay at 15k or below. My mileage actually went up 1-2 mpg after the switch, but only if I can keep off the go pedal.
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