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Old 12-16-2011, 10:50 PM   #1
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Upgrade for the sake of MPG?

Hello all, I'm playing with the idea of upgrading my stock '05 TJ Unlimited purely for the sake of fuel economy. I'm driving about 150 miles per day and getting some other car would just suck.

I'm getting an avg of 14 MPG now. If I upgrade headers, catalytic, cat-back, air intake and performance chip what do you think my MPGs could become?

My budget is around $2k. If I can get 19 MPG this upgrade could pay for itself within a year. That is IF I can get 19....

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Old 12-16-2011, 10:59 PM   #2
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Not sure how your driving style is. But my bone stock 04 unlimited auto gets 18-19 all the time 95% city maybe 5% freeway. Not to harsh on the accelerator is the best fuel mod you can do and it's free.

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Old 12-16-2011, 10:59 PM   #3
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Couldn't hurt. Don't think it'll get 19mpg. Might pay for itself in a year and half.
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Old 12-16-2011, 11:10 PM   #4
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Not sure you can get 19. More info on your Jeep would help. Tranny type, gearing, tire size, etc.
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Old 12-16-2011, 11:26 PM   #5
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Not sure you can get 19. More info on your Jeep would help. Tranny type, gearing, tire size, etc.
Manual Tranny, stock everything else...
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Old 12-16-2011, 11:36 PM   #6
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I commute to Tallahassee from Orlando twice a week, I bought a Honda CRZ and get avg. 38 mpg and keep the Jeep for weekends
This is a little more than $2k solution but if you can find a old Honda CRX from mid '80's they get 40-50 mpg. I don't think you can improve a Jeep much, maybe replace the engine and drive train with a newer Honda CRV which gets 30 mpg and is AWD.
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Old 12-17-2011, 12:11 AM   #7
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replacing one bad O2 sensor gave me 3 mpg back in lost fuel mileage
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Old 12-17-2011, 12:44 AM   #8
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Old 12-17-2011, 01:43 AM   #9
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you should be getting more than 14 if its stock, your engine might just need a tune up. i would skip the high performance intake, the 4.0 is not starved for air at all with the stock system. a high performance head can actually help greatly, the exhaust ports were made about half the size in 2000, a new performance exhaust manifold would be better as well.
i would also try and adjust your driving style, i got 23 mpg highway on 33's in my 05 auto with stock gears, try and keep it at 60 you'll be amazed at what it can do. i get 25 in my 5 speed 4.0 yj on the highway now.
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Old 12-17-2011, 09:31 AM   #10
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All joking aside. I bought a 2001 4cyl Accord 4 door 5 spd in decent physical shape with around 160k on it for $2000. Other than tires I haven't dropped more than about $300 on it in parts/repairs in 3 years...which means more money for my Jeep!!! I see similar Honda and Toyota 4 bangers around all the time for that price. I have been a Jeep owner for 14 years and done a ton of stuff to the 5 different ones I have had and NOTHING I have seen or read actually makes a significant change in gas mileage...unless you actually have something wrong with your Jeep. Good luck!
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Old 12-17-2011, 09:45 AM   #11
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You might try Super Chip and reprogram the computer my 03 TJ w/ 33's and 4" suspension lift went from 13 to 16 mpg. I put a cold air kit on didn't see any fuel gain just better response. Exhaust is stock for now going to try duals later on and see if that helps. My best mod is my right foot keeping the rpm's under 2000 really helps!
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:28 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Camacozie View Post
I'm getting an avg of 14 MPG now. If I upgrade headers, catalytic, cat-back, air intake and performance chip what do you think my MPGs could become?
none of that crap is going to help your fuel economy.

If anything, get a Scangauge II and you watch yourself using fuel.

Keep it under 65mph, keep your foot off the gas, hypermile, stay completely stock - including 30" tires and no lift. This gets the best mileage. Keep up on maintenance. Drive like an old lady.

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My budget is around $2k. If I can get 19 MPG this upgrade could pay for itself within a year. That is IF I can get 19....
My mom gets 19-20 on the highway in her stock 06 LJ...cause she drives like an old lady.

With 4.88s and 33s, I can get anywhere between 13 to 18mpg, depending entirely upon how I drive.

If you're getting 14mpg driving like an old lady, something is wrong with your Jeep. Figure it out and fix it.
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:44 AM   #13
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I would save the two grand...it will not buy you 5mpg over a good stock TJ....ever.
For best mileage keep the 4.0 well tuned and go easy on the gas pedal. If you drive it at 60mph you will get drastically better mileage than at 70+. Bone stock on the open road, you should be getting 16-17+ mpg if you don't ring its' neck going up and down the highway. Keep the top end rpm's down for best MPG....not very sexy, but that is the answer.
..19 mpg is more than I've even gotten, probably not going to happen.
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Old 12-17-2011, 06:51 PM   #14
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Everyone has been giving you good advice. Bottomline: keep your foot out of it and speed below 65. I just drove 600 miles in mine, averaging 69-70 mph......and my mileage was 16-17....and mine is perfectly in tune and runs great.
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:03 PM   #15
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get a 4 banger ;] 2.5" lift and 31s on mine and get 21 on highway trips, 17-19 in town
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:13 PM   #16
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Id say get a 2nd car as well.. look into a 4 cylinder fiero... you can find a nice 88 for well into what your budget for upgrading your jeep is and they get into the 40 MPG range if you get a 5 speed.. there pretty darn relibale and fun to drive.. just stay away from 84's
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:27 AM   #17
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What about a front hub conversion kit?

I don't have any personal experience with them, but wouldn't you think being able to unlock the hubs and have the front wheels free wheel gain some mpg? Even in 2wd the front axle, diff & drive shaft are turning. That has to create some drag. How much I don't know and the reduction in drag / minor improvement in mpg may not be worth the cost. I think the kits are around $800 - 1000.
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:35 AM   #18
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What about a front hub conversion kit?

I don't have any personal experience with them, but wouldn't you think being able to unlock the hubs and have the front wheels free wheel gain some mpg? Even in 2wd the front axle, diff & drive shaft are turning. That has to create some drag. How much I don't know and the reduction in drag / minor improvement in mpg may not be worth the cost. I think the kits are around $800 - 1000.
the front hub conversion will have a very minimal impact on MPG, if at all.

how much gas can you buy for $800-1000?

Heck, for the $2000 the OP was talking about dumping into CAI's, chips and other crap you can buy a good used car that gets 30-40mpg all day long.
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:37 AM   #19
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Manual Tranny, stock everything else...
Just remember to be a smooth driver with the manual and don't accelerate to hard and bam. good to go.
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:27 PM   #20
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Did the OP ever say what size tires he had, or what his gear ratio is?
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:43 PM   #21
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Take your 2 grand, and go buy a Frito/Lays truck with a Cummins 4BT engine in it. Pull the engine out, pull your engine out. Sell the truck sans 4BT engine, and sell your engine. Take that money and have the Cummins put in your current Jeep.

That is about the only way you will notice any real gains...
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:36 PM   #22
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So if you do drive a stock Jeep (4.0, auto, 30" tires) and you're getting 13 mpg hwy, what would you do to it?
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:53 PM   #23
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So if you do drive a stock Jeep (4.0, auto, 30" tires) and you're getting 13 mpg hwy, what would you do to it?
drive it slower, you should be getting at least 3mpg better. e-fan conversion mabye
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:00 PM   #24
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I drive ~30 miles hwy daily. I stay at 60 and have always driven 'like a grandma'. I average 220 miles on my 16 gal tank.
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:05 PM   #25
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So if you do drive a stock Jeep (4.0, auto, 30" tires) and you're getting 13 mpg hwy, what would you do to it?
sell it and buy a Honda Civic or a Toyota Prius.
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:26 AM   #26
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I read some of the thread: he ended up with 22 mpg. I wonder how much it cost him for the swap and how reliable the Frito truck engine will be?


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Take your 2 grand, and go buy a Frito/Lays truck with a Cummins 4BT engine in it. Pull the engine out, pull your engine out. Sell the truck sans 4BT engine, and sell your engine. Take that money and have the Cummins put in your current Jeep.

That is about the only way you will notice any real gains...
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:26 AM   #27
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how reliable the Frito truck engine will be?
cost will be pretty high by the time your done....however, Cummins 4BT's are very reliable. They're used in lots of industrial applications...think generators, backhoes, boats, etc. Generators on some job sites may run for 1000's of hrs, stopping only for oil changes. The bread truck versions just happen to look exactly like a chevy 350 front the rear (bellhousing bolt pattern, output)
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:33 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camacozie View Post
I'm getting an avg of 14 MPG now. If I upgrade headers, catalytic, cat-back, air intake and performance chip what do you think my MPGs could become?

My budget is around $2k. If I can get 19 MPG this upgrade could pay for itself within a year. That is IF I can get 19....
I did all that (except for the chip) and LOST 2 mpg... I also switched from a full dino oil drive system to fully synthetic, added a high voltage coil, 8mm sparkplug wires, and good spark plugs.

She deffinatly has more pep, but that just means you want to put your foot in it more.

Drive 55-60 and no more. I can pick up over 1mpg just by slowing down from 65-70 to 55-60.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:40 AM   #29
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Take your 2,000 and do a complete tune up on it, then take the rest and put it in the shop and have someone find out why it's getting below average fuel mileage, it should be getting better than that in stock form.
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:06 PM   #30
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So if you do drive a stock Jeep (4.0, auto, 30" tires) and you're getting 13 mpg hwy, what would you do to it?
bump

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