I'm new here (been a member for about 2 weeks now) I enjoy the information (cudos to Tracy). I don't see much on newer Dodge Ram trucks; my 2011 Hemi is a thirsty beast!! Now the weather is warmer here in Canada (just east of Toronto) I'm looking at some cheap mods. I want to groove it someday but the wife is unemployed and $ is tight; I'll purchase my license eventually. I'm going to try the MPG Remedy this weekend as well as map out my PCV for a reroute and ad a catch can (although when i had the breather box open last weekend it looked clean --when I added a cold air assist to it- cut a hole in the bottom and fed a flexible dryer vent pipe down to behind the tow hook).
Any advice would be greatly appreciated for this vehicle.
Thanks in advance
Hey Barry, I'm Greg across the lake from you in Niagara. Nice to have another Canadian brother on here!
Tell us more about your truck: how many km? what's the mileage now? when was the last time you replaced your o2 sensors, done a tune up with new plugs and air filter? have you had your MAF cleaned lately? is your PCV valve working as it should?
the biggest thing that improves fuel economy/decreases fuel consumption is driving style. light touch on the skinny tall pedal, not punching it hard and conserving momentum...that'll keep the gas gauge closer to the big F longer, along with $ in your pocket. This driver reconditioning is as important as the ECU conditioning process post-groove; not only will it make you a better, safer, more efficient driver, IMO, It'll show you just how effective the groove is on your vehicle from a power/efficiency perspective. Sure, you can put money into add-ons that overpromise and underdeliver, but the best and most transferrable gains are when things get stripped down to the basics and built back up on a stronger foundation. Does that make sense?
(sounds of a circus side-show barker..."step right up folks, that's right, for just a dollar, one thin dollar come see the Gadgetman do his secret thing!") If ya tip the barker ya kin git a better seat...
Listen to Heysoundude, he's definitely on the right track. Your driving style as well as conditions like weather, temp, etc. play a major part in all this. Can't control Ma Nature, but you control how you drive!! You will find I'm sure it starts with mindset, you become more aware of how you drive. Cool you guys are relatively close, I'm all by myself in the vast dry American West!
OK for easy starters, check the tire pressure. find the press. rating on the sidewalls, try inflating cold to that spec. If it's OK, safe, etc., try adding say 5 lbs over the rating, cold. This reduces rolling resistance, you can feel it while driving. Pay attention to handling/braking, etc. I've added more than this before, you have to be your own judge w/ this. common sense...
And of course MPG Remedy is definitely worth a try, read my latest posts and others' in the new MPG Remedy thread here. I think I recall Ron saying a couple years back something about the Dodge hemi's having some issue about the PCV valve, location, mounting, etc. that present a problem, not exactly sure right now.
anyhow Barry, welcome aboard, we learn together. IF you can get up any pics of what you do, it is always appreciated by all. Glad to see more Canadians on here, you guys are gonna be our cold weather Experts!
Gadgetman Reno, NV
I'll try to provide as much information as I can: My truck is the 4X4 Laramie model with some nice creature comforts that I'm sure hurt my fuel mileage like heated seats and steering wheel. I bought it last October with 65,500K and it just rolled over to 70,000K....I'm not a high mileage driver and most of my driving is "city" here in Peterborough ON (built on 7 hills, so every trip goes up hill at some point.)
I drive as economical as possible - anticipating lights, slow acceleration, trying to keep revs below 2000 rpm and keep speed down. I did increase the tire inflation back when I got it in the fall and should check them again now as it is warmer; it has 20" rims and all season tires. Oh ya, it does have a tonneau cover.
It had received a "full" service before I bought it, but I'm not sure what was done. The air filter looks new, I just changed the oil (to synthetic) and plan on changing the differentials and transfer case with synthetics too, in June. I'll try do the plugs then, and over gap all 16 of them, so it may take me a while lol. O2 sensors are also on the "to do" list....
I'll try to get some pic's of things as I go. I did add a ground strap from the block to the battery and another (suplimental) from the battery to the inner fender as I found a ground strap from the body to the engine block that had snaped. I read on another site that I should add an additional one from the alternator to the positive side of the battery too, as these trucks came from the factory with small guage (under sized) wireing.
I have kept the gas receipts (and wrote the mileage on them) for every fuel purchase I've made with this vehicle; I need to sit dowm and calculate out my consumption rate. I'll let you know how it looks.
Any future advice and or comments are always welcome.
Doing a good job of overviewing the Dodge's baseline condition. Barry, look at top right in the green bar at top of main page click "fuel savers" button. Heysoundude, myself, Ron and others have had great results w/ RVS anti-friction treatments. If you contact Justin Clark, tell him you found out on the Gadgetman Groove site and ask for the discount.
For the Ignition, I've got a recommendation. Understand, I'm the Ignition freak here....
There is a pretty radical plug out there, but it's only online far as I know. The website
has the all stainless Torquemaster plugs, You will see these are a
"surface gap" design. I learned of them during extensive research 2 yrs ago during my Plasma Spark
Ignition build. Danny there is really cool, and they have some short videos to explain these side
electrode-less plugs. These plugs give the largest effective gap possible. W/a clean running engine, these ought to last about forever, and give a
better spark too. I've yakked all 'bout this stuff before it's all in the Index.
Just endorsing what I've seen work!
welcome to the experimenters' Asylum. We are the Sane Ones, the outsiders, I'd keep an eye on
Tracy G--in the corner room down the hall--
Gadgetman Reno, NV
4yrs old and 70k or so...that means you're likely still under factory warranty, right? This is a place to pause - the things we talk about here will likely void that warranty. This is something you need to think on, Barry.
did you say 16 spark plugs? for real? man...how engines run using only one per cylinder I'll never understand. and let me guess - they're all long life iridium, so a spark plug change at the dealership costs $500? Wow...
I'm lucky with my truck - I can tell right away what works/what he likes since we're into year 15 of this 400k km relationship.
It's all about the basics: Air, Fuel and Spark. Find the right balance between those 3 things and you're on your way
Yes, re-gapping (I'm 25% over factory spec-maybe in your case only the ones that fire after the compression stroke to ignite the air/fuel charge - I'm guessing that one of each pair fires to further burn the exhaust) is a good place to start.
Before you go changing powertrain lubricants over to synthetic, do the RVS treatment everywhere you can - transmission, transfer case and differentials. (Go back to regular oil for the engine treatment - that's Justin's recommendation) That for me was the biggest thing so far in terms of gains in mileage. Doing it now will help with your mileage now and in the future, especially post-groove. (I wish I had bought the power steering treatment at the time as well)
Those two things together, after replacing the plugs and o2 sensors, got my truck's mileage out of the teens (along with the MPG remedy - make sure to use 35% food grade peroxide) and midway into the 20s (and climbing!). Of course, I'm a smaller lighter truck with a 3.0 liter V6 4x2 and a manual transmission.
Electrical/grounding and charging system tweaks are good too...I'm working on mine now...I believe them to be important for proper energy transfer and system monitoring (sensor operation).
Again, I've been lucky in finding a few online forums for my Mazda-badged Ford with real solid advice from decent, experienced, mindful people. For instance, I gained 1-2 MPG simply by taking the heater lines off my intake manifold. The same people say I should replace my existing engine fan with an electric one, and then change the crank pulley out for a smaller one and get 20 or so HP and 30+ ftlbs of torque from my engine between those 2 mods...if that translates into 20-30% better fuel economy, sure, that's a no brainer. Same for swapping out the factory lifters for roller-rockers. Replacing my paper air filter with a reusable one in the factory airbox has been fine. Another thing that's worked for me off those forums is upsizing my tires. I'm sure you can go poking around and find similar ones for your truck, and I'd be surprised if the die hards there haven't found tweaks/work arounds to what the factory designed, built and shipped out to you. My formula for deciding whether or not to do a mod is trying to figure out if it will pay for itself in gas savings in a year, and if it's easily reversible if it doesn't work. With the price of gas set to rise again, these decisions are becoming easier.
Keep us posted on what you try and how it works out...there have to be others out there with a similar truck looking at this forum and wondering to themselves if it will work for them. Bravo to you for stepping up and committing to being a leader in the pursuit of environmentally friendly energy efficiency by modifying your truck!
Just to update y'all, I checked my vehicle computer on Saturday and it read 13 MPG. That's at aprox 80% city driving, although the last time I reset it was probably some time in January. I filled up and added my MPG Remedy and was able to get 19.4 combined hwy (60%) / city (40%). I reset it again and drove to Toronto and back (aprox 300 K total) on the 401 and hwy 115 with the cruze set at 105 KPH and I was able to get 21.5 MPG. I'm quite impressed!! (But want more )
I haven't calculated my actual numbers yet. I'll try to sit down with my receipts later this week and post the results.
When I bought the truck, used, I added an after marked warranty for 24 months, I will have to look at it to see what might "void" it. I found on "Ram Forumz" some helpful hints, (the first place I heard of upgrading the ground and positive cables).
I completed that mod this past weekend; (a) cable from engine to ground on battery (b) cable from ground on battery to ground connection on inner fender. (c) cable from positive out from altenator to positive on battery (d) cable from positive battery to circuit /fuse box underhood in engine compartment.
I've also bumped up my tire pressure and added a felxible dryer vent hose out of the bottom of my air box down to the hole in the bumper for tow hooks to adde fresh cool air (sort of a partial CAI).
That site also recommend using the factory (copper) plugs and avoid iridium and platinum(they say these trucks don't like them). Some have posted that dealer fees to change all 12 are still north of $400 tho!!!
I read on a post here of other vehicles with 2 plugs per cyl a suggestion where you change the wireing to have both plugs fire at the same time (opposed to the 2nd one fireing on the exhaust stroke to meet emissions levels). I'm looking for more info on that first.
My delima now is; do I purchase my personal Groove licence while they are still available or do I try other mods like O2 sensors, RVS treatment, and plugs? I have to evaluate each thing according to my budget, however I can use (reluctently) my credit card for the personal licence and pay it monthly if it means I don't miss out on getting my membership.
I appreciate any advice.
I put the remedy in before I pump so it theoretically mixes more evenly as I pump.
Remedy: for me, it works for better for midgrade, and better again for premium because of the lesser quantities of ethanol in the fuel, and more than offsets the price difference from a dollar per mile/miles per dollar perspective. (Queen's Park has legislated that regular 87 octane is 10% ethanol, 89 octane is 5% ethanol and 91 octane doesn't need to contain any, but you have to check with the chain on what's in their premium. Petro Can has some weird rules, and I haven't checked with Esso, but Pioneer, Ultramar, Shell And Costco follow that formula). I've found a local indie station that pumps midgrade for the price of regular on >$50 fills, so that's what I've been using.
Next up for you: re-gap those plugs! If my supposition is right about the 2nd one being there for exhaust flare-off, there must be a way to re-wire so that you Zap ALL the fuel in the power/combustion stroke. But I'd check with the dealer mechanics on that one...and don't forget to reset the ECU when you do it.
Fuel economy, by the thousandths of inches. ha!
One thing to try and replicate/standardize: route, air temp, wind direction/speed and indicated ground speed for your test drives. If possible. it helps approach this a bit more scientifically.
slow down turbo! I can only reply to one post at a time lol
timing is up to you, Barry. I'd not be too worried about licenses disappearing; I'd work on getting your truck to as close to, or better than 100% first.
you're getting close to sensor replacement, I'll wager. (good on you for doing the grounding...I still havent found time for mine) I would do the RVS after sensors, so you can see it working by the numbers. and while you're saving money on fuel along the way, put that into a piggybank towards a license. (believe me, I hear you and feel your cashflow pain lately, and I respect/applaud your choice to avoid credit cards!)
Barry, I'd get the PL as soon as budget allows for it. Once it's in hand, I recommend to practice Grooving on an old/ junkyard TB, do your lawnmower carb if you have one, etc. As you get comfortable learning to do the Groove, you can implement other things on the Dodge as needed. I'd keep doing "pre-Groove prep" w/ the Dodge, as you learn to Groove, then both your skills AND the Dodge will reach readiness together. You have already demonstrated success by doing tire pressure, ground/battery cables and MPG Remedy. As a guess the relatively low miles on the Dodge "should mean" less issues w/ existing sensors like O2's etc. Checking these w/ a scantool, and learning how to do that, is a major skillset for Gadgetmen to learn. '
Gadgetman Reno, NV