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I bought the entire package. I wanted to upgrade my gauges from a 1st generation Edge. The MM3 DD was a nice upgrade. I didn't have a tune switch on EFI Live. I sprung for the switch on the fly option on MM3 as well.

EFI Live box is pretty much a paper weight if one changes tuners. MM3 is much, much faster processor and upgrade all the way around.
I liked the mm3 on my 2013
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
RE: tapped lower grill opening... you can grab a 1500 bumper insert and modify it for the tow hooks... here is mine.

I LIKE that. I'll look for one. I'm thinking it may need to be removed when towing in the summer. Any thoughts on this?
 
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I LIKE that. I'll look for one. I'm thinking it may need to be removed when towing in the summer. Any thoughts on this?
I never installed the retainers on the top (lower portion of the lower white bumper cover), with that said, it pops off quickly.

I am questioning whether the piece hurts mpg's... it increases the high pressure at that point and I wonder if it is not better to just let the air flow thru...

More thoughts on this, cant put it down right now, back later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
I never installed the retainers on the top (lower portion of the lower white bumper cover), with that said, it pops off quickly.
Nice to know. An aftermarket lower grill cover is about $45 in my hands. It's on the list. I have a few maintenance items to do first, brake calipers and wheel bearing.....
 
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2004 2500 555/5600 RWD QC/LB
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Follow up report:

I was changing out my front brakes today and noticed:

Wet spot under the truck. Upon inspection, my spin on fuel filter was leaking. I wiped off under the truck and turned the filter 1/4 turn. I'll monitor it more closely. No other leads, yeah!

Left front wheel bearing is going out. I thought I heard a rumble in the front. I'm not surprised. This is an OEM part, 245K on it. Timken ordered. Replace the right front awhile back.

Original front calipers are somewhat sloppy, rattle and crusty. New ones on order
Front left, inside, brake pad had less than 3/16". Only went 40K on these OEM pads, not Value Pads. I'm going with Bendix Fleet Metlok MKD965FM Brake Pads.

My 28' car haul trailer has changed how long my brakes and tires last. I finally got it tamed so it's not ruling my truck with load balance, load leveler and poly leaf spring bushings. Exhaust brake kit installed about 10K ago too.

Purple pillow ordered. Can't wait to see the difference. Like '04CTD, I set upright and normally close to the wheel. I moved my position about every hour or so. +23 hours driving over 2 days, my butt is still not the same!


I normally accelerated on the downhill side. Yes, I slow down and flash the big rigs in front of me. I passed only once, a big rig on a two lane road in IL on the return trip. His engine was smoking and he was running under the speed I wanted. Out in farm land, we had a LONG straight stretch to gently over take and pass.

On my return trip to Flanagan, IL this fall, I'll review this thread and apply the information and lessons learned.
Upgrades for Driver Fatigue Reduction
(Written from truck driver perspective for anyone reading about FE)

Forgot to mention I use Extreme Outdoor VELCRO in (4) longitudinal cut-to-fit strips to “place” the biggest PURPLE cushion.
Automotive lighting Purple Hood Rectangle Building

1). Tilt seat back maximum. Get rear of cushion located as close to rear of seat cushion as possible.

2). Bring seat back up and allow just a little interference. I eyeball the front of the cushion as alignment guide to then remove and install strips on cushion. Two hands to drop into place and press down.

3). Then butter knife to separate VELCRO and use roller or similar to firmly get truck seat cushion “glued” down. All directions.

4). Align PURPLE and drop it down.

— Done in this manner in big truck (where we have a sliding seat pan makes this easier) it will stay in place 90,000-miles.

Granted, some guys wear out cover & bolster on truck seat getting in/out (I don’t) so maybe it won’t last as long for them.

Not
using VELCRO the cushion will move around and that’s not desirable (at all).

Should you someday add the lumbar cushion it’s mounted same way (once seat back strap adjusted). It’s more likely to move over time. (Zero seat lumbar adjusted). In some big trucks I’ve used paracord to go around headrest to support lumbar strap on seat rear; keep it from moving down or around)
Product Purple Rectangle Violet Bag


The cushion pair literally allow me to float above the seat itself. Shoulders back, and no strain given posture to vehicle controls is ideal.

Biggest seat posture adjustment is no pressure under thighs at knees.

Cushions in place, posture, etc . . . it’ll take thirty years off ya.

Use butter knife to gently separate any time you want to remove & wash cover.

Temperature

1). As a truck driver (in that seat to make my living) I don’t always bring up the last part:
Furniture Chair Comfort Rectangle Beige

Washable medical/grade sheepskin “vest” (as shown). Not cheap, is the reason why.

There are less expensive alternatives

Cool in summer, warm in winter. Allows airflow around body.

— My ex-military, now commercial aviation pilot son and I have discussed what is standard transport aircraft issue so as to focus on quality.

2). Body temps. My father & grandfather — and I — also chose wool trousers as best. Traveled US, Canada & Mexico weeks at a time in trailer-towing. Long-rise & full cut. Tropical worsted or Army-issue winter. I use suspenders to avoid waist-pinch (under square cut shirt not tucked in).

On a long day cotton pants work against your best outcome.

— Coveralls to slip into you have to get out and get dirty.

Point:
Wool atop of wool is fantastic temperature regulation.

12-hour days at the wheel (I usually drive nine and workday of twelve as default) shows me all these pieces worth your consideration.

— Sweat evaporates (unload tanker on hot day, etc) and I have a barrier against being uncomfortable as my “skin pressure” is spread across a larger area than when against fabric alone.

— Use a rake to comb the sheepskin once in awhile. Vacuum.


Vibration:
Ever wonder why all truck drivers gain weight after they start the job? Constant inflammation due to vibration. (It’s not diet, lack of exercise, etc; THIS is first cause.)

Below are Anti-vibration goatskin/fabric fingerless gloves. Ensolite in the palms. You run a jackhammer or some other air-tools and you’ll lose nerve endings you do it long enough.

— In the KW (steering wheel almost horizontal compared to pickup truck) it’s easy to do most wheel work with the palms. Goatskin gives the traction I don’t need to have fingers curled most of the day. And I’m that much better isolated from vibration all day long.


Hand Outerwear Sports gear Gesture Thumb


The combination of seat upgrades, wool trousers, and AV gloves ($17) really, really helps with an occupational hazard.

600-mile day and I gotta start in Chicagoland . . ain’t no big deal, now.

My TRUCK ANTI-VIBRATION upgrades are at $500+ at this point. About three days net pay.

.
 

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I LIKE that. I'll look for one. I'm thinking it may need to be removed when towing in the summer. Any thoughts on this?
I wouldn’t.

Air Dam 10” clearance to 7” a better choice.

It’s also my belief (can’t prove it) that rear fenderwell liners are a good idea re FE.

Covering the body-pinch to frame-rail space is going to do more than worrying over the truck front end. (#3, below).

Automotive parking light Land vehicle Car Vehicle Wheel

Could use a variety of materials. I’m tending towards wanting to use expanded metal and overlay with geotextile fabric (atop; metal on ground-side).

Doesn’t have to be super-strong. It’s gonna get beat up, so easier R&R is a good thing


FE HIGHWAY GAIN

Will be about exit transitions

First up a box sits on tailgate to lengthen body in conjunction with tonneau cover.
Wheel Automotive parking light Tire Land vehicle Vehicle



Second is the real deal: an Aerolid

Here shown extended using a hitch receiver
platform and box.

Wheel Tire Car Land vehicle Vehicle


Your truck interior db will drop enough you thought you installed extra acoustic treatment.

Dealing with headwinds or quartering b crosswinds, this will be what reduces counter-steering.

The nose of the vehicle is little compared to the flow interruption of the cab and how to re-attach flow afterwards PRIOR to exit.
.
 

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Front wheel well vents... I wish I'd snapped a before pic, did not think of it. Here is an after pic of the wheel well vents on my truck after the install, note the amount of water coming out above the wheel and note how much is actually on the road. Next time there is a good bit of water on the roadway keep an eye out for a 3rd gen going in your direction and note how much water comes out of the top of the wheel well.

 
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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Front wheel well vents... I wish I'd snapped a before pic, did not think of it. Here is an after pic of the wheel well vents on my truck after the install, note the amount of water coming out above the wheel and note how much is actually on the road. Next time there is a good bit of water on the roadway keep an eye out for a 3rd gen going in your direction and note how much water comes out of the top of the wheel well.

Hey Steve, we didn't get the pic. Please post it. Thanks
 
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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
I wouldn’t.

Air Dam 10” clearance to 7” a better choice.

It’s also my belief (can’t prove it) that rear fenderwell liners are a good idea re FE.

Covering the body-pinch to frame-rail space is going to do more than worrying over the truck front end. (#3, below).

View attachment 953753
Could use a variety of materials. I’m tending towards wanting to use expanded metal and overlay with geotextile fabric (atop; metal on ground-side).

Doesn’t have to be super-strong. It’s gonna get beat up, so easier R&R is a good thing


FE HIGHWAY GAIN

Will be about exit transitions

First up a box sits on tailgate to lengthen body in conjunction with tonneau cover.
View attachment 953766


Second is the real deal: an Aerolid

Here shown extended using a hitch receiver
platform and box.

View attachment 953767

Your truck interior db will drop enough you thought you installed extra acoustic treatment.

Dealing with headwinds or quartering b crosswinds, this will be what reduces counter-steering.

The nose of the vehicle is little compared to the flow interruption of the cab and how to re-attach flow afterwards PRIOR to exit.
.
I wonder if they listed these mods from most effective to least effective.

I've experimented with covering the grill on imports and my 2500 in the winter. We saw from 1 to 2 MPG gain. For a quick test, we used a stretch wrap material over the front grills. I made some grill covers for the truck and held them in place, behind the grill with zip ties. I just threw them away!

Fender liners removal may or may not improve MPG. Our testing on cars showed different results. Many cars today have vented wheel liners to help.

I just toured a vintage race car museum. These guys were all aero. The cars had full bottom aluminum covers. Even our mass produced cars today have plastic covers under the car to improve aero.

Wind tunnel tests have shown the front, where air attaches yields the most gains. We learned this when racing boats. We spent countless hours fairing the hulls. The entry point always got the most love.
 
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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Big Dave

Air Dam Test plus comments.
GREAT READ! Thanks

Gosh, my old truck with some tape, 12v tune and driving techniques was not that far off the best of the best. 27 MPG vs my 25.6 MPG. I think if we put our more effort into it, we could best 27 MPH. Stuff like better driving techniques, ground effects and such.

To be fair, boosted, turbo charged, and diesel are more effect over naturally aspirated gas burner. :D

I'll clean up my experimental tape on the truck some and call it a day. Others can lead the charge.
 
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GREAT READ! Thanks

Gosh, my old truck with some tape, 12v tune and driving techniques was not that far off the best of the best. 27 MPG vs my 25.6 MPG. I think if we put our more effort into it, we could best 27 MPH. Stuff like better driving techniques, ground effects and such.

To be fair, boosted, turbo charged, and diesel are more effect over naturally aspirated gas burner. :D

I'll clean up my experimental tape on the truck some and call it a day. Others can lead the charge.
There’s at least one 2003 is at 30-MPG pretty much a factory fluke according to the owner (reported around 2006; a guy with a rep to protect)

At 58-MPH/1,725-rpm it wasn’t anything unusual I’d get 27-MPG on my cross-Texas commute circa 2009-10. Best high was 28.

I always filled at the same two places and in the same manner. No town miles in that. Straight highway. 325-miles. Same places to take breaks en route. (Trip grand total was 350-miles).

I use 24-MPG as the predicted fuel burn
(as it never dropped below that with adverse conditions).

My truck gets 24 is the fair way to state it.


— At 55-mph or a touch lower it was 30+. (Mine needs a touch of gearing help to bump that 55-58 rpm range to 58-62).

At 1,840-rpm you’re on the very edge of running the engine too fast. (I’m going to call it a piston-speed problem).
 

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I wonder if they listed these mods from most effective to least effective.

I've experimented with covering the grill on imports and my 2500 in the winter. We saw from 1 to 2 MPG gain. For a quick test, we used a stretch wrap material over the front grills. I made some grill covers for the truck and held them in place, behind the grill with zip ties. I just threw them away!

Fender liners removal may or may not improve MPG. Our testing on cars showed different results. Many cars today have vented wheel liners to help.

I just toured a vintage race car museum. These guys were all aero. The cars had full bottom aluminum covers. Even our mass produced cars today have plastic covers under the car to improve aero.

Wind tunnel tests have shown the front, where air attaches yields the most gains. We learned this when racing boats. We spent countless hours fairing the hulls. The entry point always got the most love.
But we have a gigantic cooling need. Just in case. Determines frontal shape and openings not open to much change.

Why I’m not in favor of tempting fate.

.
 

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Colorfulness Rectangle Slope Plot Font

RPM Economy thread I bumped a couple of days ago.

Red dot & White Dot are the discussion: he brackets the sweet spot.

This is where choice of travel speed (and use of CTD assertive CC) needs to be considered.

— It’s not exact travel speed vs rpm (outside of aero prnalty) it’s also available power at lowest penalty on an upgrade.

To echo your sentiment, much as I’d like to have a GV Overdrive to split DIRECT while Towing and 6/OD would really stretch things out right smooth to a 2.91 . . . it’s not going to be in my budget.

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
There’s at least one 2003 is at 30-MPG pretty much a factory fluke according to the owner (reported around 2006; a guy with a rep to protect)

At 58-MPH/1,725-rpm it wasn’t anything unusual I’d get 27-MPG on my cross-Texas commute circa 2009-10. Best high was 28.

I always filled at the same two places and in the same manner. No town miles in that. Straight highway. 325-miles. Same places to take breaks en route. (Trip grand total was 350-miles).

I use 24-MPG as the predicted fuel burn
(as it never dropped below that with adverse conditions).

My truck gets 24 is the fair way to state it.


— At 55-mph or a touch lower it was 30+. (Mine needs a touch of gearing help to bump that 55-58 rpm range to 58-62).

At 1,840-rpm you’re on the very edge of running the engine too fast. (I’m going to call it a piston-speed problem).
WOW!

All the above confirms our CTDs can be/are darn efficient trucks!

I haven't thought one moment what was limiting our MPG above 1850 RPM. Could be a combination of internal and external factors. I'm not going to hurt my head over this to much, just look for the sweet spot to operate.

We are building a naturally aspirated, push rod, V-8, Gen 3 Hemi. LONG stroke, extremely high piston speeds, 8,000 RPM. It will make between 2.2 and 2.6 HP/Cu In displacement at 8,000 RPM. As a comparison, street cars are making about 1.6 to 1.8 HP/Cu In at 5,000 RPM. Granted, we are not constricted with noise, pollution, pump gas, fits under a hood, etc. We have studied piston speeds as well as a hoist of other variables. Our CTDs have very low piston speeds in comparison.

There are so many variables, this could be a PHD's thesis and still not get it all.

I'm going to pick the low hanging fruit mods for my ol truck AND just might keep it awhile longer!
 
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So, back when you were running the roads at a sloppy 18-mpg in a 7,500-lb CTD . . .

. . you’d obviously have passed me in this rig.

Just remember that on a good day I’d be near 17-MPG with this 62’ combination (over 17,000-lbs).

10,000-lbs heavier

Wheel Tire Automotive parking light Car Vehicle

Kinda lends perspective, don’t it.

Travel time for 300’ at 6-hours. You were running 70 it’d be 4.75. Be damned funny we left the same place, you later than me, and met up at the fuel pump having run the same miles over the same road.

I got used to others disbelieving me a very long time ago. You might later been telling your friends at the deer lease about the liar at the fuel stop (typical response), right?

You topped off with 15.5-gals and I bought 18. (“That guys full of it he just ran 300-miles on that amount”).

The Aero Penalty of a Travel Trailer is baseline 40%. Can trend down for my type of trailer.

What’s 17 X 1.41?
24-mpg

(My average is 15)

Remember my comment about driving always as if towing as that’s the job it pays to stay in practice

So,

Shove that White Dot in map above a little left (1,750) and drop it a hair and that’s where I’d be (if it were a 555 map; drop the dark bullseye lower also).

You’d best believe these trucks can do it.
But can the operator?


(That’s a trailer I sold circa 2009).
Wheel Vehicle Motor vehicle Tire Tree

1983 33’ Silver Streak

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WOW!

All the above confirms our CTDs can be/are darn efficient trucks!

I haven't thought one moment what was limiting our MPG above 1850 RPM. Could be a combination of internal and external factors. I'm not going to hurt my head over this to much, just look for the sweet spot to operate.

We are building a naturally aspirated, push rod, V-8, Gen 3 Hemi. LONG stroke, extremely high piston speeds, 8,000 RPM. It will make between 2.2 and 2.6 HP/Cu In displacement at 8,000 RPM. As a comparison, street cars are making about 1.6 to 1.8 HP/Cu In at 5,000 RPM. Granted, we are not constricted with noise, pollution, pump gas, fits under a hood, etc. We have studied piston speeds as well as a hoist of other variables. Our CTDs have very low piston speeds in comparison.

There are so many variables, this could be a PHD's thesis and still not get it all.

I'm going to pick the low hanging fruit mods for my ol truck AND just might keep it awhile longer!
Big trucks & Trains are looking for 11-M/S piston speed. CTD somewhere between that and a cars typical 14-M/S.

As cpitock noted yesterday, (paraphrased) the trans gears ain’t dialed in for it. (28-MPG thread).

The GP BSFC map for basic TD understanding .
Rectangle Slope Triangle Font Plot
A


The Dyno Room version (2003)
Rectangle Slope Plot Triangle Font



Wayne Gerdes running a 2016

Slope Rectangle Font Line Parallel


The consistency is unforgettable.

24.4-MPG at 65 ain’t a fluke.

.
 
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