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Dodge Dakota Real World MPG Numbers



  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I am not suggesting that you do anything that would void your warantee. Your Dakota warantee does not have you replacing any gearcase oils within the warantee period.

    I dont have an automatic xmission... but your information may be incorrect. Redline certainly has several products that are intended for automatic xmissions. If you eMail Redline, they are always helpful in identifying which of their products are sutied for each of your gearcases.

    As for availablility, I am lucky to have a RedLine distributer within a 30 minute drive from my house. You may have one locally too.

    I do not use Redline in my engine... instead, I am running somthing nearly as good that costs less. Wallmart carries "Mobil1 Truck & SUV 5W40". This is repackaged "Mobil DELVAC1" which is used by long-haul truckers. This stuff will EASILLY go 10,000 miles between changes... but you need to consider your warantee.
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Bruce, I always come away with good information when I read your posts. We used "Mobil DELVAC1" in the diesel powered heavy duty off road handlers. I never realized that Walmart's "Mobil1 Truck & SUV 5W40"was the same great product. I did know about their aspirin and ibuprofen though if that's any help. Thanks.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    One thing current and prospective 4.7 engine owners should be aware of; the 4.7 is a real tight engine.

    Bearing clearances are typically .0006 to .0008 for main and connecting rods. Even the camshaft bearing has a .006 inch spec. Perhaps of greatest impact is the fact that Chrysler uses 12 pound ring force, which is pretty contrary to most modern engines. Some GMs, for example, are 2 lbs. The piston ring drag takes awhile to overcome and as we know the 4.7 has a reputataion for having a real long break in.

    On the positive side independent testing companies have found that after 300,000 miles the rings are still sealing at very high cylinder pressures and oil usage is near complete zero. I imagine most 4.7s will out live the engineers that designed it and most of us that own one!

    Best regards,
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Dusty -- As you may surmize, I have known this since BEFORE I puurchased my Dak with 4.7L engine (Months of research)

    It has been awhile since I posted the following links. I am puttimg them here so the other folks with the 4.7L can read all about this amazing engine design.

    This is the link to the firm that invented the special metal used in the 4.7L bedplate. (Compacted Graphite Iron)
  • Just learned to-day K&N air filter might help my MPG, anyone have any info along these lines, also am I in trouble warranty wise since my Dakota only has 1500mi, sure appreciate any input-thanks- troop1
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Nope, that is a sales pitch that K&N uses. They do a pretty convincing job of making it APPEAR to be like scientifically-supported fact.... but it is not.

    Unless you spend most of your time driving at full throttle at near redline.... your air filter is NOT affecting your MPG.

    The facts are that the K&N design (oiled gauze) actually filters WORSE than a good paper filter and can reduce the life-expectancy of your engine. There are several factual tests that are available on the internet for review. In EVERY CASE, the "oiled gauze" filters are worse than paper filter.

    Here is an example test

    If you REALLY want to know when your air-filter needs to be changed, consider installing a Filter Minder

    Oh, I almost fogot, the "oiled gauze" filters also tend to lose some of their oil (gets sucked into intake tract) This oil can coat and eventually ruin a MAF sensor. (Mass AirFlow)
  • bpeebles---Thanks very much, read the results of the test you furnished, I'm covinced. I've already goofed, I let them install the K&N this AM, but I put the OEM filter in the trash at their shop which I'll try to retrieve in the AM, give them their K&N back and chalk the loss up to experience, I'm 79, should have learned by now, Ha!
    Thanks again for the enlightenment, sure much rather have a clean engine!
    Appreciate - troop1
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    My '03 Club Cab with 4.7. auto, 3.55 gears has done 18.03 and 18.17 the last two tanks. Driving was just about the same, most around town, some highway, very little A/C.

    Was timing lights and really slowing down with these gas prices. I think I could even do better if I tried.

    Best regards,
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Dusty, you do not say if you have 4X4 or not... but there is a lot of power wasted in "churning" the oil in all the gearcases. I got an immediate 3-5MPG increase by just switching all gear oils to RedLine. (xfer case, front diff, rear diff and manual xmission) RedLine is significantly thinner than dead-dynosaur-based fluids... but actually PROTECTS better 8-)

    I realize you have an automatic, and the factory fluid is already synthetic so Redline may not show much difference in MPG much in there.
  • Got my original filter out of the trash, have full tank, will run it through and get the MPG with the K&N and then go back to the stock filter. I'm not a lead foot, nor a jackrabbit start, do use the AC but still feel 13 MPG is a little low. Thanks to all for trying to help-appreciate!!! troop1
    PS- At my first dealer crankcase change, I plan on discussing with the dealer about going to Redline or I've heard the Mobil Truck RV is somewhat similar, any thoughts please pass on, again thanks much! Currently have 1500 mi plan on change at 3k.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Mine is a 2-wheel drive.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    You may see 1-2 MPG increase by putting Redline in the rear diff. 8-)
  • bpeebles-just read your postings on the design evolution of the 4.7, very interesting, gave me an insight to the fine engine I have purchased, thanks!
  • i have a standard 2000 4.7 with 102230 miles on it and my best tank is about 20 mpg on the highway(at 60 to 65) i get about 18mpg at 70mph and my worst mpg was 14mpg(at 80 mpg and when i street race it on premium gas). i average about 17mpg when i drive normal in city and highway mixing. i get about 310 miles to a full tank. but i also installed a tornado, throttle body spacer, gibson racing headers, gibson racing duel exhaust,high flow cat and a K&N air intake kit.
  • Hello, I just couldn't resist the temptation to reply to you. I wanted to tell you a little something I know about the K&N Filters. I first want to tell you that I bought one 77,000 Miles ago and it I have only needed to clean it three tims since new, thus never needing to buy filters every 5,000 or so like most people. In fact this is the only filter I ever needed to buy, and since it has a million mile limited warranty it saves me on the pocket book because I never have to replace it!

    I simply knock out the loose dirt

    B. Use the special cleaner to get the embedded

    dirt out

    C. Re-oil the filter

    D. Let the filter dry

    E. Pop it back in and away I go.

    These filters are designed with one thing in mind which is to improve the volume of airflow to the engine, thus the reason for the cotton/ guaze material. I know this simply because most engines, especially big ones like the 4.7 are thirsty for air which is better known as oxygen. You see, an engine requires a good mixture of both air and fuel to produce the energy(power) that powers your car. If the mixture is not correct it will not run properly. Too much fuel and your engine wont run because it's flooded with the fuel, but if there is too much air, then it's the exact opposite with the engine running like crap because not enough power(energy) is being generated from the combustion of the air/fuel mixture. However thanks to modern computer systems the proper air/fuel mixture is automatically controlled by the cars computer chip!

    So my point is this! A standard paper filter is actualy a restrictive piece of equipment due to it's lack of airflowing abilities. K&N Filters use 5 layers of cotton/guaze material which provides the least amount of air restriction without completly eliminating the filter. Even the large volume of dirt you claim the K&N filter can't keep from going into the engine is actually being trapped in the filter element. Of course it is not possible to trap all dirt with a filter, it's just that Cotton/Guaze material does a much better job than paper ever could. You also claim a shortened life of the engine. If this were true, than there would be an abnormal reduction in M.P.G., performance, and power which would indicate a problem with the vehicle, or the end of the engines life! But since my truck has not had any abnormalities of this kind recently, and with just over 122,000 on the clock then I really don't see your claim as truth.

    I keep a daily log of my Highway/City/Tank M.P.G. and since the installation of the filter I recorded an increase of 0.5 M.P.G(19.3/Paper filter, 19.8/K&N filter) on 15.0 gallons. That increase meant my truck was able to travel exactly 10 more miles on 15.0 gallons. So instead of 290 miles on 15.0 gallons, my truck was traveling 300 on 15.0. Of course that was before I installed other hi-performance parts. My current mileage is 24.0 M.P.G. on 15.0 gallons. This means that my truck is now traveling 360 miles on 15.0 gallons. So instead of refueling 15.0 gallons every 5 days I now only need to refuel 15.0 gallons every 8&1/2 days.

    I also would like to note that A local Chevy dealership in my hometown of Albuquerque, NM sells the K&N's in their parts department, and if you look at Chevrolets available crate engines, you'll notice a 502 C.I. big block with the K&N filter as standard. Many Hi-performance magazines have featured these filters in their tach articles showing back to back increases in power on the dyno. In fact it is not uncommon to see increases of 10-20 extra horsepower with a completely new K&N Intake Kit on V-8's.

    Now back to fuel economy. The more air that is allowed to flow into the engine the more fuel the engine will be able burn which means more energy(power) will be generated. By making the engine burn more of the fuel you put in means less wated fuel(emissions out the tailpipe) and greater eficciency(more M.P.G., power/energy). I could go on, but I'll stop right there. If you don't believe me, then I would really investigate a whole lot more of your time in reaserch. But most importantly, I would recomend testing a K&N filter for yourself like I have. This will tell you who's who and what's what. I realise that I don't drive a Dodge, but the same principle aplies not only to my Chevy S-10 SS 4.3 90 degree V-6, but it applies to all vehicles. Thank you, and please dont write me hate mail because I drive a Chevy! Have a nice day.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    You have most of the facts correct about the oiled-guaze air filters. I have used K&N filters since the 1970s. They certainly are benifectial for WOT (Wide Open Throttle) conditions. have left out one important fact.

    An engine only needs maximum airflow at WOT (Wide Open Throttle). Under all other conditions (besides WOT) it is the throttle that is limiting the flow.

    It has been shown using accurate and precise measuring devices, that the airfilter is NOT anywhere near limiting the airflow under normal driving conditions.

    Since this specific forum is discussing MPG, the fact still remains that using one of the oiled-guaze air filters will not affect real-world MPG in any measurable way. (I know you provided some measurment points... I could explain them to you - but that is beyond the scope of this discussion)

    The fact also remains that the oiled-guaze air filters actually FILTER WORSE than any paper filter. This promotes engine wear.

    You also seem to be misinformed about what controls the AF (Air/Fuel) mixture in a modern engine. It is the engine- computer that has full and complete control. The O2 sensors in the exhaust constantly feedback information to the computer so it will only inject the proper amount of fuel.

    Sure... back when CARBERATERS were used on automobile engines, as the air-filter plugged up, the engine ran richer. BUT -- with fuel-injection, the computer constantly compensates IRREGUARDELESS of any airfilter changes.

    The above principles that I just touched on are true for any fuel-injected engine.

    Folks that KNOW the principles of how air flows thru an engine also KNOW that it is not worth sacrificing engine longevety for some "better airflow" that is not even needed. (for a street-driven automobile)

    Please do not fall into the trap of thinking that MORE POWER=BETTER ECONEMY. This is an oxymoron. The AF mixtures to acheave each of these very different goals is NOT the same.

    BTW: The very same "accurate and precise measuring devices" I spoke of above also showed that not only do the paper filters FILTER BETTER, but they DO NOT have to be changed 5,000 miles as you suggest. Recearch has shown the number to be closer to 20,000 miles under normal driving conditions.

    It is good that you are measuring the econemy of your vehicle. I too record every drop of fuel that goes into my vehicles.

    Until you start to acheive the 56 MPG that I get on my wifes car (Volkswagen Jetta).... perhaps it is you that needs to do some more research about the airflow charictoristics of an internal-combustion-engine. 8-)

    (PS: I was disassembling carberators at about age 7 and rebuilding engines by 10th grade so I have MANY years experinece with what we are discussing.)
  • More power means less throttle is needed to produce the same results which equals better fuel economy. If this were not true then my mileage increases would be false. However what I have told you is true! I may not have the experience that you have at building engines, but I have spoken to many people who have and I trust them to know what they are doing! Also as I stated before, "A local Chevy dealership in my hometown of Albuquerque, NM sells the K&N's in their parts department, and if you look at Chevrolets available crate engines, you'll notice a 502 C.I. big block with the K&N filter as standard. Many Hi-performance magazines have featured these filters in their tach articles showing back to back increases in power on the dyno. In fact it is not uncommon to see increases of 10-20 extra horsepower with a completely new K&N Intake Kit on V-8's."I even just so happened to notice today in the new issue of Car and Driver magazine which features the all new resrection of the Challenger that the 6.1 Litre Hemi engine is sporting a K&N Filter! And if memory serves me right the Saleen Mustang comes standard with the K&N!
  • K&N Engineering performs all airflow testing on a SuperFlow Corporation SF-1020 flow bench. The SF-1020 is a computerized flow bench capable of measuring airflow rates up to 1020 cubic feet per minute (cfm) at test pressures of up to 50 inches of water.

    The procedure K&N has developed for performing airflow testing is as follows:

    1) Check SF-1020 calibration using the test orifice plate supplied by the manufacturer. The airflow through the test orifice plate, with both the 1.875 and the .312 holes open, at 10”, 25” and 50” of H2O pressure differentials should read as follows: 10”=150 cfm, 25”=240 cfm and 50”=340 cfm. This calibration check shall be performed before testing has begun in the morning and also before the afternoon test session.

    2) For testing round or flanged conical air filters, one of three radiused entry plates will be installed on the air intake duct of the SF-1020. A plate will be selected with an entry diameter closest to the inside diameter of the filter. These plates have hole diameters of 5”, 7.375” and 10” with a .250” entry radius and incorporate a Dwyer Instruments 166-12 pitot / static pressure tube to read the static pressure inside the filter element. The filter to be tested is to be centered over the hole in the entry plate. An appropriate diameter, 0.250” thick, aluminum top plate is used to seal the top of round air filters.

    3) For testing flat panel air filters, the panel filter air box will be installed on the air intake duct of the SF-1020. The plenum of the box measures 17” long x 10.5” wide x 5.75” deep. The bottom of the box has a 9” diameter hole with a 0.500” entry radius. A Dwyer 166-12 pitot/static tube is positioned in the lower corner of the plenum. The top of the box features 4 adjustable slides to accommodate various size panel filters. The panel air filter to be tested is to be placed in the air box and the slides adjusted to provide a positive seal on all 4 sides.

    4) Connect the static pressure tap of the SF-1020 to the static pressure side of the Dwyer 166-12 ( the pitot tube tap of Dwyer 166-12 is to be capped ).

    5) Program the SF-1020 flow computer to maintain a test pressure of -1.5” H2O.

    6) To determine the appropriate flow range for the filter under test, a preliminary flow test must be performed. Select flow range #10 (1000 cfm ) Start the flow bench motor and allow the test pressure to stabilize at –1.5” H2O. Observe the cfm reading on the digital readout. Shut off the flow bench motor and select the flow range that is one step higher than the preliminary test reading.

    7) The airflow test may now be run. Push the motor start switch. Allow the test pressure to stabilize at –1.5” H20. The operator will then freeze the digital display reading at exactly –1.50” H2O and record the cfm reading.

    K&N Power & Torque Testing

    Copyright © 2005 K&N Engineering, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

    Flow bench testing is the standard that all engine builders use when building engines which means that you should have acess to this type of data. If you say that you have experience in building engines then you should know when an engine is or is not starved of oxygen! What I mean is that you should be testing these filters for yourself instead of just relying on other people to tell you the truth because not one person is capable of being 100% truthful. So therefore doing your own testing will tell you who's who and what's what. The problem is not the filter itself. The problem is that you are skeptical of their abilities because if they did improve M.P.G. then the auto industry would be installing them on the assembly line! Now I can tell you that I do not have acess to a flow bench, so I can only utilize the Scan Guage I bought along with my trucks odometer for Fuel economy readings! As I said earlier, I have kept percice records of my fuel economy and I have documented an increase of 10 more miles on 15.0 gallons with the K&N installed!
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    "I can only utilize the Scan Guage I bought along with my trucks odometer for Fuel economy readings!"

    WOW!!! Now we're getting into the real nitty-gritty scientifically precise measurements......
    (sarcasm on) Guess that'll show ya, bpeebles!! (sarcasm off)

    extremedriver, in one posting you admit you do not have the experience with engine technology that bpeebles does and are relying on what other people have told you. Now in your latest, you tell him to test for himself instead of relying on what people have told him because people will lie to you. Well, you can't have it both ways...

    "because if they did improve M.P.G. then the auto industry would be installing them on the assembly line!"
    This is a point I can finally agree with you on.....

    Of course I don't have much experience or knowledge of the internal combustion engine either..I rebuilt my first engine in a 1949 Chevy some 47 years ago and along the way have managed to pick up factory training/cerification on Caterpillar and Cummins diesel engines along with working on a experimental jet turbine engine program for the military.
    Done a bit of racing along the way but that's another discussion.....
    Point being, I think I can tell ya that bpeebles knows what he is talking about.
  • I have an '02 QC 4X4, 4.7, with 3.92 gears (towing package). Reading the posts, it appears that the 3.55 gears produce improved mileage up to 2 to 3 mpg.

    1. Is this accurate?
    2. Can rear ends be swapped without too much trouble (towing capacity would drop but it is not an issue in this case)?

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    1. Is this accurate?
    yep -- expect about 2-3 MPG difference between those 2 gearings on the Dak.

    2. Can rear ends be swapped without too much trouble (towing capacity would drop but it is not an issue in this case)?
    One could change the rearend to almost any ratio you chose. It is not a task for the untrained. Rebuilding a differential takes skill, patience and knowledge about making critical measurements of the clearances. I would not consider doing it myself. It may actually be easier to purchase a complete used rear-axle from a scrapyard and bolt it in.

    CAUTION: Since you have a 4X4... this means that BOTH the front and rear axle ratio needs to be changed to keep them in sync!

    As I have mentioned in the past... just changing all the gear-lubricants to Red Line synthetic gained me about 2-3MPG. (As a bonus, I got better shifting on my manual xmission) The reason I realizd this gain was mostly by reduction of the "churn" of the gears wihtin the oil. Of-course, there is some benifet from the added lubricity fo the RedLine lube too.

    Imagine, 2-3 MPG gain by just changing the front/rear differential, xfer-case and the manual-xmission fluids!
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (jneal) Thanks for backing me up on these facts 8-)

    (extremedriver) You are pretty good at cut-n-paste...but I wonder if you even know what a Dwyer 166-12 is? Can you say "manometer"? Do you know what it does?

    Let me give you a hint about why you saw a change in MPG. (I am not using cut-n-paste... this is REAL KNOWLEDGE)

    Your vehicle has a MAP (Manifold Absolute Pressure) sensor and onboard computer can CALCULATE the intake airflow based on the pressure differential. The onboard computer can get "fooled" that there is LESS airflow by making the changes you did (due to less pressure drop across the airfilter)... this-inturn injects less fuel....thus better MPG.

    It is absolutely NOT any additional power which gives you better MPG numbers.

    A more accurate system is MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor which ACTUALLY MEASURES THE AIRFLOW. (as used on my 56MPG VW Jetta)

    I truly hope that you contunue your quest to make your pickup truck get 40MPG. (I read your bio.) I also hope that I have been able to give you some usable technical information that can help you acheave your goal.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The easiest and probably cheaper way to change vehicle gearing would be to increase the circumference of the tire. This has the same result as change gear ratio. Depending on the tire the downside is that increasing tire size usually increases roll resistance and live wheel weight that translates in to increased load a less MPG.

    Try more judicious driving for a couple of tanks and see what that produces.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Yes, a standard air filter media (factory) does increase induction resistance, but the engineers know this and calibrate the fuel and ignition systems to compensate for it.

    As air flow increases there is a non-linear response in induction resistance. However, the actual induction resistance inserted in to the system by a paper media air filter is so low to begin with that any negative effects will not be noticed until air flow is at the extreme and near full throttle.

    Any air filter system is a compromise. The engineering departments at the various automobile manufacturers know this and take many things in to consideration in their design. Paper element filters are selected because they are the most effective at trapping smaller dirt particles than the low restriction, or open media types. The inserted air flow resistance from paper filter elements are low enough in most systems that it will not be a factor in performance or fuel consumption through most of the engine's RPM range. I would bet that since increasing RPM past the peak horsepower point reduces horsepower anyways that an otherwise factory spec'd 4.7 is not negatively impacted at all by a paper filter.

    Installing a more open media filter element can cause you more problems than anything you'd gain. I know a few K&N owners that convert back to a factory air filter in the winter time because of poorer cold weather performance. Also, removing restriction can change the inversion characteristics in the intake manifold. This could effect cylinder scavenging and negatively impact combustion efficiency.

    The induction system on the 4.7 is very, very efficient in my opinion. The filter housing is very large for an engine of its size and the intake tube is more than adequate for an engine with twice the displacement. Yes, there are bends and that's a compromise to the logistics of the engine bay. But for a factory system that has performance, efficiency, throttle response, quietness for the engineers to consider, the 4.7 is one of the more intelligently designed systems.

    Best regards,
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I do not want to make this a "bash" session for the oiled-guaze type of airfilter. At the same time, I get nervous when somone actually BELEIVES all the hype about them and tries to convince others here on Edmunds to follow them down the "dark side".

    Dusty had some words of wisdom above. I also want to add that the oil from the oiled-guaze type of airfilter tends to get sucked into the intake tract. This, in-turn makes crud stick to the ENTIRE intake system all the way from the filter to the intake valves. This gunky coating also has been known to destroy expensive MAF sensors and other intake components.

    There are better ways to improve MPG besides trying one of these oiled-guaze type of airfilter.

    Dusty also mentions the SIZE of the airfilter on the 4.7L engine... do you realise this is the VERY SAME filter housing used on some much larger displacement Chrysler engines? It is more filter surface than the 4.7L actually needs...and there is no need to alter it to get "more flow".
  • I found a dakota that I am interested in buying , and I would like to know if there are anythings I should look for or look out for in this truck. It is a 1995 dakota club cab V8 4x4 auto overdrive with new radiator,brakes,tires and transfer case. Also I would like to know what kind of gas mileage this will get. Thank you.
  • 2000 Dakota 4.7 liter

    I see these tool on the internet and on television everywhere... They claim to increase MPG and HP... I have heard of they work better on diesel engines better...
    Basically I have heard alot of talk, but haven't gotten any reliable facts.

    I would like increase my MPG however don't want to run down a road of failed attempts.

    What do you guys think?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The reason you have not been able to find any reliable facts is because their claims are less than truthful. If more MPG was available, the manufacturer would have already done it.

    The best way to improve MPG is to change your driving habits and keep your engine running in top condition. (Regular ThrottleBody cleanings)

    I gaind 3 MPG by just changing all the gear lubes to RedLine. (Manual xmission, XferCase, and both differentials) My 2000 Dak with 4.7L semi-hemi V8 went from 18 up to 21 MPG.

    I log EVERY drop of fuel that goes thru my vehicles and track the MPG. (That is how I know my wifes Volkswagen can acheive 56MPG 8-) )
  • tootall1tootall1 Posts: 7
    Need some advice please. I owned a 01 Quad with the 4.7 V8 and the towing package. Not sure on the gears. I was averaging 14MPG with 30 mile commute, 15 through hills and 15 flat highway each way. I ended up selling the truck, but want to come back. I am interested in buying a 06 Quad and I will need a 4x4.
    Should I go with the new 3.7 V6 or back with the 4.7 V8. Which would give the best MPG? I do not need the towing so I imaging I should leave that off to help.
    What about the gears> which would be best for MPG.

    Can anybody share what they are seeing in their newer V6's and V8's - 2005 2006 models?
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    From what I've heard in the past, the V-6s generally don't get much better mileage than the 4.7 V-8 in the real world. The V-6 seems to be a bit overworked when trying to move a 5000+ lb truck. A good compromise on MPG and performance might be the 4.7 V-8, manual transmission, and the standard 3.55 gears. The towing packing is just additional cooling and wiring, so it has no impact on MPG.
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