Any way to improve MPG on 1990 F250 with 460 - 460 Ford Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-10-2011, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Post Any way to improve MPG on 1990 F250 with 460

I'm new to the forum and have read a lot of interesting stuff. What I'm curious about is what if anything can be done to my 1990 F250 to get some better MPG's? I bought it about 8 months ago and use it for hauling trash/firewood occasional heavy load for work or whatever else I need a truck for. So in other words I don't use it as a commuter vehicle so it doesn't matter a whole lot to me that it only gets 10 MPG because I don't use it all that much. Nonetheless I would still like to get better if possible without spending a fortune. Can't think of anything to do to improve it but hey it doesn't hurt to ask right? Just thought I'd throw it out there and see what other people on the forum is getting. Seems like 10-11 MPG is about as good as those things can do from what I've read/heard elsewhere. Other than that I love this thing. It can pull a lot and runs great.....aside from the fact that it smells like it's sending raw gas out the exhaust when it runs
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-10-2011, 08:40 PM
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Its kind of expensive but a good set of headers with a 3" pipe and free flow'n muffler will help alot, mostly the headers. I think theres only one company that makes the headers and their top end stuff. Its been awhile since i've owned a EFI 460 but it seems like they were about $600 to $700.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-10-2011, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Filucky View Post
Its kind of expensive but a good set of headers with a 3" pipe and free flow'n muffler will help alot, mostly the headers. I think theres only one company that makes the headers and their top end stuff. Its been awhile since i've owned a EFI 460 but it seems like they were about $600 to $700.
You're thinking about Gale Banks. The headers are closer to a grand, but the engineering and build quality is second to none.

As for better economy...

First, a good tune-up. Plugs, wires, cap, rotor... you know the drill. Change the fuel and air filters, run some injector cleaner through it (probably several tank's worth), and generally make sure all the basics are done right. A switch to all synthetic lubes - engine, tranny, rear diff - will help a little too, and you can count it as the preventive maintenance it probably needs anyway.

The most cost-effective long-term option is probably a taller rear gear. You could spend a grand or better on other options that might net you a mpg or two, or $600-800 on a having a gearset installed that would definitely get you that kind of increase. Of course, the trade-off is dealing with lackluster acceleration and pulling power.

In all honesty you could probably sell the truck and purchase another truck with a V6 or small V8 for at or near the same price that would haul firewood just fine. That might be a more sensible option if the that added economy is that big a thing for you.

Keep in mind, though, that plowing a bunch of money into economizing a vehicle only driven a few times a year gets kinda tough. If gas is $3.25 a gallon and you eke out an additional 2mpg over your 10 mpg baseline, that's a savings of 5.42 cents per mile. To recoup $1000 in mods you'll have to drive the rig a minimum of 18,450 miles. If you only put a couple thousand miles a year on it then the expense may not be justified. Ultimately it might be better just to tune it up, perform preventive maintenance, and deal with the crappy economy the few times a year you use it.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-10-2011, 11:34 PM
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Tire pressure is a big one (and free). My old Scout had tires that could be aired up to 55psi. At 45+psi it was a night and day difference to the usual 25psi I ran for winter and off-road use.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 07:57 AM
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A cat back exhaust might help as I remember the muff and pipes are basicly the same as a 302 or 351. Concider yourself lucky as most FI versions of the 460 did no better than the carb version which got 5 to 8.

It was the only engine Ford injected that did no better. The reason for it was many customers converted them or ordered them to NG. It was easyier to do with a 4bbl intake reason tor the elbow and TB set up.

We at advance engine did a setup more like what was done on a 5.0 and kicked the V10s but for economy, performance, build cost, ease of remanufacturing. We were told to drive it into the lake in front the POEE building. We were not politicly correct.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 09:46 AM
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Taller gear for less: When you need to purchace new tires, tire height change will effectively change the oa gear ratio. Taller tires = taller gear ratio. In both cases, speedo will probably be off.

Drive it as gently as possible. Install a vacuum guage and try to maintain the absolute most vacuum that you can on acceleration and cruising. Eggs under the gas pedal. Throw the clutch or pop it into neutral and coast whenever possible.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-12-2011, 07:32 AM
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When I bought my 92 it got 11-12 mpg, but it had some problems that made it useless as a truck. It had a K&N open element air filter kit, a big twin electric fan and tall skinny tires. The air filter kit came off first, it was obnoxiously loud. Lost about 1/2 mpg. The electric fan came off next as it didn't cool enough for any towing at all. Lost about 1 mpg by going to a stock fan/clutch/shroud, but that change let me tow 10-12k with no problems. Swapping from 235/85s to 285/75 tires cost another 1 mpg, but now the thing doesn't try digging to china every time I get into sand.

Mine had a single 3" cat back with a flowmaster when I bought it, adding some Hedman headers helped power but didn't make a measureable change in fuel mileage. An msd coil, good (fms) plug wires and a complete tune helped a bit, maybe 1/2 mpg. And like Carl said, tire pressure can make a measureable difference.

It just isn't gonna get good mpgs. I was after towing ability on a budget when I found my truck and for that it's a great deal.

92 F350 CrewCab 4x4, 460 and an E4OD
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-12-2011, 08:45 AM
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If you are going to put headers on a 20 year old 460, be prepared to remove broken exhaust manifold bolts.They can be a real problem.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-12-2011, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the responses guys. Think I'll be leaving it be and dealing with the poor MPG. Don't have much money to put into it and i'll be needing new tires before long. The thing has been worth every penny so far.......didn't pay what it was worth and it's in mint condition so all in all I'm more than happy with it.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-12-2011, 07:31 PM
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here is a good article about 460 mpgs: http://performanceunlimited.com/proj...ine_series.pdf
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