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Old 05-02-2014, 03:26 PM   #1
Art
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8.1 gassers to increase fuel mileage

Sometimes I believe that age doesn't make me any smarter. I ACTUALLY tried to increase my fuel efficiency on my 8.1. I bought the K&N cold air intake system and a Superchips programming system.
Well... after a 2300 mile trip to Florida that I have made for 3 years now, I find that these systems have done NOTHING to improve my fuel efficiency. After very careful controlled conditions, I have averaged 7.5 mpg with the stock equipment OR with these two options.
The bottom line is that after much "experimenting" with "power and fuel saving options", I should have left everything as stock. The K&N system increased the noise under throttle so I couldn't hear the radio. The "towing mode" of the Superchip requires premium and the "power difference" was negligible at a higher per mile cost.
In my humble opinion, just save your money and leave well enough alone (especially with gassers). I would hope that, if you tow with a gasser, think TWICE about sinking money into fuel efficiency claims. It may work with diesels but, in my case, not with gassers.
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:14 PM   #2
mlh
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I had about the same experience with my 6.4 Ford. Very little increase in fuel mileage but what a difference in the truck. You can't get rid of turbo lag but you can get rid of the lag caused by the polution controls. I got rid of all the polution controls and would never go
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:43 PM   #3
bethandkevin
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Took the K & N air filter out of my D/A when I bought it. Put stock back in and GAINED about 3/4 mpg. Stock filter isn't cheap, but about a third of the K & N not considering the replenish kits.
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Old 05-03-2014, 02:30 AM   #4
WeBeFulltime
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I added the Superchips programmer back in January using the Tow Mode and it was like getting a new truck. Haven't checked mileage while towing yet, but bobtail mileage city/highway went from 16.5 to 19.4.
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Old 05-03-2014, 03:15 AM   #5
sgtpp214
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I have never tried any of the supposed upgrades to increase mpg. but what I have found is to back off the throttle and keep the Dodge under 2,000 rpm's definitely increases the mpg. May take a little longer to get somewhere, but much easier on the ol' pocket book.
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Old 05-03-2014, 03:38 AM   #6
Tom S.
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I tell people this all the time about tuners and the like but I can't compete against ads that scream otherwise. Detroit truck makers would love to get better mileage for bragging rights and to meet federal standards. If adding K&N filters, intake changes, exhaust changes and tuners could achieve this - without negative results, they would have been all over it years ago. Even when people claim they are getting better mileage, it's hard to believe because there are so many variables in real world driving like air temp, wind speed and direction, tire inflation, etc. Manufacturers on the other hand test under laboratory conditions, so as I stated earlier, if there was any gains to be had, they would have proved them and been all over them.

None of this is to say you can't get other gains changing out parts. A free flowing exhaust can lower exhaust temps and tuners do create more power, but nothing is free. Tuners will void your warranty for a reason. If used sensibly, I doubt they will have a major effect on engine longevity, but sometimes it's hard to drive sensibly when 500+ hp beckons your lead foot. And of course when that happens, mileage suffers.
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:27 AM   #7
bigfrank
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I had a 8.1 gas in my 2001 Silverado 2500 crewcab and never got more than 8mpg in the best of conditions so your 7.5 sounds normal I upgraded to 2013 Silverado dually and the duramax diesel and love it getting around 10.5 to 11 mpg fuel a little more but the power is so much better.
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Old 05-03-2014, 07:57 AM   #8
denandannie
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I also have an 8.1 and have duplicate towing mileage of about 7.5. I added a K&N air filter along with a Magna flow thru exhaust and my non towing mileage went up 2.8 mpg. Have not checked it while towing, but am hoping for some additional gain. And, like you, I have added the superchip but have not tested it while towing. I'm guessing, like you, I have been suckered into buying something that won't work.

Just a comment on buying a diesel. The mileage gain will not be that great towing a rig our size. Plus, if you are retired, like me, you can buy a lot of gas for the $60k new truck investment. It might take a lifetime to recoup the investment in saved fuel. My 8.1 tows as well as any diesel around. I try to be happy with what I have.
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Old 05-03-2014, 12:12 PM   #9
mlh
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Be careful with the KN filters. They do NOT filter as well as your stock filter. After you add a tuner your mileage gage will not work right. That's where they got the name lie o meter. Your mileage after tuning must be done the old fashion way with a pancil and paper.
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Old 05-03-2014, 12:38 PM   #10
bigred715
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I have heard more negative than good about K&N filters. Don't have one myself, but definately will not purchase as my truck does just fine stock.
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Old 05-03-2014, 01:47 PM   #11
richfaa
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Our truck has all the power we need and in many cases more than we need. At 62/65 we do 10/10.5 towing . Don't do much solo.
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:52 PM   #12
JandC
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My 6.7 only has 37,000 plus miles. I may be dreaming, but if I could consistently average 13-14 mpg towing upon hitting 50,000 miles I would be thrilled. I have recorded 13 mpg once with strong tail wind but generally get between 10 and 11.
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