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Gas Mileage and Related Questions


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#1 nulife48

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 10:50 AM

I bought new a 1996 Bronco, XL, 5 liter/302 and have about 130,000 miles. I WILL NEVER SELL IT and if you drive a Bronco that never let you down you'd feel the same. I just got thru replacing the fuel pump, radiator, entire front brakes system - calipers, rotors, pads, say $2000 total. Truck is in real good shape, so now I am wondering why I only get about 12 mpg on C470 doing 70 to 75 mph. In the city maybe 10 mpg. So I looked into 02 sensors.

Question - do you have to replace sensors when they fail or every 100k miles? Dealer says replace when they fail.

Question - can a sensor with 100k plus miles on it give bad data back to the computer and thereby affect mileage and run rich?

Question - won't a sensor that is not performing as it should get the check engine light to come on?

Question - dumb question BUT I can get Boush 02 sensors, and there are 3 of them total, for less than $40 each, but dealer charges $122 each. I cross referenced the Bausch number with the OEM number and they match so I got the right parts. For a 300% markup, am I overlooking something ? or are the dealers just that greedy?

Question - is there a way to check trouble codes by just using a paper clip and counting flashes? I did that on my old Camaro. You count the flashes and than look up the problem.

Question - any after market items or other things I can do to improve gas mileage? Major tune-up done last year. I spend about $4000 a year on gas.

Question - last one. I got Yoko Geolander tires last year. Best tire I ever had on a truck. I kept the factory wheels but went up one size. That won't make a noticable difference in mileage will it ?

#2 Bully Bob

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 02:05 PM

What MPG did you get when you bought it...?

12 MPG is prob. average for a 4x4

The fuel isn't the same as it was 10 yrs. ago & 10 yrs B/4 that, & 10 yrs B/4 that......
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#3 whitey

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 04:24 PM

yep i get around 12 mpg as well give or take. you could add the k&n injector kit and maybe see a little increase, maybe try giving the fuel system a cleaning. i use the valvoline brand fuel cleaner- the one thats good for 3000 miles supposedly - i do it every oil change. other than proper maintenance and not putting your foot to the floor there's not a whole lot you can do.
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Posted 11 September 2006 - 05:25 PM

My '88 w/ 160K, 5.0 and 3.55 gears just got 17.4 mpg on the way from NC to NJ -- 508miles on 29. something gallons of gas. It may be a little better since the odo is set for 235's and I'm running 31 inchers. Kept the speed between 60 and 65 (speedo may be off by as much as 4mph). This is after losing the cat. But it actually got close to the same on my way to NC with just the oem 2 converters and no muffler. It breathes much better now.
The contents of your gas play a major role in your MPG. I remember filling up with MTBE gas in CA and only getting 12-14 mph. That stuff sucked big time. Gas formula's change seasonally in many places so your mileage may vary at different times of the year.
Mileage is a combo of of a lot of things mainly your engine state of tune and final gear ratio. Your economy will also drop dramatically the faster you go. My old Pontiac has the aerodynamics of a brick. Bronco's are more like a cinder block. :o.
Try 55 if you want mpg. I gave up being in a hurry some years back but haven't manage to keep it at 55 yet but am working on it. :ph34r:

#5 nulife48

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 10:37 AM

What MPG did you get when you bought it...?

12 MPG is prob. average for a 4x4

The fuel isn't the same as it was 10 yrs. ago & 10 yrs B/4 that, & 10 yrs B/4 that......


When I bought it in 1996, the top speed in Colorado like in most states was still 55mph. I was getting about 18 or so on the interstate. The following year it went up to 65 mph by law and my mileage dropped a couple mpg, so say 16 or so.

Seems to me that once you get over 120,000 on a vehicle I think there are so many little things that are a little worn, a little off, a little out of adjustment. I think that they all contribute to lowering mpg a bit. Question is what is getting one more mpg worth to you? $50, $100, $500? So I think that unless there is something major wrong, I just think living with the mileage may be more cost effective.

RE 02 sensors - to replace all three would cost say $150. That would be worth paying if I can get a couple more mpg. Over a year I drive about 15,000 miles.

#6 nulife48

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 11:06 AM

yep i get around 12 mpg as well give or take. you could add the k&n injector kit and maybe see a little increase, maybe try giving the fuel system a cleaning. i use the valvoline brand fuel cleaner- the one thats good for 3000 miles supposedly - i do it every oil change. other than proper maintenance and not putting your foot to the floor there's not a whole lot you can do.



See my reply above. I think your right. I looked at the K&N kits, they seem to run a few hundered dollars. But when I tried to figure out which one is correct for a mass air flow system, I got two stories. So I put that on the back burner for now. Besides, may not be worth the marginal increase, hard to say.

I put different cleaners in depending on what is on sale. I tried them all except the cheap STP brands and some other gas station cheap stuff. WHen you figure $150 per injector, it is smart to spend on cleaners.

I think that at 130,000 miles the piston rings are worn, fuel system is far less efficient and I bet you lose 1 or 2 or more mpg.

Thanks for the input.

#7 Big Country

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 01:20 PM

i get about 11-12 in mine as well but this last time I filled up I must have some shotty gas. it was sucked up really fast. I will stay away from those gas stations. You have an old truck now and MPG is not an issue with me gas high as hell or not. it's sweet riding in a bronco even if you can only afford it to work and back.
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#8 miesk5

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 01:42 AM

I bought new a 1996 Bronco, XL, 5 liter/302 and have about 130,000 miles. I WILL NEVER SELL IT and if you drive a Bronco that never let you down you'd feel the same. I just got thru replacing the fuel pump, radiator, entire front brakes system - calipers, rotors, pads, say $2000 total. Truck is in real good shape, so now I am wondering why I only get about 12 mpg on C470 doing 70 to 75 mph. In the city maybe 10 mpg. So I looked into 02 sensors.

Question - do you have to replace sensors when they fail or every 100k miles? Dealer says replace when they fail.
Question - won't a sensor that is not performing as it should get the check engine light to come on?
Yes, replace when fail; you will get a Check Engine light and then can get the Codes scanned free at AutoZone - usually the O2 sensor on driver's side exhaust manifold area goes South before others unless they get physically damaged.
here they are: http://v8sho.com/SHO...ceTips.htm#fig1
Question - can a sensor with 100k plus miles on it give bad data back to the computer and thereby affect mileage and run rich?


Question - dumb question BUT I can get Boush 02 sensors, and there are 3 of them total, for less than $40 each, but dealer charges $122 each. I cross referenced the Bausch number with the OEM number and they match so I got the right parts. For a 300% markup, am I overlooking something ? or are the dealers just that greedy? Pure profits! Bosch is OEM for our Broncos

Question - is there a way to check trouble codes by just using a paper clip and counting flashes? I did that on my old Camaro. You count the flashes and than look up the problem. No, we have OBDII; get the Codes scanned free at AutoZone or buy an under $100.00 OBD II scanner at stores; I use the Actron AutoScanner CP9135
Question - any after market items or other things I can do to improve gas mileage? Major tune-up done last year. I spend about $4000 a year on gas. Check timing, pull a plug and check it; check for vacuum leaks; exhaust sytem consritictions BUT esp. below; the tire/wheel changes[u]
Question - last one. I got Yoko Geolander tires last year. Best tire I ever had on a truck. I kept the factory wheels but went up one size. That won't make a noticable difference in mileage will it ?

; YES! esp if you changed tire diameter and went up to, say, 32's; your actual speed will be higher than indicated on the PSOM; you can re-set PSOM using formula and paper clip;
see Chris's info on this @ http://www3.telus.ne..._Specific_Links & other Links incl the formula in my Bronco site;
http://home.comcast......RNING SYSTEMS

for example; going from a 29" diameter tire to a 32" will show 70 MPH on PSOM, but actual speed is 77.2 MPH; plus shift points will be off, assuming you have the E4OD; AND gas mileage of course will appear worse than before tire/wheel swap and due to shift point errors

in my archived BRONCO TECHNICAL

site; http://web.archive.o...s.com/index.php?;
select a LINK, Right Click and and Hit Properties;

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#9 nulife48

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 08:03 AM

My '88 w/ 160K, 5.0 and 3.55 gears just got 17.4 mpg on the way from NC to NJ -- 508miles on 29. something gallons of gas. It may be a little better since the odo is set for 235's and I'm running 31 inchers. Kept the speed between 60 and 65 (speedo may be off by as much as 4mph). This is after losing the cat. But it actually got close to the same on my way to NC with just the oem 2 converters and no muffler. It breathes much better now.
The contents of your gas play a major role in your MPG. I remember filling up with MTBE gas in CA and only getting 12-14 mph. That stuff sucked big time. Gas formula's change seasonally in many places so your mileage may vary at different times of the year.
Mileage is a combo of of a lot of things mainly your engine state of tune and final gear ratio. Your economy will also drop dramatically the faster you go. My old Pontiac has the aerodynamics of a brick. Bronco's are more like a cinder block. :o.
Try 55 if you want mpg. I gave up being in a hurry some years back but haven't manage to keep it at 55 yet but am working on it. :ph34r:


Thanks - I think you are right. Also right about MTBE gas. Speed limit here on C470 is 65, but most do at least 70 to 75. I can see the difference betw doing 70 and doing 65 in gas mileage - maybe a couple mpg. Bottom line is the difference betw a painful 12 mpg and a livable 15 is not much at all when you consider all the good things about driving a Bronco. I just wondered about the 02 sensors, if that would make any difference changin them out.

#10 nulife48

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 08:44 AM

; YES! esp if you changed tire diameter and went up to, say, 32's; your actual speed will be higher than indicated on the PSOM; you can re-set PSOM using formula and paper clip;
see Chris's info on this @ http://www3.telus.ne..._Specific_Links & other Links incl the formula in my Bronco site;
http://home.comcast......RNING SYSTEMS

for example; going from a 29" diameter tire to a 32" will show 70 MPH on PSOM, but actual speed is 77.2 MPH; plus shift points will be off, assuming you have the E4OD; AND gas mileage of course will appear worse than before tire/wheel swap and due to shift point errors


Thanks for all the great information. Those are some great pics of Big Blue. My Bronco is also the same color - toreador blue.

I need to find my calculator now and think this thru. I hadn't felt a difference in shift points so far. The tires I had were factory Michelin - 235/75/r15, dia is 29". The Geolanders are 265/75/R15, dia 30.7". So not a big difference, half of your example, but I'll go ahead anyway.

#11 miesk5

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 02:36 AM

Thanks for all the great information. Those are some great pics of Big Blue. My Bronco is also the same color - toreador blue.

I need to find my calculator now and think this thru. I hadn't felt a difference in shift points so far. The tires I had were factory Michelin - 235/75/r15, dia is 29". The Geolanders are 265/75/R15, dia 30.7". So not a big difference, half of your example, but I'll go ahead anyway.


ok, yw!

and yes, the tire size diff isn't that much; only affects mileage by say, .5 MPG
I ck tire pressures monthly; esp. when temps change dramatically as they are now here.
Weight too; have to reduce tools in cargo area and maybe start stripping accessories such as push bar, cargo area trim panels, etc.

in my archived BRONCO TECHNICAL

site; http://web.archive.o...s.com/index.php?;
select a LINK, Right Click and and Hit Properties;

copy the second HTTP address

paste in a new browser to see the original page

96 Bronco, E4OD, Man Xfer Case & Hubs
Thanks to All Who Serve


#12 SLICKS92BRONCO

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 02:50 PM

ok, yw!

and yes, the tire size diff isn't that much; only affects mileage by say, .5 MPG
I ck tire pressures monthly; esp. when temps change dramatically as they are now here.
Weight too; have to reduce tools in cargo area and maybe start stripping accessories such as push bar, cargo area trim panels, etc.

Mine gets 15mpg on the highway but I do 70-75 mph and I have a 5.8L it has the stock tires, but I noticed a big difference when I don't use the AC But in Texas AC is a nessecity. I changed the O2 sensors on mine and I didn't see a difference. I want to change upgrade the exhaust to a 3" and shitcan the cats. Later
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#13 firelt90bronco

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 04:14 PM

I wish I got 12mpg, I get like 9 highway.
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#14 Justbust1n

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 04:31 PM

I wish I got 12mpg, I get like 9 highway.

amen to that i get about 10 if i am lucky i got some 35 inch pro comp all terrieans ,i always press my button on my odo when i put 10.00 in and thats like 4 gallons and to and from my girls house it is 21.6 miles so i can go to and from her house 2 times lol... and god frobid i put my 36 inch Tsl Sx's on i get like 4 miles to the gallon and thats down hill $-)
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