November 18, 2008 at 9:04 pm #232480ssimgtdParticipant
Now, (thanks to all that have contributed to my last topic) I know that I am running a 2.3 litre Pinto Lima under the hood, I am starting a search for the best improvements for getting the best gas mileage I can..Being in Canada we are paying an arm and a leg for it, so I’m hunting for the best suggestions and improvements anyone has made.
The most obvious one to start is a really good tune up which I intend to get ASAP………then pick up a Chiltern’s manual (or vice versa!)….and then take it from there!!
TTFN JenniferNovember 19, 2008 at 10:01 am #237815Steve CritesParticipant
A tune up would do wonders for your mileage. Be aware that a 25 year old car that hasn’t been run much will need a major tune up to be dependable. The usual stuff like plugs, plug wires, distributor stator and cap, air filter, PCV, timing check, and more than likely a carb rebuild or cleaning. Also replace any vacuum lines. Those hoses can have small leaks that will drive you crazy, best to start anew.
Something peculiar to Fords is the aggravating tendency for the old coil and the dura spark ignition module to intermittently go out when the engine gets hot. I had to do a roadside replacement because of this issue and wish I had replaced them from the beginning. They are not that expensive, (around $35 for the module and $20 for the coil and available at AutoZone) easy to change out and well worth the peace of mind.
Once this was done on my Duchess I am consistently getting 23mpg in town and 27mpg on the open road. And I don’t exactly take it easy
If you don’t have the DuraSpark module (most 2.3s have them) I can send some info on hooking one up. They are very much worth putting on and will increase your performance and mileage.
RingoNovember 19, 2008 at 10:10 am #237816Mark HendricksonParticipant
First, before the gas mileage tips, is some advice on the 2.3L Ford “Lima” engine. The oil level and condition is critical to the overhead camshaft lobe survival. Keep the oil clean and check it often. Otherwise this engine is a great little 4 banger.
OK…gas mileage. Is your car a stick or automatic? Due to the fact that these cars are much lighter than the donor cars their drivetrains came from, they will get decent mileage just on that fact.
Keep your tires inflated properly and the front end aligned…any drag kills mileage.
Keep the engine in tune and use synthetic lubes in the engine, trans and rear. Also in the power steering if your car has that option. In your colder climate this is a great thing even if you aren’t looking for better mileage. It’s expensive, but I use Royal Purple in all my vehicles. Their motor oil still has the scuff package that is missing from today’s SFI “SM” oils. Camshaft life is dependant on that zinc based scuff package.
Engine and mechanical mods like adding tube headers, low restriction exhaust system, CD ignition boxes, re-jetting the carb, distributor timing curve, hi-performance plug wires and such will also help a little with mileage, but help a lot in performance. Are they worth the costs??? In my opinion for gas mileage NO…performance YES.
These engines use a timing belt and if your’s is the original CHANGE IT. After all these years, it’s probably dry rotted. This is a critical thing and is well worth the cost to do it. It’s not a hard repair on these engines either. Change the tensioner when the belt it changed. You can get both cheap at http://www.rockauto.com . Use a 1975 Pinto as the vehicle application.
Forget the aerodynamics on these cars for gas mileage. How you use your feet on the gas and brake is the biggest gas mileage variant. No jack rabbit starts and no hard braking produce much better mileage. I started driving my ’89 GMC Suburban 5 miles per hour under the posted 65 mph speed limit on the expressways and Interstates here and my mileage improved significantly. I just can’t bring myself to go 55 though.November 24, 2008 at 1:27 am #237817ssimgtdParticipant
Thank you all for this great info. The drive-train is 4-speed manual and don’t worry I’m really easy on the accelerator and brake as I have the same issue with my 2005 RAV4 (which is also a Great car!)
Ringo I would be grateful for the Duraspark info and Pink MG I intennd to check out Royal Purple (sounds like something bees feed to their Queen!!)
Otherwise the remainder of your suggestions make a lot of sense and have booked some time with a friend and my local garage to get them all done, putting in a roll-bar at the same time so I can install 3-point seat belts and then do the Chuckanut Drive down in Washington State in the spring.
Happy Driving Guys
TTFN JenniferNovember 24, 2008 at 9:16 am #237818Steve CritesParticipant
Keep in mind that you probably already have a duraspark ignition box. Its the silver box with wires going to the distributor that’s usually on the firewall. If you don’t have one then you can use an after market ignition box that will do the same thing. (Summitt has a store brand box that’s cheaper than others) Or go with the duraspark box only, or you can also add an after market box with the duraspark to get even better spark. That extra spark really helps starting and makes the engine run noticeably smoother.
Here’s a site that gives the diagram for running several combinations of spark upgrade.
BTW, I use Royal Purple in the MG and my truck, including tranny and rearend. It’s good stuff. worth the extra money IMO. And don’t leave off the things Mark mentioned, all very important.
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