97 Hardbody 4x4 Bad Gas Mileage?? - Nissan Forum
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#1 Old Dec 8th, 2004, 10:54 AM
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97 Hardbody 4x4 Bad Gas Mileage??

I just bought a used 97 hardbody 4x4 4cyl 5spd. It has only 79kmi on it. It is a regular cab truck. I drive with my tailgate down EVERYWHERE! I am only getting 14mpg. I replaced my front 02 with a Bosch new unit cause it was throwing a CEL. I also just did EVAP purge valve and canister for same reason. The plugs look a little white, im not sure why. What octane gas should i be running?? I just changed all fluids in the truck to AMSOIL fully synthetic and no change. I also just cut the A/C belt off cause its winter and i dont use it anyway. I have a new belt for summer (needed to be replaced anyway). The truck doesnt misfire or anything like that seems to be really smooth driving, and yes the hubs are unlocked. The tires are 265/75/15 and should be 235/75/15. will this make that much of a difference? My new 30x9.50x15 all terrains are on backorder so i have to wait till they come in. What else should i be looking for to improve gas mileage?? I have run fule injector cleaner through it to no avail. Please help I am gettin pissed and I dont wanna sell it but I'll go back to Honda if it continues i dont really need a truck.

Peace,

Wayne
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#2 Old Dec 8th, 2004, 10:58 AM
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hmmmmm def should be getting about 19 or 20

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#3 Old Dec 8th, 2004, 11:30 AM
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Wayne, you should definitely be getting better mileage than that. EPA says 18/20 city/highway. In my '95 with 189k miles, I get about 20-21 mpg. The plugs being white would tend to be an overheating condition (of the plugs), like from an incorrect heat range or lean fuel mixture. If you're getting that bad of mileage, I doubt it's running that lean. How is the power? The converter could be clogged up (but probably not). Have you checked to make sure the actual front half shafts spin freely? Perhaps the hubs are really locked...even though the indicator says otherwise -- perhaps they have malfunctioned. A sticking caliper can affect mileage, but probably not by that much. Oversized tires will also affect it, but probably not by that much. I have 30x9.50s on mine myself, and still get 20-21 mpg.

In the past, I have never been impressed with Bosch products -- including their O2 sensors. The only thing I could think to check is to replace that sensor with a real Nissan sensor. I once put a Bosch O2 sensor on an '84 Cutlass and it ran like dog poo (including hesitating and poor mileage). Once I put a real AC-Delco O2 sensor on it, it was back to normal. That's what I would suggest in your case...because it doesn't seem like there are any major mechanical problems.

Jason Adcock
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1997 Cadillac Seville - 141,000 miles
#4 Old Dec 8th, 2004, 11:37 AM
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Changing your tire sized can effect your mileage. Larger tires will require the engine work harder to turn them.

Also, opening your tailgate will not help your mileage and can possibly decrease it. Check out this link: Open tailgate myth
#5 Old Dec 8th, 2004, 11:50 AM
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I believe bosch makes nissans and many other makes oem o2 sensors. My 97 harbody king cab SE 4x2 came with factory bosch units. I got a consistent 21mpg in my hardbody during summer time under fairly hard use. If i was real easy on it i could achieve 22.5 mpg shifting at less than 3k.
#6 Old Dec 8th, 2004, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abmobil
I believe bosch makes nissans and many other makes oem o2 sensors. My 97 harbody king cab SE 4x2 came with factory bosch units. I got a consistent 21mpg in my hardbody during summer time under fairly hard use. If i was real easy on it i could achieve 22.5 mpg shifting at less than 3k.
Yup, my '97 regular cab gets about 22-23 around town, shifting at 3-3.5k. I love it.

Who needs heavy duty, eh?

ASE-certified technician by day, metal musician and computer nerd by night, and avid Nissan HB lover

1997 D21 XE KA24E 2WD 5-spd - 190,000mi
#7 Old Dec 8th, 2004, 12:30 PM
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well i have checked the hubs and they do spin freely and seperate from the axles, so that aint it. secondly i checked and it seems as if the r/f caliper may be hangin up a bit. It is just tough to turn that wheel by hand when the truck is in the air. However the truck doesnt pull to the right side or anything. I think I am going to do a tune up to it soon maybe that will help too. Maybe i have alot of little stuff adding up to be a significant decrease in mileage. boooo

Peace,

Wayne
#8 Old Dec 8th, 2004, 01:18 PM
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You just can't get good gas mileage on any 4x4 truck with large tires. No way.
I just sold my 97 4x4 hardbody. It was a gtear truck in the dirt, but sucked to drive around town an no matter what got about 14-16 mpg. The best I ever got was driving up north wiht nothing in it 70mph on the freeway and still only got 18.
The 4x4 is a way different truck then the 4x2. In so many way's you can't compare preformane or mileage.
#9 Old Dec 8th, 2004, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yontrop
Yup, my '97 regular cab gets about 22-23 around town, shifting at 3-3.5k. I love it.

Who needs heavy duty, eh?
Yeah, I bet I've hauled more in my Nissan truck than 90% of the people out there with full-sizers, sucking Arabian gold with their 13 mpg V8s. The 4-cylinder Nissan 4x4 truck actually DOES get decent mileage when operating correctly. Again, my 4x4 with oversized tires still beats the EPA at 21 mpg. Drive smart -- shift at or before 3k rpm, don't drag race anyone, anticipate stops before you get there and keep the truck in gear to let the engine decelerate you, don't use the gas as an "on/off" pedal...be deliberate and smooth with the gas and with the brake. Doing it this way, you should still be able to easily keep up with traffic and get great fuel mileage.

Adjust the above for terrain, environmental conditions, etc. For example, when I bought the truck, I lived in the mountains of southwest Virginia. I got anywhere from 15-18 mpg. That was also before I learned how best to drive it, and where the good fuel economy was. When I moved to the (relatively) flat piedmont of North Carolina, my mileage jumped at least 2-3 mpg. My drive to work consists 80% of 45-60 mph two-lane roads and 20% of in-town stop-and-go...pretty good conditions for good mileage. Going against me are my bad wheel bearings (maybe to be replaced this weekend!) and oversized tires. 14 mpg is way too low for a 4-cylinder truck, even 4x4. Again you should at least be able to match or get close to the EPA at 18 mpg.

Jason Adcock
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1997 Cadillac Seville - 141,000 miles
#10 Old Dec 8th, 2004, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne64SS
I just bought a used 97 hardbody 4x4 4cyl 5spd. It has only 79kmi on it. It is a regular cab truck. I drive with my tailgate down EVERYWHERE! I am only getting 14mpg.
yeah driving with your tailgate down doesnot increase your gas mileage... it actually decreases it. I love seeing people travel with their tailgate down. Texas Tech Mechanical engineering department did a study on aerodynamics back when we first got our new wind tunnel. When you drive with the tailgate down it actually makes the airflow behind the truck even more turbulent than with it up, resulting in a "suction" affect which in turn creates more drag. if you wanna give yourself some more mpg, especially if you drive on the highway alot, invest in one of those snap vinyl tonneau covers for about 150-200 bucks. That gave me a consistent 1-2 mpg increase on trips when I had one on my silverado.

later,

Black Knight - 2004 Crew Cab XE-V6 4x4
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#11 Old Dec 8th, 2004, 06:42 PM
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Lightbulb

One definate thing to check for is make sure your parking brake isn't hanging up. I have had to tear my actuators apart and lube them 2 times in 1-1/2 years. I finally put a spring that goes from the bottom of the actuator to the 'U' bolt for the leaf spring. It's easy enough to jack up the rear and see if they spin free. Oh, yeah I am getting 19-20 mph in combined driving.

:cheers: 1995 Nissan 4x4
#12 Old Dec 9th, 2004, 08:38 AM
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Question: Would timing also be a factor in mileage? I'm getting about 15 city, 18 highway, even driving like Jadcock suggested. But i've also noticed that the truck seems a little on the weak side(even taking into concideration the truck is underpowered anyway). I've been meaning to put a light on it and see where the timing is set.

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#13 Old Dec 9th, 2004, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymouse
Question: Would timing also be a factor in mileage? I'm getting about 15 city, 18 highway, even driving like Jadcock suggested. But i've also noticed that the truck seems a little on the weak side(even taking into concideration the truck is underpowered anyway). I've been meaning to put a light on it and see where the timing is set.
Timing could, but I doubt it'd have a drastic effect. Spark timing should be set at 10*BTDC. I found a big difference in engine power with reduced timing. When I bought the truck, the timing was cranked up to about 18*BTDC. I started getting spark knock in warmer weather, and messed around for a while and finally checked the timing. Yeah, it was way advanced. I set it back to 10*BTDC, and the spark knock went away, but it felt like I lost 10 hp. It really made a noticeable difference. I noticed no change in fuel economy.

Jason Adcock
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1995 4x4 XE King Cab - 189,000 miles
1997 Cadillac Seville - 141,000 miles
#14 Old Dec 9th, 2004, 11:00 AM
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i try not to let the rpms go above 3000 anyway. i drive it well, .... like its a truck i guess its definitely not fast so there is no reason to try and race around in it. hopefully the smaller tires and tune up along with freeing up that caliper will help. thanks guys for all your input.

Peace,

Wayne
#15 Old Dec 9th, 2004, 02:08 PM
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Running across I-68 & I-70, I never tire of passing loud piped V-8s going uphill in my quiet little Nissan. Even did it once with a camper trailer in tow.

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