buy something smaller not trying to be harsh, but dont expect more than about 13 on a good day. headers and exhaust will help, as will an open element air filter. a good tune up isnt a bad idea either. since its a TBI, their arent many internal mods u can do due to the computer.
I increased the air pressure in my tires to 36# cold(they will increase to about 39# when hot). then a good tune up. This with a light foot on accellerations netted a 2.71 increase in mpg's. on my last four fill-ups.
Please don't take this wrong, but a smaller truck with a V-6 would get better milage. However with young folks learning to drive in this day an age, I think if I have it to do again with my kids, I'd have been better off putting them in a RamCharger or any of the Full Size trucks "Regurdless" of the gas milage. SAFETY is my primary concern. My son was in a wreck with his Neon and was hurt in his back pretty good when another driver rammed into his back end. That guy was going almost 55MPH. My son was at a complete stop....
Bottom line if you want to keep your son or daughter in a truck, do it. The gas milage that you will suffer is just a small price to pay for safety.
I was getting horrible mileage when I got it back on the road last spring. It was running too rich...had a sooty tail pipe and code for O2 sensor. I changed the O2 sensor and went ahead and did the coolant temperature sensor. I also ran some injector cleaner through it. I used Lucas, but I suppose other brands will work, too. I also gave it new plugs, wires, cap, rotor, etc. Tire pressure isn't high, just what it says onthe door jam.
I average around 13 in town.
Just for info, i have the original window sticker that came with it. The mileage listed is 11 city and 13 highway.
If it's a 4wd, I don't think you have a lock up converter.
As far as overdrive, here's my 2 cents:
If you have the OD tranny, I would suggest keeping the overdrive OFF when driving around town. I only use my overdrive when I'm on the highway for a long distance. The reason for this is because the overdrive tranny (A-51 tends to shift in and out of OD a lot unless you are cruising on the highway. The constant shifting causes a lot of heat. The lubricating system for the OD isn't the greatest, so the heat can cause problems (in extreme cases-tranny failure).
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