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Fuel mileage on 06 Dodge with 5.9L diesel

hickslawns

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#1
My fuel mileage keeps slipping. What used to be 13-15mpg pulling our camper is now 10. Empty to the TOO bow shoot and back I was at 14-15mpg. Enough is enough. I talked to TripleA Alex and read some Cummins diesel forums. Just installed an S&B cold air intake. It looks great. I can see the differences between this and factory intake. I don't know how much it will help mileage. I do know it won't hurt, will breath better, and should help cool better. All things which help mileage.

I also noticed a bit of brake smell recently. I am pulling passenger front brakes apart next. Cleaning up caliber slides to ensure proper travel and no drag is sure to help. If nothing else it will extend the life of the pads and rotor by reducing friction.

I will also swap the fuel filter tonight. This is simply good preventative maintenance. It was ready anyway.

Next is an exhaust. I do NOT want an obnoxiously loud truck in or out of the cab. New 4" exhuast from the turbo back with reduced restriction muffler should aid in allowing the engine to breath. In turn, cooler engines provide more power, better mileage, and longer engine life. Crossing my fingers and hoping it isn't overly loud.

I will keep you posted on the results. I know we have a handful of truck junkies here so I thought I would share.
 

giles

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#2
I change my fuel filter EVERY time I change the oil, it more than pays for itself at the pump. You'd be surprised how black that filter gets in 4-5k miles. I also only get fuel at respectable places.

Mine is also an 06' 3500 SRW auto with 5.9. My biggest jump in milage help came from a trans that doesn't slip, second would of been the tuning. Empty road driving I can get 20+ mpg, add a trailer (3-8k) and it instantly drops to 15-16 mpg, any trailer bigger than that and I ride at 10 mpg.

Do you have any lose of power? My milage took a shit a couple years ago and it ended up being the waste gate solenoid. Wouldn't let it build more that 20 psi so it was dumping the fuel. Research turned up to be a "not so common/common problem" with the 06' model. Along with the tach, rear door wires, front ends, air bag sensors… I HATE Dodge electronics! I'm ready to pull the power plant and drop it in an old CCLB square body.
 

hickslawns

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#3
If we back up to 2008, the mileage in EVERY diesel I own dropped. The ultra low sulfur diesel is garbage. We add Power Service at every tank on our trucks. The main reasoning behind the added Power Service is to add lubricity to the entire fuel system. Should aid in the life of injector pumps, injectors, and the overall fuel system. Seems fuel filters require more frequent changes now as well.

In regards to mine, it is crew cab/long bed/dually/6sp. If there was a drop in power, it happened gradually and I did not notice. With the upgrades, I am sure I will notice as soon as I put it back on the road.

Brakes? I pulled the passenger front and found some heat cracks on pads with minimal miles on them. Less than 5000. Rotors are still like new and pads had lots of life left. A repair shop had replaced them when I dropped it off to find an unidentified noise. They replaced a bunch of parts, over charged me, and it still makes the noise. They told me to drop it off tomorrow. I said "No thanks I have it apart in my shop already. I will just pull the drivers side and you can replace the pads under warranty. I will properly clean the caliper slides like you should have done when you had it so the pads move freely." No brake drag will help for sure.

The cold air intake really impressed me. I can see it really adding better air flow to the turbo. Cooler engines burn less fuel. I will say I was disappointed to find the wrong filter in the cold air intake kit. But. . . Stuff happens. People screw up. S&B did their job. They are next day air shipping the correct filter and it should be here tomorrow morning. Customer service is always appreciated. Some companies have it, others don't. These guys took care of me.
 
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hickslawns

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#5
This shop was guessing. Swapped brakes and rotors, ujoints, and wheel ujoints. Not all ujoints. Can't remember which ones. All I know is I was not pleased. They did not diagnose and call me. They just started swapping parts. With the number of vehicles we have, and the number of shops who have done such things. . . .This is one reason I am planning the build of our next shop. It will have 3 overhead doors 12'x12', 14' ceilings, and at least one lift. Building will set us back $45-55k with radiant floor heat (and still won't be big enough). Lift and additional tools, torch set, tool box, floor jacks, etc., will be another $5-10 but can be added over time as needed. But. . . Reducing maintenance costs $5k per year would pay it off in 12 years. Reducing them by $10k would pay it off in 6yrs. I realize this isn't exact because we will have added payroll, utilities, and other expenses, but the added storage and ability to put three more plow trucks in another heated shop is worth something to me as well. The ability to free up space in our 3 other buildings also allows us to get more equipment under roof.

Sorry. I side tracked my own thread. Lol. Hey, a guy has to plan and dream a little.
 
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hickslawns

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#8
We went camping a couple weekends back. With new cold air intake and fuel filter, I noticed no change in mileage. Tonight I finally got around to swapping the exhaust. We shall see if this helps. I am thankful it is not obnoxiously loud in the cab with normal driving conditions. Get on it and it is noticeably louder. Even at an idle it is louder outside the cab, but not inside. With the nice new beefier sound I think I will need to be cautious with my driving habits. When they sound good, you tend to want to let them bark. That won't help mileage. Will be doing some trailering of equipment over the next couple weeks and hope to see an improvement.
 

5Cent

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#9
Hook that camper up for a spin to determine how loud it really is. Hopefully the feedback is not too bad, just something to consider when towing a camper 3+ hours.....gives ya a headache ya know :)
 

giles

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#10
Most exhaust will get louder after a couple thousand miles also. With it having a muffler you shouldn't get any drone or anything. Glad you're happy with it, most aftermarket exhaust are pretty loud.
 

hickslawns

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#11
True on both accounts. Test run is what she needs. Hopefully it doesn't get terribly louder. With windows up it wasn't too bad. I can always add a tip and direct it further away from The cab.
 

hickslawns

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#12
And it is done. I need to contact the exhaust manufacturer. One would think we should get more than 4yrs out of a stainless exhaust. Rusted and came apart at the rear of the muffler. Tailpipe was not connected anymore. For a name brand company this is disappointing. I JUST had the factory muffler replaced on my 2002 Toyota. It was probably not stainless. Need to dig out my receipt and see what their warranty is.
 

hickslawns

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#14
I could be wrong. I may not have gotten the stainless on my Dodge. Even so. . . . 2005 Honda is original as is the 2011 Explorer, 1995 F450, 99 F550, 06 F350, both Isuzu sweeper trucks. . . 4 years is despicable out of a bolt on exhaust.
 
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giles

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#15
Most factory exhaust are stainless, if you didn’t get stainless on your working truck...I’m gonna be the ass here and say this is your fault. Your trucks see more then the average salt. I’m impressed it made it 4 years honestly.