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Offline poomwah

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best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« on: March 30, 2014, 09:41:01 PM »
Ok, I know that speed costs, and I know that power usually has a negative effect on fuel economy.  But I also know, though, that some things can improve power and fuel economy.
 So, lets figure on a late 70's wagon with a 2.3 auto. what would be some options to make it more efficient?
 turbo is going to out of my budget.  I don't have an engine hoist, so I'm prefer to find options that don't require swapping the engine.
  So....what do you guys recommend?  exhaust, cam, and carb on stock block?
Fuel injection from a ranger?
What should I expect performance and economy wise?
 Thanks everybody

Offline kartracer28

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2014, 10:53:15 PM »
I am doing kinda the same thing right now. I have a 74 with the 2.0 I just bought a 2.3 that I am going to swap (with help from friends) I am putting an EFI intake that has been reworked to run a small 4 barrel. I am having the head redone and putting a cam in it from esslinger. I am also putting a header with a 2 1/2 inch exhaust with a 40 series flow master. The guys at Esslinger say it should make about 160HP and still run on pump gas. and if a drive it "right" I should get about 20MPG.

Offline poomwah

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2014, 11:00:39 PM »
wow, 20 mpg and 160 HP.  That is impressive.
I'm going to shoot for a lower HP and hopefully higher MPG

Offline Srt

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2014, 02:57:45 AM »
there is really no reason why you can't run a turbo AND get mid to high 20's in fuel mileage
the only substitute for cubic inches is BOOST!!!

Offline poomwah

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2014, 03:12:09 AM »
there is really no reason why you can't run a turbo AND get mid to high 20's in fuel mileage
I wish I could run turbo. I just can't afford the parts and don't have an engine hoist to do an engine swap.  My budget is going to be really tight.
 My goal is to try to get at least 25mph and enough grunt to get out of its own way.
of course I need to get the car first, LOL

Offline amc49

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2014, 04:11:01 AM »
Any bigger than stock cam with a stock ATX converter will not be the hot setup. At least if bigger in duration. Would work fine on MTX but ATX and the heavier wagon will not like the cam. Would be fine if you can bump lift but no duration.

I've run a Hooker header and a better intake on a 2.3 using stock 2 bbl. carb and cam and round port head reworked in the bowl area to make a car that would slightly outrun my 2 Focus 130 hp. zetec cars. The motor made quite a bit more torque at say 60 mph freeway entry and the gas mileage was great.

A stock 2.3 carb intake just flat blows. I used a 2.0 intake with an adapter plate but most can't go there. They used to make the plate for sale but no longer.

Offline 74 PintoWagon

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2014, 07:32:23 AM »
Well, I got everything on hold right now to finish the shop(which is just about done)then I'll be getting back on mine, already have the intake and header just need the carb, plan is to squeeze all the mileage I can without digging into the motor, at least not for a while anyhow..
Art
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Offline Pinturbo75

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2014, 07:52:53 AM »
i did my turbo swap in 2 weekends for less than 500 bucks....bough t a complete parts car and went to town .... now the wagon is around 230 whp and gets 27 mpg at 75 ...... the 75 sedan is over around 400 whp and gets 25 mpg at 75.....if you look hard enough and want it bad enough you can do it.... on the cheap.....
75 turbo pinto trunk, megasquirt2, 133lb injectors, bv head, precision 6265 turbo, 3" exhaust,bobs log, 8.8, t5,, subframe connectors, 65 mm tb, frontmount ic, traction bars, 255 lph walbro,
73 turbo pinto panel wagon, ms1, 85 lb inj, fmic, holset hy35, 3" exhaust, msd, bov,

Offline 74 PintoWagon

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2014, 07:57:56 AM »
What's the rpm at 75, you running an overdrive???, that's pretty good mileage..
Art
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Offline Pinturbo75

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2014, 03:27:57 PM »
the wagon is 380 gears with a t5 and its about 2700 ish  and the sedan is 355 gears and 24 to 2500 ish with a t5
75 turbo pinto trunk, megasquirt2, 133lb injectors, bv head, precision 6265 turbo, 3" exhaust,bobs log, 8.8, t5,, subframe connectors, 65 mm tb, frontmount ic, traction bars, 255 lph walbro,
73 turbo pinto panel wagon, ms1, 85 lb inj, fmic, holset hy35, 3" exhaust, msd, bov,

Offline 74 PintoWagon

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2014, 05:50:24 PM »
Thanks, looks like I need an overdrive if I'm gonna do any traveling then.
Art
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Offline poomwah

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2014, 12:47:54 PM »
hey guys!!! this isn't hypothetical anymore. Instead of "lets say a late 70s 2.3"  lets say a 78 bobcat with a 2.3 automatic.
I got a "Pinto"!!!!!!


so the goal is to get 25mpg or above.


Offline Wittsend

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2014, 03:11:48 PM »
Congratulation s on getting your car.

  Regarding mileage, RPM's etc., I know I bang this "Gong" every time the subject comes up but USE ONE OF THE MANY ON LINE CALCULATORS!  The transmission ratios, the rear end ratio AND the tire size are all a system.  Combined together they determine the final RPM your engine will be turning at a certain speed. Ideally you want the RPM's in the desired portion of the torque curve.

Most everything is a trade-off.  You only get in one area where you loose in another.  That said, it is possible to simulate an overdrive fifth gear or a different numerical rear end.  My already slow '73/2.0/Auto/3.40 wagon was "Bogashious" when I switched from the 185/70/13" to 225/60/16" tires off the Turbo Coupe.  I never did "the math" because the tires were temporary but you could clock it with a calendar, it was that slow.   Did it drop the RPM's? Sure, but I doubt mileage improved because I had to be "so into the throttle" just to get and keep the car moving.  BTW, look at a lot of the Asian 4 cylinder cars.  Even with a 5th gear overdrive they are turning 3,000 RPM @ 65 MPH.

Basically what I'm saying is dropping the RPM's doesn't in and of itself automatically mean an increase in mileage.  If you want to "test" the theory, trying appropriately sized taller tires is far more cost effective than swapping rear gears and transmissions. Use the calculator and see what tire size effectively gets you to the RPM's the gear and trans swap would. Then borrow (or buy cheaply) that tire/wheel size and see if you are happy with the results.

Frankly I doubt you can improve mileage more that about 2 MPG maximum with whatever you wind up doing. If you drive 10,000 miles a year you are only saving 30 gallons of gas.  If you get half the improvement and drive half the distance your talking about all of $25 a year.


 



Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2014, 09:06:21 AM »
I have a 76 wagon, 2.3 auto with 60K orig. miles that was getting 15 mpg. I replaced the entire cooling system including the radiator, new brass terminal cap & rotor, NGK Iridium plugs & MSD 8mm wires, new PCV valve, new vacuum lines, new EGR base gasket & carb gasket plus an NOS carb out of the box.
 
For about 2 tanks of gas I topped 20 mpg then the carb started to bobble at idle & I'm back to 15 mpg again. I also now have pre-ignition that wont go away even after backing the timing down, checking the belt 3 times, swapping to colder plugs & tearing into the carb 4 times.
 
The moral to this story is that I spent $400+ trying to up my mileage & I'm worse off now than when I started. This years plan is to drop in my freshened turbo longblock with another NOS carb & a T5 in place of the auto & hope I solve every problem at once.
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Offline poomwah

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2014, 09:12:13 AM »
Wow.  So i guess 25 mpg was an unrealistic goal :[

Offline 74 PintoWagon

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2014, 09:33:31 AM »
I'm getting just about 20 now and it's running like crap, once I change the intake and carb and put a header on and rework the ignition curve a bit should be able to get 25+ I would think..
Art
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Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2014, 09:55:11 AM »
Wow.  So i guess 25 mpg was an unrealistic goal :[

I sure haven't had any luck getting there, that's for sure.....
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Offline Wittsend

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2014, 11:14:29 AM »
Your question revolved around the best POWER and ECONOMY.  As I stated above you generally can't get one without sacrificing the other.  There was the Pinto MPG that was rated at 34 highway (manual) 30 highway (automatic) http://www.pinterest.com/pin/155092780890759062/.

But that is likely not "real world" driving. The test might well have had a lightweight driver, just enough fuel for the test, tires inflated to 40 PSI, the maximum permissible tail wind and road slope with the car going 50 MPH on the highway.  For sure the car had the 2.76 gears and a professional driver skilled at extracting mileage out of the car.

You (possibly weighing more that the "test driver") get into your car with a full tank of gas, you start up a cold motor and drive 70 MPH over inclined roads into a head wind with 3.55 gears in the rear.  Throw in city driving and if you get 20-25 MPG you are doing pretty good.  Before I went Turbo/2.3/5 speed my 2.0/Auto wagon averaged about 22 MPG.  I was about 50/50 - city/highway and live in a somewhat hilly area.

For the record the difference between 20 MPG and 25 MPG is 100 gallons of fuel over the course of a 10,000 mile year.  Here in So. Cal. gas is currently $4.00 a gallon. The difference is $400 a year or $33 a month or $8.33 a week.  That is less than an hours work a week (based on $9.00 minimum wage).  Chances are most Pinto's are being driven far less than that.  So, I doubt the difference is more than five bucks a week.  Just drive the car and enjoy it for what it is.  I think you will be happier.

BTW, Plymouth had a "Feather Duster." A far bigger car with a 6 cylinder engine nearly double the size of the Pinto.  Their claim was that it got 36 MPG. 
"The Feather Duster featured lightweight aluminum parts including the intake manifold, bumper brackets, hood and trunk bracing, and manual transmission housing, for a weight savings of about 187 lb (84.8 kg)—5% lighter than a standard Duster similarly equipped. It came with a 225 Slant Six with its distributor and single-barrel carburetor calibrated for economy, a low-restriction exhaust system, an extra-high rear axle ratio, and was offered with either the Torqueflite 3-speed automatic or A833 overdrive 4-speed manual transmission. It was the most fuel-efficient car in its size class, achieving up to 36 mpg highway and 24 in the city with the manual transmission option. (along with Dodge's version, the Dart Lite)."

Offline poomwah

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2014, 11:20:13 AM »
I know that 5 mpg isn't much to most people. But in my financial situation it's a huge difference

Offline dick1172762

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2014, 11:45:32 AM »
I'm getting just about 20 now and it's running like crap, once I change the intake and carb and put a header on and rework the ignition curve a bit should be able to get 25+ I would think..
   I've driven Pintos since 1972 and their miles per gallon sucks. I've owned 16 of them and none ever got over 20 mpg. This engine was created in the late 60's so what do you expect? Its a tractor motor compared to todays motors. Just drive it and enjoy it. That's what its for plain and simple.
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Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2014, 11:48:32 AM »
I know that 5 mpg isn't much to most people. But in my financial situation it's a huge difference

I parked my crew cab dually because 9 mpg was killing me. Driving the 15 mpg Pinto instead feels like I won the gas lottery. My Neon was getting 32 mpg before winter & lately it's getting 21 partly due to winter blend gas but also I think the head gasket needing changed may be causing the decrease. I have an external oil leak by the cam feed so if that part went maybe it's blown elsewhere. I definitely notice the extra gas that car is drinking at 21 versus 32 so it's a priority to fix ASAP.
 
On paper it doesn't sound like a lot but that extra $20 a week in my tank gets noticed even though I make more than enough to afford it. I don't like giving free money to the oil company if I can get better mpg's outta my cars.
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Offline Wittsend

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2014, 12:06:59 PM »
Well, again my math says for Poomwah the difference is between $5-$8 a week. Being prudent in how one drives helps.  My old Mazda 323 averaged about 34 MPG.  If I drove like a "Hypermiler" I could get 37 MPG. 65 MPH in that car got high 30's MPG.  Going 55 MPH got 44-45 MPG and only took 20 minutes more on a 2 hour drive.  There was NOTHING I could have added/removed parts wise to that car to get those differences.

If that $5-$8 a week is really hurting him, walking, catching a ride with others and driving prudent can make up that cash difference - fast.

Offline poomwah

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2014, 12:46:16 PM »
I don't want to turn this into a financial debate, but yes 5 to 8 dollars a week add up. Especially when my disability check just barely covers rent. Living out in the middle of nowhere eliminates walking and catching a ride. Driving prudently is something I've definitely learned to develop.  So there are times that 5 to 8 dollars a week will determine whether or not I drive somewhere or not.
 That being said, I realize that for the most part, you have to pick power or fuel economy, but I also know that's not always the case. I know there are things that can be done that will improve power AND fuel economy, even if they are VERY minimal gains, every little bit adds up. I also know there are things that can be done that improve performance without hurting fuel economy. Again, VERY small gains, but still they add up.
 I just don't know what applies to pintos and what doesn't.
 I have a car for sale, whatever I get out of that is going into the bobcat. My biggest priority is to make it dependable. My next is to make it clean, ie ANYTHING that doesn't need to be under the hood is GONE.  No emissions checks in Ohio, so anything that isn't going to hinder engine efficiency is going.  Fuel economy is a real issue and I would like to improve it if possible. At best I want to make sure I don't LOWER it at all.
  While I have VERY little experience with fuel injection, I will go that route if that's the best way to go. I have decades of experience with carbs, while I still don't like experimenting with jetting, I am no stranger to to rebuilding and adjusting carbs, from single barrels to 4 barrels, including multi carb set  ups. I'm comfortable with all of them.
So, it seems the consensus is that to get 25mpg out of a pinto wagon you need to change the engine?  Would the whole engine need to be swapped, or just a newer top end do the trick... ranger for instance?

Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2014, 01:43:04 PM »
The question of EFI being worth much is debatable. I have an 87 Mustang LX, 2.3L 5-speed with 87K miles that I originally bought to swap the drivetrain into my wagon. I held off doing the swap because the engine smokes at startup but everything points to it just needing valve seals so I may yet try this since I need to swap my ill running 2.3 anyhow. It will depend on the complexity of the engine wiring which is supposed to be minimal.
 
Here's what I do know. The Mustang weighs 2800# & the wagon 2600# so that's a wash. Aerodynamics are probably a wash at 65 mph as well. The Mustang in a good state of tune could do low 20's city, high 20's highway with the 5 speed. I figure the swap will net me about 23-24 mpg average in my wagon assuming I use the same rear axle ratio as the Stang. I need to see what's in both but I'm not swapping a rear if it's close enough (say 3.00 in the wagon & 3.08 in the Stang)
 
Getting the Stang stripped & scrapped is a priority on my to-do list this year so I may be on this task in a couple of months. If getting it in the wagon can be done quickly(I need the car running, not a 4 month project) then I may have this done by the end of June & I'll have some real facts to report on mileage.
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'80 hatch(Restoring to be my son's 1st car)~Callisto
'71 half hatch (bucket list Pinto)~Ghost
'72 sedan 5.0/T5~Lemon Squeeze

Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2014, 01:57:38 PM »
Oh and the HP in 87 with EFI was 90 HP/130# ft. of torque so no huge gains over a basic carbed 2.3L in a Pinto. I would think an EFI head, intake & computer would bolt right on a Pinto block since compression should be close & there are no extra block holes needed for sensors.
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'80 hatch(Restoring to be my son's 1st car)~Callisto
'71 half hatch (bucket list Pinto)~Ghost
'72 sedan 5.0/T5~Lemon Squeeze

Offline 74 PintoWagon

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2014, 02:37:07 PM »
   I've driven Pintos since 1972 and their miles per gallon sucks. I've owned 16 of them and none ever got over 20 mpg. This engine was created in the late 60's so what do you expect? Its a tractor motor compared to todays motors. Just drive it and enjoy it. That's what its for plain and simple.
Well we'll see, I'm not giving up that easy, LOL..
Art
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Offline Wittsend

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #26 on: April 03, 2014, 12:16:54 AM »
Poomwah,
  My apology, I didn't know about your disability, remote location and other difficulties.  I hope everything works out however you decide.

Tom

Offline poomwah

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2014, 08:52:05 AM »
Thanks Tom,
   That's really decent of you , but there's no need to apologize. I appreciate all the opinions you shared
 
Seth

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2014, 11:05:38 AM »
ok, I've got the game plan mostly figured out, with a few possibilities later.
 I'm going to change the auto over to a manual.  Mostly because I'd rather have a manual for driving fun, but also it may help mileage a little and it opens up my cam choices if I decided I want to change it.
 I'm going to keep the original bottom and and PROBABLY the head.  Ranger header and either FI lower intake or offy. 
PROBABLY a 2100 carb, possibly a different model. Undecided on air cleaner. 
POSSIBLY a newer roller cam head.
  I'm pretty confident none of that will hurt my fuel mileage.  If I don't gain any, that's ok, as long as I don't lose any.
 I'm sure that with those things done that the car will be a lot more fun to drive though :]

Offline amc49

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Re: best balance of power, fuel economy and cost
« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2014, 10:15:03 PM »
The 2100 should hurt mileage, at cruise you are feeding from two transfer slot sets instead of one like the 5200. And air going through two venturis which is less efficient than one with more flow. Most of them are off V-8 engines so the power valve channel restrictions will need to be custom made, as in smaller. Most people simply change jets and valves only and a big giveaway in total set-up there. And which bore 2100? Only like 50 of them in several bores, and different every one. The location of the airbleed holes on the main emulsion tubes can make or break you mileage wise there. Meaning you should try out more than one booster venturi there.  The later 5200s even changed in size looking for mileage in the later year models. The early ones were too big on primary side and lost mileage. Of course they made more power, important on a first year small engine car.

Yes, sometimes you can get both power and economy with the same setup but much more common on bigger engines, the smaller ones tend to do less of that. The load (power to weight ratio) on smaller engine exaggerates the giveaway between power and economy there. Basic physics. Going to electronic ignition is one that gives on both ends. A PROPER header can, like a 4-2-1. Mods for TORQUE, not horsepower, can. Any UPPER horsepower mod almost always will cost mileage. Head porting in the valve pocket alone with no increase in size of port runners AT ALL can help. Slightly increased compression will help both if you can get it to not ping.

Small engines drop off way more in mileage percentage wise when they get old than big ones do, they have less power to give away when ring seal starts to drop off. It takes a certain amount of power just to maintain say 70 mph steady state. Thinking like 35-40 hp. depending on how slippery car body is. I find I have trouble hitting like 27-28 mpg (32 advertised) on my two older Focus 16 valve engines since they crossed around 110-120K miles, they are getting looser and mileage then begins to drop. I too know carbs backwards and forwards so can work on them blindfolded and hundreds jetted but I feel there is no noticeable difference in absolute power in carb or EFI if carb is well set up. The big difference is in how long the tune lasts and the extra life the motor gets from no extra fuel mixing with the oil. PCM is the biggest reason for cars lasting 300K miles now.

ATX with no lockup and no OD was always advertised as about 20% mileage cost in lots of earlier studies. Of course, once you get a certain amount of lower gear under the car the low output engine will cost more in mileage anyway, they do not have enough torque to lug an overdrive gear once the engine gets older, resulting in more throttle used to maintain speed and lost mileage doing so. OD is a much cleaner idea when used on bigger engines with more torque. My Focus cars actually tend to shift back to 3rd now at any slight incline, the OD as provided by Ford is too much load for the older higher mileage engines. Yet it worked fine when the engines were new and fresh. The engines are rated at 130 hp. but I feel they drop to maybe 110 real world with more mileage. 110 gross is about 80 or so net at the wheels, that's not a lot extra to play with.