TIP # 107 17.99% BETTER FUEL ECONOMY- Invention for Fords With a Snorkel…

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 01, 2006 at 18:45
ThreadID: 122708 Views:4905 Replies:6 FollowUps:8
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Well, you will know by now, the Lone Ranger is always experimenting on how to make things better… It is my Nature, not just the Mad Scientist at Bushtracker, I have over 50 years of experimenting.. Ha! Cut to the quick, I noticed my air gauge on the air cleaner pegged to dirty filter, “Change Filter” range… Push on the little end and psssss it goes back to clean air filter unrestricted range. Mine was always pegged??? The filter looked clean? Changed out filter, nope, then to another brand, still there. Played with snorkel, removed head off top, looked for problems. Ford Forums?, bad air gauge?, lots of blind alleys…??? Then I started branching out a bit to check out other Customer’s Fords with other brands of snorkel…. Ooooops!! It was present there too.. Ford, Safari, unbranded Snorkel, made no difference. No one had seemed to notice..

Now what does that mean? Well if an engine is struggling to get air, it can mean lower fuel economy. I ran roughly through my first tank, over 500 km at night, same route, up to horse training in the mountains where I am getting ready for the Nationals, filled up, and ran again after the “Mod”, on two different tests and the fuel economy went up by 17.99% WHAT, NO WAY! Ranger you are crazy! But yes, the results are real!!

Now for any Skeptics, here is the Science involved: (Controls on Experiment) to prove my test: I ran the same route up to a lit arena training ground in the mountains, about an hour each way, every night as I am training two young horses seven days a week in Preparation to Compete for the National Titles. (I might not win, but I won’t lose for lack of trying). I did the same driving, same loading on the truck, (carrying about a tonne, roll bars, canopy roof in alloy checker plate, 125 watt solar, third battery, long range tanks, 80 litre fridge, water, 15,000 winch, tools, toys, on and on; about a tonne. Driving was done at the same time at night, leaving at 3:30-4 PM arriving back 8-8:30, same weather, same traffic. Half was at 110kph-120 kph, half is at 60 to 80kph so variable speeds. Figures- 586 km /104 litres=5.64 km/ltr and second set on same refilled tank was 748km/111.84 litres = 6.69 km per litre after the “Mod”. The speedo is out by 4% low, as I am running oversized tyres so adjusted for the tyres rotation of extra mileage that is 6.96 km per litre (x Factor of 2.83= 19.7 miles per Metric gallon or 15.45 miles per U.S. gallon), or 14.37 litres per hundred km. Heck my Troop Carriers only got that, (7km per litre) and their mileage goes WAY down from towing while the Ford goes down less towing as the big diesel is not working as hard. You should get even better results as I was driving HARD and in a HURRY to get home, fed, and enough sleep to train horses the next night to… (Yea, Yea, the Ranger is crazy)

NOTE ON FUEL ECONOMY FIGURES: You should get 10% better for fuel economy, as I was competitively driving, 110-120 on highway, and hard driving at the lower speeds with acceleration, bombing along just over limits (Got pulled over once on a warning two nights ago, no ticket): In a bit of an aggressive driving format to get home ASAP so I could get some sleep. That means with Conservative Driving you all should get about 10% better fuel economy than my control figures… But anyway, back to how I calculated the percentage increase of fuel economy in my Modification…

So how much improvement? How figured: 6.69 km/l – 5.67 km/l = 1.02 km/l improvement. Now percentage terms of improvement on original 5.67 is figured this way.. 1.02 over 5.67 is equivalent to x% over 100%, (Multiply both sides of equation by 100 to get "x" by itself and you get 102 divided by 5.67 = x% improvement…. This figure is 17.99% WOW IS THE WORD….!!!

What did I do? Well I discovered a design flaw, not with the snorkel itself, but with the entry point high in the air filter box. The filter box is deeper on the inboard side, but shallows up on the fender side where the snorkel is brought through the fender. The filter is designed to filter from below, with hanging layers of filter element, hanging down say about 80mm. The problem is that the hang down part is blocking off the air entry point so the engine is sucking air from the end of the filter, with only a smaller percentage of the air going down in the box and up through the filter element. We are inadvertently air starving the engine, with an entry point location flaw for the snorkel just because the filter element has too much resistance at that point pulling air end on through the filter lengthwise… Not Fords fault.. Also I suspect the snorkel head and maybe the body is too small to pass enough air, at least where it goes through the fender, but possibly the whole way. EVEN THE FRONT AIR INTAKE WITHOUT THE SNORKEL IS PROBABLY A BIT TOO SMALL, as on the Ford Forums they report a performance increase with the “Zoodad Mod” named after the Inventer, of extending the air intake out in front of the radiator to RAM air into the box.. I guess my mod is the “Ranger Mod” Ha… I believe this fuel savings can be had a little even without a snorkel if you cut through the front and extended the air intake to in front of the radiator with a large rubber tube to ram the air in per the “Zoodad Mod”… Any way, back to the BIG FIX:

#1 THE FIX: TEMPORARY, but it works. On the deep end of the air filter housing box is a metal plate bolted through the air box. You have to take off the battery box top, to access those bolts. You remove this plate, which opens up the air filter box to the original air dam collector that goes to the front of the truck. Put back the one lone bolt on the bottom that holds the air filter housing down to the fender and don’t worry about the other holes as there are small water drain holes in the bottom anyway. Save the plate, when going through deep water, you can always put it back on, estimated time 10 minutes. Result, no air restriction, no movement on the air box gauge, and better fuel economy!!! It is “Positive Ventilation” powering the air pressure from both ends of the box, better than the original from the front alone as it does not gather much air like the hood on the snorkel. This is an immediate fix while I work on a better one.

THE FIX: PERMANENT, but far better filter. I am going to get the Ford AIS/Donaldson Filter system for my truck. It is far better filtration, much larger filter box deeper in size, far less restricted. That larger box will allow some rerouting to get air to the bottom of the filter. Cost in Australia is about $400 from Western Filters in Sydney including your first Donalson Filter which is about $90 on its own.. Or cheaper possibly but a little hassle getting it from America as I was referred to it by the Powerstroke Forum. I have not done it yet, so wait for my results on the possible rerouting of the air to the filter when I have time to do it… It may be a double tap with an additional hose hooked up from the snorkel body to the filter housing. By all reports it is a far better filtration system for what is potentially a million km engine. The larger box will allow some flexibility in air entry although it will take it getting in my hands to figure that one out. Another “Ranger Mod”.

OR: A bigger head unit to ram more air into the snorkel could work. However this would only work at higher speeds, and I suspect it could still be air starved when you romp on it at lower speeds…. I would opt for the immediate fix of #1, pending the Lone Rangers further experimentation on the AIS filtration system larger filter box and double air entry from the Snorkel…

In summary, both ends positively ramming air into the filtration box, is a major improvement, 17.99% is HUGE.

You can thank me at the Copeton Rally with a glass of wine… Oh what the heck, I will supply some wines for a Tasting Session if I can make it there..

Regards from the Lone Ranger, working with horses, for legged, or under the bonnet… Ha!
"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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Reply By: Bushtracker - Thursday, Jun 01, 2006 at 19:41

Thursday, Jun 01, 2006 at 19:41
Want to have a look at the AIS system?

Site Link

This is a location to look at the Ford Dealer AIS (Air Induction System) Ford / Donaldson filter... This is a Ford Site, for their Sales at Dealership Network...

Happy Trails, Ranger
"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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AnswerID: 568626

Follow Up By:- Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 04:56

Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 04:56
Lone Ranger....
I too have modyfied my airbox, however on the Safari set up it is a bit more complicated as the airbox/battery tray was shifted about 40mm closer to the engine and to be able to accsess the powersteering fillerneck, part of the original air channel on the back of the box was cut away. I have made up a 50mm dia. pipe fixed inside of the original air channel and then running via a 90deg.bend into the airbox. This pipe can be blocked off at the front with a cap for water crossings. I also will be looking at a flexible pipe to the radiator grill for more ram air. So far it works well as the Air Restriction Gauge is not showing any more restrictions. As far as fuel consumption goes I have not been able to do any proper testing yet but a future trip to Darwin should give me plenty of opportunities to do so.
I'll keep you posted.
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Reply By: Luvntravln - Thursday, Jun 01, 2006 at 19:45

Thursday, Jun 01, 2006 at 19:45
In Alice Springs the service manager commented that the one problem with the F250 is the small air filter system. We were discussing the use of a unifilter and he let me know that nothing should be done to restrict the "small" air flow.

AnswerID: 568627

Follow Up By:- Saturday, Jun 03, 2006 at 02:18

Saturday, Jun 03, 2006 at 02:18
what does this Service Manager mean with "nothing should be done to restrict the small airflow"? Is he saying that no Snorkels should be fitted?
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Reply By: Luvntravln - Friday, Jun 02, 2006 at 04:43

Friday, Jun 02, 2006 at 04:43

If chipping will void the warranty if the problem can be traced to the chipping, how will your temporary fix affect the warranty?

The Ford AIS/Donaldson Filter system sounds appropriate for someone who has just done 5000ks of dirt and looking forward to more! What about warranty affect?


AnswerID: 568628

Follow Up By: Luvntravln - Friday, Jun 02, 2006 at 05:03

Friday, Jun 02, 2006 at 05:03

Let me answer the second half of my question; yes! the Donaldson is approved by Ford.

Now to find the dealer in Perth.


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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Friday, Jun 02, 2006 at 16:18

Friday, Jun 02, 2006 at 16:18
Yes Jay, it is a product put out by Ford, click on the link in my posting above... Colaberation between Ford/ Don.

Donaldson has been around in Oz, for maybe 35 years or more. The Donaldson filters were the standard for all Severe Duty Bulldust work as far back as the early 80's that I know of. It is the big cannister you see remotely mounted on some old Bull chasing Cruisers from the 70's and such was the Donaldson.. What makes this one unique is the vast filtering media area, and vast amount of dust it can filter out before changing... But also the extra deep Cannister housing that will allow me to figure out how to put an additional hose on it from the Snorkel for extra air flow. Or at least be able to leave them both active, the front air ram and the snorkel. Seems the way to go, my fuel mileage increase was noteworthy...

Ranger, chipping away at various improvement ideas...

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Reply By: Luvntravln - Friday, Jun 02, 2006 at 17:53

Friday, Jun 02, 2006 at 17:53
I will be looking to do an install in November - look forward to your continuing resesarch.

I am travelling with Keith and Phil Batson. They told me that on all of their trucks at Batson Sand & Gravel they used Donaldson Filters.

Cheers, Jay
AnswerID: 568629

Follow Up By: njthommo - Saturday, Jun 03, 2006 at 04:00

Saturday, Jun 03, 2006 at 04:00
Thanks for ferretting out this useful info. The AIS Filter seems a marked improvement over OE. Would you expect it to give an improvement in fuel mileage over the standard setup, no snorkle, or would more airflow to the filter box be required. It would be interesting to see pre snorkle consumption figures and how they compare with your temporary fix with snorkle.

You may remember our F350, I think the first Super Duty to hitch up to a BT back in 2000. Maybe our conversion plumbing won't allow the AIS room so we'll check next time were up near the corral if you have had one fitted by then.

Nick & Jenny

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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 19:37

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 19:37
Hello Nick and Jenny,
My Temporary fix is ramming air at the filter from both directions. It hard to see how I am going to get better fuel economy than that with the AIS... They estimate 5% in American, but we are force feeding the air from the front ram and the snorkel. I think the real advantage with the AIS is in being able to take many times the dust before plugging up enough to start hurting the fuel economy, as the engine starts to starve for air as the filter fills up... My fuel figures are pretty good if you look at them, running down just over 14 litres per 100 km, at nearly 20 miles per gallon. The AIS will just allow that to be maintained longer, where the OEM Stock filter would start to plug up sooner... It will pay for itself not just in fuel, as the Donaldson filter might last 4 times as long..

The only other reason to go the AIS is in maintaining the watertight integrity of the snorkel that is compromised right now by my temporary fix. When I have the time, the final answer is AIS and larger feed or additional feed tube from the snorkel, and maybe a larger head unit for on top of the snorkel to ram more air, like a mile Supercharger force feeding the air to the engine... But all in all, so far a major improvement.

Best Regards from the Lone Ranger... Out on the job 24/7
"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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Reply By: Kingy - Saturday, Jun 03, 2006 at 06:36

Saturday, Jun 03, 2006 at 06:36
After reading Steve's post I had a chat with the bloke from Western Filters and my new AIS is in the mail. Later this month we are heading across the top road to Lawn Hill and then onto King Ash Bay for some fishing, down to Mt Isa, back to Townsville and up to home. It will be a good combination of dirt and bitumen to get some fuel figures on the new filter system. To date we range between 21 - 24 L/100km with the 21' BT in the 3500 to 3800kg and the F250 fairly heavy as well. I will post the fuel figures for the trip when we get back.
AnswerID: 568630

Reply By: Silver and Tinks - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 21:08

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 21:08
Thanks Ranger problem fixed while I await delivery Donaldson filter
after seeing your truck I decided to put on a factory snokel which is a rebadged
TJM snorkel anyway.
Noticed an increase in fuel consumption and more black smoke coming from exhaust however since removing the plate the problem is fixed.

Question : have you investigated if the Donaldson filter design allows for the snorkel hole in the same position?

Keep up the good RD

AnswerID: 568631

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 21:59

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 21:59
Hello Scott,
Sorry I missed your call, I was mucking out the horse float and "full of it", but some say that is normal for me; mind you those sources are of weak minded sorts.. Ha!

On the AIS snorkel intake, No no and no idea as yet.... You are getting ahead of my R&D on that one... I have the Fraser Coast Reining Spectacular on, and the Nationals on in four weeks... Have my hands full right now, so no I cannot help you. If you get it figured out ahead of me, you join in the R&D Team and tell me your results. I am thinking it will have to be two inlets off the the snorkel, one in the end of the box, maybe one in the side down low or something.. We are out on the edge, Pioneering new ground, it is challenging but often rewarding....

As to keeping up the R&D, I have no choice, it has become my Life.... I am always looking at trying to get a better result somehow. Probably have to, with the wild sort of life I lead, I need two of me; keeping up with my Wife, Bushtracker, and my team of horses and Riders, and 19 tonnes 19 metres of traveling Horse Station... Ha! But thank you for the positive support.... And welcome to the R&D Team, you are Nominated to be the first to see how to adapt the AIS to Snorkel outlet...

Kind Regards, Lone Ranger
"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 23:06

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 23:06
And no, I do not expect to win one of the Gold and Silver Buckles at the Nationals..
It is almost a Super Human Feat to keep 19 tonnes of rolling Horse Station going, and take care of 4 or 5 of my 7 horses while on the road, and my two Daughters... Up at 4 in the morning, hard yakka till late.... I am too tired to win, all the time. My Girls are running 68 and 69 scores, while I am having a hard time doing 63 to 66.. Too big of a job... Out there, I really am the LONE Ranger.. ha! Not enough of me to go around, not enough of me left over to win.. But we will battle on.. Ha!
"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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