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  • Mopar Gas saver?

    Hey everyone!
    Its been a while since ive had a chance to login but have recently developed a fascination with having an older A-body that gets decent gas mileage. Ive still got my 73 four door dart with the 360 and my 01 dodge 1500 that get terrible mileage. However, i have recently seen quite a lot of A-bodies on craigslist for very cheap and with the 6 cylinder auto setup. I was curioues if any of yal have any experience with these and what kind of MPG (town and city) yal got. Im looking at two different ones. One is a 74 swinger 2 door and the other is a 76 4 door. both with the 6 cylinder. I just finished a little plymouth laser I had redone and will be selling it soon. that being the case im itching for another little project! Any help (or recommendations on older mopars with decent mileage(, would be really appreciated. I am open to even older pickups and other body styles. But mainly want to keep the cost of the vehicle cheap up front if possible. Im just curious if this mopar gas saver is really just a pipe dream or not!
    Thanks guys and have a good one!
    JB

  • #2
    The 6 cylinder doesn't get much more mpg than the 318. The 318 will do a decent bit higher than the 360 and if you keep from a lot of the common hot rodding, mileage can be very respectable. Any 6 would be fine too, but power's lower and price is usually not any lower.

    Pickups won't usually see mpg very close to a car.
    '67 Dart 270 4 door '72 340(9.5:1), 727, 8-3/4", A/C, original interior, big bolt discs

    '77 Aspen SE 2 door '77 318, 998,8-1/4",A/C, Cruise control car,power discs,power steering

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    • #3
      Originally posted by 270SE View Post
      The 6 cylinder doesn't get much more mpg than the 318. The 318 will do a decent bit higher than the 360 and if you keep from a lot of the common hot rodding, mileage can be very respectable. Any 6 would be fine too, but power's lower and price is usually not any lower.

      Pickups won't usually see mpg very close to a car.
      I agree with 270SE!

      I daily drove many Mopars, from 318-440, and found mileage to be about the same for all of them in local driving.....between 10-11mpg for the E58 360HP to 13mpg for the 318, and size of car didn't seem to make too much difference. The only car I got decent mileage from was a worn-out '76 Cordoba with a leanburn 400, managed around 18mpg local! Was great, until the springs went through the trunk floor!

      I even bought a '74 Scamp /6 during the "gas crunch" of the '70's, just because I thought I needed better mileage, and wound up getting only 13 mpg's, with NO power......so I sold it in a month!

      I had a friend whose parents had a '75 /6 Duster with OD 4spd., and that got great mileage on a long trip, somewhere in the mid 20's, but not so great in city!

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      • #4
        Just a thought........

        I was thinking more about this......and realized that you may NOT BE ABLE to get decent gas mileage today from these cars, as the gasoline used today is designed for modern electronics and fuel injection, which the old Mopar carbureted cars did not have!

        Most of todays gas is at least 10 percent ethanol, with some being 15-85 percent!!!

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        • #5
          With the 'old' gas, I got 25 in town with a 67 Dart /6 3 speed and 3.91 gears. That went through the floor out on the highway tho. Had a 74 SWB pickup with a /6 a little later on with tall tires (235.75-15's), 3.55 gears and it got 25 one time but I drove it like it had an egg under the pedal during the second gas crunch. Screw that crap. It mostly got high teens with a mix of stop and go and highway. Never really drove that gutless pig on the highway. Had a 66 Mustang Fastback at that time with a 289 4 speed and 2.80 gears as my highway runner and it got 21 doing 75. Remember, back then the speed limits were only 55 I'm so glad those days are gone. Freakin gooberment. I just couldn't drive that slow because I'd fall asleep from boredom. And yeah, the ethanol crap will give you less mileage. It even does that with my fuel injection vehicles.
          Last edited by Cranky; 01-25-2013, 09:59 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Cranky View Post
            Remember, back then the speed limits were only 55 I'm so glad those days are gone. Freakin gooberment. I just couldn't drive that slow because I'd fall asleep from boredom. And yeah, the ethanol crap will give you less mileage. It even does that with my fuel injection vehicles.
            Cranky, I live near a huge railyard hub, and, when I drive by, I see hundreds and hundreds of ethanol tanker cars lined up for miles....they are everywhere....they are even lined up alongside I-787 in Albany, and along I-90 in Albany....and everytime I see these, I think.........there goes all that nice delicious sweet corn......and all that livestock food......because we are growing and using it for FUEL.......instead of eating it! No wonder the prices for meat are so high................we are using cattle food for our cars! :yeah that:

            All this time, we have the largest oil reserves in the world......and we are growing crops for fuel......yeah.....

            ......Makes perfect sense to me!

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            • #7
              With this crap that qualifies for gas now with steep final gears low-mid teens wouldn't be bad in-town and mid-high teens would be about it on the highway. With a relatively mild final drive and decent power for the weight, mid-high teens in town and high teens-low 20s wouldn't be out of the question.
              '67 Dart 270 4 door '72 340(9.5:1), 727, 8-3/4", A/C, original interior, big bolt discs

              '77 Aspen SE 2 door '77 318, 998,8-1/4",A/C, Cruise control car,power discs,power steering

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              • #8
                I get that from my 93 Dakota 318 5 speed manual 3.55s, useless 1st gear, 225.75-15s.. well in summer anyway
                i get like 15 in town and 18-1/2 on the road with winter gas in the tank I notice 2 things from this truck; 1) summer vs winter gas does make a difference and 2) its better on gas than my 94 with a 3.9 was

                I had a 79 reg cab shortbed /6 3 on the tree manual steering and brakes, I'd get a solid 22 on the road with it.. my Dad had a 76 Feather Duster w/a /6 and 3 speed manual with 4 wheel manual drums and it too was impressive for MPG. I was pissed when my older brother got it, it was bought as my "1st car" when I was about 13. Dad drove it as his work car til just before I got my license/ then my brother's 74 Charger broke down and my brother ended up with it instead of me....

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                • #9
                  Did your brother take care of it? I have some stories about some of the crap my dad did but it doesn't matter anymore.....

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                  • #10
                    Haha. I was actually looking at some mid 90s Dakota's. I trying to do whatever I can to stay with a mopar, but notoriously dodges aren't exactly great at mpg haha. But those Dakota's sell for about 1-2k locally. I found a 94 with a newly rebuilt 6 banger for 1200. It's an extended cab 2wd auto model. I've been pondering it a little.

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                    • #11
                      My 95 only gets around 16 average but my 87 got 17 in town and 20-23 on the highway. The 87 ran mid 17's at the track while the 95 ran a mid 16. The 87 had a 2.94 rear while the 95 has 3.55's. No OD on the 87 but never used the OD at the track. On the other hand, my 92 318 Dakota got 15 in town most of the time and I wasn't driving it for fuel mileage but on one tank, I tried to see how bad it could get and I drove the snot out of it every chance I had and it pulled down 12. Never did a good mileage check on the highway but I pulled a jet boat on a tandem axle trailer to Denton Tx from Houston and ran 75 all the way and got 15 and on the way back (no boat) I ran it 90 most of the way and touched 110 several times and pulled down.....15! It had 3.90 gears. A buddy also had a 92 318 and was getting low 20's on the highway driving the speed limit with 3.55 gears. His was an extended cab but all of mine were regular cab trucks.


                      Rebuilt V6? Not many do that but just go out and get another V6 or do a V8 swap. How long ago was it rebuilt? 1200 is cheap enough but look at it hard. If you know the truck, that's another story but I wouldn't rebuild my V6 and then sell it.....just saying. Just because it's a 6 doesn't make it dirt cheap to rebuild it.

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                      • #12
                        I don't know how long ago it was rebuilt. Just that the listing mentions it. Haha. I wouldn't be looking for "track" performance. Only MPG really. I just want a gas saver but would prefer to have something still functional (like a small pickup or older car). I've got my 01 dodge 1500 that gets about 10 how I drive it and my dart that is so terrible on mileage that I don't even measure it haha. I was looking to grab a 3rd kind of work only/highway vehicle when it's just me driving around to save my pocket a little on gas.

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                        • #13
                          Not sure if the Dakota is your answer then. The regular cab trucks are about 3300 (mine is anyways) without a driver so they are not a light weight. The S-10 with the 4.3 gives much better performance and about the same mileage if not better but then again, you have a lighter duty pickup. The Dakota is a much better truck IMO than the S-10 or the Ranger. My 95 has the light duty package but it will still handle 1600 lbs in the bed if I load it right. When it comes to trucks, I look for how it'll work vs mileage but that said, I got my 95 when my dad passed away otherwise, I wouldn't have it. I even tried to talk my dad out of just buying this one 'off the lot' which he was so famous for. The trucks that I have ordered new always performed better than any off the lot vehicles that I've ever had....but then again, you can find great used trucks if you look hard enough. My 97 diesel is proof of that except for the fact it doesn't have a limited slip unit in it. Other than that, it would have been just the way I would have ordered it if I was going to buy one new.....

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                          • #14
                            I had a 99 Sonoma I rebuilt the 2.2 in hoping for it to be my "answer". But around town it only got 15 (roughly) and I wasn't driving very aggressive (not trying to anyways). Plus I just didn't like the feel of them. Have any of y'all had an experience with the jeep Cherokees? I've noticed they are decent mileage an real cheap to pick up. I don't need the vehicle to be a good "work truck" for hauling stuff (have my ram 1500 for that haha). Just would hate to end up with a civic or Camry haha. Also I talked to a friend who has a 94 Ford f150 with the straight 6 300 engine ad he gets about 20 in town. Couldn't believe it myself but he showed me about 6 months of number crunching and data that confirmed it. Any negative things in y'all's experience? Sorry to ask so many questions but MPG is something I've honestly never looked into so I figured I'd ask people who've probably crossed that bridge at a point or two!

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                            • #15
                              best mileage I ever got was a 75 dart 6/auto , also had a 80 dodge D-100 , 318 /auto that was the worst mileage ....
                              340 Swinger

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