How much gasoline to bring?

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BottomFeeder
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How much gasoline to bring?

Post by BottomFeeder » Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:40 pm

This is our camp's first year bringing a Mutant Vehicle. It's based on a '78 F250. The engine is a 351M (a V8). We don't plan on going faster than idle at all (even to the point of putting in a wood block to prevent using the accelerator). But idling the car around frequently, day and night. How much gasoline should we bring? Last year I asked an art car owner this question and he shrugged and said "not much". Is this true? If we show up at the playa with an 18 gallon tank filled up, do we need any more?

Thanks.

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Post by mdmf007 » Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:45 pm

18 gallons aint gonna cut it. We idle our rigs at night on Arctic jobs and they consume about 6 gallons a night of gasoline just idleing.

id bring more - of course you can always fill it up completely, idle it and run it at the desired speed for one hour and then see how much fuel you consumed.

later -
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Post by MrMullen » Thu Jul 27, 2006 9:11 pm

You have to remember that idling and creeping along (The 5 MPH) is going to give you the worst gas milage you can get. You'll probably overload the thing too.

18 gallons is not going to give you much Playa time. I would expect that with a V8, you might get 5 MPG, at best.
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Post by spectabillis » Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:37 pm

how much do you huff?

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Dork
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Post by Dork » Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:47 pm

My car used very little. Maybe 6 gallons for 20 hours of run time. But, it's based off a Corolla so your experience will be different.

Do you watch Mythbusters at all? For their show on gas mileage extenders they rigged the gas lines to a seperate container so they could add a measured amount of gas and see how long it took to run out. It shouldn't be too hard to do something like that with your vehicle. Pop in a half gallon and run it at idle or in a big field somewhere at 5MPH.

BottomFeeder
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Post by BottomFeeder » Fri Jul 28, 2006 12:07 am

I can believe that we'll need more than our tank can hold. That was my gut instinct. I'm just curious how much more... I guess we'll need to bring a few extra gallons for our generator anyway. We can always pour the gas back into our tank for the drive home. In this case it's not a big problem to over do it.

It's a shame our second tank on the truck doesn't work. We can't even get the locked gas cap off. It would been quite handy.

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Post by BottomFeeder » Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:50 am

MrMullen: "You'll probably overload the thing too. "

What do you mean by this? Doesn't every art car creep along just like we're planning on doing?

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Post by safetythird » Fri Jul 28, 2006 12:18 pm

How much gasoline to bring?

ALL of it.

Seriously, you can't bring enough.

S3

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Zhust
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Re: How much gasoline to bring?

Post by Zhust » Fri Jul 28, 2006 12:36 pm

BottomFeeder wrote:TIt's based on a '78 F250. The engine is a 351M (a V8). We don't plan on going faster than idle at all (even to the point of putting in a wood block to prevent using the accelerator).
Pessimistically, you might expect to get 2.5 miles-per-gallon. At 5 miles-per-hour, that's 2 gallons-per-hour. Optimistically you might expect 10 miles-per-gallon, or 1/2 gallon-per-hour.

Then again, what do I know ... I don't have a mutant vehicle, nor have I ever owned anything with more than a 90HP 4-banger. If it were up to me, I'd probably either rig a generator with a small AC motor (i.e. 1HP or so) to just chug the thing around and provide electricity for lights. Either that or drop in a tiny engine (i.e. 5HP lawnmower) to go that slow.

Great ... now I'm thinking about next year ...
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Post by Lassen Forge » Fri Jul 28, 2006 12:44 pm

Another thing on gas usage for those of us at or near sea level...

Higher altitude will mean you need to readjust your carb for that altitude (4K feet). Ask a mechanic how to lean your carb out, and how to reset it when you get home. Do the adjustment 1/2 way there - Nyack or so. Also, Nevada gasoline is a LOT different than the stuff they sell in California - I try to stretch to Sparks before I refuel to get the bennies of "decent" fuel VS California chemical semi-propellant fuel.

Unadjusted on CA gas, my truck goes from 15 to the gallon to about 7-8. Killed me when we went for a work weekend last month.

If you have fuel injection, the above doesn't (usually) apply because the FI system (is supposed to) adapts to the elevation. Check and make sure, tho!!

bb

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Post by BottomFeeder » Fri Jul 28, 2006 3:01 pm

Using a smaller engine would definitely save on gas. But, we're going to be driving the art car up there under it's own power, and putting together the peices when we arrive. And swapping engines on the playa just doesn't seem like a wise choice.

I'll take a look at the effects of high altitude on my carb'ed engine. I'll ask around to some of the pros.

It's bizarre how much of a change in gas mileage you experience from CA gas to "decent" gas. I haven't noticed that much of a change in my cars.

Anyway, thanks for the tips, everyone. See you on the playa.

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Post by MrMullen » Sat Jul 29, 2006 9:08 am

BottomFeeder wrote:MrMullen: "You'll probably overload the thing too. "

What do you mean by this? Doesn't every art car creep along just like we're planning on doing?
Well, you'll have the car, then put some stuff on it, then add the people, then more people cause they just want to get on to your super cool art car. This will probably all add to to exceed what the car should carry. Overloading art cars at Burningman is pretty common.
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Post by unjonharley » Sat Jul 29, 2006 9:49 am

I carry 10 gal gas just to be sure I'll get off the desert. Never know when the nearest (84m.) will be closed. Or some one along the way didn't plan well. I top off when leaving BM. Then I carry the rest home just in case.
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Post by Dustdevil » Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:41 am

It is not practical to adjust the carburetor for the altitude. If you can locate the idle screws you can lean the idle circuit. This will help prevent the engine from "loading up" during the idle/low speed driving. If your carburetor is what the F series came with, it will be a Motorcraft 2100 series. The idle screws are located at the front lower area of the carburetor, near the base plate. Rotating them clockwise will lean the idle mixture. I suggest trying 1/4 turn on each and check the results. To lean the main jets requires replacing them. They are located in the float bowl. They will have small numbers stamped into them. With the altitude and heat figured in, the air density dictates approx two sizes smaller. You may have trouble finding jets as carburetors haven't been used for a while. Try a carburetor rebuilding shop. Do not drive the vehicle up there with the smaller jets or the idle leaned out. It will be better for the engine if you make those mods up there and change it back before the trip home. As I said, it really is not practical. You are better off bringing more fuel to make up for the drop in mileage.
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Post by trilobyte » Sat Jul 29, 2006 12:55 pm

You have all the tools you need in order to answer your question.

Fill the tank (top it off). Now let it run/idle for a number of hours (8 if you can, but always in an increment of one hour). Now go back to the station and top the tank off again, paying very close attention to the number of gallons it takes (write it down).

Then get back to your computer and take the amount of gas and divide it by the number of hours that you ran it in idle. Call that number your "default burn rate" (the amount of fuel burned per hour of use). The number may be small, but the hours add up.

Now you and your campmates need to figure out the days/nights you're going to be running the vehicle. Be generous, having an art car on the playa is a lot of fun, you'll probably drive it a lot more than you think. Add up the hours.

Multiply that by your default burn rate to get an idea on how much fuel you'll need. Then remember that you'll likely burn more at the playa (4400 feet above sea level). Whatever number you arrive at, I recommend bringing that in addition to a full tank.

Tell your campmates to start getting gas cans now. That and a good funnel, so all your fuel makes it into the tank.

Good luck!

~Trilo~

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