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Old 06-19-2011, 10:39 PM   #1
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Tail gate down?

This is probably an age old question that has been raised for decades, but I'm new to this forum, and wondering if anyone has experimented with driving with the tail gate down to improve mileage. I drive a 2010 access with a 2.7, about 50 highway miles a day in a very windy mountainous area.
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:40 PM   #2
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I think Mythbusters debunked this one
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:41 PM   #3
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It doesn't help. There is more drag with it down.
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seminolepride991 View Post
plus it looks stupid...
X29474648928474
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:45 AM   #6
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Tail gate closed=better mpg.
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:48 AM   #7
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3aqHbD-O9E
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:03 AM   #8
the point is simply this
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tonneau cover helps
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:03 AM   #9
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Watch the video, tailgate net was best mpg. Not good enough for me to change from tailgate up tho.
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T@co_Pr3runn3r View Post
Watch the video, tailgate net was best mpg...

Yeah... I think they were a bit stunned by those results! It would be useful to understand why the mesh gave better results... it could just be a fluke that only a dakota longbed regular cab would achieve because of it's unique aerodynamics.
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buddywh1 View Post
... it could just be a fluke that only a dakota longbed regular cab would achieve because of it's unique aerodynamics.
Crap, they didn't test this on different trucks! Not sure there'd be enough of a difference to matter. The brick silouhette of most trucks would make it pretty much the same but long and shortbed, reg cab and double cab could make it a bit different I suppose...They got more testing to do now, lol.
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:35 AM   #12
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I found a lot of good info on the EcoModder.com website, starting with this list of "68 vehicle mods for better fuel economy"
http://ecomodder.com/forum/fuel-econ...cations.php#64

There are several posts discussing the tailgate up or down issue and the Myth Busters episode, but this thread: "Truck Aero, Bed cover DIY tonneau?" is from someone moding a Tacoma and you might find it helpful.

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...neau-1494.html

I've never understood the aerodynamics of the Avalanche or Honda Ridgeline or why a cover helps the airflow, but this post has pictures:
http://ecomodder.com/forum/15799-post17.html

Question from the thread's OP:

I've also wondered if adding a slight lip off the back of a flat bed cover helps or hurts aero?
like this..


Reply:

The way I see it the lip is only going to help FE on a (very) short bed, or with an abnormally tall cab. The lip would help improve the angle between the top of the cab to the top of the tailgate. Ideally that angle will be between 12-13 degrees. That angle is the steepest angle at which airflow will remain attached at highway speeds. Obviously, there's no bodywork for the air to attach to behind your cab, but the angle is still important, because the stagnant air trapped between the cab and bed will still have to conform to that angle.

So here we have a stock (current gen) Taco. And you'll notice that the angle between the top of the cab to the top of the tailgate is already 12.5 degrees, quite the optimal angle already. No need for alteration there!




So here's a hypothetical short bed Taco (don't know if they actually have beds this short.) The angle has changed from 12.5 degrees to 14.3 degrees, too steep for airflow to remain "attached."
Now, adding a little lip to the top of the tailgate will help to get that angle back to 12.5 degrees.



I got a great deal on an Access LE from Truck Alterations.com and hope it helps with gas mileage. But even if it doesn't, I still like the price, look and function of the cover.
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:23 PM   #13
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Tail gate down also weakens your bedsides over time.(doing it all the time)
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lwszabo View Post
Tail gate down also weakens your bedsides over time.(doing it all the time)
Really, good point, never considered that
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:46 PM   #15
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Tailgate down can get you pulled over. The rear license plate is not visible with the tailgate down.
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:50 PM   #16
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Also they never said in the video if they refueled for every test. (Or did I miss that.)
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:19 PM   #17
flyhi2 [OP] flyhi2 is offline
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Wow...this is the first time I posted a question on here and I really appreciate all the great feedback, especially the mythbusters link. I never watch it, and was not aware they did a test with a Fuel flow meter...that's good enough for me.
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genxer36 View Post
Also they never said in the video if they refueled for every test. (Or did I miss that.)
You should email that to Adam Savage so he can drive to your house and beat you to death with a fuel line magnet.
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:44 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genxer36 View Post
Also they never said in the video if they refueled for every test. (Or did I miss that.)
or if they used the same fuel from the same station..........
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:26 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyhi2 View Post
... especially the mythbusters link. I never watch it...
Mythbusters is really a great show even though i'm not always convinced they've exhausted all possibilities before declaring a myth 'busted'. But in their defense: you can test forever to get normally random events to line up just right.

But what makes the show great in my opinion is that the personalities involved are real people, not trumped up over-dramatized, over produced junk like the other 'reality' shows.

And besides... I love the creative ways they blow things up!
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