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Advice on air intakes, filters, exhaust, bed covers, and more

Discussion in '4 Cylinder' started by akjone02, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. Jul 27, 2010 at 7:56 AM
    #1
    akjone02

    akjone02 [OP] Active Member

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    Andy
    Capital Region NY
    I'll be picking up a 2011 Tacoma as soon as they hit the lot, a 4x4 regular cab. This year they're offering both automatic and manual, and I'm still up in the air on which I want (honestly it might depend on the interior, I hear the automatic might have different seats and a console, but we'll see).

    When I first started looking I was super concerned with gas mileage, so I started reading up on every way to squeeze a thimble of extra gas out of a vehicle. Now I've got a few mods I'm planning on making and I'd really appreciate some advice on them. In advance I want to say, I'm a total newbie to all of this stuff, I've never changed more than my windshield wipers before.

    I do want to make a really quick note. I expect a whole bunch of replies about how the cost of the mods will outweigh the potential gas savings, or how all of them combined probably won't add up to more than 1mpg extra at best. I know, and I'm ok with it for a few reasons.
    1: Some of these should add a little HP even if they don't add any MPG, and I'm happy squeezing any extra power out that I can without losing mileage.
    2: I just like buying new toys :). I don't spend money on anything else right now so I'm ok with putting my fun-funds here.
    3: If I drive the thing till it bursts into flames like I intend to, then even 1mpg difference will add up eventually, and I'll enjoy the extra pep in the meantime.

    Tonneau Cover
    I've heard that this one actually does nothing for mpg (mythbusters), but I want one anyways, partially for security. Is it possible to get a fairly basic folding hard cover that can be locked? I know that if someone really wants in they could probably break it, but if I can lock it down and it can't be folded up without unlocking it, then at least it discourages neighborhood kids and the like. The closest I've seen is the bakflip but it almost seems like more than I need, is there anything more basic than that?

    Air Intake
    As a car newbie I'm really confused about this one. I've read stuff that says a "cold air intake" will do a lot for HP and MPG, and others that say a "warm air intake" does just as well, and still more say neither will do anything. I've got the gist of what they do, bring air into the engine more efficiently, but which should I go for and will it make a bit of difference? It it won't help either HP or MPG I'll skip it, if it will have even a small effect to either I'll go for it.

    Custom or performance exhaust
    This one I'm skeptical about, but I read an article that said an after market exhaust could help both HP and MPG, in addition to just looking kinda neat. Is it complete malarkey or is it worth considering for a combination of a couple horses and a little bling?

    Air Filter
    This is one I'm pretty sure helps. Especially on this forum people talk about how an air filter will, at the very least, give you a little more power. Forgive how stupid this question will be, but should I do this even if I end up getting an air-intake or does the air intake include a new air filter?

    Are there any other little changes I can make that will help with MPG or HP without adversely effecting the other? Bonus points if it adds something shiny or good looking to the outside of the truck of course :).

    Thanks in advance for any replies.

    Edit: I thought that 4 cyl forum would be appropriate because of the model I'm looking at, but now I believe this better belongs in performance and tuning. Could the thread be moved? Sorry for the trouble.
     
  2. Jul 27, 2010 at 11:13 AM
    #2
    skytower

    skytower Well-Known Member

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    Hitch and wiring, aux back-up light, rear strobe lights, radio and underseat sub.
    Air intakes that draw air from the engine compartment don't add mpg. A micro fiber air filter would be beneficial, but no mpg increase.
    Full synthetic oils and gear lube would be they way to go. Less friction=less resistance and more mpg. With the right filter and conditions, it lasts longer too.
    Regular maintenance and upkeep are the keys to good mpg's
    Tires at correct pressure and quality fuel will do more than all other mods.
     
  3. Jul 27, 2010 at 12:19 PM
    #3
    akjone02

    akjone02 [OP] Active Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I definitely plan on going synthetics, keeping up with maintenance, keeping tire pressures good, and keeping a light foot. Those will, as you say, be the biggest factors.

    Even given those, I'm still interested in squeezing out every mpg I can manage.

    You don't think an air filter will do anything mpg wise? It seems to be a pretty popular mod on the forums here.
     
  4. Jul 27, 2010 at 12:24 PM
    #4
    skytower

    skytower Well-Known Member

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    Hitch and wiring, aux back-up light, rear strobe lights, radio and underseat sub.
    I have a K&N. Had no differance. I only got it since it lasts so long.
    A tuned header and free flowing exhaust would probably make the best improvement, but that option is very pricy.
     
  5. Jul 28, 2010 at 6:08 PM
    #5
    larryde09

    larryde09 Well-Known Member

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    (Traded-in) 06 2.7L 5-spd SR5 4x4
    K&N Intake, Magnaflow Cat-back Exhaust, Altezza Tail Lights, Pop&Lock Tailgate Lock, Extang Trifecta Tonneau Cover, PIAA foglights with stock switch, DrawTite Hitch, OBX Shift Knob, Hood Protector, Vent Visors, DIY step bars/sliders/running boards, DIY Bed Lights, DIY Running Board/Ground Lights, DIY Tailgate Electrical Box (12V socket, voltage and current gauges), DIY Internal Lighting (coming soon), Aftermarket switches in stock dash blanks, Sony Head Unit, Illuminated 4x4 switch mod
    I agree w/ the synthetics and tires.

    As for other stuff, I've added almost all of your items of interest to my 4-cyl gen-2 manual. I religiously track my mileage, and like you, I was interested in knowing if a mod was worth it. Lots of times, mods have a minimal improvement alone, but when combined, the synergy is better than the sum of the parts (e.g. an intake is good; an exhaust is good; but an intake and an exhaust is best)

    Tonneau: improved mileage maybe .5 mpg. Although negligible, it is worth it for safety and keeping stuff clean/dry. When used in conjunction with a tailgate lock, they are very nice.

    K&N intake: increased my mileage by ~2mpg and improved low-end throttle response. Paid for itself over the years in gas savings and no filter replacements. It also added a deep growl when at wide-open throttle...can here the air sucking into the throttle body.

    Magnaflow exhaust: when combined w/ the intake, I gained another 1mpg and it improved my engine/shifting by removing any restriction feeling through red line. It tends to resonate when cruising (I think it was tuned for teh V6 since I had to modify it for my application), so I'm not sure I'd do it again...or I'd try a different muffler.

    Bridgestone Dueler AT Revo Tires: reduced gas mileage ~ .5mpg when compared to the stock tires. This was expected because they are a more aggressive tread.

    Other ideas to improve mileage is to reduce weight. Obviously things like lifts increase drag, while lowering it reduces drag.
     
  6. Aug 4, 2010 at 11:07 AM
    #6
    newbtacoma

    newbtacoma Well-Known Member

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    Which series should I go with? Whats the difference between the 63 series and the 77 series K&N Air intakes?
     
  7. Sep 14, 2010 at 2:11 PM
    #7
    08pretaco

    08pretaco Almost there

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    AFE pro dry s, Husky X-act Contour
     
  8. Sep 14, 2010 at 2:19 PM
    #8
    sierrahsky

    sierrahsky Expedition Style

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    I noticed up here at altitude the TRD CAI upgrade only helped my gas mileage. Before I installed it if I started off from a light in second or if I shifted in to to high of a gear the motor would bog down but not now. Also I average about 350 per tank running 89 and the cai. I did not notice any increase in HP but the sound was really great! This upgrade to me is just a personal preference. For the price, its the same to me as people who add things like led lights to change the color of the dash, just makes it more "your" truck. Love the intake and the bedmat.
     
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