Okay, it actually has been running for months now but, the rear end gears were the stock 3.08 Dana 35 stuff. This meant that in 5th gear at 2400 rpm I would be doing something close to warp speed 7.42. Not that the 72 horsepower would pull it anyway. Even geared this wrong it still pulled a respectable 27.8 mpg (for a truck) mostly driven in 3rd gear. Last night I finally finished the install of the matched set of Wagoneer Dana 44 axles with 5.38 gears that mathematically works out to 2400 rpm (the optimum mileage rpm) at 62 mph with a set of 33 inch tires.
I took the truck out and drove it down the county road and it runs great – cruises down the road a lot like a Mercedes 240 D as every little hill seems a little bigger than they do in a powerful gas car. I can live with low horsepower if i can get the fuel mileage that I want in a truck (30+mpg). The little Jeep Commanche weighs less than a Mercedes 240 D,and I drove the car this engine came from for 6 months and regularly got 28-32 mpg, so it should do nicely. Now, I know that a little Volkswagen Golf or a Hybrid of some sort can get better mileage but (A) I NEED a truck to do the things I do and (B) the cost of the hybrid would buy me enough fuel to drive this thing 211,764.7 miles ( fuel 4.25/gal- $30,000 hybrid- 30 mpg). That also does not cover the interest, insurance and other costs that would realistically also be on there. My actual fuel costs may actually be lower by running biodiesel and fryer grease but that is not always available. I will post mileage numbers when i get some miles on the truck. STAY TUNED!!!