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Does Leveling a New Pickup Truck Reduce Fuel Efficiency? #5398074 04/09/20 07:55 AM
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LoneRanger Offline OP
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I'm reading opinions and such, that eliminating the suspension rake on trucks reduces aerodynamic efficiency (bit of an oxymoron for trucks anyhow...) and can have a negative effect on fuel economy. There's the separate matter of it causing rear squat when/if a payload is in the bed. Clearly, when not laden, a pickup tends to look better when leveled. I think what kills mpg for some modified trucks is not the actual leveling but the addition of heavier after market rims and larger and/or wider tires with more rolling resistance. So it's true that any appearance mods along the lines of leveling and after market rims and tires needs to be carefully executed with the aim of staying as close as possible to the weight of the OEM rims and rolling resistance of the chosen tires. Perhaps the sensible option would be to ensure you match the offset and other specs of the OEM rims when selecting after market replacements.

In the case of my F150, I've considered doing the above but I'm still on the fence. If I were to level it and swap rims, I would prefer to have the OEM Hankook DynaPro AT2 tires re-mounted to any after market rims I might select.

Re: Does Leveling a New Pickup Truck Reduce Fuel Efficiency? [Re: LoneRanger] #5398082 04/09/20 08:04 AM
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Strokenmerc Offline
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Separately, I would think leveling would not change the MPG enough to notice. As you said, leveling is usually combined with larger/wider wheels and tires which potentially have a huge effect. I personally see a 3-4 MPG loss when running mud tires vs street tread even using the same OEM wheels. Most buddies say the same when mud terrain tires are used, even same size and rims.

My example is a '99 Tacoma
31" Michelins on OEM aluminum - 19.5-21 mpg
31" mud terrains on OEM aluminum - 16-17 mpg


2018 Kia Sportage
2011 Chevrolet Cruze
2004 Silverado 2500HD
2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer
2001 Chevrolet Camaro SS
1999 Toyota Tacoma
Re: Does Leveling a New Pickup Truck Reduce Fuel Efficiency? [Re: LoneRanger] #5398103 04/09/20 08:28 AM
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brages Offline
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Leveling increases your cross sectional area, right?

Aero drag = CdA

Re: Does Leveling a New Pickup Truck Reduce Fuel Efficiency? [Re: LoneRanger] #5398107 04/09/20 08:30 AM
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CARJ Offline
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My 4runner is leveled with Bilstein 5100's. I didn't see any noticeable difference in fuel mileage when making the change.


2004 Toyota 4Runner | 198k | Havoline Pro DS 5w-30, YZZD3
2012 VW Passat | 98k | M1 0w-40, XG9911
Re: Does Leveling a New Pickup Truck Reduce Fuel Efficiency? [Re: LoneRanger] #5398159 04/09/20 09:12 AM
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tcp71 Online Content
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Lowering the back by changing the spacer blocks probably has no affect. Raising the front will have some affect on fuel economy. Enough to notice? Or care? That’s up to you. Regardless, adjust your headlights properly if you do it.


2016 F150 Eco: Edge 0w40
2005 Sienna 3.3: PP 5w30 syn. (varies)
Re: Does Leveling a New Pickup Truck Reduce Fuel Efficiency? [Re: LoneRanger] #5398172 04/09/20 09:18 AM
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wog Offline
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I would think the nose lower would help aero for mpg. Wind over the top with less resistence.

Re: Does Leveling a New Pickup Truck Reduce Fuel Efficiency? [Re: wog] #5398180 04/09/20 09:22 AM
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4WD Offline
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Probably so ... those air dams are really low these days

https://www.torquenews.com/397/gmc-busts-top-4-myths-truck-aerodynamics

Re: Does Leveling a New Pickup Truck Reduce Fuel Efficiency? [Re: LoneRanger] #5398186 04/09/20 09:24 AM
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CT8 Offline
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The lower front looks NASCAR leave it as is.


2015 F150 2.7
2018 F350 6.2
Re: Does Leveling a New Pickup Truck Reduce Fuel Efficiency? [Re: LoneRanger] #5398231 04/09/20 09:49 AM
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Bryanccfshr Offline
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By lifting the front you are increasing the frontal area. (More undercarriage,and tire frontal area exposed.)You will take a hit on highway mpg but won’t notice it below 65. The other issue is that if you load the truck or Tow a trailer you run the risk of topping out the front suspension more frequently in this scenario just driving over road variations and dips. That’s hard on the ball joints and cv boots if you have them.

That being said my trd pro 4 runner has a 1” front lift compared to a non TRD pro. It also has more aggressive tires and I have a couple of hundred pounds of additional armor installed. I’m still can get or beat rated MPG if I drive well. So the driver counts too.


2018 Trd Pro 4Runner
2018 Tacoma off-road

Dealer 0w20 to M1 0w40 FS -it depends
Re: Does Leveling a New Pickup Truck Reduce Fuel Efficiency? [Re: LoneRanger] #5398263 04/09/20 10:09 AM
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racin4ds Offline
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You won't notice it if you level it, its merely a move to satisfy CAFE for the fleet of trucks and likely adds .00002% MPG. More CAFE BS...


Just say NO to thin oils and M1!
05 F350 Powerstroke
05 Hyundai Tucson
'13 Passat TDi SE+Nav
Re: Does Leveling a New Pickup Truck Reduce Fuel Efficiency? [Re: LoneRanger] #5398281 04/09/20 10:27 AM
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I just leave mine stock . I run stock OEM tire sizes so I don’t care . My Ram 2500 is high enough as is !


2018 Ram 2500 HD 6.4 Hemi Crew Cab 12K miles Pennzoil Ultra 0W-40
8'Boss SuperDuty Plow
2017 Harley Davidson Milwaukee 8 Limited 10KMiles Amsoil 20W-50
2010 Toyota Avalon XLS 56K miles Amsoil SS 5W-30
Re: Does Leveling a New Pickup Truck Reduce Fuel Efficiency? [Re: LoneRanger] #5398290 04/09/20 10:35 AM
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double vanos Offline
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All of my pickups have leveled themselves. I find that around 6 years old and 100k miles they look perfectly level, no wrenches needed. LOL


Sabine Schmitz is the Queen of the 'Ring; Svetlana Kapanina is the Queen of the SKIES...
Re: Does Leveling a New Pickup Truck Reduce Fuel Efficiency? [Re: LoneRanger] #5398293 04/09/20 10:41 AM
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Trav Offline
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A box is a box no matter how twist it.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: Does Leveling a New Pickup Truck Reduce Fuel Efficiency? [Re: LoneRanger] #5398296 04/09/20 10:44 AM
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vwmaniaman Offline
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Newer Ram trucks with tow package have auto level. Put a travel trailer on it and it comes up level. Take it off and it goes back level.. Same with bed loads.


Don't waste your time on a slipshod repair.
Re: Does Leveling a New Pickup Truck Reduce Fuel Efficiency? [Re: LoneRanger] #5398300 04/09/20 10:48 AM
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JohnG Offline
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Anyone looking for fuel economy should not buy a pickup. They are the worst for many reasons, even Toyotas. But I think you would get the same amount of improvement by just removing the tailgate.

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