With gas prices on the rise (again) many people are scrambling to find ways to get better fuel economy out of their old cars. Some people fall for snake oil solutions like gasoline additives or fake turbochargers. Other people study the art of hypermiling, using various techniques to get the most out of their gas tank. And there are those who will even heavily modify their automobile for better aerodynamics.
Bakari Kafele has gone farther than most, hypermiling his 1983 Ford diesel pickup truck and modifying with all sorts of aerodynamic enhancements. The result? He can get as high as 30 mpg, on biodiesel, out of this 30-year old truck.
This video, produced by videographer Fair Companies, catalogs the many modifications and driving techniques that Bakari uses to almost double the mileage on his old diesel pickup. Among the many modifications are wheel-well covers, an underbody panel made from corrugated plastic, and removing the alternator (which he replaced with a battery charger and two deep-cycle batteries and a solar panel.) He can even shut off the engine on the fly, allowing him to coast without sucking down fuel. Even with the higher cost of biodeisel, Bakari estimates that he saves $2,000 a year on fuel.
That’s a nice chunk of change, and none of the modifications were particularly expensive in the first place. While I am not suggesting we all run out and start strapping pieces of cardboard to our cars to make it more aerodynamic, for those DIY’er’s looking to get more gas mileage out of their old rides, you might find some inspiration from Bakari’s story.