Bongo V6 - Improve MPG without LPG

What's the MPG like? Can I use chip fat and veggie oil? What about LPG?

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digitalgypsy
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Bongo V6 - Improve MPG without LPG

Post by digitalgypsy » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:15 pm

Hello Bongo comrades,

The other evenings I had many people telling me to sell the Bongo and get a practical family car...ready for when the baby arrives in March. I agreed at the time but then felt quite sad about the idea of having no Bongo, let alone campervan! Now I'm resolute that I'll make the Bongo work both practically and hopefully boost the MPG, even a tad.

So, I was hoping to get some advice on what's possible to improve MPG without resorting to an LPG conversion. I'm open to LPG but I live on the IOW and there are no installers here and only one LPG forecourt, I don't think it's feasible. Here's what I've come up with after research:

1) Driving economically. Or, accelerating smoothly.
2) Regular unleaded. I normally buy premium but am sure regular cars like the Bongo are designed to happily run on the premium stuff, do you get any benefit for the extra cost of the premium?
3) Tyre pressure. Would like to get some thoughts on best tyre pressure for my setup. I have an Outback rear conversion and middle bench seat. Nothing much else to note. Currently front are on 34 and rear on 36. Think something else is more optimal? Factory 32 and 34 seems a bit soft.
4) Low rolling-resistance tyres? Any thoughts on these? Anyone use them?
5) ECO Remapping? Understand this increases power/torque which results in better MPG...engine doesn't work as hard. Most keen to get opinions about this.

That's all I've come up with. I must admit, the MPG seems pretty dreadful on my V6, would be surprised if it's 20. I do live on the IOW which has hills everywhere.

Much appreciated for any input here :)

Steve
digitalgypsy
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Re: Bongo V6 - Improve MPG without LPG

Post by digitalgypsy » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:18 pm

I would like to add that my Dad summed it up well - you're battling physics of pushing a 2 ton unit with 6 cylinders up a hill #-o :lol:
Bob
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Re: Bongo V6 - Improve MPG without LPG

Post by Bob » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:41 pm

Rather than focusing 100% on extra mpg I would look at reducing mileage.

Plan what you're doing to avoid duplicating trips, walk or cycle short journeys, and remember there will be almost no depreciation on a Bongo.

That's the big 'hidden' cost with a newer less thirsty motor. :wink:
digitalgypsy
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Re: Bongo V6 - Improve MPG without LPG

Post by digitalgypsy » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:00 pm

Cheers Bob, good point.
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Re: Bongo V6 - Improve MPG without LPG

Post by Flanners » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:19 am

Good advice about usage, as ultimately you have a fairly heavy relatively uneconomical aging vehicle..... adopting all the mpg advice will only return marginal gains of a couple or so of extra miles at best, which is good but obviously won't be a revelation. For a V6 looking on this site average mpg is mid 20's at best.

LPG is an option but unless you are doing bigger mileages not cost efficient, I am sure I read the engine did not like LPG and Honest John carries a warning about the V6 Bongo saying: it drinks like a fish and the LPG conversion burns out valve assembly's (?).

Looking at T4/T5 Forums when considering what Van to go for I noticed suprisingly that the dubs have fairly bad mpg (given the Bongo gets the bad rep for lousy mpg), 2.0TDi's returning late 20's to mid 30's at best

I say keep her, but don't pay for the premium fuel the Bongo engine etc it is an antique, if you want detergent and a bit more octane stick some Millers Economax in her. There are several posts on here showing that premium fuel made no difference to avg mpg.
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Doone
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Re: Bongo V6 - Improve MPG without LPG

Post by Doone » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:31 am

Bongos have so much space inside and are so versatile, they're great for growing families. You can add a pram, a dog, another kid, couple of bicycles and still have space. 8) There're not many vehicles you can do that with, that hold their value.

If you haven't looked at babyseat options, you'll need to sort that, as choice is limited for a Bongo. There's babyseat advice dotted around the forum; A search will find it. And there's a useful factsheet with which ones fit, in the members area, see this link: MEMBERS AREA

I've seen no improvement yet in Bongo MPG with ECU ideas. Someone somewhere might have. They're basic engines that respond to the ideas you've mentioned and clean air filters, oils, servicing etc.

There are some more fuel saving tips, not Bongo specific, but still relevant, if you scroll down this link:
FUEL SAVING TIPS
My Trading Standards Approved garage: http://www.allansvehicleservices.co.uk
digitalgypsy
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Re: Bongo V6 - Improve MPG without LPG

Post by digitalgypsy » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:01 pm

Thanks for the replies chaps. It's good to get some input about the ECU remapping, so I can cross that one off the list. And that's useful info regarding just using regular petrol, I'll be buying some Miller's Ecomax to use moving forward. MOT and full service is due in February so I will be buying an air filter for them to fit...or fitting it myself if easy enough. What else is left on the list...

The one remaining thing to address is tyre pressure. After reading it seems the higher pressure equals better MPG but at the cost of more wear and tear on the tyres. Any thoughts on optimal tyre pressure? Again, I have a rear conversion and one bench seat. Don't lug around anything too heavy.

I may keep an eye out for a cheap runaround. Can't avoid the Bongo being used a fair bit otherwise.

P.S. Cheers for that article, I learned something valuable about highest gear at lowest rev. The roads tend to be 30 max where I use the Bongo but guess the low revs still helps.
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Re: Bongo V6 - Improve MPG without LPG

Post by Northern Bongolow » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:32 pm

we had 2 bongos on every day school runs and duel work commutes etc for ten years, i did the same as you are doing now. the best things i found to improve affordability were as follows.
use the best fuel you can afford, including the additives.
get the bongos four wheel aligned, not just tracking, all four wheels going in the same direction really does help.
change and maintain all the oils in the drive line, friction is drag.
service the brakes regularly.
dump the recirculating crank case breathers, old warm air into the air system dosent get as big a bang in the cylinders as clean cold air at the manifold
the best single thing was tyres. when my 4wd was up for a tyre change i fitted 195 width back and front but with a higher load index 102 -103 extra load to compensate for the narrower back end profile, they were a little taller, ie, helping with the circumference / mpg /gearing but also were a lot more rigid in the side wall, this stopped any poss of tyre bend. the recom tyre pressure were also 50 psi, these were truck tyres with a lower rolling resistance. in tests done when fitted they were found to be nearly unpleasant so i dropped the pressures slightly to give a better comfort ride but trying not to loose the rolling resistance benefits, i ran these every day for 7 years and found the difference was obvious.
what you tell the insurance company is your business though.


all the lecky cars run on thin hard wheels and tyres, less rolling res and drag.
digitalgypsy
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Re: Bongo V6 - Improve MPG without LPG

Post by digitalgypsy » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:03 pm

Cheers Northern. That all makes sense, but without actually knowing about these things, don't think I'm brave enough to change the size of the rear wheel tyres. Same with the crank case breathers but looked into it and saw other people recommending the same thing. Am thinking of getting the wheels four wheel aligned though. And keeping the tyre pressures high.

Incidentally, should the tyre pressures always retain a 2 increment difference? i.e. 38 at front and 40 at back?