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How many MPG are you getting out of your LT1?

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voltagectrl View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote voltagectrl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: How many MPG are you getting out of your LT1?
    Posted: 21 May 19 at 09:03
Hey everyone,

Perhaps there already is a post about this, but I couldn't find it. So, my question to you guys is this:


How many MPG are you getting out of your petrol vans? What could be considered "normal"?


We have an -82 LT35, twin wheels, custom high top with an added 20cm, the 2.0 Petrol engine and the "not super slow, and yet not great for highway speeds"-diff. Can't recall the exact ratio, but the thing revs like a race car on fourth ;). All in all, the thing isn't really optimized for fuel efficiency, I get that.

However, we're seeing some pretty poor MPG on it and I'd like to try to find out if that's to be expected, or if we could do something about it.

On our latest 93,4 km (58 miles) trip we averaged 70-80km/h (44-50 mp/h) and saw a consumption of 1.7 l/100 km putting us at an MPG of 16.62. I mean, I know this thing needs some fuel to move, but wasn't expecting it to be this bad.

Any thoughts?



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndyT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 19 at 12:47
Mpg is about right, only option is to convert to lpg if you are doing the mileage.
Would give you 30mpg or so.
LT28 1979 2.0 Pampas Nevada Camper LPG 93K, 1980 T3 A/C Camper 98K,1994 RRC 3.9 LPG 120k , 1998 Audi A6 Est 2.5 V6 diesel 127k

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hooja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 19 at 14:15

Not much help to you but I just bought a 1995 florida and drove 380 miles home, mostly on motorway at about 100kmh and averaged 23.5mpg. Not sure if I was happy or not, didn't really consider economy when I bought it, I was too deep in the, I want one, frame of mind...

Any generic options for improving economy on Lt's in general?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote voltagectrl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 19 at 08:53
Thanks for the replies. I'm guessing the florida has a larger engine, perhaps even a diesel and a differential geared towards long hauls? Anyways it's a good benchmark to compare with.

I guess that puts me back at the drawing board ;)

The things that I've been considering on top of my head are:

1. Electronic ignition
2. Carburetor overhaul
3. Faster diff (Diesel / ambulance)
4. Larger rear wheels and tires (LT40)
5. Full engine swap (yikes...)

I'm thinking that we would get good results if it was possible to fit a gearbox with overdrive, so that we wouldn't have to redline the engine just to maintain 50mph, but no-one seems to have resolved that issue.
1982 LT 35, 2.0 Petrol with custom camper conversion
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndyT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 19 at 14:53
1. Can be done but only gives reliability.
2. If there is a problem.
3. Can't be done to the best of my knowledge.
4. Maybe but would throw the speedo out, not sure if there is enough torque to do this.
5. Whole powere train could be swapped but wouldn't be easy or cheap. There are some old topics on this if you do an advanced search. Will give you some idea of what is involved.

Engine is pretty bullet proof I'd spend some dosh on soundproofing etc and enjoy the sceenery.
LT28 1979 2.0 Pampas Nevada Camper LPG 93K, 1980 T3 A/C Camper 98K,1994 RRC 3.9 LPG 120k , 1998 Audi A6 Est 2.5 V6 diesel 127k

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buss Marius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 19 at 16:57
These engines had 100hp in Audi and in Porsche 914 125hp and fuel injection. I think i would take it to a carburetor spesialist to make shure it is Ok, may be they are able to give you a few horses more also. Since you have this "strange" LT 35 With coil springs up front, you could maybe swap the rear axle from a LT 28 or 31. You wil get singel rear Wheels witch wil reduse roling resistance. In the front you wil remove the "spacer" instaled so you can use 6 hole Wheels, insted of 5 hole that we have on LT 28 and 31. But you should definetely ask Bilprovning before you do anny such job. I am in the start of swaping my mighty 2,4 Diesel With 75hp, With a 2,5TDI from a Audi A6, With 116hp. I wil end up With an engine runing at much higher RPM's than it is constructed for, so i have to do something to reduce them. The bigest rear axle wil give me a reduction of 15% but where do i find such a rear axle? it is realy like a nedle in the haystack. A Volvo M46 gearbox for diesel engines wil fit on my 5 pot engine, but my engine wil lean 27 degres, and i don't think it is anny good for the gearbox to lean that much to the side. Since you have a pre -83 model, a Diesel in Your LT would have ben leaning 7 degre to the right. That is about the same as the Diesel in a Volvo 740. So may be a Diesel from a Volvo is the way to go.
I know there is a German that has added a overdrive from a Volvo M46 gearbox, to his LT Gearbox, and goten the RPMs Down. I think that is the best way to og for me.

And my consumption differs from 14l/100km on E6 in Sweden, to 11,9l/100km in Northern Germany

87 Karmann LT L 2,4D. 89 T3 Syncro Reimo 1,9TD. 2000 T4 Caravelle TDI
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndyT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 19 at 17:07
There's more too it than that mate.
Older LT's need major alterations to the chassis to fit a different engine, also the drive train is not central to the vehicle. The diff is offset too so not easy to line up.
Engine is downrated too to 75bhp.
Simple upgrade is an engine from a porsche but won't change top speed as you are stuck with the diff and gearbox ratio's.
LT28 1979 2.0 Pampas Nevada Camper LPG 93K, 1980 T3 A/C Camper 98K,1994 RRC 3.9 LPG 120k , 1998 Audi A6 Est 2.5 V6 diesel 127k

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buss Marius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 19 at 08:01
Yes it is more to it. One of the few options is to instala a Volvo engine, mated to a M46 overdrove gearbox. Almost al gearboxes has 1-1 as final drive. Volvo is one of the few that has higer gir ratio. The M46 reduses the RPM's With 21% The M47 with 18% and the M90 from 940 has a Version that reduses the RPM's 30%. Compared to other petrol engines, the Volvo engines are much more low RPM engines.

Do the 2,0 75hp petrol engine have the same bolt pattern to the gearbox, as the 2,4 engines?

@Voltagectrl. It seems you have found the LT-Wiki on the german LT-Forum.de The best LT forum seems to me to be the LT-freunde.de forum. Another page is the norwegian page for the LT on Wikipedia.
87 Karmann LT L 2,4D. 89 T3 Syncro Reimo 1,9TD. 2000 T4 Caravelle TDI
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote voltagectrl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 19 at 07:51
Ah will check out those sites as well.

The ignition and carb might be low hanging fruit that could improve HP and at the same time lead to less fuel consumption due to more exonomic driving.

Marius, that engine swap is going to be great. I’ll stay tuned to see how you get along. But a swap that involved is a bit beyond my skills. The most reasonable thing for me in that case would be getting a 6cyl donor van and moving stuff over, modifying the chassie etc as you go. That might be possible with some qualified assistance. But I’m fully aware that it’s going to be a massive undertaking.

I’m thinking that getting hold of the 41:10 diff would be an easy swap. That would lower the rpm with about 500 at 80km/h and would be a very good starting point.

Do you guys know if it would be possible to mount a diff from a single wheel axle to my twin wheels axle? That would make it easier to source the diff. I actually found one second hand last year but would up not buying it, a bit of a mistake.

Another alternative would indeed be to mount the same rear axle as the LT35E has, I’m never going to load up the van to the factory limits again, so this should be safe from a load perspective.
1982 LT 35, 2.0 Petrol with custom camper conversion
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buss Marius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 May 19 at 07:50
There is a Doka on Blocket for 10.000 Skr and it is a TD-IC engine, so the best you could get. But since you have a pre 83 model you need a bellypan from a 2,4 Diesel from 78 to 82 (A vertical mounted engine) or myabee you could use one from a Volvo? Before -83 the gearbox and rear diff was in the midle. From 83 the engine was leaning to the right and the gearbox and rear diff was moved a little bit to the left, so you need a pre 83 rear axle. If the distance betwen the springs are the same, i could not understand why you couldn't move one over. The turbo engine was introdused in 83 so you couldn't get one from them, but i am not shure about the rear diff used on the Perkins engines. Also the LT 35E was introdused around 1985
There are a lot of IFs to be considerd doing something on an LT.
87 Karmann LT L 2,4D. 89 T3 Syncro Reimo 1,9TD. 2000 T4 Caravelle TDI
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote voltagectrl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 May 19 at 09:10
Yes that whole engine lean thing is a bit annoying. That’s why I figure the best approach would be to get hold of a cheap donor and move part by over. And perhaps even replace the engine with a fresh D24TDC. One big hurdle might also be the regulations regarding the conversion from petrol to diesel. Not sure what the regulations say about such a modification. Thanks for the tip about Blocket, will check it out.
1982 LT 35, 2.0 Petrol with custom camper conversion
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