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91 Tracker, 1.6, 5sp. man, 4x4, tin top, stock size wheels and tires. Remember, this Tracker built when speed limit was 55, so it was probably geared for that era. Turns 3700 at 65mph, 3100 at 55mph. Runs and pulls great at 2800 rpm, but only runs about 45 mph. I wonder what would need to be done to get it to about 2800 at 65 mph, and what it would do to standing start power? Gearing and/or tire size chsnge?
 

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So I asked this same question about 4 months back for my 89 1.6L. It turns out the high compression motors make max torque around 3500. If you were to swap out gearing and things so youd hit 65 mph @ 2800 ish, the slightest hill would kill you in 5th and your fuel consumption would greatly increase to try and keep the car moving at 65mph with that little power (these things arent very aerodynamic). Tire changes can drop it about 10% ish, I went to a 235/75/15 and have noticed that I can do 165 around 3350 now.
 

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You are 4x4 so your stock tires are the 205/75/15. Your gear ratio is the same as mine - at 3000 rpm, factory spec is that you are doing 54 mph (although bear in mind that factories normally calibrate the speedos to indicate slightly faster than you are actually going - if, for example, you compare with GPS, etc.). I went up to 225/75/15 tires, which changed the gearing slightly, so that at 65 mph I am revving about 3500 rpm. However, while this may be annoying to a driver, these engines like to rev high. I found that there is, what I consider an 'uncomfortable zone' from 3000-3300 rpm, where I feel the engine is straining, and then, once I go over that, it cruises just fine. However, without serious modification, you will not get this car to run at 65mph at 2500 rpm - if that's what you need, then this is, sadly, the wrong car.
 

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Its a quite normal cruising RPM for a 1.6. Small engines spin much easier than a big V8.
 

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Switching tire & wheel sizes is a straight forward option and should assist in lowering engine RPMs at highway speeds.

I've switched to 16"x7" zero-offset wheels. My current tire size is 215/70R16 which is about 28" in diameter. This size tire fits with no rubbing.

With a lift, I'm considering 215/85R16 tires which are about 30-1/2" in diameter.
 

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I have 31x10.5x15 on my '91 GMC 5spd plastic topped tracker and I can't see a lot of difference. On various {4x5spd '91/'92}trackers I've had running pretty much everything from piddly stock tire/wheel combos to my current arrangement, mostly highway driving and find wind is my worst enemy.
 

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I'm on 33s and my gearing is close to that

Its terrible.
 

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I'm running 225/75/15s and at 65 mph the engine is turning at 3500 rpm. It's simply the nature of the beast with these little trucks.
 

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I have a 2000 gv v6 5 speed 4x4. Its still geared to low i think to. I wish i could overdrive it by another 30%. I can drive around @ 25mph in 5th gear. I have driven up huge hill at 35mph that any automatic woulda shifted to 2 to stay at 35. 4k @70mph. Killer of fuel.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everybody! I sort of thought these little motors were designed this way, high rpm, but again, I thought it might have been because of the era it was built in. (55 mph speed limit on interstate. It still seems have plenty of power at lower RPM ...2800 to 3000. I wonder if, with interstate speed now at 70 if the manufacturers would have geared it a little different. Seems like It needs another gear. However, anything done by me now would also hurt start and lower speeds.
 

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The best my 8V ever ran was on smaller tyres, pulled like a train in 5th and was actually a little more economical.
 

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I think the rule of thumb is that the smaller the tires are, the faster you are 'off the line'. The larger tires give you a higher top end. Going from the 205's to 225's like I did, really isn't tremendously 'effective' - you only gain something like 4% greater distance per rotation - so, in physical terms, when the speedo says you are going 60, you are actually going 62.4mph. Not a big difference, frankly.
I have found, however, that cruising on the highway at about 4000 rpm, the car seems to 'love' it, and has enough pep to pass, etc. Once I get over that 3000-3400 'sore spot' (probably sore for me, and not for the car, actually), the engine opens up nicely.
 

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Do driving speeds in England then to be lower than those in the US?

Your mileage is better at 55 mph than at higher speeds because air resistance goes up geometrically with speed. Perhaps slowing down will pay off more than simply trying to lower rpm.

If I remember correctly, larger tires may lower rpm slightly but can also work against fuel economy. Aerodynamic cars tend to hug the ground. They have air dams in the front to direct the air around the car instead of allowing it to generate turbulence underneath the car and cause drag. I apologize for my earlier advice to get larger tires if your goal was to increase mileage.
 

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My 1.6 8 valve is over between 4,000 and 4,500 rpms at hwy speeds (70-75 mph) with stock tires and a 3 speed auto. It does seem like alot of revs, but it runs great.
 

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Do driving speeds in England then to be lower than those in the US?
I shouldn't think so 70mph is the legal limit on the motorway but its widely ignored. On the smaller tyres it would rev harder in fifth so it would still pull around 90mph. Generally I would cruise at 70 on a motorway, now its lifted its and a fair bit higher geared its a lot slower and the mpg is far worse. Smaller diameter tyres are quite common, low profiles are always fitted on the Wideboy and Fatboy conversions.
 

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We were chasing a copter in the wife's rig yesterday. 85-90 mph indicated...so 100+.

Just humming along at about 4100 rpm or so.

Fastest its ever gone
 

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it's just these are geared down so low because of the little power plant...I personally don't think they were ever thought of as going 70mph...but this just me!!! There are a lot of cars as small as these you see going down the freeway at 70 but they are a transverse mounted engine...turning the same way as the wheels whitch allows for about a 30% less power rob in the power train...and that makes higher gear ratio's possible with the same tiny CI engine's
That is a very American way of thinking, in many other countries a 1.6 isn't a particularly small engine. You aren't going to lose 30% of your power in the rear diff, it would get very hot if you did! I haven't driven many FWD cars with a similar size engine that rev any lower.
 

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Lightness of unibody design?

Yeah before safety regs.

A 1.9 jetta outweighs a 62 impala by 6-700lbs lol

My 05 xb outweighed my current sidekick on 33s by a similar amount.

Unibody design is only lighter when safety isnt the focus.
 
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