Old Ford Maverick V8 Has Carburetor From A Lawn Mower, Gets 41 MPG

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The original Ford Maverick was no small pickup truck. It also lacked a four-cylinder hybrid engine, but that didn’t stop this V8-powered 1974 Maverick sedan from getting 41 mpg from its 5.0-liter engine. That’s much better than the new hybrid version Ford is offering today, which gets a combined EPA rating of 37 mpg. But as you can imagine, there’s more to this story than just a small carb in a big machine.

This experiment comes from ThunderHead289 on YouTube, and is actually well thought out. It starts with finding the smallest available lawnmower carburetor with a float bowl, because it’s needed to work on a larger engine. The adapter plate is 3D printed to attach the carb to the inlet, with another adapter printed to house a small air purifier. With everything bolted into place, the engine started on the first attempt, proving the concept was viable.

Getting started is a long way from driving, and that’s where things get a little more complicated. The needle is adjusted for precise idle, and the fuel pressure setting method is engineered to better match the carb’s capabilities. Also, it should be noted that this machine is not completely stock. It was used as a testbed for the rebuilt carburetor and had some manual adjustments to control fuel pressure. It also includes several modern technologies that allow direct adjustment of engine parameters, including the air-fuel ratio.

Most videos offer a deeper dive into the technical aspects of the experiment, but for our purposes, just know that awesome job. Not only that, it seems to work pretty well. The old Maverick V8 starts to cool off without hesitation, idles smoothly, and makes just the right V8 sound when fed a nut. Of course, the engine is in the off state – exactly how much isn’t mentioned in the video but on a 37-mile test, it hit highway speeds of up to 80 mph. The trade-off for power is efficiency, as stopping fuel after the drive reveals an estimated mileage of 41 mpg.

With gasoline prices in the US currently averaging over $4.00 a gallon, seeing the old V8 outperform many hybrids is certainly impressive. How long the tiny carbs last in these applications, however, remains to be seen.

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