Feroza Low on Power and Fuel Efficiency

Xavier Darcy
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Feroza Low on Power and Fuel Efficiency

Unread post by Xavier Darcy » January 22nd, 2018, 10:04 pm

G'day all,
I recently bought a 1994 Widetrack Feroza II as my first fourbie, its virtually stock - apart from extractors, a 1-inch body lift and 29" tires and I love it. Me and my mate (who has a troopy) have been on a few 4x4 trips (Straddie, Scenic Rim and Ormeau), and to the surprise of many (including myself sometimes), it has kept up with the troopy easily. However, I find its on-road performance is a bit lacking. I know its only a 1.6 L engine but it really seems like it isn't getting fuel in when I put the foot down, not to mention that at highway speeds, a moderate incline will cause a major loss of speed and triggers the check engine light. Also, with the stock tires on, it does 11L/100Km highway, and 16L/100Km city, which surely isn't right for this size of engine. My Dad and I have put on a new fuel filter, and checked the cat converter for blockage (not blocked). We will check the fuel pump filter soon, and we are fairly sure the muffler is very very blocked - so we are looking to change that out for something a bit more sporty soon as well. My question to you all is; have we missed anything? Can anything else be causing my problems? Also, any recommendations for hi-flow mufflers for the Feroza? we are just looking for the muffler - we will weld/clamp it in place of the old one.
Thanks in advance for any help,
Xavier

Peter Aawen
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Re: Feroza Low on Power and Fuel Efficiency

Unread post by Peter Aawen » January 23rd, 2018, 3:19 am

Hi Xavier, welcome to the Forum.

Any blockage or significant restriction in your exhaust anywhere is very likely to adversely impact upon performance..... and fuel economy, & possibly even engine temperature!! So check your entire exhaust system, not just the muffler! A bent or kinked tail-pipe could just as likely be the problem as a crushed or blocked muffler!! Any good quality Hi-flow muffler should work, altho our last Feroza ran a 2.5" mandrel bent system with a single offset turbo muffler & a (quite expensive) Hi-Flow cat of the same dia from the extractors back - cos the guys who did the bigger dia exhausts for our turbo diesel Patrols wanted to see if they could do it!! I think the extractors were Pacemaker or Genie, & larger dia to suit the pipe & the head work on that particular one, but we've run other Ferozas with similar extractors & a hi-flow/larger dia cat & exhaust too. With the timing & valve clearances set correctly, when they are in good nick these engines just love revs & will rev freely & run at high revs all day IF you give them the means to pump the exhaust out!!

Besides making sure you've got compression & fuel at the right pressure & sparks that happen at the right time with the right intensity plus an exhaust that lets all the gasses get out freely, another thing you need to check and pay attention too is ALL the filters, not just the fuel filter!! The motor will suck as much air as it can thru a good filter - I always ran regularly serviced Uni-filters after I saw the tests that showed the Aussie Uni-filter not only flowed more air than a paper filter, but they kept more of the finer dust particles out AND if you got water spray or splash into the intake they'd pretty much stop it then & there unless absolutely drowned - & that's a good thing for something driving off the bitumen in Aust & ever likely to do creek crossings, especially a vehicle that you can't readily get a snorkel for... like the Feroza!! (But there are snorkels that'll fit - it's too long ago now for me to remember, but they are there and worth the effort!! And then there's always 4" stainless that you could use to fab one up, too!)

While on filters, there is a little filter on the fuel pump itself, so while you are changing the in-line filter that should be down near the tank itself and then the fuel filter in the engine compartment, check out the fuel pump unit just in front of the tank. It's quite possible that your Feroza may be running an a/mkt pump now, but if it's still got the OE pump, check to see if it has the filter that they came with on one end too. It can get blocked & restrictive over time!! And talking of restrictive - carefully check the entire length of the fuel lines!! The 'rubber' bits can get weak & spongy over time, so the internal tube collapses & restricts flow, in which case they need to be tossed & replaced. And the metal bits can get dented &/or kinked & restrict flow, in which case they need to be tossed & replaced. If you can't get 2nd hand good replacements from a wrecker or newies from Toyota/Daihatsu, ENZED hoses or similar should be able to cut any damaged sections out & make new sections to fit, but that might be a bit more expensive!! But if you can see a dent or kink in a metal fuel line, it IS restricted & wont be helping the cause.... similarly, if a 'rubber' fuel line feels spongy between a pinching thumb & fore-finger, it's time to replace it!! And don't forget the little filter on the pump!!

Btw, fitting bigger than OE Spec tyres WILL 'cost you' fuel economy, & very likely look worse than it really is simply because of the changes it makes to the speed you drive at and the apparent number of kms you travel!! On standard OE Spec tyres, your fuel economy will probably look better than it really is - cos your speedo reads faster than you are really doing (maybe by as much as 10%) while your odo/trip meter might be equally out, altho sometimes they've been set pretty accurately! Then when you fit taller tyres without adjusting either, your speedo shows the same speed but you are actually doing somewhat more cos you are going further & faster with every tyre revolution - even tho the stock tyres probably had your speedo reading faster than actual & maybe your odo was counting more kms than you'd truly covered, now what you are actually doing is not the same as was being reported before so your fuel economy probably looks bad!! Fit bigger tyres & suddenly you are actually travelling closer to or maybe even over the 100 kph it shows on the dial, when before you might've only been truly doing 91 or 92 kph when your speedo said 100!! That means you are running the engine harder, altho it 'appears' that you are driving at just the same speed you used to!! And the odo will show the you've only covered 100 kms where maybe it used to show you'd done 110kms over the same physical distance! So you are actually driving faster & seemingly travelling fewer kms too - which looks pretty bad for your fuel economy.... at least until you ACTUALLY drive at the same 'real' speed that you used to drive at (that'll be hard to do once you realise the OE Spec tyres had you travelling maybe as much as 10% BELOW the speed limit!) and you correct the kms travelled to REAL kms travelled, not the possibly 'more than actual' from before or the probably 'less than actual' looong kms that you might be driving now!! Ideally, you'd get a Speedo correction box fitted BEFORE you change out the OE Spec tyres, and work out what your true fuel economy is when you are really driving at the speed shown on the dial & for the distance indicated; THEN change to those larger LT tyres AND reset the Speedo correction box to take the tyre size change into account, so you continue to drive at the same indicated speed and cover the same real distance you actually travelled.... or you need to correct your old fuel economy figures to compare to the corrected new fuel economy figures. Or better yet, a GPS is likely gonna be more accurate than your speedo was or now is, for both speed & distance travelled, altho it might lag a second or two behind in displaying it.... :rolleyes:

Aaand another thing - lifting the Feroza in any way, suspension, bigger tyres, body lift, doesn't matter how, it WILL increase the frontal area that the vehicle presents & therefore increase the wall of air that the motor hasta push all that thru!! Plus, adding bull bars & roof racks, those 'rocket launcher/pedestrian coring' rod holders, even side steps or rock rails all adds to the drag & therefore the load on the engine, so if it's not necessary or you aren't using them right now, take 'em off!! And be aware that most of the sexy 4WD gear you might want to add isn't going to be good for on-road performance or fuel economy; while anything you do to improve on-road performance &/or fuel economy probably isn't going to be great for off road &/or crawling over the rocks! :(

When it comes to 4Wheeling your Feroza, if you want it to do well Off road, especially on anything but firm sand, you've gotta get into Low Range early, cos these things thrive on revs, but too many of those while off road in high range & you'll be going too fast for the rough stuff & likely break things or cook things - so lock the hubs & select low early to let you use the gears & revs without quite the same speed & momentum. But don't be afraid to use the revs when necessary & especially on road!! These little 16 valve 4 cyl 1600 engines work best between about 3800 rpm & about 5300 rpm, and if they are in good nick they will literally run at 6000 rpm all day & come back for more!! On the black top or fast dirt, you really aren't doing this sort of engine or yourself any favours if you are changing up thru the gears with less than about 4500 rpm on the tacho!! These engines love revs & they have a great little manual gearbox with carefully chosen gears to take advantage of the revs, so use the revs & stir that box!! If you are running in 5th, or in any gear at anything much over about 4000 rpm & you hit a steep or long hill, don't try to hold the gear as the revs dive, change down before the revs get too low (to maintain driveability, you want to keep the revs up over 4000 under load if you can) and keep the revs up by changing down early rather than trying to push them back up once you've dropped them too low - you might be surprised at how good the fuel economy can be if you drive to keep the engine revs in their sweet range, between about 3800 & 5300ish, & drive like that by using the gears to give you the road speed you want between those revs - but please don't just flog it to go faster than the little engine can haul what really is a fairly substantial weight of solid robust 4wd!! All of our Ferozas (& we've run quite a few over the years) could haul up the SE Freeway out of Adelaide up to Crafers pulling 100kph in 3rd at around 4000 rpm, and not one of them returned less than 10k's per litre/used more than 10l per 100ks in High Range anywhere!! Even with the extra weight of a 100 litre LR tank, larger dia wheels, bar work, winches, & 50mm suspension lifts - and the F310 Wide Track Ferozas with the ported & polished heads, ECU reflash, & other 'enhancements' did somewhat better again!!

So, sorry about the long post, but I hope it helps you get your Feroza sorted. In summary, check compressiiin & timing, then chrck & clean or replace ALL the filters; air, fuel, & oil; make sure that your entire exhaust system as well as the cat & muffler is all free flowing & not kinked or blocked; similarly with your fuel lines; and don't fit or carry gear unless you NEED it!! Extra weight & bar work costs you fuel, so be careful what you fit permanently, and leave anything you don't need on THIS TRIP at home. And lastly, don't be scared to rev the engine - your Dad might cringe, but if your engine isn't revving over 3500 rpm or so then you are likely wasting fuel! These Feroza engines were MADE to work & be most efficient between about 3800 & 5300 rpm and they pull right out to 6000 rpm, and if all else is in good nick, they'll do it all day every day and you'll have a barrel of fun driving it too!! Good Luck, & Enjoy!
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

Xavier Darcy
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Joined: January 13th, 2018, 11:50 am

Re: Feroza Low on Power and Fuel Efficiency

Unread post by Xavier Darcy » January 23rd, 2018, 10:01 pm

Thanks so much for the reply peter!!
Dad and I have checked the small fuel pump filter today, but it had only a small amount of dirt in it - and didn't make a noticeable difference. We will start checking all of the other parts you mentioned - but out of interest, where did you get the ECU reflashed? And are the Aussie Uni-filters the stock filter or an aftermarket one? Also, I should have clarified, the figures for fuel economy were taken running stock tires - I did, however,
find that the speedo was about 3% out with the stock tires (using my GPS).
Additionally, on a recent trip to Ormeau, my radiator fan decided to eat the fan shroud, shredding it, and also breaking two of the fan blades - we removed the shroud and got home with no dramas (temp no higher than usual). We are aware that the now unbalanced fan can cause my water pump to play up, but I was wondering if its worth removing the fan and putting in a big electrical one (we have a sensor kit for this).
Thanks again for the massive help!
Xavier

Peter Aawen
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Re: Feroza Low on Power and Fuel Efficiency

Unread post by Peter Aawen » January 23rd, 2018, 10:33 pm

The Aussie Uni-filters are after market oil-filled foam jobbies, (that's the brand name - Uni-Filter) and they work brilliantly IF you keep them clean/serviced properly, and are a whole lot cheaper & easier at keeping clean air flowing into your engine than using OE or any other paper element jobbies!!

The mob who did the ECU re-flash was a local SA mob who specialised in Daihatsu performance mods back then, I can't recall the name atm but I'll have a bit of a dig & see if I can find it for you. Still, I reckon any 'reputable' mob who do this sort of performance upgrade should be able to do it for you, just make sure that they realise it's for a small petrol engined 4WD, so maximising fuel economy and low rev torque is probably more important to you than maximising max revs & power... if that makes sense to you. It sure worked for our already enhanced F310 Feroza with the extra benefit of a good exhaust plus a ported & polished head, oversized valves, and slightly modded cam lobes too! :D

As for the electric fan, DON'T DO IT!! Sure, swap out the unbalanced unit as soon as you can, but I've tried a fair few vehicles with those electric fans, and apart from short run drag cars or cars designed from the drawing board to operate with them, they really don't seem to work well in the long run!! Even for touring type road cars they'll generally suck, but regardless of how bad they are unless they are massively expensive & expensively cowled they pretty much always move FAR LESS air than pretty much any engine driven fan can move!! So IMHO, with very few exceptions they are worse than useless for a 4WD or anything that ever needs Max air flow at slow ground speed; besides, you'll almost always be running relatively high revs - so unless you have a vehicle cooling system that's designed for the higher tolerances & extra loads from the factory, so that it can handle the potentially less air flow already, or you enhance your cooling system significantly to increase its thermal tolerance AND fit a REALLY high capacity electric fan with bloody good air pulling capabilities plus a pretty serious custom cowling & seal any other inlets into the engine bay - then generally, an OE Spec (or better) engine driven fan with a proper shroud over it will work best!!

But be warned, if your engine moved enough to let the fan eat the cowling/shroud, then there's a good chance that one or more of your engine or trans mounts is on its way out!! Ferozas tend to go thru those just a little more frequently than some, especially if you push them harder than absolutely necessary - sure, they thrive on revs & because the engine is small you'll need to use speed & revs to get momentum rather than using low & slow revving torque; but you need to be careful not to push the revs too much or you'll pay more of a penalty later on!! Doing ngine or trans mounts is bad enough, but ripping body mounts &/or radiator cores is also a greater risk!! It's a fine line between using just enough right foot & using too much - practice makes perfect, and a flat empty wallet will be all you have to show that you haven't got it quite right yet!! :(

Ps, check your radiator core AND the rubbery bits that hold it in carefully too - a chewed fan & shroud shows something moved... a lot!! And if those rubber washer things that support the fan bore the shock of the hit, even if the fan didn't rip the inside of the core out, then the radiator could be moving more in its brackets than it should, and that might mean more damage down track, possibly more critical damage!! So check ALL your mounts, including the radiator supports! ;)
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

Xavier Darcy
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Joined: January 13th, 2018, 11:50 am

Re: Feroza Low on Power and Fuel Efficiency

Unread post by Xavier Darcy » January 24th, 2018, 12:55 pm

Okay, I will keep all of this is mind - we will check all the mounts asap.
Thanks for all your help!!

kmt
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Re: Feroza Low on Power and Fuel Efficiency

Unread post by kmt » February 12th, 2018, 9:36 pm

Hi,

I had a similar problem where the car had no power and up hills it really struggled. I found out it ended up being the timing.
I had the clutch replaced and the mechanic did the timing. But some don't realise the timing has to be done with the vacuum hose disconnected from the dizzy.
If it's not and the time is adjusted with the vacuum hose in place the motor will be miles out.
The fuel economy was also shocking and after I corrected the timing went back down to 9.5l/100km

MathewGeorge
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Re: Feroza Low on Power and Fuel Efficiency

Unread post by MathewGeorge » March 11th, 2018, 8:17 pm

Why Dont You install a DP Chip on your ride. It may boost up your fuel economy. I have Fitted it to A Couple of Rides I Own and the results i get are devastating. you Must Give it a try.

Xavier Darcy
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Joined: January 13th, 2018, 11:50 am

Re: Feroza Low on Power and Fuel Efficiency

Unread post by Xavier Darcy » March 17th, 2018, 3:51 pm

update: Had a look at valve timing, and seemed fine, and we are changing the timing belt soon, so will have a look at ignition timing then - we have also noticed that the clutch is slipping, that could be attributing to it - I didn't realise the ferozas could be chipped - is it like a piggyback computer?
cheers,
Xavier

Peter Aawen
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Re: Feroza Low on Power and Fuel Efficiency

Unread post by Peter Aawen » March 17th, 2018, 9:21 pm

Yeah, I'm not at all sure that Feroza's actually can be chipped!! They certainly couldn't when I was playing with them, altho DP & others did do chips for the computer controlled EFI diesels - but for the 1.6 16 valve EFI petrol Ferozas I reckon you'll find it's a full on Re-flash fof the ECU or nothing, and you'll likelh find very few people do an 'off the shelf' re-flash for such an 'old' vehicle anyway; back when I did it, that wasn't a cheap process unless you either played with the tune yourself & risked stuffing it entirely, or you knew someone in the game who was prepared to give it a go @ mate's rates!! And even then it still wasn't cheap!! :o
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

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