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Hmmm...
1996 Tacoma
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544 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This topic came up on this forum the other day and I didn't know what to answer, I posted some nonsense and then realized I didn't know...

Here are the facts:

1996 Toyota Tacoma regular cab, 2.4l, 5spd, owner's manual says I have a 15.1 gallon tank.

I tanked it up over a week ago and kept track of mileage at exact tank marker points (E, F, 1/2, 1/4, 3/4) and then based on fuel mileage for that tank, calculated how many gallons I had at each marker, I even took a few pictures.


The assumptions are that I drove relatively constant throughout the whole range of the tankful, which I did, daily commute, no A/C yet.

The conclusion is also in gallons to rule out odometer error and the assumption is that the measure of fuel at the station is accurate, I filled up at the same station in the same way both before and after.

The results:

F = 35 mi
3/4 = 90 mi
1/2 = 180 mi
1/4 = 275 mi
E = 330 mi

When it was finally time for a fill, there were 353 miles on the tank.

Here is how the gas gauge looked before the fill:



Kind of overdid it, minor ecological distaster at the station, but...



Anyways, even with overfilling, 12.9 gallons went into the tank, was still 2.2 gallons short of bone dry and still below E.

Here is now the approximate fuel left in the tank at all points:

F = 13.8 gl
3/4 = 11.8 gl
1/2 = 8.5 gl
1/4 = 5.1 gl
E = 3.1 gl

The above numbers are probably +/- 0.3 gl, your mileage may vary.

So between above F and F, about 1.3 gallons, between F and 3/4 about 2 gallons, between 3/4 and 1/2 and 1/2 and 1/4 about 3.3 gallons each, and again between 1/4 and E, about 2 gallons.

The fuel gauge appears to be symmetrical and also proportional to the spacing between the lines, see pic. above, the only exception is that on the E end, there are an extra 2 gallons.

***And as an added bonus for those who like to top it off until the fuel spills out, I tested to see exactly how much the difference was between a normal fill (2 additional clicks after auto shut-off) and spillage. At the local Shell station here with a fairly fast pump, that difference was exactly 0.12 gallons, approximately 0.03 gallons ended up on the pavement, see above.***

Hope this is useful, entertaining or perhaps annoying at least to someone, it was fun to do.

Chipsndukes
 

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Hmmm...
1996 Tacoma
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544 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
The above numbers are probably +/- 0.3 gl, your mileage may vary.
:D

chipsndukes, you are the MAN. :eek: GULP! I hope.
I designed fuel level senders as part of my engineering career, they are pretty accurate nowadays, the tank dimensions as well. You might want to check yours before you go below empty, I personally have never pushed it this far, but...anything for science. :)

The only thing I'm not sure about is the repeatability of the gauge cluster itself, I never designed these, so I don't know.

It is interesting how the study turned out so symmetric, though. This pattern is typical of how level senders are designed, so I feel confident in the results (+/- 0.3 gl). :D

filled from empty....that put a dent in your wallet
$39.85 :ugh3:

Maybe someone else with a regular cab can post their results if it's interesting.

The design point, though, that usually at least 2 gallons are left is fact, that was always a criteria when designing senders, save the user from themself.

Chipsndukes
 

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I designed fuel level senders as part of my engineering career, they are pretty accurate nowadays, the tank dimensions as well. You might want to check yours before you go below empty, I personally have never pushed it this far, but...anything for science. :)

i only let mine go to half empty. i cry at the pump if i have to fill up any more than that.
 

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The design point, though, that usually at least 2 gallons are left is fact, that was always a criteria when designing senders, save the user from themself.

Chipsndukes
I think the cruising range of my 98 is pretty lousy. 25 mpg x 15 is only 375, and if I heed the psychology of the early "E", it's only 325.

Maybe I am spoiled from my previous car, a 90 Geo Metro. With a 10 gallon tank, it had a range of 450 miles. I could pack a 2 gallon container of gas on a trip and extend it to 540 miles.

I think my Tacoma's tank should have been made to hold 18 gallons or so.
 

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i only let mine go to half empty. i cry at the pump if i have to fill up any more than that.

I always cry when I have to buy gas. :argh:

So I always keep level low when prices are going up and fill up only when the prices are getting close to bottoming out. That way can I rationalize my way out of not having to buy a whole tank of 3.50/gallon gas. If nothing else the factory rear springs will last longer.
 

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Hmmm...
1996 Tacoma
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544 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I don't think so. My extended gets down past the last line just above the "E" and it will only take 12.5 or so.
my mistake, I looked at extended cab and "assumed" the larger tank was for the longer truck, in fact in the manual it states "four-wheel drive models", so in 1996 (the year of my truck and manual) I guess all 2WD get 15.1 and 4X4 18.0.

CD
 

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I have a 2002 2.7 4x4 extended cab with the 18.?? gallon tank, from full to half I am getting roughly right about that mark of 180 miles, and if I fill up at that point it takes 9 gallons to fill, but from 1/2 to E I am only getting another 70 - 90 miles. At E I fill up and it will take about 17 gallons to fill. Any ideas on why I would get 180 from F to 1/2 and only about 90 from 1/2 to E?

When I fill up and figure out the mpg its usually right around 16 - 17. How is everyone doing on the mpg with the 2.7?
 

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2003 Tacoma TRD
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216 Posts
I have a 2002 2.7 4x4 extended cab with the 18.?? gallon tank, from full to half I am getting roughly right about that mark of 180 miles, and if I fill up at that point it takes 9 gallons to fill, but from 1/2 to E I am only getting another 70 - 90 miles. At E I fill up and it will take about 17 gallons to fill. Any ideas on why I would get 180 from F to 1/2 and only about 90 from 1/2 to E?

When I fill up and figure out the mpg its usually right around 16 - 17. How is everyone doing on the mpg with the 2.7?

I had a 97 v6 4x4 extended cab and had the same issue. the first half the tank was great then is kinda went quick on the second half. My only conclusion is that the first half was 10-11 gals and the second was 8-7 gals. Just have to adjust your fillups accordingly
 

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Hmmm...
1996 Tacoma
Joined
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544 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I have a 2002 2.7 4x4 extended cab with the 18.?? gallon tank, from full to half I am getting roughly right about that mark of 180 miles, and if I fill up at that point it takes 9 gallons to fill, but from 1/2 to E I am only getting another 70 - 90 miles. At E I fill up and it will take about 17 gallons to fill. Any ideas on why I would get 180 from F to 1/2 and only about 90 from 1/2 to E?

When I fill up and figure out the mpg its usually right around 16 - 17. How is everyone doing on the mpg with the 2.7?
"your experience may vary", probably an issue with tank geometry, perhaps they didn't change the fuel level sender when they redesigned the tank for 4WD to add more volume, the volume was added on the top only, just a guess.

Chipsndukes
 
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