What kind of mileage does a 4.3 vortec get in an S10? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:53 PM
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What kind of mileage does a 4.3 vortec get in an S10?

I'm looking for a truck with decent fuel economy, but with some power, for around two grand. There seems to be an abundance of S10's for sale with the 4.3 litre vortec and I've recieved different responses from each individual when I asked about what kind of mileage each truck gets. So, what's the average MPG on a 96-02 S10 with the 4.3 liter?

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Old 01-30-2012, 02:14 PM
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The '97 two wheel drive I had averaged about 20 mpg back and forth to work.
That was about a 15 mile commute. Never took it on a trip
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:18 PM
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I've had a couple of them. mileage was terrible. average 16 or so. the one i had with a highly modified 2.5l and a Holley 2bbl got 25 or so as i recall. they do run forever though.
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:20 PM
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you left a few details out..
2by4 or 4by4, reg cab,ex cab, 4 door

a 2 by4 with a stick would be your best bet..
the 4.3 might as well be a v8 mpg wise.. not the engines fault..
the trannys first gear is to low and the gear splits, are not helping matters..

if you need the v6 try to find one with 3.42 rear gears..
the 3.73's and that first gear in the 7004r kill it from a mpg standpoint,, but towing.. great..

if you really are not going to tow or load this thing up all that much.. the 2.2 isn't a bad motor, if you take care of it..
and with that low 1st gear and 373 gears, you'll not miss the v6.. unless you tow or load it up..
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:06 PM
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My 4.3L '95 Sierra got 20 mpg on the highway to FL and back (80 mph-plus ). 'Normal' mixed driving got me 17 average. No first hand on what an S truck would do but if driven for mileage it should do better than what I got.
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:36 AM

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As great as the '96-up high-flow heads are for power, they didn't help MPG.
My black '89 S-10 RCSB 2WD had every option. 4.3, 700R-4, a/c, everything. I lowered it 2" all around, swapped a 3.42:1 axle, re-calibrated the speedometer, fitted a set of 8" wheels with 235/60R15 BFG Radial T/As, then found I was getting 28 MPG at 70 MPH. Great! Never checked it again.
I had a 2WD RCLB '94 W/T 1500 4.3 / 4L60E / 3.73:1 on factory 235/75R15s that truck liked the tailgate down just as much as my S-10 did. It averaged 23 MPG at 65 MPH, and my best tank ever was 26 MPG. On that one, I had to always get gas receipts and track MPG because I was using it for business.
I had a gold '02 S-10 2WD extended cab 4.3 / 4L60E / 3.42:1, on stock 205/75R15s, that I never checked the MPG on, I only kept it 2 weeks before trading it.
I now have an '06 GMC 1500 W/T 2WD RCLB. 4.3 / 4L60E / 3.23:1 on stock-size 245/70R17s. Stock, it never topped 20 MPG. Since I did the 4.10:1 axle, and sent the computer out for speedometer correction, MPG is up to 22. It kicks out of OD a lot less than it did with the stock gears. For ultimate MPG I might try 3.73:1, but I'm more likely to end up with 4.56:1 and 20 MPG again.
The '96-up 4.3s have more top-end, no doubt. But I raced my dad, me in my black S-10, him in the gold. Up to 55 MPH, my torque beat his HP. But by then mine was running out of breath, top of second gear, and he was in the powerband, middle of second gear. He flew right on past.
4.3s can get the MPG, if you get everything right, and if you drive right.
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