DIESEL ?

I just finished reading a magazine article about diesel engines.
Simplicity, longevity, great torque, etc. etc., and in todays world, the ability to run on
anything from soybean oil to chicken fat !
It's not uncommon for truckers to expect half-million miles from a diesel engine.
What happened to ( auto ) diesel engines in the US.
<rj>
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Most were crap, don't meet the emissions regulations, and were very expensive, not very cost effective. Performance was sluggish, exhaust stinks and blackens the rear end of the car. Right now, diesel is more expensive than gas so even with better mpg, still not cost effective. Many owners bought them because they would fuel them with home heating oil and avoid the road taxes.
Truck diesels, like the Duramax and Cummins are entirely different.
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Think of American gas engines ( in the 70's ) when they tried to meet pollution controls, unleaded gas, and mileage regs. But those engines have evolved ( except for leaking manifolds ) to pretty smooth, reliable gas-efficient power plants.
You may be thinking of the older auto-diesels. Surely, there's been improvement over the years..... <rj>
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It was given a halfhearted attempt with 'conversion' diesels, and then dropped. I had one of the Oldsmobile V8 conversion diesels, in the 80's as a company car, and it worked okay. Had little power, but could maintain good highway speed. It was cursed with the GM Metric transmission that seldom lasted beyond 100,000 miles, if that.
A good percentage of cars sold in Europe are diesel. They get excellent mileage, they last 'forever', dont have the problems of smell and smoke associated with them, and when turbocharged can be very driveable. Since a lot of the electronics of ignition control are not needed, there is an extra level of reliability.
In at least some parts of Europe, diesel is cheaper than gasoline by about 10%
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| I just finished reading a magazine article about diesel engines. | | Simplicity, longevity, great torque, etc. etc., | and in todays world, the ability to run on | anything from soybean oil to chicken fat ! | | It's not uncommon for truckers to expect | half-million miles from a diesel engine. | | What happened to ( auto ) diesel engines in the US. | | | <rj>
In the early 1980s Mazda, Isuzu and maybe others offered a diesel option for their pickup trucks. The Mazda had an English Perkins engine. None had turbo charging. They were low in power and didn't sell very well because of it. Remember the VW Rabbit diesel? It did have some success as it was cheap and so was diesel fuel.
Last year there were some articles about a new generation diesel soon to be offered to the public. These new engines were to be turbo charged with a lot of electronics. I think Jeep was mentioned in the one I read. Performance was to be as good or better than a gasoline powered engine. Where are they? Maybe the high price of diesel fuel that is projected to be even higher with the mandatory low sulfur fuel is part of the reason. http://www.clean-diesel.org/highway.html
All engines manufactured as of 2007 must meet new standards. Here is a link from Alaska FAQ page http://www.dec.state.ak.us/air/anpms/as/ulsd/ulsd-q&a.htm
I read a few years back that you had to keep a diesel for at least 8 years just to break even due to the higher initial costs of a diesel vs a gasoline powered vehicle. Here is a comparison chart by Advanced Auto Parts http://www.advanceautoparts.com/english/youcan/html/dsm/dsm20030101gd.html
For me, the higher cost of diesel fuel vs gasoline, and the higher cost of purchasing a diesel powered car/truck outweighs the other advantages of a diesel. If I were commuting 50 to 100 miles a day or pulling a heavy trailer it would be different scenario.
--
Jarhead




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On Mon, 08 Jan 2007 19:57:37 -0700, <RJ> got out the hammer and chisel and etched in the wall:

Having read the other posts, I thought I'd add my $.02.
If I could have bought a diesel for my 1/2 ton Avalanche, you'd better believe I would have.
In a heartbeat.
Diesel engines operate differently than gasoline engines. Look up HowStuffWorks.com to see what they do. Knowing that you can understand a bit more about diesels and why they "failed" in the '80s.
Back then, there were several things working against diesel engines. Though they get better mileage than gas engines and are far more efficient, they run at a higher compression ratio and are noisier (apples to apples) unless something is done to reduce the noise. Also, the diesel emissions are more visible than gas emissions so they're easier to pick on.
Now, you should see a few things happening differently. For several years, European cars have been running what's called CRT (common rail turbo) engines. This is where the diesel fuel is mixed with the air in a manner which creates more power and less soot. In addition, the diesel fuel mixture is cleaner and there are particulate collectors on the cars/trucks.
GM, Cummins, and International (Powerstroke) are all coming out with new engines for light duty cars and trucks. AFAIK, GM has a 4.xL V-8 or V-6 coming out, Cummins has a 4.2L V6 coming out and international is now out with a 6.2 (?) powerstroke. These engines all run quieter and cleaner than your average Toyota Prius econobox.
On top of that, many people, including the governer of Montana (?) are looking at producing Diesel from coal. IIRC, we could completely eliminate our need for foreign oil if we produce diesel from coal, and increase our fleet of diesel cars/trucks by some minor percentage. (Hence - no more middle East issues, because we can tell them where to stick their precious oil.)
Add all that to the fact that your torque numbers are astronomical, and you have a good recipe for success.
--
kai
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