Thread: Why diesel?

  1. #26
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    Default diesel engines

    Audi won this year's 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance races with diesel powered cars.

    They are actually diesels converted from their base gas race engine. Shades of GM. But these actually hold up. Expect two more brands with diesel race cars next year.

    Diesels are more fuel efficent. Thats why 60% of the cars now sold in Europe are diesels. Watch how many car manufactuers start offering diesel engines again next year with gas prices pushing $3.00/gal.

    As for diesel's in rigs, they are the way to go. Idling at the scene with lights on is what they do! Diesel's generate less heat under the hood, helping the life of alternators and batteries. But yes, you should change the oil and filter more often when idling for long periods regardless of gas or diesel engines. IMHO

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    Quote Originally Posted by BirkenVogt
    OK, but how did you arrive at the conclusion that it is harder on an engine to shut it off and restart than to idle. Contrary of course to what you find in the basic operator's manual. And have you not seen the fuel dillution in lube oil, upper cylinder wear from fuel washing the lube oil, and valve stem/guide problems that are the most common problem with long idling?

    Birken
    Yes, ive seen all of the above. I have also replaced more parts due to starting and stopping an engine than I have from extended idling. If you use a high idle(800-1000rpm) you wont have the fuel washing problem. Those trucks you see with that prob, never used a high idle. I still prefer to let them idle at 1000 rpm. They will run longer than any department will have them unless they plan to run them in the ground

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    This is getting off topic but what parts other than starters and ring gears can you attribute to repeated starting?

    Birken

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    Just about every major part is affected upon startup....Mains, rod bearings, valve stems, cam bearings....ETC. Cold starts are extremely hard on an engine. Ecspecially in our line of work as alot of fire apparatus might sit for days to weeks at a time before they are started. I do understand your point on extended idling though. One main reason to leave public service vehicles idling is that on scene you have warning lights on.

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    Right, we have to leave them idling to provide power for all sorts of things.

    But I am asking, what specific problems can you attribute to the list of parts you gave? All the engines I have taken apart, even after sitting for years, still had plenty of oil in the bearings, cam lobes, etc. and turned freely so long as the parts were not the ones that tatered. I have never seen any evidence to support that repeated starting does any damage. I send in oil samples at every oil change and all my engines that are not broken show no evidence of excessive wear in iron, lead, aluminum, copper, or anything that would tend to be elevated if this hypothesis was correct. If I am going to be idle for more than 5 minutes, I shut it off.

    Birken

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    Cool Why I love diesel......

    This is just a lil' letter to say why I love having diesels.....
    First of all, in So. Calif. it's way cheaper than midgrade fuel (which is all I run in my vehicles).
    Second, diesel engines are manufactured to go at least 500,000 miles (that is directly from Ford).
    Third, the amount of horsepower and torque when compared are night and day.
    Fourth, my neighbor has a V10 and the other day when we were talkin' he was amazed that I am gettin' 22-24 mpg..... He's gettin' on a good day, 12 mpg.
    Fifth, I have personally seen the fuel consumption difference in my Paid-Call Department (we had a V8 engine in our Ambulance and a diesel in our Patrol..... the Patrol is heavier, and yet consumed less fuel).
    Sixth, have fun smoggin' your Unleaded vehicles........ I ain't gotta worry bout that (at least not right now, anyways).
    What happened when diesel prices got too high.......... hmm, I do believe they came crashin' down when some of the supporters decided to stop in the middle of a few freeways in some major cities...... That's almost as powerful as a union.......... LOL
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

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    Couple items I have issues on.One is that the V-10 Ford heats up(operating temp)faster than the Diesel.Wrong answer! Every Ford diesel from late 2000-2001 has a butterfly valve in the exhaust that closes when the engine is cold to speed up the warming process.I've got heat in mine from 15F in a little over 1.5 to 2 miles.The V10 is no better.Secondly where did that 20% more crude to produce diesel over gas come from? Diesel is an OIL and takes less cracking and refining than Gasoline hence less initial product to produce.I've gotten away from gasoline and have no interest in going back.Any of your "lightweight"diesels will last easily twice as long as a gasser regardless of MFG,will have less repairs per mile driven,and in a cost per mile for most Depts running over 300 or more runs a year will offer substantial savings over the life history of the vehicle.Plus the Ford diesels are warranteed for 100k.I don't carry any of those fancy ASE or other titles but I've worked on/around equipment all my life.NOBODY around here runs a gas rig(except antiques)in Fire service use. The biggest problems we see with Powerstrokes is early production injector O ring failures,Oil pan corrosion and turbo failures on the 6.0. And not a lot of those,either.A Gm on gas? Better figure on a fuel pump every 60-90K and that's if you change the filter religiously.V-10? I'd equate that to the old 5.8.Good long life engine but you better order the optional military fuel trailer to go with it.With prarie gears you might do OK but my PS gets mileage of 14-15 around town and 19-20 highway.Or about twice what my gas rigs would do.Hey,If gas is your thing ,great but I'll keep my Diesels. T.C.

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    I think there are a ~few~ more problems with Powerstroke 6.0's than spoken of here. That is a fact. I would hesitate taking one for free.
    Assistant Chief

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    The 6.0L have had most all of their problems worked out. Yes they had some issues when they first came out but Ford has worked hard at addressing the problems. Our rescue (05) has the 6.0L and not 1 problem with it. We have a work truck thats also an 05 with 110K on it and yet to do anything besides change the oil and fuel filters.

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    502,Since you're obviously privy to information I don't have;SPILL! I've listed the flaws I know of on the Ford 6.0.I have seen ONE with a head gasket issue but examination of the gasket would indicate an installation error and it was covered under warranty.Now I'm pro FORD not necessarily pro 6.0. I prefer the old tried and true 7.3 and if I could get it in a Ford,would prefer the Cummins over that.We have a bunch of 6.0's running arouns here both personal and work trucks and I haven't towed very many of them.So I'm curious as to why you think they're so bad.I'm basing my information on personal exposure to these machines over a gamut of towing to repair to association contacts worldwide.I'm just not seeing major pattern failures outside of the ones I listed,which as Buck indicated, have been largely covered under warranty.And 100K warranty to boot.My 02 (7.3) will be out of warranty in October but the only thing besides service I've done to it is a Cam sensor which they are notorious for. T.C.

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    I've always had Ford Trucks...and love them.

    All one has to do is read thedieselstop.com or the ford-trucks.com forums for the 6.0L and see the problems and stories. I don't have time to write down all the complaints and legitimate problems. Just spend a couple weeks reading. Of course you won't hear from folks who have had no problems. And they out number the problem folks greatly. I know that. But if it were only 1-2 problems...these sites wouldn't be full of posters asking questions and letting others know their experiences.

    There used to be a site devoted to technicians who could not find solutions to 6.0 problems. It was 6literpowerstroke.com. Its been shut down. Probably by Ford. All the TSB's were listed and things like that. Most of the posters were ford techs...but obviously not being open about that.

    My coworker has an 05 King Ranch F250 PSD. It's had injector problems, three turbos and now its loosing antifreeze. When it was in for a turbo...they had to add two gallons and charged him for it. A week later its way low...and they were going to charge him to tow it 25 miles. Instead he told them "its under warranty...so if it blows up its yours"...and drove it in. They've had it for 2 weeks now. He used to brag to me all the time. And this guy doesn't like egg on his face. But he flat out admitted he should have listened to others.

    I don't own one...so I might as well quit now right? Nobody has to take what I believe as fact. Consider it merely my opinion.
    Assistant Chief

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    Don't get your feathers ruffled.All I wanted to know was from what source you were getting your info.I don't spend a lot of time at dieselstop.But I am a member of Iatn with over 40k techs worldwide.As I mentioned earlier,the 6.0 has issues but like any new platform they are being worked out and SEEM to respond well to treatment.We do a boatload of towing for the local dealers and I'm not towing large numbers of 6.0's.And I don't think they're sneaking them in on covered haulers.If your friend is losing coolant he may have a similar condition I described on my last post,who knows.And yes,it will take two to three weeks by the time they tear it down,get the tech rep to look and approve the repairs and put it back together.Is that right? Nope,but in todays shark infested world it's how it happens.And now we've got the 6.4 to deal with. Never had a lot of Turbo trouble until they went with the variable rate turbo,sounds kinda like a mortgage;no problems 'til you go variable rate.Well,I gotta go exercise my 7.3 now.got some broken GM's to drag in. T.C.

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    I have to agree, Ford and the others will never allow a detailed study to be done so we will never be able to throw up real numbers on failure rates but those 6.0s are universally hated by mechanics everywhere. We have to go on the information we have available and even the 05s are having the same stupid problems that they always had. I mean for example look at the infamous bell housing stain, that went on for a couple years at least, turned out to be a simple casting or machining flaw, you would have thought that the factory could get ahold of something that stupid and fix it right away. But apparently that information never got to them or they would have done something about it a lot sooner. It doesn't help anything the bad blood between International and Ford a couple years back either, seems they just tolerate each other because it's good for business now.

    Birken

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    No feathers ruffled here. I know all the diesels have issues at one time or another. Ask me about my 99 Dodge 2500 sometime.

    And while there are those 6.0's that have problems...many more won't.

    Its just hard to see the light when you read articles like this:

    Ford 6.0 Article Auto Blog

    and...

    Read toward the bottom

    I have a great interest in the 6.0 or 6.4 becoming stone reliable. They power many emergency vehicles and I would never want anyone's life to be in danger over a poor engine.
    Assistant Chief

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    Under heavy use conditions, such as in emergency services, diesel engines will give you more reliability. I drive a box truck for my 9-5 every day, an F450 with a V10. The vehicle is rated for 15,000lb GVWR and very rarely approaches that number. With only 73k on the odometer, the engine drinks 1qt of oil every 500 miles and reeks of toasted quaker state every time I get out. Another of our facilities has the exact same truck, similar workload, but with the PowerStroke Diesel. Theirs is two years older, has close to 200k, and runs like a champ. All that, and the diesel is faster!

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    Our local power utility runs V10's in 550's all day long. And a member on our department ran his E350 van past 150K with nary a problem carrying heavy loads. Ford dealer here services box vans with over 300K on V10's. Better check and see if you got a leak. Missing oil and burnt smell sounds like valve cover gasket? And go with Mobil oil...not Quaker-Sludge.

    Meanwhile...the Ford Service bay here in the valley smells like toasted variable vane turbos. They have a pile of them. And my buddy can't seem to get Ford to figure out where his antifreeze keeps going. I keep telling him it has something to do with the white cloud behind him.

    I won't contest some decent reliability in the 7.3L PSD. 6.0L PSD reliability? Not in the same sentence.

    According to our dealership...85mph is the electronic speed stop for F550's. I hit that like a brick wall.
    Assistant Chief

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    I have a question, a little off topic relating to the ambulances but here it is.....We're going to be specing a new brush truck here pretty quick and the rural baord members want to buy a gas job F450 or 550 vs same with a diesel. Other than cost, why would they want to go with the gas job? I was told weight was maybe one of their concerns as we will be taking this off road from time to time.

    I was also talking to a Fire Chief south of my dept, and he was saying that his FF/medics keep blowing the engines on his Fords. He said very soon he's taking the boxes off the ambulances and putting them on Chevy chassis.

    We have two Ford mechanics on out dept, and they said stay away from the Fords, for this application anyways.

    Any thoughts?


    Thanks,

    Mike
    Last edited by firemanmikey; 01-13-2007 at 11:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firemanmikey View Post
    I have a question, a little off topic relating to the ambulances but here it is.....We're going to be specing a new brush truck here pretty quick and the rural baord members want to buy a gas job F450 or 550 vs same with a diesel. Other than cost, why would they want to go with the gas job? I was told weight was maybe one of their concerns as we will be taking this off road from time to time.

    I was also talking to a Fire Chief south of my dept, and he was saying that his FF/medics keep blowing the engines on his Fords. He said very soon he's taking the boxes off the ambulances and putting them on Chevy chassis.

    We have two Ford mechanics on out dept, and they said stay away from the Fords, for this application anyways.

    Any thoughts?


    Thanks,

    Mike
    I had a 2000 F250 diesel, drove the wheels off. 350k when I traded it in last month. Hard miles. The engine was still perfect.

    I bought a 2007 Chevy diesel, and man, that rocks.... Performs like a gas for acceleration and noise, and like a diesel for hauling.

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    [QUOTE=Frmboybuck;711528
    That is why it is recommended to idle them up to 1000 rpm or so when they will be idling for a while. I drive a truck for a living and it runs nonstop for days at a time....Thousands of hours idling and not one problem. Take that times the millions of trucks running around and thats alot of hours of idling for a diesel engine[/QUOTE]


    When working on the river for various harbor towboat outfits there'd be days when the most we'd do is check the fleet,pump out any water in the barges,a move or two and sit out in the fleet monitoring the radio.
    As a mate,and later pilot,we'd shut down the main engines(GM Detroits abound here in Memphis)and keep the generator turning so we'd know when the office wanted us for something.I'd make sure the mate knew to keep his radio turned on because like my mentors,if we had to go,I didn't want to leave the wheelhouse to wake the guy up to start the engines.
    Even so,whether idling most of the watch or sitting shut down,I'd always run up the engines to full throttle when heading to the wharf to blow out any carbon.The big thing was teaching new guys about changing fuel filters and checking oil because they'd think their cars' would last a long time,why not a towboat that gets fuel from God knows where to burn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fpvfd502 View Post
    As far as efficiency goes...one would have to really do a comparison of oil equivalents as it takes about 20% more crude to make a gallon of diesel than a gallon of unleaded gasoline. Diesel costs more nowadays. And the maintenance costs are definately higher.
    That is incorrect. In one barrel of crude, only 10% can be refined to produce gasoline. Of that same barrel >25% can be refined to produce diesel. The remaining portions are further refined to produce lubricants and become additives to other commercial products.

    Quote Originally Posted by fpvfd502 View Post
    Diesels can not idle for extended periods of time without any problems. Cummins recommends against this since a diesel cools when idling. The oil temperature can drop below operating ranges which can lead to buildup on valve stems and guides. Eventually the buildup can seize them and you'll end up with a bent valve and serious damage. They put that in writing. So do other diesel builders for various reasons. With todays higher emission standards...extended idling does have consequences.
    This is partially correct, that is why a diesel engine idling for an extended period of time should be idled above 1000rpm. This includes cold weather, many manufacturers automatically increase idle in the cold when idling for extended periods if the operator does not. Even idling above 1000rpm the diesel just sips fuel. This is not the case with a gasoline engine. In a gas engine it always maintains a 14:1 air fuel ratio no matter the rpm or load.

    In regards to the talk of torque and horsepower in gas vs diesel, yes a gas may have higher ratings, but only in a motor of larger displacement. So motor displacement must increase with that increase is an decrease in MPG, that is why automakers are reintroducing multiple displacement to reduce the number of cylinders, which reduces the quantity of fuel flowing.

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    502.if the maintainence costs are HIGHER on diesels why is it that the only GAS left in the fire service today is on the itty bitty vehicles.And they're on the way out.Todays diesels typically run over a million miles or equivalent hours without ever cracking them open.NO gas engine I know of produced today even comes close.Figured in costs per hour or mile diesels are MUCH cheaper to operate. And I don't know where you got your info on fuel but it is mucher easier(and cheaper)to refine fuel(diesel,heating #2,kerosene)than it is to crack the crude to the gasoline level.Out of 12 dept vehicles I have two gassers left.Out of 7 personal(and business)vehicles I have 1 gas powered.Since we changed out the last gas 1 ton we had we've seen the CPM (cost per mile)DECREASE over running gasoline.Even on my personal pickup I'll never go back to gas. Just my opinion,but I keep stuff(and records)for a long time.I like high reliability with the lowest possible overall cost of ownership.And for my money,that excludes gasoline powered vehicles. T.C.

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    Default Why *I* now love diesels...

    This is a little off topic, but...

    With a slight modification (about $1,000 for a regular passenger car, more for a pickup), you can run them on used restaurant grease. We now have a pickup and an old mercedes set up that way, and some people lined up who want their cars converted... You just need to use diesel fuel to start them up and warm up a minute or so, and to flush the lines for a couple minutes when you get where you're going. Standing around in restaurant alleys filtering fat may not be for everyone - but it's sure making me happy that I hardly ever use the gas station. Our idea is to get enough cars converted around here that we can pick up large amounts of grease, filter it, and drop it off for people (kind of like water service - pick up the empties and drop off full cans).

    And in case you're wondering, if you drive across the country or something and don't find a source of grease on your trip, you just go ahead and fill 'er up and run on diesel until you come across grease again.
    -------;- "Aaaaa!!"
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    Rescue 101: What is the connection between the REAL fact that routine maintainence on diesel engines is more expensive than a gasser...and the fact that a majority of gasoline vehicles are now gone from the fire service? Are you saying that gasoline engines are no longer in fire trucks because they are too expensive to maintain compared to diesels? Cause thats what I'm reading. And thats not the reason. And there are no itty bitty vehicles in the fire service that I'm aware of...unless you mean golf cart medical vehicles. Geo's are itty bitty. F550's are not itty bitty.

    Todays diesel semi engines might "typically" run over a million miles...but not always. And to say pickup diesels run typically over a million miles would be a definate overstatement. Even 500K on Powerstrokes is not easy. Cummins maybe.

    Guess I better go right out and buy a new $46,000 Duramax pickup truck so I can save thousands at the pump and thousands in up keep. I don't need a diesel pickup...but I might as well get one since only itty bitty vehicles get gas motors. Not pickup size trucks.

    Bottom line...6.0 Powerstrokes are junk.
    Assistant Chief

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    6.0's junk? Some are and others have gotten the snot run out of them with 0 issues.My definition of small(itty bitty) is vehicles under 16,000#.And yes, the 550 in some configurations qualifies.For what it's worth,I've got a 7.3 with 350K on it that I fully expect to EASILY surpass the 500k mark.Define rountine maintence for me,could you?As there are different levels of same and not everybody does the same service at a given mileage.You're a V10 fan.I wouldn't give one of those gas hogs yard space.I guess they have a place,just not for me.You apparently dislike diesels.Good news,there will still be some gas units available.Now I keep my stuff(tow trucks) for a long time(like a million plus).I've owned gas rigs and I currently run all diesels.And they get routine maintence every 90 days.I will honestly tell you that the costs of maintaining the gas fleet was markedly higher than the diesel fleet. There just isn't much that goes wrong with a modern diesel.Oh,you'll have the occasional controller issue,or wiring, or a injector ,or a turbo now and again.And the 6.0 has more than it's fair share of them.But there's been a bunch of issues with the gas jobs too,notably engine knocks and intake gaskets on GM and spark plug issues with Ford.Gas is gone/going from the Fire service because the OVERALL cost of ownership(life of vehicle)and the efficiency of the diesel is pushing them out.If you like gas,buy 'em.But please don't try to tell me they're a better value because they aren't. In your locale a gas job might be a better value.Around here NO ONE in emergency services uses them.So draw whatever conclusion you care to from that.I'm guessing we're not going to agree on this issue.I'm OK with that. Are you? T.C.

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    I agree . We may not agree on the issue. And I'm completely fine with that. No problems here at all. I totally respect your opinion and find that your statement about "gas being better in our local" is totally true. It is better in our district. Works great and has for 50 years. Not trying to push my ideas on everbody/everything.

    I will however say that I don't dislike diesels. I like them alot. I've owned a 99 Dodge 2500 Cummins as a daily driver. And then bought a used 1992 Dodge Ram D250 Cummins to play with as a toy. My daily driver is now a 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 gas. But I still own a diesel.

    If I find the right truck I'll get another diesel. I'm looking for a used 2002 Ram 2500 Quad Cab 4x4 in black.
    Assistant Chief

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