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Thread: Why diesel?

  1. #41
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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.

  3. #43
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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.

  4. #44
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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.

  5. #45
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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.

  6. #46
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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.

  7. #47
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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!!"
    Remember - always wear your helmet around one-eyed women with pike poles

  8. #48
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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

  9. #49
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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.

  10. #50
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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

  11. #51
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    Its an old thread...but I took some heat for my posts in it. And today I decided I need to clear my name.

    https://www.fleet.ford.com/truckbbas/non-html/Q-179.pdf

    I said a V10 was a viable option in an ambulance prep package. I was told it wasn't. Ford now thinks its OK.

    Its probably because they will run out of 6.0L's to put in ESeries trucks since they cancelled their Navistar contracts to build their own diesel. But the 6.7L won't be going into the vans right away. Who knows when?

    Anyhow...I predicted it could be done. Now it is.
    Assistant Chief

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    Interesting.

  13. #53
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    And again...NO I'm not against diesels. I own a D250 Dodge Cummins and a Chevy HD2500 Duramax 4x4.
    Assistant Chief

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by fpvfd502 View Post
    Its an old thread...but I took some heat for my posts in it. And today I decided I need to clear my name.

    https://www.fleet.ford.com/truckbbas/non-html/Q-179.pdf

    I said a V10 was a viable option in an ambulance prep package. I was told it wasn't. Ford now thinks its OK.

    Its probably because they will run out of 6.0L's to put in ESeries trucks since they cancelled their Navistar contracts to build their own diesel. But the 6.7L won't be going into the vans right away. Who knows when?

    Anyhow...I predicted it could be done. Now it is.
    2 Years ago gas engine was not an option in a ford ambulance prep chassis.
    Now as you state it is in the 2010 model year due to a lack of diesel engines manufactured by Navistar. And next year when Ford comes out with their own diesel powerplant you will see the gas option go away again.

    Up until the 6.0 powerstroke issues , Ford had 90% of the ambulance cutaway chassis business. Then came the new player GM 4500/5500 with the Isusu designed duramax. Now thats no longer an option as they stopped production of their medium duty line in July.
    Sterling is also no longer available.
    That leaves Chevy dodge & Ford in a type 1 pickup chassis and Ford in a van or cutaway unless you want a mini mod where Chevy has a van cutaway in the lighter GVW class.

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    I'm mainly talking Type II and Type III dual rear wheel van style. They are the most popular and most departments are not going to switch to Type I's because Ford only offers the diesel in that model now.

    I *know* it wasn't an option 2 years ago. Or 5 or 10 years ago...etc etc etc. Thats what I was saying. It wasn't...but it *could* have been given engine advances and modern technology.

    Ford has already tested the 6.7L engine and they've bet the entire farm on its success. They've got an entire website devoted to its marketing in PICKUPS. They can't blame International if this doesn't work. If this thing has problems...then what? I hope it does succeed by the way. But I digress.

    you will see the gas option go away again.
    Really? Really?? I thought it was dead in the 80's...never to return again then?? But here it is back...and your certain its already gone again? Even if it works great and they sell tons of them with great feedback...they'll just get rid of them once the 6.7L is in place? What will they say? "Ummm....we had gas engine fires back in the 80's so we can't do the V10 anymore after a couple of successful years in 2010 and 2011."

    If you've spent any time looking at the current 6.4L in trucks...you can see why its not in vans. Because it has 9 different types of coolers and radiators. And the van has NO room to put all that stuff. It won't fit. Remember, recent 7.3L vans couldn't fit an intercooler. The new 6.7L engine has just as many coolers and gadgets to keep if functioning and performing to EPA 2010 mandates. Will the E-Series need a nose lengthening to fit it at all? Maybe...but not right now I suspect. So the V10 will do. Just my guess. Something convinced Ford to go ahead with it.

    Point is this: Ford had gas engine problems in the 80's. So they went diesel to get out of that situation. They were dogs at first...but eventually became powerful performers. Meanwhile...LEAPS and BOUNDS were made in gas engine development and management. So much so that a gas engine option has long been possible. But why should Ford offer a cheaper option when they can keep pushing diesels and selling them for more $$$? All this time they kept reminding us "gas ambulances catch fire, gas ambulances catch fire".

    V10's were capable of doing this job when they came out in 99. But why do that when the market is forced to buy diesels? Does anyone really think that a 2010 Triton V10 has the same issues as a 1986 Econoline Big Block 460? Fuel Injection? Computer Controls? Engine Management and monitoring? Didn't that help anything?

    GMC 4500/5500 are too bulky! No typical city department is going to use those. If that was the case...Freightliner and International has been making medium low pros for years. I'm talking small Type III cutaways.

    Dodge will never do diddly for ambulances anymore. So forget the Cummins in a van type. Chevy has an opportunity with the rock solid Duramax platform. But they've never pushed the ambulance market at all. They should. Besides...thats all GM medium dutys are anyway....van cabs with a tilt nose. And they put Duramax's in vans.

    All I ever said was gas should be an option these days because they are less expensive, reliable and performers. Maybe not as fuel efficient...but still performers and workers.

    Will 6.0L Powerstroke failure/patient suffering/loss of revenue lawsuits dwarf the handful of gas fire lawsuits in the 80's? Who knows.
    Last edited by fpvfd502; 10-22-2009 at 11:42 PM.
    Assistant Chief

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    Perhaps it should be mentioned that the new 6.2L V8 is also coming out in Fords new heavy duty pickup line. How long the 6.8L V10 remains available is unknown to me. Maybe for one year...maybe 5 more. Who knows. I'm going to try and find out today. The 6.2L will be more powerful than the 5.4L V8...but less than the current V10 according to spy reports. I can't see Ford offering 2 different gas options in SuperDuty trucks anymore with the all new 6.2L V8.

    Or maybe V10's will hang around for van chassis use only...for a few years, until they redesign that vehicle line to fit new engines. But 2010 will see V10 ambulance prep packages as one option.

    One of many articles:

    http://www.jems.com/news_and_article...s_in_2010.html
    Last edited by fpvfd502; 10-23-2009 at 10:52 AM.
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    Some info on the increased cost of diesel fuel. When the 2007 low sulfur fuel requirement came into being, some type of additive had to be used to take the place of the sulfur in the fuel. I'm not even sure what the sulfur did, but, our local Chevron distributor tells us that the increased cost was the result of the additives that replaced sulfur.

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    The EPA didn't like sulfur (nor Carbon Dioxide nor water vapor for that matter)...so they lowered the PPM allowable. The process to desulfurize diesel basically makes it a very "dry" fuel. Thus it was hard on injectors and pumps since most rely on fuel as part of their own lubrication. I'm not sure the sulfur itself was so much a good lubricant, as much as the process to remove it took out other lubricating properties. So a chemical lubricant additive is probably what he's talking about.

    If plants ruled the world...the EPA would ban Oxygen.
    Assistant Chief

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