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Diesel or Gas?

Over and over I see people driving diesel power vehicles who just happen to be the worst kind of people to be driving them. Like this time I was at a welding supply shop gathering materials for my contraption and a customer who walked in asked me if the new truck outside with the Cummins engine was mine. He asked if it smoked when it was cold. I said not any more than it should. He seemed concerned and said it made excessive black smoke when it was cold and he'd rev it up to 2,300 to 2,500 R.P.M.s'.

When I heard that, I thought to myself, what a dumb shit, the engine even has a governor on it so that it won’t even go any higher than that so he must be flooring it when it's still cold. I let the guy walk away without knowing how I felt about it. As soon as he was out the door I said to the guys, Yeah rap that baby up while it's cold, dilute you motor oil with diesel every morning. That should make the engine last along time. I bet if he keeps that up the cylinders will be gazed before the engine is even broke in.

Guys like him don't realize and understand the difference in the way diesel engines should be operated. Compared to a gasoline engine, there are some major differences in the way the fuel is consumed. When cold, diesel engines don’t burn fuel nearly as efficient as gasoline engines. Diesel fuel has a higher flash point and requires a higher temperature to ignite to create combustion. Diesel engines also require more compression than gasoline engines.

Just to start a diesel engine requires high compression or a pre-heater, or both. To burn the diesel fuel efficiently, the whole engine has to achieve its required heat range.

Therefore a person who operates a diesel engine should be more patient than one who drives a gasoline engine especially when it comes to starting out their commute. The deal is that if the diesel engine doesn’t get a chance to warm up the fuel doesn't get burned thoroughly and since it is more or less a solvent type of oil, it will wash down through the piston rings and dilute the oil within the compression rings on the pistons and crank case. Unburned diesel can dilute the lubricating oil within engine’s crank case and it's not necessarily a good thing to do to oil change one may have just purchased.

In a way diesel engines are like horses too. As they say that you should walk a horse after running them before you put them in their stall. Or as they say: you don't want to put them away wet.

I'll have to give my Dad the credit in this segment:

He said that the City of Tacoma's was having troubles with loosing the turbochargers on its Transit Buses. They figured out that the problem was that at the end of the shifts when the buses were driven into the garage the drivers would turn off the engines so that the exhaust fumes wouldn't accumulate in the garage.

The thing is: turbochargers spin at about 50,000 RPMs' and when the engine is shut down the oil pressure drops and the bearings within the turbos loose their supply of oil as they spin to a stop moments later. The Transit Department figured out the solution was to tell their drivers to let the engines idle down for at least a minute before turning them off. That way, the turbos have a chance to slow down a bit before the oil pressure supply drops off. That was the end of the problem with turbochargers going out.

It's a good idea to let any water cooled engine idle awhile before shutting it down because the water circulating through the engine block can't have a cooling affect if it isn't moving. Right after an engine is shut down. The water temperature within the engine block escalates because it absorbs the heat from the heads and cylinder jackets.
       After the engine is shut down no where to go so the entire engine experiences an increase in temperature. This is excessive heat build up is the why many cylinder heads are warped. (Blown head gaskets, warped manifolds, water in the oil, you name it.)
So if you like going through engines –
Rev it why don't you.

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All these folks who go to truck shows are being steered towards thinking a Hybred engine has something to do with the trucks of the future but I just think that it's just too much shit to go wrong.

If I had it my way, my own truck would have a diesel engine converted to run on natural gas.

All these folks who go to truck shows are being steered towards thinking a Hybred engine  has something to do with the trucks of the future but I just think that it's just  too much shit to go wrong.

The question I have on these hybreds, is the engine set up with an electric pre-oiler, or does the engine dry start every time? That will pretty much tell you how long those costly little  engines will run.

I happen to think that most people should be driving either electric or Hybred cars by now.

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© Copyright 2006. All rights reserved. Dennis Sattler

© Copyright 2006-2011. All rights reserved.   Dennis James Sattler