Why a Diesel?

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Why a Diesel?

Post by Ponyguy » May 25th, 2019, 2:25 am

I've snooped around at various online articles mostly about trucks (and a few SUVs) recently, and there has been a lot of ink splattered on paper concerning the new and improved Diesel engine offerings forthcoming on all the half-ton (and even Mid Size) pickup trucks. Now, if I had a Ford F-250, or a competitive manufacturer's 2500-series pickup truck, and was inclined to pull a sizeable trailer, I'd have absolutely no question or qualms about opting for one of the 6.7 liter Scorpion Diesel engines in my Ford truck, or the Cummins in a Ram. But the new ~3 liter Diesels in the Ford F-150, and soon in the Ram 1500 seem like they're just not a cost-effective or even performance-wise choice for the truck. The Ford's F-150 Diesel costs about $4000 more than a 2.7 liter EcoBoost gasoline engine; it carries a $3000 premium over a 5 liter gas V-8. The premium over a 3.5 EcoBoost is a little under $2000.

The mini-Diesel offers 250 HP and 440 lb-ft Torque.
The 2.7 EcoBoost has 325 HP, and 400 lb-ft Torque
The 5.0 Gas engine has 395 HP and 400 lb-ft Torque
The 3.5 EcoBoost has 375 HP and 470 lb-ft Torque

The 1500 Ram truck's Diesel compares favorably with the Ford's; the forthcoming 3 liter GM Diesel is expected to offer similar figures.

The Diesel in a half-ton pickup doesn't seem to make much sense to me... it costs a lot more than even the top gas engine (3.5 EcoBoost) and can't come close to comparing with the gas horsepower, and the gas engines come quite close to parity with the torque figures... and the 3.5 EcoBoost actually surpasses the Diesel's torque.
The half-ton Diesel's fuel mileage is roughly the same as the smaller gas engines, and the diesel fuel cost (along with the DEF) considerably exceeds that of the gas engines.

What's the Diesel's attraction? The rattly engine clatter?
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Re: Why a Diesel?

Post by theperfectdrugsk » May 25th, 2019, 4:51 pm

Ponyguy wrote:
May 25th, 2019, 2:25 am
What's the Diesel's attraction? The rattly engine clatter?
I think that's pretty much it. Maybe the big 3 are trying to cater a bit to the bro-dozer market, but for guys that can't afford or justify a 3/4-ton diesel. Also, I feel like diesels are generally exempt from the typical criticism of "you don't use your truck as a truck, so why do you have a truck?", so that might be part of it?

It'll be mildly interesting to see if these mini-diesels are as amenable to ridiculous hi-power tunes the way the larger ones are.
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Re: Why a Diesel?

Post by LTC_Dave » May 25th, 2019, 9:10 pm

The ones that I see are owned by the same contractor type people that used to own BroDozers, but must have been tired of death wobble.
To me it is practically worthless.
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Re: Why a Diesel?

Post by bluejay_32 » May 26th, 2019, 12:14 am

theperfectdrugsk wrote:
May 25th, 2019, 4:51 pm
Also, I feel like diesels are generally exempt from the typical criticism of "you don't use your truck as a truck, so why do you have a truck?", so that might be part of it?
I wouldn't think they'd be exempt from that type of criticism, if anything, I'd think they'd get that even more because of all the extra expense.
LTC_Dave wrote:
May 25th, 2019, 9:10 pm
To me it is practically worthless.
That's about how I see them.
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Re: Why a Diesel?

Post by CrownBen » May 28th, 2019, 2:01 pm

The "manliness" factor I'm sure is part of it.
What does the torque curve look like? Do you get more down low, without sacrificing HP as you would with a different cam in the gas engines?
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Re: Why a Diesel?

Post by Ponyguy » May 30th, 2019, 1:29 am

CrownBen wrote:
May 28th, 2019, 2:01 pm
The "manliness" factor I'm sure is part of it.
What does the torque curve look like? Do you get more down low, without sacrificing HP as you would with a different cam in the gas engines?
That's an important question, Ben... on both Diesel engines as well as gasoline-fueled engines... and it's even more important when comparing N/A with EcoBoost or supercharged engines.

I wish that manufacturers would offer a little bit (or a lot) more REAL information about their products either on their websites or their dealership brochures (or both)... they'll print a dozen or more pages of full color photographs in their descriptors, but actual specifications and details are sparse. And the specifications they DO offer are all-too-frequently tainted with an asterisk, indicating "only under certain conditions or on certain models, etc."

Horsepower and mileage ratings on EcoBoost engines are stated as peak numbers, attained using 93 octane fuel; how many people purchasing a 1.5 liter EcoBoost-equipped family car (like an Escape, or a Fusion) are going to spend an additional 75 or 80 cents per gallon over the 87 octane regular E-10 gasoline? I'd like to see a fuel mileage chart comparing regular fuel with premium fuel, as well as a chart and curve graph of power plants offering real, detailed numbers and ratings of both horsepower and torque. Of course, with the powerful PCM's, ignition timing and fuel injection can be constrained to let the EcoBoost family of engines run acceptably well on 87 octane E-10, but what is the loss of horsepower & torque, and how is the mileage affected?

Okay, back to my concerns about the expensive 3.0 liter Diesels in half-ton pickups... and to be honest, I think the Electric motor assist system offered on Dodge RAM trucks seems a lot more attractive with its ability to add a lot of additional low-RPM torque (like a Diesel) but at a lot less cost.

Here's an article on TFLTruck about the cost effectiveness of an F-150 Diesel:
https://www.tfltruck.com/2018/10/2018-f ... the-money/
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Re: Why a Diesel?

Post by Ponyguy » June 11th, 2019, 1:41 am

Now comes the refreshed MOPAR 1/2 ton 3.0 Diesel for 2020... with 260 HP & "class-leading" torque: 480 lb-ft Torque. Still expect to pay $4000-$5000 more than base V-6 gas engine, just for "Diesel-Equipped" bragging rights.

Dodge Ram announces the class-leading maximum towing rating for this new-fangled half-ton Ram 1500 EcoDiesel at an eye-popping 12,560 lbs. This is a crazy high number... Ford rates their itty-bitty Diesel at about 11,500#, and GM limits their Diesel half-tons to 9,700#. Any way you slice it, any of those numbers are way too much for a half-ton truck, but that won't stop smarts-challenged drivers from trying it. Too bad the ICC doesn't check weights on recreational trailers much.
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Re: Why a Diesel?

Post by CrownBen » June 12th, 2019, 10:24 am

Ponyguy wrote:
June 11th, 2019, 1:41 am
Dodge Ram announces the class-leading maximum towing rating for this new-fangled half-ton Ram 1500 EcoDiesel at an eye-popping 12,560 lbs. This is a crazy high number... Ford rates their itty-bitty Diesel at about 11,500#, and GM limits their Diesel half-tons to 9,700#. Any way you slice it, any of those numbers are way too much for a half-ton truck, but that won't stop smarts-challenged drivers from trying it. Too bad the ICC doesn't check weights on recreational trailers much.
I'm sure a few will try, but mostly it's just for bragging rights.
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Re: Why a Diesel?

Post by GM_Guy » June 26th, 2019, 7:50 pm

Ponyguy wrote:
May 25th, 2019, 2:25 am
What's the Diesel's attraction? The rattly engine clatter?
Nothing more than to say they have a diesel. And some stupid eco-friendly type b.s. that is raging across north america (ie: the sudden surge in anti-plastic everything movement)
CrownBen wrote:
May 28th, 2019, 2:01 pm
The "manliness" factor I'm sure is part of it.
What does the torque curve look like? Do you get more down low, without sacrificing HP as you would with a different cam in the gas engines?
There is nothing manly about a baby diesel. Baby diesels belong in vw jettas and small passenger cars, not in trucks.
Make trucks trucks again. Get rid of the frills and car bullshit, rubber floors, no insulation, roll up windows and big fck [ing] [why is this board censoring?] engines.

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Re: Why a Diesel?

Post by theperfectdrugsk » June 27th, 2019, 8:25 am

GM_Guy wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 7:50 pm

Nothing more than to say they have a diesel. And some stupid eco-friendly type b.s. that is raging across north america (ie: the sudden surge in anti-plastic everything movement)
I don't think the eco-friendly thing really has anything to do with it. Anyone that thinks they're going to get seriously better mileage out of a baby diesel truck needs their head examined. Baby diesel in a tiny car, sure. Not in a truck though. Too high mass to ass ratio.
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Off topic, but FWIW, the anti-plastic thing is long overdue. I worked in Antarctica for a spell, and we were finding microplastics in goddamn penguin guts. That shit gets everywhere. I'm not like...a militant eco-whatever. I just don't really want a side of old solo cup with my venison, you know? :arroweat:
GM_Guy wrote:
June 26th, 2019, 7:50 pm
There is nothing manly about a baby diesel. Baby diesels belong in vw jettas and small passenger cars, not in trucks.
Make trucks trucks again. Get rid of the frills and car bullshit, rubber floors, no insulation, roll up windows and big fck [ing] [why is this board censoring?] engines.
Alex.
Damn straight. There really only needs to be two kinds of trucks. What you just described, and old style compacts (old ranger/mazda b-series, old tacos, S10s, etc). Anything in between is just dumb.
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Re: Why a Diesel?

Post by bluejay_32 » June 27th, 2019, 12:38 pm

theperfectdrugsk wrote:
June 27th, 2019, 8:25 am

Damn straight. There really only needs to be two kinds of trucks. What you just described, and old style compacts (old ranger/mazda b-series, old tacos, S10s, etc). Anything in between is just dumb.
Problem is, the compacts now are the size of the old 1500s.
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Re: Why a Diesel?

Post by stalag » August 3rd, 2019, 6:26 pm

Diesel engines are much better at delivering power. If you have heavy loads that place major demands on the engine, a diesel engine is always going to be more efficient due to design. As a result gasoline only makes sense in a general construction truck where the loading is usually lighter and more bulky. Heavy requires diesel for mpg considerations due to the much higher ratio of expansion during the fuel burn. You just get more work out of a diesel than a gasoline engine on each power stroke of the piston.
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Re: Why a Diesel?

Post by stalag » August 3rd, 2019, 6:34 pm

To follow this up, a diesel engine compression ratio is between 18:1 to 22:1 ratio depending on design. Gasoline engines are typically between 8:1 to 10:1 ratio for standard unleaded. If you have high octane fuel you can go as high as 13:1 but this limits the type of fuel that can be used. Aviation engines typically are designed for high octane fuel and generally have high ratios combined with a supercharger and are in addition designed for high power output at 70% or better for long periods of time. Gasoline engines typically used in ground transportation are designed for a 30% output rating for continuous operation with peak loads for short duration above the 30% continuous operation load. This combined with the typical 8:1-10:1 ratio for gasoline means that a diesel inherently has a better efficiency vis a vis a gasoline engine when the Carnot cycle is considered.
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Re: Why a Diesel?

Post by theperfectdrugsk » August 3rd, 2019, 7:39 pm

I wonder what the typical break point for efficiency is in terms of load. Like, if a given diesel truck is loaded to half it's rated max, is it then going to be more efficient than the equivalent gas truck? 25%? 75?
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Re: Why a Diesel?

Post by stalag » August 3rd, 2019, 9:48 pm

theperfectdrugsk wrote:
August 3rd, 2019, 7:39 pm
I wonder what the typical break point for efficiency is in terms of load. Like, if a given diesel truck is loaded to half it's rated max, is it then going to be more efficient than the equivalent gas truck? 25%? 75?
I am not sure exactly to what percentage without running the calculations. However around 50% loading the difference becomes substantial if graphs I have seen are any indication. Too many years since though since I saw those and don't know where to look now.
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