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Why a Diesel?

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Ponyguy
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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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