Chrysler's small diesel & Toyota/Honda news - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-15-2007, 02:35 PM   #1
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I'm posting two links to news stories which I thought might interest folks here.

The first is a link to a story about the Crysler 300RD diesel that is available in Europe but not yet in the USA. Supposedly it has pretty good towing power for a small engine. I'd think it would be a milage saver on SUVs and smaller pickups (imagine a hybrid diesel model).

Link:


http://www.dieselpowermag.com/features/051...rysler_300_crd/

The second news item concerns Nissan's decision to drop plans for a heavy duty version of the Titan. Toyota has apparently made a similar decision.

Here's the link:

http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/arti...E/70312009/1528
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Old 03-15-2007, 04:06 PM   #2
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I had a Suburban 4wd 6.2 liter Detroit Deisel for 12 years and I loved it!

22 mpg for a 6300 lb vehicle that could tow anything around.

Too bad it rusted through or I'd still be driving it.
It ate tires and batteries ( 2 of them) but that's all. Just change the oil and filter, change the fuel filter and drive.

NO tuneups ever.
I did change the glow plugs at 110,000 miles just for principle it didn't really need it.

Had the trans rebuilt at 110,000 also.
Even though the body was rotten the engine was still ok at 155,000.

I gave it to a friend who drove it for a long time.

GM screwed up with the diesel when they tried tpo cheapen it by converting a 350 to diesel, that put a bad taste in everyones mouth. But look at Europe they are Diesel all over the place.
Also when I was out in South Dakota I was amazed at all the diesel pickups and suburbans out there. In Illinois I think I had one of the few around.
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Old 03-15-2007, 05:39 PM   #3
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Toyota's decision is probably a smart one. Smaller and more efficient is the future, not large and less efficient. That's why they are doing so well in the market. They have vision.

Diesel fuel used to be a good deal. Not so any longer out here. Can't wait until they figure out how to make them not stink so much. Driving behind one is horrible. Especially if the owner has not kept is tuned up by a real pro. I worked my career around them as a Paramedic and hated the smell as did my patients. While idling, they really get to you.

I look forward to the day exhaust of any type is more user friendly.
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Old 03-15-2007, 07:13 PM   #4
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Gary, the diesel engines which are legal for sale now (starting 2007) are cleaner, and dependent on the now-available low-sulphur diesel fuel. They should smell better... but who knows what happens when these catalytic-converter equipped vehicles are not maintained properly?

Frank, the article is about the Chrysler 300 which is not available here, but the engine is; that's the 3.0 CRD which I mentioned (in another topic) is coming in the Sprinter and is already optional in the Grand Cherokee SUV. I have no idea if there are plans to use it in the Dakota (Chrysler's smallest pickup), sedans, or other SUVs which might suit us.

The 3.0 CRD is a Mercedes engine - the Chrysler side of the company should get no credit for this one, although they replaced the three-pointed star emblem with their own on the engine cover.

I am suspicious of any information from the Autoweek article: while they are reporting basically the same thing as everybody else, they listed Nissan's body-on-frame SUVs and missed the Xterra, which seems to me like the most likely one to abandon the truck frame (Frontier, in this case) on which it is currently based.
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Old 03-16-2007, 07:28 AM   #5
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Honda has apparently has a pair of diesels on the way as well: http://www.canadiandriver.com/forum/index....ic,50522.0.html Europeans suffer under expensive gas and diesels seem to be the evolved solution.
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Old 03-16-2007, 10:37 AM   #6
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Honda has apparently has a pair of diesels on the way as well
And, if you're lucky, as well as their nice diesel engines, you might get their even nicer diesel engine advert: Honda UK diesel ad

90 seconds of pure whimsy and, somewhat unbelievably, the singer is Garrison Keillor!

Andrew
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Old 03-16-2007, 01:16 PM   #7
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It's great to see so many companies considering small diesel engines and hybrid versions.
The diesel in the Sprinter RVs gets something like 22-24 miles per gallon and a hybrid version might pick that up over 25 mpg. What might it do for cars and SUVs-- the biggest SUV's which apparently get 14 to 16 mpg.

I'd think in the case alone a diesel hybrid could increase the latter to 30 mpg or so, while adding tow power and engine lifespan. How would these small diesels be in smaller pickups, like F-150's, etc? I sure hope Detroit adapts doesn't leave the ball game to others. As it is, that Honda hybrid sounds especially attractive).

Ah, well: 2010. But I need something now.

Automakers who get caught falling an big oil companies who use substantial clout to defer such change. Some posters say powerful lobbies of this sort are the real reason the EPA has been the main barrier to such small diesels. If so, it's unfortunate. Even if diesel is (or was) a bit more polluting, I'd think the fact that you'd have to use substantially more gallons of gas for the same purpose would more than nullify the difference.

I've always had concerns about politicians with strong ties to the oil industry and any resulting I.O.U's the industry might collect on. It conflicts with obligations to safeguard future safety and prosperity. Thus, Bush's earlier energy proposals always sounded like, "We'll solve the problem by finding more oil."--a shortsighted way of passing the problem on to our children and grandchildren.

To Bush's credit, he seems to recognize it won't do as a result of 9/11 and subsequent concerns. It's one thing to rationalize away economic consequences in return for short-run political benefits but it's impossible to ignore any longer the extremely strong connection between how our expenditures on foreign oil and our own financing of major threats to national security.

Loss of oil revenues might also provoke long-needed reforms in the Middle East. From an economic and national security angle, promoting diesels and diesel-hybrids is a great idea. If what I've been told is correct, diesel itself doesn't depend on foreign sources.
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Old 03-16-2007, 01:21 PM   #8
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If anybody can build a state of the art diesel engine, Honda or Toyota could do it. Just look at their track record for design. Pretty impressive. VW is working hard too on new concepts.
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Old 03-16-2007, 01:52 PM   #9
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There's quite a chance that diesel hybrids will never be built. The main benefit of a gas hybrid is that it allows a smaller gas engine to be used while still giving the same acceleration. This uses less fuel because the smaller gas engine spends more of its time working near its optimum efficiency (which for any gas engine is with the throttle wide open at the revs that gives maximum torque). The regenerative braking bit is a bonus that you get from already having the electric motor and battery fitted.

However diesel engines operate at part load with an efficiency that's not far off their optimum so adding the electric part of the hybrid doesn't deliver much benefit, as a smaller diesel engine working harder isn't much more efficient than the big one. You can see this in Europe where there are multiple diesel models - for example, a 2 litre diesel BMW 5 series does 40mpg and the 3 litre diesel version does 37mpg (those are US gallon figures). Whether it's worth the expense, weight and additional energy of adding the electric motor and battery just for the regenerative braking benefit, I don't know, but I doubt it.

Of course the more eagle-eyed of you may have noticed that you could also throw away the expense, weight and additional energy of the electric motor and battery in the gas hybrid if you were just willing to put up with less acceleration, since that is what the gas engine in a conventional car is sized for. And as some research a while ago by Chrysler showed that most drivers never use more than 2/3rds throttle, you don't even need to put up with less acceleration if you're willing to use all the power available from a smaller engine!

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Old 03-16-2007, 02:24 PM   #10
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The only problem I see with the do-with-less-power approach is that almost no one buys a vehicle rationally - almost everyone wants to know they have lots of power. I think there's a great market for cars with small engines which sound an look big and powerful. Maybe a V8 with nothing in two of the cylinders and resonant exhaust system? Of course, it needs a "Hemi" label or something like that.

There are diesel/electric hybrids running now, in large scale test truck fleets (such as the dozens of Purolator vans), and in more than one brand of urban transit bus. These are applications where regenerative braking is significant (I don't think it is for most of us) and where idle time is high. In both of those aspects, the benefit comes regardless of engine characteristics; neither is very relevant for towing, so we're not prime targets for this technical solution.
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Old 03-18-2007, 05:57 PM   #11
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Can you say 30 mpg with more towing power and longer engine life?

How many on this forum would be interested in a Dodge 1500 with a small Cummins engine?

It makes me wonder what I should buy for a tow vehicle in the meantime to avoid losing too much cash. Here's a press release someone posted elsewhere online:

Dodge to Offer All-New Cummins Light-Duty Clean Diesel

- All-new engine to provide up to 30-percent improvement in fuel economy
- Clean-diesel technology to meet 50-state 2010 emissions standards
Washington, D.C. - Let the diesel duels begin.

Armed with new Cummins clean-diesel technology, Dodge will introduce an all new turbodiesel engine in its light duty pickup trucks after 2009. The new engine will provide a dramatic increase in low-end torque, up to a 30-percent improvement in fuel efficiency and a 20-percent reduction in carbon dioxide (C02) emissions when compared to an equivalent gasoline engine.

“Our all-new Cummins engine will offer future Dodge Ram 1500 customers the ultimate in terms of fuel economy, refinement, reliability and durability,” said Tom LaSorda, Chrysler Group President and CEO. “It’s another example of the Chrysler Group bringing new, clean, quiet diesel technology to the marketplace.”

The new clean diesel engine will meet 50-state emissions standards for 2010. In March of this year, Dodge will offer a 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel in its Ram Heavy Duty trucks. The new engine meets 2010 standards in all 50 states.

“We are pleased to build upon our 18-year partnership and brand franchise with the Chrysler Group by providing our new light-duty diesel-powered engine for use in the Dodge Ram 1500,” said Tim Solso, Cummins Chairman and CEO. “We know customers for this product will demand high performance. We also know that we need to be extremely good at fuel efficiency and emissions control in order to succeed in this market. Cummins will use its technology leadership to meet all of those criteria, while providing the driving public with an exciting new diesel engine alternative for the popular Dodge Ram series."
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Old 03-18-2007, 06:16 PM   #12
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You'll find a more thorough report on what's coming up in diesels this year and over the next two years at the following link, especially in the report by David Welsh that follows a column in business week:

http://www.businessweek.com/autos/autobeat...l_gets_its.html
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