Why Diesels Make So Much Torque - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-12-2013, 07:57 AM   #1
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Why Diesels Make So Much Torque

This article explains a lot: Banks Power | Why Diesels Make So Much Torque

Also, 222 mph in a diesel Dakota! - I wonder what it's tow rating is?
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:33 AM   #2
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very interesting article, thanks
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:45 AM   #3
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Even without reading the article, I can answer the title question: turbocharging. Period.

They work well with any form of supercharger - better than a spark-ignition engine - and the turbo puts in more air per cycle, allowing the generation of more power per cycle, which is torque. Banks has this right in their article, but they also have some crap about stroke, and they list cylinder pressure which is a result of the boost.

The stroke thing is a fundamental misunderstanding of simple geometry, or an attempt to exploit the reader's similar misunderstanding. Cylinder pressure multiplied by cylinder displacement is torque, whether it is a long stoke multiplied by a small piston area (area times pressure equals force) or a short stroke multiplied by a larger piston area. Whatever the cause, this is a common misconception... and of course even if it mattered a spark-ignition engine can be built in long-stroke form as well, so it's not a diesel advantage.

The timing of combustion stuff is also gobblegook - the extended combustion period of a diesel is actually a disadvantage, reducing thermodynamic efficiency and thus power (and torque) production. The details of that are beyond this forum.


Turbocharging increases torque in diesels, and from what I have heard Banks is a first rate turbo diesel tuning operation... just don't uncriticall accept their explanations.
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:56 AM   #4
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222 mph in a diesel Dakota! - I wonder what it's tow rating is?
Zero... at 222 mph!

On the other hand, Diesel Power magazine did an article about their 141.998 mph record towing stunt.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:00 AM   #5
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Do all diesels use Turbo's? Do not the stock, non turbo also produce more torque than a similar sized engine?
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Old 05-12-2013, 12:19 PM   #6
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cpaharley2008: Had a Ford heavy duty 3/4 that came without a Turbo. Had Banks install their turbo and other stuff.
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:28 PM   #7
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Do all diesels use Turbo's?
In modern vehicles, yes. A normally aspirated (not supercharged/turbocharged) diesel engine would not make sense under current conditions. You can find some small diesel equipment without turbochargers, just to minimize cost and complexity.

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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Do not the stock, non turbo also produce more torque than a similar sized [gasoline] engine?
(I assumed the intended insertion of "gasoline" above)
No, although this is a popular misconception. It has been a long time since non-turbo cars and trucks were available, but comparing very similar engines - such as gasoline and diesel versions of the same engine from companies such as Nissan - diesel puts out less torque (and thus less power) than gas every time, primarily because of the slow combustion effect which Banks claims is an advantage.

The best known example might be the old VW Rabbit, which was fine as a gas engine and a slug as a diesel of the same displacement.
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:29 PM   #8
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Ray, that is an impressive pick up.... Banks Power | Banks Sidewinder Dakota - The World’s Fastest Diesel Truck
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:30 PM   #9
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I loved the caption under the photograph in the original reference, that is: "Most competitors at Bonneville aren't street legal, and most arrive on a trailer. Project Sidewinder drove in pulling a trailer!"
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:19 PM   #10
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Interesting article, thanks.

About 30 years ago I had a truck with a non-turbo diesel. What a dog! I couldn't keep transmissions in it, kept burning out torque converters.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:45 PM   #11
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Interesting article, thanks.

About 30 years ago I had a truck with a non-turbo diesel. What a dog! I couldn't keep transmissions in it, kept burning out torque converters.
The slowest vehicle that I think that I have ever driven was a Ranger diesel, circa 1983. It seemed like it would barely make it through an intersection controlled by a traffic light with a short green.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Even without reading the article, I can answer the title question: turbocharging. Period.
There must be more to it than that. If that is all that is involved in putting out high torque engines, then why don't the companies make high-torque turbocharged gas engines?
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:41 PM   #13
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"high compression" means stronger components that last longer, diesels are high compression motors which gives higher torque at lower rpms.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:52 PM   #14
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So, then can I assume that there is some reason gas engines can't have higher compression? (Pardon my ignorance since I'm not an automotive engineer.)

I just couldn't see why turbocharging is the reason "period," for diesels having so much torque since many gas engines are also turbocharged.
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