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Experienced cold weather Diesel truck owners/users needed

 
 
Reply Sun 18 Feb, 2007 06:41 pm
I'm thinking of getting a light Diesel truck (Ford, or otherwise, pickup) and need owners' experiences especially in extended cold weather (think the state of Maine). Traditionally diesel has had starting and fuel stability problems in such cold climates. I understand they have become much more reliable now (cleaner also) but I could use the experiences of owners out there. The traditional big three auto makers may or may not have plans to increase such models but at this point such expectations are unreliable. I hear that some of the Japanese makers have definite plans for the next 3-6 years.

Any thoughts or experiences would be appreciated.

Thanks,

JM
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 13,982 • Replies: 28
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Feb, 2007 08:40 pm
Compared to the Northwoods, you Down Easters have positively balmy winter weather. I've had a succession of diesel trucks and equipment across many Northwestern Wisconsin winters, and diesel work gear is pretty common hereabouts - 'specially in delivery vehicles and ¾Ton & up rigs. It works fine in the winter. Now, around here, the fuel blend switches to a winter formulation from October through March (gel-resistant, better starting), most diesel owners will use a lighter-weight winter lubricating oil, and of course go with the beefiest batteries a truck's battery wells will accommodate. A week or two stretch of sub -20° F puts a strain on things, but that's what block and hose heaters, battery warmer blankets, and trickle chargers are for ... and heavy duty weatherproof electric pigtails are quite commonly to be seen dangling from the grills of vehicles - cars or trucks, gas or diesel - in this area.
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OCCOM BILL
 
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Reply Sun 18 Feb, 2007 08:47 pm
Once upon a time I had a diesel VW Rabbit. Only ever had a problem with WAY below zero temps, and after the first I'd just leave it running overnight if it was supposed to get WAY below zero. If memory serves, this used very little fuel, and was worth it to climb in a warm vehicle on such a day. Also, fill up before you're half empty.
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JamesMorrison
 
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Reply Sun 18 Feb, 2007 10:51 pm
Yup. Personally I think the country should forget about the pipe dream of energy independence and concentrate on energy security. Ethanol is less desirable here than diesel which is much more calorically dense than ethanol or gas. Factor in government subsidies for ethanol, increasing corn prices which, in turn, raise food prices, and the near impossibility of having enough land to grow the corn needed for the mash production (cellulosic alcohol production is not, presently, feasible for primetime industrial production) and ethanol's luster fades significantly. Europe is way ahead of us on diesel use in personal vehicles and has been for years (27% of personal vehicles are diesel). Hybrids seem more a political statement than an honest answer, sans government subsidies, to energy security. Further, Hydrogen powered vehicles lack the vast infrastructure needed to make them practical to date. When one considers that most of our imported oil (81%) comes from such unreliable and unstable areas such as Canada and Mexico (and Venezuela, but Chavistas are easier to deal with than those in the Middle East) the "strangle hold" of the ME oil countries seems much less throttling.

What this country needs, in addition to a good 5 cent anything, is an honest scientifically based energy policy, but then that would merely force Washington politicians' disingenuousness elsewhere. Meanwhile, I will have dreams of Cummings Turbo Diesel powered Cadillac Escalades.

Thanks,

JM
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OCCOM BILL
 
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Reply Sun 18 Feb, 2007 11:14 pm
this really isn't all that tricky.

http://www.npp.hu/mukodes/kepek/navegre-e.jpg
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Mon 19 Feb, 2007 12:36 am
At winter times, "diesel winter petrol" is only sold at the stations here = no problems up to -10°F at all and even working fine below that (I am told so, since I have no experiences re such: never been with my diesel cars driving in such a weather).
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timberlandko
 
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Reply Mon 19 Feb, 2007 01:09 am
The 6.0L Powerstroke diesel in my Ford F350 4WD complains some if she's been sitting a while at much below -10° or -15° F or so, but I give the glowplugs a little extra time to heat up before trying to crank her over, and after grumbling a bit, she fires up and rattles on just fine - though a little rough and sooty at first. I let her warm up pretty well before asking her to work hard - I know how I feel on cold mornings. Give her a few minutes/few miles at relatively low RPM and little load, stay out of the turbo 'til she's warmed up, and pretty soon she's ready to do anything I ask of her, from pulling a trailer to plowing snow or yanking somebody out of a ditch. With a couple yards of sand in the bed (which, with the plow mounted, brings her weight-on-the-wheels pretty close to 6 tons), once she gets moving she wants to keep moving, whether pulling or pushing Laughing
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JamesMorrison
 
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Reply Tue 20 Feb, 2007 07:08 pm
Thanks Walter for the info. From what you and Timber have told me I'm more confident in the argument I'll present to my spouse towards a new vehicle purchase of a diesel powered vehicle.

OCCOM BILL, do I detect another proponent of nuclear power? If so let's open up Yucca Mountain and go for it!

JM
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farmerman
 
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Reply Wed 21 Feb, 2007 08:48 am
Caterpillar offers a small diesel that has been married to the F-150 . Its a cute little 3.5 L (Cat offers a number of engine options that you get through CAT not Ford).

As far as Maine--they add MTBE to the diesel for anti gel and viscosity improvement. Since diesel is compressibly firong, they have to watch the mix. (too much MTBE , or ethanol, can cause problems in firing)

The new Cummins Dodge has a feture that uses a small batch heater that heats up the fuel before injecting , This either eliminates the need for glo plugs, but I think they still have them in there.

The only bad news Ive heard is that the new Ford 6.4 twin turbo is a real POS. Either the turbos stick open (giving that distinct jet engine taxiing whistling roar) or theyve had problems in the power distribution. Its gonna take a service pack 2.0 and with Ford in its financial throes, Im beginning to have doubst.

We have a small fleet of Fords, 7.3 IH, The 8.2 Cat, the 6.0 IH, I like the cat but it does sip the sauce. I think the 7.3 with a after market chip has the best performance and mileage (unloaded) . The 6.0 gives good performance towing light loads and the Cat tows 8 tons real good at about 13 mpg.

Unless Timber didnt mention, if youre in Maine, keep the truck plugged in at night , it starts better that way. I even keep mine plugged in down here in Pa, and theres no problem. I went through all of last winter with a bad glowplug in the 7.3 and , because I plugged her in, I never noticed the first sign of glo plug failuer (failure to start easily in cold weather)


The glo-plugless diesels are a favorite dinkum for the small engines, If you are getting a truck, reserve your options to those engines that have glo plugs.(I dont think that there are any US engines that DONT have glo plugs) It takes more juice and force to start a bigger diesel than it does a VW so , I believe that glo plugs will be a necessity for starting truck engines .

Just keep it plugged in at night, youll never have to worry.
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OCCOM BILL
 
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Reply Wed 21 Feb, 2007 11:22 am
JamesMorrison wrote:
OCCOM BILL, do I detect another proponent of nuclear power? If so let's open up Yucca Mountain and go for it!
Yup. Call me crazy; but there's something about an emission free power source that doesn't rely on fossil fuel that attracts me. Considering the age of this technology; it seems to me we should by now have zero dependence on foreign oil... and if that was our focal point for the last 50 years or so, I can easily imagine that by now advances in electric motors and power storage and/or rapid delivery may well have rendered the internal combustion engine second best, even for heavy lifting. The old technology seems to have already been largely perfected; while we're probably just scratching the surface with electricity.
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farmerman
 
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Reply Wed 21 Feb, 2007 03:23 pm
J'ever just drive off with the truck still plugged in?
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timberlandko
 
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Reply Wed 21 Feb, 2007 03:36 pm
farmerman wrote:
J'ever just drive off with the truck still plugged in?

Embarrassed More'n once Embarrassed

Pretty sure I'm the only one that noticed ... hope so, anyway Laughing
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JamesMorrison
 
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Reply Thu 22 Feb, 2007 05:56 pm
That seems just a little worse than proceeding to drive to work with one's coffee mug on the driver's side roof. Smile

JM
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dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Feb, 2007 06:06 pm
farmerman wrote:
J'ever just drive off with the truck still plugged in?


Like at the drive in with the speaker in the window.

Gawd that dates me dont it.
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JamesMorrison
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Feb, 2007 06:30 pm
Farmerman said:

Quote:
Like at the drive in with the speaker in the window.

Gawd that dates me dont it.


I have no idea what you're talking about.

JM
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farmerman
 
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Reply Thu 22 Feb, 2007 08:17 pm
uhhh, Jim, Dadpad said that , not me. Ive got some pictures of people driving away freom the gas pump with the nozzle and part of the delivery hose still attached to the car .

The petroleum marketers even have a term for this , they call it a "drive off", and is one of the main resons for gas contamination of ground water around gas stations (third only to leaks in the gas tank/ delivery pipes or holes put in the tank by dropping the "Inventory stick" which is a brass tipped 3 meter rod which the gas station attendent (usually some part timer) javelins into the tank , punching a hole into its bottom and screwing up inventory
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dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Feb, 2007 11:08 pm
JamesMorrison wrote:
Farmerman said:

Quote:
Like at the drive in with the speaker in the window.

Gawd that dates me dont it.


I have no idea what you're talking about.

JM


Did they not have speakers in US drive ins? What am I missing here? some cultural divide?
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roger
 
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Reply Thu 22 Feb, 2007 11:28 pm
Drive ins? I think I heard about that in some old movie, or something. Same as JamesMorrison, I presume.
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Feb, 2007 12:49 am
http://img451.imageshack.us/img451/5819/linkhslrgbp6.jpg
Photo: O. Winston Link
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OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Feb, 2007 02:47 am
I miss drive-in's. Towards the end they simply broadcasted to your own radio, but I remember the big window mount speakers too.

I have driven off with the nozzle still in the tank, but I stopped and it wasn't harmed. Coffee on the roof more than once... and my worst was leaving a small gas station in an enormous Penski moving truck so when I turned left out of the parking lot the right rear end bumper literally sheared of the gas hose against a protective post. I did have to pay a hefty price for the hose, but it was never reported... and the bumper of the Penski was fine after I rammed it backwards into an ice packed snow bank at home depot and replaced the bolt on that which was also sheared off in the accident. No harm, no foul, right? Embarrassed
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