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Old 02-16-2003, 06:21 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 80
Smile L.A. Times story about diesels (Sunday paper)

Word is out guys-diesel is the in thing.Go to,0,5151558.

Or in case of my typing screw up,log on go to business section and to the story

UPDATE-Enrique called on Friday,motor arrived about 2:30 P.M.He completed removal of old engine and mess it left behind and said "I will have this car running the way IT SHOULD BE RUNNING"Will keep you updated.

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Old 02-16-2003, 10:53 PM
'82 300TD-T
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: SoCal
Posts: 276
alright, i'll be the renegade and post the whole story here. (moderators - delete if you must...)


Diesels Fueling Renewed Interest

Carmakers see promise in a new breed of these fuel-efficient vehicles but will face several obstacles, some particular to California.

By John O'Dell
Times Staff Writer

February 16, 2003

To most people, diesels conjure up images of big, clattering stinkpots. But Lola Whitehead says hers is nothing like that.

As a human relations analyst for the California Judicial Council, Whitehead drives all over the upper half of the state in a diesel-powered 2002 Volkswagen New Beetle. Her vehicle is quiet, almost smoke-free and very thrifty, she said. Whitehead averages 46 miles per gallon around town and about 51 mpg on trips.

"And I cruise at 70," said the Sacramento area resident, who also rides a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and considers herself a motoring enthusiast, not an environmental wonk.

The auto industry will need a lot of Lolas to realize its hopes of a big diesel comeback in the United States.

Two decades after the technology flopped in the marketplace, automakers are gearing up to launch a new fleet of diesel vehicles. Facing growing attacks on their popular but mostly gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles and large pickup trucks, they are looking at fuel-efficient diesels as a potential savior for the industry.

But automakers must contend with several obstacles, including tough fuel quality and emissions standards, particularly in California, and the tarnished image left by a previous generation of diesels. The oil shortages and gasoline price increases of the 1970s helped diesel cars to flourish briefly, but sales plummeted when consumers found them to be unreliable, underpowered, noisy and smelly. Diesels accounted for less than 1% of passenger car sales in the U.S. last year.

Car manufacturers in Europe, however, continued to develop the technology. Clean, quiet and powerful diesel vehicles are speeding out of dealers' showrooms and have captured a 40% share of the European market. Demand is so great that Chrysler Group's diesel-powered PT Cruisers and Jeep Liberty SUVs made in North America are shipped overseas.

It is these sophisticated, relatively clean diesels, offering 30% to 40% better fuel mileage than gasoline engines, that carmakers plan to introduce to the United States.

Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz, both owned by DaimlerChrysler, plan to roll out several new diesel models, including a U.S. version of the Liberty late this year and a $50,000 Mercedes E-Class diesel sedan in most parts of the country in 2004.

The Liberty probably will cost about $2,000 more than the gasoline model, which lists from about $17,000 to $25,000. But at an average of 25 mpg -- compared with 18 for its gas-powered counterpart -- the diesel Liberty could pay for that difference in cost in about five years, based on current fuel prices.

Among Daimler's German rivals, Volkswagen wants to add two models to the three it already sells here, and BMW plans to bring new diesel products to the States within a few years. Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. likewise hope to add to their lineups.

"The diesel engine is a valid choice in Europe, and it ought to be even more so in the U.S.," said Chrysler Group Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche.

With present federal rules requiring automakers to meet fleet fuel consumption averages of 27.5 mpg for all cars and 20.7 mpg for SUVs and pickups, Chrysler could offset the 8- and 10-mpg fuel ratings of some of its big pickups and monster cars such as the Dodge Viper by selling diesel-powered Libertys.

Even once-fierce diesel critics, such as Alan Lloyd, chairman of the California Air Resources Board, say that if Americans are exposed to new diesel models, there should be plenty of converts. Lloyd said his own impressions were changed by technical advances and by what he saw on the road on recent trips to Europe.

Automakers, as well as some environmentalists and regulators, like diesels because the fuel savings can mean a big reduction in emissions of "greenhouse gases" linked to global warming.

One big obstacle, however, is that both the federal and California governments are stiffening emissions requirements for gasoline- as well as diesel- powered vehicles.

Resistance in U.S.

With diesels, the auto industry also has image problems to overcome. Although diesel car sales hit a high of 12% of the U.S. market in 1984, poor quality soured consumers on the technology. A prime example was GM's ill-advised conversion of an Oldsmobile V-8 to diesel.

Last year, 31,220 diesel- powered passenger cars were sold in the United States, up about 35% from 2001 but still representing just one of every 250 sales. All were Volkswagens. Americans bought a lot more diesel pickups made by GM, Ford and Dodge; about 10% of the 2.1 million full-size trucks sold last year were diesels.

Now many in the industry are hoping that the combination of diesels with better fuel economy and quick acceleration will boost interest and sales, particularly in areas such as Southern California, where many people make long drives and are obsessed with their driving machines.

"There's always a bit of buzz about diesel because of all the people who live in Arrowhead and Big Bear and drive up and down mountains or commute into L.A.," said Dante Day, sales manager at Exclusively Volkswagen in Ontario. Those drivers "want the mileage and the power" of diesels, he said.

Day's dealership sells about 600 VWs a year, but it gets only about 30 diesels from the factory. "We usually don't have enough diesels in inventory" to satisfy demand, he said.

VW sells three diesel-powered passenger cars -- the Beetle, Golf and Jetta -- and plans to add the Passat to its lineup next year. The company will bring out a V-10 diesel version of its Touareg SUV as soon as it can figure out how to get the big engine to pass federal and California emissions standards.

In fact, the diesel campaign in the U.S. is part of an intense competition within the auto industry to develop an alternative engine that will catch on with consumers while reducing oil dependency and satisfying increasingly strict pollution requirements.

Fuel-efficient hybrids, which use both gasoline engines and electric motors, are emerging in the market. Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. sold 35,000 hybrid cars last year. Ford plans to introduce a hybrid SUV next year, and others are in the pipeline.

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Old 02-16-2003, 10:54 PM
'82 300TD-T
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: SoCal
Posts: 276
Another possibility is hydrogen power. President Bush recently proposed a $1.2-billion federal program to help develop hydrogen fuels, but analysts and environmentalists point out that it will be decades before such vehicles are ready for the market.

For diesel enthusiasts, an immediate barrier is that California and four Eastern states have adopted emissions standards that have pollution requirements that are tougher than the federal government's. And next year, California will stiffen its rules, further reducing permissible amounts of all types of tailpipe emissions.

As a result, Volkswagen now says it won't offer diesels in California, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut or Vermont in the 2004 and '05 model years. And Mercedes-Benz is unsure whether it will be able to sell its diesel E-Class sedan in those five states next year.

"We have the same standard for diesel as gasoline, and there will be no compromise" to make it easier for diesels to be sold in California, said Lloyd, the air board's chairman.

Most carmakers with diesels still expect to be able to sell them in all 50 states after 2006, when federally mandated cleaner diesel fuel hits the market along with improved emissions technologies.

"I'm pretty confident that we can offer filter systems by then" so diesels can meet California's 2006 emissions standards, said Gerhard Schmidt, Ford Motor's vice president of research and advance engineering.

A Long Heritage

Diesels date to the earliest days of the auto industry. The first engine was patented in 1893 by Bavarian engineer Rudolph Diesel.

The modern version of his design is an internal-combustion engine that works by injecting fuel under tremendous pressure directly into cylinders already filled with highly compressed air. No spark plug is needed, because the air is hotter than the fuel and ignites it on contact. Diesel fuel packs greater explosive power than gasoline -- hence the clatter -- and the highly pressurized air-fuel mixture drives the pistons with more force than in a gasoline engine, thus requiring less fuel.

In addition to fuel economy, a diesel's key advantage is great power, or torque, at relatively low speeds. It is torque, the measure of an engine's pulling power, that snaps your head back when you punch the accelerator on a powerful car. So a turbo-diesel VW Beetle or PT Cruiser feels as forceful as a gas-gulping muscle car.

Because of their sophisticated fuel-injection systems and beefier engine blocks, diesel passenger vehicles can cost as much as $4,000 more than gasoline counterparts. Because that could dissuade buyers, Rep. John D. Dingell of Michigan, the ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has promised to make a push this year for a tax break for those who buy diesels that use low-sulfur fuel.

Cleaner diesel fuel is crucial to meeting future pollution standards because most of a diesel vehicle's exhaust smoke comes from the sulfur content in fuel, which turns to soot inside the engine.

Clean Fuel Advances

In most states today, the sulfur in diesel fuel is about 330 parts per million. In California, where air quality regulations have prompted refiners to work harder, the average is 125 ppm. BP has moved several steps further and now turns out diesel in California, sold in its Arco stations, with sulfur content at 10 to 15 ppm.

That has helped even old smoky diesel cars to come clean, as Orange residents Conrad and Beverly Byars have discovered with the diesel 1981 Mercedes-Benz they bought in 1988 and have driven about 150,000 miles.

Conrad Byars, a retired title insurance executive, said the turbocharged diesel has been relatively problem-free. And he has noticed that the car has been running cleaner, not dirtier, as it ages, with smoke from the tailpipe diminishing.

Federal and state rules call for at least 80% of diesel fuel for on-road vehicles to have sulfur content of just 15 ppm by 2006, with 100% compliance by 2010. The cost of extracting additional sulfur from crude oil should add an extra nickel a gallon to the price of diesel, analysts said. Most of that will be passed on to consumers, who already pay a few cents a gallon more for diesel than for regular-grade gasoline.

Some analysts worry that the price disparity will hurt diesel sales, and they note that diesel fuel is available in only about 30% of service stations.

Still, diesel loyalists say that shouldn't be a big deterrent. Whitehead, the Sacramento-area resident who drives a diesel VW, points out that at 50 mpg, a 12-gallon tank gives her a good 600 miles. That's the distance from her home to San Diego and then some -- more than enough, she said, to find a diesel station.

Copyright 2003 Los Angeles Times
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Old 03-06-2003, 03:33 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: CT
Posts: 325
More on diesel-hybrids ..

Study finds hybrid cars greener than hydrogen cars
Thursday March 6, 2:11 pm ET

NEW YORK, March 6 (Reuters) - Hybrid cars, which combine electric motors with small petroleum engines, will outpace the environmental benefits of hydrogen fuel cell cars until at least 2020, according to a university study.

Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles have low emissions and energy use on the road, but converting a hydrocarbon fuel such as natural gas or gasoline into hydrogen to fuel such vehicles uses substantial energy and emits greenhouse gases, the study said.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology study was published after the Bush administration announced in January an initiative to develop hydrogen fuel cells. Combined with last year's government-industry "Freedom Car" program to build vehicles fueled by hydrogen, the initiative will be powered by $1.2 billion in government funds.

Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said in January it should be cost-effective to produce hydrogen-fuel cars in large numbers and have them in showrooms by 2020.

The cars could reduce U.S. demand for foreign oil by 11 million barrels per day by 2040, according to the Energy Department.

But even with aggressive research, a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle would not be better than a diesel hybrid in terms of total energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, the study said.

That's because virtually all industrial hydrogen supply at the moment comes from natural gas. In the future, analysts say, large amounts of hydrogen will be separated from water, where it bonds with oxygen, through the use of alternative energies like wind and solar power.

But for now, the green method of making hydrogen is too expensive, according to the study. "If we learn how to do it, I think that's absolutely wonderful, but I wouldn't hold my breath," said Malcolm Weiss, a researcher with MIT's Laboratory for Energy and Environment.

"Ignoring the emissions and energy use involved in making and delivering the fuel and manufacturing the vehicle gives a misleading impression," he said.

Beyond 2020, hydrogen cars will win out, predicted the researchers, who do not recommend stopping work on the hydrogen fuel cell. "If auto systems with significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions are required in, say, 30 to 50 years, hydrogen is the only major fuel option identified to date," said John Heywood, an MIT researcher.

That hydrogen would have to be produced without making greenhouse gas emissions, through a non-carbon source such as solar energy, or from conventional fuels while sequestering the carbon emissions underground.

So far, Japan's Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (Tokyo:7267.T - News) and Toyota Motor Corp.(Tokyo:7203.T - News) are the leading makers of hybrid automobiles. Hybrids have fossil fuel engines that work alternatively or in concert with electric motors to reduce smog emissions and increase fuel economy, without ever having to be plugged in.

Jim in Ct ..
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Old 03-07-2003, 07:03 PM
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Overall a pretty good article, nice to hear something positive for a change, too bad reporters almost always seem to lack any in depth knowledge of their subject.

Such as the following quote:

"So a turbo-diesel VW Beetle or PT Cruiser feels as forceful as a gas-gulping muscle car. "

Had a good laugh over that one! Cheers, Mack
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Old 03-07-2003, 07:40 PM
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RRRIIIGGGHHHTTT!! Clearly its been a while since anyone rode in a real musclecar. Not that I'm knocking the latest in TDI tech but until the euro v8 turbodiesels make it over here nothing puts ya back in the seat like good 'ole big-block power. RT
When all else fails, vote from the rooftops!
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Old 03-07-2003, 08:57 PM
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rwthomas1 has it spot on. Currently I drive a '84 190d 2.2 but I used to own a '96 Z-28 (chevy LT-1 350 V8). The Z was a really poor excuse for a car, but from 0 to 30 the acceleration was INSANE. Yeah, it's nice to have a flat torque curve that starts at 1500 RPM, but the Chevy small block is going to generate 350 ft-lbs at 2400 and THAT'S MORE.

Muscle cars are really fast guys (that's just about all they do well).


p.s. A guy that works where I do had a Ford Lightening (supercharged 4.6L pickup) and that was even MORE INSANE to 60. The Z has such a low center of gravity that I could never hook up from 0 mph, but he could hook up totally due to the higher center of gravity.
What else, '73 MB 280 SEL (Lt Blue)
Daily driver: '84 190D 2.2 5 spd.
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Old 02-05-2005, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by 73MB280SEL
rwthomas1 has it spot on. Currently I drive a '84 190d 2.2 but I used to own a '96 Z-28 (chevy LT-1 350 V8). The Z was a really poor excuse for a car, but from 0 to 30 the acceleration was INSANE. Yeah, it's nice to have a flat torque curve that starts at 1500 RPM, but the Chevy small block is going to generate 350 ft-lbs at 2400 and THAT'S MORE.

Muscle cars are really fast guys (that's just about all they do well).


p.s. A guy that works where I do had a Ford Lightening (supercharged 4.6L pickup) and that was even MORE INSANE to 60. The Z has such a low center of gravity that I could never hook up from 0 mph, but he could hook up totally due to the higher center of gravity.
On your Z, IIRC, you are using a 4L60E. The electronic version of the 700R4. Gear ratios are 3.06 1.86 1.0 0.7. With a stick, they gave you a 3.45 rear end and with auto you had a 3.23 rear end. Sure, when I went to 4.10s my first gear just hazed the tires. Of course, I did a chasis dyno and came out to 410 HP and some 448 Ft/lbs for torque. None of which helps the rear wheels stick. You might try going to some MT DOT Slicks or much wider tires with some sticky compound on them.
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Old 02-05-2005, 05:12 PM
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common rail direct inject diesel engines made by mercedes are being modified by Thielert Aircraft Engine Company and used in general aviation. for example:
" As far as general aviation in Europe is concerned, the future belongs to Jet-A1 and Diesel fuel. " the FAA here in usa has declared the same, stating that at some undisclosed point in the future it will begin to phase out AVGAS 100 in general aviation.

the 05 mercedes CDI, which produces 500 Nm of torque (369 lb-ft) at 1,800 rpm, and a published top speed of 150mph, with a mere 201hp, yet comparable in performace with 300hp gas engines.

or for that matter, any of the TDI/CDI engines made by mercedes, bmw, audi, vw, peugeot, skoda, etc, all of which are sold all over the rest of the civilized world, but not here in usa - do you wonder why?

our faithful old mbz are old technology!

Last edited by jeffl; 02-05-2005 at 05:22 PM.
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