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Drawbacks of Diesel?

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
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So I'm letting the massively lifted truck pass, but I've found a diesel suburban that might work out for me. It'll have massive storage capacity, and should be good for XC. The truck is diesel so it gets moderately good mpg.

What kind of drawbacks are there to going diesel? I know availability could be an issue, but how bad is it? Any engine bits that are a PITA to find/replace/look out for?
 

HRDTLBRO

Turbo Monkey
Feb 4, 2004
1,161
0
Apt. 421
Around here diesel is a fair bit higher per gallon that gasoline. Diesel engines are very rugged and dependable...they can run for quite a long time. I wouldn't think there are many issues as far as engine parts, but this is also dependent on what year Suburban you are looking at.
 

Angus

Jack Ass Pen Goo Win
Oct 15, 2004
1,478
0
South Bend
I used to drive a Ford Powerstroke,
Minuses
a)You start mapping out local gas stations that carry Fuel
b) Oil Changes cost more
c) If you live somewhere cold you'll need a engine block heater
d) Vibration

Plusses
a) Awesome torque great for towing
b) Good mileage
c) In most cases the engine will outlast the vehicles body
d) Better than average resale in most states
e) Just plain F@#kin cool
 

Zaskar Rider

Monkey
May 29, 2002
242
0
PNW
I have had my GMC 2500hd Duramax for a year now and have been involved heavily in the diesel world because of it. Right now the only drawback of diesel is that it's getting freaking expensive! The east coast is starting to stock up on the red diesel for their heating oil and the diesel supplies are just plain running low which is driving the cost of the oil up. The heaters and farmers use the same diesel as we do it's just dyed red instead of green because they buy it for cheaper and if you get caught running red on the road it's some $10,000 fine or something.

That being said there are many advantages to diesel engines, they make more power and generally get better mileage doing it then a gasser. They'll run forever with the proper care too. Diesels are overbuilt on purpose so that they'll run forever and they also kind of have to be just because of the way a diesel motor runs.

Availability isn't much of an issue, you'll start to figure out where to get it at and if you're on road trips any truck stop will have diesel for you to get.

I could go on and on but I don't want to answer questions that you may not care about. If you want to know more just ask.

And if it's a suburban, I assume you found one with a 6.2 or 6.5 motor in it. There is a wealth of information available at www.dieselplace.com. go sign up on that site and they'll pretty much convert you to the diesel world. I'm wa_skier on that site.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
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What's the story with the block heater? I've heard of those before, but I don't know enough about them. It does get cold around here, and it'll probably get cold where I move, but perhaps not far below zero F.
 

amateur

Turbo Monkey
Apr 18, 2002
1,019
0
Orange County
A block heater is very similar to the old school plug in heaters for cars. Diesel is awesome, and if you're ambitious you can start making biodiesel. My friend makes his own and uses it with great success on his tow vehicle.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
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I'd love to do biodiesel, but you need to have a place to do it, and although I could do it here, I won't where I'm moving. That's off in the distance, anyways.

I hear it comes out to .90-1.10$ per gallon with no negative effects!
 

PatBranch

Turbo Monkey
Sep 24, 2004
10,461
8
wine country
Isn't the waste product that comes with making biodiesel hard to get rid of?

I really want a silverado 1500. Did they ever make a diesel version?
 

odiwik

Monkey
Mar 2, 2004
252
0
There are slight power losses with biodiesel, but they are only in the 5-10% range. Biodiesel is a wonderful thing.

It will only cause more particulates if it is manufactured incorrectly (read: severely incorrectly).
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
9,890
4
Hypernormality
Diesel is expensive for you guys? Weird. It's 1/3 cheaper than petrol over here, and most places I've been. Mind you having said that I don't remember seeing it in the US, but I never looked as I always drove petrol fueled cars.
 
J

JRB

Guest
Diesel cost less before. It is high now. Engines run cooler at idle. More torque. More noise. More expensive to work on. If you don't tow, I wouldn't do it right now. It's all I drove for 10 years, and wish I still did, but the cost is insane if you don't need it. Parts are very expensive.
 

blue

boob hater
Jan 24, 2004
10,165
0
california
Diesel is being subjected to price gouging atm...it's 3.29 a gallon for diesel here, while reg unleaded is about 2.65. Funny, isn't it? Diesel is essentially crude oil in its basic form...

My parents had a diesel VW Rabbit in days past when they were going to college in a town in Northern Utah where the temperature would regularly drop into subzero and single digits at night in winter, and the fuel would be gelled in the morning. Just a thought if you live in cold climates...
 

rpk1988

90210
Dec 6, 2004
2,791
0
Maryland
You can do sick burnouts with Diesel. But someone told me it is hard to get off your hands or something if you happen to spill it on you while pumping. So in turn, wear gloves.
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
9,890
4
Hypernormality
loco said:
More expensive to work on...Parts are very expensive.
That just depends on the car and it's local popularity. Diesel engines are actually simpler - No sparkplugs etc. and the rest of the car is the same.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
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Well this may be a truck that I use to haul all my stuff out to colorado and then sell. I think the cost of a uhaul is close to half the cost of the burban ($2000). I guess I don't see the point of renting one of those when you could just buy something and then get rid of it later, if need be.

I think, XC, it would be cheaper. Additionally, I have heard diesels run forever. Is this true?
 
J

JRB

Guest
Sandwich said:
<snip> Additionally, I have heard diesels run forever. Is this true?
No - it is not. While Changleen will dispute that some are cheaper. I have owned and driven for folks I worked with, all kinds of diesel pickups.
Injection pumps - high
injectors - high
tranny - high

Everything on my 6.9 and my 7.3 Internationals was $100. Everything, but the pump.

The Powerstroke was $250 - $500 and was computerized

At 96,000 miles, Ford threw $5600 at the Powerstroke on warranty.

The 7.3 and the 6.9s had over 200000 miles, the 7.3 was actually 289000 when it was wrecked and had the original pump. The 6.9 got 2 pumps in 40000 miles or so. The Powerstroke got 2 lift pumps in 90000 miles.

Friends had good luck with Dodge, but Chevrolets such as the 6.2 and the 6.5s sucked.

Do you see where I am going???

*I know it's lots of miles on those, but there were lots of little parts purchased - water pumps, clutches, injectors, glow plugs, vacuum pumps, brake boosters, wheel seals, etc....
 

GeoffW

Monkey
Feb 26, 2003
116
0
Diesels are nice, but put some thought into whether it's worth it. As was said, parts are expensive, glow plugs are 2-3x as much as spark plugs, if turbo issues arise, big $$$, lift and injector pumps are other culprits. You really have to hammer out the details of whether is economically works to buy a diesel over gas. It didn't sound like the burban you were buying was a real expensive vehicle, however, get into the 10K+ prices and you really have to justify the added upfront purchasing cost of the diesel over gas. You almost have to work the vehicle to make up the added expense in inital cost vs. fuel mileage.
Diesels are more reliable, we've got three Cummins CTD's at the shop, a 95, 96, and 99, the 96 broke 771,000 km's last week and it has towed a 34' tri-axle gooseneck it's entire life. Tranny and rear end has been rebuilt once, but the block hasn't been cracked yet. Still runs like a champ. The older diesels (anything in the 90's) get better mileage than anythign new..the horsepower war currently going on has been at the expense of fuel mileage. It takes fuel to build power, I found that out on my 04.5 Ram (483 RWHP, 882 TQ)
Would I buy another gas job? Depends, I'm in Canada, so we have to run block heaters and that diesel has to be plugged in almost all the time to make sure she turns over. For putzing around town, or trips less than 15-20 miles, it's not worth it IMO. Anything above, where everything can actually warm up, it's happy. I do alot of highway driving and pull a trailer full of snowmobiles all winter, there's no other option in my books. I get 23 mpg on the highway daily on my 04.5. The older 12V Cummins (95/96) unloaded with chips get between 25-27 highway, 15-18 loaded
 

mack

Turbo Monkey
Feb 26, 2003
3,675
0
Colorado
They smell good! :thumb:


We have TDI and the bigest issue is finding fuel for it. I suppose if you get stuck some where you could just fill it up with kerosene. :think:
 

Softy

Monkey
Apr 22, 2003
142
0
Don't call it a come back
One GMC diesel duallie truck tore thru 3 trannys while the motor just plugged along. Overloaded bed and massive torque something had to give.

The least trouble in disposel of the waste product would be to go BioDiesel B-100 useing the reusable pellet filter method. 60 cents a gallon. Add mineral diesel to thin for cold weather.

Great links here to English and Euro co. who convert any diesel vehicle to bio and resources for making fuel. http://www.journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_svo.html
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
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ok carmonkies, I checked this pig out today, runs great and goes down the road ok. Brakes are not powerful, but that truck weighs 7000lbsish. Guy wants 2500, I'm not sure it's worth it. Pretty rusty body, but like I said the interior is ok and the engine is VGC. Should I offer him 2g or walk? I'm not really sure what these go for, I guess I'm thinking it's worth much less than he wants.