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Posted: 11/19/2003 1:33:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2003 1:42:16 PM EDT by Aimless]
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 1:37:03 PM EDT
Yes!
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 1:38:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2003 1:38:32 PM EDT by ZRH]
VW does.

edit: Missed the "almost".
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 1:41:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2003 1:41:47 PM EDT by cduarte]
most Americans don't want diesels because they perceive them to be smelly, noisy, hard starting in cold weather and are concerned about fuel availability.

I would be very interested in a diesel car or mid-sized pickup, as long as the car is all wheel drive. One truck that I would like is the landcruiser with an inline six diesel, either this one with the closed cab or the pickup style with the open bed. I would buy one in a heartbeat if they were sold here. I used these trucks in africa and they held up to severe abuse.

Link Posted: 11/19/2003 1:43:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2003 1:48:10 PM EDT by Pangea]
Forget diesel! Check out the MDI cars/van/truck. They run about 70 mph and 150 miles on a tank of COMPRESSED AIR! I will be one of the first to buy one; I hope, when they come here. WTF? Why isn't this thing taking off?

www.theaircar.com/index.html
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 1:43:46 PM EDT
I think part of the reasons is that in a lot of European countries, gas is really expensive, and diesel is MUCH cheaper. So a lot of the preference for diesel cars comes from wanting to save money, not necessarily for the benefits of the diesel engine.

It seems to me that in the U.S., diesel is not that much cheaper than gas.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 1:45:54 PM EDT
GM used to put 'em in cars. But, at that time diesel was cheaper than gas; now they're about the same price. I had a company diesel Caprice and the milage I got was fantastic. They are noisey.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 1:49:52 PM EDT
The Oldsmobile 350 diesel debacle almost single-handedly wiped out the USA diesel market. Many people were sold on the virtues of diesel, but the problems with the Olds pretty much turned a lot of the mainstream people off.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 1:56:21 PM EDT
I agree that the Oldsmobile debacle scared most people away. A guy I work with gets 44-50 mpg from his Jetta TDI, and it's much roomier than most of the hybrids out there that get similar mileage. Diesels (when done right) have gone a long way from those of the 70's and 80's.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 1:57:10 PM EDT
Disadvantages from MY Perspective: Low horsepower, More expensive periodical maintenance, stinking exhaust. Also concerned about fuel availability, and fuel cost.

Advantages: For full size trucks the best deisels make superb torque and therefore make great tow vehicles AND give good fuel mileage doing it.

Conclusion:
Diesel power is good for heavy tow vehicles or motorhomes IF you can afford the premium for the motor and premium for routine maintenance.

Nothing to offer the average Joe in a car except snob appeal and poor performance. If you can afford a turbo deisel Mercedes what is the big deal over saving $2 per week on fuel?
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 1:57:19 PM EDT
I think a lot of it is Americans think diesel=truck.

And by truck, I'm referring to the 18 wheelers...

They think large, slow, noisy...not exactly the public opinion you want when the "sports sedan" is the "IN" thing right now.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 1:58:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By warlord:
The Oldsmobile 350 diesel debacle almost single-handedly wiped out the USA diesel market. Many people were sold on the virtues of diesel, but the problems with the Olds pretty much turned a lot of the mainstream people off.



too true, another major POS from GM . Rather than design an engine from scratch, they tried to get away with converting a gas engine, a singularly bad idea. This is pretty typical of gm, the last to innovate and the reason nascar is still running pushrod boat anchors.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 1:59:33 PM EDT
My father in law had one of then converted gas to diesel motors that GM shysted the American consumers with.
What a POS.
MB has had a diesel car forever that seems to do fine.
I would have got my dually in a diesel if I coulda found one (went to 8 dealers).
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 1:59:41 PM EDT
OK, so this is a bit of a hijack but I will be brief.

Cduarte, I also love the land rovers (lived in Australia for half a year and they were everywhere). To fill the void, me and my dad just bought a 1978 International Scout II and have spent a total of $300 to get the thing back into pristine condition (only paid $2500 for the truck).

Here is what we were going to get instead. These things are bad-ass and I think (but not positive) that they are slated to make a diesel version.

www.crosslander4x4.com/

Juice out.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 2:02:08 PM EDT
Warlord is right about the GM 350 diesel turning off American consumer to diesel. Peugot also had a hand in ruining the US diesel market.

As far as cars go, for 2004 Mercedes will bring in a diesel in the E Class, and the Jeep Liberty will also offer a diesel. VW is also bringing in a new diesel engine.

The engine mamgement systems on these engines are not anything like those of the past. The new systems are called Common Rail Diesel, which is almost like a gasoline fuel injection system. There are no more distributor pumps, but one high pressure pump that feeds injectors. The fuel is metered electronically to control emissions and enhance fuel milage. The engines are quiet and the exhaust barely smells like a traditional diesel engine.

This is the beginning of a new push for diesel passenger cars in the US.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 2:04:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BillSP1:
Disadvantages from MY Perspective: Low horsepower, More expensive periodical maintenance, stinking exhaust. Also concerned about fuel availability, and fuel cost.

Advantages: For full size trucks the best deisels make superb torque and therefore make great tow vehicles AND give good fuel mileage doing it.

Conclusion:
Diesel power is good for heavy tow vehicles or motorhomes IF you can afford the premium for the motor and premium for routine maintenance.

Nothing to offer the average Joe in a car except snob appeal and poor performance. If you can afford a turbo deisel Mercedes what is the big deal over saving $2 per week on fuel?



diesels are much lower maintenance than gas motors, the only thing that needs to be done are oil changes and fuel filter changes. There are no spark plugs or any other ignition components to wear out and diesel motors last much longer than gas motors. My berlin taxicab (1972 MB 220D), was a great car, weighed over 4000lbs, got 33mpg and would cruise at 75mph all day long. It was pretty barebones, no AC and 4spd manual shift. It was even pretty good in snow. Oh yeah, and I sold it with 475,000 miles on the clock and it was still running strong.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 2:07:58 PM EDT
<------

Ahem!


Well, actually, I no longer have my diesel Benz, so I should really change that. I don't know which tail is wagging which dog, frankly. Everywhere else in the world, diesel costs significantly less than gasoline. Of course, in most of the world, gasoline costs at least 4 times what it costs in the US. However, in countries where diesel is relatively cheap, there are a lot of diesel cars. In the US, there isn't much difference in cost, and in fact for most of the time I had my Benz, diesel was the same price if not more than 87-octane unleaded.

The newer generation of diesel engines are extremely fuel efficient, and have very low emissions. However, I believe that the emission control systems for the US-spec diesel engines are much different than Euro-spec diesel engines. Conversely, it does not appear that the emission control systems for gasoline engines are that different, and may be identical. Therefore, the cost to the manufacturer is higher to have different parts for US-bound cars than those destined for, well, anywhere else.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 2:09:39 PM EDT
Because Americans are stupid.

They want BIG MOTOR.........RIGHT NOW!!

A diesel is a thinking mans machine.

Cubic inches is what sells to the American sheeple.
Efficiency is not popular.

It's a shame but it's a fact.

Diesel technology is WONDERFUL.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 2:12:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2003 2:15:22 PM EDT by ZRH]

Originally Posted By BillSP1:
Disadvantages from MY Perspective: Low horsepower, More expensive periodical maintenance, stinking exhaust. Also concerned about fuel availability, and fuel cost.



Stinking exhaust? I suppose gas smells great eh? I always thought it just smelled like tractors.

More expensive for maitanence? Uh, no. They take less maitenance than gas engines.

They are incredibly more efficent though (1 gallon of diesel contains 145,000 BTUs vs 125,000 for gas). Cost is about 10 cents less for diesel around here.

Not as much horsepower as gas but the same torque.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 2:17:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Pangea:
Forget diesel! Check out the MDI cars/van/truck. They run about 70 mph and 150 miles on a tank of COMPRESSED AIR! I will be one of the first to buy one; I hope, when they come here. WTF? Why isn't this thing taking off?

www.theaircar.com/index.html



I pity the fool who gets in an accident in one of those things. I'll stick with my '84 Lincoln.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 2:18:03 PM EDT
They aren't too bad on HP and torque. Remapping the fuel injection, etc. on some models w/ a programmer can produce an EXTRA 90+ HP and over a 100 EXTRA ft/lbs of torque.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 2:30:58 PM EDT
Just a side note: Cal-EPA is developing a standard for diesel engines claiming that they emit small carbon particulates that get into the lungs and causes breathing problems. I don't know the new diesel standards are suppose to take effect but it is on the drawing board.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 2:38:12 PM EDT
Diesels are the shit. 270HP and 540lb. torgue from my truck isn't low powered. Funny, i always thought gas exhaust stinks, especially in cold weather. Diesels last longer and require LESS maintenance. Great mileage. Fuel is cheaper and doesn't go up much at all. Diesels can be made very fast, a guy on ford-truck.com has one that runs 11.5 sec. in the 1/4.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 2:43:10 PM EDT
I think there is also a significant difference in the sulfur content of US-spec diesel and Euro-spec diesel. For that reason, the emission control systems may be different. I remeber this issue was rather widely discussed a couple of years ago, but I think the discussion kind of ran out of gas. Ha. I made a pun!

Another plus about diesel: it is possible for a diesle vehicle to run on pure biodiesel (made from soybeans), but ethanol (from corn) is really only useful as an additive to reduce the amount of crude oil required to make gasoline. I do not think an unmodified gasoline engine will run on pure ethanol.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 3:52:18 PM EDT
Don't forget SVO (straight vegetable oil!) Greasel.com has alot of good information and sells kits for converting diesels over. Fast food places have to pay $1 a gallon or more to dispose of waste oil. With a filter kit, that means free fuel for whoever wants to take it off their hands. Exhaust? I was watching a news article on alternative fuels and they said SVO exhaust smells much like a deep fryer.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 5:32:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bigjuice:

Here is what we were going to get instead. These things are bad-ass and I think (but not positive) that they are slated to make a diesel version.

www.crosslander4x4.com/

Juice out.



Daaaamn. That thing is pretty cool. Thx for the link. I love the BG music on the site.

......not that a IH Scout is a BAD thing, per se.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 5:42:36 PM EDT
The Mercedes turbo diesels are supposed to be kick-ass, though they don't sell them in the U.S. market anymore.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 5:42:41 PM EDT
Diesel popularity in Europe stems from government taxes on the engine size. One can get by with a smaller displacment of a diesel engine than a gasoline one. That's your answer. You can check WSJ to confirm this.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 5:52:49 PM EDT
Someone just mentioned bio-diesel...

that is the reason why they are not popular here!

You think for one minute that the oil compaines want a car that can take fuel that WILL NOT require them to sell it to you"?
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 5:55:55 PM EDT
That VW is gonna be hella fast. It has numbers up there with the Navistar 6.0L and in a lighter vehicle. I am betting a 16 second 1/4 and strong acceleration in all gears, with excellent mileage.

BTW, its a V10. I wonder what being a 10 cylinder means when it comes to modifications, because it seems that smaller cylinders are much more efficient and you can get more power out of a larger number of cylinders with similar total displacement.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 6:17:01 PM EDT
-bad image. perception they are dirty, when they are cleaner overall.

-nothing in CAFE laws as an incentive for motor companies to EXCEED fleet vehicle mileage standards, only penalties if you don't meet them. little incentive for alt fuels.

-look for major changes in the next five years. more diesels. big three are ramping up. or at least one is... but can't say more...
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 6:31:06 PM EDT
There are a bunch of Mercedes with diesels.

They are heavier than gas.
They are noisier than gas.
They cost more than gas.
They are slower than gas in most cases...accelerating.
The quicker ones would have a turbo.
Fuel mileage is not that much better than similarly equipped gas ones.
Maintenance cost more with oil & oil filters.

Around here gas is $1.449 a gallon and diesel is $1.439 a gallon last time I filled up.

It just does not pay to go diesel anymore.

Now if we were talking trucks and you were planning on hauling heavy loads all the time then it might would pay.

BigDozer66
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 6:43:05 PM EDT
Thats a good point about the relative cost of diesel fuel. It doesn't seem like there is any significant difference any more between gas vs diesel fuel?
I also feel the emissions of diesels should be looked at. But if they do that trucks might have to add emission control equipment to diesels too not just passenger cars.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 7:45:13 PM EDT
I used to have a Chevy Chevette with a diesel engine. I averaged 42 MPG with it. It lasted from 1984 when I bought it Brand New until the engine died two years ago with 175,000+ miles on it.
Except for having a hard time starting in the winter, I never really had any major problem with it.
Oh, my current car gets only about 32 MPG. I miss my Chevette.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 8:29:44 PM EDT
Good thread going here.

I want a Toyota Tacoma Double Cab with a Turbo Diesel.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 9:09:36 PM EDT
I always assumed since gasoline was so cheap here,there was no reason to get to excited about fuel efficency.....So why worry about buying a diesel?

Other than better mileage,what would be the point or motivation to buy one?

What were the problems with that shitty Oldsmobile diesel everyones talking about?

Is the same funky,converted V8 they put in the Blazers?
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 9:27:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BillSP1:
Advantages: For full size trucks the best deisels make superb torque and therefore make great tow vehicles AND give good fuel mileage doing it.



There's also the fact that a diesel is considerably less likely roast you alive if you get in a wreck....
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 9:48:23 PM EDT
i spent a little time in italy and drove a fiat "ducato" van. it's like a full size econoline ford van with 5 rows of seating. it had a 2 stroke turbo diesel that would light up the front wheel drive tires through 3 gears. it had a "5 on the tree" shifter.

also... many diesel powered lancia thema coupes were seen going 120+ on the autostradas.

when i hitch up the trailer to my E van, i sure wish i had a powerstroke when the mpg drops to 8 and the engine howls in 2nd gear to get up hills.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 10:16:12 PM EDT
The tin foil hat guys are at it agin. HMMM, lessee GM brings out a diesel engine that runs on a more efficient and cheaper fuel than "regular" diesel and gets 40 mpg at a lower cost per gallon. And you guys think that they wouldn't bring it out and sell the bejeezus out of them? to the appreciation of their market share, stock, and knocking Ford and Chrysler out of certain markets just because the oil companies might not like it. Grow freaking up. If any of the automotive companies could come out with a more efficient engine they wouldn't? Why wouldn't they?

Before it got stolen, my diesel Scout was getting 33mpg had a top speed of 78 mph. Diesel at Petromex was a peso a liter (approx 17 cents a liter) They had had a Nissan straight 6, marine grade diesel imported by Chrysler. That damn thing could go anywhere it fit at a slow speed. It couldn't accelerate out of an upturned box. The only thing it was faster than was a Mercedes 240D, the 300Ds were faster.

Diesel fuel was also about 1/2 to 2/3 the price of gas before taxes. That engine was too long for most US vehicles, a friend had one in a Ford pick-up and drove 100 miles without oil once. had to replace several cylinder sleeves and a piston rod. This was a real diesel

The GM "diesel was a converted Olds 350 gas engine. It wasn't up to the heavy duty people expected at the cost of the poor acceleration and soured folks on the idea of diesels.

The Land Rover diesel used in most countries was a diesel version of a gas engine however, in Land Rovers which have lousy on-road performance it didn't matter.

VW had a small diesel in the Rabbit, it sacrificed a little performance for great mileage.

You can get good mileage or good power(torque) out of a car sized diesel at the expense of acceleration and still maintain emissions standards.

US drivers want acceleration, which you can't get out of emission controlled diesels at anything close to a reasonable price.

Link Posted: 11/19/2003 10:19:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2003 10:21:36 PM EDT by PaDanby]
Diesels can run on just about anything that can be squirted into the cylinders. If you've ever seen the little boat diesels in Hong Kong or Bangkok, you'll see them running on really crummy gunk.

the turbo-diesels were fast but not compared to an equivalently priced gas engine. When there was a good price differential on fuel you could make the cost difference up in a few years. Now you can't. IIRC it was 50-70 cents a gallon cheaper for diesel.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 10:58:50 PM EDT
1) Bio-Diesel is one HELL of a lot more expensive to produce than Petro-diesel. Yes, pot-heads, even if you use the 'magic weed'...

2) Diesel engines are good for torque/pulling power, not for speed. After all, every race circuit in the world uses either gasoline or methanol in a piston/sparkplug style motor... There's a reason for that...

And a 16 second quarter-mile is NOT fast (well, fast for an un-modded Civic or Neon, or the latest tractor-utility-vehicle, but...

3) Costs more to build, costs more when it breaks...

4) no cost advantage, and it's hardly 'available' at the local station (unless you have lots of truck traffic)...

I've seen a bunch of new Diesel vehicles around lately, they're all pickup trucks... In a sense, more use of diesel might make sense for the next generation of road-hogs (er SUVs), but I'd like to see someone make a diesel car perform on level with my current 97 Z28 (93 octane gas)... Once again, if diesel was such a good speed-fuel, why don't they use it on any of the car-race circuits???

As for longevity I've seen a 91 Firebird with a plain old gas engine break 175k in 10 years, still running strong. It was destroyed in a rear-ender, though...

P.S. 10% Ethanol is the limit for current engines...

Also, Ethanol has a VERY negative impact on fuel economy... We have to use 'Reformulated' (read Sh*t) EPA gas (10% Ethanol, among other things) here in Milwaukee, and the stuff SUCKS big time...
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 11:03:23 PM EDT
Where the heck did my reply go???
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 12:30:32 PM EDT
tin-foil-hat ammo: i was doing research on 2 stroke engine technology during college. upon receiving the syllabi for all my classes, i realized that i could do one massive session of research and use that for 4 or 5 different "papers" for my classes. so i used the school's lexus/nexus and did a big search on 2 stroke engines and their technology.

out of it all i learned that GM had come up with a ceramic 2 stroke engine with oil injection that was able to turn oil comsumption to almost nil. the SAE paper reported that the oil industry pressured GM to back burner the project altogether.

the engine weighed like 150 pounds, made 300 hp, and was designed to be replaced every 100k miles at an expense of about $300.

unfortunately, i lost all this research when i divorced and had to move three times.
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 12:53:56 PM EDT
Those Toyota diesel SUVs are incredible. Wish they sold them here.

GunLvr
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 1:21:24 PM EDT
I drove a diesel powered mini-van (VW) in germany for a week. That thing was quiet, peppy, didn't stink, and sipped fuel. It could keep up with all but the fastest on the autobahn. I would buy a similar vehicle in a heartbeat if you could get one here.
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 1:51:49 PM EDT
Yeah, diesel is really cool when you have to drive 20 mi. (each direction, read 40 min.) to find it. It's like finding regular gas at a gas station anymore.

I have better things to worry about than where to find my next tank of gas even if I did get 10 more mpg.
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 2:09:33 PM EDT
Could you imagine if the roads were filled with Mercedes 240Ds? Have you ever been stuck in traffic behind one of those?

They should ban the friggin' things!
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