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Making Diesel Power

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by trailblazr81, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. trailblazr81

    trailblazr81 1/2 ton status

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    OK, so my cousin and I have decided our next trucks will be diesel's. He wants short bed, Im thinking crew cab long bed. The reasons are more power, longevity/durability, and increased milage. Im kinda new to oil burners and have a few questions since last time I delt with one they were slow and spewed black smoke. Can I really make an extra 125 HP and 250 ft/lbs. torque by bolting on an exhaust kit, adding an air intake, and using a tuner/chip? What do you people do to make near 500 HP and 800-900 pounds torque? What type of mileage do you get? And does it spew black smoke? I want to add power with "bolt ons" and not add stuff like propane injection. We dont plan to haul 18,000 pounds just a boat to the lake, maybe a camper, and a horse or two.

    Thanks!!

    Also if anyone could recomend a good place to read up on diesels. How they work, best ways to add power, increase mileage, etc.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2006
  2. Goose

    Goose 1/2 ton status

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  3. 83ZZ502_Jimmy

    83ZZ502_Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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  4. trailblazr81

    trailblazr81 1/2 ton status

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    I think I remember you saying in another thread your truck puts out like 500 HP and 900 pounds torque??
     
  5. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    Newer Diesels (Cummins , Powerstrokes, Duramax's) can definitly get BIG power gains (50-150+ HP) from a computer or injectors. Exhausts and intakes can add some decent power numbers also. 89-98 12 valve Cummins motors are mechanical (no computers) but can still get some BIG HP numbers threw fuel plates & injectors, etc.

    It all depends on your needs and what you are willing to pay for the numbers you want. Older diesels like the IDI Fords & Chevy's aren't going to get nearly the power numbers the new ones will because they are not designed the same. You can work them up and make them somewhat strong motors but nothing like you can with the newer stuff.

    Harley
     
  6. 83ZZ502_Jimmy

    83ZZ502_Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    Yes, at the rear wheels..

    John
     
  7. trailblazr81

    trailblazr81 1/2 ton status

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    :bow: Hell's Yeah!! Now thats what I'm talkin' about!! :saweet:
     
  8. ugly

    ugly 1/2 ton status

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    Anyone burning recycled grease in a diesel? It can be done easily, and would = near free fuel.
     
  9. trailblazr81

    trailblazr81 1/2 ton status

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    It would be cool and I would do it. But Im not sure if it can be done easily here in Cali. All the rules and regulations on disposing of used "French Fry" oil. Probably need to be a certified handler/disposer or some B.S. Nothing is cheap or easy here. :surepal:
     
  10. jdemaris

    jdemaris Registered Member

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    I'm wondering what kind of diesel truck you drove that made so much smoke. The first small trucks with US built diesels that were rated for any kind of work - e.g. the 6.2 liter Chevys and GMCs circa 82 (engines designed by Detroit Diesel), or the Fords with International Harvester built 6.9 liter engines circa 83 - did not make hardly any smoke at all - unless there was something wrong with them. I'm not counting the late 70s 5.7 liter diesels built in the Oldsmobile plant - they were built on a gas-engine platform and were rated very light-duty use only. Eariler than the 80s, there were several US small trucks with Japanese diesels and they didn't hardly smoke either. I was working as a road-mechanic for John Deere and drove an International Scout with a Nissan diesel. Dodge made full size 1/2 pickups in the late 70s with Mitisubishi six-cylinder diesels.
    Anyway - back to my point - or yours - I don't recall any heavy smokers and I worked on plenty. In regard to power - plenty can be made from an IDI engine - but it will take plenty of turbo-boost. In regard to fuel-mileage - many of the newest diesel trucks get worse mileage then the older models they replaced. In regard to making horsepower or getting better fuel mileage - there is no big gain when you go from indirect injection to direct injection. One thing you DO get though, is direct injected engines are MUCH more expensive to work on.
    If you want good fuel-mileage, longevity, and lots of power when you want it - the only way to do that is to have a small engine - so under light loads it can run on very little fuel - but - when needed - it can behave like a much larger engine. To do that - it needs to be built extremely heavy - so it can be run at a very high level of turbo-boost and fuel delivery.
    There are not many engines with that combination. The older 6.2 and 6.5 G.M.s are pretty good on fuel but are built fairly light. The older and larger Ford IH engines are a little more rugged and use more fuel. The Cummins 5.9 however - it built MUCH heavier than the others - it is in a totally different class of engines. And, it's the smallest. So, it can lay back when not being worked and get very good fuel mileage. And since it is built extremely heavy, it can be run at very high boost and fuel input - and therefore make a lot of power.
    Diesel engines are usually rated as "light duty", "medium duty", or "heavy duty." The older G.M. and Ford IH diesels are rated as "light duty" with a designed lifespan of 200,000 miles. The Cummins 5.9 is rated as a "medium duty" and is designed to give 500,000 miles of service. A "heavy duty" is usually designed for 1,000,000 miles - but you don't find them in small pickup trucks.
    In regard to the newer engines, e.g. the G.M. Duramax - it's made by Isuzu - and I've seen them apart - they are not built any heavier then the older G.M. made engines. The newer Ford IH 6 liter does not apear to be any stronger than the older 6.9s and 7.3s - and I suspect, the older 6.9s and 7.3s were more reliable.
    From what I've seen - and I'm not a Dodge fan - you cannot beat the older - mechancially injected Cummins 5.9.s. Someone posted that they are all mechanically injected - but - I don't think that's correct. The newer ones have electronically controlled injection systems.
     
  11. PhoenixZorn

    PhoenixZorn 1/2 ton status

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    So how much boost can you safely dump into a 6.5L Turbo Diesel? I'm possibly looking to replace my turbo, but I don't know what I should be looking for. I've read at Banks.com that their twin turbo 350 V8 puts down close to 700hp, and they report that Diesels can push around 150PSI of boost, though I'm pretty sure that would be limited to inline Diesels that are built much heavier than our V8s... I've also been considering the possibility of running twin turbos, but that just doesn't seem to be cost effective to me, no matter how you do it.

    Finally, are you better off in a diesel with a fast spooling smaller turbo that puts out around 10PSI of boost, or a slow spooling larger turbo that can put out around 15PSI?
     
  12. jdemaris

    jdemaris Registered Member

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    Turbo sizing is VERY complicated. No system does everything the best - so it all depends on what you want. A turbocharger is a supercharger driven by exhaust gas instead of a gear-drive or belt. So, a turbocharger-unit has an impeller, a compressor, and an adaptor between the two. Varying any one of those components changes performace at a certain range. There's tons of info posted on the Net that you could read forever. Often, a non-turbo engine will run better at low RPMs - partly because it has a higher compression ratio.
    In regard to inline engines being heavier built than V designs. A V engine can also be built heavy - but they don't exist - that I know of - for light trucks. I've taken connecting rods from 6.2/6.5 GMs, 6.9/7.3 Ford IHs, Duramax (Isuszu) GMs, etc. and compared to the rods in the 5.9 Cummins. The difference is amazing - the Cummins is MUCH heavier. So is the block and so is the crank.
    That being said - I've got a 6.2 that lasted over 500,000 miles - but I suspect it was a freak. The crankshaft finally broke into three pieces. The 6.5 is basically a 6.2 with slightly larger bore and a thinner block casting.
    You asked about boost levels and the 6.2/6.5 blocks. First -the blocks vary quite a bit. The early 6.2s were heavy and well built. The first year 6.5 was also heavy (1993). But, in 94 it was cheapened and made thinner and lighter. Also, the alloy was changed early on. The first 6.2s in 1982 were high-nickel content blocks - but later on the alloy was weakened and blocks are more prone to cracking and main bearing webs pulling out. Now, International Engines (part of Navistar) is casting the new blocks for the 6.5s and they are supposed to be the best ever - high nickel content and thick castings - and also very expensive.
    You've also got cooling issues to contend with. If you make more power - via turbo boost and increased fuel delivery - more heat is made. The later 6.5s have cooling upgrades that work better than in the early 6.2s.
    And, you've got the compression ratio to deal with. Turbocharging raises the "effective compression ratio" because it forces more air into the combustion chamber. Intercooling does the same since it condenses the air by lowering the temperature. So, if you take a non-turbo engine - and put a turbo on it - your options for boost are limited - usually 10 PSI is a safe level. Take a 6.5. It came as turbo version or naturally aspirated. The NA has higher compression pistons. Several companies used to make special low-compression pistons for 6.2s so they could be run at high-boost - but I don't see them available anymore. The various 6.5 pistons are still available. Also, the turbo 6.5s have pistons that are not only have lower (mechanical) compression ratio, but also ceramic coated skirts to better handle high horsepower levels - and some later 6.5s also have oil-squirters in the block to help cool and lubricate piston skirts.
    One other issue is that of propane injection. It does next to nothing with a non-turbo engine - but with a high lever of boost - can give incredible gains.
    That all being said - if I wanted a super-high boost engine - I would not pick any of the 6.2/6.5 GM series or the later Isuzu Duramax. The OEM blocks and cranks are not "overbuilt" whereas, something like the Cummins is. I suspect though, that the new 6.5 blocks being made can handle a lot more abuse then the older OEM blocks can.
     
  13. 79Beast

    79Beast 1/2 ton status

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    TDR...turbo diesel registry. THE BEST place for diesel tech. Not just engines, but tech for the whole diesel truck. It's well worth the $25/year membership fee.
     
  14. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    I don't think you can boost the 6.2 or 6.5 very hard without some costly mods. I think my buddy Fred (FWP) said that his Banks turboed 6.2L is only capable of about 7PSI boost before you have to worry about blowing the headgaskets out. To get them to hold more boost you would probably need to o-ring the heads, install head studs, and beef the bottom end. For that kind of $$ it isn't worth it.

    A stock Cummins can take about 40-50PSI boost before headgaskets become an issue. Stock Cummins motors are limited to about 20PSI boost but lots of people have upped that to the 40 PSI range with no problems. If you want to go more then that then you will need to o-ring & stud the head. I have been told that beefied Cummins motors can handle 100+ PSI boost.

    Harley
     
  15. sandawgk5

    sandawgk5 3/4 ton status

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    The guys that push boost on the 6.2/6.5 have lowered the compression ratio to around 17-18 rather than the 21 or 22 that they come with from the factory. That is the main reason you can not run huge boost on a 6.2or6.5.

    Ira
     
  16. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    Good call, I spaced that fact out of my mind. The 6.2 & 6.5L are IDI motors with more compression where the Cummins is a DI motor with less compression.

    Harley
     

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