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Diesel Vs Gasoline II

meredithmeredith Posts: 577
This is a continuation of Topic 182....

Diesel vs Gasoline.

Please continue this discussion here.

Front Porch Philosopher
SUV, Pickups, & Aftermarket and Accessories Host


  • mharde2,

    I agree that towing with the Cummins / Auto / 4.10 would raise the rpm's even more than with the 3.54 ratio. With the O/D off, it would be next to impossible to tow at highway speeds. In fact, I consider towing with the 3.54 diff and O/D off next to impossible too! That's why I would go with the 4.10 ratio, because I ALWAYS tow with the O/D "on" and this would make the cummins run higher in the power curve (2075rpms @ 65mph, instead of 1800rpms with the 3.54 ratio).

    But, another thing to consider, with Dodge now supplying the trucks with the 265 tires (instead of 245's), this would actually reduce the rpm's a little because of the tires being "taller".

  • The owner's manual will give you some help on the OD issue. I tow almost all the time is OD, even on hills and passes. If too much speed is lost I will take it out of OD, but the noise factor is overwellming. I know others who tow bigger 5th wheels, with the 3:54 gears, and they tow in OD alot also.

    As for oil filters: I have talked to Cummins reps and they think the MOPAR filters aren't even good enough for the job. Something about the filter media coming apart and plugging the piston oiling holes. Until I can cut open some other brands and compare them to the MOPAR, I will use the MOPAR filter.

    The oil has to meet the requirements in the owner's manual. The 2 choises are Cheveron, and Shell. Shell seems to be the winner, if prices are comparable.

  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    Found a link with info on the 7.3L Powerstroke replacement scheduled for introduction in 2002 and the new 4.5L V-6 baby diesel also scheduled for release by Ford in 2002. The replacement for the 7.3 is a 6.0L rated at 305hp and 550 lb-ft of torque and is for vehicles with GVWRs of greater than 8700. The 4.5L V-6 is for vehicles with GVWRs of 6000-8600 and will be introduced in the 2002 Expedition, followed by the Econoline and the F-150/250LD. Initial indications are that it will be rated at 345 ft-lb. Ford expects to sell 50,000 of the baby diesels in 2003. The link is:
  • swobigswobig Posts: 634
    you would get with that small diesel. I maybe interested in it...
  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    My guess is that the mpg will be the attraction with the small diesel. You can already get that kind of torque from current gas engines. In several of the heavy duty topics, we have crunched numbers to find the break even point of paying for the diesel option vs the mpg difference. I don't think that will be a big issue for the baby diesel market. Much of the SUV market are people moving up from cars, so they tend to be disappointed with the mpg of their much heavier vehicle with a bigger engine. I think the SUVs will be even more attractive when people can say they are getting 20 mpg.
  • swobigswobig Posts: 634
    that's the big dilema I have - it's that I travel about 90 per day and I need a truck. So if a diesel would get 2-3 mpg better "economy," with the mileage I travel, it may be worthwild. If it just didn't cost so much up front, hopefully they'll be a little cheaper...
  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    The diesel engine in the pickups gets about 5-7mpg better than the gas engines. The magic number seems to be about 100,000 miles to recoup your investment. You have to factor in higher costs of oil changes (more oil and more expensive filters).
  • 2500lt2500lt Posts: 18
    Takes 11 quarts of oil...the filter hold 2 of that. The filter costs like $22.
  • swobigswobig Posts: 634
    it may get about 17/22?? Those would be good numbers considering mine is rated at 15/18...
  • 2500lt2500lt Posts: 18
    The standard was 11 quarts with a 1 quart filter.

    Powerstrokes are 15 quarts with a 2 quart filter.
  • jaijayjaijay Posts: 162
    Sounds like an Exxon Valdez on wheels. My brother in law has a diesel. He mentioned how much oil it takes per change. The oil is not the same you put in your Oldsmobile and is not cheap either. What about preventive maintenance or the cost of a mechanic when things break. He mentioned that diesel work is very expensive.
  • I have been test driving the 1999 F250 diesel power stroke. I am wondering is any thing that can be done to eliminate the cab noise from the engine. It sure is loud when driving in the city.
  • mgdvhmanmgdvhman Posts: 4,162
    Turn up the radio!

    - Tim
  • leathal02leathal02 Posts: 114
    If i was gettin the stroke, i would love to hear that clanking, to me sounds pretty manly, oh yeah (tim allen grunt)
    thats an awesome engine, the only engine that i will compliment ford on, but i guess thats just another opinion
  • "the only engine that i will compliment ford on"

    You and I agree! Powerstroke is one tough engine. However, its not made by Ford!
  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    Navistar and Ford built the Powerstroke engine together, just like they did the 2nd generation 6.0L that will be due out in 2002.
  • RoclesRocles Posts: 985
    Nope. That is the sign of a diesel:noisy.

    AT least Ford helped unlike Dodge with Cummins. Oh yeah, then there was the diesel that GM built........LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • "AT least Ford helped unlike Dodge with Cummins.
    Oh yeah, then there was the diesel that GM

    Oh, I agree that the GM diesel has never been good, but it WAS their own diesel. The GM diesel is the only weak link in GM's lineup. However, there are several in the Ford lineup...the 4.6l, the 5.4l, and the 6.8l.

  • This happened about 6 months ago. Thought I would share.

    I wish I had a camera on this day.
    I was coming home from work the other day, traveling a road that goes from two lanes to a left turn lane, a straight lane, and a right turn lane at a major intersection. The middle or straight lane had traffic backed up for a quarter mile or better. I finally went around and got in the left turn lane, deciding to go ahead and take the longer route as it would still be faster than sitting behind the traffic that didn't seem to be moving.

    As I approached the intersection, I saw something sooooo funny. I wish I could have taken a picture. A BRAND NEW 99 F150 Ext Cab 4X4 LARIAT W/ORP was STALLED and could not get across the intersection. This truck was not even licensed yet it was so new.

    I could not resist the temptation to have a little fun. Pulling up next to this truck with my 99 Silverado Ext Cab Z71 4X4, I rolled down my passenger side window and prompted the severely embarrassed Ford owner to do the same with his drivers side window.

    I could tell this guy was good natured and I politely asked him what was wrong.
    TRANSMISSION WOULD NOT HOOK UP IN ANY GEAR! The poor guy said he hadn't had the truck in from special order more than a week.

    I was nice, pulled ahead of him when traffic crossing had changed and hooked him up with my tow strap and pulled him across the intersection and into a grocery store parking lot where he could leave the poor thing until an ambulance could arrive.

    At this time, I took the liberty of talking to this long time Ford owner of the MANY problems I endured with the 98 F150 that I had been so fooled into buying. I told this guy the deal I got on my Silverado and how 100% happy I have been with my truck. By the end of our conversation, this guy wanted to drive my truck. We went for about a 5 mile drive. I even let him open it up on the highway. The sad truck he left sitting in the parking lot had the 5.4l with 3:73 gear.
    This guy was absolutely amazed at how much more power the Silverado 5.3l delivered.
    At parting, this guy's exact words were this: "You really didn't need to tell me any negatives about the Ford you had. After driving your truck, I know exactly what I am going to do."

    True story. Believe it or not....its up to you.
  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    So, your point is that Ford trannys fail before you get the temporary tags off? I don't suppose the tranny was bad from the factory.

    Several inches of fresh snow. It looks like it might stick. Roads were nasty this morning. The truck was in 4wd for the morning commute. Had lots of fun playing on the side roads. It's a great time of the year to own a long as you remember that it won't stop you from sliding through an intersection or into the ditch at hwy speeds. I suspect that is not a problem for zbad. From what I've heard, it sounds like his Silverado would be able to float above the road with the power of that 6.0L and then brake on a dime, regardless of the amount of snow and ice.....
  • RoclesRocles Posts: 985

    What was this? Never told this story before when it would have made sense when we had a pretty heated debate. Remember? Ahhhh, this story sounds just like that it is--a story.
    Once upon a time, there lived an angry man named ZBAD, this man hated Ford so much that........
  • Nope, true story. The guy is a hunting and fishing buddy now. And, uh, he drives a new GMC 4X4 and loves it. If you go out to, its listed out there about 6 months ago in one of the forums.

    Just like Ripley's......Believe it.....or not.
  • Have you TD owners checked out the TDR Website? It is all new and redesigned with an active discussion forum and lot's of new pages. There are both member areas and nonmember areas, but everyone gets to read the forum. It is a great site and growing rapidly. The TDR has over 15000 members so the expertise in the discussions is second to none when it comes to knowledgeable people helping other diesel owners. The site is at
  • leer4leer4 Posts: 1
    Am considering purchasing a diesel but am concerned about cold weather starting problems. Live in Minnesota where temperatures drop to -40. Has anyone experience with this and is it a good reason to stay away from diesel. leer4
  • swobigswobig Posts: 634
    the engine block heater will do the rest. We have several trucks that sit out all the time and have never had a problem...
  • Get a REALLY GOOD block heater and also keep it out of the wind or else the diesel will sludge. These are the reasons I would prefer to stay away from diesels. HIGH MAINTENANCE!
  • swobigswobig Posts: 634
    of diesel and plug it in - no problems. Especially if it's in a garage, you probably won't have any problems. The even make heated gas tanks (some kind of element or something) that keeps the fuel warm to prevent sludging. But, I live in WI and the company I work for has several HD trucks that sit outside, in the wind, we have to scrape the windows in the mornings, and we haven't had any problems. Just don't forget to plug it in. Yeah, there higher maintenance, but nothing pulls like a diesel...
  • If you’re really serious about pre-heating your frosty diesel, here’s a link to Espar Heater Systems. They sell an add-on heat unit that warms your motor AND your cab’s interior:
    <<A HREF="">>;

    After you get your monster roll&#146;n, here&#146;s a couple more things you can do to speed warm-up time:

    1. Install a hood bra that allows adjustable restriction of airflow to the radiator.

    2. Replace your diesel&#146;s stock viscous-coupled fan clutch with a Horton electromagnetic. This product allows for a fully on/off engagment of the fan. The fan will fully engage when it&#146;s hot ((over 200F) stock clutch only partially engages), and completely turn off when it&#146;s cold.

    Alan Ashley-Pitt at the Earth Roamer Expedition gives a few comments about his experience with the Horton installed on the Earth Roamer Dodge diesel.

  • I am looking for a diesel truck with a pickup bed that would hold a 4 ft X 8 ft ply would.
    Also require 4WD. used in snow country (ID).
    What is the most efficient pick-up that meet these requirements.
    Options come later.
  • gwmooregwmoore Posts: 230
    I love the Ram/Cummins. The Cummins has great power, economy, and dependability (my experience). A little less maintenance cost compared to Powerstroke (less oil, cheaper filter). I like the strait-6 configuration. The Ram 2500 has been a good dependable truck in my experience.

    On the other hand, you can't go wrong with the Powerstroke, if you're a Ford guy. Don't bother with GM diesels (at least until they bring out the Duramax).
  • rrichfrrichf Posts: 212
    Perhaps you could give us the address of your store where we can buy all of these neat little items that you suggest.
  • Rich,

    The Espar heater can probably be had direct from them. They list an 800 number and e-mail address for sales inquiries on their web site.

    The Horton clutch web site includes an extensive list of distributors.

    As for the adjustable bra, it depends on what truck you're putting it on - I haven't tracked one down yet for a Dodge. Let me know if you find a supplier.

  • tracyotracyo Posts: 72
    My 00 superduty,psd would pull your chevy and your buddy's gmc all over the road and I would not hardly no I was hooked to anything!! Ford trucks rule! Real trucks do not have spark plugs!
  • which fantasy world you are from, what diesels has spark plugs

    you are right the PS would pull the chevy diesel all over the road, but at least the chevy wouldnt have to worry about the transmission going out at 30,000 or any other probs that they PS are having

    friend of mine has a PS and i think that he has put 3 transmissions in it, hes looking at a dodge right now
  • tracyotracyo Posts: 72
    Real trucks don't have spark plugs. let me make it clear for you, leathalo2, gas engines do have plugs. Get it?? I think you might be the one in a fantasy. I have the 6 speed manual.
  • when i read it

    this is true that diesels are bad a$$, but im glad i have my GAS where as i can out accelerate any diesel, and at least have fun with it where a diesel you cant really drive it just to drive it

    but if i had a big load, i would want your truck
  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    Since the Duramax and the new Ford 6.0L diesel (and more than likely, the Cummins about the same time) will have over 300hp, I'm curious to see how much that acceleration gap still is. Of course, on the other hand, heavy duty truck ownership isn't about racing light to light.
  • and diesels really dont race well, since they are diesels and unlike gas engines, the diesel doesnt explode or burn like gas so it takes longer for the diesel to get up and go

    ive looked at the new ford 6.0, and those times for the quarter mile and 0-60mph, sound unrealistic, im sure they are fairly close, i dont see a diesel going to 60 mph that fast, what did it say,like 9.6sec
  • rrichfrrichf Posts: 212
    Actually the reason that diesels don't accelerate very well is two fold.

    First, a diesel requires substantially higher inertia to maintain its idle speed. The crank shaft and flywheel are much heavier than a gasoline engine. RPM changes, by providing more fuel, are more difficult to achieve. Acceleration is also, much less efficient than a gasoline engine. (That's why a diesel gets much better relative mileage when using cruise control than a similar gasoline engine.)

    Second, the longer stroke of a diesel makes it a poor choice for stop light racing but a great choice for pulling. The torque comes from the stroke length. I don't quite understand the engineering or the physics behind the long stroke forcing low RPM operation. (The Jaguar 3.6L six was an exception.)

    The point is that a diesel doesn't like to change its operating RPM readily. Therefore it ain't going to accelerate very well.
  • lvstanglvstang Posts: 150
    advancing the ignition as the R.P.M. rises. An impossibility on a diesel due to compression ignition. I think that accounts for most of the inability of a diesel to rev quickly.
  • Rich,

    I still haven't found an adjustable bra for use in cold weather driving to restrict airflow to the radiator, but Lund Industries makes custom-fit inserts for various truck grills that accomplishes the same thing.

    See it here: <<A HREF="">>;

  • Concerning diesel acceleration, one thing not mentioned was that diesel fuel has a slower burn rate than gasoline. But, this is also the reason for the high torque. Diesel fuel continues to burn during the entire downward stroke, and thus is forcing the piston downward the entire time. A gas engine has a single, big ignition of the fuel and momentum carries the piston downward for the rest of the stroke. The reason diesels have a lower rpm range is that at some point the piston starts moving faster than the burn rate of the diesel fuel. When this happens, not all of the fuel will burn and power drops significantly.

    That concludes our lecture of "Diesel 101" for the day...
  • markbuckmarkbuck Posts: 1,021
    about advancing ignition, the injector pumps to advance injection, achieving the same result.

    Stroke length has little to do with limits on acceleration. It is all flywheel inertia related.
  • lvstanglvstang Posts: 150
    Please explain your injector pump theory. My understanding is the higher the RPM the sooner the fuel needs to be ignited. An impossibility on diesels due to their compression ignition(no control over spark)All your fuel pump does is meter your amount of fuel either mechanically via RPM or electronically with numerous parameters mapping out the correct fuel amount. Once that intake valve is closed and compression commences the fuel pump has no say so on when ignition occurs. I also disagree on your stroke length theory. It is common knowledge that a square or oversquare engine will rev much quicker than an undersquare engine. Square meaning bore and stroke being equal, oversquare meaning bore is larger than stroke. Your flywheel comment is correct with the addition of the crank, rods and pistons are also much heavier to be able to withstand 20+ to 1 compression ratios. If you have more info that I'm not understanding please set me straight.
    Take it easy.
  • markbuckmarkbuck Posts: 1,021
    The fuel is directly injected into the cylinder. It (almost) immediately begins to burn.
    Just like spark advance, if you inject the fuel earlier before TDC, ignition will commence earlier.

    The really clanky noise the diesel makes when it is cold is a slight delay in the iniation of burn upon injection. The fuel needs to atomize before it autoignites, and the relatively cold top end delays that atomization slightly, and you get a louder clank upon autoignition.

    I am struggling with the concept that diesels inherently are slower to accelerate than gas motors other than the higher rotational inertia of the motor....
    If the rate at which the engine free revs when you step on the gas in neutral is way faster than the rate required for a 1st gear start, then I wouldn't think that it was much of a limiting factor for every day stoplight to stoplight racing. I am less certain on this whole last topic. ;o)
  • lvstanglvstang Posts: 150
    Fuel is injected directly into the cylinder as opposed to before the intake valve as in a gas motor. Thanx. ........But I still hold to my belief that full ignition is not achieved until T.D.C. Thereby limiting total R.P.M. and how quickly a diesel can rev. I'm ready for diesel 202 now.
  • You guys know your stuff! I am seriously considering a new F250 SD and was initially interested in the diesel strickly for the gas mileage and overall lower cost of ownership over the long run. Deep down I want to justify the cost of the diesel 'cause I've never owned a vehicle with that kind of torque. I commute 60 miles/day and occasionally tow a 5000 boat, but am concerned about the following:
    (1) If the injectors are $800+ apiece (and I'm assunming there are eight on a PS), that's upwards of $6,400 for a full replacement, right? I am getting the impression that replacing injectors at 200k is not that unreasonable. I've got nearly 200k on my Jeep Cherokee and recently had to replace 3 or 6 injectors -- but it only cost me $400. For $6400, I could buy a brand new engine. Are diesels really more economical in the long run?
    (2) What's the likelihood of the turbo going out on the PS -- and what might that likely cost to replace/repair? (This diesel is sounding more like a Pandora's box to me)
    (3) I am also getting the impression that the Cummins 24V is by far the favorite among those in this forum. Is the engine really superior to the PS or do people prefer it because of the Cummins name (and perhaps because of its simplicity)?
    (4) If the F250 SD came with the Cummins, I'd buy it tomorrow. In an objective side-by-side comparison, how would the PS stack up against the Cummins (and I'm NOT talking strickly torque & hp)
    (5) Should I wait until Ford comes out with a better diesel?
    I think I am getting cold feet. On the one hand, I'm willing to fork over an add'l $4k if it is expected to yield me better service AND at least make sense economically in the long run. Those repairs scare me to death.
  • gwmooregwmoore Posts: 230
    Simple answer, and I dare anyone to argue it.

    You will not regret getting the Diesel. (emphasis on the period)

    I'm glad you are on the right track saying that you want the torque, and that you are not purely trying to justify the diesel by the economy factors. If you want the best, get it.

    I have yet to hear anyone need to replace injectors. I'd like to hear from someone with ACTUAL experience in this.

    Powerstroke is a VERY good motor. My preference is Cummins (not even completely sure why, but mostly the strait-6 configuration, simplicity, and nature of Cummins. The new Cummins ETH, especially if Dodge gets to share the Allison Automatic with GM (if rumors are true), would by my choice.
  • rrichfrrichf Posts: 212
    I've had 3 Ford diesels. Never had an injector problem. The two before the current '99 had a quarter million on them. There were two problems. The glow plugs and the glow plug controller. (a.k.a. Relay) In the '92 I replaced 5 glow plugs myself, in 20 minutes for about $65. I even had a white dress shirt on at the time and my wife didn't have any reason to yell at me. The dealer did the controller (Intermittent failure) for less than $300. It took a few days because they couldn't get it to fail unless it was cold.

    In the short run, diesels are much more expensive than gasoline. Over a moderate span, a diesel is slightly more expensive than a gasoline engine. The diesel becomes less expensive somewhere above 100K miles. There are no tune ups with a diesel and I've never heard of anyone replacing an injector. (Guys, help me out here! Has anyone ever replaced an injector? What year truck? How many miles? When and how much?)

    With a diesel, you have to be anal about maintenance. The big things are oil changes, fuel filter changes and draining the fuel/water separator.

    With a diesel, you will hear from all kinds of so called experts (a.k.a. Water cooler idiots.) that will tell you to put everything from peanut oil to automatic transmission fluid into your fuel. In a word, DON'T! Diesels are designed to burn diesel fuel and diesel fuel specific additives. The additives dispurse water and increase the lubricity of the fuel in the injectors. After about 10K miles I recommend the fuel additive. These additives are usually available at truck stops. The brand that I use requires about an ounce per 10 gallons of fuel. The cost is towards $20 per gallon which is good for about at least 1300 gallons of fuel.

    The big deal with the torque of a diesel is the driving experience. Once you start driving a diesel as a daily driver you won't go back to gasoline. It usually takes about 15K miles before you adapt to the characteristics of the diesel. After that, it seems that all roads are down hill. (Diesels are a bit more free wheeling than gasoline.)

    As for mileage; in Los Angeles stop and stop again freeway traffic I get from the mid 16s to low 17s. Last weekend from Blythe/Ehrenberg to Phoenix/Scottsdale and back (Winston Cup Race) I got in the high 17s. HOWEVER I was doing 75 to 85 on the road and crawling in the race traffic. I have heard people say 15-16 with the V-10 in the Super Duty. I'm skeptical.

    If you decide on the diesel, the way it will go is: First 2000 miles, "What a fantastic new truck." The next 10000 miles, "Why did I ever do such a dumb thing in buying this diesel?" From 12000 to 15000 miles, "This thing ain't so bad." And after 15000 miles, "I'll never buy another gasoline powered vehicle again! Ever! Honest!"

    Let us know what you decide and how you make out with the vehicle over the next 50,000 miles. :)

  • gwmooregwmoore Posts: 230
    Great points. But I don't know any diesel owners that had the "Why did I ever do such a dumb thing in buying this diesel?" stage between 2,000 and 12,000 miles. Most seem to go strait to "I'll never buy another gasoline powered vehicle again! Ever! Honest!". My only problem in getting my dream truck is whether I can afford it.
This discussion has been closed.