Diesel article in USAToday

Messages
239
Location
California
Great article. I'm surprised Subaru is working on a diesel as well. I don't think they offer diesel power in any market. I would love to see a boxer flat 4 diesel engine. Honda produced a really great streaming animation on their 2.2 Accord diesel. It highlights a lot of the technologies found in modern diesels today. Accord Diesel Video Here is a side by side comparison between hybrid and diesel Accords. Gas vs Hybrid vs Diesel Accord I'm holding out untill after 2007. That should be the watershed year for diesel. I'm sure ULSD diesels will make it to California.
 
Messages
894
Location
Sudbury, Ontario
I just checked the specs on the Liberty Diesel and it comes standard with an automatic which is very disappointing. DC obviously doesn't understand the point of having a diesel engine so they may as well pull the product off the market. #1 mileage - you need a stick to get that #2 longevity - you need a stick once again #3 low maintenance - you need a stick once again and you definately don't want a daimler auto!!!! #4 responsiveness - you won't be getting much throttle response with a diesel driven auto Steve
 
Messages
1,904
Location
Canada
"automatics", or rather, the lack of a stick, isn't an intrinsically bad thing srivett. They just need to do it properly like VW is with their new automatic transmission the 'DSG'. Essentially the new VW tranny is lossless, has dual clutches, and the MPG ratings are actually better than what is achieved with the 5-speeds. http://www.vwvortex.com/artman/publish/volkswagen_news/article_797.shtml Essentially it is an automatic transmission that is created by taking a traditional manual transmission and adding electronic solenoids and actuators in place of clutch and gear shifting inputs. Add in a healthy dose of computer control, and the end result is actually pretty awesome in terms of reduction in fuel burn and better acceleration.
 
Messages
39,805
Location
Pottstown, PA
quote:
I just checked the specs on the Liberty Diesel and it comes standard with an automatic which is very disappointing. DC obviously doesn't understand the point of having a diesel engine so they may as well pull the product off the market.
It will be the same story as it is with many of the light duty diesel pickup owners. They may buy an auto the first time ..until they get a $4000 trans rebuild @ 175k while the engine could have taken them 500,000 if time didn't kill the thing first. Then they go for the stick unless their life expectancy is less than the next rebuild. US auto makers just aren't interested in making any real efforts to make diesel work. They just tack on too many riders to it and effectively neutralize all the benefits. That 6 speed auto may work out but there's no reason why a comparable 5 or 6 speed stick wouldn't be desirable. If they threw it in a Wrangler ..I'd buy one in a minute. Turning 17-19 mpg into 25+ would be a dream come true. It won't happen ..somehow it will be sabotaged.
 
Messages
12,385
Location
Northern CA
quote:
Originally posted by pitzel: "automatics", or rather, the lack of a stick, isn't an intrinsically bad thing srivett.
The lack of a choice is an intrinsically bad thing.
 
Messages
716
Location
San Gabriel Valley
Wow, a Subaru boxer diesel..talk about a low vibration oil burner! If not a TDI for my next ride, I might cozy up on a flat 4 or 6 Subie diesel.. [Smile] The article though is inaccurate that VW has not introduced a diesel for the Touareg...it has in fact sold the V10 TDI since last year in the US.
 
Messages
1,904
Location
Canada
quote:
Originally posted by XS650:
The lack of a choice is an intrinsically bad thing. [/QB][/QUOTE] So if you could have all the benefits of an 'automatic' transmission with none of the downsides, and better fuel efficiency, can you honestly tell me that you would still complain about 'choice'? I think the real complaint should be with respect to the lame transmissions used by automakers in general. There is no excuse for the traditional fluid-coupled autotranny to have existed for so long, its conceptual design basically unchanged since the 1950s.
 
Messages
5,785
Location
Dixie
I think the best auto transmission for passenger car diesels will turn out to be the Continously Variable Transmission or "CVT", developed by VW/Audi. All they need to do is beef it up to handle 300-400 ft-lbs of torque. If you want to see the transmission of the future, drive an A4 or A6 Sedan with the CVT. It makes even 5-6 speed Autos seem hopelessly dated....The 3.0L, V-6 equipped Audi sedan with the CVT is turning only 2300 rpms @ 80 mph - that's V-8 territory. This results in very low average piston speeds, almost no engine noise and excellent fuel efficiency. Between their excellent five speed "Tiptronic" - introduced in 1998, the "multitronic" CVT and their new DSG transmission I think that Vw/Audi leads the industry. Use of a CVT allows you to accelerate while keeping the engine right at the torque peak. In addition the very wide range of ratios allows you to run low rpms even at 70-80 mph. Most of these TDI diesels have their peak torque in the 1800-2200 rpm range, so they are turning too fast on the highway - even with a 4/5 speed auto transmission - to yield optimum efficiency.... Tooslick
 
Messages
7,077
Location
Ontario, Canada
quote:
Originally posted by vwoom: Wow, a Subaru boxer diesel..talk about a low vibration oil burner! If not a TDI for my next ride, I might cozy up on a flat 4 or 6 Subie diesel.. [Smile] The article though is inaccurate that VW has not introduced a diesel for the Touareg...it has in fact sold the V10 TDI since last year in the US.
Hey! My Subaru already *sounds* like a diesel.
 
Messages
1,462
Location
MD
quote:
Originally posted by TooSlick: I think the best auto transmission for passenger car diesels will turn out to be the Continously Variable Transmission or "CVT", developed by VW/Audi. All they need to do is beef it up to handle 300-400 ft-lbs of torque. If you want to see the transmission of the future, drive an A4 or A6 Sedan with the CVT. It makes even 5-6 speed Autos seem hopelessly dated....The 3.0L, V-6 equipped Audi sedan with the CVT is turning only 2300 rpms @ 80 mph - that's V-8 territory. This results in very low average piston speeds, almost no engine noise and excellent fuel efficiency. Between their excellent five speed "Tiptronic" - introduced in 1998, the "multitronic" CVT and their new DSG transmission I think that Vw/Audi leads the industry. Use of a CVT allows you to accelerate while keeping the engine right at the torque peak. In addition the very wide range of ratios allows you to run low rpms even at 70-80 mph. Most of these TDI diesels have their peak torque in the 1800-2200 rpm range, so they are turning too fast on the highway - even with a 4/5 speed auto transmission - to yield optimum efficiency.... Tooslick
I remember seeing late 80's Subaru Justy's with CVT transmission.Apparently the design then couldn't handle much power.Honda had one for a little while too I belive.
 
Messages
39,805
Location
Pottstown, PA
quote:
All they need to do is beef it up to handle 300-400 ft-lbs of torque.
This is something that they are apparently incapable of doing with any long term reliability. Diesels should far outlive gasoline engines ..yet even your higher end automakers aren't prepared to design 25 year autos. They still make them overly sophisticated and make refit costs prohibitive. Ultimately autos, in one configuration or another, are in our future, but they will remain the weak link in any automotive drivetrain for the next decade at least. It may not necessarily mean that the failure rate will be as high as our domestic DC or Ford trash ..but will send the vehicle to the junkyard or force it to be traded simply due to the expense of the rebuild. They just can't figure out that another $150 in production costs saves $4000 down the road. Not a bad rate of return over a 10-20 year investment.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,942
Location
The Motor City
Our company makes parts for the Ford CVT transmission. I got inside word that these transmissions are not rebuildable... something about too much trouble setting clearances properly in a fixture. If something goes awry with these units you just throw them away.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,942
Location
The Motor City
I remember the diesel fever back in the early 80's. Chrysler predicted back then that 25% of the market would be diesel. The idea was promptly killed by lower fuel prices.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,942
Location
The Motor City
Diesels may still be a hard sell in America. 1. They stink. Talk to any lay person about diesels and they'll turn up their nose and look at you like you're crazy for considering buying a diesel for personal transportation. 2. Higher initial cost. 3. If gas prices go down, diesel fever will go away. Back in the 80s, Oldsmobile and their crank-busting 350 diesel V8 which led to a class-action suit was one of the key factors that killed the diesel in America. Americans came to the conclusion that American manufacturers can't properly design and build a diesel engine. I spent two years at Chrysler doing diesel engine development, only to be shelved.... leaving me nothing to brag about in future interviews.
 
Messages
4,378
Location
Camas, WA
When I figured out that I needed :^) a larger vehicle I only considered a diesel with a stick. Automatics that would be as robust would be large and very expensive. In light duty diesel trucks the GM/Chevy Allison gets a lot of press, but it actually defuels the engine in 1st and 5th in order to protect itself. Evidently The Ford auto does the same. One owner of an older Dodge with a manual and a diesel delivered a load of hay that was slightly overloaded, and dropped it off at the bottom of small hill. The person receiving had a new Ford diesel couldn't even move the trailer, and had to have the Dodge owner pick it up and move it up the hill. Some may say that it's not 'fair' as it was lightly overloaded, but a similar load might be encountered if one stopped with a max load on steep grade and needed to get moving again. Still, it's a moot point for most as it seems that most Chevy and Ford trucks are sold with automatics. The real stigma with diesels are the noise, a lot of people don't know that the newer ones are lot quieter, the 'hard starting' but most don't know that the newer ones are as easy to start as anything else, and the smell, which they do as the exhaust is more offensive. The durability doesn't seem to be important to most, better performance seems to be a moot point except to a few, and the increased fuel mileage hasn't been important until recently.
 
Messages
341
Location
Upstate, NY
I drove a ford 350 diesel with an automatic tranny, a U-Haul truck, the other day. It was a DOG! even empty. I think 'glacial acceleration' would best describe it. I've driven one of their (U-Hauls) diesel 5-spds before (26' truck), and it wasn't a whole lot different from a gasoline powered 5-spd. Lots of power and as quick as you could drive it.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,942
Location
The Motor City
On the other hand I've driven two turbocharged diesels, a new Dodge Sprinter and an 85 Mercedes 300D. Both have good pickup, nothing was lacking. I guess turbo makes the difference.
 
Messages
1,292
Location
Western Washington
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Allan: They just can't figure out that another $150 in production costs saves $4000 down the road. Not a bad rate of return over a 10-20 year investment.
Maybe the big automakers did figure that out, and that's the reason nobody builds rock solid auto trannies. Why spend the extra $150/unit, just so the car will last to an insanely high mileage that the first owner probably doesn't care about? If they invest that extra money, they either turn in lower profits, or raise the price of their cars. Nobody else builds great autos, so each company has nothing to lose by continuing that tradition. By the time the tranny goes out, it may well total the car, and that keeps their new car market alive.
 
Messages
2,187
Location
Arizona
As to smell, I think you are thinking of pickups and large trucks, and especially the poorly-designed, I'm goin to get 850 hp out of this 225 hp pickup chipped ones. VW TDIs do not smell. They are emission-controlled. This will be the case with any automotive diesel engine in NA from now on. Hopefully light truck diesels will be required to follow suit soon, especially now that over 90% of pickups are used as cars.
 
Top