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Old 08-19-2006, 01:14 AM   #101
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Honestly, like any vehicle you need to be an informed owner. Remember the days when your father knew just enough to get the old beast running on the side of the road, well we need to stop relying on everyone else to sort out our issues. That said, I have been a mechanic for better than 20 years and I can promise you that if you think it is difficult to get a diesel worked on these days, you are in for a treat with newer gas vehicles. You need a code scanner and a good one and a full working understanding of all the computer systems involved in the vehicle simply to get it running well enough to get to the shop. If any of about 100 things happen the system (if you are lucky) goes into "Limp home" mode and has no power at all, on some vehicles this will happen if you simply do not tighten the fuel cap!

I recently bought a truck, I chose the 1998 Dodge with the 5.9 Cummins, I did this because a diesel needs valve adjustments, filter changes and oil changes and that is all. The 98 was the first year with the 4 dr crew cab and the last year of the 5.9 12v engine which is not computer controlled like the newer engines and has all the best qualties of a diesel (few consumable parts, few things to go wrong) it is a 4x4 and still gets 20's in the city and it could pull a building! Personally I could do without the leather "Cowboy Cadilliac" interior and all the plastic in the cab, I still like a truck I can hose out if I need to but the wife loves it.

My business had been the repair of high end German cars and I still have a 560SEL Mercedes sitting in the garage, although I have not driven it for more than a warm up in about a year, at 15MPG I just can't bring myself to drive it. 7 years ago while living in Europe I found people burning vegetable oil from supermarkets in their diesels and became interested in the concept, I will not bore you with the details but after 5 years of R&D I developed a system which converts diesel engines to run on straight vegetable oil and a little over a year ago I closed my repair business and now manufacture systems to convert diesels to run on free waste oil from restaruants, it is all we do. We ship these systems all over the world and have recently gotten a contract to convert 100 large trucks in Norway.

My dodge running on free waste oil will be pulling a 1976 31' Sovereign as of Sunday afternoon. To date we have converted hundreds of Dodges, Fords and Chevy's as well as everything from a 1966 Mercedes 200D to a 2005 Jeep Liberty diesel, I myself have a 40' Mercedes bus converted into a motorhome running on Vegetable oil. The Bar on the corner from my shop produces 50 gallons a week of oil, just one bar, and we have arrangements with about 4 restaruants yeilding about 150 gallons a week, all free.

This is just a side benefit for me, free fuel, but the real benefit is the ability of the diesel engines to run for half a million miles and produce an enormous amount of power for the fuel consumed. Each engine family has weak points and strong points, but they all share longevity and fuel economy for the size of the vehicle.

The 6.5TD mentioned earlier is the same motor found in the Military Hummer. I will bet that your issue is with the PMD or pump mounted driver, these are the weak point of the 6.5TD, it is the electronics package which drives the injectors and is mounted to the side of the standadyne injectiom pump, right in the valley of the motor, they fail and cause missing, surging then complete failure, it is a very well known issue. The solution is to pay a dealer $1200 to replace it and have it happen again in a year or to buy a new PMD and an extention cable, unplug the connector on the IP while in the engine and connect it to an extention cable, this runs to the fender well or the back of the bumber and you place the new PMD there on the cable away from heat and the issue is solved. Google "Heath PMD" or "PMD relocation". Your 6.5 has a filter at the rear of the motor and behind the fiberglass cover, it can not suck air because the fuel system is under pressure from the pump mounted to the frame rail, if there was a leak it would be spraying fuel everywhere not sucking air. Many diesels do have a filter which is under vacuum, your 6.5 is not one of them and 143,000 is just getting broken in.

I will likely never drive a gas vehicle again for anything more than fun, the fuel is too expensive and even as a mecahnic it makes no sense to operate a vehicle with so many consumables (Plugs, wires, caps, rotors, etc.) when a good diesel will need oil changes and filter changes and will run and run and run, heck a diesel does not even need a battery once running, that and free fuel is just too difficult to pass up. No Gas suburban is going to pull a trailer at less than 7 mpg and will not be happy about it, I know I have a 1989 Suburban 350 FI 4x4 for sale, it can barely pull itself up a mountain at 10mpg and was not happy about pulling my 25' boat on flat ground.

CG

PS. Can't wait to get the Sovereign!
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Old 08-20-2006, 10:21 PM   #102
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Imperical evidence......Nah

I picked up the diesel on Tues and spent the week breaking it in. On Sat. I pulled the 19 footer from L.A. to Paso Robles to trade it in on a 25 FB LS LE etc. Going up and back 13mpg. Power to spare everywhere. For grins going up long grades i'd hit the peddle and watch the speedo jump. I'm told by my friends with diesels that as the miles roll on the MPG will improve. Can it get any better than this?
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Old 08-21-2006, 12:51 AM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goin camping
I picked up the diesel on Tues and spent the week breaking it in. On Sat. I pulled the 19 footer from L.A. to Paso Robles to trade it in on a 25 FB LS LE etc. Going up and back 13mpg. Power to spare everywhere. For grins going up long grades i'd hit the peddle and watch the speedo jump. I'm told by my friends with diesels that as the miles roll on the MPG will improve. Can it get any better than this?
So now you will have to show and tell not just your new truck, but your trailer at the NorCal Rally
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Old 08-21-2006, 01:01 AM   #104
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well goin camping congrats again....

that superduty and new trailer are a sweet combo....

oh and the extra space inside the trailer is hard to beat!

so where are the photos?

cheers
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Old 08-21-2006, 01:17 AM   #105
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Pictures

Here's Saturdays photos.



Hitching up the new A/S
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Leaving the dealership in Paso Robles
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Camping under the oak trees later the same day.
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Old 08-21-2006, 09:54 AM   #106
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That is a great looking combo! Enjoy!
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Old 08-21-2006, 10:14 AM   #107
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Well my 1976 31' Sovereign arrived yesterday! I did the deal sight unseen and a friend was driving up the coast from Ca. and agreed to check it out for me in Or. He called and said it was exactly as it had been described, good floors and everything working with no dents. I bought it and he connected it to his '99 Ford Powerstroke (powered by 100% free waste vegetable oil) and headed to Seattle. He called 30 minutes later and said "This trailer weighs 7000 lbs and I don't even notice it is there, it is so well balanced I can't beleive it." an hour later he called again and said "I have to get one of these! This thing is great! I am driving down the highway passing all these plastic junk trailers swaying all over the road and I am just steaming by pulling a 30 year old silver bullet that is in better shape and tows better than those 2 year old crap boxes. I want one!"

I became worried that he would miss my exit and just get off at his and I would never hear from him again, but about an hour later he pulled up in front of my house and we backed it into the driveway. My first impression was an overpowering feeling of sorrow for all those who lived through the 1970's as adults, I flashed back to my childhood and remembered "almond" colored appliances, fake walnut veneer and contact paper, gold metalized plastic trim, fake velvet "velour", flower print shirts with lapels like sails and bell bottom pants designed to hide the terribly ugly shoes of the period. This trailer is like a time capsule, it had been stored indoors for years, then purchased by a Hot Rod builder who again stored it indoors for another 4 years, from what I can tell it has spent more than 1/3 of it's life in storage.

A lot of the brown plastic edging on the table and counter has shrunken and is pulling away, the plastic lights are yellowed and likely brittle and the upolstery looks as though Liberachi has thrown up after a velvet dinner! I think my plan is to pull the couch and replace it with a pull out queen bed, replace the carpet completely and do the kitchen area in Armstrong tile, stainless counters in the kitchen and stainless kitchen walls. Black laminate in the living area to replace the wood. I have not decided what to do about the flower print wallpaper in the bath but it must go as well.

The whole thing is going to be a fun project and if all goes right I will be using it on weekends and doing some or the repairs and modifications after work. I really want to polish the thing but just the thought makes my head spin!.

Believe it or not I can tow this 31' trailer with my 1998 short bed 4x4 Dodge fitted with a Cummins 5.9 diesel and it does not really notice at all. I am buying a trailer brake controller today! but other than that it just chugs along. I am really looking forward to making some longer trips running on vegetable oil!
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Old 08-21-2006, 12:51 PM   #108
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CG
I sure could have used your experience and expertise that week in KS.
Your work on veggie fuel sounds impressive, can you share a link to your systems?
As I stated in the original message the fuel filter was leaking after being replaced.
The PMD was the only thing that was not replaced, after finding the independent shop he got in touch with a local company that would test the old injector pump (for a fee), the test showed that indeed the injector pump was not up to par, he happened to have a replacement pump on hand for about 1/3rd of the cost of a Chevrolet pump... While the shop was installing the new pump the rebuilder call to advise that the old pump was not the correct pump that should have been on that model of 6.5L TD, so that new pump was taken off and a "correct" model installed. Even after all this the motor would not run without a lot of bucking, smoking, backfiring (if a diesel can backfire). So after 1-1/2 days and several versions of re-programming the original chip, the engine was finally running.
The engine ran great, the only difference was that it blows out a lot more black smoke.

So once again a Chevrolet Dealer had replaced an under warranty injector pump at about 50,000 miles, which may/must have been the wrong pump, But, Who can ever know?
Thanks for your input. I will say again, my problem isn't with diesel engines, I really think that they do give the greatest value for long life and power, however if the traveling public cannot get good service work by qualified mechanics they aren't worth the extra $$$$.
Don
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Old 08-21-2006, 02:00 PM   #109
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Old 08-21-2006, 10:26 PM   #110
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Hi, guys,

After a good pull of 250 miles with Betsy using my '03 Dodge Cummins, I've begun to wonder about all the comments I see on the forum about "hardly know it's back there" or "forgot it was back there."

Gee, I knew darn well it was back there!

Traveling the same route I've traveled empty before with it NEVER coming out of overdrive, it downshifted on me using the cruise just as I was entering the foothills of Appalachia in east-central GA.

Mindful of the transmission, I deactivated OD and climbed in third at 2300-2400 RPM at 56 mph and reset the cruise there. I was REALLY wondering what this would do to fuel mileage. I left it in lock-out all the way home.

To my surprise, I got there showing half a tank. The same trip empty leaves it a bump higher. (The diesel-selling merchants here are very greedy, so I'll wait for my next trip out of town before I refuel.)

I am not disappointed! Having a truck that can accelerate a 31' Airstream up a hill is a wonder.

Perhaps I'm being too conservative, but my gasser Dakota got 12 mpg towing this trailer. If I can expect a 500 mile range with the diesel RAM even when running in third, I find nothing to fault with the decision to go with a diesel.

Lamar
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Old 08-21-2006, 10:39 PM   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nymphfishin
CG
I sure could have used your experience and expertise that week in KS.
Your work on veggie fuel sounds impressive, can you share a link to your systems?
As I stated in the original message the fuel filter was leaking after being replaced.
The PMD was the only thing that was not replaced, after finding the independent shop he got in touch with a local company that would test the old injector pump (for a fee), the test showed that indeed the injector pump was not up to par, he happened to have a replacement pump on hand for about 1/3rd of the cost of a Chevrolet pump... While the shop was installing the new pump the rebuilder call to advise that the old pump was not the correct pump that should have been on that model of 6.5L TD, so that new pump was taken off and a "correct" model installed. Even after all this the motor would not run without a lot of bucking, smoking, backfiring (if a diesel can backfire). So after 1-1/2 days and several versions of re-programming the original chip, the engine was finally running.
The engine ran great, the only difference was that it blows out a lot more black smoke.

So once again a Chevrolet Dealer had replaced an under warranty injector pump at about 50,000 miles, which may/must have been the wrong pump, But, Who can ever know?
Thanks for your input. I will say again, my problem isn't with diesel engines, I really think that they do give the greatest value for long life and power, however if the traveling public cannot get good service work by qualified mechanics they aren't worth the extra $$$$.
Don
Black smoke is excess fuel so something is wrong, a stuck injector, maybe bad programming. The Standyne IP on your 6.5 is one of the most common Ips in the US and can be found on thousands of engines, you have just had some crap luck my friend. I suggest that you look at www.dieselstop.com for some good info, a lot of people modify these engines for more power, bigger injectors, chipping, marine pumps etc. In my experience they are great engines. These IPs typically last about 75K although without the relocated PMD the electronics fail in the heat. Once you reloacete the IP you should not have any issues, you need to check out dieselstop and post asking for a good tech in your area, the ones you have are hacks.

On the PMD relocation: The dealer charges about $1200, they remove the IP, remove the PMD from it, replace the IP and connect an extension cable then mount the PMD away from heat. A new PMD and the cable can be had for about $500, you unplug the old PMD and leave it on the IP and the IP in the vehicle, plug the extension cable onto the harness and mount the new PMD on the fender well or behind the bumper. Total cost $500 and it takes less than an hour for the average home mechanic.
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Old 08-21-2006, 10:44 PM   #112
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well silvergate......

looks like the opinions have run their course.
most of us new to diesels, or long timers with diesels, like the diesels.

be they powestrokes, cummins or isuzu....

there was a time when fuel pricing was a bonus for this group.
not so currently.
otoh lots of torque, durable power and the possibility of clean alternative fuels.

with your size trailer gas or diesel is gonna be fine. and i suspect prices are gonna fluctuate for awhile for diesel fuels. i'd buy another, but i'm still ticked at the new price structures....

while stickers show a big markup for the sludge burners...many of us are getting great prices, so initial costs may not be a big issue right now.

hope you find the right truck and enjoy.

nice photos goin camping...so much silver!

finally we've got a genuine expert on burning veggie here, AND he owns an airstream! WELCOME cgoodwin!

i've been to the frybird website and seen the nytimes piece from last week...good reading on burning veggie oil...

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-21-2006, 10:47 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SafeHarbor
Hi, guys,

After a good pull of 250 miles with Betsy using my '03 Dodge Cummins, I've begun to wonder about all the comments I see on the forum about "hardly know it's back there" or "forgot it was back there."

Gee, I knew darn well it was back there!

Traveling the same route I've traveled empty before with it NEVER coming out of overdrive, it downshifted on me using the cruise just as I was entering the foothills of Appalachia in east-central GA.

Mindful of the transmission, I deactivated OD and climbed in third at 2300-2400 RPM at 56 mph and reset the cruise there. I was REALLY wondering what this would do to fuel mileage. I left it in lock-out all the way home.

To my surprise, I got there showing half a tank. The same trip empty leaves it a bump higher. (The diesel-selling merchants here are very greedy, so I'll wait for my next trip out of town before I refuel.)

I am not disappointed! Having a truck that can accelerate a 31' Airstream up a hill is a wonder.

Perhaps I'm being too conservative, but my gasser Dakota got 12 mpg towing this trailer. If I can expect a 500 mile range with the diesel RAM even when running in third, I find nothing to fault with the decision to go with a diesel.

Lamar
A bit of unsolicited advice:
The 2003 24valve Cummins is fitted with the Bosch VP44 injection pump (IP) and it is a time bomb. Theese trucks had a crappy lift pump and when it failed (usually under load) the IP is forced to suck fuel from the tank, as soon as the IP fuel pressure drops below about 4psi, the IP will cavitate and destroy itself, the truck will stop and you will be out about $4K.

You can replace the lift pump (often the dealer will do it for you for free) and install a low fuel pressure warning light (http://www.bluechipdiesel.com/VP44INFO.html ) and when it comes on STOP loading the engine and limp to the nearest place to install a lift pump, it is best to install the light AND a new pump as to prevent the issue. Total cost for both is about $300 which beats the heck out of a $300 tow bill and a $4k IP.
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Old 08-22-2006, 08:40 AM   #114
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Hi, cgoodwin,

Thank you, but my truck is third generation with a 305 hp/550 foot-pound HO high pressure common rail engine. It has the crappy lift-pump mounted on the filter, which I'm going to change out to a Glacier frame-mounted pump. The IP is a CP3, and I still have 50,000 miles and over 4 years of warrantee left on it.

Yes, I know the lift pump can suddenly fail.

Lamar

PS - I do handheld computer tech support - it's almost impossible to make my fingers type "Ram" with the proper case.
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Old 08-22-2006, 08:42 AM   #115
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Quote:
there was a time when fuel pricing was a bonus for this group.
not so currently.
Not true. $3 gas with a 12 mpg pickup, equals $4.50 diesel with a 18 mpg pickup.
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Old 08-22-2006, 12:34 PM   #116
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If the 460 efi in my tow vehicle, which now has 69,000 miles, ever decides to give up the fight (don't know when that'll be because I've got the same engine in a 95 F350 pushing 300k on the original engine) then I'd have to give this setup some thought.

http://www.fordcummins.com/

Might just be the best of both worlds.
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Old 08-22-2006, 12:43 PM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pick
Not true. $3 gas with a 12 mpg pickup, equals $4.50 diesel with a 18 mpg pickup.


thanks for that spreadsheet insight...

all spreadsheets start with a few assumptions....
all assumptions involve some seat-of-the-pants thinking....
that why the first 3 letters of the word are.....

i'm sure almost everyone else who read this line interpreted it as 'pricing' just as written...

as in price per gallon in the usa.

that is why my word choice was 'fuel pricing'

not liters, not btu's of energy, not cost of processing, not cost per make, not environmental costs, not maintenance costs, not hidden costs, not local taxing costs, not subsidized cost, not inflation adjusted annualized fleet cost, and so on....

and certainly not the 'different for virtually everyone' mpg unhitched-towing- up hill-coasting-underinflated tires-pulling a 3ft or 40 ft trailer-in a cyclone.......costs....

aren't there already several threads on the 'i get blah blah mpgs? topic?

also i used the term bonus....which may have varied interpretations.

lastly before declaring anothers words as 'not true' you might want to understand what that means...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth

i ascribe to hybird of deflationary theory and kant's view with a dash of faucault's notions for broader appeal...

get it?

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Old 08-22-2006, 02:32 PM   #118
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Well, there was a time when diesel WAS 30 cents a gallon cheaper then regular. The guys with the diesels thought that it was really cool to fill up the tank for less than the folks with gassers.

Now some of the diesel folks are crying their eyes out because diesel fuel is the same or slightly more than regular. "What's the point in having a diesel, if diesel fuel is 25 cents a gallon more than regular?" "Isn't diesel fuel supposed to be cheaper than regular?" they ask.

The TRUTH of the matter is this, and the point I was trying to make was, a comparable 2500/250 series pickup with a gas V8 getting 12 mpg is equal to, in fuel cost per mile to the same platform pickup truck with diesel engine getting 18 mpg, with diesel fuel pricing of $4.50 per gallon. At the price point of $3 for both fuels, you save about $1000 a year with the diesel.

So, TRUTH be told, even though diesel fuel is priced slightly higher regular in some places, there is still an economic advantage to operating a diesel pickup at current fuel prices, even if diesel fuel is a few cents more per gallon than regular gasoline.

Personally, I consider diesel fuel under $4.50 a bonus.
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Old 08-23-2006, 01:09 AM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman



i ascribe to hybird of deflationary theory and kant's view with a dash of faucault's notions for broader appeal...

get it?
No frankly I do not.

Foucault wrote about sexuality, the prision system medicine and issues relating to social structure and its relation to acceptable versions of "Truth" in given cultures.

Kant wrote of morals as being Categorical Imperatives driven by reason with no consideration for individual "Wants".

Both were philosophers engaged in the social sciences and neither has anything to do with what vehicle to tow your trailer with.

I read and re-read your post and honestly have no idea what you are trying to communicate.

No offense intended, I am interested but confused..
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Old 09-02-2006, 06:30 PM   #120
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Well, new diesel fuel, ULSD, has arrived…
And is required in the New World…
At least in CA for now.
See implementation schedule:
http://www.clean-diesel.org/highway.html
As the reality sets in:
Would you still choose diesel as your next tow vehicle?
...or go with a gas burner?

Bill
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