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Old 09-05-2014, 01:16 PM   #101
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It got so bad that what I considered the best maker of American diesel engines left the on highway market entirely. ( Caterpillar )
I'll agree with you about some of the best diesel engines.

But Cat didn't leave because of the on highway emission standards. They made a decision to leave because the continuing vertical integration of their Class 8 on highway truck manufacturer customers meant they were going to lose that market in any case. They couldn't justify investing in the cleaner engines for 2010 based on the limited window of return. It was a timing issue. They still needed to meet the ever tightening emissions standards in all the other market segments they served, but those segments were regulated on different timetables, and Cat controlled the deal in many cases (Cat mine trucks and tractors with Cat engines, etc).

Cat's way of combating that move to PACCAR/Daimler/Volvo trucks with proprietary engines was to come out with a vocational truck. Looks best in yellow. Not a traditional Cat engine, but that was the cost of entering the truck business I suppose.
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Old 09-05-2014, 01:17 PM   #102
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You obviously never lived in California in the 90s nor have you visited there recently...

The sooner they get to all electric, the better.
Or, simply driving less ... ever notice the one car, one driver situation in Kali? Or, the number of "big boats" with few passengers on a freeway?

Where do you think that the electricity to charge the batts in electric cars comes from ... limited amount from hydro ... solar and wind are just a drop in the bucket ... nat gas and coal - both contribute to environmental issues other than in Kali - which is a net importer of electricity (and many other things which shall go unmentioned).
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Old 09-05-2014, 01:17 PM   #103
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Guys,

I have to respectfully disagree with some of the comments here. I believe CAFE and EPA regulations, as annoying as they seem, have helped to speed up innovation by the car manufacturers.
Fully agree.
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Old 09-05-2014, 01:42 PM   #104
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Tomzstream, are you saying that the air is not cleaner now than it was in the 1970s?

Are you saying that the air was not cleaner in the 1990s , even though there were still lots of pre electronic era engines in use at this time?

Like I said, it is about a balance, if I say drinking some Tequila is good, is more better?

We have lost our view that seeks a sound return, and I will state emphatically that diesels will never be as reliable, as safe, or as efficient as they were in the 1990s while they are confined by current standards.

My contention is simple, if it cost X amount of money to get diesels 98% clean, maybe X2 is an unreasonable amount to get them to 99% clean.
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Old 09-05-2014, 01:47 PM   #105
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Oh By the way, my tow vehicle is my daily driver.

Just for thinking about things.....

It takes a lot of energy to build a second car.... Maybe it turns out that in the end my one vehicle adds less to pollution than your two vehicles no matter how you divide the mileage between the two?.
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Old 09-05-2014, 03:44 PM   #106
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Oh By the way, my tow vehicle is my daily driver.

Just for thinking about things.....

It takes a lot of energy to build a second car.... Maybe it turns out that in the end my one vehicle adds less to pollution than your two vehicles no matter how you divide the mileage between the two?.
Good point, but you have to look at the utility and useful life. My TV has 80K miles and I hope to get at least double that in the long run. It may take 15 years, but my last truck, a 99 Silverado lasted 15 easy. The benz is my long hauler and when I want to make a road trip and stay in hotels, its the obvious choice. I work at home so I put very few miles on a vehicle on a "daily" basis. Its the leisure travel that racks up the miles. I put the TV and SAFARI in California so I can travel via Jet to get there and tour the West coast from that second home base where my grandkids reside. My ultimate retirement scenario is multi-geographical.

If I was going to reduce to one, it would be the E250. great car and what I save in mileage easily justifies staying in nice hotels. But we all have other priorities don't we. My last E class diesel has over 144K miles and I expect it to go another 144K. Its the last of the iron block diesels and is an I6, but still modern under your definition. It does have a particulate filter but that really has very little to do with engine life. I prefer the inline engines for their torque and really like my 2.1L I4BT. I would have prefered it in my Sprinter, but RT only makes the Agile with that configuration and it is a 2500 chassis.

When it comes to EVs charging and sourcing of that, many communities in CA have very progressive solar programs. Here in FL I took advantage of a rebate program with FPL that paid $2 per watt for my array, and that along with the 30% Federal Tax incentive resulted in a net cost to me of about 8K for an 8kW system... It should fully pay off in about 7-8 years. I reap 40-50kWh per day on good days, and am averaging over 1.1MWh a month. More than enough to charge up an electrical vehicle if I choose. We have net metering so I can also bank the surplus for the high utilization months or get a check at the end of the year.

But what I really like is the future that is coming with flexible storage solutions including the dual purpose of utilizing EV battery packs as home storage as well as for transportation, and likewise for a TOAD and a battery source for my RT van, hence my plan to put a EV behind my RT. For charging, there are many options now, and making short stopovers for that express purpose of charging the TOAD lets me use the Van to catch a nap or take a side trip.

SolarCity is now packaging TESLA branded batteries for installation on your garage wall for the same purpose... backup and storage of solar power. It won't be long before we all are talking about retrofitting our trailers and Vans with Li Ion battery packs to save weight and get around these silly restrictions on charge reserve and the like. So thats where I see this "hobby" going. I bought my RT without any Solar for the express purpose of waiting for future developments beyond the current eTrek capabilities... Watch the RT forums closely and you are likely to see some pretty interesting announcements in the next few weeks along these lines. This is getting pretty off topic, so I'll end for now and maybe open another thread elsewhere.

BTW, the SMOG in California is a mixed bag. Cars are cleaner, but there are more of them... The population growth is astounding despite the high cost of living. I saw the ozone grow progressively worse in the 90s in the Sacramento Valley. Was back this summer and I still suffered... not sure on the actual numbers, but its bad any way you slice it.
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Old 09-05-2014, 04:57 PM   #107
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How many miles per gallon does that jet get?
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Old 09-05-2014, 05:06 PM   #108
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InfoGraphic: Actual Fuel Economy of Diesel vs Gas Towing

One of the major issues on the west coast is inversion, where air stagnates as it is trapped in valleys for long periods of time.

Fact is, the air is much better than it was in the 70s, and I doubt that the new diesel standards have much of anything to do with it.

And still,,,, even though my truck gets nowhere near 48 mpg,,,, my commute to work is only 15 minutes and 20 miles. (This was no accident, I didn't want to be any further than about 20 miles)

My 08 truck just turned 100K last week, i fully expect to get another 100K from this before any major repairs.

Maybe..... The air in CA would be best affected by people living closer to their jobs.
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Old 09-05-2014, 05:58 PM   #109
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My opinion.

Hi, if "Joe Kenworth" would shut that damn thing off when not moving, maybe we wouldn't need all of the new emissions on them diesels.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:02 PM   #110
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Those trucks can be mighty hard to sleep in when it is hot or cold outside.

I have slept with the engine running hundreds of nights, and I am not sorry for it....
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:03 PM   #111
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Hi, when I was a young kid, [in California] smog would burn your eyes. It has gotten much better since then, but off in the distance or cresting a mountain, you can still see that infamous brown cloud. And yes, the 70's cars were horrible.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:08 PM   #112
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I am sure, that throughout history, where man lives, there is pollution. There are a lot of millions in CA, even if there never was an industrial revolution, I imagine forty or fifty million concentrated as they are in CA would make the air dirty.

I contend, albeit without a smidgin of evidence, that the air in CA would be even dirtier if all of these people were heating and cooking with wood or cow dung.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:11 PM   #113
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Those trucks can be mighty hard to sleep in when it is hot or cold outside.

I have slept with the engine running hundreds of nights, and I am not sorry for it....
Hi, a small propane generator or a gas fired heater, such as used in Military vehicles would be much better option than a stinking, black smoke belching, bag of marbles in a tin-coffee-can noise making Diesel running 24 /7. It doesn't take an 80,000 lb rig-rated-engine to run an A/C compressor.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:16 PM   #114
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InfoGraphic: Actual Fuel Economy of Diesel vs Gas Towing

No it doesn't, but widespread availability of APU's is relatively recent, and truth be told, while they are not cheap, their reliability isn't that great.

As far as a propane heater in the cab, first they are illegal, and second, I wouldn't be caught dead burning an unvented heater in a truck cab.

Those cabs are TIGHT.

If you haven't noticed, diesels made in the last 25 years really don't smoke that much. If you see a modern truck belching smoke going down the road something is wrong with it.

Bad turbo , faulty injectors, etc...

Diesels used to smoke pretty bad, but the old two stroke Detroit Diesels were the worst, and at the same time, these two cycle Detroits were used in virtually every city bus from coast to coast... Which may have made the perception of many to think that all diesels were as dirty, as stinky, and as smokey as these buses.

I will say,,, an 8- 93 Detroit in front of a 13 speed was a fun and smooth drive.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:38 PM   #115
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As far as a propane heater in the cab, first they are illegal, and second, I wouldn't be caught dead burning an unvented heater in a truck cab.


If you haven't noticed, diesels made in the last 25 years really don't smoke that much. If you see a modern truck belching smoke going down the road something is wrong with it.
Hi, While in the Military, I drove an ambulance [cracker box] that had a vented gas fired heater and it was great. Yes, I have noticed that Diesel trucks [big rigs] are much cleaner. I also do know that if they smoke, there is something wrong with them. Big Rigs, or any motor vehicle, that smokes will be cited in California. They must be fixed and inspected, or removed from use on public roads. To me, Diesels are like that big dog down the street that bit you when you were a kid. And once that dislike is in your head, no matter what they do to them, [Diesels] you never feel good being close to one or wanting to own one.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:43 PM   #116
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InfoGraphic: Actual Fuel Economy of Diesel vs Gas Towing

The funny thing is,,, the smoke produced by diesels (apart from ozone) never did add much to air pollution, the large particulates that make dark smoke shortly fall to the ground.

So my above edit on perception....

The cabs on old military trucks were not exactly hermetically sealed when the doors and windows were shut....
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Old 09-05-2014, 08:35 PM   #117
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I like driving diesels- mercedes, vw, truck, etc. I believe they have their place- heavy loads, semi, generators, etc. Yes, diesels do not smoke unless under and instant load or run hard- acceleration, shifting, etc. The older ones might smoke a bit on cruise but that too might be residual oil or fuel in turbos, etc. With the options though on the market for 7000 lb trailers, a diesel may be preferred by some but not needed.
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Old 09-05-2014, 08:58 PM   #118
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I always wanted to by a 7.3L Ford Excursion and convert it to run on veggie oil and then put a giant lift kit on it with massive tires. Then I could confuse hippies who would be mad at the sight of it, and wondering why I smell like french fries.

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Old 09-07-2014, 06:29 PM   #119
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Turbine

A turbojet powered airplane will never match the efficiency of a gasoline piston powered propeller airplane. Try to build a piston powered airplane with a max takeoff weight of a million pounds (Airbus A 380). It can't be done. My Gmc Duramax can tow my Safari 28 over 7,200 ft Donner Pass on I-80 in overdrive with the cruise control set to 65 mph turning 1,700 rpm. No gas pickups have this kind of power at high elevations. A gas engine has to be wound out to make significant power at high elevations. Even if running a engine this hard doesn't wear it out faster than a diesel, it is not a very mechanically satisfying situation compared with the easy pulling of a turbo diesel. A jet airplane is far more satisfying to fly than a prop airplane ( this is what I do for an airline) in part because of the greater, effortless power. Passengers pay more for this experience than they would have to, traveling slower. So, the comparison between gas and diesel cannot be distilled down to cost. I do get 50% better mileage with my Duramax than I got with my Navigator. But I have a diesel for the satisfying, effortless power; and I can afford it. It certainly is not required.
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:19 PM   #120
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As Oscar Wilde said, "cynics know the price of everything, and the value of nothing." If you believe that....and I do to some extent, a "value proposition" comes down to some personal decisions that we make, and then deal with the consequences. I just returned from an 8,200 mile trip with my '14 Ram 2500 (6.7L Cummins), pulling my '12 28' Airstream Intl. I can tell you that the "Value" of the truck was demonstrated over and over -- not just climbing the Rockies, but also descending -- where the exhaust brake was so effective that there were a number of fairly steep grades where I didn't need to touch the brakes. Prior to the Ram, I towed with a 2012 Infinity QX56...a terrific tow vehicle (440 pounds of torque). What I didn't have with the Infinity was hauling space, or the safety margin afforded by the "grunt" of the Ram and the awesome braking capability. I know I am probably spending more $ with the diesel -- it was an $8,000 option -- but I feel the "VALUE" is there...and my recent month on the road seemed to validate that. Just speaking for myself, of course.
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