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Thread: Driving a Diesel - Best Practice?

  1. #1
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    Driving a Diesel - Best Practice?

    Hi All,
    another newbie question... I'm new to the whole concept of driving a diesel car and I was wondering if I should be doing anything in particular to "take care" of the engine while driving.
    For example, should I let the car idle to warm up for a period before driving for the day (I'm running just one tank on B100)?
    I have an older engine ('83 Landcruiser 2H) which I'm assuming has mechanically timed and metered injection (ie no computers)... from what I can understand there would be no fuel saving if I were to use compression braking when slowing down... in that case, should I just put it in neutral and use the brakes? Would this be better for engine longevity also?
    Is there an ideal RPM for diesel engines? How far should I push the RPM before changing gears?
    Any info or tips would be appreciated,
    Jono

    ---
    1983 Landcruiser HJ60 2H - 408,000kms, 270kms on B90

  2. #2
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    Re: Driving a Diesel - Best Practice?

    Mate I am no mechanic, but I have learnt a thing or two.

    When you look at the torque and power curves of a 2H you will see that torque peaks quite low at around 2000 rpm, but power peaks at around 3500 rpm.

    When you are changing up and accelerating hard (ish) you want the engine to be delivering decent torque values when you let the clutch out, which will assist until the engine starts delivering more power as the revs climb. The gearbox on your engine is designed to do this, and if you change at around 3000 to 3200 on the way up, you will see that you should be around 1800-2000 in the next gear when you let the clutch out, which is in the sweet spot for the torque value. This is especially relevant when towing or climbing a hill. When changing down to climb a hill, change down at about 2000, as this will put you back on the power curve in the lower gear.

    Dont let it labour in top gear. You will flog out the thrust bearings, big end bearings and cause other problems. depending on your driving style and acceleration requirements, I wouldnt select 5th until doing 80km/hr when accelerating. putting around below 80 in top gear is fine, just dont expect to accelerate.

    another rule of thumb I have learnt from years of nursing high end engines: for longevity, dont operate over 75% of your rev range for long periods. I think from memory red line sits near 4000? therefor 3000 rpm would be a comfortable non problematic long term rpm.

    Others will chime in year I am guessing, and possibly suggest otherwise, which is fine of course. Ultimately your driving style will dictate the many variables.

    One other thing - when going up a hill, try backing off with the accelerator a smidge. keep backing off untill you hear a change in engine note. keep the throttle there, as any more throttle is only wasted fuel. You will be amazed at how much throttle movement is not necessary. diesels are quite different to petrols in this regard.

    Have fun!
    Regards,

    Cade.

    2002 100 series Landcruiser
    240,000 Km and counting on B100, 330,000km total on car.
    Naturally aspirated, Walbro Pusher pump just upstream of tank switch valves, Cav filter with reversed fuel flow direction.
    At 160,000 km Rebuilt pump, Reconditioned head and manifolds, glow plugs. Injectors all good after 160,000 km on B100.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Re: Driving a Diesel - Best Practice?

    G'day Jono, Cades got it right as far as operating your 2h, they are really a small truck engine and if you do as Cade says, you won't have much trouble.

    Never put your car into neutral when going down a hill, your engine and gears are the best brakes you have, technically wheel brakes should only be used for emergencies and stopping. Driven properly you can reduce wear and fuel consumption by using your drive chain properly.

    I'm one of those people who bring their vehicles to operating temps before driving off, engines being metal have expansion rates and tolerances built in so they give the best performance when at specific temperatures. If you drive your vehicle before it has reached operating temps, extra wear will start to occur. As we use SVO, it helps because as soon as its started I switch over and by the time it's ready to drive, the VO is at the right temp.

    Same for shutting down the engine, I always let it idle for 2 minutes to allow oil flows and tolerances to adjust, instead of suddenly stopping and leaving very high temperatures and oil pressures. Most people forget when you shutdown a hot engine, internal temperatures rise initially, unless heat is dissipated, which happens with pre shutdown idling.

  4. #4
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    Re: Driving a Diesel - Best Practice?

    Yes make sure you let it warm up - i try to run mine for at least a couple of minutes in the morning (until my temp gauge shows 40c for Water) to be kind to the engine.

    Such an old motor it would be worthwhile doing an engine flush - everyone has their pet product/way of doing this - i use a product FOC - from http://www.costeffective.com.au/ and have done so on all my diesels.

    I also add their ANtiWear product to the engine - about 20ml a month and the transmission - about 10ml per month - the engine sounds better when this added.

    I personally swear by Bypass Engine Oil filters - again others seem to have varying opinions http://jackmasteroilfilters.com.au/ - i never change my engine oil with this - just once a month change the toilet roll filter and top the engine oil up - thus adding new detergents etc to the oil

    Again depending on how your transmission has been treated you might want to get it flushed out also (is it manual or auto ?)

    Craig
    Holden Suburban K2500 1998 6.5L Turbo GM engine
    210,000KMs (90,000 on new crate motor)

    Currently 2 tanks in and working - 90 litre BIO tank and main tank of 160L WVO

    30 plate FPHE in Engine bay and Helton Dual coil in rear
    Walbro FRB-5 pusher pumps x 2

    50,000KM on Veg and 10,000Km on B100

  5. #5
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    Re: Driving a Diesel - Best Practice?

    Personally, I would be very hesitant to use any type of "flush" in an engine.
    Is there any reason to believe you have a big build up of crud?
    As long as the engine is running OK I would leave well enough alone.
    If you run a flush in your engine oil and it starts breaking deposits loose you could end up with blocked oil passages and a damaged engine.

    I normally start my car and drive away withing 15- 30 seconds of starting- even in the winter. No hard acceleration for a few blocks and I am good to go for the rest of the day. I use biodiesel so fuel viscosity is not a concern
    Last edited by tillyfromparadise; 12th December 2013 at 08:53 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Driving a Diesel - Best Practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by tillyfromparadise View Post
    Personally, I would be very hesitant to use any type of "flush" in an engine.
    Is there any reason to believe you have a big build up of crud?
    As long as the engine is running OK I would leave well enough alone.
    If you run a flush in your engine oil and it starts breaking deposits loose you could end up with blocked oil passages and a damaged engine.

    I normally start my car and drive away withing 15- 30 seconds of starting- even in the winter. No hard acceleration for a few blocks and I am good to go for the rest of the day. I use biodiesel so fuel viscosity is not a concern
    Not understanding this one sorry Tilly. The purpose of the flush is to break loose any and all crap and to get it out of the oil galleys in the engine. Based on your comments (i am inferring) - you seem to agree their could be crap in there - and if you break it free it could be bad - surely if you do not break it out and it comes out of its own free will at some point this could be far worse ?

    The way i have always done it when i have purchased a new diesel is to run one of the flush products - as the manufacturers recommend - drain current oil, fill with sacrificial oil, add flush and run for 1/2 hour at fast idle - then drain again.

    Whenever i have done this the oil that comes out is always very thick and full of sludge - so it is definitely carrying something out of the engine with it.

    As an aside - even though people claim that bypass filters do not work - i have just done the same process above on my suburban - which is the first time in 3 years that it has had the oil dropped and the sacrificial oil came out looking like it was nearly new - still slightly black - but definitely no sludge or thickness to it.

    Craig
    Holden Suburban K2500 1998 6.5L Turbo GM engine
    210,000KMs (90,000 on new crate motor)

    Currently 2 tanks in and working - 90 litre BIO tank and main tank of 160L WVO

    30 plate FPHE in Engine bay and Helton Dual coil in rear
    Walbro FRB-5 pusher pumps x 2

    50,000KM on Veg and 10,000Km on B100

  7. #7
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    Re: Driving a Diesel - Best Practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by craigcurtin View Post
    Not understanding this one sorry Tilly. The purpose of the flush is to break loose any and all crap and to get it out of the oil galleys in the engine. Based on your comments (i am inferring) - you seem to agree their could be crap in there - and if you break it free it could be bad - surely if you do not break it out and it comes out of its own free will at some point this could be far worse ?
    I think the real purpose of most engine flushes is to relieve people of money they do not need to spend.
    There could be crud built up in your engine, you never know.
    I do not know if there is or isn't any crud in my engine.
    However, if there is crud built up, it is not causing any problems because my car is running fine. I sure have no intentions of trying to stir the crud up to get it moving in my oiling system. The last thing I want to do is "break lose" any crud that might be there and give it the chance of clogging oil lines and causing oil starvation damage to the engine.
    I have never run any type of flush in any of my engines
    I do not know why it would be far worse if it broke lose on it's own.

    Don't fix it if it isn't broke


    The way i have always done it when i have purchased a new diesel is to run one of the flush products - as the manufacturers recommend - drain current oil, fill with sacrificial oil, add flush and run for 1/2 hour at fast idle - then drain again.
    What manufacturers recommend this? Not the engine manufacturers I would guess.



    Whenever i have done this the oil that comes out is always very thick and full of sludge - so it is definitely carrying something out of the engine with it.
    You mean that after you drain the old oil and then fill it with "sacrificial" oil with flush added and run it for a half hour, when you then drain the hot sacrificial oil you find that it is now very thick and full of sludge?
    It sounds pretty drastic.
    Where are you getting your second hand diesels?
    How many diesel engines have you done this with?

    EDIT
    You have not been buying cars from my brother in law have you?
    He had a car just stop dead while going to work. Problem was linked to the fact that he bought the car new three years earlier and in that time had never changed the engine oil
    Last edited by tillyfromparadise; 13th December 2013 at 06:01 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Driving a Diesel - Best Practice?

    i'm a bit like tilly in regards to warm ups and additives, regular oil changes, and i replace the filter each time and normally fill it with oil before putting it on where i can.
    i take easy for about 10 klms especially if i have a heavy load on to warm up the diff and gearbox.
    cheers stuart

  9. #9
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    Re: Driving a Diesel - Best Practice?

    Having a nice clean engine is not going to do any harm. One guy here flushes his 1HD-FTE with four litres of biodiesel and runs it at idle for a few minutes. He runs it on bio as fuel too, and being direct injection, his oil stays clean for thousands of kilometres after oil change, looks like honey.

    IDI is always going to create more soot, more black oil, than a DI. But surely as long as you follow manufacturers oil change schedules and use oil within spec, then there's nothing particularly wrong with this approach, like Tilly.
    Nor is there anything wrong with running a flush if that's what you like the idea of.

    Tim
    Toyota Landcruiser 1988 HJ61 Manual Wagon
    12H-T turbo Direct Injection.
    Twin Tank setup runs on 100% WVO after warm up. 30 plate FPHE with 80C output, 12mm fuel lines
    Start up and shut down electric fuel pump feeds IP direct.
    Front 4WDSytstems Lokka, Rear ARB airlokka for quick escapes up sandhills. Performance GTurbo with 600mm FMIC gives 450nm @ 1700rpm at 20psi boost.

  10. #10
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    Re: Driving a Diesel - Best Practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by tillyfromparadise View Post
    I think the real purpose of most engine flushes is to relieve people of money they do not need to spend.
    Exactly.
    There are endless products in the huge aftermarket auto industry that are completely and utterly useless. This is just another.
    If you look at what is in them, it's all the same stuff which is available at Bunnings for $11 bux a litre I paid the other week.



    However, if there is crud built up, it is not causing any problems because my car is running fine. I sure have no intentions of trying to stir the crud up to get it moving in my oiling system. The last thing I want to do is "break lose" any crud that might be there and give it the chance of clogging oil lines and causing oil starvation damage to the engine.

    It makes me wonder how many people have worked on engines or stopped to give a moments thought as to how the reality adds up to the fearmongering these products work on. An engine with regular oil changes of the right type of oil with a working thermostat and otherwise running and serviced as it should has no to very little "crud" build up. That's the first thing.

    Secondly, engines that have some build up have it on non rotating parts. The only parts that can have build up of any possible concern are generally the drain gallerys not the supply galleries because once there is any restriction the oil pressure pushes it out.

    3rdly, any engine that has blocked gallerys from lack of oil changes, no thermostat etc is already stuffed and has excessive wear that makes the build up from the lack of oil changes a moot point. The smallest galleries are the ones oiling the camshaft(s) so if they are fine, everything else will be. If they are not then the engine is definately a limited proposition anyway and a chemical can't clean where it can't get to, IE, an already blocked gallery.

    Not last or least, ever TRIED removing sludge or buildup from an engine? Nothing short of mechanical scraping or intense chemical/ heat treatments will shift the stuff. I have never even heard of some of this stuff breaking away and clogging galleries. It usually just sits in places with adequate clearance and doesn't move or interfere with the engines operation. I fail to see the point of making the engines internals any cleaner than what regular oil changes afford anyway.

    What I have seen repeatedly and was a problem on some cars is small, hard bits of carbon that eventually block the oil pickup screens.
    If you have ever tried to clean one of these screens, you know how hard it is and that the fix even backyarders employ is to throw the thing to buggery and replace it with a new one because it's near impossible to remove the stuff without buggering the screen.
    To imagine that some diluted additive is going to shift this stuff in 5 or 15 min while the engine is running and pulling it into the screen is a leap of faith from people I'd like to sell some shares in the Sydney Harbour bridge to.



    I have never run any type of flush in any of my engines
    Thats because you are a realist and a person that can think for themselves.

    I do not know why it would be far worse if it broke lose on it's own.
    I don't know what people are so worried about "Breaking Loose" in the first place? Chunks of diamond hard carbon the size of gravel? Litres of tar like gloop that are going to wrap around the crank or pickup like plastic bags?
    Forget about the hype, can someone tell me with logic and reality applied, exactly what is so terrible in their engine that's potentially going to "Break away" and cause so much catastrophic damage???
    Any soft sludge that "Breaks away" is going to be picked up in the oil filter the same as any hard bits that make it through the filter screen. The oil goes through the filter before it goes to the bearings and cam so what's the difference about what's stuck on the non moving surfaces?


    You mean that after you drain the old oil and then fill it with "sacrificial" oil with flush added and run it for a half hour, when you then drain the hot sacrificial oil you find that it is now very thick and full of sludge?
    It sounds pretty drastic.
    Where are you getting your second hand diesels?
    I'm wondering the same thing.
    I hate to think what the rest of the vehicle must be like if the previous owners maintenance was so slack as to not change the oil regularly so as to cause this sludge proliferation in the first place.
    The engine internal condition is real easy to check, just look under the oil filler cap. If it's clean, chances are the engine is. If there is buildup, the engine has no chance of being well maintained. If you can as on most engines, have a look at the rocker gear through the filler hole. . If it's clean and sludge free, the rest of the engine is. If it's full of crap, well then why in the hell would you buy a vehicle like that ??? If the engine oil wasn't changed, hate to think what the transmission and diff is going to be like not to mention the last time the coolant and brake fluid was changed!

    Checking under the oil cap and the rocker gear through the filler hole is pretty basic stuff you do when buying a used car!


    EDIT
    You have not been buying cars from my brother in law have you?
    He had a car just stop dead while going to work. Problem was linked to the fact that he bought the car new three years earlier and in that time had never changed the engine oil
    There are a number of rental cars companys now that do the same thing to save money on servicing. They only keep them a limited time so they top the oil up when needed but don't change it. Cars won't show the effects till they have got rid of them so what do they care? As long as it lowers their running cost, all good.

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