Ecodiesel at 40 below - Cold Weather Testing

Ecodiesel at 40 below - Cold Weather Testing

This is a discussion on Ecodiesel at 40 below - Cold Weather Testing within the RAM 1500 Diesel General Discussion forums, part of the RAM 1500 EcoDiesel Forum category; Have any of you seen any cold weather testing results for the Ecodiesel? I'm talking COLD, as in 30 - 40 below zero and colder ...

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Thread: Ecodiesel at 40 below - Cold Weather Testing

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    RAM Jr Member Snyd's Avatar
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    Ecodiesel at 40 below - Cold Weather Testing

    Have any of you seen any cold weather testing results for the Ecodiesel? I'm talking COLD, as in 30 - 40 below zero and colder like we have here in Fairbanks Alaska.

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    RAM Guru Bigfoot's Avatar
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    Because you live there the best info is probably to talk to local owners of modern diesel cars and trucks. There is nothing special about the EcoDiesel's design so any experience they have should apply to you. I asked the western region Ram rep about cold weather starting and he replied that he had run the EcoDiesel for a few weeks in Canada with some minus temps and no problems. I realize that minus 40 is in an extreme range, though, and will require special handling--winter-mix fuel and a block heater at the minimum.
    "The avalanche has already started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote." - Kosh Naranek

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    LCR
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    This is 100% speculation but I think part of the delay was cold weather testing. I know a few people in the far north that are having issues with the emissions in the cold that no one else I know south has had issues with. If there is a problem you expect it to be across the board and not related to the cold, The delay in launch and emissions or other epa stuff was to wait for it to get cold and perform testing.

    Things are again rolling forward and people have noted that the owners manual/diesel supplement is now in the fourth edition
    Last edited by LCR; 03-02-2014 at 10:53 AM.

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    RAM Regular EgoDiesel's Avatar
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    If you look up the stats for the fuel and not just the engine, the fuel itself starts to have problems hazing and "gelling" when it gets too cold. The temperatures you're talking are the trouble range FOR DIESEL FUEL not just this particular engine. If you can run a conventional diesel you can run this engine provided you adhere to the warmup periods and don't let your fuel sit in the tank without the engine running for multiple days. Because the heating unit for fuel delivery is in the filter itself, your fuel has to be moving to be viable in -40 or colder. BUT...don't think for one second that makes this engine at a disadvantage because I was driving the F250 for work in -32 with winter diesel and the slut froze right up and had to be towed indoors. Any diesel engine expecting to run in those temps needs a block heater, the right fuel, and a little forethought but it will run fine.

    Here's a link to Wiki's diesel fuel article, it has 2 temperature charts for the operation of various diesel blends in extreme temps.

    Winter diesel fuel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I also find it hard to believe that the delay is "temperature testing", because the Grand Cherokee uses the same fuel delivery components and its delays were related to stock. I was specifically at the dealer to test drive after 3 days of -27 or worse and it started like a dream with regular Winter Diesel(and if your temps are as cold as you say they blend Arctic Diesel).

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    RAM Jr Member Snyd's Avatar
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    Ya, lots of diesels here. #1 diesel is used in the winter. At this point my only diesel is my furnace They run diesel pickups up North on the Slope and will idle them 24/7 at times. Lots of folks drive diesel pickups as cars here as well and do the same thing at temps colder than -30. Let them idle a lot like in the grocery store parking lot or while at church or the movies. I was curious to know if there was anything different with this engine that might cause issues. I guess the DEF systems have been out a while and they must a figured out how to deal with it huh?

    On another note. I have a friend that has a Ford EcoBoost and with the direct injection it doesn't always like to start at 30 below or colder even with being plugged in with block, pan and battery heaters. He's had some issues. Different animal I know but 30 below affects that rig in ways 20 below doesn't. Hopefully not so with the EcoDiesel.
    Last edited by Snyd; 03-02-2014 at 03:48 PM.

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    RAM Regular EgoDiesel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    Ya, lots of diesels here. #1 diesel is used in the winter. At this point my only diesel is my furnace They run diesel pickups up North on the Slope and will idle them 24/7 at times. Lots of folks drive diesel pickups as cars here as well and do the same thing at temps colder than -30. Let them idle a lot like in the grocery store parking lot or while at church or the movies. I was curious to know if there was anything different with this engine that might cause issues. I guess the DEF systems have been out a while and they must a figured out how to deal with it huh?

    On another note. I have a friend that has a Ford EcoBoost and with the direct injection it doesn't always like to start at 30 below or colder even with being plugged in with block, pan and battery heaters. He's had some issues. Different animal I know but 30 below affects that rig in ways 20 below doesn't. Hopefully not so with the EcoDiesel.
    Extreme temperature change tends to exacerbate an issue the Ecoboost has with moisture confusing the intake sensors and sending the truck into "limp mode", which is also why it has trouble starting(because the engine is confused and can't get the air/fuel ratio right due to not being able to figure out the air volume). I looooooooove turbocharged gas engines but diesel reigns supreme.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    Ya, lots of diesels here. #1 diesel is used in the winter. At this point my only diesel is my furnace They run diesel pickups up North on the Slope and will idle them 24/7 at times. Lots of folks drive diesel pickups as cars here as well and do the same thing at temps colder than -30. Let them idle a lot like in the grocery store parking lot or while at church or the movies. I was curious to know if there was anything different with this engine that might cause issues. I guess the DEF systems have been out a while and they must a figured out how to deal with it huh?
    The Ram's DEF tank and fuel filter have heaters. I will defer to owners about the need to keep the engine running at those extreme temps. The coldest temps I have ever been in were around -20°F. The manual for the EcoDiesel states:

    "Avoid prolonged idling. Long periods of idling may be harmful to your engine because combustion chamber temperatures can drop so low that the fuel may not burn completely. Incomplete combustion allows carbon and varnish to form on piston rings, cylinder head valves, and injector nozzles. Also, the unburned fuel can enter the crankcase, diluting the oil and causing rapid wear to the engine."
    "The avalanche has already started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote." - Kosh Naranek

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    RAM Jr Member Snyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfoot View Post
    The Ram's DEF tank and fuel filter have heaters. I will defer to owners about the need to keep the engine running at those extreme temps. The coldest temps I have ever been in were around -20°F. The manual for the EcoDiesel states:

    "Avoid prolonged idling. Long periods of idling may be harmful to your engine because combustion chamber temperatures can drop so low that the fuel may not burn completely. Incomplete combustion allows carbon and varnish to form on piston rings, cylinder head valves, and injector nozzles. Also, the unburned fuel can enter the crankcase, diluting the oil and causing rapid wear to the engine."
    I think this holds true with most diesels which is why they need to have high/fast idles on them for idling in Arctic temps. Which then leads back to my original wonderings regarding this diesel in the Arctic. Maybe they came to that conclusion after cold weather testing. I wonder what "prolonged idling" is. 30 minutes? 60 minutes? 12 hrs? I wonder if it will be a viable option as a fleet vehicle in these temps if they can't let it run all day like they can with HD trucks. I wonder what kind of heaters they have on the DEF tank and lines. Isn't that stuff mostly water? I wonder what temp it freezes at and what problems it could cause.

    It's amazing what difference it makes when you get past 20 below down to 30 and colder. HUGE difference. We live in town and can walk many places. We try not to drive when it's 30 below or colder. It's tough on equipment at those temps. Shocks and tires freeze up hard, brakes and other hydraulics get stiff and are not as responsive. Power steering hoses blow, fan belts and timing belts can snap just from starting the engine. Plastic bumpers shatter like glass in "fender benders". Transmissions groan and metals are stressed at the molecular level when going form 40-50 below up to 200 degrees. Moisture in exhaust freezes in the air causing ice fog so thick you can't see 30 yds. We get happy when it warms up to 20 below. Then we start driving again, ice fog goes away, suspension and brakes come back and the tranny doesn't groan. Here's me on my front porch in downtown Fairbanks on a January day. We've had -50.

    Bigfoot and Jeff1500 like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    I think this holds true with most diesels which is why they need to have high/fast idles on them for idling in Arctic temps. Which then leads back to my original wonderings regarding this diesel in the Arctic. Maybe they came to that conclusion after cold weather testing. I wonder what "prolonged idling" is. 30 minutes? 60 minutes? 12 hrs? I wonder if it will be a viable option as a fleet vehicle in these temps if they can't let it run all day like they can with HD trucks. I wonder what kind of heaters they have on the DEF tank and lines. Isn't that stuff mostly water? I wonder what temp it freezes at and what problems it could cause.

    It's amazing what difference it makes when you get past 20 below down to 30 and colder. HUGE difference. We live in town and can walk many places. We try not to drive when it's 30 below or colder. It's tough on equipment at those temps. Shocks and tires freeze up hard, brakes and other hydraulics get stiff and are not as responsive. Power steering hoses blow, fan belts and timing belts can snap just from starting the engine. Plastic bumpers shatter like glass in "fender benders". Transmissions groan and metals are stressed at the molecular level when going form 40-50 below up to 200 degrees. Moisture in exhaust freezes in the air causing ice fog so thick you can't see 30 yds. We get happy when it warms up to 20 below. Then we start driving again, ice fog goes away, suspension and brakes come back and the tranny doesn't groan. Here's me on my front porch in downtown Fairbanks on a January day. We've had -50.

    No hat, even! Name:  character0080.gif
Views: 8584
Size:  1.6 KB

    There is a marketing video on Ram's cold weather testing although it sounds like they may go down to only -20°F.



    Reminds me of how we used to spend New Years at a primitive resort over 9000 feet up in the California mountains. It got really cold there but we gathered in the main lodge and did party skits. One guy always performed a rendition of The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert W. Service that has these lines (it's a long poem):

    And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm,
    in the heart of the furnace roar;
    And he wore a smile you could see a mile,
    and he said, "Please close that door.
    It's fine in here, but I greatly fear
    you'll let in the cold and storm--
    Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee,
    it's the first time I've been warm."


    Good times.
    "The avalanche has already started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote." - Kosh Naranek

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    RAM Regular EgoDiesel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfoot View Post
    No hat, even! Name:  character0080.gif
Views: 8584
Size:  1.6 KB

    There is a marketing video on Ram's cold weather testing although it sounds like they may go down to only -20°F.



    Reminds me of how we used to spend New Years at a primitive resort over 9000 feet up in the California mountains. It got really cold there but we gathered in the main lodge and did party skits. One guy always performed a rendition of The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert W. Service that has these lines (it's a long poem):

    And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm,
    in the heart of the furnace roar;
    And he wore a smile you could see a mile,
    and he said, "Please close that door.
    It's fine in here, but I greatly fear
    you'll let in the cold and storm--
    Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee,
    it's the first time I've been warm."


    Good times.
    celsius or american? =p

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