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Discussion Starter #1
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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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.
 

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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
 

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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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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Ya, lots of diesels here. #1 diesel is used in the winter. At this point my only diesel is my furnace :D 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.
 

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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 :D 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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Ya, lots of diesels here. #1 diesel is used in the winter. At this point my only diesel is my furnace :D 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."
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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.

 

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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! character0080.gif

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.
 

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No hat, even! View attachment 105

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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Back in January of 1975 drove a Ford Pinto to Houghton, Michigan and then to Copper Harbor in near blizzard conditions then back to Houghton. Snowed about 20" that night in Houghton.... the Pinto was up to the window sill in snow. The stupid things we did in college!
 

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Snyd, Before I purchased the ED I called Genes Chrysler, a the Anchorage Dealer, and a few others in the northern part of Canada. I spoke to the service department in every location I called, My specific questions where on the Air suspension of the Jeep Grand Cherokees and the few Ram's that have had it and how they held up in the extreme cold. Most dealers said they had seen no issues. I know your question was more about the engine, but my brother has a F250 Diesel. Had it for several years now and hes never had problems starting it in the cold... If he remembered to plug up... with that in mind and like you stated before at our low low temps the rest of the vehicle isn't very happy but that's to be expected.

Also, If you're interested in purchasing a vehicle I strongly suggest you don't buy it from Genes Chrysler. You can save $9,000 Just buy calling Dave Smith Motors in Kellogg ID. Genes Wants $4,000 above MSRP on all there vehicles. Dave Smith wants Invoice. They'll even ship it to you. You can message me with questions in that regard. I'm flying down on the 27th to pick up my ED.
 

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Back in January of 1975 drove a Ford Pinto to Houghton, Michigan and then to Copper Harbor in near blizzard conditions then back to Houghton. Snowed about 20" that night in Houghton.... the Pinto was up to the window sill in snow. The stupid things we did in college!
I don't understand Pintos but I understand Houghton. I'm an '05 Tech grad.
 

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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 that once the engine resumes idle, the combustion chamber temperature will level off in a minute or less so however long you would figure it to take for any galling to occur would be an excessive time, that said, fuel quality/additives could prevent such damage, think, Schaefer brand fuel additive with micron moly.
It should almost be taught as general knowledge in school mechanics class that an engine can produce enough heat to completely liquify (melt all metal) all of its parts in 1 hour.
 

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For the Canadian folks this won’t be news but for anyone in the states if you can find P40 fuel that’s the ticket. They take the wax out of it and it has a pour point of -40. The key is not to mix it with anything. It’s got the lubricity of #2 and the performance of D grade but a better pour point than #1. Good luck.
 

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i have considerable experience driving long distance at -40*c and below (coldest was -45)
2 things you need...a winter front of some type,and an antigel fuel treatment of choice.
the winter front,due to the fact that after several hours driving in temps that cold,our eco's intercooler is so efficient,it starts to freeze internally,due to moisture in the air....this will eventually limit air flow,and you'll get a code.this will usually end up tossing you into limp mode.happened to me twice.both occasions in remote areas.also,winter fronts help with snow ingress...see pic below.

antigel,because even P40 fuel can gell if it sits static for several hours at -40 or less...so you get to come out of your hotel/motel on a stupid cold morning,and get yourself going down the hi-way,only to have a gelling problem,until things get fully warmed up.my choice is Power Service in the white bottle.

while its true our DPF tanks have heaters,they are barely adequate ,and miserable failures at any temp below-20 or so.
if your computer programming does not allow for reductions in DEF use at extreme temps,you could throw a code.iv'e put over 30'000 km on my truck in winter driving...mostly in fairly extreme conditions.
 

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I have limited driving time with my diesel at -40 ambient. A those temps I usually run my gassers as they keep coolant temp better and keep the windshield defrosted better.

What I did find is that the winter blend up here is treated well. I never had any fuel related issues what so ever. I drew some fuel out of the water separator at -30C during some trouble shooting and found it to be still quite in liquid form, no fog or any evidence of gelling.

I still don't know what they mean by prolonged idle times. In my 3500, the first few 15k oil change indexes I had about 60 idle hours per index. This last one was 100 hours, most of which was cold shorter trips. 10 to 20 minutes of idle time in the morning and 10-20 at the end of the day as my wife daily drove the thing all winter, 5 to 6 days a week. This last index was tested and showed no trace of fuel in the oil, while the preceding showed as high as 2.6ish on less idle time.

Mind you the HD trucks are a different animal and your mileage may vary.
 
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