• Turbo Diesel Register

    by Published on 02-04-2016 02:35 PM

    Issue 91 of the Turbo Diesel Register is in the mail. US addresses should expect delivery within the next 7 – 14 days. International addresses should allow 2 – 4 weeks for delivery. Next week, TDR subscribers will receive a link via email to access the digital edition of the magazine. If you do not receive that link, contact rpatton@ix.netcom.com for assistance.

    Two additional items are included in the cover wrap of Issue 91:

    • TDR member decal for 2016
    • TDR membership brochure

    When the membership brochure arrives, take a minute to review it (did we miss anything?). Write your name and member number on the form so that we can acknowledge your recruiting efforts. Makes copies. Then put them in your glovebox to hand out to other Ram truck owners you meet. Thank you, in advance, for helping us grow the TDR membership.

    What can you expect from TDR Issue 91?

    • Doug Leno gives us a report on Third Generation suspension upgrades.
    • Joe Donnelly gives us an update on 2013 and newer emission systems.
    • VW is in the news. We provide insights that tell the complete story.
    • FCA’s Sergio Marchionne is in the news. Again. We strive to give you a complete update.
    • The SEMA Show and the state of the performance marketplace are in the news. Ditto, the complete story.
    • As always, members helping members in our best of the internet and Member2Member columns.

    Late Breaking News – Fifth Generation Ram HD Trucks Pushed to 2019.

    In issue 91, we talk about the FCA five-year product plan that was released in the summer of 2014. That plan would have the next generation 1500 trucks being introduced in 2017 followed by the Fifth Generation Turbo Diesel HD trucks in 2018. In that article, I speculate (page 49) and Greg Whale speculates (page 71) that these introductions will be delayed to 2018/2019 respectively. We both cite articles from Automotive News as the basis for our speculation.

    So what’s “late breaking” that would confirm the speculation? Automotive News’ Larry Vellequette writes “Sergio’s Big Bet.” Quoting from that article, “The Sterling Heights Assembly will be retooled into a body-on-frame to build the next generation of the Ram 1500 pickup. The start of production of the next generation 1500 is set to begin January 8, 2018, sources told Automotive News.”

    So if the conventional plan of introducing HD trucks in the follow year holds truck, we’ll see the Fifth Generation Turbo Diesel in 2019.

    For Issue 92 (May delivery), we’ve got some additional intriguement (yep, we made that word up) to share as the staff endeavors to bring you the “complete story.”

    We hope you enjoy Issue 91.

    Robert Patton, Editor
    by Published on 12-30-2015 11:21 AM

    Is It Cold Yet?

    Not here on the east coast. The neighbor who is in the clothing business tells my wife that winter apparel sales are way off. Likewise, block heater plugs are in plentiful supply at Geno’s Garage.

    Nonetheless, the cold weather will set in, and you should be prepared. We all trust that the fuel folks look at the weather map and blend the fuel for the upcoming temperatures. Regardless, have you given any thought to fuel additives for the winter months?

    I recall several years ago (actually 14 years ago – 2002) I wrote an article titled, “Is Premium Diesel Worth the Premium?” My research was aided by data from the folks at Research Laboratories. They conducted the actual tests on the fuels.

    TDR writer, Doug Leno, wrote a follow-up to my article in 2007 (see TDR Issue 55, pages 48 – 49).

    Here we are in 2016, and I have another 16-page Research Laboraties report in front of me, “Performance Comparison of Winter Diesel Fuel Additives.” The report was done in plenty of time for the Winter season (October 15, 2015 publish date) and my apologies for not posting it sooner (yes, it has been busy.) Likewise, I wish that time had allowed me to write another summary for you, but time has slipped away.

    Without further delay, “Winter Additives.” Read the full 16-page article by clicking here.

    Related TDR Articles (all downloadable below):

    by Published on 12-14-2015 04:50 PM

    FCA US LLC Scores Wards 10 Best Engines 'Three-Peat' With EcoDiesel V-6; Lone Diesel on List for Second Straight Year

    • 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 named one of Wards 10 Best Engines for third straight year – the longest tenure of any engine on annual list
    • Lone clean diesel among Wards 10 Best for second consecutive year
    • Sixth consecutive year FCA US is represented on prestigious list
    • 3.0-liter EcoDiesel in Ram 1500 produces best-in-class fuel-economy ratings of 21/29/24 (city/highway/combined) mpg
    • Delivers best-in-class highway-cycle fuel-economy rating of 30 mpg in 2016 Jeep® Grand Cherokee, the most-awarded SUV ever

    Dec. 10, 2015, Auburn Hills, Mich. – The FCA US LLC 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 is one of Wards 10 Best Engines for 2016.

    It is the third consecutive year EcoDiesel has been named to the prestigious list – the longest tenure of any 2016 honoree. This also marks the second straight year the EcoDiesel has been the lone representative of clean diesel technology among Wards 10 Best Engines.

    “We are never content to rest on our laurels, so our engineering team worked overtime to make a great engine even greater,” said Bob Lee, Vice President and Head of Engine, Powertrain and Electrified Propulsion Systems Engineering, FCA North America. “For model-year 2016, customers who choose our 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 will experience more of the attributes they were seeking when FCA US became the first automaker to equip a light-duty pickup with clean diesel technology.”

    FCA US powertrain engineers introduced new strategies to better manage combustion in the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the 2016 Ram 1500 pickup at 21 miles per gallon (mpg) city, 29 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined.

    Further, FCA US engineers developed additional controls to shape torque demand. The outcome improves part-throttle performance during rolling pedal tip-in, as well as acceleration from stop.

    The 2016 EcoDiesel’s enhanced response affords greater control of the engine’s prodigious torque for a driving experience that is smoother and more comfortable.

    "The 3.0-liter from FCA was one of three diesels in pickup trucks we tested this year for Wards 10 Best Engines, and we expected a tough fight among them all,” said Tom Murphy, executive editor WardsAuto World. “But the Ram 1500 proved superior and continues to impress us with ideal measures of power, torque, refinement and luxury-car smoothness.”

    The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 also is available in the 2016 Jeep® Grand Cherokee, the most-awarded SUV ever. When so equipped, the Grand Cherokee is rated at 30 mpg on the highway, which is best in class.

    In addition, the EcoDiesel-powered Grand Cherokee boasts unsurpassed driving range of more than 730 miles.

    In the 21-year history of Wards 10 Best Engines, seven engines produced by FCA US and its predecessor companies have accounted for 16 awards. The 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 and 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 accounted for six and three trophies, respectively. The remaining winners were:

    • 83-kW electric motor (Fiat 500e)
    • 4.7-liter SOHC V-8 (Jeep Grand Cherokee)
    • 5.9-liter Cummins Turbodiesel I-6 (Ram HD)
    • 6.2-liter Supercharged HEMI Hellcat V-8 (Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and Charger SRT Hellcat)

    Specifications: 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6

    Type and Description: 60-degree V-type, liquid-cooled
    Displacement: 182 cu. in. (2988 cu. cm)
    Bore x Stroke: 3.27 in. x 3.60 in. (83 mm. x 92 mm.)
    Valve System: Chain-driven DOHC, 24 valves
    Fuel Injection: Common-rail, 2000 bar, Solenoid Injectors
    Construction: Cast-iron block, aluminum alloy heads
    Compression Ratio: 16.5:1
    Power: 240 hp (179 kW) at 3,600 rpm
    Torque: 420 lb.-ft. (569 N•m) at 2,000 rpm
    Max. Engine Speed: 4,800 rpm (electronically limited)
    Fuel Requirement: Ultra Low-sulfur diesel
    Oil Capacity: 10.5 quarts (7.8 liters)
    Coolant Capacity: 12 quarts (11.4 liters)
    Emission Controls: Cooled EGR, oxidation catalyst, diesel particulate filter, SCR w/urea injection

    About FCA North America Powertrain
    Rejuvenated when the Company was established in 2009, FCA US powertrain organization has intensified its efforts to develop engines that deliver superior performance, improved fuel economy, reliability and driving enjoyment. Since 2009, nearly half of the FCA US LLC total manufacturing outlay (more than $2 billion) has been invested in powertrain projects.
    by Published on 11-12-2015 03:30 PM

    If you’ve not browsed the “TDR Members Only Area” of the website lately, I encourage you to do so. We have worked all year to add more technical information to this area. This area is now centered on the digital version of the current magazine (TDR Issue 90) as well as our Buyer’s Guides to help you and your friends find the right new or used truck. You can access this area from the left-navigation bar. To access this information, you do need to be logged into the website. If you need help with your login information, please email: rpatton@ix.netcom.com.

    Here is the schedule of releases we’ve published this year:

    February – TDR Members Only Area Launched (left navigation bar)

    March – Diagnostic Trouble Codes Published

    April – 2010 – 2012 Buyer’s Guide Published

    May – 2013 Buyer’s Guide Published

    June – Dodge/Cummins Historical Perspective Published

    July – (Kevin) “Cameron Collection” Published

    August – Mark Barnes’ “What Makes Us Tick?” Published

    September – 2003 – 2009 Third Generation Buyer’s Guide Published

    October – 2014 Buyer’s Guide Published

    November – 2015 Buyer’s Guide Published

    This year-long project started with a simple challenge by a member for us to update the original 329-page Buyer’s Guide to make it easier to read. At 329 pages, I didn’t see how the Buyer’s Guide could be updated and made easier to read. Hence the smaller, year-specific versions that we have added throughout the year.

    The original Buyer’s Guide is still in the TDR Members Only Area as are the updated “Perfect Collection” and “Technical Service Bulletin” sections.

    I give a tip of the hat to Bob Pinkowski (the guy behind the scenes) for putting all of these publications together. Thanks, Bob.

    TDR Members, enjoy and tell others about the Turbo Diesel Register.

    Robert Patton, Editor
    Turbo Diesel Register
    Phone: (770) 886-8877
    Fax: (770) 886-8811
    Email: rpatton@ix.netcom.com
    Web: http://www.turbodieselregister.com
    by Published on 11-11-2015 02:10 PM

    Each year we continue to be honored to receive the number of photographs we do for use in the TDR Annual Calendar. Again this year it was extremely difficult to select just a few photographs for the calendar. We had more than one argument over which trucks would be selected and in which month each truck would be featured.

    To each of you who submitted photographs, we sincerely thank you for both your time and your work. We enjoyed receiving each and every entry.
    Congratulations to those TDR Members whose photographs were featured in this year's calendar:

    Front Cover - Brian Edwards - Up to its axles in mud - Glendive, MT
    January - Travis Skaar - Mackay, ID
    February - Richard Szklany - Asheboro, NC
    March - Andrew Villablanca - Malibu, CA
    April - Paul McBride - Omaha, NE
    May - Eugene Story - Gallatin, MO
    June - Albert Ferrante - Melville, NY
    July - Bruce McPhail - Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada
    August - Kerry and Rebecca VanEetten - Ovid, NY
    September - Patrick Walsh - Herndon,VA
    October - Jim Miller - Nezpierce, ID
    November - Ray Skorski - Coventry, RI
    December - Clint Hahn - Hammond, MT
    Rear Cover - Ray Wherley, Al Trice, Miranda Ward, Larry and Barbara Seiger, John Innocenti, Greg Greenall, Brian Bender, Robert Britton, Clark Fish,
    William Christner, Nick Larson, John Poccia, Don Blaisdell, Nick Spottock, Travis Klashinsky, Josh Schneider.

    Now get those cameras back out and start working on your entries for next year!

    Don't be discouraged if your photograph was not chosen for this year's calendar. Many of your photographs will be used throughout 2015 - 2016 in the TDR magazine. Be on the lookout.

    Click here to download a .pdf copy of the 2016 TDR Member Calendar.
    TDR2016 Calendar-DWNLDSm.pdf.
    by Published on 11-11-2015 01:54 PM

    Turbo Diesel Register, Issue 90 print copies are in the mail. US addresses should expect delivery within the next 7 – 14 days. International addresses should allow 2 – 4 weeks for delivery. TDR subscribers should receive a link via email to access the digital version of the magazine. If you do not receive that link email rpatton@ix.netcom.com for assistance.

    Included in this issue are the 2016 TDR Member Calendar as well as the annual Ram Technical Service Bulletin summary.

    The folks at FCA have been in the news, and we step back from the sensational headlines to bring you a more balanced look at the stor(ies).

    Along with the problems/solutions that TDR Members provide, you will also find:

    • Out in the Boondocks – Travel in the Great Southwest (page 62)
    • Aisin Transmission Shudder – How to fix (page 24)
    • Twilight Zone – Update on Autonomous Vehicles (page 54)
    • The Saga of Sergio Marchionne – Where is FCA Headed? (page 30)

    As a part of the “Tailgating” editorial, I ask you to focus your attention to our website’s left navigation “TDR Member Only Areas.” Throughout the year, we have added several Buyer’s Guides to this area as well as TSB Updates and Ram Diagnostic Trouble Codes. Please take a minute to review this material as your knowledge of these resources can help that friend of yours find just the right new or used Turbo Diesel truck.

    We hope that you enjoy Issue 90.

    And as always, thank you for your support of the Turbo Diesel Register.

    Robert Patton, Editor
    Turbo Diesel Register
    Phone: (770) 886-8877
    Fax: (770) 886-8811
    Web: www.turbodieselregister.com
    by Published on 10-30-2015 12:07 PM

    Is there an economic slowdown coming? The following is a link to a USA Today article about our friends at Cummins.
    Typically, actions at Cummins are slightly behind those at construction giant Caterpillar. Cat addressed the worldwide slowdown several months ago. Some of our friends at Cummins tell me that the US economy is still good. Also, there are consolidations happening within Cummins that will coincide with the job cuts.

    So fasten your seat belts. Unfortunately, we can't tell you how bad or what kind of turbulence may lie ahead.

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