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Old 06-09-2009, 10:11 AM   #1
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Re: Your opinions?

ford powerstrokes are built by navistar/international, they are good engines but my preference would be for a real engine with 6 cylinders and no sparkplugs.

it would be helpfull if you put our location in your header info so that people near you can help point you to available units in your area.
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:23 PM   #2
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Re: Your opinions?

" no sparkplugs", if it has sparkplugs, "it's not a real engine", ... just my sick sense of humor

I just prefer the 6 cylinder diesels because they seem to have more torque at lower rpm and run smoother,they are usually easier to work on when they need service.
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:04 PM   #3
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Re: Your opinions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by case
Do you mean glow plugs for the engine? Don't all diesels have them?
Nope, in fact I would say that most DON'T have glow plugs. Many (Cummins, 3208 Cat, etc) use intake grid heaters often called "waffle irons" to preheat the intake charge instead of glow plugs. There are also PLENTY of diesels out there that use nothing but pure compression to get going. My 6.6 Brazilian is one of these. I have no waffle irons or glow plugs. I just crank it until it starts. The nice thing is that I can use ether (within reason) without major risk of damage. On the other hand, mine requires some pretty healthy batteries and patience to start when it's cold out. The newer the diesel the more likely it is to have waffle irons, glowplugs, or both in an effort to reduce hydrocarbon emissions from unburnt fuel.
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Old 06-25-2009, 06:32 AM   #4
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Re: Your opinions?

Compression firing is the way to go, I had e choice of two busses, a thomas (which I really like) with a glow plug cat, or the compression fired dt444 in the AmTran. Went with the compression fired one.
I drive a semi for a living- I have seen the glow-plug guys trying to fire up in the cold.

Not trying to start an arguement here:
Never use ether in a compession fired engine- you'll blow your piston rings, and damage the top head. Ether, will over spin your engine for just an insant, this is akin to jumping out of bed and doing a 300lb bench press- you'll starin something. The thing that keeps you from starting more than anything else is fuel geling. I recomend howes anti-gel, they give you a gaurantee if your fuel gels they pay the towing / repair bill. I have used it for 3 years in -23 in Chicago this past winter-no trouble. An oil heater keeps the oil from getting thick which makes it easier to turn the engine over, this can help you start up but not essential.

It takes less batt power to start a compression- glow plugs have to be pre-heated. Basically with a short on the batts- this eats huge amounts of amps, just like a radiant electric element such as a toaster. Compression engines require more spinning, on the flywheel, this is done using a much more energy efficient starter motor.

The compression fired engines have much more tolorence for cold- I've left my truck ice cold for days- early morning 15 degrees, hop in crank and she fires, no ether(say it with me "no ether" ), no pre heating oil, just some nice fluid fuel thanks to howe's.
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Old 06-25-2009, 11:32 AM   #5
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Re: Your opinions?

all diesels fire from the heat of compression and the addition of fuel at a specific time in the compression cycle.
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:55 PM   #6
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Re: Your opinions?

I think Case is a bit misinformed, but thats cool thats what we are all about. Glow plugs are simply heaters that heat the air entering the combustion chamber . All diesel engines fire on compressing the fuel and air to make it go boom . In my early years working in the family marine service we used ether a lot, all the engines in our boats were oil sling'n Detroits supercharged two cycle demons 71 and 96 series . If and when you can you should avoid using either if at all possible,engines become addicted to it. And never ever use it in conjuction with glow plugs when trying to start a engine in cold weather. It is most dangerous for the person spraying the either in the intake.God bless and have a safe day. Russell
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Old 06-25-2009, 04:15 PM   #7
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Re: Your opinions?

diesel engines do not need glow plugs to run. Many diesels don't have glow plugs at all.

glow plugs are only used to help an engine start. Once it is running, glow plugs do nothing. (ok, sometimes they are still on a for a few seconds after an engine starts)

diesel engines are sometimes known as compression engines. Unlike gasoline engines that have spark plugs to ignite the fuel/air mixture, a diesel engine simply squishes (compresses) the fuel/air mixture until it ignites. Compression creates heat, and a diesel has high enough compression that it makes enough heat to ignite the fuel.

does that make sense?

i am not that familiar with the t444e, but i believe the t444e is essentially a 7.3 liter powerstroke, so i imagine it has glow plugs.
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Old 06-25-2009, 05:19 PM   #8
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Re: Your opinions?

oops, that assumption thing gets us in trouble again, all 4 cycle engines operate on the principal that first you fill the cylinder with air''intake stroke'' next you squeeze the air ''compression'',next ignition drives the piston down ''combustion or power stroke'' finally the ''exhaust stroke pushes the burned fuel out in preperation for the next intake stroke.
the major difference between gas and diesel is that in a gas engine is that the gas is in the intake air mixture that is compressed and then a sparkplug is used to start the power or combustion stroke, a diesel compresses air to the point that their is enough heat generated for combustion and then fuel is then injected to start the power or combustion stroke.

if you understand gas engine theory or operation just replace the sparkplugs and distributer or electronic ignition with fuel injecters an injection pump or electronic engine controller

gas engines have cold start provisions either a choke assembly or fuel enrichment controlled electroniclly. some diesels use glow plugs or waffle grid heaters to preheat the intake air, others advance the fuel timing at cranking speed to help the engine start when it's cold. some of the older diesels needed an ether cold start system to get them started in extreme cold, it's much better for the engine to plug in the block heater and warm the engine up to where it will start.

your t444 is probably modern enough that it doesn't have glow plugs but check with your mechanic for confirmation.
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Old 06-25-2009, 06:51 PM   #9
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Re: Your opinions?

It does have glow plugs but I dont think the DT360 does, not sure. Since diesels burn off of the heat from compression, when they are cold sometimes a little extra heat in the form of glow plugs or an intake heater will help speed up the ignition process but neither are needed per se and they dont remain on or assist with the engine running. When it is really cold out you have to figure the pistons, head block etc are equally as cold so without this aid, they can be a little difficult to start since it may not initially generate enough heat to combust. Alot of older diesels had an ether button that would give a little shot to get them going instead of glow plugs etc. In the winter diesels tend to smoke alot when they are cold (which is fuel that isnt completely burned) until the combustion chamber gets up to normal operting temperatures. If you have to shoot the motor to get it going, only spray a little bit while someone is cranking, dont spray it into an engine that isnt turning over, this is what can blow out your rings. WD40 is better to use since it wont wash down the cylinders but doesnt have the same punch as ether. As far as your initial question, I am personally not a fan of any of the 7.3L (444) engines even more so in a bus or truck. They have mixed reliability and tend to feel a little underpowered especially as a pusher.
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:17 PM   #10
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Re: Your opinions?

Haha yeah there is a reason, I own the true powerjoke - 6.0. Ive seen alot more of them (7.3) go with less than 100k then I have seen hit 300k. If you have a choice, there are better motors out there. My first choices would equally be the Cummins 8.3 or the Intl DT466 (or DT40, followed by the Cummins 5.9 and Intl DT360, don't know if I would buy anything else unless it was a smokin deal.
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:20 PM   #11
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Re: Your opinions?

Ill add in fairness that the 444 wouldnt be a total deal breaker, some people have had great luck with them, Just comes down to price and other available choices.
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Old 06-26-2009, 08:51 AM   #12
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Re: Your opinions?

Good stuff all around- thanks all
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:55 AM   #13
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Re: Your opinions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell
I think Case is a bit misinformed, but thats cool thats what we are all about. Glow plugs are simply heaters that heat the air entering the combustion chamber . All diesel engines fire on compressing the fuel and air to make it go boom . In my early years working in the family marine service we used ether a lot, all the engines in our boats were oil sling'n Detroits supercharged two cycle demons 71 and 96 series . If and when you can you should avoid using either if at all possible,engines become addicted to it. And never ever use it in conjuction with glow plugs when trying to start a engine in cold weather. It is most dangerous for the person spraying the either in the intake.God bless and have a safe day. Russell
Ya, what he said.
I don't know what the phenomenon is, but constant use of either on some of the diesel motors I've delt with, makes them become either whores.
My 91 dt466 is only compression fired. It has a button on the dash for an either juice, but was disconnected. I talked tith the mechanic that had serviced it (for 12 years) and he stated, the county chose to disable that option on the advice of the lead mech. They did install block heaters. In the winter they turned on the heaters 1 hour before the drivers came in, and everything fired up, every morning. Winter temps. here start out around minus 10 in the mornings. (then sometimes go down).
I started mine several times this winter without plugging in the block heater and had no problems, even after sitting for a month at a time.
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:23 PM   #14
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Re: Your opinions?

I didnt say that there are absolutely no 7.3 engines that will make it over 300k, Ive drove one on a regular basis with 350k that ran like a top and another truck with the 8.3 Cummins that would not stay out of the shop, always exceptions to everything. I worked at UHaul about 8 years ago who probably owns (at least at one time) more vehicles with the 7.3 NA than anyone, the later T444E is basically the same block and design with a different fuel system, a turbo and other minor modifications over the years. These motors failure rates were about the same as the gassers but a whole lot more to repair/replace and initially purchase so back to gas engines they went. Everywhere I have been the 7.3 was inconsistent, some were good some were bad and everything was late model within 3-4 yrs old tops. We went 2 for 2 @ 100k in 2 different service trucks, tow trucks with issues and now where I am at the last 2 7.3 service trucks both had motors replaced under 150k, now we have moved onto the duramax with its own share of heartaches. In college I also worked at a large bus yard with alot of the T444s as well as DT360s, DT408s, DT466s, older 7.3 NA, a handful of spare 6.9s and even 2 old 9.0s, the DTs just didnt have as many issues. I dont collect and analyze data on these so this is simply my opinion based on my past experiences but after re-reading the initial post you cant beat a 97 RE for $2k, dont think I would have passed it up.

About the only thing to watch out for that will hurt these is when you change your coolant be sure to put in the anticavitation additive. Keep the fuel clean, seperator drained and let it warm up a minute before you take off or start into the throttle and idle a minute before you shut it down. Congratulations on the new bus!! Have some fun with it!!
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:35 AM   #15
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Re: Your opinions?

I knew virtually nothing about diesel motors untill i started posting here. the biggest thing I have learned is that you don;t want to run them out of fuel......what a pain in the ass to get it started after I did that!
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:34 AM   #16
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Re: Your opinions?

Heh oh yeah don't do that. When we are in the truck always keep a 5 gal jug of fuel. It's a pain priming the filter on the side of the road in 114 degree heat- not that I ever had to The things you learn out on the road....
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