Author Topic: Is Diesel definitely the way to go?  (Read 5033 times)

Offline Mel

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Is Diesel definitely the way to go?
« on: March 17, 2010, 02:17:38 PM »
My wife and I are looking at purchasing a 5 acre homestead in the next couple of years.  I'll need a truck to haul materials for the projects I'd like to do once we're there.  I'm also planning for it to do double-duty as the BOV.  I work from home so I don't have the "super efficient daily driver" requirement.  I'm looking at purchasing a used 4x4 crew cab truck to serve in these roles.  What I'm trying to figure out is, am I really that much better off with diesel than with gas?

Pros for Diesel:
Better fuel mileage for given displacement
More power for given displacement
Easier maintenance and repair, fewer moving parts
Longer service life
Diesel fuel stores longer and will be scavenge-able longer
Convertible to Biofuel in an extended SHTF?


Cons for Diesel:
No one makes a mid-size diesel truck (F-150 sized)
Slightly more expensive (fuel and vehicle)
Not available at every gas station


In a SHTF when fuel is scarce, will diesel really be easier to get?  All the survival non-fiction and fiction writers seem to take for granted that diesel will be more plentiful, but what evidence is that based on?

I await your thoughtful replies!

Mel

Offline kiteflyer

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Re: Is Diesel definitely the way to go?
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2010, 03:44:34 PM »
 

 Maybe a natural gas setup for an engine with your own setup for refueling,just an idea to throw out here.If The SHTF however everybody would be on that band wagon.

          kiteflyer

 http://wasteage.com/mag/waste_trucks_fueling_diesel/

Offline Dan

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Re: Is Diesel definitely the way to go?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2010, 05:35:43 PM »
Diesel not only stores longer but is safer to store because of its higher flashpoint. Diesels tend to be a little more flexible when it comes to alternative fuels (diesel, biodiesel, kerosene, jet fuel, vegetable oil). With the correct relatively simple modifications most diesel engines can be run on any of these alternatives. Some will even run on mixtures of gasoline and diesel or even motor oil.

With a gas engine you have the options of Gasoline, wood gas, alcohol, propane and natural gas. The modifications to run some of these alternatives range from relatively simple like those of the diesel to quite extensive. The down side is all of these alternatives are more volatile than the diesel alternatives and some need to be under pressure. The compression ratio of most modern engines is high enough that it will make it harder to successfully run some of the gasoline alternatives and the electronics that control the engine in modern cars would also be a source of complication. I have personally had problems with mildly questionable gasoline in modern cars, I can’t imagine attempting to run something that came out of a homemade still.

DISCLAIMER:
DO NOT attempt to run your vehicle on anything other than the fuel recommended by the manufacturer based on what I have stated here. I can’t possibly take all circumstances into consideration so if you attempt this you do so at your own risk.

Offline survivininct

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Re: Is Diesel definitely the way to go?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2010, 07:12:47 PM »
I owned a F-250 diesel and loved it.  However, it is a heavy engine and an expensive engine.  Expect to pay 6K or more for the engine upgrade.  With fuel so high now (it was close when I bought the truck) you may never get the money back for the upgrade.   Oil changes are also quite expensive with a 15 qt capacity. 

However, if you work your rigs hard - that is pull a lot and push a lot, then diesel is the way to go.  Most people do not, so unless I got a good deal, I would not get another one now as I do not think it makes economic sense unless you are going to keep the truck for several hundred thousand miles.

For SHTF, fuel will be scarce in any case.  Yes diesel will store better, but how much can you store?  The truck gets 20 MPG, if you store 250 gallons, it is not going to last very long.  Yes you can burn other thhings, but they are also going to be hard to get.  I would not go nuts on that account.  As Jack says, plan for the likely events - a lack of fuel for a long term is not likely. 

Offline Cool Blue

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Re: Is Diesel definitely the way to go?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2010, 07:15:16 PM »
Another plus: never have to replace sparkplugs!

Offline Mel

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Re: Is Diesel definitely the way to go?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2010, 09:50:49 PM »
The goal is to buy it gently used and keep it until the engine and transmission can no longer be rebuilt.

Mel

Offline joeinwv

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Re: Is Diesel definitely the way to go?
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2010, 09:56:52 AM »
The engine and trans in a good diesel truck will last a long long time. That is not what wears out. An F250/350 is a big heavy truck. The wear items are in the brake and suspension categories.

Diesel is better if you need to do a lot of heavy towing, or have an interest in using biodiesel. Otherwise, the maintenance costs are different, not necessarily less. Figure out the cost of a 15qt oil change with full synthetic (Royal Purple)...

Ideally, the US would change some rules about mid size diesel trucks. I would really like an F150 with a 3-4 liter NA diesel.

Offline jpommer

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Re: Is Diesel definitely the way to go?
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2010, 09:42:41 PM »
Another thing to consider. A poster above mentioned that his 3/4 ton diesel gets 20mpg. There isn't a gas 3/4 ton out there (and probably not many 1/2 tons) that can hit that mark. Most will be 12-14.

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Re: Is Diesel definitely the way to go?
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2010, 04:54:51 AM »
The fact that the government prevents Americans from owning small diesels makes me spitting mad.  >:(

I'm about to the point where I think people should start saying F.U. to the federal government and start importing them illegally from Mexico. 

I wish Texas would secede.

Offline archer

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Re: Is Diesel definitely the way to go?
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2010, 04:22:20 PM »
Diesel fuel might also be easier to find during a really serious SHTF disaster. I expect gasoline will disappear fast. Diesel is used for more devices that gasoline (as far as I know).
I wish I could get a small diesel truck.

Offline patrat

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Re: Is Diesel definitely the way to go?
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2010, 05:14:21 PM »
Agreed on the small diesel trucks. I keep waiting and waiting for the Mahindra to get here, since nobody else is putting out. A diesel Hillux, D-Max, or Ranger is the ticket for me.

Tommy Jefferson

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Re: Is Diesel definitely the way to go?
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2010, 06:46:58 AM »
What is the status on the Mahindra?

Two years ago I asked that company to put me on their mailing list.  I never heard back from them.

I very much want a tough vehicle without all the electronics.

I would pay $30,000 for a newly manufactured 1972 model Toyota Land Cruiser.  That was the toughest vehicle I ever owned.  I wish I'd never sold it.

Offline Dan

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Re: Is Diesel definitely the way to go?
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2010, 04:13:47 PM »
Latest info I can find says they were supposed to be available in February or March, obviously that didn’t happen so my guess is they are still tied up in red tape.

Any day now…
 >:(

Offline Onug

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Re: Is Diesel definitely the way to go?
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2010, 07:13:47 PM »
Another nice feature of diesels is they run lean.  So if everyone is bugging out at the same time and your stuck in traffic, you'll be using a lot less fuel going nowhere.  On the diesel forum I go to, guys are saying they're burning 1/3 to 1/2 gallon per hour at idle.

As for MPG, my Duramax gets over 20mpg running down the freeway.  If I can keep it at around 57mph on the flats, I've gotten around 24mpg. 

Offline joeinwv

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Re: Is Diesel definitely the way to go?
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2010, 08:20:52 AM »
I am a big fan of the Ford Panther platform - Grand Marquis, Crown Vic, Towncar. I have a dream that Ford will build a 4.0L turbo diesel and put it in this platform. Really, my dream car.

My current 2006 CV has a 2.73 rear end - which corresponds to low rpm highway cruising. Given the higher torque value of a diesel, you could very likely run a 2.5 or higher ratio. I average 22-25mpg on the highway driving at 75+mph, with all my get home gear in the trunk. Given a diesel with the above rear end, 3" dual exhaust and a fairly open intake - you should be near 30mpg highway.

The rules that would allow a diesel Ranger / Explorer should also get me a diesel  Crown Vic. Why doesn't this make sense - think how much time LEO / limos / taxis spend idling...

Offline CapKrk

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Re: Is Diesel definitely the way to go?
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2010, 10:41:58 AM »
I bought two military vehicles for a total of $4500. A M1008 1-1/4 ton truck and a M1009 Blazer. Both have 6.2 liters diesel engines. Both are 4 wheel drive. Both run on 50/50 cleaned (free) waste motor oil/pump diesel. I hear this is a bit harder to do with the newer diesel engines due to fuel pumps. And personally I would never buy a new diesel because I would rather put the 25k that I save into my homestead.

The Blazer gets 21 on the highway and the truck gets about 15 since it is geared low. There is no overdrive in those vehicles. I don't care since the WMO is free and with a 50/50 split I'm actually getting a bit less than 42mpg and 30mpg respectively factoring in the electricity I use for cleaning the WMO.

Check out the deals on http://www.govliquidation.com My truck is a 1986 with 27,000 miles on it and the 1984 K5 Blazer just turned over 18,000 miles. Great deals for the price. If I need to sink $500 into one due to an alternator and starter going out, big deal. I am still not a slave to the bank with my payment.

$0.02

Jim