High Fuel Mileage and Great Running Diesel Engines
Did you ever wonder why the Acert Caterpillar Engine has a lot of blow-by? Did you ever stop to think why they have so much turbo boost with only moderate horsepower for the amount of turbo boost being produced? Think about this: A good-running single-turbo 3406-E or C-15 single-turbo engine producing 550 hp requires 32 psi of turbo boost and the Acert 475 produces 38 psi boost, while the 625 Acert is as high as 60 psi of boost. The single-turbo engine produces about 17 to 18 horsepower per pound of boost and the Acert Twin-Turbo is between 11 and 12 horsepower per pound of turbo boost. Now, I want you to think about those numbers AND why does the Acert Twin-Turbo engine rank so low on hp per pound of boost? What makes turbo boost? Something else to think about, the older 425-B Caterpillar Engine, which was mechanical, had aluminum pistons, did not smoke on cold start-up, achieved good fuel mileage, made great power, easy start up, and had long engine life and only had 1 wire going to the engine to run and this engine produced 19.3 horsepower per pound of turbo boost! That is 60% more power per pound of turbo boost than the ‘04-’07 Acert Twin-Turbo engine; think about efficiency: That old 425-B had it ALL over the Acert! The 1998 through 2002 Signature 600 ISX Cummins produces 18.75 horsepower per pound of turbo boost and is 50% more power per pound of boost than the Acert. When I evaluate an engine, the first figure I look at is the horsepower per pound of turbo boost ratio and that will start equation as to how efficient this engine is on fuel mileage. This is just the start of the equation as to how we are going to obtain 9 mpg from a specific truck. So here we are with the C-15 Acert BXS, MXS, NXS and the SDP with a DPF muffler producing only 11 to 12 horsepower per pound of boost. As you can see, the cure for the Acert is to lower the turbo boost and raise the horsepower, thus eliminating the excessive blow-by. Once the operation is performed, the engine will gain 1 mpg, pull like a bear from 1200 RPM up to 2000 RPM and be your all-time favorite diesel engine to drive and gain 50% more power per pound of boost over the stock Acert. The efficiency of a diesel engine is greatly determined by how much power it can produce per pound of boost. By the way: The all-time highest producer of horsepower per pound of turbo boost was the KTA-600 Mechanical Cummins which produced 23 horsepower per pound of turbo boost and this engine was released in 1976 for on-highway. So why do our newer EGR Engines have to produce so much boost for moderate horsepower, run with higher internal pressure, burn more turbos and exhaust manifolds, leave soot along the side of a white van, and have more failures than we did in the 2002 and older engines? Just some things to think about! YES, there ARE cures for these engines, but they are NOT plug-and-play and they cannot be sold in the form of a kit. It takes a matter of a few days to make these corrections, so give us a call to discuss scheduling if you are interested.
Recently Pete Sharp, our Vice-President, and I had the opportunity to meet with Craig and Lyle of MicroBlue Bearings, Inc. If you listen to Kevin Rutherford’s radio show (The Trucking Business and Beyond), then you may have heard of MicroBlue and the Owner-Operators who have improved the efficiency of their engines by using their process. SO: Just WHAT IS MicroBlue and HOW does it work?? Craig gave us the following as his answer: “It’s commonly thought that Blow-by is caused by leakage between the piston ring faces and the liner bore surface. Although possible, the leakage in fact happens when the gases go around the back of the ring, roll underneath it, and lift it off the bottom of the ring groove. The primary reason for this is the design of the piston rings used in diesel engines, where the primary goal is to limit carbon build-up. However, that effectiveness comes at the expense of ring seal. SO, how do we improve on this design? That’s where MicroBlue enters the equation. The makeup of this unique coating has an active interaction with lubricants on the atomic level. In the case of ring and ring grooves, this interaction results in considerably greater oil retention. In effect, what this creates is like two pieces of glass with oil between them: You simply CANNOT pull them apart. The same thing happens with the rings and ring grooves. If you cannot lift the ring off the bottom ring land, it simply cannot leak.”
I will tell you this: We at Pittsburgh Power are never the first to jump on the bandwagon and endorse a product or process that we are not sure of, or have tried. I have spoken with three owner-operators who are running 12.7L DD4 Detroits that have the MicroBlue process on the cylinder kits and the rod and main bearings with the result of 8 tenths mile per gallon increase. Starting on November 5, we will be rebuilding a 460hp N-14 Cummins engine with the MicroBlue process on all of the parts that come in contact with oil, and I will inform you as to how this engine performs this winter. This truck currently has a MicroBlue 10-speed transmission which has gained ½ mile per gallon and 7mph on the hills of southwestern Colorado. It’s an interesting process and we are looking forward to implementing it into our rebuilds. Great things are happening at Pittsburgh Power, Inc.
Written by Bruce C. Mallinson, Pittsburgh Power Inc., 3600 S. Noah Drive Saxonburg, PA 16056. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone 724-360-4080.