Duramax diesel

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Starman

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Ive been thinking of getting one of these for my airplane. It is a 400 cubic inch V8 made by Isuzu, and soon it will be made by Isuzu and GM jointly.



I want to use direct drive for my airplane and this is a problem with most auto engines, but this diesel has a redline of 3200rpm so it is perfect for direct drive. I think running it at 3000rpm should be fine for it. It comes standard with a turbocharger. I'm not sure about the weight, but people who are familiar with them guess it is around a half ton with all the manifolds, etc.

Evidently this engine design is a 'backwards' V8, with the exhaust ports dumping into the central valley between the banks and the intake ports on the outside of the engine. This style is being adopted by more and more V engine manufacturers because it is the most efficient way to run a turbo, the exhaust going straight into the turbo, which is placed where the carburetor used to be on V8s. The intake runner distance doesn't matter because all engines are fuel injected now, and long runners can help with ram charging. Another thing that is nice about these engines is they have a limp mode so that instead of just quitting if there is a problem with the electronics they still put out some power to help make it to the nearest airport. Or, in a lead sled like mine, maybe extend the glide to a safer place. I don't know how muchpower they put out in limp mode.

Evidently diesel engines will run on jet kerosene with no modifications so the question then becomes: Is jet fuel available at very many small airports? Is it available at the Snohomish airport? I guess that's two questions.

The 6.6L has two tune versions, one puts out 300hp and the other puts out 365hp and can run at full power continuously. Then there are electronic chips that you can buy which make it put out more power.


850 foot pounds of torque at 2800rpm, I guess from a stock engine with a custom chip?

Then, later, when I win the lottery, I can get one of these and a PSRU:



According to Banks, a stock LLY block of a GM 6.6L Duramax with a manual transmission typically maxes out at 310 hp at 3,000 rpm and 605 lb-ft at 1,600 rpm. Those numbers are fine for hauling a load, but pretty ho hum for any sort of hot rod, especially when you factor in the heft of a diesel block. Diesels require very rugged parts to withstand high cylinder pressures, and such heavy-duty parts typically limit a Duramax engine to a redline of 3,200 rpm. Now imagine revving it up to as much as 5,000 rpm, nearly 2,000 rpm above redline. Depending on the tuning, Banks can alter the output from 650-700 hp and 800-900 lb-ft of torque. Note that while the torque can increase as much as 50 percent, the horsepower more than doubles. More torque could be dialed in, but the Banks team intentionally limits it to make sure the rest of the drivetrain will survive the onslaught of power.
 
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PTAirco

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And how much does that lump weigh as it's shown in the picture? I have been trying to find a figure, without luck so far.
 

Starman

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And how much does that lump weigh as it's shown in the picture? I have been trying to find a figure, without luck so far.
I searched a lot and couldn't find it either, but I joined a Duramax diesel forum:
I'm not sure about the weight, but people who are familiar with them guess it is around a half ton with all the manifolds, etc.
So it's heavy, but it isn't too far off in the power to weight ratio if you want a lot of power, especially for long distance flying because of the savings in fuel weight and no PSRU.
 

Lucrum

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Is jet fuel available at very many small airports? Is it available at the Snohomish airport?
The 6.6L has two tune versions, one puts out 300hp and the other puts out 365hp and can run at full power continuously. Then there are electronic chips that you can buy which make it put out more power.
You chart shows a max HP of 459 and 470 for the two models but you keep mentioning 300 and 365?

Both HARVEY FIELD SNOHOMISH WA and SNOHOMISH COUNTY (PAINE FLD)
EVERETT WA have jet fuel. Generally speaking airports with runways long enough for turbine powered aircraft will carry Jet fuel.
 

bmcj

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Ive been thinking of getting one of these for my airplane. It is a 400 cubic inch V8 made by Isuzu, and soon it will be made by Isuzu and GM jointly.

I look at that and think "no way". Not because of any of the usual reasons (though weight would be one of my concerns), but because of the "mess". Older cars used to be easy to work on. You open the hood and you can see and easily reach almost anything you needed to with just basic tools. there was lots of room to get around. Today's cars have a conglomeration of wires and hoses and manifolds and who knows what the other thing-a-ma-jiggies are. Accessing anything in the new engies requires an advanced degree in patience and "puzzleology". The only thing the standard wrench and screwdriver are good for any more is holding the pages of your 1,200 page manual open. I for one would not not even know where to begin and definitely have no desire to try.

Simplicity in aviation engines has proven its worth over and over again for over half a century. They are easy to run, easy to troubleshoot, lightweight and reliable. With this new breed of engine (car or plane), troubleshooting is complex and maintenance cost has gone up astronomically due to the complexity and innaccessibility of the primary components.

Give me a good old Continental any day!

Bruce :)
 

Starman

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Your chart shows a max HP of 459 and 470 for the two models but you keep mentioning 300 and 365?
I think 310 and 365 are the officialy stated power levels available from the two different stages of tune and I spent a long time looking for dyno chart for a stock engine but couldn't find one. I found alot of charts that maxed out at 260 and 290hp so I think they must be for the 4.5 liter version of the Duramax. The charts also stated SAE horsepower, which could be bigger horses than GM horses. The charts are also rear wheel horsepower which includes transmission and drive line losses. The chart I showed there is for a 6.6 liter but it has what's called an after-market chip in it. All engines have a computer built in these days and that includes the diesels apparently. In other words, you can get an aftermarket computer controller, or an aftermarket tuner which can adjust the standard engine computer, to make it put out different power levels. On the Duramax forum people mention being able to change the tune level from racing to street tune by flipping a switch. One guy mentioned that when he drives his truck he puts it on race tune but when he lets his wife drive it he switches it to street tune because if he doesn't then she can't drive it right (who ever heard of that =) and it goes into limp mode.

Both HARVEY FIELD SNOHOMISH WA and SNOHOMISH COUNTY (PAINE FLD)
EVERETT WA have jet fuel. Generally speaking airports with runways long enough for turbine powered aircraft will carry Jet fuel.
Thanks, actually I meant Arlington field, but if Harvey field has it then Arlington has got to have it too. Now why did I think Arlington airport was called Snohomish airport? I did most of my flight training out of Paine field (Everett)
 
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Dan Thomas

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Both HARVEY FIELD SNOHOMISH WA and SNOHOMISH COUNTY (PAINE FLD)
EVERETT WA have jet fuel. Generally speaking airports with runways long enough for turbine powered aircraft will carry Jet fuel.
Jet fuel and diesel are close but not the same. Jet does not lubricate like diesel does, and the fuel pumps on diesels will wear out quickly unless replaced with something else.

Dan
 

Starman

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I look at that and think "no way". Not because of any of the usual reasons (though weight would be one of my concerns), but because of the "mess". Older cars used to be easy to work on. You open the hood and you can see and easily reach almost anything you needed to with just basic tools. there was lots of room to get around. Today's cars have a conglomeration of wires and hoses and manifolds and who knows what the other thing-a-ma-jiggies are. Accessing anything in the new engies requires an advanced degree in patience and "puzzleology". The only thing the standard wrench and screwdriver are good for any more is holding the pages of your 1,200 page manual open. I for one would not not even know where to begin and definitely have no desire to try.

Simplicity in aviation engines has proven its worth over and over again for over half a century. They are easy to run, easy to troubleshoot, lightweight and reliable. With this new breed of engine (car or plane), troubleshooting is complex and maintenance cost has gone up astronomically due to the complexity and innaccessibility of the primary components.
Now that is a good point, I hadn't gotten that far along yet in my consideration. I'm sure it could be cleaned up a lot as the picture of the Gale Banks version suggests. But diesels these days have electronic fuel injection just like the cars all have, and on these you can't switch it to a carb like a gas engine. When you have electronic fuel injection on either a gas or diesel and an electron sneezes then you're scrood. No doubt it could be switch to mechanical fuel injection and the computer gotten rid of but that's for a rainy day project.

One of my motivations for considering this is for the good old V8 diesel sound so when I start it up and taxi, or fly by, it's like ":gig: No one else has a plane that sounds like this :gig:" but maybe that isn't enough motivation. I DO like V8s and a gas V8 is always close to the top of my list. I just want to use direct drive, which could be done with a gas engine, a stump pulling cam, and a turbo. My primary alternative is the Mazda rotary but downsides to that are doesn't sound so good and kind of likes a PSRU.
 
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PTAirco

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That would rule out switching to a mechanical injection system. I heard they will run on whiskey too.
Switching a modern Diesel to a mechanical injection sstem would be difficult, if not impossible. The injector bodies themselves maybe of a completely different configuration, you'd need to find nozzles with the same hole sizes and spray pattern. And to adapt a mechanical injection pump would require an adapter flange or something somewhere. A lot of the power these engines develop is a function of the optimized electronic injection and reverting back to a mechanical system will probably lower the output substantially.

As far as the lubricity concerns go, both mechanical and electronic system use some kind of mechanically driven high pressure pump and neither would like pure kerosene in the long term, although there are additives that can be added to them to provide better lubrication properties.
 

Starman

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The fuel additive is the way to go then until a good fuel pump is found.

When I said switching to mechanical injection was a rainy day project that was kind of tongue in cheek, I realized it would be a major undertaking and not for me, my mind she goes on these wild "what if" side trips. I'm pretty sure that one thing that could be done rather easily is using two computer systems that could be switched back and forth so that would be like having dual ignition on a gas engine.

I'm preferring the diesel over the gas V8 because they are so tough they can take big increases in top power easily, for example, for the Gale Banks website on this engine:

Depending on the tuning, Banks can alter the output from 650-700 hp and 800-900 lb-ft of torque. ... More torque (and horsepower) could be dialed in, but the Banks team intentionally limits it to make sure the rest of the drivetrain will survive the onslaught of power.
Well, direct drive airplanes don't have a 'rest of the drivetrain' like twucks do, so that is no longer a limiting problem, and this diesel could put out more (800hp?) reliably, and over 1000hp for short durations, reliably. Use high power too long though and it could pop the cork off the radiator.
 

MKIV

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I dont see this having exh ports in center of Vee, looks like heat shields over 'normal' outside exhaust manifolds.

Single turbo normally kills any 'V8 rumble' in the exhaust note as well.
 

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Starman

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You're right, that is a heat shield. i read that Ford is developing one of the 'reverse' diesels and I though I saw that GM was using it too but I was looking for too many things too fast.


Ford diesel turbo setup.

The turbo diesels you see and hear at drag races still do sound nice.
 

K-Rigg

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the durmax weighs in at ~836 lbs.

The diesel used today (low sulfur diesel) is probably pretty close to jet fuel, the lubrication of diesel comes from the sulfur, but when it has been taken out like it is today, there is hardly any lubrication properties of low sulfur diesel. The durmax was design to run on low sulfur diesel.
 

K-Rigg

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my 2008 gmc has the durmax in it, it defiantly has some power behind it.

Another cool thing about the motor is the fact that is has oil jets that cool the bottom of the piston to keep the aluminum pistons from burning up in high boost situations. Also the turbo as a variable vane to get the most boost for the rpm of the turbo.
 

K-Rigg

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you got me thinking on this..... when you couple an after market chip to these diesels, they allow you to by pass all the emissions, which would allow you to take off the egr valve and associated sensors. also the chips usually have 5 power settings ranging from "fuel economy" to max power which gets around 600 hp and 1000 lb tq for those high density altitude days.... haha

posted from my phone....
 

K-Rigg

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the engine as it sits in the truck does not have a lift pump to get the fuel form the tank to the injection pump, the injection pump is able to suck the fuel all the way from the tank. this means all you would need is a electric fuel pump just as a backup.

im sorry if some of this stuff has already been posted, just posting as it comes to my head
 

Starman

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It wasn't already posted, and you've been a bearer of great news with each post, looking forward to more.

you got me thinking on this..... when you couple an after market chip to these diesels, they allow you to by pass all the emissions, which would allow you to take off the egr valve and associated sensors. also the chips usually have 5 power settings ranging from "fuel economy" to max power which gets around 600 hp and 1000 lb tq for those high density altitude days.... haha
Wow! That is great, and you can get that from simply switching the chip, you don't need to add any heavy duty parts to it?

If you can bypass all the emissions parts and the EGR it sounds like you can run an essentially 'bare' engine and don't need the complex wiring harness from the vehicle to be hooked up to it in order to run like alot of gas cars do. So basically all you might need is the alternator and charging circuit + power to the fuel pump, the computer which runs the injectors, and a crank angle sensor. Does that sound possible? If so then it could be a real easy job wiring it, and you would be able to eliminate most of the accessory drive belt so Bruce will like it better too.

Also, I read that they will be starting to build a new 4.5 liter version soon. It looks like GM started selling the 6.6 Duramax in 2001. Here's a link to the Duramax forum: Duramax Diesel Discussion Forums
 

Starman

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New 4.5liter Duramax engine coming soon to an aircraft near you:



It looks like this is the one I read about which has the turbo on the inside of the V and the intake manifolds are part of the cylinder head or valve cover castings. It also has double overhead cams and fits in a small block space.

Here is news about it: 2010 Duramax Diesel V8 Sneak Peak - Surprise! No Manifolds?

Update: it appears that GM has temporarily dropped the ball and will not be producing these for awhile. They put out 310hp and weigh 60lb less than they otherwise would have due to the central location of the turbo.
 
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