History Of Diesel In The USA

TDIMeister

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2 cars in the list weren't even sold in the US among other factual errors... I'd hate to write an exam with this "cheatsheet." :D
 

HBarlow

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Yeah, I find errors with casual reading of the daily messages all the time but it is often helpful as long as I remember it is probably only half right.

It's probably written by modern journalism graduates of diploma mills.
 

listerone

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They haven't mentioned another milestone...*my* first diesel,the BMW 335d.A small 4 door sedan featuring 425 ft lbs of torque at 1700 RPM.
 

RalphVa

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There were Benz diesels in the US well before the 300SD.

There were several small diesel pickups. One very notable one was from Mitsubishi: a turbo diesel.

Even Volvo joined the diesel roundup by putting 6 cylinder diesel VW engines into their station wagons. Friends of our had 2 of them. Look at the engine, and it was clearly labeled as made by VW.
 

turbobrick240

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I have one of the VW/Audi powered diesel Volvo 245's. It has a na 2.4L I6 with a whopping 80 hp. They also made a turbo version. Solid car, fairly solid engine, slow as molasses.
 

atc98002

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There were Benz diesels in the US well before the 300SD.

There were several small diesel pickups. One very notable one was from Mitsubishi: a turbo diesel.

Even Volvo joined the diesel roundup by putting 6 cylinder diesel VW engines into their station wagons. Friends of our had 2 of them. Look at the engine, and it was clearly labeled as made by VW.
I had one of those Mitsu pickups. Bought it for next to nothing not running, then I discovered how hard it was to get parts for. Took weeks to find a set of piston rings! Put way too much money into it, but it drove ok once I got it running. But I wouldn't go through that again. Give me an old Rabbit with the 1.6 NA engine any time!
 

sandmansans

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They forgot the 190d. Family friend had that car. Slow as a tortoise, but reliable as heck. He had 400k on it with no major issues. Sadly a left turn intersection and a speeding driver ended it's run.

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
 

gmcjetpilot

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+1 on the dislike for clickbait.... (why do click baits go so slow? hummmm) Here are the 9 pages and my comments...

First screen - " “Clean Diesel” technology turned out to be a sham" - No not a sham. They cheated, yes, but the car is amazing tech, and clean in every parameter except one.

1 - Mercedes 300D - "The Mercedes diesels (300D of 1970's) of that era are so well-built, that nearly 40 years later, not only are thousands of them still on the roads (seriously, check Craigslist), but they can be converted to run on biodiesel with an afternoon’s worth of work." Yep and the VW TDI is still cleaner. Thought of buying one but low MPG and no fun handling, no thanks. I love diesel but if I want large 335D would be nice.

2 - 1979-1985 Oldsmobile Diesel - Yep a 350 gas engine turned diesel, bad idea. A gas engine bottom end, heads could not handle diesel loads. My friends parents had one when in high school. Engine hand-grenade. They gave it to him. Over the summer we put a junk yard gas engine in.... He drove it for years.

3 - Dodge Ram Cummins Turbo Diesel - Yep diesel trucks are diesel likely last stand for personal vehicles in North America.

4 - 1989 Audi 100 TDI - "the now-infamous “TDI” acronym first appeared on a Volkswagen AG" Whate ever. Yep 1989, 30 mpg was great, 120 hp and 265 ft-lb torque. He fails to mention the near 50 mpg of the last TDI's and 140 hp and almost 300 ft-lb of torque at 1700 rpm.

5 - 1996 Volkswagen Golf TDI - They forget to mention that VW diesels have been in USA since the 1970's. Also Isuzu had a diesel truck, which I'd buy if I could find one, much less one in good condition. They are so simple and easy to convert to veg oil. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lN8t-dpyko4

6 - 2005 Jeep Liberty - I did not know about this one... is it any good?

7 - 2007 Mercedes-Benz E-Class BlueTec - "Volkswagen and Audi both licensed BlueTec technology from Mercedes, but they opted not to use in on their ’09-’15 2.0 liter TDIs – the cars at the center of their current crisis." Well of course they used DFE blue on some VW TDI models before 2015 and all 2015 TDI's. I assume cost was a reason.

8 - Volkswagen TDI - Recap of all we know.
 
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dweisel

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dweisel isn't diesel anymore!
Jeep also had a little known 2.1 Renualt diesel in the 86-87 Cherokee and Comanche pickup. Only about 1500 here in the USA. Coupled with a 5speed manual it averaged 27 city- 32 highway. Owned one for 17 years.
 

HBarlow

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+1 on the dislike for clickbait.... (why do click baits go so slow? hummmm) Here are the 9 pages and my comments...

First screen - " “Clean Diesel” technology turned out to be a sham" - No not a sham. They cheated, yes, but the car is amazing tech, and clean in every parameter except one.

<snip>

6 - 2005 Jeep Liberty - I did not know about this one... is it any good?

<snip>
I know very little about it but believe it was a good product. I think only a small number were produced. I think I would have liked one.

Didn't it use a version of the Fiat turbo diesel that is now offered in Ram1500s and Jeep Grand Cherokees?
 

bhtooefr

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So, I'll take a shot at this... eight American market diesel cars and trucks with the most impact on the market. (That doesn't necessarily mean sales, but rather impact - how much was the market changed by that vehicle and what happened in response to it.)

  1. 1939 GMC AC-Series - As far as I can tell, this is the first truck application of the Detroit Series 71, which... yeah, that was kinda a big deal.
  2. 1977 Volkswagen Rabbit Diesel - Arguably, this was the first really successful affordable diesel here, and from a respected brand. And, it was part of an engine family that led to the first US TDIs, too.
  3. 1977 Mercedes-Benz 240D, 300D - This was the generation that would ultimately see, for 1982, Mercedes-Benz starting to back away from gasoline in the US market. That obviously didn't last, but it was still a thing that happened. Even though it wasn't exactly affordable, it definitely contributed to the mainstreaming of diesel here (partially just through being in the right place, at the right time), and has a very strong reputation that persists to this day.
  4. 1978 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Diesel (and many other GM models) - the first attempt to really, really mainstream diesel in the US market... and, well, we all know the story. It is worth noting that in 1982, the engine was hugely strengthened, but the reputation damage was already done, and dealers still didn't know how to fix them.
  5. 1983 Ford F-Series 6.9 Diesel - This is, I would argue, the engine that kept diesel pickups alive in the US. Sure, GM had already switched to the 6.2, but GM diesel was taking a huge reputation hit. And, the 6.2 at this time was only 135 hp, 240 lb-ft - contrast to the 6.9's 170 hp, 315 lb-ft. And, I'm actually going to leave the Dodge Ram Cummins off in favor of this - if it weren't for this, there wouldn't be a market for Dodge to launch the Cummins into, and this engine family was able to effectively respond to Cummins anyway (in direct injection and turbocharged form, as the 7.3 PowerStroke, although even the 6.9 had more horsepower than the initial Cummins, and the 7.3 IDI had a fair bit more).
  6. 1996 Passat TDI - it didn't directly have much impact on the market, but it literally launched the TDI brand - and with it, relaunched accessible diesels - here, so that's gotta be good for something.
  7. 2001 Freightliner (Mercedes-Benz) Sprinter - Even if it wasn't the best of the European vans at the time, it was clearly the best of what you could get here... if you could afford it. Incredible fuel efficiency compared to the American competition, far better cargo flexibility with the available high roof, and it's heavily influenced the American van market ever since. For 2004, a rebadged version replaced the Ram Van, and with Chrysler separating from Daimler, Fiat ended up bringing the Ducato (a Sprinter competitor) to replace the Sprinter's position in the Dodge/Ram lineup, with an available 3.0 diesel. For 2015, Ford's brought the Transit (a direct Sprinter competitor) here, with an available 3.2 diesel, and it's replaced the Econoline for most workloads. While GM's still stuck with the legacy American van layout, they're putting a small diesel (a 2.8) in for 2017...
  8. 2009 Jetta TDI - and I don't just mean Dieselgate. Like the 1978 Oldsmobile diesels that the CRs will inevitably be compared to - both getting branded with having killed diesel in the US - this was diesel's big mainstream push. Sure, the 1996 Passat brought pricing down to where the mainstream could get it, but the mainstream didn't want to get it. And, its initial success showed several automakers that there was demand for an accessible diesel product, and that it seemed feasible... but now, we all know that it wasn't actually feasible.

As far as the Liberty, it used a VM Motori 2.8 turbodiesel... closely related to the 2.8 "Duramax" used in the Colorado/Canyon, and soon to be used in the Express/Savana. (And, yes, nowadays, VM Motori is owned by Fiat. Just to add to the weirdness, the VM Motori 3.0 V6 used in the Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee began as a 2.9 liter for European Cadillacs.) However, it had the problem that it ate transmissions for breakfast.
 
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RalphVa

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They forgot the 190d. Family friend had that car. Slow as a tortoise, but reliable as heck. He had 400k on it with no major issues. Sadly a left turn intersection and a speeding driver ended it's run.

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
The president of our NJ Benz club had one of those that he inherited from his father. His had a number of miles on it.
 

dubStrom

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Isuzu, and even Toyota

There were Benz diesels in the US well before the 300SD.

There were several small diesel pickups. One very notable one was from Mitsubishi: a turbo diesel.

Even Volvo joined the diesel roundup by putting 6 cylinder diesel VW engines into their station wagons. Friends of our had 2 of them. Look at the engine, and it was clearly labeled as made by VW.
Isuzu naturally aspirated diesel P'ups ran 300k miles. Wouldn't win the race, but were available in 2WD and VERY capable 4WD models for just a couple of years. I'd have been very happy with one if I have the money back then.

Toyota also introduced the L engine which was available in 2WD and 4WD models. These were first gen and second gen Toyota pickups. Went turbo and those were great, but the naturally aspired models were WAY more dependable in the long run. I owned one 2WD with the L engine. Just like the naturally aspirated Isuzu diesels, wouldn't win the race. But just as dependable, and LONG life engines. I would buy one today if I could.

These were real benchmarks. You could get these engines in sedans too. Awesome dependable. Just excellent, and they did not spew clouds of smoke. Easy 35-45mpg-Nice vehicles.
 
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gmcjetpilot

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SAD FACT - and hate to give any credit to Europeans....
The list of diesel cars they have (or had) to choose from
is literally (not literally but you know what I mean)..... A MILE LONG.

I don't have time to list them but anything we have in gas,
there is almost always was an oil burning version.

You can (could) get anything in diesel including a Ford Focus hatch.
so many options in diesel passenger cars/wagons or utility vehicles.
 
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turbobrick240

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An older friend of mine hauls his Porsche 944T to track events with his '85ish Toyota diesel pickup. His other track buddies all tow their cars with much newer big Ford, Chevy, and Dodge diesel trucks. The Toyota always gets him there, just not quite as fast. He has a small import classic car business, and usually has some really cool old Porsches, VW's, Mercs, Fiats, etc. in the showroom. The Toyota is immaculate (like all his stuff), looks like it just rolled off the assembly line.
 

panda

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They forgot the 190d. Family friend had that car. Slow as a tortoise, but reliable as heck. He had 400k on it with no major issues. Sadly a left turn intersection and a speeding driver ended it's run.

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
I owned a well used 1964 190D for a number of years. I took it to grad school with me and was able to get it running most days in Wisconsin when the temperature often never rose to 0 degrees F. They were great cars, I always suspected about 400K miles but the odometer only went to 100K and was mostly broken all the time I owed the car.
 

piotrsko

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you are forgetting the 1980 series of Ford ranger with a perkins 4 cyl,

and the ubiquitous vw pickup with I believe was a 1.6 I think around 1975
 

GWbiker

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I owned a well used 1964 190D for a number of years. I took it to grad school with me and was able to get it running most days in Wisconsin when the temperature often never rose to 0 degrees F. They were great cars, I always suspected about 400K miles but the odometer only went to 100K and was mostly broken all the time I owed the car.
I owned a MB '63 190Dc. Rattled, smoked, rumbled and slow, but gave me near 50MPG on Diesel and sometimes home heating oil.

It eventually became the victim of the "Tin Worm" (RUST), as North East Pennsylvania snow/ice weather took it's toll.
 

Ranch

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'were the 2005-2006 Liberties any good'. Right out of the box? not-so-much.. but with time and mods.... pretty respectable.
Well, Jeep made a LOT of them, and most were exported. Tons of right hand drives were built.. The Europeans gobbled them up so fast and Jeep eventually stopped sending them gas versions.
The VM motori 2.8 4 cylinder diesel 'alone' is a very good base... but what it had to endure to make it 'compliant' epa wise, caused some issues.
2 overhead cams, 4 valves per cylinder, goofy coolant routing, even goofier thermostat housing, cp3 common rail, and couple all this to a lock-up style automatic transmission (NA models only... European could be manual version)
Result; a severely shuddering torque convertor at low engine, mid vehicle speed and the resulting puked transmission. Chrysler's fix: change the 'tune, and lower low end torque... by a ton. I guess the European version had a heftier TC in the first place.. but thought the soccer moms 'here' needed a smoother shifting transmission. uggg. oh, and to fix the engine vibration... too mushy engine mounts were installed. *short service life
These engines are not TB friendly, they need at least as much concern with miles on timing belt as our TDi's.
I have an 06 libby, and with typical mods done, ( green diesel tunes, egr elimination, shudder valve elimination, cat lobotomy, and most important; CCV reroute!) The ol lump-turd... knocks out about 28 combined MPG.
My TC shuddering has returned with the new ecm flash, and am going to install a hemi torque convertor. Man, I wish these were available 'here' with the manual!! Just finding a manual ecm to ship here is next to impossible. So no probable trans swap in the future for me.
 

sandmansans

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I owned a MB '63 190Dc. Rattled, smoked, rumbled and slow, but gave me near 50MPG on Diesel and sometimes home heating oil.

It eventually became the victim of the "Tin Worm" (RUST), as North East Pennsylvania snow/ice weather took it's toll.
Lol funny hearing those stories. Thr family friends was newer than both of yours but I just always remembered how sLooooowwww that thing was. But incredibly reliable and super mpgs.

On another side note. Those 190 were almost as comically unstable at the tires as the bmws. My friend had a 190 (gasser) and I can't count all of the times that damn car went sideways for no apparent reason haha.

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atc98002

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you are forgetting the 1980 series of Ford ranger with a perkins 4 cyl,

and the ubiquitous vw pickup with I believe was a 1.6 I think around 1975
The VW Pickup was 1981 I believe, which was the first year of the 1.6. My 1980 Rabbit had the 1.5.
 

Chris B

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I know very little about it but believe it was a good product. I think only a small number were produced. I think I would have liked one.

Didn't it use a version of the Fiat turbo diesel that is now offered in Ram1500s and Jeep Grand Cherokees?
I owned a 2005 Liberty CRD. It was a typical DaimlerChrysler POS! It self-destructed faster than I could fix it. It ate EGR valves every 20K. It ate the intake "FCV" or anti-shudder valve every 40K. Intercooler hoses, U-joints, engine mounts, injector seals (exhaust leaks), and a host of other issues. Part of the problems where due to the FUBAR ECU programming that ran so much EGR trying to meet the NOx limits that the engine was basically choking on it's own sh!t. Once I finally "cheated" the EGR, it ran 100% better and quit blowing a black cloud behind it all the time. The engine was a VM Motori 2.8L 4 banger that is a solid piece until they mucked it up.

That said, it was a very nice vehicle to drive, when it was all together. Tons of torque, close to 30 mpg on the highway, quiet. The seats were hard as a rock, but otherwise it was comfortable. I dumped it just before it rolled 100K miles, and I did more work on that thing than I've done to my Jetta in 300K! Good riddance.

Chris
 

drucifer

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Whether they had impact or not ford ranger 1986, ford temp about the same time and mazda pickup around 1990. I used to see a landscaper with a Mazda and a large trailer in town.
 

LeeM

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Had a 1976 diesel Peugeot 504 station wagon with a whopping 60 hp, 0-60 mph time was somewhere around 19 seconds. The most comfortable riding vehicle I have ever owned. The "Tin Worm" devoured it.
 

legendman

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Had a 1976 diesel Peugeot 504 station wagon with a whopping 60 hp, 0-60 mph time was somewhere around 19 seconds. The most comfortable riding vehicle I have ever owned. The "Tin Worm" devoured it.

You are 100% correct about comfortable, had a 505 Wagon
By far the most comfortable seats I have ever sat in.
 

casioqv

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mention that VW diesels have been in USA since the 1970's. Also Isuzu had a diesel truck, which I'd buy if I could find one, much less one in good condition. They are so simple and easy to convert to veg oil. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lN8t-dpyko4

I had an '86 Isuzu Trooper Turbo Diesel. It was an incredible offroad vehicle, but dangerously slow on California freeways and up hills- it could not keep up with fully loaded semis up grades, and they had to pass. I once was side by side on flat ground with an early VW Bus (a T1 - only 54hp I think but 900lbs lighter than the Trooper) that had a bunch of huge wood lawn chairs strapped to the roof. I held the throttle to the floor, but the T1 was gone ahead of me over the horizon after a few minutes.

Passengers would always tell me 'this thing really needs a Turbo' and look disappointed when I told them it already had one. I can't imagine what the non-turbo versions in the Isuzu pickup trucks were like.
 
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Pat Dolan

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I did not see any mention of the '80s XJ Jeeps with the 2.1 Renault. Also, in that time period, Fiat sent over medium duty diesel trucks - I have a little Iveco cabover that is a fantastic truck.
 
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