Archive for December 24th, 2007

Darwins Theory of Diesel Performance

December 24, 2007
If Darwin himself were alive today, I dare say that he would be driving a diesel. No other engine out there has more perfectly illustrated his theories of evolution than the diesel.  Now as true as it might be that diesels were once known for being the “slow and smelly” vehicles on the road, car makers as well as several aftermarket performance companies have set out on a mission to put an end to that reputation.  With the additions of a turbo or multiple turbos (i.e. ’08 Powerstroke) and intercooler(s) as well as diesel performance intakes, diesel performance chips/modules and exhaust systems the reputation once held by diesels is now evolving, Darwin would be so proud.So why diesel performance? In the past there never really was a question as to which “species” was more dominant when it came to performance. It has not been until recently that there has even needed to be a debate as to which is better, gas performance or diesel performance and even today you will have people try to argue that gas performance is where it is at but I am here to say that not only is there more horsepower available for the money when it comes to performance products for diesels but you will have longer engine life as well as maintain if not increased fuel mileage.One of the strongest points in the argument for Diesel Performance is the fact that you can add engine mods to a diesel engine and it won’t harm the engine or make it burn hotter to the extent of damaging the engine permanently. Don’t get me wrong you can still fry your engine but diesel engines are built much stronger and much more durable. One of the main reasons that diesel engines are so durable or will last longer in general is the way that combustion occurs in the engine. Diesel engines “fire” or “combust” differently than gas engines mainly because of the type of fuel that is used. In gasoline engines a spark plug is used to combust the fuel but in a diesel combustion occurs mainly due to the temperature of the compressed air which causes the fuel to ignite. Because of this diesel engines are built more durable because they have a higher compression ratios (20:1 for a typical diesel vs. 8:1 for a typical gasoline engine) it is being built to withstand this higher compression that makes these engines more ready for performance modifications straight from the factory.

As the diesel engine has evolved over the years turbo chargers have been added to increase power as well as increase diesel fuel mileage, this has made way for huge increases in horsepower both stock as well as with the addition of after market products. One of the main reasons that diesel performance is so much more viable is the fact that because the engine is built for a higher compression ratio anyway so it is going to be able to withstand the boost that is created by a turbo much better than a gasoline engine, also allowing the addition of performance modifications without shortening the life of the engine as usually happens with gasoline engines when performance mods are added.

Like it or not diesel performance is here to stay, and whether or not you believe in evolution it’s happening and will continue to happen in the diesel performance market. Don’t be surprised when you see good old Darwin himself roll past you on the street in his tweaked out diesel.

Diesel performance evolution starts with a strong base of upgrades, not just any diesel performance part will do. – Nathan Young

Visit Parley’s Diesel Performance for all your diesel performance part needs.

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Is Diesel Performance Dead?

December 24, 2007
In a day where phrases like Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel, Exhaust Gas Recirculation, Urea Injection and most of all Diesel Particulate Filter are being used in an industry that is more accustomed to phrases like “Boost Fooler” and “Mufflerectomy”, many people are wondering if this is the end of the diesel performance era. Many people are even asking, “Is Diesel Performance dead?” Now there are a couple of different ways to approach this question and with a topic so close to many people’s hearts it’s oftentimes very difficult to know which way is the best to approach the subject.For many people that have voiced their opinions about the stringent standards that the EPA is putting on Car Manufacturers this is the end of an era; much like the end of the muscle car era.  There are many people saying that January 2007 was much like January 1972, marking the end of what is being a called the “Diesel Performance Era” just like 1972 is looked on as the official end of the Muscle Car Era.  If you take a step back and compare the two “Era’s” there are a couple of similarities, those being mainly the race to see which company can make more frame wrenching horsepower and torque after decades of research and development and then also being shut down by the EPA and new emissions laws.

So where do we go from here? Is that the end of diesel? Will the even tighter restrictions that will be enforced in 2010 be so smothering that automakers decide to abandone diesel lines altogether?  Well as of right now, all signs actually point to a bright future in the diesel arena itself.  Several automakers are talking about adding diesel engines to their lineup including Honda who has a diesel Accord set to enter the market in 2009 and there are rumors of Toyota adding a diesel option to their Tundra, but guys can only hope right?

If we look again at the parallels between the two eras we can see a bright glimpse of hope for the diesel performance aftermarket in a couple of different ways.  Since the end of the muscle car era in 1972, aftermarket performance has definitely changed.  Even more so in the past decade with just the upload of a program from a diesel performance programmer you can be 100 horsepower or more above stock in just a matter of minutes.  That is definitely a far cry from the performance modifications of old.  It’s my guess, and take it for what you will, but I see the diesels of the last decade or so becoming much like the muscle cars of the 60’s and 70’s, sort of the last of the fun vehicles, less restriction and more possibilities for big power. Although new diesels will continue to increase more and more in power, I think that the new restrictions are going to make it even more difficult for manufacturers to create programmers, chips, intakes etc. that will work without setting off check engine lights and throwing codes etc.

So in the end I say that the future looks bright for diesel vehicles as a whole.  As for diesel performance, if you have a 1994-2006 diesel, either hold onto it or give me a call–because the value is going to increase, just watch and see. – Nathan Young

Nathan Young is a diesel performance enthusiast.  His main areas of interest in the industry are VW TDI performance and diesel performance chips.

Visit Parley’s Diesel Performance for all your diesel performance part upgrades.

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