Author Archives: Haven

Diesel Engines Forgotten Treasures

There are very few engine configurations that promise
increased fuel economy and power. There are few
engines that offer this in addition to reliability.
Today, those across the ocean are enjoying the
fruits of diesel technology revolution.

Diesels have experienced a great history here in the
United States. In 1980, General Motors modified
their 350ci gas V8 to run on diesel fuel. The result
however, wasn’t that god. These engines offered
better fuel economy but little else. They were
very slow, and not very reliable.

Mercedes Benz on the other hand, had better luck
in the 1980s with an array of vehicles available
with diesel engines. These great vehicles offered
amazing durability although they were rough, noisy,
and smoked quite a bit. Volkswagon offered diesel
as well, although they had a habit for spewing
blue smoke from the tail pipe.

Throughout the 90s, Benz and Volkwagon offered
diesel vehicles in the United States, with each
generation becoming cleaner, smoother, and more
powerful than the last. Overall, they were a
tough sell as they still lacked the horsepower
that many were seeking.

Today, Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, Volkswagon, Ford,
and many other manufacturers are offering diesels
to many markets throughout the world. To put it
simple, forget everything you know or think you
know about diesel engines in the United States.

These newer engines benefit from hundreds of
technical innovations. There are several diesels
in Europe that offer better acceleration than
their gasoline counter parts. BMW’s 120d has
163bhp, goes 0 – 60 in under 8 seconds, and
achieves 49.6 miles per gallon.

Benz offers the C320 CDI SE that has 224bhp, and
over 360 lb foot of torque. This car gets just
under 48 mpg on the highway, with an acceleration
of 0 – 60 in under 7 seconds. Throughout North
America, you won’t find a gasoline engine that
offers this unique blend of fuel economy and
excellent performance.

The reason why diesels haven’t caught on in
North America comes down to one word – sulfur. We
have too much sulfur in the diesel here in the
United States. This cheap grade of diesel fuel
will run havoc on the more sophisticated diesels
offered overseas and cause an increase in
emissions.

There is hope however, as refiners will soon be
producing what is known as ultra low sulfur
diesel fuel. This will help to reduce the sulfur
content from 500ppm to 15ppm.

Gas Tractor Versus Diesel Tractor

There are many different reasons as to why a diesel
compact tractor is superior to a gasoline garden
tractor.

First of all, the diesel engine doesn’t have the
parts that normally wear out or give problems. There
are no spark plugs, rotors, points, or distributor
caps like the garden tractor. There is no carburetor
either, that will gum up and be hard to start after
being stored for a long period of time. Diesel engines
can be stored for long periods of time and still start
right up.

Secondly, diesel engines in most tractors are water
cooled. This will allow the engine to run at a more
consistent and cooler temperature, which will extend
the life of the engine. The typical properly
maintained diesel engine can run thousands of hours
without breaking a sweat – and without having to be
rebuilt.

Diesel engines will also make more power. Even though
gasoline tractors may be a little quicker to start
with, they can’t begin to match the power and raw
torque that diesel engines offer.

Another reason why diesel tractors are better than
gas is the available attachments. Most gasoline
tractors are equipped with a belly mower and don’t
normally have a three point hitch. This will severely
limit the type of implements that you can use and
also limit the tractors expandability.

Most blades and scoop implements won’t work with a
gasoline tractor. The drive train will also limit
the type of implement you can use with a garden
tractor. The typical gasoline garden tractor is
belt driven, while a belt drive won’t pull as much
load as a diesel powered tractor. You would probably
not be able to use a box blade or tiller either
with the average gasoline powered tractor.

General Information On Diesel Engines

Diesel engines offer the lowest specific fuel usage
of any other large internal combustion engine. The
fact remains, two-stroke diesels with high pressure
forced induction, particularly turbo charging, make
up a large percentage of the largest diesel engines.

Throughout North America, diesel engines are generally
used in larger trucks, where the low stress, high
efficiency cycle will lead to a much longer engine
life and lower costs to operate. These advantages
also help to make the diesel engine ideal for use in
the heavy haul industry.

Cars however, continue to use gasoline, primarily
due to the consumer desire for a wider range of
RPM. In Europe, the use of diesel engines with cars
is far more common.

Even though diesel engines are more efficient when
throttled down, they aren’t suitable for most types
of aircraft. The higher compression ratios of the
diesel cycle demand a much stronger block, head,
and almost all moving parts in general. These
stronger parts add a lot of weight, or a lot of
expense, especially if lighter alloys are being used.

The Otto cycle engines are much cheaper to build for
these reasons, although they have long been overtaken
by the turbine engines. For the same displacement
of the engine, Otto cycles will produce more actual
power than a Diesel cycle can, because the fuel
will burn at a much faster rate, allowing more power
strokes per minute than a standard diesel can offer.

What this means, is that less fuel has to be carried.
Additionally, commercial aircraft is normally run
at preset limits, so that Otto cycle engines used
in aircraft don’t suffer anywhere near the efficiency
penalties that land vehicles do. Heavy equipment,
such as those used in mining and construction,
almost always uses diesel engines.

Diesel engines are also used with submarines. In
these types of submarines, the diesel engine is run
when the submarine is on the surface, which charges
the batteries that power the submarine once it is
submerged.

All across the world, diesel engines serve many
different purposes. They are used with almost all
types of heavy machinery, and other vehicles. Gas
isn’t the way to go with heavy machinery, as the
engines simply can’t withstand the beating.

Diesel has been popular for many years with machinery
and submarines, simply because the engines can
last for years and years. Although they won’t offer
as much speed as gasoline, the torque and power is
still there.

Gas Trucks Versus Diesel Trucks

If you plan to use your truck like a car, desiring
quick, quiet acceleration and rarely ever haul a
heavy load and don’t plan to it for a long time,
you may want a gasoline engine. Gas engines run
smoother, fuel is easier to find, and gas
engines start easier in cold weather.

If you plan to use your truck for towing, value
good fuel economy and plan to put plenty of miles
on it, you may want a diesel. The price to buy
a diesel truck is really high, although they can
offer you a lot in return.

Below, you’ll find the leading vehicle manufacturers
and what they offer you.

Dodge
The 2500 and 3500 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty trucks are
the newest 3/4 and 1 ton trucks on the road. Back
in 2002, the Ram didn’t have enough power with
the 245 HP 9.5L. Dodge promised more powerful
engines for the 2500/3500 platform and they
delivered on that promise.

The new base engine is the 5.7L gasoline V-8
that’s not only the most powerful engine of the
group at 345 HP but also revives the well known
and historical Hemi name.

Ford
Ford helped push the 3/4 ton and 1 ton truck
market to where it is today when it introduced
it’s international engineered power stroke
diesel back in 1994. Before 1994, these diesels
were poorly built and no match for the big
inch gasoline engines.

From 1994 to 2002, over 70% of super duty Fords
were sold with the optional 7.3L V-8 diesel
engine. This engine helped to put Ford among
the leaders in diesel trucks, as they had more
than they needed to dominate the market.

Chevrolet/GMC
The GM 2500/3500 twins Silverado HD and Sierra
HD both come standard with GM’s 6.0L gas engine
V-8. This engine is ideal for 3/4 ton trucks
where towing isn’t a concern. The upgrades
start with the 8.1L gas V-8 that’s based on
Chevrolet’s venerable big block engine.

Over the years, diesel trucks have proven to be
effecient with mileage, great for towing, and
easy on maintenance. Unlike gas engines, diesel
engines do not have spark plugs, which means
you won’t need to get them tuned up near as
much as gasoline engines.

For those who like to haul heavy loads on a
frequent basis, diesel is the way to go. You
can get quite a few miles per gallon, and
diesel trucks are built to go 250,000 miles or
more before the engine needs to be rebuit,
making them a purchase that is more than worth
your money.

Backhoe Loader

Also referred to as a loader backhoe, the backhoe
loader is an engineering and excavation vehicle that
consists of a tractor, front shovel and bucket and
a small backhoe in the rear end. Due to the small
size and versatility, backhoe loaders are common
with small construction projects and excavation type
work.

Originally invented in Burlington Iowa back in 1857,
the backhoe loader is the most common variation of
the classic farm tractor. As the name implies, it
has a loader assembly on the front and a backhoe
attachment on the back.

Anytime the loader and backhoe are attached it is
never referred to as a tractor, as it is not normally
used for towing and doesn’t normally have a PTO.
When the backhoe is permanently attached, the
machine will normally have a seat that can swivel
to the rear to face the backhoe controls. Any type
of removable backhoe attachments will normally have
a seperate seat on the attachment itself.

Backhoe loaders are common and can be used for many
tasks, which include construction, light transportation
of materials, powering building equipment, digging
holes and excavating, breaking asphalt, and even
paving roads.

You can often replace the backhoe bucket with
other tools such as a breaker for breaking and
smashing concrete and rock. There are some loader
buckets that offer a retractable bottom, which
enable it to empty the load more quickly and
efficiently.

The retractable bottom loader buckets are often
times used for grading and scratching off sand.
The front assembly on a backhoe may be either
removable or permanently attached. Often times,
the bucket can be replaced with other tools or
devices. In order to mount different attachments
to the loader, it must be equipped with a tool
coupler. The coupler consists of two hydraulic
cylinders on the end of the arm assembly, which
can expand and retract to allow different tools to
be attached to the unit.

There are several types of backhoe loader brands,
including New Holland, John Deere, and Case. Some
will offer you cabs, while others won’t. The
newer types of backhoe loaders even offer you air
conditioning, radios, and other accessories that
make you feel like you are working with luxury.

Common with excavating jobs, the backhoe can serve
many purposes. It can haul equipment and supplies
in the loader bucket. Another great use is to cover
up dirt when filling in trench lines or covering
up pipe that was just put in the ground. The
backhoe attachment at the rear is ideal for digging
water pipes and sewer pipes.

The best thing about the backhoe loader is the
fact that they are easy to operate. You don’t
need to be a rocket scientist to fully operate this
nifty piece of equipment.

Advantages Of Diesel Engines

If you’ve owned a diesel powered vehicle in the
past or if you own one now, you no doubt appreciate
the qualities this engine provides you with. More
torque, better fuel economy, and easier maintenance
are but a few of the attributes of owning diesel
powered vehicles.

However, there are some motorists that still
complain about the engine’s weak power, especially
when accelerating from a full stop. What you
may not be aware of is the fact that a diesel
engine can be tweaked to give more power without
harming the fuel economy.

Diesel engines use air compression to create
combustion versus the fuel/air mixture that is
required by gas engines. This attribute means
that diesel engines don’t require spark plugs
and therefore don’t need to be tuned up.

Diesel fuel has a much high fuel density than
gas, which results in fuel economy increases
of 20 – 30% over gasoline powered vehicles.

Diesel engines are also cheaper to maintain as
they have less parts than that of a gasoline
powered engine. The life span of a diesel
engine is also much longer.

If you’re looking for torque, for pulling a
boat or other equipment, then the diesel
engine has the supreme advantage. Diesel
engines are surely slower, especially when
starting from a dead stop, although when you
climb hills or go over bridges, the diesel
engine is surely up to the task.

With trucks, diesel is normally the leader
over gas engines in terms of performance and
miles per gallon. Diesel trucks will get
more miles than gas trucks, and the price for
diesel is a bit cheaper than gas these days.
And with gas prices on the rise, diesel will
continue to dominate for a long time to come.

Diesel And Gas Prices

Over the years, the prices of both gas and diesel
have experienced some drastic changes. Many years
ago, the price of gas was around a dollar or a
little more, nothing like it is today. Back then,
gas wasn’t high in price although the demand for
vehicles wasn’t what it is today either.

As the demand for vehicles grew, the demand for
fuel grew as well. Other actions and events have
played into the equation as well, resulting in
the rising costs of fuel. Fuel is something we
all need to run our vehicles, as we wouldn’t be
able to go anywhere without it.

As you may know, a majority of the gas we get at
local gas stations comes from overseas, primarily
the Middle East. Therefore, we have to pay taxes
and such on the gas we use, which pays for the
gas as well as the shipping. If we got our gas
from within the United States, one can’t help
but wonder whether or not the prices would indeed
be lower.

Diesel on the other hand, has always managed
to keep a price lower than gas. Diesel comes
from within the United States, so the prices are
of course going to be lower. The only problem
associated with diesel fuel is locating it, as
many gas stations don’t sell it.

When it comes to the choice between the two,
diesel fuel is obviously cheaper to buy. Gas is
in supply more, which means that you can find
it almost anywhere. If you own a gasoline
vehicle, you obviously don’t want to put diesel
in it. If you own a diesel vehicle, then you
of course wouldn’t want to put gas in it either.

Diesel Engines And Well Known Gas

In passenger cars, the diesel engine has never really
caught on. During the middle to late 70s, diesel
engines in passenger cars did notice a surge in
sales due to the OPEC oil embargo, although that is
the only real significant penetration that diesel
engines have made in the market.

Although diesel engines are more efficient, there
are eight historical problems that may have held
them back.
1. Due to the higher compression ratios,
diesel engines tend be heavier than the equivalent
gasoline engine.
2. Diesel vehicles and diesel engines tend to
be more expensive than gas.
3. Because of their weight and compression
ratio, diesel engines tend to have lower RPM ranges
than gas engines. This gives diesel engines more
torque rather than higher horsepower, and this tends
to make diesel vehicles slower in terms of acceleration.
4. Diesel engines have to be fuel injected,
and in the past fuel injection was very expensive
and less reliable.
5. Diesel engines tend to produce more
smoke and smell very funny when compared to gasoline
engines.
6. They are harder to start in cold weather
and if they contain glow plugs, the diesel engines
may require you to wait before you start the
engine so that the glow plugs can heat up.
7. Diesel engines are much noisier than
gas engines and tend to vibrate quite a bit.
8. Diesel fuel is less available than gas.

Although one or two of these disadvantages would be
acceptable, a group of them is a big turn away for
many people.

Even though the list above are reasons in the past
as to why diesel never really took off, you can
expect these reasons to get corrected and improved
in the future, meaning that you will see more and
more diesel vehicles on the road.

Caterpillar Equipment

Caterpillar Incorporated, also known as CAT is a
United States based corporation that is based in
Peoria, Illinois. The company commonly known as CAT
is known around the world as the largest manufacturer
of construction and mining equipment, diesel and
natural gas engines, and industrial gas turbines.

Well known and famous for their products that feature
the Caterpillar track and distinctive yellow paint,
CAT produces a wide range of heavy equipment for
all types of jobs, including the very popular
Caterpillar D9 bulldozer.

History
The story of CAT dates back to the late 19th century,
when Daniel Best and Benjamin Holt were experimenting
with different ways to fulfill the promise that
steam tractors held for farm work. Prior to 1925,
the Holt family had pioneered track tractors and
gasoline powered engines. After the companies of
Best and Holt were merged, the company went through
several changes then at the end of World War 2,
they began to grow at a very fast pace, launching
the first venture outside of the country in 1950,
which marked the beginning of CAT development into
a big corporation.

CAT equipment ranges from track type tractors to
hydraulic excavators, backhoes, motor graders, off
road trucks, wheel loaders, tractors, diesel and
gas engines, and gas turbines. CAT equipment is
used in construction, excavation, building roads,
mining, energy, forestry, transportation, and
material handling companies.

Sales
Over half of CAT’s sales are to customers in overseas
areas. CAT products are sold in almost 200 different
countries. The company has a worldwide network
of over 200 dealers – 63 in the United States and
over 150 in other countries. CAT equipment and
components are manufactured in 42 plants in the
United States and 58 plants in Australia, Belgium,
Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, India,
Japan, Mexico, and several other countries.

Labor
CAT almost went down in the early 1980s due to
the massive union strikes and a down turn in product
demand. At the time, several news reports indicated
that products were piling up so high in facilities
that temporary workers hired to work the lines
could barely get to their stations to perform their
jobs.

In the 1990s, CAT suffered yet another long strike
in which the company hired what it deemed to be
permanent replacements for union workers that
were on strike. During both strikes, jack rocks
were placed in the home entrances of many of
CATs top executives and employees, puncturing
the tires of their vehicles and making things
worse for the company.

Not long after the strike of the 1990s ended
and the economy started to get back up again, CAT
adopted the “6 Sigma” quality management program,
to help reduce costs and inventory and identify
and correct the defects in processes and products.

underwater digital camera: capturing moments underwater

Memories are created just about anywhere. And when I say anywhere, I mean that memories are

even created underwater – so the creation of underwater digital camera.

An underwater digital camera is not just used to capture underwater memories; some

professional marine photographers also use underwater digital cameras in their business.

Even marine biologists and scientists use underwater digital cameras to capture marine life

and thus be able to study the life and properties of the marine life. But I think it is

safe to assume that you, my reader, are neither a marine scientist nor a professional

photographer. Like me, you are just some photo junkie who wants to capture underwater

moments and just cant figure out how without ruining your cameras.

Please listen to me when I say that even waterproof cameras cannot withstand underwater

photography. To be waterproof is to resist the water in certain levels, submerging in under

the water to get the perfect shot is like throwing it out of the window expecting a pick-up

truck to pass by and run over it.

Now if you’re really serious about using an underwater digital camera to capture those

wacky and funny moments underwater, I suggest that you buy specialty cameras.

There are rarely underwater digital cameras, as cameras are electronic and cannot withstand

water and water pressure. The closest electronics has ever got to producing underwater

digital cameras are producing underwater casings for digital cameras. These casing will

turn your conventional digital camera into an underwater digital camera.

If you are shooting with your underwater digital camera, you need to take note of a few

things to help you come up with the best images underwater.

Remember that as you farther under water, light diffuses. This means that your underwater

digital camera will produce images darker than those images you took while on land – this

is because of the light diffusion the red spectrum seems darker. To avoid this, use white

balance come up with natural colors. Also, pictures taken underwater will come up larger

than pictures taken on land with the same zoom effect. Be sure to check your underwater

digital camera’s viewfinder to check the right picture angle and size that you want.

An underwater digital camera with its built-in flash will produce marine show phenomenon.

It is a phenomenon wherein your pictures come out as blurry and with white particles

floating above it, to avoid this phenomenon it is advisable to use external flash for your

underwater digital camera.

Before using your underwater digital camera, submerge the camera in the water first for

several seconds then check if there are leaks through the case. Make sure that no grain of

sand or piece of hair is stuck in between the seal to make sure that water will not

permeate the case and thus wet your camera in the process. It is also advisable to put

silica gel or two inside the case of your underwater digital camera as long as they don’t

disturb the camera’s operation. (Silica gel will keep the moisture from forming inside your

camera case.)

Most underwater digital cameras come with optional lenses. Don’t be afraid to add these

lenses to your underwater digital camera kit. Macro lenses will help you capture small

things without getting too close and startling your subject.

Also, remember to always wash of salt when you’ve used it under salt water. If the salts

are not washed off, in time they will crystallize; act as sands and cause leaks for your

camera case. In cases when sands seem to get into the case, they are better washed off with

streams of water.