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Old 10-05-2010, 08:32 PM   #11
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Re: Long term idling gas engine an issue?

FWIW we idled our vehicles 24/7 on the border for years full blast ac in the summer and all electronics on. Drive them hard in 100 plus and then go straight to idle again for hours. Never had an issue that I knew of.
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:41 AM   #12
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Long term idling gas engine an issue?

Diesels, in general, should be fast idled when left on for extended periods of time.

IIRC, the diesel engines run cooler at idle than gassers which allows carbon to build up much more rapidly. High idling a diesel keeps the engine hotter, helping to prevent this, with the added benefit of more alternator juice and the A/C pumping more.

And FWIW, my understanding is that the extended idling "issue" was from certain fleet type uses where the engine was idled for hours at a time on a daily basis. Not from the occasional extended idle.

Gassers aren't afflicted this way.
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Old 10-10-2010, 10:16 PM   #13
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Re: Long term idling gas engine an issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by haywoodphotomaccom
FWIW we idled our vehicles 24/7 on the border for years full blast ac in the summer and all electronics on. Drive them hard in 100 plus and then go straight to idle again for hours. Never had an issue that I knew of.
My understanding is the carbon forms when the engine cools, so long time idling is not a problem provided you don't shut the engine off afterwards, but run them at high idle to remove the carbon, meaning your 100 plus runs probably did them good.

I do high idle the van with the SMB switch, but usually that is because I'm camped and not going anywhere anytime. I've spent the night in my F250 7.3L with it running and hit the highway each morning after without shutting down... the SMB is waaaay better, especially with the suburban heater, but my point is I don't seem to have caused any ill effects years later.
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:02 PM   #14
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Re: Long term idling gas engine an issue?

I think both Jage and Carringb have said this, but I'll just back it up with a recent read from the Ford Owners Manual (check it out if you need to know more). The gas engine can be idled without harm. One hour's idle equals 33 miles of driving (not much, but something to think about when calculating oil change times). The van can not be used as a permanent (not clearly defined) power source without voiding your warranty. Ford cautions that a window should be opened at least one inch while idling for more than a minute (turn on that CO monitor). Also, in the news today, some east coast state decided to make it illegal to idle your vehicle for more than one minute (worth a $100 ticket)! Smog control...
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Old 10-11-2010, 06:46 AM   #15
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Re: Long term idling gas engine an issue?

A big thing to remember about using it as a power source during idle, is that the stock alternator does not put out as much power during idle. I know when I air on the van and Star-cool I am usually still taking current from the battery.

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Old 10-11-2010, 12:22 PM   #16
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Re: Long term idling gas engine an issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalf77
A big thing to remember about using it as a power source during idle, is that the stock alternator does not put out as much power during idle. I know when I air on the van and Star-cool I am usually still taking current from the battery.

-greg
Very true. The newer V10s can be ordered with a 220 amp alternator, which I believe puts out around 180 amps at idle.
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Old 10-11-2010, 02:49 PM   #17
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Re: Long term idling gas engine an issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomH
As far as using the engine at idle to recharge the batteries, it depends upon the engine. The Sprinter diesel uses a a filtering fluid which will gum up the engine badly if the engine is idled very much. See this thread:
http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11031
my first post to the SMB Forum
great forum and nice to see an informative resource without personal attacks and badgering. Well done guys!

I'm in the early stages of putting together a design and favor a Sprinter EB van so this issue of diesel idling is of great interest. TomH had posted the link above under the Solar Panel thread, but since it deals with long term idling, I'm posting my questions here. Seems very strange to me that a Sprinter van that appears to be designed primarily for delivery operations as a cargo van has issues with idling for long periods. How can that be? Maybe I'm missing something in reading through that thread. For my use, I don't expect to idle the engine for long and would design the van's systems around that need but perhaps there might be circumstances where you need to and I don't want to be worried about gumming up the engine doing so. Any thoughts from the gurus? Thanks!

P.S. I'll be asking lots of questions in the coming weeks/months as I put together our design so thanks in advance. I'm jealous of everyone's cool gallery pics and am anxious to get on board.
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:23 PM   #18
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Re: Long term idling gas engine an issue?

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Originally Posted by jage
Well, for the record you can die of CO poisoning while you're awake. The catalytic converter is supposed to help (I've heard you can't suicide with a modern vehicle in the classic fashion)...

As far as the engines, you can idle either engine for long periods. It's not like your block will crack in half if you let it idle too long- it's been a long time pet peeve of mine that "you're not supposed to do this, not supposed to do that". Are you putting wear and tear on your engine? Absolutely. Shortening the life? Maybe. To a point you would care about? Questionable.

It's made of replicable parts, in fact the engine itself (block, whatever) is ultimately replicable. Is it worth the possible costs to abuse your engine in a particular manner? Quite probably.

Don't get me wrong, something like slapping 35" tires on without regearing the axles will eat your transmission. That's a stupid move. But if running the engine to use the A/C in the extreme cases takes your ultimate V10 engine life from 300,000 to 270,000 do you really care? That, to me, is the question.

[/rant]

I certainly see your point. In designing a Sprinter SMB, I had been thinking about using the alternator in idle as a generator. Seeing and thinking about dealing with this mess changed my mind, however:

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showth ... ght=idling

Don't think I want to deal with yuck like that.
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:01 AM   #19
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Re: Long term idling gas engine an issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomH
http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showth ... ght=idling

Don't think I want to deal with yuck like that.
Five sprinters, one has an engine problem, the guy rejects the first thesis: overfilling the oil out of hand, but already has a bent towards anti-idling (of his big trucks) so latches on to that as the explanation when the dealer is shuffling through random explanations of what happened?

At best that is a 1 in 5 problem with idling, and I remain unconvinced partly because the driving report doesn't give, necessarily, the whole story. (e.g. the guy could idle for 20 minutes and then shut down to go have a cig, knowing he has to wait another 10 before leaving). And the other 4 Sprinters he runs the same way seem fine.
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Old 10-12-2010, 03:00 PM   #20
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Re: Long term idling gas engine an issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
At best that is a 1 in 5 problem with idling, and I remain unconvinced partly because the driving report doesn't give, necessarily, the whole story. (e.g. the guy could idle for 20 minutes and then shut down to go have a cig, knowing he has to wait another 10 before leaving). And the other 4 Sprinters he runs the same way seem fine.
Are you saying have to wait 10 minutes before restarting a diesel after it's been turned off?
(sorry for my lack of experience)

I'm under the impression after reading that tread that the newer Sprinters 2008+ have issues with extended idling more so than the older models. Different engines, right? Perhaps there isn't enough data on the newer engines.

I still don't get it. If tractor trailers at truck stops can run their engines all night long, then I would consider the MB diesel engine to be flawed if it can't handle extended idling, no?

When designing a new SMB, is it better to scrap the Sprinter with a diesel and go with a conventional gas van design or just deal with this issue and keep idling to a minimum?

Heater - does anyone turn on the van in the morning to blast the heater rather than use the propane heater?

Electrical System - can you support your microwave and fridge on batteries alone and perhaps a solar panel without the need for a generator and not idling your engine for long? (assuming no shore power is available)

Sorry to ask so many dumb questions, I'm a newbie. Thanks!
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