Take a look at some of the diesel longblock and complete engines we have built for stock. These are ready to ship same day!
Take a look at some of the diesel longblock and complete engines we have built for stock. These are ready to ship same day!
Technology is progressing at an ever increasing rate. The future is now! It seems you can’t go a day without reading about robots, self driving cars or even the new Hyperloop projects which will transport people hundreds of miles in mere minutes. Many of those in the automotive and transportation sectors believe diesel engines best days are behind them. A team of scientists however believe there is still use left for the diesel engines in the world of tomorrow.
A team of researchers at Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland are working on a different fuel source for the engines known as Dimethyl Ether (DME). DME is a biofuel derived from methane. Methane is commonly captured from decomposing organic material, agriculture, waste and coal and reused as a fuel source. DME is viewed as a clean diesel fuel source and will be able to be used with existing diesel engines.
The problem with electric or hydrogen based engines is that every truck, bus or agriculture vehicle would have to replace or adapt its existing engine. This wouldn’t be the first massive change to diesel engine design. Manufactures were forced to re-engineer diesel engines with emissions abatement technology in the late 1990s. Fortunately, the EPA Tier Regulations first brought forth in 1994, offered a gradual approach to reducing emissions regulations over a period of 30 years, thus allowing manufactures time to perfect the technology. Older less efficient diesel engines currently in use were allowed to be grandfathered in.
The use of DME as a fuel source could be the solution the to the emissions problem without sacrificing horsepower, torque or costly maintenance repairs. The transition to DME would be fairly simple for manufacturers who will be able to adapt current technology of existing motors rather than design a new engine from scratch.
Diesel fuel has always had a bit of an image problem due to the emissions the engines create. Just recently China vowed to ban the use of diesel engines in the coming years. Europe is also on board with the UK and France introducing a plan to phase out both new diesel and gas engine manufacturing starting in the year 2040. India, not wanting to be left behind, announced they are committing $2 billion to developing second hand biofuels. All countries are looking towards alternative fuels as demand for energy grows and supply diminish.
Mr. Ahmed Osman, a scientist, working on the DME project at Queen’s University, stated, “Diesel fuel is finite and the world will eventually run out of oil and gas, quite possibly, by the second half of this century. As a result, there is a real need for clean renewable energy sources.”
DME produces virtually no toxins, unlike fossil fuels. The new fuel source is also incredibly easy to store and transport as its natural state is a gas much like propane. However, it can also be stored as liquid for filling stations. Mr. Ahmed believe that DME has limitless possibilities including a heating and cooking oil replacement, transportation fuel or used in mass quantities for power generation.
DME is not a new product but has been around for decades, mostly in use as a propellant. During the 1990s when CFCs were banned, DME gasses were uses as a suitable replacement in aerosol containers. Some countries such as Brazil, Egypt, Japan, Korea and Japan have used it for energy as well. There is no smoke or fumes with DME and can be produced from renewable sources such as food waste in landfills.
Nobody knows what the future will hold for diesel. Prolific diesel engine manufacturer, Cummins Inc., is hedging their bets by developing electric engine technology of their own. Just a few weeks ago they were the first company to introduce the very first electric powered semi-truck. While many companies are putting their money into electric powered research others are not quite ready to abandon diesel technology. US based Obreon Fuels is one such company that is banking its future on the diesel engine and DME.
President of Obreon Fuels, Rebecca Boudreaux, believes that diesel will be here to stay. She stated, “Compression engines are extremely powerful which is why they have been used around the world for a very long time. DME behaves just like diesel in these engines.” Where diesel has an advantage over gas or electric engines is the greater potential energy stored in the fuel. The more energy available for compression means the greater torque generated for pulling heavy loads. Diesel will always be the fuel of choice for fuel efficiency and trucking.
The commitment to alternative fuel sources has grown increasingly from a back burner idea just a few years ago to a full fledged movement within the automotive industry. The Big 3 Automakers have been tinkering around with alternative fuels for roughly 10-15 years but only now have the prototypes moved into actual production. Mack Trucks is one of the companies with eye on the future.
For over 100 years Mack has been producing “tough as nails” diesel engines and heavy duty off-road industrial equipment. Over that time period they have seen their fair share of changes in the market. Mack Trucks was acquired by Volvo in 2000 but still produces trucks in conjunction with Volvo. The company is enthusiastic about DME and began testing the fuel with Obreon Fuels this year. The companies partnered up with New York City’s Department of Sanitation to test DME fuel in its fleet of Mack Pinnacle Trucks. The data gathered will help the companies develop a fuel and engine that runs optimally for both on-road and off-road applications.
Director of Product Strategy at Mack Trucks, Roy Horton, believes diesel engines will be around for a long time and are excited about the use of the DME with existing technology. Mr. Horton stated, “Our long-term outlook on diesel is that it will still be around for many years to come, and regarding the engine development, we have proven that the engine technology is capable.”
DME is certainly an exciting opportunity for the diesel engine industry and only time will tell if this fuel source could be the next big thing for the industry.
We here at Capital Reman are experts at grinding and remanufacturing diesel crankshafts. Crankshaft grinding consists of removing a minute amount of finished material from the rod and main journals to rebuild the part back to OEM spec. The full 25 step crankshaft remanufacturing process is quite intensive but is critical to complete engine rebuild. This article will explain the main components of a crankshaft’s design as well as the finer points of crankshaft remanufacturing.
A crankshaft consists of rod and main journals. These journals are the end bearings at the bottom of the connecting rods opposite the pistons. The journals (also called crankpins) are connected to counterweights via plates called the webbing. These counterweights help balance the load of the crankshaft when in motion. There is also the crankshaft nose which connects to a pulley or vibration damper. The rods and mains have oil galleries embedded in them to allow oil flow throughout the crankshaft. It is important that the bearing holes are lined up properly to allow oil flow. The back end of the crankshaft is connected to the flywheel.
The main reason crankshaft grinding is done is because the crank wears over time. Over thousands miles the end play between the crankshaft and the bearings increases. When the “fit” between the bearings and the crank isn’t perfect it lowers oil pressure and decreases lubricity. The less oil to the crank the faster it can wear out. When you reduce the size of the bearings you reduce the overall surface area too. Less surface area equals less friction and better engine performance. Also, when you grind a crankshaft the journals end up having a greater radius which by reducing stress at the corners. Engine performance with a reground crankshaft can be quite noticeable when on an engine dyno. Performance crankshafts can be lightened by drilling the pins but mostly when you talk about performance parts you are referring to the camshaft. Overall, the vast majority of crankshaft issues revolve around the bearings.
During the remanufacturing process the machinist is mostly concerned with grinding the rod and main journals. Upon initial inspection of the crankshaft, with the use of the micrometer, the machinist will determine what bearings need grinding. Indicators that a journal needs grinding include if the surface has wear and make it rough to the touch. Sometimes the journal will be knocked out of center and needs to be surfaced to round and straightened. Consequently, the journal diameter could be positioned out of square at both end of the pins. Each grind is different but all crankshafts can be ground to allow for more or less stroke depending on customer needs.
When the machinist has decided to remanufacture the crankshaft he will grind the top layer of the journal away to make the surface smooth. The amount taken off is determined by looking at what OEM spec is and then seeing how badly the journal is worn. Typical amounts removed are (Standard) 0.005”, 0.010”, 0.020” and 0.030”. A crank can be ground to as much as 0.050″ as this is the biggest bearing sizes the OEM makes. The crankshaft is loaded onto the machine and then positioned using a hand-wheel which controls the manual micrometer wheel-head infeed. When the size is determined the machinist will set the indexed ring to 0 and keep the hand-wheel at 0 position. Then the machinist turns a locking knob to engage the device. Before the machinist is ready to begin grinding he then takes into account a safety allowance for any tuning errors. There are 5 different safety allowance positions: .02”- .06”. Once the safety tolerance has been recorded the machinist will engage the wheelhead back with a lever and the micrometer infeed handwheel will turn counterclockwise with the same amount of preset as the stop knobs. Ginding can now being. The machinist will manually advance the wheelhead to the ground journal until it has completed the journey around the spinning crankshaft. It is imperative that the machinist watch the speed of the handwheel and adjust it with the width of the journal. A work preset knob allows for quick stock compensation from journal to journal and allows the machinist to jump to a new journal without having to reset the specifications.
After the crankshaft is ground to the appropriate size it is then polished. The journals are polished using a piece of emery paper or polishing belts. Polishing the journals prevents any sort of rough finish for the bearings to catch on. To polish the crankshaft the crank is spun in a counterclockwise fashion and the paper is manually placed on the journals while spinning. The journals become extremely smooth which reduces resistance and improves overall engine power and torque ratings. It should be noted that polishing the crankshaft is taken into account during the grinding process. The finished polish takes off just a little bit more material on top of the grind to the exact OEM spec.
Once the grind has taken place there is going to be quite a bit of excess clearance. The clearance is simply too much and must be brought back to factory tolerances. This is accomplished by installing undersized or oversized bearings because by grinding the new journal size is smaller. The bearings used should match the proper OEM clearances for oil flow at the diameter of the journal.
Some crankshaft rebuilders will undercut the crankshaft. Undercutting the crankshaft journals and then welding them back up will strengthen the crankshaft. Some cranks are unsuitable for grinding because they are well below OEM tolerances. In this instance you can scrap the crankshaft or decide to weld. The welding buildup includes a thermal spray and a stress relief process under extreme heat. All crankshaft will also be checked for straight. If the crankshaft is not centered the machinist will heat the crank and use a Gleason Welding and Straightening machine and re-position the crankshaft. Once the crankshaft is ground, polished and straightened it is checked for hardness via the Rockwell Hardness Scale. If the crankshaft is shipping to a humid climate it is coated in Cosmoline which is a rust proofing agent.
Crankshaft grinding is a methodical yet important part of engine remanufacutring. Today, CNC machinery can grinding and polish a crankshaft in a matter of minutes however doing it the manual way provides room for performance upgrades and a keen eye for overall strength of the crank.
We all know of the emissions issues that surround the diesel engine community. It has been a battle between the EPA, Manufacturers and Consumers for well over 20 years now. Physics.org has just broken a story that might revolutionize the industry in terms of emissions control.
Scientists at Loughborough University’s School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering have developed new technology that further converts NOx exhaust into harmless nitrogen and water. The problem with current emissions technology is that it doesn’t fully burn emissions particles a lower temperature points. The standard Selective Catalytic Reduction System (SCR) takes exhaust gas and further recirculates it through the combustion chamber to burn off larger hydrocarbon chains.
The technology works great however it does not factor in exhaust created at lower temperatures. The SCR operates best when exhaust temperatures are at or above 250 C°. The SCR works with Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) which is a mixture of urea and water (ammonia mixture) that neutralizes NOx particles. The problem is that DEF fluid doesn’t operate well at lower temperatures and is subject to clogging and damaging the engine. Despite the SCR and DEF technology, when a diesel engine encounters a cold start they still eject a great deal of untreated emissions. The catalytic converter doesn’t have time to warm up and work efficiently in conjunction with the DEF. These small bursts of fuel generally occurs with short start/stop trips such as city buses, construction equipment and standby generators. The result is that excessive NOx plumes are released into the environment without being properly neutralized.
The new technology, called Ammonia Creation and Conversion Technology (ACCT), works by thermally decomposing NOx using waste exhaust heat further downstream than other after treatment components. Then the system uses the decomposed waste to reform it into less toxic compounds which can be stored at low temperature points. Once the SCR system warms up the exhaust can be further cleaned by extending the standard SCR function to include ACCT waste. The ACCT system can neutralize carbon emissions at temperatures as low as 60 C°.
The current Loughborough technology is being designed with heavy duty diesel vehicles in mind but will be fully saleable for use in all diesel vehicles. In 2015 the UK estimated that 52,000 deaths could be attributed to prolonged exposure to diesel exhaust particulate matter. The Energy Technology Institute (ETI) is on board with the project saying “ACCT has the potential to viably produce gaseous ammonia at temperatures well below 190 C°, thus enabling increased conversion efficiency and lower NOx emissions.”
Time will tell if Ammonia Creation and Conversion Technology catches on in Europe and the US. It is a given that tougher environmental legislation will continue to be implemented as emission and environmental technology continues to improve.
This is an prime example of the dedication and craftsmanship that all of our employees show on a regular basis. We had brag a little but this is an absolutely awesome Remanufactured Caterpillar 3116 built by engine builder Ben Gunn. Nice job Ben!
Wednesday was a big day here at Capital Reman as we have upgraded our block surfacing equipment and boring bar machinery. Take a look at some action shots of the new equipment being delivered.
Capital Reman Exchange is proud to call Colorado our home. Based in the Mile High City, we call the Capitol City of Colorado our home, but ensure it is our client’s capital equipment and trust we strive to earn each and every day. We achieve trust through hands on ownership and an employee base that is second to none in skill and training.
Our modern facilities and equipment include our full machine shop and separate engine building departments. These facilities help keep Capital Reman Exchange a cut above the competition and allows us the flexibility to work with customers who are individual owners, fleet managers or anywhere on the spectrum.
We a certified AERA (Automotive Engine Rebuilders Association) machine shop. Our team of in-house diesel experts are qualified to assist you with:
- Remanufactured Diesel Engines
- Used Diesel Engines
- Camshafts and Followers
- Cylinder Heads
- Connecting Rods
- Rocker Assemblies
- Inframe and Overhaul Kits
We believe our consultative approach to solving diesel engine problems helps to craft the perfect solution to fit your specific application. Call us today, we would love to help you with all of your heavy duty engine needs!
All OEM manufacturer’s brand name, tradename, symbols or descriptions are for internal reference only. Any statement, website content, advertisement, literature or brochure should NOT be interpreted or implied as having any direct relationship with OEM manufacturers or their respective dealer network. Under no circumstance is any engine part or engine advertised by Capital Reman Exchange, LLC affiliated with any OEM manufacturers which includes but not limited to Caterpillar®, Cummins®, Detroit Diesel®, Mack®, John Deere®, Komatsu®, Waukesha®.