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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    GM: Diesel For The Light-Duty Trucks Are Under Consideration

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      The 4.5L Diesel V8 Could Be Coming To GM's Pickups

    With Ram offering a small diesel and Ford announcing that next F-150 will be considerably lighter, GM is considering all options with their pickups to raise fuel economy. One of those options happens to be a 4.5L Diesel V8 that was planned to go into their pickups five years ago.

    Steve Kiefer, GM's vice president of global powertrain tells Automotive News that GM is considering dusting off that engine and slip it into their new trucks.

    "We are looking closely at diesel entrees in that segment. In fact, I heard the terms 'dust off' that 4½-liter at one point. That is certainly one of the options. Clearly, we have a portfolio of diesel engines," said Kiefer.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    YES YES YES, Put that bad boy into the Full Size SUV's line. Tahoe, Suburban, Yukon, Yukon XL and Escalade, Escalade ESV would do well with this.

    Class leading HP, Torque and MPG would be awesome for GM.

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    Well, GM needs to do something. With both Ram and Ford bring new innovations to the segment, GM really played it too safe with the redesigns of the trucks with not enough to set them apart from the competition.

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    We're talking like 7 years ago. Talk about another opportunity lost... oh well, bring it on, let's see what they've got.

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    Forget the 4.5 Duramax Diesel -- the cost, complexity and mass of a four cam V8 isn't worth the specific output improvement. A very simple solution is to simply build on the Pushrod-32v Duramax 6.6 architecture. Instead of building a smaller V8, just take two cylinders off the Duramax 6.6. The resulting 4.95L V6 will make about 300 bhp / 575 lb-ft. That's close enough to the projected 310 bhp output of the 4.5 they were developing and more importantly superior in stump pulling torque (which is what really matters in a truck). While they are at it, why not a 3.3L V4 with 200 bhp / 383 lb-ft? The beauty of a cam-in-block + pushrod design is that you can use a V configuration with no penalty in terms of number of camshafts or phasers needed. The Duramax 6.6 and/or it's 6 or 4 cylinder engines are already reverse flow engines where the exhaust exits the valley of the Vee permitting the efficient use of a single turbo instead of two smaller ones flanking the engine. Unlike the 4.5, the 4.9 and 3.3 Duramax 6.6 derivatives will share the piston, connection rods, wrist pins, valves, springs, lifters, pushrods, bolts and a huge number of other parts with the 6.6L sibling.

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    I agree with Dwightlooi, GM should just use the existing 6.6 and scale it down as a V6, V4 and really kick ass in the auto industry. People would buy up every 4.95L V6 powered Yukon Denali and Tahoe with this engine. I also can see huge sales in both full size and mid size pickups with a 3.3L V4 Duramax Engine.

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    Forget the 4.5 Duramax Diesel -- the cost, complexity and mass of a four cam V8 isn't worth the specific output improvement. A very simple solution is to simply build on the Pushrod-32v Duramax 6.6 architecture. Instead of building a smaller V8, just take two cylinders off the Duramax 6.6. The resulting 4.95L V6 will make about 300 bhp / 575 lb-ft. That's close enough to the projected 310 bhp output of the 4.5 they were developing and more importantly superior in stump pulling torque (which is what really matters in a truck). While they are at it, why not a 3.3L V4 with 200 bhp / 383 lb-ft? The beauty of a cam-in-block + pushrod design is that you can use a V configuration with no penalty in terms of number of camshafts or phasers needed. The Duramax 6.6 and/or it's 6 or 4 cylinder engines are already reverse flow engines where the exhaust exits the valley of the Vee permitting the efficient use of a single turbo instead of two smaller ones flanking the engine. Unlike the 4.5, the 4.9 and 3.3 Duramax 6.6 derivatives will share the piston, connection rods, wrist pins, valves, springs, lifters, pushrods, bolts and a huge number of other parts with the 6.6L sibling.

    What would the timeframe testing-to-production be like with this plan?

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    Forget the 4.5 Duramax Diesel -- the cost, complexity and mass of a four cam V8 isn't worth the specific output improvement. A very simple solution is to simply build on the Pushrod-32v Duramax 6.6 architecture. Instead of building a smaller V8, just take two cylinders off the Duramax 6.6. The resulting 4.95L V6 will make about 300 bhp / 575 lb-ft. That's close enough to the projected 310 bhp output of the 4.5 they were developing and more importantly superior in stump pulling torque (which is what really matters in a truck). While they are at it, why not a 3.3L V4 with 200 bhp / 383 lb-ft? The beauty of a cam-in-block + pushrod design is that you can use a V configuration with no penalty in terms of number of camshafts or phasers needed. The Duramax 6.6 and/or it's 6 or 4 cylinder engines are already reverse flow engines where the exhaust exits the valley of the Vee permitting the efficient use of a single turbo instead of two smaller ones flanking the engine. Unlike the 4.5, the 4.9 and 3.3 Duramax 6.6 derivatives will share the piston, connection rods, wrist pins, valves, springs, lifters, pushrods, bolts and a huge number of other parts with the 6.6L sibling.

    A few questions. I thought you had said on another thread that diesels benefited most from using DOHC due to the superior breathing offered from DOHC and the lack of air obstructions in diesels. It would certainly make intuitive sense that an engine that always runs lean would benefit most from using a DOHC valvetrain. Is the smaller packaging, lower parasitic friction of a pushrod V engine still sufficient to overcome the higher specific output / better breathing / lower reciprocating mass of a DOHC even in a diesel - at least in your estimation?

    The upcoming Canyon/Colorado are going to offer a 2.8L duramax, which is VMRA208 puts out ~200hp (possibly less after US emissions are added) and weighs ~520 lbs. The ecodiesel that Chrysler is using in the Grand Cherokee and the Ram 1500 is a Vm Motori A630 which puts out ~240hp and weighs ~500 lbs. Dimensions really don't look like the I4 does much to save space over the V6. So, at the end of the day, if these were the two options why on earth would GM choose the I4 over the V6? Is it a cost issue? Volume production issue? Will an I4 with a lower power output produce better fuel economy numbers of a more powerful V6? My impression is that perhaps this would be true in a gasoline engine with a throttle, but without a throttle does this logic still apply to a diesel?

    The dimensions of the ecodiesel, which is a DOHC 3.0L V6 are 695 mm (27.36 in) in length, 729 mm (28.7 in) in width and 697.5 mm (27.46 in) in height. Do you have the dimensions of the 6.6L duramax? And your proposed 4.95L smaller duramax, what would the proposed weight/dimensions of that engine be? Would it be appreciably larger and heavier than the ecodiesel?

    Your proposal seems to be fantastic on its face. 2 different displacement diesel engines for the half tons which would *easily* give them best in class fuel economy across all models. What are the drawbacks to doing something like this? Is there any limitation from attempting to shrink the current duramax architecture? How difficult would it be to add balance shafts to a V6 at that angle? Does it being a heavier diesel engine make any difference with balance shafts / NVH? Very genuinely curious since on its face your idea seems to result in engines that put out near *perfect* power/torque numbers for a half ton pickup, all built on an engine architecture that already exists and could be extremely modular - thus significantly reducing costs.

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    Your proposal seems to be fantastic on its face. 2 different displacement diesel engines for the half tons which would *easily* give them best in class fuel economy across all models. What are the drawbacks to doing something like this? Is there any limitation from attempting to shrink the current duramax architecture? How difficult would it be to add balance shafts to a V6 at that angle? Does it being a heavier diesel engine make any difference with balance shafts / NVH? Very genuinely curious since on its face your idea seems to result in engines that put out near *perfect* power/torque numbers for a half ton pickup, all built on an engine architecture that already exists and could be extremely modular - thus significantly reducing costs.

    It is not hard to add balance shafts... you can simply put one in the oil pan or above the camshaft. There is a difference between shrinking -- as in making the pistons, combustion chambers, valves, etc. smaller -- and simply removing two cylinders and changing the crank pin angles. The latter is easy because all the combustion and aspirational work is done. A diesel has heavier pistons and rods. They need bigger weights on the balancer. It doesn't affect refinement as much as it affects engine resposiveness. Still... the same applies to the 4.5 DOHC and the difference is immaterial between a 4.5 and a 4.95L engine. In fact, the 4.5 is trickier because it is a 72 degree Vee engine -- which is worse from a balance standpoint than a 60 degree (unbalance shafted) or a 90 degree (with balance shaft). This is why V6es are usually either 60 degree (for good intrinsic balance) or 90 degree (when derived from a 90 deg V8 or when it is desirable to stuff a supercharger or turbo(s) in the valley.The 72 degree angle was chosen entirely for packaging reasons to make the fat DOHC heads fit in the same width as a 90 deg pushrod design, and still be wide enough in the valley for the single turbo to fit

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    They need a 3 liter V6 diesel in a bad way, they just don't see it yet. There are other diesel V6s out there with 240ish hp and 425 lb-ft, whether they be in an Audi A6 or a Ram 1500, the numbers are similar. That is the sort of engine GM needs, with an 8-speed transmission you can keep the engine in it's power band and you'd have adequate acceleration, plus the fuel economy.

    Rumor is Ford is planning a diesel V6 with a 10-speed automatic for the F150, add that with the drop in weight and they are surely to have over 30 mpg in a pick up, if GM's best offering is 23 mpg, they are screwed.

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    Forget the 4.5 Duramax Diesel -- the cost, complexity and mass of a four cam V8 isn't worth the specific output improvement. A very simple solution is to simply build on the Pushrod-32v Duramax 6.6 architecture. Instead of building a smaller V8, just take two cylinders off the Duramax 6.6. The resulting 4.95L V6 will make about 300 bhp / 575 lb-ft. That's close enough to the projected 310 bhp output of the 4.5 they were developing and more importantly superior in stump pulling torque (which is what really matters in a truck). While they are at it, why not a 3.3L V4 with 200 bhp / 383 lb-ft? The beauty of a cam-in-block + pushrod design is that you can use a V configuration with no penalty in terms of number of camshafts or phasers needed. The Duramax 6.6 and/or it's 6 or 4 cylinder engines are already reverse flow engines where the exhaust exits the valley of the Vee permitting the efficient use of a single turbo instead of two smaller ones flanking the engine. Unlike the 4.5, the 4.9 and 3.3 Duramax 6.6 derivatives will share the piston, connection rods, wrist pins, valves, springs, lifters, pushrods, bolts and a huge number of other parts with the 6.6L sibling.

    A few questions. I thought you had said on another thread that diesels benefited most from using DOHC due to the superior breathing offered from DOHC and the lack of air obstructions in diesels. It would certainly make intuitive sense that an engine that always runs lean would benefit most from using a DOHC valvetrain.

    IIRC; the emphasis was on 4-valve heads for air flow, not DOHC. Duramax is an IBC 4-valve design- best of both worlds in some instances.

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    I believe a fullsize half-ton diesel should be a V6. Dodge has one, Ford is bringing one... GM needs one as well.

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      # # #
      2019 CHEVROLET SILVERADO 3.0L DURAMAX TURBO-DIESEL SPECIFICATIONS
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    • By Drew Dowdell
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      Chevy Press release on page 2


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      Chevrolet engineers started with a clean-sheet design and developed an all-new engine that leverages the efficiency and refinement advantages of the inline six-cylinder architecture and incorporates advanced combustion and emissions technologies to optimize performance and efficiency. It is priced identically to the 6.2L V-8 as a $2,495 premium over a 5.3L V-8 model or $3,890 over a 2.7L Turbo model.
      “From the moment the engine is started, to its idle, acceleration and highway cruising, the 3.0L Duramax performance will change perceptions of what a diesel engine can offer in refinement,” said Nicola Menarini, director for Diesel Truck Engine Program Execution. “With advanced technologies that draw on global diesel expertise, it’s a no-compromise choice for those who want the capability and driving range of a diesel in a light-duty truck.”
      Available on LT, RST, LTZ and High Country models, the 3.0L Duramax diesel rounds out the new Silverado’s range of six propulsion choices, each tailored to suit customers’ needs for performance, efficiency, technology and value. It is rated at an SAE-certified 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque delivering 95 percent of peak torque at just 1,250 rpm. Peak torque is sustained from 1,500 rpm through 3,000 rpm, providing a powerfully smooth and satisfying driving experience.
      The 3.0L Duramax is paired with GM’s 10L80 10-speed automatic transmission, featuring a centrifugal pendulum absorber torque converter that reduces vibrations to improve smoothness, reinforcing its performance, efficiency and refinement. This combination also offers exhaust braking, which uses the diesel engine’s compression to help slow the vehicle, requiring fewer brake applications by the driver when in Tow Haul mode.
      Innovative Engine Technologies
      The inline six-cylinder architecture offers inherent efficiency and refinement, but the team expanded with smart technology choices to help improve efficiency and weight while optimizing the truck experience. A lightweight aluminum block and cylinder head reduce overall mass, and Active Thermal Management enhances efficiency and cold-weather warm-up. Ceramic glow plugs also help with shorter heat-up times and a quicker cold start, meaning the engine block heater is not needed until -22 degrees F.
      Towing is an important part of owning a truck, and customers can gain additional confidence thanks to the exhaust brake available in tow-haul mode. The water charge air cooler, coupled with low pressure EGR, reduces time to torque. The variable geometry turbocharger helps provide a greater balance of performance and efficiency, and an electronically variable intake manifold helps optimize performance across the rpm band.
      Inherently efficient and balanced
      Compared to a DOHC V-6, the inline-six architecture offers greater efficiency from the reduced friction of operating only two camshafts and their associated valvetrain components. The I6 configuration offers the perfect balance of primary and secondary forces, without the need for balancing shafts.
      “In addition to reduced friction, the architecture enables smooth operation,” Menarini said. “The new Duramax 3.0L elevates the 2019 Silverado with one of the most refined and efficient diesel engines in the segment.”
      Along with supporting elements such as a tuned air induction system and other noise-attenuating elements, the 3.0L Duramax delivers exceptional quietness and smoothness at all engine speeds.
      All-aluminum construction and tough rotating assembly
      The 3.0L Duramax cylinder block is made of a cast aluminum alloy that provides the strength required to support the high combustion pressures that occur within a diesel engine, while also offering an approximately 25 percent mass savings over a comparable cast iron engine block. Iron cylinder liners are used within the aluminum block to insure truck durability.
      There are seven nodular iron main bearing caps that help ensure the block’s strength under those high combustion pressures, while also enabling accurate location of the rotating assembly. A deep-skirt block design, where the block casting extends below the crankshaft centerline, also contributes to the engine’s stiffness and refinement. It’s complemented by a stiffness-enhancing aluminum lower crankcase extension attached to the main bearing caps.
      The rotating assembly consists of a forged steel crankshaft, forged steel connecting rods and hypereutectic aluminum pistons. The alloys in the respective castings for the rods and pistons make them lightweight and durable. Silicon is blended with the aluminum for heat resistance and tolerance within the piston cylinders, which enhances performance and makes the engine quiet.
      A thick piston crown — the top of the piston — and reinforced top ring add strength to support the tremendous cylinder pressures enabled by turbocharging and the engine’s high 15.0:1 compression ratio.
      DOHC Cylinder Head and Rear Cam Drive
      Overhead camshafts offer a direct, efficient means of operating the valves, while four valves per cylinder activated by maintenance-free finger followers with hydraulic lash adjusters increase airflow in and out of the engine. This arrangement is integrated on the Duramax 3.0L’s lightweight aluminum cylinder head, which is topped with a lightweight composite cam cover that incorporates the crankcase ventilation and oil separation systems.
      A pair of lightweight, assembled camshafts actuates 28.35 mm diameter (1.12-inch) intake and 24.55 mm diameter (0.97-inch) exhaust valves. The camshaft drivetrain is uniquely located at the rear (flywheel side) of the engine, for greater refinement and packaging considerations for the comparatively long inline-six. A crankshaft-driven chain drives the high-pressure direct-injection fuel pump, while a chain driven by the fuel pump drives both intake and exhaust camshafts. A smaller belt drives the variable flow oil pump from the crankshaft.
      Additional Technology Highlights
      Variable geometry turbocharging enables the Duramax 3.0L engine to deliver class-leading horsepower with minimal effect on overall efficiency. The system uses closed loop controlled vanes position and sophisticated electronic controls to automatically adjust boost pressure to the desired value based on engine running conditions and instantaneous power demand. The liquid-cooled turbocharger features a low-friction ball-bearing shaft and is mounted close to the exhaust outlet of the engine for quicker spool-up of the turbine and quicker light-off of the exhaust catalyst. A water-to-air intercooling system produces a cooler higher density air charge for greater power. Maximum boost pressure is 43,5 psi (300 Kpa) absolute.
      Low-pressure EGR: The Duramax 3.0L utilizes new low-pressure Exhaust Gas Recirculation to optimize performance and efficiency. The EGR system diverts some of the engine-out exhaust gas and mixes it back into the fresh intake air stream, which is drawn into the cylinder head for combustion. That lowers combustion temperatures and rates.
      Traditionally, EGR systems in diesel applications recirculate exhaust gases between the two high-pressure points, the exhaust manifold(s) and intake manifold. However, it generally requires efficiency-robbing assistance from the turbocharger or other supporting elements to achieve the pressure differential required for sufficient EGR flow rates.
      The new low-pressure system adds to the high-pressure system, supporting continual adjustment of exhaust backpressure for more efficient operation. It recirculates gases between the low-pressure points in the exhaust system (downstream of the particulate filter) and after the compressor inlet.
      When the low-pressure EGR is activated by an electronically controlled valve, the engine burns exhaust gas that has already passed through the particulate filter. That increases the turbocharger’s efficiency, which helps overall vehicle efficiency without deteriorating the rate of particulate matter emitted by the engine.
      A variable intake manifold offers dual air intake pathways for each cylinder. Electronically controlled flaps — one for each cylinder — shorten or lengthen the airflow to each cylinder. This optimizes the airflow into the engine and improves performance and responsiveness across the rpm band, particularly at lower engine speeds.
      A variable-pressure oiling system with a continuously variable-displacement vane oil pump enhances efficiency by optimizing oil pressure as a function of engine speed and load. With it, the oil supply is matched to the engine requirements rather than the excessive supply of a conventional, fixed-displacement oil pump. The engine uses low-friction Diesel Dexos 0W20 oil.
      Oil jets located in the block are employed for performance and temperature control. They target the inner core of the piston with an extra layer of cooling, friction-reducing oil. The jets reduce piston temperature, allowing the engine to produce more power and enhance long-term durability than engines without the technology.
      Active Thermal Management helps the engine warm up quickly to achieve and maintain its optimal engine temperature for performance and efficiency over the entire engine operating range. The system uses a three-actuator rotary valve system to distribute coolant through the engine in a targeted manner. It sends heat where it’s needed to warm up the engine to reduce friction and heat the passenger cabin or cools when needed for high-power operation. The Duramax 3.0L also features split cooling between the block and head.
      Common rail direct fuel injection of 2,500 bar (36,250 psi) helps generates class-leading horsepower and torque. The system’s pressure is generated by an engine-driven twin-piston pump sending fuel to solenoid-activated injectors with nine-hole nozzles that support precise metering of the fuel for a smooth idle and lower combustion noise. The fuel system is capable of multiple injections per combustion cycle — up to 10 times per injector — for more consistent and stable combustion performance that translates into smoothness and refinement, particularly at idle.   
      Electronic throttle valve: The Duramax 3.0L features an electronic throttle valve to regulate intake manifold pressure in order to optimize exhaust gas recirculation rates. It also contributes to a smooth engine shutdown via a more controlled method of airflow reduction.
      Ceramic glow plugs used in the Duramax 3.0L heat up more quickly and hotter than conventional metal-based glow plugs, helping the engine start and heat up more quickly in cold weather. The Duramax 3.0L achieves unassisted and assisted starting temperatures of -22 F (-30 C) and -40 F (-40 C) respectively.
      Stop/start technology helps optimize efficiency in city driving. The driver-selectable system shuts off the engine at stoplights and other stop-and-go situations. The engine automatically restarts when the driver takes their foot off the brake.
      ABOUT CHEVROLET
      Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 100 countries and selling more than 4.0 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
      # # #
      2019 CHEVROLET SILVERADO 3.0L DURAMAX TURBO-DIESEL SPECIFICATIONS
      Type:
      Duramax 3.0L DOHC Turbo Diesel I6 
      Bore & Stroke (in. / mm):
      3.30 x 3.54 inches (84mm x 90mm)
      Block Material:
      Aluminum
      Cylinder Head Material:
      Aluminum
      Compression Ratio:
      15.0: 1
      Firing Order:
      1-5-3-6-2-4
      Valvetrain:
      Dual-overhead camshafts, four-valves per cylinder
      Air Delivery:
      Single variable-geometry turbocharger; intercooling system. 42.8-psi / 2.95 bar max boost
      Fuel Delivery:
      High-pressure, common-rail direct injection (36,250 psi / 2500 bar); electronic throttle valve
      Ignition System:
      Compression
      Max Engine Speed:
      5100 rpm
      Additional Features:
      Continuously variable oil pump; engine oil cooler, automatic stop/start, Active Thermal Management,
      Emissions Control:
      Low-pressure Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR); Selective Catalyst Reduction on Filter (SCRF)
      Horsepower
      (hp / kW @ rpm):
      277 / 204 @ 3750 (SAE certified)
      Torque
      (lb.-ft. / Nm @ rpm):
      460 / 624 @ 1500 (SAE certified)
       
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