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    GM To Face Civil Trial Over A Faulty Ignition Switch On January 11th


    • GM Heads To Trial Over A Faulty Ignition Switch Next Month

    General Motors will be heading to court on January 11th to face the first of several planned 'bellwether' cases over its defective ignition switch.

     

    On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in Manhattan rejected GM's claims to dismiss the case as the plaintiff provided sufficient evidence to justify letting a jury hear whether or not the switch caused or enhanced injuries in a crash.

     

    The case in question was brought to court by Robert Scheuer who crashed into two trees in Oklahoma on May 28, 2014. The Saturn Ion he was driving did not deploy the front airbags, which he says is a result of a defective ignition switch.

     

    Furman's decision "paves the way for the jury to have an unfettered and full view of GM's behavior in covering up this defect," said Bob Hilliard, lawyer for Scheuer in a statement.

     

    "We are fully prepared to go to trial, and introduce evidence showing that the ignition switch issue did not cause the injuries in this accident, or cause the airbags not to deploy," said GM spokesman James Cain in a phone interview with Reuters.

     

    This case is important as it is the first of six 'bellweather' cases being brought to trial. These cases are sometimes used in product liability litigation where hundreds or thousands of people have a similar case. The results of the six cases will help those decide whether or not to continue with their case or settle.

     

    Source: Reuters

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    Last year I purchased a 2008 Grand Prix for my teenager as a second hand purchase from an older guy for a dam good price.  I really like the car and so does he.  We took it in this week finally for an ignition switch recall, and after having it at the dealer for most of the day, I observed the fix.  The keys were originally made with slots for ring holders.  They plugged them with inserts that convert it to a simple round hole instead.  When I asked the service tech as to why exactly, he did not know.  My guess, it prevents the potential for a slight cantilever moment at one end of the slot, that could rotate the ignition.

     

    Wow.  

     

    s-l300.jpg

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    Last year I purchased a 2008 Grand Prix for my teenager as a second hand purchase from an older guy for a dam good price.  I really like the car and so does he.  We took it in this week finally for an ignition switch recall, and after having it at the dealer for most of the day, I observed the fix.  The keys were originally made with slots for ring holders.  They plugged them with inserts that convert it to a simple round hole instead.  When I asked the service tech as to why exactly, he did not know.  My guess, it prevents the potential for a slight cantilever moment at one end of the slot, that could rotate the ignition.

     

    Wow.  

     

    s-l300.jpg

     

    Only some of the vehicles get that fix, other replace the entire lock cylinder.  It depends on which vehicle you get. 

     

    The reason for the insert is this:

     

     

    A GM spokesman, Alan Adler, said a combination of excessive weight on the key and a jarring event could pull the key into “accessory” mode. If that happens, the engine cuts off and airbags are disabled.

    “The ignition switch is slightly out of spec; however, the whole system is in spec,” Adler said. “We don’t have a bad part that we’re replacing. The issue is more external.”

     

    So I'm guessing you're right in that putting the insert into the key prevents leverage from switching the key position to Acc. 

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    1. If he feels it aint safe for his offspring....he could sell said GM product.

     

    2. Id he decides to keep said GM car...its because he feels it safe...therefore there is no WOW at the end of his "comment"

     

    3. .....

     

    4. He finally took it in during holiday season? How convenient it is for him...

     

    5. ....

     

    .

     

    MAybe its a nice engineering fix....but there is no WOW at the end of that!

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    It is a wow in that it is a simple fix.   The GP is one of the GM cars with the ignition on the dash, a key with a slot in it rather than a single hole would be at an angle when in the run position.  If the driver has a lot of heavy weight on it tugging down, that weight could notch the key vertical (to Acc.) when hitting a bump.  The insert into the key would prevent that movement from happening.

     

    post-51-0-09557700-1451596740_thumb.jpg

     

     

    Edit:  And I have been mostly off from work in December 12th.  I've had two recalls done on my Honda, inspection, ball join repair, and had the Oldsmobile inspected and some repairs, plus re-doing an apartment that I plan to offer for lease next month..... lots of us use this time of year to catch up on things.

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    Yup, the 'wow' was that it was such a simple fix.  I figured there was an inspection done as well, but seeing as how the car has over 100K miles on it now, I bet that was considered into the decision.

     

    By the way, the Grand Prix is an excellent used vehicle to consider for family who are shopping for used and affordable.  The market is flooded with them, and although the car had it's faults, I recall shopping around and there were many with nearly 300K miles on that trusty Series III 3.8L.  The engine is rough when pushed, but it's torque down low makes up for most of that.  Ours was spotless from original retired owner, and I swear, nobody ever even sat in the back seat. 

     

    And the reason I purchased used is simple.  Insurance costs.  If you have a teen, you know what I mean.  

     

    And olds......really?

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    I forgot...I have access to cute little emoticons. So Ill just start using them, like I did when I first joined up here.

     

     

    Last year I purchased a 2008 Grand Prix for my teenager as a second hand purchase from an older guy for a dam good price.  I really like the car and so does he.  We took it in this week finally for an ignition switch recall, and after having it at the dealer for most of the day, I observed the fix.  The keys were originally made with slots for ring holders.  They plugged them with inserts that convert it to a simple round hole instead.  When I asked the service tech as to why exactly, he did not know.  My guess, it prevents the potential for a slight cantilever moment at one end of the slot, that could rotate the ignition.

     

    Wow.  

     

    s-l300.jpg

    :bs:

     

    Yup, the 'wow' was that it was such a simple fix.  I figured there was an inspection done as well, but seeing as how the car has over 100K miles on it now, I bet that was considered into the decision.

     

    By the way, the Grand Prix is an excellent used vehicle to consider for family who are shopping for used and affordable.  The market is flooded with them, and although the car had it's faults, I recall shopping around and there were many with nearly 300K miles on that trusty Series III 3.8L.  The engine is rough when pushed, but it's torque down low makes up for most of that.  Ours was spotless from original retired owner, and I swear, nobody ever even sat in the back seat. 

     

    And the reason I purchased used is simple.  Insurance costs.  If you have a teen, you know what I mean.  

     

    And olds......really?

    :bs:

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    I currently have 2 GM products with my name on the title, and one mopar.  I have personally owned / leased over a dozen GM products in my days, and I was raised in GM products.....and I still qualify for GM discounts through my retired GM father.  I have also owned several Honda's, Subaru and even Nissan.  

     

    Olds, are you suggesting I would never own GM as a Ford employee?  Actually, never mind.  I don't know what you are suggesting, and honestly don't care.

     

    Happy New Year anyway, you crazy Greek you.

    Edited by Wings4Life
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    Happy New Year to you to, Wings...

     

    Hopefully after decades of the same 'ol same 'ol routine of yours on the internet of being less than truthful of your intentions....you will change your ways...

     

    Like I said, I see right through you!

    Im like the oracle of Delphi.

     

     

    PS: Im not the one who followed a handful of MT posters in this website just to continue the less than truthful intentions, Wings.

    Id look in the mirror before Id start calling someone else twisted...

    The Greek part.

    Well, the part of Greece my mom comes from, yeah, they are a tad twisted, so no harm in you saying that, its the truth...

    However, If I was you, Id seriously take a reflection of what it is you do for the past 2 decades in internet forums and Id change it...

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    The Cobalt ignition switch was really the only ignition that was significantly substandard, because it was not only designed on the cheap to start with, but the 3rd party manufacturer built the design to an even lower standard, but the price was right and GM accepted it without scrutiny.

     

    GM recalling a few million w-bodies and gen 5 Camaros over zero deaths and just a dozen or so shutoff complaints was more about saving face with the public.

     

    The modified key with the hole in the middle is a very practical fix, it's logically sound to remove twisting leverage from the load of the keychain, since people can't be held responsible for keeping two pounds of keychains hanging on their fob. Ask any mechanic the sort of keychains they get from customers, especially ones with ignition problems.

     

    These ongoing trials are now a sh*t show for money grubbing lawyers.

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    The Cobalt ignition switch was really the only ignition that was significantly substandard, because it was not only designed on the cheap to start with, but the 3rd party manufacturer built the design to an even lower standard, but the price was right and GM accepted it without scrutiny.

     

    GM recalling a few million w-bodies and gen 5 Camaros over zero deaths and just a dozen or so shutoff complaints was more about saving face with the public.

     

    The modified key with the hole in the middle is a very practical fix, it's logically sound to remove twisting leverage from the load of the keychain, since people can't be held responsible for keeping two pounds of keychains hanging on their fob. Ask any mechanic the sort of keychains they get from customers, especially ones with ignition problems.

     

    These ongoing trials are now a sh*t show for money grubbing lawyers.

     

    Are you suggesting of the 169 deaths and hundreds more injured, that it only involved Cobalt?  I did not know.  I mean, I know there were many vehicles recalled, but if that is true, that is a bit surprising to go to such lengths to save face.

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    The Cobalt ignition switch was really the only ignition that was significantly substandard, because it was not only designed on the cheap to start with, but the 3rd party manufacturer built the design to an even lower standard, but the price was right and GM accepted it without scrutiny.

     

    GM recalling a few million w-bodies and gen 5 Camaros over zero deaths and just a dozen or so shutoff complaints was more about saving face with the public.

     

    The modified key with the hole in the middle is a very practical fix, it's logically sound to remove twisting leverage from the load of the keychain, since people can't be held responsible for keeping two pounds of keychains h anging on their fob. Ask any mechanic the sort of keychains they get from customers, especially ones with ignition problems.

     

    These ongoing trials are now a sh*t show for money grubbing lawyers.

     

    Are you suggesting of the 169 deaths and hundreds more injured, that it only involved Cobalt?  I did not know.  I mean, I know there were many vehicles recalled, but if that is true, that is a bit surprising to go to such lengths to save face.

     

     

    There are two primary recalls over the ignition switch problem.  The "main" one where the entire switch itself is replaced only involves the Chevy Cobalt and HHR, Pontiac G5 and Solstice, and Saturn Ion and Sky.  Those are the only ones with a part number specifically linked to any injuries or fatalities.   

     

    There is a second group of recalls that involve the fix you got Wings, where just the keys are modified. This recall involves a different part number and no injuries or fatalities.  This is the "saving face" recall where GM is extending an extreme level of caution just to be on the safe side.  This recall involves the final generation W-Body cars (Lacrosse, Intrigue, Impala, Monte Carlo, Grand Prix), the N-Body cars (Early Malibu, Grand Am, Alero), the G-Body (Lucerne, Deville, DTS), and some of the early Sigma cars (CTS, Early SRX, but NOT STS), and the Camaro. 

     

    The total number of vehicles recalled around 6 million in this country.   Another point to be made is that the percentage of crashes where the airbags did not deploy due to this issue is well below the rate of non-deployment industry wide.  Even the Department of Transportation states that the airbags fail to deploy in up to 2% of crashes.    Even if 0.5% of the total of the recalled GM vehicles (30,000) were involved in a crash where the airbags should deploy, 169 vehicles where the airbags didn't deploy would be just 0.56%.... there would have to be 3.5 times as many instances of this situation happening just to meet industry average.

     

    Naturally, GM should be making sure that their vehicles are as safe as can be engineered for, but at the same time this is a very large mountain built from mole hills, and it doesn't surprise me at all that GM will defend itself where it can. 

     

    Edit:  Actually, I made an error above.  The total number of vehicles recalled for the ignition is 17.3 million, not 6 million (which seemed too low and why I went and checked more).  I'm not going to redo all of my percentages, even at 6 million, my point has been more than made. 

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    Thank you for that clarifying post, Drew. The Cobalt's sales volume and publicity dwarfed the other related models involved in the primary ignition case, so I tend to gloss over them.

     

    @wings - I hope his post answered your question.

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    Guest Howie

    Posted · Report

    [...] Even if 0.5% of the total of the recalled GM vehicles (30,000) were involved in a crash where the airbags should deploy, 169 vehicles where the airbags didn't deploy would be just 0.56%.... there would have to be 3.5 times as many instances of this situation happening just to meet industry average.

    Naturally, GM should be making sure that their vehicles are as safe as can be engineered for, but at the same time this is a very large mountain built from mole hills, and it doesn't surprise me at all that GM will defend itself where it can. [...]

     

    As mentioned, not all "ignition switch" recalls are the same. Most of them involved the design of the key and were made out of extra-caution.

    The "real" faulty ignition switch recall actually involve 2,6 million vehicles.

    The 2% from the study is not the % of cars with non deploying airbags in the market, but the % of fatalities where the airbags didn't work.

     

    So

    a) You can't compare this 2% vs "0.56% of GM vehicles". It's rather 2% (market) vs 100% (GM faulty switch) of fatalities where the airbags didn't work.

    b) The 2% involve unknown causes which might include defect, but mostly design vs certain types of accident (the purpose of the study being to improve design and efficiency, as shown by improvement noticed between first, second and third gen airbags). GM where third gen rendered inoperative by a known mechanical design flaw. It's hardly "mountain built from mole hills" and, commendably, GM recognized it.

     

    Where GM has to defend itself in three areas :

    a) Trials from some of the 91% complaints GM deemed as not related to the ignition switch but as part of this "2%" the whole industry has to work on.

    b) Cases other than airbag related fatalities, going from annoying situations (car switching off without further consequences) to "who knew and how could this have happen".

    c) Some always willing to sue whatever...

     

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    I don't follow your reasoning for your first item a.  In that study, 2% of fatalities happened when the airbags didn't deploy, but were expected to have deployed. You cannot compare that to just the ignition related fatalities and not take into account the number of airbag deployments that did happen.  It's not 2% vs 100%.  

     

    If you want to look at just the main ignition recall numbers, that's fine too.  Assuming a rate of 0.5% of the 2,600,000 recalled vehicles have a crash that deploy the airbags, 169 where the airbags didn't deploy is still less than 2% ringing in at 1.3%.  What makes it hard is that both this study, and the 169 fatalities only count fatalities and not crashes that happened where no one died, but the airbags still did not properly deploy.   If you start to compare all injury claims on GM from this issue, you cannot then compare it to the 2% number from the DOT because that only counts fatalities. 

     

    In your first item b, you make an incorrect assumption.  The study was specifically looking at fatalities in frontal crashes. 

     

    From the study:

     

    The study examined only front seat occupants involved in frontal collisions, the type of crash in which front airbags are designed to provide protection. Each database had a different method of coding crash type. In FARS, frontal crashes were defined as having a principal impact of 11, 12, or 1 o’clock;

     

     

    Yes, it is a design flaw. Yes GM must fix it.  However, the "mountain made from mole hills" comment refers specifically to the rate of occurrence of this issue compared to airbag non-deployments industry wide.  Further, 169 fatalities is a drop in the bucket in relation to the over 30,000 fatal car crashes each year.   I don't want to sound like I am minimizing the 169 deaths that might have been prevented, but that number over 13 years when over 30,000 a year are dying in traffic accidents, one has to keep things in perspective.

     

    18 times as many people die just from not using seat belts each year (3,353 - 2010 : 3,394 - 2011 : 3,031 - 2012) than died from the total 13 years of this ignition switch issue. 4.5 times as many people die each year from not wearing a motorcycle helmet. (708 - 2010 : 706 - 2011 : 781 - 2012)

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    Drew, I agree with your remarks, except for your minimization of the 169 deaths and nearly 300 injuries.

    You simply can't do that.  That would be analogous to excusing a mass shooting because a person might have gone insane combined with the fact there are already many deaths and shootings in a given time frame anyway.  The victim's families could care less about numbers or relativity, they just want justice.  GM is not innocent here, of course, but regardless of how willing and honest and forthright they are now to make this go away, a lot of suffering has taken place.   

     

    And I know it is in the country's best interest to have GM move forward from this, and I think Mary B. has handled this exceptionally well, but the past mistakes do exist, and it is those mistakes and the ensuing justice that needs to be managed through all this.  And I also know that I was harsh in my remarks in the past toward GM on this, but credit where it is due.  GM is a great company, and that greatness is rising up from this terrible point in their history,  That's all one can do.

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    Drew, I agree with your remarks, except for your minimization of the 169 deaths and nearly 300 injuries.

    You simply can't do that.  That would be analogous to excusing a mass shooting because a person might have gone insane combined with the fact there are already many deaths and shootings in a given time frame anyway.  The victim's families could care less about numbers or relativity, they just want justice.  GM is not innocent here, of course, but regardless of how willing and honest and forthright they are now to make this go away, a lot of suffering has taken place.   

     

    And I know it is in the country's best interest to have GM move forward from this, and I think Mary B. has handled this exceptionally well, but the past mistakes do exist, and it is those mistakes and the ensuing justice that needs to be managed through all this.  And I also know that I was harsh in my remarks in the past toward GM on this, but credit where it is due.  GM is a great company, and that greatness is rising up from this terrible point in their history,  That's all one can do.

     

    I don't think I minimized anything regarding their death nor is it my intention to.   I am minimizing the hysteria that exists around the issue. 

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    By bringing up volumes of auto related deaths as 'perspective' and relating it as a 'drop in the bucket' you actually are.

    The huge percentage of those deaths are driver error, or weather related or involve alcohol, etc.  A small percentage are mechanical failures, and a tiny, tiny fraction are caused from manufacturing defects.  That is the percentage you should probably compare.

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    Guest Howie

    Posted · Report

    I agree with the gist of what you're saying but not with your statistical comparison which is apples and oranges.

    Your 0.56% or 1,3% would be the % of fatalities vs number of cars with non-deploying airbags.

    The 2% in the study is about the % of fatalities vs total fatalities (not cars) related to non-deploying airbags.

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    I agree with the gist of what you're saying but not with your statistical comparison which is apples and oranges.

    Your 0.56% or 1,3% would be the % of fatalities vs number of cars with non-deploying airbags.

    The 2% in the study is about the % of fatalities vs total fatalities (not cars) related to non-deploying airbags.

     

    Well.. no... my 0.56% or 1.3% is the percent of airbag non-deployment fatalities vs number of all recall affected cars involved in a crash.

     

    We simply don't have enough statistical data from a control group and the recall group to get much closer than this. 

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      A new electronically controlled, variable-vane turbocharger advances the Duramax’s legacy of variable-geometry boosting. Compared to the current engine, the system produces higher maximum boost pressure — 28 psi (195 kPa) — to help the engine make more power, and revisions to enhance the capability of the exhaust-brake system.
      Along with a new camshaft profile and improved cylinder head design, the Duramax’s new variable-vane turbocharger enables the engine to deliver more power with lower exhaust emissions. It uses a more advanced variable-vane mechanism, allowing a 104-degree F (40 C) increase in exhaust temperature capability. The self-contained mechanism decouples movement from the turbine housing, allowing operation at higher temperature. That enables the engine to achieve higher power at lower cylinder pressure. Additionally, it has lower internal leakage, allowing more exhaust energy to be captured during exhaust braking.
      The integrated exhaust brake system makes towing less stressful by creating added backpressure in the exhaust, resulting in negative torque during deceleration and downhill driving, enhancing driver control and prolonging brake pad life.
      Venturi Jet Drain Oil Separator
      A new Venturi Jet Drain Oil Separator employed with the Duramax 6.6L is the first of its type in the segment and is designed to ensure oil control in sustained full-load operation. The totally sealed system collects the fine mist of oil entrained in the blow-by gas and uses a small portion of the boosted air generated by the turbocharger to pump the collected oil back to the engine oil sump for re-use by the engine. Less sophisticated systems are not able to return this oil during full-load operation, which can result in oil carryover into the cylinders during combustion.
      Cold Start System
      The new Duramax also provides outstanding cold-weather performance, with microprocessor-controlled glow plugs capable of gas-engine-like starting performance in fewer than 3 seconds in temperatures as low as -20 degrees F (-29 C) without a block heater. The system is enhanced with ceramic glow plugs and automatic temperature compensation — a first-in-class feature providing improved robustness and capability. The automatic temperature compensation assesses and adjusts the current to each glow plug for every use, providing optimal temperature for cold start performance and durability.     
      Electronic throttle valve and cooled EGR
      Unlike a gasoline engine, a diesel engine doesn’t necessarily require a throttle control system. The Duramax 6.6L employs an electronic throttle valve to regulate intake manifold pressure in order to increase exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) rates. It also contributes to smoother engine shutdown.
      Additionally, a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system enhances performance and helps reduce emissions by diverting some of the engine-out exhaust gas and mixing it back into the fresh intake air stream, which is fed through the cylinder head for combustion. This lowers combustion temperatures, improving emissions performance by reducing NOx formation.
      The exhaust is cooled in a unique heat exchanger before it’s fed into the intake stream through a patented EGR mixing device, further improving emissions and performance capability. An integrated bypass allows non-cooled exhaust gas to be fed back into the system to help the engine more quickly achieve optimal operating temperature when cold.
      B20 Biodiesel Capability
      The new Duramax 6.6L is capable of running on B20 biodiesel, a fuel composed of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent conventional diesel. B20 helps lower carbon dioxide emissions and lessens dependence on petroleum. It is a domestically produced, renewable fuel made primarily of plant matter — mostly soybean oil.
      Manufacturing
      The new Duramax 6.6L turbo-diesel engine is produced with locally and globally sourced parts at the DMAX Ltd. (GM’s joint venture with Isuzu) manufacturing facility in Moraine, Ohio.
      Allison 1000 Automatic Transmission
      The proven Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission is matched with the new Duramax 6.6L. A number of refinements have been made to accommodate the engine’s higher torque capacity, including a new torque converter.
      The Allison 1000’s technologically advanced control features, such as driver shift control with manual shift feature and a patented elevated idle mode cab warm-up feature, haven’t changed. Also, the Tow/Haul mode reduces shift cycling for better control and improved cooling when towing or hauling heavy loads.
      There’s also a smart diesel exhaust brake feature that enhances control when descending steep grades.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Over the weekend, General Motors published and then deleted the power figures for the new 6.6L Duramax Diesel V8 that would be appearing in the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD. Today at the Texas State Fair, GM revealed everything about this new engine.
      We'll begin with the most important detail, power output. The numbers that GM revealed match the numbers posted to their powertrain site - 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque. Compared to the current Duramax V8, the new engine produces 48 more horsepower and 145 more pound-feet of torque.
      How was GM able to pull this off? They basically went through the engine with a fine tooth comb and made various changes. GM says 90 percent of this engine has been changed. Some of the changes include new electronically controlled, variable-vane turbocharger, revised cylinder heads, improved cooling, and revised fuel delivery system. The updated Duramax can also run B20 bio-diesel.
      Figures for payload and towing will be announced at a later date.
      Source: Chevrolet, GMC
      Press Release is on Page 2


      DALLAS — Chevrolet today announced the redesigned Duramax 6.6L V-8 turbo-diesel offered on the 2017 Silverado HD. This next-generation redesign offers more horsepower and torque than ever — an SAE-certified 445 horsepower (332 kW) and 910 lb.-ft. (1,234 Nm) — to enable easier, more confident hauling and trailering.
      Along with a 19 percent increase in max torque over the current Duramax 6.6L, the redesigned turbo-diesel’s performance is quieter and smoother, for greater refinement. In fact, engine noise at idle is reduced 38 percent.
      “With nearly 2 million sold over the past 15 years, customers have forged a bond with the Duramax diesel based on trust and capability,” said Dan Nicholson, vice president, Global Propulsion Systems. “The new Duramax takes those traits to higher levels.”
      The new Duramax 6.6L shares essentially only the bore and stroke dimensions of the current engine and incorporates a new, GM-developed control system. The Duramax’s signature low-rpm torque production hasn’t changed and still offers 90 percent of peak torque at a low 1,550 rpm and sustains it through 2,850 rpm.
      “Nearly everything about the Duramax is new, designed to produce more torque at lower rpm and more confidence when trailering or hauling,” said Gary Arvan, chief engineer. “You’ll also notice the refinement improvements the moment you start the engine, and appreciate them as you cruise quietly down the highway — with or without a trailer.”
      Additional highlights include:
      New, stronger cylinder block and cylinder heads New, stronger rotating and reciprocating assembly Increased oil- and coolant-flow capacity New EGR system with single cooler and integrated bypass New electrically actuated/electronically controlled turbocharging system All-new advanced solenoid fuel system All-new electronic controls New full-length damped steel oil pan that contributes to quietness New rocker cover/fuel system acoustical treatments B20 bio-diesel compatibility SAE-certified 445 net horsepower (332 kW) at 2,800 rpm SAE-certified 910 net lb.-ft. of torque (1,234 Nm) at 1,600 rpm A new, patent-pending vehicle air intake system — distinguished on the Silverado HD by a bold hood scoop — drives cool, dry air into the engine for sustained performance and cooler engine temperatures during difficult conditions, such as trailering on steep grades. Cooler air helps the engine run better under load, especially in conditions where engine and transmission temperatures can rise quickly. That allows the Duramax to maintain more power and vehicle speed when trailering in the toughest conditions.
      The intake design is another example of the advanced integration included in the 2017 Silverado HD that makes it over-the-road capable.   
      A strong foundation
      As with previous versions, the new Duramax block features a strong cast-iron foundation known for its durability, with induction-hardened cylinder walls and five nodular iron main bearings. It retains the same 4.05-inch (103mm) and 3.89-inch (99mm) bore and stroke dimensions as the current engine, retaining the Duramax’s familiar 6.6L (403 cu.-in./6,599 cc) displacement.
      A deep-skirt design and four-bolt, cross-bolted main caps help ensure the block’s strength and enable more accurate location of the rotating assembly. A die-cast aluminum lower crankcase also strengthens the engine block and serves as the lower engine cover, while reducing its overall weight.
      The new engine block incorporates larger-diameter crankshaft connecting rod journals than the current engine, enabling the placement of a stronger crankshaft and increased bearing area to handle higher cylinder loads.
      An enhanced oiling circuit, with higher flow capacity and a dedicated feed for the turbocharger, provides increased pressure at the turbo and faster oil delivery. Larger piston-cooling oil jets at the bottom of the cylinder bores spray up to twice the amount of engine oil into oil galleries under the crown of the pistons, contributing to lower engine temperature and greater durability.
      A new, two-piece oil pan contributes to the new Duramax’s quieter operation. It consists of a laminated steel oil pan with an upper aluminum section. The aluminum section provides strength-enhancing rigidity for the engine, but a pan made entirely of aluminum would radiate more noise, so the laminated steel lower section is added to dampen noise and vibration.
      There’s also an integrated oil cooler with 50 percent greater capacity than the current engine’s, ensuring more consistent temperatures at higher engine loads.
      Segment firsts
      Re-melt piston bowl rim Venturi Jet Drain Oil Separator Closed-loop glow plug temperature control Stronger pistons with remelt
      A tough, forged micro-alloy steel crankshaft anchors the new Duramax’s stronger rotating assembly. Cut-then-rolled journal fillets contribute to its durability by strengthening the junction where the journals — the round sections on which the bearings slide — meet the webs that separate the main and rod journals.
      The connecting rods are stronger, too, and incorporate a new 45-degree split-angle design to allow the larger-diameter rod bearings to pass through the cylinder bores during engine assembly. They’re forged and sintered with a durable powdered metal alloy, with a fractured-cap design enabling more precise cap-to-rod fitment. 
      A new, stronger cast-aluminum piston design tops off the rotating assembly. It features a taller crown area and a remelted combustion bowl rim for greater strength. Remelting is an additional manufacturing process for aluminum pistons in which the bowl rim area is reheated after casting and pre-machining, creating a much finer and more consistent metal grain structure that greatly enhances thermal fatigue properties.
      Additionally, the Duramax’s pistons don’t use pin bushings, reducing reciprocating weight to help the engine rev quicker and respond faster to throttle changes.
      Lightweight cylinder heads, solenoid injectors
      The redesigned engine retains the Duramax’s signature first-in-class aluminum cylinder head design, with six head bolts per cylinder and four valves per cylinder. The aluminum construction helps reduce the engine’s overall weight, while the six-bolt design provides exceptional head-clamping strength — a must in a high-compression, turbocharged application.
      A new aluminum head casting uses a new double-layer water core design that separates and arranges water cores in layers to create a stiffer head structure with more precise coolant flow control. The heads’ airflow passages are also heavily revised to enhance airflow, contributing to the engine’s increased horsepower and torque.
      The Duramax employs a common-rail direct injection fuel system with new high-capability solenoid-type injectors. High fuel pressure of 29,000 psi (2,000 bar) promotes excellent fuel atomization for a cleaner burn that promotes reduced particulate emissions. The new injectors also support up to seven fuel delivery events per combustion event, contributing to lower noise, greater efficiency and lower emissions. Technology advancements enable less-complex solenoid injectors to deliver comparable performance to piezo-type injectors.
      Electronically controlled, variable-geometry turbocharging system
      A new electronically controlled, variable-vane turbocharger advances the Duramax’s legacy of variable-geometry boosting. Compared to the current engine, the system produces higher maximum boost pressure — 28 psi (195 kPa) — to help the engine make more power, and revisions to enhance the capability of the exhaust-brake system.
      Along with a new camshaft profile and improved cylinder head design, the Duramax’s new variable-vane turbocharger enables the engine to deliver more power with lower exhaust emissions. It uses a more advanced variable-vane mechanism, allowing a 104-degree F (40 C) increase in exhaust temperature capability. The self-contained mechanism decouples movement from the turbine housing, allowing operation at higher temperature. That enables the engine to achieve higher power at lower cylinder pressure. Additionally, it has lower internal leakage, allowing more exhaust energy to be captured during exhaust braking.
      The integrated exhaust brake system makes towing less stressful by creating added backpressure in the exhaust, resulting in negative torque during deceleration and downhill driving, enhancing driver control and prolonging brake pad life.
      Venturi Jet Drain Oil Separator
      A new Venturi Jet Drain Oil Separator employed with the Duramax 6.6L is the first of its type in the segment and is designed to ensure oil control in sustained full-load operation. The totally sealed system collects the fine mist of oil entrained in the blow-by gas and uses a small portion of the boosted air generated by the turbocharger to pump the collected oil back to the engine oil sump for re-use by the engine. Less sophisticated systems are not able to return this oil during full-load operation, which can result in oil carryover into the cylinders during combustion.
      Cold Start System
      The new Duramax also provides outstanding cold-weather performance, with microprocessor-controlled glow plugs capable of gas-engine-like starting performance in fewer than 3 seconds in temperatures as low as -20 degrees F (-29 C) without a block heater. The system is enhanced with ceramic glow plugs and automatic temperature compensation — a first-in-class feature providing improved robustness and capability. The automatic temperature compensation assesses and adjusts the current to each glow plug for every use, providing optimal temperature for cold start performance and durability.     
      Electronic throttle valve and cooled EGR
      Unlike a gasoline engine, a diesel engine doesn’t necessarily require a throttle control system. The Duramax 6.6L employs an electronic throttle valve to regulate intake manifold pressure in order to increase exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) rates. It also contributes to smoother engine shutdown.
      Additionally, a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system enhances performance and helps reduce emissions by diverting some of the engine-out exhaust gas and mixing it back into the fresh intake air stream, which is fed through the cylinder head for combustion. This lowers combustion temperatures, improving emissions performance by reducing NOx formation.
      The exhaust is cooled in a unique heat exchanger before it’s fed into the intake stream through a patented EGR mixing device, further improving emissions and performance capability. An integrated bypass allows non-cooled exhaust gas to be fed back into the system to help the engine more quickly achieve optimal operating temperature when cold.
      B20 Biodiesel Capability
      The new Duramax 6.6L is capable of running on B20 biodiesel, a fuel composed of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent conventional diesel. B20 helps lower carbon dioxide emissions and lessens dependence on petroleum. It is a domestically produced, renewable fuel made primarily of plant matter — mostly soybean oil.
      Manufacturing
      The new Duramax 6.6L turbo-diesel engine is produced with locally and globally sourced parts at the DMAX Ltd. (GM’s joint venture with Isuzu) manufacturing facility in Moraine, Ohio.
      Allison 1000 Automatic Transmission
      The proven Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission is matched with the new Duramax 6.6L. A number of refinements have been made to accommodate the engine’s higher torque capacity, including a new torque converter.
      The Allison 1000’s technologically advanced control features, such as driver shift control with manual shift feature and a patented elevated idle mode cab warm-up feature, haven’t changed. Also, the Tow/Haul mode reduces shift cycling for better control and improved cooling when towing or hauling heavy loads.
      There’s also a smart diesel exhaust brake feature that enhances control when descending steep grades.
    • By William Maley
      The seemingly never-ending diesel heavy-duty truck war is back in force with Ford announcing the power figures for the F-Series Super Duty back in the summer. We were wondering when either FCA or GM would strike back. Well GM did this over the weekend by accidently and then subsequently deleting the figures for the next-generation Duramax V8 diesel.
      Truck Trend got screenshots of GM Powertrain's website where the details of the L5P 6.6L Duramax turbodiesel are there to see: 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque. Compared the 6.7L PowerStoke V8 found in the 2017 F-Series Super Duty, the updated Duramax produces 5 more horsepower but is slight behind in torque (15 down from the PowerStroke's 925 pound-feet).
      We know for sure that the new Duramax will debut a new air intake system (you can see the new hood scoop in the picture above). More air is a good thing as it means better cooling and more power.
      The Texas State Fair is this week and it has become a showplace for the various truck manufacturers to make big announcements. We wouldn't be shocked if General Motors debuts the new Duramax there.
      Source: Truck Trend

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