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    Rumorpile: General Motors Joins The Aluminum Truck Brigade


    • General Motors To Ford: We Can Play The Aluminum Truck Game As Well

    Ford pulled off a bit of coup at the Detroit Auto Show last month with the introduction of the 2015 F-150 which features an all-aluminum body to help meet the upcoming fuel efficiency standards. Now, another truck maker looks to be following in the footsteps of the blue oval.

    The Wall Street Journal has learned from sources familiar with the matter that General Motors is working on making the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra have aluminum bodies. The company has secured contracts with with Alcoa and Novelis Inc. to supply aluminum for the next-generation trucks, due out in late 2018.

    GM's global product development chief, Mark Reuss hinted at the company possibly going towards aluminum with their trucks last month.

    "We need to see how much aluminum is in it, not what they say is in it but what is actually in it. We are going to look at what they advertise as the weight savings from it and then we are going to go back and do some math.…We can play this game real easily."

    Sources tell WSJ that GM will use a patented method of where multi-ringed electrodes are used to weld the aluminum panels. This eliminates a number of rivets used in the assembly of the trucks and allows the company to build a lighter and stronger truck.

    Source: Wall Street Journal (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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    I would be cautious to come up to the conclusion of wholesale usage of aluminum like F150 based on just "locked-in supply contracts". GM already uses aluminum components on the trucks. Given the demand for aluminum has risen in the automobile industry, to hedge the rising costs, automakers are locking in longterm contracts.

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    I would rather see GM put R&D efforts into using flexible carbon fiber to reduce the weight of auto's and still hold up to the pounding of the real world.

    http://www.carbitex.com/

    I like what they are doing and figure you could get carbon fiber body panels that can take an impact and then return to original shape. Much like the original saturn auto's.

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    "to supply for 20XX" - it could be any coming vehicle... not just trucks. GM has been using various aluminium panels in cars for years. The last Riviera had an aluminium hood and I believe both Auroras did too. There is still a LOT in GM's product pipeline yet to be revealed... the product onslaught from them so far and into the future (that is, the shear volume of new models) is really impressive for a company that just went through BK.


    The truck and SUV lineup is pretty much all new. They have 2 new small crossovers and 3 just refreshed large crossovers. New Impala, new Lacrosse, new Regal, new Malibu, new ATS and CTS, relatively fresh XTS. New corvette, refresh Camaro.


    Even the stuff I would consider old is still pretty new at this point.... Sonic, Cruze, Verano, Equinox/Terrain, SRX, Volt.


    It's really something that the Cruze and Volt are the two oldest vehicles in the GM lineup. (not counting fleet stuff like vans, captiva, and impala classic)

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    Correct Drew. Honestly Ford is just now adopting the AL revolution. Alpha sits on complete aluminum structural components, Corvette sits on aluminum strcuture. I think VW is the only car manufacture other than GM with aluminum integrated in its lineup exhaustively.

    Ford trucks have traditionally been pigs weighing as much as 600 lbs (HD trims) more than GM counterparts who have traditionally been the lightest. So while attaining 700 lb weight reduction using aluminum is great it is not second coming of Jesus. Ford lacks hydroforming, it does not have abundant use of carbon fiber nor light alloys with titanium or magnesium. Metallurgically and materially speaking GM is better, alas the media. I wish smoke and screen Mulllaly was at GM. The goodwill he has brought to Ford is tremendous.

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    • 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.
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      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.
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      “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.
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      Additional highlights include:
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      The intake design is another example of the advanced integration included in the 2017 Silverado HD that makes it over-the-road capable.   
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      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.
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      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
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      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

      View full article
    • 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
    • By William Maley
      The tentative agreement between General Motors and Canadian union Unifor has a $400 million investment going to Oshawa for a new product. Unifor President Jerry Dias said at a press briefing yesterday morning that Oshawa would be the only GM plant that will build cars and trucks. Neither side is saying what that product might be.
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      The Globe and Mail also reports that production of the XTS has been extended at Oshawa. Analysts believed previously that XTS production would end in 2019.
      Source: The Globe and Mail, The Detroit News

      View full article
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