View Full Version : Electronic engines and machine systems
01-08-2011, 01:01 AM
If you had the option, would you rather have your snow cat updated with electronic engine and machine systems?
You'd have to take it to a dealer unless you paid large amounts of $ for the diagnostic equipment.
Or would you rather keep it mechanical so you could make your own repairs?
01-08-2011, 06:53 AM
I wouldn't own any machine that HAD to go to a dealer for diagnostics. I resent all the computer systems on 'modern' cars and trucks.
I've spent more time and money replacing sensors/relays on my diesel truck than replacing mechanical parts.
Electronic ignition is nice and electronic fuel injection is often less hassle than a carb but I really like being able to identify all the engine parts and fix it myself.
My newest vehicle is a 2000 (diesel) and I don't want to buy anything newer ever. I have an OBDII reader but after you find out what the problem is you still have to access the part and the newer the engine, the more jammed in things are.
I"ll take mechanical. Thanks !!
01-08-2011, 08:00 AM
I agree with Pixie!!! Mechanical is simple!!! All my equipment is mechanical and it will probably stay that way. Every vehicle I have with over 100k has some sensor light on, on the dash. Who needs that!!!
I remember a few years ago, my friend, a mack dealer service manager had a an alert that new macks truck computer systems would just shut the truck down wherever it was, completely dead!!!!!!!!! The dealer had to go out and reset the computer and the truck was fine!!!!!!! Thats nasty!!!
I also had to do a study on "precision farming" with new GPS systems!! John Deere tractors will now all be set up with factory GPS guidance systems internally. The service dealer will now be able to monitor your tractor from the dealership!!!!!!!!! He will know of a failure in the tractor or combine before the operator does and will be able to make adjustments while the unit is in the field under operation without the operator even knowing it!!!! This system will prevent major failures, fires, before they happen. Pretty amazing!!!!!!!!!
I guess there is good on both sides, but I prefer mechanical that I can understand without a computer assistance!!
01-08-2011, 01:18 PM
I really enjoyed working on the mechanical governors and governored transmissions 20 yrs ago. It took alot more thinking to figure them out and make them work. Most mechanics today don't have a clue what's wrong unless a computer tells them.
Been a heavy equipment mech most of my life and the last 17yrs for a Cat dealer. Watched as mechanical changed to electronic and can honestly say for the most part all it has done is increase the customers overhead.
I just finished 7 courses on emissions last yr. I have two more instructor lead classes this year to be done.
The emissions components/ systems are also electronic/ with diagnostics.
We're being told that the price on these systems will increase the machine cost at least 20%.
Have a friend in Idaho that stays busy working on the C-9 cat engines in snow cats at Grand Targhee and Jackson Hole ski resorts.
01-08-2011, 06:37 PM
I don't want to start a fist-fight, but I'd like to post a mildly dissenting opinion.
I just installed a Pertronix electronic ignition module on my Imp and I think it's the best thing since sliced bread. It took less time to install than it takes to adjust the dwell on a set of mechanical points and I'm now finished fiddling with points and timing forever. In my experience, electronic ignition is *way* more reliable than mechanical points -- there's just no comparison.
When it comes to full-blown computerization of many of a car's systems and controls I have to admit that I have a basic mistrust of all the high tech. We just replaced our 1998 Toyota Camry with a 2010 Toyota Venza and the level of complexity and computerization in the systems is daunting. But aside from the tire pressure monitoring system (don't get me started...) the systems seem pretty well thought out, the features are really nice, and the electronics have been quite reliable. Obviously I haven't owned this particular car that long, but I've never had an electronics module go south on me in any of the vehicles I've owned. The stuff just works.
In snowcat-land maybe the systems and designs are fiddlier due to the lower product volume -- the designers don't have the resources or time to work out all the bugs. I have zero experience with the newer cats or their computerized systems, so I can't say whether or not they're sufficiently reliable. But when it comes to driving my 40 year old Imp through the snowy wastelands of the Washington Cascades, I think I'm better off with electronic ignition and no moving parts than the mechanical points that it originally came with.
i have mixed opinions if i had a ford engine you couldn't stop me from throwing a dura spark system in to it with a redundant spare box mounted next to it same with a chrysler or gm product upgrade to the factory electronic system also the gm tbi 400 system is hard to beat cost effective howell systems can be addapted to about every thing and parts can be bought at your local napa store as for some of the overseas upgrades for vw engines i would just as well stay with points and carbs the reliability isn't there and it's a long walk home where i live trouble shooting is impossoble with out a dvom and a test light and points can be set and adjusted with eye balls so there are proes and conns if upgrading keep it simple and use factory hard ware so you can get parts with out buying a kit.
01-08-2011, 11:58 PM
I like the old school ways personally.
Computers have messed everything up.
I like a basic diesel setup - pre computer.
Just think of what we might have to deal with if a future EMP attack -a real possibility, was to happen.
Nobody with any sort of computers or electronics will be functioning.
Keep it simple seems common sensical.
300 H and H
01-09-2011, 08:30 AM
Yup the Government is doing it's level best to remove diesel engines from our work force. It is just plain getting rediculous what is being done to "clean" up diesels.... A big load of BS if you ask me. How can a engine emmit next to nothing for emmissions and still get fuel milage? I think it is a very hard if not impossible thing to do. I dread what is going to happen to my beloved Cat engines in Ag. machinery in the future. It's bad enough now.... I don't blame Cat for ot selling truck engines anymore. Heck I just bought a semi tractor, and took pains to get one before 2004, to AVOID the emmissions problems with the newer EGR engines...much less the teir 4 urea bed stuff. I must not be alone either, as I am seeing some post 04 trucks bringing less than the older ones. Why? Because of the problems, and higher cost of opperation/ownership with the newer ones. Not to mention shop time at the dealership..
This needs to stop, our engines are already some of the cleanest on the planet without Teir 4 regs......no one else on the planet is doing this....
the diesel stuff is stupid i have a 84 binder dt466 in th e fleet and we never have to do nothing to it but our new 8.3 cummins is about to get a turbo egr cooler and dpf replaced only 1 year old i'm not impressed one of our pre 04 cats with electronic c-7 had to have new injectors and hui pump when it was less than 1 year old my vote goes to the older equipment when you see old cats with pony starters still earning money today
01-11-2011, 01:32 AM
Unfortunately to build a new production Snowcat You would have to go with a modern day electronic engine. The key is to find one that will be reliable. My brother just turned over 200K in his work truck. He has changed the plugs twice (recommended at 100K). He has had ZERO problems with his engine and hardly ever changes the oil. He went 50K before his first oil change! He averaged about 20K after that. He has hauled tons of welding Studs to his clients all over California and Nevada. His poor truck has been poorly looked after. But it still runs strong. The electronics have given him no problems. Its a 1/2 ton Chevy 2 wheel drive with the small V8. I forget which one. anyway Modern electronics are fine as long as its a good system to start with.
they also expidite trouble shooting as long as you have access to the equipment. there is a cost involved with the new diesel equipment that i won't even recomend it if you can get a gas motor.a last summer i had a full electronicly controled hyster fork lift, it turned out to be a bad transmission computer and i had to trace out the whole wiring harness to figure out where the problem was. the wiring diagram didn't even match this equipment and the dealer wouldn't sell m,e the diagnostic package to test the computers in this equipment because i wasn't a dealer hell the dealer is 1000 miles away if it goes down what am i supposed to do wait. Might add they don't travel for free that kind of stuff is stupid and what is comming in the future with electronics
300 H and H
01-12-2011, 07:43 AM
Snow cat operations,
Got your brother beat with a 300 cid Ford inline 6. It is a 92 with 300,000+ a little bit more milage. Fuel injected, altitude compensated reliability with much more low end torque that a small V8. Just gotta love the inline 6. It will outlast any V8 I know of. This is why I am pretty sure you won't find many V8 diesels anymore. The inlines are trouble free, and last longer as well.
01-12-2011, 02:34 PM
I'm seriously considering an auto altitude-compensating TBI for the Dodge 251 in my Tucker. Kirk may have the system that I'm looking for in his Ford inline 6! Around here you can be at 5000' one minute and within an hour be at 12,500', so it would be nice to have an EFI set-up.
Of course, if I had a compensating EFI then I just might start messing with a small turbo....:brows:
01-12-2011, 03:53 PM
For what it's worth, petronix said they don't have a conversion kit for the autolite IAY-4102-1 that's on my 251ci. :doh:
all your factory efi systems aer altitude compasaiting they all have a manifold absulute pressure sensor ford just adds a baro sensor function to theirs take a look at the howell system they retrofit the gm tbi 400 system to other engines gm tbi 400 is the simplest and about the best system for reliability and uses a relitivaly low fuel pressure at 15 psi ford eec 4 is also a well proven system but much more complicated and has no data stream for you to see what the computer thinks it's seeing the new obd2 systems like gm vortec are just junk lots of hundred dollar sensors amd pounds of wiring. too much to go wrong for just a little more preformance.
300 H and H
01-12-2011, 07:25 PM
But that manifold on the Ford 4.9 liter "300" six cylinder is a small work of art! Really you have to see one to know what I am talking about....The plenum is on the far side of the engine, as the manifold goes over the valve cover. It is three pieces I think and tuned for 1,000 to 3,000 RPM operation. Those very long runners make great torque, more below 2,500 RPM of a 1992 460 Ford makes down there. I know I checked it back in the day. Still light weight and fits in many of the older cats enginge bay without problems. Ford for Ford on many of them. No timing chain like the V8 either:whistling: Keep them serviced and you cann't wear one out...
You should have one Mtn-Track!!! Fit right in I bet...
the ford 300 is a great engine un like the chevy six's it has 7 main bearings like a diesel the carb'd versions made great torque to not because of th eintake but the long stroke making good leverage on the long crank jurnal yes the ford intake may be a work of art i would bet you would get close to the same preformance from tbi and the system is a lot simpler my vote goes to gm on tbi 400 the ford system with eec 4 is also good 8 100 dollar injectors doing the same job as 2 is a waste of money to me just as a note ford injectors on early eec4 systems were not sequential they all fired at the same time just closer to the intake valves thus having better emissions controls with no wetted walls.
01-13-2011, 10:02 AM
I've been considering the idea of replacing the Chrysler 318 Industrial in my "keeper" Tucker. I would like to get more speed out of the machine and I don't think the 318 has enough torque to effectively utilize a ring and pinion change.
I've done a number of engine swaps over the years and quite obviously some are easier than others. The most recent swap was installing a 454 TBI engine in a Blazer that was originally equipped with a carbureted 350. Due to a camshaft change and the differences in transmissions it required a custom chip. It took six attempts to get the chip programming correct. That was a pain...
I do believe the TBI system is significantly better than carburetion. However the newer generation of engines is a quantum leap better IMHO. As others have said, it also brings a huge amount of complexity in terms of sensors, electronics, re-programming, wiring, etc.
Haven't decided to go forward, yet....
01-13-2011, 12:35 PM
Gonna jump on the 300 wagon here.
I've had many 300 engines over the years in pu and years ago I was dead set on installing a 4bt in an older military vehicle.
After looking at the performance curves of the 4bt to the 300, there was no way I could justify 3 times the $ for the 4bt and related components.
Never did get around to doing it though.
For the most part, FI is a must but all the rest of the electronic crap I can do without.
01-15-2011, 05:05 AM
the Dodge EFI sure seemed to suck some power out of the 318 though....
02-21-2011, 10:13 AM
on the topic of dzl trucks we have a ford one ton with a 6.0 leaker powerjoke for a engine :yum:, and with out a doubt it is the biggest piece of sh** i have ever seen . ford put 12000 dollars in that international boat anchor before it was even off warranty . the truck is the best truck i have ever had but they forgot to put a motor in it . the local ford dealer told me the newer ford dzl is no better , and that it boils down to ford does not want to build dzl trucks any more . i also have a ford 3|4 ton with a 6.9 L in it and that motor wont die wore out it still will easy get 20 plus mpg ,compared to 9 in the 6.o leaker. can any one tell me how these new dzl engines are better for the enviroment when they burn twice the fuel :glare: , i really wish toyota would get off there ass and build a dzl one ton im sure they could do better than the junk thats out there ..........thanks for letting me vent some international rage...
02-21-2011, 11:00 AM
I've owned two Ford trucks with 7.3L PowerStroke engines and still have the second.
I think it's fairly common knowledge that the 6.0L engine was problematic. Many people had problems with them, yet others have had good luck and swear by them. It appears you are one of the former.
As you probably know the 6.9L preceded the 7.3L. The later 7.3s were direct injection, turbocharged and intercooled, as opposed to all the 6.9s and the earlier 7.3s which were indirect injection and not tubocharged or intercooled. The 6.9 is known for longevity, but does not produce nearly the power of the later 7.3 engines. My understanding is that emissions requirements killed the 7.3 PowerStroke.
For 2011 Ford has a brand new, in-house designed, 6.7L Diesel engine. I'm certain it was quite an investment that Ford made to offer that engine and totally refutes your statement that "...ford does not want to build dzl trucks anymore" (sic).
i can tell you all that the days of great fuel milage on diesel motors are gone even with electronic engines because of the thing in the exhaust system called the dpf once it starts to fill up the computer will add boost and fuel to get it hot enough to burn off ash accumulated in the dpf this is the only way they can get dirty diesel to get close enough to being a stokeiometric burn as hard as it is to believe exhaust after treatment is the onl way to manage polutants the goal is to make the exhaust to carbon hydrogen and oxygen and that dosn't allways translate to better fuel economy .
02-21-2011, 01:48 PM
i agree mr dd do you think putting a strait pipe exhaust would help the mpg on this 6.0 leaker???we looked at a brand new ford dzl 2 weeks ago and the sales man told us not to expect any more than 10 mpg at very best , im pretty sure a bob tail highway tractor would get 10 mpg ...
02-21-2011, 02:04 PM
Tim-- Strait pipe can't be done without exposing yourself to huge fines... Your best bet would be to dump the truck and look for another 2006 or older that does not have the higher emissions controls.
(My 94 Dodge-Cummins still gets 17-22mpg depending on load & speed with 180k miles on it. It doesn't make 300+ hp, but who needs that, anyway? Seriously??)
02-21-2011, 02:21 PM
i wish i had a mid 90's dodge they were a bullet proof engine in trucks , bush equiptment and tractors .... we have a 02 dodge and a 6.9 ford both with strait pipes , there loud for sure but never got a ticket yet , my wife loves it rippin around town makin noise :clap:. if i could only afford to put a 24 valve 5.9 cummins in this ford one ton i would be very happy . the company called destroked quoted me 25,000 to do the change over but thats alot of beaver pelts for this guy ......
02-21-2011, 02:26 PM
If you were going to do that, I'd not waste the money on a 24 valve. 12 valve motors are more rugged and more flexible with the P7100 pump rather than the VP44 in the 24 valve that is so fragile.
I'm sure it could be done for way less than $25k!!
02-21-2011, 02:33 PM
i believe that included the motor and exchange on canadian money witch was lots back then ,,, i should e mail them again maybe its cheeper now . how much do you think that it should cost
300 H and H
02-21-2011, 09:11 PM
Well I own a 6.0 liter, an 06,
The milage around the farm, short trips equals my 92 F150 with a 300 six at 15mpg. On the road on a trip it will get 19-20 mpg. It is a F250 crew cab long box to boot, where as the 92 s 5speed 4.9 is a regular cab. Since the F250 weighs in at 150% of the F150 gasser I guess I am happy with that....
The 6.0 was trouble free until 115,000 miles when it ate $5K, not under warranty. SO I am somewhat jilted twards it, and will drive it some more to get some of my money back! I also religiously add 1 quart of 2 stroke engine oil to each tank of fuel, even though I am supposedly getting 2% Bio diesel, I still add this. The mechanic says I have more original injectors in my engine than any he has worked on, so maybe there is something to this...They talk about it at the Diesel Garage .com, and I think they are onto something.
02-21-2011, 09:56 PM
hello from broken britain. petrol is £7 a gallon here. throw efi in skip, fit four barrell throttle body, 112 octane lpg, 4.6 rover v8 light weight land rover, keep electronic ignition though. lpg £3.15 a gallon.:brows: have fun
300 H and H
02-21-2011, 10:13 PM
Snow Trac Jim,
Isn't that the aluminum Buick engine we had back in the 60"s? I am pretty sure Land Rover bought it from Buick......
Used to see articals in magazines about hopping one of these up to 300 HP.....
02-22-2011, 08:51 PM
sorry taken so long had to take some pics.you are correct .my engine came out of freinds marcos lm 500 4.6 v8 silly very fast thing. but not content.he fitted 5.2 L/T supercharged over complicated computer thing after three years not as fast as snow trac. but does a good impression of AK47
02-22-2011, 11:58 PM
Well I see yer problem-- The steering wheel's on the wrong side...
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