How long is it worth maintaining old diesels for?

Rob-o Nov 6, 2018

  1. Rob-o

    Rob-o Active Member

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    Just a conversation I was having with one of our agricultural fitters earlier. As the owner of an increasingly heavy breathing 1hdt we were discussing piston ring replacement, re-bores, sleeves, etc etc, and he said he wouldn’t want to spend the money rebuilding an engine “that they’ll tax off the road before you’ve had your money’s worth out of it”.

    It’s something I’d thought about myself, is it really worth spending big money rebuilding a 250k mile engine, only to find that in 5 years time the tax is so expensive, or diesel so costly that it’s even harder to justify than it already is? (Mainly to the mrs, I like spending money on diesel)

    For a little background the engine runs beautifully but is increasingly smokey, blows the oil filler nearly out of your hand if you remove it when running. This has only really come to a head since the clutch started slipping on the way back from Bosnia a couple of weeks ago, the front and rear crank seals also need doing, you know how these things snowball.

    So, would you be able to justify the cost of a rebuild?

    Rob
     
  2. Richard Turner

    Richard Turner Well-Known Member Supporter I am in uk

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    Yes unless you want to replace it with walking!

    We spend more time fixing emissions faults on lorries than anything else, 80% of the time it is the emissions control system going wrong, rather than the engine breaking and causing the emissions to be too high.

    Plus new diesels don't use less fuel, they just produce less emissions!

    I don't think they will tax old diesels off the road, they will die out naturally from rust and getting worn out.
     
    Lorin and chapel gate like this.
  3. Waldamar

    Waldamar Active Member Supporter I am in england

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    I fear I have to disagree [with upmost respect] old diesels are a very easy target - not many of them about, but clearly very smokey, by comparison not many votes lost [just a few nutty enthusiasts] but government will be seen to be doing something. Already I'm priced out of London work because my 1988 Mercedes van falls foul of the LEZ - ie. £100.00 each way!
     
    Richard Turner likes this.
  4. Dave_S

    Dave_S Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm. This is always a sore topic for me. The biggest environmental impact of ANY vehicle is the initial build - especially in the case of hybrid and electric vehicles. Keeping older vehicles on the road is actually environmentally friendly (compare incremental costs of an existing heavy truck vs a new build hybrid). Anyhow... to respond to the OP... my expectation is that diesel will remain reasonably priced (as its the core of transport infrastructure) but it will be increasingly hard to use these in built up areas as the low emissions zones gain traction. So it really depends on where you live and what you plan to do with the truck, I guess....
    Just my 2p...
     
  5. Waldamar

    Waldamar Active Member Supporter I am in england

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    I fear I have to disagree [with upmost respect] old diesels are a very easy target - not many of them about, but clearly very smokey, by comparison not many votes lost [just a few nutty enthusiasts] but government will be seen to be doing something. Already I'm priced out of London work because my 1988 Mercedes van falls foul of the LEZ - ie. £100.00 each way!
    I totally agree with your common sense, you and I know that keeping an old vehicle on the road IS the most environmentally sound plan....................... BUT we're talking government here and they need quick, media friendly results, so old diesels will be fair game...........................................
     
  6. Towpack

    Towpack Well-Known Member I am in england

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    In short answer to the OP, I would say it’s not worth it. It doesn’t matter what we think or know about the benefits of running old diesels it’s what the ‘experts’ advising the law makers think that will come to be. It’s a sad state of affairs. The decision to repair/rebuild will come down largely to personal opinion and how much you want to hang on to your old truck. I certainly wouldn’t be prepared to pay the premium good low mileage diesel Cruisers seem to command because, IMO, in a few years time they’ll have little more than scrap value.
     
  7. Richard Turner

    Richard Turner Well-Known Member Supporter I am in uk

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    I think not being able to drive in London would be on my pro list rather than my cons list!

    A 1988 Merc I bet is pretty reliable, we have a 1999 310D sprinter with 270k on it, it's very very reliable, especially in comparison with our new sprinters, they are 2015, we have 8 of them, 2 have needed engines at 100k miles, they have all had new inlet manifolds as the old ones went brittle and cracked (plastic) they have all had a power steering pump, 2 have had DPF filters, they have all had £1000 clutch and dual mass flywheel, various expensive sensors and vacuum actuators, seized calipers all round, and they are at 150k now and need new rear diff, rear abs sensors and wheel bearings (and half shafts as they are built into the bearings), they get water in and break up!

    Our old sprinter still has all its original parts except for a new clutch and flywheel, and an awful lot of new plates welded into the sills!

    I think the new ones are built too lightly but perhaps they are meant to be recyclable.

    Shame they are recycling themselves before we have finished using them!
     
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  8. Dervis Garip

    Dervis Garip Well-Known Member Supporter I am in cyprus

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    Often as with new vehicles they in modern terms are made with so many more constraints now days along with becoming more complex and countering weight measures that intern promote a lot of plastic in the engine bay. The sour truth is that vehicles are not made to last as we’re in a 10 year vehicle cycle now. Forget the political parties in this game of creating reasons to tax or promote their policies. It’s really all about money and no ones wants you to keep something that will run forever so if all their gadgets aren’t working then they’ll target something that will.

    BTW forget climate change that’s been proven as scam long ago.
     
  9. bandsnbrakes

    bandsnbrakes New Member I am in uk

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    I don't post here too often but this business with emissions and its target on diesels alone is a sore point with me (particularly as it seems to have heated up after the vw scandal). What about modern petrols????????

    Why should the poster be questioning about rebuilding an engine in a motor he likes just because of beaucracy and politics (15 years ago it was buy a diesel best thing since sliced bread).

    Yes the Sprinter 2.9 5 cylinder what an engine will long outlive any modern common rail motor, dpf an all that. just need to keep the bodies on them (there's a reason they've all gone abroad).

    Got a new sprinter here for injectors again this week (not another one!!), had a bluemotion golf for headache with egt sensor couple weeks back, car just used to stop on the side of the road and would refuse to restart for at least 2 hours (been to 3 places for fixing too). Had 2 or 3 lc 120s in for injectors and turbo driver trouble. Nissan for an injector which ended up coming out in three pieces!!! I really do not see any of it as progression (never mind the steel quality and corrosion issues in some of these newer motors)

    I am not against progress and certainly some of the great technologies we have are as a result of progress.
    Yes we do need to clean up in extremely built up areas (peoples lives are very important), but it is how it is done which gets me it all seems far too politically and financially biased.

    Its very strange how people forget about the soot formation in directly injected petrol engines isn't it? (been a problem for a long time) After all petrol is a hydrocarbon (has everybody forgot about boundary wall quenching under certain combustion conditions?). Don't see these petrols with dpfs do we? ("yet")
    They still produce particulates though (trouble is they are so small we cant see them and they are the ones easily absorbed into the body). What about the injectors in the TFSI engines they cant even be rebuilt successfully its new only and they don't do the miles, that's if they don't crack the piston ring lands first!!!!

    Like Richard said the amount of things which go wrong with these highly calibrated techy engines makes them very expensive to keep on the road and you still have to put the fuel in at the price it is (notice I am not picking on diesel alone, DI petrol is exactly the same). Thing is they don't do much more to the gallon due to the pumping losses fighting against throttled inlet tracts, dpfs, high pressure egr etc so wheres the gain??? and in fact when they are badly misbehaving they are worse on fuel and emission (ever followed a motor with bad common rail injectors or a stuck variable vane turbo, they smoke worse than the old stuff. people still drive them like that though and there's plenty of them rolling round with issue)

    As far as the guys post about rebuilding engine, I would personally do it (as long as the rest of the truck is in reasonable order), done properly it will still be here when the rest of the so called high tech high cost garbage has expired (use genuine bits though).

    There is no doubt about it transport will get more expensive either in cost to repair, fuel costs, tax thresholds etc. In my eyes though its whether you want to do it reliably or be stuck on the side of the motorway ,which is where a lot of the modern stuff can easily leave you with very little warning (sensors, wiring, hydraulic threshold failures etc). Then you've got to get it fixed and that can be another kettle of fish with some modern powertrains ...............
     
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  10. bandsnbrakes

    bandsnbrakes New Member I am in uk

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    couldn't agree more
     
  11. chapel gate

    chapel gate Well-Known Member Supporter I am in england

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    All other sensible reasons aside. Life is far to short to justify everything monetarily.
    If you enjoy it and the rest of the truck is half decent. Just do it.

    Dont let the bastards win!
     
  12. flint

    flint Well-Known Member Supporter I am in great_britain

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    Forcing manufacturers to give a 25 year anti rust warranty (galvanising etc.) would do more for the environment than forcing old diesels off the road. A bit off topic (sorry) and debatable, but this old article came to mind re petrol vs diesel: http://whale.to/b/simons.html
     
  13. Jacob100

    Jacob100 Well-Known Member Supporter I am in uk

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    Private motoring is a piss in the ocean. Everyone knows that. For as long as the shipping industry gets away with burning bulk fuels and nearly a third of Britain’s trains still run on diesel I won’t be coerced into buying a Prius.

    If Government and local authorities were serious about improving air quality in towns and cities, one of the first areas they should be addressing is the movement of goods.

    We did this years ago and started using cargo bikes for courier deliveries in central London. Not because we were green campaigners but because it’s absolute lunacy to deliver a shoebox in a Sprinter. No one benefits from it, least of all the driver.

    Our humble initiative caught the eye of Camden Council who wined and dined us and presented us with a token award for ‘outstanding innovation’. We called it common sense.

    In a subsequent meeting (they loved a meeting!) one of the apparatchiks actually fell asleep with his chin resting on his laptop. Nothing ever came of it and apart from a few charm offensives from DHL and the big boys stationary diesel vans are still very much the norm today.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
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  14. Waldamar

    Waldamar Active Member Supporter I am in england

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    Perhaps not if it cost you a £600.00 job and threatened your businesss............. funnily enough my customers didn't take to a £200.00 price hike - and I couldn't afford a new compliant sprinter.
     
    Higgy likes this.
  15. frank rabbets

    frank rabbets Well-Known Member

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    The number of old diesels on the road is not worth the governments time legislating about getting rid of. There have been dozens of emissions rules made over the years and I can't think of one retrospective one. Look at classic cars...........no MOT or tax required!! I do agree though that the older diesels will be swept out by the large brush of the cities trying to reduce pollution.
     
  16. Waldamar

    Waldamar Active Member Supporter I am in england

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    I maybe wrong but was there not a VED rise in line with inflation for older vans in a budget awhile back?
     
  17. frank rabbets

    frank rabbets Well-Known Member

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    Why don't they ban ice cream vans? Those queues of little kids in diesel smoke from the main engine still running to run the fridge.
     
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  18. Josh Tagg

    Josh Tagg Well-Known Member I am in uk

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    I had a year rebuilding mine, spent thousands and spent ages looking for parts. It's since took us to romania and all round Europe. So is it worth it? To me most definitely. Even if you get a few years out of it it's worth every penny to me
     
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  19. Jacob100

    Jacob100 Well-Known Member Supporter I am in uk

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    Couldn’t agree more. What’s that old bumper sticker? Something like Yes, it’s old, Yes, it’s slow, But it’s mine and I’ve paid for it.
     
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  20. Shayne

    Shayne Well-Known Member Guru

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    Depends where you live , i heard Pipsqueak Khan has a plan to let all moped riders stab each other to death and make London camel only travel .

    If you live in in Britain though do it because as Frank says emissions rules aren't made retrospective - simply because it would bankrupt too many small businesses .

    Ban all diesels on Monday and they will be announcing the economy crashed by Friday .

    But who knows maybe oil companies will decide on moral grounds to give up all there fuel stations because they would rather save the planet than sell oil :lol:
     
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