[1999 1.9D DW8] I know idling a diesel is bad for it, but how bad?

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Re: [1999 1.9D DW8] I know idling a diesel is bad for it, but how bad?

Post by xantia_v6 » 25 Nov 2017, 04:26

I remember in my teens a friend of my dad's sometimes came to visit driving his big Lanz Bulldog, I think it was a 50 HP version, it certainly had some thump. I am not sure where he lived, but he must have driven through several miles of suburban streets to get to our place. The engine was too big to swing start by hand, so when he visited, his son would also come on a 20 HP Bulldog to tow start the big one if necessary.

To briefly get back in topic, fast idling the engine may not charge the battery any faster. Most alternators have a fixed output voltage which is reached at idle and the charging current is determined by the state of the battery, not the speed of the engine.

It is likely that the actual charging current will be only about 10A, despite a 120A alternator. The alternator is made big to run the lights, fans, etc, as well as charging the 🔋.
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Re: [1999 1.9D DW8] I know idling a diesel is bad for it, but how bad?

Post by doctle » 25 Nov 2017, 09:50

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Re: [1999 1.9D DW8] I know idling a diesel is bad for it, but how bad?

Post by Peter.N. » 25 Nov 2017, 11:32

Yes it is, especially the development of diesels. It wasn't until the 1950's that the indirect engine arrives, capable of 4000 rpm or so, the Perkins 4/99 was one of the first, developed with passenger vehicles in mind.

Perkins brought out a whole range of conversions that would fit all popular cars of the time, the kit came with everything, engine mounts, exhaust and water pipes and they fitted the original gearboxes and clutches, they were individually designed for each model car, mine which was a 1956 Vauxhall Cresta and had a mechanical drive from the camshaft to drive the wipers, this was included on the conversion engine.

These engine became the standard for most vans and were used in Bedfords until the '80s upgraded to the 4/108 engine which delivered a blistering 52 bhp, certainly better than the 43 bhp of the 4/99. BMC produced one for the J4 and J2 vans, also used in the A55 Cambridge of the day but they were only 40 bhp and must have been the only engine that the torque of the starter exceeded that of the engine!

Both the Perkins and BMC engines are still in evidence as marine engines, in fact Perkins brought out a purpose made one called the 4/107 in the '50s.

The cost of the engines and conversion kits for car was around £200, mine came in a nice wooden crate, everything was there except they had sent two r/h engine mountings. The performance was dreadful, although for the day not that bad I suppose but the fuel consumption was phenomenal, a local taxi driver had a ride in mine and ordered a couple for his Mk2 Consuls.

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Re: [1999 1.9D DW8] I know idling a diesel is bad for it, but how bad?

Post by CitroJim » 25 Nov 2017, 12:51

^^ Peter, a fantastically enjoyable post :) Thanks for that!
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Re: [1999 1.9D DW8] I know idling a diesel is bad for it, but how bad?

Post by Peter.N. » 25 Nov 2017, 16:43

Thank you Jim, I hope I have it all correct, my memory is not what it used to be - except about diesel engines. :-D

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Re: [1999 1.9D DW8] I know idling a diesel is bad for it, but how bad?

Post by CitroJim » 25 Nov 2017, 17:43

Peter.N. wrote:
25 Nov 2017, 16:43
Thank you Jim, I hope I have it all correct, my memory is not what it used to be - except about diesel engines. :-D


It looks pretty much OK to me Peter, both on here and on the vintage wireless forum ;)
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Re: [1999 1.9D DW8] I know idling a diesel is bad for it, but how bad?

Post by Peter.N. » 25 Nov 2017, 21:52

Thanks for that Jim - I had forgotten it was on there. Practically every time I get a post I have to look at my original to see what I wrote. :? :?

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Re: [1999 1.9D DW8] I know idling a diesel is bad for it, but how bad?

Post by bxzx16v » 27 Nov 2017, 07:14

It doesn't hurt ice cream vans idling for long spells .

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Re: [1999 1.9D DW8] I know idling a diesel is bad for it, but how bad?

Post by wurlycorner » 27 Nov 2017, 08:41

The shotgun cartridge starting video was interesting... Particularly for the blonde in the background - tractors are good at pulling all kinds of things, but I never would have thought they would be good for pulling fit women! :-D

As for leaving a diesel engine idling, you wont suffer with bore glazing like on a petrol engine, what can happen though is a build up of soot in the exhaust system. Other than that, I can't really think of any other problem.
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Re: [1999 1.9D DW8] I know idling a diesel is bad for it, but how bad?

Post by CitroJim » 27 Nov 2017, 09:08

wurlycorner wrote:
27 Nov 2017, 08:41
what can happen though is a build up of soot in the exhaust system.


An 'Italian Tune Up' will fix that! I once had a diesel 205 that had only been very lightly driven for some time and the exhaust was full of soot...

I gave it some really serious beans one dark evening and the fireworks out of the exhaust were spectacular :lol:

I should have done it on the 5th of November :wink:
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Re: [1999 1.9D DW8] I know idling a diesel is bad for it, but how bad?

Post by Peter.N. » 27 Nov 2017, 11:40

Used to be standard procedure to do that on the way to the MOT. I've seen it leave a black streak on the road. :-D

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Re: [1999 1.9D DW8] I know idling a diesel is bad for it, but how bad?

Post by Paul-R » 27 Nov 2017, 15:21

I could put a smokescreen down on the road that would not have disgraced a Challenger tank when I cleared the exhaust on my old Montego. Definitely a dead of night job!
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Re: [1999 1.9D DW8] I know idling a diesel is bad for it, but how bad?

Post by Stewart(oily) » 27 Nov 2017, 21:33

To the OP you could fit an alternator controller and liberate the real charging power, boats and emergency vehicles use them.
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Re: [1999 1.9D DW8] I know idling a diesel is bad for it, but how bad?

Post by qprdude » 01 Dec 2017, 15:46

Zelandeth wrote:
24 Nov 2017, 11:44
Those Field Marshall tractors are something else...single cylinder two stroke diesel of something around six litres in capacity. They tend to make the ground shake at idle...



My brother has one. A series 2 I think.
They used to be called a "Pom Pom" due to the exhaust note.
Not sure about damaging a diesel engine by idling unless it's only a a problem for modern engine. These field Marshals used to idle all day when driving a threshing mill via a belt from the pulley. As did most tractors of course.
Boat diesel Gennys idle a lot of the time too.
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Re: [1999 1.9D DW8] I know idling a diesel is bad for it, but how bad?

Post by doctle » 03 Dec 2017, 18:09

Idling is really a problem for small diesels that aren't under load. They can suffer with glazed bores and wet stacking and inevitably need a decoke, cement mixers with Lister engines are a good example
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