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Old 01-16-2009, 11:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Sourse of diesel engines for car/bike projects

Good Morning. I recently had an interesting conversation with a fellow who builds diesel motorcycles. I heard about him from the man who sells the engines to him. The motors are 20 HP V Twin diesels from China. The builder says they get 140 MPG. If you look at this link: DieselBike.net Buy a Diesel Motorbike you will see two of Brett's creations.

He also knows the man who put a 10 HP diesel into a Metro.

The reason I bring this up, is that China may be a source of engines for some of your projects. The 20 HP twin would move a Metro much better than the 10 HP did in the above mentioned project.

I also see conversion kits from ACME for Trooper and Tracker small SUVs, but they require expensive engines from doner VW cars. Would it make sense to buy them new from over there?

Just my two cents worth. This information if available from alibaba.com.

Paul Scholand

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Old 01-16-2009, 03:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've read a number of articles and talked to people who buy these engines and resell them and it seems to all come to the same point of quality control, or the lack of it, all the people who sell them i the US tend to rip the engine apart, clean the sand out of the castings that was left behind at the foundry, replace all the bearings, re machine some of the more precise parts, then put it all back together, granted these tend to be pretty simple engines, but it's still alot of work and tends to double the price and is an investment in time, tools and figuring out what the specs should be.
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Another potential source of inexpensive used diesel engines are the small diesels that power the compressor on the front of refrigerated semi-trailers. They are typically 2 to 3 cylinders and 30 to 40 hp. Should be plenty of them available from decommissioned or wrecked trailers. They use a ton of them in the trucking industry, so parts should be readily available, and they have to be totally reliable because the shippers wouldn’t tolerate losing many trailer loads of perishables from breakdowns on the road.
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quality of Chinese engines.

I have read some of those as well. The worst seemed to be the open frame, exposed flywheel slow diesel from India. I read about some in Farm Show, the importer did some of this rework as you mentioned. I know the 20 HP V-Twin would run about $1000.00 with shipping, assuming customs did not check them out too closely and add their fee to the total. So, buyer be ware I guess.

Another poster mentioned the refer units on Semi trucks. I heard that they run about a gallon per hour, so better than 60 mpg at lighter load? Here is another idea, more stationary than this forum usualy considers. How about setting up a total energy system for your home? One of these could both heat and cool your house, make all your electricity and run on McDonalds fryer oil. Sell the extra current to the local utility and get yourself on Ophra. What is not to like? Thanks, Paul

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I've read a number of articles and talked to people who buy these engines and resell them and it seems to all come to the same point of quality control, or the lack of it, all the people who sell them i the US tend to rip the engine apart, clean the sand out of the castings that was left behind at the foundry, replace all the bearings, re machine some of the more precise parts, then put it all back together, granted these tend to be pretty simple engines, but it's still alot of work and tends to double the price and is an investment in time, tools and figuring out what the specs should be.
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Old 01-24-2009, 07:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Shipping costs.

Assuming there was good source for quality engines like that, todays shipping costs would be prohibitive.


I can buy a lot of gasoline for that price and my car gets 40MPG, so its not worth it.
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Old 01-25-2009, 04:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Shipping for the 20 hp diesel engine is about $180.00 to Detroit. With the cost of the engine, it comes to $1000.00.

Not cheap, but at 140 mpg, it might be less prohibitive than you estimated.

That still leaves us the need to graft it into a motorcycle frame. Check out the for sale section of dieselbikes.net for some running units.

Thanks,

Paul

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Assuming there was good source for quality engines like that, todays shipping costs would be prohibitive.


I can buy a lot of gasoline for that price and my car gets 40MPG, so its not worth it.
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Old 01-25-2009, 04:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quality of chinese builds

My recently acquired $200NZ used 1.5kw electric scoot from china absolutely shocked me regarding quality control, and cost cutting practices.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot reputation wise and wasting materials.

Many of the gas scooters are getting better but still things you notice make you go why why why?

I suppose if you get less than 12 months use and get a warranty full refund you could go out and buy another, get another 11 months...

Maybe they are designed to last 13 months...
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I just bought a pack of "Skerple" markers from a guy at the Flea Market... They were only a dollar for six.

Regarding China imports - buy markers.. they work, they last, and they're only about 15 cents. Leave scooters to Germany, Italy, and Japan.
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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QC is really the big problem with china in general. You also have to spec every single detail, don't assume common sense for anything when dealing with China. If you buy enough, and you yell enough, you can get decent quality.
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Old 01-26-2009, 02:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm wondering exactly how the aerospace department and the US arms department of one of my earlier jobs (Actuant Corporation, B.W. Elliott MFG.) is doing over in China... hopefully, they have better quality control over those sort of projects... even though it's apparently cheaper to ship them the goods, have them make them and ship them back, than it is to pay 6 guys 8 bucks an hour.

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