Ford Introduces Clean Diesel Technology in Heavy-Duty Trucks
By Kevin Miller
While emissions of recent diesel-powered cars in the US have gotten much cleaner in the past few years, especially with the introduction of low-sulfur diesel, large trucks- even new ones- have perpetuated diesel’s dirty image by noisily belching out clouds of smelly, sooty exhaust upon acceleration. Thankfully, that is beginning to change.
Ford is the first truck manufacturer to introduce clean diesel technology in the US. Available in 2008 Ford F-Series Super Duty trucks, the new Ford 6.4-liter Power Stroke turbo-diesel is quieter, more powerful and more capable, yet it still meets stringent new emissions regulations thanks to what Ford is calling Ford Clean Diesel Technology. The 6.4-liter Power Stroke clean-diesel delivers 350 horsepower at 3,000 rpm, 650 foot-pounds of torque starting at 2,000 rpm and has particulate emissions on par with gasoline engines – a 97 percent reduction from the existing 6.0-liter diesel truck engine. The highly efficient exhaust system combines engine and emissions-control technologies such as the diesel particulate filter (DPF) and oxidation catalyst into a close-knit system, removing nearly 97 percent of the diesel particulate.
The engine is designed to use ultra-low sulfur diesel, and is equipped with a larger fuel filter which facilitates better water removal from the fuel, enabling the vehicle to use biodiesel when it is available. Ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel is fed to the engine via a state-of-the-art, high-pressure common rail fuel injection system. Fuel pressurized to 26,000 psi is injected into the cylinders through Piezo-electric injectors. The latest in injector technology can deliver up to five injections per combustion cycle to better control emissions, provide instant response for optimized acceleration and improve cold start down to –20°F.
In addition to being cleaner and quieter, the new diesel engine is quicker. Two sequential turbochargers provide improved throttle response throughout the entire power band with better low-end performance. Ford’s tests have shown zero-to-60 times more than a second faster than the outgoing 6.0-liter Power Stroke diesel.
So the new motor is quieter, cleaner, and more powerful. What more could drivers of heavy duty trucks – and motorists following them in traffic – possibly ask for?
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