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How To Increase Engine Power For Diesel Vehicles

Have you ever wondered why diesel vehicles seem to have less usable power than their petrol equivalents? Must you sacrifice power if you were to switch from a petrol vehicle to a diesel one, for example, to lower running cost? Is there any way to make diesel vehicles perform more like petrol ones? What are the main differences between them?

1. Petrol engines have throttles or advanced electronically controlled valves that act as throttles, while diesel engines have no throttle.
What this means:
i. a petrol engine has variable absolute compression depending on its throttle opening, to vary its power output quickly. The diesel engine has a fixed absolute compression and cannot have power increases as quickly.
Solution: adding a Surbo, which compresses air, to the diesel engine increases its absolute compression for greater revving power.
ii. The diesel engine has no vacuum to help pull air into the engine, unlike petrol engines with throttles.
Solution: the Surbo can be used to provide a vacuum to pull more in when more power is required.

2. Petrol engines have sparks plugs to control ignition, but diesel engines depend only on compression for ignition.
What this means: if compression is lost, ignition is poor and performance suffers. The compression stroke requires a lot of energy and may be a limiting factor for power output.
Problem: worn out diesel engines cannot fire properly and cannot reach high rpm.
Solution: using the Surbo, which gives higher air density, a diesel engine has the capability to increase air compression and hence improve ignition.

3. Diesel engines are heavier than petrol engines.
What this means: a lower power to weight ratio, because the diesel engine is heavier, and also because its power output is less. Extra weight is an extra load so performance suffers.
Solution: the Surbo provides more torque over a wider rpm range, and since power=torque x rpm, the diesel engine gets a better power to weight ratio.

3a. Since diesel engines are heavier, there is more understeer (vehicle taking a wider circle around corners). The Surbo can possibly improve cornering because it is always activated just going into a turn because the vehicle is decelerated, and when the vehicle is accelerated again, the Surbo provides an extra acceleration component sideways, which will tighten the steering.

4. Diesel engines are tougher than petrol engines.
What this means: diesel engines can take supercharging safely and be run close to the rpm red line, which is usually a low 4000 rpm. Since diesel engines are so much tougher, you might as well run it more efficiently with a Surbo, accelerating easily to the rpm red line.

5. Acceleration in a diesel vehicle is controlled by injection of diesel, by stepping on the accelerator.
What this means: a likelihood of over fueling and black smoke emission if air is insufficient to combine with the diesel, because diesel is leading.
Problem: The worried driver has to moderate pressure on the accelerator to avoid smoke, so performance is not quite at its peak.
Solution: with a Surbo, lesser pressure on the accelerator is required at all times, and just half accelerator pressure is required to reach the rpm limit, so the likelihood of smoke is greatly reduced.

6. Diesel engines may have greater torque but narrower rpm ranges.
What this means: higher gearing has to be used to provide adequate cruising speed and to also achieve acceptable fuel economy.
Problem: the first gear ratio is also higher, leading to greater inertia for the engine to overcome, so gaining speed from standstill is more difficult.
Solution: With the Surbo, due to its higher air density, compression is higher even from idle, as seen by a higher idling speed. Therefore, less effort is required when picking up from standstill.

Other benefits for diesel vehicles

Overtaking is easy with a Surbo because the extended revving capability of a Surbo-powered engine gives real confidence to the driver.

As the accelerator is pressed less, there will not be wasteful over-fueling. With the Surbo, the engine will be able to rev to a higher rpm. Being able to rev higher means starting with a higher rpm in the following gear, so that more engine torque is put to use. The fuel consumption does not increase because less accelerator pressure is required for the same acceleration in a Surbo-equipped vehicle. Since the driver will never require flooring of the accelerator, this means easier cruising on highways and better fuel economy. Hill climbs and loads also become less severe due to the increased reserve power.

The best part of all this unleashed power in a diesel vehicle is that it is all done with half accelerator pressure even at the maximum rpm so fuel consumption does not get worse. In fact, 10% fuel saving is observed for diesel vehicles.

The Surbo is also useful for turbo diesel vehicles

We interviewed a driver of a Chevrolet Epica LT turbo diesel taxi while taking a ride in it. At first the driver showed us some turbo power, but later said that he had to floor the accelerator to get that kind of power. The consumption was about 10 kilometers per litre, and so he seldom pressed the accelerator deeply for the turbo to kick in. However, we had experienced stronger power in turbo diesels with the Surbo or Twin Surbo, with surges throughout the drive, and yet consumption was improved. So, if you have a turbo diesel vehicle and wish to have even more acceleration, please contact us to put a Surbo in it.

Related pages:

  • Diesel & turbodiesel vehicle list
  • Diesel smoke reduction
  • How Surbo works for diesel vehicles
  • Surbo system's energy analysis for diesel engines
  • Surbo system's energy analysis for turbo diesel engines
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