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Old 24 Aug 2008
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sulphur problem or not

Originally Posted by waterfox View Post
""Hi uk_vette,

Please don't worry - ...................
Performance-wise, there is absolutely no difference bewteen low sulphur and full sulphur and any diesel vehicle, regardless of age will run perfectly on either (assuming the overall fuel quality is the same)"""

Sorry Ghost, but you don't know what you are talking about, a new diesel engine designed for low sulphur will completely screw up if driven with hi sulphur for a while, you can check up on the sulphur content of different countries (sheppard) and you may note that Africa and South America suffer from high sulphur and I can happily confirm that european imports self destruct (eg Peugeots) with the high sulphur diesel.

Regards from crap dieseland (we buy the really bad stuff from Venezuela)
He Fox,

I am not so sure if Gost is all that wrong. As far as I know you shouldn't run a new car with Catalyst Converter on high sulphur fuel because it will kill it but for the rest no harm done! I know that low sulphur (new) cars have slightly retarded timing because the sulphur slows down the combustion, so lack of it increases the combustion speed hence the retarded timing on new engines. But it won't hurt the engine when its run on slower burning high sulphur diesel. It may cost some efficiency though.

Can you explain why cars will self destruct, there must be a technical explanation to it?

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Old 30 Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by uk_vette View Post
I note with interest that there is a big push to "low sulphur diesel"

How much of an issue is it for newer vehicles with common rail injection to stick to the "low sulphur diesel" ?
Earlier this week I spent a few hours "chewing the cud" with a fellow who is a diesel fuel pump expert at Denso, the maker of Toyota pumps. So I put this question to him.

He mentioned the following things which are relevant:
1) Long periods with high sulphur fuel may shorten the life of the pump and the injectors due to the very high pressures involved in a common rail engine, but it is not a major issue.
2) Contaminants in fuel in these countries is a major issue. The most dangerous of these being water. He said he has seen lots of pumps which have exploded due to water contamination -and this is in the UK!!! He said that in Africa where water is really common in diesel this is a very serious risk.
3) Toyota have a policy of not selling high pressure common rail engines in countries with poor quality diesel. He mentioned South Africa as an example, (until their fuel quality improved recently). My reply was I thought South African fuel was pretty good, he said yes it probably is better than in other parts of Africa but is it poor by western standards. The impact of this is that if you do damage/destroy your common rail system, you will probably have real trouble finding an expert and parts to fix it. That is if it is fixable, as he said that when the do blow up they usually damage the engine too...
4) Mis-fuelling with petrol in a foreign country is much more likely. He said if you do, dont even start the car as petrol is really bad for common rail engines. It will destroy the pump immediately. So be very wary of this.

His advice:
1) He personally would never contemplate using a Toyota common rail engine in areas of poor fuel quality, but he is a pretty cautious guy anyway...
2) If you have a common rail engine in your Cruiser - then he said - fit extra water filters. He said a glass bowl type 1st, then a pair of standard Toyota fuel filters which would each have the small water trap. He said that the extra fuel filter would be beneficial too. He also said that if you do this you would need to fit a fuel lift pump if your vehicle doesn't already have one. He said doing this would reduce the risks to a modern engine to managable levels.

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Old 30 Aug 2008
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Hi Graham

Good info. Do all these filters restrict the fuel flow rate?


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Old 30 Aug 2008
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Location: Ghana
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Originally Posted by Graham Smith View Post
3) Toyota have a policy of not selling high pressure common rail engines in countries with poor quality diesel. He mentioned South Africa as an example, (until their fuel quality improved recently).

His advice:
1) He personally would never contemplate using a Toyota common rail engine in areas of poor fuel quality, but he is a pretty cautious guy anyway...
That is what I was always lead to believe, and being in the developing world and buying a fair number of cruisers for fleet use I found it so:
- 79 and 78 series retaining 1HZ in Africa despite in Oz being released with the V8 d4d. Strangely this (essentially the same engine as the 200 series but minus a turbo) engine was released before the 200 series, which was rumoured to be delayed in release as Toyota had found issues with bad fuel in testing in Australia....
- Getting Prados with the 5L engine. But here I must point out that we bought them in EU from a dealer, and judging by the Arabic warning labels they were intended for another developing market.

So all this made sense - Toyo keeping old fashioned technology for markets where fuel quality is poor. But then they release the 200 series with D4D V8 officially in Ghana. I am very envious of a friend who has just got one - as a company car. Ridiculous (bearing in mind how much they cost!) but nice. So I am afraid that this seems that their policy of avoiding common rail in places like Africa is definately over. But to be honest as I have said before we have no single negative experience with electronics/new fangled injection types in VERY arduous use, and big global players would not be releasing products that are going to be potential disasters. If CAT and Toyota think common rail can be okay in such environments then I tend to think they may be right.

With regard to the extra filtration, any extra filtration is going to restrict flow. It is quite often that you will find people sticking in a small pusher pump (e.g. pacet or such) to help the the injection pump. We also do this on vehicles with sick pumps as it delays having to tear the pump down for a little while - i.e. you can start the damn thing! Separ make a very good filter with water trap, where you can choose the micron rating for the disposable element - we fitted them to MAN trucks and found them very durable if expensive.

As to the Prado, well I borrowed one as I was going on leave, meaning a good 8 hours behind the wheel on a variety of roads - good, bad and ugly. In the 3 liter form we got I found it VERY underpowered (a bit like the 105 series) but otherwise very good: comfortable, very sure footed/car like on good roads compared to 80/105/78 series, and fine on bad roads. In short I would be very happy to do a long trip in one. Much better stereo too! Obviously it is not a heavy duty vehicle in the sense of a 105 etc, but in reality unless the vehicle is going to do a lifetime of overlanding or work in forestry or mining then no problem. When we bought them we new it was a lighter vehicle, but better than paying $75,000 for a 200...

As I said I'm on leave, currently been enjoying a mini cooper s in Scotland and next week a Suzuki Jimny in rural Spain: should be interesting compared to big heavy stuff. Can't wait.
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