Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > 4 wheels > 4WD Overland TRAVEL

4WD Overland TRAVEL NON-technical 4WD TRAVEL forum, for subjects specific to TRAVEL with FOUR wheeled vehicles.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Overlanders Handbook - everything you need to know, available NOW!

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 9 Feb 2007
Alexlebrit's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: West London
Posts: 921
Petrol or Diesel? - Trans Stans and Mongolia

As I've not yet bought my expedition vehicle I'm fortunate enough to be able to choose which fuel to use. So I'm wondering, which would be better for a trip out of Europe through the Ukraine, Russia, Kazakstan and Mongolia?

I can see that diesel has its advantages - better mileage and better low down torque, less volatile; but then petrol is cleaner if I'm storing it in jerrycans

And given modern diesel engines does dirty diesel pose more of a risk to engine health than low grade petrol? And as for parts of the year the temperatures are below 0°C is diesel rarer because of the gelling problems?

What would anyone recommend?
__________________
Happiness has 125 cc
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 9 Feb 2007
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 914
Diesel engines actually put out less noxious gasses than petrols, but more particulates in the form of smoke, which is why some people think they are dirtier. petrol is cleaner to store as any spileage rapidly evaporates. it's really not practical to carry diesel in the vehicle as a spileage will stink for months (don't ask me how I know!!). but then petrol is significantly more dangerous to cart about.

In terms of availability both are widely available in russia. Many of their older trucks run on big petrol engines, most with gas conversions. If you are going down the petrol route get a gas conversion, it is widely available and obscenely cheap. diesel is cheaper than petrol, which is relatively expensive, but more than gas.

Diesels are inherantly more reliable, as they don't have all that electrical gubbins to make a spark. also they are better in water, and you may end up doing a bit of wading where you are going. depending on the weather conditions if it is mega cold diesel waxing may be an issue, although this also depends on the vehicle of course.

The environment thing is rather overplayed, but it gives the government a good excuse to tax us. less than 1.5% of the UKs total carbon emissions come from vehicles. the biggest poluters in the northern hemisphere tend to be countries with lots of industry, because that is the main source, and eastern europe unfortunately tops the list, but your vehicle, regardless of what your choose, will not be responsible for a single dead daisy!

I have run both petrol and diesel in eastern europe with no problems, but have gone no further east than Kazan.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10 Feb 2007
Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Kent, Uk
Posts: 389
Diesel IMHO

I would personally opt for a diesel - what type of vehicle are you looking at?
Land Rover, Land Cruiser, similar or a larger vehicle?

Diesel would give you much great range and an aux tank would improve that even further - possibly negating the need for jerries. However, if you are going to have to carry jerries, again, my choice would definately be diesel - far less risky, and as long as you take jerries with newish seals you shouldn't have a problem. You can get spare jerry can seals from many of the surplus places. Far less risk then of a spillage and less risk from combustion, that you get with petrol.

Where waxing may be/become an issue find out what the locals do.
As for the low quality of fuel, on a diesel it is easy to add an extra filter sedimenter to the fuel line and to stop the build up of carbons etc in your engine take a couple of small bottles of a fuel additive with you.

Chris
__________________
ChrisC
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10 Feb 2007
Chris D (Newcastle NSW)'s Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Newcastle NSW AU
Posts: 153
When are you off?

I/'m,
Well now what are your plans, send me a PM if is too soon to tell all.
What you ask is very tantalizing.

Chris
__________________
Chris
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10 Feb 2007
Dodger's Avatar
Large Golden Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 1,098
Diesel Jelly

If you carry and use a suitable additive ,then diesel fuel gelling in sub zero temps shouldn't be a problem .
Kerosene can be added to diesel to prevent gelling [up to 20% mixture] also petrol can be used in emergencies but don't go mad with it .
An emergency cure -- "Meltdown" -- is available in Canada that will unclog gelled up fuel lines ,there may be something similar in Europe.
Fuel line heaters can be fitted .
But generally speaking ,the local diesel fuel should be adequate for the climatic conditions .
A lot of the truckers around here use two stroke oil in their diesel to lubricate injectors ,this is a consequence of the low sulphur diesels we use .
__________________
Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light. - Spike Milligan
"When you come to a fork in the road ,take it ! When you come to a spoon in the road ,take that also ."
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10 Feb 2007
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bribie Island Australia
Posts: 576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexlebrit
And given modern diesel engines does dirty diesel pose more of a risk to engine health than low grade petrol? And as for parts of the year the temperatures are below 0°C is diesel rarer because of the gelling problems?
Just carry a few spare fuel filters if you think you will run into dirty fuel. I recently had a problem with tallow in my diesel fuel - a common back load for fuel tankers in Australia!! Clogged up fuel filters are easy enough to change, even put in a see through pre filter.

Waxing wont be a problem unless you buy a Summer blend of diesel and then head up into some high country with below zero temps. Buy whatever the locals are using and you wont go far wrong. If you are really concerned about waxing there are a few ways to solve it - none 100% safe, best I've seen was to use a camping gaz light under the engine, the heat coming off was sufficient to stop the fuel waxing in the lines. The other is just to boil up a large bucket of water and pour that over the fuel lines - less reliable.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10 Feb 2007
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 914
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC
I would personally opt for a diesel - what type of vehicle are you looking at?
Land Rover, Land Cruiser, similar or a larger vehicle?

Diesel would give you much great range and an aux tank would improve that even further - possibly negating the need for jerries. However, if you are going to have to carry jerries, again, my choice would definately be diesel - far less risky, and as long as you take jerries with newish seals you shouldn't have a problem. You can get spare jerry can seals from many of the surplus places. Far less risk then of a spillage and less risk from combustion, that you get with petrol.



Chris
I had a brand new jerry leak over the inside of my vehicle despite it being stored upright! test them before you leave, in the garden, not the vehicle!!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10 Feb 2007
Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Kent, Uk
Posts: 389
Defo agree with Moggy

If you are using jerries then of course check the seals - then buy some new spares and check them also!

Chris
__________________
ChrisC
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11 Feb 2007
Gipper's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Banff,Canada/Poole,UK
Posts: 723
I agree with the above comments, diesel is far better, for the reasons stated, less electrics, less volatile fuel, better fuel consumption, low down torque etc etc.

I run Land Rover diesel and petrol engines, and would always choose the diesel for overlanding.

The bad point about the latest generation of modern diesels is there complexity - very high pressure (2400 bar +) common rail pumps, with complicated (expensive) multi stage electrically timed injectors and variable valve timing, variable nozzle turbos etc - let alone all the controlling electronics for these systems - arent really good if they pack up in the middle of nowhere - your local bloke who repairs 1st or maybe 2nd generation diesels will not have a clue with the latest 3rd & 4th generation diesels.

Admittitley alot of the problems with modern engines are sensor related - the engines are generally not bad - but my preference is for a fairly simple diesel, that can be field maintained.

As for the jerrycans, - they leak mainly (apart form old seals) due to the ambient temperature when filled - if you fill them when its cold/cool, as the ambient temperature rises, the air/vapour pressure inside increases and may cause a leak, best to vent the pressure at the hot point of the day. ( point them down wind and let the contents settle before opening)

Moggy - did the seal fail under pressure do you think ? thats a strange one !

Theres lots of duff ex military metal jerrycans around, buy newer ones if you can - I know because I used to get rid of the old duff ones in the forces!!!

Dodger - do you know if they are going to get higher cetane diesel over here in North America ? - Ive heard someone mention it the other day....

Cheers
Grif
__________________
Cheers
Grif

'09 Suzuki DR650
'00 Discovery Series 2 V8
'95 Defender 90 300 Tdi Overlander
http://gipperstravels.blogspot.com/

Last edited by Gipper; 11 Feb 2007 at 05:02.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11 Feb 2007
Dodger's Avatar
Large Golden Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 1,098
"" Dodger - do you know if they are going to get higher cetane diesel over here in North America ? - Ive heard someone mention it the other day""

I really don't know , it would be very welcome .
I use cetane booster in the winter because the fuel quality is so crappy , the lack of power and higher consumption is very evident with pump "winter diesel".
Apparently biodiesel has a higher cetane level .

I wonder what they use to increase cetane ?

I use toluene to boost the level of octane for gasoline engines .It works quite well on my old bike engines which won't tolerate the 91 octane rubbish that they sell locally .
__________________
Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light. - Spike Milligan
"When you come to a fork in the road ,take it ! When you come to a spoon in the road ,take that also ."

Last edited by Dodger; 12 Feb 2007 at 04:31.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12 Feb 2007
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 914
HI gipper, No, it was a brand new can, and the seals leaked when I checked it after by tipping it upside down with no pressure, just a crap can!!
the civvy style one aren't as robust as the military ones, and the brit army got rid of all theirs, even brand new ones, because they didn't have the hazard stickers on them!! good to know where my taxes are going.

I bought some which alledgedly came from a scandinavian army, and are stamped the 1940s and they are brill, twice the thickness of new ones from the shops. my mate had one come off the roof at 60mph, we found it battered and bruised amongst some rocks some distance away, and it still holds fuel and doesn't leak. personally I would go for a (good) military one everytime. the civvy ones I've got are crap!!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12 Feb 2007
Gipper's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Banff,Canada/Poole,UK
Posts: 723
Moggy,
yeah, the civvy jerrys are tosh, that sounds about right for the army...we just put stickers on our cans in the RAF !!!

Dodger, the cetane content of diesel depends on the quality of oil it was made from and the amount of addatives blended into it, seems like the cetane rating varies considerably between tanker loads....

Also petrol shouldnt be added to diesel if possible, it thins out the diesel - considerably affecting the lubricity, which knackers the fuel pump - especially so, when used in low sulphur diesels.
it also makes the diesel burn hotter, which overheats the injector tips, also with some pre detonation in there too , as the only thing keeping them cool is the flow of diesel fuel through them. finally, the high octane reduces the cetane level and reduces performance.

Id stick with anti gelling agents and Kero as mentioned in very cold conditions - and use a block heater or the lantern method - you can also use insulation around the fuel lines - but no open flame under the vehicles engine bay - as it tends to ingnite oil crud build up around the engine and sump - as Ive seen happen under a Bedford MK in Norway !!!
__________________
Cheers
Grif

'09 Suzuki DR650
'00 Discovery Series 2 V8
'95 Defender 90 300 Tdi Overlander
http://gipperstravels.blogspot.com/

Last edited by Gipper; 12 Feb 2007 at 16:46.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12 Feb 2007
Alexlebrit's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: West London
Posts: 921
all these hulking great things?

Hmm, well maybe I should have said a bit more, but as I've only got four posts I was keeping which car it was under my hat a bit, in case I was laughed off the planet.

But, what I'm looking at is the Fiat Panda 4x4


First thoughts are "what a stupid car to go driving round there in", but having spent a couple of days with Fiat offroading them, I'm quietly confident that it'll cope with what I'll throw at it, and being small and light if it doesn't it's not so hard to get out.

Obvously there's a few downsides, like the slight lack of space inside, but if the bikers can get all their stuff on the back of one, then the Panda's going to be luxury.

The relative specs for the diesel and petrol are.

Petrol - 60hp, 102Nm, 145km/h, 43mpg(av)
Diesel - 70hp, 145nm, 150km/h, 53mpg(av)

Both have ABS, Traction Control, Viscous Diffs with optional electronic locking blah blah.... so really it comes down to a bit better economy and a bit more power!!!! <clarkson mode: off>

Whilst those consumption figures are obviously ludicrously optimistic for this type of trip, if we use them for a second, then the 7.5 gallon tank gives about:

Petrol: 330 miles
Diesel: 405 miles

The trip will be made in summer so I doubt there's a diesel gelling risk (it was more to do with do people use it at all, if not it'll be a pain to buy), but there will be a diesel stinking risk (yes I know I spilt some on a shoe a walked round smelling for three weeks before it wore off). Also the petrol is an 8v efi unit and the diesel is a 16v multijet high pressure unit. The petrol strikes me as being simpler somehow.


Oh and the other thing to mention, the €2000 extra cost of the diesel Panda (which buys a hell of a lot of petrol).
__________________
Happiness has 125 cc

Last edited by Alexlebrit; 12 Feb 2007 at 17:39.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12 Feb 2007
HU Sponsor
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 161
umm yes. Nothing wrong with the Fiat I guess. Having a light vehicle will be great. You could be right about the petrol engine being simpler.
If I were you I would ring a fiat dealer and ask them what 'silly' problems they have had with this model, ask the service dept AND the parts dept. Maybe try to ask an Italian dealer also.
With this vehicle both petrol and diesel are ecconomical and powerfull (powerfull enough for what you want) so it comes down to which one is more reliable I think.
Good luck with it.
Cheers,
Matt Savage, enjoying a cool glass of white wine on a Monday evening whilst listing to Lynyrd Skynyrd on CD. Boys playing on Playstation, Wife in bath and dog with me in front of fire...
__________________
www.mattsavage.com
VIAIR - 12 & 24 volt compressors and systems. Tyre levers, Land Rover parts, Sand Tracks, Allisport Intercoolers, Overland Prep, and much more...
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12 Feb 2007
Gipper's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Banff,Canada/Poole,UK
Posts: 723
Hi Alex,

Nothing wrong with the Panda - a mate actually trials an old one (with a suspension lift) in the AWDC in Devon - and does pretty well !!!

the drawbacks have been mentioned with the new ones - latest generation diesels are pretty complicated and the lack of space - I suspect you and Matt are right about the petrol unit being easier to field repair - though it has fuel injection which is a nightmare if it packs up.

Ive reccommended before the Citroen Berlingo diesel 4x4 -they are proven, reliable, lots of them about (600,000+ made) have a simple diesel (1.9 litre)and and they've got plenty of room in the back enogh to sleep in if you prepare it properly - and you arent too tall.

They also come with 15 inch wheels, so you can fit decent tyres and get a little more ground clearance.
Ive seen a few on the Western Trans route and they do well in sand - good ground cleanrance and light weight.

an older one with the simpler engine thats been looked after would be a good deal, have a look here:

http://www.marche.fr/

You might have to persevere to find a good 4x4 version, but its worth it - you are in the right country to find one !!!

Cheers
Grif
__________________
Cheers
Grif

'09 Suzuki DR650
'00 Discovery Series 2 V8
'95 Defender 90 300 Tdi Overlander
http://gipperstravels.blogspot.com/
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
kazakhstan to mongolia Phil Flanagan Trip Paperwork 14 11 Jun 2007 09:46

 
 



Renedian Adventures

HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 21:16.