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Old 03-24-2013, 08:13 AM
 
2,632 posts, read 6,474,277 times
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How hard is it for an automotive technician to become a diesal technician?
Currently I am an automotive technician at a dealership but I'm also looking into becoming a part time overnight diesal technician at u.p.s.
Is this possible?
Thanks in advance for any feedback.
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:45 AM
 
Location: anywhere but Seattle
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:03 PM
 
17,400 posts, read 21,267,091 times
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You would need to take specialized training in diesel mechanics, but the most important step in the process is to spell diesel correctly on the job application if you want to go into that field.

Rudolph Diesel is probably turning over in his grave right now.

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Old 03-24-2013, 04:07 PM
 
2,632 posts, read 6,474,277 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retriever View Post
You would need to take specialized training in diesel mechanics, but the most important step in the process is to spell diesel correctly on the job application if you want to go into that field.

Rudolph Diesel is probably turning over in his grave right now.

I didn't graduate school for diesel mechanics but my automotive technology training did touch on it.
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Scranton
1,384 posts, read 2,955,378 times
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By diesel mechanic I am assuming that you're talking about trucks. I'll give you some breakdown:

1. Fuel system - Cars usually have fuel injectors that work at 30-35 psi. Trucks have a transfer pump that transfers the fuel from the tank to the injector pump, where it is brought to over 20,000 psi and delivered to the injector. It stays there until a cam or solenoid opens the injector at the end of the compression stroke and keeps it open for a part of the power stroke. Diesel fuel is prone to gelling at sub-freezing temperatures.

2. Air intake - There is no throttle on a diesel engine. Pretty much all of them are turbocharged and aftercooled, some of them have two turbos in series.

3. Exhaust - Post 2007 diesel engines have diesel particulate filters (DPF) on the exhaust. It is basically a soot trap. When it gets full and certain conditions are met, the engine will heat the DPF to over 1,200 °F in order to burn that soot in a process called regeneration. 2006 and older had nothing in the exhaust pipe except for the muffler.

4. Brakes - Air brakes operate differently from hydraulic brakes. You'll need to know about primary and secondary systems, relay valves, quick release valves, ABS modulators, governors, etc... Many trucks still use drum brakes all around. You'll need to know about brake chambers, slack adjusters, S-Cams, etc...

5. Suspension - It's either leaf springs or air bags. Leaf springs are not that different from pickup trucks, just a lot beefier. Air bags, on the other hand, require knowledge of the air system (the same one used for brakes) and the leveling valves used to keep them, well, level. The front axle steers on kingpins instead of control arms and balljoints.

6. Steering, cooling, HVAC, electrical (charge & crank) is similar to what you have in cars, just bigger and heavier.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by evergraystate View Post
<Facepalm>
Why the facepalm?
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:10 PM
 
2,632 posts, read 6,474,277 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trucker7 View Post
By diesel mechanic I am assuming that you're talking about trucks. I'll give you some breakdown:

1. Fuel system - Cars usually have fuel injectors that work at 30-35 psi. Trucks have a transfer pump that transfers the fuel from the tank to the injector pump, where it is brought to over 20,000 psi and delivered to the injector. It stays there until a cam or solenoid opens the injector at the end of the compression stroke and keeps it open for a part of the power stroke. Diesel fuel is prone to gelling at sub-freezing temperatures.

2. Air intake - There is no throttle on a diesel engine. Pretty much all of them are turbocharged and aftercooled, some of them have two turbos in series.

3. Exhaust - Post 2007 diesel engines have diesel particulate filters (DPF) on the exhaust. It is basically a soot trap. When it gets full and certain conditions are met, the engine will heat the DPF to over 1,200 °F in order to burn that soot in a process called regeneration. 2006 and older had nothing in the exhaust pipe except for the muffler.

4. Brakes - Air brakes operate differently from hydraulic brakes. You'll need to know about primary and secondary systems, relay valves, quick release valves, ABS modulators, governors, etc... Many trucks still use drum brakes all around. You'll need to know about brake chambers, slack adjusters, S-Cams, etc...

5. Suspension - It's either leaf springs or air bags. Leaf springs are not that different from pickup trucks, just a lot beefier. Air bags, on the other hand, require knowledge of the air system (the same one used for brakes) and the leveling valves used to keep them, well, level. The front axle steers on kingpins instead of control arms and balljoints.

6. Steering, cooling, HVAC, electrical (charge & crank) is similar to what you have in cars, just bigger and heavier.

Let me know if you have any more questions.


Why the facepalm?
Thanks for the information. Diesel engines are pretty similiar to gasoline engines and the trucks do ave some differences but is nothing I couldn't adapt to. All my tools however are geared towards working with cars however. How expensive are the tools and what tools should I get immediately. Again, thanks for your input.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:15 PM
 
12 posts, read 54,770 times
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Don't forget that if told to check spark plugs on diesels, you are either looking at glow plugs or someone is pulling your leg. Diesel engines use the heat of compression for combustion.

Thermostats can usually be bigger and multiple.

Don't forget the electronics. If a diesel constantly shuts down (within 10 seconds after starting) the problem is most likely an oil pressure issue or oil pressure switch issue. Diesel have many monitored and alarmed systems that can cause problems with operation.

Also, diesel engines don't run well on air in the fuel system (or water). Change a fuel filter on a car and it starts fairly quick. Change a fuel filter in a diesel and you can be chasing your tail getting the air out of the system for proper operation.

Oh, one final thing. If you live in an area with extreme cold temps, an anti-gel is NECESSARY for operation. Living in the cold north I see many diesel vehicles with owners driving from the warm south to north and not knowing about the anti-gel, getting stranded and high tow and repair bills.

Most diesels today are not fuel efficient unless they have either a turbocharger and/or a blower.

Also, with federal regulations regarding emissions, diesel engines today are VERY computerized. Those very computers and the programming of the governor can also cause operational issues.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:24 PM
 
3,184 posts, read 6,533,794 times
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If you are a mechanic you only need a service manual to go to work....After a few months you wont even need the manual...
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:39 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX USA
5,240 posts, read 11,788,107 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trucker7 View Post

Why the facepalm?
Check his post history, every month he wants to do something differnet.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Northern MN
3,869 posts, read 14,270,400 times
Reputation: 3593
Glow plugs or a grid heater IE a air intake heater and no glow plugs.
There not all the same.

No spark plugs for a cummins?
Then what are these for?


Quote:
Originally Posted by kites0852 View Post
Don't forget that if told to check spark plugs on diesels, you are either looking at glow plugs or someone is pulling your leg. Diesel engines use the heat of compression for combustion.

T


Ps You can't run a diesel to lean, it just can't be done.
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