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As the saying goes, ‘there are Experts and there are Experts’. That saying has a very cynical theme because, as we have all experienced probably once or twice before, so many ‘experts’ are not really ‘expert’. You will certainly find this rings true when looking for a Diesel Tuning Expert.

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In the past decade there has been a real increase in repair shops calling themselves Diesel Experts. I remember when we used to advertise it as a ‘Black Art’, only to have other shops even copy that. With a raft of ECU remapping, modules and chips being the only thing needed to tune a modern Diesel, you can start to see why there are shops calling themselves ‘Diesel Experts’. In reality though, when it comes to Diesel tuning, you need to have been around for as long as I have to at least seen the outcome of your Diesel tuning work. With over 30 years of Diesel tuning behind myself, I know what works and what doesn’t. One I learnt during this time though is that there is no connection between European tuning and Australian tuning conditions. This is where we have seen Diesel tuning go wrong for a multitude of tuning shops and products as they try to rely on tunes and tuning philosophies from countries unlike ours. Advertising heavily for 5 to 10 years adds only false credibility if the tune you had done is damaging your Diesel.

One thing is for sure, we have been developing tuning products and tuning Diesels, for more than 60 years. With 3 generations now tuning since 1956, it’s worth considering this level of experience as a benchmark the next time you are asking yourself, “How do I find a Real Diesel Expert”.

Safe Towing,

Andrew Leimroth

Berrima Diesel- The Diesel Experts

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Are technologies implemented to reduce emissions causing damage to your modern diesel engine? Find out how you can fix this.

In order to comply with emission laws put in place to protect the environment, pretty much all modern diesel engines will have a DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) and some will have an EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation). Although this technology has been implemented to decrease emissions, they can also be detrimental to your modern diesel.

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The EGR can cause your engine to choke up through the build-up of soft carbons, due to an oily wet inlet manifold. However, this can easily be fixed through installation of a Crankcase Oil Fumes Filter (or Catch Can). The use of a Catch Can will drastically reduce the oily fumes that allow these carbons to continually build up in the inlet manifold. If left unattended, this gunk build-up will virtually choke your diesel to death. Once this filter system is installed, I advise you then have the inlet manifold system decoked.

The complexity of engines now would lead me to use cleaning systems rather than pulling apart much of the engine to physically clean out what is generally oily, soft gunk build-up. As diesel experts, we offer this service, but if you’re not close to us, there definitely would be a diesel workshop near you also doing this.

After this nothing beats regular engine oil changes. For example, in a lot of motorhomes we see service intervals as long as 20,000km being recommended. Attractive for the car dealer selling you your rig, but it’s definitely not in your engine’s best interest to run contaminated oil this long. Change your engine oil at intervals no longer than 10,000km or less.

For the information about Oil Catch Can, please visit our online shop.

Safe Touring
Andrew Leimroth
Berrima Diesel – The Diesel Experts

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The old saying ‘Bigger is Better’ has been around for ever. When this age old saying is applied to the inlet airflow of your Diesel, bigger may not be better.

Take a look at how a Diesel works and you could nearly say, “It’s just a big air compressor.” It sucks air in on the induction stroke and pushes gases out on the exhaust stroke. Traditionally this inbound air is compressed to, depending on the engine model, 500 PSI and when atomised Diesel fuel is added combustion begins. Get more air in and more fuel can be added for more Power. For so long, getting more air into the old Diesel engine had been a mandatory area to look at for power gains. One common side effect commonly witnessed during these times was many a dusted Diesel engine coming from poor filtering or easily blocked aftermarket hi-flow oiled air filter. A lot of aftermarket air filters were either straight poor quality due to the supplier cutting costs at point of manufacture or, as we would commonly see, made for a market unlike our unique Australian dusty conditions. These filter shortcomings would make these higher flowing air filters, turn into a quite restrictive ones.

high-airflow

Step up to modern EFI controlled diesels and other areas must be considered. One key point is the effect airflow changes will have on sensitive sensors such as the ‘air mass sensor’. Bigger air filter lids and again hi-flow air filters can alter air flow measured by the air mass sensor potentially inhibiting power across the rev range.

Remember to always chat with your Diesel Expert about changes you’re considering making to the airflow on your Diesel. More may end up being less if applied to the wrong conditions.

Safe Fourwheeling

Andrew Leimroth

Berrima Diesel- The Diesel Experts

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It’s a thought that scares the most seasoned diesel owner- Putting petrol in the diesel tank. Im sure you have all seen this when you have filled up before at the garage. The one bowser accommodating Unleaded, Hi-octane Unleaded and diesel is a common site. This in itself has caught many a diesel owner off guard and allowed them to accidentally fill the diesel tank with petrol. One thing that I have common amongst customers that have come in with petrol in diesel is that they are new to owning a diesel. Habits take years to make and also break and it’s a common thing for a new diesel owner to just plainly forget and put petrol in their diesel tank.
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When you get to the point of realising you are, or have, put petrol into your diesels fuel tank, immediately stop and assess a few things.

-Pending the amount of petrol in diesel, the best option ALWAYS is to drain out the fuel.

-A lot of petrol in the diesel could damage the injection components so drain as much as possible and the I advise dropping a small bottle of 2 stroke oil in as you refill with diesel.

-If you have just clicked in say 6 or 7 litres of petrol into a 80 or 90 litre diesel tank (under 10%) don’t panic. We have seen this a lot and my advice is to add a small bottle of 2 stroke oil to the tank and continue to fill the tank full with diesel. As the tank goes down keep topping it up with diesel.

One closing note. With an increasing number of petrol owners moving over to diesels, I have never experienced so many calls about petrol in diesel. This said I have never seen diesels so survivable from petrol in diesel as I have with common rail technology. Well, to be honest there is a heck of a lot less moving parts in a common rail system so this may play into the fact.
Just remember if you do make a mistake next time you’re filling your diesel have a quick chat with your diesel Expert.

Safe Travels

Andrew Leimroth

Berrima diesel- The Diesel Experts

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It’s something you really need to know when you are having your Diesel engine tuned up for more power. I’ve been in this scene for 30 years now and have seen many changes to Diesel engine technology. That said, the one thing that hasn’t changed is how a Diesel works. The rest though has changed a lot. 30 years ago you asked your local mechanic where you could go to get your Diesel tuned while nowadays your local mechanic can plug in a harness to your vehicle and upload a tune. Whilst this seems to have made Diesel tuning experts appear more commonplace, it has probably opened up more of a can of worms than one would expect through many inexperienced mechanics being able to access and tune of the trusty Diesel. What you need to consider when getting ready to have your Diesel tuned is how much experience the tuner really has when it comes to Diesel engines. The very simple nature of how Diesel fuel burns means the engine’s tune is prone to being set incorrectly. Incorrectly meaning far too powerful for its own safety.
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Diesel tuning and engine safety has been hijacked of recent years by high profile marketing campaigns when in reality it cannot replace experience when seriously talking about tuning Diesels. Whether it be an old school tune on your Nissan TD42, or a modern tune using a chip, module or ECU reflash upgrade on your Hilux D4D, be aware and ask “Who is tuning my Diesel?”
Just remember that your Diesel engine is a low maintenance engine. Keep up regular engine oil and filter changes and it will look after you. When it comes to getting it tuned correctly, seek out an experienced Diesel Expert that can tune the engine with long life and safety in mind.

Safe Fourwheeling

Andrew Leimroth

Berrima Diesel- The Diesel Experts

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How many times have you thought that your rig just isn’t going like it used to? Well it’s amazing how many 4WDs we see in our shop that seem to have lost power over time. Once run on the dyno we see results that align with what the customer is suspecting and that there is some power loss when compared to an average of same vehicle runs. It’s always a good thing to have your Diesel 4WD checked for its state of tune now and then.

Older non common rail Diesels we would usually recommend to be checked and tuned every 100,000km. These simple Diesels pretty much had a fuel pump and injectors and so not many things to go wrong. For common rail Diesels we actually recommend a simpler form of inspection and tune and that can be as regular as every 50,000km.
Common Rail Diesels have a raft of sensors and components all working to keep the engine running in tune. Its this complexity that we see power loss hinging from areas as simple as a dirty sensor. Sensors rarely break and usually slowly become inaccurate due to gunk build up on them with time. This is where spot cleaning of plugs and sensors can help your Common Rail Diesel.

Reliability is key when travelling off-road and preventative inspections and repairs are a worthwhile item to add to your vehicle’s regular maintenance list. If you want to be sure your rig isnt running wearing ‘worn shoes’, you might want to contact your Diesel Expert to get it checked out and tuned if needed.

Safe Fourwheeling

Andrew Leimroth

Berrima Diesel- The Diesel Experts

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While it seems normal for us, towing in Australian conditions is something that no Japanese or European engineer could quite comprehend. The fact our tow rigs and vans total on average at around 5 tons, or well over, is again something the manufacturers say they allowed for but really didn’t believe would happen to their computer designed rigs. This said, we can thank the raft of well-engineered Australian accessories for allowing these weights to be towed more safely and easily.

After all the weight is added and the suspension is modified to make the towing safer and easier, the most common area for improvement is the engine’s power. When it comes to power gains it should also be considered that serious tow rigs are running at their peak power output more often. Adding a performance chip or module is the first step to increasing power as it actually tunes the diesel engine. It’s the sort of item that should be a simple Plug N’Play and needs to be backed up by serious warranties. When plugged in, the performance chip will easily add more power and torque across the engine range.

What you need to consider, though, is that it must be from a reputable manufacturer that bases its tuning experience on the “Tune Safely” theory.

The next common add-on in the power gain area is an exhaust. Whilst on some model vehicles an exhaust system may not add much more power, overall an exhaust upgrade builds in a safety net for the engine during heavy towing conditions. When we tow we sustain engine load at times in the 80-100% range. These extended periods at high engine loads allow peak temperatures to build that we might never normally see happen. Getting rid of this heat build-up quicker via a wellengineered exhaust upgrade will mean you can sustain these extended load periods with more peace of mind.

Upgrading engine power with a chip and exhaust system should be seriously considered if your days are spent towing. The need for one of these items or both can be decided by chatting with your diesel expert.

Safe Touring

Andrew Leimroth
Berrima Diesel – The Diesel Experts

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It’s a question I get asked all the time. “Do I need to let my turbo cool down after driving?” To answer this we need to understand the difference in cooling an engine and cooling the turbo on it.

Modern Diesels are all water-cooled. They have a fan that varies in speed dragging air through the radiator. Regardless of road speed the hotter things get the more the fan helps to keep the cooling system working. Stop the engine and the cooling system effectively stops being cooled. If you measured the water temperature with an external gauge at this time, you might see it continue to go up a little before dropping as the engine naturally cooled. Remember the engine is cooled by the cooling system.

The Turbo on the other hand is not cooled as such. It might be a water-cooled type but this isn’t cooling the hot exhaust housing. The turbo is designed to be part of the hot exhaust system and so is very durable to heat. In particular, the exhaust part of the turbo is designed to get hot. Since exhaust gases keep it hot, it’s only logical that once you shut the engine off the turbo temperature can only cool down, unlike the cooling system on the engine.

So in summary ALL engines with a cooling system need a cool down after long sustained full load. This means everyone towing or running fully loaded. Once you shut the engine off, the engine cooling system will continue to get hotter before it cools down. By nature of backing the foot off a few kilometres before you stop is the best cool down you can give it as you are still moving with lots of air going through the engine bay.

‘So…do I need to cool down my turbo?’ Not really….but you should consider next time to cool down your engine before stopping after heavy towing.

Safe Driving!

Andrew Leimroth
Berrima Diesel

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This will open the Mother of all debates but someone has to do it. I get asked time and time again about what viscosity grade oil someone should use in their Diesel 4WD. Start looking in various areas on the vehicle and one soon becomes suspicious if the right guidance or money is driving the oil choice recommendation. When manufacturers are running the engine production they are doing so with speed and efficiency on mind. Along with that comes the Global mindset that the engine being made will go anywhere in the World. This Global mindset, when we get to the point of adding engine oil, may not be what we need in our local market though. Local market meaning, ‘the conditions the engine will really be running under most of the time”.

Step to one side for a moment in the discussion. There are so many factors being designed into New Generation Diesels that the mind boggles. The one leading them all though is fuel efficiency. Piston ring tensions and frictions are high on the agenda of increasing engine efficiency and this means more strain on engine oils.
Back to how all these factors, climate and design, affects our engine oil choice. The majority of vehicles we see through our shop usually have the answer to what oil really is a better choice for your vehicle and that lays in the SAE oil guide that most makers fall back on if the ‘recommended’ oil isn’t available. If you really have a good look at that chart and the conditions you vehicle will be running in you may soon come to realise that 0W30 or 5W30 weight oils aren’t that crash hot after all. Whilst great for Global temps down to -30’C or lower, they will struggle in temps as they rise to 30’C.

So what Oil should you chose? Keep in mind one that suits our local conditions. That’s certainly not -35’C here in Oz. Speak to your Diesel Expert to get further advice and watch this space for another article on this well misunderstood topic.

Safe Fourwheeling

Andrew Leimroth

Berrima Diesel- The Diesel Experts

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Often mistaken as the major cause of injection system damage, is the Diesel Bug a real threat to the highly expensive injection systems in our Modern 4WDs?
Diesel and water easily separate from each other, with water always ending up on the bottom of a fuel tank or collection bowl in a fuel filter. It’s in this water that as many as a few dozen strains of bacteria can grow and multiply. What seems like a tiny droplet of water can seem like a lake to a tiny microbe like the Diesel Bug.

It enters your fuel system via the usual culprit- poor hygiene at the tank or bowser you fill up at. At the right temperature suddenly a dormant bacteria can grow to clog an entire Diesel filter system. So what can you do about this? Where you buy your fuel can be important. A clean service station is a start. That’s generally out of our hands so it comes back to reliable Diesel filtration system. The Original DIesel filtration system in our 4WDs is often blamed as being pretty poor whilst in reality, regular filter changing (about every 10,000km) is the key to keeping the Diesel Bug from taking over. Adding a correctly designed Diesel Pre-filter is another way of assisting if you just want added insurance. This filter should be chosen for a number of reasons with one key feature, a visible water bowl, being the primary one. Where there is water there is bacteria. So if you can gather any water into a clear bowl you will usually see the contamination of bacteria before it gets to an unmanageable stage.
Remember to seek out your Diesel Expert when doing research on the Diesel Bug and find out how even the simplest steps can help you out.

Safe Fourwheeling,

Andrew Leimroth

Berrima Diesel- The Diesel Experts

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