Jeep/Ram EcoDiesel long term?

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by NativeSon, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. NativeSon

    NativeSon Long timer

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    I did a search and saw a lot of mentions about this engine, but not a lot about reliability. I realize this is a relatively new combination, but does anyone know anything specific about this powertrain? I realize there are lots of diesel forums out there, but I'd rather get the straight shit from you guys. Just how good is this engine? When Chrysler and Fiat announced the merger, I remember saying to myself, "the blind leading the blind..." I realize MB and Chrysler were the ones to design the Grand Cherokee, so I'm sure that the chassis is good, but this diesel engine has piqued my interest. Is this diesel engine on par with anything from MB or Audi? Is it more of a commercial grade diesel? What about Fiat diesels in general? What about long term reliability? Has anyone here ever driven it in either the JGC or the Ram? There used to be a guy here that worked for Cummins. Cool guy. Is he still around?
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  2. NativeSon

    NativeSon Long timer

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    yeah, I'm an idiot.

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=933076
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  3. James Adams

    James Adams Long timer

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    :lol3 I think that that thread is going to eventually devolve into the usual Ford vs Ram vs imports discussion, so I want to steer this one to focus on the engine and drivetrain rather than the vehicle as a whole.

    The 3.0L turbodiesel V6 "EcoDiesel" engine is made by VM Motori (now owned by Fiat), and it's in the same class as the MB and VW/Audi diesel V6 engines that you see in their cars and SUVs. (It's not a commercial-class diesel like the Cummins 6BT.) While the Jeep and the Ram both use the same engine, I have read in reviews and such that the Ram feels a little bit more refined. Some review authors have opined that the ECU mapping is different between the two, however, it could easily be other things like better noise and vibration isolation on the Ram (just a guess) rather than the actual ECU programming. I haven't driven the EcoDiesel Ram so I can't offer any first-hand comparison. Most reviews agree that the EcoDiesel V6 is not quite as refined as the MB and VW/Audi diesels, but it's still very good and at an attractive price point when compared to its high-end diesel V6 brethren.

    Turbo lag is surprisingly noticeable, a bit more so than I expected, but not unmanageable. The fuel economy is good but won't be paid for by fuel savings in any reasonable amount of time unless you are comparing it to the Hemi.

    The EcoDiesel V6 does use DPF (particulate filter) and SCR (diesel exhaust fluid/AdBlue) systems in order to meet US emissions standards. It's only been used in it's current US-market format in the Ram and the Jeep for the 2014 model year, so I'm not sure that we have any real long-term reliability data. I haven't heard of any common engine-related issues, but of course some may come up over time.

    I do know that the Jeep has been available with a 3.0L V6 turbodiesel for the last few years (maybe since 2011, when the WK2 [2011-current Grand Cherokee] came out?) in some overseas markets, but I don't know if that's the same (aside from emissions equipment) as the current diesel that we get in the US. I know that there have been some issues with DPF active regenerations not happening as often as they should in some of the Aussie Jeeps, but their DPF programming logic seems to be a bit different and the issue has not shown up on US-market vehicles.

    The transmission is either the ZF 8-speed automatic (built at the ZF plant in Greenville, South Carolina) that's used by lots of higher-end automakers with a great track record, or it's a Chrysler-made (built at various Chrysler plants in Indiana) version of the ZF design. My understanding is that gas V6 Jeep Grand Cherokees get the Chrysler-built version, but the diesel V6 and gas V8 models are still getting ZF-built transmissions. I don't know what's in the Ram. I think the idea is that eventually all of the Chrysler vehicles will have Chrysler-built 8-speed transmissions.

    I really like the transmission. I've driven it in a new Hemi-powered Ram 1500 as well as the EcoDiesel Jeep, and it was great in both. It shifts relatively smoothly and the large number of gears means that there are great low gears for acceleration and great high gears for very relaxed highway cruising (~2000rpm at 75mph in the diesel Jeep). The automotive press generally has good things to say about the ZF 8-speed in the various Audis, Porsches, BMWs, and Jaguars that also use it.

    I bought an EcoDiesel-powered Jeep about 7000 miles ago. I was going back and forth between the Jeep and a new VW Touareg TDI. The Touareg was "nicer", but, at the same price point, the Jeep was far more capable with its real 4x4 system and air suspension. While I'm not a real Jeeper, I appreciated the good ground clearance and low-range 4x4 in my last SUV and I didn't want to lose that capability.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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  4. Cheddarhead

    Cheddarhead Perenial Noobie!

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    FIAT owns IVECO...IVECO makes diesel engines (along with vocational and semi tractors etc) which are also installed in lots of other applications...including marine engines, construction equipment, and farm tractors and combines, for example.

    FIAT also owns CNH...which most people know as "CASE IH" and "New Holland" in the AG and Construction Equipment market. They have been integrating these IVECO powerplants into a wide variety of their AG and CE Platforms globally for the past decade or so. This is true even though, when FIAT purchased CASE (circa 1999 - 2000, IIRC), CASE owned 50% of a JV with Cummins that produced the 6 Cyl diesels that CASE used in their MAGNUM AG Tractors and other platforms. (I worked for CASE at the time FIAT purchased them...and had direct responsibility for the MAGNUM tractor and other AG products from an integration / NPD perspective.)

    IVECO also owns a bunch of patents in this (diesel engine) space...involving the common rail turbo technology, I believe. I believe that they generate a fair amount of royalty revenue by licensing this technology to other diesel engine builders.

    In short...FIAT may have had issues with funky engineering etc in the '60's and '70's in their auto offerings...but they have "solid" tech / engineering chops when it comes to diesel engines.
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  5. Range Motorsport

    Range Motorsport Junk collector

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    Let's make this perfectly clear the 3.0 Eco Diesel is not a Fiat engine.

    Jeep and Chrysler have been using VM Motori Diesels in their product line since the 90's. Daimler Chrysler used to own VM Motori, so did GM and Penske for awhile, now it's in the hands of Fiat. Most of the development of the engine came from the GM/Penske and GM/Fiat collaborations.
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  6. James Adams

    James Adams Long timer

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    :nod

    The engine in the US-market Liberty CRD was also a VM engine.
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  7. Cheddarhead

    Cheddarhead Perenial Noobie!

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    Didn't mean to infer that the new 3.0 "was" an IVECO engine. :clap

    I was responding to the OP's question about FIAT's background / experience in diesel technology. :deal
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  8. James Adams

    James Adams Long timer

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    And just to avoid more confusion, the EcoDiesel drivetrain in the ProMaster is completely different than the EcoDiesel drivetrain in the Jeep/Ram.
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  9. SunwardIveClimbed

    SunwardIveClimbed Wildblueyonderwander

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    I'll back up James Adams in this thread (as he did for me in the other). I test drove the Grand Cherokee before buying the Ram. My bet is that any difference in the "refinement" between the two is negligible and 98% imagined. Maybe they reviewers drove the GC on a cloudy day and the Ram on a sunny one.

    I had a Dakota about a decade ago. I liked that truck but the electrical system left me stranded for really dumb reasons, that I had to debug and fix after spending big $ at the dealer. So I thought the same thing about "the blind leading the blind..." as the OP. Then I started a conversation with anyone I came across that had a newer ram/jeep/chrysler product about how they liked their vehicle. After a dozen positive reviews with no negatives I figured I'd give the Ram another try.

    It is a bit depressing that the Italians had to come in and straighten things out.

    I'd like to know about long term quality too. That is a gamble that I'll find out in 5-6 years, and so will everyone I talked to.
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  10. Attico

    Attico Wrong way 'round

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    I have a friend who has both the jeep and the new ram. Got to drive it and it's shockingly good. It was quiet and worked well with the trans.

    I personally own a touareg tdi and a golf tdi so I'm a diesel geek I guess. I really liked how they worked.

    Long term, no idea. Short term, when we popped the hood after he got it home, the engine cover was broken at the mount. I hope that isn't a sign of the quality.
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  11. James Adams

    James Adams Long timer

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    :stupid

    I've had both a Jetta TDI and a Passat TDI in the past; I'm a bit of a fan of diesel cars too. :lol3
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  12. Blakebird

    Blakebird had to get a bike, had to paint it red

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    I've had two Dodge Ram 4wd 1500 trucks that were of excellent build quality, and the Fiat acquisition had zilch to do with the technology of either.
    The injection of cash helped overall, but as far as gas engined Ram trucks go, Fiat wasn't a factor. Dodge builds a helluva good truck...

    The VM Motori engine is excellent, and the fact you can get it in a 1500 Ram and don't have to pony up huge dollars for a Cummins 2500/3500 serious hauler...is a good thing.
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  13. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

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    The engine in the Chevrolet Cruze Turbodiesel is as well. We own two of the and have been very pleased with their performance. First one has 15,000 miles on it.
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  14. Maritimer

    Maritimer Bikeless Adventurer

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    'Round these parts, the only EcoDiesels I'm seeing on the lots are Laramie Crew Cabs with a $65k sticker on them. Makes a 2500/3500 seem worth it. And these are rural dealers in the agri-belt of eastern Canada, not some high-zoot city dealer.
    I'm sure the dealer can source a cheaper one or I could order one and wait 4 months, but these are not exactly 'cheaper' options.
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  15. BCC

    BCC I know better

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    What kinda real world mileage folks getting out of the Jeep?

    I had a BMW 335d and loved it. Great mileage and lots of torque. So fast. Pain in the ass to fill with fuel because I had to use a plastic adaptor to downsize the pump nozzle to fit the the fuel filler opening on the car. Nothing like going to the office with diesel on your hands. :lol3 Shoulda worn gloves....

    Anyway, a Grand Cherokee w a diesel sounds pretty good. If it doesn't need an adapter...
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  16. James Adams

    James Adams Long timer

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    No adapter needed :lol3

    I've averaged 27.5mpg over the last ~7000 miles (and it's a 4x4 model), calculated by odometer and gallons pumped. The trip computer is slightly optimistic, but not as bad as the VWs that I've had. My latest fuel-up was a bit lower because it was all towing a trailer at 75mph. http://www.fuelly.com/car/jeep/grand_cherokee/2014/iancooper/297357
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  17. James Adams

    James Adams Long timer

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    I wonder if that will change in the future, since Fiat bought out GM's share of VM.
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  18. AkBrian

    AkBrian Long timer

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    So they use the "unleaded" style fill port on a diesel vehicle? Wasn't the whole point of the smaller unleaded port to be for the purpose of preventing the wrong fuel type, originally leaded fuel, from being easily put in the vehicle? An unleaded style port on a diesel makes no sense at all.

    Edit: Unless you are referring to the high volume commercial truck style nozzles found at truck stops.
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  19. NativeSon

    NativeSon Long timer

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    How would you describe it on the highway? Still have some umph (for lack of a better word), or does the performance fall off because the HP numbers are low?
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  20. James Adams

    James Adams Long timer

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    The 8spd transmission means that until you get to seriously extra-legal speeds, there's always a gear with serious umph.

    This is a chart of the power and torque output (at the crank) as provided by VM Motori for the US-market version of the engine (the L 630 DOHC):
    [​IMG]

    Pay attention to the scales and units used on the Y axes, but the shape of the curve can give you a good idea of how it feels. The torque curve (red) peaks at around 570 Nm (420 lb ft) at 1800 RPM, holds steady to about 2400 RPM, then slowly tapers off to 440 Nm (325 lb ft) by 4000 RPM; that's a lot of "grunt". The power curve is very linear, especially above 1800 RPM, showing that the power delivery is smooth and without any flat spots or surges in delivery.

    Don't expect neck-snapping passing power, but 75mph in 8th gear is 2000 RPM so there's plenty of shove in reserve to safely get you around that annoying RV.

    EDIT: 75mph in 8th gear is what it is on my Jeep, the gearing in the Ram might be different. But I think the point is clear regardless. :lol3
    #20