|3.0L EcoDiesel. Click to enlarge.|
Chrysler’s 2014 Ram 1500 will offer a new, 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine, mated with the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. Ram is now the only brand to offer a small-displacement diesel for its half-ton line of trucks.
Branded EcoDiesel, the new 3.0-liter powerplant is a turbocharged 60-degree, dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) 24-valve V-6 that produces 240 hp (179 kW) at 3600 rpm and 420 lb-ft (569 N·m) of torque at 2000 rpm. Equipped with a diesel oxidation catalyst, diesel particulate filter, and selective catalytic reduction, it will be emissions-compliant in all 50 states.
The transmission features five clutch packs, but only two are open in any gear to maximize efficiency. Its torque converter features turbine torsional damping, enabling low lock-up speeds in all eight gears. Depending on the axle pairing, the transmission affords final-drive ratios ranging from 2.15 to 2.63.
The new turbo-diesel is designed and produced by VM Motori, a Chrysler Group diesel engine supplier since 1992. The engine, with its 16.5:1 compression ratio, is shouldered by a bedplate and cylinder block of Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI).
CGI is engineered to ensure graphite is more uniformly dispersed, which delivers higher strength, enhances durability and reduces noise, vibration and harshness (NVH)—a focus of many EcoDiesel design features, such as its structural aluminum oil pan.
The EcoDiesel’s 60-degree cylinder-bank angle and 1-2-3-4-5-6 firing order are optimized to manage inertia and firing loads, eliminating the need for a balance shaft.
The engine’s aluminum cylinder heads are heat-treated and feature individual bearing caps that help reduce friction and NVH. Durability is further ensured by the EcoDiesel’s forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods—which provide additional NVH benefits—and its aluminum alloy pistons. These pistons, which benefit from cooling oil jets, reduce reciprocating mass inside the engine for enhanced efficiency and performance feel.
The dual overhead cams with chain-driven roller-finger followers and gear-to-gear meshing afford efficient valve operation, working in harmony with the variable-geometry, electronically controlled, water-cooled turbocharger. Special attention to this relationship helps to virtually eliminate “turbo lag” by providing increased turbine power at low engine speeds.
The system incorporates a new “pre-filter” on the transmission cross-rail and an engine fuel filter. The result is enhanced prevention of injector corrosion, an enabler of long-term durability, as well as protection from the vagaries of regional fuel quality.
A front-end accessory drive with automatic tensioning single-belt drive highlights the engine’s versatility.
Injection system. The EcoDiesel V-6 features Fiat’s MultiJet II common-rail fuel-injection system with 29,000-psi (2,000-bar) of line pressure. High-dispersion nozzles and a new servo-valve enable fuel-injection events that occur with greater precision up to eight times per cylinder cycle for clean, smooth combustion.
The interval between two consecutive injections also is better modulated to mitigate noise and benefit fuel consumption and emissions reduction. This is known as Injection Rate Shaping.
The resulting flexibility affords optimal efficiency, power on demand and low-speed throttle response.
EcoDiesel’s fast-acting, high-temperature glow plugs operate at higher temperatures than conventional metallic glow plugs. The result is enhanced performance and durability.
Emissions. The new EcoDiesel V-6 achieves 50-state emissions compliance. A key enabler is the engine’s cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system, which is controlled by electric valves instead of the conventional pneumatic variety. The system also contributes to rapid start-up.
An advanced Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system also reduces emissions. It incorporates a novel Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) system that, unlike competitive systems, alerts the driver to low DEF levels while also allowing the engine to maintain full power. Other features include:
An insulated DEF tank with heated lines mitigates the effects of cold-weather operation;
A passive cooling system (one that does not require engine coolant) for the DEF injector;
Exhaust-system refinements to improve the utilization of DEF for NOx reduction while also mitigating harmful DEF crystalline build-up;
An exhaust-system design that requires less energy from the engine to achieve optimal emissions conversion temperatures; and
An exhaust-system strategy that reduces soot output while also improving fuel economy and meeting emissions standards
The DEF tank holds eight gallons of fluid. Duty cycle determines refills, but the average interval is about 10,000 miles. DEF is commonly available fuel stations and is also offered by Mopar, Chrysler Group’s dealer network and and Cummins dealers and distributors.
The standard engine oil cooler, when the EcoDiesel is used with 5W30 synthetic oil, contributes to a 10,000-mile oil-change interval. The use of B-20 biodiesel is validated and approved for the new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel.
Park-assist. Beginning in model year 2014, the Ram 1500 will offer a front park assist system, a first time offering on a full-size Ram pickup truck. The system uses four sensors located on the front bumper. The bezel-less, integrated sensors sequentially send out ultrasonic waves when the vehicle is driven in forward at low speeds. The system can detect objects as far away as 47.2 inches.
The sending sensor and adjacent sensors pick up the echo of a signal when it bounces off an object. Triangulation is used to determine relative distance, based on elapsed time between the outgoing signal and its return.
Readouts located in the cluster display (and audible chimes) notify the driver of front/rear object proximity.
Fuel savings systems. Fuel-saving systems on the Ram 1500 include a stop-start system, thermal management system, pulse-width modulation and active aerodynamics, including grille shutters and air suspension.
Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is a fuel-saving technology for the Ram 1500, which reduces parasitic electrical load. The technology not only eliminates unnecessary load on the alternator but also improves the durability of benefitting systems. Fuel delivery and the forward cooling fan are two systems that take advantage of PWM, adding a 0.4% improvement in fuel efficiency.
The 2014 Ram 1500 will carry additional uses of PWM technology and a host of new efficiency, comfort and emissions-friendly refinements. These include a variable displacement air-conditioning compressor pulse-width modulated vent blower and humidity sensor.
As opposed to a “fixed” displacement compressor, the variable displacement compressor (VDC) automatically varies its pumping capacity to meet air conditioning demands rather than working in an on/off fashion. As a result, the variable displacement compressor (VDC) lessens loads on the engine, reducing parasitic losses for enhanced fuel efficiency and helping to maintain a consistent cockpit temperature. The technology also reduces related noise and vibration annoyances.
When the interior cabin temperature is higher than what’s desired (outside the automatic temperature control setting), the VDC increases refrigeration capacity until the desired temperature is reached. Once the temperature is reached, the VDC automatically reduces its capacity to maintain the desired temperature rather than shutting off completely.
Like the VDC, the pulse-width modulation (PWM) blower continually controls fan speeds for optimal performance in all driving scenarios. Not unlike other PWM applications that debuted on the 2013 Ram 1500, the pulse-width blower ensures an infinite amount of varying fan speeds to satisfy every customer-requested condition in relation to the air conditioning system.
The new humidity sensor is packaged behind the rearview mirror, and works in tandem with the PWM blower and VDC to continually measure the potential for humidity being formed on the windshield interior. While the sensor enables noticeable de-fogging benefits, it also enables the VDC and PWM blower to run at the most optimal speeds to expedite humidity reduction.
Beginning in 2014, the Ram 1500 will be the first in its competitive set to carry F1234yf refrigerant, an application developed to help reduce greenhouse emissions.
Sales of the 2014 Ram 1500 full-size pickup begin in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2013. Pricing for the 2014 Ram 1500 starts at $24,200, plus $1,095 destination. The exclusive V-6 EcoDiesel with TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission is priced $2,850 greater than a similarly equipped Ram 1500 with a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 with Torqueflite 8 speed transmission.