In my state as well as neighboring states all 91+ is ethanol free. Even more so after a few dozen refineries in the US were given exemption from having to add ethanol at all. Maybe dense urban areas mainly have stations with 91+ ethanol blends, but its extremely uncommon in the states I've traveled to.
The truck doesn't need an octane sensor because the engine doesn't care what the octane is since practically all modern engines are tuned to bounce off the knock sensors regardless of what the manufacturer recommends. The AFR isn't going to be different, but the amount of ignition timing possible before there's knock will be different depending on the fuel the engine is running on. The more timing, the more of the combustion energy to be converted into energy to move the vehicle. A factory tuned L83 5.3 is known for having a bit of KR on 87, which is going to cause the engine to run a little less timing and run a little less efficient. From what I've read, companies like GM and Honda have been pushing for higher minimum octane gasoline standards for this very reason, as that's one of the few ways manufacturers can continue to keep up with CAFE fuel economy standards. Also, in most of the US 91+ octane fuel isn't an ethanol blend. Since alcohol has slightly less energy content compared to gasoline, the engine has to burn slightly more fuel for the same amount of power output. Lots of little differences in fuel efficiency that add up when it comes to the calculated fuel economy over long distances. The GM Powertrain engineers make their money coming up with factory tunes that maximizes fuel economy, so I wouldn't expect much to be left on the table.
I know im a bit late to ask this question, however, when you had the Cognito upper control arms, how come you installed the balljoint from under the arm instead of through the top? Does this allow for more droop?
At the time I installed them I was following the instructions that were in the box. Since they were actually meant for a GMT 900, the instructions said to mount them underneath. When Cognito finally made instructions for the K2, they changed the mount location. I didn't have any issues, but I would follow the K2 instructions since there are good reasons for mounting the ball joint above, especially if the bolts were to fail or work loose.
Defective batteries has been a common issue with AGM batteries these days. Between all the auto-start/stop and electric steering stuff, they get put under a ton of stress. I wouldn't be surprised if the engine bay gets insanely hot when the engine does a regen. Is the battery wrapped in insulation to shield it from heat? If not, I would try to cover it up with battery insulation and heat reflective material.
Your buddy must not realize just what junk the Ram Ecodiesel is. Legendary for bearing failures and emissions equipment failures. Then FCA was caught putting defeat devices in the computer code, they were sued, and the government forced them to remove the emissions cheats. Trucks with the emissions system "fix" drive like crap and the emissions systems fail even more often than before. FCA never has discussed what they did with the latest version of the Ecodiesel to beef up the bottom end, suggesting that they didn't do much.
Yeah 20 mile trips are fine. I mainly meant it as a cautionary thing for anyone considering the LM2 and are kind unsure about it. Some people do a ton of short trips in these newer diesels and end up with a ton of problems because they don't understand just how bad it is for the expensive filters on these things.
The autostop shutting off the engine for 30 or 60 seconds isn't the same as hopping in a cold truck and driving for 5 minutes, getting to the destination, and letting it sit 8+ hours. Doing that 5 or 6 days a week, the exhaust system never gets hot enough to keep the exhaust system cleaned out. The Ecodiesel guy was constantly going into regen because 90% of his driving consisted of in-town strolls and short trips. The autostop feature shouldn't be on this engine IMO, but most guys won't own the truck long enough for the consequences of letting the engine turn off and on like that. GM knows that too (as do all vehicle manufacturers forced to use autostop these days).
No more than it would cost to replace the timing chains or belt on a DOHC engine, which is a scheduled maintenance item for most of them and take as much or more work to change. Ford has used a similar wet belt oil pump setup for roughly 10 years now on one of their engines.
The best way to destroy a modern diesel is to start it up, drive a few miles, and shut it back down. I watched a guy with a Ram 1500 Ecodiesel destroy two engines plus exhaust system doing that. He's drive across town to work every day. If you have a habit of doing short drives like that, diesels with modern emissions systems are not for you.
That TK guy seemed to think that all diesel engines should have a normal engine temperature of 190F and was freaked out that his 3.0L Dmax even got to 210F. Odd that he never showed the 2nd truck hit 240F. He showed it climb to 220F while cruising around the city, but that appears normal for this engine due to way the active grille shutters are programmed as well as the active cooling sytem.
The high costs are due to the relative risk they run due to how illegal it is. The government is coming down pretty hard on tuning shops that defeat the emissions equipment. https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2020/01/14/epa-launches-crackdown-on-emissions-defeat-device-makers/comment-page-1/
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