Diesel on the bucket list, did I miss the boat?

staying_tuned

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Owning a diesel vehicle has always been one of my bucket list items. We tow a few UTVs and I've always been a fan of their simplicity and torque. I've never been able to justify the cost of an HD series pick-up (I'm mid 40s) because aside from lugging around small-ish toys, I really haven't needed the extra power. It wasn't until recent years that smaller diesels starting hitting the scene. When I learned that one was coming to the Gladiator, I was thrilled. Long time TJ/JK/JKU owner & general fan. On paper it seems perfect. Not really overkill and hey, I'd finally be able to cross having a diesel off my bucket list.

I haven't researched diesel engines, modifications etc. in well over a decade. Last week I started looking at tuning options to start. I feel like I opened a pandora's box. Things appear to have gotten extremely complicated and black-box in nature.

I go through project cars pretty quickly and run catted DPs on all turbo F.I. based gas projects (MK7 Golf R, TT-RS, Q60 etc.). Basically as long as the O2 shows ready state and cats are visible, I'm good on inspections. It seems like on diesels not much can be touched.

Are the days of delete > intake & exhaust & tune > big turbo & re-tune > send it long gone?

Thanks in advance for any feedback!





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Mr._Bill

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Those days are gone. Diesel engines are now complicated and expensive. Many areas require them to pass a yearly emissions test. I drove diesels for almost twenty years before getting my Overland. The last one I kept for fourteen years. I would not buy a diesel now.
 

Oilburner

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I have read a tune for the Gen III Ecodiesel will be ready this summer (GDE?) but I seriously doubt it will change egr or def systems.
Complex? Yes
Expensive? Yes
Awesome? Absolutely Yes Still. You either like life at 4,000 rpm, or 1,800 rpm.
 

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There will be deletes, once deleted they aren't really that much more complicated than 10-15 years ago. there is risks though, more in some regions than others. Personally I wouldn't have even considered the gladiator if it wasn't for the diesel. The mini van motor they put in the gas version is underwhelming for me personally and if you drive both you'll have a hard time with the gas truck.
 

Mac

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Doubt there will ever be deletes in the US for this motor, couple reasons, 1 federal offense to remove emissions equipment and use on road, do a search and you will see most companies that provided this or installed them no longer offer it, diesel brothers were made an example of for this. 2 tiny market share, as if reason 1 was not enough highly doubt any company is going to take the risk for such a small percentage of Jeep/Ram products with this engine.
Call the gas motor a minivan motor all you want, I will take it anytime over an Italian made, hpcr, 4500rpm diesel with current emissions standards and Jeep dealers supporting it, when you have problems with it, and you will, good luck getting the undertrained, over scheduled local Jeep dealer to figure out what is wrong with it. Just look at the type of dealer service the problems posted here for the diesel have received so far.
 

Nitroexpress

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I get the tuning thing, as I've done it in the past with several heavy duty pickups. That was back when they needed more power. Modern diesels are really great from a power output and emissions standpoint and although the emissions systems add complexity and failure points, they sure burn clean and seem to be getting more reliable. I've got a 2002 Duramax and a 2017 Powerstroke. The output of the Powerstroke is phenomenal and I sure don't mind dumping in a box of DEF every so often, especially after seeing (smelling) how much cleaner it is than the pre-emissions trucks.
I have yet to drive a Gladiator diesel, but I'd venture a guess that it's got great power and drivability without turning it into an illegal polluter with a voided warranty.
 
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staying_tuned

staying_tuned

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Thanks for the feedback everyone! At the end of the day I just couldn't stomach paying a premium for an 18G tank, reduced towing capacity and near zero modification support. Indeed the Pentastar has been thrown in just about everything over the years but it will also reliably take a blower. That motor's ubiquity also means a forged short-block can be had for less than the premium diesel upgrade. Carillo & Diamond make internals for it and regardless if I were to go beyond slapping an S/C on it, just knowing the support is there is huge for me.

I came into this thinking, THIS time I'm going to finally get a diesel and avoid the remorse I've felt back way back when after not opting for a diesel. Based on your feedback and additional research, I've realized that I'd absolutely regret the diesel. My stomach is already turning at the thought of just how close I was to pulling the trigger on it.

Magnuson's new JT supercharger can be had for 10% off, putting install & tuning right at 6k.
 
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staying_tuned

staying_tuned

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I've got a 2002 Duramax and a 2017 Powerstroke.
Nice. That seems to be the differentiator on this platform though. You didn't really take a practicality hit on either of those purchases. You spent extra and got extra, magnitudes extra on those. That just doesn't seem to be the case with the JT.
 

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Doubt there will ever be deletes in the US for this motor, couple reasons, 1 federal offense to remove emissions equipment and use on road, do a search and you will see most companies that provided this or installed them no longer offer it, diesel brothers were made an example of for this. 2 tiny market share, as if reason 1 was not enough highly doubt any company is going to take the risk for such a small percentage of Jeep/Ram products with this engine.
Call the gas motor a minivan motor all you want, I will take it anytime over an Italian made, hpcr, 4500rpm diesel with current emissions standards and Jeep dealers supporting it, when you have problems with it, and you will, good luck getting the undertrained, over scheduled local Jeep dealer to figure out what is wrong with it. Just look at the type of dealer service the problems posted here for the diesel have received so far.
Seen them deleted already. They also sound like shit when deleted. lol
 

stickshifter

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Obviously, the diesel has great low end torque. The strength of the diesel vs the 3.6 is really felt at those low rpms, when going up steep roads, going over obstacles off-road, and at elevation in general where the turbo compensates for the thinner air. I haven’t towed with either, but the diesel should tow better despite its lower tow-rating. All this makes it attractive, but the emissions systems are complex, and can be expensive to maintain or repair out of warranty. If you are buying the Gladiator as a second vehicle, and you don’t mind the extra maintenance costs or the possibility of some problems (this third gen eco diesel has some new features that are untested in the real world), then I say go for it! If this is your only vehicle, and you need a reliable commuter as well as an off-road truck, that’s a tougher call. I’m in the second category, which has me sitting on the fence as well.
 

Oilburner

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I've purchased 2 different Ecodiesel Jeeps now (2016 GC, 2020 JL) , if Jeep will provide some earthy colors I would order a diesel JT late next year.

Haters.JPG
 

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Thanks for the feedback everyone! At the end of the day I just couldn't stomach paying a premium for an 18G tank, reduced towing capacity and near zero modification support. Indeed the Pentastar has been thrown in just about everything over the years but it will also reliably take a blower. That motor's ubiquity also means a forged short-block can be had for less than the premium diesel upgrade. Carillo & Diamond make internals for it and regardless if I were to go beyond slapping an S/C on it, just knowing the support is there is huge for me.

I came into this thinking, THIS time I'm going to finally get a diesel and avoid the remorse I've felt back way back when after not opting for a diesel. Based on your feedback and additional research, I've realized that I'd absolutely regret the diesel. My stomach is already turning at the thought of just how close I was to pulling the trigger on it.

Magnuson's new JT supercharger can be had for 10% off, putting install & tuning right at 6k.
- 18G tank - Yes, less capacity, but far greater range. I would guess up to 200 miles more?
- Reduced towing capacity - Yes, but if you are towing in the 7k range regularly and for any distance, I would guess a full size is going to be far better. Using any truck at max towing isn't great. Towing more reasonable loads (5k or less?) will likely be much better in the Diesel.
- Modification support - It seems you are set on power train modifications no matter the situation, however with 442 lb./Ft. of torque it sure seems like keeping a warranty and utilizing the twist that is almost as much as the upcoming 6.4 V-8 makes sense.

It used to be that diesels were cheaper fuel, simple and lasted forever. Now you buy a diesel for efficient torque.
 
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staying_tuned

staying_tuned

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- 18G tank - Yes, less capacity, but far greater range. I would guess up to 200 miles more?
- Reduced towing capacity - Yes, but if you are towing in the 7k range regularly and for any distance, I would guess a full size is going to be far better. Using any truck at max towing isn't great. Towing more reasonable loads (5k or less?) will likely be much better in the Diesel.
- Modification support - It seems you are set on power train modifications no matter the situation, however with 442 lb./Ft. of torque it sure seems like keeping a warranty and utilizing the twist that is almost as much as the upcoming 6.2 V-8 makes sense.

It used to be that diesels were cheaper fuel, simple and lasted forever. Now you buy a diesel for efficient torque.
Gotcha, thanks for the clarification on these. I had read a few contradictory reviews on range that led me to believe it was somewhat gimped with the 18G tank. Makes total sense regarding towing, I'm sure a 5k load on the diesel is a FAR less butt puckering experience than on gas. Our 700-4 w/ trailer is right around 3k. I'd probably barely notice that with the diesel. It seems that if mod support and runway on the stock power levels weren't a priority it would make sense for us. I readily admit, it is illogical to modify an otherwise warrantied vehicle, but frankly I simply haven't outgrown it yet.
 

Oil_Burner

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Thanks for the feedback everyone! At the end of the day I just couldn't stomach paying a premium for an 18G tank, reduced towing capacity and near zero modification support. Indeed the Pentastar has been thrown in just about everything over the years but it will also reliably take a blower. That motor's ubiquity also means a forged short-block can be had for less than the premium diesel upgrade. Carillo & Diamond make internals for it and regardless if I were to go beyond slapping an S/C on it, just knowing the support is there is huge for me.

I came into this thinking, THIS time I'm going to finally get a diesel and avoid the remorse I've felt back way back when after not opting for a diesel. Based on your feedback and additional research, I've realized that I'd absolutely regret the diesel. My stomach is already turning at the thought of just how close I was to pulling the trigger on it.

Magnuson's new JT supercharger can be had for 10% off, putting install & tuning right at 6k.
I'm spending $3,536 to drop from 285 HP down to 260 HP... but more importantly to increase from 260 LB-FT of torque to 442 LB-FT of torque. Gaining 180 LB-FT of torque, a 70% increase, for $3,563 isn't too bad. I'm spending $18.74 for each LB-FT of torque of increase. How do I figure out my cost? I'm getting an automatic either way, and those transmissions are the same cost. Invoice on the diesel is $3600. I'm paying 8% below that, plus my sales tax, puts me at $3,563.

When you drive a diesel Gladiator, if nobody told you what is different from the Stock 3.6L, your seat of the pants dyno would tell you that you have a lot more HP than the stock 3.6L..., not a loss of 25 HP. But it's not the HP that makes you feel like you are accelerating better, it's the torque.

Can you get close to 442 LB-FT of torque with a supercharged 3.6L? I'm not sure, but if it cost $6K + premium fuel, the larger fuel tank will be needed to get between gas stations. The gas engine will be screaming at 4000 to 5000 RPM as its pulling a heavy load. The diesel will be quiet, running at low RPMs.
 

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Doubt there will ever be deletes in the US for this motor, couple reasons, 1 federal offense to remove emissions equipment and use on road, do a search and you will see most companies that provided this or installed them no longer offer it, diesel brothers were made an example of for this. 2 tiny market share, as if reason 1 was not enough highly doubt any company is going to take the risk for such a small percentage of Jeep/Ram products with this engine.
Call the gas motor a minivan motor all you want, I will take it anytime over an Italian made, hpcr, 4500rpm diesel with current emissions standards and Jeep dealers supporting it, when you have problems with it, and you will, good luck getting the undertrained, over scheduled local Jeep dealer to figure out what is wrong with it. Just look at the type of dealer service the problems posted here for the diesel have received so far.
Doesn't need to be made in the states to delete a vehicle here. Plenty of cummins and duramax guys running deletes from neighboring countries already. Considering there's deleted 2nd gen eco diesels from those same companies there will be 3rd gen deletes from those same places.
 

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