Thursday, July 22, 2010
With Cummins recent multi-year extension of its current agreement with Chrysler (announced earlier this year), some may wonder how the Cummins partnership with Chrysler began. The legacy of the Cummins/Chrysler relationship and the Cummins Turbo Diesel started in the early '80s.
Early in 1981, Cummins began looking for partners to use its B Series engines in both on- and off-highway applications. Cummins pursued U.S. truck manufacturers and seemed to be pretty close to a deal with GM Truck, but GM decided to go in a different direction. Meanwhile, Cummins proposed the development of a 5-cylinder version of the B Series engine for Ford. However, Ford also decided not to proceed with Cummins as a supplier.
Meanwhile, the same year, Chrysler began actively searching for an appropriate diesel engine. Chrysler talked with several diesel engine suppliers, but for some reason, relationships did not progress. Chrysler was impressed with Cummins and the performance and fuel economy of its 4-cylinder engine, but was concerned about the inherent vibration qualities of an inline 4-cylinder engine. Chrysler determined that the 6-cylinder engine would be too big to fit in their trucks, so they asked Cummins to make a 5-cylinder engine. Cummins entertained the idea, but decided to decline. At this point, the relationship looked like it would not progress.
Chrysler and Cummins maintained contact over the next couple of years and as Cummins learned that Chrysler was considering the Navistar 6.9L for their Dodge trucks, Cummins started to do some serious rethinking. One of the original goals for the B Series engine was for it to be short enough to fit the GM midrange truck, which had a pretty short engine bay. With a little investigation, Cummins realized that its 6-cylinder B Series was the shortest 6-cylinder diesel in existence. That's when interest really picked up. In 1983, Cummins asked Chrysler for a set of engine compartment drawings for the Dodge pickup to determine if its six-cylinder B Series engine might fit. The results looked positive, which sparked new interest from Chrysler. Cummins then sent Chrysler a non-running engine to install in a Dodge pickup. Chrysler evaluated the installation and felt there were some challenges, but no showstoppers.
The next hurdle was when Chrysler realized that they didn't have enough resources within the company to take on the engineering task required to install the diesel in a gas pickup. Cummins offered to be Chrysler's outside engineering contractor, and together Chrysler and Cummins created a new, unique system for Cummins to do the engineering, design and testing under the supervision of Chrysler Engineering. Putting a diesel engine in a gas pickup was no small task. The changes required included:
Moving the radiator yoke and radiator forward four-plus inches to make room for the longer engine
Changing the fuel system from gas to diesel including an in-tank pump, fuel-return line, fuel filter, heater, and water separator
Using a larger battery, cables and stronger battery tray
Using a larger-diameter exhaust system
Using a stronger drivetrain for the low-rpm high-torque engine: torque converter, clutch, automatic and manual transmissions, front and rear axles, prop shafts, 4WD transfer case
Adapting engine to transmission and clutch housing
Using a heavier front suspension to support much heavier engine and driveline
Increasing the cooling capacity: radiator, shroud, fan, fan drive
Adding an engine cooler
Adding a vacuum pump for brakes and heater controls
Certifying brakes for different weight distribution
Changing instrument panel for appropriate diesel function warning lights
Adding electric controls for intake manifold heater
Utilizing a larger starter
Utilizing a large enough alternator to support the electrical system
Rearranging items in the engine compartment to fit with the diesel engine
Designing the front-end engine accessories to fit
Designing many new wiring harnesses throughout the truck
Another challenge was the lack of space in Chrysler's truck assembly plant. To work around this, Cummins set up a new facility in the Detroit area to dress engines and transmissions sequenced to the truck plant build schedule. The power plants were shipped in exact sequence for truck build in a just-in-time manner.
Although Chrysler knew that the Cummins engine had the best fuel economy, towing capacity and performance, Chrysler forecasted only 10,000 units the first year. Chrysler began taking diesel pickup orders in June 1988 – and by January 1989, they had 22,000 orders from dealers and had to stop taking orders. And the rest is history. Twenty-one years later, Cummins continues to be the exclusive diesel engine supplier for the Ram Heavy Duty, continuing the Chrysler/Cummins partnership and carrying its legacy into the future.
Summary provided courtesy of Turbo Diesel Register.
©2010 Cummins Inc., Direct Marketing, Mail Code 60610, 500 Jackson Street, Columbus, IN 47201 U.S.A.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Documents Show Media Plotting to Kill Stories about Rev. Jeremiah Wright (Western Journalism by Caleb) July 20, 2010
BS Ranch Perspective:
Thursday, July 15, 2010
State Funding Mess Prompts Closer Look at City of Bishop (Ca.) Projects (Inyo Register July 13, 2010) By Mike Bodine
|State funding mess prompts closer look at city projects|
|Tuesday, 13 July 2010|
By Mike Bodine
The Bishop City Council is asking Public Works to pull in the reins and slow down on the incredible amount of projects being pursued in the city.
Councilmembers said they trust Grah and all praised him and his department for the vast amount of repair and maintenance to the infrastructure of the city, improvements that the council credited to Grah. The retreat was not intended to give direction to department heads but for discussion.
"We rely on his (Grah's) judgement," Councilmember Bruce Dishion said. "We just needed more details about what is going on."
At the retreat, the council asked Grah to clarify why and how certain projects are prioritized the way they are. Grah explained with spread sheets and data how uncontrollable factors like weather affect projects, be it pouring concrete or pavement. He also explained that funding from the state is very unpredictable, not only with which projects will be funded, but when.
City Administrator Pick Pucci said that, unfortunately, the state also has the "ultimate jurisdiction" to pull money from a project at any time.
Councilmember Dave Stottlemyre said the council expressed to Grah its concerns about the difficult economic times, and that the council felt there were too many projects moving forward at once.
"Our main emphasis," Stottlemyre said, "was to identify smaller projects, and slow down a bit, exercising the fiscal responsibility of the council." Stottlemyre added the council did not want to "get caught too far out" with projects when the state plainly cannot be trusted to reimburse the city.
Councilmember Laura Smith reiterated Stottlemyre's sentiments in that even though bids for jobs are low, it's best not to go ahead with too many projects at once.
Councilmember Susan Cullen said that Public Works is being asked to focus on a single major construction project per year.
The next project the state has agreed to fund will be Project A that includes repaving, water and sewer maintenance on North Third Street and Short Street.
The next project will be the Warren Street project that is at least five years out, Grah said. The Warren project would include burying overhead utilities.
The Warren Street project raised the concerns of the council when Grah said he wanted to transfer funding to Warren from the Sneden and Pine Street projects where $50,000 of preliminary studies has already been completed.
Grah explained that the studies can be used in the future when funding for that project comes along.
Grah added that in the future, as state funding fluctuates, the city may have several projects going on at once, but major construction will try and be limited to once a year.
Grah said the council will continue to be updated on projects during department head reports at council meetings.