About to buy a truck; should I go with diesel for less QRN?

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by AK5B, Oct 10, 2021.

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  1. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    Am on the market for a truck (new or low-mileage used) now and am considering getting a diesel powered one if there is a significant advantage in regards to fuel costs, longevity and ignition noise. I don't care about HP as I won't be towing much or often.

    Never owned a diesel powered vehicle before and am looking for any feedback anyone is willing to come forward here. While I will be installing my Scorpion SA-680 for HF and a couple of HO loops for 6 & 2m ssb I mostly like to operate while parked seaside rather than actually mobile. I plan to bond things well whatever I end up with (am also considering Jeeps and other 4WD vehicles but wife and I are leaning towards a large pickup capable of carrying lots of stuff should we ever need to evacuate for another hurricane here on the Gulf).

    Still, it's nice to listen while driving and be aware of any band openings, hence my QRN question above.


  2. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I’m not sure it makes a lot of difference anymore. The spark ignition is eliminated, yes. But today both gasoline and Diesel engines use fuel injection so there can be pulse noise from that.

    Then there are all the other systems common to both which make noise: multiple microprocessors, several digital control busses for the engine, transmission, fuel pump, climate control, entertainment, windows, door locks, etc.

    (K0BG’s website might have more but I’m not sure when it was last updated regarding this topic.)

    I own a 20 year old diesel pickup with injection and it does create noise. In my view the extra care needed to use diesel fuel is not worth it unless you need the torque of a Diesel engine for towing or heavy hauling. This is especially true now with the requirement for urea injection for pollution control.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2021
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  3. K8HIT

    K8HIT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I drive a diesel F350, all maintenance is 2 or more times more expensive than what we spend on our Honda Pilot. Even though it's deleted, there are a lot of extra costs. It pulls our camper great, but I can't recommend a big diesel without the need.

    Perhaps one of the 3 litre small diesels, or one of the VW cars. I don't really know what those cost to operate.
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  4. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've drove diesels for years, and always run HF equipment in them.

    If you need the pulling power go for it. They are quiet however if you don't need the pulling absolutely go gas.

    I tell everyone looking at a diesel truck and have never owned one/ that they need to have five to $15,000 Reserve $$$$s just for general maintenance on it. Especially if you're going used.
    Fuel rails/ injectors/ fuel pumps/ turbochargers/ diesel fuel clean air parts/ diesel fuel exhaust filter/ the extra cost for general service is pretty high (Fuel and transmission filters can be over $150 bucks) at oil changes.

    73 from,
    The K0UO " Rhombic Antenna Farm" 2 miles of wire in the Air & On the Air daily
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021
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  5. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks guys; kind of what I was expecting to hear but wanted to make sure. I was thinking of a smaller diesel engine like the Ford offers (maybe 3 or 3.5L) but if there's not much difference in noise levels due to all the other stuff they cram our vehicles with these days then I'll probably stick to good ol' gas. Didn't know that diesel maintenance was more costly, either---a big "minus" against it, too.

    Btw, the xyl and I stopped by a Ford dealer when we were out of town for a few days---as we drooled over the Raptor in the showroom, a couple of recent F150 STX customers came over to tell us how pleased they were with their new truck. They had stopped by to get some running boards installed and remarked that their truck was actually quieter on the highway than their Honda sedan! Ambient noise is another factor in all of this so we will look forward to taking a F150 test drive to check this out.

    I see that K0UO just posted more comments about the high cost of diesel maintenance---thanks, Steve---but no thanks to that!:)

    I don't need the extra pulling power, either so I think gas will be the way I roll...


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  6. AI5DH

    AI5DH Ham Member

    Jeff the diesel models have 1-less major noise contributor to deal with. However really does not make much difference if you know how the factory intends radios to be installed. We have a fleet with about 3000 mobile radio installs in all models of large and small trucks. Trick is using the factory-provided raceways for control cable, DC positive routing to the battery, and where to pick up ground. You know the drill. Good luck.
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  7. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    Just one such item: My F350 has the big, venerable 7.3L Power Stroke engine. An oil change requires 4 gallons! Even doing it myself and buying oil at Walmart can run up to $100 in oil alone.
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  8. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow! This is a brand-new revelation about diesels to me---I always remembered my dad telling me about all the Mercedes diesel cars used as taxis in places like Cairo and Johannesburg and other dx places he traveled to during his long career as a travel writer---and simply because they were so reliable. OK, maybe they are reliable over the long haul, as long as one has a big warehouse of maintenance supplies on hand or some kind of company support.:D

    Fascinating stuff for me to learn now, especially since I've had a lot of different and exotic vehicles to drive over the last 55+years...

    Thanks for the diesel enlightenment!

    Narrowing it down to Toyota Tacoma, F150 in some off-road iteration, or maybe a renovated H1 or Hummvee if I should ever be so lucky (old Land Rovers are pretty neat, too).


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  9. KK9W

    KK9W Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's some super cheap oil! The 6 quarts (1.5 gal) synthetic for my F-150 is nearly $65. Add the $20 oil filter and for $85 at the express lube I'm basically getting free labor and disposal because it's the same price to do it myself. That Rotella Diesel oil is good stuff but quite a bit cheaper than synthetic that my twin turbo V-6 gets.
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  10. AG5CK

    AG5CK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Modern Diesels have as much if not more electronics than a gasser. The days of mechanical pumps are long gone and electronic injectors can be noisy. I can say my 2019 Ram with the 6.7 is OK on HF. The notch filter is a must on 40 meters. I assume it's something from the truck because it follows me everywhere.
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