The Modern Diesel Technology: Diesel Engines text was conceived because of the need for a technically accurate introduction to diesel engine technology suitable for use at high school- and entry-level college programs. The objectives, from my perspective, were twofold. The first was to create a book that would act as a primer for my textbook, Truck Diesel Engines, Fuel, and Computerized Management Systems which has become the standard in college programs targeting NATEF/ASE competency levels along with associate degree program outcomes. The second was to adopt a more general approach to diesel engines rather than one with a specific focus on truck engines. As diesel engines gain acceptance in smaller vehicles, including some noncommercial applications, specialist automotive technicians will be increasingly required to service and repair diesel engines. Most programs of study recognize this and are in the process of introducing diesel engines into syllabi.
To achieve these goals, I attempted to retain some of the basic structure of the larger work because I believe this to be an effective model. However, I adopted the following key differences in this book:
– Simplification of the reading level
– Elimination of all but the most frequently used original equipment manufacturer (OEM) acronyms
– Use of a more general approach to diesel engines by reducing the focus on truck diesel engines
– Minimization of all but the most basic repair procedures
– Simplification of explanations of operating principles
– Removal of all coverage of hydromechanical diesel fuel systems
-Restriction of fuel system coverage to the most current electronically controlled fuel systems
A secondary objective was to make this book dovetail with the more technical approach used in Truck Diesel Engines, Fuel, and Computerized Management Systems so that those students graduating to more advanced studies in diesel engine technology would have a firm foundation. It is a fact that most students targeting careers as diesel technicians learn best by doing rather than by reading. To be effective, any program of study must take this learning style into account. However, it is important to dispel the notion that anyone can competently repair modern diesel engines without a solid understanding of their operating principles. In addition, a sound level of technical literacy is required to navigate manufacturer service literature, almost all of which is in electronic formats today. Both technical and computer skills are reinforced throughout this book. Students using this textbook along with a balanced approach to the hands-on skills required of the modern technician should find themselves with a solid backbone of competencies with which they can launch a career.
Modern Diesel Technology: Diesel Engines uses a systems approach to diesel technology. After a general introduction to engine operating principles, a buildingblock approach is used to study each engine subsystem. This is followed by the outlining of a typical diesel engine reconditioning procedure. The final chapters of the book examine engine management with a look at fuel systems, computer controls, and emissions. The study of diesel fuel systems can be especially intimidating to entry-level learners. For this reason, the focus on diesel fuel systems is limited to basics, the ‘‘need-to-know’’ understanding of any diesel technician on the shop floor. Only post-2010 fuel systems are described.
There has never been a better time to launch a career as a diesel technician. Both short and long term labor forecasts indicate a shortage of skilled diesel technicians to meet existing service and repair volumes. The shortage is extreme in some areas. This is compounded by the reality that sales of diesel engines are expected to rise exponentially as they gain acceptance as power plants in small bore, noncommercial applications. In some European countries, diesel engines are the engine of choice in more than 50 percent of passenger automobiles. While this degree of dominance is unlikely in our automobile market, there is no doubt that sales will increase. After all, the diesel engine is a proven technology with a track record of fuel efficiency and longevity. A betting person would suggest that when pitted against the limitations of hybrid drive and electric motive power, diesels are more likely to win the day.
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