NAPA Echlin Diesel meets increased demand for new components
Long Island City, N.Y.—If you drop a wrench under the hood of a modern car or light truck, you’re lucky if it hits the ground. Aerodynamics, safety enhancements, and added accessories including emissions controls mean engine compartments are increasingly crowded, and once-simple repairs are now often complicated and time-consuming.
It’s one reason shops increasingly look for higher quality parts, such as NAPA Echlin’s recently introduced line of new diesel fuel injectors, as shops can’t afford warranty comebacks on a defective part, said Product Marketing Manager Ralph Cartellone.
“On a 6.9 IDI Navistar from the late ’80s, you could remove and install the valve covers and a set of injectors in less than two hours,” he said. “It’s a simple pencil-type injector with nothing in the way. But it’s such a labor-intensive process on some of today’s diesel engines. In some cases, it involves removing the cab to facilitate replacing injectors or the turbocharger.”
For certain applications — the 6.0-L, 6.4-L, and 7.3-L Ford Power Stroke and Navistar DT365, DT466, and MaxxForce engines — NAPA Echlin has availability of either new or remanufactured injectors, Cartellone said.
The new injectors, manufactured by the original equipment supplier, are not even available from the OEM dealer, he said, and although the quality is similar between virgin and remanufactured injectors, some customers “always opt for new, if new is an option.”
Even budget-minded fleets, faced with mission-critical applications such as plowing snow from miles of freeways, choose the option that will provide for the greatest reliability.
“While they cost slightly more than a remanufactured component, downtime is paramount. You can’t have any in the commercial sector.”
Another recent addition to the company’s Diesel Parts line, a new EGR cooler for the 6.0-L Power Stroke has eight months of engineering in its design, which features not only greater durability but a 20-tube spiral design to be the only aftermarket design to not only meet but exceed OEM cooling specifications in some temperature ranges.
“What we like to talk about is our full-line coverage. It doesn’t matter if you have a Ford, an Audi, a Mercedes, or a Navistar truck. We have coverage for all of those vehicles, from Class 1 to Class 6. We have 285 categories, with 2,140 diesel-specific part numbers. We cover all fuel systems, with component parts for HEUI systems, the old mechanical systems, high-pressure common-rail systems, or piezo fuel systems. We want to stop the technician from having to go to the dealer for anything.”
Extensive OEM offerings for burgeoning turbo market
The market for replacement turbochargers for cars and light trucks is heating up, with NAPA Echlin forecasting 48 percent of new vehicles to be equipped with turbochargers by model year 2021, a 35-percent increase in annual vehicle sales equipped with turbos from 36 million in 2016, to 52 million by 2021.
“Currently, we have 94 new or remanufactured turbos in the line,” Cartellone said. “Anything new comes from the original equipment supplier, so if the original equipment on a 6.4 Ford is a Borg-Warner system, we would offer a Borg-Warner turbo.”
There are a number of reasons a new, not remanufactured, unit may be the only one offered, he said.
“You have to break that core down, you have to handle it, you have to get parts for it, you have to put labor in it, and when you look at the price of a new one and consider the core fallout: usually when these things go, they are damaged beyond repair. So passenger-car turbochargers — with high heat and high speeds — don’t usually get remanufactured.”
Technical help available
As of this writing, there are 24 Echlin Diesel technical-help videos on YouTube, (available at https://tinyurl.com/Echlin-Diesel-Playlist), including topics such as how to test diesel exhaust fluid and the replacement procedure for a 6.0-L Power Stroke high pressure oil pump.
Before replacing a turbocharger, technicians must check for conditions that may have contributed to the failure of the original turbo, such as clogged drain tubes or oil feed lines, he said.
“If the vehicle hasn’t been serviced regularly by a professional, and the oil is dirty and cokes from the heat in the turbocharger, the oil feed line may clog from that coking, and you burn up the bearings on a new turbocharger in seconds.”
Technicians may feel play in a new turbocharger’s shaft and incorrectly believe it is defective.
“The simple answer is if you push on the shaft as hard as you can in any one direction and the wheel does not come into contact with the housing, it’s not going to come into contact with the housing when it’s in the vehicle,” he said. “The shaft is designed to have a very high-pressure oil flow around the shaft inside the bearing. It’s not like an engine bearing, for example, which is designed for very tight tolerances. An engine rotates at, let’s say, 4,000-5,000 max RPM, where a turbocharger is rotating at 120,000 RPM. It’s because the shaft spins at such a high speed that it’s designed to float, and the tolerances are not designed to be that small.”