How does Altitude variation affect a diesel motor??

Submitted: Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 21:09
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Much of my driving is at 1000 to 1500m. I remember reading about an altitude compensator somewhere and was wondering what this was. I couldn't find much on this site when searching regarding this.
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 22:46

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 22:46
Do you mean a fuel aneroid?
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Follow Up By: Keith Scott - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 23:13

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 23:13
Don't think so.
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Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 22:59

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 22:59
Keith,
If you are talking about an altitude compensator, they might only be on grey imports. In Australia we are not high enough to warrent an altitude compensator, around 3000mt and you might need one then.

Wayne
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Follow Up By: Keith Scott - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 23:14

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 23:14
That could well be the case. thanx for the reply Wayne.
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Follow Up By: V8troopie - Tuesday, Jun 08, 2004 at 01:18

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2004 at 01:18
Which got me wondering what exactly this compensator might do in a diesel engine? It can't really shove in more air or make the air denser so what could it do to the injection pump? Squirt in less fuel?
Klaus
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Follow Up By: GUPatrol - Tuesday, Jun 08, 2004 at 11:39

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2004 at 11:39
Klaus,
The altitude compensator is found on some injection pumps, even in Australia.
It is a small diafragm which is calibrated at sea level, when you claim to higher altitudes it reduces the fuel load to avoid black smoking.
It is however a thing of the past as the introduction of turbos and aneroids on most engines do away with the compensator.
On more recent engines everything is controlled electronically.

The aneroid is a diafragm that changes the fuel load based on boost.
On electronic models there is an air flow sensor and a boost sensor that feed that info to the ECU and fuel load is controlled that way.

Turbo charged engines with an aneroid still suffer from excesive fuel load at high altitudes until the boost comes up (usually starting of from a hill they will emmit a puff of smoke which dissapears as the engine revs up and boost is generated)

William
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Reply By: Kenna - Tuesday, Jun 08, 2004 at 12:48

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2004 at 12:48
Keith , dont know if this will hel but the current model Hilux turbo deisel comes with a HAC ( high altitude compensator ) so if you talk to a dealer or deisel mechanic they amy be able to give you some advice as to what benifit there is in having one fitted.
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Reply By: floyd - Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 16:07

Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004 at 16:07
I have had several diesel Landcruisers up here at Buller. I also drive a petrol car up the mountain daily over summer and can tell you that I can only notice the difference at altitude with my petrol vehicle. In fact all of the petrol vehicles that I have owned have prformed badly over about 1300 metres. I drive every day from home (600m) to work at 1500m and can report that the difference in a diesel from my own experience is not noticeable. My last 2 vehicles and current are turbos so this may make a difference. Keeping the air filter clean is the key as they all suffer a bit when dirty. I wouldn't spend anything on extra gizmos unless it made a big difference.
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