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Old 21st November 2014, 11:58   #1
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Default Tata Cummins Engine: TCIC to common-rail upgrade?

Good morning all,

I have seen some threads in the Heavy Commercial Vehicle Thread where retrofit)/ Upgrade of older engines to Crdi technology was discussed. The thread however has since been closed.

I have a brief question. I own 6 Tata LPT1613 trucks. Three have the 697 TCIC engine and Three have Cummins TCIC engine.

I was at the Tata Commercial Vehicle Showroom yesterday and found out that the Tata LPT 1613 CR was recently launched and I have evinced interest to purchase one early next year.

The old 697 TCIC engine has been upgraded with CRDI and this model costs only 30k more than the older model which will still continue to be available as Tata must believe that early adoption of the newer model will be a problem. The Crdi was already available in the prime range of trucks with a Cummins ISBe 230 HP engine.

My question however is whether it is possible to now upgrade my older trucks either by retrofitting Crdi injection system or replacing the engine block itself or any other option.

I am looking for guidance from the forum as to where I can start with upgrade. Any contacts of experts in the Bangalore / Karnataka area will definitely help in this project I would like to endeavour on.

- Joseph

P.S. Moderator: I hope I have not duplicated another thread. I did search many times but couldn't find a similar thread.
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Old 21st November 2014, 19:50   #2
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Default Re: Tata Cummins Engine: TCIC to common-rail upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by josephrmathias View Post
...retrofit)/ Upgrade of older engines to Crdi technology...
...TCIC engine has been upgraded with CRDI...
...looking for guidance from the forum as to where I can start with upgrade. Any contacts of experts in the Bangalore / Karnataka area will definitely help...
Changing over to common-rail - let's consider what you might need...

1. A new cylinder head;
2. A stronger engine block;
3. Different design of pistons, and rings to go;
4. Common-rail-injection-specific injectors;
5. An ECM;
6. A pump;
7. A drive system to run that pump;
8. Electrical wiring and fuel lines.

What did I forget?

Add the cost of expertise to convert.

Worth it? I don't know - but the cost of just the above seems daunting. What would be the difference in cost between upgrading and selling out your present trucks and getting new ones?

What major advantages do you think the common rail engines would give you?
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Old 21st November 2014, 19:59   #3
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Default Re: Tata Cummins Engine: TCIC to common-rail upgrade?

Very honestly it's not worth the amount of effort and money, even if the parts are available off the shelf. If you dont want to change the vehicle for whatever reasons and still want to upgrade, i would suggest buy fully built engine and then try fitting instead of trying to upgrade the systems individually.
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Old 21st November 2014, 20:11   #4
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Default Re: Tata Cummins Engine: TCIC to common-rail upgrade?

Doesn't TATA have their own facility where one can trade in their engine for a new or a refurbished engine? I guess that could be worth a try, but as far as electronics are concerned, a lot of changes have to be made.

Also, have you taken into consideration that CR engines are more sensitive to fuel quality and it will be expensive to fix? I had once assumed that except for CR only offerings like Volvo, other brands wouldn't go well with CR for a long time.
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Old 21st November 2014, 20:47   #5
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Default Re: Tata Cummins Engine: TCIC to common-rail upgrade?

@Joseph, is it possible to negotiate a good rate for new trucks & sell the old ones ? Would be much cleaner than any conversion.
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Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
Also, have you taken into consideration that CR engines are more sensitive to fuel quality and it will be expensive to fix? I had once assumed that except for CR only offerings like Volvo, other brands wouldn't go well with CR for a long time.
I have been driving CR based LMV's since six years now. And a Tata TCIC from 2005 - 2012. While in city it is easy to find a good bunk (with good fuel quality), I have not had a problem with fuel quality outside the city, even in places I pass through when traveling. The guideline to identify a good bunk is to go where there are a lot of trucks. It has been a very simple guideline & has always worked.

We may think of our cars a lot, and try to get good fuel. But for the transport guys, they use much more fuel than we do and hence good quality fuel is important to them too - no matter if the engine is a CR or a TCIC. There are bunks out there with good fuel, and Joseph should be able to get fuel for the new trucks too.

Last edited by condor : 21st November 2014 at 20:53.
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Old 21st November 2014, 20:53   #6
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Default Re: Tata Cummins Engine: TCIC to common-rail upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by josephrmathias View Post
I am looking for guidance from the forum as to where I can start with upgrade. Any contacts of experts in the Bangalore / Karnataka area will definitely help in this project I would like to endeavour on.

- Joseph
My first question would be 'WHY'?

Though passenger car and commercial vehicle divisions are essentially separate, do look at Tata's experience with their own (not Fiat) common rail engines in the Indica.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 21st November 2014, 21:52   #7
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Default Re: Tata Cummins Engine: TCIC to common-rail upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by josephrmathias View Post
I have a brief question. I own 6 Tata LPT1613 trucks.
One assumes therefore that you are in some sort of business with the said trucks, and not a hobby mechanic with a runaway imagination.

I am sure you can work out some sort of exchange with your local distrubutor, or at worst arrange to sell your trucks and buy new CR ones.

Why would you want to suffer conversion (if possible,i.e) downtime on six trucks, with suspect reliability from a post-factory conversion? Wont the downtime and any reliability issue cost your business much more?

Your query boggles the mind.
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Old 21st November 2014, 23:03   #8
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Default Re: Tata Cummins Engine: TCIC to common-rail upgrade?

First of all keep in mind that a lot of the new technology you see in diesels FI systems are usually driven by ever tightening emission legislation. Of course, there is always a side benefit of improved power, FE, NVH etc etc but as an operator things like maintenance, FE and depreciation outweigh things like power/NVH.

Case in point, there was a change in emission regs around 09 in the US for big rigs and operators were so skeptical/wary of new tech that they started grabbing them and stocking up on the simple older tech vehicles.

Massive orders for the old technology trucks in the last year of production and sales crashed like 50% following year on the new models.
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Old 21st November 2014, 23:22   #9
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Default Re: Tata Cummins Engine: TCIC to common-rail upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by josephrmathias View Post
..
I have a brief question. I own 6 Tata LPT1613 trucks. Three have the 697 TCIC engine and Three have Cummins TCIC engine.

I was at the Tata Commercial Vehicle Showroom yesterday and found out that the Tata LPT 1613 CR was recently launched and I have evinced interest to purchase one early next year.

The old 697 TCIC engine has been upgraded with CRDI and this model costs only 30k more than the older model which will still continue to be available as Tata must believe that early adoption of the newer model will be a problem. The Crdi was already available in the prime range of trucks with a Cummins ISBe 230 HP engine.

My question however is whether it is possible to now upgrade my older trucks either by retrofitting Crdi injection system or replacing the engine block itself or any other option.

I am looking for guidance from the forum as to where I can start with upgrade. Any contacts of experts in the Bangalore / Karnataka area will definitely help in this project I would like to endeavour on.

- Joseph
.
Do you mean to say 697CR is available in BS III? IIRC, its available only in BS IV and is in market since July 2012.

And I am not sure what really impressed you in 697 engine to convert it to Common rail. I have seen the same engine in BS IV supplied to MTC. They don't even have an pump driven power steering box. Its still belt driven and that completely questions the reliability of the system. The engine is just a very very old wine in a so called new bottle of BS IV.
Ok coming to your question of conversion, and all I can say is its possible. But its not just easy and it has following works

Changes will be required in
- Air Intake System.
- Fuel system including FIP, return and main lines, newer advance diesel filter in addition to pre filter
- Accelerator pedal and related changes
- ECU and related electrical changes
- Changes to complete wiring harness
- Newer or completely refurbished fuel tank (with out rust)
- Not sure if the torque is same and the existing GB will be able to take it. If not a new and matched GB.
- And a matched final drive ratio.

This in addition to engine -
- New Injectors
- Metering unit
-Pressure limiting valve
- A new TC
- A new cylinder block and head
- New Pistons and liners
- Higher capacity sump
- a newer oil pump
- new spin on filter
- sensors like rail pressure sensor, water in fuel sensor, fuel temperature sensor, air flow sensor etc
and the list will continue.

So by this time, you will have concluded its not feasible and advisable. Its not possible even if you trade in for a new engine, as other related changes are pretty tall in addition to engine.

Even if you are ready to do and shell out money I am not sure if Tata will not be able to help you in this conversion with full warranty, as changes may require considerable engineering work which may be jugad.

Best is buy a new truck
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Old 22nd November 2014, 06:48   #10
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Default Re: Tata Cummins Engine: TCIC to common-rail upgrade?

The matter is already well replied by BHPians.
Some add ons from my side:
Things are not gone from TCIC to CRDI. Fuel injection technique has been improved from Direct Injection to Common Rail Direct Injection (Technical section may be surfed for details). The older distributor type DI engine was also Turbo Charged Inter Cooled and the new CRDI engines are also TCIC.
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Old 22nd November 2014, 12:18   #11
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Default Re: Tata Cummins Engine: TCIC to common-rail upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
And I am not sure what really impressed you in 697 engine to convert it to Common rail. I have seen the same engine in BS IV supplied to MTC. They don't even have an pump driven power steering box. Its still belt driven and that completely questions the reliability of the system. The engine is just a very very old wine in a so called new bottle of BS IV.
So why did they take the effort of "CR"ing the old 697? Is it just a case of flogging an old workhorse or there is something more to it?
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Old 25th November 2014, 22:23   #12
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Default Re: Tata Cummins Engine: TCIC to common-rail upgrade?

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So why did they take the effort of "CR"ing the old 697? Is it just a case of flogging an old workhorse or there is something more to it?
Best left to Tata officials to answer.
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Old 26th November 2014, 09:21   #13
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Default Re: Tata Cummins Engine: TCIC to common-rail upgrade?

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So why did they take the effort of "CR"ing the old 697? Is it just a case of flogging an old workhorse or there is something more to it?
Provided its the same rating engine...I can think of emissions and/or fuel consumption benefits..
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Old 26th November 2014, 09:33   #14
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Default Re: Tata Cummins Engine: TCIC to common-rail upgrade?

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Originally Posted by josephrmathias View Post

My question however is whether it is possible to now upgrade my older trucks either by retrofitting Crdi injection system or replacing the engine block itself or any other option.
There is no logical reason to change to a Common rail fuel injection system...
Mechanical/electronic fuel injection systems are a work horse and is apt for Indian fuel quality conditions...Common rails run at considerable higher injection pressures and fuel cleanliness becomes a major factor in maintenance and life of the system....

FYI...CR gives engine performance folks much more flexibility to pull the desired ratings (for example..not limited to engine speed for injection pressures and fueling , different rate shaping etc...) ...Some of the benefits include better BSFC , lower emissions etc..And more over if the CR system is used its would most likely have different piston hat designs , compression ratios , boost pressures etc...

So better enjoy your current TD engine...You will enjoy it...
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Old 26th November 2014, 09:59   #15
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Default Re: Tata Cummins Engine: TCIC to common-rail upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
So why did they take the effort of "CR"ing the old 697? Is it just a case of flogging an old workhorse or there is something more to it?
For the same reasons why Tata "CR"ed the 407 engine in the Spacio(=Sumo Gold) and M&M did the same to Bolero's MDI3200 engine.
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