Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Is the Turbine engine as used in Chrysler's 1963 "Chrysler Turbine" worth revisiting?

Question 1
Is the Turbine engine as used in Chrysler's 1963 "Chrysler Turbine" worth revisiting?...  Could it open up the use of fuels other than petroleum based fuel, to power the cars of the 21st Century?

1)   I don't think so. Turbine engines operating at ground level are just not efficient. They have a high fuel consumption no matter what the fuel is. Sure, they would be more environmentally friendly if they used old cooking oil for fuel, and some of them can do that. But their consumption is still way more than a piston engine for the same power output. There ARE large turbine engines used for such things as pumping and power generation. HOWEVER, these are tuned to peak efficiency at the rpm they operate at, and they don't vary their speed. They are running pretty close to 100% power and they stay there, sometimes for years on end. They don't even shut them down for oil changes. They just turn valves and feed in new oil while draining the old oil. The engine stays at full power and on-line for whatever work it is doing. In a car you have to either vary the engine speed, or provide a transmission that will do it for you. They have them on airliner engines, they are called constant speed drives. No matter what speed the engine is at, the CSD puts out a constant speed for electrical power generation for the airliner. The problem with CSD's is that they cost hundreds of thousands of dollars each. Even if you mass-produced them, the price wouldn't drop by much. So what you are still left with is a not very efficient, very expensive turbine (jet) engine, hooked up to a equally expensive CSD to make the car workable. It's been done (as you mentioned Chrysler did it.
But as they soon found out, you can't make it pay. All the technology is just too expensive. Compare how good piston engines are today, and there isn't any reason to build a turbine car. I have a book on building turbine cars, but the only people that do it are those that are addicted to jet engines. To beat hydbrid cars now, is nearly impossible for anything other than a hydrogen car or one powered by fuel cells. I think those (fuel cells) will probably be the future. - William

2)   Well from what I have learned from Chrysler training at the Ontario Ca training center I have to completely disagree with William, The Chrysler engine was very efficient, it burned multi oils other than gas, (no turbine engine does) it got great mileage it IS a good environmental car since it burned almost 100% of the fuel and as far as the turbine went it for the general public it was just way to expensive to maintain, (about $1000.00 for scheduled maintenance). And if the turbine went south it would cost about 7-10 grand to repair, remember its just a small jet engine. But had Chrysler or some other car company had taken it further, and had the money. Today it would put hybrids to shame and be cleaner than an electric (no battery's to dispose) biodiesel, Kerosene, veg oil, would work great. But me all around I think propane is the way to go, but that is another story - rick b

3)   I agree with Rick B. and just want to add, one of the problems to overcome is getting rid of the heat generated by a turbine engine. The turbine engine actually would be an pretty good powerplant in a hybrid vehicle or a large truck. - C-Tech

4)   Fuel consumption and performance of that engine was comparable to that of a small V8. Because of the materials needed for the turbine, the cost of the car was too expensive for the American public. - badbill1941

5)   Draw your own conclusions, visit, click engines and scroll down until you reach alternative engines and fuels.

However I think the high cost of maintenance and possible engine replacement were the biggest factors in the engines never reaching mass production. These cars were tested with the general public and the majority of reviews were positive. - Don't know everything !


Question 2
I've got a 1970 plymouth valiant, can't figure out what type of transmission fluid it needs?...  It's got a 3.7 liter slant 6. Does anyone know if it requires a certain type of transmission fluid or does it matter? I asked the people at autozone and looked in the haynes manual but have got no answer.

1)   DEXRON 3
its here in this article about 3/4 the way down. - mdcbert

2)   Use Dextron II or Dextron III - Dave

3)   Use type "A" automatic trans fluid. Run of the mill stuff. (If it is an automatic) If it is a Standard Transmission use # 80 gear oil in the winter and #90 in the summer. - DONNY G

4)   Dextron 3 is the one you want.... - Johnny Rotten

5)   Dextron III ( atf+4)

only use this stuff. its made specifically for chrysler. - mopar mayhem


Question 3
Why is the floor of my Pacifica wet?...  I have a 2005 Chrysler Pacifica and it has recently been getting wet spots on the passenger side floor. I'm not sure why it's happening but it's only on the passenger side. I live on a hill and I've noticed when I park facing down the hill it doesn't get as wet. I recently took a parking block with me when backing out of a parking space and it was stuck under the front of my car so I'm not sure if maybe that might have messed something up down there. I was just wondering what the possible reasons could be that it's getting wet. It's occuring even when it hasn't rained so I don't think it's coming from the outside. Any thoughts would be lovely because I know absolutely nothing about cars and before I take it in I'd like to have an idea of what it could be. Thanks!

1)   Probably the heater core. - Thumper

2)   If the liquid is green it's coolant so you'll need to replace your heater core. Have your windows been fogging up or have you smelled anything strange? Those are also symptoms of a bad heater core. - breynnmike

3)   If your heater core died I feel sorry for you. Some mechanics quit their jobs because they refuse to do the heater core replacement. its so much work and it takes quite a while. - Garrett

4)   It sounds like it probably is the heater core.
You are lucky to have this problem on a Pacifica as opposed to most vehicles. On most cars and trucks a heater core is a bear of a job. But on your car it's a breeze, especially if it's not equipped with adjustable pedals. It comes out from under the dash on the drivers side after disconnecting 2 tubes and removing 2 screws. Most vehicles require removal of the whole dash and the HVAC plenum to do this job.
It takes about 1 1/2 hours total to do it. Most shops should charge you about $125.00 labor, give or take depending on the labor rates in your area, and the part is probably under $100.00 bucks.

Best of Luck! - Dave

5)   When I had my 2007 Ford Taurus the floor got wet a lot on the passenger side also. I took it to my local Ford dealership and they fixed it for free. I think they said it was the air-conditioner leaking antifreeze - Dustin


Question 4
Does the transmission in a 2005 crossfire look like oil?...  I had my oil changed and check up by the Chrysler dealer (Colliseum Motors in Casper Wyoming) Cost $120 then went on vacation...when I got back there was a puddle under my car. I took it back and told them I thought it was oil ( looked and smelled like oil not the reddish color of transmission fluid) they check it out and told me it was a trans problem and it cost me another $360. The manager told me that the fluid in crossfire looks like oil....I think he's full of crap.

1)   if your spending 120 for an oil change then you may be the one full of crap simply ask to go uot to your car and look at the transmission fluid with the manager, if you know nothing about cars then ask, instead of going in with guns blazing, you may end up looking like an idiot in the end - paddfoot

2)   Depends on what trans you got, Auto trans he is full of crap, takes ATF +4. Manual last I checked gear oil and its a thin synthetic - rick b

3)   The transmission in your vehicle is built by Mercedes Benz and takes special fluid.

If it's a manual it uses MB236.2 5W20 Synthetic oil which looks like engine oil.

If it's an automatic it can use either MB236.10 or MB236.12 which are synthetic transmission fluids and also look like engine oil.

I suspect the Service Manager is being honest with you.

Best of Luck! - Dave

4)   The trans fluid in your Crossfire, if it is an automatic transmission, should be dark or cherry red in color. Engine oil is brown in color. If it is a manual transmission, then is the trans fluid is similar in color to the engine oil, but thicker. It is rare for a manual trans to leak in regular service. - C-Tech


Question 5
why does the cruise control not engage on 1999 Plymouth Voyager?...  Steering wheel makes noise when rotated, airbag light is on,could the problem be in the steering column?

1)   yes. electrical - Gort

2)   It sounds like the clockspring on you car is bad.. The clockspring is a ribbon wire that is coiled up inside the steering column. This component is the subject of many discussions on these threads. Many times the steering wheel or column is disconnected and then rotated beyond the center position it is required to be in. This will cause the clockspring wire to break. The clockspring delivers current to all of the systems above it… the airbag, cruise control and horn. When it fails (and they do a lot) the wire breaks leaving one or all of the circuits open and inoperative. This will cause the airbag light to come on and shut down the airbag system.
Here's a site that will explain everything you need to know and a a page from this website with a video of how to replaced it. - D G

3)   You probably have a bad clockspring. Replacement maybe covered under a Chrysler recall. Check with a dealer. Good luck. - C-Tech


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