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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Premium diesel versus #2 diesel

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2002sliverado

09-13-2017 18:36:49




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I had a conversation with my father a couple weeks ago, which prompted me to put this topic out there for discussion. Back in the early 1980's, our bulk fuel supplier at the time recommended we switch over from a standard grade #2 fuel in our tractors, to their new premium diesel. We were told our tractors would tend to smoke a bit less, possibly a modest increase in power, accompanied by a modest reduction in fuel consumption. We made the switch and have continued to use premium diesel fuel to this day. When I had one of those "infamous" GM diesel cars with the 5.7 liter Olds diesel, I had tried to conduct my own trials over the course of the first couple years I owned that car. My observations were: 1) a noticeable reduction in black smoke when under a load; 2) generally a 3 mpg improvement in fuel economy; and 3) the Stanadyne/Roosa Master fuel injection pump lasted nearly twice as long as others had experienced (most others needed the rebuild at around 60k miles, whereas mine went to 117k miles. When I worked at a Cenex cooperative, our fuel department manager told me about the key differences between the two fuels, but I don't remember much, as that conversation was had more than 25 years ago. I have stuck with Cenex premium Fieldmaster in the tractors, and I usually go out of my way to fuel my diesel truck with Cenex premium Roadmaster fuel. A lot has changed in fuels since my own personal trials from all those years back. The sulfur content has dropped significantly. There is the biodiesel mandate in Minnesota. We are using additives to keep contaminants and biological activity in our fuels under control. I am curious as to what others have experienced with the fuel they use in their farm equipment and diesel powered vehicles. Any thoughts or opinions on this subject?

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sotxbill

09-14-2017 08:07:10




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 Re: Premium diesel versus #2 diesel in reply to 2002sliverado, 09-13-2017 18:36:49  
There are NO standards for premium diesel. USUALLY.. if 3 out of 5 factors are improved, it can be called premium diesel... But again, there is NO agreed upon standard for premium diesel and anyone can call anything premium.

Cetane...Once the cetane level is high enough, adding more cetane will NOT improve the combustion process. Cetane does control the highest rpm that the engine can achieve, but almost all diesels are limited much much lower in rpms. Only racing diesels need higher cetane. If the cetane is high enough for your engine, adding more does not help. It is generally agreed that 40 to 43 is high enough for all current generation of diesel out there. And in spite of some recommending higher cetane, in reality almost all fuel delivered is around 45 cetane although its guaranteed to exceed 40 to 43 pending on the states requirements. Again running higher cetane will do NOTHING to help power or cleanliness, once the diesel reached a certain point.

Lubriosity... extra low sulfur diesel does have less lubriosity that old diesel. However modern diesels are designed with that in mind. You can or cannot add a lubricant to the diesel to extend the life of the injector pumps. Most pumps are damaged by water or dirt contamination that contributes to wear anyway.

Cold flow characteristics and Jelling preventatives... Important in winter, but the dealers usually switch over to winter diesel which is a mix of #2 and #1 diesel, designed for your area. THESE mixtures will have LOWER power than summer diesel, along with a lower pour point and resisting the paraffin/complex carbon molecules from linking up in the filters. So this is really two parameters.

Cleaning additives... help clean the injectors. may contribute to higher wear is too high or used too often.

So.. again, if you can meet 3 of these 5 specs, you suppositly can call it premium, but there is NO agency currently with an official spec for premium. Its more of a marketing gimmic with maybe a little bit of realisum behind it.

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JDEM

09-14-2017 11:42:01




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 Re: Premium diesel versus #2 diesel in reply to sotxbill, 09-14-2017 08:07:10  
I don't think there are any standards for gas or diesel when called "premium." Here in Michigan, any gas sold as "premium" must have the octane rating posted in the same title. Diesel here in Michigan has to have at least 40 cetane. In California and parts of Texas, diesel has to be over 50 cetane. So going by what is normal in NY or MI, all diesel in California is "premium."



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JDEM

09-14-2017 05:22:37




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 Re: Premium diesel versus #2 diesel in reply to 2002sliverado, 09-13-2017 18:36:49  
"High test" diesel has a higher cetane number and a faster ignition time. Kind of the opposite to octane numbers for gas. I have tried high cetane diesel in some of my hardest starting diesels and it made no difference.



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Traditional Farmer

09-14-2017 05:33:19




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 Re: Premium diesel versus #2 diesel in reply to JDEM, 09-14-2017 05:22:37  
The local coop sells the 50 cetane at their auto diesel pumps its only a few cents more a gallon than the diesel over at the truck island/pumps which is normal.



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JDEM

09-14-2017 05:47:43




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 Re: Premium diesel versus #2 diesel in reply to Traditional Farmer, 09-14-2017 05:33:19  
Like I said, I have used it. I had some poor starting IDIs. 1982 Chevy with a 6.2 and a British IH farm tractor. At least in my case, the high cetane made no difference. It is what is is though. "High test" diesel. Kind of the opposite of high-test gas. High-test diesel burns faster, where-as high-test gas burns slower. The high-cetane I got was #2 rated at 50 cetane.



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ASEguy

09-14-2017 03:43:00




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 Re: Premium diesel versus #2 diesel in reply to 2002sliverado, 09-13-2017 18:36:49  
Are you referring to #1 diesel? Around here we see #1, #2 and off road diesel.



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Traditional Farmer

09-14-2017 00:17:45




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 Re: Premium diesel versus #2 diesel in reply to 2002sliverado, 09-13-2017 18:36:49  
I never buy anything but Auto Diesel which is supposed to Premium diesel for my diesel truck and tractors.I haven't had many of the more common problems many people have with diesel engines and I think that's why.You figure if a fuel company has some questionable fuel it'll go in the off road bulk fuel not the auto diesel.Plus at the end of the year I can file to get the state and federal taxes back the auto diesel ends up being cheaper than having #2 delivered to my farm.Fuel station with excellent auto diesel is only 3 miles away.
Something I've noticed lately is the fuel is labeled 50 Cetane on the pump,think 45 is highest I've seen before.

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hd6gtom

09-13-2017 22:38:11




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 Re: Premium diesel versus #2 diesel in reply to 2002sliverado, 09-13-2017 18:36:49  
O2 you are correct. Premium #2 has an additive package in it that prevents algie groth, enhanced cetane rating, far beter lubricating additives, and many more benefits over truck stop fuel. I worked in labs testing premium #2 vs standard #2 or commonly called stove fuel. Stove fuel is OK for tractors up to about 1962. After that the tolerances in injector pumps and injectors were greatly reduced, thus needing a premium #2 fuel. I had a house fire about 25 years ago in which I lost all the test data compiled over the 13 years I was in the fuel business. If I still had it I would gladly post it. Truck stop fuel is made to be used in a mater of a few weeks, I have stored premium #2 diesel in a 300 gallon overhead tank with a prevent cap for 10 years. It still ran as good as the day it was put in the tank.

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casecollectorsc

09-13-2017 20:31:51




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 Re: Premium diesel versus #2 diesel in reply to 2002sliverado, 09-13-2017 18:36:49  
All truck stops sell #2 for hiway fuel....summer and winter. Very few truck stops sell fuel with a additive package.



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rustred

09-13-2017 20:04:03




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 Re: Premium diesel versus #2 diesel in reply to 2002sliverado, 09-13-2017 18:36:49  
#2 fuel is more like a heating oil for use in furnaces and such in cold weather. it is not recomended to be used in summer as it has less lubricating qualities. i remember in the 1970's our fuel dealer said it had the wax reduced in it to prevent jelling. and if the #1 fuel would jell up in winter to mix in kerosene with it. i remember many times going to the tank in -40 weather and the summer fuel as i call it would not run out of the hose. had to fill the diesel htr. in the house. look in tank and could see the wax crystals in the diesel. i even removed the plastic engine cover on my 1995 chev 6.5 to increase pump life and it did work. the pump was getting way too hot under there like in an oven. people were getting around 100,000k on these rosa master pumps then they would give up.mine was done on warranty at around 100,000k also.i have 300,000 on the pump and still going. just dont use the truck any more.

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Russ from MN

09-14-2017 06:09:35




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 Re: Premium diesel versus #2 diesel in reply to rustred, 09-13-2017 20:04:03  
I think you have it backwards too! #1 is winter fuel, #2 is summer.



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MSD

09-13-2017 21:33:57




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 Re: Premium diesel versus #2 diesel in reply to rustred, 09-13-2017 20:04:03  
What?? (#2 fuel is more like a heating oil for use in furnaces and such in cold weather. it is not recomended to be used in summer) I think you have your fuels mixed up. Nobody around here runs #1 in the summer and most don't even run in the winter.



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Kent Petersen

09-14-2017 07:39:33




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 Re: Premium diesel versus #2 diesel in reply to MSD, 09-13-2017 21:33:57  
Field man for a major oil co told my all Premium fuels were # 2 with 10% # 1 mixed and some adjectives. i run #2 with 5% bio in tractors and duromax.



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casecollectorsc

09-13-2017 19:40:57




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 Re: Premium diesel versus #2 diesel in reply to 2002sliverado, 09-13-2017 18:36:49  
My thoughts are it is a good way for your Cenex dealer to increase their profit by adding a additive package to each tanker load and charging 3-4 times what the additives cost. Put over 3 1/2 million on my over the road semis over the years using only #2 diesel....very rarely had a injector go bad. Last truck has over 1.4 million miles and put in 2 injectors. Filled with the Ruby Red a few times to check mileage...no change.

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