3 Litre Auto Ducato (Manual gearbox with electronic Clutch)

Discussion in 'Fiat' started by ant & Linds, May 13, 2009.

  1. ant & Linds

    ant & Linds Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Selby
    Our acid test arrived with a 300 mile old MH doing 4500 on our Moroccan Honeymoon.

    The problem with a computer controlling the clutch and engine power is that it wont allow you to be harsh with the engine when you need more power and less clutch.

    I think Fiat have got something wrong here. The new tiptronic (or whatever they call it) gearbox has a computer model for setting off. No more racing starts, the fly by wire accelerator means that even if you floor the accelerator nothing happens, whilst the clutch is fed in at a predetermined rate and power is added at a similar rate, until the machine moves forward.

    Morocco is pretty hilly in places, I learned to dread any loose surfaces or inclines, especially when cold, I even flew up the loading ramp to the ferry at 15 mph to avoid any chance of a hill start.

    I ordered my machine with ASR but was told it had ESP as standard. Only, when I checked, it doesnt have a warning light, so cant have ESP, and i know from wheel spin it doesnt have ASR.

    Imagine climbing a hill with loose chips under one wheel, the engine is reving around 2000rpm so the turbo is 'in' and the engine is developing a nice climbing power, wheelspin under one wheel, OMG, and the vehicle stops moving and smoke starts erupting from the front wheel. STOP. Arrgh. Buggerit. hand brake on , hill start, b***ocks, wheelspin, smoke, tramping, 6ft bouncing along, hard surface under both wheels, yippee (she canny tek anymoh capn) off we go again (curses from all the vans behind now also doing a hill start with far less drama.

    Imagine a similar hill without the loose surface, maybe a tad steeper. handbrake off, floor the accelerator, engine revs drop, clutch comes in, vehicle does not move, engine is groaning around 1200-1300 revs. !!! (again just to reinforce this, vehicle does not move)
    Perhaps i'll take a run at it and get to the magic 2000 rpm. zoom zoom, 15mph here we come (Give it everything she's got Scotty, aye aye capn), dust everywhere, whee around we go, judder, judder, (low engine oil pressure, EGR over pressure, engine stalls)
    Enter trusty Land Rover Discovery and the mandatory queue of fellow travellers watching with chairs, G&T and side bets of will he wont he. The combination managed perfectly at 15mph all the way to the top. This wasnt weel spin but a lack of recognition that the vehicle is doing a hill start on a steep incline and needs more power and a feathered clutch. Try explaining to a German motor cyclist that the automatic clutch is isnt working properly!when he is insisting you need more gas and less clutch and simultaneously to the land rover driver who is roping up to the plastic grill that you need the towing eye, if you want to see how easily you can loose your temper and all this is schoolboy french. Why is it that the harpies descend exactly when you need them least.

    I have a little switch on the dash which has a small weight perched on the back of a motor home as a symbol, the book says 'use this when hill climbing'. When pressed a little E appears on the Display. This button makes no difference whatsover to the behaviour of the engine or clutch. I tried it on and off, when starting off, when climbing, when descending, when on the loo!!(Thinks! maybe i was a little looser that day but i thought it was Djheli Belly, "Aha! Dr Watson", said Holmes in one of his more melancoly tones "its a new form of laxative"), i got so mad with it I pushed it so hard it fell into the dash and we had to fish it out and re fix it in place.

    I have my own EOBD now as i am fed up with warning lights. The trick is to RTFM. which says 'do not expect full performance from the machine whilst cold', this is straight after the paragraph which says 'do not allow the engine the warm up before setting off as this wastes fuel'. My trick was to allow the engine to idle for 10 minutes before setting off. This always made me nearly tail end charlie of the convoy as, as soon as my engine started everyone rushed to set off, except Guy hwo actaully enjoyed being last???!!! Andys general rule of thumb "A warm engine never gets EGR warning lights"

    So the moral of the tale
    If you want a specification applying do not be put off by the salesman who says it has it as standard
    Beware little buttons which light up and say 'do not push the button again' (unless you are going to the loo)
    Always have an EOBD which turns off those annoying lights when you are destroying the engine
    Always take a run at inclines of at least 15mph and always try to make the ferry loading staff jump out of the way. (it makes a real mess of the tyres)
    Always park a long way away from your fellow travellers so they cant hear you warm up the engine.
    Always place side bets that you wont make it up this time
    Sack Scotty, he's nowt but a barrack room lawyer anyway

    Love to you all
     
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    26,447
    Likes Received:
    25,133
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    Right machine, wrong place.

    I'll bet the German and Italian designers would have thrown themselves off tall buildings had they seen what you did with their pride and joy.

    I don't know how you returned with a front skirt, it's seemed to have 3mm of ground clearance and you were often using 2.99mm.

    I think the likes of BMW and Ferrari have cracked your grip problem, their sport traction control can brake a single spinning wheel and balance the drive but there's no way Fiat are going to manage that trick on a humble truck chassis.

    Choose you next trip very carefully, Mr Ant, it may be your last.

    You generous old sod, fancy donating to the Moroccan Police Benevolent Fund, you'll spoil them you will.
     
  3. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Messages:
    9,538
    Likes Received:
    5,590
    Location:
    Mansfield,Notts
    Wrong machine full stop in my opinion, they have taken it all a step to far, if you have no control over engine power and clutch slip, how on earth you toured Morocco is a complete mystery to me, and you deserve a medal for trying
    Yours is not the first complaint i have read on this subject.
    Audi amused me this morning with there latest add braking "Makes and Wastes Energy":Eeek:
    We have now harness that wasted enargy to charge your battery:Eek!:
    I can hear it now
    Of course your battery's flat Madam your front pads need replacing:Doh::Rofl1::Rofl1:
    Geo
     
  4. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    26,447
    Likes Received:
    25,133
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    Had to be seen to be believed.

    Started at the port. The Neanderthal Spanish loaders put the Big Two on last when there was minimal room to manoeuvre. I did not get camera out quick enough but Andy's machine ended up >.......< from a solid boat beam that would not yield, the RV came next and they did their best to use it's massive overhang to wipe out Andy's side. All this due to a U shaped path through the ferry.

    He probably thought "Wow, glad I survived that" but he didn't know Ray's off road plans for him. Or on road for that matter.

    Yes indeed, a medal and stiff drink called for.

    Talking of stiff, he still had the energy to make sure the MH doors were firmly closed and unanswered disgustingly often. Has he told the story of the collapsing bed yet ?
     
  5. ant & Linds

    ant & Linds Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Selby
    Broken Beds and Honeymoons

    I'm sure everyone has heard the saying, "when the vans a rocking don't come knocking".

    There i am, pleasantly engrossed, "knock knock" says Brian followed by the usual knocking of the door. Ignore it he'll go away, "Oh No" says Brian, "cant have that, he must be ignoring me" "Bloody Honeymooners at it again tee hee", so then he starts tapping on the window, "Andy are you awake?" he whispers, Buggerit he's nearly broken the mood. :Rofl1:You have to bear in mind that the windows for the bedroom are nearly 6 ft off the floor. "Andy you have to see this" he whispers. In my mind i am thinking "sod off Brian" but i know if i say anything a conversation will start and Lindsay will hit me. We both snigger and say quietly 'he'll go away soon'. Silence ensues and we finish our "cup of tea" (euphemism)

    It transpires 15 minutes later that Eivel KeRay has tried to demonstrate how camels do what i was doing earlier. The Kwaker quad has mounted the Unimog from the rear, having zoomed up the trailer ramp and flown across trailer bed to rest with its delicate bits exactly at the right angle to gurantee maximum snigger value from all the adults. Brian has taken photos and wants them printed off to circulate at the evening meal and this is where "andy are you awake?" comes from, as i have the only battery powered photo printer.

    I spent most of my honeymoon trying to break the rear bed, but it took Moroccan roads to break the spar holding the front bed up over the cab. This spar is 4 inch deep and an inch wide and is screwed into the ceiling. What Dethleffs had done was counter bore the beam in the centre for 3 of these inches so that they can use a shorter screw. I cant imagine an engineer doing this so i imagine some helpful chap on the shop floor has made his own modifications. Effectively the beam was now inch by inch exactly where the forces were greatest.

    Moroccan roads arent graded like anywhere else, i think rather than using a plough with a central blade to smooth out the surface they use a man and a wheel barrow. A bit like the bloke who arrives in a transit flat back, scarpes off some tarmac into that pot hole outside your house, whacks it with the back of his spade and drives off. They lull you into a false sense of 45 mph to hit you with a cattle grid at exactly the wrong frequency so that your wheels actually lift off and you crash into the surface 5 feet later, No amount of standing on the brakes helps if you aren't touching the ground, so you end up with a silly grin and "whey that was exciting luv" to hide your lack of reading the sudden change in road conditions. Too many of these and the screws start undoing themselves in your dashboard. I tired different tyre pressures and different suspension pressures, but nothing helped. I just feel i have put 10 years of use onto my new MH within 4 weeks.

    To most people this would have been a disaster, but, always looking for a silver lining, i found that Lindsay would hold the bed up from bouncing on my head if i shouted out "bumps coming". Ah Hah! how does this make a silver lining? you ask. Well the van is left hand drive, so Lindsay is on my right, she is using here left arm, which is now at full stretch, to hold the bed up. I can drive with my left hand, and it is an automatic, so what do you think was happening with my right hand? ( I just love it when women put their arms above their heads as it accentuates certain parts of their anatomy). Needless to say there were a lot more calls of "bumps coming" than were actually in the road, I was having a great time, and if i had known i would have broken the spar much earlier. Why didnt she use her other arm and put a stop to all this gratuitous fun, well Lindsay has had a bad right shoulder for months and cant lift it that high.

    "Bumps coming" Literally
     
  6. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    26,447
    Likes Received:
    25,133
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    It'd take more than you to make that thing rock - Fred Dibner more like.

    A titter went round the assembled throng.
     
  7. ant & Linds

    ant & Linds Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Selby
    Whats Fred Dibner got that I havent? I have a boiler suit and wear glasses, I also speak with a Yorkshire Accent.

    'E' bye gum tha kno's 'Secks is wat tha keeps koil in'

    Anyway Lindsay says "Its not how big it is its what you do with it that counts" or in my case substitue willing or often

    Or to quote Blackadder "Its where you stick it"
     
  8. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    26,447
    Likes Received:
    25,133
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    Did the earth move for you ?

    Eh lad, t' whole bloody town moved. Honk Honk.
     
  9. Losos

    Losos Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Suffolk & Czechland
    OMG I am this very afternoon selecting options on my new FIAT Ducato 3Ltr. autobox :RollEyes:

    Please PLEASE tell me do I need ASR and ESP and EBD and LAC all of them or some of them.

    Oh I just noticed there's MBA as well, I'm getting worried now, I fully expect to be climbing hills (There's lots around Czechland) and sometimes on dirt roads too. Do I cancel my order :RollEyes:
     
  10. ant & Linds

    ant & Linds Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Selby
    Asr esp eobd

    Hi
    Definitions
    ASR anti slip regulator (much like a limited slip differential) stops one wheel spinning away freely if it has no grip and transfers power to the no spinning wheel.
    ESP electronic stability programme allows you to swerve at high speed and still steer without loosing control. By its nature ESP will stop a free wheel spining at any speed.
    EOBD European on board Diagnostics, put in to allow the police to check to see if your engine is polluting and fine you if it is. Allows diagnostic information about the health of your engine and reports errors via the engine light.

    I have a handheld computer i got from ebay which reads eobd info and resets the diagnostic computer, this makes the engine light go away. mine always reports EGR which means Exhaust Gas Recirculation overpressure. I only get this light if i try and ascend with a cold engine. I rang 3 Fiat dealerships and they said i need the EGR filter cleaning, i said but its brand new and they said thats all they ever do for an EGR light. Go figure todays mechanics.

    I beleive the lack of boy racer set offs is well known in the press, what wasnt clear to me was the lack of hill start. As time passed and i became more familiar with the vehicle i got so i would plan how i parked and where i stopped to avoid the dreaded start. If the engine was warm then the vehicle always set off but slowly, if cold nada. I am 3 axles at 5 tons and always had a full water tank, full fuel and enough stuff to live for 4 weeks in morocco, including my telescope, amateur radio, washing machine etc all in the rear. 4 cylinder 3 litre should have been 6 cyclinder 3 litre with a smoother power curve, but this is a design problem. I dont see me having an more problems within europe, but i dont know Czekoslovakia. Please remember Morocco is not first or second world, but isnt quite 3rd, i survived the atlas mountains no problems and even stopped for lunch, just picked my stopping place carfully.

    Hope this clears up the decision for you
     
  11. ant & Linds

    ant & Linds Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Selby
    Mba

    I just looked up MBA and checked but his was included in the spec of my ESR. as in boost when sudden braking and hill start hold etc.

    If you can spec it tick the box, asr was 100 esp was 300, for it not to be included in the base price is nonsense on a £100k machine.

    I am told this cannot be retrofitted. 3 dealers all say factory fit only. I now have NO means of adding this essential device. I am close to calling it not fit for the purpose intended, i know someone will say where is the spec and where does it say you ordered ASR. I didnt because i was told it had ESP as standard, how can you spec a down grade? but i dont have piece of paper which says ESP is standard, just the anecdotal sales rep conversation where he told me to watch jeremy clarkson on youtube.

    Any legal egals have an insight on where i stand?
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2009
  12. Losos

    Losos Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Suffolk & Czechland
    Ant - Thanks for that, sorry not a legal person so can't offer any advice on the 'not fit for purpose' thing. My guess would be that even with documentary evidence it's one those hard things to prove, and anecdotal evidence of what the salesman said is, (as you yourself say) a bit dodgy, we all know that salesmen tend to say what the customer wants to hear :BigGrin:

    I have the Tech. Spec. book in front of me and under safety it offers ASR, MBA, & ESP (Page 15)

    On the next page it shows these three with an orange dot (Allegedly meaning optional extra) and ABS + EBD with a grey dot (Allegedly meaning standard)

    I think I'd best tick all three of the 'Safety' options. Thanks again for your input, I wasn't quite sure which I should choose.
     
  13. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,475
    Likes Received:
    16,949
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    often wondered if normal driving is a dying art. :BigGrin:

    how DID we manage before all this electronic wizardry.:Doh:

    if i get wheel spin i back off the gas, ASR !
    if i start to lock the brakes i back off on the pedal, ABS !
    if i want to hill start i use the MANUAL clutch and gas pedal, driver control !
    i dont think i have EGR but if i do it'll be a pipe and valve without a computer. who cares !
    i have an oil light and a charge light, seems to work ok !
    the only computer i'v got is in my TomTom, it wont work without one but everything else does....:thumb:

    best of all....if the engine stops working theres a good chance i can fix it at the roadside...can you????? NO!!!:BigGrin:
     
  14. Losos

    Losos Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Suffolk & Czechland
    Pappajohn - You raise some very good points, at least with aircraft there's a back up system which fully duplicates the main 'fly by wire' system, and then another (third) system to back that up.

    With cars there is no back up and like you said they may be more reliable than the old stuff but when they go wrong there ain't a thing you can do unless you happen to have a spare engine management computer in your pocket :Rofl1:

    But what can I do, none of the 'old' style base vehicles are suitable for my needs and all the new ones (Those that I can afford) have some form of engine management computer.
     
  15. ant & Linds

    ant & Linds Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Selby
    As a gadget freak, anything which says electronic addon is an essential.

    To my mind there isnt a conspiracy that more electronics means more dependance on things going wrong, what they do is make driving easier safer and more economical. Gone are the days when a bit of emery paper on a hillman imp points would save the day. These days common rail diesels are so sophisticated that they extract the last smidgen of energy from the fuel by squirting it in at many different points during the compression cycle, this is why diesels nearly rival petrol for power and performance but still retain astounding fuel economy.

    I bet if manual diesel injector manifold on an old transit died, for you, it would be a replacement block, well for me it would be a new computer, same difference.
     
  16. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    28,934
    Likes Received:
    25,574
    Location:
    .
    I'm firmly behind Pappajohn on this one, if I ever change or downsize I wouldn't have a computer controlled engine.. probably pre '98 or earlier ..

    My Cummins is old fashioned, cable accelerator, no 'black boxes' to go wrong.. and it still does 15mpg .. I haven't heard anyone report better with the latest Cummins powered RVs packed full of wizardry..
    On a return trip from Spain it did break down, the main fuel shut off valve solenoid actuator fell apart, .. but I fixed that at the side of the road.. without the need of a laptop to diagnose.. just needed a bit of gumption and we were back on the road..

    As for better performance and economy, not much has changed from the '60s .. my first car, a 1964 Mini with "old fashioned points" did + 45mpg .. has the technology improved that figure by any significant margin?

    Necessity used to be the mother of invention.. now it's being driven the other way.. technology and the computer chip have their uses but do we really need them in everyday items that worked perfectly well without them.. toasters, hair driers, etc etc ..

    Maybe I'm old fashioned, but things used to be built to last .. now their built to price with in-built redundancy and lets stuff as much technology into them as we can .. then when they break down we have little choice but to go out and buy the latest stuffed with more chips and more to go wrong .. what happened to fixing things.. and where will these vehicles be in ten or fifteen years time when no one can fix them because technology has 'moved on' .. :RollEyes:
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2009
  17. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    26,447
    Likes Received:
    25,133
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    Massive difference, go the blacksmith in Morocco and that is a chance he'll fix it.

    Go to a Fiat "mechanic" with your computer woes, he'll replace all he can unscrew at your expense, then he'll waffle and say it has to go to a specialist. Then you'll need the specialist when you get the bill. Joking ? No, this is a story told to me by a bright young wizz kid who works on top quality German cars.
     
  18. ant & Linds

    ant & Linds Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Selby
    I used to take my volvo to a specialist volvo garage. On the wall where frames full of certificates of competence in engines and gearboxes. over the 20 years or so i was a customer, i developed a relationship where we would lament all the older technology fondly.

    As the years passed Bob explained that engines were now built for life, they weren't meant to be taken to bits anymore, head gaskets were glued in place and the bolts were bonded in place. He had lost a lot of work in the technical expertise side of his business. Fuels are now so clean there was no more need for decoke's. He explained that as the engine aged the sensors in the computer actually compensated for the wear and tear, so no more tune ups. he was left competing for brakes, tyres, exhausts and oil changes. I saw his business grow from 2 men to 15 men and back down to 2 and finally closure. Modern diesels now only need engine oil changes every 24,000 miles. Apparently it was cheaper to swap an engine than to rebuild one.

    So modern engineering does indeed build for complete obsolescence and failure at a certain age, there is no more get it going with a pencil lead.

    I studied for a degree in engineering, the college had machine shops where we tested all manner of production methods. I had the opportunity to visit the old college to find all the workshops had been removed and in place were sound booths with drum kits. ??? my wrinkled brow said it all, its now called informatics, but don't we as a nation manufacture anymore? apparently not. Where have all the technical skills gone, who cuts metal? it seems the chinese have cornered the market with their equivalent of the industrial revolution.

    I read an article about future warfare in 2030 (only 20 years away~) they say that information will be fed directly into the brain of the soldier, bypassing the eyes and ears, the helmet will have a heads up device, with smart targeting and the gun will have target seeking bullets.

    We have to move forward, progress is good, but i worry that some of the basic skills will be lost. I realized a long time ago that society is a bit of a myth, we are clever but underneath we are still animals, and the selfishness and compassion we can exhibit still astound me. Our children have never known what we ourselves saw less than 50 years ago, values change, I see a lot more of the 'me first' syndrome than i care to tolerate

    Where will it all end?, for me in the stars, we are just evolving a lot faster than some realise.
     
  19. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Messages:
    7,594
    Likes Received:
    3,853
    Location:
    roche cornwall
    change for the future, on my last visit to maroc it has niw become obvious that in the future we will probably all drive chinese vans n trucks .i saw names i,d never heard of, quality better than european standards. prices that really let us know most of europes carn truck industry is about to be wiped off the face of the planet. a friend just returned from the far east travelling and had to agree that old british trucks are,nt the form of transport out there anymore. give it 2or 3 years the names we use today will be as equal to albion , bedford, bsa, standard, will they have fly by wire we will have to wait n see. :thumb:
     
  20. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    26,447
    Likes Received:
    25,133
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    That seems like standard Grumpy Old Man - well done.

    Are we Grumpy Old Men right - yes we are - the planet cannot survive the abuse we are throwing at it. The biggest abuse, 6,706,993,152 mouths and climbing rapidly. Human animals cannot co-exist in these quantities, nor can we feed them.

    Engines designed never to be opened up - great - except they are more and more complex which means that they WILL fail and if you are the sucker paying for a new one it's going to hurt. It will also effect residuals.

    Where will it end. Hopefully in a quick death. But with the meddling idiots who do not understand that death is good you cannot guarantee this.
     
Loading...

Share This Page