Engine size advice please 130, 150, 180 (1 Viewer)

Bustup15

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Looking at a new van

With chassis upgrade max permitted weight 5400kg
Weight with all fitted extras such as awning, auto, lpg tank, tv, etc, driver, 90% fuel, 20% water @ 4515kg
Standard engine is 130 which must be underpowered but what are thoughts on 150 or 180 as the cost difference is not insignificant at +2130 euro (at list) to go to the 180 over the 150.

Any genuine feedback and experience appreciated.

Cheers
 

Lenny HB

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Go for the 180 you won't regret it.
I have the 150 in a 4500 kg van running at 4000 kg it's been fine since doing 8000 miles it was a bit sluggish at first.
You will be running at over 5000 kg so I think the 180 is essential.

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Lenny HB

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Oct 18, 2007
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At the end of the day aren’t they the same engine but just remapped at a ridiculous price upgrade.
Nope 180 has variable vane turbo (so does 150) diffent pistons and other mods but they do charge a bit over the odds for it.

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Aug 26, 2008
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Looking at a new van

With chassis upgrade max permitted weight 5400kg
Weight with all fitted extras such as awning, auto, lpg tank, tv, etc, driver, 90% fuel, 20% water @ 4515kg
Standard engine is 130 which must be underpowered but what are thoughts on 150 or 180 as the cost difference is not insignificant at +2130 euro (at list) to go to the 180 over the 150.

Any genuine feedback and experience appreciated.

Cheers

At gross vehicle weight of 5400kg I would think carefully about the ComfortMatic auto with the 150 or 180 bhp engine.

The data page for fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in the Fiat handbook for this autobox only goes up to GVW 4250kg with the maxi chassis. See:

http://aftersales.fiat.com/eLumData...7_250_DUCATO_603.95.838_EN_01_10.11_SC_CM.pdf

Even though converters offer this engine and auto gearbox combination for MHs with GVW higher than 4250kg, it isn't clear from the Fiat handbook that the ComfortMatic design spec allows for this. I've never seen anything official from Fiat to confirm that it is designed for heavier GVW vehicles. Someone ought to ask Fiat about this.

I appreciate that there are many owners of heavier GVW MHs who have the ComfortMatic auto with the 150 or 180 bhp engine and don't have any problems to report.

On the other hand there have been some reports of premature clutch failure with heavier tag axle MHs on the Al-ko chassis up to 5000kg GVW that had the previous 3 litre Euro 5 180 bhp engine and the ComfortMatic box. In 2013 Fiat France put out statements warning owners of such MHs to observe the guidance in the instruction manual, and never use the throttle to hold the MH stationary. Fiat also warned that disfunctions of the clutch had taken place on steep climbs, sharp corners and while reversing, and that owners of these heavier MHs should use manual mode in these situations. This is from a French MH forum that showed low res magazine extracts:

183512fiat.jpg and 807906img046.jpg

Mine has a GVW of 3500kg and the ComfortMatic auto with the 150 bhp engine. It feels lively and I'm pleased with it. :)
 
Feb 27, 2011
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The bigger the better in my opinion. You couldn't probably tootle your way around in a smaller engine but you would be fighting on hills and overtakes.
Get the biggest one you can afford is always my philosophy when it comes to diesel engines.

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OP
Bustup15

Bustup15

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Many thanks for all the replies and advice given
 
Jun 10, 2010
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IMHO the 2.3 engine isnt enough for those kind of weights.

I'm very happy with the 3 litre at 160bhp (4500kgs) but i would take some convincing to buy a 2.3 to do the same job or even more in this ca se
 

Basildog

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We’re at 4250 and have a 180/ 3 ltr. Very spritely.
We had the 3.0 litre 160 hp on a previous van which pulled well but now have the 2.3 litre 180 hp on a new van and in my opinion it’s an underpowered horrible pile of crap (y)

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Lenny HB

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We had the 3.0 litre 160 hp on a previous van which pulled well but now have the 2.3 litre 180 hp on a new van and in my opinion it’s an underpowered horrible pile of crap (y)
How many miles have you done as we found our 150 didn't really loosen up until 7000 - 8000 miles, been in a friends 3Lt similar weight van didn't notice any difference to my 150 2.3.
 

Basildog

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How many miles have you done as we found our 150 didn't really loosen up until 7000 - 8000 miles, been in a friends 3Lt similar weight van didn't notice any difference to my 150 2.3.

We’re at 3,300 miles now and it’s not going to increase as fast as previous vans as I now seem to be finding excuses not to go to places as I don’t want to drive it (n)

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Basildog

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Feb 21, 2018
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We have 5000kg tag 3.0ltr 180 I would not choose a tag 2.3
Trouble is everyone has different expectations and those people who I asked about the 2.3 all said it was great even on the tag like ours but my personal experience is that the 3.0 litre was much better (n)
 

Lenny HB

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We’re at 3,300 miles now and it’s not going to increase as fast as previous vans as I now seem to be finding excuses not to go to places as I don’t want to drive it (n)
Our 150 was an absolute dog until it had done 4000 then it stared coming to life and changing gear better, before it held too higher gears when climbing, now at 9000 going like a dream.
 

Steve and Denise

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Trouble is everyone has different expectations and those people who I asked about the 2.3 all said it was great even on the tag like ours but my personal experience is that the 3.0 litre was much better (n)
May be give it a bit longer to loosen up, have you tried the up button, ours has been on on since about 2k all the time .

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TerryL

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I'm quite happy with the 130 in my van at 3850 kg in which we've covered 95,000 miles (It didn't really start loosening up until 10,000). But there is the odd occasion when I have felt a bit more power would be nice - we travelled with Cherrypirate on one trip, he had the 180 engine in a similar sized van and didn't even have to change down when I was struggling a bit in 5th. The fuel consumption for both was practically the same too.

I've always felt happier with bigger engines - I don't enjoy thrashing them to get performance which is effectively what modern cars do. So for the OP, IMO go for the biggest you can afford.
 

Lenny HB

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I'm quite happy with the 130 in my van at 3850 kg in which we've covered 95,000 miles
As you have done that many miles I assume it's not a Euro 6 as they didn't come out until late 2016.
The ones we are talking about is the Euro 6 engine's that are really sluggish until they have some miles under their belt.
 
OP
Bustup15

Bustup15

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Interesting replies and views, although I'm confused as to the comments suggesting a 3 litre would be a better choice than the 2.3 as any vehicle based on the Fiat chassis doesn't have this option?

As the majority of manufacturers seem to provide the Fiat option rather than the Mercedes going down the 3.0 route would significantly impact on the choice of alternative manufacturers.

Surely Fiat would have raised a major issue by know if the 2.3 180 wasn't up to the job or more importantly created major warranty problems. What I believed (as a newbie to motorhomes - niaively perhaps) is that if the larger German 'quality' manufacturers such as Frankia, Dethleffs (and Hymer?) amongst others, sell and have sold for some years the option of a 2.3 180 @ 5000kg+ then it should be upto the job?

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Oct 2, 2008
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What they sell and what capabilities they have doesn't always go together , and as for Fiat (or any others come to that) being proactive in regard of being upto the job , you are indeed very naive if you believe such :)
 
Jun 10, 2010
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Interesting replies and views, although I'm confused as to the comments suggesting a 3 litre would be a better choice than the 2.3 as any vehicle based on the Fiat chassis doesn't have this option?

As the majority of manufacturers seem to provide the Fiat option rather than the Mercedes going down the 3.0 route would significantly impact on the choice of alternative manufacturers.

Surely Fiat would have raised a major issue by know if the 2.3 180 wasn't up to the job or more importantly created major warranty problems. What I believed (as a newbie to motorhomes - niaively perhaps) is that if the larger German 'quality' manufacturers such as Frankia, Dethleffs (and Hymer?) amongst others, sell and have sold for some years the option of a 2.3 180 @ 5000kg+ then it should be upto the job?

Not so. Until recently Fiat sold the higher powered ducato with a 3 litre Iveco sourced engine, this is widely acknowledged as a etter engine as its basically a light truck engine with amongst other things chain driven cams.

What they have now done IMHO is dropped the 3 liter and put extra turbo pressure on the 2.3 which is likely to make it less robust.

It will mean that some owners (as stated) will not be updating to a new Fiat when the time comes and will be looking at Iveco, Mercedes/ MAN etc.
 
Apr 12, 2010
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It depends on the vehicle. 130 is fine for smaller vans like PVCs, The bigger vans probably need more oomph.
Anticipate gear changes when revs drop and hey presto plenty more power when needed.
Phil

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OP
Bustup15

Bustup15

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What they sell and what capabilities they have doesn't always go together , and as for Fiat (or any others come to that) being proactive in regard of being upto the job , you are indeed very naive if you believe such :)
Well, I look to the advice of others like yourself, with substantially more experience then myself for relevant comment BUT what you are implying is that nothing can be taken for granted from any manufacturer which leaves a 'newbie' in a highly undesirable place when trying to research what is in real terms a very expensive purchase.

Very naïve - I would hope not, careful, yes, but at some point information has to be taken at face value unless proven otherwise (and not hearsay) or a purchase contract is meaningless?
 

Steve and Denise

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Please explain what the “up’button is.
It makes the gear box hold the gear a bit longer, ie if your gearbox changes up at say 2200 rpm with the up button on it will change up at say 2500 rpm this can vary depending weather you are accelerating hard and also terrain hills ect.
Fiat recommend the use on hills or heavy loads.
But no doubt someone will be along soon to tell me I am wrong, but that is what I do.

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