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Daihatsu/Vanguard 950DT - (OCC chopper diesel)

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Old 02-04-2010, 09:22 AM   #1  
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Daihatsu/Vanguard 950DT - (OCC chopper diesel)

I'm sure many folks here saw the diesel chopper project, its on again tonight on TLC if you missed it. I've been lusting after diesel motorcycle for a while now, and it seems that Hayes is never going to release their civilian version, I cant afford the Neanderthal, and the Brit/India bikes do not interest me.

They used a 953cc 3 cyl turbocharged (non I/C) B & S Vanguard 950DT, its just a rebranded Daihatsu, they call it a 1 liter. Its their tractor/generator/marine engine. Its comparatively underpowered for a large chopper... 34 [email protected] 3600 and 55 t @ 2400. Although I can't find the info online, I suspect the camshaft profile is inappropriate for the constant rev cycle of a motorcycle.

The show was pretty vague about how they made it work, I'm not sure what transmission they used, but IMHO Honda made a 10 speed (hi/lo 5 speed) in the early 80s which would be perfect.

Some anecdotal things I've read on various forums leads me to believe that this is a dead reliable engine in its non-turbocharged form and not surprisingly adding a turbo and bumping the power and RPMs has had deleterious effect on reliability. Addition of an intercooler was suggested as one way to improve engine reliability.

These engines are expensive! starting @ $4500 for a new 950D.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:45 AM   #2  
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It's just art work, and not a real streetable bike. Don't put too much thought into the cam profiles being right for a bike engine. I don't think the 80's Hondas shifted between ranges while moving either.
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:34 PM   #3  
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I heard abou this on OCC, but didn't watch it, I'll have to check it out.
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Old 02-04-2010, 03:51 PM   #4  
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I thought when I watched it last week Mike said it was a turboed engine.
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Old 02-04-2010, 06:57 PM   #5  
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Yes they are certainly art, but up til now every bike they have built could run on the highway. I'm not sure the same is true here.

I'm only speculating because I'd love to put one in an 80's goldwing frame, but I have doubts about acceleration and top speed. The redline of the 950DT is about 1/2 of the comparable V-twin, and 1/3 of a comparable inline 4.

I think a CVT transmission might be the best solution for this engine, keep the engine in its happy place.

There are other considerations as well, you need a fairly chunky battery to run the glow plugs and starter, and the turbo version weighs 200 lbs and it needs a largish radiator (and an intercooler IMHO)

Yes, the 1980+ cb900c could be shifted between ranges @ speed.
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:38 AM   #6  
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Saw this on Pirate4x4. Pretty cool project, without the American Chopper drama. Also much more practical bike.
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:47 AM   #7  
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Thanks for the info, I just read the thread. A much more realistic and functional example using a turbocharged Yanmar 950cc 3-cyl. The transmission specifics have not been mentioned yet however.

He tweaked the pump and with some other mods managed to get it to rev to 4000rpm. These engines will run forever @ 3000rpm, not so sure about longevity above that level.

I wasn't clear whether it was originally a turbocharged engine or whether he added it?


I've been reading about the 3 cylinder Kubota diesels, I was surprised to see that 5 out of 6 were IDI, and the only DI was not turbocharged. I kindof thought that IDI engines were being phased out.

EDIT- I dug up my password for Pirate4x4, last time I was there was 2004!
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Old 02-18-2010, 09:59 AM   #8  
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:20 PM   #9  
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I belong to this forum and several people have built a diesel bike. The transmission is Hydrostatic. http://www.hydraulicinnovations.com/forum/
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