The BroDozer Journey Begins
Authored by Larry Jewett on August 17, 2018
The arrival of the BroDozer Monster Jam truck was the next step in one of the most ambitious projects in recent years. Sure, we’ve created new trucks for years, but this time, it involved a whole new powerplant.
It all starts with an idea. Take a look.
Learn more about BroDozer on the Monday, August 20 episode of the Diesel Brothers on Discovery Channel. Check local listings for broadcast time.
OUR CURRENT STATE
The creation of BroDozer, the first diesel-powered Monster Jam truck, is an ongoing research and development project. Like all true R &D programs, there will be a constant effort to get better results. We’ll chronicle some of those efforts to date.
The appearance of BroDozer at the Nashville Monster Jam event became the “baptism under fire” for all of the work and effort that led to that point. All elements of the truck were continually monitored. The demands of Monster Jam performance can take its toll on parts and technicians have to be quick to repair or (more often) replace parts.
Heat is a necessary evil in the creation of horsepower, but it becomes the epitome of how you can have too much of a good thing. An efficient engine will utilize some of the generated heat as mechanical energy to facilitate the creation of power. The remaining heat is cycled through the cooling system and out of the exhaust pipes. The reduction of the unused heat becomes a critical consideration in maximum performance.
Statistically, more heat is lost from the combustion process than is used for creating power. A turbocharged engine will recover some of that, but estimates still say most of the heat created does not contribute to power.
The situation intensifies with the quest for higher horsepower. As horsepower rises, so too do the demands on other systems within the engine, including the cooling system. As temperature rises, the cooling system is forced to work harder, sometimes beyond the limitations of the components. When that happens, results are seldom positive.
BroDozer was utilizing many of the components of Monster Jam-style cooling system that is employed on all other trucks with some slight modification. Larger lines and dual seven gallons per minute pumps would provide additional flow and keep the fluid moving. An intercooler was introduced to assist in the cooling process. Despite the additions and modifications, the Nashville event showed that what had been done would not be enough.
Coolant temperatures exceeded 300 degrees, which led to complete evaporation of the fluid by the end of the night. These conditions can wreak havoc on engines. The extent of that havoc would be found when the engine was sent back to Wagler Competition Products.
“The cylinder walls were slightly warped from the heat, but it looked pretty good,” said Jeremy Wagler. “We did a hone, added new rings, bearings and gaskets and went through it.
“I was surprised that the walls were not worse than they were,” he added. “What helped is that it didn’t have the constant hard load like the high horsepower pulling trucks go through. There are a few things that are going to have to change, but we’re pretty happy it performed as it did.”
While the engine was away, the research continued with the goal of preventing a similar outcome at next performance. There was no question that capacities and component capabilities would have to increase. For example, the idea of 14 gallons per minute coolant flow would have to be increased to as much as 55 gallons per minute, so bigger pumps would be needed. The fan was pushing 2,000 cubic feet per minute, but the calculations indicated that the system would need five times that much to work efficiently. The radiator would have to be upgraded to increase cooling capacity by at least 50 percent. All of these components would have to be confined into a standard Monster Jam chassis, so the physical size of the components had to be taken into consideration.
Like all true research & development projects, it becomes a quest for finding and procuring the right parts. The engine itself has just arrived from Indiana to Florida. Now, these new parts will be added and tested. The end goal for this phase is improvement, not perfection. We’ll save that objective for a later date.
Wagler Competition Products
S & S Diesel Motorsport