Muscle Cars

No More Rolling Coal In Diesel Engines

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By Mark Weisseg

Is this funny or just plain wrong? Guy and gals can roll coal as they say to richen the engine and get pure black smoke to pour out the exhaust.

We watched some guys roll coal on some poor unsuspecting bystanders out in Las Vegas several years ago. It went like this. The guys pull up and ask if anyone smokes. If yes, they say enjoy one on me and rolled coal on them. If the answer is No, the driver says you should start and rolls the coal on them. Very funny to watch but the joke is now old and out of favor.


Of course some cities passed laws against rolling coal as folks on bikes motorized or not were becoming victims of the joke. Of course the tree huggers were shocked and thought the oceans would rise, the polar bears would die, and society as we know it would perish. All it really turned out to be was a harmless prank that ran its course.

Sure, you will still see it now and then but the costs of rolling coal were high on the engine and fuel systems. Diesel engine fuel systems are already touchy and rolling coal does nothing to help the injectors.

So, we all had a good laugh back then but in all seriousness rolling coal on a regular basis is not good. Ask any person who has worked in a diesel shop back in the day and they will not find it funny. That soot used to stick to everything including our lungs. It’s bad stuff my brother and it’s harmful over a long period of time.

Most of us found out these awful things the hard way. When I was a young mechanic we never thought about hearing protection, eye protection or harmful chemicals used. It’s nearly impossible to pinpoint the health issues but I have seen too many guys my age and younger have cancer, poor health, and other issues. We just don’t know what we did to ourselves back then but I doubt it was any good. Who remembers blowing brake dust all over the shop? I wish I could forget…….

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