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  1. #1
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    What's the difference between a Cat 3406B and a 3406E

    The truck I have now has a 3406E; I saw an ad for one with a 3406B. What is the difference between the two? Is the B as good as the E?


  2. #2
    Road Train Member
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    36 years of trucking?

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  4. #3
    Trucker Forum STAFF
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    B is mechanical, no ECM, the 3406e is the first successful Cat electronic big block.It usually does better on fuel economy, but the B was known as the million mile engine.

    There are other differences, but that is the big one.

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  6. #4
    Heavy Load Member kwforage's Avatar
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    We have a couple B's, a mechanical C, and an E. All good engines. I have always liked my B. Only downside is no cruise unless you put a kit on it.

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  8. #5
    Light Load Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by black_dog106 View Post
    36 years of trucking?
    Yes! 36 years, and this truck that I have now is the first Cat engine I have ever driven. I cut my teeth on 238 and 318 Detroits. Later i drove a GMC with the 8V92 with the turbo. Then I drove Mack dumps and tankers, and before this one now, a N14. but never a Cat. But then if you ask a simple question, I guess some one will give a "simple" answer.
    Last edited by silver dollar; 06.25.2012 at 08.41 PM.

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  10. #6
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    A 3406B was a good engine in it's time, but was quickly dropped in our area when the N14, and the series 60 came out. You would get 650,000K before the head gasket would leak and the back 3 to 4 kits had to be pulled and the block cut, water pumps leaked every 6 months, they modified the head to increase flow it made it better.
    The early "E" was a "C" block with a gear case and an overhead cam, The block still had the Cam bearings with no holes in it, the cams were junk, the rocker arms bent and broke, water pumps leaked still, the gear cases leaked, rocker arm studs stretched, The oil pans cracked, and heads leaked, Cat's repair was to glue it on. one bit of air in the fuel system and it would not start.
    Later models, with the new block, were much better.
    I loved them both, but then they paid me to fix them.

  11. #7
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    3406 e was the best motor cat ever made except for the 3408

  12. #8
    Road Train Member Semi Crazy's Avatar
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    Less to go wrong with a B. No electronics.


    But we might all wake up tomorrow and find Obammy's EPA outlawed all engines older than 2010.

  13. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by silver dollar View Post
    Yes! 36 years, and this truck that I have now is the first Cat engine I have ever driven. I cut my teeth on 238 and 318 Detroits. Later i drove a GMC with the 8V92 with the turbo. Then I drove Mack dumps and tankers, and before this one now, a N14. but never a Cat. But then if you ask a simple question, I guess some one will give a "simple" answer.
    You are correct silver$. My simple answer was rude of me. Please accept my apology. I take it for granted that everyone has been around Cats at some time,
    Many Cat owners are very loyal. I have had good luck with them. They have their problems, just like every brand, but i believe the good outweighs the bad? It follows the same path as Ford vs Chevy, Bud vs Miller etc. Everyone has their favorites. If any one brand was vastly superior to the competition,the competition would be out of business?
    Last edited by black_dog106; 06.26.2012 at 03.08 PM. Reason:: lil correction

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  15. #10
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    there is biiiiiiiiiiiiiig difference, the E is electronic control & have C block, better than B block, less vibrations, extra bearing, better lubrication and more, I have change in my 88 Fld 120 3406B after explosion of cylinder #5 for 3406C, now this engine have 1487000 miles on Mobil Delvac 15/40, the only 2 problems:
    1 rocker push rod & vibration dampener. I was changing oil every 25 to 30K miles but in between changes I change oil filter every 7K miles ( every round trip from my home 20 "Frisco" to east coast and back) topped with 15/40 & NEVER trust anybody to change my oils & greasing my best friend my FLD 120.
    Used oil I dump in my fuel tank & every 2-3K miles add 1gal. of ATF to a fuel, is a best combustible detergent & lubricant of the fuel system.

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