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Thread: CAT C12

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    Bobtail Member
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    Is cat c-12 a good engine

    Hello Guys, I'm new here and I would like some advice. I'm in the process of buying a Peterbilt 387with a CAT C-12 engine, is this a good engine?? My current truck has a 3406 E and I would like to know a bit more about this C-12. I hope to hear from drivers with the same engine. The truck is a 2003 Peterbilt 387 it has a rebuilt engine by Cat with a 3 year warranty. It has 430hp and 10 spd.

    Thank You

    Last edited by mtorr; 04.04.2009 at 10.12 AM.

  2. #2
    Medium Load Member C16KIWI's Avatar
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    They are very popular over here with most of them running at 100k lbs gross.

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    Thank You

    Thank You for your response, I wish I could hear more about this engine but it seems not many drivers have them. I hope that's not a bad sign.

  4. #4
    Road Train Member Heavyd's Avatar
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    If it has a warranty you will be in good shape. We haven't had that many problems.

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    It is a fine engine. We've had a 430hp C12 for about 4 yrs. Depending on the weight you will be pulling, and how fast you want to run, I HIGHLY recommend a 13spd transmission. Being able to split the top side makes a HUGE difference in pulling ability. Have 3.70 gears with ours, and gets 6.5mpg. This is in a day cab T800.

    It has a lot of balls for a 430, but it's no E model in the torque department. Especially if you are used to a 475hp or bigger E. The Jake isn't as strong as the bigger engines, but still works pretty well.

    Ours starts at -4*F without ether, and not being plugged in. It isn't happy about it, but it does start.

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    Medium Load Member Truck Driver's Avatar
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    Most of the tractors my company runs have C-12s in them. Many have over 1 million miles on them. They have decent low-end down to about 1200 rpm and a strong Jake but you won't be passing anyone on the hills with a 10 speed. They aint made anymore which might explain why you don't see to many.

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    The C12's aren't being used in road truck anymore. The C13 replaced them. Only per EPA regs.

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    Bobtail Member
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    Whats the max RPM that you dare run with a C12 when upshifting? I just got one and seems to like to rev a little higher than I expected. Shifts easier then, too...

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    Light Load Member farmermatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 86ltrain View Post
    Whats the max RPM that you dare run with a C12 when upshifting? I just got one and seems to like to rev a little higher than I expected. Shifts easier then, too...
    I take it to about 15-16 most of the time but easily can take it to 1850 if need be mine is govened at 2150 but there is no need to take it that far peak torque is at 1600rpm i think

    I just havnt seen the advantage to taking it higher in the shifts unless you wanna race someone

    I am incredibly happy with my c12 it just seems if your running out of power upshifting just grab the next one and let the torque take it on over and cruise at 65 at 1600

    I pull a hopper regional and try to idle very little and have achieved 7+ mpg with it my last check was 7.5 but I'm not gonna brag on that one yet it seems almost a little to good (may be a fluke) i dont know