2002 Peterbilt ECM and engine swap

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by T.Rucker, Sep 21, 2022.

  1. T.Rucker

    T.Rucker Medium Load Member

    Jul 31, 2015
    Here and there…
    Looking for another truck. Found a 2002 Pete in Bethel PA. Has a CAT C15 Acert. Not a huge fan already but I like CATs. Message the dealership about miles. The dash shows 739,xxx. They say it originally came with a Detroit and down the line someone swapped it out for the CAT. The ECM shows 340,xxx so they assume that’s what the CAT motor has for miles. They have no paperwork.

    Do that make sense to you who know about these things? If you swap brands of engines I would assume it would also require an ECM swap so it seems legit to me but curious to learn more and get y’all’s opinion out there.

    thanks for any help.
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  3. Bean Jr.

    Bean Jr. Road Train Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    Yes, you can't use a DDEC on a Cat.
  4. ProfessionalNoticer

    ProfessionalNoticer Road Train Member

    Apr 25, 2021
    You'd have to have the CAT ECM for the CAT engine. Sounds like someone misunderstood something somewhere.
    T.Rucker and Bean Jr. Thank this.
  5. Dino soar

    Dino soar Road Train Member

    Dec 8, 2017
    Hey I don't know what anybody else thinks but if it were me I'd be nervous about that.

    That engine swap requires a new wiring harness and I could be wrong but I thought there is some other wiring that has to be done with a swap like that. From what I understand that's not a little easy simple job and I would be nervous to not know anything about who did the work.

    My point being if there was some kind of crazy problem with that truck because of something with that wiring or something with the swap, that could cost a lot of money to repair or fix or straighten out or whatever you want to call it. Factory stuff has enough problems.

    I'm naturally skeptical but when you see something like that that has absolutely no paperwork on it it just makes you wonder why the truck ended up there.

    I would run from a truck like that with no paperwork just simply because of that. That truck could cost you more money than a bad woman. Never buy a truck with no paperwork unless you're an A1 mechanic yourself (maybe you are?) and you get it at the right price and you're not afraid to put the time into it.

    You should be buying an owner operator truck that has every single solitary record that's been worked over front to back like my truck. Buying stuff blind is just a blank check and no offense but when it comes to Peterbilt you're going to add a lot more zeros for all of your unknown costs.

    The caterpillar ECM should tell you the history of that engine although I'm not sure whether you can tell if that was replaced or not.

    The other thing with a truck that old is that you have no idea whether that's 739,000 or whether it is 10,739,000.

    I would look at that truck very closely. Even if the electronics were done right they really don't seem to work right when that leaky junk Peterbilt dumps gallons and gallons of water through your windshield like the junk that it is.

    Good luck with whatever you do.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2022
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  6. Arctic_fox

    Arctic_fox Road Train Member

    Sep 16, 2016
    Yup gotta have cat ecm for cat engine. ECMs are not interchangeable often even simular ECMs in the same model but diffrent revision arent interchangeable ime MX13 EPA 13 vs 17 same engine and specs totally diffrent ECMs.

    Also have that truck carefully inspected. Dinos anti pete bias aside (weenys are still worse! Ive had them piss on me when a sprinkler hit them! But them weeny lovers do like it wet :p) he is correct. Incorrect seals or poorly done wireing can lead to some pretty major issues. Ive been doing a lot of research on a swap and there is all kinds of nonsense that can go on. Additionally with programers out there who can.....modify.....emissions engines its not hard for them to dick around and make the engine show 1/100th the miles it has actully driven. For all you know that engine has 1 million on it and frame 20 million and he paid someone to set it to something "belivable" but much lower, the lack of paperwork also hurts it quite a lot thats something most sane people dont throw out. Any time you see "no paperwork" just assume "lieing through their teeth"
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  7. T.Rucker

    T.Rucker Medium Load Member

    Jul 31, 2015
    Here and there…
    Thanks for this comment. It sums up what I’d been kinda feeling already. The truck I have has enough problems and I’m not looking to add to it lol. I’ll run away from this since I’m not an A1 mechanic…and the lack of paperwork concerns me. I’ll keep looking for a better truck.

    Honestly I was curious about it because it wasn’t too far from where I live and I could drive to see it in a days drive. Other trucks I’ve found I’ll have to fly out and that makes me nervous about flying out to some junker as well lol.

    thanks for the advice, that’s why I asked the question.
    ProfessionalNoticer Thanks this.
  8. ZVar

    ZVar Road Train Member

    Sep 10, 2010
    Flint, MI
    Yea, the lack of paperwork means it has a cheap Chinese turbo that will grenade in 5,000 miles destroying the block. Or at least that's how it need to be treated anyway. I mean it the price is right and you can do (another) engine swap with a rebuild from a reputable shop and everything comes out at a decent price it may be worth it, but it's still a 750k cab, frame, transmission, and drive train.
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  9. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    with the number of trucks that still looking for owners, you are going to bother with a patchwork truck that a dealer will not touch and you won't get good service fro it there are problems, WHY?
  10. Catmando

    Catmando Road Train Member

    Mar 15, 2021
    The lack of paperwork means it's probably got a junkyard motor in it that has never been opened up.. it probably hasn't even had a Chinese turbo it means there's no history at all and it's ready to grenade at any moment
    You couldn't pay me to take that abortion on a bet
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  11. Oxbow

    Oxbow Road Train Member

    Nov 24, 2015
    It would be interesting to run the engine serial nu.ber to find out what it went in from the factory, just for curiosity.
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