Help with check over when buying truck

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by Gypsy-soul, May 29, 2017.

  1. Gypsy-soul

    Gypsy-soul Bobtail Member

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    I've found a 05 pete 379 with a cat, 18 speed and 3.36 I'm looking at. It has recent platinum overhaul with the works. 3 years still left on unlimited mile warranty. New injectors, turbos, etc. Has had 3 owners but owner says it's mint as pictures show it's been taking care. Says clutch, tranny and rear end is all in great shape and needs no repairs. Had pete dealer look over it all recently before selling. We will see how those pictures hold up in person as u know how that can go. My question is since I've never owned an acert specifically due to the horror stories and the well you know run for your life stories; would any of you who a history running these 05 model acert please mind giving me some good knowledge advice on to what you think of them and this year model truck. With a complete overhaul am I safe to run it till the 3 years is up then keep it and/or trade up? It's a 500 horsepower by the way. Not sure of the torque. Forgot to ask. Also I will have my mechanic I trust look over it. Should I waste the money to have it dynoed with the overhaul is that a waste of money with the warranty. Or would you do a dyno anyway for piece of mind since its an investment. Yes it has recently pulled a few heavy loads since rebuild but not many as I've been told to make me worry. Mostly reefer and skateboards. On these '05 models is there anything specific I should look for myself when I check it out? Any info you have or something you can point out I missed is more than you know appreciated. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
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  3. Happily Retired

    Happily Retired Road Train Member

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    Those acert stories would make me wary as well. Even with the rebuild. I'd probably get a big Detroit these days. I drove one with over 800K on it, and never opened up, still had power.
     
  4. Gypsy-soul

    Gypsy-soul Bobtail Member

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    That's what my gut is leaning towards. I plan on buying this truck and eventually converting it to the single turbo but can't find anyone with past knowledge to tell me if that'll void the warranty. Still looking for a reasonably priced glider.
     
  5. country29

    country29 Medium Load Member

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    Yes, turning a twin turbo C15 into a single turbo c15 will void the platinum warranty. And good luck getting any reputable cat shop to work on it, warranty or not. Yes, I would get it dyno'd, that way you can verify HP to the ground and blow by, blowby is a big indication of the healthiness of the engine, is there paperwork for the platinum OH? Were all the rocker shaft studs replaced? If it was painted there probably won't be much to visually see, oil leaks, weep hole on water pump leaking, look at radiator cap, coolant hoses, after the engine is at operating temp stick the radiator overflow hose in a bottle of water and check for bubbles, etc. Go over it very carefully, you and your mechanic, ask questions, it is an investment and your livelyhood.
     
  6. Hurst

    Hurst Registered Member

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    Its an 05. That Acert should be a pre emissions BXS C15. No EGR, No DPF. The perfect Acert. They are mechanically identical from 435 to 550 hp. No hardware differences. Its all in the ECM. Mine was a 435hp 1650 trq. Its been turned up to 500/1850 with efficiency in mind. I saw .5 mpg increase after it was turned up and tuned.

    I've got 1.4 million on mine. I would idle this mine 24/7 for the first 2 yrs I had it and mine already had 900k on it when I bought it.

    Imagine everything people loved about their Acert CAT when they were running right, except none of the anti idling regen or emissions problems associated with them. Its honestly a beautiful motor. And with a 3.36 gear,.. if everything is as described and he doesnt have a heavy foot,.. that truck will see 6 mpg easily. I'm averaging an honest 5.8 - 6.2 in mine pulling open deck and I have 3.55 with low pro 22.5 tires.

    Other than when I cracked the head from running it hot after all my coolant leaked out. The only problems I have had was 2 roasted ECM's and I am of the opinion thats a Freightliner specific issue with the power lead between the sleeper harness and OBD port. Replaced all the wiring harness and I havent had any problems with that since.

    The other issue I have had was also the sensor on the front of the motor for the actuators has gone out on me a couple times. It will throw a low actuator voltage code. Wasted some money having the actuators checked out with no problems to be discovered. Cleared the codes and it wouldnt reproduce the problem. Later discovered it was actually the sensor. Now when ever the code pops up,.. I just replace the sensor myself. It derates the engine when the code is on.


    And of course the rocker studs. This is just an inherent flaw with all Acerts in my opinion. Everyone seems to have had this problem at one point or another and is an easy fix. When getting the overhead done,.. just have them replaced with aftermarket hardened studs.

    Hurst
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
    Happily Retired Thanks this.
  7. Gypsy-soul

    Gypsy-soul Bobtail Member

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    Country, is there any reason as to why cat can be so stubborn fixing these overhauls at any cat dealer with a warranty? Reason I ask is I've only warrantied 2 engines in my life a Cummins which I will not ever again and an older model Detroit back in the early 2000's but had no trouble with it. Just curious as most my overhauls were by my mechanic who'd been wrenching it since the 50's and he's since passed on. Great guy. It does have paperwork that will transfer to my name. Only reason I have this truck a second thought and didn't hang up. Currently has almost 1 mil on truck and I've never bought a rig with more than 200k on it. And yes you pointed out the rocker shaft studs. That's one of the things I'm needing info on as to what to look for as far as giving it a fine tooth comb look over. Country can you refresh me on the overflow hose in a bottle of water trick? Remember my dad and mechanic doing a western star like this before we bought it back in the day. What does this help you look For?
     
  8. Gypsy-soul

    Gypsy-soul Bobtail Member

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    Hurst, that's one of my biggest drawbacks to this motor. Well any acert in that matter. Never had anything against cause well I've never owned one to be honest. Fuel efficiency is at the top of my list. I need at least 6.5-6.7 to make my books be happy or at least me smiling each week. Shouldn't have a problem with an older cat and my guy setting it up with a few things but again never owned something with so much stuff on it. Pretty much sensors and electrical. I find anything like that harder for me and taking my chances/in a dealer more often. Guess my old man raised me too old school. Or I never tried to learn about these newer models. Downfall to me.

    I cracked a head on a Cummins once and I know it's night and day from a cat and got to be model specific too but I got such a bad taste in my mouth I swore I'd never take a swing at that problem again if I could help it. How'd you get that fixed? Shaved it down or repaired? Is that possible in these blocks and still be able to run on and if it happen again still have enough left to do it again vs. Scrap It?

    As far as the ecm and sensors go I don't have too much experience there other than if it ain't broke fix it and if it ain't prevent it best as you can. Buddy of mine is running an 06 t600 and even though that's a 1 year difference which in motors is alot. What all can u tell me in this department as far as sensors can or you've seen and heard Go? Again, guess my dad was one of them guys who never wanted any electrical motor and after driving 2 trucks with def I see what he ment back in the 90's. Too much crap a common guy cant do at the house unless he has knowledge or the right tools. I guess this kind of issue is my second on my list that will ultimately help me on my is that your final answer decision.

    Rocker studs is another I've been told to check over before buying and I'm assuming it's for the reason you stated. I've been told by everybody I know that I trust with advice to look for this and also since its rebuilt to check on the head and if it's had trouble. Apparently acerts have a tendency to do something odd and I need to do more research there also. Thanks for that advice too. So basically just putting the better studs in should do the trick? In my experience with any dealer rebuilt motor they used factory/oem parts so that will also at least give me that much farther a running distance.
     
  9. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

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    Get a dyno and blow by, who cares if it was overhauled. Get an ecm dump and have the dealer pull the records.

    You should know what precentage of rated hp it is producing before you buy it, and do another one a few years down the road to see of the overhaul is holding up.
     
  10. Hurst

    Hurst Registered Member

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    Tampa, Fl
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    If your pulling a van with light loads you might see the MPG your looking for. Else expect 6 mpg to be about your best average. I've heard guys say they do better. Of the 3 Acerts that I have ran,. I never saw more than 6.9 mpg dead heading 850 mi empty at 72 mph.

    When my head cracked I pulled the trigger to have an inframe done. I was already at 1.2 million. If they have it apart,.. I had the cash, so lets git er done. New head, liners, pistons, bearings, cam, pretty much everything except injectors and turbos.

    I love a CAT. The power, the reliability, wish fuel mileage was a little better. I still make out ok.

    Hurst
     
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