I Need Engne Help

Discussion in 'Trucks [ Eighteen Wheelers ]' started by Wolfgang_KW, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. Joethemechanic

    Joethemechanic Medium Load Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Phila Pa
    Best bet is to find a wrecked W900 with a good engine for a donor truck if you want to do the swap. That way you end up with every bracket, special hardware, exhaust, lines, wiring harness, etc that you will need for the swap. Otherwise you will nickel and dime yourself to death. Not to mention the time you would spend hunting down parts piece by piece.
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  3. Burky

    Burky Road Train Member

    Joe nailed this one perfectly. Swapping engines brands any other way is a financial nightmare. Sticking in another Detroit is a simple bolt and unbolt job, but a swap either involves a one for one trade out of a simar truck, or it is a scavenger hunt that will break your wallet.

    There is nothing really wrong with detroit as an engine, so unless there is a really compelling reason, I would pick up another detroit and install that in it.
  4. MedicineMan

    MedicineMan Road Train Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    Woodville, TX
    anything is possible but swaping to a diffeent motor is more hassle than it's worth and yes I am a mechanic and I'm still saying that. There is nothing wrong with a detroit. it's a good motor. Everyone has there favorite and they bash the others but they are all good. A cat is my personal favorit but I'l be the first to tell you that they cost double to fix when they do break. I'd take a detroit over a cummins.

    If the block is truely cracked then you can not just rebuild it you need a new motor and you will pay extra because you don't have a core to return. I think in your situation I'd start looking at wrecked trucks for a good motor. Find a light roll over r something and get the motor from it.

    Just because it didnt crank with new batteries doesn't necasarrily ean it's siezed. Put a bar on the balencer and try to turn it by hand.

    How long ha it ben sitting? You may have other issues if it's been to long. Things like siezed brakes, leaking brake cans, radiator if there hasn't been antfreeze in it. AC will most definatly need to be reone, probably got rats living in it too.
  5. 25(2)+2

    25(2)+2 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    the road less travelled
    You sure know how to paint a picture. My company has replaced N-14s with Detroits but not the other way. They had wrecks and trucks that needed whole motors, and the swaps were from FLD 120 to FLD 120 in similar years, not from new to old. Freightliner changed the frames in the early 2001 model year, at least in some of them.

    More on N-14s, they had two in a relatively small fleet fail catastrophically, one is salvageable, needs a new crank and block repair plus a complete major; the other is a very heavy paperweight.

    The Detroits have a problem with wrist pins letting go and the connecting rod punching out the block above the pan. If the coolant jacket isn't breached, IE, it still holds coolant, the block can be welded. A friend fixed his corn hauler this way and didn't do a complete rebuild, he just replaced the bad cylinder.

    I have seen where a valve dropped and punched a hole in a piston on a Detroit, and a valve dropped in a N-14 the same way but they reassembled the engine with one new head and that motor failed badly a few months later, the piston broke. Another paperweight.

    I have never been around Cats much other than my ex in-laws run a construction business. I just hear horror stories about how much it costs to fix them.

  6. Burky

    Burky Road Train Member

    For what it is worth, there is a 60 series Detroit for sale on Ebay right now that has about 450k on it and has a price of 3000, located in Kentucky. There is also a 60 series block for sale, and it's priced around 250.00. You can search there and find some interesting things if you run the right names for your search.
  7. jalogging

    jalogging Bobtail Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    i have a 3406b with approx 220,000 since last major i have took sum parts off but could have it runnin in couple hrs i would let it go at a fair price im not sure how much trouble you would have changing from d-trash to a cat.orhow it would be to gofrom freight shaker to kw
  8. vegetto

    vegetto Bobtail Member

    Dec 14, 2006
    i hope you guys aren't serious about taking detroit over an n-14. i've never seen so many engines fly apart then the series 60. depending on the piston arrangement depends on where they come apart. then of course is the large and pretty much a horrible idea and design, is the bull gear in the front gear train. it may seem easier to design such a thing, but cummins would rather make something reliable. i mean come on, the worst thing on the n-14 is the stock head gaskets. anytime i do head gaskets on n14's i go aftermarket and .030" over on the coolant grommets.

    it is in my opinion that detroit is one of the worst decisions anyone could make. unless you plan on selling the truck after 400k miles.
  9. Burky

    Burky Road Train Member

    Okay people, lets go back through and review the bidding. The original post asked about how to fix the truck. The owner is not particularly enamored of the Detroit, for unstated reasone, but several people pointed out correctly the complications involved with swapping from one brand of engine to another, and included info on the only really effective way to handle that.

    The point of this isn't to turn it into an "I hate this brand" thread, but to show him the easist way to get the truck back up and running. If you don't like Detroits, and have multiple orgasms at the sight of a yellow engine, then fine for you. But for the purposes of this discussion, which is to help him get the truck back up and running at a halfway reasonable price, then his best option is a Detroit. If he can find a similar wrecked truck with the other engine and buys it, then fine and dandy.

    As for the theory of Detroits merily blowing apart all over the highway, we all know that;s nonsense. properly maintained, they are just as reliable of an engine as any others on the road, and jst as capable of doing a million miles of service with no problems. they have some known flaws and there are fixes available, just as there are with other brands. before you tell us how wonderful cats are, I suggest you ask Joe The Mechanic about the previous truck he bought and how long the Cat lasted in it before it climbed into it's grave.

    Lets do a reality check and concentrate on the actual problem, not letting our prejudices about one engine or the other rule the discussion.
  10. Joethemechanic

    Joethemechanic Medium Load Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Phila Pa
    Factory Cummins parts including injectors and heads, to do an in frame on my N-14 under $2500. Factory Cat parts to do an inframe on my 3406E not including injectors and head $6,000 plus ++++

    The 3406E had 345,000 on it when I bought it. It ran great, coolant tested good, oil tested good. At about 348,000 (three weeks) it started dumping coolant in the oil. Pulled the pan and pressurized the system and low and behold #5 cylinger's O-rings are leaking. Not worth fixing on a 10 year old truck. Sealed ut up with some sealer and got a little more time out of it before it really started leaking.

    Only good thing is it was an Ford LTA 9000 and lots of the parts fit my LTL 9000. Otherwise it would be a total loss.

    I really don't see much wrong with a Detroit 60 Series. Even the old "two stroke" 53, 71 , 110, and 149 series were excellent engines in a lot of applications. they were lightweight for the power they produced, and the parts interchangeability among engines of a common series had to be the best I have ever seen. You could have 71 series in your trucks, excavating equipment, forklifts, cranes, pumps, generators, hydraulic powerpacks, air compressors, etc. etc. etc. And no matter how many cylinders the engine had probably 75% of the parts would swap.

    That means a whole lot if you are running a shop. It cuts your spare parts inventory way way down. And it makes stocking your service trucks for the mechanics doing service in the field so much easier. Not to mention with mechanics working on nothing but Detroit they get really good at that.

    But anyway put whatever makes you happy in the truck, But if you intend to swap to another brand. Go to a salvage yard and make a deal on a wrecked W900. Tell him to cut it off behind the cab so he can have the rears. Take the front part home and sit it beside your dad's truck, and get to work.
  11. Burky

    Burky Road Train Member

    Personally, in hs situation, I would fix the truck in the most economical way possible, clean it up as well as I could, and the get out from under it immediately. For someone starting out, that truck has a bunch of downsides. It has sat for quite a while and almost certainly needs to have some other work done beyond the obvious one of the motor. It is a 10 year old truck, so it is not a choice for leasing on with many of the better companies due to it's age. Due to the enlarged sleeper, it is going to be a long wheelbase truck with a high empty weight, and that almost guarantees that it can only be used to pull a van or a reefer, neither of which is the best paying freight. It's not going to be very maneuvable for a newer driver due to the wheelbase probably being 270" or better, which is an invitation to small accidents to happen. It is not very aerodynamic, and that means that it will cost more to run than other trucks when it is parked alongside the fuel pump.

    There are a lot of things that I see as a negative about it, and the only positives are that it is already his, he has the money to repair it, and it has sentimental value to him.

    But I still think his best decision as a driver would be to get rid of it and make the most out of the fact that it has a big sleeper. There are always people out there enamored of the idea of having a larger than normal sleeper and willing to put up with all the negative things that go with it. I personally tend to lean towards the theory of lite weight trucks and small sleepers and being home more often, instead of having a huge sleeper and staying out for weeks at a time, but everyone makes their own choices and runs differently. If you want to have that "lifestyle" and stay out for weeks, then a big sleeper and all that accompanies it may be the answer, but I choose differently. The longest I have ever stayed away from the house because of driving a truck is 6 days, and I am content with that kind of life.
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