Rebuild straight truck with 400K miles or cut my losses?

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by MsBoxT2013, Jul 1, 2020.

  1. MsBoxT2013

    MsBoxT2013 Bobtail Member

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    Class B 2013 Freightliner. Motor died due to coolant in the engine. Looking at $9K for a rebuilt engine and $5500 to swap. 6 mths parts and labor warranty on the motor. Original engine is Cummins but the shop said a paccar is compatible.

    Is it worth it to spend that much on a truck with 400K miles? Once its fixed I'll be leasing under a dispatcher and will have to look for drivers and get bobtail insurance (no own authority right now). Truck has a sleeper so could probably run a team.

    Someone had suggested I'm better off buying another box truck from an auction and using the proceeds to fix the dead truck. Another suggestion was to see if I can sell the truck as is to an auction dealer and see how much they can sell it for. I'm weary of that option because I feel like I'd be lucky to get $1K if I go that route. I'm open to any suggestions at this point...I just dont know if I'm throwing good money after bad.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
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  3. Colt6920

    Colt6920 Light Load Member

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    That's about all you'll get out of a medium duty motor.
    The question now is what condition the rest of the truck is in. Clean box, straight body, good suspension, not wore out, good trans, rear end etc, you've taken care of it, I'd would consider a new engine. But if its gonna need a bunch of trans or chassis work and is just utterly beat to #### and rusted out just buy a new one.

    As for the motor swap make sure the replacement engine is the same MY or newer, and that it will play well with your truck. There is a lot of integration nowadays where the body and trans is programmed and made specifically to play well with that motor, its not like the 90s where you hooked up a couple cables, bolted it down and sent it.
     
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  4. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

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    Why not just rebuild the engine?

    Your dumping $14k for a rebuild that should cost maybe $6k.

    If it is a Cummins, then it could be easy to do, the isc is a wet sleeve engine and as long as the block is good, it can be rebuild.

    I have two trucks with isc Cummins in them, one had 600k and the other is pushing 800k miles.
     
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  5. MsBoxT2013

    MsBoxT2013 Bobtail Member

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    The truck is in good condition. The paccar PX8 is a 2013 with 130K miles so it's the same MY as the Freightliner. The shop did tell me that Paccar started making Cummins parts in 2012 when I expressed concerns about compatibility.
     
  6. MsBoxT2013

    MsBoxT2013 Bobtail Member

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    We got quoted $20K to rebuild current engine by a different shop. They did say the price would go down depending on what parts they can salvage. Vander Haag is who has the paccar engine and I could ask them if they can rebuild the current. Pretty sure they maybe just as expensive.

    We don't have the specialty tools to do the rebuild ourselves. How exactly can we get the rebuild down to $6K? By far that would beat all the alternatives on the table. Right now I am leaning towards maybe getting a truck with the $14K and have it pay to fix the broken down one.
     
  7. SmallPackage

    SmallPackage Road Train Member

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    We bought a ‘99 Freightliner FL60 straight truck with a 3126B Cat new for $52,000.
    Went to 471,000 in ‘07 to need overhaul. Crate motor was $25,000. New truck $87,000.
    Went another 525,000 on second engine to almost 1 million on truck and dropped valve in 2015.
    New crate engine was $25,000. New truck was $102,000.
    Ran another 63,000 miles and retired it in 2016. Replaced it with cheap $96,000 junk Hiney I mean Hino.
    In those million plus miles no transmission or rearend work had to be done. Just 2 clutches. Still has its original driveline and brake system. Nothing needed replacement. Got it’s 3rd set of shoes about 80,000 miles ago. Still has original front end parts, king pins, tie rods, with only a steering box and springs changed.
    Still have that FL. Waiting for it to turn 25 years old so I can register it antique and drive it as a play toy. Should last forever that way.
    In the 17 years of use We coulda spent $200,000 on new trucks but instead we spent $60,000. Money in the bank.
    Not bragging just trying to show that there is no need to throw something away if it can be repaired cheaper than new. Old and well kept is always gonna be cheaper to run than new anyday. Specially if there is no bank payment to stress about every month.
    There are however those that believe that always having new means that their status level in life is higher than everyone else's. Lol!
     
  8. MsBoxT2013

    MsBoxT2013 Bobtail Member

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    So I've had two mechanics tell me the paccar engine is not good even if its interchangeable with the cummins. I'm waiting on one of them to confirm if his engine guy has the Cummins I need and the cost.

    Am holding my breath for Ridgeline to tell me how I can get the rebuild done at $6K.
     
  9. SmallPackage

    SmallPackage Road Train Member

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    Stay with Cummins. Cheaper in long run and it is an exact plug in for the truck. I can’t help you on the lowest cost of rebuild but I can tell you honestly that with parts and labor $25,000 is reasonable for a complete engine block swap.
     
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  10. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

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    My post is based on the past rebuilds I've had done, Cummins is the cheapest and it isn't difficult to do.

    So start with this ...

    Go ask Cummins how much a oh kit is for the engine, the last I looked it wasn't bad at all.

    This is an 8.3 Cummins, it is a cheap rebuild. The 3126 (that was mentioned) isn't a cheap rebuild.

    The 3126 really is a throw away engine, once the cylinders are scored, it is scrape unless you sleeve it. The Cummins is a wet sleeve engine so they can get replaced easily.

    So let's go back to see what really is needed ...

    You had coolant in engine, so are you assuming everything is bad or did someone pull the pan and look at the bearings to see if the crank is trashed?

    Maybe it is just a head gasket?

    400k isn't all that much with that engine.

    Don't try to put anything other than a Cummins in the frame.
     
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  11. Midwest Trucker

    Midwest Trucker Road Train Member

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    Listen to Ridgeline. And FFS take it to Cummins themselves and see what they say.
     
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