What's the difference between a Cat 3406B and a 3406E

Discussion in 'Trucks [ Eighteen Wheelers ]' started by silver dollar, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. silver dollar

    silver dollar Medium Load Member

    Jan 31, 2009
    Central North Carolina
    The truck I have now has a 3406E; I saw an ad for one with a 3406B. What is the difference between the two? Is the B as good as the E?
  2. black_dog106

    black_dog106 Road Train Member

    Mar 29, 2009
  3. 25(2)+2

    25(2)+2 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    the road less travelled
    B is mechanical, no ECM, the 3406e is the first successful Cat electronic big block.It usually does better on fuel economy, but the B was known as the million mile engine.

    There are other differences, but that is the big one.
    Grumppy, silver dollar and Fatboy42 Thank this.
  4. kwforage

    kwforage Road Train Member

    Jun 3, 2007
    We have a couple B's, a mechanical C, and an E. All good engines. I have always liked my B. Only downside is no cruise unless you put a kit on it.
    Grumppy and silver dollar Thank this.
  5. silver dollar

    silver dollar Medium Load Member

    Jan 31, 2009
    Central North Carolina
    Yes! 36 years, and this truck that I have now is the first Cat engine I have ever driven. I cut my teeth on 238 and 318 Detroits. Later i drove a GMC with the 8V92 with the turbo. Then I drove Mack dumps and tankers, and before this one now, a N14. but never a Cat. But then if you ask a simple question, I guess some one will give a "simple" answer.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
  6. JohnP3

    JohnP3 Road Train Member

    Feb 21, 2010
    Rock Creek B.C. Canada
    A 3406B was a good engine in it's time, but was quickly dropped in our area when the N14, and the series 60 came out. You would get 650,000K before the head gasket would leak and the back 3 to 4 kits had to be pulled and the block cut, water pumps leaked every 6 months, they modified the head to increase flow it made it better.
    The early "E" was a "C" block with a gear case and an overhead cam, The block still had the Cam bearings with no holes in it, the cams were junk, the rocker arms bent and broke, water pumps leaked still, the gear cases leaked, rocker arm studs stretched, The oil pans cracked, and heads leaked, Cat's repair was to glue it on. one bit of air in the fuel system and it would not start.
    Later models, with the new block, were much better.
    I loved them both, but then they paid me to fix them.
  7. poppapump1332

    poppapump1332 Road Train Member

    Jan 2, 2010
    3406 e was the best motor cat ever made except for the 3408
  8. Semi Crazy

    Semi Crazy Road Train Member

    May 13, 2011
    Middle Tennessee
    Less to go wrong with a B. No electronics.

    But we might all wake up tomorrow and find Obammy's EPA outlawed all engines older than 2010.
  9. black_dog106

    black_dog106 Road Train Member

    Mar 29, 2009
    You are correct silver$. My simple answer was rude of me. Please accept my apology. I take it for granted that everyone has been around Cats at some time,
    Many Cat owners are very loyal. I have had good luck with them. They have their problems, just like every brand, but i believe the good outweighs the bad? It follows the same path as Ford vs Chevy, Bud vs Miller etc. Everyone has their favorites. If any one brand was vastly superior to the competition,the competition would be out of business?
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
    Joetro, Mr.X, mjtrucking and 3 others Thank this.
  10. the emmigrant

    the emmigrant Bobtail Member

    Feb 21, 2014
    San Francisco
    there is biiiiiiiiiiiiiig difference, the E is electronic control & have C block, better than B block, less vibrations, extra bearing, better lubrication and more, I have change in my 88 Fld 120 3406B after explosion of cylinder #5 for 3406C, now this engine have 1487000 miles on Mobil Delvac 15/40, the only 2 problems:
    1 rocker push rod & vibration dampener. I was changing oil every 25 to 30K miles but in between changes I change oil filter every 7K miles ( every round trip from my home 20 "Frisco" to east coast and back) topped with 15/40 & NEVER trust anybody to change my oils & greasing my best friend my FLD 120.
    Used oil I dump in my fuel tank & every 2-3K miles add 1gal. of ATF to a fuel, is a best combustible detergent & lubricant of the fuel system.
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