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Old 03-21-2005, 03:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Class 6 trucks, Cat vs. Cummins vs. MBE vs. Navistar?

Who is familiar with these engines?

I'm buying a new class 6 truck with a 24' dry van box and it's time to order the truck. I'm leaning towards a Peterbilt with the Cummins ISC, my only other option there is the Cat C7. I could also go with a Freightliner or Sterling with the MBE, or the International with the DT 466 or 570.

Experience is with a 2000 Peterbilt 330 w/ a Cat 3126, and a 1995 Freightliner FL70 with a Cummins ISC. The Cat gets great fuel mileage but the Cummins had more jam. It's a bit of a new ball park now with new emissions regulations so I don't know how much my past experience really concerns my decision.

My main concern is fuel economy and durability. I'll be putting on 550,000 miles in 5 years. I like the idea of the Navistar and Cummins wet-liner cylinder design but I would hope that it will not be an issue.
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Old 03-21-2005, 08:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Class 6 trucks, Cat vs. Cummins vs. MBE vs. Navistar?

If past experience is any indicator, I'd take the 570 over the rest of them...Both the C7 and the ISC have their problems...the 570 while new is based on the ancient 466 which just keeps on ticking. Who knows anything about the MBE900, I've only seen one and it is in a truck that isn't likely to go more than 50,000 miles ever.

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Old 03-21-2005, 09:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Class 6 trucks, Cat vs. Cummins vs. MBE vs. Navistar?

Of those engines mentioned hands down the international diesels would be first on my list. International (Navistar) makes the best midsize midheavy truck engines. Then Mercedes I hear they have some good stuff but thats only what I hear. Cummins makes a good engine too but the 8.3 does not have the reputation of the IH navistar motors. Cat, well they're expensive and the C7 (3126 I believe is the old nomeclature for that engine or is it 3116?) gets tired fast. YOu know Cat's smaller "***** power" isn't the greatest engine option. Its the name that sells alot of their lower end engines. People hear cat and think automatically they must be the best when in reality its not.
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Old 03-21-2005, 09:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Class 6 trucks, Cat vs. Cummins vs. MBE vs. Navistar?

Since I work on the MBE the sales person should have explained that the MBE was designed to go LESS than 100k/year. However the fleets are running the MBE 4000 engine on the OTR trucks. The MBE 900 is classifyied as a pickup-and-delivery type engine. That is what they have told me. I'm not the sales person, I just fix them. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shrug.gif[/img] If you do buy one, get the engine with the engine brake. The 900 series has to be ordered, the 4000 engine has it standard. The engine brake can be used in city useage, you cannot hear it in use. The cost to install one on the 900 is not economically realistic. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif[/img]
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Old 03-21-2005, 09:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Class 6 trucks, Cat vs. Cummins vs. MBE vs. Navistar?

Either the IH DT's, or (your all going to hate me for thise one!) the Duramax 7800/Isuzu 6HK1-TC. If your going with a Pete, how about a Cat C-9?
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Class 6 trucks, Cat vs. Cummins vs. MBE vs. Navistar?

[ QUOTE ]
Of those engines mentioned hands down the international diesels would be first on my list. International (Navistar) makes the best midsize midheavy truck engines. Then Mercedes I hear they have some good stuff but thats only what I hear. Cummins makes a good engine too but the 8.3 does not have the reputation of the IH navistar motors. Cat, well they're expensive and the C7 (3126 I believe is the old nomeclature for that engine or is it 3116?) gets tired fast. YOu know Cat's smaller "***** power" isn't the greatest engine option. Its the name that sells alot of their lower end engines. People hear cat and think automatically they must be the best when in reality its not.

[/ QUOTE ]

I disagree with your statement on the Cat engines. I have seen many of them hit well over 500,000 miles with just basic PM. The only things I saw that went wrong were bad governor relays and small stuff such as that. The Cummins ISC's run ok but they leak oil like crazy, not to mention the trail of oil in the bus lanes. The bus fleet here at the college runs ISC's and they are constantly opening the rear hatch to top off the oil on numerous units. I haven't seen any Mercedes around here to know.

The International DT-466 is a great base level choice. It has been refined from its beginnings as a gutless fuel pig in the late 70's to a fine running economical money maker today. The HT-570's are good as well.
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Old 03-22-2005, 05:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Class 6 trucks, Cat vs. Cummins vs. MBE vs. Navistar?

I saw this thread and after had to chime in. I do believe in the old AC Delco commercial - "you can pay me now, or pay me later!" Trying to get one of these medium duty "engines" to do what your asking is, in my opionion, a long shot. You would be better off stepping up one size of truck and getting an M11 or 11.1 series 60. Caterpillar does not have their act together yet on the C7. I've got 3 C7's. All have alot of crankcase blowby. That's how cat meets the emissions. Nothing comes out the stack - it all goes out the crankcase vent tube and coats the chassis with an oily mist. They do have a fix for this. They're recalibrating the dipstick - taking 2 gallons of oil out - from 28 qts to 20 qts, and say to change it every 200 hrs! Had 1 HDOP pump go out already, too. The service manager told me if I buy one, buy all the extended warranty cat will sell you. Sounds good, huh. So I did. And bought an MBE-906. First three months, it got great fuel mileage - behind a wrecker. I was at the DDA distributor and asked my sales rep if he slept at night selling those things. He just laughed and asked what was the problem - fuel lines, or fuel sockets! It hasn't been back in for 2 months now! Sad when that's a highlight. It's ran for 2 months! And is is one sweet running engine when it's right. Again, a 7 year extended warranty. A cummins 8.3 runs good until the camshaft drive gear snaps off the end of the camshaft. Then you'll find out that a factory reman 8.3 is about $3000 more than a 3126E! So much for cat being more expensive! As far as the IHC engines , I don't have any. I see what the people next door go through. About the sames as a 3126E. Electrical issues with the fuel system. Difference is our cat distributor gets us in and out in a couple of days, while the IHC dealer seems to take forever. For little engines, I think I'm going to try a Hino next. Or Like Louisville Joe said and Isuzu 7.8 great engine - if only it wasn't in a chevrolet. Bottom line is this. I personally think they are all having issues with the new emmisions. To sum up, THink about who gives you the best service, and go with them. Buying a slightly larger truck, with the bigger engines will get the job done. And, depending on the load, probably get better fuel mileage. Oh, yes, And buy lotsa extended warranty.
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Old 03-22-2005, 08:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Class 6 trucks, Cat vs. Cummins vs. MBE vs. Navistar?

Also to add what Hank said International now has a similar system on their DT/HT series engines. On the MBE series it has a 5th valve that is very small and is held open for the entire cycle when braking creating a pumping loss through the small hole plus it has an exhaust brake but the combination of these apparently makes braking force almost equal to a Jake. International does it differently, by holding a valve slightly open throughout the cycle. But same effect. Good brake with no noise to speak of.

And yes, to agree with 99SD there is nothing wrong with using a heavy duty truck in a medium duty application. A 350 HP ISM would give great trouble free service compared to all the Rube Goldbergian medium duty engines. I know for my next truck I will be pushing for a 385 or so horsepower M11.

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Old 03-23-2005, 11:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Class 6 trucks, Cat vs. Cummins vs. MBE vs. Navistar?

Thanks for the info, it's great food for thought.

I'd like to get a larger truck with a bigger series engine but cost-wise it is prohibitive, I would not be competitive in my contract bids.

The Peterbilt 335 is my #1 choice, any my only options in that truck are the C7 or ISC. The 3126 in the 2000 Pete has about 250k miles and has been good so far, never broken down but has had a few sensors go bad and a few leaky oil lines.
If a guy is forced to choose between the C7 and ISC, which would you use and why?

My #2 choice is a toss-up between the International 4400 and the Sterling Acterra. This leaves me the options of a DT466, DT570 or a MB900. I think the MB has the potential to be a great motor but it's just not proven enough for me to gamble on, I can't afford to be on the side of the road.

Whichever engine I decide with, my main concern is minimum down time, which sounds like the DT466 or DT570 would be my best bet, but I really have my heart set on another Peterbilt. Soo, in a direct comparison between the ISC and the C7, which would give me the best service? I figure fuel economy is going to be a toss-up between the two, I just want to go with whatever will give me the least regrets.

Again thanks for all of your help so far, I'm impressed by the knowledgeable answers and the depth of experience here!
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Old 03-23-2005, 04:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Class 6 trucks, Cat vs. Cummins vs. MBE vs. Navistar?

I dunno, the C7 and its predecessors have a reputation for eating valves and such, but there are those who vehemently defend them, then there's the ACERT vs. EGR debate, lots of hooey gets thrown around there too, but if it was up to me between those two I would choose the C, it is now common rail, no ACERT, no HEUI, but in my mind all medium duty motors are suspect anyway.

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Old 03-23-2005, 05:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Class 6 trucks, Cat vs. Cummins vs. MBE vs. Navistar?

Cat went to common rail on an engine. Hmm. Is there any good reading on this engine. Im curious why theyd drop their baby heui.
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Old 03-23-2005, 09:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Class 6 trucks, Cat vs. Cummins vs. MBE vs. Navistar?

No you misread me I was saying the C (Cummins) is common rail and the C7 is HEUI still.

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Old 03-23-2005, 09:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Class 6 trucks, Cat vs. Cummins vs. MBE vs. Navistar?

Cat makes a 6.6 that has common rail injection.

Probably a bit small for class6 though.
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Old 03-25-2005, 05:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Class 6 trucks, Cat vs. Cummins vs. MBE vs. Navistar?

I used to be a Peterbilt Salesman and I am now a KenWorth salesman.

Before emmisions I would have definitely recommended the 3126 but post emmisions CAT is really hurting and the Cummins are coming on really strong. Lots and lots of problems w/ all of their post Oct. '02 emmisions.

The old ISCs (99-02) had head, cam, fuel pump, etc, problems but the new ones run great,make awesome power, and the fuel economy has always stood well above the others. Oh yah, they are reliable.
I probably delivered 50 ISC- ISLs in the So Cal market to mixer and dump truck guys and when I quit selling them Cummins market share in our dealers trucks just completely tanked. Just so you know, some salespeople really do want their customers to have the strongest, most reliable, hard working truck out there. Everyone of my trucks that broke I was personally standing over it in the shop and calling the Cummins reps to get their tails out there and to take of my customers.

I personally would rather pull a semi trailer w/ my teeth than drive or own a Freightliner so the Benz is just not an option. But, the Benz engine has had a huge advantage w/ the emmisions situation and that really showed in their mpg. Too bad they are quite unreliable. I've also heard nightmares about the cost of parts. I've actually heard 17K for an inframe for one of those things. Yikes!

In the big engines I used to push all of my customers to run yellow iron and I sold lots of them. But now w/ C-15s getting 4.8 mpg and the ISXs getting 6.6 mpg so it's just no question which engine is the better value.

Also, my dealer group does quite a bit of export to Australia, India, etc. The American dollar is very weak right now that would be highly advantageos to you. You might consider buying from a US dealer if you do not have a strong relationship w/ your Pete dealer.

PS. The T300 is built on the same assembly line as the 335 but I think if you look you'll find the T300 is a better value.
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Old 03-25-2005, 07:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Class 6 trucks, Cat vs. Cummins vs. MBE vs. Navistar?

A cat 6.6? Their web site still shows the C7 as the smallest truck engine. and it's still a 7.2 litre.

A choice between 8.3 and C7. Tough call. Neither one has many outstanding virtures. I'd still say go with the one with the distributor that takes care of you the best. Here, the Cummins and DDA dist wants you to bow down and kiss their, well you get the idea, if you have less than a kazillion trucks. The cat people treat each and every customer like they have a kazillion trucks and bend over backwards to take care of me, and that's why I buy them. But I really don't know since the cat I picked up last week for blowing oil out breather is now going back monday for 2 malfunction codes - fuel system related - one which is possibly another HDOP pump failure, 6 mos, 12,309 miles, 552 hours on ticker.If so, that would be 2 out of three with pump failures- the third only being in service 2 weeks, though. Sweet. Maybe the MBE ain't so bad - at least it hasn't been in the shop in almost 3 months!!!

It looks like the industry has come to disposable trucks. Buy extended warranty, when its up after 7 years, jack the body up and put another chassis under it. Sad.
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