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Engine Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's engine.

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  #1  
Old 09-06-2012
Bookman Bookman is offline
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Question Support life of Detroit engines

Yesterday I spent several hours looking over different conversion coaches and talking to people who were "old hats" in the bus/conversion business. One of them advised me to stay from the two stroke Detroit engines because Detroit was on the way to phasing out support for them. He told me that a Detroit shop will already not rebuild a green or red 8v-71 and would only build a silver 8v-71 in some states. He told me that you cannot have an 8v-92 rebuilt in California except for possibly the latest DDEC version, and that the same problem would start cropping up in other states as federal emission standards become tighter. He suggested that I consider buying only coaches with M-11 Cummins or S-60 Detroit engines.

Of course, it seems to me that independently owned diesel shops should be able to rebuild any of them as long as parts are available, provided all the people who are actually mechanics have not been replaced by parts-changers. Personally, I believe the issue of having old-school diesel mechanics still available could be a real problem before long.

Does anyone have any input on this issue?
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  #2  
Old 09-06-2012
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Tom, I am a Cummins guy but I believe that there are several posts on here that deal with the difficulty in finding good, knowledgeable 2 stroke DD techs. There are still some of them around but each year that numbers decreases.
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  #3  
Old 09-06-2012
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There is a two stroke site, and if I remember correctly, the goverment has a contract for them until 2050, and there are guys all over the country and all over the world with all different versions of that engine, plus BB used the 6v92 and the 8v92, not the 71 series, in the motor homes. There is a DD dealer in Baton Rouge, that, as of the last time I was there, had several sitting on the floor.
I really think maybe someone was saying something without checking facts.
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  #4  
Old 09-06-2012
Bookman Bookman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patticake View Post
...all over the world with all different versions of that engine, plus BB used the 6v92 and the 8v92, not the 71 series, in the motor homes.

I really think maybe someone was saying something without checking facts.
You may be correct about the fact checking. You are also correct about there being about a jillion of them still working. Somebody, somewhere is working on them at present. But I wonder, as emission standards tighten and more states start doing annual emissions testing, will parts availability continue in its current state? And as the percentage of 4 stroke engines in the field increases, the older mechanics retire, and the newer/younger mechanics are trained almost exclusively on the more advanced engines, will the availability of repair facilities for the older engines become a problem? If so, how many years before that possibility smacks us in the face?
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  #5  
Old 09-06-2012
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Come on two-cycle fans. Belly up and defend your engine. We four-stroke fans had our chance. There are lots of two stroke fans out there. These engines are bullet proof, good for 500,000 miles, backyard mechanic accessible, and models of simplicity.
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  #6  
Old 09-06-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmbrady View Post
Come on two-cycle fans. Belly up and defend your engine. We four-stroke fans had our chance. There are lots of two stroke fans out there. These engines are bullet proof, good for 500,000 miles, backyard mechanic accessible, and models of simplicity.
I've personally put more than 1.5 million miles in on coaches that were all running 2 stroke engines. I just wonder how long it will be before it is not a great idea to buy one. I'm not talking about fuel mileage, etc. I'm only talking about servicability.
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  #7  
Old 09-06-2012
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I had the pleasure of visiting with, and showing Tom my coach today. A lot of questions I could answer, some I couldn't. Hopefully some will come forth with the answers he needs. Good luck Tom in your endeavour, if I can help at all in the future let me know.
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  #8  
Old 09-06-2012
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The limitations in California primarily apply to commercial service diesel engines. The state has relatively new and very restrictive rules. It's not entirely clear (to me) how or if these rules apply to non-commercial vehicles -- primarily RVs. Nonetheless, the loss of the commercial business would likely eliminate a large number of shops that might be able to work on the non-commercial vehicles.

The 6v and 8v92 engines were taken off the market because they were unable to meet the then current emissions regulations, even after extreme efforts with DDEC controls. The S-60 engine was developed to meet the new requirements.

As more regulations tightened the allowable emissions, even the S-60 has been withdrawn -- and DD has introduced several new engines. The DD15 (2007) featuring "turbo-compound" technology. In 2008 the DD13 (a 12.8L engine) was introduced.

In 2010, the DD16 (15.6L, 475~600 HP), DD15 (14.8L, 455~505 HP), and DD13 (12.8L, 350~470 HP) engines were made "EPA 2010" compliant, using the "Blue Tec SCR" system. BlueTec is a Mercedes Benz (whose parent, Daimler AG owns Detroit Diesel) term for engines equipped with an advanced NOx reducing technology for emissions control. It uses "selective catalytic reduction" that requires a diesel exhaust fluid. The diesel exhaust fluid is used by a variety of other engines and is the same for all engines using similar technology. The BlueTec system (as used in my Sprinter Van RV with a 3L v6, 188 HP engine) allowed elimination of much of the EGR, resulting an about a 30 HP bump over the previous EGR burdened engine. There is also a "soot filter" and other catalytic exhaust cleaning features (as I understand it).

The Diesel Exhaust Fluid is a solution containing 32.5% high purity urea (also used as a fertilizer) and 67.5% dionized water.

Old DD engines

The only difficulty is that the real mechanics who were good with the 6V and 8V92 engines (and other DD 2-strokes) are retiring or otherwise fading away. It's been at about 15 years since the last DD 2-stroke appeared in a truck or RV -- though there are thousands of these engines still in use (many in marine service, as well). I suspect that shops wiling to work on the DD 2-strokes will soon dry up in California (due to the smog rules) but other states that do not adopt California's strict rules, may continue to see many of these engines in continued use. Since the DD S-60 has only stopped production less than 5 years ago, I'd expect to see a ready supply of well experienced diesel mechanics for, at least, a couple of decades before that pool of knowledge starts to die out.

So, the question is, should you buy a 'bird or other "old bus" with a DD 6v or 8v92 engine? Generally, if you are outside of California, it should not be a problem -- but you might want to survey your home area to try to locate some shops that deal in heavy duty equipment -- and that might be willing, if necessary, to work on an RV. (Some truck shops do not wish to work on busses or RVs...) I'd be a bit leery of taking on a 6 or 8v92 if I (still) lived in California -- but it depends on where you are ... as those close to a border may find good service in Arizona or Nevada.
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  #9  
Old 09-06-2012
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The only thing that I hate about the two cycle is having to mix oil with the fuel.
Probably never a more reliable engine built, and I think it is safe to say no engine series have ever had a run as long as the two cycle detroit. And pretty much unchanged from the begining.
As far as emission, I don't think there is a problem. Not aware of any restriction that would affect motor home use.
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  #10  
Old 09-06-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mallie Lennon View Post
The only thing that I hate about the two cycle is having to mix oil with the fuel.
Probably never a more reliable engine built, and I think it is safe to say no engine series have ever had a run as long as the two cycle detroit. And pretty much unchanged from the begining.
As far as emission, I don't think there is a problem. Not aware of any restriction that would affect motor home use.

Do not forget the special spark plugs you need for 2 cycles.
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