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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 04-15-2013
chasbeen chasbeen is offline
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Default Detroit Diesel ramblings…

Detroit Diesel ramblings…
My wife and I are actively searching for the bus that fits our needs and speaks to us, is reliable and safe if that makes any sense, this search has led us to the Wanderlodge as the top choice at this current time.
I see a common connection with the RVs that are for sale and that most are low mileage and have recent rebuilt engines or new even. Is this because the engines sit for a long time and all of the oil drains down into the pan, then when the engine is restarted it is basically like starting a fresh rebuild without pre-lubing the engine? Metal against metal?
The other question is about the Detroit Diesel engines, I was given advice to avoid the DD because they were getting harder to find people to work on them and that the engines are not lasting and parts are expensive.
I have mechanical ability and know that there are a few special tools required for setting timing andI am not sure what else, but the thing that just does not sit well with me is why would there be so many DD engines out there and why would the bus lines have run them for so many years as well as so many transit busses?
I know that people have their favorite engines but I would like some opinions on the Detroit Diesel, I have been around Cummins and cat but never a DD.

Our bus when we find her will most likely be 35 ` 40ish long and will pull an enclosed 20 ft car trailer in the 7000 pound range
My own personal opinion is start with a healthy engine, do the proper maintenance, proper sizing of the engine and use an electric engine pre-luber and block heater and the engine that Blue Bird installed should do the trick.
Thanks
Cliff
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  #2  
Old 04-15-2013
83 bird 83 bird is offline
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I have owned two, 6V92 and my current 8V92. I never had any problems but proper maintance and following MFG. recommendations are necessary. DO NOT OVERHEAT THEM. Plenty of power and have a well defined sound. Hopefully someone else will give an opinion.
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  #3  
Old 04-15-2013
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dmurdock dmurdock is offline
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DD's are EXTREMELY solid engines as long as they are maintained and not overheated. The only reason they still aren't used are 1)economy and 2)emissions - those 2 strokes whether turbo or supercharged just can't meet the federal on road emissions (not even by a long shot). There are some modifications for off road use that will meat the tier 3 requirements (generators/oilfield) I believe but nothing even close for on road requirements. FYI - they like to be warmed up before being started (block/coolant heater) and if I remember correctly like good ole straight 40wt (may be wrong on that one but that's what I remember).
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Old 04-16-2013
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Rob Robinson Rob Robinson is offline
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DuWayne you are correct on all accounts especially oil. Two stroke DD must must must have 40W oil only. Not 15W 40. STRAIGHT 40W OIL ONLY.
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  #5  
Old 04-16-2013
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We have owned four coaches (three Foretravels and a Bird). I have found each engine had good points and less good points... The Cat3208 is supposedly a 'throw away' engine but I had one that had over 250k miles on it and was still very strong, had two of those now that I think about it... NEVER had a problem with them... then we had a Cummins M11 450, man that thing was a beast, no problems and had over a 100k on it when we sold it. Now we have a 1990 DD 8v92. I have to replace the hoses and belts that are 23 years old but basically the engine is sound and if I started it right this instant (70 degrees here in TX) it would fire up (wake up the whole campground) and run perfectly... and the campground would get to hear the harmonious music this engine puts out while running.
I think you are approaching this the wrong way. In my estimation the engine and transmission are the LEAST of your worries. Tire age, AC units, refridge, body, chassis elements are far more expensive than maintenance on your engine. Focus on those things and the engine will fall in line. I have owned a lot of very high end coaches and this one for its age makes them pale in comparison. I WILL NOT go back to fiberglass... we are living full-time in Mauvelous and absolutely love her. You can check out my list to see what buying a 'cheap' coach is costing (hint pay extra for great maintenance) by looking up Mauvelous and 'The List'...
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  #6  
Old 04-16-2013
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doszorros doszorros is offline
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I have used Detroit engines in the 471, 671, 8v71, 6v92, 8v92 and series 60 models. There are millions of Detroit engines out there running around the world and will still be running after we are gone. I don't understand your comment about not finding people to work on them as there are probably more Detroit mechanics than any other single brand.

The two cycle Detroits need a low ash oil and don't lug them or overheat them. The series 60 is arguably the toughest diesel engine ever built. Nearly all buses built in the 1950's until the 1990's used Detroit engines.

Detroit engines are probably the easiest to get parts for of any brand. What more can I say?
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Old 04-16-2013
chasbeen chasbeen is offline
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I asked the central power shop manager about the different series DD, he advised to only go with the 50 or 60 series, he said in five of his shops he only had one person who worked on the older engines and that most of the reman engines are done in china then shipped back.
This is where I have heard the concerns from
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Old 04-16-2013
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Dieselbird01 Dieselbird01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chasbeen View Post
I asked the central power shop manager about the different series DD, he advised to only go with the 50 or 60 series, he said in five of his shops he only had one person who worked on the older engines and that most of the reman engines are done in china then shipped back.
This is where I have heard the concerns from
Hi Cliff,

Have you checked out MTU's web site? They took over the 2 stroke engine business from Detroit Diesel including their "Reliabilt" engines.


Detroit Diesel Series 92
  • Introduced in 1973 in 6, 8, 12 and 16 V-configurations
  • Based on the Series 71
  • 8V92 still produced for military applications
  • Applications: Military, marine, construction, industrial, oil & gas, on-highway/bus
  • Available today as reliabilt® remanufactured engine
http://2-cycle.mtu-online.com/
http://2-cycle.mtu-online.com/products/engines
http://2-cycle.mtu-online.com/products/remanufactured

MTU owns the exclusive rights to market and support all Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle engines and products for all applications on a worldwide basis. These products continue to be offered in the marketplace under the traditional Detroit Diesel brand, reflecting decades of history during which time approximately 3.5 million engines were built.

The center of competency for the Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle family remains with MTU in Detroit, Michigan. Our partners provide additional support in traditional roles as distributors, dealers, remanufacturing centers, warehouses, regional offices and vendors. We have made a long-term commitment to support our customers for many years to come.


Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle reliabilt® engines are intended to be indistinguishable from genuine, new original equipment parts and components—delivering robust, reliable performance at a tremendous savings. Every reliabilt® engine is dynamometer-tested to validate performance and ensure customer satisfaction. Whenever possible without impacting engine performance, the reliabilt® program provides products that are built to the latest engineering specifications, resulting in uncompromised quality and service life.


Warranty coverage
Our Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle engines are covered by a worldwide 12-month, unlimited miles/hours warranty. New and remanufactured service replacement parts have a 12-month, unlimited miles/hours warranty, which is honored at any authorized MTU service location around the world. Power Protection Plan (P3) extended service plans for remanufactured engines – up to five years/300,000 miles – are also available for purchase.
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  #9  
Old 04-16-2013
Bearmtnmartin Bearmtnmartin is offline
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Just for the record, I know a very good 2 stroke Detroit mechanic with factory training. They are still very common in boats and he is mainly a marine mechanic although living in a farming comunity they fix whatever comes through their door. Also a lot of Detroits in logging equipment around here and I was in his shop a couple days ago and he was putting two big ones together for a helilogging company. But even if you are not in BC, maybe the place to look for a good 2 stroke mechanic is not a truck shop.
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  #10  
Old 04-16-2013
chasbeen chasbeen is offline
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I just had a hard time believing that these engines could be a problem with so many of them around.
I remember the bus lines screaming down highway 34 when I was a kid
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