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bwest
Administrator

United States
2296 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2011 :  7:45:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, after 17 years of this I have my first Cat engine failure. Cat shop told me it has #5 cylinder miss. This was after testing injectors to find they are ok and even swapping 4 & 5 to see if the miss followed. The engine has lots of blow by too. Cat says cylinder is probably scored and will need rebuilt or engine replaced. They have not pulled the pan to see for sure what is going on.

What is your advice to me? I will probably pull the pan myself and see what's up. I will not be doing any of the major repairs myself, I just don't have the time or facility to do it.

As I see it I have a few options. 1) pull engine and bore and sleeve the problem cyclinder, 2) replace entire engine with short or long block, 3) replace engine with used, 4) retire bus and purchase used one to replace it.

The problem with any of these is cost. To pull and rebuild at the Cat dealer (where the rate is $100 per hour) is out of site. I think he said I will have $14,000 in the darn thing no matter what I do there except a used engine.

I noticed the transmission on this bus seems to slip as well so I am thinking either used engine or retire.

Oh yea the bus has about 160,000 miles on it if I recall correctly.

Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
3320 Posts

Posted - 02/23/2011 :  01:57:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I feel your pain. I've felt your pain 4 times actually. Happen to be an '02? In any event I'm betting broken rings and the damage done.

What's sad is you will have $12,000 in a reman if you go the running complete route (I don't think Cat offeres it in this format, more of a Jasper thing last time we had to do one).

I wouldn't even think about buying a used one, it will just do the same thing sooner or later.

My advice, get yourself some quotes then look at the overall bus and decide if it's worth saving. If it were ours, we would have no choice but to fix it. Perhaps you aren't in such a tight situation?
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Wolf0r
Top Member

USA
2179 Posts

Posted - 02/23/2011 :  09:52:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Best, you work for a school corp right? If it's an 02 your corp may retire it soon, I don't know how long you keep them. If it were on my fleet we would probably put a Jasper and run a temp till we got it done. I can get away with running a temp a week or so without the corp raising hell. It depends on if I can buy a used bus cheaper or not. Maybe the boss will sell you one of our route buses if the money is right.

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2296 Posts

Posted - 02/23/2011 :  4:45:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the input guys. We are in a tight situation here in Illinois as well. That is the reason I am looking at used engines and buses. I understand what you are saying about just having the problem again but I also have these engines with over 170,000 miles on them and they seem to be going strong. Wonder what is up with that?

Wolf, we don't have a manditory retirement date here in the People's Republic of Illinois. This thing is a spare, that's the other reason for wanting to go with a used bus. Our administration doesn't care if we run a spare all year long, as long as the kids get to and from school safely.


Bryan
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sambrutay
Advanced Member

United States
235 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2011 :  05:48:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm sure you have a broken ring. Happens quite often. My experience with a Jasper reman is you will continue to have trouble! No luck with the junk they sell. We just had our local cat dealer rebuild a 2004 C7 at the cost of $9600. That included replacing all 6 injectors. Labor rate of $91.00 per hour. I believe we bought a short block for 7400 or so from our Cat dealer not long ago also.

Bruce
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tigger2
Advanced Member

USA
282 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2011 :  05:51:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We have a lot of the cat 3126e and c7 engines in our fleet we started getting the cats with 10 yr major engine warranty. Have had 4 engines rebuilt so far all are scoring #'s 3&4 or 4&5 , to repair block has to come out and be bored and sleeved. Broken rings are always the start of the problem. Oil consumption goes up as does blowby sometimes a miss but not always.
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Wolf0r
Top Member

USA
2179 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2011 :  09:54:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sambrutay

I'm sure you have a broken ring. Happens quite often. My experience with a Jasper reman is you will continue to have trouble! No luck with the junk they sell. We just had our local cat dealer rebuild a 2004 C7 at the cost of $9600. That included replacing all 6 injectors. Labor rate of $91.00 per hour. I believe we bought a short block for 7400 or so from our Cat dealer not long ago also.



Thanks for the heads up on the Jasper replacements. I have been to Whayne supply in Louisville, KY and saw several 3126 being renewed. The rebuild process they use is amazing. Every part is stamped, tagged, cleaned, inspected or replaced if needed.

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2296 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2011 :  10:04:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by tigger2

We have a lot of the cat 3126e and c7 engines in our fleet we started getting the cats with 10 yr major engine warranty. Have had 4 engines rebuilt so far all are scoring #'s 3&4 or 4&5 , to repair block has to come out and be bored and sleeved. Broken rings are always the start of the problem. Oil consumption goes up as does blowby sometimes a miss but not always.



What percentage of your Cat fleet would you say you are having this problem? I'm second guessing everything I know now. Wonder if there is any way to prevent any of this?

Bryan
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Cal Mc
Advanced Member

245 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2011 :  10:43:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit Cal Mc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Excessive idling and/or running to cold seems to be the biggest hazard for these engines.
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
3320 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2011 :  11:15:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Don't stress too much bwest. For some darn reason 160,000 miles seem to be the magic number for these engines around here. A lot of us in the area really, truely thought we were doing the right thing by paying the premium to get the 3126/C7 instead of the ISB. Now we wonder.

Edited by - Thomasbus24 on 02/24/2011 11:15:45 AM
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2296 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2011 :  12:20:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thomasbus24

Don't stress too much bwest. For some damn reason 160,000 miles seem to be the magic number for these engines around here. A lot of us in the area really, truely thought we were doing the right thing by paying the premium to get the 3126/C7 instead of the ISB. Now we wonder.



It's hard to not stress! I have a fleet that is full of these things! I too thought we were in the catbird seat with these engines & the Chevy chassis. I have had very little trouble with them to this point. In my fleet of 17 I have no less than 13 3126/C7 engines. Of those about 3 have over 160,000, 4 right at 120,000 to 125,000 range, about 4 are just under or just over the 100,000 mark, and the remainder are well under 100,000. So yeah, I am stressing!

Bryan

Edited by - bwest on 02/24/2011 2:02:28 PM
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Fastback
Top Member

972 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2011 :  12:56:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A while back someone was wondering why pay extra for a wet sleeve engine.....

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
3320 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2011 :  1:12:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yep, we bought 11 of em, I feel your pain! Hopefully our 7 that haven't been replaced keep on chugging as do your 12!
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Cal Mc
Advanced Member

245 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2011 :  05:22:19 AM  Show Profile  Visit Cal Mc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We have 36 C7/3126 engines. Only the last year of production[2008] have they been a pain. I wish we could get rid of all the new crap and fill the fleet with older Cat/GM units.
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Wolf0r
Top Member

USA
2179 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2011 :  07:43:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bwest

quote:
Originally posted by Thomasbus24

Don't stress too much bwest. For some damn reason 160,000 miles seem to be the magic number for these engines around here. A lot of us in the area really, truely thought we were doing the right thing by paying the premium to get the 3126/C7 instead of the ISB. Now we wonder.



It's hard to not stress! I have a fleet that is full of these things! I too thought we were in the catbird seat with these engines & the Chevy chassis. I have had very little trouble with them to this point. In my fleet of 17 I have no less than 13 3126/C7 engines. Of those about 3 have over 160,000, 4 right at 120,000 to 125,000 range, about 4 are just under or just over the 100,000 mark, and the remainder are well under 100,000. So yeah, I am stressing!



I would run a power balance on the higher mileage engines to see where you are at on cylinder potential. I do this on my fleet and scroll through the history to get an idea on average mileage etc. Do you get your coolant/oil analyzed? I need to send a few samples off myself.

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2296 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2011 :  2:41:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fastback

A while back someone was wondering why pay extra for a wet sleeve engine.....



That would have been me. But I wonder what would be the price of rebuilding one of your 466 engines.

Bryan
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Mechan1c
Top Member

USA
686 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2011 :  6:38:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have yet to go near the block or a head on any of my 3126's. Injector seals, IAPV's and sensors, 1 HEUI pump, and several of the the sensor group tucked in behind the TF750 are about all I've had to do. 192K is the most miles on a 7AS motor...Regular valve adjusts, Mobil ELC, and Delvac1 seem to be all they need. We do oil analysis at each drain and haven't seen any alarming chrome and iron as of yet. Mine are 1998-04's. I hope I didn't just screw that up...knock on wood.
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Fastback
Top Member

972 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2011 :  06:11:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bwest

quote:
Originally posted by Fastback

A while back someone was wondering why pay extra for a wet sleeve engine.....



That would have been me. But I wonder what would be the price of rebuilding one of your 466 engines.



Not sure but it illustrates the advantage of the wet sleeve engine, one to all cylinder liners could be replaced without removing engine from chassis.
At one time we had nearly all wet sleeve engines in my fleet, DT360s and DT466s. We also had a couple of non sleeved Brazillian Fords, guess which engine destroyed a cylinder wall?

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback
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Wolf0r
Top Member

USA
2179 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2011 :  06:21:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mechan1c

I have yet to go near the block or a head on any of my 3126's. Injector seals, IAPV's and sensors, 1 HEUI pump, and several of the the sensor group tucked in behind the TF750 are about all I've had to do. 192K is the most miles on a 7AS motor...Regular valve adjusts, Mobil ELC, and Delvac1 seem to be all they need. We do oil analysis at each drain and haven't seen any alarming chrome and iron as of yet. Mine are 1998-04's. I hope I didn't just screw that up...knock on wood.



I use the CAT ELC and Ursa oil from FS. No major problems yet other than a HEUI pump and a ECM on the worst ones.

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
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JustinB
Advanced Member

United States
490 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2011 :  06:51:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fastback

quote:
Originally posted by bwest

quote:
Originally posted by Fastback

A while back someone was wondering why pay extra for a wet sleeve engine.....



That would have been me. But I wonder what would be the price of rebuilding one of your 466 engines.



Not sure but it illustrates the advantage of the wet sleeve engine, one to all cylinder liners could be replaced without removing engine from chassis.
At one time we had nearly all wet sleeve engines in my fleet, DT360s and DT466s. We also had a couple of non sleeved Brazillian Fords, guess which engine destroyed a cylinder wall?

$s & downtime from the time of authorization of repair are the best method of scorekeeping.

Cat ReCons = http://www.pilotengines.com/servlet/the-Caterpillar-cln-Cat-3126/Categories

I may not know the answer but I can usually find who does.
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sambrutay
Advanced Member

United States
235 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2011 :  07:29:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
out of a fleet of 1187, we have 210 with either 3126E or C7. over the last 2 years we have had 6 Cat engines remaned or replaced. We have had many repaired under warranty also. I do not have the facts and figures on those. 1 in particular was a long block ready to run reman, final cost 17k. Failed 1yr 2m later. lifter wiped the cam. Last DT466e we remaned in house, total cost w/ labor was $3300. done in 3 days. I love a wet sleeve engine.

Bruce
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JustinB
Advanced Member

United States
490 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2011 :  08:38:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh the horror stories & the 1/2 way there's are all out there mucking up the spectrum.
I've seen
- shops spend $3,300 semi-annually on DT HEUI ReMan Injectors, pumps & ECMs too.
- dropped injector tips tearing up cylinder walls
- Lose o-rings every winter.... (The block heater)
- cavitate liners semi-annually.... to the point of no counter-bore remaining (It was a coolant maintenance issue in my mind)
- shops swap ISB long blocks with 2 year coverage in 8 hours downtime @ <$9000. (Bridgeway's parts support is hard to beat)

I may not know the answer but I can usually find who does.
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Wolf0r
Top Member

USA
2179 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2011 :  06:32:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/3126-2V-CAT-CATERPILLAR-REMAN-LONG-BLOCK-ENGINE-/250775895777#shId

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
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Thomas Ford 85-16
Top Member

USA
4165 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2011 :  06:46:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit Thomas Ford 85-16's Homepage  Send Thomas Ford 85-16 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I get a kick out of the website that JustinB posted. An "Add to Cart" button for an $8,000 item, hahaha.
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Wolf0r
Top Member

USA
2179 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2011 :  08:19:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I still have 3x Chevy/3116 temps that run like a champ.

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
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JustinB
Advanced Member

United States
490 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2011 :  09:53:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thomas Ford 85-16

I get a kick out of the website that JustinB posted. An "Add to Cart" button for an $8,000 item, hahaha.



oops!!
If that had been intentional(it wasn't), would that be considered an assumptive close?

I may not know the answer but I can usually find who does.
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2296 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2011 :  4:03:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, I've talked to the local machine shop and I think I'm going to pull the engine and get him to fix that hole and put it back together for me so I can just put it back in without much trouble. Any pitfalls with this idea? Wondering if there might be a snagg I'm not thinking about.

Bryan
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matts4290
Advanced Member

220 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2011 :  4:12:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit matts4290's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Just wondering, do the wet sleeves have better longevity? I understand the difference, but I once noticed a school that had an older all american with the 8.3 cummins, with 320,000 miles. Original motor, and the only heavy engine repair was a head gasket. I haven't seen any 5.9's make it that long in a bus.

We can't all be conventional!
http://www.youtube.com/user/matts4290
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08 Thomas EF
Top Member

526 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2011 :  5:28:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit 08 Thomas EF's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We had a '92 TC make it to around 245k, not sure about engine work... that thing ran so well, so reliably. My former driver and I preferred it to the '01 TC when it was our route bus. Could it have gone another 75k? How would I know... probably not... but it sure seemed like it would.

Edited by - 08 Thomas EF on 03/01/2011 5:28:29 PM
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2296 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2011 :  8:52:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just picked this bus up from the dealer today (this was before the information in the last post) and they tell me that they have not seen a trend (my word) that indicates to them that this problem is going to happen to my other 3126/C7 buses. I hope they are correct.

I will keep everyone posted on what I am doing with this unit. I hope it can help others that encounter this problem. I understand that not everyone has a local machine shop willing to do this (and cheap too). I will have to run this idea past the upper management (super.) to see what he thinks. Has to be a better option than what we have been seeing though. There are some other factors that are unique to our situation that have to be considered as well in order to make the decision. (I can not discuss them here)

BTW, 08 Thomas, did that TC have a 3116 or what? I can tell you that the 16s have had some problems with injectors because I just talked to our local church camp about a bus they bought from us that laid down on them in TN. They found some injectors bad and ended up replacing all of them.

Bryan
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Fastback
Top Member

972 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2011 :  05:26:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bwest

Well, I've talked to the local machine shop and I think I'm going to pull the engine and get him to fix that hole and put it back together for me so I can just put it back in without much trouble. Any pitfalls with this idea? Wondering if there might be a snagg I'm not thinking about.



Sounds like possibly the beginning of one of those where do you stop horror projects.
Depending on the condition of the bus I would lean towards either just installing a reman long block; Pilot- $6700 exchange-free shipping-one year warranty. Or just buying a used bus.

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback

Edited by - Fastback on 03/02/2011 05:26:58 AM
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2296 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2011 :  07:39:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That all sounds logical but I am having trouble finding a used bus around this year model. You are talking $6700 for just the engine correct? Then you have to tear off all the stuff from your old block and put on the new one. Thereby taking the chance that something will not be correct on the new block. Not to mention having trouble (even if it is under warrenty) with the rerman. (fit, correct AR# etc. etc.)

Bryan
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Fastback
Top Member

972 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2011 :  08:45:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well the time and labor to R&R your old engine will be the similar and you could go through all that and what do you have??

How far is your local machine shop gonna go? Complete rebuild? Or just a patch job? Do the head? Bore all cylinders? Turn crank? What are you talking?

Have you considered just dumping this bus and leasing a new one? Seven buses over 120,000 miles? Eleven buses out of 17 over 100,000 miles by school years end? Whats it gonna be like in one, three, five years? 17 bus fleet? At a minimum they need to replace one bus per year, if they've skipped a few years here and there, its payback time.
Yeah I know, times are tough and Illinois is broke but maybe your district needs to figure out priorites and start updating. Replacing this bus would be a good place to start.
Any EPA grant money you can qualify for?

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2296 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2011 :  10:22:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It looks like I will have less than $3000 in it if I go this direction. I think I am willing to take the risk you are talking about to save several thousand. There is also an issue of not being able to find a bus (low milage or otherwise) that is around the same year as this one. With reimbursment down to all time lows we are trying to get buy until we get through this tough spot.

Bryan
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Wolf0r
Top Member

USA
2179 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2011 :  1:16:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I hear ya Best patch that MOFO up and get it back running for now. I patched a 366 gas up with one piston and rod before and it still hauls grain today. Hopefully the cylinder can be saved.

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
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08 Thomas EF
Top Member

526 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2011 :  5:53:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit 08 Thomas EF's Homepage  Reply with Quote
bwest, the TC had a 5.9. I only mentioned that because of Matt saying he couldn't see a 5.9 getting up to an 8.3's 320k miles. I'm sorry to hijack your thread!
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