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1965Dennis

Cat 3126 vs Cummins 8.3

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I had a guy call with a question of engine replacement. He has a 1998 Freightliner FL-60 with contractor dump bed. It has a Cat 3126 now but is getting an apatite for oil. He was asking if I could replace his dead Cat with a Cummins 8.3. He can find a 1998 8.3 used with warranty for a good price. He is currently running an Eaton 9 speed transmission. 

My question, how much would be involved in doing the swap? Both engines are mechanical pumps so no computer to mess with. Both engines can be mated to the transmission easily. 

Might be better finding a used school bus and making a DT466 swap.

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55 minutes ago, 1965Dennis said:

I had a guy call with a question of engine replacement. He has a 1998 Freightliner FL-60 with contractor dump bed. It has a Cat 3126 now but is getting an apatite for oil. He was asking if I could replace his dead Cat with a Cummins 8.3. He can find a 1998 8.3 used with warranty for a good price. He is currently running an Eaton 9 speed transmission. 

My question, how much would be involved in doing the swap? Both engines are mechanical pumps so no computer to mess with. Both engines can be mated to the transmission easily. 

Might be better finding a used school bus and making a DT466 swap.

As long as 8.3 has bell housing. It won’t be bad.

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Right mounts will bolt in then just hook it all back up sure water oil sensors be in different locations by time your done you can overhaul cat and have new motor for same price 

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2 hours ago, Thesd5488 said:

Right mounts will bolt in then just hook it all back up sure water oil sensors be in different locations by time your done you can overhaul cat and have new motor for same price 

Yep local shop had said that for years.  Everytime they had done change brand swap it ended up more than just fixin the oem.  Wiring, cooler lines, wrong brackets etc.  

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8.3 Cummins was an option on these FL80' s so it is a factory swap

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Be thankful you had a decent engine to start with! Company I worked for had a '99 FL-60 or 70 with a Detroit Series 50 engine, a 4 cyl version of the Detroit Series 60 6 cyl. Thing leaked oil bad, vibrated so bad the driver had to open the window and steady the mirror to back into the dock. It was a 4 yr Penske lease truck. It would disappear for service, we'd get a van to use instead of our 24 ft box truck! Might be gone an afternoon, might be a day or more. Next truck I recommended the Navastar, 4700 DT466E powered, it came with air suspension, chrome package, all alloy wheels. Had a upgraded sound system, the driver actually took his breaks IN HIS truck. Truck never needed repair, just servicing for 4 years that they did on-site. I suggested they try to get more highway friendly gears, I didn't run the numbers but it looked like Penske geared it to be a 57 mph truck, I suggested gearing for 70 to keep up with city expressway traffic.

The Freight-Shaker looked 10 years old after 4 yrs and 165,000 miles, the Navistar looked brand new still after 4 yrs and 200,000 miles.

Anyhow, there was an engine option worse than the Cat or Cummins! It was sad, the ONLY time we put more than 10,000# on the Freightliner, heavy steel plastic injection molding dies,  ALL the leaves in the left rear spring broke. Stranded the thing half on a busily traveled road just about in time for afternoon rush hour because the box dropped onto the left side duals. This was a 26,000# rated truck, empty weight around 12,000#. And 11,000# broke it. I was NOT impressed.

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The FL60 is a lot smaller truck then the FL80.  I worked for F/L for 20 years,  never seen a 8.3 Cummins in a FL60.  The FL60's use smaller tires,  truck sits lower to the ground,  cab is mounted closer to the frame rails,  usually only 2 springs on front axle.  Far as I can remember could get a gas 5.9(Dodge),   5.9  Cummins & the 3126 Cat in the FL60's.  The FL60's aren't very nice to work on compared to the FL80's as access to most areas was better because the unit is bigger.  Worked on a few S50 in the FL80's,  it sure filled up the engine bay!  If there is a will there is a way,  not it wont fit.  But the 8.3 is a really tall engine compared to the 3126 or 5.9.  The cab of series of trucks came from Europe,  it was a cab over of some sort.  When you open the doors,  will notice a opening that's curved.  That's where the front tire went. 

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It's been a good 10-15 yrs, but we did a couple Cummins to Cat swaps for a diehard Cat customer. Old Ford and Paccar trucks. When we started out it looked like a pretty easy deal, but once you got into it, they were a real PITA. The engines that went in had not been options in the chassis we put them in, had to fabricate new crossmembers, drill new holes in the frames, had shimming plates made.... and then get all the gauges to function properly. We got it done, but surely didn't make any money on them.

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16 hours ago, redturbo said:

The FL60 is a lot smaller truck then the FL80.  I worked for F/L for 20 years,  never seen a 8.3 Cummins in a FL60.  The FL60's use smaller tires,  truck sits lower to the ground,  cab is mounted closer to the frame rails,  usually only 2 springs on front axle.  Far as I can remember could get a gas 5.9(Dodge),   5.9  Cummins & the 3126 Cat in the FL60's.  The FL60's aren't very nice to work on compared to the FL80's as access to most areas was better because the unit is bigger.  Worked on a few S50 in the FL80's,  it sure filled up the engine bay!  If there is a will there is a way,  not it wont fit.  But the 8.3 is a really tall engine compared to the 3126 or 5.9.  The cab of series of trucks came from Europe,  it was a cab over of some sort.  When you open the doors,  will notice a opening that's curved.  That's where the front tire went. 

Freightliner owners was/is Daimler and they used an existing Merc Benz cab when the FL series trucks were introduced in the 90's. Saved oncrash tests etc when doing a new model and extended their ability to recovery costs on new models

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I know a 3116 isn't the best engine out there, But I'd think you could rebuild yours for about what a used engine would cost. If the 8.3 was equipped with the CAPS fuel system, I'd not even consider it then. A 98 would have to about when they started. Interstate McBee has great engine parts for Cat, Cummins, and Detroits, Navistar, among a few others. 

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21 hours ago, redturbo said:

The FL60 is a lot smaller truck then the FL80.  I worked for F/L for 20 years,  never seen a 8.3 Cummins in a FL60.  The FL60's use smaller tires,  truck sits lower to the ground,  cab is mounted closer to the frame rails,  usually only 2 springs on front axle.  Far as I can remember could get a gas 5.9(Dodge),   5.9  Cummins & the 3126 Cat in the FL60's.  The FL60's aren't very nice to work on compared to the FL80's as access to most areas was better because the unit is bigger.  Worked on a few S50 in the FL80's,  it sure filled up the engine bay!  If there is a will there is a way,  not it wont fit.  But the 8.3 is a really tall engine compared to the 3126 or 5.9.  The cab of series of trucks came from Europe,  it was a cab over of some sort.  When you open the doors,  will notice a opening that's curved.  That's where the front tire went. 

Seems odd, I drove what was at least badged an FL60 roll off truck last summer with the 8.3 & 9 speed.

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Posted (edited)

You very well could of Kevin,  just because I never saw one doesn’t mean they didn’t make them.  Dealership I worked for sold mostly Cat engines in those years.  I have been wrong before & will be again in the future.

 

Yep,  I was wrong.  Sorry to all for incorrect info.  Just found online a FL60 with a 8.3.  

Edited by redturbo
Incorrect info

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5 hours ago, redturbo said:

You very well could of Kevin,  just because I never saw one doesn’t mean they didn’t make them.  Dealership I worked for sold mostly Cat engines in those years.  I have been wrong before & will be again in the future.

 

Yep,  I was wrong.  Sorry to all for incorrect info.  Just found online a FL60 with a 8.3.  

The FL60 I ran had full size rubber and I believe a 35.000# hook lift on it.

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