c 12 cat reliabilty and longevity - The Combine Forum

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-04-2010, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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c 12 cat reliabilty and longevity

been looking for a semi for some time don't have a whole lot of experience with class 8 trucks and looking for some insight with help of choosing motors. We will be pulling a 40-43 foot hopper trailer have mostly flat to gently rolling terrain wanting a super 10 to a 13 spd tranny in like a day cab t-800 , smaller pete, or maybe a freightliner. I've found a few nice truck for decent price with c-12 cat motors and i know nothing about these wondering what kind of luck everyone has with them and how they seem to hold up. The truck wont get lots of miles each year so fuel isn't a huge issue. If they aren't reputable some recomendations would be appreciated. thanks

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 08:44 AM
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Re: c 12 cat reliabilty and longevity

we run alot of semi trucks and do many things with them. my opinion would be 9 or 13 speed.as far as c12 or 3406 i would probably lean towards 3406e. both are good motors but you never know in future what you may be wanting to do with truck. one thing i would make sure that you go with big enough power .you can always use power . i am not a big fan of super 10 so i would probably always say 9 or 13 with them you have the low hole for pulling out of the field. any other questions let me know. thank you and good luck

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 01:08 PM
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Re: c 12 cat reliabilty and longevity

I have one truck with a C12, a 1998 Pete 378 13 spd transmission. Seems to be a good engine. No problems with the motor, some with the Pete truck itself (wiring issues). It doesn't burn any oil, and its been quite a while since a rebuild. The Jakes are the best I have seen in a Cat motor. I think it is rated at 431 hp, however its not the same as my 425hp 3406 in my Kenworth. It won't lug up hills like the 3406 will. I pull a Merritt hopper trailer tandem axle with it mostly. The biggest trailer I would go with that truck is a tridem axle, I would not hook a Super B behind it, it wouldn't hold 100 km/h on the highway loaded.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 05:49 PM
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Re: c 12 cat reliabilty and longevity

I run a Freightliner daycab with a C-12 and 10 spd. The C-12 is pretty bullet proof of an engine I have run others in the past with no major problems. You do need to be patient with it though. I have 350 hp and at 85000 it can take me 3 mi. to get up to 65mph. As far as the 10 Spd. goes I love it. 1 is plenty slow enough to get going and you can shift right up from there. The 10 may be more limiting if you want to up the horsepower due to lower ratings than some of the 9/13spds.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 12:17 PM
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Re: c 12 cat reliabilty and longevity

Don't be afraid of a C12. Dragged 33 ton of wheat up to the hills the other day, the wee kitty just gets into it. Only difference is everyone runs 18 speeds over here even the jappas. Even the rattle at idle grows on you after a while. Anyway recomend a c12 to anyone. Would love to run a c15 By the way 33 ton is slightly illegal. .
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-10-2010, 06:51 PM
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Re: c 12 cat reliabilty and longevity

I worked as a truck engine tech for a cat dealership and will say go ahead for the c12. They seem to usually be good for about 850K to 1000000 miles before an inframe. However I have seen more C12s come in with hole in the block than 3406E-C15 engines. the C12 won't have as low of a torque curve but will roll out on the top end if you can talk a mechanic into putting in injector trim codes from a marine engine. My only suggestion is to stay away from cat acert engines, they don't put down the claimed power as the older ones and plain and simple just have more stuff to screw up in the head, "and it will".
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