If you enjoy this web site, please show your support.

If you enjoy this web site, please show your support.

Truck Driving Jobs

Author Topic: Caterpillar C15 experiences.  (Read 34612 times)

HC

  • Guest
Caterpillar C15 experiences.
« on: November 07, 2006, 08:58:48 AM »
Cat C18 630hp had a lot of reliability problems around here, and they are replacing them with C15 and C13 engines. Share your experiences about their reliabilty or problems. I've never got to test a Cat powered Sisu, and all Scania drivers are allways flaming Cat engines so I wanna know better  :lol:

Hank's Truck Forum

Caterpillar C15 experiences.
« on: November 07, 2006, 08:58:48 AM »

road.rascal

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2119
Re: Caterpillar C15 experiences.
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2006, 12:24:43 PM »
well im a CAT FREAK !!!!! so ofcourse ill say the cat is a better engine, but id take an older eninge over these new chip ones, the 3406B is my  favorite all time engine

Cookieman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 519
Re: Caterpillar C15 experiences.
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2006, 11:02:18 AM »
i had a c15 in my kenworth banana wagon. it was hooked up to a 10 speed automatic and castrated quite a bit. the c13's and manuals pulled hills better and used 80 to 100 liters less fuel in a 900 mile round trip. could have been the tranny alot though...

SYKO

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 349
Re: Caterpillar C15 experiences.
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2006, 06:25:19 AM »
I have a 3406 manual 425 hp in my 93 pete; with 903,500 miles on it. it's never been rebuilt and still pulls like a champ & gets 5.2 to 5.9 mpg.if you do maintenance and replace accessories (water pump, turbo, alternater, etc.) at regular recommended mileage or hour intervals, and dont abuse them they will provide years of reliable sevice
I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed,
briefed, debriefed, or numbered!
my life is my own, I am a free man!

road.rascal

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2119
Re: Caterpillar C15 experiences.
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2006, 06:28:14 AM »
3406 is an awesome engine, i dont know much about the E but the B model was a hard working and sure ran with the big dogs

Wee Willy

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3365
Re: Caterpillar C15 experiences.
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2007, 04:24:01 AM »
I guess Cat has their problems like everyone else, but being a die hard Cat guy, I would say not as many problems as other manufacturers have had over the years, and the ones that I drove, overall, were really tough, and durable engines, that gave great service to their owners.
Then again, the truck is only as good as the nut behind the wheel, unless you get a real lemon.

First Cat I drove, was a 1693 PCTA, 425 HP, in a buddies 76 -77 KW COE, and I knew right away, that I was driving a legend.
It rattled and clattered when there was no load on it, or at idle, (PC injection), and when you squeezed the pedal, it went whoosh, got quiet, and the turbo sang a sweet, sweet song, as you drove by your compadres,and everything else, going up a hill, or in a wind.

Since then I've driven, 360 HP and 375 HP 3406 PCTA's, 3406 DITA's, A & B engines, 380 HP, 400 HP, and 425 HP, and 3408 PCTA, and 3408 DITA, both 450 HP.   
Some of these engines were turned up, way up, and every 250,000 to 300, 000 miles, you would pull the oil pan, and head, check the turbo, injectors, pistons, bearings,rings, etc, and if everything looked good, button her up, and get back at it, till the next time.
It was fairly common, relative to the competition, to see a Cat go 600,000 to 1,000,000 miles, at a time when 350,000 was normal, before they needed an in frame.
 
More recently, (2000), I did a few trips in a W900L, part of a small fleet at that time, with 10 KW's, and ten Pete's, all with C-15 550 HP Cats, Super 13's, and 3:25 gears.
(sing ZZ Top song, "She's got legs....., she knows how to use them")

Aside from the computer, it's still a snarly, growly old Cat, that pulls like Jack the Bear..
(the fleet average, is around 7 mpg cdn, unheard of in the past)

I have always said, since the first time I drove one, and at this point, always will say, "nothing pulls like a Cat."

Hey, I'm open minded, and if a Scania will outperform, and outlast a Cat, then Scania Rules, and Cat drools!
(but I doubt it)
The first rule of the road is:
"If anything can happen, at any time, it will!"

HC

  • Guest
Re: Caterpillar C15 experiences.
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2007, 10:18:55 AM »
CAT isn't known around here, but I bet everyone knows it's reputation in USA. Cat C18, I heard it had a lot of problems, one C18 powered timber truck from here had it's third engine when they sold it just under 350 000 miles. I guess CAT discontinued it because it isn't on SISUs enginelist anymore, maybe it was just somesort of prototype.

Wee Willy

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3365
Re: Caterpillar C15 experiences.
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2007, 02:04:48 PM »
Hmmm........, made a mistake.
I never drove a C-15, make that a 3406E, I suppose?



The first rule of the road is:
"If anything can happen, at any time, it will!"

SEMI-CRAZY

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 349
  • "Fuel Mileage King"....lol
Re: Caterpillar C15 experiences.
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2007, 05:30:49 PM »
Was it the 3406E with the "High Torque" option?

I still can't get past the gear ratios 325's :-o

You would most likely have to running pretty well 80mph in high gear or you'd stall it :-D

Just never really understood gear ratio's that low :|

Wee Willy

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3365
SEMI-CRAZY
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2007, 01:48:04 AM »
Quote
Was it the 3406E with the "High Torque" option?
I don't think so, not sure.

Quote
I still can't get past the gear ratios 325's
Quote
You would most likely have to running pretty well 80mph in high gear or you'd stall it

The trucks had 22.5 low pro tires, to pull high volume trailers, and at around 110 km/h, 68 - 70 mph, you were running around 1200-1250 RPM, and 1450 - 1500 was the max RPM, which varied, depending on what gear you were in.

The brothers who ran them, were given/sold/leased/loaned the equipment, by Cat, to do their own programming.
Most were set to run at 110 km/h with the cruise on, with a short burst for passing, where you could get up to 1400- 1450 RPM.
With all the torgue these things make, you can live in that narrow RPM band pretty comfortably, they go the same speed, all day long, up hills, down hills, on the flats, in a wind, and every once in awhile, you shift a gear or two.

Quote
Just never really understood gear ratio's that low
The purpose of a gear that low, is really for fuel economy.
The idea is to pick a road speed, and then gear your truck to run at the rpm where peak torque, and maximum fuel economy occur.

You can consider the height of the tire, as a part of the gear ratio formula, as well.
On those low pro tires, the truck probably runs about the same speed as you would with 3:55 gears, on tall tires.
If you go to roadranger.com, there's a road speed calculator, somewhere on the site, and you can try different tire sizes and ratios, and sort of get a better idea of what I'm trying to say.

A few of the trucks are opened up, to 2000 - 2100 RPM, but only trusted employees, and the boss, drive these trucks.
These pull a bit better, and they go a little faster. but they also seemed to respond differently as well, closer to what a mechanical engine would feel like.

I don't know if it's possible to program the feel of the throttle, but knowing these guys,I suspect they've been playing with the computer tuning equipment, and optimized the response.

Can anyone add any light on the tuning variables of electronic engines.
I hate most of them cause the throttles feel, "kinda like steppin on a plum", and that ever annoying delay before the jake kicks in, makes me crazy!!!!!!!! :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x

PS
Hank, if you read this, I'm going to shoot the 62 KW today.

 

The first rule of the road is:
"If anything can happen, at any time, it will!"

SEMI-CRAZY

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 349
  • "Fuel Mileage King"....lol
Re: Caterpillar C15 experiences.
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2007, 11:22:59 AM »
Thanks for the info :wink:

I understand the concept of how it works, just as you stated the margin for error there is just non existant. If you encountered any type of grade you would be reaching for that thing almost immediately.

I guess it all depends on what area your running in as well, if your running across the praries i guess you don't have to worry about too many hills :wink:

On the other hand if your going through the rockies I would suspect a set of 325's just isn't going to cut it :wink:

2spot

  • Guest
Re: Caterpillar C15 experiences.
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2007, 02:31:55 PM »
I've only had my Cat C-15 for 8800 km. but I like it a lot. You dont really notice it on flat ground but point it uphill and it comes alive. I've heard some of the knocks against them but I think they put products like this to market before they're completely sorted out. A friend has an earlier C-15 bridge engine and it has been a headache. On the other hand, the jake brake on these isnt nearly as good as the Detroit Series 60 so theres improvement to be made there.
I still like the Cat brand and still have my older star with a 3306 and no jake. It needs one.

ph4nth0m

  • Guest
Re: Caterpillar C15 experiences.
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2007, 05:45:24 PM »
I think yellow engines are best...I drove a 3406 550hp for a while, probably the one I loved most...followed by the C-15.

Only I think that Cat engines with eaton autoshifts or ultrashifts works damn bad, I prefer cummins which works very well with automated trannys

special k

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 227
Re: Caterpillar C15 experiences.
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2007, 01:13:46 PM »
A C-15 is an updated 3406E i have a 2000 Pete and it's considered a 3406E but there's some 2000's with  C-15's in them. THey had a problem with cams in those years and injector tips but they usually went early when the engine was under warranty. The later ones ran warmer and didn't get the fuel mileage of the pre 2000's. The only reason for the tall gearing was fuel mileage. When they to the bridge motors and the twin turbo's with the same gearing as they always used the mileage was horrendous so they dropped the rpm's way down. Thats fine for tandem guys but multi-axle guys need the power so they end up running half a gear down a lot. My truck gets 5.5mpg with a Pittsburg Power box pulling a 6 axle with 5' boards grossing 137,000lbs.
TOUGH TIMES DON'T LAST, TOUGH PEOPLE DO!!!  Trojan SCD

2spot

  • Guest
Re: Caterpillar C15 experiences.
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2007, 04:48:39 PM »
Maybe off topic but my dad has two gravel trucks with Series 60 and Allison automatics and they work excellent. I dont know anyone with a Cat / Allison automatic so I cant comment on that.

Hank's Truck Forum

Re: Caterpillar C15 experiences.
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2007, 04:48:39 PM »

Truck Driving Jobs