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Thread: Detroit Series 60 vs. Cummins N14??

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    tcr1016 is offline Rookie
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    Default Detroit Series 60 vs. Cummins N14??

    I am looking at trucks and mainly looking at the engine that is reliable, easy to maintain, and inexpensive parts. No Kitty Cats for me. I have an RV with a Cummins b-Series and simple to work on since it is a 94 mechanical. The engine/ truck will be from the mid to late 90s.

    What engine would those of you prefer and had experience with?? I see the injectors alone on the N14 are an arm and a leg. On my B-series Cummins they are expensive too. But how are the Detroits? I do LOVE the sound of the Series 60. Ahh hell I just love diesel sounds, but not Chevy or Ford.

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    heavyhaulerss's Avatar
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    ser 60 det!!!!!

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    The Detroits I've driven spent a lot of time in the shop. They seemed to have an appetite for injectors, as that's what were (seemed like) constantly being replaced. For my own money, I won't buy a Detroit, because when I'm running my own truck, I need to be on the road, not in the shop.

    The N-14+ (500 hp redhead) I owned had good power, and spent little time in the shop other than oil changes. Yes, I did have a couple of times that it cost me money, but replacing the original air compressor after 800K or replacing the clutch after 750K really doesn't mean there is a weakness in the engine. Yes, I did have to have a front main seal replaced once. By the time I got rid of it, it had over 900K on it. Come to think of it, I did have to replace one injector shortly after I got it. Many times, I've been sorry I don't have it anymore. Who knew how fuel prices were going to go down. Then again, with the EPA regs, maybe it's just as well I don't have it anymore.

    Compared to the Detroit that the company just got rid of, Just this year, it had been in the shop (and I was off work) a total of 9 weeks. It had 534K on it when they got rid of it.
    Destroy the cities...
    and they will rebuild them.
    Destroy the farms...
    and grass will grow in the streets of the cities.

    Destroy the economy of the blue-collar worker...
    and grass will grow in the executive offices.

    The bill has come due.
    ( R E T I R E D , and glad of it)


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    allan5oh is offline Senior Board Member
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    Was it an EGR detroit?

    I'd avoid those like the plague. Anything EGR for that matter.

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    heavyhaulerss is offline Senior Board Member
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    I am just going by my 94 ser 60 1.5 mil & not even an inframe yet. injectors after 1 mil. factory cltuch til 1.1 mil, still org turbo still going everyday. burns & leaks a lil oil, but still has power. 11.1 h.p.

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    I have been around both engines for several years. The Detroits are pretty good engines overall. They will get better fuel mileage on average than an N-14, but the N-14 beats it out in torque and low RPM lugging power, and usually the engine brake is a lot stronger. Pittsburgh Power will tell you that the N-14 is a more solid engine, but that doesn't mean the Detroit is a slacker either. N-14's will tend to be a little pricier for parts than a Detroit. My choice would be for the N-14, but if the price were good, I would have no problem opting for a good Detroit.... specifically the 12.7 pre egr version. Very reliable engine and when matched with good tranny/rearend specs, really good mpg.
    Last edited by Copperhead; 08-05-2009 at 06:44 PM.

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    1997 S60 DDEC III 470 HP is the year the DD techs I know would own, if they were buying one for themselves.
    Lightblue Freightshaker :thumbsup:

    Ontario, Canada

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    Detroit! It's settled. No more opinions, other than detroit !!! This question is closed to other opinions!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by heavyhaulerss View Post
    Detroit! It's settled. No more opinions, other than detroit !!! This question is closed to other opinions!!
    You wish, fool. (flips the bird) (lol)

    The N14 is the most awesome motor I've ever had. The last Detroit I drove ate its turbo after only 60K miles. The N14 could pull Mount Everest out of the ground without complaint. Even set far below its power threshold, I outran owner/ops uphill at 79,580(at least until 68mph).

    N14. There is no substitute.
    No load is worth your life.
    Or anyone else's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gearjammin' Penguin View Post
    You wish, fool. (flips the bird) (lol)

    The N14 is the most awesome motor I've ever had. The last Detroit I drove ate its turbo after only 60K miles. The N14 could pull Mount Everest out of the ground without complaint. Even set far below its power threshold, I outran owner/ops uphill at 79,580(at least until 68mph).

    N14. There is no substitute.
    I take it, you like the n-14 ?

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    Well, a little over a year ago I had absolutely had it with that P.O.S. Turd of a 500 HP Detroit 12.7L. It was a 1997 model. Yanked it out of my truck and dumped it outside after 71,000 miles on a major inframe. Shoveled in a N-14 Red Top 525 HP and absolutely love my truck. LOVE IT. That Detroit was a turd from day one. This Cummins will run all over it. Won't quite get the fuel mileage the Detroit did, but at least I don't have to work on the damn thing. You will have to replace some N-14 injectors now and then. If you have some shop do it on the road, its expensive. But I have my local injector shop do them for about $90 a piece and I do the R&R.
    1999 FL Classic, N14+ 525 hp, RTLO16-9-13A
    1997 Van's Aircraft RV-6, IO-360

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    allan5oh is offline Senior Board Member
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    What went wrong with your detroit? My dad had around 1.5 million miles before the inframe, and the only reason that was done was because the coolant wasn't being changed regularly. Ate a hole through the liner.

    Other then that it was a fantastic motor, only other problem is it started rough in winter.

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    Dejanh is offline BANNED Senior Board Member
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    My head gasket gave way on cylinder#5 even though the truck has 340K miles on it. Where the damage occured there was a little scrach on the head as well so the guys at Detroit Diesel changed the head too even though they didnt have to they said, didnt want to take any chances. It was all warranty so my cost was minimal but if it wasn't it would have been right there at about 4K....

    I had to change my water pump and my starter so far. Everything so far ran me about 1200 for three years since i bought it new.

    I wouldnt know what to recomend, all these newer trucks are junk in my opinion but what choice do we have? I bought that pre EGR engine and I am gonna run it into the ground and even do a overhaul after a while....What i am not doing is buying another ,,new'' truck...or newer for that matter..

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    I would react the same way based on my bad or good experience with something. I know the det's w/ the 500 hp were blowing turbo's like crazy. mine was mfg in 94' titled in 95' 11.1 60 ser & still going well over a mil miles. in cold weather is does shake rattle knock & cough before starting, but after a couple minutes it is fine. my ole dispatcher bought a 200 pete w/ a n-14 cummins red top & after putting a few thousand in new tires, alignment, e.t.c it blew a rod ride thru the side of the block in g.r. MI. I went back with him to haul his truck & trailer back home. as far as the newer engines, or trucks. I dont trust any of them like I do my own. after driving it for over 10 years, I know what to expect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allan5oh View Post
    What went wrong with your detroit? My dad had around 1.5 million miles before the inframe, and the only reason that was done was because the coolant wasn't being changed regularly. Ate a hole through the liner.

    Other then that it was a fantastic motor, only other problem is it started rough in winter.
    Turbo after turbo after turbo after turbo, then head after head after head after head. 6 injectors twice. (didn't need them but was at shops mercy on the road).

    I did drive it 1.2 million miles. Kept losing head gaskets and no one could ever figure out why, not even me. I was an ASE Master Truck Tech for years. It used oil from day one - 1 gallon every 2,000 miles from new and even after the major overhaul. It never ran well - never pulled well and never got any better than 5.6 mpg. Over those miles, I had to replace 9 turbochargers and 2 reman heads and 7 head gaskets. It lost 2 head gaskets and 2 turbos in the first 100,000 miles and Detroit would do nothing about it.

    The big Cummins runs circles around the Detroit and gets 5.5 mpg doing it. I don't run 60 mph - ever, so it could be better. Most of my driving is 75 to 80 mph.
    1999 FL Classic, N14+ 525 hp, RTLO16-9-13A
    1997 Van's Aircraft RV-6, IO-360

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    Dejanh is offline BANNED Senior Board Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandit102 View Post
    It lost 2 head gaskets and 2 turbos in the first 100,000 miles and Detroit would do nothing about it.
    Was it under 500K..

    My Detroit didnt ask any questions, they just got to work.

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    heavyhaulerss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandit102 View Post
    Turbo after turbo after turbo after turbo, then head after head after head after head. 6 injectors twice. (didn't need them but was at shops mercy on the road).

    I did drive it 1.2 million miles. Kept losing head gaskets and no one could ever figure out why, not even me. I was an ASE Master Truck Tech for years. It used oil from day one - 1 gallon every 2,000 miles from new and even after the major overhaul. It never ran well - never pulled well and never got any better than 5.6 mpg. Over those miles, I had to replace 9 turbochargers and 2 reman heads and 7 head gaskets. It lost 2 head gaskets and 2 turbos in the first 100,000 miles and Detroit would do nothing about it.

    The big Cummins runs circles around the Detroit and gets 5.5 mpg doing it. I don't run 60 mph - ever, so it could be better. Most of my driving is 75 to 80 mph.
    If I had this experience with a det. I would never own one again. it appears that whenever something is made with quality, the mfg always finds a way to screw up it's reputation by soon after making inferior parts & products. I still have my original turbo. 98% of my truck components are original. I still get 6-61/2 m.p.g. my truck uses or leaks 3 gal oil in 12,000 miles. but well after a mil miles I cannot complain.

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    kerley is offline Rookie
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    Default N14 swap

    Quote Originally Posted by Bandit102 View Post
    Well, a little over a year ago I had absolutely had it with that P.O.S. Turd of a 500 HP Detroit 12.7L. It was a 1997 model. Yanked it out of my truck and dumped it outside after 71,000 miles on a major inframe. Shoveled in a N-14 Red Top 525 HP and absolutely love my truck. LOVE IT. That Detroit was a turd from day one. This Cummins will run all over it. Won't quite get the fuel mileage the Detroit did, but at least I don't have to work on the damn thing. You will have to replace some N-14 injectors now and then. If you have some shop do it on the road, its expensive. But I have my local injector shop do them for about $90 a piece and I do the R&R.
    What was involved with the change over? Did you have a donor truck with all the electronics? Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by kerley View Post
    What was involved with the change over? Did you have a donor truck with all the electronics? Thanks
    I bought a rolled FLD that was a year older than my truck. It had 940,000 on it and I bought it for $5,500. I did an out of frame on the Cummins, dropped it right in to the Classic and plugged in the wiring harnesses. I had to do a small bit of rewiring to get the cruise and jakes working but that was it. Next summer, I'm going to have to put a bigger radiator in it. I pulled out a 500hp 12.7 Detroit, so the radiator should have been plenty big enough, but its not. I have a hell of a time keeping it cool on a hard pull, I have to just back out of it and run up a hill about half throttle. It still pulls hills faster at half throttle than the Detroit did wide open.

    All in all, it was an easy, direct swap.
    1999 FL Classic, N14+ 525 hp, RTLO16-9-13A
    1997 Van's Aircraft RV-6, IO-360

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    kerley is offline Rookie
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    Default Cummins / Detroit swap

    Quote Originally Posted by Bandit102 View Post
    I bought a rolled FLD that was a year older than my truck. It had 940,000 on it and I bought it for $5,500. I did an out of frame on the Cummins, dropped it right in to the Classic and plugged in the wiring harnesses. I had to do a small bit of rewiring to get the cruise and jakes working but that was it. Next summer, I'm going to have to put a bigger radiator in it. I pulled out a 500hp 12.7 Detroit, so the radiator should have been plenty big enough, but its not. I have a hell of a time keeping it cool on a hard pull, I have to just back out of it and run up a hill about half throttle. It still pulls hills faster at half throttle than the Detroit did wide open.

    All in all, it was an easy, direct swap.
    How about the engine mounts were they the same? Or you swapped them from the fld? Sounds like it wasn't to hard. I was worried I would have to swap the harness from one truck to the other.

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