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Author Topic: Cummins L10 owners, good and bad about the motor?  (Read 24749 times)
Adarian
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« on: January 04, 2010, 12:28:28 PM »

Lots of information about DD engines. I see a few of us have Cummins L10 engines.
What are the good points and bad points about the motor?
Best practices for maintaining it?
Best practices for driving it for fuel economy?

I have only had my bus for 6 months and all seems fine. But I have no idea of what is normal.
I have a leaking fuel pump, coolant leak from a hose that connects the water pump to the thermostat housing and a oil leak that appears to be coming from the top of the oil filter.
The above appear to be easy fixes with the fuel pump being the more costly repair.

Spec on motor
It has the conventional aftercooling system.
270 hp, and I don't recall the torque.
Mechanical






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1978 Gillig 636D
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NLAAF Fitness Bus
Fair Oaks Ca
Melbo
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2010, 01:33:00 PM »

Adarian

Before you tackle that fuel pump get some information from Mike L He had his rebuilt and bumped up his HP if I remember correctly. 

From my experience they are easy to start easy to run easy to cool and not bad on fuel.

The only real headache I had was trying to install a king cruise on the engine.

The air throttle also supplies air to the fuel pump so it is not completely mechanical and the king cruise needs to be attached to the air throttle at the front of the bus.

Now all is well and I have about 25 thousand plus miles on mine.

Melbo
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If it won't go FORCE it ---- if it breaks it needed to be replaced anyway
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luvrbus
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2010, 01:41:53 PM »

L 10's are like any other engine depends on the way maintenance was done, to me they are a dog for power but did get fair fuel mileage and they have their share of problems .  


good luck
« Last Edit: January 04, 2010, 01:44:04 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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Melbo
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2010, 01:47:06 PM »

Clifford

I agree that they don't have as much power as some might like but it is WAY better than my 8V71 and spicer were. ( I have a hp590 ZF four speed ) As of yet I haven't taken it drag racing but I have driven it over some 12000 foot mountains and a couple of times over Raton Pass. Does just fine once it finds it's speed.

Looking forward to meeting you at Qzite.

Melbo
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If it won't go FORCE it ---- if it breaks it needed to be replaced anyway
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2010, 01:50:03 PM »

Melbo, did Gray Benett in Vegas do that setup for you ?



good luck
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2010, 01:59:38 PM »

Gary and Dan in Las Vegas

About three years ago I think

Melbo
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If it won't go FORCE it ---- if it breaks it needed to be replaced anyway
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2010, 03:38:41 PM »

Clifford,

So what is the BEST engine in the 350HP realm in terms of power and then economy?  Fresh out of the box.....mechanical and then electronic?

Thank you,

John
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Tom Y
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2010, 05:15:51 PM »

Adarian, There are a few on this board ( L10 owners ). Does yours have a turbo? If not and you want more power a M11 will bolt up if your tranny will handle the torque. My L10 is new, less than 5k on it and electronic. 330HP and 1250 ftlbs of torque. I was hoping to do better than 10mpg and have not made it yet. Some don't like Cummins, some do. I know when I start mine in the morning I am not ashamed to walk outside while it warms up.  What model bus do you have?   Tom Y
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Tom Yaegle
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2010, 11:39:09 PM »

While the L10 is a mechanical engine with 330hp being at about the top of its' horsepower output, the M11 and ISM are virtually the same engine from the outside, but have the capability to go to 500hp and 1550lb/ft torque for motorhome use.  Used with an Allison 4000 series, would make for a nice hotrod.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
mikelutestanski
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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2010, 05:45:29 AM »

Hello:   I support melbo with all his comments. My L10 is 1994 Cpl which is a transit @270HP 860 ft lbs torque@1300 (factory specs) ; with an allison B400R computer tranny. I did have the pump rebuilt by pittsburg injector for 580 dollars (I removed the pump) . They added 20% to the pressure curve and it produces around 300 hp.THe engine is slightly overfueled by that I mean it is more smoky at light loads and when starting out. but the mileage is the same at both hps   I average 7.4 so far.  ANd there are times when the power is nice.  
   It is interesting to note that at last years rally Mr Russell from Russell diesel service NC predicted that the fuel pump would leak because of the new fuel and low and behold 6 monthes later it did. I happenend to be in the pittburg area so had the repairs done .
THey also added some Rs to the engine it tops out with 210 psi @ 2200 rpms.   MY turbo probe is in the exhaust manifold and the only caution is to not get to 1200   so far I have only seen 1100 and When I do I back it down.   It generally runs 950 to 1050 aprox.

     The B400r is a 6 speed double overdrive  with a 4.6 rear . It likes to run at 1700 in my opinion so in 6th it is @ 70 mph. In 4th it maxes out @56 @2100.
      The newer computer engine has more hp and the engines are slightly taller. approx 2 inch . I think the THe setup that TomY is about the best you can do with the L10.   My setup is older technology with slightly lesser efficiency.
    As far as cooling the MCI 7 radiators are handling everything just fine even with the transmission retarder.
 
           FWIW  and this info is from my limited bus experience.....  
    Cheers and happy bussin  .
     Mike
    
« Last Edit: January 05, 2010, 06:15:17 AM by mikelutestanski » Logged

Mike Lutestanski   Dunnellon Florida
  1972 MCI 7
  L10 Cummins  B400R  4.625R
Adarian
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2010, 09:23:02 AM »

Motor has a turbo.
The fuel pump started leaking a month after I purchased it.
The previous owner was running fuel that was at least 2 years old in it. He maybe drove it 200 miles in 2 years.
The fuel pump leaks right at the throttle shaft lever. a slow drip.
Cpl is 774
I have an 88 Flx Metro with an engine build date of 12 july 1989 and warranty start date of oct 1989.
LTA10-BUS (270)
Voith 3 speed transmission

The bus does not tow anything and does 65 to 70 on the hwy and did 45 up the grapevine.
There is not much in the bus except for 2 treadmills and seating for 9 people. It does not carry much of a load.
But if I can get more power with a fuel pump rebuild, I will take it, if fuel use does not go up.
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1978 Gillig 636D
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Tom Y
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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2010, 02:10:21 PM »

Adarian, What is the Voith top ratio? 1 to 1 ? What is the rear end ratio? My L10 is set at 2000rpm, and I have a 1 to 1 top end Allison with 3.38 rears. I would not worry about the old fuel.  Tom Y
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Adarian
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« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2010, 04:29:39 PM »

I don't know about the rear end ratio.
3rd gear is 1:1
I wasn't worry about the old fuel. I think that the new fuel started the fuel pump leak.
I think the data plate said 2100 rpm
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1978 Gillig 636D
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gus
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« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2010, 07:26:28 PM »

I helped a buddy drive his 18 wheeler with this engine a few years ago and this engine never gave us a bit of trouble in many hundreds of thousands of miles. It already had 500K+ miles when he got it.

It was developed by Cummins as a fuel miser and didn't have a bunch of HP but plenty of torque and we only had a 9sp trans for it hauling 80K lb loads.

I would think it would be an ideal engine for a bus with the proper transmission/rear end combination.

It isn't as smooth as a DD 2 stroke though but has nice lugging torque.
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« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2010, 04:34:51 AM »

A local trucking firm here ran them also. They gave me a junk engine ( the crank broke at # 3 throw ) but they drove it back to the shop. They then went to the M11 ( as they bought trucks ) then to the Mercedes and now are back to Cummins. The broken crank was one of the few problems they had, and the only bad crank.  Tom Y
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« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2010, 05:18:11 AM »

Wow must be a different L10 they used in the trucks than buses like the Van Hool, Eagle and the transits.
They are a good engine but nothing special .
FWIW the cranks were a major problem for the L10 CNG engines even with the lower compression of the gas version

good luck
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« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2010, 06:38:31 AM »

They ran 6 71s before the L10 and were happy with the change. I think this was the only major engine failure in the fleet. It was a 330hp electronic motor the same as mine. My son and a freind tore the engine down and took it to school for a drafting class. They drew up most of it, so it was a good project. I still have the head here but most of it went to the scrap yard.   Tom
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« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2010, 06:07:20 PM »

The only engine Cummins ever made that was not so good was a V8 which was a 903 or something like that.

All the inlines are very good, maybe the best made, especially the 855 ci series.
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« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2010, 06:33:09 PM »

Gus, I will agree with you on 855 but when they changed that engine over to N-14 it had major problems and Cummins has depleted a 75 million dollar warranty reserve on their new engine line they are not that great of a engine now.
The smalls ones like Case helped develop like in the Dodges trucks are ok.I am not bad mouthing Cummins the L 10 was a descent engine but no way is going to pull 80,000 # for 700,000 miles just won't happen and FWIW I have seen those 903 V8's in equipment give good service like  10,000 to 15,000 hrs



good luck
« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 06:36:29 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2010, 07:30:52 AM »

Hello:    I believe and I may be wrong but Cummins stated that the L10 series was billed as an engine to pull approx 45000 lbs  or a medium duty engine. I don't believe it was ever billed for 80000 lbs.   The N14 on the other hand was an 80K lb motor.
   According to some of the truck sites I have previewed it takes approx 230hp to pull an 80k truck flat with no wind so when you add accessories and wind and road friction and, and, and, you need more hp   how much depends on many factors ,and your foot, and what you want the truck to do .
    My point is a 270hp to 330 hp engine is barely adequate for what trucks are doing now.  Possibly back in the 50s and 60s with 55 mph speeds and roads what they were that hp range was adequate.   
    FWIW 
   regards and happy bussin   mike
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Mike Lutestanski   Dunnellon Florida
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« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2010, 08:13:50 AM »

I argee with you Mike I am not the one that said a L10 would last for 700,000 miles pulling 80,000# read the post by Gus he said it, they were never design for heavy highway trucks

good luck
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« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2010, 10:02:24 AM »

Works for me as my bus doesn't pull a load. I think the weight is around 26k, as I have no seats. The two treadmills together weigh 400 lbs and max load of nine people is about 2000 lbs. Add a full tank of fuel at 1350 lbs. I might be at 30k lbs

I should be good to go.
Anyone know why they had problems with the cranks?
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« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2010, 10:38:49 AM »

I did not know they did. I had one (engine) given to me that had a broken crank. It was the only one I heard of. They had a truck roll over going to the plant last year that lost a load, not sure if it was cranks. The plant is 20 miles from me.   Tom Y
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« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2010, 10:45:05 AM »


FWIW the cranks were a major problem for the L10 CNG engines even with the lower compression of the gas version

good luck

So was it just the CNG version, that had crank problems?
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« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2010, 10:57:06 AM »

Tom, all I was ever told is that people turn the RPM up for more power and the cranks breaks or throws a rod and that was at Cummins in Houston from a friend that is manger there.
Cummins is great about telling you what problems their engine have and what the lifespan of the engine will be at what weight


good luck
« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 11:02:00 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2010, 04:35:22 PM »

The International 9670 I drove had an L10 290 Cummins and always hauled the max, 80K lb. We hauled all around AR and to TN and TX, mostly over narrow two lane roads in the hills. Not my favorite kind of driving.

We hauled eggs, before that it hauled blasting sand for about 500K mi. I figured out one day we were hauling 250,000 eggs per load. That would have made a really big omelet if we had capsized!

The guy who owned the sand business was a cheapo, he never spent a penny more than necessary on his tractors. He got the L10s because they were easy on fuel.

The engine had never was never overhauled. It is now hauling a dump trailer once in a while, but is essentially retired.

It never failed to start in cold or hot weather on the first crank. I loved that engine even if it was underpowered for the job. A better trans would have helped. It never once failed us.
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« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2010, 04:44:50 PM »

The only engine Cummins ever made that was not so good was a V8 which was a 903 or something like that.

All the inlines are very good, maybe the best made, especially the 855 ci series.

Hey if we're talking about lame Cummins engines, let us not forget the 265hp triple nickle (555)
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« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2010, 04:46:00 PM »

Hello:    I believe and I may be wrong but Cummins stated that the L10 series was billed as an engine to pull approx 45000 lbs  or a medium duty engine. I don't believe it was ever billed for 80000 lbs.   The N14 on the other hand was an 80K lb motor.
   According to some of the truck sites I have previewed it takes approx 230hp to pull an 80k truck flat with no wind so when you add accessories and wind and road friction and, and, and, you need more hp   how much depends on many factors ,and your foot, and what you want the truck to do .
    My point is a 270hp to 330 hp engine is barely adequate for what trucks are doing now.  Possibly back in the 50s and 60s with 55 mph speeds and roads what they were that hp range was adequate.   
    FWIW 
   regards and happy bussin   mike

Back in those days the weight was more like 73,280 or something...less than 80K anyway. My first truck had a 220 in it!
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« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2010, 05:02:43 PM »

Yea DG but that old NH 220 was a horse in it's day 12.2 L my dad had 220's in his Autocars and NH 250's in the cab overs Freightliners

good luck
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« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2010, 09:19:06 PM »

Gus,

is essentially retired...It never failed to start

Machines like that work there way into my heart, also.  I got one now that is 37 years old and thinks it is brand new.

Thanks for sharing,

John
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"An uneducated vote is a treasonous act more damaging than any treachery of the battlefield.
The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
—Pla
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