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Author Topic: I have decided to start the search for a series 50 for a repower  (Read 3852 times)
RickB
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« on: July 13, 2008, 11:05:58 AM »

Where should I look and what can I expect once I start the repower? Any ideas... suggestions?
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H3Jim
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2008, 11:12:48 AM »

One source, although I don't know if they will talk to a private individual or not.  Portland, Wholesale Truck Parts 1-800-547-1315  They do a lot of takeout engines.

Here is one they have right now.  What part of the country are you in?

   $5,750 OR 
     
Series 50 DDEC III, 315HP, Jake Brake, Super Condition. 
WHOLESALE TRUCK PARTS INC
Phone: (503)288-6333
Fax: (503)288-6337
« Last Edit: July 13, 2008, 11:18:19 AM by H3Jim » Logged

Jim Stewart
El Cajon, Ca.  (San Diego area)

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Blacksheep
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2008, 11:48:24 AM »

Your making a big mistake if you don't talk to Jack or Jerry Campbell who frequent here and there often! They have recently done a couple!
BS
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makemineatwostroke
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2008, 04:31:44 PM »

RickB,do a lot of research before buying a series 50 engine parts are getting hard to get.In El Paso the transit system is replacing all series 50 engines with the Cummins 8.9 (not that they are better) but for the parts supply call your DD dealers talk to the shop foreman and service writer and ask questions about the engine.The balance shafts and the oil pump are going to fail the question is when a little of your time may save you some big heartaches
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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2008, 05:52:27 PM »

Rick, as has been mentioned, do a lot of homework.  Most of the Eagle folks go for the Cummins M11/ISM.  They are much easier to find.  It fits pretty easily in an Eagle without raising the bed.  Not sure about all MCIs.

Brian Diehl did a Cummins ISM Eaton AutoShift in an MCI9.  He has done a fantastic job of documenting his project:  http://home.earthlink.net/~diehls0792_1/BusSection10.html

That page contains the information he posted here.  The following are a few of the threads (so that you can get a flavor of the replies).  These are only a few of the threads:
http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=6005.0
http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=5082.msg47035#msg47035
http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=8873.msg87910#msg87910
http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=5041.msg46589#msg46589
http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=4402.msg40490#msg40490
and my favorite:  http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=3470.msg31270#msg31270

I think Brian is on the road right now, but he may have some input when he returns.


The biggest issue you will face is the gearing.  You will not be happy with the 8V71 gearing unless you like to drive at 60 MPH.  The four strokes want to run in the 1300 to 1500 range.

You will also have to do the electronics conversion.  That is not a huge issue if you have detailed manuals.

You will note that both Brian and I made the conversions because of issues with our two stroke engines.  There are lots of threads that really ask a person to really think about an engine swap and how you will justify it.  You will almost certainly not justify it on fuel mileage, but with fuel costs what they are today, the extra mileage makes you feel better Grin.  In my Eagle with the Series 60 I got 7.7 MPG for a bit over 40K miles.  This trip I slowed from 68 to 63 and have gotten 8.4 over so far (1600 miles).

If your engine is shot, you can make a financial argument for changing the engine.  If you do the work, you will be in the $15K range if you change the transmission (you really should go to an over drive trans).  If you pay someone to do the work, you will be about $40K into the job. 

My bus project pages (see signature), I have documented some of the non-obvious sub-projects in the conversion.

Sorry to ramble, but this is not a project for the faint of heart Shocked

Jim

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Jim Shepherd
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2008, 06:08:33 PM »

I have just done this in Jan. It is the best thing that I have done to the bus. I was getting 4.5 with the 6/92 to 9.2 with the 50. DD has all the parts on hand here in Charlotte NC.because most are the same as the 60.  But I don't think I will need them. The only thing is that I really have to change the oil because I have not Really used any in 6000 miles Not one qt. I have 325 Hp@ 1100 Ft # tor. With the 102A3 used one rad. on the left side and the right side has the air cooler. Now we did put in a 6 speed and a 4/12 .                                    And you do not have to rise the bed to do this in the eagle. Talk to Jack Campbell
« Last Edit: July 13, 2008, 06:16:00 PM by Jerrry@nc » Logged
makemineatwostroke
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2008, 06:55:29 PM »

RickB,talk to the guys that repair the 50 series every day,I just spent 4 days in El Paso they have 8 city transit bus buses with the 50 series in the shop now,you can not get a block which is destroyed when the balancers break and John Deere refuses to manufacture any more heads for the 50 series. DD wants that engine gone there was a reason it was taken out of production but you be your own judge.Here is a phone number for Stewart and Stevenson in El Paso speak to Edmond in service he will tell you the facts 1-915-791-4202.I am not bad mouthing DD I worked for the people for 40 years and I know a little about the 50 series. FWIW the 50 series we installed for Greyhound in the MCI's 9 of the engines were replaced in less than 200,000 miles 

Rv_safetyman you can buy low clearance valve covers for the 50 and 60 series engine to get the extra clearance the 50 and 60 series are the same height and width

   
Good luck
« Last Edit: July 13, 2008, 07:42:19 PM by makemineatwostroke » Logged
TomC
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2008, 08:27:32 PM »

I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU NOT USE THE SERIES 50!!!  While it sounds good on paper, it is a tall block engine, parts are getting harder to find, and the gear train to run the oil pump with the two balancers running off of the pump are weak and break often.  Please reconsider using a Cummins ISM that can easily get 400hp and 1550 lb/ft torque (the Series 50 maxes out at 350hp and 1150lb/ft), the ISM is used in trash trucks with the Allison HD4060 world transmission, so it is easy to find in a junk yard; the Cummins ISM is still being made and is going to be made at least till 2010;  it is considerable lower than the Series 50, although about 8" longer.
Another engine I would use is the Cummins ISL at 425hp and 1200lb/ft torque.  It is about 500lb lighter than the Cummins ISM or the Detroit Series 50 or 6V-92TA, and you can use the lighter and cheaper Allison MD 3066 or 3000HS behind it.  The Cummins ISL can be equipped with a Jake brake.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2008, 09:31:50 PM »

Wow funny this should come up. Just last week I asked a family member (thru marrage) who works at Stewart Stevenson down in Houston what the chances were of getting our hands on a good used "take out" 50 or 60 series engines He laffed hard and said there are some local used truck parts places that snap up the 60 series ones before they hit the shop for the swap. He then went on to say that there just wasn't anyway for anyone to get the 50's as they are required by Detroit to bust the blocks and take pics of it and the engine serial # to send into Detroit to prove it's been done before they can get paid! He said exatly what Mike & TomC said above about them being a poor design and that DDC was trying to get rid of them as fast as possible! FWIW Grin  BK  Grin
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RickB
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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2008, 08:33:16 AM »

Well, as usual you guys got me thinking.... The only motor that would seem viable is the series 50. It would go in easier than any other electronic engines. It would almost double my gas mileage. It would be the least costly to accomplish. But then there's that pesky design flaw. The thought of changing my motor is daunting to say the least,  but making major structural changes to fit a cummings or a cat just makes it seem like I'd be better off driving my 8v71 into the ground. I really would like to make an affordable change but when guys start saying it would cost 25-40k I can't comprehend who among us, with kids college and retirement plans, has that kind of money for a repower. It seems that making those kind of investments into wants not needs completely removes all viability of owning a bus at all. We travel and make a large part of our income in our bus, but always with the assumption that even with todays diesel prices, at the end of the day the math says that it is still cheaper than flying, renting a car, getting hotels, eating at restaurants, etc..  but when you start overloading the equation with 40-50k repower investments in buses that are clearly on their way out in todays "green at the expense of reason" national creed, it all adds up to the possibility that one day the only bus conversion company in business will be Marathon. I can't tell you how much the idea that only the uber rich will one day own buses sickens me...It seems everytime I get up the nerve to start looking, I find a miilion reasons to not do this, to take the 40 mile an hour hilltops and the inability to run my bus air whenever I want and write them off as inconveniences, not worth changing. Frustrated and a bit discouraged here guys...
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« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2008, 08:53:04 AM »

Rick-I'm sure you've read about me turbocharging and adding air to air intercooler to my 8V-71.  While I had the injectors increased from 65-75 to make 375hp and 1125lb/ft torque, you could keep the 65 injectors, and use the turbocharging as a way to get better fuel mileage.  Plus any driving in altitude would maintain power a keep smoke to a minimum.  I highly recommend you look into it, possibly calling Don Fairchild in Bakersfield, Ca. for advise.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2008, 09:02:44 AM »

There is also the option of adding a turbo to your existing 8v71 & limiting the boost to 5psi.  Shocked
You don't have to rebuild the engine to turbo specs if the boost is low.  Cool
There are some who have done this & love the results. - You just have to keep in mind what you have & not ask too much from it.  Smiley

I can see a few thousand to make using it more fun, but I can't see the numbers from increased efficiency justifing a repower of an otherwise good running motor.

Just one more opinion . . .  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2008, 09:05:29 AM »

Rick, i am going to add my 2 cents here there are several of us doing a 10,000 mile round trip 2 of us have 8v92 engines and 1 has a series 60 that cost him 40g to have installed.He is getting 1 mpg better than the 8v92. Jim said he was getting 8.4 with his 60 I get 7.2 on my 8v92 the other guy is not doing as well he is getting 6.1 with his 8v92 but using Jims numbers and averaging out the fuel at 2.69 per gal Jim saves about 6 cents a mile my cost today is 65 cents per mile.If you use your bus like Jim does and the 2 stroke blows I would consider a change then because it will cost you 10g or more for a rebuild   have a good day
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Don Fairchild
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« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2008, 10:48:48 AM »

guys, I have access to 18 1997 50 series engines from new flyer's. They are  used runners set at 315 hp. they go for $ 4,800. ea You may be able to find them for less money if you look real hard

hope this helps

Don
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H3Jim
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« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2008, 12:35:18 PM »

Don,

Do you have any sources for a 14 liter series 60 pre EGR?
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Jim Stewart
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« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2008, 01:29:57 PM »

Rick, The 25-40 would be for having it done. I do agree its not worth the money for MPG. But I can start my bus in the garage with out filling it full of smoke, I like the 4 strokes. I can ajust the idle up and down, I have cruise, cooling problems,there are other advantages. So each to there own. Tom Y
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« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2008, 02:14:48 PM »

There was someone I spoke to in Oregon.  I forgot his name, but I got is from Nimco.  He said he had repowered his MCI with a Cummins and ZF.  He said he could do mine for around 15k.  My interest, which recurs periodically is about going for an auto trans.   I am going to use my 8v71 until it bales on me, but for those that have money the needs to be spent, options are available.
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skipn
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« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2008, 02:38:03 PM »



 And it is basically a bolt in (no real structural mods)

 FWIW

 Skip
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Kevin Warnock
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« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2008, 05:31:57 PM »

My Series 50 in my 1994 RTS is getting me 10.75 mpg. I was thrilled with it until I read this thread. I thought I was going to be able to get parts for it for decades from now, like people can still get parts for 8V-71s decades after they were in wide use. Is that not the case? Will I perhaps have to buy a whole bus or truck down the road just to get the engine parts I need? My engine only has 370K, and it has a brand new computer according to my mechanic who inspected the bus before I purchased it. I was under the impression I could drive this engine for the rest of my life since it's a so-called million mile engine. I put few miles on it, so it would take me decades to put even a couple hundred thousand miles on it. If I have to change engines, what are my options. I have the 731R transmission and 4:11 gears.

Thanks,

Kevin
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« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2008, 06:21:31 PM »

Kevin,
    Although there is a value to knowing your options, it is possible considering the kind of service your engine is doing, that it will outlive your interest in the bus. 
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« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2008, 08:56:28 PM »

I passed on a running truck with the 50 engine and a 10 speed with 160,000 miles on it at Christmas. You would get ALL the parts and this one sold for $7300. Retired from Home Depot. 10 speed.

My 92 is real low miles and I really can't justify a swap right now. If I have to, I have a spare 92 and a mechanical Cummins on the shelf along with a 10 speed double OD as well as a 13 speed.

Try to buy a whole truck, it will save a lot of money and give you options you will end up paying for anyway. Things like throttle potentiometer, after cooler, hoses, DDEC harness and even the standard transmission if you really want to get some fuel mpg.
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« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2008, 07:14:45 AM »

Even at $5.00/gallon- if you're getting 6mpg now, and if you changed to an electronic 4 stroke that got 10mpg, it will still take around 100,000miles to recoup the difference.  I'd say most of us will never put on that kind of mileage over the life of the bus.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2008, 07:37:12 AM »

I will do around 25,000 miles this year alone and this has been a light year. If diesel ever becomes more reasonable (all you political types please resist the urge to turn this into a non-bus related never ending vamp) I will probably return to my 35-40k a year. I have less than 40k on my 8v71 but it is already showing signs of either a cracked oil ring or bad blower seals. I don't know who gets the "worry free million mile two strokes" that everyone claims are out there but I certainly have been passed ove a number of times by the Detroit Diesel two stroke fairy. I have been told by numerous DD techs that 250k is the best scenario imaginable for a dd two stroke and that to accomplish that you will average 5-10k in maintenance to get there. I am going to take the previous posters advice to look into a turbo with a lower boost setting to see if I can limp this old girl just a litlle more efficiently.
I know I make it sound like she doesn't run well, but in truth my bus runs like a top and other than running her out of fuel after filling the tanks at a fuel stop ( man you guys are thinking what in the heck is he talking about aren't you? The line was already pulling air befote I stopped. ) I had a full tank and I was out of fuel. Not a particularly good way to part with $350 to get her running again, she has run perfectly and has never missed a beat. I just wanted to give that 8V some well deserved kudos I guess. As usual you guys never cease to amaze me with your know;edge and D-I-Y spirit. Too bad most of you didn't help design these things.  RB
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« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2008, 08:57:50 AM »

I will do around 25,000 miles this year alone and this has been a light year. If diesel ever becomes more reasonable (all you political types please resist the urge to turn this into a non-bus related never ending vamp) I will probably return to my 35-40k a year. I have less than 40k on my 8v71 but it is already showing signs of either a cracked oil ring or bad blower seals. I don't know who gets the "worry free million mile two strokes" that everyone claims are out there but I certainly have been passed ove a number of times by the Detroit Diesel two stroke fairy. I have been told by numerous DD techs that 250k is the best scenario imaginable for a dd two stroke and that to accomplish that you will average 5-10k in maintenance to get there. I am going to take the previous posters advice to look into a turbo with a lower boost setting to see if I can limp this old girl just a litlle more efficiently.
I know I make it sound like she doesn't run well, but in truth my bus runs like a top and other than running her out of fuel after filling the tanks at a fuel stop ( man you guys are thinking what in the heck is he talking about aren't you? The line was already pulling air befote I stopped. ) I had a full tank and I was out of fuel. Not a particularly good way to part with $350 to get her running again, she has run perfectly and has never missed a beat. I just wanted to give that 8V some well deserved kudos I guess. As usual you guys never cease to amaze me with your know;edge and D-I-Y spirit. Too bad most of you didn't help design these things.  RB

RB,
Been there done that! Got the nasty smell of diesel fuel all over me to prove it! LOL! And if I'd been around back then they probably still wouldn't have let me help design them. But I'd been fooling around with ways to "improve" them from the get go! Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2008, 12:42:12 PM »

I know it isn't good for me to answer what I have read here.  Lots of things that I have seen in my long life were more fiction than fact.  Most from people that had just heard something and taken it for fact.  I can remember hearing lots of bad things about airplanes from people that had never flown one of that type.  The same with cars some like a ford and some like Chevrolet.  Some of the things that have been said here about the DD 50 is nothing but hear say.  There is not a problem getting parts, there are no problems with getting service.
I have had my bus for 22 years; so far it has had a 8v71, 8v92 and series 50 engine.  I have probably driven motor homes and buses further than most of the people on this net.   In the last 30 days I have driven a motor home 7,000 miles, 6000 miles in a 2008 Monaco with a 650 hp Cummings the other 1300 in an American Eagle with a 400 Cummings.  I have driven my own bus 192,000 miles in the last 22 years.  The only reason for this information is to let you know I have been doing this for a while now.  Doesn’t mean I know any more because of that.
Let’s get back to the series 50; the engine is just the same as a series 60 except for the balance shaft.  True they are not going to make any more series 50 because they didn't have enough sales for that engine to do the engineering for the pollution control that would be needed. (This was info from Detroit)  May or may not be so (hear say).  The engine had the same guarantee as the series 60.  There is a factory rebuilt in the showroom now at Detroit of Orlando.  Unless it has been sold since I was there.  This engine just came in about a month ago.  It has a ecm4 and no other assorys.  You can buy it for $15,000 exchange.  I fell if you call any Detroit dealer they will be glad to sell you one for this price.
I have seen lots of series 50 engines and have never seen one with a bad block.  I am sure there are some that are bad.  I am also sure you will find the same in Cummings and Cat.
This isn’t the easiest engine to put in some of the coaches.  Jerry wasn’t correct when he said you didn’t have to raise the bed in an Eagle to put in the series 50.  He just didn’t remember that I had already done that when I put the 8v92 in with the turbo on the top.  Glad that was already done. 
The most important thing I am trying to say here is that in the modern engines there are no real bad ones. Again there are Fords and Chevrolets some like one and some like another.  Some of the prices for changing the engine here I think are high.  If you were able to build the coach and can do the welding yourself the change can be done for much less.  If you use the same transmission that you have now the change other than the price you pay for the engine shouldn’t be any more than $4,000.  This will include $1,500 for a rear end.  If you buy a world transmission add another $5,000 to $10.000 to the price.
I have only put the engine in one Eagle and two MCI buses.  The MCI is much easer than the Eagle.  There are NO changes to be made in the MCI frame to install the series 50.  Just lots of pluming, most of the work is in the air to air and the cooling system.   You do have to change the cradle for the engine.  I do have the proper info for the changes if you need them.
What difference dose it make if you are putting a engine in the bus that is no longer being made.  Most of our busses haven’t been made in past 20 years. The two cycle engines are no longer made for our use.  There are no engines being made now that are not electronic.       There are lots of good late model electronic engines out there for less than you can rebuild your old two cycle.  Fuel is never going to come back down like we would like to see it.  There are lots of people looking for good two cycle engines for the bus service.  If you have a good one you can always sell it to recover some of the charge for the change.
One last thing before I stop.  I won’t call any names, but one of the most knowledgeable bus people in the southeast just finished his conversion.  He went from a 8v71 turbo with a 10 speed to the series 50 with a 10 speed.  He is now on his first trip with the series 50.  His overall MPG for over 100,000 has been 5.8 MPG. First leg of his trip all through the mountains was 7.2 MPG.
Jack
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makemineatwostroke
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« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2008, 01:25:37 PM »

Jack, if you would like to see bad blocks on some series 50 just stop by any of our locations (Stewart and Stevenson) across the US The bad blocks are more common on the LNG engine but it happens to the diesels also but don't let anyone tell you parts are going to be easy to get, that engine has been out of production since 2004 and the more they destroy the fewer parts need to be furnished for a couple of more years and fwiw we can not buy a new 50 series and we are one of the largest dealers in the world for DD another bit of info for you can not use a Mexican rebuilt engine for warranty work it has to be new if replacing the engine
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« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2008, 05:56:29 PM »

I am sure that you can't buy a new series 50.  Don't think anyone in this group would want to do that.  What I was trying to say is you can buy a takeout engine for less than a rebuild and have a modern engine that doesn’t leak and get better fuel MPG. I don't think anyone will ware one of the takeouts out.  After 22 years I still haven't put 200,000 on my bus.  There are lots of other things that I like about the new engines, cruse control, fast idle that you can control, lots of torque, no heat problems, if you do have a brake down on the road you can have it worked on anywhere (almost). By the way I spent about 6 hr at one of Stewart & Stevenson places in Wichita Falls, Texas last mo. having wheel bearings put in a new coach.  Nice people there.
Jack
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makemineatwostroke
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« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2008, 06:42:45 PM »

Jack, I like the new engines too I just replaced my 8v92 DDEC with a B500 Allison  with a 600 hp series 60 but I used the CAT CX35 8 speed automatic nice transmission.I pulled every string I could to get the new DD15 but it wasn't enough even working for the people.fwiw the series 60 fit a model 15 Eagle easy with no floor raise.enjoy your series 50 it's just not my favorite engine
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« Reply #28 on: July 15, 2008, 06:59:08 PM »

Jack,

Nice post and thank you.  I thought everybody else had some good points, as well.

John
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« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2008, 07:27:41 AM »

Unknown to most, the off road division of Detroit Diesel/MTU still makes a select few 2 strokers for military vehicles that are designed around these engines.  The models I know are still being made are the 6V-53TI, 6V-92TA, 8V-92TA, 12V-71TA (might be more).  Just like Cummins is still making the VTA903 for the Bradley tank at 800hp and 1425lb/ft torque.  But-Detroit is NOT making anything for the Series 50 anymore.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #30 on: July 17, 2008, 08:18:18 AM »

Jim;

The only 14L's I have been offered have been egr motors. The non egr's get snapped up before they come out of the trucks and coaches. I have bid on several but my price is to low and I have been at $18,000. ea I am not going any higher than that.

Sorry

Don
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Sojourner
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« Reply #31 on: July 17, 2008, 09:02:04 AM »

Thanks...Don for that update information.

I am always looking out for the future choice of engine for the the right price.

I am a $2 and 50 cent man. LOL

Sojourn for Christ, Jerry
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Lonnie time to go
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« Reply #32 on: July 25, 2008, 11:36:20 AM »

Just off the phone with  W.W. Williams  Detroit Dealer.    989-753-4411
They have several parts for the series 50 and rebuilt engines in stock.
Said it was harder to get parts for the  two stroke then the series 50.
As far as bad blocks and such no more or less then any other engine.
Series 50 is not being made but several parts available.
Just trying to help
Lonnie
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