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3406B model cat engine

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The oldest truck that I have driven is a 2006. It had a C-15. I'm in the market for one with the apartment size sleeper on it as we are a cross country team.

I found a truck that fits our needs and appears to be in good shape. My next step would be to take it to a shop for a good going over except for one major question.

It has a 3406B in it. Since I have only driven and dealt with electronic controlled engines this one has my caution guard up. Before I spend money on an in depth evaluation of the truck I would like to know exactly I'm getting into. I've heard good and I've heard bad, and I'm not afraid to ask of those who have been around longer than I have.

Thanks

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Chris Hileman
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You won't have cruise control.

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Michael Morse
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Most B models run like sewing machines and are stone cold reliable. That being said if and when you have problems it is getting harder and harder to find good mechanics to work on them. The fuel system on these engines is one that requires precise adjustments ones that if done incorrectly will leave you with swiss cheese pistons. Most guys that know this engine well have become like the engine , antiquated. An electronic CAT would be much more user friendly, factory cruise, jake's that shut off at low engine speed instead of stalling the engine if your not careful lol , broader powerband lower in the rpm range, adjustable parameters , engine protection systems, sufficient return fuel to keep from geling in cold weather the list goes on. The 3406B is a legendary engine and was the engine of choice for a lot of owner operators but it's day has come and gone

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Mel Help
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My 3406B had cruise control. As far as engine goes it was a great engine. It won't do as well on fuel mileage as say the E model cat or 6NZ I use to avg 6.3 with it in conventional truck hauling around 78,000 lbs. I've have Detroit Series 60 now which is alright but I would love to have my E model cat back.

I meant electronic cruise control. I drove a B model in an 86 KW that had a throttle lock, I used that as cruise.

Chris Hileman,

The cruise control I had on my 3406B was electronic. It was electronic control module over manual. It work good it was made by this company. http://www.cruisecontrolking.com/choosey...

Mel Help,

Ok, you win. However, it is not common for a non-electronic engine to have cruise control.

Chris Hileman,

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Your
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The 3406B was the cornerstone of CAT's on highway engines for years and is still a good motor but technology is relegating this engine to the bone yard. There will be parts available for this engine for years to come but if you can afford to step up to an electronic engine Mel is right the fuel mileage will be a big pay off in the long run.......

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Paul Mimms
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I am currently running a 3406 B 350 HP economy engine in a 1984 Pete 359 pulling a flatbed coast to coast. My 2012 mpg 7.37. .51 per mile fuel cost on 114000 miles. These are rock solid engines that Do Not need a computer tech to diagnois. A mechanically inclined, and aware DRIVER can operate these units as efficient as any other unit. I have 32 years experience of truck and fleet ownership. I am not a relic. I am a progressive thinker and am on a quest to be in the top 5 percent of net wage earners per mile as a O/O in the industy. MC 262265 epmtrucks@aol.com

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Zachary Bell
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I have a 3406 E and it runs like a champ in a truck that is considered less-than-aerodynamic these days. It currently gets 5 MPG on winter-blend fuel pulling 79,900 pounds. If I were to put it in a newer truck, it could easily achieve 8 MPG, just due to advances in the tractors themselves. The 3406B, though Mechanical, has many things in common with it's electronic brother, and it can get both great power and great fuel economy if driven properly and the driver is mechanically inclined.

Much like today's engines, both the 3406B and 3406E are high-torque, low RPM motors. The E model, because of it's electronic controls, usually gets SLIGHTLY better fuel economy than it's mechanical counterpart and it has Cruise Control and a Jake Brake that shuts off at low RPM instead of stalling the engine. The E model also has a broader power band for enhanced start-ability- in fact, on my truck, the power band starts at 1050 and goes up through the sweet spot to 1500 RPM, making it great for pulling heavy loads up hills.

The 3406 E is a great engine to have pulling your loads, as is the 3406 B. Take your time, pay attention, learn mechanical skills and you'll get used it.

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