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I'm looking to buy my first truck. My budget is $40,000 or less.

It has been difficult to find a truck older than 2003 that is still in good condition, but I can buy this one from a family member. It is a 1998 International 9200, C12, 9 speed meritor. It has 311,000 original miles, flat top sleeper, and a lift axle. It was a single axle and the lift axle was added on. Almost all of my work is done in Texas and Oklahoma, and most of my loads are lighter than 15,000lbs in a van trailer. Will this truck get decent fuel mileage since it is a flat top and is the Caterpillar C12 a good engine?

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I forgot add this truck is $20,000

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Okay so I went and looked at the truck and drove it and found out it has the Caterpillar C-10 engine, not the C-12. The max HP is 320 and I think it's set at 305. Is the C-10 still a good motor?

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Put a lot of 80,000 lb miles on a 3176 Cat. The predecessor of the C-10 Our fleet blew a lot of turbochargers up. I blew 3 in 800,000 miles. But if you are going to be less than 50,000 lb always, Its still a good choice. In their day, they would run dead even with a 400hp Big Cam 3 Cummins. Snortin' little engines!

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The C10 is a 10.2liter engine. From what I've read it can go from 300-350hp range, with a peak torque of 1350@1400 rpm. That would be enough to pull light loads around. But if you get into heavier loads, it will still pull them, but I think you will be under powered and may not be to efficient. I do agree with Kenneth, I have also drove the 3176 pulling 80k all the time and it will pull it, but in my opinion, under powered and in efficient. Could be a very efficient engine at lighter weights. Definitely put the factory roof fairing on. Maybe talk to Pittsburgh power, maybe they can tune the engine or have upgrades. If you could get it up to 350hp and maybe get the torque up to 1450-1500 I think it would be ok. Do you know what rear ratio is and how fast do you want to run?

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Thanks for all the help guys, I really appreciate it. I think it has 3.55 rear end but I'm not 100% sure. It was running 1450 rpm at 65 I believe. I will probably run it at 60-65.

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Yes, I definitely like these specs. The C12 is a good motor and Pittsburgh Power has many upgrades for this engine that will improve horse power and help with fuel mileage. The single axle with the lift axle is a very good combination. I've owned two trucks set up like this and really liked the setup. Since the truck started its life as a single axle, it most likely has the heavy duty drive axle in it, which is a plus. You will want to ad the factory fairing that goes on the sleeper for improved fuel mileage for pulling the van. You can most likely find one at a salvage yard and it will make a big difference. The 9200 international is a little lighter truck with the shorter hood and should overall be a pretty light weight truck. If that is the original miles I think this is a pretty good find and a good price. I think with this set up 8mpg should be achievable without to much trouble. It is hard to find older trucks that are in good shape. I recommend that if someone has a $40,000 budget, like you, that they get a 10k-15K truck and then use the extra money to improve, fix and upgrade the truck. I think this truck is a good find. I mostly pull tankers and I would be all over this truck, in fact if you don't want it please let me know I would really be interested in it. Hope this info helps

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At 311,000 miles the cam follower update may not have been done. The follower pin can slip and block the oil passage, locking up the follower, and wiping out the cam. See if you can find verification for this engine from a Cat dealer, not a truck shop. Sounds like a nice find if you can still find the roof fairing for it.

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