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Used Volvo Truck Purchase?

I am looking at some used trucks to up grade myself so I can be compliant in CA. I am looking at a Volvo 780. What I would like to know is, what is the best combination of engine, trans, and rears for a 2008 or 2009 truck? Keep in mind I am looking for fuel mileage but still want a manuel trans. Also what are some of the things I should look out for in those model years?

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If you find trucks that have either the D13 or d16 for that matter, the number one question to ask will be if the engine has had the injector and injector cup retrofit. The 08+ and some the 07 D13 and D16 engines had problems with the injector cups due to the higher injection pressures. They were prone to failure and are expensive to fix and can cause over the road breakdowns for sure.

Volvo has remedied this by installing stainless steel cups and conical injectors to deal with the higher pressures. Very important when reviewing the maintenance history to ask about this.

As for DPF versus DPF DEF, I have an 09 with just DPF and a D13 Volvo engine. If you have the choice maybe take the DEF truck over the DPF only truck. But I certainly wouldn't be afraid of a truck with just DPF. Just shell out the money to have the DPF cleaned and inspected twice a year instead of the manufacturers suggested service interval and you will have minimal problems.

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Ross, just curious: how many miles on your '09, how many miles have you ran it, and how much trouble ($)? Also, what is your mpg; what is your operation? It would be good to hear you don't have much trouble and are getting 7's (if you drive 65 or less)..... I've heard some good cases like that, but these don't seem to be the majority. Sincerely interested..... we have a truck with almost 1.5 M on it, so I'm always looking for feedback on new options.

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I would avoid these years, any make, at all cost. These are the years where trucks have a DPF, and no DEF. The problem with this: When you put on a DPF to control soot, you raise the other pollutant, NoX, due to heat. Extreme heat raises NoX. So, engine makers had to increase EGR on these engines, to achieve legal NoX limits. In other words, even though in 07 the law tightened soot emissions, and did not tighten NoX emissions.... they still had to increase EGR to keep NoX at '04 levels, due to the increased exhuast temps due to DPF. The best answer, to be CA compiant, is to get a a truck that has DPF and DEF. The DEF system removes NoX without EGR, so these trucks use much less EGR than the years you are looking at. This = much better fuel mpg, and much longer DPF life (lowering EGR also lowers soot, with is easier on the DPF. The only other answer is to get an '03 or older pre-EGR engine, and put on a DPF, but this will cost you at least $11K with to add this..... then CA says you are OK till 2023. Problem with this is uncertain mpg.... these old engines were not engineered to run with higher exhuast back pressures them come with adding a DPF. I'd get a 2011 or 2012 and be done with it. I know a fellow Roadrunner driver that just bought a brand new 780 with a cummins (uses DEF). He's getting 7's driving 70mph, and so far, at 100K mi, no problems at all. I'd go DD15 myself (better mpg than any competition, especially pulling med/heavy, due to turbo compounding).

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If you have less than 3 trucks in your operation, you have until 2014 to comply with CARB. If you are running in CA now you should have registered your truck with CARB.

I have a dedicated run to LA every week from Phoenix, I see no reason to become compliant until they tell me I have to do so.

In the meantime I will run my schedule while saving to buy a new truck or retrofit my truck with the necessary equipment.

Who knows what will transpire between now and 2014.

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I agree with Mike. CA has already said that pollution levels are down further than expected due to many large fleets having no choice but to maintain trade cycles. Most drivers prefer new trucks (not us!) I'd say, CA may decide that they may not have to mandate newer technology, as the majority of trucks are becoming DP

F years due to normal truck replacement trends. There's at least some chance that they will scrap, or postpone, the 2014 rule.... I'd say a good chance.

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I am planning to purchase a 2009 with the D16 and it has had the injector retrofit. Seems to run great. Should I be leery of this purchase?

I have looked at a lot of trucks and I think this is it.

I have asked them to provide me with the complete ecm history. Won't this tell me if the truck has been a lemon?

Eric

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Go to rigdig.com, for around $35 for one report or about $50 for three, they will provide a history of the truck(s) that you are intrested in. All you will need is the vin number of the vehicle. If you still are not satisfied - hire an outside mechanic to come look at the vehicle or you take it to them, either way, it is still alot cheaper than buying a truck that has issues. Good luck, Driver. Eddie.

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