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Old 10-24-2019, 08:19 AM   #1
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Cummins M-11 Reasonable Lifespan?

Hi there,


I'm looking at a 1997 Class A motorhome with a Cummins M-11 motor. The motor has over 365,000 miles on it. Assuming it was well maintained, how long should that motor last? The owner also says it needs air dryer for air system. Is that a red-flag or should I not be too worried about that? I've no idea what a 'air dryer' costs to replace... do you?


Thanks,
Pete
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Old 10-24-2019, 12:18 PM   #2
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We owned for 14 years a Newmar Essex with ISM-11 which is just a newer model of the same engine. It sounds like you are looking at 1 in 10,000 diesel motor homes with 365K miles on it. The M-11 engine is one of the best Cummins engine to have and other then a turbo we had no problems with our ISM engine. The air drier has nothing to do with the engine and is a part of the air system for brakes and chassis air. Cost about 2 to 3 hundred dollars and should be replaced every 2 to 4 years. There are many of these engines in the trucking service with 5 to 8 hundred thousand miles so if taken care of should be OK. There is a lot of other items like trans, brakes, suspension, tires and the general operation of all the items for using the motor home which would be needed to check. This is the highest millage I have heard of in 40 years of motor homing for a class A coach.
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Old 10-24-2019, 05:37 PM   #3
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I went out to take a look in person. This was a rig used by a band/family traveling around the country. They managed to add 300,000 miles in the last 5 years.


While I've been looking for an older rig that I could make my own, this rig has been rode hard and put away wet. The body shows a lot of hard miles and the interior has been gutted. The engine is blowing oil and the owner rigged up a system to capture the oil and return it to the oil pan.


I'm not afraid of a motor with that many miles if it was well taken care of. However, in this case, the motorhome around the motor looks more like it has a couple of million miles on it.


So, not so interested now that I've looked it over. But it was another good educational opportunity. :-)
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Old 10-24-2019, 06:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandpoint View Post
I went out to take a look in person. This was a rig used by a band/family traveling around the country. They managed to add 300,000 miles in the last 5 years.


While I've been looking for an older rig that I could make my own, this rig has been rode hard and put away wet. The body shows a lot of hard miles and the interior has been gutted. The engine is blowing oil and the owner rigged up a system to capture the oil and return it to the oil pan.


I'm not afraid of a motor with that many miles if it was well taken care of. However, in this case, the motorhome around the motor looks more like it has a couple of million miles on it.


So, not so interested now that I've looked it over. But it was another good educational opportunity. :-)


Bummer.


But the M11 has a B-50 life expectancy of 850k miles. Just for future info. B rating is a mfg average B4 major engine work is completed. Some may go 1mil, some may go 50k...it's all in the service.
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Old 11-02-2019, 02:35 PM   #5
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I had close to 200,000 on my M11 when I sold the RV. It still ran like a new one.

If the M11 your looking at was maintained like it is supposed to be, it should be good for many more miles.

Also teamed with the M11 is usually the 4000 series Allison. Same goes for it.
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Old 11-02-2019, 07:22 PM   #6
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If taken care of, the engine would have a long life ahead... But, if the rest of the coach has not been taken care of - that would give me pause about the engine, trans, drive drain, etc...

Keep on looking, would be what I would do!
Best,
Smitty
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