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Old 12-04-2019, 12:35 PM   #1
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3126B engine dusting?

I have seen a few threads on here referring to bad rings and excessive blowby due to engine dusting. Im wondering how long an engine would have to run with unfiltered air to see this concern. I haven't heard of it on many other engines but have seen quite a few 3126 and C7 with this issue reported.
Are the bores on these engines not hardened?

Every engine i've seen with bore damage was either due to overheating or piston/ring damage

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Old 12-04-2019, 03:01 PM   #2
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I think it would take years.

When I was a truck mechanic back in the 70s-80s, I saw a lot of Owner-Operator rigs with loose/missing air intake piping, dirty air filters, etc. and never came across a engine "dusted". Maybe the engines were built better (or had looser tolerances) in those days.

I was often surprised how poorly some of these trucks were maintained in the early days of "deregulation". Probably just due to a bunch or entrepreneurs getting into the trucking business for the first time without knowing much about trucks/engines.

I think the new electronic engines are more susceptible to having injector issues from dirty oil and bad fuel than than dirty air.

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Old 12-04-2019, 03:38 PM   #3
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At a Cummins training session, we were told that a hand full of dust is all that's needed.

The cylinder bores don't wear quickly but the piston rings do.
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:33 PM   #4
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Depends on how much dirt the engine ingesting. I had C18 wear the rings out in 6 hours. The engine was working in a very dusty area the lube tech left the air cleaner lose and the filter fell out. Most of the moving parts had damage to them. In most cases it does take awhile because the air on the highways is fairly clean-unless your in AZ or NM in a dust storm. Dirty entry is a prime reason to pull engine oil samples. Safe Travels
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Old 12-06-2019, 05:44 AM   #5
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I seen a fellow in a Cummins shop where he dusted a Cummins engine because he installed on of those high performance air filters. Cummins was not going to stand behind it.
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Old 12-06-2019, 11:06 AM   #6
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The old test for air filters was putting a drop cord light inside the filter element if all you saw was a glow from the bulb as you rotated and inspected the filter, it was ok. If you saw pin lights coming through the filter it was bad. I've seen some of the new low restriction filters that you could see the light through it. If you can see light coming through I guaranty you're going to get dirt through it. How much damage depends on the dust in the air where you drive. Quite a few boats I've been on have no air filter. Safe Travels
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Old 12-08-2019, 11:43 PM   #7
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Thanks, kind of what i was thinking. I feel it would take a large amount of fine dust to cause damage over a decent amount of time.
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:32 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by cafeguy View Post
Thanks, kind of what i was thinking. I feel it would take a large amount of fine dust to cause damage over a decent amount of time.
That is not exactly correct. A small amount can cause severe damage. It just that if you have a small hole in a air filter on highways in Washington state it would take awhile to even get a small amount of silicon in to the engine. Same hole in very dusty conditions will allow a lot of silicon into the engine quickly. Then there is what is the definition of serious damage. Engine starts using oil, engine uses oil and loses some power, engine loses quite a bit of power and is hard to start, or its so bad the engine will not start without starting fluid.

Very little dirt- a tablespoon worth will damage the engine fairly noticeabley, more dirt- damages it more. Hope that helps explain it. Safe Travels

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