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Old 03-04-2019, 11:10 AM   #1
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CAT engine advice...

Cat 3126e engine with 80K miles.

I have read a few threads here and on other RV forums where the Cummins diesel engine owners mention having upgrades done to their engine software. But I don't often see that mentioned about Cat engines.

I'm not looking to fix anything, just curious about the Cat engine software, is it something I should make an effort to find a Cat shop and have it upgraded IF there's some other work needed? Or not?

Or is it simply unnecessary because the Cat engineers got it right the first time?
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:25 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
Cat 3126e engine with 80K miles.

I have read a few threads here and on other RV forums where the Cummins diesel engine owners mention having upgrades done to their engine software. But I don't often see that mentioned about Cat engines.

I'm not looking to fix anything, just curious about the Cat engine software, is it something I should make an effort to find a Cat shop and have it upgraded IF there's some other work needed? Or not?

Or is it simply unnecessary because the Cat engineers got it right the first time?
I have a Cat 3176 (10.2 liter version) similar to a modern C7. The software is ancient to say the least but only once have I read about a software update attempt on these... I'm eager to hear the outcome of this thread. My cat has approximately 2,650 hours and is running flawlessly... albeit very under tuned for sure... if a modern C7 can get 350 horse... I am only getting 325 horse... but 1,225 foot pounds
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Old 03-04-2019, 05:39 PM   #3
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I can not say if they work or not, but look up ts performance mp8 pro cat. They are for sale at different places one being ultrarvproducts. Said to increase HP by up to 30%, increase fuel mileage as well. I would love some feed back by someone who actually has one.
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Old 03-04-2019, 09:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
Cat 3126e engine with 80K miles.

I have read a few threads here and on other RV forums where the Cummins diesel engine owners mention having upgrades done to their engine software. But I don't often see that mentioned about Cat engines.

I'm not looking to fix anything, just curious about the Cat engine software, is it something I should make an effort to find a Cat shop and have it upgraded IF there's some other work needed? Or not?

Or is it simply unnecessary because the Cat engineers got it right the first time?
Jim,
CAT, unlike Cummins, has proprietary control over much of its production, both past and present. And that includes engine ECMs, the heart of any engine power and operational output. An example. When we were at Cashman CAT, in Sparks NV for a valve adjustment, I had a very, very experienced CAT tech working on our C-7. I was sitting right beside him while he worked. He'd been working on CAT equipment in mines, Quarries, Marine, Developer construction sites and service centers. He was and is, GOOD!

While he was adjusting my valves, I asked him about the differences in the 300, 330 and 350HP C-7 engines. His reply, NOTHING but the programming of the ECM. And, CAT still owns all the software for any and all adjustments, alterations etc. That is why there's very, very little that most can do with their CATs. So, I asked, "So, all I'd need to do is, have you "flash" or, re-program my ECM to take my engine from a 330HP to a 350HP, correct?"

His reply: " Do you really want to pay $650 to gain 20HP?" It took me about 3 seconds to say, "Nawwww, I think I'm fine with the 330HP that's been getting me all over this country just fine". His reply: "Good choice"!

That high cost is the result of CAT, still owning provisional software. As I understand it, Cummins runs the operation completely differently. That is why you see many, many folks running "BANKS" Kits and more.

Yes, the MP-8 Chip can alter some of CATs performance but, there have been reports of engine warning systems being triggered when the full potential of the MP-8 is kicked up from low-intermediate to HIGH.

I, by far, am no expert and there are most certainly others on here who have more info on this subject.
Scott
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Old 03-04-2019, 09:35 PM   #5
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Thanks Scott. That explains a lot. I am more than satisfied with the power of my 330 HP so I don't need any bump in HP and if that's all a reflash is about, I think I can forgo that.

Good to hear that the expert you talked to didn't think the average user needed it.
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Old 03-04-2019, 10:37 PM   #6
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Old 03-06-2019, 02:31 PM   #7
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No need to update on a 2006 and earlier unless you are having complaint, hard starting, random diagnostic codes, But if you have CAT with DPF/ ARD head emissions, then Yes you should. CAT has done a lot of tweaking the software for the emissions package---to get it more reliable.
Part of the cost of reratings was the emissions and part to cover any extra costs for warranty costs. But after the warranty expired the cost dropped to 450. But some of the rear radiators RVs struggled to keep the engines cool above 320hp. This was because they sit the radiators between the frame rails, so radiator size was limited. They could build the radiators deeper but it cost money and the external plugging issues make it more likely to overheat. Safe Travels
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:06 PM   #8
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No need to update on a 2006 and earlier unless you are having complaint, hard starting, random diagnostic codes, But if you have CAT with DPF/ ARD head emissions, then Yes you should. CAT has done a lot of tweaking the software for the emissions package---to get it more reliable.
Part of the cost of reratings was the emissions and part to cover any extra costs for warranty costs. But after the warranty expired the cost dropped to 450. But some of the rear radiators RVs struggled to keep the engines cool above 320hp. This was because they sit the radiators between the frame rails, so radiator size was limited. They could build the radiators deeper but it cost money and the external plugging issues make it more likely to overheat. Safe Travels
Nope, no complaints. Engine works great.

Mine is a '01 or '02 model Cat rated at 330 HP so I don't' think DPF/ARD head emissions are an issue. That design didn't happen until '06-'07 I don't think.

As far as overheating goes, if I remember to do my once a year radiator cleaning with Simple Green Purple, I don't have any overheating. The reason is that I put less oil in the oil pan then many might for engines with a slobber tube. The first time I did an oil change after buying this RV I only installed 20 qts although the factory had written on the wall next to the oil filler tube 22 qts. I do this to prevent too much oil being blown out the slobber tube, accumulating on the back of the rad and on the CAC which gives a home to road dirt, eventually clogging it enough that the engine overheats. As it is, I rarely see any diesel exhaust residue on the toad and seldom overheat under normal circumstances.

As it turned out, the original owner had known the trick about decreasing the oil amount because the dip stick had been remarked with a metal marking tool (obviously not OEM markings) and 20 qts shows full on the dip stick. It's possible the Winnie factory had actually set it properly and the side wall was miss marked by Freightliner. I don't know. What I do know is that the CAC and the rear of the rad stay pretty clean with the decreased amount of oil...less to blow out the slobber tube.

Because of the overheating issue I use to have with my Cummins engine, I'm very careful with this Cat, and never let the engine temp exceed the half way mark on the dash gage, down shifting when it gets near.
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:19 PM   #9
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mp8

I put in a MP8 performance chip last year and am very happy with it. Big improvement with on ramp performance. Also pulling hills. I always ran it turned up half way and gained .5 mpg. A couple of months ago we went down to Tampa. On the way down I left it at half way and on the way back I turned it all the way up. Gained another 1mpg. I've not had any issues at all with mine but I have read on here that some have had engine lights come on that went away after adjusting it down some.
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Old 03-07-2019, 12:26 PM   #10
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Last year I purchased Journey with 3126b Cat. Previous owner had installed an Edge EZ module p/n ECAT1000, new p/n 50200. Specifically for Cats and has 4 settings giving power gains of:
Level 1: 25 hp
Level 2: 30 hp
Level 3: 35 hp
Level 4: 40 hp.

EDGE Tech Caterpillar 3126 User Manual | 9 pages | Also for: EZ B & E, EZ 50200, EZ ECAT1000

P.O. had set jumpers to level 4 increasing from 330 to 370. It ran great on acceleration and going over mountain passes. But since I’m not pulling a toad, it made me wonder if I should remove it until I get one.

Freightliner service tech recommended that I leave it on as the Cat would run more efficiently and give a little better fuel economy. He said to watch temps (which I do as P.O. also installed EGT & turbo boost gages) and said if I’m concerned I could lower setting to level 2. He said +40hp is a relatively modest increase and is not going to damage the engine like a racing performance module may.

The Edge tech rep confirmed what Freightliner was saying, and this is a conservative chip that just improves timing and efficiency. He said Edge sells a different product that drastically increases hp, and Recommended not using that version.

Late last summer I changed setting from level 4 to level 1, and did notice a little less acceleration merging onto freeways and going over mountains but could live with either. Edge seems like a good product to me, and if this is merely the equivalent of a BANKS system on a Cummins then I plan to leave it installed and consider changing to level 2. I will likely be pulling a toad soon.
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Old 03-07-2019, 06:08 PM   #11
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Great information. I'm going to bookmark this stuff and do some further investigation.
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Old 03-09-2019, 04:49 PM   #12
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Hi Jim,
We have a 3126E 330 in our 40' discovery. Never had any re-flash and she pulls fully loaded and with Boat behind just fine. I'm not so sure pumping 100% of engine capability because it "can" is the right choice in what they classify as a "medium duty" engine. I found good maintenance habits provide good reliability and performance.
Travel safe!
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:26 AM   #13
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Hi Jim,
We have a 3126E 330 in our 40' discovery. Never had any re-flash and she pulls fully loaded and with Boat behind just fine. I'm not so sure pumping 100% of engine capability because it "can" is the right choice in what they classify as a "medium duty" engine. I found good maintenance habits provide good reliability and performance.
Travel safe!
I choose longevity over heat any day!
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Old 03-11-2019, 02:43 PM   #14
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CAT engine advice...

On my C13 I found out that there was an issue where essentially the ecm could self destruct and there was an update to cure the problem. It didnít change the parameters but it fixed the issue.
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