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Old 09-24-2012, 06:58 PM   #1
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1999 Cat 3126B 300 Hp Good or not so good?

I have seen a 1999 model class 'A' pusher with a Cat 3126B diesel at a good price and was wondering if the engine was a good one. The coaches info puts it at 300 HP, but the owner says that it is 330 HP. Was this engine software upgradeable to 330 HP? The brochure that I found on the engine states 300 HP at 860 ft. lbs. torque. If it is upgradeable to 330 HP is there an increase in torque also? The coach has about 30k miles on it. This seems like it must have setup for quite a while or been used very little. Is that low of mileage on this old of a coach going to mean big bucks to make it right?
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:13 PM   #2
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Don't know what you mean to "get it right." I have a 3126 E 2002 Cat engine in my 2003. Just turned 105,000 miles. It started getting better mileage at 75,000 m and went from 8.6 to 9.3 mpg. Had my first real trouble with the engine last week. An injector quit and I had to drive 225 mi home on 5 cylinders. $ 1350.00 latter the injectors was replaced and all others tested and new "o" rings with a valve adjust. Before that only a new serpentine belt. I have been most satisfied with the Cat. Good Luck with your purchase.
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:04 PM   #3
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I had heard that when a diesel coach has set up or been used very little, that things like belts, hoses, seals and other parts that require lubrication to remain soft and pliable deteriorate badly. This would require a large expense in "making it right" (returning to a proper functioning condition) again. Also, I was asking specifically about the "B" series. Some series of this particular engine might have problems that other series might not.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:45 PM   #4
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We just turned 134K on our 3126B today. Got 9.52 mpg on a 450+ mile trip and it runs great. I doubt if you can tell the difference between a 300 hp vs. a 330 hp engine under normal driving conditions so I don't think that's a big deal.

Any engine that sits unused for a while is subject to problems with hoses, belts etc, not just the 3126B. If you can get it for a low enough price, it could be worth it. Don't forget to date check the tires.

In short, I think the Cat 3126B is a very reliable engine.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:52 PM   #5
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I have a 1997 3126 and all I have done is replace the belts, belt tension-er, HUEI sensor and adjusted the valves at 35,000 miles. Mine is the 275 hp. If I had to do it all over again I would.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:58 PM   #6
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The 300 can be uprated to 330, no increase in torque though. When I checked in 2001 on our 2000 DSDP they wanted over $2000 to do it, but most of the cost was to change the warranty.
Should only cost about $500. But a 30 HP increase just isn't worth it without a torque increase!
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:32 PM   #7
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I have a 99 Beaver with this engine. It can be upgraded - but I've had quotes from $350 to over a thousand. It's not rocket science, and at the age, warranty is not an issue, it's just the equipment and the code to do it are Cat proprietary.

While you don't get more torque note that the torque curve is much flatter and the HP does not fall off - so this should result in a more drivable and forgiving engine - the sweet spot is wider.

My engine also had about 36K on it when I picked it up a couple of years back. All I've done to the motor is replace the thermostats in a futile attempt to address a tendency to run hot on grades. That was a helluva lot cheaper than pulling the radiator and intercooler.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:54 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone! This coach might just be on my short list. It is an SMC product so it is an orphan, but I don't see any major drawbacks to an orphan coach. It has the Magnum chassis and that does cause me some concern.
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:31 PM   #9
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We have a 2000 Tradewinds with that engine. We are very pleased with the performance. We have driven almost 8000 miles this year - the engine now has 79000+ miles - our fuel usage is 10.5 if we are not towing and 9.5 towing. You do have to watch the temp on long grades on hot days. It seems that the rpms must be over 2000 to keep the engine from overheating.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chazworth View Post
Thanks everyone! This coach might just be on my short list. It is an SMC product so it is an orphan, but I don't see any major drawbacks to an orphan coach. It has the Magnum chassis and that does cause me some concern.
Why are you concerned about the chassis? Mine has been rock solid. Is it a Beaver or a Safari? I can't say it hasn't been completely trouble free, but from a durability standpoint, it's well built. I did have a problem with fuel lines that was a PITA.

It seems that everything except an Allegro, Foretravel, and a couple others are orphans. Everybody's parts pretty much come out of the same bins except the rails and the walls anyway.
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:54 AM   #11
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2000 Winn 40J 300 hp 3126B

Just turned 86,000 had Quinn Cat in CA adjust the vales, we purchased 3 years ago on Ebay cat runs fine all I can say is don't let it sit for months drive it and use it should last years if you let it sit you will have all kins of problems
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