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Old 08-18-2015, 09:17 AM   #1
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C7 questions about RELIABILITY

Yes, there were wrist-pin problems with some Cummins, and there were some problems with the C7 CAT, so nobody is immune; or perfect.

The thing with C7s is the number of threads about them. For those reasons, I've elected to restrict my searching to MHs with Cummins or with C9 CATS. This eliminates a number of coaches that would otherwise be worth looking at.

Would those that have experienced surprises/problems please provide your views, and the miles on the coach you had trouble with?

Could your troubles have been prevented? How much were the repairs, and did the repairs eliminated the problem (s)?
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Old 08-18-2015, 09:24 AM   #2
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I recently sold my 2006 gulf stream with a C-7. drove it for 6 years never had and engine problem It ran great. When it hit 40k miles it seemed like it just broke in an really ran like a Cat. I'd have no problem with another C-7. How ever the new to us Newmar has an 8.9 425 hp. It does pull the hills lot better.
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Old 08-18-2015, 09:57 AM   #3
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How many thousands of C7s do you suppose Cat made over the years that are still running with no problems?
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Old 08-18-2015, 10:29 AM   #4
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My Cat C7 has 50,000 miles on it and I have not had any trouble at all with. I service it once a year whether it needs it or not.

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Old 08-18-2015, 10:54 AM   #5
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Our previous coach was an 08 Safari Simba with the C7. Brand new we took it to Alaska and back and then drove it for 6 more years. Only problem we ever had with the engine was a loose battery cable to the starter...retaining nut vibrated loose. The coach only weighed about 25,000 lbs and that 330 hp CAT would take the hills/mountains with ease.

It did have a nuisance problem in that when cold, it would take several seconds of starting before the engine would catch and run....however, it always started with the exception of the loose battery cable above.

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Old 08-18-2015, 01:16 PM   #6
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Good to know that a lot of them didn't have problems. What about the zerk fitting on the radiator fan; did you successful owner actually grease them, or is it just luck of the draw whether one fails?
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Old 08-18-2015, 01:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
Yes, there were wrist-pin problems with some Cummins, and there were some problems with the C7 CAT, so nobody is immune; or perfect.

The thing with C7s is the number of threads about them. For those reasons, I've elected to restrict my searching to MHs with Cummins or with C9 CATS. This eliminates a number of coaches that would otherwise be worth looking at.

Would those that have experienced surprises/problems please provide your views, and the miles on the coach you had trouble with?

Could your troubles have been prevented? How much were the repairs, and did the repairs eliminated the problem (s)?
bamaboy473,
Well Sir, I think your judgement about the C-7 is just a tad bit hasty. You say: "The thing about the C-7s is the number of threads about them".

Well, the threads below your original one say, there's only a few thousand C-7s out there that are running down the road, in not only motor homes but, Fire trucks, over the road trucks, delivery trucks, BOATS, and more and, those are clearly running just fine. Sure, an issue pops up once in a while for any of them, at any time. But, in the shear numbers, what you read on this forum is MINISCULE in comparison.

Heck, how many motor home owners are not only on here but, actually contribute to the forum vs how many motor homers out there that DO NOT BELONG TO THIS FORUM and don't care a thing about it, and are quite happy with the C-7.

Now, if you've made up your mind, well Sir, that's entirely up to you. No one's forcing you to choose any particular engine. But, as you've admitted, you will be SEVERELY LIMITING your choices in floor plans, years of coach, and more, by eliminating all of those just because there's a few on here, that have posted an issue with THEIR particular C-7. And not only that but, about 99.99% of them, have had THEIR issue resolved and, are motoring down the road happily.


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Good to know that a lot of them didn't have problems. What about the zerk fitting on the radiator fan; did you successful owner actually grease them, or is it just luck of the draw whether one fails?

As for the "ZERK" on the fan bearing, there is none on a C-7. The 3126 was the last to have those. There are a very, very slight few, as in most likely, less than 10 total, who've actually went through the hassle and cost, of changing the C-7 (non lube zerk) life time bearing, to a 3126 setup, with a lubable bearing. That by far, based on any and all reports, on this, and any other RV forum, is way more of a "piece of mind" thing for them, than anything else.

Again, it's your money, your choice. Only you can make YOU happy with what you choose. Good luck on your choice.
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Old 08-18-2015, 08:29 PM   #8
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bamaboy473,
Well Sir, I think your judgement about the C-7 is just a tad bit hasty. You say: "The thing about the C-7s is the number of threads about them".

Well, the threads below your original one say, there's only a few thousand C-7s out there that are running down the road, in not only motor homes but, Fire trucks, over the road trucks, delivery trucks, BOATS, and more and, those are clearly running just fine. Sure, an issue pops up once in a while for any of them, at any time. But, in the shear numbers, what you read on this forum is MINISCULE in comparison.

Heck, how many motor home owners are not only on here but, actually contribute to the forum vs how many motor homers out there that DO NOT BELONG TO THIS FORUM and don't care a thing about it, and are quite happy with the C-7.

Now, if you've made up your mind, well Sir, that's entirely up to you. No one's forcing you to choose any particular engine. But, as you've admitted, you will be SEVERELY LIMITING your choices in floor plans, years of coach, and more, by eliminating all of those just because there's a few on here, that have posted an issue with THEIR particular C-7. And not only that but, about 99.99% of them, have had THEIR issue resolved and, are motoring down the road happily.





As for the "ZERK" on the fan bearing, there is none on a C-7. The 3126 was the last to have those. There are a very, very slight few, as in most likely, less than 10 total, who've actually went through the hassle and cost, of changing the C-7 (non lube zerk) life time bearing, to a 3126 setup, with a lubable bearing. That by far, based on any and all reports, on this, and any other RV forum, is way more of a "piece of mind" thing for them, than anything else.

Again, it's your money, your choice. Only you can make YOU happy with what you choose. Good luck on your choice.
Scott
Well said, Fireup, I'm happy with mine, it just keeps on run'in
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Old 08-18-2015, 09:34 PM   #9
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Seems that the, "Circle the Wagons!", attitude is alive and kicking today.

While I take FireUp's commentary as condescending and ignoring the issues that have occurred, I also recognize that some will deny anything to do with anything that they have purchased. That doesn't help.

My OP was based on over a year of reading threads about C7s. If the only people that respond are the wagon circle crowd, then my question remains un-answered.

For those wagon circlering, if you did something that kept your C7 running right, then spill yer guts about it. I'd like to learn something about the things that happened, what might have caused them, and whether they could have been prevented, or cured.

No offense, Fired, but you didn't assist with this OP a bit so far, so if you know things (as it sure seems that you do) then please share your knowledge.
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Old 08-18-2015, 09:59 PM   #10
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My father and I own a heavy truck salvage yard. We get our fare share of c7's in wrecks,good trucks and blown up. I've seen some with 400,000 miles on them still running strong and I've seen them with 100,000 miles blown up. The blown up engines are usually very abused and run in the ground with little to no service ever done to them. They are good engines and should out last the life of a rv.
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Old 08-19-2015, 12:40 AM   #11
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Seems that the, "Circle the Wagons!", attitude is alive and kicking today.

While I take FireUp's commentary as condescending and ignoring the issues that have occurred, I also recognize that some will deny anything to do with anything that they have purchased. That doesn't help.

My OP was based on over a year of reading threads about C7s. If the only people that respond are the wagon circle crowd, then my question remains un-answered.

For those wagon circlering, if you did something that kept your C7 running right, then spill yer guts about it. I'd like to learn something about the things that happened, what might have caused them, and whether they could have been prevented, or cured.

No offense, Fired, but you didn't assist with this OP a bit so far, so if you know things (as it sure seems that you do) then please share your knowledge.
Well Sir,
My comments were most certainly not meant to be condescending at all. They were meant to be informative just in case you were not aware of just how many, well operating C-7s are still out there, performing just fine. And, based on what you stated, I was under the impression that you, like many I've read about on here and other forums, had "Blinders" on and, had not really taken into account, the big picture of how many CAT C-7s are problem free.

I really don't think I'm ignoring any issues with them, not at all. I too have done some research on the 3116, the 3126 and, the youngest of the group, the C-7. In all I've read and found, there are some incidents of injector issues and, HEUI PUMP replacements. Maybe just a couple with turbo issues. Also one or two, with fan bearing failures. But again, the ratio of how many have had any of these issues, compared to the mass volume of how many are out there operating just fine, to my guess, is infinitely small. I'm not in any way, a data gathering individual. I only read what I read.

In as long as we've had our coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT, we've not had any engine issues to speak of. We purchased the coach, with 40K on the clock, approximately 4 years ago. It now has 63K on it. It gets regular oil, oil filter, fuel and fuel filter changes. I did have one over heating condition one time but that was contributed to the clogging of the CAC and radiator fins due improper placement of the slobber tube.

I relocated the tip of that slobber tube to the rear of the coach and, all is well. I've changed belts and a few bearings back there (idlers, tensioners etc.), normal maintenance items. The only maintenance item I've not addressed yet is, the 40K valve adjustment. It's on the docket. The Coach itself, fully loaded with full water, fuel and propane, ready to motor down the road, weighs right at 26,120 lbs. Our toad, an '11 GMC Sierra 1500 Extended Cab 4x4, tips the scales at 5,300 lbs. In the back of it resides a 2008 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing, tipping the scales at 900 lbs. And, the lift/carrier that puts that Wing in the back is a Rampage lift, which runs right about 275 lbs.

So, we're motoring down the road, pulling right close to 6,500 lbs. That 63,000 mile C-7 does it just fine. We're ultra happy with it's performance so far. I did try and do a tad bit of improvement with the installation of the worthless Aero 5050XL Stainless Steel, straight through, 5" muffler. Did it do anything, nope, not at all with the exception of , making that CAT run louder. We both hate that. But, it is what it is. The stock muffler was discarded during the install and, that was a serious mistake. I'd trade that XL for a stock one in a heart beat.

But, simply put, my goal in answering your post was to do what I could to inform you that there are literally thousands of C-7s out there still pounding the pavement. I have no idea how much research you've done and where to come up with your opinion of the C-7. I certainly don't blame you for digging around on any info that will influence your decision on what engine to power your next rig with. It's natural for folks concerned. I'd just keep an open mind. Good luck.
Scott
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Old 08-19-2015, 12:52 AM   #12
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Well, since you included Cummins in your list:
Our 2007 model ISX now has 45,000 miles on it. So far it's had two top end jobs and three turbos. Cost is north of $60,000 in repairs now. The first top end and two turbos' were under warranty, the last was not.
Hopefully the last top end/turbo is it since Cummins admits there's a design flaw and has new heads, valves and turbo to correct it, which our engine now has.
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Old 08-19-2015, 07:20 AM   #13
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My father and I own a heavy truck salvage yard. We get our fare share of c7's in wrecks,good trucks and blown up. I've seen some with 400,000 miles on them still running strong and I've seen them with 100,000 miles blown up. The blown up engines are usually very abused and run in the ground with little to no service ever done to them. They are good engines and should out last the life of a rv.
Good post. The gist of my question was wanting to know whether owners that take care of their C7s might still get surprises.
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Old 08-19-2015, 07:22 AM   #14
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Well, since you included Cummins in your list:
Our 2007 model ISX now has 45,000 miles on it. So far it's had two top end jobs and three turbos. Cost is north of $60,000 in repairs now. The first top end and two turbos' were under warranty, the last was not.
Hopefully the last top end/turbo is it since Cummins admits there's a design flaw and has new heads, valves and turbo to correct it, which our engine now has.
I've been following your coach's sad journey and empathize with you. That said, if I ever get the urge to get into a big dog with an ISX, I'll be asking the same question in order to learn about them.
Hope your luck changes for the better.
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