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Old 10-04-2014, 06:52 AM   #1
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DEAL Breaker? CAT C7 diesel motors?

I'm looking at two DPs at very good prices for what they are, and both have the 350HP CAT engines. A Search turned up several threads with negative (to put it mildly!) feedback about CAT motors in general that were used in RVs for the past 10 years.

Seems that the problems were design and parts sourcing related; meaning that any motor can fail at any time. Is that about right?

Bottom line, would you buy a CAT over a Cummins, or not? Should I steer clear of CAT DPs?
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Old 10-04-2014, 07:01 AM   #2
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I have a 3126 in a 96 safari and still purrs like a kitten, They all have problems from time to time , if you fined a floor plan you like and all is good go with it. Just do good maintenance and enjoy
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Old 10-04-2014, 07:05 AM   #3
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Based primarily on the good service I got for 8 years with my previous coach with a 2002 3126E 330 hp CAT and the stellar service and support I got from my local CAT dealer, I would not hesitate to get another coach with a CAT.

That said, I might want to research a bit more before I made my final decision. What I remember reading was the potential for a failing fan hub on some of the early C7 350 hp CATS.

Any diesel can suck your wallet flat for sure.
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Old 10-04-2014, 07:12 AM   #4
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3126s were very popular in boats, and I remember them as being what CATs were all about.

The C7 350HP motor is what I'm specifically interested in knowing about, and here's what I found...which is the point of my concerns.

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f124/cate...ne-105467.html
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Old 10-04-2014, 07:15 AM   #5
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Bottom line they are both good engines and they both could have problems like anything else I've had NO problems out of my cat. Some people bash cat. because they don't make highway engines anymore but as you drive down the road at all the heavy equipment take notice at all the cat equipment.
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Old 10-04-2014, 07:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tha_Rooster View Post
Bottom line they are both good engines and they both could have problems like anything else I've had NO problems out of my cat. Some people bash cat. because they don't make highway engines anymore but as you drive down the road at all the heavy equipment take notice at all the cat equipment.
Yours is a C9, not a C7, correct? As we ALL know, CAT has made a whole lot of great, long-lasting engines. My concerns were brought to light when I researched the C7 variant...specifically. If this model was a belch in an otherwise excellent record of reliability, then I want to know about it.

As a sidenote, nothing's free, and my search began when it dawned on me that most of the lowest priced MHs that were under 40' had CAT 350s. This thread was and is an attempt to discover whether pricing is related to future surprises...and past expenses. Odd that most of these units have zero service records to share...
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Old 10-04-2014, 08:06 AM   #7
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I own each and have worked on both Cat and Cummins engines many years and find
both can have problems, Cat for the most part cost more for parts and they like very
clean oil and fuel to avoid problems.
If you are one of those that wait until some thing falls off or try to use the cheapest filters and get the most mileage between oil changes both engines will in time cost
you.
However if you are one of those that do pre trip inspections and keep on top of the
maintenance both engines will give good service.
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Old 10-04-2014, 08:11 AM   #8
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Does Cat even make engines for over the road applications still? At one point they stopped.
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Old 10-04-2014, 08:15 AM   #9
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Awhile back there was some talk about Cat again having highway engines not sure
if in fact they started to do that.
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Old 10-04-2014, 08:29 AM   #10
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If we read the first handful of posts from a prior thread http://www.irv2.com/forums/f124/cate...ne-105467.html


that's the basis for my OP. What are your thoughts about those posts?

Again, my interest is specific to the C7 350HP engine....not bashing CAT.
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Old 10-04-2014, 08:49 AM   #11
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Cat is not yet making over the raod engines, but they are very good at standing behind what they have built in the past, and just a phone call will give the location of the nearest Cat service, of which they are plentiful. I've had both Cummins and Cats and neither would make a difference in a purchase decision.
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Old 10-04-2014, 08:59 AM   #12
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It is a man made machine that is designed to fail, it is a matter of when.
The 3126B, 3126E, and C7 for the most part are the same engine with few
changes other than to meet EPA requirements which is why Cat gave up and pulled
highway use of their engines.
The fan hub bearing failure was related to lack of service in the early engines and
bad bearings in the later sealed bearings put in some of the E and C7 engines.
The Heiu pump failures were traced to poor support of the pump shaft and not being
strong enough to avoid bending, since cured.
Not all failures were caused by poor parts as some of them would fall into poor service.
What you seldom see is where the owner takes any blame for anything they did or did not do.
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Old 10-04-2014, 08:59 AM   #13
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It was posts like the following from that thread I posted up...from iRV2 member CAT Lover, that suggests otherwise:


CAT & Freightliner are known to use any excuse not to honor the C7 warranty since they stopped making highway rated motors 3 years ago(2007). The engines produced from 03' to 06' were known to have many issues as CAT changed manufacturers that produced many engine parts. .
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Old 10-04-2014, 09:01 AM   #14
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Thanks all for your comments. time to cut some firewood.
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