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Old 04-05-2016, 02:48 PM   #1
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Detroit Diesel

I haven't found much on this forum about Detroit Diesel. What is this engine all about?

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Old 04-05-2016, 03:13 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by peterson View Post
I haven't found much on this forum about Detroit Diesel. What is this engine all about?
Not sure just what you know about "Detroit Diesel" but, that engine, many versions of it, has been around for decades and decades. They've made 4 cyl. inline 6s, 8s, 12s and more. They've made V-6s, V-8s, V-12s, V-16s and even more. IN the older days, as in around early to late '70s, the dominate version of their engine was called the "8-V71". The icon is, "8" for 8 cylinders, "V" for V -type engine design and, "71" for, 71 cubic inches per cylinder. It was a good engine, lasted for years and years. In most cases, it leaked oil like a sieve.

Along the same time frame, many municipalities utilized what was called the "6V-53" for most of their trash trucks and, many, many fire trucks. We had 4 of those 6V-53 fire trucks in our fleet. Those were the loudest running engine on the planet. You could hear those fire trucks coming in the next zip code, and that was WITHOUT SIRENS.

But, around the latest part of '78 or '79', Detroit came out with the "Silver 92" series. Also known as the 8-V92. This one had 92 cu.in. per cylinder. We purchased 8 fire trucks in late '80 with those engines. Man, those were state of the art back then. Those engines would DESTROY all of our Cummins powered fire trucks in terms of power vs speed vs weight. And they'd litterally run away from their older brother, the 8-V71.

Then, as time went on and, smog restrictions became more and more strict, the V-series of Detroits started to die a painful death. Primarily because those engines were labeled as "2-stoke" motors. Even with the help of some computer smog controls, they still were pushed out of the market.

Then, Detroit came up with a totally new version in the early to mid '90s called the "Series 60" Detroit. That version is an in-line 6 cylinder but, with lots of newer an innovative improvements for on-road engines. That engine became the dominant engine in our entire fleet of fire trucks. We had two versions. The first one is the 425HP version for regular fire trucks that you see commonly with no ladder etc. on the top.

The second version is the 500 HP version in all the ladder trucks. Those were/are great engines.

Now, as for the use of Detroit engines in motor home, yes, you will see them but, primarily in much higher end coaches. It's very, very rare that you'll see one in any mid to lower priced coach. I'm not sure who install those today, in 2016.

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Old 04-05-2016, 03:20 PM   #3
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Scott gave a great summary.

I do know that my desired pecking order of BIG BLOCK engines when hunting for a coach, were ISM, Detroit Series 60, CAT C12/13.

In the Country Coaches I was targeting like the Intrigue/Magna, that meant CAT. Foretravel hd the ISM (Or if older, the M11.). Monaco Executive on up, depending upon year, could have ISM or Series 60. (I'll stop here, as other models on our short list had the ISL (Which we ended up with.), and CAT C9's.

IMO, the Detroit Series 60 is an engine that means you never need to say sorry to others while climbing a hill!

Note: I was targeting Pre 2006 Smog Level changes as far as engines were concerned. So my comments should factor that I was looking into that era of and level of smog control engines.

Best to all,
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Old 04-05-2016, 03:24 PM   #4
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There are few things sweeter (to a diesel lover) than the sound of "2 stroke" Detroit (8-V92). It was a standard equipment on all Prevost coaches up until early 90s (replaced by Series 60 Detroit). Plenty of old "2 strokes" are still around, chugging along on vintage Prevosts (and many others, like MCI buses, etc.). I've personally seen Prevosts with 600K miles on that engine, without overhaul.
When I was shopping for Prevost, I took retired Prevost mechanic with me to check them out. We did some long distance driving, and he was "schooling" me on these. Good times.
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Old 04-05-2016, 03:57 PM   #5
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I have a Detroit DD13 in my '14 Eagle. It was offered that year as an option to the ISM. I think it was offered again in '15, but I think that was the only 2 years American offered it. It's 500hp and seems to be a strong engine. The one issue I have with it is two of the three fuel filters are on the bedroom end of the engine. The rear bath floor has to be pulled to change them. P.I.A. As far as I know, theres only one other DD13 owner on this board, so their popularity has waned a bit.
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:04 PM   #6
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I remember being told the right way to drive a Detroit powered truck was to initially slam the door on your fingers so that you would be pissed off at the truck. In all that was to get you to stick your foot in it and let it scream.
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:12 PM   #7
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Geeze, I am old enough to remember when they were "Jimmy" diesels. GMC started making them in the 1930's. They re-badged them Detroit Diesel sometime later. My dad told me at the 1939 World's fair they had a inline 4 unit set up to start and then the rod caps would come off to show folks the engine had power stroke every revolution. I would of liked to see that. And Fire Up is correct with what they built, but they also made 2 and 3 cylinder units. In the early 50's hot rodders adapted the blower of of these on all sorts of engines for drag racing. GMC called them blowers instead of superchargers. The older versions were famous for "running away" (look on You Tube for run away Detroit or GMC diesels) I had a 4/71 run away on me due to a blower seal leak. I managed to get it shut down before it threw a rod.
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:13 PM   #8
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And yes they screamed--- sounded like they were running 5000 rpm. But they were only doing 2100 or so.
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:23 PM   #9
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If you listen to the drone of an older fishing boat or 60 ft passenger ferry, underway, that's a Detroit Diesel.

Military landing craft, LCM and LCVPs, were powered by 6-71, Detroit Diesel.

I rebuilt an 8V71 in a charter bus many years ago. It layed with 1 bank of cylinders horizontal.
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Old 04-05-2016, 05:18 PM   #10
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I would want my mh well insulated if it had a screamin' jimmy, those things are LOUD. I remember riding shotgun in an old 6-53 powered Kenworth with a straight pipe, conversation stopped when climbing a hill or the Jake kicked in. NevadaNick is absolutely right, they had to be run right on the pin with frequent shifting to keep the revs up. Not the best for an rv application.
The series 60 is sweet but too expensive for other than high end motor homes.
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:00 PM   #11
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Great info posted by all 👍. Thanks. I think the brand is now owned by Damiler, is that right?
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:37 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by edgray View Post
Great info posted by all 👍. Thanks. I think the brand is now owned by Damiler, is that right?
Detroit Diesel on road is.
Off road went to MTU which went to EQT Equity. (Just got a MTU generator, the engines still scream compared to the same size Cummins next to it)
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:43 PM   #13
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Detroit Diesel was part of General Motors. In 1987, the series 60 engine was released. In 1988 Roger Penske acquired 60% of the company in partnership with GM and assured their future success. In 2000 Daimler picked up all shares of the company. In 2005 the DD platform engines were released. Detroit Diesel has a long and colorful history.
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:37 AM   #14
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In 1959, the GM 6/71 was THE engine used at the Navy's Engineman "A" School. The "Jimmie" was used in just about every small engine application in the Fleet. When I reported aboard USS RASHER (SSR269), there was an 8/71 auxiliary centerline in the after engine room between the big V diesels. When I got to the Nautilus prototype in the Idaho desert, there sat an 8/71 as the emergency generator to back up the reactor. I guess they had a lot of them around....tough as nails and easy to work on.

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