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Old 09-11-2016, 07:47 PM   #1
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Diesel fuel injection:mechanical or electronic

I am looking at a 1997 cat engine. Do I concern myself with the type of fuel delivery? Reliability and maintenance.

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Old 09-11-2016, 08:05 PM   #2
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I don't yet own a diesel motorhome, but I do have a John Deere diesel tractor, and have worked with and around other diesel equipment over the years. My JD 4600 is one of the last generation made before they got heavily into electronics. The fuel injection is all mechanical. I like it. It's rock solid reliable and it always starts easy, no matter what the temperature. I guess I'm just old enough to have a preference for the mechanical devices.

More to the point of your question, I think there are pros and cons to both the mechanical and the electronic. There's no denying that the newer electronic systems make a more efficient engine. The new electronic systems are generally very reliable, too.

I would let the other features and condition of the coach decide whether it's worth buying. I could go with either electronic or mechanical fuel injection.

Our "Cottage on Wheels" is a
1998 Southwind 32V on GM Chassis
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Old 09-12-2016, 10:27 AM   #3
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Good advice from Grampa, I think. Electronic controls can be difficult for DIY repairs, especially for oldtimers who lack the knowledge of how they work, but they add "on the fly" tuning that yields unmatched efficiency across a wide range of operating conditions. However, at the same time as the electronics were being added, EPA mandates caused further complications that actually hurt efficiency (mpg), so the picture gets blurry.

My bottom line is the same as Grampa's: make the decision based on other factors than injection type.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Summers in Black Mountain, NC
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Old 09-12-2016, 11:21 AM   #4
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Looks like cat when to HEUI system in about 94. And the early ones had significant issues. All kinds of pump problems that cause metal fragments to be introduced into the fuel supply. Injector replacement was almost always required. I think they got most the bugs worked out in the late 90s. And went to a new design in like 2005.
2003 Scepter 40PDBB - Roadmaster rr8s - Cummins ISC350 - purch aug16
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diesel, fuel

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