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Old 09-04-2016, 09:30 PM   #1
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Need comments on Cat 525 HP

I am looking at a 06 Country Coach with a Cat 525 hp engine. In many years, I have been only involved with Cummins; Cat is entirely new to me. I searched on this board to get as much info as I can, still I have no grasp on its good and bad. Could you experienced users shed some light on it? Are there any known serious issues? Big thanks!!
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Old 09-05-2016, 06:16 AM   #2
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the engine is c13.
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryFit View Post
I am looking at a 06 Country Coach with a Cat 525 hp engine. In many years, I have been only involved with Cummins; Cat is entirely new to me. I searched on this board to get as much info as I can, still I have no grasp on its good and bad. Could you experienced users shed some light on it? Are there any known serious issues? Big thanks!!
Not an expert but my reading indicates that CAT had problems with the C13 and C15 engines in model years 2007-2010. These were the ACERT (defined as Advanced Combustion Emissions Reduction Technology) engines designed to meet government-mandated emissions standards. The ACERT engine's Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) goes through a periodic regeneration cycle and problems with that feature seems to be the source of CAT's problems. Problems to the extent that CAT had to defend a class action lawsuit. There is a settlement in that suit and owners of the above-mentioned engines are entitled to compensation depending on the engine's repair history.

C13 engines made prior to 2007 should have no unusually high incidence of failure.

Like you, I had experience with Cummins engines (ISC & ISL) and was very happy with their performance. So when I bought this coach with its C12 engine I was a little apprehensive. I was lucky to find an excellent CAT dealer in Eugene, Oregon that has extensive experience with motor homes in general and Country Coach in particular.

Given the above and all else being equal, I would consider the C13 in your prospective coach an asset rather than a liability.

FWIW
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Old 09-05-2016, 10:37 AM   #4
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Thank you Dave, that is good to know! I was actually targeting pre-emission engines only. Looks like this one fits into the category.
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:16 PM   #5
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Being an 06 it may have an 05 motor. Mine has a C-9 in it and it's an 06 with an 05 motor. You might call the Cat Hot line and see if there has been any problems
1-877-777-3126.
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Old 09-05-2016, 10:13 PM   #6
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Being an 06 it may have an 05 motor. Mine has a C-9 in it and it's an 06 with an 05 motor. You might call the Cat Hot line and see if there has been any problems
1-877-777-3126.
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good point. i'll call them to see what they will say. thanks.

i read on semi truck sites, most people complained about the cat oil drinking and subpar fuel economy, compared with detroit diesel and cummins. mostly say c13 would start to have problems around 600kmi. on the other hand, cummins isx has bigger problems in early time like 20kmi, and requiring overhaul. the best comments were to detroit engine like 60.

cc is only using cat and cummins starting 06 on higher end models. not much options but i'll definitely avoid isx.
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Old 09-05-2016, 10:14 PM   #7
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Being an 06 it may have an 05 motor. Mine has a C-9 in it and it's an 06 with an 05 motor. You might call the Cat Hot line and see if there has been any problems
1-877-777-3126.
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Our 07 has a Feb 06 engine that still has the slobber tube and believe it to be the last of the C9's before some undesirable changes were made. A year or two after that, I believe it was, CAT got out of the over the road highway business, all together.
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Old 09-06-2016, 11:15 AM   #8
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Most of us with the C13 have had a very positive experience. I note that after a re-flash of the ECU my fuel mileage dropped significantly. It was 7.3 mpg now it is around 6 (42,000 lbs plus a Suburban on the back for most of that - mostly mountain driving).

Yours will be an 05 or 06, and CAT calls for a valve lash adjustment at about that time. I just did mine (they were loose) and it improved the torque restoring the power significantly. Check to see if it has been done.

Also ask for evidence of fuel mileage before you buy it. The Aladdin system on the Monaco coaches records it - since you also use diesel for the generator and possibly the Aquahot (if you have one), it is difficult to monitor by miles driven vs gallons used.

DON'T get a re-flash from CAT, all the later flashes were to improve emissions at the expense of economy.

One nice thing about that year is you don't need DEF.
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Old 09-06-2016, 11:36 AM   #9
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thanks paul! a good reminder of avoiding re-flash of firmware! i read that on the truckers' discussions too. for the valve lash adjustment i'll ask cat hopefully they should be able to tell...

i am in talking with the dealer, yet to finalize. if it goes as i expected, i'll hire an experienced mobile guy to do an initial walk through. should nothing wrong be obvious, i'll travel about 2000 miles and do fluid analysis and complete tests on site... a big problem for me now is no maintenance records with it but they said they will go get it from the owner... will see...

happy trails!!
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Old 09-06-2016, 12:31 PM   #10
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If you call the Cat Hot line you will need the S/N of the motor and they can tell you everything that has been done at a Cat Shop.
When I had my valves done I removed the mirrors and track and had the floor ready to pull. I also cleaned the top of the motor and lubed the exhaust brake with the PacBrake lube. Hope it all goes well.
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Old 09-06-2016, 11:21 PM   #11
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If you call the Cat Hot line you will need the S/N of the motor and they can tell you everything that has been done at a Cat Shop.
When I had my valves done I removed the mirrors and track and had the floor ready to pull. I also cleaned the top of the motor and lubed the exhaust brake with the PacBrake lube. Hope it all goes well.
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Not necessarily true - the dealer has to upload the work. When I had mine re-flashed the dealer didn't and I had to call the dealer to get the details of the old and new flash.

BTW - the C13 has an engine brake and it has to be adjusted when the valve lash is adjusted (same with the injectors). Getting the floor up for engine access is something you should do yourself if you can, as for the rest of it, let the tech handle it. Ask the dealer to show you how the engine is accessed as it may not be obvious - on mine there is a small access port in the closet but a big part of the back floor comes out but it isn't in the documentation.

Regarding having a tech go through it, what you really need is to spend about 4 hours in the coach and turn EVERYTHING on and let it run long enough to see if it works, and I mean everything. Hook it up to water and power, add water to the tanks, drain them, put water in the black and grey tanks and dump them. Next, get the engine/transmission/chassis service records and go through them and compare them to the recommended service.

How old are the batteries and tires? Both are expensive and don't last forever. Test the electrolyte (testers are cheap) and run the coach with all the lights on and anything else that you can (A/C and ovens excepted) for at least 2 hours and see how the batteries hold.

Last, map out a 50 mile drive over bad roads, highways, and a good smooth bit of road where you can get it up to speed. The smooth road lets you hear what the coach is doing vs. what is road noise. Take it and drive it 50 miles.

Then decide.
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Old 09-06-2016, 11:37 PM   #12
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awesome, these are excellent points!! ppi is one of the most important things for purchasing a coach. i guess i can do some but will need a reputable rv tech and a chassis guy to check all things out. that money should be well spent.

thank you all for the insight, really appreciate it!!
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:31 PM   #13
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I have a C13 and I love it although it gets crappy fuel mileage. PM me and I will give you my phone number and am happy to discuss my Kitty Cat!
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:22 AM   #14
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There is a flash file for my C13 that fixes a problem which would wipe out the ECM. I don't remember the specifics but it is a very important re-flash. I would suggest that anyone with a C13 should call the CAT Rv tech line and ask them if their engine is covered by the re-flash. The flashes on mine included the following fixes:

Soft cruise
Dead pedal
Cold mode
Vehicle battery disconnect
White smoke high altitude
Fuel temperature
Improved acceleration

My mileage didn't improve nor did it go down after the latest re-flashes. I have tried a number of things to improve it to no avail. Now I just get in it and go.
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