Detroit diesel

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,512
Being from the boating world, I'm gun shy about Detroit diesels. Their 2-cycle engines used in marine applications used to leak like a sieve, causing the living and sleeping quarters to wreak of the diesel fuel smell. Fortunately, I never owned one, but know a number of folks who did. My understanding is that all Prevosts come with a Detroit diesel. Does anyone know enough about these engines to be able to discuss their relative merits and whether they suffer from the problems of their 2-cycle cousins?
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
24,615
Location
Davison Michigan
Well there are Detroit Diesels and there are Detroit Diesels and there are Detroit Diesels

I do not know about the problems you cite, however I do know that the original Detroit Diesel was a dog, very anemic power wise, and nothing to brag about.  I believe Allision was the last owner of DD at that time

Then Penskie (Yes, the racing Penskies) bought the company, turned his wizards loose and suddenly Detroit Diesel was a true contender, with one exception it could do anythign that the top truck engines could do... That exception was consume fuel, when it came to conusming fuel it used just about half what the competition was burning up (in short that too is a very good thing) It was about this time my brother went to work for a new trucking company TMC, they drive brand new (Current year) leased Kennelworths with Detroit Diesels.  He had nothing but praise for the engine

It's now Damler Chrysler, and I can't tell you a thing about the company today
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,512
I'd heard somewhere that Daimler Benz was involved, but had only heard it in connection with a line of marine engines (can't recall if it was MTU). If DB is involved, I'd expect things to be quality and reliability all the way.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
72,979
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
You are out of date, Tom.  Detroit Diesel replaced their 2 cycle line with 4 cycle diesels (the Series 60 engines) many years ago, beginning in 1987. Now as part of Daimler-Chrysler,  they offer both their own and the Mercedes-Benz and MTU diesel engines for a wide variety of applications.


As for the DD  history, John, Allison never "owned" Detroit Diesel. Both were divisions of General Motors and were later merged into one division, the Detroit Diesel-Allison Division.  They were split again in 1988 when GM sold DD to Penske but wisely kept Allison.  And the Series 60 4 cycle diesel was already in the product line way back then - it wasn't a Penske development.  But diesels were a poor stepchild in GM back then and it took Penske management to really push the new product and steer away from the old T and V series 2-cycles.
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,512
Thanks for the history lesson Gary; It puts things into much clearer perspective. I figured that the series 60 just had to be a different and much better engine, given that I've heard it's been used in so many Prevost chassis.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
72,979
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Bluebirds and Prevosts have been been major customers of DD for many, many years. There are literally thousands of them with DD power, aka a "Jimmy diesel".  That includes those old 2 cycle diesels you dislike so much.

By the way, did you know there is a DD 16V149 mounted on the North Pole? That's what makes the earth turn every day.  In Detroit nomenclature, a 16V149 is a 16 cylinder V-block engine having 149 cubic inches per cylinder. Yes, that's per cylinder!
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,512
RV Roamer said:
By the way, did you know there is a DD 16V149 mounted on the North Pole? That's what makes the earth turn every day.

I always wondered who or what provided the rotational force. I learn something new every day.
 

Ned

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Posts
25,107
Location
USA
I doubt that such an important function would be given to anything other than a Caterpillar engine :D
 

Ned

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Posts
25,107
Location
USA
Nah, there's no Camp Cummins near the north pole.
 

Jeff

Site Team
Joined
Apr 8, 2005
Posts
8,965
Location
SD/AZ
I think the world turns because you all are looking west while you expend all this hot air. ;D ;D ;D
 

Jackliz

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Posts
1,287
Location
Hondo, TX
Tom said:
Being from the boating world, I'm gun shy about Detroit diesels. Their 2-cycle engines used in marine applications used to leak like a sieve, causing the living and sleeping quarters to wreak of the diesel fuel smell......?

Our Wanderlodge has the Detroit 8V92, 500HP diesel engine. Our coach doesn't reek of diesel fuel. I know that the 8V92 engine has a reputation for oil blow by but we haven't seen that yet. Ron Maribito know more about the Detroits. Sooner or later we'll hear from him, I'm sure.  ;D  ;D.

Regards,
Liz
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,512
Thanks Liz. As I mentioned, my info was coming from the boating community and we know several folks who had this problem. One couple completely re-upholstered everything and re-carpeted, but the smell never went away and they finally sold the boat. It's possible that, given the fact that a coach diesel engine is in the rear and, while moving, oil fumes get sucked out the rear.
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,512
RV Roamer said:
Detroit Diesel replaced their 2 cycle line with 4 cycle diesels (the Series 60 engines) many years ago, beginning in 1987.

Just for reference Gary, we know folks with a boat built in 1999 having 2-cycle Detroit diesels. So maybe in marine applications the transition took a lot longer than in the coach world.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
72,979
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
I'm not surprised, Tom.  I think some of them may still be in production today. A lot of diesels go into generator systems, off road equipment, work boats, barges and such and those old Detroit 2-cycles were very, very popular there.  A lot of them are in the Middle & Far East and in Africa, from what I heard at DD.  Those applications don't have turbo charging, or electronic controls and few have NOx emmisions restrictions to worry about.
 

Ernie Ekberg

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Posts
1,541
I have a 6v92 Detroit in my wanderlodge. While it will not smoke the tires, it is reliable and powerful. it is  cold natured and will smoke a lot till it gets warm- usually about  30 seconds. Mine has over 300,000 miles on her. ernie-in livingston montana beside the yellowstone river
 

Ron from Big D

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Posts
1,777
Location
Dallas, Texas
Both the 6V92 and the 8V92 Detroits are two cycle engines.  They do have a reputation related to leaks.  They have said that "If they aren't leaking, then they ain't running".  Because of the blow-by that Liz referred to, they blow oil out the crankcase breathers.  The 6V92 that Ernie is driving, used to be mine.  I equipped it with a closed vent air filter system.  That stopped the trail of oil behind the coach.  This system takes the breather tubes and connects them back to the air intake.  There is a trap there to catch the oil and return it to the crankcase.  What is left is sucked back into the engine as fuel.  This system was developed specifically for the marine applications to eliminate the problem Tom was talking about.

The V92 series were the workhorse engines of most urban bus transportation systems for many years.  They are very reliable engines and have a real distinctive sound.  Unfortunately, it is pretty loud and will disturb a lot of campers when fired up in the morning.  Because it is two cycle, it sounds like it is running at 60 mph when it is idling.  It takes fuel in through ports, but exhaust through valves.  Ernies 6V92 is what is known as a mechanical engine.  It occasionally needs to be tuned to get good performance.  In the mid-80's they went to DDeck1 electronic engine.  Unfortunately, if you have problems with that model today, you are out of luck with replacements.  In early 90's, DD created and upgrade with the DDeck2.  It is quite reliable.  Another weakness in these engines is manifold warping.  Has to be watched carefully.

I love my Detroit Diesel.  It makes a much better boat anchor than any of the others.  ;D

The series 60 is a terrific engine and considered by a lot of truckers, the best of the diesels now on the road.  Gets pretty good fuel mileage to boot.

 
Top Bottom