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Cummins L10

Posted By Jeff W. Monday, September 28, 2020 10:38 AM
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Jeff W.
 Posted Monday, September 28, 2020 10:38 AM
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Hello folks!!!

Was wondering what the thoughts are on a Cummins L10? Is it something worth having in a truck or do I need to look at a truck with a different engine?

Thanks, Jeff
Geoff Weeks
 Posted Tuesday, September 29, 2020 1:50 AM
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Depends on what your plans are for the truck. I drove one for a few years, and for what it was it was a good engine. It is only 611 CID and topped out at 300 hp or thereabouts. The higher hp were low flow cooled, I don't know about the lower. They are the same family as the M11 and ISM.
If you were going to load to 80K and run in Colorado Rockies everyday, I'd say you want a different engine, The one I drove would see a fair bit of weight but was used in and around Chicago. It did well and seamed to pull better than a 3306 truck they also had, but the gearing was different, so not a direct comparison.
As a hobby truck or one to go to shows, or pull some old equipment to shows, I'd say it would be fine.
Jeff W.
 Posted Tuesday, September 29, 2020 5:16 PM
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Thanks for the info Geoff. I'm looking to haul a double hopper bottom 48ft grain trailer. I'll be anywhere from 80k-88k. I live in middle TN, so we have plenty of hills I'll have to pull going to the elevator. Wonder if it would be in my interest to put a big cam 350 or 400 in it, if I can get it for a good price? Or maybe I should look for something else power wise?? Mind you I'm not trying to win some race just get the job done without putting to much strain on the engine though.

Thanks
Geoff Weeks
 Posted Wednesday, September 30, 2020 12:53 AM
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At 300 hp it is going to be slow but sure, rear gearing set up to pull that load and a 13 spd it would do it, just not fast. I don't think you'd be happy if you drove anything modern.
Not sure how much would have to change to fit a Big Cam into the engine bay.
That being said, I was "working" a truck with a 238 Detroit 20 years ago and it did all I asked, just not in a hurry.
If you are running on two lane road where speed isn't that much of a factor, it will move the load, and as long as it isn't geared too high, pull the grades. The one I drove had a 9 speed and really would have been better with a 13, but it moved manlifts and construction equipment around Chicago without too much trouble.
A later electronic M11 would "bolt in place" but require extensive changes to other systems like wireing, cooling and needs an air to air charge cooler.
The M11 is a longer stroke, electronic version of the same engine and it went to well above 400 hp, the L10 at 300 isn't over taxing the components.
I think the issue comes down to the 300hp (if that is the rating of the engine in question, it could be less) and not the L10 itself. A 300 hp big cam would have slightly more torque but would still be slow.
The heavy haul company I was leased to ran several 400hp M11's and pulled large loads with them, and got good service life out of them.
My guess is it wouldn't be cost effective to repower the truck with something else. If the engine checks out to be in good condition and the price is cheap enough, it will do the job.
Jeff W.
 Posted Wednesday, September 30, 2020 3:50 AM
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The L10 in the truck that I'm looking at is rated at the 300hp. It has a Eaton Fuller 9 speed in it. I'm not sure about the gear ratio in the rears. As far as what type of roads I'll be running, they'll be two lane highways for no more than 10 miles give or take, with the rest being in town. As far as swapping engines to the M11, I was concerned with the electronics on that engine, just didn't really know how much electronics was on it and if that would be a good route. The old truck is a LTL9000 so as far as being able to put a Big Cam Cummins under the hood I'm pretty sure I'd have the room, just don't know if it would be worth the time and trouble, unless I can get the truck fairly cheap. Another I just thought of, which I'll have to do some research on, is if that 9 speed will hold up to a engine with more torque and power. If it won't then I might just be better off leaving it as is or look at an alternative. My biggest problem is I'm a sucker when it comes to older trucks, especially old Fords.
Geoff Weeks
 Posted Wednesday, September 30, 2020 12:24 PM
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It sounds like if the truck and engine are in good condition it should work for you. I wouldn't be worried about the components holding up.
True story: I took a fleet truck with a 315hp and 9 spd. I put a 400+hp in, converted the 9 to a 13, still rated at 1100 ft/lbs and used it to haul oversize over weight loads up to 120,000 lbs. The conversion was done back in the 90's and I am still using that transmission today, it is still behind a 400 hp never had a lube pump or oil cooler (most transmission behind higher hp have both) and has never been rebuilt.
10 miles or so on two lane roads is easy. There are still guys around me running gas pot straight trucks hauling grain further than that. they are lucky to get above 45 MPH! 366 Chevy's and 391 Fords!
Have someone check out the mechaincals if that is something you are not good on, but if it is in good shape it should do all you ask as long as you don't need to be the fastest truck on the road.
Jeff W.
 Posted Friday, October 02, 2020 3:59 PM
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I hope it does. That's kinda what I would like to eventually do with this one. Get a little more juice out of it. There's one hill in town that will screw me up if i don't get a good run at it. That's where having a little more power would be nice. I'll definitely go through it and make sure it's up to par. That hill got me today. I was driving the guy that I haul grain for his truck today, which is a early to mid 2000s Volvo or I as I like to call them Autocars. It has a 9 speed with a 350hp 60 series Detroit. It's not a fast one either but it gets the job done. What kind of truck did you heavy haul with? Also do you happen to know if you can get a little more hp than what they are rated on the 350 and 400 Big Cams?
Friday, October 02, 2020 4:00 PM by Jeff W.
Geoff Weeks
 Posted Saturday, October 03, 2020 2:14 PM
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It is easy to turn up a mechanical Big Cam, but you have to be careful, it is easy to over do it. I have two Big cam's right now in trucks, one is a late NT88 Big Cam four (CPL 840) that I knocked the timing back and turn up the fuel, it pulls about like a 400 or a little better but smokes on cold idle Because of the retarded timing. The other is a Big Cam1 400 with Big Cam 3 oiling and pulse manifold. The later engine gets about 1 mpg better than the Big Cam1, (low 6's vs mid 5's)
The Big Cam4's all have low flow cooling and take a different radiator than the earlyer Big Cams. The NT88 version is fixed timed at 350hp or below and has STC (adjustable timing) 365hp and up. Injectors for STC are lot more expensive than fix time injectors.
I am sitting in the truck I ran heavy haul in right now writing this, I still have it. It is a 1989 IHC 9670 cabover.http://forums.aths.org/Uploads/Images/3a7a8083-aff6-4c4a-8ff5-1ffc.jpg
Jeff W.
 Posted Saturday, October 03, 2020 4:02 PM
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Gotcha. I have a 1985 LTL9000 with a 350 Big Cam IV, 13 speed, with 4.33 rears. I do believe that was the first year for the Big Cam IV. It's a pretty good running old truck. Sounds good too, with that straight pipe and you can hear that whistle in the turbo. I've got a older truck with a 250 Cummins in it. Those older engines have their own distinct sound. I'll have to make sure I'm careful not to turn it up to much, so that I won't met anything.

I like that old IH you've got. Don't see to many cabovers around anymore. Did you say you still use it to haul?? Or is your toy now?
Geoff Weeks
 Posted Sunday, October 04, 2020 2:11 PM
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I'm under load with it right now.
Early big cam 4's were fixed time all the way to 400hp, when they did the re-design to the NT88 Big Cam 4 once you got over 350 they were STC. I have a CPL 676 400 fixed time core engine.

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