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1.6 Million Miles and ready for more Engine Deconstruction Illustrates Reliability

What would your engine look like and how would it perform if it logged more than a million miles? That’s what representatives from Detroit Diesel’s MBE engines wanted to know when they disassembled a customer’s MBE 900 series engine at the National Association of Pupil Transportation show in Kansas City in November 2006. The engine had 1,648,000 miles on it.

“It looked great,” said Scott Fredricksen, OEM sales manager for Detroit Diesel, whose customer is Thomas Built Buses and Freightliner Custom Chassis. “There was minimal wear on the bearings and lifters. Everything was within tolerance and it was still producing 250 horsepower, just like it did when it was new. We’re confident that this engine could have gone another 500,000 miles.”

Fredricksen noted that many states have laws prohibiting using school buses more than 12-15 years old, so bus mileage rarely exceeds 250,000 miles. But, he said, it’s comforting to know that an engine could have this many miles and still hold up so well.

The engine belonged to the Lepak Trucking Company of Oklahoma City, Okla., which operates trucks six and seven days a week hauling mail from Oklahoma City to Baton Rouge, La. In February 2000, Lepak added to its fleet two Freightliner FL 60 trucks with 250 horsepower MBE 900 engines (the same engines in the Thomas Saf-T-Liner® C2 and the Saf-T-Liner® HDX).

Last year one of Detroit Diesel’s regional sales reps noticed that one of Lepak’s MBE 900 engines had 1.6 million miles on it and another had 1.2 million. Lepak Trucking Company vice president Jeff Lepak attributes his engines’ longevity to regular maintenance and the durability of the MBE 900.

“Even after 1.6 million miles the engine was getting great fuel economy at 10.5 miles per gallon,” he said. The MBE 900 series engine is available with Thomas Type C and D buses.

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