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Detroit 53 series

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Brandt, May 6, 2015.

  1. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder

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    I drove an FWD plow truck with a 6V53 in it with a 5 speed. Even though the exhaust exited at the rear of the truck you needed headphones to drive it, it was LOUD!!!! I think top speed was around 45mph, that sure was an experience!!
     
  2. RonG

    RonG Charter Member

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    Even though I was an operator I was still a squad member and had to go with my squad on alerts etc so I got to ride in the PC with them because they did not usually require the dozer to go with them.The Howitzers still had the gas engines while I was there,either Ford or Leroi as I remember.The military was changing to the multifuel engines,we phased out the M-48 tanks for the M-60 and shortly after I left the M-113 with that big Chrysler V8 was replaced with the Detroits.
    Steve,the last scraper that I ran had a Michigan prime mover with a Hancock scraper and that V6-71 had two stacks exiting right in front of the windshield.I don't have to tell you about the sound.Ron G
     
  3. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

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    Our local National Guard unit has some smaller 6 wheeel drive, single tired multi use vehicles. They are still in new shape but about 15 years old. They have military spec,ed 6-71 Detroits in them that the driver told me is pushing close to 400 HP. In his words they will run on any s**t fuel. I was lined up behind him in the local parade about a year ago and it sounded great. It even had that great of "puff" of black smoke whe he poured the fuel to it.
     
  4. mcald62

    mcald62 Member

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    US Army M561 Gama Goat used the 3-53. image.jpg
     
  5. 544D10

    544D10 Well-Known Member

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    I've seen 3-53 in old farm water pumps also.

    I had a 1973 Chevy 1 Ton with a 4-53NA in it for a couple of years.
    While your not going to win any speed or towing contests with it it was unique and drew a lot of attention. Mine had a Clark 285 trans and when the conversion was done in the early 80s I'm sure that was fine but now days you certainly would want a overdrive.
     
  6. Mud Logger

    Mud Logger Active Member

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    We have a US Marines, 6 ton 4 wheel drive, hydraulic crane, about mid 1980's, with a 453. It always starts and runs good but is miserable to listen to for very long. In Votec Diesel school, my son and the other students experimented with a Detroit 671, and poured sand down the intake it eventually seized but started up again after a bit. Tough engines, the newer Detroit four cycles are real good too.
     
  7. Dickjr.

    Dickjr. Senior Member

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    Oliver tractors uses the old Jimmy diesels in the Super 99 which had a 3-71 , 990 had a 3-71 , 1900 had a 4-53 and the 1950 had a 4-53 in it. I had a 1950 with the 4-53 , it would burn a JD 4020 any day. I also had a 98 Massey which was a rebadged 990 Oliver. I use to pull them at county fairs , was a lot of fun at the time. We had a 435 John Deere that used the 2-53. My 990 GM powered Oliver would set at 115 hp on the dyno no problem.
     
  8. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

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    P&H H418 and later 1250 excavators used 6V-53's. I knew a guy that bought 6 of them back in the day for pipelining. He wore a hearing aid!
     
  9. check

    check Senior Member

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    One thing distinctive about the 53 series is that many of them were set up for high RPM. If my memory serves me, governed speed on some cranes I worked on with 353's and 453's was 2800 RPM.
     
  10. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

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    One 353 I have on a log loader is governed at 2700 running the hydraulic pump. I have two 453s working hydraulic pumps and they are both set at 2400.
     
  11. check

    check Senior Member

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    For people thinking of repowering former 53 series units with conventional diesel 2100 RPM engines, that's something that needs to be considered. A 20% reduction in pump GPM would certainly disappoint the operator.
     
  12. Former Wrench

    Former Wrench Senior Member

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    When I served my apprenticeship at the Detroit Diesel-Allison shop there were about 30-35 engine mechanics who did everything from in-frames in the truck shop to components like heads, blowers, injectors etc. to assemblers. One time a guy had a 6-53 on the dyno for the run-in. All was normal until a piston grabbed the liner and pulled it down and through the block and started spinning free, chopping the block and heads into pieces. Oil was going everywhere along with all sorts of what used to be 6-53 parts. When it was over, the only salvage was a few nuts and bolts and the fuel pump.
     
  13. Dickjr.

    Dickjr. Senior Member

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    I don't think its a major deal to raise the rpm , I believe all you need is to shim the governor spring.

    Former Wrench , I have heard horror stories about these engines running away , shut the fuel off and they will pick up oil to burn. I always thought they were good engines with a unique sound. The parts interchange ability is nice as well.
     
  14. Former Wrench

    Former Wrench Senior Member

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    I always liked that fact that so many parts fit so many applications too. I have even seen a few 8-53's that were military spec engines that were converted to marine applications.
     
  15. check

    check Senior Member

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    Back in the mid eighties when I worked on diesels, there were basically two kinds of diesel mechanics; Detroit "Jimmy diesel" mechanics and everything else mechanics. I was the latter variety. I hated Detroits. In hindsight, they weren't that bad. They just had a lot of "parts overlap" in their design which required extensive disassembly for what should have been minor tasks and they were so different from the rest. Fuel systems required a lot of knowledge since you didn't just pull a pump and send it to a injection shop, you fixed a lot of it yourself.
    I think the original investment in cost per horsepower was less for Detroits than most other makes and they really got their heels dug in with the oilfield and marine industries. In the offshore oilfield, they were everywhere, mostly in applications where they would only get a few hundred hours use in ten years. They held up really well in those conditions and had no problems due to sitting for months and not being run.
     
  16. Former Wrench

    Former Wrench Senior Member

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    I started with Detroit, but that led to fixing trucks, which led to Cummins and Cats, which led to heavy equipment and welding, which led to tug and fishing boats. Did some operating too. It has been a long interesting ride.
     
  17. Dickjr.

    Dickjr. Senior Member

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    Probably better money in fixing them than running them.
     
  18. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

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    I went the other way. The loader had a worn out 4-71 that had been installed sometime in its previous before me life. It was way oversized for the tandem pump and set at 1800 RPM. I went to the 3-53 and my speed went way up. I am a happy camper now.
     
  19. IronworkerFXR

    IronworkerFXR Well-Known Member

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    1960-john-deere-435-diesel-6.jpg John Deere 435 2-53
     
  20. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

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    More brands that ran Detroit: Terex, Trojan, maybe Champion?