Paccar: MX Engine Series innovations backed by company’s experience

By Jack Roberts on

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You might be tempted to say that Paccar’s MX Diesel Engine is all-new. But if Paccar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Pigott were close enough to hear, he’d quickly correct you.

“While it’s true that the MX Engine family is new to North America, and the MX Engine project effort is a 10-year effort that is finally coming to fruition, Paccar has been building engines via our DAF subsidiary in Europe for more than 70 years,” Pigott notes.

At an event last week at Paccar’s Technical Center in Mt. Vernon, Wash., the company showcased its new MX Engine that will be installed in Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks this summer, available with a range of 380 to 485 horsepower and torque outputs up to 1,750 lb-ft. Paccar says this power range – combined with excellent fuel efficiency, high reliability, durability, lightweight design and low cost of ownership – makes it suitable for both over-the-road linehaul and vocational applications. The MX uses selective catalytic reduction in combination with exhaust gas recirculation to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 diesel engine emissions regulations.

“Currently, there are more than 125,000 SCR-equipped MX Engines on the road in Europe, and Paccar has relied heavily on the technology and real-world experience we’ve gained, not only from our MX Engine Series, but from the 50-year history of DAF diesel engine development in Europe and the more than 900,000 diesel engines delivered in that time,” Pigott says.

Pigott says the new family of five diesel engines is a significant step forward for the 106-year old company. One need only witness the staggering $1 billion total investment the company has made in this engine – including an all-new $400 million MX Engine plant in Columbus, Miss., that will begin production later this summer.

Paccar engineers opted to put the MX Engine family through a rigorous series of laboratory and real-world testing to ensure optimal performance in North American trucking applications. This included more than 125,000 hours of extreme-application, durability and thermal shock-cycle testing in 42 engine test cells, as well as high-altitude testing at Colorado’s Eisenhower Pass, high-temperature testing in the Mojave Desert and Arizona, as well as cold-weather trails in Canada’s Northwest Territories. The end result, according to Craig Brewster, Paccar assistant vice president, is more than 50 million verification miles for the MX Engine Series in both real-world and test track conditions. “This lengthy and intense testing cycle has given Paccar the confidence to release the MX Engine family with a 1-million-mile design criteria,” Brewster says.

Paccar says the key to the engine’s durability is the fact that all MX Engines in this series are designed with compacted graphite iron (CGI) heads and blocks, making the company the only OEM in the industry to construct both crucial engine components from this lighter yet stronger material. “CGI gives MX Engine components a 75 percent increase in both strength and stiffness,” Brewster says. “At the same time, it provides a 200 percent increase in thermal fatigue resistance. The result is uncompromised durability for long engine life using materials that are 150 pounds lighter than competitive engines using conventional cast iron components.”

An added bonus is that CGI is both quieter and transmits fewer engine vibrations to the cab of the truck. “We knew we were on the right track with CGI when drivers told us they could turn their radio volume down by half compared to their old trucks and still enjoy the music,” Brewster says. “The result for trucking companies is that a quieter, smoother ride results in less fatigued, more alert drivers.”

Other design enhancements for the MX Series, according to the company, include integral fuel channels cut directly into the engine block, an integrated Paccar-designed engine brake and a single crankshaft that is so perfectly balanced, it does not require counterweights, resulting in an additional 25-pound weight savings for the design. “Every aspect of this engine family has been optimized to deliver leading fuel economy,” Brewster says. “This includes highly advanced electronic engine control systems, which allow operation at 36,000 psi (2,500 bar), and an integral power steering and fuel pump system to reduce parasitic drag.”

The MX Engine family features an inline six-cylinder design with four valves per cylinder. The engines come standard with a two-year/250,000-mile warranty. More than 650 authorized Paccar dealers already have received extensive technical training to support the MX Series, and each certified Paccar dealer is required to have trained technicians, tools and parts on hand to provide full service support for the new engines. Kurt Freitag, director of aftermarket support, says more than 1,000 Kenworth and Peterbilt technicians are ready now to provide MX Engine support, including Pigott, who rolled up his sleeves and underwent technical training (including a complete engine tear-down and rebuild) as the company geared up to launch its new flagship MX Series.

Orders may be placed now for summer deliveries. Paccar sources say pricing will be “competitive” with Cummins’ ISL engine, and initial oil drain intervals are set at 40,000 miles.

Jack Roberts

Jack Roberts is executive editor for CCJ and equipment editor for its sister magazine Overdrive. Roberts joined Randall-Reilly in 1995 as associate editor of Equipment World magazine and began covering both heavy-duty and light trucks in 1996. In 2006 he was the founding editor of Total Landscape Care before joining CCJ's staff in 2008.

8 comments
Cheema bhupinder
Cheema bhupinder

What kind of fuel mileage can get on transcanada with tridem weight tnx

mike simpson
mike simpson

can i buy the engine only and retro fit my 2002 pete?I dont want a new truck , how much are the 485 hp engines thanks mike

Peter Reithmayr
Peter Reithmayr

I see were you have all these miles what about hours I run a fleet of trash trucks stop and go all day long we're talking move the truck about a lenght and a half speed it up and do it again these are all hooked up to Allison are they lasting there? at present we have MBE 900 and some new Cummins which is the ISC-260 the re-gen on the Cummins is not holding up
PS looking forward to going to your booth at Waste Expo in May

Jim Myers
Jim Myers

Will the Paccar engine replace the Cummins and the Cat engins now available in Kenworth and Peterbilt Trucks?

glenn broussard
glenn broussard

i am waiting to see how new engines will perform.what is the expected fuel mileage? is the fluid a constant burn or does it burn like my 2008 and will require sometimes a stopped re-gen?will there be the same problems in the dpf as i have now? at 280,000 i had to have dpf rebuilt at a cost of $3000.i will require more than 485hp and 1750 of torque.

Bill McMaster
Bill McMaster

In response to Tom Bochsler's query asking how mechanic friendly these engines are, I just came from preliminary sales training on them, and there are several features that I'm sure will please most techs.One is a "pin-back" feature on the idler pulley that allows for the pulley to be held back away from the belt during replacement, eliminating the need to wrestle a new belt into place. Also,the water pump is mounted off center at the right front of the engine, and is removed and re-installed in less than five minutes, depending on truck model and proximity to the radiator. Add to those an electric over hydraulic EGR valve, whose function is impervious to ambient heat sources, simple valve adjustments that also set the engine brake in one operation, and unit injector pumps that allow for "limp home" rather than engine shutdown if failure occurs. Throw in a 4" diameter camshaft, force fractured connecting rods and main caps, and a balanced crankshaft that needs no counterweights and the whole package appears pretty robust.

Ton Jansen
Ton Jansen

An injection pressure of 25,000bar is that not a little bit too much? (36,000PSI =2500bar)

tom bochsler
tom bochsler

how mech frendly are these engines? what fuel milages are to be expected?

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