Want to be an ELC convert?

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Freightliner Trucks will include one year of Sirius satellite radio service on new trucks equipped with a factory-installed Delphi stereo system and Sirius satellite radio tuner.

Detroit Diesel Remanufacturing Corp. has broken ground for a new, $8 million facility in Cambridge, Ohio.

The Michelin X One XZU S all-position, wide single tire is available for use in waste, urban delivery and other urban/regional applications.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has developed DuraSeal, a technology that repairs tire punctures as they occur.

ArvinMeritor has been awarded a contract to supply drum brakes to Volvo Trucks North America.

BP Lubricants Americas introduces Castrol Pyroplex Protection ES grease, designed to help protect against salt-related corrosion.

The Commercial Graphics Division of 3M is introducing splice-free materials for selected products and overlaminates in its IJ and ES lines.

Robert Bosch Corp. is celebrating the production of its one billionth fuel injector for gasoline engines.

Continental Tire North America is celebrating the 90th anniversary of its General Tire brand.

Peterbilt is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its First Class magazine with a special issue.

Michelin Retread Technologies (MRT) is adding a new press at its Covington, Ga., retreading operation, capable of producing one million new treads per year.

Brake Pro Ltd. has developed a new line of friction materials, called CCM, for conformable, cohesive and metallic.

The Vehicle Maintenance Management Conference will be held March 21-24, at the University of Washington. Visit www.engr.washington.edu/ epp/vmmc or call 866-791-1275.

ChevronTexaco has introduced the FleetFix Conversion Pack, which contains “all the materials needed to convert conventional coolant to an extended life coolant (ELC) – without having to drain, flush and refill the cooling system,” according to Carmen Ulabarro, coolant marketing specialist.

The best way to convert a truck to ELC is a complete flush and refill, she says. Or, you can save some time safely by skipping the flush and simply draining what’s there and refilling with ELC. But if you have a number of trucks with conventional coolant that’s still good, FleetFix is a less costly alternative.

To use FleetFix, you need only test your current coolant for freeze point, pH and nitrite levels (with test strips). If the coolant is OK, you just drain out the appropriate amount – about one gallon on a typical Class 8 truck – and replace the drained coolant with an equal amount of FleetFix concentrate. Since the concentrate has a -34-degree F freeze point, it normally will be unnecessary to make further adjustments. A post-conversion lab test verifies that an appropriate amount of the concentrate has been added so the system will be protected properly.

“Once a cooling system is converted, the ELC can have a service life of up to 600,000 miles, six years or 12,000 hours,” Ulabarro says – as long as an extender is added at half that interval. This longevity is virtually guaranteed, provided either Texaco or Delo ELC is added for makeup. About the only downside when comparing a FleetFix conversion to a complete flush and refill is a “very slight reduction in heat-transfer.”

Ulabarro points out that many fleets are taking delivery of new trucks with ELC in their engines anyway, and maintaining two coolant systems is inconvenient and can result in mix-ups in the shop: “The conversion process can help lower the potential for cross-contamination,” she says.

FleetFix is sold in a Conversion Pack, which contains enough fluid to convert five Class 8 trucks with cooling systems holding 9 to 12 gallons. Also included are instructions; freeze point charts; radiator stickers (to remind technicians and drivers that the truck was converted); five mail-in, post-conversion coolant test kits; and test strips to check the coolant in trucks being converted.

Ulabarro estimates that getting one truck converted to ELC at a truckstop is likely to cost about $180, while converting with FleetFix will run “less than $100.”
John Baxter

New 7700 vocational International
According to International Truck & Engine, its Class 8, 7700 vocational truck combines the look of the company’s 7000 Series cab with the strength and body flexibility of its 5000i vocational truck, providing what International calls “Polished Power.”

The 7700 features a wide range of options and features designed for bridge formula mixer, super dump, block hauler and other severe-service applications. In addition, body mounting has been simplified. The clean CA chassis was developed to make it easier for body installers to fit a host of bodies, ranging from mixers to multiple-lift-axle dump bodies. And the 7700’s 12.25-inch single-channel frame is 400 pounds lighter than many double 10-inch frames.

Cummins’ 305-hp ISM is the 7700’s standard engine, producing 1150 lb-ft of torque, and it’s mated to a standard Eaton Fuller 10-speed overdrive transmission. Other power options include an upgrade to 470-hp Caterpillar or Cummins engines.

Mack axle-back Granite debuts
Mack Trucks has introduced an axle-back version of its Granite Class 8 conventional. Previously, Granite models were offered only in axle-forward configurations for bridge formula applications. The new models will allow contractors to carry more payload legally while giving Granite trucks a shorter overall wheelbase, making it easier to maneuver around tight job sites.

The new axle-back models retain all the features found on current Granite trucks, including a large, strong, comfortable cab; outstanding visibility, an ergonomically-designed electronic dashboard and advanced electronic systems throughout the vehicle.

A 27-inch front extension version provides protection for a front-mounted PTO, and a wide range of frame rail thicknesses and crossmember options make it possible to configure Granite as a straight truck or tractor for almost any application, including mixer, dump, roll-off and rear-loader truck.

The new Granite features Mack’s new Cornerstone vocational chassis, which can be spec’d with a wide range of constant-height frame rail options. All are made from high-strength, low-alloy steel that is quenched and tempered to a minimum of 120,000 psi. Rail reinforcement liners also are available.
Jack Roberts

Equipment Puzzler
In January, we posed the following: An engine is turning at 1500 rpm, and the output shaft of the transmission it’s coupled to is turning at 1700 rpm in top gear. How would you numerically and verbally express the transmission’s final drive ratio?

Ron Bulger, with Latt Maxcy Corp., Frostproof, Fla., hit the nail on the cylinder head with his response of “.88 overdrive.” The .88 is determined easily by dividing 1500 by 1700, and anything less than 1.0 is referred to as overdrive, since the output shaft is driven faster than engine rpm.

Ron gets a chrome CCJ pen and Air Brake Book, and so can you, if you’re first to send the correct answer to this month’s Puzzler to [email protected], or if you send in a Puzzler of your own and we use it.

This month’s Puzzler:
Describe how and why disc brakes are superior to drum brakes. (Hint: Discs have two main advantages.)