If it ain’t broke, still fix it

Bruce Mallinson | August 26, 2014

TripleR20110106_174You’ve heard the old axiom: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Many owner-operators seem to follow that rule, but don’t get caught up in that mindset: It’s so much more economical to maintain an engine and truck than it is to replace parts because of neglect.

Specifically, don’t let it apply to getting your overhead set.

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Valves and injectors or the old “run the rack” term need to be done every 150,000 miles. A good mechanic will also look for other problems when he is setting the valves and injectors.

Make it a point every 150,000 miles to have this work done, or — like I’ve preached many times before — pay the price later when major work needs to be done, costing you a trip to the shop, parts, labor and, of course, downtime that could have been avoided.

On a newly rebuilt engine, the overhead should be reset at 25,000 miles.

That brings me to my next point: The oil should be changed between 1,000 and 2,000 miles in fresh rebuilt engines.

Piston rings don’t seat into the cylinder walls. The cross-hatch seats into the piston rings. So the metal that is scraped by the cylinder walls and all of the other break-in materials end up in the oil.

So drain it before 2,000 miles, then do the next oil drain at 10,000 miles and the third at 15,000.

So by the time that rebuilt engine turns its first 26,000 miles, the oil should have been changed three times.

At that point, the engine is clean on the inside, and if you are going to run extended oil drains, start from there.

-Bruce Mallinson is the owner of Pittsburgh Power, an engine performance shop in Saxonburg, Pa.

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