Power with pedigree

Specs for the North American version of the DAF over-the-road 12.9-liter engine are expected to be similar to the European model.

When the inaugural Paccar engines roll off the assembly line at the company’s Columbus, Miss., plant in 2009, they will be the first engines ever built stateside by the parent company of Kenworth and Peterbilt.

The 12.9-liter and 9.2-liter diesel engines, new to the U.S. market, will be based on European platforms of the same displacement built at Paccar’s DAF engine facility in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. That plant has built more than 50,000 engines for the European market.

While Peterbilt and Kenworth will continue to offer Cummins and Caterpillar engines in their Class 8 trucks, Paccar’s engines, which meet and exceed North American legal and regulatory standards, offer customers another strong option, executives say.

The engines “have established a powerful reputation in the field in terms of fuel efficiency, reliability, durability and high performance,” says David Giroux, Peterbilt director of marketing communications.

Paccar’s 9.2-liter engine, targeted at vocational or LTL applications in North America, in its European version weighs 1,860 lbs. and offers 250 hp to 360 hp and peak torque of 775 lb.-ft. to 1,060 lb.-ft. The over-the-road 12.9-liter model weighs 2,510 lbs. and offers 360 hp to 510 hp and 1,310 lb.-ft. to 1,850 lb.-ft. of peak torque.

The North American specs likely will be in the same range, although the upper end of horsepower on the 12.9-liter engine probably will be a bit lower, Craig Brewster, Paccar assistant vice president and leader of the engineering team for the new engines, said during the July 17 groundbreaking for the new plant.

In designing the European 12.9-liter MX, Paccar used wet cylinder liners to give more direct cylinder cooling than dry liners can provide. A camshaft in the block, which operates the valves and unit injection pumps, enables a low engine height and fewer components. Using compact graphite iron for the block and cylinder head saves weight and contributes to the engine’s durability and low noise levels.

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The one-piece, cross-flow cylinder head features an integrated inlet manifold and four valves per cylinder fitted in a 30-degree diamond position.

The engine’s high-pressure fuel injection system, known as Smart and developed in cooperation with Delphi, is fully integrated into the cylinder block. Depending on the emissions requirements, pre-injection or post-injection cycles or a combination can be used. The MX also features a Wabco air compressor and an integrated oil module with cartridge filter, oil cooler, spinner bypass filter and thermostat.

To meet Euro 4 and Euro 5 emissions requirements, which are not as stringent as U.S. 2007 requirements, the MX uses selective catalytic reduction technology incorporating a DeNOx catalytic converter. (Euro 5-compliant engines are not required until 2009, although tax incentives have encouraged many customers to buy ahead of schedule.) The technology injects urea into the exhaust gases, breaking nitrogen oxide into harmless nitrogen and water vapor.

SCR is the most fuel-efficient route to meeting the Euro 5 requirements and is less maintenance-intensive than the combination of exhaust gas recirculation and diesel particulate filters used by most U.S. engine makers to meet 2007 emissions goals, says Ron Boorsboom, DAF director of product development. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s acceptance of SCR as an option for meeting 2010 requirements “opens up various opportunities for us,” he says. “One way or the other, there will be a soot filter.”

To date, Paccar has not decided on the technology it will use to meet 2010 standards, says Alan Treasure, Paccar director of marketing. “We’re testing [SCR], but we’re also testing every other technology.”

“Even though they are using SCR in Europe, they are happy to work with us on an EGR solution,” says Jeff Sass, Kenworth director of marketing, planning and research. “It’s truly a global company.”

Of Paccar’s North American competitors who have announced 2010 plans, the choices fell to either SCR or EGR.

In Europe, Paccar is in the midst of determining its strategy for meeting the more stringent Euro 6 emissions requirements, expected to be implemented by 2012. “Beyond 2010, we will work with one set of requirements around the world,” Boorsboom says.
– Avery Vise contributed to this article.

Put to the test
In November, Paccar opened its expanded engine testing facility at its plant in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The addition of 20 test cells brings the lab’s capacity to 34, including cells for durability testing, where engines can run 24 hours a day, seven days a week at ambient temperatures of up to 122 degrees.

A workshop enables technicians to inspect technologies that have been tested at the lab and on the road with customers. Test cells use dynamometers that subject the engines to loads comparable to those encountered on the road, while simultaneously acting as generators to deliver up to 20 percent of the company’s electricity needs in Eindhoven.

Paccar also tests engines at its technical center in Mount Vernon, Wash.

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