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Discussion Forum

John Deere/Detroit connection

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Steve from New Holland

12-19-2002 10:01:21

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Do any of you guys have first hand knowledge concerning the connection between Deere and the modern 60 series Detroit truck motors? I have heard all kinds of rumors and stories, but I wonder if anyone can set the record straight. I'm fairly certain that the engine blocks are cast in Deere's foundry, but I'm not even positive about that. Some people have told me that Deere's 12.5 liter Powertech motor is basicly the same as Detroit's 12.7 liter motor. What do you all have to say about this? Thanks, Steve

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12-20-2002 07:28:23

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 Re: John Deere/Detroit connection in reply to Steve from New Holland, 12-19-2002 10:01:21  
There are similarities in the engines, but any time you design something like that you're going to have some. Overhead cam, four valves per cylinder, unit injection and so forth are common to both. Look at an E-model 3406 Cat or the later C-series Cat engines - very similar again. Engineers don't go out and try to reinvent the wheel every time they build a new engine. They use proven ideas.

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12-20-2002 04:48:07

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 Re: John Deere/Detroit connection in reply to Steve from New Holland, 12-19-2002 10:01:21  
Years ago, about the time GM's Detroit Diesel Division was developing the 60 Series, there was a proposed joint venture between Deere and GM to form a new diesel engine company to be called "Dedec". Detroit Diesel was having lots of oil control problems with the 60 Series so Deere engineers helped them with the ring package - maybe other things in the engine too. Yes, Deere 4WD tractor prototypes did have 60 Series engines in them, but when the joint venture business deal fell through, the 60 Series was replaced by Cummins shortly before production of the tractors.

Interestingly, Deere engineers also developed the direct injection head for the Onan "L" Series diesel engine. Later, Cummins bought Onan so that Deere work got labled Cummins. As I recall, there was also some unit fuel injector work of Deere's that eventually fell into the Cummins camp.

Also, Deere experimentally put V8-955, 6-619, 6-466 and 6-359 engines in many trucks all across the US and even one in Canada. Drivers liked them very well but Deere's upper management decided not to go into the over-the-road engine business largely because of product liability concerns. Later, the Deere 6-359 was strongly considered for the HUM-V.

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12-19-2002 19:06:09

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 Re: John Deere/Detroit connection in reply to Steve from New Holland, 12-19-2002 10:01:21  
The Deere Foundry Works is like any other business, when needed or a bid is taken to cast other components they do it, I toured the foundry a few years ago and seen several 4 cylinder Chrysler blocks waiting to be machined. I noticed the pentagon diamond symbol and asked the tour guide and he said, you do what what it takes to keep the business busy and he also pointed out some IH parts too. chris

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12-19-2002 13:38:56

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 Re: John Deere/Detroit connection in reply to Steve from New Holland, 12-19-2002 10:01:21  
The engine's are simialar.. especially if you have the head off.. looking at the bottom side of the head.. I do not know how much communication there was between the two when this engine was designed... I do know that when the 60series 4wds came out.. the orginal plan was to have the 60series Detroits in them... They actualy had the 60series Detriot engine in the Tractor factory.. and a last min decision was made and the engines were shipped out the Cummin 855 was brought in...
Deere even looked at running the 12.5 in the over the Road market.. but it was dropped a few yrs ago.. I have a proto-type 12.5 that is tagged Over the Road on the SN plate... I would like to have seen this engine try this market.. (not sure how this would work with the Ag Dealers... ) Sure missed the boat with the 6.8L not going in the Chevy trucks.. Sorry.. not much help on the info you were looking for...... JDGnut

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12-19-2002 17:56:48

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 Re: Re: John Deere/Detroit connection in reply to JDGnut, 12-19-2002 13:38:56  
I heard something about Deere engines in GM pickups too , didn't get the whole story though no one seemed to know . Does anyone know more about it ? Being a Chevy and JD person I thought it sounded OK .

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12-20-2002 17:07:26

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 Re: Re: Re: John Deere/Detroit connection in reply to JDJIM, 12-19-2002 17:56:48  
yes the JD 6.8L engine was a bigger runner for the Chevy Diesel truck... but it weighted more than the Max weight GM wanted.. so they turned another direction.. Al headed Duradud.. I mean.. Durmax.. hehee... Cummin's owner here... I even waited to buy a new truck, hoping for the Deere engine... JDGnut

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12-21-2002 07:35:02

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 Re: Re: Re: Re: John Deere/Detroit connection in reply to JDGnut, 12-20-2002 17:07:26  
Sure would have been a nice truck for me , Chevy power by Deere would fit right into my operation . I'm not sold on the "Duradud" , not enough time on them and also not fond of alluminum heads on cast block , I guess time will tell . For now I think the Cummins is the top pickup engine but I'm stuck on these Chevys too old to change or too stubborn , whatever . We're running 454's having good luck with them and burning lots of gasohol .

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Steve from New Holland

12-19-2002 19:33:24

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 Re: Re: Re: John Deere/Detroit connection in reply to JDJIM, 12-19-2002 17:56:48  
This is getting off the subject, but I do know a fellow who took a 8600GVW Chevy and dropped a 359 Deere motor in it. He told me he purchased from Deere downswept exhaust. The motor was alot heavier than the Chevy diesel and alot heavier than the 359 Cummins. He had to put helper springs under the front of the truck to keep it from bouncing all over the place. Also, the motor was longer than a Cummins because it was a wet sleeved motor instead of a straight bore block. He had to eliminate the regular fan and put an electric fan on the outside of the radiator. Than he put decals on the side of the Chevy pickup that said; "Power by Deere" Pretty cool stuff. Steve

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12-20-2002 13:44:26

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 Re: Re: Re: Re: John Deere/Detroit connection in reply to Steve from New Holland, 12-19-2002 19:33:24  
I saw a smaller Deere 4 cylinder diesel in a Chevy pickup several years ago. Helper springs needed for it also. Talked to the owner and he said he loved it. Side Note: Remember the pontiac Fiero??? Engine block by Deere. No, thats not why Pontiac quit building them.

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