Detroit Diesel rolls out new 12.8-liter engine

Sterling Truck Corporation's A-Line and L-Line vehicles will be among the first in the Daimler Trucks North America product lineup to be offered with Detroit Diesel's newly developed DD13 engine. The DD13 was unveiled August 5 during a Sterling press event in Napa, California.

A smaller version of the DD15 engine that was introduced in late 2007, the DD13 displaces 12.8 liters, and features a six-cylinder, in-line configuration. Designed for the less-than-truckload, regional distribution, and vocational markets, the DD13 will be offered in output and torque variants from 350 to 450 horsepower and 1,350 to 1,650 lb-ft.

The DD13 is the second in a series of all-new heavy-duty engines from Detroit Diesel that will eventually cover three displacement categories: 13 liters, 15 liters, and 16 liters. Part of the Detroit Diesel engine family, the DD13 shares a common base engine design that will be leveraged on a global scale by Daimler Trucks.

“We have taken all of the lessons learned from our 70 years of building engines and applied this extensive history to our new engine,” said David Siler, director of marketing for Detroit Diesel. “The DD13, which is truly a culmination of our experience and innovations, delivers what our customers want: economy, serviceability, and performance.”

Borrowing much of its technology from the DD15 — but weighing 400 pounds less — the DD13 provides fuel economy that is up to five percent better when compared to the MBE 4000 (which it will replace by the end of 2009). The DD13 has a dry weight of 2,540 pounds.

Built to spend more time in top gear, the DD13 pulls strong down to 1,100 rpm, which results in increased fuel economy. The DD13's enhanced cooling system reduces fan on-time, further contributing to fuel-efficient performance.

Another key feature is the electronically controlled Amplified Common Rail Fuel System (ACRS), a fuel delivery system that works in unison with Detroit Diesel's DDEC VI engine management system to provide the exact amount of fuel needed at just the right moment, creating an optimal combustion event. Not only does this result in a more fuel-efficient engine, it cuts NOx emissions without draining power.

“The DD13 is the only engine in its class to offer ACRS,” said Admir Kreso, director of Heavy-Duty Engine Platform engineering for Detroit Diesel. “We are utilizing our proven technologies across the board to help our customers save money.”

Detroit Diesel has long been known for engines that are easy to service and provide low cost of ownership, and the DD13 is no exception. The DD13 can go further between routine service intervals than any similarly spec'd engine — up to 50,000 miles.

The engine was designed with convenience in mind. The cartridge-style filters (oil, coolant, and fuel) are positioned above the frame rail to make service quick, easy, and clean. The maintenance-free crankcase breather further contributes to the low cost of ownership.

Combining extended intervals and quick, easy service operations, the DD13 stays on the road and out of the shop. “Many of the design features we included enable customers to easily perform routine maintenance on their own,” said Siler. “This reduces time spent in the shop, off the road and increases profitability during this ever-so-competitive time in our industry.”

With 65% of the engine's components being the same as the DD15, the DD13 offers unmatched parts availability. The common design between the DD15 and DD13 also ensures that trained and qualified technicians are always available.

The DD13's torque curve provides an extremely wide peak torque range — up to 500 rpm wide. This allows drivers to easily find the DD13's ‘sweet spot’ for optimum engine performance. In addition, an asymmetrical turbocharger has fewer moving parts than variable geometry or waste-gated turbocharger designs, creating a more reliable and durable engine.

“The DD13 is designed to provide a remarkable B50 life of one million miles (which means at least half of a group of engines will make it to a million miles),” said Kreso. “The engine's overall robust construction ensures it will be around for a long time.”

Contributing to the DD13's solid performance are the Jacobs engine brake (which is integrated into the engine and offers up to 546 braking horsepower), a robust rear gear train, and a ribbed cast iron block that lowers noise vibration harshness (NVH).

The DD13's advanced design allows for smooth and seamless integration of BlueTec selective catalytic reduction technology, which will be adopted by Detroit Diesel to meet EPA 2010 emission requirements standards without compromising power, fuel economy or performance, according to Kreso.

The market launch of the DD13 will start with Sterling Trucks and Freightliner in 2009, followed by Western Star in 2010. It will be manufactured at the Detroit Diesel plant in Redford, Michigan.

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