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Caterpillar in talks with Navistar to develop 15-liter truck engine

Dow Jones News Wires reports that Caterpillar and Navistar, the maker of a raft of heavy-duty trucks, are collaborating on a way-big truck engine (three times of the displacement of a hot-rod Mustang with 5.0-liter engine).

Navistar has been seeking a supplier for the large engines amid moves by its existing suppliers – including Caterpillar – to leave the sector or switch emissions technology.

Caterpillar plans to supply the 15-liter engine under Navistar’s MaxxForce brand by late 2010, according to the sources.

The heavy-equipment maker has said it plans to quit making engines for the U.S. truck market in 2010 to avoid the cost of complying with new domestic emissions standards. However, Caterpillar, Peoria, Ill., could license its existing large engine for Navistar to produce, or opt to continue making power trains under the Navistar brand.

Both companies declined to comment.

The joint venture, part of a broader truck alliance announced in mid-2008, would allow Navistar to build out its MaxxForce line of medium and heavy-duty engines without the expense of developing a 15-liter unit from scratch.

The pending deal would reduce Navistar’s reliance on Cummins Inc. (CMI), which also supplies the truck maker with 15-liter engines.

Take that, Cummins!

Highway truck engines may bring to mind visages of tough-guy truckers in CAT hats, but I’ve been told that Caterpillar never turned much of a buck on those motors. I’m much more interested in the engines that go in ocean-going vessels because Mom never let me live my dream to run off and join the merchant marine.

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Tom Mangan posted at 11:55 am January 16th, 2009 |

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