Cooling Your Big Cam IV & More

By Bruce Mallinson & Andrew Wilson

SeptPZpic1WOW – 10-4 Magazine just turned 25 years old! What can I say about the best trucking magazine in the USA – and it’s free! Erik, Jean, Dan and Shannon are the nicest people in the industry to work with. They are always smiling at the truck shows, a lot of fun to go to truck show dinners with, and a pleasure to do business with. Many owner operators wait each month for the arrival of the next 10-4 Magazine. We can always tell when it hits the racks, based on the comments we get, about our articles regarding high-performance diesel engines.

The first article I wrote for 10-4 Magazine was in their July 2002 issue some sixteen years ago. My how time flies! The working relationship between Pittsburgh Power and 10-4 Magazine has been harmonious, with never a problem between us. Any time one of their clients has a problem, they ask us for help, and we always solve the problem. So, thank you Erik, Jean, Dan and Shannon for your help and friendship during the past 16 years to spread the word to owner operators who want and need a better running diesel engine. And congratulations on hitting your 25-year “Chrome” anniversary – what a great accomplishment! Keep up the good work.

The Big Cam IV engines are great to work with, especially the later 88 NTs. The only issue these engines have is their low-flow cooling system. They can easily overheat in demanding situations, particularly in the heat of summer. Peter Sharp, Vice President of Pittsburgh Power, has been working with the Big Cam Cummins for over 30 years and he highly recommends that you revert the low-flow system back to the high-flow system used on all Small Cam and Big Cam I, II and III engines. We at Pittsburgh Power can convert your low-flow cooling system back to full flow. If you have an early Big Cam IC, this can be done with used parts off a Big Cam II or III, along with a new radiator and water pump.

SeptPZpic2If you have the new Big Cam IV or 88 NT, you will have to also buy a new front water manifold section and thermostat housing. If your radiator core is good and you know a competent radiator shop, they should be able to reuse your core and install new tanks and save you some money. We will ensure you have all the parts needed to convert your low-flow engine to full flow. Regardless of the horsepower output of the engine, the high-flow system that Cummins used through 1985 worked superbly. We never experienced high water temperature, so long as the radiator, water pump and radiator cap were functioning properly. Pittsburgh Power has the complete conversion kit available. Following is more information provided by one of my skilled technicians, Andrew Wilson.

Speaking of the Cummins Big Cam and vintage trucks, this week we had an owner operator bring in his Kenworth W900 that featured a long wheelbase, a big sleeper, and a vintage paint scheme that would have been popular in the 1970s. Painted gloss black with orange and maroon stripes stretching the length of the cab, we rarely see these paint schemes anymore. The owner operator told me that he and his wife hand-picked the colors themselves because they wanted a new truck with a vintage look. Most of us in the shop agreed – it’s a timeless and classy look we’d like to see more!

Kenworth, in fact, still offers three-color paint from the factory through their Custom Truck Sales Department. There are dozens of different stripe combinations and hundreds of color choices. Popular schemes you may remember are Jetstream, Scottsdale, Fury, Comanche and Seminole. In a day and age when many of the custom truck owners choose a monochromatic paint scheme, these paint jobs really stand out. If you’re ordering a new truck, or repainting an old one, take some inspiration from the vintage trucks of the 1970s.

Here’s to 16 more years with 10-4 Magazine. It has been a fun ride! If you’d like more details about keeping your Big Cam IV cool, call us at (724) 360-4080 or visit our website at www.pittsburghpower.com today.

About Bruce C. Mallinson

Bruce Mallinson has been a pioneer in the high performance diesel industry for over 30 years. Bruce is also the owner and founder of Pittsburgh Power Incorporated, a company based in Saxonburg, PA that specializes in high performance diesel engines and parts. Bruce has been writing informative articles for 10-4 Magazine’s “gear head” readers since February of 2002.