CAT manufactured commercial truck diesel engines for many years but exited the business back in 2010. Their manufacturing still exists today, except they are done for various off-highway equipment and machines.

The goal of Diesel Laptops has been to provide clients with an easy and efficient way to lookup engine-related repair information. This typically means allowing a user to either enter a VIN or select a year, make, and model of the information they are looking for. The issue with Caterpillar is that they do not categorize their repair information this way. They categorize it by engine application (Truck, marine, military, etc…), engine model, and then engine prefix.

The engine prefix is the first 3 characters in the engine serial number. For example, SDP22671 has the prefix SDP. Quick research can tell us that this is a C15 engine, but what years of trucks did it go into? Caterpillar has never made this information available to the public, along with more details on what features those prefixes have. In this blog post, we hope to break all of that down for you.

We also need to have a quick conversation about production years, model years, and emission years. Often vehicles made in a current year, are classified as next year’s models. Most vehicle manufacturers flip their model years over at some point in the first couple months of the new year. For example, a truck built in March of 2020, could very well be the model year 2021. Truck order backlogs often fill up for months, or even years, at a time. This means you could be sitting here in December 2020 and receiving quotes on 2022 model years (Which would be available in early summer 2021).

To further muddy the waters, emission years often lag production years. The EPA set standards that engine manufacturers have had to meet since 2004. You now must line up engine manufacturing dates with vehicle manufacturing dates with model year changes. This all becomes even more problematic when we are trying to decode a VIN which gives us model years, not production nor emission years.

Caterpillar Truck Engine – C15

The CAT C15 was the replacement for the 3406E and was a very popular “big bore” 15-liter engine during its day. They have 3 “versions” of the C15 engines they made:

  • C-15 (Pre-ACERT engines, with a dash between the C and the 15)
  • C-15 Bridge (Engines in transition from pre-ACERT to ACERT)
  • C15 ACERT (ACERT is the CAT technology to meet EPA 2004 & 2007 emission standards)

Based on our research, our team was able to categorize this as follows:

Engine
Prefix
Model
First Built
Last Built
QTY
Built
Model Years
Notes
6NZ C-15 Jul 1998 Jun 2005 99,900 1998-2002 6NZ, 9NZ, MBN, & EGH have same fault code tables
9NZ C-15 Jun 2005 Feb 2009 18,500 1998-2002 6NZ, 9NZ, MBN, & EGH have same fault code tables
MBN C-15 Bridge Dec 2001 Feb 2003 30,100 1998-2002 6NZ, 9NZ, MBN, & EGH have same fault code tables
EGH C15 Acert Dec 2002 Oct 2004 Less than 300 1998-2002 6NZ, 9NZ, MBN, & EGH have same fault code tables
BXS C15 Acert Mar 2003 Dec 2004 39,000 2003 First “True”Acerts
MXS C15 Acert Mar 2003 Jul 2006 100,000 2004-2006 Most popular C15 ACERT. One piece housings for engine brake & VVA’s
NXS C15 Acert Jul 2006 Apr 2009 33,000 2004-2006 NXS exact same as MXS. CAT ran out of serial numbers
RKS C15 Acert Sep 2008 Jan 2009 Less than 100 2004-2006 RKS same fault code tables as MXS & NXS
SDP C15 Acert Jan 2005 Mar 2009 22,700 2007-2010 Last C15 engine prefix built

Caterpillar Truck Engine – C12

The CAT C12 was the little brother to the CAT C15 engine, as it was a 12-liter engine with a maximum of 430HP from the factory.

Engine Prefix
Model
First Built
Last Built
QTY
Built
Model Years
Notes
TYN C-12 Nov 1994 Dec 1997 12,800 1994-1996 First C12’s made
9NS C-12 Jan 1997 Feb 2004 20,200 1997-1998
2KS C-12 Mar 1996 Apr 2006 99,500 1999-2003 2KS, CPD, & 8YF use the same fault codes
CPD C-12 May 2001 Jun 2005 2,500 1999-2003 2KS, CPD, & 8YF use the same fault codes
BYF C-12 Feb 2007 Sep 2009 3,100 1999-2003 2KS, CPD, & 8YF use the same fault codes

Caterpillar Truck Engine – C13

The CAT C13 replaced the CAT C12 engine and was a popular 13L engine that was built from 2004 until 2010 when CAT exited the on-highway diesel engine business.

Engine Prefix
Model
First Built
Last Built
QTY
Built
Model Years
Notes
JAM C13 ACERT Jul 2005 May 2011 Less than 90 2004-2006 EPA 2004 Emissions, No DPF
KCB C13 ACERT Nov 2002 Jan 2010 94,000 2004-2006 EPA 2004 Emissions, No DPF
LEE C13 ACERT Jan 2005 Mar 2009 23,500 2007-2010 EPA 2007 Emissions, DPF, new air management system

Caterpillar Truck Engine – C9

The first several engine prefixes were built in exceptionally low quantities, so they were more than likely test engines. The 2004 emission engine was an 8.8L configuration and the 2007 model was a 9.3L. The 2007 model included Clean Gas Induction (CGI) and a particulate filter with Cat Regeneration System (CRS).

Engine
Prefix
Model
First Built
Last Built
QTY
Built
Model Years
Notes
ETK C9 Jan 2005 Jul 2008 Less than 500
MTB C9 Jan 2004 Dec 2006 1,000
CKP C9 Apr 2003 Jun 2003 Less than 500
CKP C9 Apr 2003 Jun 2003 Less than 500
9DG C9 Aug 2000 Dec 2006 10,500 2004-2006 EPA 2004 Emissions
CKP C9 Apr 2007 Dec 2008 1,200 2007-2010 EPA 2004 Emissions

Caterpillar Truck Engine –  C10

This engine was smaller than the C12 and was only used in production for a short period of time. This was a 10.3L engine and didn’t put up huge sales numbers.

Engine
Prefix
Model
First Built
Last Built
QTY
Built
Model Years
Notes
2PN C10 Nov 1994 Aug 1998 7,300 1995-1997
8YS C10 Mar 1997 Apr 2003 7,300 1998
3CS C10 Jul 1996 Dec 1999 9,700 1999-2002 3CS & MBJ use exact same fault code tables
MBJ C10 Oct 2002 Dec 2003 4,000 1999-2002 3CS & MBJ use exact same fault code tables

Caterpillar Truck Engine – C7

The CAT C7 was released in 2003 to meet engine emission standards and was a 7.2L medium-duty diesel engine. The CAT C7 was plagued with the same ACERT problems that CAT had in the other ACERT engines.

Engine
Prefix
Model
First Built
Last Built
QTY
Built
Model Years
Notes
YPG C7 Nov 2004 Mar 2005 Less than 100
LBM C7 Apr 2006 Oct 2008 700
KAL C7 Oct 2002 Jul 2003 1,800 2003-2006
SAP C7 Feb 2005 Jun 2005 21,500 2003-2006 3WAX, SAP, & KAL prefix are identical
WAX C7 Aug 2005 Dec 2006 75,700 2003-2006 WAX, SAP,& KAL prefix are identical
CS7 C7 Feb 2005 Aug 2007 3,700 2007-2010 WAX, SAP,& KAL prefix are identical

Caterpillar Truck Engine – 3406E

The CAT 3406E was eventually split into the CAT C15 & C16 in 2000. The CAT C16 only made it a couple of years before being discontinued mainly due to emission standards that took place starting in 2004. The CAT C15 turned into the CAT C-15 ACERT engine eventually.

Engine
Prefix
Model
First Built
Last Built
QTY
Built
Model Years
Notes
SEK 3406E Nov 1991 Jan 1997 99,300 1993-1997 6TS & 5EK almost identical, 6TS has steel top pistons; SEK aluminum
6TS 3406E Jan 1997 Aug 1998 27,800 1993-1997 6TS & 5EK almost identical, 6TS has steel top pistons; SEK aluminum
5DS 3406E Sept 1996 Jan 1999 1,000 1998 15.8L Engine
1LW 3406E Dec 1997 May 2003 33,000 1998 14.6L Engine
1MM 3406E Jun 2998 Dec 1999 1,300 1999-2000 15.8LEngine
2WS 3406E Mar 1996 Dec 1999 42,700 1999-2000 14.6LEngine

Summary

Hopefully, our research has helped answer a question or two for you. If you are looking for diagnostic tools or repair information on CAT engines, you have come to the right place!

Our Diesel Repair platform contains repair information on fault codes, along with remove and replace instructions, torque specifications, wiring diagrams, component locators, and much more!

Our online store has all kinds of diagnostic tools for CAT engines, as we cover everything from handheld code readers to full blown dealer level diagnostic tools. Call, chat, or email us today and let us help find the right tool for you!

 

ACCESS FREE REPAIR INFORMATION AND MORE TODAY!

Diesel Repair is a freemium model, which means you can signup for an account today without entering any payment information and you will be able to access free repair information, downloads, document lookups, and more!

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.