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Old 02-03-2019, 01:50 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 14
Detroit Diesel 8.2L "Fuel Pincher" tips and tricks

I just purchased my newest bus, a 1986 Ford B-700 with the Detroit diesel 8.2L "Fuel Pincher." This is my third bus, and the second to carry the name "Snailing Away." I've read a lot of negative things about this engine, and a few good things about it, but the price was perfect, the bus ran like a dream, it only had 136,000 miles, all tires were practically brand new, there was almost no rust, and when I test drove her I got that tingly "this is my next home" feeling(which I didn't get with my previous bus, a dt360, nor with the several dt466s I had test driven before purchasing the Detroit diesel). Plus, she has understorage already, and came wired for electricity! I just need solar panels and batteries.
I want this bus to last me a long time, and I was wondering if anyone had any hints or tips or tricks to keep my infamous 8.2L Fuel Pincher in good condition.

Additional information:
After I heat up the glow plugs, she cranks for less than a split second before starting. It is almost instantaneous, I have never had a vehicle start so quickly. Is this common for this engine? Or is it a sign of a good/bad engine?

My first bus was an old, poorly maintained gas engine that didn't like going faster than 35mph, and it took her a good 2 minutes to reach that speed, so I have no problem driving slowly and gingerly. And from what I have read, one needs to drive the fuel pincher gingerly.

I drove her 200 miles from where I bought her to where she will be parked while I renovate. There were no problems at all, and the person I had following me reported no smoke from the exhaust. She doesn't have a tachometer, but I felt like her optimal cruising speed was around 45 mph(which, again, is plenty fast for me). I will be installing a tachometer and a transmission temperature gauge before I drive her again though.

Before I drive her again, I am going to change all the fluids and filters.

She is really beautiful and I love her.
DeanyOscar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2019, 02:02 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Greater Boston
Posts: 504
I'm also interested to hear what people think of this engine, or if anyone has suggestions on where to get more info about them.

I've seen a few buses that have a ton or character to them, but have the fuel pincher under the hood. Not that you have to cruise at 70, but 45 mph around here qualifies as a road hazzard.
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Old 02-03-2019, 09:17 AM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,462
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
I have read several notes on the "Fuel Pincher" and they were all pretty negative. Mostly regarding power. Seems they just don't put out enough to move a bus very well.
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Old 02-03-2019, 12:10 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,030
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Were you basing the "almost new" tires by tread depth or by manufacture date. Have you verified mileage, it is quite common for speedos to fail early in life and are replaced, that bus should have closer to 300k miles. I just sent my "fuel pincher" to scrap with no oil pressure.
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:34 PM   #5
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Alberta
Posts: 57
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 5.9, Spicer-5
Rated Cap: 44 Big butts/66 Lil ones
Sounds like you may have lucked-out and gotten one of the good ones. The pinchers were ok in the right applications but can't handle any abuse, ie., don't take kindly to overheating. They are a wet sleeve engine and the top end of the sleeve has no support, it is free-standing, resulting in a very narrow sealing surface. I worked in a truck repair shop a few years back and one used to come into the shop quite regularly with head gasket issues, they would tear it down and send the heads out for re-surfacing put it back together and it would not be long before it would show up again with the same issues. I still believe that they should have sent the block out to be re-decked as well. I don't think the owner made any money with that truck that winter.
In your situation that engine could live a long and happy life if you don't overwork it and keep the cooling system in top shape. Give it a good flush, use top quality coolant and keep an eye on the ph. levels and never, ever run it with low coolant level.
Happy Trails!
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