Building The Legendary Navistar DT466

We Travel To Melrose Park, Illinois, To Show You How Navistar Builds Its Most Famous Inline-Six

Mike McGlothlin
Mar 1, 2011
Photographers: Mike McGlothlin
If you've been keeping up with our recent engine plant visits ("History in the Making," Nov. '10, "Duramax Factory Tour," Dec. '10) you might've been expecting to see us tour Ford's new 6.7L Power Stroke facility. And while that is in the works, we've decided to showcase another extraordinary diesel engine many of our readers are familiar with: the MaxxForce DT (466ci inline-six) that Navistar builds for its International-brand medium-duty trucks and other global applications.
Photo 2/20   |   The MaxxForce DT (formerly known as the DT466) is built at Navistar's Melrose Park, Illinois, facility. The 80-acre plant was originally built by Buick in 1941 to produce engines for the B-24 Liberator bomber. The plant was sold to International (then known as International Harvester) in 1946, following the end of World War II for $1.00. Here, an older 12-valve version of the DT466 (DT466E) is being assembled along with the newer, 24-valve MaxxForce DT engines. International still produces the DT466E version (shown) for export customers in countries with lower emissions standards.
Some of you recognize this engine because it has made more than 2,000 hp and withstood more than 200 psi of boost in the tractor-pulling world. Some of you know it as the powerplant of choice for school buses, dump trucks, plow trucks, and box trucks. And some of you have personally seen one hit the million-mile mark. After 40 years of production, it's no secret why the DT466 earned its legendary status for power, efficiency, durability, and serviceability.
The DT Timeline
The engine debuted in the agricultural world in 1971. Its first application powered IH 4166 four-wheel-drive tractors. It made its way into on-highway applications in 1975. Due to increased emissions standards during the last two decades, the injection systems found on the DT466 have gone from mechanical to HEUI to its current electro-hydraulic (G2) injection system. Exhaust gas recirculation and diesel particulate systems also now come as standard equipment. However, the overall engine platform has remained the same, and older versions are still produced for use all across the globe. As we watched the engine's assembly process unfold at Navistar's Melrose Park, Illinois, plant, it was obvious why the DT466 has become world-renowned.
DT466 Facts
  • B50 Life: 550,000 miles
  • Power Levels: 185 hp to 345 hp (commercial), 375 hp (military)
  • Builders: UAW Local 6
  • Engines Built: 2 million
  • Engine Plant Size: 1.5-million square feet
  • Most Common Application: School buses, medium-duty trucks
  • DT466 Production (mechanical injection): 1971 to 1993
  • DT466E Production (HEUI injection): 1994 to 2003
  • DT466E Production (G2 fuel system): 2004 to present
  • MaxxForce DT Production (G2 fuel system): 2006 to present


Warrenville, IL 60555



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