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Navistar MaxxForce DT466E

Update on an Enduring I-6 Diesel in Its Current and Most Powerful Form

Brian Lohnes
Mar 15, 2016
Photographers: Courtesy of the Manufacturer, Mike McGlothlin
Navistar’s MaxxForce DT466E is the latest generation for one of the most enduring designs in modern diesel engine history. While its basic architecture has remained virtually the same for more than 40 years, internal components and systems have all advanced with the times. The 7.6L (466ci) inline-six engine’s current and most powerful variant makes 860 lb-ft of torque at 1,300 rpm and 300 hp at 2,200 rpm. This is all from an engine that debuted in the nose of a farm tractor and took years to actually find its way into a road-going application. It’s pretty amazing stuff.
Founded on a cast-iron block with removable wet sleeves and using aluminum pistons with a 16.4:1 compression ratio, the primary focus and calling card for this engine is its durability. Fueling is accomplished via Navistar’s G2 system: a high-pressure, common-rail setup that features electro-hydraulic injectors.
Photo 2/3   |   2010 MaxxForce DT
While the technology has advanced to keep its performance and cleanliness current, the basic architecture for Navistar’s MaxxForce DT has remained the same since 1971. The most modern version of this iconic engine is the MaxxForce DT466E. Making 300 hp at 2,200 rpm and 860 lb-ft of torque at 1,300 rpm, the engines have long been a favorite of medium-duty fleet operators and short-haul truckers.

The engine uses two conventional turbochargers in a sequential arrangement and an air-to-water intercooler that manages air temperature going into its four-valve, iron cylinder head. Replaceable cylinder liners add to the serviceability of the engine, which can be rebuilt while the block remains in the chassis of a truck. With a B50 (a diesel’s expected life before overhaul) rating of 550,000 miles, it is easy to see why fleet managers like this engine for short-haul applications.
International has produced more than 2 million MaxxForce DTs since it debuted as the powerplant for the International Harvester 4166 farm tractor in 1971. The engine was first used for truck applications in 1975. Many still refer to it as simply the “DT466,” although four different iterations of the engine have been produced:
* 1971-1993: Mechanical fuel-injected DT466 * 1994-2003: HEUI electronic fuel-injected DT466E. * 2004-present: G2 fuel-injected DT466E
Photo 3/3   |   DT466 Racing
The wildest example of a vehicle built with a member of this engine family belongs to Hypermax Engineering. Making an estimated 3,000 hp, the dragster’s triple-turbocharged DT466 has propelled the rail to quarter-mile elapsed times in the 6-second zone and speeds more than 200 mph in the same distance.

From 2006 until now, a U.S. emissions-compliant MaxxForce DT466E engine has been powering trucks, tractors, and other industrial applications. Vehicles like the International CXT, International 4300 and 4400 model trucks, as well as school buses like the IC Corporation FE 300, rely on these engines to haul everything from water to school kids.
An interesting fact is that these engines are assembled in an Illinois plant originally built by Buick for the production of radial airplane engines that were used to power B-24 Liberator bombers during WWII.
Navistar MaxxForce DT466E
Displacement: 7.6L (466ci)
Engine Layout: I-6
Valvetrain: DOHC
Bore x stroke: 4.59 x 4.68 inches (116.60 x 118.87mm)
Head Material: Cast iron
Block Material: Cast iron
Power: 300 hp at 2,200 rpm
Torque: 860 lb-ft at 1,300 rpm
Aftercooling: Air-to-water intercooler
Length: 3 feet, 9 inches
Width: 3 feet, 6 inches
Height: 3 feet, 11 inches
Weight: 1,425 pounds
Lubrication capacity: 30 quarts


Warrenville, IL 60555
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